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E. Melinda Roper

Replies: 43

Re: E. Melinda Roper

Posted: 1352508921000
Classification: Query
Hello Melinda,

I've been working on finding the ancestors of Philip L Roper and Charles Jackson Roper, and I think I have them. What I am looking for now is a living male descendant of Philip L. Roper to see if he would be willing to submit to a Y-DNA test. If you know of someone, maybe I could talk to them.

Here is what I have come up with so far.


The ancestry of our Roper family starting with Willis Franklin Roper (1902-1982) can be traced back to Charles Jackson Roper (1818-1863). At that point, the trail peters out, with only a scattering of evidence seemingly available. However, I believe that I have now created a clear and convincing case that the parents of Charles Jackson Roper, b. abt 1818 Pulaski, KY, d. abt 1863 AR or TN (Civil War), was David Roper, b. abt 1882, Caswell, NC and Nancy Lewis, b. abt 1783 Also, I believe that William Roper, b. 1753, Dinwiddie, VA and Sarah Hard are the parents of David Roper.


The father of Willis Franklin Roper (1902-1982) was John Thomas Roper (1872-1966). The father of John Thomas Roper was Philip Lawson Roper (1844-1920). The father of Philip Lawson Roper was Charles Jackson Roper (1818-1863). This line of descent is well established from a number of sources, the most important of which are the US Census records.


In scanning the Internet for possible clues of the ancestors of Charles Jackson Roper, one first encounters the oral history of a family member descended from the family of Charles Jackson Roper. That history goes something like this.

In a Message Board email on dated March 24, 2010, Christy Roper-Duke relates the following: Her father Gary Roper had many Indian qualities (thick black hair that didn’t gray until late in life, dark brown eyes, dark skinned and a large straight nose, tall and lanky). Also, her Grandmother Roper did have Indian heritage, and her Great Great Grandmother walked the Trail of Tears. And her Great Grandfather Grover Roper, who also had many Indian features, was the son of a Charles Jackson Roper (not the Charles Jackson Roper we are concerned with), who in turn was the son of Philip L. Roper, born in Kentucky or Tennessee in 1815-1818. Philip L. Roper was supposedly the brother of our Charles Jackson Roper (born 1818). This is suggested by the fact that Philip L. Roper named one of his sons Charles Jackson Roper and Charles Jackson Roper in turn named one of his sons Philip Lawson Roper.

The story told to Christy Roper-Duke is that these two brothers (Philip L. Roper and Charles Jackson Roper) “were headed south together running from the law”, with Charles Jackson Roper stopping to put down roots and Philip L. Roper going on to Texas, where he shows up in a number of census records.

There is probably some truth in this oral history. These generations of Roper families were farmers and mostly illiterate. Oral history was their only way of communicating their history. Thus, we can speculate for the moment that Charles Jackson Roper was at least part Indian and that he was connected in some way with the Trail of Tears. But just what was the Trail of Tears all about.

“The Trail of Tears is a name given to the forced relocation and movement of Native American nations from southeastern parts of the United States following the Indian Removal Act of 1830. The removal included most members of the Cherokee, Muscogee (Creek), Seminole, Chickasaw, and Choctaw nations, among others, from their homelands in the U.S. to Indian Territory (eastern sections of the present-day state of Oklahoma). The phrase originated from a description of the removal of the Choctaw Nation in 1831. Many Native Americans suffered from exposure, disease and starvation en route to their destinations. Many died.
In 1831, the Cherokee, Chickasaw, Choctaw, Muscogee-Creek, and Seminole (sometimes collectively referred to as the Five Civilized Tribes) were living as autonomous nations in what would be called the American Deep South. The process of cultural transformation (proposed by George Washington and Henry Knox and meaning generally that Indians should abandon their hunter-gatherer ways and become farmers) was gaining momentum, especially among the Cherokee and Choctaw. Andrew Jackson renewed the political and military effort for the removal of the Native Americans from these lands with the passage of the Indian Removal Act of 1830.
In 1831 the Choctaw were the first to be removed, and they became the model for all other removals. After the Choctaw, the Seminole were removed in 1832, the Creek in 1834, then the Chickasaw in 1837, and finally the Cherokee in 1838. After removal, some Native Americans remained in their ancient homelands - the Choctaw are found in Mississippi, the Seminole in Florida, the Creek in Alabama, and the Cherokee in North Carolina… By 1837, 46,000 Native Americans from these southeastern states had been removed from their homelands thereby opening 25 million acres (100,000 km2) for predominantly white settlement.” (From Wikipedia.)

Did Charles Jackson Roper and Philip L. Roper escape forced removal while on the Trail of Tears, with Charles settling in Arkansas and Philip in Texas? And were they in fact brothers? The following is what direct and circumstantial evidence we have.
Charles Jackson Roper appears to have been born in Kentucky in about 1818 (1850 Arkansas Census). Secondary sources say he was born in Pulaski County, Kentucky, but no birth certificate has surfaced.
Almost all Native Americans were forced to leave Kentucky and other parts of the Southeast during the forced removal. If Charles Jackson was part Native American and was in Pulaski, Kentucky or anywhere else in the Southeast, he likely would have been one of the forcefully removed Native Americans. And we know that Charles Jackson had left the Southeast by at least 1841 (which is consistent with the forced removal period of 1831-1839), because his first child George Washington Roper was born in abt. 1841 in Arkansas.
A Charles Roper first shows up in the 1840 Searcy, AR census. He and his wife are reported to be between 20-30 years of age. Searcy is a county just north of Conway County. They are shown with no children.
A Charles Jackson Roper first shows up in an 1850 Census for Cadron, Conway County, Arkansas In the 1850 Census, his family is shown to include Elizabeth (28), his wife who was also born in Kentucky or Illinois, and his children George (10), Benjamin (8), Philip (6), Charles (believed to be Charles Lewis) (4), Henry (2), and Mary (1), all of whom were born in Arkansas.
Charles Jackson Roper (C J Roper) (43) and his family next appear in the 1860 Census for Big Flat, Searcy, Arkansas, with the following family: Elizabeth (38), George (19), Benjamin (17), Philip (15), Lewis (Charles Lewis) (13), Henry (11), William (9), Elizabeth (6), and Clementine (4/12).
All secondary sources show that the William (9) is, according to secondary sources, William Shadrack Roper, and was known as William Shadrack Wild Bill Roper. I have not be able to verify the middle name of Shadrack with primary sources, but primary sources do show a William S. Roper (1880 Marion Arkansas Census). For a while, this led me to believe that Shadrack Roper, d. 1784, Powhatan, VA was the grandfather of Charles Jackson Roper, but this is not the case.
Philip L. Roper, who allegedly was on the run with Charles Jackson Roper, probably left at the same time as Charles, but ended up in first in Alabama and then in Texas.
Now let’s consider the significance of Charles Jackson going to Searcy, AR Cadron Creek, Conway, AR, on or before 1841.
There were four primary routes on the Trail of Tears leading from the Southeast part of the United States. One of these routes generally followed a river course through Tennessee, Kentucky, and Arkansas, ending up on the Cadron Creek in Arkansas. One could either disembark from a steamboat in an area called Cadron Creek, AR, or one could continue up the river for some distance, before proceeding on foot to Indian Territory in what would later be a part of Oklahoma.
Who were parents of Charles Jackson Roper and Philip L. Roper? We have no direct evidence, such as a will. However, we have a great deal of circumstantial evidence which will lead us to the solution to this problem.
Philip L. Roper, in the U.S. Census taken in Hopkins, Texas, does say that his parents were both born in North Carolina. We also know that both Charles and Philip were born in Kentucky. So the inference is that the parents of Charles and Philip had moved from North Carolina to Kentucky sometime before 1818, the birth date of Charles.

Much of this theory is based on the close relationships that William Roper, the Oden family, and Philip L. Roper shared.

In looking at the Moore family bible, Charles Roper and Ann (Goodwyn) Roper are shown to be the parents of a William Roper, b. June 26, 1753, Dinwiddie, VA. In the Roper MUR line he is shown to have died before 1803 in Edgefield, SC.

William Alexander Roper, Jr. did an analysis of the Roper families in South Carolina in a posting on the Roper-L Archives on July 25, 2002. He concluded at that time this Samuel Roper in the 1800 Edgeville Census was the son of William Roper, b. 1753, and not the son of David Roper, b. 1742, Dinwiddie, VA.

William Alexander Roper, Jr. also posted this information:

“NOTE 11: I recently discovered an Edgefield, SC, record showing:

"[Deed Book 16]
p. 162-163 William ROPER to son Samuel ROPER. Bill of Sale, 21
December 1798. love & goodwill. mare. household goods; wit William
WASH. Little Berry ADAMS. /s/ William ROPER. Proven 3 January 1799
by Little Berry ADAMS: Rd Tutt JP. Rec 3 Jany 1799." [at p. 11]”

This Samuel Roper appears in the 1800 Edgefield, SC Census as follows:

ROPER, Samuel 161 00100-00100-00

Samuel Roper and his wife would be 16-26 years of age, with no children.

A Thomas B. Oden and Alexander Oden are shown on the same page as Samuel Roper as follows:

ODEN, Alexander 161 22101-02200-01
ODEN, Thomas B. 161 01110-01010-00

Alexander Oden is residing 2 properties away from Samuel Roper and, on the other side of Samuel Roper, Thomas B. Oden is residing 3 properties away from the property of Samuel Roper.

Alexander Oden would be age 45-up. He was married to Letitia Bussey, the daughter of George Bussey who owned land in Edgefield.

Thomas B (Bussey) Oden is considered his son. In the Census record, he would be 26-45.

Oden family researchers believe that Alexander Oden was the brother of Hezekiah Oden, who was residing in Greenville, SC in 1790, along with his sons Peter Oden and Thomas H. Oden. That these were his sons is demonstrated by the following will of Hezekiah Oden:

Here is the Will of Hezekiah Oden, father of Peter Oden, Thomas Oden, and John Oden:

Edgefield District, SC: Wills, 1787-1836

"p. 133. 3 Aug 1797. I, Hezekiah ODEN, Senr, being sick of body but of
sound & perfect memory. I will that all my just debts be paid out of my
estate. I give to my loving wife Susaner (sic) ODEN the plantation where I
now live also three cows & calves, two sows, one negro fellow named Ben, one
feather bed & one horse during my wife Lolraner (?) ODEN life or her
widowhood & after her decease I appoint & give all the above property with
the increase to my son John ODEN. I give to my son Andrew ODEN 50 acres of
land beginning on the S line then E to a Rocky Branch, up the branch to the
original line. I give to my son Peter ODEN the land whereon he now lives,
beginning on rocky Branch & running an E course to the old spring branch. I
give to my son Thomas ODEN a tract of land beginning below the mill at a
hollow & running S course up the hollow to the line joining Samuel DAGNEYS
(DABNEYS?), thence along a line to the corner also two cows & calves. I
give to my son Hezekiah ODEN a tract of land beginning at Peter ODENS line
along S course by the upper Water Gap to the original line also one mare &
colt, two cows & calves the mill & tract of land belonging with the pond &
running up the Spring Branch to Peter ODEN line. I give to my dtr. Darcas
ODEN two cows & calves, one horse, one woman saddle, one feather bed and the
wagon and the black smith tools with the plantation tools for the family
use. I appoint Alexander ODEN the sole executor. Wit: Archibald MC KAY &
Nath. (X) EVANS. Signed: Hezekiah ODEN. Proved in open court by the oath
of Archibald & Nath. EVANS Oct. term 1797 & ordered to be recorded. R

In the 1800 Greenville, SC census, we find a William Roper (392) residing next to Peter Oden (391) and three properties away from Thomas Oden (395).

This William Roper shows the following:

2 0 0 1 1 0 0 1

William Roper and his wife are shown to be 26-45. This is age range is close enough to be William Roper, b.1753, son of Charles Roper and Ann Goodwyn.

Thus, we have a close connection of both Samuel Roper and William Roper with Oden family members, who have a close connection to Philip L. Roper.

Next, we have the Will of William Roper, b. 1753. I have not personally seen the will, but have found this transcription:

“Will of William Roper - [WPA will transcriptions of Edgefield Co, SC Vol 1
Bk. A (microfilm # ST 0541 (AD521), p. 536 SC State Archives

First I give to my son Wiley Roper all that piece of land known by the
name of Horns Land, and at my wife's death as much of the tract where I now
live to be taken along side of the tract of Horns as will make an equal
division of both tracts between my son Wiley and son Joel. I also give to
my son Joel a young mare.
I leave unto my wife Lary [bsj-Sary] Roper my cattle and hogs, together
with all the balance of my estate which is not already bequeathed, not
hearafter mentioned in this my LWT.
I leave unto my daughters Nancy and Sally one feather bed and furniture
a piece when they are married, or at the death of my wife - and it is my
desire that all that part of my personal property which I have pointed out
to my wife, that at her death, the whole shall be sold and equally divided
among my six children.
I appoint my son-in-law Benj. Roper and my son Joel Roper Executors
/s/ 7 June, 1803
Witness: William Glover Jr, Anderson Glover,
/r/ in Will Book A, p. 190-191 May 21, 1804 [Box 44, pkg 1883]


As can be seen from the will, William gives the residue of his estate to his wife and, after she dies, to his six children. However, there are only four children and a brother-in-law named in the will. One of those named sons is Wiley Roper.

Wiley Roper left a subsequent will as follows:

“Will of Wiley Roper Box 44 - 1875 Recorded Nov 24, 1807 South Carolina,
Edgefield District
Personally appeared before me Benj Roper, David Roper and Nancy Earnest who
being sworn . sayeth that on the 19th day of Nov., 1807, they were at the
house of Wiley Roper and was called upon by said Roper as witnesses to his
verbal will (Viz) that is to say his desire was that all his just debts be
paid by his Brother Joel, & that his three horses, plows, and years fodder,
tobacco, Cotton, saddle, Bridel & Rifle gun be sold on a [__] of twelve
months & the remaining part of his estate to his wife Peggey in fee simple
and that the above will . was the last will & testament of Wiley Roper Dec'd
& that Joel Roper should be his Executor to settle all his estate.
Sworn before me this 24th day of Nov, 1807 /s/ Benjamin Roper”.
/s/ David Roper
/s/ Nancy [ea-nes]”

Wiley Roper is about to die, does not have a written will, and needs witnesses to a verbal will. Witnesses to a will should have nothing to gain from the will. Usually, family members gather around when they have a parent, brother or sister dying. Benjamin Roper is probably the brother-in-law mentioned in William Roper’s will. Nancy Earnest is probably the daughter of William Roper, and the sister of Wiley Roper. A David Roper is the third witness to the will. None of the witnesses are recipients under the will. But who is David Roper?

It could be argued that this David Roper is the David Roper, b. 1743, Dinwiddie, VA. However, this David Roper died in 1802, Edgefield, SC and left a will. Wiley Roper’s will is dated five years later. For that reason, I believe that this David Roper is a brother of Wiley Roper and the son of William Roper.

Thus, we can now account for all six of the children mentioned in the will of William Roper, i.e. Wiley Roper, Joel Roper, Nancy Roper, Sally Roper, David Roper, and Samuel Roper.

In looking at the 1790 Richmond District, Caswell County, NC Census, we will find a William Roper, James Roper, Charles Lewis, John Lewis, and Robert Lewis all living there. I believe this Charles Lewis was the father of Nancy Lewis, who married David Roper in Caswell, NC in 1801. William Roper is probably William Roper, b. 1753, Dinwiddie, VA.

David Roper, b. abt 1882, Caswell, NC, is shown marrying Nancy Lewis, b. abt 1783, on July 13, 1801 in Caswell County. (See David Roper’s NC data base). Thus, this marriage is occurring in the same county that William Roper and Charles Lewis are residing in 1790.

Some researches seem to have considered this David Roper to be David Yates Roper, son of David Roper and Sarah Yates, and that this was David Yates Roper’s first marriage, before he married Dionysia. I believe that the David Roper who married Nancy Lewis is an entirely separate person and not David Yates Roper. This difference will be demonstrated later.

In the 1810 Cumberland, KY Census, we will find a David Roper, age 26-45, living with 3 males 0-9, and then one female 0-9, one female 10-15, and two females 26-45, and one female 45-up. I believe this is David Roper and Nancy Lewis.

Also in the 1810 Pulaski, KY Census, we find a Charles Lewis, 45-up, with a female 45-up, and one female <10. I think this is the father of the Charles Lewis who will be shown residing in Cumberland, KY in 1820 and the father of Nancy Lewis, who married David Roper.

In the 1820 Cumberland County, KY Census, there is a David Roper residing in Cumberland County, KY, shown as age 26-45. His presumed wife is also age 26-45. This is consistent with this David Roper being the David Roper, b. abt 1882, Caswell, NC, married to Nancy Lewis. They are shown with 2 male children under 10 (consistent with them being Charles Jackson Roper and Philip L. Roper) and three male children ages 11-16. There are also two females under 10.

As William Alexander Roper, Jr. has recently pointed out to me, this David Roper residing in Cumberland County resides very close to Philip Lawson. To make this document complete, I am going to repeat Mr. William Alexander Roper’s information as follows:

“Philip LAWSON appears to have been the recipient of three very early Kentucky land grants:

03 May 1799: 200 acres
13 Aug 1805: 20 acres
16 Nov 1826: 50 acres

The first grant was shown to be in Green County. The latter two are shown to be in Cumberland County.

Each of these land grants is shown to be on Sulpher Lick Creek. The last of these was shown to be on the West fork of Sulphur Lick (also Suphur) Creek. That would put the land near here:

This area is adjacent to the Kentucky - Tennessee boarder. One might very well have crossed the state line several times returning from an errand or going fishing.

David ROPER received five Kentucky land grants in Cumberland County:

05 Oct 1805: 30 acres
17 Oct 1805: 25 acres
17 Oct 1805: 15 acres
20 Nov 1805: 93 acres
08 Jun 1816: 50 acres

David ROPER's grants were shown to be on the Cumberland River, except for one on Kettle Creek. The Kettle Creek land would have been near here:

This Kettle Creek property would have been about eight miles away from Philip LAWSON's land.

The other parcels might have been a little farther or closer depening upon their precise location on the Cumberland River.

John C. ROPER received two other grants on the Cumberland River in Monroe County on 09 Aug 1821. Monroe County is adjacent to Cumberland County to the immediate West. This land was probably within ten miles of the Philip LAWSON property.

John ROPER received a grant for an additional 100 acres of land on Kettle Creek on 20 Dec 1833.

It would seem that David ROPER, John ROPER/John C. ROPER and Philip LAWSON were neighbors in Kentucky.

Philip LAWSON seems to have been active in the Sulpher Baptist Church.

Philip Lawson's Will was probated in Cumberland County on 24 May 1836. Perhaps it contains some insight into his relationship with the ROPER family.

David ROPER is enumerated in the 1810 Census as residing in Burksville, Cumberland County, Kentucky. In 1810, Philip Lawson was residing in Goochland, Virginia.

In 1820, both David ROPER and Philip LAWSON are enumerated in Paoli, Cumberland County, Kentucky. Philip LAWSON appears at the very top of Page 18 of the images for Paoli post office. David ROPER appears at midpage in page 17 of the same enumeration. This seems unlikely to be coincidental and is highly suggestive of close physical proximity.

Paoli is shown to be a historic post office somewhere near the town of Albany in Clinton County, Kentucky. Note that there is also a Sulphur Creek branch here, as well:

Philip Lawson was apparently a messenger in the Baptist church in Cumberland, KY. A messenger is described by the modern day Southern Baptist Church as follows:
“The Annual Meeting of the Southern Baptist Convention consists of representatives, or "messengers," as they are called, from cooperating churches, who gather to confer and determine the programs, policies, and budget of the Convention. Each church may be represented by up to 10 messengers, depending on church size and Cooperative Program giving amounts, ensuring equal accessibility for small and large congregations alike.”
Sulpher Baptist Church Records have the following information of Philip Lawson:
Page 474: Obey's River---Sinking Spring---Sulphur Baptist Church,
Cumberland Co., KY: in 1812, Philip Lawson was a messenger here.
1815-P. Lawson, messenger.
1816-Philip Lawson, messenger.
1817-P. Lawson, messenger.
1820-Philip Lawson, messenger.”
It appears from this information that Philip Lawson was very important to this particular Baptist Church in Paoli, Cumberland County, KY. I would go so far as to suggest that he could well be the minister who left lasting impressions on Charles Jackson Roper and Philip L. Roper.
Also, these were missionary churches, set up to minister to the “heathens” throughout the world, including the Cherokee heathens in the Southeast. Many families with Cherokee ties became members of these churches.
In the 1820 Cumberland, KY Census, a Charles Lewis is listed as resident 900, Philip Lawson is listed as resident 911, and David Roper is listed as resident 892. A John Lewis is listed as resident 667 and a Benjamin Lewis is listed as resident 862. I believe this Charles Lewis is the brother of Nancy Lewis, and the son of the Charles Lewis who was residing in Pulaski, KY in 1810. He is listed as age 26-44, with a wife age 26-45, with 2 females under 10, and one male under 10 and two males 10-16. Benjamin Lewis, age 26-45, with a young family, and a John Lewis, age 26-45, with a young family, could very well be the brothers of Charles Lewis and Nancy Lewis, who are of the same age.

I had originally thought that John C. Roper, who owned land and resided next to David Roper and Philip Lawson, might be the brother of David Roper. But then we would have 7 children of William Roper, which would be a number contrary to William’s will. However, it appears this John C. Roper is John C. (Jackie) Roper, b. August 2, 1796, VA, who married a Hannah Martin.

In the 1830 Cumberland, KY Census, David Roper is no longer residing in Cumberland County or anywhere else in KY. This is because he has moved to Rhea, TN. In the 1830 Rhea, TN Census, David Roper and his wife are shown as ages 50-59, consistent with birthdates in in 1780s. The male children are: one 10-14; one 15-19; and two 20-29. Charles Jackson Roper should now be about 12 and Philip L Roper should be about 15.

David Roper is residing 5 houses away from a Barkley Lawson, age 20-29 in Rhea, TN.

William Alexander Roper, Jr., in a previous post, discussed the three David Ropers in Tennessee in 1830. This, in part, is what he had to say:

“It appears that there were three David ROPERs clearly shown in 1830 Census (as opposed to others who might have had their names garbled):

David Y. ROPER, of Maury, TN: 0 - 1 - 1 - 1 - 0 - 0 - 1 - 0 - 0 - 0 - 0 - 0 - 0 -- 2 - 0 - 1 - 1 - 0 - 0 - 1 - 0 - 0 - 0 - 0 - 0 - 0 -- 2 - 5 - 5 - 0 - 0 - 0 -- 1 - 3 - 3 - 1 - 0 - 0 -- 0 - 0 - 0 - 0 - 0 -- 0 - 0 - 0 - 0 - 0 - 0 [Images 43 and 44 of 210]
David ROPER, of Overton, TN: 1 - 1 - 1 - 0 - 0 - 1 - 0 - 0 - 0 - 0 - 0 - 0 - 0 -- 1 - 1 - 0 - 0 - 0 - 1 - 0 - 0 - 0 - 0 - 0 - 0 - 0 -- No Slaves [Images 19 and 20 of 86]
David ROPER, of Rhea, TN: 0 - 0 - 1 - 1 - 2 - 0 - 0 - 1 - 0 - 0 - 0 - 0 - 0 -- 1 - 1 - 1 - 0 - 0 - 0 - 0 - 1 - 0 - 0 - 0 - 0 - 0 -- 0 - 0 - 1 - 0 - 0 - 0 -- 1 - 1 - 1 - 0 - 0 - 0 -- 0 - 0 - 0 - 0 - 0 -- 0 - 0 - 0 - 0 - 0 - 0 [Images 45 and 46 of 90]

It therefore appears that David Y. ROPER, of Maury, TN, age 40 to 49 in 1830, was born ca 1781-1790. This is presumably the David Yates ROPER (b ca 1782 - Robertson, TN, d 1 Sep 1845 - Factory Creek, Giles, TN) shown in the ROPER Family History database to be married to Nancy Lewis and later Dionysia ABERNATHY (b 1784 - Lincoln, NC, d 20 Aug 1853 - Big Creek, Giles, TN).

David ROPER, of Overton, TN, age 30 to 39 in 1830, was born ca 1791-1800.

David ROPER, of Rhea, TN, age 50 to 59 in 1830, was born ca 1771-1780.

Of David ROPERs shown in the ROPER Family History databases of Dr. L. David ROPER the only other ROPER that appears likely to sit the profile of either of these is shown to be a David ROPER (b ca 1795 - Dinwiddie, VA, d 1840 - Williamson, TN) who seems to have been married to Sally Giles STELL (b 3 Aug 1799 - Rutherford, NC, d 6 Nov 1883 - Williamson, TN). This David ROPER would appear to be in roughly the correct PLACE and is roughly the correct AGE to be David ROPER, of Overton, TN.”

It is my opinion, i.e. William Frank Batchelor, that the remaining David Roper in Rhea, Tennessee, is the David Roper who lived in Cumberland, KY in 1820 and who was married to Nancy Lewis.

A “Vincent” Oden is shown in the 1830 Census residing in Rhea, TN, age 30-40, consistent with a birthdate of 1792. He is shown with a daughter age 15-20. Also, he is conveniently in Rhea, TN to allow for a marriage between Philip L Roper b abt. 1815 and Mary Ann Oden, b. abt 1813-1819. Also, there is a marriage registry to be found on the Internet that shows Vinson Oden and Levicy Lawson marrying on January 1, 1822 in Rhea, TN. (Notice the name Lawson again.)

1830 Rhea,TN Census
Oden, Vincent 11011-0001001

We now jump to Cadron, Arkansas. Charles Jackson Roper has named some of his children as follows:

Philip Lawson Roper, b. Sept 11 ,1844, Cadron, AR (same name as neighbor of David Roper in KY)

Charles Lewis Roper, b. 1846 Cadron Creek, AR (same name as the probable father and brother of Nancy Lewis)

Nancy Mary Roper, b. 1849, AR (same name as Nancy Lewis)

William S. Roper, b. Mar 1852, Cadron Creek, Venon, AR

This William S. Roper names a son Philip Lawson Roper, b. Feb. 6,1884, Marion, AR (same name as neighbor of David Roper in KY)

Then we jump to Blount, AL. Philip L. Roper has named a couple of his children as follows:

Nancy Roper, b. 1836

Charles Jackson Roper, b. June 1852, AL

This Charles Jackson Roper names a son Andy Lawson Roper

In all fairness to researchers who may question my thesis, I do need to admit that neither Philip L. Roper nor Charles Jackson Roper name a child David. I have no explanation for this. Perhaps David Ropers full name was Charles David Roper.

But now back to Census records.

Philip Roper appears in the 1840 Marshall, AL Census. He is 20-30 years of age, and so is his wife. They have 2 females under 5, and one female 5-10. They are residing two houses from Israel Oden, age 20-30. A William Golden, age 30-40, is living next door to Israel Oden. Israel Oden, who married Lucinda Golden, is supposedly the son of Peter Oden.

I said previously that many researchers on the internet have Peter Oden as the father of Vinson, rather that Thomas H. Oden. Ultimately, this will not affect my research on determining the identity of the parents of Philip L. Roper and Charles Jackson Roper. Either Peter or Thomas will do. However, this is why I think Thomas H. Oden is the better candidate.

Peter Oden, b. abt 1768, SC, appears in the 1840 Blount, AL Census, shown as age 70-80, residing 3 house from Thomas H. Oden, age 70-80, probable brother of Peter Oden (there is a will of Hezekiah Oden, b. 1735, SC, d. Aug. 3, 1797, Edgefield, SC, in which he names his sons as Peter, Thomas, and John.) So both Peter and Thomas are in the area where Philip L. Roper and his wife will reside in 1850.

The reason I think that Thomas H. Oden is the father of Vinson is that Philip L. Roper and his wife Anna Oden name one of their children Thomas Roper and another of their children Henry Roper. They do not name a child Peter.

Philip Roper, age 32, next appears in the 1850 Blount, AL Census. The Census record states he was born in TN, but the 1860 Panola, TX Census says he was born in KY. His wife Anna, age 31, is shown being born in TN. Vinson Oden, age 50, also appears in the 1850 Blount, AL Census, with his wife Levicy Lawson, age 44.

As far as a Cherokee connection with the Philip Roper and Anna Oden, we have the following:

A John Oden is shown marrying an Eliza Eblen in Roan, TN on June 6, 1812. This John Oden then appears in the Eastern Division, Blount, AL in the 1840 Census, age 50-59. He next appears in the 1850 Subdivision 17, Blount, AL Census, age 60, married to Eliza. This John Oden is the probable son of a Thomas B. Oden. Although I have no proof of this, John Oden, b. 1800-1810, allegedly became Talking Chief of the Cherokees in Alabama. Many Oden descendants claim Cherokee heritage.

So, it appears to me that David Roper, who married Nancy Lewis, is the father of Charles Jackson Roper and Philip L. Lawson. Further, that William Roper, who married Sarah Hard, is the father of David Roper. If this be the case, then Charles Roper, b. 1720, VA and Ann Goodwyn, are the parents of William Roper.

Secondary sources state that Charles Jackson Roper’s wife was Elizabeth Martin. I have found no birth certificate. However, circumstantial evidence would again suggest she was the wife and this is consistent with my theory as a whole.
John Calvin Martin, b. October 20, 1771 in CNE, GA., d. October 17, 1849, Ft. Gibson, OK, who was 1/8 Cherokee, and Lucy McDaniel, b. abt 1786, CNE, TN, d. September 25,1860, who was a daughter of Alexander McDaniel, had a daughter named Elizabeth Martin, b. abt 1822 in GA., d. abt 1859. Elizabeth Martin, who was part Cherokee, married Benjamin Franklin Adair (1/8 Cherokee) (b. abt 1808 in CNE, GA, d. unk) in abt. 1838. They had two children: (1) Lucy Jane Adair, b. September 14, 1835 (either this date is wrong since Benjamin and Elizabeth married in abt.1838 or she was not the child of Benjamin and Elizabeth, since Elizabeth would have been 13 at Lucy’s birth) in the Cherokee Nation East, GA., and who died November 5, 1882; and (2) Nancy Ellen Adair, b. abt 1838, d. Nov. 1, 1873. They had no additional children and my suspicion is that Benjamin Franklin Adair died shortly after the birth of his second child in 1838. In fact, he could have died on the Trail of Tears. This date of death would also be consistent with the marriage date of Charles Jackson Roper and Elizabeth of about 1839.
Charles Jackson Roper was residing with his father in Rhea, TN in 1830. Rhea, TN and Benjamin Franklin Adair was residing in the neighboring county of Hamilton, TN in 1835, and specifically in Candy’s Creek, Hamilton, TN in 1837.
1835 Census roll: Candy's Cr, Hamilton Co, TN, 1m18-, 0m18+, 0f16-, 1f16+
1837-45 Payments: A171a & B009a, Val=$877, Spo=$156.50, Adv=$594, sent West=$439
Residence: Abt. 1837, Candy's Creek, TN.
This area in Hamilton County was the staging area for the removal of the Cherokee from the Southeastern part of the United States. If David Roper and his family were forced to leave the Southeast, Charles Jackson could have met Elizabeth Martin on the Trail of Tears just after her husband Benjamin Franklin Adair died.
Charles Jackson Roper and Elizabeth named their second son Benjamin Roper (b. 1844, AR, d. 1873.
Benjamin Franklin Adair has a brother named George Washington Adair. Charles Jackson Roper and Elizabeth Martin named one of their sons George Washington Roper.

On October 11, 2012, after completing almost all of the research I have related above, I received the 37 marker Family Tree DNA test results for kit # 254509, which are posted on the Raper Family Tree DNA website. This test is of Randy Dean Roper, grandson of Willis Roper and a direct descendant of Charles Jackson Roper. The results are as follows:

13 24 14 10 11-16 12 12 12 13 13 30

17 9-10 11 11 25 15 19 30

15-16 16-16 11 11 19-23 15 15 17 17 36-38 12 12

Notice the #16 that is underlined. This is a mutation from the rest of the tested Roper MUR line. There is only one other individual who has been tested that has this mutation. That person is Jeffrey Howard Roper, a direct descendant of William Roper, b. 1766. Jeffrey Howard Roper did the 25 marker test, not the 37 marker test, but the last marker in the 25 marker test was the mutation.

William Alexander Roper, Jr. has kindly analyzed the DNA results and, has stated in part the following:

“In my view, these are the strong inferences that can be drawn from the available DNA data:

o Both Jeffrey Howard ROPER and Randy Dean ROPER are related genetically to the other ROPERs Dave identifies as the MUR family.
o Jeffrey Howard ROPER and Randy Dean ROPER are probably more closely related to one another than they are to other ROPER DNA test subjects.
o Jeffrey Howard ROPER and Randy Dean ROPER might be more closely related to Anthony Gerald Gordon ROPER than to other MUR Ropers in the study population, but this might also be a chance result of coinciding similar mutations (the deviation by two values for this allele make a chance outcome somewhat more likely).
o Jeffrey Howard ROPER and Randy Dean ROPER are not related to the Charleston, South Carolina, ROPER family headed by William ROPER, a genetically distinct ROPER family.”

William Alexander Roper, Jr. also states that these results do not, in themselves, prove that William Roper, b. 1766 is in fact a direct ancestor of Charles Jackson Roper. He states that David Roper, his brother, or other ancestors in this line could just as well be the direct ancestor of Charles Jackson Roper. Only traditional genealogical research, using primary sources, can make that determination. Further, care should be taken to fully examine the claimed lineage of Jeffrey Howard Roper to verify that, in fact, he is a direct descendant of William Roper, b.1766.

Nevertheless, the DNA results are consistent with my hypothesis.

There is compelling circumstantial evidence that the rumor of Charles Jackson Roper being Indian and on the Trail of Tears is in fact true, and that he is descended from David Roper and Nancy Lewis, and in turn from William Roper and Sarah Hard.

Best wishes,

Frank Batchelor
SubjectAuthorDate Posted
batchelorw 1352508921000 
malaspina5000 1371938833000 
MicheleBrooks... 1372016172000 
malaspina5000 1372025593000 
malaspina5000 1372025609000 
waroper 1372029575000 
malaspina5000 1372034170000 
waroper 1372038322000 
malaspina5000 1372041493000 
malaspina5000 1373349702000 
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