Transcriptions of several Brunswick, Virginia, Deed Books have been posted at the U.S. Genweb Archives. Shown below are transcriptions of several Brunswick deeds from Deed Book 14 which bear on ROPERs and ROSSERs:
07 Dec 1784
This Indenture made this seventh day of December 1784 BETWEEN Joel Biggs and his wife Ann Biggs of the County of Brunswick and David Roper of the said County . . . for and in consideration of the sum of fifty pounds . . . by these presents doth grant, bargain, sell, alien, enfeoff, and absolutely confirm unto the said David Roper . . . a Certain tract or parcel of Land in the County of Brunswick containing by estimation fifty acres . . . BEGINNING at corner gum, thence down the Branch to Hickory run, thence down the run to a corner poplar, thence North by a line of marked Trees between Biggs and the entry to a corner hickory on Benjamin Jones's line, thence along the said Jones's line to the BEGINNING . . .
Signed by Joel Biggs and Ann Biggs (her mark), and
witnessed by Jeremiah Roper, Moses Quarles, Junr., Thomas Williams, and Christoper Dameron.
Brunswick County Court the 22d Augt. 1785 This Indenture was acknowledged by Joel Biggs & Ann his wife parties thereto and Ordered to be Recorded previous to which the said Ann being privately examined as Law directs did
Voluntarily assent thereto.
Brunswick, VA, Deed Book 14, Page 128. http://files.usgwarchives.net/va/brunswick/deeds/db14-150.tx...
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1783 to 1786
A List of all surveys of land made in the County of Brunswick from July 22d, 1783 to July 22d, 1786 three years inclusive by
Commission by Thos. Stith, Surveyor, B.C.
---For whom Surveyed ----------------------------Number Acres
John Rosser . . . . . . . . . . . old 275). . . . . . . . . . . . . . 290
-- included with 15)
John Brewer . . . . . . . . . . . old 539). . . . . . . . . . . . . . 600
-- included with new 61)
Nathaniel Woodroof . . . . . old 155). . . . . . . . . . . . . . 222
-- included with new 67)
Peter Wynne . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22
David Roper . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8
Herod Clary . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .145
Daniel Huff . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 35
Matthew Myrick . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 78
Joshua Hightower . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .40
Weatherington Preston . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .22
Lewis Collier . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20
James Singleton . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2
Matthew Bishop & William Bishop . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 187
Returned into Brunswick County Court the 24th July 1786 and ordered to be Recorded.
Brunswick, VA, Deed Book 14, Page 212. http://files.usgwarchives.net/va/brunswick/deeds/db14-250.tx...
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14 Jan 1785
This Indenture made this 14th of January, 1785 BETWEEN John Harvey of the County of Brunswick of the one part and William Moore of the said County of the other part . . . for and in consideration of the sum of one hundred pounds . . . doth grant, bargain, sell, alien, enfeoff and absolutely confirm unto the said William Moore . . . a certain tract or parcel of Land in the County of Brunswick containing by estimation fifty acres . . . BEGINNING on Great red oak Creek at a white oak, thence South to a corner pole, thence West to a corner hickory on Purdie's line, thence South East by a line of marked trees to little Red oak, thence down the said Creek to the mouth, thence up the great Red oak Creek to the BEGINNING . . .
Signed by John Harvey and
witnessed by David Roper, James Howerton, Jeremiah Roper, and Roger Moore.
Brunswick County Court the 25th July 1785. This Indenture was proved by the oaths of James Howerton, Jeremiah Roper & Roger Moore witnesses thereto & Ordered to be Recorded.
Brunswick, VA, Deed Book 14, Page 114.
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04 Jan 1786
This Indenture made this twenty fourth Day of January 1786 BETWEEN John Brewer of the County of Brunswick and Bethia his wife and Nickolas Brewer of the one part and Ethreldred Taylor of the County of Southampton of the other part . . . for and in consideration of the sum of five hundred and seventy nine pounds . . . do grant bargain and sell alien and confirm unto the said Ethreldred Taylor . . . all those two several tracts or parcels of land lying in and being in the County of Brunswick aforesaid on the east side of Beaver pond Creek now in the tenure and occupation of the said John Brewer one of them containing by actual survey made the sixteenth day of March one thousand seven hundred and eighty five by Thomas Stith Surveyor and bounded as follows BEGINNING at John Rosser's corner elm on the said Creek, thence along his line North seventy degrees East one hundred and thirty seven poles to a red oak, North seveteen degrees East twenty eight poles to his corner poplar, thence along Hill's line the same course continued one hundred and fifty four poles to a red oak, thence along Robinson's line North fifty seven West eighty poles to a corner on Avent's line at his fence, thence along Avent's line South fifty seven and one half degrees West thirty poles to a small red oak, North eighty two degrees West one hundred and forty six poles to a black Jack, North twelve degrees West two hundred and sixty six poles to his corner pine, thence along Dillehay's line North fifty degrees West thirteen poles to red oak, thence off South nineteen degrees West three hundred and ninety two poles to George Collier's corner maple on the said Creek, at the mouth of Reedy Branch, thence down the said Creek as it meanders to the BEGINNING the other tract containing by estimation forty acres BEGINNING at Hill's corner black Jack on the main road, thence along the said road to a corner Shrub oak in Samuel Garner's line, thence along Garner's line to the line dividing Brunswick County from Greensville, thence along that line to William Robinson's and along his line to
the BEGINNING . . .
Signed by John Brewer, Bathia Brewer (her mark), Nicholas Brewer (his mark), and
witnessed by John Rosser, Henry Mangum, Presly Garner, and William Clark.
Brunswick County Court 27th Day of February 1787. This Deed was proved by the oaths of John Rosser and Henry Mangum two of the witnesses thereto and on the 23d Day of April 1787 the same was acknowledged by John Brewer and Bathia his wife to be their act and Deed and ordered to be recorded. Previous to which the said Bathia being privily examined as the Law directs did Voluntarily assent thereto.
Brunswick, VA, Deed Book 14, Page 270.
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13 Jun 1786
This Indenture made this thirteenth day of June 1786 BETWEEN Robert Hancock of the County of Brunswick and State of Virginia of the one part and Sterling Harris of the aforesaid County of the other part . . . for and in consideration of the sum of ninety pounds . . . do grant bargain sell alien enfeoff release and confirm unto the said Sterling Harris . . . a Certain Tract or parcel of Land situate lying and being in the County of Brunswick and on the North side of the Beaver pond Creek containing by estimation one hundred Acres . . . reference thereto had may more fully appear bounded as follows BEGINNING at a red oak on John Rosser's line thence along the said Rosser's line to the Beaver pond Creek, thence down the Creek to the road, thence along the road to a hickory on Robert Hancock line, thence along the said Hancock's line to a hickory his corner, and from thence to the First Station . . .
Signed by Robert Hancock and
witnessed by John Rosser, Littleberry Robinson, Henry Mangum, Benjamin Brewer and George Brewer.
Brunswick County Court 26th Day of February 1787. This Indenture was proved by the oaths of John Rosser, one of the witnesses thereto and on the 23d Day of April following the same was acknowledged in Court by Robert Hancock, one of the parties and ordered to be Recorded.
Brunswick, VA, Deed Book 14, page 272.
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28 Jan 1788
This Indenture made this twenty eighth Day of January 1788 BETWEEN John Quarles Senior of the County of Brunswick of the one part and James Quarles Junior of the said County of the other part . . . for and in consideration of the sum of forty seven pounds ten shillings . . . doth grant bargain sell alien and confirm unto the said James Quarles Junior . . . one certain tract or parcel of Land in the County aforesaid containing seventy eight and a half acres and bounded as followeth (to wit) BEGINNING at David Roper's corner white oak, thence Southwardly to William Roper's corner pine, thence Westwardly along the said Roper's line to Martin's corner, thence Northwardly along the said Martin's line to John Quarles' line, thence along his line to the BEGINNING . . .
Signed by John Quarles and
witnessed by David Roper, Moses Quarles, Moses Quarles, Junior, and William Moor (his mark).
Brunswick County Court 22d September 1788. This Indenture was proved by the oaths of David Roper, Moses Quarles, and Moses Quarles, Junior witnesses thereto and ordered to be recorded.
Brunswick, VA, Deed Book 14, page 404.
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20 Mar 1788
This Indenture made this twentieth Day of March 1788 BETWEEN David Roper and Mary Roper his wife of the County of Brunswick of the one part and John Lattimore of the said County . . . for and in consideration of the sum of forty pounds . . . doth grant, bargain, alien, enfeoff and absolutely confirm unto the said John Lattimore . . . a certain tract or parcel of Land in the County aforesaid containing by Estimation fifty six acres BEGINNING at a corner gum on Benjamin Jones's line at the head of the Poplar Branch, thence down the branch as it meanderith to hickory run, thence down the said run to a corner poplar on the North side of the said run, thence North by a line of marked trees to a corner oak adjoining Benjamin Jones's line, thence West along the said Jones's line to the BEGINNING . . .
Signed by David Roper and
witnessed by Peter Wynne, Thomas Howerton, and William Moor (his mark).
Brunswick County Court 24th March 1788. This Indenture was acknowledged by David Roper a partie thereto to be his Act & Deed and ordered to be recorded.
Brunswick, VA, Deed Book 14, Page 345.
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NOTE 1: The appearance of a transaction between Joel BIGGS and David ROPER is interesting in possibly affording some insight into the appearance of the name "Joel" in the ROPER family. Joel ROPER was the youngest of the sons of Charles ROPER and Ann GOODWYN. The GOODWYN family seemed to be settled in significant numbers in Brunswick County well before the ROPERs were resident there. Joel BIGGS would be an uncle or a cousin of David ROPER's possibly intermarried with the GOODWYNs. This is a SPECULATIVE ascription and should therefore be treated solely as an avenue for investigation and inquiry.
NOTE 2: It is UNCLEAR whether the David ROPER -- Joel BIGGS transaction is between the elder or younger David ROPER. The elder David ROPER was born on 29 Jun 1742 and would have been age 42 at the date of this transaction. He might have been purchasing this proerty to add to his existing holdings or as an accomodation to Joel BIGGS and his wife who may have been migrating elsewhere. Alternatively, the younger David ROPER was probably an adult by the date of this transaction and it may have reflected a purchase of land to begin a household.
NOTE 3: The boundaries of this parcel expressly mention a stream called Hickory Run. Hickory Run is a stream in Northern Brunswick County which is a tributary of the Nottoway River. It flows West to East and is to the immediate South of VA State Highway 616. It is located just to the Southeast of the Fort Picket Military Reservation, to the West of the town of McKinney and to the Northwest of the town of Rawlings. The headwaters of Hickory Run are near Rawlings Road just to the East of the town of Ordsburg. A populated place called "Hickory Run" is also shown on the 1:24,000 U.S.G.S. topo map very near the headwaters of this stream. The Concord-Brunswick Church is on VA Highway 629 at the junction of VA Highway 612 near the headwaters of this stream. The Lebanon Church is even closer to the headwaters of Hickory Run, on VA State Highway 616 (Lew Jones Road) near the junction of VA State Highway 628. The U.S.G.S. maps show SEVERAL ancient unnamed family cemeteries OFF the roads (probably in the woods) near the headwaters of Hickory Run. The graves in most of these cemeteries have probably never been catalogued. These cemeteries might contain some ROPER graves and almost certainly contain the graves of ROPER neighbors.
NOTE 4: The appearance of Jeremiah ROPER as a witness to this deed is particularly interesting. Very little is known about Jeremiah ROPER. It seems likely that Jeremiah was at least old enough to be a credible witness in Court in the proof of the deed, though it would probably NOT have been essential for him to have reached majority (age 21), though more likely than not he WAS an adult by 07 Dec 1784 (b bef 1763). There is some speculation that this might have been the son of Charles ROPER and Ann GOODWYN shown in the MOORE family Bible as Josiah ROPER (b 26 Apr 1760), however I know of NO EVIDENCE that this is the case. Jeremiah ROPER could have also been a son of David ROPER (b 29 Jun 1742). It is less likely that Jeremiah would have been a son of William ROPER (b 26 Jun 1753) unless he was still a child when he witnessed the conveyance.
NOTE 5: Secondary sources show Samuel QUARLES, of Brunswick, VA, to have been married to a Susannah ROPER. I am unaware of any primary evidence in support of this assertion, but the proximity of the QUARLES family to the ROPER family across generations and in several places is at least consistent with and supportive of a conclusion that QUARLES is a closely allied family if not related.
NOTE 6: The surveys between 1783 and 1786 seem to reflect the presence of both a David ROPER and a John ROSSER in Brunswick during this period. David ROPER and William ROPER are both shown in the 1783 Personal Property Tax Lists for Brunswick County, VA.
NOTE 7: The conveyance of land from John HARVEY to William MOORE dated 14 Jan 1785 seems likely to be a purchase of land by David ROPER's brother-in-law or cousin. William MOORE married David ROPER's twin sister Laura ROPER (b 29 Jun 1742). The second child of William and Laura Roper MOORE was Roger MOORE (b 04 Sep 1765). The third child of William and Laura Roper MOORE was William MOORE (b 18 Aug 1767). This birth information appears within the MOORE Family Bible.
NOTE 8: The appearance of Jeremiah ROPER's name on a second deed on 14 Jan 1785 would seem to increase the likelihood that Jeremiah ROPER was already then an adult.
NOTE 9: Secondary sources shown James HOWERTON (d 1784 - Brunswick, VA) as having been married to an Elizabeth ROPER. This couple is said to have had a son also named James HOWERTON. The primary evidence in support of these assertions is unknown to me, however, the adjacency of the ROPER and MOORE families at Red Oak Creek would seem to suggest the possibility of a relationship. HOWERTONs are shown to be witnesses on several of the Brunswick deeds transcribed on these pages and a further study of the HOWERTON family seems warranted by those with a keen interest in the Brunswick ROPER families.
NOTE 10: Red Oak Creek is another tributary of the Nottoway River, flowing from Southwest to Northeast. Much of this stream is now within the boundaries of the Ft. Pickett Military Reservation. Red Oak Creek is mostly to the North of VA State Highway 628. There are definitely several extant ancient famliy cemeteries in the woods in the vicinity of Red Oak Creek. I actually stumbled upon one such cemetery immediately to the South of the Nottoway River while assigned to Fort Pickett for a mortar live fire training exercise about two decades ago. I distinctly recall that there were readable grave markers for at least several graves. I am SURE that these were NOT ROPER surnamed graves or I would have taken note of it. But because I did NOT have any reason to then suspect that these were related to Charles ROPER's family or might be ROPER neighbors, I did NOT record the information on the grave markers.
Someone with an interest in this ROPER or MOORE family should probably obtain permission from the military authorities at Ft. Pickett to survey the graves within the Southern boundary of the military installation.
NOTE 11: I believe that the references to John ROSSER are probably in fact ROSSER rather than ROPER records. John ROSSER was probably in the Northeastern portion of Brunswick County or in adjacent Greensville County.
NOTE 12: The QUARLES deed would seem to reflect a close physical proximity between the ROPER and QUARLES properties, as well as a proximity to the family of William MOORE. BOTH David ROPER and William ROPER are shown to be immediate adjacent to this QUARLES property and also adjacent to one another. They also seem to be adjacent to a MARTIN family. The indication that William MOOR signed by a mark may indicate that this was a different William MOORE than the earlier witness. Perhaps in the wilderness the son William did not get a proper education, or, perhaps the son learned to read and write while the father did not. Further study of the MOORE records might distinguish one from the other.
NOTE 13: The 20 Mar 1788 deed from David and Mary ROPER to John Lattimore is very significant. It shows that one of the David ROPERs was married to a Mary as late as 20 Mar 1788. The appearance together of the names David and Mary ROPER on another (untranscribed) Brunswick deed as early as 1775 suggests that this may be the elder rather than the younger David ROPER. The appearance of a wife named Mary may also be significant in respect of the later appearance of a David and Mary ROPER in Pulaski, KY, though Mary is such a common name that one can form at best a very weak inference. Moreover, I have elsewhere speculated that the elder ROPER died in Edgefield, SC. It is possibly significant that this David ROPER is shown to have signed his own name rather than making a mark.
NOTE 14: I perceive that there was a cluster of Charles ROPER's children, including David ROPER, Laura Roper MOORE and William ROPER living in very close proximity/adjacency to one another in Brunswick County just to the South of the Nottoway River which forms the boundary between Dinwiddie and Brunswick County. This location is close enough to the Charles and Ann Goodwyn ROPER's plantation near Five Forks to remain close contact with the family. It is a long walk, but a reasonably short ride on horseback or by carriage or wagon.
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One thing very vividly shown by a full transcription of the records is just how much essential DETAIL is lost in ABSTRACTING. Anyone relying on ABSTRACTS to resolve difficult genealogical issues needs to understand that the purpose of these abstracts is to serve as FINDING AIDS for discovery and examination of the underlying records. THE ONLY REASON THAT MANY BRANCHES OF THE ROPER FAMILY CONTINUE TO SUFFER SERIOUS DOUBTS AND QUESTIONS ABOUT THEIR FAMILY HISTORY IS THEIR FAILURE TO USE THE ABSTRACTS TO OBTAIN THE ORIGINAL RECORDS.
Also, note that Dave ROPER was able to find and abstract only THREE of these SIX records. Dave was no doubt relying upon the Indices within the Volume which put him onto the records where a ROPER was a Grantor or a Grantee, but which failed to reflect when a ROPER was merely a neighbor or a witness. Dave was also no doubt subject to time contraints and working quickly. Compare the detail of the full transcription with what Dave abstracted in respect of these three records:
"David Roper from Joel Biggs & wife deed 50 acres 1785 14-128
David Roper & wife Mary to James Quarles deed 61.5 acres 1786 Wit: William Roper 14-188
David Roper & wife Mary to John Lattimore deed 56 acres 1788 14-345"
IF YOU THINK YOU CAN CONSTRUCT A VALID FAMILY HISTORY FOR YOUR FAMILY MERELY COPYING DATA FROM DAVE'S SITE, YOU ARE SORELY MISTAKEN! YOU NEED TO TAKE THE TIME TO LOOK AT THE PRIMARY RECORDS!