I am looking for any information which might support or refute a theory I am working on. My theory goes something like this.
Family oral tradition says that Charles Jackson Roper and his brother Phillip L. Roper were part Cherokee and escaped while on the Trail of Tears, hiding out in Arkansas and Texas respectively. Charles Jackson Roper was born in abt 1818 in Kentucky. That was all I had to go on initially.
Charles Jackson Roper, b. abt 1818,in Kentucky, d. 1863, was my GGG Grandfather. Census records show him residing in Cadron Creek, AK in 1840, where his first of many children are born. I believe his parents were Thomas Raper and Catherine McDaniel, his grandparents were William P. Roper and Sarah Standridge, and his great grandfather was Shadrack Roper.
Shadrack Roper b. abt 1744, d. 1784 Powhatan, Virginia, had a son named William Roper, aka William P. Roper b. abt1775 Virginia. William Roper had a brother named Jesse Roper. This William Roper moved to Rowan County, NC and married Sarah Standridge, b. 1775 in Rowan, NC. The marriage occurred in 1793. Sarah Standridge had a brother, Alexander Standridge, who traded with the Indians.
William Roper and Sarah Standridge then had two sons named Thomas Raper b. abt 1793 and Jesse Raper b. abt 1797, both born in NC. They move to Jessamine, KY. Sarah Standridge dies shortly after the birth of Jesse. William Roper, now using the name William P. Roper, marries Peggy Forsee in 1801 in Powhatan, Virginia. She dies within a few years. William Roper then marries Polly Metcalfe in 1804. William P. Roper then becomes an attorney in Kentucky in 1804. Upon the death of Polly Metcalfe, William P. Roper marries Lucy Price Weisiger in 1824.
Thomas Raper marries Catherine McDaniel (3/4 Cherokee) in abt. 1814 and Jesse Raper marries Mary Ann McDaniel, sister of Catherine and 3/4 Cherokee, in about 1815.
Thomas Raper and Catherine McDaniel have several children, one of which was a Charles or Jackson Raper b. abt 1818. This will turn out to be my ancestor, Charles Jackson Roper, born abt. 1818 in Kentucky.
Thomas Raper and Catherine move from Kentucky to Cherokee County, NC shortly after the birth of Charles in 1818 to claim the reservations he and his brother Jesse were given in the Treaty of 1817.
Thomas Raper and Catherine choose to remain in Cherokee County during the forced Indian migration, known as the Trail of Tears. However, Charles Jackson Roper does go on the Trail of Tears in abt. 1839.
Charles Jackson Roper escapes from the Trail of Tears at Cadron Creek, AK and takes up residence there, marrying Elizabeth (Martin?). They have their first child born in Cadron in about 1840.
SUPPORT FOR THEORY
The evidence supporting this theory is mostly circumstantial, but has support from cited sources and from a historical analysis.
1. Oral history in the Roper family is that Charles Jackson Roper was part Indian and had escaped along with his brother Phillip L. Roper from the Trail of Tears, with Charles putting down roots in Cadron,Arkansas,while his brother moved on to Texas. Cadron, Arkansas, was a stopping point on the Trail of Tears before arrival in Indian Territory in the area now known as Oklahoma. Also, members of the Alexander McDaniel family all have ties to Cadron, some being buried there while dying on the Trail of Tears or being stranded there while being on the Trail of Tears. (Alexander McDaniel was the father of the two McDaniel sisters who are mentioned above.)
2. Charles Jackson Roper named one of his sons William Shadrack Roper. Before the birth of William Shadrack Roper, I cannot find any other Roper named Shadrack other than Shadrack Roper who died in 1784 in Virginia. Thus, this Shadrack Roper was the great grandfather of Charles Jackson Roper. Shadrack Roper had a son named William Roper, b. abt 1775. William Roper was Charles Jackson Roper’s grandfather. Thus, Charles Jackson Roper names a son William Shadrack Roper, after his grandfather and great grandfather.
3. Charles Jackson Roper’s brother, Phillip, named one of his sons Thomas, and Charles Jackson Roper’s son Phillip L Roper named one of his sons Thomas. Thomas Raper was Charles Jackson Roper’s father.
4. Secondary sources show that Thomas Raper and Catherine McDaniel had a son named Charles or Jackson, born about 1814-1818, near the same birth date 1818 of Charles Jackson Roper. A Charles J. Raper b. 1820 in N.C. d. 1864 has been attributed to Thomas Raper and Catherine McDaniel, but this Charles J. Raper is actually the son of Jesse Raper and Mary Ann McDaniel.
5. Thomas Raper’s brother Jesse also names a son Charles J. Raper.
6. A William Roper and a Jesse Roper appear in the 1810 Jessamine, Kentucky Census, both age 26-45, suggesting that they are the brothers William P Roper and Jesse Roper. William Roper is shown with two young male children (ages 0-10). Although these ages would not match the reported birth dates of Thomas Raper (he should be 17) or of Jesse Raper (he should be 13), this Census record seems to be copied from another hand written Census and grouped into a list of surnames starting with the letter “R”. Thus, the two children of William Roper could have been placed in the wrong column. The important thing is we have two young males living in William Roper’s household, one of whom could have been Thomas Raper.
7. There is substantial evidence that Thomas Raper was actually a Roper, since Thomas Raper is seen associating with and living next to Ropers, who came from Virginia and settled in North Carolina at about the same time as Thomas Raper. (See research of William Alexander Roper, Jr.)
8. The DNA test which recently showed no connection between a David Murray Raper, who allegedly was related to John Roper b. abt 1660, does not rule out that Thomas Raper was a Roper, since there is no evidence that John Roper was the father and ancestor of Shadrack Roper.
9. There is a substantial connection between William Roper, his wife Sarah Standridge, and Thomas Raper. In the 1840 Cherokee County Census, Thomas Raper and his wife Catherine are seen living next to Jesy Standridge, age 30-40, who is probably Jesse Standridge, son of John Balius Standridge, brother of Sarah Standridge, wife of William Roper.
10. Secondary sources show a Thomas Jacob Raper, b. abt 1783 in North Carolina, d. bef 1884, as the husband of Catherine McDaniel and the son of a Thomas Raper. Although it is possible that Thomas Jacob Raper was the husband of Catherine McDaniel, I do not believe that it is likely. Catherine McDaniel shows up in a number of Census records alongside of Thomas Raper. These records all suggest that Catherine McDaniel was born abt. 1800. This would make her about 17 years older than Thomas Jacob Roper. It is more likely that the McDaniel sisters married men closer their own age, who would have been Thomas Raper and Jesse Raper, sons of William Roper.
Also, the Census records confirm a birth date of no earlier than 1792 for Thomas Raper, who is living with Catherine; thus, it is unlikely that he is the same person as Thomas Jacob Raper.
11. On January 12, 1907, Ellen Robinson filed an application for a share of (proceeds?) with the Court of Appeals. This is the Internet posting of that application:
Re: Charles B. and Wm. Thomas Raper are brothers (update)
Posted by: W.R.Crowder
Date: April 19, 1998 at 20:44:43
In Reply to: Charles B. and Wm. Thomas Raper are brothers (update) by Bill Cook
JUST LATELY BEGAN RESEARCHING MY NATIVE AMERICAN ANCESTRY,AND CAME UPON A CONNECTION THAT
MIGHT PROVE INTERESTING TO YOU.MY GREAT GRANDMOTHER STATES ON HER APPLICATION FOR A SHARE OF
THE COURT OF APPEALS CLAIM AS FOLLOWS:
NAME ELLEN ROBERSON AUG 10 1850 CHEROKEE,N.C.
MY GRANDMOTHER,CATHERINE RAPER AND MY MOTHER,MARY PAYNE,IS THE RELATIONS I CLAIM THROUGH.
MARRIED TO THOMAS ROBERSON
FATHER...ELLSBERRY PAYNE...INDIAN UNNOWN
MOTHER...MARY PAYNE....INDIAN MAIDEN..MARY RAPER
DAUGHTER OF WILLIAM RAPER
WAS ENROLLED IN CHEROKEE,N.C IN 1835,1851
BROS AND SISTERS...CATHERINE PAYNE DEC 25,1842..NOV11,1899...THOMAS PAYNE..OCT17,1844
JEANETTE PAYNE..SEPT18,1846....SARAH PAYNE MAR11,1853..SEPT7,1897.
GRAND PARENTS.. THOMAS PAYNE AND ELIZABETH PAYNE
WILLIAM RAPER AND CATHERINE RAPER
THEIR CHILDREN..JACKSON RAPER(AQUAH)...KENTUCKY
MARY RAPER(AQUAH)..CHEROKEE N.C.
ALEXANDER RAPER (AQUAH) CHATTANOOGA TENN.
NANCY RAPER (AQUAH) YELLOW HILL,SWAIN CO N.C.
MY GREAT GRANDFATHER ,ALEXANDER MCDANIEL,GREATGRANDMOTHER CATHERINE RAPER....
MY GREAT GRANDFATHER WENT WEST AFTER THE TREATY IN 1835.MY PARENTS RESIDED HERE AND WAS
ENROLLED AT DIFFERENT TIMES AND DREW MONEY FROM THE GOVERNMENT. WILLIAM AND THOMAS ATTENDING
SIGNED ..ELLEN ROBERSON JAN 12,1907.
I AM STILL SEARCHING AND ANY IOFO YOU HAVE TO HELP ME WOULD BE GREATLY APPRECIATED. HOPE THIS
HELPS SOME ONE
What is interesting about this posting is the following. Mr. Crowder says that his grandmother was Catherine Raper, married to a William Raper. Either the name William is a mistake or Thomas Raper’s full name would be William Thomas Raper, since all of the children are the children of Thomas Raper and Catherine McDaniel.
Next, it appears Ellesberry Payne married Mary Raper, one of the daughters of Thomas and Catherine. This would explain why a 14 year old Cinthia Payne is shown residing in the Thomas and Catherine Raper household in the 1860 Fannin Georgia Census. Cinthia Payne b. 1846 was an only child of Savannah Raper and a Mr. Payne. Savannah Raper, who died in 1848, was the daughter of Thomas Raper and Catherine McDaniel.
Finally, this is the first time I have found a source that says that Jackson Raper (Aquah), son of Thomas Raper and Catherine McDaniel, was born in Kentucky, the same place of birth for Charles Jackson Roper.
It is not my intent to disparage the research of others on Thomas Raper, William P Roper, and Shadrack Roper. I have an open mind and, if proven wrong, will be willing to accept whatever the facts are. And if I turn out to be a Raper, and not a Roper, that is fine too.
William Frank BatchelorJuly 31, 2012