ROPER-L ArchivesArchiver > ROPER > 2006-03 > 1141611142
Subject: Will of Shadrach ROPER (d aft 17 Sep 1784 - Powhatan, VA)
Date: 5 Mar 2006 19:12:22 -0700
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Surnames: Roper, Smith, Martin, Branch, Jean, Walls, Meredith, Jennings
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Will of Shadrach ROPER, of Powhatan, VA (Dated 17 Sep 1784, Proved 16 Dec 1784)
Powhatan Will Book 1, Pages 100, 101
In the Name of God Amen. I Shadrach ROPER of King William Parish
within the county of Powhatan do make and Ordain this my last Will and
Testament in manner and form as follows.
First, my desire is that my Executors hereafter mentioned do make such
Improvements on my land as they shall think necessary for the
Reception of my family and that they sell such a part of my stock
as they think can be best spared to pay the expenses and then my
Desire is that after my Just debts are paid the Rest of my Est. be kept
together until my Daughter Mary Arrives at the Age of Eighteen
and then All my Est. (Land excepted) be Equally Divided between
my Wife & my three Children William, Jesse & Mary and that my
Wife have the Use of my Land during her life and at her Death
my Land be Equally Divided Between my Two Sons William and
Jesse & their heirs forever, further Whereas my Father-in-Law Samuel
LANDRUM has promised to give my Son Samuel ROPER a Negroe, I
have Omitted giving my Sd Son Saml any part of my Est. I have
now in possession, but if my Sd Father-in-law should not give my
Sd Son Samuel any part of his Est. as he has promised, thin my
Will is that he should have an Equal part, of my Est. with the
Rest of my Children at the Division as is above mentioned and
my desire is that my Est. be not appraised.
And Lastly, I do appoint my Friends George SMITH & Anthony MARTIN
Exrs. Of this my last Will and Testament Revoking all other
Wills made by me heretofore as Witness my hand and Seal
this Seventeenth day of Sept. One thousand seven hundred and
The words he my my Interlined before Signd.
Signd that day
In presence of
Patrick X WALLS [his mark]
Shadrach ROPER <seal>
At a Court held for Powhaton county the Sixtienth day of December
Anno Dom. One thousand seven hundred and eighty four This last
Will an Testament of Shadrach ROPER Deceased was presented to court
by George SMITH & Anthony MARTIN the Executors therein named and
being Proved by the Oaths of Wm JEAN and Patrick WALLS two of the
Witnesses Thereto was Ordered to be Recorded And on the motion of
the said Executors who made Oath and entered into bond according
to Law Probate thereof was Granted them in due form.
Test. M. MILLER Clk.
* * *
1. This is a complete transcription of the Will of Shadrach ROPER. A copy of this Will has long appeared at the ROPER Family History web site of Dr. L. David ROPER (at http://www.roperld.com ). [The transcription appears at http://www.roperld.com/rva17.htm .] I had thought that transcription to be an abstract, but it is complete. I have preserved the line breaks from the original recorded version in the transcription posted above.
2. Shadrach ROPER appears as a witness to the Will of Thomas ROPER, of Charles City, on 15 Nov 1766, so it seems likely that Shadrach was already age 21 by that date.
3. Shadrach signed a petition to the Fifth Virginia Convention made by the inhabitants of Cumberland County, VA. The petition was received by the Convention on 05 Nov 1776.
4. On 31 Jul 1777, Shadrack ROPER, of Powhatan County, subscribed $12 for maintaining the militia.
5. On 13 Oct 1777, Shadrack ROPER signed an oath of allegiance to the commonwealth of VA and renounced allegiance to King George III. In Powhatan County.
6. Mary Ann ROPER m Joseph MEREDITH; Marriage Bond dated 06 Jan 1787, Powhatan County. This seems likely to be Shadrach ROPER’s daughter Mary.
7. Kisey ROPER m Benjamin JENNINGS; Marriage Bond dated 04 Feb 1792, Powhatan County. Kisey or Keziah ROPER seems likely by LOCATION and time to be a granddaughter of Shadrach ROPER, presumably a daughter of William, Jesse or Samuel. Keziah ROPER is somewhat problematic. She is described in Susannah ROPER’s Powhatan Will dated 16 Aug 1790 as Susannah’s “sister”. Susannah also mentions sister Elizabeth JORDAN and brother Samuel ROPER. Shadrach fails to mention any Elizabeth Roper JORDAN or any Keziah ROPER in his Will. Nor does he mention a daughter named Susannah. Susannah ROPER does NOT mention any CHILDREN in her Will.
One distinct possibility is that this Susannah ROPER might be Thomas ROPER’s widow. That Thomas seemed NOT to have any children. In that construction, Thomas ROPER, Samuel ROPER, Elizabeth Roper JORDAN and Keziah ROPER are brothers and sisters and Susannah is their sister-in-law.
We need a little more data to be clearer on how Susannah ROPER (d aft 16 Aug 1790) fits in.
8. I found the provision “Executors hereafter mentioned do make such Improvements on my land as they shall think necessary for the Reception of my family” to be particularly interesting. This seems to suggest that Shadrach’s family was not yet situated at Powhatan at the date of his Will.
9. I also found it to be interesting that the original image of the recorded copy makes mention of a SEAL. The language of Shadrach’s Will, the fact that he signed this Will himself and the fact that the Will seems to have been SEALED suggests that Shadrach ROPER was a person of some education and fortune.
* * *
I would appreciate learning of any additional primary information regarding Shadrach ROPER not mentioned above.