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Prepared by Judy Meade
Last update 28 January 2012

NICHOLAS ROPER
"The Immigrant"
The First Generation

1662
Williamsburg, Virginia-General Assembly of Colony of Virginia passes new legislation: "Children got by an Englishman upon a Negro woman shall be bond or free according to the condition of the mother, and if any Christian shall commit fornication with a Negro man or woman, he shall pay double the fines of a former act." Black Laws of Virginia, June Purcell Guild, 1936, pg 23

1705
Williamsburg, Virginia-General Assembly of Colony of Virginia passes new legislation: "Whatsoever white man or woman being free shall intermarry with a Negro shall be committed to prison for six months without bail, and pay 10 pounds to the use of the parish." Black Laws of Virginia, June Purcell Guild, 1936, pg 26

6 May 1729/30
Norwich, Norfolk County, England-- "James Roper of Thrandeston in Suffolk widower & and Hannah Osborn of Garboldsham in the same county single woman were married May 6"--Norfolk Record Office, Parish Register of Norwich, St. Stephens, PD484/4

23 Sept 1730/31
Stafford County, Virginia-"Mann Page of Gloucester Co. Esq. 8007 A. in Stafford Co. on Chenandoak Cr. of Potomack R., on upper side of Blew Ridge adj. Landon Carter & others. 23 Sept. 1730." Northern Neck Grant Book C, pg 78. Virginia Northern Neck Land Grants, 1694-1742, Gertrude E. Gray, 1987, pg 104. Mann Page was a son-in-law of Robert "King" Carter, the Virginia agent of Thomas, Sixth Lord Fairfax, until Carter died in 1732.

15 Dec 1738/9
Frederick County, Virginia created from Orange County, VA

22 Jan 1738/9
Thrandeston, Suffolk, England-- Nicholas baptized as "son of James and Hannah Roper"--Suffolk Record Office, Thrandeston Parish Records, Vol. FB124/D2/3. Nicholas was the 6th of 11 children born to Hannah and James; James probably fathered 14 children by his first wife Elizabeth and his second wife Hannah

29 Dec 1740
Suffolk County, England--Nicholas born--per his headstone, Roper family cemetery, River Farm, Jefferson County, WV: "In Memory of/Nicholas Roper/was born in Suffolk/County England/Dec 29 1740/and departed this life/Jan 15 1817/Age 77 years and/? days"

1748/9
James City County, Virginia--at an auction in Williamsburg, Virginia, Ralph Wormeley, Sr. buys 8,007 acres in Frederick Co., Virginia, called "the Mann Page tract"--Clarke County, A Daughter of Frederick, Rose M.E. MacDonald, 1943 .

July 1749/50
Frederick County (now Clarke County), Virginia--Thomas, Sixth Lord Fairfax, Proprietor of the Northern Neck (owner of 5 million acres in the Colony of Virginia) establishes his land office at his estate, Greenway Court (near Berryville, close to White Post, VA)

2 Sept 1752
Great Britain and the British colonies switch from the Julian to the Gregorian calendar. This date is re-designated 14 September; New Year's is moved to 1 January from 25 March. Result: Under the Julian calendar, Nicholas's baptismal date was 22 Jan 1738; under the Gregorian calendar, his baptismal date was 22 Jan 1739.

Note: Double dating system applies only to 1 Jan-24 March; dates 3-13 Sept. don't exist in 1752; any event dated 14 Sept. 1752 or after is not double-dated

NOTE: THROUGH THE REMAINDER OF THIS CHRONOLOGY, NICHOLAS'S AGE IS CALCULATED BASED ON A PRESUMED BIRTH DATE OF 29 DECEMBER 1738 (GREGORIAN) DESPITE THE 1740 BIRTH DATE ON HIS HEADSTONE.


Jan-March 1754
Williamsburg, Virginia-Based on Major George Washington's report of French intentions to build forts along the Ohio River, as well as their Indian allies' raids in the Ohio country, Governor Robert Dinwiddie ordered the raising of men and supplies to counter those hostile acts. These acts on both sides signaled the formal opening of the French and Indian War between England and France.

5/7 Sept 1758
Thrandeston, Suffolk, England--James Roper dies--Bury Record Office, Suffolk, Thrandeston Parish Records, Vol. FB124/D2/3. St. Margaret's churchyard: headstone inscription: James Roper/5 September 1758/age 70--Lowestoft Record Office, Suffolk, microfilm reference M44/92

Will of James Roper of Thrandeston, yeoman, made 6 August 1758, proven 17 September 1758, named heirs wife Hannah, 8 sons including Nicholas, 2 daughters and 1 grandson--Ipswich Record Office, Suffolk, Archdeaconry of Sudbury Will Index 1750-1775 & Archdeaconry of Sudbury Will Registers, Dalton II, 66, FHL #16723.

Nicholas was almost 20 years old. James left six of his sons (including Nicholas) and two daughters "the sum of three pounds apiece of lawfull [sic] money of Great Britain fully and clearly without any Deductions or Abatements whatsoever at the End of twelve calendar months next after the Decease of the said Hannah my wife". James also bequeathed four of his sons (including Nicholas) 35 pounds each, to be paid out of his personal estate "at the end of twelve months next after my decease". The next known record for him is 1782, in Berkeley County, Virginia. Where was he for 24 years?

17 May 1766
Frederick County, Virginia-From his estate near White Post, VA, Thomas, Sixth Lord Fairfax grants Ralph Wormley, Esq., of Middlesex County, VA, a 160 acre tract of land, adjacent to land he already owns, along the Shenandoah River. Northern Neck Grants (Book) N, 1766, pg 4, Library of Virginia, Reel 295

2 Apr 1768
Frederick County, Virginia-Thomas, Sixth Lord Fairfax grants Ralph Wormley 3,709 acres, bringing Wormely's holdings in Frederick County to 11,716. Wormley had his orgininal 8,007 acres (the Mann Page Tract) resurveyed in 1765; the new survey revealed "surplus land contained within the boundries of the said [Mann Page] tract". This deed by Fairfax documents the boundries of the 11,716 acres. Northern Neck Grants (Book) O, 1767-1770, pg 137, Library of Virginia Reel 296

11/14 Sept 1769
Thrandeston, Suffolk, England--death of "Hannah Roper widow of James Roper"--Bury Record Office, Suffolk, Thrandeston Parish Records, Vol. FB124/D2/3. St. Margaret's churchyard: Headstone inscription: Hannah/wife of James Roper/11 September 1769/age 63--Lowestoft Record Office, Suffolk, microfilm reference M44/92.

15 May 1772
Berkeley County, Virginia created from Frederick County, VA

1 Dec 1773
Colony of Virginia-Colonial Govenor Lord John Dunmore grants 28,400 acres in Botetourt County, VA, "for divers Good Causes and Considerations but more especially for the Consideration mentioned in a Proclamation of Robert Dunwiddie Esquire late Lieutenant Governor . . bearing date the nineteenth day of February one thousand seven hundred and fifty four for encouraging Men to enlist in the Service of our late Royal grand-father for the defence and Security of the said Colony". The recipients were David Richardson (representative of Robert Stobo), Jacob Vanbraam, John Baynes (representative of James Towers), Andrew Fowler, Thomas Napp, Arthur Watts' representatives, John Fox, Francis Self, Robert Stewart, Robert Murphy, John Smith, Alexander Bonny, William McAnulty, and Mary Horn "in the several Proportions mentioned in an Order of our Govenor and Council bearing date the fourth day of November one thousand seven hundred and seventy three as Tenants in Common and not as joint Tenants". The metes and bounds description begins "at a large Elm and Honey Locust standing at the Confluence with the Little Kanawa [River] with the Ohio [River] on the lower side". Virginia State Land Office Patents No. 42, 1773-1774, pg 496, Library of Virginia Reel 41.

The Council's minutes for 4 November 1773 do not mention Mary Horn by name; rather they stipulate that "the Representative of William Horn decd." shall receive 400 acres. Executive Journals of the Council of Colonial Virginia, Vol. VI (June 20, 1754 - May 3,1775, Benjamin J. Hillman, ed., 1966, pp 548-549

19 Apr 1775
Battle of Lexington, MA begins the American Revolutionary War

Feb 1781
Berkeley County, Virginia: British POWs sent to Shepherdstown from Winchester because of a shortage of provisions-A History of Jefferson County West Virginia [1719-1940], Millard K. Bushong, 1941, pg 32. See 28 July 1783, below.

19 Oct 1781
General Cornwallis surrenders to General George Washington at Yorktown, Virginia, effectively ending the Revolutionary War

9 Dec 1781
Frederick (now Clarke) County, Virginia--Thomas, Sixth Lord Fairfax dies at his home Greenway Court--a near-neighbor of Nicholas. Estate inventory conducted 1 Apr 1782 includes "Negroes 97 "; his will stipulates that his slaves are to be divided equally among 4 nephews, 3 of whom reside in Virginia, one in England (where slavery was illegal)----Frederick Co, VA Will Book 4, pg 583 and pg 589. Was any of these slaves sold locally? Did Nicholas buy any of Fairfax's slaves? Was any of the female slaves the mother of Nicholas's son James? See below, Aug 1782 entry.

1782
General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Virginia passes new legislation: "It is lawful for any person by last will and testament or other instrument in writing sealed and witnessed to emancipate and set free his slave or slaves." Act of the Assembly, Chapter XXI--Black Laws of Virginia, June Purcell Guild, 1936 pg 61.

1782
Berkeley County, Virginia Personal Property Tax--entry for Nicholas: lists one male for poll tax, no slaves--Virginia Tax Payers, 1782-87, A.B. Fothergill & J.M. Naugle, 1940, pg. 108. First known record of Nicholas in America. Nicholas was 44 years old. Where was he between his father's death in 1758 and 1782--24 years?

1782
Berkeley County, Virginia--No record found for land tax for Nicholas.

1782
Frederick County, Virginia-No records found for land tax for Nicholas.

1782
Berkeley County, Virginia Personal Property Tax--entry for Ralph Wormley: lists one male for poll tax, 69 slaves--Virginia Tax Payers,1782-87, A.B. Fothergill & J.M. Naugle, 1940. Was James's mother one of these slaves?

1782
Berkeley County, Virginia-1782 Land Tax, 2nd Batalion (sic) entry for Ralph Wormly, Esq.: 7,000 acres, 10 shillings per acre, valued at £3,500, £26.5 tax. West Virginia Land Tax Records (1782-1803), Library of Virginia Reel 13 and FHL #0531232

1782
"Virginia had 270,762 slaves and 296,852 free persons."--The Negro in Virginia, compiled by Workers of the Writers' Program of the Work Projects Administration in the State of Virginia, 1940, pg 10

18 May 1782
Frederick County, Virginia, Nicholas files a "Publick Service Claim" for reimbursement for non-military services rendered and supplies given during the Revolutionary War; specifically he sought payment "for 1 mans (sic) saddle for Cont. £4-6."--Virginia Publick Claims, Frederick County, J.L. Abercrombie and Richard Slatten, pg. 5, n.d.

Aug 1782
James is conceived (theoretically). Who was his slave mother? Who owned her-Nicholas, one of the Wormeley's, someone else?

October 1782
Frederick County, Virginia, Nicholas files a "Public Service Claim" for payment "for 31 days waggon (sic) hire for Cont. £18-12; for 2260# flour, 10 casks £14-17-6."--Virginia Publick Service Claims, Frederick County, J.L. Abercrombie and Richard Slatten, pg. 19, n.d.

1783
Berkeley County, Virginia-no Land or Personal Property Tax records found for Nicholas.

1783
Frederick County, Virginia-no Land or Personal Property Tax records found for Nicholas

1783
Berkeley County, Virginia-Personal Property Tax records-Ralph Wormley Esq.'s entry, 2nd Batalion (sic), Robert Throckmorton's List (No. 16): one "white tithable", 35 slaves over age 16, 42 slaves under 16, 21 horses, 101 cattle, 24 stud horses, total tax of £43.11.2. FHL #2024478

Feb 1783
Frederick County, Virginia-Nicholas is awarded £6 and his costs in a case against Amos M. Glolin. Court ordered the sheriff to sell Glolin's tools, furniture and cattle-Frederick Co., VA Court Order Book No. 18, pg. 111, pg. 234, pg. 246

April 1783
Frederick County, Virginia--Nicholas files a "Publick Service Claim" for payment of "£4 for a new man's saddle."--Virginia Publick Service Claims, Frederick County, J.L. Abercrombie and Richard Slatten, pg. 25, n.d.

April 1783
Berkeley County, Virginia-- Nicholas is "alld. £9-6-1 for 442# beef, 1/2 bu corn, 5 days hauling with a cart, 2 horses & driver for state." He is also "alld. £19-3-9 for 2029# flour, 221# middlins for state."--Virginia Publick Claims, Berkeley County, J.L. Abercrombie and Richard Statten, pg, 9, n.d. Also Berkeley County, WV Court Order Book No. 4, pp 423 & 424

12 May 1783
Frederick County, Virginia (?)--James Roper born, Nicholas's only known child and illegitimate son; slave mother unknown--headstone, Roper family cemetery, River Farm, Jefferson County, WV. See also Nicholas's will dated 27 Apr 1812, Jefferson County, WV Will Book No. 3, pg. 20. Nicholas is almost 45 years old.

28 July 1783
Berkeley County, Virginia-"4 warrants to Nicholas Roper for wheat he furnished the Commissioner of [Prisoners of] War as of Cert.: allowed by the Court of Berkley (sic). 2 of £10. £7.3.9. £5"--Public Service Claims, Berkeley County VA Commissioners Book I, pg 147, Library of Virginia Reel #5

Sept 1783
Frederick County, Virginia-Nicholas is awarded £2-3 and his costs in a case against John Smith. Frederick Co., VA Court Order Book No. 18, 1781-1784, pg 234

Sept 1783
Frederick County, Virginia-Nicholas is awarded £4-6 and his costs in a case against William Morton-Frederick Co., VA Court Order Book No. 18, 1781-1784, pg 246

3 Sept 1783
Treaty of Paris officially ends the American Revolutionary War

7 Sept 1783
Frederick County, Virginia-"Nicholas Roper for two saddles for the Light Dragoons as of [Cert. Allowed by the Court of Frederick] £8.4, £17-1 & £18-4"--Library of Virginia, Public Service Claims, Commissioners Book II, pg 206.

18 Sept 1783
Berkeley County, Virginia--2 court cases brought by Nicholas against John Young and William Hancher, both pending without resolution--Berkeley Co., WV Court Order Book No. 5, 1782-1784, pg 250 & pg 253.

1784
Berkeley County, Virginia-no Land or Personal Property Tax records found for Nicholas.

1784
Frederick County, Virginia-no Land or Personal Property Tax records found for Nicholas

1784
Berkeley County, Virginia-Personal Property Tax records-Ralph Wormly Esq.'s entry (Robert Throckmorton's list): poll tax for one white, 35 slaves, 22 horses, 101 cattle, total tax of £21.9.3. FHL #2024478

Mar 1784
Frederick County, Virginia--court case brought by Nicholas against John Smith "and Thomas Bragg his security" continues. The court awards Nicholas £6-4-6 and his costs. "But this judgement is to be discharged by the payment of three pounds, seven shillings and three pence with interest thereon to be computed at the rate of five p[er] centum p[er] annum from the 21st day of November 1783 till paid and the costs."--Frederick Co., VA Court Order Book No. 18, 1781-1784, pg. 344.

29 April 1784
Alexandria, Virginia-Nicholas is mentioned in advertisement by Ralph Wormeley (of Rosegill, Urbanna, Middlesex County, Virginia) to sell 3,000 acres in Berkeley County, Virginia. "Mr. Nicholas Roper, who lives on the estate, will shew the lands and receive proposals to those who wish to become purchasers."--The Virginia Journal and Alexandria Advertiser, Vol. I, No. 13, pg 3

1785
Berkeley County, Virginia-no Land or Personal Property Tax records found for Nicholas.

1785
Frederick County, Virginia-no Land or Personal Property Tax records found for Nicholas.

1785
Berkeley County, Virginia--Personal Property Tax, entry for Ralph Wormley, "Added" by the court: poll tax for 1 white, 33 slaves, 23 horses, 104 cattle, total tax of £20.12. FHL #2024478

1785
Berkeley County, Virginia-"A List of Alienations and Alterations Of the Landed Property of the County of Berkeley from the 1st of May 1784 to the 1st of May 1785", 2nd Battalion, land entry for James Wormly for 3,288 acres at price @ acre of 7/2, formerly charged to Ralph Wormly. FHL #0531232 & West Virginia Land Tax Records, Library of Virginia Reel #13

1785
Berkeley County, Virginia-1785 2nd Batalion (sic) Land Tax entries for James and Ralph Wormley: (1) James: 3,288 acres, at price per acre of 7/2, valued at £1,170.4, taxed at £8.16.8 3/4; (2) Ralph: 3,712 acres, at price @ acre of 7/2, valued at £1,330.2.8, taxed at £9.19.6. West Virginia Land Tax Records (1782-1830), Library of Virginia Reel 13 & FHL #0531232.

1785
General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Virginia passes new legislation: "Every person of whose grandfathers or grandmothers anyone is or shall have been a Negro, although all his other progenitors, except that descending from the Negro shall have been white persons, shall be deemed a mulatto, and so every person who shall have one-fourth or more Negro blood shall in like manner be deemed a mulatto. This act is to be in force from January 1, 1787." Act of the Assembly, Chapter LXXVIII--Black Laws of Virginia, June Purcell Guild, 1936, pg 29.

3 Mar & 13 Sept 1785
Alexandria, Virginia-Nicholas again mentioned in land sale/rent advertisements for tract known as The Rocks. Nicholas is described as Berkeley County, Virginia agent of Ralph Wormeley--The Virginia Journal and Alexandria Advertiser, Vol. II, No. 59, pg 3 & Vol. II, No. 87, pg 3

5 March 1785
Richmond, Virginia-The Virginia Gazette: "Ralph Wormeley at Rosegill advertises for sale 2500 acres in Berkeley County adjoining that given to him [sic] son Mr. James Wormeley. His son, or Mr. Nicholas Roper, who lives near the land, will show it." The Virginia Genealogist, Vol. 32, No. 3, (July-September 1988), pg 198

18 May 1785
Berkeley County, Virginia-Court action on 2 court cases brought by Nicholas to collect debts: In his case against William Hancher, Nicholas is awarded £17-10 and costs, but final judgement is delayed until November Court. In his case against John Young, he is awarded £5-3-6, but final judgement is delayed until November Court--Berkeley Co., WV Court Order Book No. 6, pg. 465

1786
Berkeley County, Virginia-no Land Tax records found for Nicholas.

1786
Frederick County, Virginia-no Land Tax records found for Nicholas.

1786
Berkeley County, Virginia-"A List of the Alienations and Alterations of the Landed Property of the County of Berkeley from the first of May 1785 to the first of May 1786"-Ralph Wormley's land tax entry: "Charged in Frederick County", 3,000 acres, price per acre of 7/2. FHL #2024478

1786
Berkeley County, Virginia-Personal Property Tax records, Robert Throckmorton's List, Nicholas's entry: poll tax for one white above age 21, total tax was 10 shillings. FHL #2024478

1786
Berkeley County, Virginia-Personal Property Tax records, Robert Throckmorton's List, entry for John Wormelay: poll tax for one white above 21, 3 horses, 3 cattle, total tax of £0.16.9. FHL #2024478

20 April 1786
Alexandria, Virginia--A newspaper notice for horse races to be held in Charles Town on May 9 and 10, according to the rules of the Fredericksburg Jockey Club--The Virginia Journal and Alexandria Gazette, Vol. III, No. 116.

8 May 1786
Alexandria, Virginia-Nicholas again mentioned in land sale advertisement; described as Berkeley County, agent of Ralph Wormeley--The Virginia Journal and Alexandria Advertiser, Vol. III, No. 119, pg 2

1787
Berkeley County, Virginia-no Land Tax records found for Nicholas

1787
Frederick County, Virginia-no Land Tax records found for Nicholas

1787
Berkeley County, Virginia--Personal Property Tax, List B--entry for James Wormlay: poll tax for one white male over 21; 29 blacks over 16, 25 blacks under age 16, 28 horses, 100 cattle, a four-wheeled carriage, and a stud horse--The 1787 Census of Virginia, Vol. II, Netti Schreiner-Yantis & Florene S. Love, 1987, pg 1436 & FHL #2024478

1787
Frederick County, Virginia--Personal Property Tax, List A--entry for John Wormley: lists one white male for poll tax ; 27 blacks over age 16, 17 blacks under age 16, 21 horses, 56 cattle--The 1787 Census of Virginia, Vol. I, Netti Schreiner-Yantis & Florene S. Love, 1987, pg 504

1787
Charles Town is established by an Act of the General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Virginia

1787
Berkeley County, Virginia-Land Tax records, 2nd Batallion, entry for James Wormely: 3,288 acres, 7/2 price per acre, value of the land at £1,178.4.0, total taxes £17.13.5. FHL #0531232

1787
Berkeley County, Virginia-Land Tax records, 2nd Battalion, entry for Ralph Wormely: 3,712 acres, 7/2 price per acre, value of land at £1,330.2.8, total tax of £19.19.2. FHL #0531232

17 Apr 1787
Frederick County, Virginia--a court case brought by Nicholas wherein Albion Throckmorton stands surety for Robert Throckmorton-- Frederick Co., VA Order Book No. 20, 1786-1788, pg. 408

2 June 1787
Berkeley County, Virginia Personal Property Tax List B--entry for Nicholas: lists one white male over 21 for poll tax, no slaves, 10 horses--The Personal Property Tax Lists for the Year 1787 for Berkeley County, Virginia, N. Schreiner-Yantis & F.S. Love, 1987, pg 1432 and pg 1448 & FHL #2024478

8 Nov 1787
Frederick County, Virginia--a jury is selected to determine whether Robert Throckmorton was guilty of "nonperformance of the promise"; Nicholas seeks "thirty three pounds and his costs"--Frederick Co., VA Order Book No. 20, 1786-1788, pg 568

9 Nov 1787
Frederick County, Virginia--Nicholas's case against Robert Throckmorton is dismissed and Nicholas is ordered to pay Throckmorton's legal expenses--Frederick Co., VA Order Book No. 20, 1786-1788, pg. 583

3 Dec 1787
Berkeley County, Virginia-James Rumsey successfully demonstrates his steam boat on the Potomac River along the shore at Shepherdstown

1788
Berkeley County, Virginia-no Land Tax records found for Nicholas.

1788
Frederick County, Virginia-no Land Tax records found for Nicholas

1788
Berkeley County, Virginia-Land Tax Records, 2nd Batallion, entry for James Wormely: 3,288 acres, 7/2 price per acre, £1,178.4.0 value of land, £17.13.5 total tax. FHL #0531232

1788
Berkeley County, Virginia-Land Tax Records, 2nd Battalion, etry for Ralph Wormely: 3,712 acres, 7/2 price per acre, £1,330.2.8 value of land, £19.19.2 total tax. FHL #0531232

12 Feb 1788
Berkeley County, Virginia-"Nicholas Roper Enters 100 Acres of waste and ungranted Land situate near the Long Marsh in the County of Berkeley Joining the Lands of Ralph Wormley [,] the Heirs of Henry Whiting [,] the Heirs of Hugh Ferguson, Gerard Alexander and Daniel McPherson By virtue of a Land Office Treasury Warrant No. 47 and dated the 7th Day of January 1783 for 15 ½ Acres of Land". Berkeley Co., VA Land Entry Book No. 1, pp 10-11, FHL #0831300 First known recorded land transaction by Nicholas, who is 49 years old. No record located to document that Nicholas ever patented this tract.

7 Apr 1788
Berkeley County, Virginia-Bargain & Sale: Nicholas purchased lot #27 (½ acre) in Charles Town for "ten pounds current money of Virginia" from Charles Washington and wife. Nicholas agrees to pay (retroactively) "one dollar and six shillings yearly as an Annual Ground Rent" from 2 Aug 1784, and to pay Charles Washington and wife an annual rent of six shillings forever--Berkeley Co., WV Deed Book No. 8, pg. 98. No record found of Nicholas paying land tax on the lot until 1814.

21 June 1788
The U.S. Constitution becomes effective when New Hampshire is the ninth state to ratify it.

15 Sept 1788
Berkeley County, Virginia-"By virtue of a Land Office Treasury Warrant No. 99 dated the 10th Day of Septem. 1788 Nicholas Roper Enters fifty four acres of Land adjoining James Wormley [,] Daniel McPherson and Gerrard Alexander." Berkeley Co., Virginia Land Entry Book No. 1, pg 17, FHL #0831300. No record located to document that Nicholas ever patented this tract.

13 Dec 1788
Berkeley County, Virginia-Personal Property Tax record, 2nd Battalion, entry for Nicholas: poll tax for one white, 2 slaves over age 16, 10 horses. FHL #2024478

15 Dec 1788
Berkeley County, Virginia-Personal Property Tax Record, 2nd Battalion, entry for James Wormeley and overseer: poll tax for two whites, 24 slaves over age 16, 5 slaves ages 12-16, 33 horses, 2 (?) stud horses, 1 stage wagon. FHL #2024478

1789
Berkeley County, Virginia-no Personal Property Tax records found for Nicholas

1789
Frederick County, Virginia-no Land Tax records found for Nicholas

1789
Berkeley County , Virginia--Land Tax Records, 2nd Battalion, entry for Nicholas, "of Jas Worley" for 50 acres, price @ acre of 7/2, valued at £17.18.4, taxed at £0.3.7. West Virginia Land Tax Records (1782-1803), Library of Virginia Reel 13 & FHL # 0531232 (see 24 Jan 1789 entry below).

1789
Berkeley County, Virginia-Land Tax Records-for James Wormely, 3,288 acres, at 7/2 per acre, total value of £1,160.5.8, taxed at £11.12.1; Ralph Wormely, 3,712 acres price per acre of 7/2, total value of £1,330.2.8, taxed at £13.6.0. FHL #0531232

1789
Berkeley County, Virginia-Personal Property Tax records-entry for James Wormeley: poll tax for two "white", 5 slaves over age 12, 24 slaves over age 16, 33 horses, one stud "at fifty shillings". FHL #2024478.

1789
Berkeley County, Virginia-Personal Property Tax records-entry for Samuel Harris, "overseer to Wormely": poll tax for one white, 2 slaves over age 16, 5 horses. FHL #2024478

24 Jan 1789
Berkeley County, Virginia-Bargain & Sale: Nicholas purchased 50 acres "being a part of a Larger Tract of land conveyed to said James Wormly by his father . . . Ralph Wormely by indenture . . . adjoining a Tract of Land belonging to said Roper purchased of Ralph Wormley" [is the "Larger Tract" the 200 acre, 20 Sept 1790 tract - see below] on Long Marsh for "one hundred and twenty five pounds current money of Virginia" from James Wormeley and wife-Berkeley Co., WV Deed Book No. 9, pg 19

30 Apr 1789
George Washington is inaugurated as the first President of the United States

1790
Berkeley County, Virginia-no Personal Property Tax records found for Nicholas (2nd Batallion is missing from FHL #2024479)

1790
Frederick County, Virginia-no Personal Property Tax records found for Nicholas

1790
No extant 1790 Federal Census records for Virginia. Nicholas is NOT listed in Heads of Families At the First Census of the United States Taken in the Year 1790, Records of the [Virginia] State Enumerations: 1792 to 1795 (no list for Berkeley County)

1790
Berkeley County, Virginia-Federal Census: Population totaled 19,713; 2,932, or 14.9%, were slaves-Historical, Demographic, Economic, and Social Data: The United States, 1790-1970, Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research, 197?/www.virginiaplaces.org/population

1790
Berkeley County, Virginia-- Land Tax on 50 acres that Nicholas purchased in 1789 from James Wormley: price per acre 7/2, value of £17.8.1, taxed for £0.1.4. West Virginia Land Tax Records (1782-1803), Library of Virginia Reel 13.

1790
Berkeley County, Virginia-Land Taxes for James and Ralph Wormely: James, 1,279 acres, 7/2 price per acre, valued at £458.6.2, taxed at £1.14.4 ½; Ralph, 3,712 acres, price per acre 7/2, value of £1,330.2.8, taxed at £4.19.9. West Virginia Land Tax Records (1782-1803), Library of Virginia Reel 13.

Mar 1790
Frederick County, Virginia-Nicholas and Peter Rust sued John Lang for repayment of £20 and costs. Court ordered a payment of £6-9-1/2.with 5% interest beginning 19 Dec 1786. Final judgement was delayed for 6 months-Frederick Co., VA Order Book No. 22, pg 125

19 Aug 1790
Middlesex County, Virginia--Ralph Wormley, Esq.(II/Sr.) dies "at Rosegill in his 75th year"--Virginia Gazette and General Advertiser, 25 August 1790, Alexandria, Virginia Town Lots, 1749-1801, C.K. Ring and W.E. Pippenger, n.d., pg 67. His will instructs his heirs to sell his land in Berkeley County and names sons Ralph, James and John-Middlesex County, Virginia Wills and Inventories, 1673-1812, and Other Court Papers, W.L. Hopkins, n.d., pg 147

20 Sept 1790
Berkeley County, Virginia-Nicholas purchased 200 acres from Ralph Wormley, Esq. ("trustee" of his father's [Ralph, Sr.] estate) for "five hundred pounds current money", being "that tract or parcel of ground on which the said Nicholas Roper now lives . . . being part of a greater Tract of Land Containing Eleven Thousand Seven hundred and sixteen acres which was granted to the said Ralph Wormeley Senior [by] the late Lord Proprietor of the Northern Neck."--Berkeley Co., WV Deed Book No. 9, pg. 339. Nicholas now owns 3 parcels of land, all in Berkeley County-the Charles Town lot from Charles Washington, 50 acres from James Wormley, and 200 acres from Ralph Wormley.

Dec 1790
Frederick County, Virginia-"The attachment of Nicholas Roper against Jiremiah Rust is dismissed being agreed to by the parties." Frederick Co., VA Order Book No. 22, pg 489

Dec 1790
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania-An essay, "Plan for Liberating the Negroes within the United States", written by Ferdinando Fairfax, is published in American Museum, VIII, pp 285-287. Race and Revolution, Gary B. Nash, 1990, pp 42-43, 54, 146-150. Fairfax proposed a plan for gradual emancipation of slaves accompanied by their removal to a new African colony established by the American government.

1791-1794
Whiskey Rebellion

1791
Berkeley County, Virginia-no Personal Property Tax records found for Nicholas.

1791
Frederick County, Virginia-no Personal Property Tax records found for Nicholas

1791
Frederick County, Virginia-no Land Tax records found for Nicholas

1791
Berkeley County, Virginia-Land Tax Records "for the Second Battalion", entry for Nicholas "of Jas.. Wormely": 50 acres, 7/2 price per acre, total value of £17.18.6, taxed at £0.1.4. West Virginia Land Tax Records (1782-1803), Library of Virginia Reel 13. Last known Berkeley County record of any type for Nicholas until 1798 Personal Property Tax record.

1791
Berkeley County, Virginia-Personal Property Tax records-entry for James Wormely & unnamed overseer: poll tax for 2 whites, 3 slaves over age 12 and under 16, 27 slaves over age 16, 34 horses, one stud "at 30 shillings", one two-wheel riding carriage. FHL #2024479

1792
Berkeley County, Virginia-no Land or Personal Property Tax records on Nicholas.

1792
Frederick County, Virginia-no Land or Personal Property Tax records on Nicholas

1792
Berkeley County, Virginia-Land Tax records, 2nd Battalion, entry for James Wormely: 1,279 acres, 7/2 price per acre, £458.6.2 total value, £1.14.4 total tax. FHL #0531232

1792
Berkeley County, Virginia-Personal Property Tax records, entry for James Wormeley & unnamed overseer: poll tax for 2 whites, 23 slaves over age 16, 9 slaves over age 12 and under 16, 23 horses, one stud at 30 shillings, one two-wheel carriage. FHL #2024479

Nov 1792
Frederick County, Virginia-Nicholas is awarded £24 in his case against George Rust. However, the Court declared that the debt "is to be discharged by the payment of twelve pounds with interest" thereon at 5% @ year from 1 Nov 1789 "until paid and costs." Frederick Co., VA Order Book No. 24, pg 140

1793
Berkeley County, Virginia-no Land Tax or Personal Property Tax records found for Nicholas.

1793
Frederick County, Virginia-no Land Tax or Personal Property Tax records found for Nicholas

1793
Berkeley County, Virginia-Land Tax records, 2nd Battalion, entry for James Wormely: 1,279 acres, 7/2 price per acre, £458.6.2 total value, £1.14.4 total tax. FHL #0531232

1793
Berkeley County, Virginia-Personal Property Tax records-entry for James Wormely and unnamed overseer: poll tax for 2 whites, 9 slaves over age 12 and under 16, 23 slaves over 16, 19 horses, one stud at 30 shillings, one two-wheel carriage. FHL #2024479

1793
Berkeley County, Virginia-Personal Property Tax records-entry for Ferdinando Fairfax: poll tax for 3 whites, 4 slaves over age 12 and under 16, 40 slaves over 16, 30 horses. FHL #2024479. This is Fairfax's first appearance in the Berkeley County Personal Property Tax records

1793
Berkeley County, Virginia-Land Tax records-entry for Ferdinando Fairfax: 3,458 1/4 acres, 7/2 price per acre, £1,239.7.7 ½ total value, £4.12.11 total tax. FHL #0531232. This is Fairfax's first appearance in the Berkeley County Land Tax records. He inherited this land in 1787 from his uncle George William Fairfax; between 1787 and 1793, the land tax records were in the name of his aunt, Mrs. Sarah Fairfax, widow of George Wm.

March 1793
Frederick County, Virginia--"Ordered that Isaac Kent do pay unto Nicholas Roper one dollar and fifty-nine cents for attending court these days as a witness for him at the suit of Wormley."--Frederick Co., VA Order Book No. 24, pg. 274.

5 Nov 1793
Frederick County, Virginia--witness to Crumley land sale-Frederick Co., VA Deed Book No. 24B, pg. 461

3 Dec 1793
Frederick County, Virginia--Nicholas Roper declares that ". . . [I] Do emancipate and set free James a Mullatto (sic) Boy aged about 11 years . . ."-- Frederick County, VA Deed Book 24A, pg. 244.

"A Deed of Manumission from Nicholas Roper to Mullato James was acknowledged by said Roper and ordered to be recorded."-Frederick County, VA Order Book No. 24, 1792- 1794, pg 558.
Nicholas is almost 55 years old.

"For children eleven was a magic age; survival past it gave a reasonable chance of long life . . ."--The Writer's Guide to Everyday Life in Colonial America, Dale Taylor, 1997.

1794
Berkeley County, Virginia--no Land or Personal Property Tax records found for Nicholas

1794
Frederick County, Virginia-no Land or Personal Property Tax records found for Nicholas

1794
Berkeley County, Virginia-Land Tax records, east of Opeckon Creek, entry for Ferdinando Fairfax: 3,358 1/4 acres, 7/2 price per acre, £1,203.11.1/2 total value, £3.0.2 total tax. FHL #0531232

1794
Berkeley County, Virginia-Land Tax records, east of Opeckon Creek, entry for James Wormley: 1,079 acres, 7/2 price per acre, £386.12.10 total value, £0.19.3 3/4 total tax. FHL #0531232

1794
Berkeley County, Virginia-Personal Property Tax records-entry for Ferdinando Fairfax w/ E.E.N. Mullen: poll tax for 2 whites, 11 slaves over age 12 and under 16, 39 slaves over age 16, 19 horses, one two-wheel riding carriage. FHL #2024479

1794
Berkeley County, Virginia-Personal Property Tax records-entry for James Wormley: poll tax for 2 whites, 9 slaves over 12/under 16, 24 slaves over 16, 15 horses, 1 stud at 30 shillings, one two-wheel riding carriage. FHL #2024479

11 Sept 1794
Frederick County, Virginia-witness to John Wormeley land sale. For the purchase price of £435, Wormeley sells to Peter Rust a tract of 145 acres that he (John) inherited from his father Ralph. Tract adjoins land Rust purchased from Isaac Kent. Frederick Co., VA Deed Book 24A, pg. 493

1795
Berkeley County, Virginia-no Land or Personal Property Tax records found for Nicholas.

1795
Frederick County, Virginia-no Land or Personal Property Tax records found for Nicholas

1795
Berkeley County, Virginia-Land Tax records, entry for Ferdinando Fairfax: 3,358 3/4 acres, 7/2 price per acre, £1,203.11.1/2 total value, £3.0.2 total tax. FHL #0531232

1795
Berkeley County, Virginia-Personal Property Tax records, entry for Ferdinando Fairfax: 11 slaves over 12/under 16, 39 slaves over 16, 21 horses. FHL # 2024479

1795
Berkeley County, Virginia-Personal Property Tax records, entry for James Wormley: 4 slaves over 12/under 16, 24 slaves over 16, 22 hourses, one stud/30 shillings, one four-wheel carriage. FHL #2024479

22 Mar 1795
Louisa County, Virginia-Nicholas Raper (sic) purchases 400 acres on Contrary Creek, Trinity Parish, from Thomas Wingfield's attorneys, for 16,000 pounds of tobacco. Louisa County Deed Book 1, pg 46 and Order Book 1772-1799, pg 190. Why is he buying land in Louisa County? Where did he get the financial resources?

Mar 1795-Oct 1797
Is Nicholas living in Louisa County? Cannot locate Mary Horn or Nicholas Roper in Louisa County Personal Property Tax records between 1782-1800.

18 Jan 1796
"At Celey's, near Hampton"--marriage of "Ferdinando Fairfax, Esq., of Berkeley county, to the amiable and accomplished Miss Elizabeth B. Carey"--The Columbian Mirror and Alexandria Gazette, 3 March 1796, pg 3; unbound document Marriages and Death Notices from Early Alexandria Newspapers, W.E. Pippenger, n.d., pg 5. Groom was great-nephew of Thomas, Sixth Lord Fairfax, third son of Brian, Eighth Lord Fairfax, and godson of George and Martha Washington. Ferdinando also became Nicholas's employer and neighbor, and had frequent business (land sales, mortgages, etc.) dealings with Nicholas.

1796
Berkeley County, Virginia-no Land or Personal Property Tax records found for Nicholas.

1796
Frederick County, Virginia-no Land or Personal Property Tax records found for Nicholas

1796
Louisa County, Virginia-Land Tax Records-Nicholas paid taxes totaling 1 shilling, five pence on the 400 acres. Louisa County Land Tax Books, 1782-1812B, Library of Virginia Reel #176.

1796
Berkeley County, Virginia-Personal Property Tax records-entry for Ferdinando Fairfax: poll tax for one white over 16, 10 blacks over 12, 36 blacks over 16, 23 horses, one two-wheel riding carriage. FHL #2024479

1796
Berkeley County, Virginia-Personal Property Tax records-entry for James Wormley & miller: poll tax for 2 whites over 16, 6 blacks over 12, 25 blacks over 16, 25 horses, one four-wheel carriage, one two-wheel carriage. FHL #2024479

1796
Berkeley County, Virginia-Land Tax records-entry for Ferdinando Fairfax: 3,358 3/4 acres, 7/2 price per acre, £1,203.10.6 total value, £3.0.3 total tax. FHL #0531232

1796
Berkeley County, Virginia-Land Tax records-entry for James Wormley: 924 acres, 7/2 price per acre, £331.2.0 total value, £0.16.7. FHL #0531232

1797
Berkeley County, Virginia--no Land or Personal Property Tax records found for Nicholas.

1797
Frederick County, Virginia-no Land or Personal Property Tax records found for Nicholas

1797
Louisa County, Virginia-Land Tax Records-Nicholas pays $2.23 in taxes on the 400 acres. Louisa County land Tax Books, 1782-1812B, Library of Virginia Reel #176

1797
Berkeley County, Virginia-Personal Property Tax records-entry for Ferdinando Fairfax: poll tax for one white/16, 8 blacks/12, 36 blacks/16, 25 horses. FHL #2024479

1797
Berkeley County, Virginia-Personal Property Tax records-entry for James Wormley "Agents": poll tax for one white/16, five blacks/12, 25 blacks/16, 25 horses, one coach, one two-wheel carriage. FHL #2024479

1797
Berkeley County, Virginia-Land Tax records-entry for Ferdinando Fairfax: 3,358 acres, 7/2 price per acre, £1,200.10.6 total value, £3.0.2 total tax. FHL #0531232

1797
Berkeley County, Virginia-Land Tax records-entry for James Wormley "agents": 924 acres, 7/2 price per acre, £331.2.0 total value, £0.16.7 total tax. FHL #0531232. This is his last entry in the Berkeley County Land Tax records.

9 Oct 1797
Frederick County, Virginia-Mortgage: Nicholas contracts to buy the Mountain Tract ( 684 acres) and part of the Glade Tract (acreage subject to a future survey) from Ferdinando Fairfax and wife. Agreement stipulates 5 payment installment plan (beginning 1 Jan 1799 and ending 1 Jan 1803) for 4,350 pounds "current money of Virginia" plus "legal interest". Fairfax and his wife will continue to "retain & enjoy all and Singular the Said lands and Premises with their appuertenances And to receive & take the rents & Profits thereof and of every Part thereof to & for their own Use and benefit without the . . . Trouble or interruption of the Said Nicholas Roper . . ."--Frederick Co., VA Superior Court Deed Book No. 3, Part 2, pg. 343. See next entry, and transactions dated 15 June 1807, 22 June 1807, and 14 July 1807.

On 24 June 1797, Fairfax had purchased from James Wormeley (Frederick County, VA Superior Court Deed Book No. 4, pg 72), "all his lands of whatever description situate lying and being in the Countys [sic] of Berkeley and Frederick . . . consisting of four tracts of a large tract of land formerly granted to Ralph Wormeley father to the said James Wormeley by a proprietary deed [in 1793]". In records of this June 1797 transaction, which includes The Rocks tract, the Mountain Tract is described as "part of a large tract of land formerly granted to Ralph Wormley deceased by an including Deed from the Office of the late Proprietor of the Northern Neck for 11716 acres 3.scribed in the above mentioned Deed of James Wormley to the said F. Fairfax."

Apparently, this June 1797 transaction included not only the sale of land, but also, with some exceptions, 62 slaves, horses, cattle, sheep, hogs, farming implements, blacksmith and carpenters' tools, saw mill items, kitchen utensils, household and table furniture, eating and serving items, silverware, glassware. All those items are listed in an extensive inventory prepared by James Wormeley and recorded as the "Inventory of the Personal Estate of James Wormeley Esq. taken at Sundry times Under his direction and Now finally arranged & adjusted (Viz June 24th, 1797) Pursuant to an agreement entered into between the Said Wormeley & Ferdinando Fairfax on the 29th day of Last April refering to this Inventory". Frederick County, VA Superior Court Deed Book No. 4, pg.346. Apparently, Wormeley was selling out completely, and Fairfax bought the properties under 'turn key' conditions.

Then 3 ½ months later, in October, Fairfax contracted to sell the Mountain and Glade tracts to Nicholas.

9 Oct 1797
Frederick County, Virginia-Bargain and Sale: Nicholas sells to Ferdinando Fairfax, for 4,350 pounds "current money of Virginia", (1) "a Certain Tract or Parcel of Land Situated Partly in Berkeley and Partly in Frederick County . . Consisting of Three Tracts Parts of a Larger Tract of Land granted by the late Proprietor of the Northern Neck to the late Ralph Wormeley Esquire of Rosegill in a deed including surplus. . .which the said Nicholas Roper bought at three different times of the said Ralph Wormeley, his son James Wormeley and Isaac Kent and which are now included in One Tract." And (2) the Louisa County tract, including slaves, farming equipment, live stock--Frederick Co., VA Superior Court Deed Book No. 3, Part 2,- pg. 351. See 11 Sept 1802, below.

9 Oct 1797
Frederick County, Virginia--Nicholas marries Mary Horn, Nicholas and John Walker, Surety--Marriage Register, Book 1(July 14, 1782-1853), pg 145, line 31. Original marriage bond with Nicholas's signature is located in the Old Records Room, Frederick County Court House, Winchester, VA. This is the only known marriage by Nicholas.

1798
Berkeley County, Virginia-no Land Tax records found for Nicholas.

1798
Frederick County, Virginia-no Land Tax or Personal Property tax records found for Nicholas

1798
Berkeley County, Virginia-Personal Property Tax records-entry for Nicholas: poll tax for one white male over age 16, 1 black over age 16, 2 horses, total tax of 53 cents. FHL #2024479. This is his first appearance in Berkeley County's Personal Property Tax records since 1787.

1798
Berkeley County, Virginia-Personal Property Tax records-entry for Ferdinando Fairfax: 1 white/16, 8 blacks/12, 59 blacks/16, 49 horses, total tax of $27.86. FHL #2024479

1798
Louisa County, Virginia-Land Tax records-Nicholas pays taxes of $2.35 on the 400 acres. Louisa County Land Tax Books, 1782-1812B, Library of Virginia Reel #176

1798
Berkeley County, Virginia-Land Tax records-entries for Ferdinando Fairfax: (1) 3,358 acres, 7/2 price per acre, total value of £1,203.10.6 and (2) "Ditto of ? Roper & Wormley", 1,800 acres, 7/2 price per acre, £645.0.0 total value; total tax of £29.60. FHL #0531232

10 Mar 1798
Letter from James Wormley in London, England, to Nicholas, addressed to Ferdinando Fairfax's Estate, Shannon Hill, Berkeley County, Virginia--in possession of Mrs. Ilah Parker, of Rockville, MD. James mentions that he has forwarded Nicholas's letter to his (unnamed) brother in Suffolk. After being in America for at least 17 years, and fathering an illegitimate slave son, Nicholas is in touch with his family in England.

9 July & 14 July 1798
Washington, D.C.-Congress passes two related acts which comprise the Federal Direct Tax of 1798 to pay for construction of U.S. naval warships. France and England were at war, and France was preying on U.S. ships, thereby creating an unofficial state of war between the U.S. and France. Per Library of Virginia staff, there are no extant Virginia records generated by the tax.

1799
Berkeley County, Virginia-no Land Tax records found for Nicholas.

1799
Frederick County, Virginia-no Land Tax records found for Nicholas

1799
Berkeley County, Virginia-Personal Property Tax record for Nicholas: poll tax for one white male over 16 years old, one black over 16, 2 horses, amount of tax was $0.68. West Virginia State Archives, Berkeley County 1799 Personal Property Tax List, 1790-1799, Roll 3 & FHL #2024479

1799
Louisa County, Virginia-Land Tax Records-Nicholas pays taxes totaling $1.45 on the 400 acres. Louisa County Land Tax Books, 1782-1812B, Library of Virginia Reel #176

1799
Berkeley County, Virginia-Personal Property Tax records-entry for Ferdinando Fairfax: poll tax for one white over 16, 5 blacks/12, 49 blacks/16, 48 horses, 1 carriage, total tax of $34.52. FHL # 2024479

1799
Berkeley County, Virginia-Land Tax records-entry for Ferdinando Fairfax: (1) 3,358 acres, 7/2 price per acre, total value of $4,011.75; (2) 1,800 acres, 7/2 price per acre, total value of $2,151.75; total tax of $29.60. FHL #0531232.

1 Apr 1799
Frederick County, Virginia-Mortgage: John Burchell borrows 150 pounds from Nicholas and puts up 135 acres as security, payment due on demand--Frederick Co., VA Deed Book No. 26, pg. 44.

1 Apr 1799
Frederick County, Virginia-- Bill of Sale: for "one hundred and thirty pounds" purchases a bay horse, household goods, a black cow, blacksmith tools, and slave Caesar from Richard Shirtliff-Frederick Co., VA Deed Book No. 26, pg. 45

6 August 1799
Frederick County, Virginia--Nicholas has filed "a motion for judgement upon a forthcoming bond" against John & Angus McDonald for £46-12 and costs. Court orders judgement to be discharged "by the payment of twenty three pounds six shillings" with 5% interest @ year from 19 June 1799 "until payment and costs". Frederick Co., VA Court Order Book No. 32, pg. 200.

16 November 1799
Shannon Hill, Berkeley County, Virginia--Ferdinando Fairfax signs his last will; ". . . it is my particular desire that Nicholas Roper should be continued as steward or manager of my farms as long as he may choose; since his honesty & unusual attention to his employers [sic] interest would render his Services cheeper[sic] at high wages than those of almost any other that I know of at the lowest." Nicholas is a witness; he is almost 61 years old. Fairfax Co., VA Will Book M, No. 1, pg. 143. Based on his roles as agent for Ralph Wormeley and as steward for Ferdinando Fairfax, Nicholas was well educated and a successful man of business on behalf of his employers; those skills certainly would have benefitted him personally. It's interesting that, although he owns land himself, at age 60, Nicholas is still working for someone else.

18 Nov 1799
Loudoun County, Virginia--Nicholas witnesses land transaction between Ferdinando Fairfax and wife and Thomas Fairfax, Ferdinando's brother--Deed Book Z, pg 429, Index to Loudoun County, Virginia Land Deed Books A-Z, 1757-1800, Patricia B. Duncan, 2002, pg. 374

1800
Berkeley County, Virginia-no Land Tax records found for Nicholas.

1800
Frederick County, Virginia-no Land Tax records found for Nicholas

1800
Berkeley County, Virginia Personal Property Tax List, Daniel Morgan's District--entry for Nicholas: poll tax for one white male over age 16, one slave over age 16, 2 horses, for a total tax of 68 cents. FHL #2024480

1800
Berkeley County, Virginia Personal Property Tax List, Daniel Morgan's District--entry for Nicholas: poll tax for one white male over age 16, one slave over age 16, 2 horses, for a total tax of 68 cents. FHL #2024480

1800
Louisa County, Virginia-Land Tax Records-Nicholas paid $1.45 in taxes on the 400 acres. Louisa County Land Tax Books, 1782-1812B, Library of Virginia Reel #176

1800
Berkeley County, Virginia-Land Tax records-entry for Ferdinando Fairfax: 5,158 acres, 7/2 price per acre, $6,162.75 total value, $29.60 total tax paid. FHL # 0531232

1800
Berkeley County, Virginia-Personal Property Tax records-entry for Ferdinando Fairfax: poll tax on one white male over 16, 7 blacks over 12/under 16, 55 blacks over 16, 37 horses, one coach, one riding carriage with 2 wheels, total tax of $38.78. FHL #2024480

1800
Berkeley County, Virginia Federal Census: population totaled 22,006; 3,971 (18%) were slaves-Historical, Demographic, Economic, and Social Data: The United States, 1790-1970, Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research, 197?/www.virginiaplaces.org/population. Ferdinando Fairfax was the county's largest slaveholder, with 62 taxable slaves.

1801
Berkeley County, Virginia-no Land Tax records found for Nicholas.

1801
Frederick County, Virginia-no Land Tax records found for Nicholas

1801
Berkeley County, Virginia-Personal Property Tax records-entry for Nicholas: poll tax for one white male over age 16, 1 black over age 16, 2 horses, for total tax of 68 cents. FHL #2024480

1801
Louisa County, Virginia-Land Tax Records-Nicholas paid taxes on the 400 acres. Louisa Land Tax Books, 1782-1812B, Library of Virginia Reel #176

1801
Berkeley County, Virginia-Personal Property Tax records-entry for Ferdinando Fairfax: poll tax for one white male over 16, 10 blacks over 12, 56 blacks over 16, 50 horses, 1 stud horse/10 shillings, 1 coach. FHL #2024480

1801
Berkeley County, Virginia-Land Tax records-entry for Ferdinando Fairfax, 3 tracts of land: (1) 5,158 acres at 7/2, (2) 126 acres (Cat Tail Run farm) at 11/11, (3) 83 acres at 8/11, for total tax of $31.63. FHL #0531232

26 Oct 1801
Jefferson County, Virginia established from Berkeley County, VA

10 Nov 1801
Jefferson County, Virginia-"Be it remembered that at the house of John Mines formerly occupied by Basil Williamson in the Town of Charles Town on the Tenth day of November 1801. A New Commission of the peace from his Excellency James Monroe Esq. Governor of the Commonwealth of Virginia dated the 26th day of September 1801 directed to John Kearsley [,] William Littles [,] Joseph Swearnger [,] Alexander White [,] John Briscoe [,] Wm. Darke [,] Richd Baylor [,] Geo.. Hite [,] George North [,] Daniel Cotton [,] Abm Davenport [,] Van Rutherford [,] John Packett [,] Daniel Morgan [,] Jacob Bedinger and Ferdinando Fairfax were proven to this Court and read whereupon" they all took "the oath for giving apareance[sic] of fidelity to this Com- Wealth the said in support of the Constitution of the Ustates[sic]". Jefferson Co., VA Minute Book, 1801-1803, FHL #0250030

1802-1803
Berkeley County & Jefferson County: No Personal Property Tax or Land Tax records found for Nicholas or Ferdinando. Early years of Jefferson County; possible missing records issue.

1802
Louisa County, Virginia-Land Tax Records-Nicholas paid taxes on the 400 acres. Louisa County Land Tax Books, 1782-1812B, Library of Virginia Reel #176

11 Sept 1802
Louisa County, Virginia-Bargain & Sale: Ferdinando Fairfax, his wife and Nicholas, all of Jefferson County, "of the one part" and David Holmes of Rockingham County "of the other part" ratify the sale of 400 acres in Louisa County to Holmes. The parcel is the same that Nicholas purchased in 1795 and sold to Fairfax in 1797. But the 1797 transaction had been recorded in Frederick County, "which record not long deemed sufficient". Therefore, for Fairfax's sale to Holmes to be legitimate and with a clear title, Louisa County required that Nicholas "join in the present conveyance". Louisa County, VA Deed Book J, pp 553-554.

14 Sept 1802
Jefferson County, Virginia-Deed of Record: Fairfax and his wife record the transfer of Louisa County 400 acre tract to David Holmes; transfer is acknowledged by Nicholas. Jefferson Co., VA Minute Book, 1801-1803, pg 75, FHL #0250028

10 Nov 1802
Jefferson County, Virginia-Nicholas serves on two juries. Jefferson Co., VA Minute Book 1801-1803, pg 94, FHL #0250028

1803
Louisa County, Virginia-Land Tax Records-Nicholas paid taxes on the 400 acres. Louisa County Land Tax Books, 1782-1812B, Library of Virginia Reel #176

1803
Frederick County, Virginia-Land Tax Records-Nicholas paid $1.36 in taxes on 88 acres "of Thos. Wand", valued at $292.33. Frederick County Land Tax Records, Library of Virginia Reel #108 (see next entry)

28 Mar 1803
Frederick County, Virginia-Bargain & Sale: Nicholas purchased 88 acres of land from Thomas Wand and wife Mary for 528 pounds "current money of Virginia" The parcel consisted of two tracts of land (50 acres purchased by Wand from "Ralph Wormeley Esq. Trustee of Ralph Wormeley Sen. Dec'd" on 29 Sept 1790, and 38 acres purchased by Wand from James Wormley and wife on 31 May 1797)--Frederick Co., VA Deed Book No. 28, pg. 28. Six years later, Nicholas sold this land (see below) to Alexander Milton; that 1809 transaction triggered law suits and legal headaches for son James until 1833.

2 May 1803
France and the United States conclude the Louisiana Purchase

1804
Jefferson County, Virginia--Personal Property Tax List: entry for Nicholas: poll tax for one white male over age 16, one male black over age 16, 2 horses/mares, for total tax of 68 cents. FHL #2024593 There is no separate entry for James, who is 21 years old.

1804
Jefferson County, Virginia-Land Tax records: entry for Nicholas on 126 acres (Cat Tail Run) that he purchased on 6 April 1805 (?) from Ferdinando Fairfax, his wife and William Page, total tax of $1.43. Jefferson County Land Tax Records, 1802-1835, Library of Virginia Reel #156

1804
Frederick County, Virginia-Land Tax Records for Nicholas on the 88 acres: $1.36 tax bill. Frederick County Land Tax Records, Library of Virginia, Reel #108

6 Jan 1804
Loudoun County, Virginia-Nicholas witnesses sale of 637 acres on Broad Run by Abiel Jenners and wife Deborah to Ferdinando Fairfax-Index to Loudoun County Virginia Land Deed Books 2A-2M, Patricia B. Duncan, 2003, pg 82

14 May 1804
Lewis and Clark leave St. Louis, Missouri to explore the West and to find a route to the Pacific Ocean.

30 Aug 1804
Alexandria, Virginia-Bargain & Sale: Nicholas purchases town lot for $1,000 from Able Janney and wife on the "south side of Duke Street and west side of Washington Street" purchased by Janney from William Thornton Alexander and wife on 23 Nov 1798 - Alexandria, VA City Deed Book H, pg. 314. This is an L-shaped lot, of limited value, with no buildings. Why did he buy it? The Alexandria City Land Tax records show no taxes paid on the lot by either Nicholas or James, who sold it in 1841. Perhaps a friend, attorney or other agent paid the taxes, but that raises the question "how were such payments credited"?

1805
Jefferson County, Virginia----Personal Property Tax List: "Nicholass" Roper entry: one white male over age 16, 2 blacks over age 16, 1 horse/mare, for a total tax of $1.00. FHL #2024593 No separate entry for James.

1805
Jefferson County, Virginia--Land Tax Records: Nicholas pays $1.43 in taxes on his 126 acres on Cat Tail Run. Jefferson County Land Tax Records, 1802-1835, Library of Virginia Reel #156

1805
Frederick County, Virginia-Land Tax Records: Nicholas pays $1.36 in taxes on his 88 acres. Frederick County Land Tax Records, Library of Virginia Reel #108

13 Feb 1805
Jefferson County, Virginia-Cowan Case: "Cowan vs Roper Ord. Injunction granted to stay waste". This entry may record David Cowan's initial, and ultimately successful, 5 year effort to claim 5 acres of Nicholas's 126 acre Cat Tail Run tract. Cowan was Nicholas neighbor, and became father-in-law to William Thornton Roper (Nicholas's grandson & James's son. The records do not explain the legal basis of Cowan's claim. Jefferson Co., VA Minute Book, 1803-1807, FHL #0250029

13 Feb 1805
Jefferson County, Virginia-"Deed of Sale from Fairfax to Sterrill fur pro by Roper & OR". Jefferson County, VA Minute Book, 1803-1807, FHL #0250029

6 April 1805
Jefferson County, Virginia-Bargain & Sale: Nicholas purchases from Ferdinando and wife and William B. Page, for "three thousand one hundred and fifty dollars lawful money of the United States of America" "all that tract or parcel of land situated in the county of Jefferson upon cattail run one of the branches of the river Shannondoah (sic)" "containing one hundred and twenty six acres more or less"--Jefferson County, WV Deed Book 2, 1802-1805, pg 447. The survey must not have been accurate-possibly dating before or when Fairfax purchased the land; see 13 Feb 1805 entry above and 2 June 1810 entry below.

10 April 1805
Jefferson County, Virginia-"Deed Fairfax & N Roper ackd by Fairfax and pro by 3 wit as to Page &OR". Jefferson Co., VA Minute Book, 1803-1807, FHL #0250029

10 Sept 1805
Jefferson County, Virginia-Court appointed commissioners' report that Elizabeth B. Fairfax has voluntarily relinquished her dower rights to the 126 acres described in the above item. Jefferson Co., WV Deed Book 3, 1805-1806, pg 89

23 Dec 1805
Washington, D.C.-"Public sale: 900 acs in Jefferson Co, Va, cld "The Rocks", formerly the prop of Jas. Wormeley, esq; also "The Meadow Farm" -300 acs; & 115 acs nr the former.-Ferdinando Fairfax, Chas Town, Va"-National Intelligencer & Washington Advertiser

1806
Jefferson County, Virginia--Personal Property Tax List: entry for Nicholas: poll tax for one white male over age 16, 2 blacks over age 16, 4 horses/mares, for total tax of $1.63. FHL #2024593. No separate entry for James.

1806
Jefferson County, Virginia-Land Tax Records: Nicholas pays $1.43 in taxes on his 126 acre Cat Tail Run tract. Jefferson County Land Tax Records, Library of Virginia Reel #156

1806
Frederick County, Virginia-Land Tax Records: Nicholas pays $1.36 in taxes on the 88 acres. Frederick County Land Tax Records, Library of Virginia Reel #108

14 Jan 1806
Jefferson County, Virginia-"Ordered that Nicholas Roper [,] Elijah Chamberlain, Wm. Byrd Page and John Gantt or any 3 do appraise estate" of John Nelson. Jefferson Co., Va Minute Book, 1803-1807, FHL #0250029

Feb 1806
Jefferson County, Virginia-Nicholas declines to serve as executor for Joseph Worthington's estate. Ferdinando Fairfax is appointed Administrator-Jefferson Co., WV Fee Book 1806-1809, pg 21 (balcony of Jefferson County Court House)

24 Feb 1806
Alexandria, Virginia--James witnesses a land sale--Alexandria City Deed Book M, pg 144. This is the first known public record which identifies James Roper by name; James is 23 years old. Why is he in Alexandria? Where has he been since 1800?

13 March 1806
Jefferson County, Virginia-Cowan Case: "Cowan v Campbell & order publn v Dft Cowan". For some, unexplained reason, the legal fight between David and Nicholas over the 5 acres has been expanded to include John Campbell and John Cowen. Jefferson County, VA Minute Book, 1803-1807, FHL #0250029

11 June 1806
Jefferson County, Virginia-"Ord that Nicholas Roper, Geo. Wilson, Elijah Chamberlane and William Harris or any 3 appraise said estate" of Joseph Worthington. Jefferson Co., VA Minute Book, 1803-1807. FHL microfilm #0250029

12 Nov 1806
Jefferson County, Virginia-Nicholas serves on 2 juries. Jefferson Co., VA Minute Book, 1803-1807. FHL microfilm #0250029

1807
Jefferson County, Virginia--Personal Property Tax List: "Nicklous Roaper" entry: poll tax for one white male over age 16, 2 blacks age 12-16, 1 black over age 16, 4 horses/mares, total tax amount is illegible. FHL #2024593. No separate entry for James

1807
Jefferson County, Virginia-Land Tax Records: Nicholas pays $1.43 in taxes on the 126 acre tract on Cat Tail Run. Jefferson County Tax Records, Library of Virginia Reel #156

1807
Frederick County, Virginia-Land Tax Records: Nicholas pays $1.36 in taxes on the 88 acre parcel. Frederick County Land Tax Records, Library of Virginia Reel #108

Feb 1807
Jefferson County, Virginia-Entry notes of variety of actions taken by F. Fairfax including purchasing "Negro from Roper"--Jefferson Co., WV Fee Book, 1806-1809, pg 24 (balcony of Jefferson County Court House)

17 Feb 1807
Jefferson County, Virginia-"John Gantt Jr is appd Overseer of the road from Bullskin Run to Berler's North East gate in the room of Nichs Roper". Jefferson Co., VA Minute Book, 1803-1807. FHL #0250029

10 June 1807
Jefferson County, Virginia-Cowan Case: "Cowan v. Campbell & same ord". Jefferson Co., VA Minute Book, 1803-1807. FHL #0250029

15 June 1807
Jefferson County, Virginia-Bargain & Sale: Nicholas purchases from Ferdinadno Fairfax and wife, for "twenty two thousand two hundred and forty five dollars", two tracts of land: the Mountain Tract containing 712 1/4 acres "lying upon the Eastern side of the Shenandoah River", and the River Farm on the west bank containing 400 acres, "which two tracts of land are parts of the lands of James Wormeley, which he sold to said Fairfax in the year 1797 [Frederick Co., VA Superior Court Book No. 4, pg 72], the original tract out of which the whole of said lands were taken having been granted to Mann Page of Gloucestor, by Lord Fairfax and also by an including patent for surplus lands to Ralph Wormeley Father of the said James Wormeley." "The said two tracts having been given in security by mortgage to the said Roper". . . "containing together eleven hundred and twelve acres and a quarter of an acre". Eliza B. Fairfax relinquishes her dower rights; the dower release language states that the 2 tracts were "sold and conveyed unto Nicholas Roper [by] fee simple".- Jefferson County, WV Deed Book #4, 1807-1808, pp 139-141. See above transaction dated 9 October 1797.

22 June 1807
Jefferson County, Virginia--Release of Mortgage: "the said Roper, for his consideration of the sum of Four thousand three hundred & fifty pounds with its interest (The receipt whereof he doth hereby acknowledge). . . doth release [,] relinquish, and quit claim to, unto the said Ferdinando Fairfax . . .all those two Tracts of land called River farm and the Mountain Tract which by a Deed of Mortgage dated the [9th] day of [October] in the year 1797 the said Fairfax conveyed to the said Roper for the purpose of securing the payment of the said sum of money & Interest excepting so much of the said Tracts as are contained in said Fairfax's Deed of Bargain & Sale to said Roper in fee simple, bearing date the 15th day of the present month: To have and to hold the said mortgaged premises as excepted before excepted unto him the said Fairfax, his heirs and assignes forever, free from all claims of the said Roper and all persons claiming under him, with the exceptions of the part conveyed & Sold to him in fee simple as aforesaid."--Jefferson, WV Deed Book 2, 1802-1805, pg 142. See above transactions dated 15 June 1807 and 9 October 1797.

14 July 1807
Jefferson County, Virginia-"Deed Fairfax &we to Roper ackd &OR". "Release Mtge Roper to Fairfax ack &OR". Jefferson Co., VA Minute Book, 1803-1807. FHL #0250029

July 1807
Jefferson County, Virginia-Entry noting fees paid to record June land transactions between F. Fairfax and Nicholas-Jefferson Co., WV Fee Book, 1806-1809, pg 84 (balcony of Jefferson County Court House)

5 Oct 1807
Loudoun County, Virginia-Nicholas witnesses the sale of 3 acres by Ferdinando Fairfax to the trustees of the German Presbyterian Church, Index to Loudoun County Virginia Land Deed Books 2A-2M, Patricia B. Duncan, 2003, pg 186

19 Dec 1807
Jefferson County, Virginia-Nicholas's slave Joe is tried and acquitted of stealing a horse from Robert Fulton. Jefferson Co., VA Minute Book, 1801-1823, FHL #0829870

1808
No Personal Property Tax collection authorized by Virginia legislature

1808
Frederick County-no land tax records at Library of Virginia

1808
Jefferson County, Virginia-Land Tax Records: Nicholas paid a total of $7.81 in taxes on 2 parcels: 126 acres on Cat Tail Run and 1112 1/4 acres (River Farm and Mountain tract). Library of Virginia Reel #156

15 June 1808
Jefferson County, Virginia-Nicholas is a witness to an unspecified transaction between Ferdinando Fairfax and Mary B. Grayson. Jefferson Co., VA Minute Book, 1801-1823, pg 86, FHL #0829870

2 Sept 1808
Jefferson County, Virginia-Announcement that horse races would commence on the second Wednesday in October 1808 and would be conducted under the rules of the Charles Town Jockey Club. Purses of $100 offered for the first day, $60 for the second day." The Farmer's Repository, Charles Town, VA, Vol. I, No. 23, pg 3, col. 4

Oct 1808
Jefferson County, Virginia-Nicholas pays fees to record the Fairfax mortgage release-Jefferson Co., WV Fee Book, 1806-1809, pg 69 (balcony of Jefferson County Court House)

11 Oct 1808
Jefferson County, Virginia-"Assessment of mortgage from Nicholas Roper to Ferdinando Fairfax acknowledged [,] ordered recorded to county ____?___ of Frederick". Jefferson Co., VA Minute Book, 1801-1823, pg 109. FHL #0829870

13 Dec 1808
Jefferson County, Virginia-"Ord that Nichs Roper, Danl Allstadt, Wm. Burnett & Saml Howell or any 3" appraise the estate of Joshua Swayne. Jefferson Co., VA Minute Book 1801-1823, pg 122. FHL #0829870

1809
A significant year for Nicholas: he sells his 88 acres in Frederick County, James is home, and he leases all his land to James for 999 years.

1809
Jefferson County, Virginia--Personal Property Tax List: "Nicholess Roper" entry: two white males over age 16, 3 male slaves over age 16, 7 horses/mares, total tax not given. FHL #2024593 Apparently James is now living at home, with Nicholas and Mary. Where has he been since Feb. 1806?

1809
Frederick County Land Tax Records: Nicholas paid no taxes

1809
Jefferson County Land Tax Records: could find no records at Library of Virginia

1 Jan 1809
Frederick County, Virginia--Nicholas sells to Alexander Milton the same 88 acres of land that he purchased from Thomas Wand on 28 Mar 1803 for 528 pounds. Milton agreed to pay 635 pounds, which was secured by Milton's six promissory notes (bonds), with payments due through 1 Jan 1815. Three men, including Bushrod Stribling (Milton's stepson), co-signed the notes. Frederick Co., VA Chancery Court (loose) papers dated 1833, Library of Virginia Reel #345, Image 673. This transaction begins a 17 year legal headache (referred to as the 'Milton case' in James's chronology) for James after Nicholas dies in 1817. Cannot locate bill of sale in Frederick Co. Was this a private sale? If not recorded, certainly out of character for Nicholas.

Mar & June 1809
Jefferson County, Virginia-Nicholas pays a variety of fees-purpose(s) unclear-Jefferson Co., WV Fee Book, 1806-1809, pg 74 (balcony of Jefferson County Court House)

9 May 1809
Jefferson County, Virginia--Nicholas leased to son James 2 tracts of land (Mountain Track and River Farm) for 999 years on the condition that James pay Nicholas and wife Mary $200 annually during their lifetimes and after their deaths pay $4 annually to Gersham Richards "for the remainder of the term". In a second transaction on the same day, Nicholas leased to son James a third, unnamed tract (Cat Tail Run) for 999 years on the condition that James pay Nicholas and wife Mary $100 annually during their lifetimes and after their deaths pay $2 annually to Gersham Richards. Unable to locate this in Jefferson Co, WV land records. In addition, cannot locate Jefferson County Superior Court records prior to 1835 where this unusual transaction was recorded.

James is 26 years old, a former slave, and Nicholas's illegitimate son. Perhaps Nicholas, age 71, believes that, in order to protect his estate and James's future interest therein, James needed an advocate/representative-hence, Gersham Richards. No other knowledge about Gersham Richards.

Source for this entry is a release recorded in Jefferson County, WV Deed Book 12, page 392, dated 9 June 1823. The date is 5 ½ years after Nicholas's death. This compiler assumes that the date is very soon after the death (for which no records have been found) of Nicholas's widow, Mary Horn.

The release cites the 9 May 1809 contract between Nicholas and Gersham Richards, whereby James will pay Gersham Richards certain, token amounts to maintain the terms of James's 999 year leases of the Mountain Tract, River Farm and Cat Tail Farm. This release documents a subsequent agreement between James Roper and Gersham Richards, whereby for the sum of $250.00, Gersham "doth remise, release and quit claim unto the James Roper . . . the said sum of six dollars per year payable as aforesaid and I do hereby release and discharge the said James . . . from all payment or liability . . . I also covenant and agree that the said James . . . shall and may hold the said tracts or parcel of land free from and clear of the payment of six dollars . . ."

Assuming Mary's death, this release by Gersham for any future payments to him by James would presumably terminate the 999 year leases and James would now control the land outright and unencumbered by the 1809 agreement.

14 June 1809
Jefferson County, Virginia-Cowan Case: David Cowan's case against John Campbell, et. al., was continued by the Court. Jefferson Co., VA Minute Book, 1801-1823, pg 160. FHL #0829870

16 Nov 1809
Jefferson County, Virginia-Nicholas is successful plantiff against Esther Brown in jury trial; record does not describe the basis of the law suit. Jefferson Co., VA Minute Book, 1801-1823, FHL #0829870

1810
Jefferson County, Virginia Federal Census, M252, Roll 69, pg 172, line 22--entry for Nicholas:
     1 white male age 26 and under 45 [probably James]
     1 white male 45 and over [probably Nicholas],
     1 white female age 26 and under 45 [probably Nancy],
     1 white female 45 and over [probably Mary]
     6 slaves
Nicholas and his family members are considered white.

1810
Jefferson County, Virginia-- Personal Property Tax Lists--"Nicholas Rooper" entry: 2 white males over age 16, 3 blacks over age 16, or over, 6 horses/mares, total tax not given. FHL #2024593

1810
Jefferson County-Land Tax Records--Nicholas paid a total of $7.81 in taxes on his 126 acres on Cat Tail Run and 1,112 1/4 acres (Mountain tract and River Farm). Jefferson County Land Tax Records, 1802-1835, Library of Virginia Reel #156

1810
Jefferson County, Virginia, Federal Census: 352 free Negroes, 3,532 slaves, 7,769 whites, for a total population of 11,851

18 Jan 1810
Washington County, Maryland-James marries Nancy Curuthers. Washington County, MD Marriage License Index, 1799-1810, n.p. James is 27 years old. Who is Nancy?

8 Feb 1810
Jefferson County, Virginia--Nicholas and wife Mary ("late Mary Horn") Roper execute power of attorney. They appoint James Irwin of Cumberland Co., PA to represent their interests in any land "as we are or may be entitled unto a certain patent granted, under the hand and seal of the Governor of Virginia bearing date the 1st day of September [sic] Anno Domini 1773 unto sundry officers and soldiers of the British Army serving in Virginia and their Representatives of whom the said Mary was one named in said patent and entitled to four hundred acres, or her proportional part out of the whole quantity of land thereby conveyed being nominally 28 thousand four hundred acres . . ."-- Jefferson Co., WV Deed Book No. 5, 1808-1810, pg. 273. This goes back to the 1 Dec 1773 entry above, whereby Mary and others were granted 28,400 acres in Botetourt County.

14 Feb 1810
Jefferson County, Virginia-Cowan Case: David Cowan wins his case against John Campbell, et. al. "Decreed and ordered (see decree filed)". Jefferson Co., VA Minute Book, 1801-1823. FHL #0829870

13 March 1810
Jefferson County, Virginia-Nicholas serves on a Grand Jury. Jefferson Co., VA Minute Book, 1801-1823, pg 215. FHL #0829870

11 April 1810
Jefferson County, Virginia-Cowan Case: Nicholas has failed to honor the Court's decree in favor of Cowan. "It appearing to the satisfaction [of the] Court that a copy of the Decree pronounced by the Court at last February Term in the case of David Cowan agt. John Campbell et all hath been duly served upon the Dft. Nicholas Roper and it also appearing to the satisfaction of the Court that a Deed duly prepared has been presented to said Dft. Roper for Execution conveying the property in said Decree mentioned agreeably to the directions thereof, and said Roper having failed & refused to execute said Deed and to comply with said Decree, on the motion of said Cowan, it is ordered that a rule be served on said Roper to show cause if any he hath at the next Court why an attachment should not be ___?___ against him to compell [sic] a compliance with said Decree." Jefferson Co., VA Minute Book, 1801-1823, pg 228. FHL #0829870

8 May 1810
Jefferson County, Virginia-Cowan Case: Nicholas is still stalling. "The rule made at last Court on Nicholas Roper to show cause if any he hath why an attachment should not [be] issued against him to compell [sic] a compliance with a decree pronounced by this Court at the last Feby term in the case of David Cowan complt vs John Campbell et.al. Dfts having been duly executed on the said Roper he having failed to show any cause & being solomnly called & came not therefore it is considered by the Court ___?___ find, ordered & decreed that an attachment issue agt. Nicholas Roper to bring his body before the Court at the next term to answer for the contempt aforesaid returnable fine. Jefferson Co., VA Minute Book, 1801-1823, pg 235, FHL #0829870.

12 June 1810
Jefferson County, Virginia--Execution of a court decree, dated 14 February 1810, to settle a dispute between David Cowan, plantiff, and John Campbell, Ferdinando Fairfax, Nicholas Roper, and John Cowan, defendants, whereby Nicholas was directed to convey to David "by good and sufficient deed the five acres of land in controversy between the parties". This record documents that David Cowan paid Nicholas Roper "the sum of one cent in hand" in exchange for which David received a deed for the five acres. Jefferson County, WV Deed Book #6, 1810-1811, pg 57. (The five acres were part of Nicholas's 126 acre parcel on Cat Tail Run that he purchased from Fairfax in 1805.)

14 Aug 1810
Jefferson County, Virginia-"Deed Nicholas Roper to David Cowan pro by Jn Baker [,[ Matthew Ranson & William Tate &OR". Jefferson Co., VA Minute Book, 1801-1823, pg 257. FHL #0829870

11 Sept 1810
Jefferson County, Virginia-After years of lobbying Jefferson County officials, Ferdinando Fairfax finally received permission from the Court to operate a ferry "across the mouth of the river Shenandoah" between his home Shannon Hill and his tract known as Shannondale. The Court sets the following rates: "For a man five cents & for a horse five cents & for the transportation of articles & things across said ferry the rates shall be as follows To Wit for every coach chariot waggon & driver same as for six horses, for every four wheeled chaise Phaton & driver same as four horses, for every two wheeled riding carriage same as two horses, for every hogs head of tobacco the same as for one horse, for every head of __?__ cattle the same as for one horse, for every sheep, hog, goat or lamb one fifth part of the ferriage for one horse." Jefferson Co., VA Minute Book, 1801-1823, pg 266. FHL #0829870

26 Oct 1810
Loudoun County, Virginia-Nicholas witnesses the sale of 78 acres by Ferdinando Fairfax and William Byrd Page to Cath. Nieucewanger-Index to Loudoun County Virginia Land Deed Books 2A-2M, Patricia B. Duncan, 2003, pg 249

1811
Jefferson County, Virginia Personal Property Tax Lists--"Nicholass Roper" entry: poll tax on 2 white males over age 16, 3 blacks over age 16, 6 horses/mares, total tax not given. FHL #2024593

1811
Jefferson County, Virginia-Land Tax Records--Nicholas paid a total of $7.81 in taxes on 126 acres on Cat Tail Run and 1,112 1/4 acres (Mountain Tract and River Farm). Jefferson County Land Tax Records, 1802-1835, Library of Virginia Reel #156

27 May 1811
Jefferson County, Virginia-Nicholas sworn onto a Grand Jury. Jefferson Co., VA Minute Book, 1801-1823, pg 321. FHL #0829870

31 May 1811
Jefferson County, Virginia-Charles Town trustees enact new laws "for the internal regulation of said town". Examples: "A regulation prohibiting the galloping of any horse within the limits of said town . . ." "A regulation prohibiting the discharge of fire arms within the limits of said town . . ." "A regulation prohibiting acts of indecency in the market house of said town . . ." "A regulation prohibiting the placing of any dead carcase (sic) or putrifying substance in the streets or alleys of said town . . ."-Farmer's Repository, Charlestown, VA, 31 May 1811, Vol. IV, No. 166, pg 1

17 Sept 1811
Jefferson County, Virginia (?)--Nicholas's first grandchild Nicholas Osborn Roper born to James and Nancy Roper. Jefferson County, West Virginia Register of Births and Deaths, 1866-1880, pg 86, states Nicholas Osborn, a white male, died 19 November 1872, age 61 years, 2 months, 2 days. 1840 Federal Census, Jefferson County, he's probably enumerated with his brother William Thornton Roper, whose family was listed as white. Cannot locate him in the 1850 Census. 1860 Federal Census, Pope County, IL, white male, living next to his sister-in-law, Sarah Cowan Roper Robb. 1870 Federal Census, Jefferson County, West Virginia, pg 518, describes Nicholas [Osborn] Roper as age 59, mulatto, retired farmer, value of real estate as $32,000, value of personal property as $600. See Nicholas Roper's 1812 will, James's 1865 will and its 1867 codicil..Nicholas Osborn may have never married, but he had at least 2 children, probably by Louise Newman. Both children married into the Goens/Goings/Goines family of free blacks residing in Jefferson County as early as 1806.

1812
Jefferson County, Virginia Personal Property Tax Lists--"Nicholass Roper" entry: poll tax for 2 white males age 16 or over, 1 male slave between age 12-15, 6 male slaves age 16 or over, 8 horses/mares, total tax not given. FHL #2024593

1812
Jefferson County, Virginia-Land Tax Records: Nicholas paid a total of $7.81 in taxes on his 126 acre Cat Tail Run parcel and 1,112 1/4 acres (Mountain Tract and River Farm). Jefferson County Land Tax Records, 1802-1835, Library of Virginia Reel #156

27 April 1812
Jefferson County, Virginia-"At a meeting of the Freeholders of the County of Jefferson at the Court house of the said County on the 27th day of April 1812 for the purpose of electing two fit persons to represent said County in the next General Assembly-The number of votes for each candidate are as follows-". Nicholas voted for Rawleigh Morgan and William Tate; they both lost. Jefferson County, Virginia Poll Book (Ms 80-283),West Virginia State Archives.

27 Apr 1812
Jefferson County, Virginia--Nicholas executed his last will and testament, names his illegitimate son James, his grandson Nicholas Osborn Roper, future (unborn) grandchildren, and his (unnamed) wife as heirs. Grandson Nicholas Osborn receives all Nicholas's "land property in Jefferson County", including his lot in Charles Town, plus 2 lots in Alexandria. If James had any additional children, Nicholas's land to be divided equally among them all. This clause created numerous legal difficulties for and among James's children and grandchildren for decades after James died. Grandson Nicholas Osborn to pay his father James $200 annually. James received all Nicholas's livestock, farming utensils, slaves and "bills, bonds and open accounts". Nicholas's wife (not named) to receive slave George, one horse, household furniture, $300 per year or one third of the rents from his real estate. Cash on hand to be equally divided between James and the unnamed wife. James and John McPherson co-executors--Jefferson Co., WV Will Book 3, pg. 20. No specific provision made for James's slave mother, who may or may not (1) be alive &/or (2) be owned by Nicholas; she may have been among the unnamed slaves he bequeathed to James. Because of the terms of the 1809 999 year lease by Nicholas to James, and the fact that Nicholas Osborn is an infant, it appears that James will be the de facto owner of most of Nicholas's property upon Nicholas's death..In addition, taken together, the 1809 lease contract and the will seem to ensure that James's unusual status in the community will not jeopardize his rights, or those of his children, to Nicholas's property.

26 May 1812
Jefferson County, Virginia-Nicholas served on 2 juries. Jefferson Co., VA Minute Book, 1801-1823, pp 393 & 394. FHL #0829870

18 June 1812
U.S. declares war on Great Britain

1812-1817
Transition time: Nicholas is an old man; only 1 land transaction (Burchell) during those years. James is establishing his family and his position in the community as Nicholas's heir, and tending to his and his father's properties. Presumably, their priority was to ensure that no person or public body would challenge James's rights, as a former slave and an illegitimate son, to Nicholas's estate.

1813
Jefferson County, Virginia Personal Property Tax Lists--Nicholas Roper entry: 1 white male age 16 or over, 3 male slaves age 16 or over, 3 horses/mares, total tax not given. FHL #2024593 Nicholas is 75.

1813
Jefferson County, Virginia--Personal Property Tax Lists--James Roper entry: 1 white male age 16 or over, 3 male slaves age 16 or over, 5 horses/mares, total tax not given. FHL #2024593. This is James's first appearance by name in tax records; he is 30 years old. As a married free male over age 21, he is responsible for his own tax. Since the 1812 Virginia Personal Property Tax was compiled, Nicholas apparently has given James 3 male slaves over the age 16 and 5 horses to help James establish his new household. He is not assessed any land tax.

1813
Jefferson County, Virginia-Land Tax Records: Nicholas paid a total of $10.46 on his 126 acre Cat Tail Run parcel and the 1,112 1/4 acres (Mountain Tract and River Farm). Jefferson County Land Tax Records, 1802-1835, Library of Virginia Reel #156.

25 Jan 1813
Jefferson County, Virginia-Nicholas's slave Oliver was charged with and acquitted of stealing wheat from James Sanders. Nicholas's friends and business associates, Ferdinando Fairfax and Gersham Keyes, are 2 of the 5 Gentlemen Justices for the trial. Jefferson Co., WV Court Minute Book, 1807-1813, pg 443. FHL #829870

1814
Jefferson County, Virginia--Personal Property Tax Lists, South District-"Nicholass Roper" entry: 1 white male, 1 black male over 12 and under 16, 3 black males age 16 or over, 3 horses/mare, no tax given. FHL #2024593

1814
Jefferson County, Virginia-Personal Property Tax Lists, South District--James Roper entry: 1 white male, 1 black male over 12 and under 16, 3 black males age 16 or over, 5 horses/mules. FHL #2024593. Again, he is not assessed any land tax.

1814
Jefferson County, Virginia-Land Tax Records: Nicholas paid a total of $13.83 in taxes on (1) 121 acres with "residence" on Cat Tail Run "Joining G. Musher", located 3 miles east of the court house; and (2) 1112 1/4 acres "Joining S. River", 9 miles southeast of the court house. (3) He also, for the first time, paid taxes on the lot in Charles Town, valued at $10; tax totaled 28 cents. Jefferson County Land Tax Records, 1802-1835, Library of Virginia Reel #156

ca. 1814
Jefferson County, Virginia (?)--Nicholas's second grandchild William Thornton Roper born to James and Nancy Roper. William married Sarah W. Cowan, 7 March 1839, Virginia Free Press, Charlestown, VA, 4 April 1839, pg 3, col. 1. 1840 Jefferson County, Virginia Federal Census, pg 289, line 5--William T. Roper's entry: one white male age 0-5, 3 white males age 20-30, no white females, 4 slaves. William and Sarah had 3 sons, one of whom lived to maturity and who inherited his father's share of James's estate. 1850 Jefferson County, Virginia Federal Census Mortality Schedule: "Thornton Roper" died age 35, August 1849. He died intestate; his father James was estate administrator.

6 Jun 1814
Frederick County, Virginia-Deed of Release by Nicholas to John Burchelle for a mortgage on "a certain tract or parcel of land in Frederick County whereon Burchel now lives"--Frederick Co., VA Deed Book No. 36, pg. 357. See 1 Apr 1799 entry.

24 Dec 1814
Treaty of Ghent ends War of 1812

1815
Jefferson County, Virginia-- Personal Property Tax Lists, District of T. Smallwood-"Nicholass Roper" entry: 1 white male 16 and over, 4 blacks over 12, 3 horses/mares, 11 head of cattle, one mahogany sideboard with doors and drawers worth $20, one chest of drawers not mahogany. FHL #2024593

1815
Jefferson County, Virginia-Personal Property Tax Lists, District of T. Smallwood--James Roper entry: 1 white male 16 or over, 5 blacks over 12, 5 horses/mares, 13 head of cattle, 1 silver watch, 1 mahogany sideboard with doors and drawers worth $30. FHL #2024593. This might have been the watch that James mentions in his 1867 will as a bequest to his youngest child Washington Albert. Again, he is not assessed any land taxes.

1815
Jefferson County, Virginia--Nicholas owns land in Charles Town and on the Shenandoah River--1815 Directory of Virginia Landowners (and Gazatteer), Volume 6, Northwest Region, pg 119, abstracted by Roger G. Ward, 1999. See sources at Library of Virginia: Microfilm reel #FHL 468,680 and Woods/Boye 1821 map of Jefferson County

1815
Jefferson County, Virginia-Land Tax Records: Nicholas paid a total of $13.83 in taxes on Cat Tail Run "Joining George Musher" and Mountain Tract and River Farm "Joining Shenanndoah" (sic). Jefferson County Land Tax Records, 1802-1835, Library of Virginia, Reel #156.

1816
Jefferson County, Virginia--Personal Property Tax Lists, South District-Nicholas Roper entry: 1 white male over 16, 3 slaves over 12, 4 horses, total tax of $2.82. FHL #2024593

1816
Jefferson County, Virginia-Personal Property Tax Lists, South District: James Roper entry: 1 white male over 16, 4 slaves, 4 horses, total tax of $3.52. FHL #2024593. No land tax assessment.

1816
Jefferson County, Virginia-Land Tax Records: Nicholas paid a total of $12.22 in taxes on the Cat Tail Run tract "Adjoining Geo. Slusser" and Mountain Tract & River Farm "Adjoining Shenandoah River"

1817
Jefferson County, Virginia Personal Property Tax Lists, Southern District-James Roper entry: 1 white male over 16, 7 slaves over 12, 10 horses, total tax not shown. FHL #2024593. No land tax.

1817
Jefferson County, Virginia-no Personal Property or Land Tax Records for Nicholas

13/15 Jan 1817
Jefferson County, Virginia--Nicholas's death---sources: (1) death date of 13 Jan 1817: The Farmer's Repository, Charles Town, Jefferson County, Virginia, 15 Jan 1817, Vol. IX, No. 458, pg 2, col. 4, "[Died] On Monday the 13th instant, Mr. Nicholas Roper" (2) 15 Jan 1817, headstone, Roper family cemetery, River Farm, Jefferson County, WV. Nicholas had just celebrated his seventy-ninth birthday (or 77th, per his headstone).

16 Jan 1817
Jefferson County, Virginia--agreement between James Roper and Nicholas's widow Mary: ". . . Mary agrees to receive as her right of dower in the estate . . . a comfortable house [to be built by James] adjoining the one she now occupies which she is to enjoy during her natural life free from all encumbrances" and the services of the "black woman Nanny during her life", in addition to the $300 yearly stipend and services of slave George as provided by Nicholas's will. James agrees to assume the "expense of keeping three milch[sic] cows and a riding horse" for Mary. In return, Mary relinquishes all claims against her deceased husband's estate as well as claims against "James Roper and his children Nicholas Osborn and William Thornton Roper". Mary "is to have all the furniture in the house except the clock, desk and bookcase to her only use during her natural life."--Deed Book 10, 1816-1818, pg 14. With this agreement, James now controls all of the land that Nicholas accumulated in Virginia.

27 Jan 1817
Jefferson County, Virginia- "George Slosser, Frances Gardner, Nathan Craghill and Wm. Graghill or any three" were appointed to appraise the estate--Jefferson Co., WV Deed Book 3, pg 20. Records of Administration and/or Inventory Appraisal and/or estate sale have not been located.

27 Jan 1817
Jefferson County, Virginia-James and John McPherson are appointed executors of Nicholas's estate, per his will. In addition, the above agreement between James and Mary is proven, with David Cowan, George Slosser and Sally Southward as witnesses-Orders (Book-not numbered--first entry dated 22 Mar 1813, last entry dated Nov 1820), pg. 332, balcony of Jefferson Co., WV Court House

26 April 1819
Jefferson County, Virginia Personal Property Tax Lists-Mary Roper entry: 1 slave over 16, total tax of 70 cents. FHL #2024593

1820
Jefferson County, Virginia Personal Property Tax Lists-Mary Roper entry: 2 slaves over 16, total tax of $1.40. FHL #2024593. This entry and her enumeration (free white female, age 45 or older) in James's household in the 1820 Federal Census are last known records of Mary Horn Roper. She is most certainly dead by the 9 June 1823 release agreed to by James and Gersham Richards.

24 Sept 1820
Ferdinando Fairfax died.

18 Dec 1820
Fairfax County, Virginia--Ferdinando Fairfax's will proven--Fairfax Co., VA Will Book M, No. 1, pg 167

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Attachment:
Nicholas Roper's Land Transactions


Nicholas Roper

History of Known, Documented Land Transactions


12 Feb 1788
Berkeley County, VA-registers Land Office Treasury Warrant #47 for 100 acres.

7 April 1788
*Berkeley County, VA-Bargain & Sale: buys lot #27 (½ acre) in Charles Town from Charles Washington, et. ux.

15 Sept 1788
Berkeley County, VA-registers Land Office Treasury Warrant #99 for 54 acres.

24 June 1789
Berkeley County, VA-Bargain & Sale: buys 50 acres from James Wormly, et. ux.

20 Sept 1790
Berkeley County, VA-Bargain & Sale: buys 200 acres from Ralph Wormley Esq., executor for his father's (Ralph Wormeley) estate

22 March 1795
Louisa County, VA-Bargain & Sale: buys 400 acres from Thomas Wingfield

9 Oct 1797
Frederick County, VA-Mortgage: contracts to buy the Mountain Tract (684 acres) and part of the Glade Tract (future survey to determine acreage) from Ferdinando Fairfax, et. ux (5 payment installment plan)

9 Oct 1797
Frederick County, VA-Bargain & Sale: sells 3 unnamed tracts of land totaling 300 acres (purchased from Ralph Wormeley, James Wormley & Isaac Kent) and the 400 acres in the Louisa Co. tract (including slaves, farm equipment and livestock) to Ferdinando Fairfax

1 April 1799
Frederick County, VA-Mortgage: John Burchell puts up 2 tracts totaling 135 acres as security for a loan of 150 pounds from Nicholas (payment due on demand)

1802
Louisa County, VA-clears title for 400 acres so Fairfax can sell the parcel to David Holmes

28 March 1803
Frederick County, VA-Bargain & Sale: buys 2 tracts of land totaling 88 acres from Thomas Wand, et. ux.

30 Aug 1804
*Alexandria, VA-Bargain & Sale: buys a town lot from Able Janney

6 Apr 1805
*Jefferson County, VA-Bargain & Sale: buys 126 acres on Cat Tail Run from Ferdinando Fairfax, et. ux., and William B. Page

15 June 1807
*Jefferson County, VA-Bargain & Sale: buys the Mountain Tract (712 1/4 acres) on the east side of the Shenandoah River and River Farm (400 acres) on the west bank from Ferdinando Fairfax, et. ux. (See 9 Oct 1797)

22 June 1807
Jefferson County, VA-Release of Mortgage on land purchased from Ferdinando Fairfax on 9 Oct 1797

1 Jan 1809
Frederick County, VA-Mortgage: contracts to sell 88 acres (that he purchased from Thomas Wand in 1803) to Alexander Milton

9 May 1809
Jefferson County, VA-leases to son James the Mountain Tract, the River Farm, and the Cat Tail Run parcel for 999 years

1810
Jefferson County, VA-Bargain & Sale, under court order, sells 5 acres of Cat Tail Run tract to David Cowan for one cent

6 June 1814
Frederick County, VA-Deed of Release (mortgage) to John Burchell for 150 pounds that Nicholas loaned him on 1 April 1799

*Properties that Nicholas owned when he died.


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