1. William ROACH was born 21 March 1750 in Ireland - Died 10 November 1840 in Jefferson Co, OH
TALES OF THE ROACH TAPROOTS
1) Our ROACH ancestors originated in France. They seem to have been Huguenots [Huguenot: French Protestant, adherent of a Swiss political movement, (influenced by Basancon Hugues 1532 a Swiss political leader) of eidgnot, eidgnoss confederate: a member of the French Reformed Communion. Webster's Dict.]. They fled from France after Louis XIV revoked the Edict of Nantes in 1685. The ROACH that left France was probably a grandparent of our William ROACH. The Huguenot exodus from France sent the immigrants to many European countries and the American colonies.
2) From France our ROACH ancestors probably took refuge in England, as Charles I was an ally to the Huguenots. From England our ROACH ancestors crossed the Irish Sea and settled in North Ireland. It appears in the early 1770s three ROACH brothers left Killarney, Ireland (John, Thomas, and William) and journeyed to Barbados. Little is known of the descendants of John and Thomas ROACH, other than there are many in Virginia, Tennessee, North and South Carolina.
3) Our earliest ROACH ancestor of record is William ROACH, brother to John and Thomas ROACH. William ROACH immigrated to Virginia from Barbados in the 1770s. He married Nancy GATLIN, February 2, 1775, and had at least one son Rueban ROACH before being killed at the Battle of Gates Defeat, Camden, South Carolina in 1780 of the American Revolution.
4) Rueban ROACH, son of William and Nancy GATLIN-ROACH, went to Jackson County, Ohio before 1819. Rueban ROACH was a doctor of medicine. He married Elizabeth DAY, daughter of Samuel DAY and Sophie HAYDEN, sister of Israel DAY, who was the father of Susanna DAY, who married Theodore ROACH. Rueban and Elizabeth DAY-ROACH had eight children while they lived in Jackson County, Ohio. Four boys and four girls.
5) The youngest of their children, Emery ROACH, was born in 1842 in Lawrence, Ohio, Suspect the county boundaries had changed putting our ROACH family in the new county of Lawrence. The two eldest children, Mary May and Catherine F. ROACH were married in Lawrence County, Ohio. Mary May ROACH married John Petry 2 May 1838, and Catherine F. ROACH married Isaac KINGREY 14 April 1842.
6) In 1847, the Rueban ROACH family moved from their Ohio home to Gentry County, Missouri. John and Mary May ROACH-PETRY appear to have moved with the family to Missouri. Not long after arriving in Gentry County, Missouri, tragedy struck the family of Rueban ROACH. While on a hunting trip, Levi ROACH, Rueban ROACH'S third son and sixth child, age 15 years, was killed when his gun misfired.
7) Sometime before 1860, Rueban ROACH moved his family to Harrison County, Missouri. Bethany is the county seat. The County lines probably changed around the family home and became Worth County and the town of Allendale became their closest trade center.
8) Rueban and Elizabeth DAY-ROACH's second son and fifth child, Eli ROACH, born 31 May 1884, Jackson County, Ohio, married Miss Elizabeth Jan Gable, born 13 October 1833, Platte County, Missouri, daughter of Jane GABLE, married July 1850, in Worth County, Missouri. They raised 14 children in their Allendale, Worth county, Missouri home. Ten girls and four boys. Five of the girls married into the WEDDLE family. ROACH is a well known family in the community of Allendale. The WEDDLE reunion is the 2nd week of August in Allendale, Missouri. It is in its 70th + year. Its a week long camp-out at the "Nation" near the town of Allendale, ending with a picnic at the town park in the center of Allendale. The "Nation" is a piece of land outside Allendale that "Wintered" a tribe of "Mesquakie native Americans" that were force marched through Allendale on their way to the Oklahoma territory in the late 1800s. The weather turned to blizzard conditions early that fall, making it necessary to stop the march and encamp the tribe near Allendale until better weather. The land became known as the "Nation." Some time later a schoolhouse was erected there. This Schoolhouse was attended by Purney ROACH-NOBLITT and Roy Otto ROACH in their school days. Milton Howard GREGG, father of Barbara Elizabeth GREGG-ROACH was known as "The Shepherd of the Nation" because of his medical assistance tot he people of the area. (See GREGG family).
9)The fourth son and eighth child of Eli and Elizabeth Jane GABLE-ROACH was Theodore ROACH, born 22 January 1864 at Hatfield, Harrison County, Missouri. Theodore ROACH found the love of his heart in Miss Nancy Olive GREGG. Theodore and "Olive" had planned to marry; but before they could do so, tragedy in the form of influenza took "Olive" at the tender age of 16 years. Theodore chose to marry Barbara Elizabeth "Lizzie" GREGG, older sister of "Olive." They were married 26 March 1886 in Worth County, Missouri. Theodore is reported to have treated his wife and children roughly. One wonders if marrying his second choice a partners was a factor.
10) Theodore and "Lizzie" GREGG-ROACH had eight children at Allendale, Worth County, Missouri. Three Weeks after their last child was born on 7 February 1903, the family traveled by train to the Oklahoma territory to file a claim on government land. They left with a number of relative families from Allendale, Missouri. They all filed claims on land near the town of Arnett, Oklahoma. Theodore ROACH's sister, Mary Olive ROACH-WEDDLE, named the town of Arnett, Oklahoma. Theodore ROACH was the supervisor in the construction of the County Courthouse at Arnett, which still stands today.
11) He returned home to Allendale, Worth County, Missouri for a short time before 1912, and the children attended the "Nation School." The family was doing really well in Oklahoma; but Theodore suffered from itchy feet, and he woke up one morning, sold everything, and went back to Missouri. The family later returned to Arnett, Oklahoma and bought a relinquishment from someone that wished to sell their claim of land. Theodore was a "Locator," helping settlers find water on their claims and digging the wells. He would accept payment in the form of livestock and food stuffs. Cash money was a scarce commodity.
12) A sizable herd of cattle was obtained for the family from the well digging services of Theodore ROACH. Since the family had no fences to pasture the cattle, the job of herding the cattle to forage fell to the children. Tom and Purney ROACH were the ones put in charge of herding. For entertainment, they rode the calves and became quite good. They even had dreams of becoming rodeo riders. Heartache came to the family in the form of a bull named Joker. He had a disagreeable nature, actually a mean nature. Tom ROACH, when he was about 14 years old, was riding Joker one day did not get away soon enough when he dismounted -- and Joker stomped him, causing severe injuries to Tom's groin and testicles. A doctor was called, and some surgery was performed; but Tom was never really well again. From that fateful day, He Tom was never the same.
13) Lizzie, Tom's mother, was hanging clothes when Joker attacked her, knocking her down and butting her around. The family was able to get the bull off her; but Lizzie was not well ever again.
14) Tom ROACH began traveling to find work after he healed somewhat, and went to Colorado and did some ranch work until he wasn't able to work. He then returned home. Lizzie wasn't doing well, and it was decided that the family would travel with hopes that it would help her and Tom. They left their home at Arnett, Oklahoma and went to pick cotton in the fall. They were near Strong City, Oklahoma when Tom ROACH died 6 October 1911. He was buried in the Strong City Cemetery, now known as the Pioneer Cemetery, in an unmarked grave.
15) The family continued to follow the cotton harvest at Indiahoma, Oklahoma. While working for "Pink" Ellis, Lizzie took to her bed early one night. When her daughter, Gloxinia, went to check on her, she found Lizzie in an odd state of repose. Screaming, "Momma, Momma" and shaking her mother's body, Gloxinia temporarily revived her. Her mother's last words were, "Oh no! Now I have to go through that again." She closed her eyes and was gone. Barbara Elizabeth "Lizzie" GREGG-ROACH died 13 December 1912.
16) Theodore ROACH's health was failing, so he took his remaining five children back to their home near Arnett, Oklahoma. He encouraged his daughters Gloxinia and Purney to marry. They, therefore, married two brothers Riley Earl and Oscar Lee NOBLITT from Durham, Oklahoma. Purney ROACH married Oscar Lee NOBLITT 4 October 1914.
17) Oscar, Purney, Theodore, and Donahue, went to New Mexico to file a claim on land. Not long after Oscar and Purney were married. Theodore and Purney were running a restaurant. Gloxinia came for a time to help, but returned to Oklahoma with her husband Riley Earl NOBLITT. Oscar Lee NOBLITT filed on a claim and was shepherding for a sheep rancher near Vaughn, New Mexico. Donahue was helping Oscar with the sheep. Ermson ROACH stayed around Arnett/Durham, Oklahoma until his death in 1920.
18) Roy ROACH went to California with his wife Dora SPARKS about that time. Gloxinia ROACH married Riley Earl NOBLITT December 1913. Gloxinia ROACH-NOBLITT had two daughters before her untimely death on 17 April 1918. Riley Earl NOBLITT was neither faithful nor kind to his wife. The cause of her death is rumored to be at his hand. Riley Earl NOBLITT is recorded to have had eight wives before his death, but chose to be buried by Gloxinia at the Fairview cemetery in Durham, Oklahoma. Gloxinia and Purney ROACH were 15 years and 14 years old when they married.
19) In Vaughn, New Mexico, 22 July 1915, Purney ROACH-NOBLITT gave birth to a baby girl at the age of 15 years. The birth was extremely difficult, and Purney became very ill afterwards. The Family took her by train to Higgins, Texas where a friend was able to take her in while she recuperated. Theodore ROACH was on his way to pick up his granddaughter, Georgia Mae NOBLITT, from a neighbor's home when he collapsed on the streets of Higgins, Texas. He died of a lung hemorrhage July of 1915. He is buried at the city cemetery in Higgins, Texas next to his uncle Ezra ROACH.
20 From here the ROACH children and their families traveled around awhile. Oscar Lee and Purney ROACH-NOBLITT went to Oklahoma, Missouri, Nebraska, and Texas. Riley Earl NOBLITT left his two daughters, Zela and Crystal NOBLITT, to be raised by his parents William Jerdin and Matilda HAWKINS-NOBLITT. Roy Otto and Dora SPARKS-ROACH were in California for a time, then Idaho, before going and settling in New Mexico on a truck farm in Penaso Canyon, Otero County about 15 miles south of Cloudcroft, New Mexico as the crow flies.
21) They first went to Las Cruces, New Mexico for one year where they share-cropped a small farm. From there they traveled three days by horse and wagon across the Organ, Mountains and Tularosa Basin desert to Alamogordo, New Mexico, which was a seventy mile trip. Roy Otto ROACH traded his team of horses and wagon for his first Model T Ford truck. It took the family two more days to reach the farm.
22) Oscar and Purney ROACH-NOBLITT left Pampa, Texas and journeyed back to New Mexico in 1929. Oscar found work working the logging woods of Otero County near the town of Marcia. Today, nothing remains of the town except the cemetery.
23) Donahue ROACH left Durham, Oklahoma around 1917 after witnessing a murder. He was 14 years old at the time. He hoboed the country -- went to California, did farm and dairy work, and for additional money he worked as an extra in movies. He showed up periodically to check on Roy and Purney. Donahue introduced Roy to the commercial warehouse to sell the farms produce in the 1930s. Prior to this, Roy sold his harvest house to house. Selling the harvest to warehouses in Alamogordo, El Paso, and San Angelo increased the profits of the truck farm. Donahue's wandering lifestyle never set well with his older brother, Roy, and was a bone of contention between the two.
24) Donahue ROACH made his way in the world. After the death of his parents, he returned to Missouri and settled down at the age of 36 years with Ora WILSON a widow with a son and daughter. He worked for the Missouri Department of Transportation until his retirement in the 1960s. Ora WILSON-ROACH died in 1986 at Stanberry, Missouri. Donahue ROACH still lives in Stanberry, Missouri, as of this writing (18 May 1997), and celebrated his 94th birthday 7 February 1997.
25) Purney ROACH-NOBLITT and children left New Mexico in August 1939 and went to live with Purney's aunt Emma GREGG-EWING in Oklahoma. Oscar NOBLITT joined the family later and a farm was bought near Freedom, Oklahoma in 1946 where the children finished school.
26) Roy and Dora SPARKS-ROACH bought a 180 acre cotton farm ten miles south of Deming, New Mexico in 1948. He left his three sons, Vaughn, Valon and Vance, to tend to the four farms in the Peñasco Canyon. The sons would live on the Deming farm each farming season to help their parents with the farm, while the two others managed the ones in Peñasco Canyon.
To be Continued...
William ROACH and Nancy GATLIN had the following children:
+2 i. Dr. Rueban ROACH.
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