Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Finally! The ROPP Connection - Helen A. ROPP

My first few posts were more or less background for getting into the ROPP family, which I will start today.

A few days ago, I mentioned my grandfather,Vaughn INGERSON.  What's the connection with François and Frederique ROPP?  Here it is:

Vaughn's mother was Helen ROPP.  Helen's father was Ernest ROPP. Ernest's Father was François ROPP.

Helen ROPP has been an interesting story for me, and a bit of a brick wall, despite her daughter, my great aunt, ML, helping me with what information she knows.

For anyone else researching this ROPP family of François and Frederique, you may not recognize the name "Mattie Carolina Kelley" as being Ernest ROPP's wife and/or mother to Helen.  ML told me years ago the story that Helen was born in Baltimore, MD to Ernest and Mattie (Martha?), but that Mattie left soon after Helen was born. The story as I recall it is that Mattie wanted to pursue an acting career and may have gone to New York to make it big.

1910 Household Containing  Helen ROPP
By 1910, Helen ROPP is living in Boylston, MA with her grandmother, Frederique. (By this time François had already passed away).   But her father Ernest is not listed as a member of the household at this time.

1920 Household Containing Helen ROPP
By 1920, Ernest is back in the picture and the ROPP family is renting an apartment on East Kendall St. in Worcester, MA according to the U.S. Federal Census for that year.  At this time, Ernest has a wife, Mary, and 2 more children, Irene and Francis D.  I believe Mary's surname before marrying Ernest was HOLLERAN, though I am not sure why I have that in my notes. I don't seem to have a source for that bit of information.  At this time, Helen ROPP was 13.  Irene was 5, and Francis D. was 2.

We learn from the 1920 census that Ernest's wife, Mary and the 5 year old, Irene were born in Canada.  Francis D. was born in Massachusetts, which means Ernest was probably in Canada in 1910 (possibly following mill work) where he met and eventually married Mary.  If Irense was 5 and born in Canada and Francis was 2  and born in Massachusetts, Ernest and his new family must have returned to Massachusetts sometime between 1915 and 1918 or thereabouts.

Frederique was still living in Boylston in 1920, though Ernest was now in Worcester, about a half hour drive today on MA-70 (according to Google Maps)  Ernest's occupation at this time is listed as a machinist working in construction.

More to come on Helen and All the ROPPs I know about in upcoming posts.


  1. Interesting that you say Mattie went to NYC for an acting career. Although I had not heard of Mattie before, one of our family stories is that Ernest was smitten by a NYC showgirl but had his heart broken and became more reclusive after that. (Although I suppose not too reclusive if he had kids with Mary(?) Holleran after that!)

  2. Oh that is interesting, Jim. And since we've never talked before about this, it helps lend some backing to the tale to know 2 branches of the family have a similar story going on. Thanks for sharing that!