Surname Saturday: Rupe/Rupp/Roop

SurnameSaturday_smToday’s surname is a family name – my great grandmother Maude Hall was a Rupe.  She was quite a character (more on that later).  The name is mostly likely of Germanic origins although there are various theories as to its exact meaning and derivation:

4Crests: A baptismal name for “son of Robert” and derived from a Germanic personal name (HROD and BERHT).  Following the Norman Conquest the name was occasionally seen in England as well.  In Germany the “o” in Robert became a “u” and the “b” was replaced by “p” – Rupert. From the Middle Low German word “rupe” which means “caterpillar” and thus a nickname for a gardener.  Sometimes spelled Rupp or Ruppe.

Internet Surname Database: Rupp (a spelling variation) has been recorded in over seventy spellings (Robert, Robart, Robb, Rupert, Rops, Ruppertz and so on).  This source agrees the name “Hrodbeorht” morphed into the Rupe/Rupp/Rupert surname, with “hrod” meaning renown and “beorht” meaning bright or famous.

Wikipedia: This is an interesting theory, citing the closest German surname as Ruprecht, which in German was used to describe St. Nicholas’ (Knecht Ruprecht) or Santa’s helper.

House of Names: Citing the Germanic name Rupp which was first found in Hamburg, the family gaining a “significant reputation for its contributions to the emerging medieval society.”  Spelling variations include Krupp, Krup, Krupe, Crup, Crupp, Crupe, Cruppe, Kroupe, Crop, Cropp, and many more.

I’m still working on the Rupe line, its origins and who exactly was the “gateway ancestor” who first immigrated to America.  There seems to be a lot of conflicting information as to just who that was, and to complicate matters further, there appears to be more than one Martin or Johann Martin Roop – one in Pennsylvania and one in Shenandoah, Virginia.  A Martin Roop of Virginia mentions his son Henry Roop in his will, directing him to care for his mother Margarett.  Whether this is my fourth great grandfather is unclear.

Henry migrated with several other family members to Gallia County, Ohio, where my third great grandfather David Price Rupe also lived and where my second great grandfather George Washington Rupe was born.  David and his family migrated to Sebastian County, Arkansas in 1856 and sided with the Union during the Civil War.  Tragically, David was murdered by one or both of his two sons Ransom and Samuel in 1873.  Ransom and Samuel, my second great grandfather’s brothers, broke out of jail and Samuel later committed suicide.

William Marion Rupe was the son of George Washington Rupe.  He married my second great grandmother Mary Ellen Cocherell (or Cockerell) and had two children with her, Maude and Roy.  Here’s a little story, oft-repeated in our family and always sure to bring a smile.


Maude Rupe was born  September 11, 1886 in Sebastian County, Arkansas to parents William Marion and Mary Ellen (Cocherell) Rupe.  She was a fetching young girl who caught the eye of Roland Daniel Hall, my great grandfather.  Roland Daniel was born on November 8, 1880 in neighboring Logan County to parents John Clayton and Kate Hall (John and Kate were first cousins).  When Roland and Maude decided to get married, they took a little trip south to  Mena, the county seat of Polk County.


I’m sure they did that to avoid running into anyone who could attest to the fact that young Maude wasn’t quite yet fourteen years old on April 2, 1900.  In fact, she was seven months and nine days short of her fourteenth birthday.   Roland, nineteen, was about to marry a thirteen year-old girl.

According to the marriage affidavit, Maudie Rupe had arrived at the age of 16 years.  The story she told for years thereafter, however, was that she swore to be over the age of eighteen.  Maude had written the number “18” on a scrap of paper and slipped it into her shoe.  When asked if she was “over the age of 18” she emphatically answered, “Yes, I am!”

The newlyweds moved to Yell County and on June 25 were enumerated there for the 1900 census.  My great grandmother apparently deemed it imprudent to try and fool the federal government — her age was listed as 13.


My dad remembers the numerous times that his grandparents sat at their kitchen table, told that story and laughed about it.  Now it’s part of our family lore, and even those who never met them have something to remember about our ancestors Roland Daniel Hall and Maude Rupe.

Have a GREAT day . . . someday it will be HISTORY!

© Sharon Hall (Digging History), 2015.


  1. That is a hoot!!! Love it!!

    • There is a lot of information about the Rupe family in Scott County Arkansas. My Grandfather Chester Bethel Rupe was raised there along with his brothers and sister. Scott County neighbors Sebastian County.

  2. I think I am related to David Price Rupe through his son Daniel, but cannot find anything about Daniel’s family and cannot go back past my great-great grandfather, Samuel Lewis Rupe. He was born in 1873 in Sebastian County, AR and we think he was the son of Daniel. I know that Samuel and Lewis were both names of David Price Rupe’s sons, so I think I’m on the right track. Anyway, wondering if you might have any information about this branch of the family.

  3. Hello my name is Mark Scott Rupe. I live in Virginia and my parents parents came from Pulaski VA my grandfather told us prior to his death that our ancestors came to America via the Hessian Army. The story goes that the Rupe family men did not have the money to come to the new world. They devised a plan to come over to fight against the New world settlers, and when they arrived they decided that this new world was a place they wanted to stay. So the story goes that they took off for the mountains of Virginia and settled in the Shannondoah Valley.
    This seemed to make since as my grandfather and parents were originally born in Pulaski county Va which is obviously in the VA mountains.
    This made since to me because as a child my fathers father lived with us and had quite the green thumb. He claimed that this knowledge had been passed to him from his ancestors. I wish I had been interested in my ancestors at this young age but alas I had other things on my mind, baseball.
    Thanks for the stories, I would be interested in more information about my family, so it’s time for me to start looking.
    My father had two brothers and one sister who I knew growing up quite well. Preston was the oldest then Carrie or Cary my aunt, Jessie was my uncle who we dearly loved along with my father Robert. Amazingly I was called by a salesman years ago who’s name was Scott Mark Rupe, weird and he also told me a version of this story of how we came to the New World he lived in Texas or Arkansas I can’t remember.

    • Mark, thanks so much for stopping by! I’m sending you an email with a personal response. Who knows — we might be related!

      • HI, Sharon, I note you mentioning the following, “there appears to be more than one Martin or Johann Martin Roop – one in Pennsylvania and one in Shenandoah, Virginia.” How much information do you have about the Roop family? I’m still trying to figure out which Roop my family belongs to since I am unable to locate my ancesters in a Roop family tree we have dating from the 1930s. Thanks!!

        • Thanks for stopping by. I don’t have a lot of Rupe research done past David Price Rupe. Do you have an online tree I could look at?

  4. I wonder if im related in any way

    • Could be .. thanks for stopping by!

    • I’m a Rupp – are you any relation to William Rupp of Iowa? That was my great-grandfather – but he abandoned my grand-father Leo and his mother in the early 1900s. I’ve only run across a few Rupps in my lifetime. We live in California. Nice to meet you. Cassandra Rupp Conroy great article by the way, Sharon Hall – very nice story to share 🙂

      • No known relation to a Rupp in Iowa. I believe my ancestors in Virginia may have spelled their name “Roop” or possibly “Rupp”. However, those who went to Ohio and later to Arkansas spelled it “Rupe”. Where in California do you live? I lived for several years in Los Angeles. So glad you stopped by and enjoyed the article. Merry Christmas!

  5. Great info! Thank you

  6. Sure wish I had been interested In our Rupe family when I was young. My Uncle Francis Marion Rupe told me one of our ancestors brought Wagon trains to Calif. He also said at least one ran with Jessie James?

    • My great-great grandfather’s middle name was Marion…. wonder if that was a family name (his full name William Marion Rupe of Sebastian County, Arkansas – born in Gallia County, OH). Here’s another story about my Rupe family in Arkansas: Thanks for stopping by!

  7. Saw your writting and thought i should pass on a few notes. I am Glen Rupe, son of Robert Glenn Rupe, son of Homer Hector Rupe, son of George Washington Rupe (jr) (Adair County Mo sherriff about 1892) son of George Washington Rupe, this is where we connect I believe. Have been working, trying to get back to Germany in bout the 1720-1740 my best guess. I’m lucky to be in Virginia, Shennahoah valley for this summer and last and have been going to county clerks offices pulling rupe and roop documents, wills, grants and such. Have a ton of notes on I’d guess a100 Rupe/Roop relitives. we should chat sometime.

    • Sounds like a connection to me! Are you on Facebook?

  8. I am a Roop, but unfortunately I have next to no information about this side of the family seeing as my grandpa took his wife and kids away from his family in Kansas/Oklahoma to go to Michigan. Perhaps there was a Roop that has been lost track of? It’s hard to track down my family because a lot of my relatives were native american and both they and their spouses wanted to hide that

    • There were some Rupe family members in Oklahoma (probably still are) but they spelled their names differently. My third great grandfather was George Washington Rupe and he was born in Gallia, Ohio and I believe his father David Price Rupe was born in Virginia. Do you know where your Roop ancestors migrated from before they arrived in Kansas/Oklahoma? Mine went from Ohio to Arkansas.



  1. Monday Musings: Signature Stories | Digging History - […] (NOTE:  I don’t know exactly what happened to Ransom, but he died in Mena, Arkansas in 1895.  Mena brings…

Leave a Comment