400 Years of Rose Family History

22 Jan

Hey Rose cousins! William Rose, Colonial Virginia, 1650. That’s where it all started.

I’m fleshing out the details, but here’s a rundown on our Rose pedigree, which started on 211 acres on the fork of Gray’s Creek across the James River from Jamestown.

Generation 1: William Rose was born about 1622 in England or Scotland. He married Anne, we don’t know her last name, and they came to Virginia about 1650.

Generation 2: William Rose was born about 1655 in the newly formed Surry County, Virginia. He married Lucy Corker Jordan, a widow with a young daughter.

Lucy takes us back a couple of decades. Her father was Captain William Corker and his father, John Corker was born in 1601. He arrived in Jamestown on the Warwick in 1621.

But back to the Roses.

Generation 3: John Rose was born about 1696 in Virginia, probably Surry County. He married Abigail Hicks in 1728.

Generation 4: William Rose (another one!) was born in 1729 in Surry County, Virginia.  He married Frances, last name unknown.

Generation 5: Samuel Rose is where we start to wander out of Virginia after over 100 years in the vicinity of the James River. Samuel Rose was born about 1755 in Virginia, his wife was Rhoda. When the revolution rolled around Samuel signed up as a patriot in Guilford County, NC. The Guilford County Court House was the site of a significant battle in 1781.

Generation 6: Francis Rose was born in 1775, I think in Virginia. He married Elizabeth “Betsey” Ford. She was born in North Carolina. Francis and Betsey lived in Buncombe County, NC and later they moved over the mountains to McMinn and Monroe Counties Tennessee.

Generation 7: William Rose was born in Buncombe County, NC in 1806. William was one of a passel of kids and he and his brothers would take their generation to the edge of the frontier as it continued to move west through the decades of the 19th Century. William married Elizabeth, last name unknown.

William and Elizabeth crossed over the state of Tennessee and started their family in Chilcot County, Arkansas on the Mississippi River.  After a few years of river living they moved catty-cornered across the state of Arkansas to Benton County in the northwest corner. There they lived near some of William’s brothers and then as Texas was about to become a state they made some trips to Texas, eventually moving there.

Generation 8: David Rose was born in Chilcot County, Arkansas in 1833. His younger siblings were born in Benton County, Arkansas, and he was 17 when his baby sister was born in 1847 in Van Zandt County Texas.  His dad, William Rose, was one of the founders of the county.


John Henry Rose, born 1860, Shelby County, Texas.

David married Mary Lucinda Wright and they started a family in the Owlet Green community of Van Zandt County. In 1860 John Henry Rose was born and in 1861 David and his younger brother James signed up with the Texas Militia to fight in the Civil War. James was married and had a son before he went off to war. He died in Mississippi in 1864.

Generation 9: John Henry Rose was born 1860 in Shelby County, TX. He married Sally Ida Lake “Mittie” Bryant, a southern belle from southern Tennessee. He brought his family to Oklahoma before statehood first to Chickasaw Territory near Ardmore. Unfortunately the area was full of outlaws and it wasn’t long before the family moved further north to Cleveland County to the community of Buckhorn, east and south of Lexington.

Generation 10: William “Will” Thomas Rose, my great grandpa was born in Cleburne, Johnson County Texas in 1885. He was probably about 20 when his family arrived in Cleveland County and in 1907, the year of Oklahoma statehood he married Bessie Jane Belew, newly arrived from Tennessee. Their first child was born in 1908, John Wesley “Wes” Rose, and in 1909 my grandpa, Thomas Edwin Rose was born. Sadly Bessie died two months later.

Bessie Jane Belew on AmericanSage

Will and Wes moved home to live with his parents, and baby Ed was cared for by his Grandma and Grandpa Belew who lived close by. In 1910 Will married Lizzie Black. The family was reunited and soon joined by more kids.

Rose-Will & Lizzie Family

Will and Lizzy Rose, about 1919. The kids are: John Wesley, b. 1908 (center back); Ed, b. 1909 (far right); James Earldon, b. 1911 (center); the girls are Dorothy, b. 1913; and Wanda, b. 1916,

Generation 11: Thomas Edwin “Ed” Rose was born in Cleveland County in 1909. He married Lela Mae Scott in 1928. He operated heavy machinery and worked road construction much of his life. He and grandma also owned a couple of grocery stores when he was unable to do that. He managed to stay employed, although meagerly, during the Great Depression. He went to where the work was with a job in Illinois, and other jobs all over the state of Oklahoma. Ed and Lela had two kids: Darlene and Sonny. The family was very close to Ed’s brother Wes, and his wife Ruby who had no children. When World War II arrived Wes was drafted and sent to England to prepare for the Invasion in June 1943. Fortunately he didn’t cross with the first wave, but arrived in France with the last wave nearly two weeks later. He fought across France, was injured once and spent some time in a hospital then sent back to battle. In October 1943 he was lost behind enemy lines for three weeks. Letters to Europe were returned and the family got the word he was Missing in Action. He eventually turned up, promising to tell all about it when he got home.  That cold November of 1943 things were hot and heavy across France, Belgium and Germany and plans were underway for the Battle of the Bulge. Three days later Pvt. John Wesley Rose was Killed in Action.

Generation 12: Darlene Nevell Rose, b. 1932; and Sonny Wayne Rose, b. 1936.

Ed Rose  1940

The Ed Rose Family, 1940. Sonny, Darlene, Lela and Ed.

Generation 13: Then there’s us:  Janet, Jimmy and David Miller; Tina, Brent and Lori Rose.

Generation 14: How many kids do we have?

Generation 15: Underway, but incomplete: Jayce, Jett, Rylan, Bodin, Hadden, Owen, Mia, Riley and Avery.

So that’s it. Over 400 years of family history whittled down to about a thousand words.

There’s way more to tell about our early ancestors, they were tobacco farmers, plantation owners, Indian fighters, slave owners, patriot soldiers, frontiersmen, pioneers, and settlers. They helped establish new settlements in Virginia, North Carolina, Tennessee, Arkansas, Texas and Oklahoma, always moving to a new area shortly after—and sometimes before—it was available for settlement.

So any comments?  What do you think of our ancestors? They seem like pretty gutsy people to me. Here’s hoping I can find the primary documentation to validate all this.


Here are links to some of my Rose research.

UPDATE: April 2018 

The following links aren’t going anywhere now.  The information may be on another website, or maybe not.  Guess I need to go into my files, collect all the appropriate documents  and write my own Rose history.

It’s true, once something is published to the internet it’s out there forever.  But, it’s not very helpful if the link is broken or the website isn’t maintained.  So while these links had information that furthered my research, the only way I can be sure of it in the long run, is if I follow up on my own by collecting the documents that confirm it.

April 12, 2018



Posted by on January 22, 2014 in Rose


Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

21 responses to “400 Years of Rose Family History

  1. J. Newell

    March 5, 2014 at 11:24 am


    We have a historical connection through Zachariah Belew, Sr. Would it be possible to send a message to you through email?

    J. Newell

    • Jan

      March 5, 2014 at 1:38 pm

      I’ll send you an email.

  2. Edeyrose

    February 8, 2016 at 11:34 pm

    my great great gran dad was William Thomas Rose a different rose

  3. Beth Rose

    May 3, 2016 at 9:29 pm

    My rose family history follows the same moves to the west and ends up in Hartley county Texas….great grandmother Roses ranch still in the family……Names are usualy…John,Blane,Howard,Hugh,Raymond,David,Elizabeth…etc….and also married into the Miller family……We must share the same roots….Nairn Scotland. …thank you for the info…sincerely….Gloria Beth Rose

    • Jan

      May 4, 2016 at 11:07 pm

      Hi Beth – Do you know where your Roses came from before Texas? I know there were a bunch of Rose brothers that came through Tennessee, then to Arkansas and then Texas. My 2x (?) great grandpa, David Rose, had a brother James, who had a son and then died in the Civil War. His descendants did the research to help me find my way back to North Carolina and before that. Did your line come from Scotland? I don’t know exactly how or when my Roses came to America. I’d love to hear any details you may have.

  4. Celeste Currie

    July 13, 2017 at 6:15 am

    Rose was the maiden name of my next door neighbor in Knoxville,Tennnessee. I visited the farm of her father a couple of times and still am blessed by those memories. Her name was Bonnie and her husband was Mitchell Moor.

    • Jan

      July 13, 2017 at 8:32 am

      Hmmmm… I wonder if she’s a cousin?
      Thanks for reading and getting in touch.

  5. Fran Whiteman

    January 23, 2018 at 1:33 pm

    I decend from John Johnson Rose, son of Samuel Rose 1754-1837

    • Jan

      January 23, 2018 at 1:59 pm

      Hey, Cousin!
      Samuel Rose is my 6th great grandfather. So what does that make us, in the neighborhood of 6th cousins? Since John Johnson Rose’s mother is Lucritia Johnson, and I descend from Francis Rose, son of Rhoda, his first wife, that makes us half-cousins I guess.
      Let me know if you’ve got an inside track on any early day history of the Roses.
      Thanks so much for reading!

  6. Fred Rose

    March 8, 2018 at 5:18 pm

    My William Rose came from Nash County NC,, the son of Amos Rose. So there are hundreds of William Rose’s. The one from Nash County settled in Choctaw County MS in 1836 or so. and was married to Sarah, one of their Children, Henry Calvin Rose was born in 1848 in Mississippi near Gore Springs and he settled in Ms near Duck Hill, His second Son, Henry Eugene was my grandfather and is buried in Duck Hill.. Henry Calvin married Mary Julia Kent from around Alva, MS. They also had a son named William,, and he is buried in Kilmichael MS.. William Rose of Surry Co VA was my first known Rose brought over from England as a Headright to John Knott.. I am the 7th Generation Grandson of William Rose of Surry…

    • Jan

      March 9, 2018 at 1:45 pm

      You’re right about all the WIlliams. There’s a William in almost every Rose generation in my tree. I wish I knew more about the first one that came over, but that’s blurry. One thing I read said England. Another said Ireland, and then he stayed in England for awhile before he came over… that’s all heresay. I haven’t dug into it myself. Maybe one of these days.
      Thanks for stopping by and commenting.

      • Fred Rose

        April 27, 2018 at 5:06 pm

        The best I can tell Jan is England near Scotland..was probably a member of the invading army in 1066 with William the Conqerour

    • Fred Rose

      April 27, 2018 at 5:02 pm

      I had some great Uncles that went on to Arkansas and Texas..from two different generations.. a James Hilliard Rose to Helena, Arkansas and another James Hilliard Rose of an older generation that lived and is buried in Bell County Texas.. In fact both James Hilliard’s married into the Kent family,, although the one that moved to Texas lost his connection to the Kent family in Mississippi and his first wife was buried in Hayes Creek, Ms and his second wife was a Moore that is buried with James in Texas. My list is so long it goes back to James City Va in 1650 when William Rose came to Surry County Area as mentioned in my March 8th post.. My grandpa Henry Eugene married a KING from Carroll County MS and she descended from Chief Moshulatubbee of the Choctaw Nation, he died of smallpox on the Trail of Tears around 1838…

      • Jan

        April 28, 2018 at 3:16 am

        Sounds like our two lines followed some of the same routes west. What I know for “pretty sure” the trail of my Roses went from Virginia to North Carolina, to Tennessee, then to Arkansas and Texas and finally to Oklahoma. I did some looking around the first William I know of in Virginia before the Revolutionary War. Prior to that I haven’t seen enough documents to be sure about anything. Have you had your DNA done? We might be able to confirm a match that way.

  7. Edward Rose

    April 12, 2018 at 9:50 am

    I don’t see any of my Roses in your great research! The earliest Rose I’m able to identify in our Rose tree is Edward Rose born about 1755 in Hyde County NC.

    • Jan

      April 12, 2018 at 3:04 pm

      Hi Edward –
      There were a few generations with a LOT of kids, which means there are a lot of Rose cousins who haven’t been researched. If we’re related, could be through one of those lines. I can’t take credit for most of this research. My mom took the Rose line back to her 2x great grandpa, David Rose born in 1933 in Arkansas. Then descendants of David’s brother James contacted me and pointed me toward a Rose family history which provided more of the back story.
      By the way, I just now clicked on the resource links at the end of the post and more than half of them go nowhere. I need to check into that.
      Thanks for getting in touch!

  8. Sunny Rose

    May 14, 2018 at 2:29 pm

    I am a Rose daughter, we also have traced our line back to William Rose, married to Anne Wright, who emigrated in the 1650s from England to Surry, VA. He was the son of William Rose and Agnes Chisholm, she was a Scot. My family ancestors traveled over the Cumberland Road (the first federal highway authorized by the US Congress) to Illinois and also the Wilderness Road, built by Daniel Boone. This was a spectacular route through the mountains to Kentucky. Our branch of the Rose line is mainly in Illinois and Indiana, but we have three generations in Boston, where our maternal roots are deep. I think it’s interesting that one of my ancestors, W.T.J. Rose went to Los Angeles before 1900. I have relatives who fought on both sides of the civil war. I believe I may be cousins with some respondents, as we do not have direct relatives in either Texas or Mississippi. There are many generations of Rose sons, brothers who have fanned out in different directions.

    • Jan

      July 1, 2018 at 11:27 pm

      Hi Sunny ~
      I’m so sorry to take so long to get back to you. I know very little about my earliest William Rose. I have that he was born in 1729 in Surry County, Virginia. I don’t have any information about his parents, or any siblings or uncles. If we are part of the same family, it would have been his 1-2-3x great grandfather who came from England. There were probably a couple of dozen siblings along the way who could have gone west and north. Have your had your DNA done? If so, we might be able to determine if we are part of the same Rose line. Let me know and we can see if there is a match.
      Thanks for writing and I promise to reply in a more timely manner in the future. It would be nice to meet another cousin, especially since your Rose research goes much further back than mine does.

  9. Floyd D Rose

    July 1, 2018 at 9:38 am


    This conversation is somewhat awkward. As I have viewed your family tree and history, I was wondering did the Rose patriarchs included Blacks in the family tree. During the dark ages of in early America history, especially in VA, unfortunately, there were many Blacks who had worked for Whites. Was this the rule for the Rose family, and because of ownership by Whites, was the Rose name transferred to Blacks for protection and ownership.

    This is the 21st Century and the past is history, the present is now, and the future is developing to create a perfect “Rose”.

    • Jan

      July 1, 2018 at 11:44 pm

      Thanks for reading and getting in touch with me. I’m sorry to say I don’t have much information about my Virginia Roses during the Colonial years. I haven’t come across any records of them owning slaves, but that may just be information I haven’t come across yet. If so, there’s a good possibility some of them eventually came to use the Rose name. I’m not actively researching my family tree right now but I hope to make time to get involved with it again before long. That is definitely something I’d like to find out more about when I get back into this thing.
      Thanks again for writing and I’ll update this information when I find out more about my Rose family line.


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