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by Charles H Tankersley June 21, 2001
(Many thanks to Shirley Tankersley Gilfert for providing this information. It has been put it in story form but with hopes someone out there may be able to take this and fill in on more information about the Stropes - Stroopes - Straupe - Straub family line and with the connection to Tankersley, especially.)

Matthias Stroopes immigrated from the Ruhr Valley of Germany in 1684. His age, his wife, his children, and his profession are not known. It is safe to say, however, that he had at least one son, Jacob Stroupe (father), who, in turn, had a son, Peter Stropes. Now, it seems that from the time Matthias arrived from Germany until today, the surname has gone through a transformation. From the original spelling of Stroopes, we find Stropes, Stroupe, and Straub. Which is correct only to a genealogy researcher, but for the purpose of this story, I shall use Stropes unless a character's correct name spelling is discovered.

Now it seems Peter had a brother, Adam Stroupe, who his father indentured to Peter to learn the blacksmith trade. Also, Peter had another younger brother, Jacob Stroupe (son), who was involved with Peter in the blacksmith trade and in gun making. Peter had his shop in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, but felt it was time to expand. He sent Adam to North Carolina to help his brother Jacob set up one of a string of ironwork shops four southern states.

After his wife, Catherine Armin (or Armand), died, Peter moved to North Carolina to raise his motherless children, Abraham Stropes and Van Stropes, and to run his business from semi-retirement. As a rich man, however, Peter did not have much trouble finding himself a new, very pretty, and much younger wife. With her, he was able to produce two more sons, Charles Stropes, born in 1789, and Adam Stropes. Peter was 65 when he passed away in 1792 at Leeper's Creek, Lincoln County, North Carolina. Peter's widow took her two sons with her to Lincoln County, Tennessee to marry another blacksmith named Tankersley. When the mother died in 1800, Tankersley raised some of the orphans, including Charles. Tankersley had all but Charles apprenticed out to learn trades. He assumed the responsibilities for Charles, who grew up to assume the name of Charles Tankersley. His younger brother, Adam, was taken by a man named Tharp, who raised him. Adam keep the name Stropes.

Charles married Dorcas Skeen in Warren County, Tennessee in 1806. They managed to have 12 children, one of whom was Charles William Tankersley, born April, 1822. Dorcas died in or about 1830 and Charles moved his family to Illinois on 80 acres of land. In 1831, Charles married a Sarah Jane McCroskey Lattee, a widow with small children, in Vigo County, Indiana. They had three children, Sarah, Andrew, and Eliza. Charles died at the age of 71 in 1850.

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