Select Rogers Miscellany

Here are some Rogers stories and accounts over the years:

Rogers Manor in Bradford

Rogers Manor in Bradford, Wiltshire was built by Thomas Rogers, Sergeant-at Law, around the year 1450 after his marriage to the heiress Cecily Besill.  The manor remained with his descendants until the death of Anthony Rogers in 1583, the last male of this line. 

But a Rogers name continued at Bradford, this being Sir Francis Rogers who is believed to have been a descendant of Sergeant Thomas Rogers through his second wife.  The manor did eventually leave the Rogers family in 1659 when it was sold by Francis’s brother Henry for a reported £3,000. 

Rogers Manor passed through many hands since that time.  In 1930 the manor was advertised at £12,000 as the "greatest bargain ever offered.”  It received no takers.  Seven years later the building was dismantled piece by piece and auctioned off at very low prices

From Protestant Martyr to Plymouth Merchant

John Rogers, translator of the Bible, was in 1554 the first person burned at the stake for his Protestant beliefs during the bloody reign of Queen Mary.  One of his sons is believed to have been the Rev. Vincent Rogers, Minister of Stratford-le-Bow in London in 1586.

From there this family line can be seen more clearly.  His son, the Rev. Nehemiah Rogers, moved to Essex and was an Anglican minister at Messing.  John of the next generation, also brought up to be a clergyman, started to espouse extreme Puritan views and revolted his father so much that he was turned out of the house in 1642.  John remained radical in religion and politics and, after the Restoration, moved for a time to Holland. 

His son John stayed away from religion and moved to Plymouth in the west country as a merchant.  He made a considerable fortune in pilchard curing, entered Parliament in 1698, and was created Baronet of Wisdome in Devon a year later.

The Rev. Nathaniel Rogers

John Rogers the Protestant martyr had many descendants but none of them, according to the most recent research, was the Rev. Nathaniel Rogers. 

Nathaniel Rogers, born in 1598, was the second son of the Rev. “Roaring John” Rogers of Dedham in Essex. In his youth he had been heavily influenced by the Puritans in Essex.  This contact encouraged his departure with his family for Puritan America in 1636.  He became pastor at Ipswich, Massachusetts two years later. He took the place of the Rev. Nathaniel Ward, a stepson of his great uncle the Rev. Richard Rogers who was soon to come to New England himself. 

Nathaniel and his wife Margaret raised five children, four sons and one daughter.  Their eldest son John, who had come to New England as a child, graduated from Harvard in 1649 and served as President of Harvard College from 1682 to 1684.  A later Nathaniel Rogers had the Old Manse built on Main Street in Ipswich in 1727.  The house still stands there today

Thomas Rogers of the Mayflower

Thomas Rogers was a Mayflower passenger who died at Plymouth during the first winter.  A fellow passenger wrote:

"Thomas Rogers and Joseph his son came.  His other children came afterwards.  Thomas Rogers died in the first sickness, but his son Joseph is still living and is married and hath six children."

These remarks suggest many descendants in America.  But only two can be authenticated – Joseph and his brother John who were each granted land at Marshfield in 1640.

Back in Holland, the Leiden poll tax lists of 1622 showed that Thomas had left behind his wife Alice, his two daughters Elizabeth and Margaret, and a son John.  Thomas and Alice had married in the town of Watford in 1597.  Rogers’ family records in Watford go back to the 1550’s.

Adam Rogers the Rogerene

Adam Rogers, born around 1670, was a freed mulatto who married a white woman.  He had been raised in Connecticut in the New London house of John Rogers, the founder of a radical sect modelled after the Quakers called the Rogerenes.  

After setting up his own rural household, Adam was a squatter for what he himself described as "thirty years" on some of New London's common ground.   In 1744 the land was sold out from under him and he and his family were forcibly evicted from the property, their belongings being tossed over the fence and their dwelling place destroyed.   He was probably 70 to 75 years old at the time.  

What happened after that is not known.  But his line did continue in nearby East Haddam as some of his descendants were buried there.

Clem Rogers, Rancher and Cherokee Politician

Clem's father Robert and his Cherokee wife Sallie lived in a log cabin in the Going Snake district of the Cherokee Nation near the Arkansas border.  That was where Clem Rogers was born in 1839. 

His father, “a big, loud, dark-skinned mustached man from whom, it was said, Clem got much of his temper and bluntness,” died in a fight three years after Clem was born.  Loss of his father, resentment about his new step-father, and dislike of school saw him leave home early for the life of a cowboy. 

Clem later began his own cattle ranch in Texas, but it was destroyed during the Civil War.  He started over again and prospered with a new ranch some seven miles away from his old homestead along the Verdigris river.

In later life he involved himself in Cherokee politics and was closely involved in Oklahoma’s admittance to statehood.  Rogers county in Oklahoma was named in his honor.  He died there at his Chelsea home in 1911. By this time his son Will had become a popular vaudeville entertainer.

The Rogers Family En-route to Utah

John Rogers was living in Grahamstown, South Africa when,around 1854, he and his family and their neighbors the Days were converted to the Mormon faith.  Soon they desired to sail to America and join with the saints in Utah.

In May 1859, having gained possession of a small boat, John (aged 59), his wife Jane (aged 42), and their son Daniel (aged 26) departed for America.  When they got to Boston they bought oxen and a wagon for the journey across the plains.  They traveled with the Edward Stevenson ox-team company.

Captain Stevenson called the emigrants together and told them not to separate themselves from the company for any reason.  But when they arrived in Wood River country they started seeing buffalo and it was difficult to resist the temptation to follow the buffalo for meat.  The following happened: 

“Two men named Rogers, father and son, got on a trail of a large buffalo and succeeded in killing and skinning him.  They realized how far they were from camp and it was agreed that the father should remain and take care of the dead buffalo while the son should go to camp for assistance to carry it.

Several men went with Daniel to retrieve the buffalo but they didn’t find his father John.  They organized a party of men to search for him while the company waited, but weren’t able to locate him.

The company halted for the night and was just getting ready for bed when the old man came, footsore and weary, into camp.  He apologized to the captain for disobeying orders.  He had been gored by the buffalo and had hidden from another buffalo that he thought would attack him.” 

John Rogers walked with a limp for the rest of his life.

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