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Timothy Roark

Also Known As: "Timothy O'Roark", "Timothy O'Rourk"
Birthdate: (69)
Birthplace: Ireland
Death: April 1769 (65-73)
Frederick County, Province of Virginia
Immediate Family:

Husband of Sarah Roark
Father of Anna Roark; George Roark; John Roark; Mary Callender; Nellie Roark and 11 others

Managed by: Erica Howton
Last Updated:
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Immediate Family

About Timothy Roark

Timothy Roark was born abt.1700 in Ireland and died in 1796 in Frederick Co., Virginia.


  1. on 18 May 1738 in the First Presbyterian Church, Philadelphia Pennsylvania to Sarah Parker b. 1707
  2. Rachel

Children of Timothy Roark and Sarah:

  1. Timothy b. abt 1740 in in Bucks Co., PA m. (1) unknown (2) Rachel
  2. Michael b. 1745 Bucks Co., PA d. Hawkins Co., TN or Rockingham Co., VA m. Letitia Grigsby
  3. James

There was a son Charles of Grayson County, VA. He was not the same person as Charles Roark


1. There are two different Charles Roark's that are being combined into one man. Charles of Grayson Co VA, son of Timothy Roark never left VA. Charles of Grayson was living in VA with wives Polly Reed (md. 1800) and Isabella Hale (md. 1823) when the Charles of Ashe Co NC who married Abigail "Raven Canoe" was in Ashe.


Timothy O'Roark was one of four O'Roark brothers brought to America by an Uncle settling in the area of Pennsylvania then Virginia. The other three brothers are unclear at this time... They were of Catholic and Presbyterian religious beliefs and were possibly brought to America because o f their conversion by an evangelist type person John Wesley/ John was known for his travels, especially, to America. I t is possible the other brothers were William, James and Ni cholas. This account of the Roark boys as orphans, being "kidnapped" by a maternal uncle, was related to a family of Roarks in Tennessee(?) in 1931 by a Catholic Priest who had just come from Ireland. This account by the Priest fits perfectly with all history I have been able to uncover. The Priest was positive about the William, James and Nicholas , but was unsure about the fourth one. This Timothy, mentioned above, is the s/o Thaddeus O'Rourke.


Roark Family Notes



Compiled by Elizabeth C. Roark, Brockway.

Maud Roark Peppers

Dr. George L. Roark

From family record and from events related to them by their father, Dr. Harlan Roark, who in turn received them from his grandmother, Elizabeth Linville Roark. Dates corroborated by William Harlan Roark for use of records preserved by him.

According to the earliest family traditions of the Roark family, they came into Ireland from England where they had lived close to the old Roman wall. They came to Ireland at a very early date, probably during the War of Roses.

From Ireland they migrated to North Carolina about the middle of the eighteenth century (1740-1765).

James Roark, one of the brothers who came from Ireland was with his son and brother William, on the verge of joining the British Army at the beginning of the Revolutionary War, when he had a dream or vision. In this dream he seemed to be traveling between two walls when an angel with drawn sword appeared before him, warning him to turn back and telling him that he was on the wrong road. When morning came the brothers heeded the warning and joined the Colonial Forces. There they served until peace was declared. James Roark always called himself, Gods Soldier firmly believing that the vision was sent to him from God.

James Roark received a land warrant from the U.S. government as a reward for loyal services in the Revolutionary War. He selected this grant of land on Goose Creek, Macon County, Tennessee.

John Roark, a nephew of James Roark, Gods Soldier, was born 1780 and died 1860. While still in North Carolina he was married to Mrs. Elizabeth Gibbs, whose maiden mane was Linville. (Her former husband was a sailor who was lost at sea.) John Roark and wife immediately after their marriage moved to Tennessee, leaving her little daughter by her first husband with relatives in North Carolina and making the journey across the mountains on horseback with pack saddles.

They settled on the Goose Creek grant of land in Macon County, Tennessee. The next year they returned to North Carolina for the little girl. They lived in Tennessee until 1855, moving to the Barren River in Barren County, Kentucky.

In the War of 1812-14 when Great Britain threatened the Gulf Coast, John Roark and his brother in law, Bill Linville, volunteered. They were of the famous Tennessee and Kentucky Riflemen, who fought under Jackson at the Battle of New Orleans. These soldiers served without any pay and after the battle of New Orleans were mustered out, given a little parched corn and with their rifles left to find their way home across the wilderness that has since become Mississippi and Alabama. None of these hardy frontiersmen seemed to think it a hardship. Their rifles furnished them game and defended them from the Indians. On account of avoiding Indians and finding game they did not go home in a company but each man for himself, or with a relative or friend who lived in the same community. There is no record of any of them not reaching home safely.

In preparation for the Battle of New Orleans, Jackson had drafted every able bodied man in the city. These men, mostly merchants and clerks, were issued the new army rifle. (The first percussion cap gun). Many of the recruits did not know how to use them. During the Battle, Bill Linville, whose old flint lock was too slow, grabbed a new gun from a terrified recruit cowering behind the barricade and ordered the owner of same to tear off the oiled paper from the ammunition and hand it to him, enabling him to shoot much faster. One of these rifles used in the Battle of New Orleans is now in possession of Mrs. Elizabeth Brockway of Norman, Oklahoma.

Tom Linville, another member of this family, had a life filled with interesting experiences. He was an uncle of Bill Linville and of Elizabeth Linville Roark. He had two nieces who were captured by the Cherokee Indians while they were still small children. Their father, named Holbrook, hunted for them for years and at last found them. The father, being a gunsmith, made guns for the Indians and bought back his children. One of them had married an Indian and refused to leave her Indian husband and child. The younger girl went with her father but never wholly lost her Indian ways. Their uncle, Tom Linville, swore vengeance on all Indians and through his life kept this oath. While on a hunting trip with three companions the group was attacked by Indians and all were killed except one man. This man was shot through the leg and hid in a hollow log until the search for him was over. At one time an Indian stood upon the log in which he was hidden. When he thought it was safe, he dragged himself to the settlement, a three days’ journey, where he obtained men to go for his companions. On arrival at the scene of attack they found Tom Linville dead, but surrounded by heaps of dead Indians who had fallen before his unerring aim, his mouth still filled with bullets where he had placed them for greater convenience in reloading. The Indians had not taken his scalp, nor mutilated his body, as was their custom, they being afraid to touch his dead body, so great had been their fear of him in life.

To John Roark and his wife were born two children, William in 1807 and Henry in 1810.

William Roark was married to Elizabeth Meadows and to them were born a large family of both boys and girls. Elizabeth died and William married again.

Henry Roark was born in Macon County, Tennessee, in 1810 and was married to Elizabeth Smith at the age of seventeen (1827). He entered the ministry while still a young man and served the Baptist Church in that capacity until his death. He moved to Allen County, Kentucky, about twenty miles from his old home in 1855. Here he lived until 1868 when he moved to Long Prairie, Wayne County, Illinois. He died at that place in 1891. Elizabeth, his wife died in 1889, age 80 years.

Of the sons of Henry Roark, all served in the Federal Army during the Civil War except the eldest, William, who died previous to that time. Allen Roark, the second son, was a lawyer by profession and was Lieutenant Colonel in the 9th Kentucky Volunteers. While the Army was at Nashville, Tennessee, Allen was confined to the hospital with measles when his brother Jonathan was brought in very ill, from having been severely burned when the tent in which he was sleeping caught fire. Allen gave up his bed to his brother Jonathan due to the lack of beds in the crowded hospital. Allen had a relapse from this exposure and died a short time before the birth of his only son, James Allen Roark.

Jonathan W. Roark was captain of the 37th Co. 9th Kentucky Volunteers.

Dr. Harlan Roark was 2nd Lieut. Co. A., 9th Kentucky Volunteers. He was allowed to resign this commission to care for his brother Allen. After the death of Allen he served as a scout and guide against the guerilla bands that infested Kentucky and Tennessee. Dr. Harlan Roark was by profession a physician. He received his medical training by studying under Dr. James R. Duncan, afterwards his father-in-law, finishing his course of study at the University of Chicago. He gave up the practice of his profession and moved with his Fathers people to Wayne County, Illinois, afterwards moving to Sarcoxie, MO., thence to Kansas in 1876 to a farm near Newton. He afterwards took a claim in Harper County, Kansas, moving there in the autumn of 1881. He died September 28, 1888.

Thomas Roark was a Corporal and also served in the Civil War in the 9th Kentucky Volunteers.

Information was supplied by Eva Roark Wood - Thanks Eva.

William Roark was born in Ireland in 1757 - the son of Timothy O'Rourke and Sarah Parker.. Reports say that he became an orphan.

The year that William left Ireland and came to America is uncertain - as far as is known now.

After he had begun his new life in America, William Roark became a Baptist Minister and also served in the Revolutionary War, where he was a musician. He served with the Ralston County - 1st NC Militia.

William Roark married Sarah Dorris in 1779 or 1780. Sarah Dorris was born in 1755 in Orange County, NC.

Sarah was the daughter of William Dorris - born in 1715 and died in 1795 - and Mary Roake (is this Roarke??) - born in 1707. Both parents were born in Ireland - William Dorris in County Down. (Sarah Dorris also had a brother - named Joseph Dorris - who became a preacher.)

In the early 1790's, William, Sarah and their only child, at the time, moved to what is now middle Tennessee (then it was still part of North Carolina). He received free land because of his involvement in the Revolutionary War.

The land grants he received at that time were in Tennessee counties that are presently known as Sumner, Smith and Macon.

William and Sarah continued to acquire other land also and owned land in both of the states of Tennessee and Kentucky. At that time the area in Tennessee was known as Smith County; now it is known as Macon County, TN. The land is also adjacent to those purchaed in Kentucky. The Kentucky land was known as Barren County then; now it is known as Allen, Barren and Monroe Counties (still in KY).

William and Sarah had several children and as the children became grown, many of them moved and continued to move westward. Actually, some of them moved toward and/or into Carroll County, TN.

These (Carroll County, TN) Roarks continued this author's line which you can see by clicking here or by clicking on the "Donald's Genealogy" button above in the left-hand column.

Sarah Dorris died in Allen County, KY, Feb 11, 1832.

William Roark's death is recorded as being Feb 11, 1832, in Allen Co., KY. and his will was probated in March, 1832, in Allen Co KY.

Following are some added comments from Eva which add some interesting twists on William's departure from Ireland ... as she related them to this author:

(First a statement from Eva, "I have always believed that this particular account - that follows - may be the way that William Roark happened to come from his birth-home in Ireland to America." ... then continues to write:

William Roark's death is recorded as being Feb 11, 1832, in Allen Co., KY. and his will was probated in March, 1832, in Allen Co KY.

William's Mother, Sarah Parker, had a brother whose name was John Wesley Parker - who became a preacher. William's mother and daddy and John Wesley Parker were all from Ireland. One version says that this John Wesley Parker - of course, William's Uncle - brought a group of boys to America with him. This group included William along with other boys named Michael, Charles and Timothy.

There were lots of stories - from that era - that were circulated about children being taken from Ireland by a relative and stowed away on a ship. This happened over and over - again and again - because of the religious turmoil and uprisings at that time.

Stories told over and over relate that this happened quite often - because of the persecution, actually execution, of anyone who converted to the Presbyterian Faith.

Another interesting aspect of this is: That the name Roark went through many, many changes - in order for those who converted - to escape persecution. When converted they would either be removed from the country altogether or they would change the spelling of the name slightly and relocate to a different part of the Irish Kingdom and hide out.

John Wesley Parker - a Presbyterian minister - spent his life rescuing these converts from the hands of the executioners. These particular boys were converted from the Irish Catholic faith to the Presbyterian Faith ... which was that of John Wesley Parker.

In order to save their lives from the uprising against these conversions, John Wesley Parker brought or sent those that were converted to America by way of stowing them away on ships or bringing them - himself.

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Timothy Roark's Timeline

Age 21
Age 25
Age 32
Age 34
Age 36
Age 38
September 22, 1740
Age 40
VA, United States
Age 40