William Henry Roll

Welcome to the new and improved Roll Family Windmill website! We have upgraded our authoring tools to design and create content and present it to you with style. We will be better able to maintain content and share information about the genealogy of the Roll and allied families.

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old: Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn. At the going down of the sun and in the morning, We will remember them. --Laurence Binyon,"Ode of Remembrance"

I have gathered a posie of other men's flowers, and nothing but the string that binds them is mine own. --Michel Eyquem de Montaigne

Documenting your family history is a lifelong pursuit, a task of pleasure and research that is never completely finished.

Not to know one's ancestors, is to be a tree without roots, a stream without a source. --Kung-fut-se

The wind whispers through the trees, recalling words and dreams and memories of those who left us long ago. --Unknown

St. Basil of Caesarea, born about 330 A.D., said, "A tree is known by its fruit; a man by his deeds. A good deed is never lost; he who sows courtesy reaps friendship, and he who plants kindness gathers love."


This website was created the old-fashioned way; it has been hand coded.

keep calm

Edward Roll
A sliding grave in the old Quaker cemetery

Spouse(s): Phebe Louder
Family tree: Edward Roll 1772-1822

The Quaker Cemetery, South Cumminsville, Ohio

The Quaker Cemetery was in South Cumminsville between Elmore and Dreman streets off Beekman Street west of Wayne Playground, not far from Wesleyan Cemetery, to the northeast. View the location at Google Maps:  39.155215, -84.552424

The the Roll estate granted the Roll Cemetery to the Quakers, it was then called the Quaker Cemetery. The graves were moved to the Wesleyan Cemetery and other cemeteries when the Quaker Cemetery was sold.

sliding grave

Picture caption: Upper left, the sand pit which is eating toward the cemetery; upper right, the headstone of Edward Roll; below, the bones supposed to be those of Roll.


This to Edward Roll, who died more than a century ago. He realizes his death-bed desire when rain undermines his resting place in a quaint Quaker cemetery.

by Alfred Segal

Edward Roll, a citizen of Cincinnati, died 103 years ago and was buried in the Quaker cemetery at Dreman Av (sic) and West Fork Creek. He was 48 years old.

It seems that, on his deathbed, Edward Roll gave thought to his past and future. Forty-eight years he had lived, labored, striven, gained and lost, but now, on his deathbed he say that only one thing was worth while in life: So to live that one will be remembered afterward. This was the chief purpose of existence, and only those who are dead are forgotten.

Now, when they erected his tombstone, his relatives inscribed upon it a pledge of remembrance in these words:

Remember thee? Ah, yes, we will
Till life shall cease to be.
By all on earth or heaven above
We will remember thee.

One hundred years passed, and those who had made the pledge to the memory of Edward Roll had died. His name was forgotten in the city and many rains undermined his tombstone so that it fell prone.

The earth commenced to slide, and slowly the tombstone and its pledge and the bones of Edward Roll slipped down the hill. None could tell which was the earth and which was Edward Roll.

Yesterday the Post's photographer, climbing the hill, uncovered the tomb stone and read the pledge of remembrance.

And a few feet away lay the bones of Edward Roll - a skull and a jawbone. At least, it must be presumed that these are the bones of Edward Roll, for they are like all the other bones that lately have been dug from the cemetery of the Quakers, and no one can tell which was the rich man's bones and which was the poor one's; which the wise one's and which the fool's.

All are alike forgotten.

But look. The wish of Edward Roll to be remembered is here fulfilled. One hundred and three years after his death he is given a prominent place in a newspaper for a day.

The Quaker cemetery, in which Edward Roll has slept for a century, came into public notice the other day when Magistrate James Myers brought suit charging the bones of his grandparents had been removed from their graves.

The old cemetery had been converted into a sandpit and many of the bones have been taken out and stored in a shed for future burial.

Charles Miller of the Miller Sand Co. says the elements alone are to blame for the fact that Edward Roll's bones were not as tenderly guarded as the bones of the others. They were in a section of the cemetery apart from the place where the sandpit is located. These bones now having been discovered, they will join the others in another resting place.

Source: The Cincinnati Post, August 1, 1925.

Old Methodist Cemetery Abandoned
An extract from an unnamed Cincinnati newspaper article dated 16 March 1905

This cemetery is located at the end of Elmore Street, Cumminsville, back from Elmore near Garfield School. Years and years ago the cemetery was given to an old Quaker Colony by the Roll Estate. The burying ground is divided in the middle and on one side of this line the Rolls are buried. The other hald was given to the Quakers and over 1000 persons were buried. The reason no more went under the ground was because there was no more room.. and all the space had been taken. Last Friday men started the work of exhumation. As fast as the bodies were taken from the ground, the bones were packed into boxes about 5' long, 2' wide and 2' deep. Inside were women's skulls and men's skulls, women's bones and men's bones; hair, some of it glossy and beautiful as in life; and the ornaments that women have in their hair even after death. Large iron and steel caskets were found. Many of the stones slabs marking graves were preserved and through these stones many were identified, others could not be deciphered. Among these were: A & P Roll-no cates; Edward Roll, d. 1822, @48yrs; Julia Ann Roll, died 1844, @ 25yrs; David Williams, d. 1838. Included in this cem. were 38 bodies moved from the old 5th street Cem in 1867. These bodies had been moved to the 5th st. Cem in 1837. That portion belonging to the Roll Estate will remain intact, at least, for the present. The old Roll homestead is across the valley on a high ridge that overlooks the ancient burying ground, and the Roll family still exists through its numbers by the hundreds.

Source: Holland, Jan. "Old Roll Cemetery(ies)." Roll-L, discussion list, 18 Jul 2005.

Old Quaker Cemetery burials moved

bodies moved

Old Quaker Cemetery burials moved

Beard Grew to Four Feet After Death
Curious Discovery in Old Quaker Cemetery.

Curious discoveries are attending the digging up of the old Quaker burying ground at the end of Dreman-av. (sic), Cumminsville. Among the coffins disinterred was an old iron casket containing the body of an old man buried 80 years ago. The features were almost perfectly preserved and the beard had grown to at least four feet. The hair was healthy and strong. Bodies not claimed by relatives are sent to the Spring Grove Cemetery for burial. Several have been claimed by descendants of the Quaker settlement in the neighborhood of Cumminsville years ago.

Source: Cincinnati Post (Cincinnati, Ohio), Wednesday, March 15, 1905, p. 10.

Desecration of the Quaker cemetery


Suit alleges desecration

Former Magistrate Asks $25,000 Damages
Suit Alleges That Human Bones Were Moved.

Suit for $25,000 damages, for alleged desecration of the old Quaker cemetery, known as the Society of Friends Burying Ground, located on Drehman avenue, Cumminsville, was filed in Common Pleas court Wednesday by James S. Meyers, former magistrate.

The defendants named are the three trustees of Millcreek Township, George C. Greiwe, Goerge Schmidt, jr., and Charles Degenhart, and also Frank J. Streit, 4643 Hart avenue, Cumminsville, and Charles E. Miller, also known as "Kid" Miller, son of the late Charles Miller, former undertaker and member of the old Board of Public Service.

Meyers alleges that his grandfather, Simon Meyers, was buried there in 1835, and that his grandmother, Elizabeth Meyers, was buried in the plot in 1838. He said that his grandfather was one of the promoters of the cemetery, which was purchased from Nicholas Longworth in 1834, to be used for burial purposes only.

Bones Piled In Building

He alleges that the trustees of Millcreek township sold the cemetery on January 12, 1923, to Streit for $550, and that Streit sold it on February 26, 1924, to Miller for $6,000. He says that Miller removed the headstones and dug up the human bones buried there and placed them in an indiscriminate heap in a shed on the premises, so that the plaintiff cannot distinguish the remains of his grandparents from the other human bones piled there.

The plaintiff further alleges that Miller is digging sand out of the old cemetery and selling it for building purposes, operating under the name of the Miller Sand company. He estimates that there are more than 100,000 cubic yards of sand there and that sand is selling at $3 a cubic yard delivered. He said he did not learn of the alleged desecration until July 24. He contends that the township trustees had no right to sell the property.

Meyers is acting as his own attorney, in association with H.P. Karch.

Source: Unknown Cincinnati, Ohio, newspaper about 1924.

Cemeteries moved

Church cemeteries that were moved to the Wesleyan Cemetery were Wesleyan Methodist, Catherine St. downtown; Episcopal; Methodist, 5th St.; Presbyterian, 4th & Walnut; Gordon Chapel from NW of current cemetery; and two Greek: St. Nicholas and Holy Trinity. The Roll family/Quaker cemetery, moved from Dreman Ave.; and the Badgely family cemetery, moved from off of Virginia Ave. (Edited for readability.)

Dahl, Kathy, historian and docent, compiler. "Wesleyan Cemetery: Pictures and History."