William Henry Roll

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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.

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Thelma Lynn Roll

Spouse(s): Melvin Charles Kennedy
Family tree: Thelma Lynn Roll 1911-1999

Hotel LaFontaine

Hotel LaFontaine, Huntington, Indiana


Thelma Lynn Roll (Mrs. Melvin Charles Kennedy) was a waitress at the Hotel LaFontaine in Huntington, Indiana. Born in Roll, Indiana, she was co-author with Martha Jeanette Rowell of the Genelogy of the New Jersey Rolls.

The Genealogy of the New Jersey Rolls

Martha Rowell Roll and T. Lynn Roll Kennedy are listed as the co-authors of The Genealogy of the New Jersey Rolls. But there were others who contributed to the work. Early on, Janis Roll Holland joined the group, which worked together for nearly 20 years. They began with a core of about thirty pages of genealogies from Isaac Clifford Roll, Roland H. Roll, and Wilbur Louis Roll. Records were exchanged with Evelyn Norweb, Charlotte Mitchell Giltner, and Marguerite Swallen Roll. Evelyn Norweb was doing the research for her niece and nephew.

Source: Martha Roll, ROLL-L Archives Archiver, ROLL, 1998-07, 0899816016.

Hansel Lee Haycox's Edition

We do not have the original 1984 edition of the Genealogy of the New Jersey Rolls, and the reason is given in the introduction to Hansel L Haycox's revised edition.

This genealogy was prepared primarily from data contained in The Genealogy of the New Jersey Rolls which was prepared by Martha Roll of Hollow Rock, Tennessee, and Thelma Lynn Roll of Huntington, Indiana. The copy I worked from was dated 1984 and had been presented to the Ancestral Trails Historical Society in Vine Grove, Kentucky, and later given to the North Hardin Library in Radcliff, Kentucky, and has since disappeared. The title page of the volume is reproduced on the [previous] page. I appreciate the work put into this genealogy, and have made every effort to keep the data as accurate as possible. In some cases, this has meant making changes to or adding data to the material prepared by Martha and Thelma.

One of Thelma Lynn's Newspaper Articles

article title


ROLL, Ind.

Roll is approximately 15 miles east of Marion on State Road 18 and seven miles north of Hartford City. The town was founded in 1849 by Matthias and Lucy Williams Roll. It once a booming place but has almost become a ghost town. A sign at the east end gives the name, but there is nothing on the west side to give a traveler his bearings. It has dwindled in population and is now on few maps. The U.S. Postal Service closed the post office, the school has long been abandoned and the cemetery has fallen stones, overgrown bushes and the grass is tall.

Mrs. T. Lynn Roll Kennedy, Huntington, a descendant of Matthias and Lucy Williams Roll, has researched the ancestry and returns to Roll quite often to remember her childhood and to visit the ancestors.

The background of Matthias Roll has been traced back to the mid-1600s when Jan Mangelese came to America from Hoorn or Permerend in Dutch Holland. He was a trader to the Mohawk Indians in Beverwyck, or the Colonie Rensselaerswyck (Albany, N.Y.). Jan Mangelese married the granddaughter of Caniachkoo, Sachem of the Third Castle of the Mohawk Nation. Her parents were Pieter Adriaensen van Woggelum and a Mohawk Indian princess. Her name is not known. Where she is listed in the records she is known as the "wife of Pieter." Jan Mangelese was favored by the Indians and was deeded a 2,000-plus acres of land by the three tribal chieftains, Rhode- Sachem of the First Castle, Saggoldioohquisac- Sachem of the Second Castle and Todarasee, representing his grandfather, Caniachkoo- Sachem of the Third Castle, deceased, all of the Maquasa Sachems. This land was described "given out of their good will and affection, as a gift." It was a certain tract of woodland where some briars were, near Canastagione on the other side of the river (Mohawk) to the uppermost end where the tree is marked, across the creek, called by them, Oiskondaraogoo, to a Great Black Bark Oak Tree where they have placed their mark and the live name of Jan Mangelese, and stretching as far Northward into the woods as Jan Mangelese or his heirs would have occasion to use it as either field or pasture. Jan Mangelese filed a "Petition to Colonize" but it was never answered by the Queen so the land was lost to his heirs.

To the union of Jan Mangelese and Volkie Janse there were five children. These children were the ones to use the name Roll. In the German Language, Mangelese is translated to the English name Roll. The third child was Johannes Pieter Roll.

Johannes Pieter married Jannietje Duchene, and they were blessed with five children. Their third child was John Janszen.

John Janszen Roll married Elizabeth Sickles. They migrated to Springfield, N.J., in 1742 after five of their children were born and another child was born in New Jersey. They were the first to settle here and lived on the side of the First Mountain about one mile from Springfield on the Old Stage Route from Elizabeth to Turkey (now New Providence). John and Elizabeth are buried in the Burying Ground of Long Hill Chapel.

Their first-born child was John. His first wife was Rachel Van Winkle, who gave him six children and died of childbirth at the age of 30. The second wife was Edith Wick. There were three more children, and she died of childbirth at the age of 25. John married a third time, Lydia, in New Jersey, but there were no children by this marriage. He was a private and sergeant in the American Revolution. John and Lydia moved to Cincinnati, Hamilton County, Ohio, in 1796. They are buried in the Quaker (Roll) Cemetery in Hamilton County, Ohio.

The third child of John and first wife Rachel Van Winkle Roll was Matthias, who married Mary Rutan in New Jersey. Matthias also served in the American REvolution and was awarded 100 acres of land in McGonigles, Butler County, Ohio, for his war service. Matthias and Mary Rutan Roll are buried in the small, private, family cemetery on the farm in McGonigles, Ohio. There were, at least, 12 children and possibly a 13th child in this family.

The 10th child was Matthias II. He was born Aug. 20, 1805, and married Jane Stewart. Jane Stewart Roll is buried in the cemetery at New Burlington, Ohio. They were married for 12 years, the cause of her death is not known. Matthias married a second time to Lucy Williams in 1843.

Matthias II and Lucy Williams Roll moved to the little town of Dundee, Blackford County, Indiana. They had children. Since the little town had several oil wells, it was prosperous. Matthias rode his horse to the nearby county seat, Hartford City, to pick up the mail and deliver it to the residents of Dundee. When the mail became too heavy for one horse and rider, the government decided it was time to give Dundee a post office of its own. Since there was already a Dundee, Ind., and a second would be confusing, the little town was renamed Roll in honor of Matthias

On May 21, 1859, Matthias deeded land for the Roll School House, District No. 2, Washington Township. Matthias and two other residents donated the land for the church and cemetery. He did his best to help prosper the town. He gave his time and land to the residents. He and Lucy gave a son to the Civil War.

Most of the family scattered across the United States. There are descendants to carry on his name, but no one by the name of Roll lives in the town now. Matthias and Lucy, along with some of their children and relatives, will always remain in Roll, where their hearts were and where they made their home. Their last place of residence is in the Roll Cemetery which they donated, with a simple stone that the weather was worn the carving almost past reading.

Matthias Roll II did not live just to live. He lived to be remembered, and he is.

-- By Mrs. T. Lynn Roll Kennedy [And, in handwriting] Mrs. Charles Martha Roll

Source: Kennedy, T. Lynn Roll. Roll, Ind. News-Times (Hartford City, IN), Wednesday, June 22, 1983, p. 8. Handwritten at the bottom of the article is the name of an additional autor, Mrs. Charles Martha Roll.

Lynn's Obituary

Thelma Lynn Kennedy 1911-1999

Thelma Lynn Kennedy, 88, of Huntington died Tuesday, Aug. 31, 1999, at Huntington Memorial Hospital.

The Roll native worked as a waitress for Hotel LaFontaine in Huntington.

Surviving are a sister, Margaret Christensen of Lee Center, N.Y.; and several nieces and nephews.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Melvin C., two sisters and a brother.

Graveside services are 10 a.m. Friday at Fairview Cemetery, Bluffton. There is no calling.

Memorials are to Home Health Care or United Way.

Source for the clipping above: News-Sentinel, The. Fort Wayne, Indiana. Thursday, September 2, 1999, Editon: Final, p. 10a.

Another Obituary

Thelma Lynn Kennedy, 88, 1835 Dean St., died at 12:55 p.m. Tuesday (Aug. 31, 1999) at Huntington Memorial Hospital. Mrs. Kennedy was a waitress for the Hotel LaFontaine. She was born July 18, 1911, in Roll to Marion and Betha Farr Roll. She married Melvin Charles "Red" Kennedy in November of 1941. He died March 30, 1995. Survivors include a sister, Margaret Christensen, Lee Center, N.Y.; and several nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by two sisters, Marian Bender and Leota Lydy; and a brother, Edmond W. Roll. There will be no calling hours. Graveside services will be held at 10 a.m. Friday at the Fairview Cemetery, Bluffton, with Rev. Lee Smith officiating. Preferred memorials are to Home Health Care or the United Way. Hart Funeral Home, 715 N. Jefferson St., is in charge of arrangements.

Source for the clipping above: The Huntington Herald-Press, Huntington, Huntington County, Indiana, September 01, 1999