Search billions of records on Ancestry.com
   

A.1.a. William Berry

 

     William Berry was born in the fall of 1755 near Staunton, Augusta County, Virginia, most likely on his father’s farm. While there is no documentation as to how or where William spent his early years, his father, George Berry, can be documented as living on his Augusta County farm from his father, the elder James Berry, around 1753 until his death in 1803. William, who was born two years after his father acquired ownership of the farm and left Augusta County for Kentucky between 1785 and 1787, obviously, grew up on that farm, participating in all of the rigors attendant to pioneer life. The property had originally been purchased by William’s grandfather. When William’s father, George Berry, Sr., passed away, his estate inventory listed only a few household items, a small amount of livestock and two slaves, so, either he had already given away the bulk of his property to his children, or he just never had much to start with. This scant evidence suggests that this Berry family lived a rather rough life on the edge of the North American wilderness. When war came to the American colonies, William first served in the Augusta County militia before and during Dunmore’s War in the fall of 1774, participating in the Battle of Point Pleasant and the subsequent pursuit of the Shawnee and related tribes into Ohio. Several years later, after war had broken out between England and America, he was once again drafted into the militia in the summer of 1778, and during this tour, which ended in early 1779, he was sent back out west to help build several forts in Ohio. Later that year he was drafted into the militia yet another time, but on this occasion his unit was attached to the main army, where he served until the end of the war. In fact, he was present at the Battle of Yorktown and the subsequent surrender of Cornwallis.
 

     William Berry married Rebecca McCleary, a daughter of a nearby Beverley Grant neighbor, James McCleary, in Fairfax Courthouse in Augusta County, Virginia, sometime in 1776. James McCleary was the son of John McCleary, who owned Beverley Grant property near the Berry farm (see Figures 3, 10, 90 and Table I). They remained in Augusta County for a few years, but soon moved cross the mountains to the Kentucky bluegrass region in Fayette County, Virginia, where they remained until about 1811. Rebecca passed away there in 1804, and about a year later William married Margaret (Peggy) Collins in nearby Bourbon County. Since the marriage took place in that county, it may indicate that Peggy’s family was living in Bourbon County at the time. By 1811, William and family moved on to Gallatin County, Kentucky along the Ohio River, where they remained until about 1822. By 1823 they had moved to St. Louis, Missouri, where they spent the rest of their lives. Peggy passed away in the late summer of 1837, and William joined her in death a little over a year later in the late fall of 1838.

 

Timeline of William Berry, Rebecca McCleary and Peggy Collins

 

10 Oct. 1755128,165

Revolutionary War Pension & Bounty Land Warrant Application Files
Birth of William Berry in Augusta County, Virginia

1 Sept. 1773128

William Berry 1755 - 1838, Denny, Ennis, Berry, Barber
Birth of Margaret "Peggy" Collins in Sussex County, Delaware

~ April 1774142,165

Revolutionary War Pension & Bounty Land Warrant Application Files
William Berry enlisted as a private in the Virginia militia for three month deployment to guard settlements in the Tygart Valley against Shawnee attacks.

1774885

Lord Dunmore’s Little War of 1774, His Captains and their Men Who Opened up Kentucky & the West to American Settlement
Captain Alexander Long, He was paid 25 for 50 days at 10 sh per diem.
Lieutenant William Anderson, Sergeant Joseph Long, Sergeant John Whitecroft, Sergeant David Cunningham
Privates: Gabriel Alexander, Anthony Black, William Wright, James Brownlee, Robert Wilson, Thomas Kerr, William Armstrong, James Scott, Robert Wilson, Robert Christian, Samuel Gillian, Robert Doak, Francis Miller, William Marshall, Alexander Scott, Robert Love, Andrew Gwinn, David Caruthers, William Winnager, John Jameison, John Rutledge, Jospeh Lindon, Alexander Steuart, John Brookes, Patrick McDavid, James Trotter, James Cunningham, David Risk, John Wilson, Hugh Browne, William Hanley, William Berry, Arthur Hamilton, George Kinkead, James Harrison, James Perry, James Blair, Jeremiah Frail, Peter Shaver, Alexander Lowry, Thomas Jameson, John Hunt, John Aylett, Peter Auber, Francis Wire, William Gibson, William Smith, Abner Cox, William Levet, George Braiden, Waler Warner, David Cassarty, Solomon Rion, Thomas Price

1774885

Lord Dunmore’s Little War of 1774, His Captains and their Men Who Opened up Kentucky & the West to American Settlement
Augusta County Militia
Captain Alexander McClanahan He was paid 61 10 sh for 123 days
THIS COMPANY WAS AT POINT PLEASANT.
Sergeants: William McCutcheon (Wounded, called Lieutenant by Isaac Shelby), David Laird, Thomas Bell, William Smith, Joseph Long [Called Ensign by William Wilson], James Buchanan, Samuel Craig
Ensign John Buchanan
John Read [Paid 3 sh per diem, apparently as Quarter-Master]
Fifer: Thomas Hilkirly
Drummer: Caesar Black
Privates: Reuben Roberts; Thomas Dooley; Jesse Siddle; John Wheeler; John Massey; Senior; John Massey, Junior; Philip Massey; Francis Meadows; William Beard; John Hamilton; Campbell McCawley; Edmund Burton; John Brumley; John Miller; Frederick Servert; Thomas Murphy; William Hamock; John Chism; James Brush; Jehu Gum; James McCoy; William Scott; John Marshall; Thomas Dunbar; Samuel Jameson; Thomas Hutcheson; Robert Love; William Claik; John Jamison; John Hunt; David Caruthers; Robert Christian; James Brownlee; William Hanley; Patrick McDavid; William Berry; David Cunningham; James Cunningham; Jeremiah Ofrail; Hugh Brown, John Mitchell (wounded), George Campbell; John Porter; John Hamilton; David Hays; William Hays; John Berry; James Ewing; Ewing, Samuel Ewing; Joseph Ray; John McClintock; William Blair; Matthew Latimer; Charles Harrington; William Francis; Robert Cowin; James Rutledge; William Rutledge; William Graham; John Scott; Robert Caldwell; Stephen Wood; William Christian, Andrew McCorkle, William Willson, Thomas Wilson, John Alexander, William Arbuckle, James Obryan, Walter Dunn, James Tharp, William Brownlee, Alexander Read, John Jameison

July/August 1774165

Revolutionary War Pension & Bounty Land Warrant Application Files
William Berry served as a private in Captain McClenahan’s Company and participated in the Battle of Point Pleasant in October 1774.

1774/1775885

Lord Dunmore’s Little War of 1774, His Captains and their Men Who Opened up Kentucky & the West to American Settlement
Augusta County Public Service Claims
William Berry
By two days extra service

1776128

William Berry 1755 - 1838, Denny, Ennis, Berry, Barber
William Berry and Rebecca McCleary married in Augusta County, Virginia

25 Aug. 1777103

William Berry 1755 - 1838, Denny, Ennis, Berry, Barber
Birth of James Berry

Aug 1778165

Revolutionary War Pension & Bounty Land Warrant Application Files
William Berry served as a sergeant in a five month stint in the Virginia Militia, building and guarding Fort Laurens in present day Ohio.

1779165

Revolutionary War Pension & Bounty Land Warrant Application Files
William Berry served as a private in the Virginia Militia

20 Jan. 1780103

William Berry 1755 - 1838, Denny, Ennis, Berry, Barber
Birth of George Berry

March 1781165

Revolutionary War Pension & Bounty Land Warrant Application Files
William Berry served in the Virginia Militia and participated in the Battle of Guilford Courthouse in North Carolina.

Aug. 1781165

Revolutionary War Pension & Bounty Land Warrant Application Files
William Berry served in the Virginia Militia, participating in the final Yorktown Campaign.

1 May 1782501

Augusta County, Virginia Personal Property Tax Lists
Captain McPheeters District
William Berry
1 White Tithable     William (27)
3 Horses
10 Neat Cattle

21 Dec. 1782103

William Berry 1755 - 1838, Denny, Ennis, Berry, Barber
Birth of John Berry

1783501

Augusta County, Virginia Personal Property Tax Lists
Captains Tate and Trotter
William Berry
1 White Tithable     William (28)
1 Slave
4 Horses
15 Cattle

178421

Chronicles of the Scotch-Irish Settlements in Virginia, 1745 - 1800,

Administrator's Bonds, page 101
William Berry, son to George

1785501

Augusta County, Virginia Personal Property Tax Lists
Captain Trotters Company
William Berry
1 White Tithable     William (30)
1 Slave
5 Horses

8 July 1785128

William Berry 1755 - 1838, Denny, Ennis, Berry, Barber
Birth of Elizabeth Berry

Dec. 178621

Chronicles of the Scotch-Irish Settlements in Virginia, 1745 - 1800, Circuit Court, page 261
Hillis vs Frazier--O. S. 398; N. S. 145 -- Copy of bill in Frazier vs Ledgerwood, by John Frazier and Ann Frazier, who were children of Isabella Frazier, who was sister to Robert Moody who had taken John and Ann when young and reared them. When Moody died John was 40 years old. Moody promised to give orator and oratrix all his property in December 1786 (1776?). His heirs were Rebecca Ledgerwood, Rebecca Berry and Esther Carruthers

4 Aug. 1787475

Fayette County, Virginia/Kentucky Tax Books
Richd. Young's District
Wm Berry
5 horses
5 cattle

1788475

Fayette County, Virginia/Kentucky Tax Books
Richd. Young's District
Wm Berry
1 tithable     William (33)
4 horses

May 178921

Chronicles of the Scotch-Irish Settlements in Virginia, 1745 - 1800
Augusta County Virginia County Court Judgments
, January Causes, page 390

William Ledgerwood and Rebecca, his wife; William Berry and Rebecca, his wife; Esther Carrothers, by John Moffet, her guardian, and next friend vs John Frazier. -- Ejectment 1787. James Frazier's deposition, 19th October 1790--brother of John. John Brownlee testifies 14th November 1788. Was acquainted with James Elder and Robert Moody, his brother, upwards of sixty years ago and they passed for brothers and then lived with their parents Robert and Isabella Moody, and deponent was acquainted with them during the whole course of their lives. James Moody married Rebecca Wilson, by whom they has issue. Rebecca Moody who married William Ledgerwood, Jr. Isabelle Moody who married James McClery. James and Rebecca lived within four miles of deponent at time of their marriage and they always passed for husband and wife. Margaret Christian, step-daughter of James Moody, deposes 14th November 1788. She was acquainted with James, the elder and Robert Moody, his brother near sixty years ago and the always passed for brothers; deponent at of twelve years was present at marriage of James Moody to Rebecca Wilson; they has issue, Rebecca and Isabella, above and Esther Moody, who married John Moffett. Sarah Brownlee deposes, 14th November 1788. Was acquainted with James and Robert about fifty-eight years ago and ever since till their death.

30 May 1789103

William Berry 1755 - 1838, Denny, Ennis, Berry, Barber
Birth of Isabella Berry ???

1789475

Fayette County, Virginia/Kentucky Tax Books
Book # 3
A. W. Calla's List
Wm Berry
Capt. Clays' Company
1 tithable     William (34)
6 horses

27 Feb. 1790475

Fayette County, Virginia/Kentucky Tax Books
Book # 2
Wm Berry
Capt. Hagan's Company
1 white tithable     William (35)
6 horses

1791475

Fayette County, Virginia/Kentucky Tax Books
Book # 1
A.M. Calla's List
Wm Berry ? (the name is smeared)
Capt. Price's Company
1 white tithable     William (36)
2 horses

1792103

William Berry 1755 - 1838, Denny, Ennis, Berry, Barber
Birth of Nancy Berry

9 June 17921086

The Kentucky Gazette 1801 - 1820, Genealogical and Historical Abstracts, by Karen Mauer Green
The Kentucky Gazette, Volume V, Number XXXIX, 9 June 1792
Return of Officers and privates to whom money is due for their services on an expedition commanded by Gen. J. Wilkinson against the Wabash Indians: Capt F. M'Murdie, Sergeant Thomas Atkins, Richard Bartlett, Moses Caldwell, Joseph Logsdon, Dav. Caldwell, W. M'Dowell, William Lewis, William Berry, Patrick Burk, Philip Philips, John Arnold, Charles Snedeger, Samuel Harrod, Ensign William Clark, Thomas Bruer and John Clemons for the hire of two horses.

1792475

Fayette County, Virginia/Kentucky Tax Books
Book # 2
William Berry
Capt. Wall's Company
1 white male > 21     William (37)
9 horses
12 cattle
77 3/4 acres

Nov. 179221

Chronicles of the Scotch-Irish Settlements in Virginia, 1745 - 1800,
Administrator's Bonds, page 101
Office Judgements, page 398

John Frazier, Ann Frazier vs. Rebecca Ledgerwood, Rebecca Berry and Esther Corruthers, infant. --Spa. Chancery, 16th April 1787. Oratrix and orator are children of Isabela Fracier. Isabella was sister to Robert Moody, now deceased, who took John Frazier and kept him until Robert's death when John was forty years old. Robert died December 1776 (1786?). Robert's nuncupative will 13th December 1786. James and Robert Moody's father died intestate. Isabella Moody was their mother and administered on their father's estate. The Moodys came from Pennsylvania. John Frazier was brother-in-law of Robert Moody and they came to Virginia shortly afterwards. John Frazier died leaving five small children and a widow. Three of the children took all the land and left nothing for John and Anne whom Roberdren and a widow. Three of the children took all the land and left nothing for John and Anne whom Robert Moody took care of. James Moody's wife died and his daughters being all married and he being an old man, he took in his son-in-law, William and Rebecca Ledgerwood and shortly afterwards James sold his land to his step, Robert Wilson. Then William and Rebecca took James as long as his money lasted, when they sent him back to Robert naked and destitute. Robert prepared to make a will because he found that his brother James' heirs and the Ledgerwood family in particular would come from Kentucky and take everything he had. James Frazier. 19th July 1790. Anne Frazier's deposition to same effect, 19th July 1790. Isabella Frazier's deposition to same effect, 19th July 1790. Elizabeth Hill's deposition to same effect, 19th July 1790. Samuel Frazier's deposition to same effect, 19th July 1790. Samuel Frazier's deposition to same effect 19th July 1790. Rebecca Berry's deposition taken in Fayette County, October 1789. Zachariah Johnston deposes 5th October 1790: was born within one mile of Robert Moody's; John Frazier was accidentally killed. Rachel Wilson deposes that her husband bought a plantation from James Moody. Mrs. Mary Wilson went to Kentucky. John Brownlee deposes that he knew old Robert Moody, father of James and Robert Moody and continued intimate with the two sons after their father's death. Sarah Brownlee deposes that when she was a girl James Moody was married to her mother, a widow; James' father died and Robert and his mother kept all the estate and James never received any of the estate. John Frazier died when plaintiffs were very young, intestate and the oldest son, Samuel, took the land. Rebecca was wife of William Ledgerwood.

27 Nov 1793475

Fayette County, Virginia/Kentucky Tax Books
Book # 2
Capt. Wall's Company
Wm Berry
1 white male > 21     William (38)
7 horses
15 cattle
77 acres

29 Apr 1794475

Fayette County, Virginia/Kentucky Tax Books
Book # 4
Wm Berry
Capt. Wall's Company
1 white male > 21     William (39)
1 black
1 black < 16
7 horses
14 cattle
77 acres of 1st Rate land

1 Aug. 1794103

William Berry 1755 - 1838, Denny, Ennis, Berry, Barber
Birth of Isabella Berry ???

1795135

State Census, Fayette County, Kentucky
William Berry

1795475

Fayette County, Virginia/Kentucky Tax Books
Book # 2
Wm Berry (Hillrsa?? or Hilles or Stilles)
Capt. Wall's Company
1 white male > 21     William (40)
1 white male 16 - 21  James (18)
1 black
1 black > 16
7 horses
15 cattle
80 acres of 1st Rate land
taxed in '92, '93 and '94

1796475

Fayette County, Virginia/Kentucky Tax Books
Book # 1
William Berry
1 white male > 21      William (41)
1 white male 16 - 21  James (19) or George (16)
1 black
1 black > 16
7 horses
14 cattle
80 acres of 1st Rate land on the S. Elkhorn River
In whose name Entered/Surveyed/Granted: A. Stevens

10 Sept. 1796103

William Berry 1755 - 1838, Denny, Ennis, Berry, Barber
Birth of William Berry

1797475

Fayette County, Virginia/Kentucky Tax Books
Book # 1
Francis Dallam's List
William Berry
1 white male > 21      William (42)
1 white male 16 - 21  James (20) or George (17)
1 black > 16
1 black
7 horses
80 acres of 1st Rate land on S E Horn (South Elkhorn)
In whose name Entered/Surveyed/Granted: A Stevens (?)

June 179821

Chronicles of the Scotch-Irish Settlements in Virginia, 1745 - 1800,
Administrator's Bonds, page 101
District Court Records, page 165

Deposition of James McCleary in Fayette County, KY, that in spring of 1742 he settled in Augusta (same county as Rebecca Berry above).

1799475

Fayette County, Virginia/Kentucky Tax Books
Book # 1
Andrew McCalla's List
William Berry
1 white male > 21        William (44)
2 white males 16 - 21  George (19), John (17)
1 black > 16
1 black
8 horses
77 acres of 1st Rate land on the S. Elkhorn
In whose name Entered/Surveyed/Granted: Adam Stevens

19 Aug. 1800136,475

Fayette County, Virginia/Kentucky Tax Books
Book # 1
William Berry
1 white male > 21        William (45)
2 white males 16 - 21  George (20), John (18)
1 black > 16
2 blacks
6 horses
77 acres of 1st Rate land on S. Elkhorn
In whose name Entered/Surveyed/Granted: A. Stephens

19 Oct. 1801472

Fayette County Kentucky Records, Volume 2
p. 580, Indenture, October 19, 1801, Lewis Craig and Elizabeth Craig, his wife, of Mason County, to William Berry of Fayette County, for 30 pounds, 5 acres, on the waters of the south fork of the Elkhorn in Fayette County, bounded by Richard Allen's survey, Berry's land and James Carson's land. William Todd, witness. Recorded October 19, 1801.

1802475

Fayette County, Virginia/Kentucky Tax Books
Book # 2
William Berry
1 white male > 21        William (47)
2 white males 16 - 21  George (22), John (20)
1 black > 16
1 black
7 horses
77 acres on the S. Elkhorn
In whose name Entered/Surveyed/Granted: A. Steph

1803475

Fayette County, Virginia/Kentucky Tax Books
Book # 3
Will Berry
1 white male > 21    William (48)
1 white male > 16    John (21)
1 black > 16
1 black
2 horses
6 cattle
83 acres of 1st rate land on S Elkhorn

10 May 18031086

The Kentucky Gazette 1801 - 1820, Genealogical and Historical Abstracts, by Karen Mauer Green

The Kentucky Gazette Volume XVI, Number 869, Tuesday 10 May 1803
William Berry is erecting a powder mill on the S. Fork of Elkhorn near Lexington

8 July 1803472

Fayette County Kentucky Records, Volume 2
John Arthur to William Lindsay both of Fayette County, for $1.00, a tract in Bourbon County entered May 19, 1780 in the name of David Hughes, assignee, and patented to Hughes, and conveyed to John Jones of Fayette County and by said Jones to John Arthur. Also a brick house and lot in Lexington, on the south corner of the crossing of Main Street and second Street. Also two lots, Nos. 20 & 21, in said town. Also a Negro man named Will, a Negro man named Peton, and a Negro girl named Patt. Also household furnishings, to wit, an eight-day clock and case, twelve Windsor chairs, a desk with drawers, one pair of dog irons, one gauge rifle gun, one black horse, and one sorrel horse, one dark brown horse, one blind horse, and one white mare and colt. Also an account of moneys remaining uncollected in the hands of the distillery due the United States for year ending June 1802, in the handwriting of John Goodwin, annexed hereto, which account amounts to $4,929.21. Also sundry bonds give to James Morrison, to wit, one to Stephen Perkins for $1,555.46, one on the same for $1,555.97, one on Richard Winn for $3,277.66 2/3, one on Charles Beeler and Joseph Moore for $666.66 2/3, and also one on Richard Winn for $268.86 2/3. There follows various amounts from Henry King, Forbes Davers, John Edwards, Joseph Rogers, and Will McDonald, and duty on stills by license for the same year from Jacob Keiser, Thomas Graves, Will Coons, Peter Troutman, Absolam Adams, B. Hailey, Joseph Rutherford, James McCarty, Joseph Clarke, Michael Robbs, Ephraim January, Joseph Chrisman, Abraham Ferguson, Charles West, Moses Patterson, David Dickerson, David Sheely, Jonas Marke, Leonard Young, Joseph Woods, Thomas Reed, Jacob Rhorer, James Hufman, Abner Jackson, Robert S. Russell, Jacob Winter, Nathaniel White, Patrick Neil, Will Atchison, German Billingham, John Gorham, Reuben Johnson, Thomas Robert, Alfred Williams, James McGaffick, Daniel McCarty Payne, David Loughead, Henry Payne, Will Berry, John Creamer, Samuel Duncan, Will Hughes, Samuel Scott, Robert Fryer, John Kincaid, Joseph Thompson, A. Barbee, Jesse Beauchamp, Fred Bramberger, James Woods, Robert McAlexander by John Vance, John Edwards by Thomas Hart, Jr., Will McDonald, Jacob Crumbaugh, John Greathouse, George Ramsey and James Smith, Henry Camper, Thomas Scott, David Hamilton by W. Dunlap, John Graves, George Hunter and John M. Frank, and a further list being an account drawn by Mr. Arthur directing me to copy remaining uncollected due the United States, to wit, McNary, T. Repess, Tegarden, J. Freeman, J. Richardson, R. Allen, W. Sanderson, P. Sidner, John Loughlin, James Long, Andrew Simpson, Will Hamilton, John Mason, Ingram Taylor, Benjamin Robinson, Will Mitchell, Adin Webb, Charles Pigman, John Lewis, Michael Dickey, Edmund Singleton, James Fisher, W. Williamson, George Winn, John H. Combs, George W. Rice, Thomas Cavins, James Overstreet, Nathaniel Ashby, H. P. Lewis, David Watts, W. Cook owed by Dunn, Robert Simpson, Bryan Ferguson by John C. Richardson, E. Hayden, E. January, S. McGehee, W. Ingram, John South, Will Damilton, Will Berry, John Berry, James McGaffick and W. McGaffick, Joseph Crockett, Richard Bibb, Robert Patterson, John Henderson, James Stephens, Samuel Caldwell, Jesse Winn, James Brown, John Spears and Ayres Beatty, and the amount of notes due John Arthur, various amounts from Daniel Vance, John McGaffick, George Nailor, W. Coons, Samuel Duncan, John Gorsham, Denis Owen, Hamilton Atchison, Nathan Hoge, Forbes Davers, Alexander Wilson, Thomas Hite, John McGaffick, Samuel Wilson, Samuel McMurtry, Campbell's heirs, John Fowler, W. Patterson, Joseph Crisman, Dr. Downing, Charles Pigman, Leonard Young, George Walker, John Owings, James Bryan, James Alexander and James Atchison, totaling $4,866.81.

1804103

William Berry 1755 - 1838, Denny, Ennis, Berry, Barber
Death of Rebecca (McCleary) Berry in Harrison County, Kentucky near Robinson

1804475

Fayette County, Virginia/Kentucky Tax Books
Book # 4
William Berry
1 white male > 21      William (49)
1 white male 16 - 21  John (22)
1 black > 16
2 blacks
7 horses
83 acres of 1st rate land on the S Elkhorn
In whose name Entered/Surveyed/Granted: Stevens (?)

25 July 1805103,891

William Berry 1755 - 1838, Denny, Ennis, Berry, Barber
Marriage of William Berry and Margaret (Peggy) Collins in Bourbon County, Kentucky

1805476

Fayette County, Kentucky Tax Books
Book # 3
Samuel Blair's List
William Berry
1 white male > 21    William (50)
1 black > 16
3 total blacks
1 horse
86 acres of 1st rate land in Fayette County on S Elkhorn
In whose name Entered/Surveyed/Granted: Stevens

19 Jan. 1806128

William Berry 1755 - 1838, Denny, Ennis, Berry, Barber
Birth of Elizabeth C. Berry

14 May 1807476

Fayette County, Kentucky Tax Books
Book # 3
David Logan's Comm.
42nd Regiment
William Berry
1 white male > 21    William (52)
1 black > 16
2 total blacks
6 horses
84 acres in Fayette County on the Elkhorn
In whose name Entered/Surveyed/Granted: Stevens

1808476

Fayette County, Kentucky Tax Books
Book # 2
David Logan's Comm.
42nd Regiment
William Berry
1 white male > 21   William (53)
1 black > 16
3 total blacks
6 horses
84 acres of 1st rate land in Fayette County on the S Elkhorn
In whose name Entered/Surveyed/Granted: Stephens

1809476

Fayette County, Kentucky Tax Books
Book # 3
Rick Higgin's Comm.
William Berry
1 white male > 21   William (54)
1 black > 16
11 total blacks
6 horses
84 acres of 1st rate land in Fayette County on the Elkhorn
In whose name Entered/Surveyed/Granted: Stephens

1 Aug. 1809128

William Berry 1755 - 1838, Denny, Ennis, Berry, Barber
Birth of Sarah Jane Berry

14 Aug. 1809474

Fayette County Kentucky Records, Volume 4
page 165, On the motion of Nathaniel Pettit, Jr., administration on the estate of Nathaniel Pettit, dec'd, is granted him, he entering into bond with William McClelland and William Berry his securities in the penal sum of $3000. Ordered that John Bryant, John Morrison, William Roman and Wilson Hunt, or any of these three, make appraisal of the personal estate of the decendent.

1810476

Fayette County, Kentucky Tax Books
William Berry
2 white males > 21  William (55), ?
3 black > 16
4 total blacks
12 horses
84 acres of 1st rate land in Fayette County on the Elkhorn

1810480

US Census Fayette County, Kentucky
William Berrey

1 male < 10

 

1 male 10 - 15

William (14)

2 males 16 - 26

 

1 male > 45

William (55)

2 females < 10

Elizabeth (4), Sarah Jane (1)

2 females 16 - 26

Nancy (18), Isabella (21)

2 females 26 - 45

Peggy (37)

5 slaves

 

2 May 181173

Fayette County Kentucky Records, Volume 3
John Pettit to Nancy Berry with William Berry as surety. May 2, 1811. William Berry, father of the bride, certified she was of lawful age.

12 Sept. 1811103

William Berry 1755 - 1838, Denny, Ennis, Berry, Barber
Birth of Joseph Allen Berry

1811477

Gallatin County, Kentucky Tax Records
William Berry
1 white male > 21 (William/56)
100 acres of 1st rate land in Gallatin County on the Ohio River
In Whose Name Entered/Surveyed/Granted: Wade Mosby

1812477

Gallatin County, Kentucky Tax Records
William Berry
1 white male > 21    William (57)
2 blacks > 16
5 total blacks
9 horses
100 acres of 1st rate land in Gallatin County on ? Creek
In Whose Name Entered/Surveyed/Granted: John H Craig

1813477

Gallatin County, Kentucky Tax Records
List # 5
William Berry
1 white male > 21   William (58)
2 blacks > 16
5 total blacks
6 horses
100 acres of 1st rate land in Gallatin County on the Ohio River
In Whose Name Entered/Surveyed/Granted: John H Craig

1815477

Gallatin County, Kentucky Tax Records
List # 3
William Berry
1 white male > 21   William (60)
2 blacks > 16
5 total blacks
8 horses
100 acres of 1st rate land in Gallatin County on the Ohio River
In Whose Name Entered/Surveyed/Granted: J H Craig
Value of Land/Acre: $12
Total Value: $2800

1816477

Gallatin County, Kentucky Tax Records
List # 4
William Berry
1 white male > 21  William (61)
2 blacks > 16
5 total blacks
7 horses
100 acres of 1st rate land in Gallatin County on the Ohio River
In Whose Name Entered/Surveyed/Granted: J H Craig
Value of Land/Acre: $12
Total Value: $2830

15 July 1816103

William Berry 1755 - 1838, Denny, Ennis, Berry, Barber
Birth of Mary Craig Berry

13 Oct. 1817478

Gallatin County Estates, Wills, Administrations, Guardianships
and Settlements, 1799 - 1838

William Bledsoe of Fredericksburg, A-461, Will dated 2-26-1817, Witt. By Henry Yates, Robert Guinea, John Brock and William Berry; Execs. Jaba Moore and Duncan Campbell; Prob. 10-13-1817 by Jaba Moore, David Gibson, William Berry and Robert Guinea; Inventory 12-9-1817 by John Gibson and Preston Hampton; To wife, Winney Bledsoe, her dower of 102 acres of land and two Negroes, Pail and Mariah; to son, Gabriel Bledsoe, because of his unhealthiness, a Negro girl, Patsy; all children an equal division. Benjamin Kendall, Guardian of Jesse Slaughter Bledsoe; David Gibson guardian of Polly, Nancy, James, Elizabeth, Virginia and Samuel Bledsoe; settlement 9-7-1822 mentions Winny, William, Gabriel, George, Jesse, Baylor, Polly, Nancy, Elizabeth, Ann, Samuel M, James, Jane, Willid, Virginia, Pady and Eizabeth.

1817477

Gallatin County, Kentucky Tax Records
List # 6
William Berry

1 white male > 21   William (62)
2 blacks > 16
2 total blacks
8 horses
100 acres of 1st rate land in Gallatin County on the Ohio River
In Whose Name Entered/Surveyed/Granted: J H Craig
Total Value: $2830

1818474

Gallatin County, Kentucky Tax Records
List # 7
William Berry
1 white male > 21   William (63)
2 blacks > 16
6 total blacks
7 horses
Value of Town Lotts: $56
100 acres of 1st rate land in Gallatin County on the Ohio River
In Whose Name Entered/Surveyed/Granted: J H Craig
Value of Land/Acre: $20
Total Value: $4325

1819474

Gallatin County, Kentucky Tax Records
William Berry Sr
1 white male > 21   William (64)
3 blacks > 16
7 total blacks
6 horses
Value of Town Lotts: $20
100 acres of 1st rate land in Gallatin County on the Ohio River
Total Value: $4545

1820477

Gallatin County, Kentucky Tax Records
William Berry Sr
1 white male > 21   William (65)
3 blacks > 16
7 total blacks
6 horses
Value of Town Lotts: $200
100 acres of 1st rate land in Gallatin County on the Ohio River
Total Value: $3340

1820481

Federal Census, Gallatin County, Kentucky
William Berry

1 male < 10

Joseph Allen (9)

1 male 16 - 26

William (24)

1 male > 45

William (65)

1 female < 10

Mary Craig (4)

2 females 16 - 26

Sarah (11), Elizabeth (14)

1 female > 45

Peggy (47)

4 people engaged in agriculture
2 male slaves 14 - 26
1 male slave 26 - 45
1 male slave > 45
4 female slaves 14 - 26
3 female slaves 26 - 45

1821477

Gallatin County, Kentucky Tax Records
William Berry
1 white male > 21   William (66)
3 blacks > 16
7 total blacks
6 horses
Value of Town Lotts: $200
100 acres of 1st Rate land in Gallatin County on the Ohio River
In Whose Name Entered/Surveyed/Granted: John H Craig
Value/Acre: $10
Total Value: $3040

18 Nov. 1823937

St. Louis County, Missouri, Entries of Public Lands in Township 45 N, Range 5 E, Up to 1st January, 1838, in Missouri State Archives, Jefferson City, Missouri. Record: U.S. Land Sale County: St. Louis Co. Volume: 1, page: 45
November 1823
Certificate Number 693
Purchaser: William Berry Senior
NW Section 13, 167.16 acres

1830482

Federal Census, St. Louis County, Missouri
Bon Homme Township
William Berry

1 male 15 - 20

Joseph (19)

1 male 20 - 30

 

1 male 70 - 80

William (75)

1 female 10 - 15

Mary (14)

1 female 15 - 20

 

1 female 50 - 60

Peggy (57)

1 male slave < 10

 

1 male slave 26 - 55

 

4 female slaves < 10

 

1 female slave 10 - 24

 

1 female slave 24 - 36

 

14 people in household

 

19 Sept. 1832479

Revolutionary War Pension & Bounty Land Warrant Application Files
To all whom it may concern:
I do hereby certify that John Berry did perform the following services in the revolutionary war.
First tour: He was draughted from Augusta County, Va before or by the first of August 1778 or 79 went across the Ohio river 25 miles [illegible] Pitt & joined the main armee at fort [ink blot, illegible] from thence the armee went [ink blot, next three words illegible] river, build a fort there which was called Tuscarrores or Lawrens which I do not exactly as this time recolect. He the said John Berry from thence returned home 2 days before new year in the s.d above campaign. I was with him all the time. McIntosh was Commander in Chief our Colonel was William Boyers of Staunton Virginia. Wm. Henderson was our Captain who was afterwards apppointed a Major.
Second Tour. He served under Captain Smith of Staunton Va. as a volunteer went to Portsmouth by Richmond, length of service about 3 months.
Third Tour. He served under Captain William Tate, went to Richmond while Corwallis was west from thence to Williamsburg and had 2 little skirmishes his's one at hot water the other at Jamestown, the length of this service I don't recolect so exactly but I think it was about two or 3 months.
William Berry
September the 19 1832
Commonwealth of Missouri
St. Louis County Bonhome townnship
This day William Berry personally appeared before me Harry Smith a justice of the pease in and for the [ink blot, illegible] townshipd aforesaid and made [ink blot, illegible] that thewithin statements of the [ink blot, illegible] rendered by John Berry is true to the best of his Knowledge.
Given under my hand and Seal this day 19 of September in year 1832
William Berry
Sworn and subscribed to before me this 19th day of Sept 1832
Henry Smith, Justice of the Peace in St. Louis County Mo.

10 Dec. 1832479

Revolutionary War Pension & Bounty Land Warrant Application Files
State of Kentucky, Harrison County
On this 10th day of Dec.r 1832 before us William Fumish, Larkin Garnett & Lewis Day constituting the county court of Harrison County which is a court of record now sitting, appeared John Berry a resident of Harrison County in the State of Kentucky, aged nearly seventy two years having been born on the 27th day of December 1760 who being first duly sworn according to law, doth on his Oath make the following declaration, in order to obtain the benefit of the law of Congress passed June the 7th 1832, he states he entered the service of the United States under the following named officers and he served as herein stated, that sometime about the first of August 1778 or 1779 he was drafted for four months and entered the Virginia service for the United States under Capt. Wm. Henderson, under the command of Col. Wm. Boyer who was under the command of Gen. McIntosh a regular officer that he marched from Augusta County Va. and crossed the Ohio below For Pitt. Meeting the army at first McIntosh thence to a point where the forces built a fort called Tuscarora or Lawrence which he is not certain & thinks it was on Tuscarora creek on the Muskingism river & thinks at which latter fort he remained during the remainer of his s.d term which expired in the latter end of Dec. 1778-79. The duties performed during this tour were marching from home & c. as above set forth & building the s.d fort & remaining there guarding the country according to orders. That he never rec.d any discharged - being dismissed without forms. That _ (?) he volunteered for two months which tour served out under Capt. ___ Smith in the fall of the year _(?) and eight who went from Staunton Virginia. The other officers recollected that also, he went as a substitute for his brother in law John Tate and served one month. This tour was served in the fall about Sept. Shortly previous to Cornwallis capture in Oct. 1781 under Capt. William Tate in Col. Boyers regiment again with Major Lang (?), Genl. Lafayete, Gen. Wayne, Genl. Mulenburgh, reguar officers were along & commanded, but this declaration was more under the immediate command of Gen. Campbell who was a militia officer & died on this Expedition. Major Armisted is also recollected as a regular officer that he served several minor tours as a volunteer besides the foregoing, particulars of which are not sufficiently recollected to set them forth. That on the second Expedition above named he marched from Augusta County Va. to Richmond where he staid in service the ballance of s.d tour. That the third tour he marched from same county Augusta Va. through Richmong where he followed the British under Corwallis to Williamsburg, thence the forces to which this declarant was attached went down to the crossing of James River at Old James Town where they had a severe skirmish under Genl. Wayne against the British at the green spring & shortly afterwards his term was out, and he returned home. He states that he never rec.d a discharge - having always been dismissed verbally without form, that he verily believes that he served upwards of seven months in the service of the United States, including the s.d three tours above set forth. That he was residing in Augusta County Virginia at each period when he entered the service of his country in which county he was born on the 27th day of Dec.r 1760. That he has no record of his age only his own Bible. It was on his fathers bible but he knows not what has become of that. That he resided in Augusta County Va. after the revolution until the date of 1791 when he removed to Fayette County thence to Harrison County, Ky. in the fall of the year 1799, whence he has resided ever since & now resides. He states that he knows of no individual by whom he can prove his services
[inserted between lines:]
Except his bro. William Berry of Missouri, whose certificate is herewith inclosed.is living in this State or elsewhere. He hereby relinquishes every claim what ever to a pension or annunity, except the present, & declares that his name in not on the pension roll of this agency of any State or Territory Whatsoever,
John Berry
Sworn to and Subscribed the day and year aforesaid.
Samuel Endecott, C.H.C.
We James R. Curry and Josephus Perrin residing in the county of Harrison and State of Kentucky hereby certifiy that we are well acquainted with John Berry Sr who has subscribed and sworn to the above declaration. That we believe him to be nearly seventy two years of age. That he has been & still is reputed to be believed in the neighborhood where he resides to be a man of veracity & to have been a soldier of the revolution & that we concur in that opinion.
J. R. Curry
Josphus Perrine
Sworn to and Subscribed the day & year aforesaid.
Samuel Endicott .C.H.C.
And the said court do hereby declare their opinion that the above named applicant was a recolutionary soldier and served as he states.
Wm. Furmish J.H.
L. Garnett J. P.
Lewis Day J. P.
John Berrys Declaration 21649
Commonwealth of Kentucky, Harrison County
I Samuel Endecott Clerk of the County Court of Harrison County, do hereby certify that the foregoing contains the original proceedings of the s.d Court, in the matter of the application of John Berry for a pension. In Testimony whereof I have hereunto set my hand and seal [illegible] 11th day of December A.D. 1832 and in the 41 year of the Commonwealth.
S. Endecott Clk.H.C.
I am well acquainted with J. R. Curry esq. att. at Law & Gen.l Josephus Perrin & do certify that they are men of merit, respectability & they are entitled to credit.
[illegible} Johnson
6th December 1833

21 Feb. 1833142,165

Revolutionary War Pension & Bounty Land Warrant Application Files
Declaration
In order to obtain the benefit of the Act of Congress passed June 7, 1832.
State of Missouri, County of St. Louis
On this twenty-first day of February in the year of our Lord, eighteen hundred and thirty-three, in open court personally appears now sitting before the County Court, of the County of Saint-Louis, William Berry, a resident of the County of Saint Louis, and State of Missouri, aged seventy-seven years, on the tenth day of October, 1832, who being first duly sworn, according to law, doth on his oath make the following declaration, in order to obtain the benefit of the [several scratched through words] act of Congress, passed June 7th 1832. That he entered the service of the United States under the following named officers & served as herein stated in the year 1774 -- that is to say, he was drafted to serve a tour with the malitia of Virginia, in the County of Augusta & state of Virginia, that he served under Captain Alexander Long, who belonged to [next line illegible on photocopy] of the Virginia Malitia, in which he served three months, in a tour to what was called Tigers Valley. That immediately after his return from Tiger's Valley, of the same year, he volunteered to serve a tour Campaign with the [illegible] Virginia Malitia, under Captain Alexander McClandhan, and was attached to Col. [illegible] Lewis' regiment; he started on this Campaign from Augusta County, Virginia, and was absent about six months, and was at the battle of the Point so called, with the Indians, between the Ohio and Kanawha rivers, after the battle at the Port with the Indians, he proceeded with his Company to the Old Chilacotha Town north of the Ohio River, where a treaty of peace was concluded between the white and the Indians & this deponent then returned home to Virginia.
That in August 1778 he was drafted to serve a tour with the Virginia Malitia, from the County of Augusta, Virginia, and that he served under Capt. William Henderson, in whose Company he was an acting Sergeant, and was attached to Col. William Boyers regiment, of the Virginia Malitia. In this tour, his company proceeded westwards & crossed the Ohio river, twenty-five miles below fort Pitt, and joined the main army, under the Commands of General McIntosh at fort McIntosh, from thence the main army proceeded across the Muskingum river and built a fort called "Tuskaroras" or "Lawrence" & returned home to Augusta County, Virginia, about the New year of the year 1779.
He was again drafted, in Augusta County, Virginia, to serve an other tour, & left home under the Command of Capt. Thomas Smith, and attached to Col. Samuel McDowel's Regiment of the Virginia Malitia, & was put under the Command of General Green, of the United States Army, and was at in the battle at Guilford Court House in (North Carolina) between the British and Americans - after which he was discharged & sent home.
This deponent was again drafted to serve with the Virginia Malitia, in Augusta County, Virginia, & left home under the Command of Capt. James Bell of the Virginia Malitia, attached to Col. Samuel Lewis regiment of Virginia malitia, and attached to the main body of the United States Army under the Command of General Washington. In the tour he was at the battle of York Town between the British & Americans and at the surrender of Cornwallace to the American Army & was in the service of the United States until he was dischared after the close of the revolutionary war. This deponent has no documentary evidence to substantiate these facts. The precise dates of his entering and being discharged from service he does not recollect, on account of the length of time which has elapsed, since he was so engaged in the Service.
Some of the facts in the foregoing declaration, the deponent states that he can not prove by any of the soldiers who were acquainted with him in the several tours in which he served, because he believes they are mostly or perhaps entirely all dead.
He hereby relinquishes every claim, whatever, to a pension, or annuity except this present, and declares that his name is not on the pension Roll of the agency of any states, of the United States, or any Territory thereof.
Sworn to & subscribed in William Berry
open court, this 21st day of
February 1833
Henry Chouteau, Clerk
We Thomas A. Hinsley a Clergyman, residing in the County of Saint Louis and State of Missouri, and John Lee who, a clergyman residing in the same County and State, above written, hereby certify that we are well acquainted with William Berry who has subscribed and sworn to the above declaration, that we believe him to be seventy-seven years of age as stated in said declaration that he [illegible] and believed, in the neighborhoods where he resides, to have been a soldier of the revolution, and that we concur in that opinion.
Sworn to and subscribed in open Court this twenty seventh day of February 1833.
Thos. Hensley
Hntry Chouteau, Clerk
John Lee
And the St. Louis County Court, being now here in Superior for the February Term of said Court, in the year of our Lord eighteen hundred and thirty-three, performed the following interrogatories to William Berry an applicant for a pension on account of services as a soldier in the Revolution, as stated in the foregoing declaration.
1. Where and what year were you born?
Answer - I was born in Augusta County Virginia, near Stanton, on the tenth day of October 1755.
2. Have you any records of your age, and if so, where is it?
Answer - I have no records of my age; but I have seen my birth recorded in my fathers family Bible, and he has been dead for more than twenty-five years, and what became of his Bible, in which my age was so recorded, I have not been able to learn.
3. Where were you living when called in to service; where have you lived since the Revolutionary War, and where do you now live?
Answer - I lived in Augusta County, near Stanton Virginia; about forty years ago, I removed to the state of Kentucky, and settled in Fayette County about five miles south of Lexington, where I resided for some years, when I removed to Gallatin County in the same state, where I resided until about ten or eleven years ago when I removed to the state of Missouri, and settled on the River Des Peres in St. Louis County where I have resided ever since and where I now reside.
4. How were you called into service; were you drafted, did you volunteer, or were you a substitute?
Answer - This is fully stated in the foregoing declaration.
5. State the names of the Regular Officers, who were with the troops where you served; such Continental and Malitia regiments as you can recollect, and the general circumstances of your Services?
Answer - This is fully done so far as I can recollect in the foregoing declaration.
6. Did your receive a discharge from the Service and if so, whom was it given and what has become of it?
Answer - I did receive a discharge, but it has been so long ago, that I have long since lost or mislaid it but by whom it was given, I do no recollect.
7. State the names of persons to whom you are known in your present neighborhood, and who can testify as to your character for veracity, and their belief of your service as a soldier of the Revoltuion.
Answer - I am personally known to the three honorable Judges who now preside in this court, & the ministers of Clergymen who have given the above certificate & to all my neighbors with whom I now reside who can testify to those facts.
William Berry
Sworn to & subscribed before me in open court this 27th February 1833.Henry Chouteau, Clerk.
And the said court, do hereby declare their opinion, after the
investigation of the matter, and after putting the interrogatories presented by the War Department, that the above named applicant was a Revolutionary Soldier, and served as he states. And the Court further certify, that it appears to them that Thomas Hensley, and John Lee, who have signed the preceding certificate, are clergymen, residents in the county aforesaid, and are credible persons and that thier statement is entitled to credit.
State of Missouri, County of St. Louis
I, Henry Chouteau, Clerk of the County Court, within and for the county aforesaid, do hereby certify that the foregoing contains the orignial proceedings of the said Court, in the matter of the application of William Berry for a pension. In testimony whereof, I have hereunto set my hands,
and affixed the seal of said Court, as the City of St. Louis; this twenty-seventh day of February in the year eighteen hundred and thirty three.
Howard Chouteau, Clerk

10 May 1833165

Revolutionary War Pension & Bounty Land Warrant Application Files
WAR DEPARTMENT
Pension Office
10 May 1833
Sir:
The evidence in support of your claim, under the act of June 7, 1832, has been examined, and the papers are herewith returned. The following is a statement of your case in a tabular form. On comparing these papers with the following rules, and the subjoined notes, you will readily perceive that objections exist, which must be removed, before a pension can be allowed. The notes and the regulations will shew what is necessary to be done. Those points to which your attention is more particularly directed, you will find marked in the margin with a brace, (thus: }). You will, when you return your papers to this Department, sent this printed letter with them; and you will, by complying with this request, greatly facilitate the investigation of your claim.
A STATEMENT, showing the Service of William Berry County of St. Louis, State of Missouri

Period When The Service Was Rendered

Duration of Claimants Service (years, months,days)

Rank of Claimant

[illegible] Field Officers Under Whom He Served

Draft 1774

3

pvt

Capt. Long

Vol about 1 mo

---

 

Capt. McClenahan,Col. Lewis

Draft 1778

time not given

srgt

Capt. Henderson

Col. Boyer
Gen. McIntosh

Draft 1779

 time not stated

 

Capt. Smith
Col. McDowel
Gen. Green

Draft 1779

time not stated

 

Capt. Bell
Col. Lewis
Gen. Washington

Age at Present:
77 years
Place of Abode When He Entered The Service:
State of Virginia
Proof By Which The Declaration Is Supported:
Traditionary Evidence
Papers not authenticated for 1778 service
I am, respectfully
Your obedient servant
J. L. Edwards
Commissioner of Pensions.

12 Aug. 1833165

Revolutionary War Pension & Bounty Land Warrant Application Files
State of Missouri, County of St. Louis, S.S. 655
Personally appeared before the undersigned a justice of the peace within and for the County and State aforesaid, William Berry who being duly sworn, deposeth and saith that by reason of old age, and the consequent loss of memory, he can not swear positively as to the precise length of of his service (as set forth in the foregoing declaration) but according to the best of his recollection, he served not less than the periods mentioned below, and in the following grades: For three months, in the drafted malitia of Virginia in the year 1774; I served as a private under Captain Alexander Long; from Augusta County Virginia; to what was called "Tiger's Valley". For six months, as a volunteer, of the Virginia Militia, in the year 1774 immediately after the above tour, under Captain Alexander McClannahan, who was attached to Col. Lewis' regiment, from Augusta County Virginia, as a private, I served, as stated in my declaration; For five months, in the drafted militia from Augusta County Virginia; in the year 1778, under Captain William Henderson, who was attached to Col. William Boyers regiment, & who were under the Command of General McIntosh I served as sergeant; For one month and a half, in the drafted militia from Augusta County Virginia; in the year 1779; under Captain Thomas Smith, was attached to Col. Samuel McDowel's regiment, & who was under the command of General Green, I served as a private; For three months, in the drafted militia from Augusta County Virginia; in the year 1779, under Command of Captain James Bell, attached to Col. Samuel Lewis regiment, who was under the command of General Washington; I served as a private, and for such above stated service I claim I claim a pension.
William Berry
Sworn to and subscribed before me a Justice of the peace within and for the County of St. Louis aforesaid the 12th day of August 1833
Wilson Primm J.P.
State of Missouri}
County of St. Louis} SS
I, Henry Chouteau, Clerk of the county court, within and for the county aforesaid - Do hereby certify that Wilson Primm, whose name is subscribed to the preceding afidavit at the magistrate before whom the same was sworn to, was at the time of signing the same, and now is, a Justice of the peace within and for the county aforesaid, and that due faith and credit are due to his acts as such; being duly commissioned and qualified as such; and further, that the signature subscribed to said affidavit, is the genuine signature of the said Wilson Primm.
In testimony whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and affixed the seal of said court at the City of St. Louis this seventeenth day of September in the year of our Lord eighteen hundred and twenty three.
Henry Choteau
22305, M589
William Berry
Missouri
Adm. 9 months 15 days
5 months serf.
25.00
13.33 1/3
1.66 1/3
$40.---
Jno. Y. Darley
Saint Louis, Missouri

19 Sept. 1833165

Revolutionary War Pension & Bounty Land Warrant Application Files
Saint Louis, Missouri
19th September 1833
Hon. J. L. Edwards
Commissioner of Pensions
Washington City
Sir:
Herewith I hand you enclosed the papers of William Berry in support of his claim for a pension under the act of June 7th 1832: together with the printed letter sent by you from the Department when [illegible] papers were returned to me: I have drawn up the [illegible] tional or supplemental declaration, in as strict compliance, with your directions contained therein, as it was possible to be done, under the existing state of facts. I hope, therefore, they may be approved of by, and acceptable to the department. The individual making the claim, is very poor, aged & infirmed, & the relief which he may receive from the Government, will be most opportune & acceptable to his present [illegible]. The interest I have taken to prepare & format [illegible] claim to the department, has been prompted sadly by [illegible]ity for the claimant. I hope [illegible] be pleased to give me as early a notice of this claim as practicable.
I am, Sir, with great respect
John F. De

9 Oct 1833165

Revolutionary War Pension & Bounty Land Warrant Application Files
Missouri 22303(?)
William Berry of St. Louis Co, Mo., private in the company of Capt McClanahan in the regiment of Col. Lewis in the Virginia line nine and one-half months (five as sergeant, 4 1/2 as private), was placed on the Missouri pension roll at $40 per annum under the act of 1832. Certificate 22305 was issued 9 Oct 1833.

~1834747

St. Louis Probate Court, Probate File #1440, St. Louis County, Missouri
*Transcriber’s NOTE: This Will is undated, but when presented for probate on 19 Jan 1839, one of the Witnesses declared it was signed by William Berry ‘about five years ago’.
I William Berry Sen.r being of an infirm body but of a sound mind having the fear of the Lord before my eyes do desire that first and above all things that my soul may return to the Lord from whence it came and my body be concentrated to its mother earth from whence it was ----?-- and my Est. Real and Personal to be distributed equally amongts my Children after the following manne To wit:
First, I will unto my son James Berry’s Heirs so much as has formerly received and five dollars to be paid them out of the sale of my personal Est.
Second, I will my son George Berry so much he has formerly received and five dollars to be paid him out os the sale of my personal Est.
Third, I will unto my son John Berry so much as he formerly received and five dollars to be paid him out of the Sale of my personal Est.
Fourth, I will unto my Daughter Nancey Pettit so much as she has formerly received and a little negro girl named Carroline which Girl I wish my Executor at the death of Myself and wife to sell and pay over the proceeds of said Carroline to the Said Nancey Pettit or her Heirs which I concur to be her portion of my est.
Fifth, To my Daughter Isabell Truedale and my daughter, Sarah J. Ennis, all they may have heretofore received and a negro woman Sharlott named all the increase of her body from thence day to her death to themselves or their Heirs forever.
Sixth, I will to my Son William Berry Jr, a negro Girl named Phebeann to have possession of same at my Death.
Seventh, I will unto my Daughter Elizabeth C. Denny all she have received of me formerly and a negro Child Called Phillip and one hundred dollars to be paid her out the Sale of my personal Est. in twelve months after my Death the boy and money is not to be paid her until the Death of my Wife Provided she outlives me.
Eighth, I will unto my son Joseph A. Berry the Farm on which I now live to have full possession of the same at my Death also the one half of the Value of a negro boy Called David.
Nineth, I will unto my Daughter Mary C. Berry, a Negro Girl Called Sidney and one half of the Vallue of a boy Called David which She is to have Possession of at my Death and the death of my Wife.
Tenth, I will all my Personal Est to be Sold on a credit of twelve months and after Paying all my Just Debts out of the Proceeds of the same the P------?-- to be equally Divided between my Children Isabella Trusedale, Elisabeth C. Denny, Sarah J. Enis, Joseph A. Berry and Mary C. Berry.
Eleventh, I will my sons William and Joseph a Berry are to help and Maintain the two old Negroes Sipio and Phebe and maintain the same During life.
I do now acknowledge this to be my last will and testament and do solicit the same to be witnessed and put on record by presents.
William Berry
Witnessed
Thomas Warth
Thos. A. Henley
John Bailey

9 Oct. 1835165

Revolutionary War Pension & Bounty Land Warrant Application Files
Missouri 223
William Berry St. Louis in the State of Mo. who was a [illegible, could be Sergent] in the Co comm. by Captain McClanahan of the Rgt. Commanded by Col. Lewis in the Virginia line for 9 1/2 months
Sergt. 5 mo. 25.
Private 6 1/2 mo 15
40
Inscribed on the Roll of Missouri at the rate of 40 Dollars no Cents per annum, to commence on the 4th day of March 1831. Certificate of Pension issued the 9th day of Oct. 1835 and sent to John E. Darley, St. Louis, Mo.
Arrears to the 4th of Sept 1833 100.
Semi-ant. allowances ending 4 Mar 34 20.
$120.
{Revolutionary Claim}
{Act June 7, 1832 }
Recorded by Wm. R. Palmer Clerk,
Book 8 Vol. 8 Page 80

19 Sept. 1837128

William Berry 1755 - 1838, Denny, Ennis, Berry, Barber
Death of Margaret (Peggy) Collins in St. Louis, MO

19 Dec. 1838103,892

William Berry 1755 - 1838, Denny, Ennis, Berry, Barber
Missouri Republican, 22 December 1838
BERRY, WILLIAM. Died at his residence in St. Louis County, twelve miles west of St. Louis, in the 86th year of his age. He was born in Virginia; entered the army when 22 years old, and was present at the surrender of Cornwallis. In 1782, he returned to Kentucky, and for the last 16 years has been a resident of Missouri. He leaves a numerous family.

19 Jan. 1839747

St. Louis Probate Court, Probate File #1440, St. Louis County, Missouri
State of Missouri, County of Saint Louis
Be it Remembered that on this nineteenth day of January in the Year of our Lord one thousand Eight hundred and thirty nine before me Henry Chouteau, Clerk of the County Court within and for the County aforesaid personally appeared Thomas A. Hensley a subscribing witness to the foregoing instrument of writing who being by me duly sworn according to law on his oath deposed and said that about five years ago he was present and saw William Berry sign the said instrument of writing and heard him publish, pronounce and declare the same to be his last will and testament that the said instrument was read over to said William Berry by Thomas Warth one of the subscribing witnesses to the same premises to said Berry’s signing said instrument, that he said deponent and John Bailey who is now dead, and Thomas Wash, signed said instrument as witnesses thereto in the presence of the said William Berry, but does not recollect whether they did so at the request of said Berry or of some other person, he said Berry was very sick at the time and was not expected to recover. the deponent further said that to the best of his knowledge, observation and belief said William Berry was not of sound and disposing mind for some time before he executed the same. he further said that he said deponent and the other subscribing witnesses subscribed the same in the presence of each other as well as in the presence of said William Berry, now therefore I consider that the said instrument is not proved to be the last will and testament of said William Berry and do reject the same.
In testimony whereof I hereto set my hand and affix the seal of said Court at office in the City of St. Louis and in the county and state aforesaid this nineteenth day of January in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and thirty nine.
Henry Chouteau Clerk

19 Jan. 1839747

St. Louis Probate Court, Probate File #1440, St. Louis County, Missouri
State of Missouri, County of St. Louis
This day personally appeared before me, the Clerk of the County Court, for the county of St. Louis, the undersigned William Truesdale and Samuel Denny who being by me duly sworn, upon their oath say that is the best of their knowledge there are the following named heirs of William Berry deceased, now in being, to wit: George Berry and Nancy Petit, children of dec’d who reside in Fayette County, Kentucky; John, a son in Harrison County, Kentucky; Isabelle, daughter, wife of William Trusdale, of Franklin County Missouri ; William Berry, Junior, Joseph A. Berry, Sarah Ennis, wife of William Ennis, Elizabeth, wife of Samuel Denny and Mary C, wife of ___ Barbor, children of deceased all of whom reside in the County of St. Louis, Missouri. and William Berry who is supposed to reside in Illinois; Eliza, wife of James Stouse, residing in ---?-- County, Catharine, wife of Jno. B. Smith, of Galena in Illinois, Nancy, wife of Franklin Buchannon, James, George, Alexander, Julia Ann, Rebecca, Isabella, Mary Ann children of James Berry deceased who was a son of William Berry deceased who reside in St. Louis County, Missouri and that is the best of their knowledge that the said deceased died without a will as far as they know and believe and that they will well and tryly administer all and singular the goods and chattels, lands and tenaments, rights and credits, of the said deceased, and pay his debts, as far as the estate which may come to their hands will extend and the law direct; and that they will make a true and perfect inventory of all the goods and chattels, rights and credits, of the said deceased, and account for and pay over, according to law, all assets which shall come to their hands, possession or knowledge.
Sworn to and subscribed before me, this Nineteenth day of }
January 1839 } Wm. Truesdell
Henry Chouteau, Clerk Samuel Denny

19 Jan. 1839747

St. Louis Probate Court, Probate File #1440, St. Louis County, Missouri
Know all men by these presents, That We William Truesdell and Samuel Denny as principals and we Isaac A. Letcher, Samuel Black and Hiram McKee as securities, are held and firmly bound unto the State of Missouri, in the full and just sum of Five thousand dollars, to the payment whereof well and truly to be made, we bind ourselves, our heirs, executors, administrators and assigns, jointly and severally, firmly by these present, sealed with our seals, and dated St. Louis, this Nineteenth of January 1839.
Wm. Truesdell [L.S.]
Samuel Denny [L.S.]
Isaac A. Letcher [L.S.]
Hiram McKee [L.S.]
Samuel Black [L.S.}
Recorded Nineteenth day of January 1839
Henry Chouteau, Clerk
1440
William Berry, dec.d. Bond $5000
Filed 19 January 1839. Henry Chouteau Clerk

11 March 1839747

St. Louis Probate Court, Probate File #1440, St. Louis County, Missouri
State of Missouri, County of St. Louis
On this eleventh day of March in the year of our Lord one thousand and eight hundred and thirty-nine before me James J. Purdy a Justice of the pease within and for the County of St. Louis aforesaid came Samuel Denny who being duly sworn on his oath says as one of the administrators of the estate of William Berry Senior deceased, the foregoing Inventory, is a true Inventory and description of all money, goods, chattles and estate real and personal. H--?- papers and evidence of debt and of the debts of the deceased and of all debts due or becomming due, so far as he can assertain them at this time and that he was not Indebted or bound in any contract to the deceased at the time of his death except as states in the Inventory.
Samuel Denny
Sworn and Subscribed to before me the 11th day of March 1839
James J. Purdy Justice of the peace

12 March 1839747

St. Louis Probate Court, Probate File #1440, St. Louis County, Missouri
Inventory of Property Belonging to the Estate of William Berry Sen.r Deceased
 

Cash on Hand

$123.32

1 Note on William Berry Junior for $100 due the 25 day of Nov 1838 Interest

100.00

1 Do. on Joseph A. Berry for $100 due the 2nd day of March 1839

100.00

1 Do on William Ennis for $50 due the 2d day of March 1839

100.00

Pension Money due from the 4th day of March 1838 to the ?? ---?-- of Do.

31.06 1/?

1 Black Woman named Phebe
1 Black Girl 10 years old named Caroline
1 Sorrel Horse 9 years old
1 Rifle gun & shot pouch
3 Feather Beds
4 Bedsteads
1 Cherry Bureau
1 Cherry Desk
1 Clock
1 small square table
1 Walnut Falling leaf table
1 Square pine Table
1 Loom & Rigging
1 F--?-- Hackel
1 Crosscut saw
1 Lathe & turners tools
1 Lot Kitchen furniture
1 Lot of Books
1 Lot of Augers
4 Frame Chairs
2 Log Chains
2 Bells
Inventory Continued
1 Fire shovel
1 Pare Andirons
1 Hand Saw
1 Foot adz
1 Knife Box
1 Lot Joiners Tools
1 Old Steeltrap
1 Big Spinning wheel
1 Do small
1 Check Reel
1 Large pine Chest
1 Smoothing Iron
1 Spade
1 Shovel
1 Falling ax
1 Pare Steelyards
1 Maddox
2 Trusses
3 Barrels
1 Walking Cane
1 Hand vice
1 Shove Plow
Be it Remembered that on this 17th day of February 1839 personally came Samuel Denny and makes oath that this is a true inventory of all the real and personal estate of William Berry deceased as far as they have come to his knowledge.
Samuel Denny
Sworn to and subscribed before
me this day and date above written
Harley Sappington J.P.
Attest:
Ira Barber
Wm. McCutchen
Inventory William Berry
Filed 12 March 1839
Henry Chouteau, Clerk

19 March 1839747

St. Louis Probate Court, Probate File #1440, St. Louis County, Missouri
State of Missouri, St. Louis County
This day personally appeared before the under signed a justice of the peace within and for the State and County aforesaid William Mcutchen, Isaac Wyatt and Ira Barber appraisers appointed to appraise the Estate of William Berry Senior, Dec.d and make oath stating that they are not interested nor of ken to any person interested in the Estate as heir ------?--- and that they will to the best of their ability view and appraise the slaves and other personal Estate to them produced by Samuel Denny Administrator of William Berry, Dec.d.
Sworn and subscribed to before Harly Sappington a Justice of the Peace
of Bonhomme Township this 9th day of March 1839
Hartey Sappington J. P.
Wm. McCutchen
Isaac Wyatt
Ira Barbee
Appraisement Bill

1 negro woman Womman named phebe

100.00

1 black girl ten years old name Caroline

300.00

1 sorrel horse

60.00

1 rifle gun and puch

12.00

1 feather bed no. 1

25.00

 

$497.

The ammount brought over

$497.00

1 Do no. 2

18.00

1 Do. no. 3

12.00

1 bedstead no 1

6.00

1 Do. no. 2

2.50

1 Do. no 3

1.50

1 Do. no. 4

1.00

1 Cherry Bureau

8.00

1 Cherry Desk

8.00

1 Clock

8.00

1 small square table

1.50

1 walnut fulling leaf table

2.00

1 square pine table

.50

1 Loom and rigging

6.00

1 flax hackkle

.75

1 Croscut saw

3.00

1 Lathe and turning tools

1.50

1 Lot of kitchen furniture

4.00

1 lot of Books

2.00

1 lot of augers

1.00

4 frame chairs

1.50

2 log Chains

2.50

2 bells

1.50

1 fire shovel

.25

1 pair of and irons

.75

1 hand saw

.51

 

$591.25

The amount brought over

$591.25

1 tool odds

.25

1 knife box

.50

1 lot of joiners tools

.12 1/2

1 old steel trap

.75

1 big spinning wheel

75

1 little Do.

1.00

1 check reel

1.00

1 large pine Chest

1.00

1 smoothing iron

.37 1/2

1 spade

.62 1/2

1 shovel

.50

1 falling axe

1.00

1 pair of sleelyards {?}

.50

1 matock

1.50

[ ] tryses

1.00

[ ] barrels

.37 1/2

[ ] walking irons

.37 1/2

1 hand vice

1.00

1 shovel plow

1.00

 

$603.52 1/2

Set of tea spoons

.50

 

$606.12 1/2

We the undersigned appraisors do certify that the foregoing appraisement bill is a true discription of all property to us produced.
Wm. McCutchen
Isaac Wyatt
Ina Barbee

27 March 1840747

St. Louis Probate Court, Probate File #1440, St. Louis County, Missouri
A list of the Sales of the property belonging to the estate of William Berry deceased made by Samuel Denny and William Truesdal ----?-- 1839

Samuel Denny Flap hackle 2

$1=06/4

John C. Robinson cropcut saw

2=50

James H. Berry Turning lathe & Tools

2=00

M. Hardigen Kittle

2=12

Sam.l Denny Pot

1=00

Sam.l Denny oven & --?-

[paper torn]

J. H. Berry Skillet

=43 3/9

J. N. McCluer Kittle

0=87/

Sam.l Denny Lot or augers

1=25

Wm. Berry Bell & Collar

1=00

C. Gose Bell

=75

Stephen Fitzwater Shovel

=25

M. Hardigan Andirons

1=56/4

T. C. Robinson lot of Joiners tools

=.25

[paper torn] Heattrap

=18 3/4

Wm. Berry Spining wheal

=25

Wm. Berry Check Real

=62/2

Joseph Sullins Shovel

=43 3/4

Wm. Berry Steelyards

=50

S. Denny falling axe

=50

S. Denny matax

1=93 1/4

L. Burnpas Logchain

3=00

M. Lights Shovelpl--?-

4=00

P. Ceake Falling leaf Table

1=25

S. Denny Knife box

=37/2

J. C. Robinson Handvise

=37/2

E. Procter Square pine Table

=50

C. Davis Small Chery Table

=87/2

S. Denny Mantle Clock

3=25

S. Denny 1 Chery desk

7=75

H. Owens 1 Bureau

6=87/2

 

$45=21/4

J. H. Berry 1 Rifle gun

$12=31/4

S. Denny lot of Books

2=25

Wm. Ennis Featherbed No. 1

28=00

Uriah Fitzwaters Do No. 2

20=00

Thos. Conner “ Do. No. 3

13=50

Silas Springate Beadstead No. 1

7=12/2

J. W. Nicols Do. No. 2

=62/2

M. Hardigan Do. No. 3

=68 3/4

Uriah Fitzwater Do. No. 4

2=25

Saml. Denny 1 large Chest

1=6/4

S. Denny lot of Charis

2=50

J. Fitzwaters 1 loom and rigin

4=25

S. Denny 3 Barrels

=37/2

Wm. Berry 1 Smothing iron

=56/4

S. Denny 2 ----?--

=50

W. Leright Shovel Plow

1=00

S. Denny Sorrel Horse

78=00

S. Denny Hyer of Black girl

46=00

S. Denny Black woman

11=00

W. Pierce ---?---

=62/2

 

$238=62/2

amount brought forward

45=21

 

$277=83/2

State of Missouri
County of St. Louis
I John Jones Clerk of the state aforesaid do on my oath declare the foregoing list contains a true account of the sales made by Samuel Denny and William Truesdall administrators of the Estate of William Berry Sen. Deceased at the time specifyed and I am not Interested of or kin to any heir or devisee of s.d Estate. John Jones
Sworn to and Subscribed
before me this 27th day of
March A.D. 1840
David Thomas J.P

17 June 1840747

St. Louis Probate Court, Probate File #1440, St. Louis County, Missouri
Balance in hand of Adm. as per Contra/ $912.81 1/4
Said Balance --?-- as follows
to wit:

Slave

$300.00 }

debts as per Inven

250.00 }

Claim against --?-

31.66 1/2 }

Cash

331.18 1/2 }

 

$912.84 1/4

Account from B--?-- to the estate of William Berry Dec.d.
Filed 17th June 1740
Henry Chouteau, Clerk
1440
William Berry, dec.d
Settle 1840 - June C
Filed 17 June 1840. Henry Chouteau, Clerk

Sept 1840747

St. Louis Probate Court, Probate File #1440, St. Louis County, Missouri
Adrs. Samuel Denny and William Truesdell admrs. in --?- Court --?-
To Amount of the presents of sale on personal property

including negro hire, as --?-- bill on file

$277.83

To Amount cash as per Inventory file

123.32

To Amount of debt as per Do do

250.00

To Amount of appraisement of Slaves

.00

To Amount claim against U.S. for pension

33.66

 

$1082.82

1840 June Term
with the estate of William Berry
Cr.

by cash paid W. Knox --?-- for notice

5.

“ “ “ -----?---- ------?-- ---?--

20.06

“ “ “ paid letter of administration

1.91

“ “ “ paid for publishing letters of administration

?.50

“ “ “ paid for Copy of will

?.00

“ “ “ paid for print hand bills giving notice of sale

2.50

“ “ “ paid appraisors

5.00

“ “ “ paid justice fees Suppington

1.00

“ “ “ paid ----?-- fees of Sale of property

1.00

“ “ “ paid justice Thomas for Swearing Clerk

 

“ “ “ paid auctioner

1.00

“ “ “ Expenses for takeing care of phebee when sick which was all of the time from the Sale up to the 19 day of she died Dec 1839

25.00

“ “ “ for funeral expenses of the same

6.00

by the death of Phebee (slave) as appraised

100.00

Balance in hands of administrator per --?--

912.8?

 

$1082.82

19 June 1841747

St. Louis Probate Court, Probate File #1440, St. Louis County, Missouri
The second account of Samuel Denny, Administrator on the Estate of William Berry late of St. Louis County deceased
June Term 1841 The said administrator, in addition to this, charges against himself, in his first accounts, more charges himself with the wages rec.d for the hire of a Negro by order of the Hon. County Court from the 7th of April 1840 to the 7th April 1841 $ 27.62 1/2
To Balance at Settlement at June Term 1840 912.84 3/4
$940.47 1/4
1440
William Berry
Annual Settlement
Filed 19th June 1841
Peter Ferguson .Judge of Probate

July 20, 1841747 St. Louis Probate Court, Probate File #1440, St. Louis County, Missouri
To the honorable judge of the probate Court
I hearby acknowledge the Service of a notice of the partition of the negroes and personal estate of William Berry Decd. as I am writing and wish the estate to be intire by Settled as soon as possible as I am entitled to an eaqual Shear of Said estate by the rite of my wife Isabella Truesdell & as I am one of the administrators of Said estate I wish the bizness to be intire by Settled within three years from the date of our publication notefying all Creditors to pay in their Claims against said estate within three years or be forever band. Samuel Denny has Surved the notice on me.
Wm. Truesdell

6 Sept. 1841747

St. Louis Probate Court, Probate File #1440, St. Louis County, Missouri
State of Missouri, County of St. Louis
Personally appeared before me [covered over] a Justice of the Peace within [covered over] aforesaid. Wm. Corse who being duly sworn deposeth and saith taht the annexed advertisement was published in the Missouri Argro in the county and state aforesaid newspaper of which he is printer for eight times on the following dates vix

1st insertion June 24th 1841

No. 10

2d “ July 1 “

No. 11

3d “ “ 5 “

No. 12

4th “ “ 15 “

No. 13

5th “ “ 22 “

No. 14

6” “ “ 29 “

No. 15

7” “ August 5 “

No. 16

8” “ “ 12 “

No. 17

Sworn to and Subscribed before me this 6th day of September A.D. 1841
Wm. Corse
[attached newspaper clipping]
WILLIAM BERRY’S ESTATE
To George Berry, John Berry and Nancy Pettit, residents of the State of Kentucky, heirs and distributees of the estate of William Berry, late of the county of St. Louis, deceased;
TAKE NOTICE, that the subscriber, being entitled, in right of his wife, is an equal share in the distribution of said estate among ten heirs, hereby gives notice that he shall apply to the Ho. Judge of Probate of the county of St. Louis, on the first Monday of September next, for the distribution of the slave, and all other personal property belonging to said estate, agreeably to the statute in such case provided. -- June 23, 1814 (sic) SAMUEL DENNEY

6 Sept. 1841747

St. Louis Probate Court, Probate File #1440, St. Louis County, Missouri
State of Missouri, County of St. Louis
Probate Court, Sept. Term 1841
To the Hon. Peter Ferguson the Judge of Probate of the county of St. Louis. Samuel Denny, Administrator of the Estate of William Berry late of said County, deceased, respectfully represents to your Honor, that he is entitled in right of his wife, to an equal share of said Estate among ten heirs, that a slave, belonging to said Estate named Caroline, has descended to said heir, a division whereof cannot be made in kind. Wherefore your Petitioner prays your Honor to order that said slave be sold, and that the money arising from the sale thereof may be distributed according to the rights of those entitled to distribution, pursuant to the Statement in such care made & provided your Petitioner further states that the names of said heirs are Rosanna Berry, (widow of James Berry, deceased), John Berry, George Berry, Nancy Pettit (Widow), Isabella Truesdale (wife of Wm. Truesdale), William Berry, Elizabeth Denny (wife of Petitioner), Sarah Jane Ennis (wife of Wm. Ennis), Joseph A. Berry, & Mary Barber (wife of Ephraim Barber)
Samuel Denny
1440
Saml. Denney
Petitions for sale
of Slave
Sept. Term 1841
William Berry deceased
Filed 6th September 1841. Peter Ferguson Judge of Probate

7 March 1842747

St. Louis Probate Court, Probate File #1440, St. Louis County, Missouri
State of Missouri, County of Saint Louis
In the Probate Court for the county of Said Louis
March Term 1842
To the Judge of the Probate Court of the county of Said Louis.
Your Petitioner Samuel Denny one of the Administrators of the estate of William Berry late of the county of Saint Louis deceased, Respectfully represents that a Female Slave named Caroline belonging to said deceased has descended to his heirs, and that a division cannot be made in kind. Your petitioner therefore prays that the Probate Court for the County aforesaid will order the sale of said slave and all other personal property belonging to the estate of said deceased and cause the money arising therefrom to be distributed according to the rights of those entitled to distribution agreeably to the Statute in such case made and provided.
Your petitioner further represents that the following named persons are the only heirs and distributees of said deceased to wit: George Berry, Nancy Petit, John Berry, Isabella the wife of William Truesdell, William Berry Junior, Joseph A. Berry, Sarah the wife of William Ennis, Mary C. the wife of Ephraim Barber and Elizabeth wife of your petitioner, children of said deceased who are each entitled to one tenth part of said estate and Eliza wife of James Stouse, Catharine wife of John B. Smith, Nancy wife of Franklin Buchanan, James Berry, George Berry, Alexander Berry, Julia Ann Bery, Rebecca Berry, Isabella Berry, Mary Jane Berry and John W. Berry, children of James Berry deceased who was a son of said William Berry deceased and are each entitled to one [paper torn] of one Tenth or one hundred and tenth part thereof
Saint Louis 7th March 1842
Samuel Denny

7 April 1842747

St. Louis Probate Court, Probate File #1440, St. Louis County, Missouri
State of Missouri
County of Saint Louis
In the Probate Court for the County of Saint Louis, March Term 1842
Samuel Denny
The Heirs of William Berry deceased} Order of Sale of Slave
Samuel Denny administrator of William Berry deceased and in right of Elizabeth his wife one of the distributees of said deceased appears and files his petition in which he sets forth that female slave named Caroline belonging to said deceased has descended to his heirs and that a division cannot be made in kind, and praying that the court will order the sale of said slave and cause the money arising there from to be distributed according to the rights of those entitled to distribution, and proven here to the Court that he has given notice of his intention to make said application as is required by law and it manifestly appearing to the Court that no division of said slave can be had otherwise than is prayed for by said petitioner. The Court is certain and determine that George Berry, Nancy Petit, John Berry, Isabella the wife of William Truesdell, William Berry Junior, Joseph A. Berry, Sarah the wife of William Ennis, Mary C. the wife of Ephraim Barber and Elizabeth the wife of Samuel Denny are each entitled to one tenth part thereof and Eliza the wife of James Stouse, Catharine the wife of John B. Smith, Nancy the wife of Franklin Buchanan, James Berry, George Berry, Alexander Berry, Julia Ann Berry, Rebecca Berry, Isabella Berry, Mary Jane Berry and John W. Berry are each entitled to one one hundred and tenth part thereof, and order that William Truesdell and Samuel Denny Administrators of William Berry deceased to sell said slave Carolina and all other personal property belonging to the said estate at the farm of Joseph A. Berry, the late residence of the deceased on the twenty first day of May next on the following terms to wit: one half in cash and the balance in six months from the day of sale to be secured by note with sufficient security that they give at least twenty days notice of the times, terms and place of sale by publication in some newspapers provided in the County of Saint Louis and that they report their proceedings in the same to this court.
State of Missouri
County of Saint Louis
I, Peter Ferguson, Judge of the Probate Court of the County aforesaid do certify that the foregoing is a true copy of the order of sale made on the petition of Samuel Denny for the purpose therein mentioned as the same remains of Recording in my office.
In testimony thereof I hereto set my hand and affix the seal of said Probate Court at office in the County of Saint Louis and State of Missouri this Seventh day of April in the Year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and forty two.
Peter Ferguson, Judge of Probate

22 June 1842747

St. Louis Probate Court, Probate File #1440, St. Louis County, Missouri
In Saint Louis Probate Court June Term 1842
Samuel Denny & William Truesdell Administrators
In account Current with the Estate of William Berry Deceased
To Balance in hands of Administrators

on Settlement June Term 1841

940.47 1/4

Services of Slave Caroline from 7 April 1841 to 25 May 1842

20.00

 

960.47 1/4

By Cash paid fees of Clerk of County Court No. 1

3.07

Cash paid fee bill of Judge of Probate No. 2

.83

 

5.90

 

$956.87 1/4

1440
William Berry Decd.
Settlement
Filed 22 June 1842. Peter Ferguson, Judge of Probate

24 Sept. 1842747

St. Louis Probate Court, Probate File #1440, St. Louis County, Missouri

County of St. Louis
To the Hon. the Judge of Probate of the County of St. Louis.
The Subscribers Administrators of the Estate of William Berry late of said County of St. Louis deceased, now respectfully report to this Hon. Court, that in pursuance of the order of this Hon. Court which is hereto annexed they proceed to sell said Slave Caroline in said order mentioned belonging to said Estate, at the farm of Joseph A. Berry, the late residence of the deceased, on the twenty first day of May in the year of our Lord Eighteen hundred & forty-two on the following terms to wit, one half in cash and the balance in six months from the day of the sale assured agreeably to the order of ----?---.. That they gave at least twenty days notice of the time ---?-- to cover of sale by publication printed in the “Missouri Reporter” a newspaper printed in the said County of St. Louis, and accordingly on said twenty first day of May aforesaid they sold said slave Caroline at the farm of the said Joseph A. Berry to George Green for the sum of three hundred and ninety five dollars at public ---?---, the said George being the highest bidder for said slave & said sum being the most said slave could be sold for.
Samuel Denny
Wm. Truesdell
State of Missouri, County of St. Louis
Be it Remembered that on this Twenty fourth day of September in the year of our Lord One thousand eight hunder and forty two before me Peter Ferguson Judge of Probate of the County of St. Louis personally appeared Samuel Denny whose name is subscribed to the foregoing report of sale who being by was duly sworn on his oath unto that the foregoing is a true account of the sale of the sale of the slave Caroline therein mentioned. Samuel Denny
Sworn to and subscribed before me this 24th September 1842}
Peter Ferguson, Judge of Probate
1440
William Berry Dec.d
Report of Sale of Slave Caroline
Filed 24 September 1842

Peter Ferguson, Judge of Probate

George Berry

$39.50

Nancy Petit

39.50

John Berry

39.50

Isabelle Truesdell

39.50

Wm. Berry Jr.

39.50

Joseph A. Berry

39.50

Sarah Ennis

39.50

Mary c. Barber

39.50

Elizabeth Denny

39.50

 

$355.50

Eliza Stouse }

 

Catharine Smith }

 

Nancy Buchanan }

 

James Berry }

 

George Berry }

 

Alexander Berry }

$3.59 39.50

Julia Ann Berry }

 $395.00

Rebecca Berry }

 

Isabella Berry }

 

Mary Jane Berry }

 

John W. Berry }

 

1440
William Berry Deceased
Enter sale of slave
Filed 24 September 1842
Peter Ferguson, Judge of Probate

22 June 1843747

St. Louis Probate Court, Probate File #1440, St. Louis County, Missouri
WAR DEPARTMENT
Revolutionary Claim
I certify that, in conformity with the law of the United States of the 7th June, 1832, William Berry of the State of Missouri who was a Private and Sergeant in the Army of the Revolution is entitled to receive Forty dollars per annum, during his natural life, commencing on the 4th of March 1832, and payable semi-annually on the 4th of March and 4th of September, in every year. Given at the War Office of the United States, this Ninth day of October, one thousand eight hundred and thirty-three.
John ---?--
Acting ----?-- of War
Examined and Countersigned
J. L. Edward
Commissioner of Pensions
Payments to be made
---?-- ----?---- Bank
Agent for paying Pension
in the Agency of
Missouri
Recorded in the Pension Office
file in Book 8 Vol. 8
Page 79 by Wm. W. Palmer
Filed 22nd June 1843
Peter Ferguson, Judge of Probate

22 June 1843747

St. Louis Probate Court, Probate File #1440, St. Louis County, Missouri
In the Probate Court for the County of Saint Louis
June Term 1843
Samuel Denny & William Truesdell Administrators For account Current with the Estate of William Berry Dec.d
June Term 1843

To Balance in hands of Administrators on settlement June Term 1842

$956.57 1/2

By Cash paid advertising notice to heirs on petition for sale of slave Caroline

4.75

By Cash paid advertising order of sale of slave Caroline

4.75

amount of claim against United States for Pension charged in Inventory [paper torn -- whole line unreadable]

31.66 1/2

amount charged against Samuel Denny for hire of Phoebe in --?-- settlement who was sick from time of hireing until her death in Dec. 1839

11.00

Commission on $83.37 cents paid out up to this time

5.00

 

57.16 1/2

 

$899.41

1440
William Berry
Settlement
Filed 22 June 1843. Peter Ferguson, Judge of Probate

9 Sept. 1843747

St. Louis Probate Court, Probate File #1440, St. Louis County, Missouri
To the: The Honorable Judge of probate court for St. Louis County.
Where as the administrators of the estate of William Berry dece.d to wit: Samuel Denny & William Truesdell have had ample time to settle said estate and have failed so to do, and as the three years have expired which the law allowed them, for claims to be presented against said estate and none have been presented, we the undersigned heirs of Wm. Berry Dec’d petition your hone that they be brought to a final settlement that we may get our just divident that the law
----?---
Ephraim Barber
William Berry

15 Sept 1843747

St. Louis Probate Court, Probate File #1440, St. Louis County, Missouri
County of Saint Louis
The State of Missouri
To the Coroner of the county of Saint Louis made on the petition of Ephraim Barber and William Berry two of the heirs of William Berry deceased. You are commanded to notify William Truesdell and Samuel Denny administrators of said William Berry deceased that they be and appear before our said Court now in session at the Court House in the city of Saint Louis in and for the County of Saint Louis on or before the Twentieth day of September instant, there and there to show cause if any they have or know of any thing to say why an order of distribution of the estate of said deceased should not be made amongst those entitled, thereto, and also to show cause why an order should not be made by our said court that said Administrators should make final settlement of their administration of the estate of said deceassed and have you then there this writ.
Winess Peter Ferguson Judge of our said Probate Court and the seal, thereof hereto affixed at office in the City and County aforesaid this Fifteenth day of September in the Year of our Lord One thousand eight hundred and forty three.
Peter Ferguson, Judge of Probate
1440
William Berry Deceased
Citation to Administrators to show cause why an order of distribution should not be made
and why a Final Settlement should not be made.
Executed this writ in part by bringing the body of Samuel Reading to Samuel Denny in St. Louis county this 18th day of September 1843. Wm. Truesdell not found in my county.
Fee 50 cts
E. English, Cornoer --?-- 11 1/2
by H. Miller, Deput .62 1/3

~Sept 1843747,239

St. Louis Probate Court, Probate File #1440, St. Louis County, Missouri
To George Berry, Nancy Petit, Isabella Trusdale, William Trusdale, William Berry, Elisabeth Denny, Samuel Denny, Sarah Jane Ennis, William Ennis, Joseph A. Berry, Mary Barber, Ephraim Barber, John W. Berry, Rebecca J. Berry, Mary Jane Berry, Isabella Berry, James M. Berry, George S. Berry, Alexander McNair Berry, Eliza Stouse, James Stouse, Nancy Buchanan, Benjamin Buchanan, Julia Ann Winterton, William Winterton, Catharina Robb & James Robb, heirs at law & Legal representatives of William Berry deceased. You are notified that on the first day of the real term of the Probate Court for the County of St. Louis, State of Missouri (to be held on the first monday of December next) or as soon thereafter as counsel can be heard I shall move said court for an order to cause the estate and effects of said decedent -- and all property of any nature kind and description whether real personal or owner rights and credits which you or any one of you may have received by way of advancement from said decedent since which belonged to him at the time of his death, shall be brought into hatchpot and that a just and equitable distribution & division of the estate of said decedent may be made amongst the heirs and legal representatives of the said decedent at which term & place you may attend and show cause if any you have or can show why such a division should not be made.
John Berry
by Hudson & Holmes his atty’s

9 Dec. 1843747

St. Louis Probate Court, Probate File #1440, St. Louis County, Missouri
State of Missouri, County of St. Louis
Personally appeared before me, the undersigned a Justice of the Peace within and for the County aforesaid John S. McCracken, Printer in the Missouri Reporter office, who being duly sworn, deposeth and saith that the annexed advertisement notice signed by John Berry was published in the Missouri Reporter of the County and State aforesaid, the newspaper of which he is foreman for eight weeks, on the following days and in the following numbers, to wit:

September 30, 1843

No. 41

Oct 7 “

No. 42

“ 14 “

No. 43

“ 21 “

No. 44

“ 28 “

No. 45

November 4 “

No. 46

“ 11 “

No. 47

“ 18 “

No. 48

Sworn to and Subscribed before me this 9th day of Dec. 1843.
Jno. S. McCracken
Foreman Reporter Office
C. Garvey Justice of the Peace
[attached newspaper clipping]
NOTICE
To the heirs, legatees, distributors, and all others interested in the estate of William Berry, deceased, you are hereby notified that on the ninth day of December next, I shall appeal all of those who may have received any property, money, rights in action, or offices from said decendent, to disclose to said Court the amount they may have received and that such property, &c., and also all that now remain in the hands of the administrators, may be brought into hotchpot; and you are further notified that unless you disclose and make known to said Court the amount you and each of you have received, I shall proceed to establish by proof the amount and description of property, & c., you have received from said [ink blot], I shall then and there [unreadable] upon each of you coming hotchpot, and that an equal division of said estate may be made among the legatees and distributers of said estate.
JOHN BERRY
St. Louis, 22nd September, 1843

9 Dec. 1843747

St. Louis Probate Court, Probate File #1440, St. Louis County, Missouri
Wm. Berry Dec.d -- E--?--- in Hotch Pot* 9 December 1843

not in

George Berry

not in

Nancy Petit

 

John Berry

 

Isabella Truesdell

not in

William Berry Jr

 

Joseph A. Berry

not in

Sarah Ennis

 

Elizabeth Denny

not in

Mary C. Barber

[ ] in

10 Children of James Berry dec.d

Joseph A. Berry appears & does not claim any portion of the Estate in the hands of the
Administrators (of Wm. Berry dec.d)
----?--- (George Berry & Nancy Petit) rec.d - 3 Slaves- woman 30 or 35 & child 3 or 4 & 1 under that age to be divided between them to be c---ed between themselves -- they --?-- them for three shares - in fall of 1837 - worth about 8 or 900 at that time say 850 -- understood from them at that time that they rec.d same as their part of their Father’s estate
Isabella Truesdell rec.d 20 ---?-- perhaps 25 years ago a black girl -- suppose worth $200 at that time.
Wm. Berry Jr -- rec.d a black boy -- about 18 or 20 years ago - boy 15 or 18 years old (sold for 800 $) in 1835 worth 400 $ at least when he got him. Rec.d a negro gile & paid $200 - [insert unreadable) - most --?-- 1/2 her valueshe was work 250 or 250 after George Berry & Nancy Petit rec.d their some 4 or 5 months - in a sort of division made by dec.d
Sarah Ennis - rec.d a negro gil 10 or 12 years ago -- --?-- then 10 or 12 years old - 250 - rec.d a negro boy 5 or 6 years old - about in March 1838 - supposed to be worth then 200 or $250 -- Rec.d also a cow & a Bed - cow worth $5 or 6 - Bed worth $10 (note of $50 given she remembers as an arrangement of what dec.d intended she should have of his estate - this is understanding of exchange - does not know what parties -----?---
Elizabeth Denny -- Rec.d negro Girl 7 years (in 1825) Value $175 - Cow $5 or 6 - Bed $10
Mary C. Barber -- Rec.d negro Girl about in 1838 - 14 or 15 yeasrs old - worth then $400 or $450 -- $200 in a note given by Wm. Berry which was ----?-- ---?-- ---?--- Bed $10
James Berry, Dec.d -- got a black girl supposed 8 or 10 years old - same year as his ---?--
Wm. McCutchen sworn -- boy of Wm. Berry Jr had been hired to him supposed boy to be worth $400 or $450 - sold just such a boy for $450 about the time Berry rec.d his.as to James Berry - supposes value of Girl at that time 200 or $250 (say year of his death)
19 June 1843 (James M. Berry att. in fact of Jno Berry) admits Receiving cow $5 or $6 & Bed $10
William Berry Deceased
1. George Berry }
2. Nancy Petit } --?-- slaves between them worth $850 non-resident
3. John Berry cash $5; bed $10
4. Isabella, wife of Wm. Trusdale - slave girl $300 ?? cow $6; bed $10; money $30 (notice WmT & appars) 346
5. Wm. Berry Junior - slave boy $400 ----????---$100; ----???--- of $100 (notice served)
6. Joseph A. Berry - appears & claims nothing -- refused to come into Hatchpot* (unreadable)
7. Sarah, wife of Wm E. Ennis - slave Girl (say 250) boy 230 pd $50 bal 200; cow 5; bed 10 (---?-- to Ennis) 460
8. Mary C, wife of Ephraim Barber slave girl $450 - ---?--- $200 bed $10 (served with order) 650
9. Elizabeth wife of Samuel Denny slave girl $175; cow $5; bed $10 (notice & appears) 191
1. Eliza, wife of James Stouse } slaves ---?--
2. Catharine, wife of Jno. B. Smith } (unreadable)
3. Mary, wife of Franklin Buchanan } (unreadable)
4. James Berry ---?--- }
5. George Berry } Children of
6. Alexander Berry -----?---- } James Berry slave girl $250; boy $450; money $30 730
7. Julia Ann Berry ----?--- } dec.d
8. Rebecca Berry } (unreadble
9. Isabella Berry }
10. Mary Jane Berry under ---?-- }
11. John D. Berry } served with notice
John Berry vs Truesdale et als
Notice of Pub.
Filed 9 December 1843
Peter Ferguson, Judge of Probate

Dec. 1843747

St. Louis Probate Court, Probate File #1440, St. Louis County, Missouri
County of St. Louis
The State of Missouri
To
Ira Barbe
Wm. Truesdale
Wm. McCutchen
Joseph A. Berry
GREETING:
You are hereby commanded, that setting aside all manner of excuse and delay, you appear before our Probate Court at the City of St. Louis on the ninth of Dec 1843 then and there to testify and the truth to say in a certain cause pending insaid court, wherein John Berry is plaintiff and Ephraim Barber & others are defendants on the part of the plaintiff and herein you are in no wise to fail.
WITNESS, Peter Ferguson Judge of our said Probate Court, with the seal thereof hereto affixed at office, in the City of St. Louis, this ---?-- day of December in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and forty three.
Peter Ferguson, Judge of Probate
1440
James Berry vs Ephraim Barber & others
Ira Barbee
Wm. McCutchen
Joseph A. Berry
Wm. Truesdale
set for 7 Dec 1843
Executed this writ by reading to Ira Barbee, William McCutchen and Joseph A. Berry at the County of St. Louis, this 8th day of December 1843. Wm. Truesdall not found in my County.
Fee $1.01 1/2 \
Geo. H. Kennedy, Marshall
by H. Miller, Deputy

23 Dec. 1843747

St. Louis Probate Court, Probate File #1440, St. Louis County, Missouri
State of Missouri, County of St. Louis
Samuel Denny of lawful age being duly sworn, on his oath saith, that about twenty years ago
Wm. Berry, deceased and his son, James Berry, dec.d had a settlement together here in St. Louis County and upon a balance being struck, it appears that said James was indebted seventy or seventy-five dollars to his father; that James began to complain that he had not received anything for sometime while he, William, had been helping --?--that children, and that he ought to give him that seventy dollars, or so, which the old gentleman after some persuasion consented to do, and that said William, in the conversation , told said James that he had already given him a good --?-- -----?---, said cattle, and three or four head of horses; that James said he had left that property with his brother George to secure him against a debt for which George was security for him; that the old gentlement replied that he must settle that with George that he may ever get them.
Samuel Denny
State of Missouri }
County of St. Louis} ss.
Joseph A. Berry of lawful age being duly sworn on his oath saith that somewhere about twenty eighteen years ago -- he believes in the fall of 1825 -- he was present at the house of his father, William Berry, in the County of St. Louis, aforesaid, together with James Berry, his brother, at the time when said James Berry received from his father Wm. Berry, deceased, a negro [paper torn] named Rose; and this deponent further says that at that time & place, during a conversation among the persons present, the fact that said James Berry had previously received from his father a sum of money, --- the deponent thinks about thirty dollars -- was distinctly spoken of in the presence & hearing of said James Berry, without denial, or contradiction or correction by him; And this deponent further says that at the same time & place, he heard said James Berry say, upon receiving the negro girl aforesaid, that he did not expect , nor claim to receive anything more from his father, or his estate (----?--- that he had then already received his full portion as an advancement and as much as or as equal child & heir he would be expected to receive) and that he has heard ----?-- same they spoken of since, but not when said James was present; and further deponent saith not, except that, some five years ago, at the cash division of his property among his children, made by Wm. Berry, deceased, aforesaid he said William refused to give said James Berry’s heirs anything more than they had already received considering that said James had already had the full portion he intened to give him.
Sworn & subscribed
J. A. Berry
State of Missouri, County of St. Louis
William Truesdell of lawful age maketh oath and saith that he was requested by James Berry to intercede with his father Wm. Berry for the negro girl Rose, above mentioned, and that when said Rose was given to said James, the deponent heard him said James say and understood from him that he did not expect or look for anything further from his father, that that was all he would wish; and the ---?-- further understood from the old gentlement, Wm. Berry, that that was all he -----?-- in letting him have and the deponent saith not futher.
Sworn & subscribed
Wm. Truesdell
1440 Affadavit of Jas. A. Berry. Wm. Truesdell and Samuel Denny
23d December 1843, Peter Ferguson

22 June 1844747

St. Louis Probate Court, Probate File #1440, St. Louis County, Missouri
William Berry Dec.d Advancements in Hotchpot 22 June 1844

George Berry

425

live in Ky to be paid

$14-18 11 ------

436

Nancy Petit

425

do do

$14-18 11 ------

436

Wm. Berry Jr.

500

     

Sarah, wife of Wm. Ennis

466

     

Mary C, wife of Ephraim Barber

660

     

James Berry

730

     

John Berry

16

KY

423 -18 420 -------

436

Isabella, wife of Wm. Truesdell

346

 

94 - 18 90 -------

466

Elizabeth, wife of Saml. Denny 

191

 

247-18 245 -------

436

Joseph A. Berry refused to come in to hotch pott

   

792 - 19 757

 

22 June 1844747

St. Louis Probate Court, Probate File #1440, St. Louis County, Missouri
$35 March the 25 -- 1843
St. Louis County Central Township.
A Bill of lumber nails and Carpenters work dun by me for Samuel Denny Administrator of William Berry Dec.d in Closing the graves of the said Dec.d & wife with a strong and Sufficient frame twelve feet square in pailing the same in a good workman like manner
worth thirty five dollars
James S. Burtch
No. (2)
Burtch
Account on goint to --?-- for bailing in graves
Files 22nd June 1844. Peter Ferguson, Judge of Probate

18 Sept. 1845747

St. Louis Probate Court, Probate File #1440, St. Louis County, Missouri
1440
William Berry Settlement, Filed 18th September 1845, Peter Ferguson, Judge of Probate
State of Missouri, St. Louis County
Probate Court September 1845
The estate of William Berry In acct. amount with Administrators 1840 June Term

By Balance in hand of adm.rs

$860.14

1841 “ difference between appriased value --?- of Caroline

95.00

 

$955.14

To this amount paid Doctors per attache and on Phebe who Died

$10.00}

1841 By Notifying the heirs of the estate in two application for partition of Caroline – 5 articles, twice served @.50 each

5.00

By Notifying heirs of James Berry in Slave matter 7 @.50

3.50

By Notifying James Stouse of Jefferson Co, same matter

3.00

By Cash paid Sam.l Worthington for --?-- service of Caroline

2.00

By Exchange paid difference on C--?-- ---?-- at Sale

418 $

Shaw--?-- @ 27 1/2 per --?--

114.95

add Cash

4.97

 1845 Sept 13

[unreadable line with strike through] $143.42

143.42

 

$811.72

By Interest on 303 $ for 1 ---?--- @ 6 ? cash

31.81

 

$843.53

To Commission on 843.53 @ 6 ? cash

50.61

Bal. in hand to & --?--

$792.92

Reserved to pay expense of settlement final

2.92

 

$790.00

note of Conner & Springold Returned as uncollectable

13.00

allow Truesdell

$5

Commmission & Bal to Denny

$777.00

1440
Filed 18th September 1845
Peter Ferguson, Judge of Probate

18 Sept. 1845747

St. Louis Probate Court, Probate File #1440, St. Louis County, Missouri
James H. Berry, assignee of John Berry vs William Truesdell & Samuel Denny, Administrators of William Berry
order of payment 18 September 1845

amount ordered to be paid

$420.00

amount credited

180.00

Balance due

$240.00

Cost of Executors ----?--

1.00

 

$241.00

Interest

156.80

 

$397.80

Service ---?--

8.90

 

$406.80

Transcriber's Note: The John Berry in this document was a son of William Berry, decd. He assigned his rights to his own son, James H. Berry. In 1845, this John Berry resided in Harrison Co, KY near his uncle’s family (John Berry/Elizabeth Claypole.

23 Jan. 1846747

St. Louis Probate Court, Probate File #1440, St. Louis County, Missouri
To the Hon. Peter Ferguson
Sir I have repeatedly called on Samuel Denny one of the Admrs. of William Berry deceased and demanded payment of the amount ---?-- by the Probate Court of St. Louis County in the State of Missouri at the September of said Court AD 1845, in favor of John Berry one of the heirs at law of said William Berry deceased. And I further state that the account allowed by said Court and ordered to be paid by said Admn. has since the making of said order been repeatedly demanded and on Saturday last the amount was ----?-- and the said Denny has refused to pay the same. I therefore ask that you may open an ------?-- for said amount.
St. Louis 23rd Jany 1846
John Berry by his attorney in fact James H. Berry
James H. Berry states that he is the son & assignee of John Berry; that Samuel Denny was the surviving administrator of William Berry deceased; that there was an order of distribution granted by this court [unreadable: may be August 184?] against said Denny for $420 in from of said John Berry; that the said John Berry assigned his suit claim in I----?-- to the petitioner by a d--?- date 29 Sept 1841. That, this petitioner has frequently at different times, requested said Denny to pay to this petitioner the amount due to him under said order; [inkblot] that the --?-- said Denny has always acknowledged to him his liability to pay said amount, but on various --?-- --?-- failed & neglected to pay said amount to this petitioner; said deserved to --?-- since said order of distribution was made in St. Louis County, Missouri; Said Denny has paid $180. On said claim,
James H. Berry

3 May 1856747

St. Louis Probate Court, Probate File #1440, St. Louis County, Missouri
County of St. Louis, The State of Missouri
To the Marshall of the County of Saint Louis. Greeting:
Whereas William Truesdell and Samuel Denny Administrators of the Estate of William Berry deceased made the final Settlement of their administration of the Estate of said William Berry deceased on the Eighteenth day of September 1845 it being the September Term of the Probate Court of the County of St. Louis in the year aforesaid and thereupon our Said Court made an order that said Administrators do pay to John Berry the Sum of four hundred and twenty dollars, all of which appears to us of Record, and it also appears to us that said John Berry assigned his interest in said amount to James H. Berry and it also appears that Said Berry has credited Said Administrators with the Sum of One hundred and Eighty dollars.
These are therefore to command you that of the goods, chattels and Real Estate said William Truesdell and Samuel Denny you cause to be made the aforesaid balance of Two hundred and forty dollars with interest and costs, and that you have the Same before the Judge of our Probate Court for our County of St. Louis on the first Monday of June Next to render the same letter said James H. Berry, and that you certify to our said Judge how you Execute this writ and have you there their this writ.
Witness William F. Ferguson, Clerk of our Probate Court of our County of Saint Louis and the Seal thereof hereto affixed as office in said County this twenty third day of May in the year of our Lord one thousand Eight hundred and fifty six.
William F. Ferguson, Clerk
Rec. May 23rd 1856
W. H. Timberlake, Marshall
Returned ----?--- by order of John M. ---?---, Plntiff Attorney
2nd June 1856. W. H. Timberlake, Marshall
1440
In the matter of the estate of William Berry
Application for --?-- by John Berry’s appearance
Filed 22 May 1858
Peter Ferguson, Judge of Probate

1882940

History of Fayette County, Kentucky, With an Outline Sketch of the Blue Grass Region, by Robert Peter, M.D., Edited by William Henry Perrin, Chicago, 1882
East Hickman Precinct
N. P. Berry, farmer, P.O. Lexington, is of old pioneer stock. His grandfather, William Berry, a native of Ireland, emigrated when quite a young man to Virginia and found his way to the wilds of Kentucky at a time when the pioneers were still forced to form small communities and fortfy themselves against the attacks of their mortal foes, the Indians. For time, William Berry lived within the fort at Lexington, which place then consisted of a few log cabins, united in the form of a parallelogram, inclosing a space wherein the little garrison could assemble to diligently pursue their domestic callings, or to defend their rude garrison from assault. A city such as the present Lexington was not even dreamed of, and all around the fort was dense forest, where now luxuriant pastures furnish abundant food for numberless flocks and herds, and fruitful fields yield supplies of produce for the sustenance and enrichment of their owners. In the midst of the simple scenes of backwoods life, the family of William Berry was raised, and the old pioneer passed to his long rest em yet the sunrise of civilization has ushered in the day. His son George was well skilled in the use of the rifle, and preferred hunting to husbandry. He married, about 1802, Nancy Pettit, a native of Virginia, and daughter of Nathaniel and Martha (Clifford) Pettit; located five miles south of Lexington, on the farm now occupied by his son, J. P. Berry, on which the original pioneer cabin is still standing. When well advanced in years, he left the growing civilization of Kentucky for the wilds of Missouri, where he died at the age of ninety years. N. P. Berry was born in the year 1802, on the old homestead in Fayette County, received a fair education for the time, was thoroughly trained in all kinds of farm work, and married, in 1827, Lucy Farra, born in Fayette, daughter of Aaron and Sally Farra, the father being also a native of Kentucky; the mother, of Maryland. Mr. Berry has a fine stock farm three miles south of Lexington, on Tate’s Creek pike. He is alive to the stock interests of Fayette County, and no other man in East Hickman Precinct is a more successful farmer and stock-raiser than he. He raises animals suited to the general market, rather than fancy stock. He has one child living.

 

Analysis of the Timeline

 

    William Berry’s movements through life can be easily traced from 1778 through the 1830s thanks in great part to the fact that he applied for pensions from the federal government for his military service during and immediately prior to the Revolutionary War. Part of the pension documentation required him to trace his movements through life, from the time of his military service to the time he applied for a pension, and this information has provided the critical links to accurately connect the William Berry records from Augusta County, Virginia to Fayette and Gallatin Counties in Kentucky, and ultimately to St. Louis, Missouri. They also supplied very specific information on other aspects of his life, such as his birth date and place that would otherwise have been lost to the mists of time. He had access to his family bible records, or at least knew of them, and used that information as the basis of some of his personal information. From these records it can be seen that William Berry was born in the early fall of 1755 in Augusta County, Virginia, most likely on his parent’s farm located on the headwaters of the Middle River tributary of the Shenandoah River. Just a few months prior to William’s birth, his father, George Berry Sr., had purchased the farm from his father, the elder James Berry, who had possessed the property for around ten years. They were practically next door neighbors to the McCleary family who had purchased their Beverley Grant tract in 1748 (Figures 3, 90 and Table I), so William must have pretty much grown up with Rebecca McCleary, the woman who would, in 1776, become his first wife. An 1882 biographic essay of one of his grandsons, N. P. Berry, notes the pioneer background of William Berry and the hardships of life on the frontier. It indicated that William was born in Ireland and emigrated to Virginia when he was a young man. While this is clearly not true for William, it does outline the early Berry migration history for William’s father, George Berry, and his grandfather, the elder James Berry.

 

     The next documentation for William Berry constitutes records of his first military service. At the age of 18 he participated in the events leading up to the 1774 war between the Shawnee and Mingos and the Virginia militia known as Dunmore’s War. He was drafted into the Augusta County militia early in 1774, and, according to his pension record account, served as a private for a three month tour in Captain Long’s Company. This militia company was composed of 54 privates, nine, of whom, had the same first and last names as original Beverley Grant owners. An additional 11 had the same last names, so many, if not all, of this militia company was composed of local boys from the Staunton, Virginia area. The newly minted soldiers were marched through the mountains to a place he called Tiger’s Valley with the mission of guarding a fort protecting the local settlements from Shawnee attacks. Tiger’s Valley is actually the valley of the Tygart River in the north central part of what today is the state of West Virginia. The Tygart and the West Fork of the Monongahela merge to form the Monongahela, which, farther down stream, at the site of Fort Pitt, now Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, merges with the Allegheny River to form the Ohio River. (Figure 83)

 

     According to his pension statements, immediately upon his return to the Staunton area from his three months of guard duty in the Tygart River area, William Berry volunteered for another tour of military duty. This time he was assigned to Captain Alexander McClandahan’s company, which was part of Col. Andrew Lewis’ regiment. When he made his pension statements nearly 60 years after the events took place, he noted that this tour started in Staunton and took him away from home for six months, during which time he participated in the Battle of Point Pleasant. Another member of the same company, William Wilson, further noted in his 1832 pension statement that they had first joined up with at least four other companies at a place called Great Levels in Greenbrier County before continuing their march to Point Pleasant. After the battle, William Berry, stated that he, along with his company, proceeded to the Shawnee village of Chillicothe north of the Ohio River. After the peace treaty was signed he returned home to Virginia. William Wilson further elaborated on the subject, saying that Captain McClandahan, along with several other militia captains had been killed during the engagement, and that the engagement was severe, so it clearly must have impressed him as a savage battle. He also reported a total of 160 militia men killed and wounded during the fighting. Wilson went on to say that they next marched eighty miles to the Indian towns, then returned to Point Pleasant where they waited about a week for provisions before returning home after serving five months. At two places within his pension statement, William Berry indicated that he was gone for six months on this tour. William Wilson testified to a five month tour, but both of these figures are probably minor exaggerations or a product of the ravages of time on memory. The militia was not called up until early to mid July 1774, and the treaty was concluded about nine days after the Battle of Point Pleasant or about 19 October. Even given an extra week of waiting for provisions back at Point Pleasant, they must have returned to Staunton by early November where they were discharged, which calculates to a total of just over three and half months for the entire campaign. When the War Department reviewed his application, comparing them with their own records, they credited William Berry with only a month of service. Since Col. Lewis was garrisoned with the bulk of his troops, lacking only some of the Fincastle militia, at Camp Union at least by 6 September and most likely at least several weeks before that, it is more likely that William Berry’s tour lasted at least three months, more than he was credited for, but less than he stated.894

 

     In 1774, the territory between the Monongahela and Ohio Rivers was claimed by both the Pennsylvania and Virginia colonies, and Dunmore’s War, a short campaign against the Shawnee, was fought as much to protect the settlers from the Shawnee and Mingos as it was to ensure Virginia’s control over this area. At this time, the region below the Ohio River was a sparsely settled area considered by Virginia, which nominally governed the area, to constitute the West Augusta District. Essentially, it constituted the western part of Augusta County, so the Virginia citizens living there needed protection from the increasing attacks upon them by the more violent and aggressive elements of the Shawnee and Mingo tribes. The post French and Indian War era in this part of the country was one marked by westward expansion of English settlers, and one of increasing concern by the Iroquois Nation. Several legal agreements and documents provided a legal basis to justify the actions of both sides. In the first place, the Proclamation of 1763 by the English king forbade English settlers from expanding westward from the headwaters of rivers that drained into the Atlantic. This was intended, primarily, to mollify the tribes by officially decreeing that all English settlers must keep out of Kentucky, since the Iroquois Nation objected to further colonial expansion into territories they considered to be theirs. On the other hand, the Treaty of Fort Stanwix of 1768 re-established the English/Indian boundary at the Ohio River, thus, tacitly allowing the white settlement of Kentucky with the hope of keeping the inevitable tide of invading humanity out of the Iroquois homelands. The English settlers mostly ignored the 1763 line and the Indians mostly ignored the Ohio River boundary line, thus setting the stage for the next phase of the conflict. By the late 1760s and early 1770s, English settlers and surveyors from Pennsylvania and Virginia were venturing beyond the 1763 line, and roving bands of Shawnee and Mingos were regularly and with increasing frequency, attacking these outlying isolated settlements, as well as the surveying crews below the Ohio River. Raids, cross raids and hideous atrocities conducted by both sides, quickly caused events to spin out of control by mid 1774.

 

The settlers in the area appealed to the Virginia government for military assistance. Lord Dunmore, the Royal Governor of Virginia, alarmed by the escalating frontier violence, and invested with a desire to confirm Virginia’s territorial claims, sought action. By mid July the House of Burgesses granted approval for him to mobilize the militia and prosecute a war against the Indians, and with this approval, Dunmore quickly developed a plan to bring the fight to the enemy. He raised two militia armies, a northern command, composed of elements from the local counties in the West Augusta District of Virginia, as well as from affected areas in Pennsylvania and Maryland, which was to head west and south from their base at Fort Pitt. Dunmore, himself intended to lead this group. A southern command, composed primarily of Virginia militia units from Fincastle, Botetourt and Augusta counties and led by Col. Anthony Lewis, a French and Indian War veteran, was to march down the Kanawha River valley. Here both armies intended to combine, then tackle Cornstalk’s army of Shawnee, Mingo, Delaware and Ottawa warriors.

 

Upon gaining political top cover, Dunmore immediately headed west, and by early September was at Fort Pitt in the final phases of a treaty with the Delaware and Six Iroquois Nations, which not only protected his flank during his attack on the Shawnee, but was also intended to lay the groundwork for ensuring Virginia’s claim on the West Augusta area. Both the treaty of Stanwix, and the Dunmore accord, with the implicit agreement of the Native American parties involved, specifically omitted the Shawnee and their allies, who actually occupied and therefore technically owned the areas under contention. The Iroquois essentially sacrificed their Shawnee brethren in a series of ultimately unsuccessful strategic moves that were intended to deflect the inevitable European expansion away from their homeland, while the British successfully used the strategy of “divide and conquer” to isolate the Shawnee. When Dunmore went after the Shawnee, it was with the full knowledge that they had been hung out to dry and no opposition would be expected from the Iroquois Nation. As soon as the treaty was signed he hurriedly marched his army south and west along the Ohio to meet up with Col. Lewis. The latter had been concentrating his militia at Camp Union, located near the present site of Lewisburg, West Virginia, and, by mid September, was proceeding to the designated meeting point at the confluence of the Kanawha and Ohio Rivers. On 6 September the first group composed of about 600 men and led by Col. Lewis’ younger brother left Camp Union, followed a week later by Col. Lewis with the remaining 500 men. Col. Christian with an additional force of 200 men from Fincastle County were slated to arrive at Camp Union on the 26th of September and join Lewis’ forces at the mouth of the Kanawha. (Figure 83)

 

     When Col. Lewis arrived at the designated meeting point, he received orders to join Dunmore, who was located about 50 miles to the north near the mouth of the Hocking River. Cornstalk, most likely realizing that he was seriously outnumbered, decided that his best hope for success was to strike each army separately, before they were able to combine. Consequently, on the night of 9 October, his warriors crossed the Ohio River to prepare for the attack. The army of the southern command was at that time encamped on the point of land between the Kanawha and Ohio Rivers, known as Point Pleasant. A well timed assault on this position would find them in a very vulnerable position - with their backs to the river. The next morning, 10 October 1774, as Col. Lewis was preparing to break camp and march northward to merge with the northern command, Cornstalk’s warriors began the attack as the sun rose. The initial action was focused on a small detachment of about 150 soldiers, which took heavy losses, but the engagement soon escalated into a full-scale assault. The fighting continued throughout the entire day, becoming increasingly intense and desperate, and characterized at times by vicious and desperate hand to hand combat. As the day wore on Cornstalk’s warriors seemed to be gaining the upper hand, but the overwhelming firepower of the Virginians proved to be very effective. In order to relieve the pressure of the attack, some of Col. Lewis’ men, led by Isaac Shelby who would eventually become the first governor of Kentucky, were sent on a successful flanking maneuver along the east side of Crooked Creek, a Kanawha tributary. Cornstalk misinterpreted the movement as representing the arrival of Dunmore’s reinforcements, and broke off the fighting in order to avoid further losses, which were already quite severe. By nightfall, the Indians gave up the attack and withdrew across the river, dumping the bodies of their fallen comrades into the river to prevent mutilation by the soldiers. Losses on both sides were quite significant. Dunmore, learning of the outcome of the battle, moved the bulk of his force close to the Shawnee village of Chillicothe, established temporary quarters, which he named Camp Charlotte, on some open ground along the Scioto River in modern day Pickaway County, Ohio, and ordered Col. Lewis to meet him there with 100 men. A treaty was quickly reached with the Shawnee, in which they ceded their claims south of the Ohio River.885,895,896,897

 

     After the conclusion of the Point Pleasant Campaign, William Berry returned to Augusta County in late October 1774. According to one family historian, he was next noted as accompanying five hunters on a trip to Fort Boonesborough, arriving there on 2 May 1775. This is not far from Lexington, Kentucky, where he settled in 1787 after the war, so it seems logical that he could have checked out that area for future settlement on this hunting trip. By sometime in 1776 he had returned to Staunton where he married his next door neighbor, Rebecca McCleary at the Fairfax Courthouse in Staunton. Their first child, James, was born in the summer of 1777, so they must have been married by at least late 1776. He was named either after Rebecca’s father or William’s grandfather, or both.898

 

     According to his pension records, William Berry was next drafted into another Augusta County militia unit in August of 1778, and served for four months in Captain William Henderson’s company, which was attached to Col. Boyer’s Virginia militia regiment. On this tour William was promoted to the rank of sergeant. His unit was marched out west again, this time proceeding to a point on the Ohio River about 25 miles south of Fort Pitt where they joined the main army at Fort McIntosh, which was commanded by General McIntosh. From here they headed across the Ohio River to the Muskingum River and built a fort that he remembered as being called Tuskaroras or Lawrence. He described his duties during this tour as marching, building the fort and pulling guard duty there afterwards. The unit returned to Staunton in early January 1779, right around New Years Day, whereupon his third tour ended. Pension records for William’s brother, John Berry, document the fact that the brothers served together on this tour in the same company. (Figure 84)

 

     Following the Battle of Point Pleasant, there was a lull in aggressive activity by the Shawnee and their allies, but it was short-lived. The initiation of the Revolutionary War sparked renewed efforts by the British, from their base in Detroit, to supply the aggrieved tribes with plenty of arms and ammunition for use against the American frontier settlers. Consequently, Shawnee raiding began in earnest again in 1776 against the frontier settlements south of the Ohio River. The cycle of terror, murder, atrocities and revenge killings once again spun out of control all along the mountain borderlands from western Pennsylvania to eastern Tennessee. By 1777 Shawnee attacks had nearly depopulated Kentucky, forcing those that remained to live in or near fortified towns, blockhouses or forts, so settlers in the area began pressuring Congress for support.411,412

 

     From a strategic point of view the weakness of the existing defensive system soon became all too clear. It consisted of a series of fortified outposts located along the margins of, but well within, the settled areas. Scouts operating from these bases could hardly provide much advance warning of hostile forces operating in the area. In addition the outposts were manned by local militia, a relatively untrained armed force better suited to home guard duty or short term offensive expeditions than longer term garrison duty or extended military operations. In late November 1777, a congressional commission met in Fort Pitt to evaluate the situation and propose solutions based on the data they gathered. Among their recommendations was the establishment of a permanent garrison in the region manned by trained Continental soldiers rather than militia, the construction of a fort in Indian territory and the organization of a campaign against the hostile Indians, as well as the British supply base in Detroit. Operations were to begin in the late summer. The recommendations were quickly approved. Four regiments were designated to deploy to the area, and nearly a million dollars was appropriated for the expedition. In addition, Virginia was asked to supply 1500 militia soldiers in support of this effort. General Washington placed General McIntosh in command of the operation, and preparations were immediately underway. In early July, however, raids by Iroquois and Tories in eastern New York and Pennsylvania diverted most of the troops and supplies to that area, and Virginia voted to devote only 800 militia soldiers to the project. Furthermore, rather than support a full expedition against Detroit, Virginia stipulated that their troops were only to conduct a campaign of harassment against the Indians. Despite the severely limited troops and supplies, McIntosh, following completion of a treaty with the Delaware Indians to build a fort in their territory, decided to go ahead with construction of several outposts in Indian country to prepare for the advance on Detroit which was now delayed until 1779.

 

     Militia units from the frontier areas of Virginia and Pennsylvania slowly made their way to their gathering point at Fort Pitt and, with great difficulty, supplies were gathered for the upcoming expedition. At the beginning of October, the first step began with the construction of a road along the south side of the Ohio River from Fort Pitt to the mouth of the Beaver River. (Figure 84) For the next month construction proceeded on Fort McIntosh, a supply base situated atop a cliff on the western side of the Beaver River and within the modern day town of Beaver, Pennsylvania. The walls were quite considerable, built of thick, heavy logs and earth-fill. Inside the compound were barracks of sufficient size to house a regiment of regular (Continental) soldiers. Supplies could be brought to this location by water, but from here, the route would be a 60 mile overland haul to Fort Laurens, yet to be built, within Delaware territory on the Tuscarawas River. The weather was turning cold and supplies were slow in coming, all of which led to some discontent within the officer corps, who thought the whole idea of taking the time and effort to build Fort McIntosh was completely unnecessary if the ultimate goal was to invade Detroit. Fort McIntosh, however, would be the supply hub for the harassment campaign that Virginia demanded, as well as for the eventual assault upon Detroit. McIntosh’s troop strength consisted of about 700 Continental troops, less than half the original amount planned, and 800 militia, far short of the originally planned militia troop strength. Leaving a small contingent behind at Fort McIntosh to finish construction, he took the remaining troops, including all of the Virginia militia, up the Tuscarawas Trail in early November, and almost immediately encountered problems and a string of bad luck. Bad weather, discord and insubordination among his officers, reluctant militia troops and a general lack of forage caused by the October frosts created serious delays, and it took around two weeks for the long column of men and scrawny animals to reach the Tuscarawas River. Construction began immediately on the second fort, Fort Laurens, a small, one acre quadrangle-shaped wooden stockade with high embankments built on the west bank of the river near the modern day village of Bolivar, Ohio. Supplies could not be obtained for the expedition, due to more pressing issues facing the army elsewhere, so, almost immediately, their stock of existing supplies became critically low with no hope of timely replenishment. The situation became so serious that during construction the militia had to be placed on short rations, and even the fall harassment campaign against the Shawnee had to be postponed. As the end of the year approached, the terms of the militia expired, so McIntosh led the militia to Fort McIntosh, leaving Fort Laurens manned by a small contingent of Continentals. From Fort McIntosh the militia was sent home. Since there were no more supplies, the militia was destitute when they left for home, so many of them resorted to eating animal hides, some went from farm house to farm house begging for food and others merely plundered farms along the route home in order to survive. Although he was in a different militia unit than William Berry, John McWilliams’ pension statements match William Berry’s story with some added detail. He noted that his unit was marched to the Ohio River, crossing it just below the mouth of the Big Beaver River, and remained at Fort McIntosh for awhile. Next, they marched to Tuscarora Plains near some Indian towns, where they built what he called a stockard fort. They remained there until a few days before Christmas, when they were marched back to Fort McIntosh and discharged. (Figure 84) Both William Berry and John McWilliams were silent on how they managed their return trips home.899,900,901,902

 

     In early 1780, another child, George Berry, was born to William and Rebecca, obviously named after William’s father. The next chronological documentation for William Berry consists of pension application statements describing his next military adventure. He noted that he was then drafted into Augusta County militia service in 1779 to serve for a month and a half in Captain Thomas Smith’s Company, which was attached to Col. Samuel McDowell’s regiment, serving under the command of General Greene. He further noted that on this tour he participated in the Battle of Guilford Courthouse in North Carolina. After the battle he was discharged and sent home. Since the Battle of Guilford Courthouse was fought on 15 March 1781, it is a certainty that William made an error on the actual year he was drafted, another distortion of his memory over time, but the other elements of this deployment seem to ring true. It does not seem likely that he would have mistaken his participation in such a pivotal and noteworthy battle as Guilford Courthouse, so the short deployment, the military commanders and the battle represent the accurate renditions of his actual experience on this tour. Alexander Williams, another Augusta County soldier in William Berry’s company further elaborated in his pension statements that he volunteered in February 1781 and the company marched to South Carolina (clearly, he meant North Carolina), where they joined the regular army near Guildford Courthouse. He was selected to be a rifleman serving under Col. Campbell, so he must have been sent to a position on one of the flanks during the battle. William Armstrong, another Augusta County draftee, provided some details on the route that was taken from Staunton to the Dan River encampment of Greene’s army in his pension statement. He noted that they proceeded on horseback to Rock Fish Gap, then Lynch’s Ferry and the Sonca Towns on the Dan River where his unit joined the main army commanded by General Greene. After the battle, they retreated back to the Troublesome Iron Works in Rockingham County, North Carolina and were discharged.

 

     The Battle of Cowpens, a significant victory by the Americans over the British, was fought in northwestern South Carolina on 17 January 1781. After the battle, General Greene, the commander of the American forces opted to quickly withdraw northward to wait for reinforcements and preserve his army and supplies for continued resistance in what soon became known as the “race for the Dan”. The Dan River formed the boundary between North Carolinian and Virginia in this area, and it was running high. Cornwallis seized the fords in the upper part of the river, and seemed to have cut off Greene and his entire army, but Greene had foreseen this, and placed boats downstream before he left on this endeavor. Based on this military foresight, he was able to safely put the swollen river between him and Cornwallis’ menacing army. For the next several weeks Greene was able to keep Cornwallis at arms length by a series of skirmishes and raids, thus avoiding a general engagement until he was sufficiently reinforced to the point where he could directly challenge the British army. In early March enough Continental troops and Virginia and North Carolina militia units had arrived that Greene felt it was time to go on the offensive. With his army now numbering just over 4,000 strong, more than double the size of Cornwallis’ command, he crossed the Dan River and chose the ground upon which to openly challenge Cornwallis. The battleground he selected was an isolated backwoods town called Guilford Courthouse, in the middle of modern day Greensborough, North Carolina, and by 11 March, his troops were in place. Basing his strategy on the successful model of Cowpens, he posted three lines of troops on a hillside of forested ground. To reach the Americans, British troops had to cross the open ground of freshly plowed fields where they were vulnerable to snipers and the deadly, concentrated fire of defenders having the advantage of cover and concealment. The first American line, posted at the edge of the woods behind a fence at the edge of a field, consisted of North Carolina militia units, who were instructed to fire two volleys, then retreat back and reinforce the second line, where the Virginia militia was posted. This line was then supposed to eventually fall back to the third line of seasoned Virginia, Maryland and Delaware Continentals posted in thick woods at the top of the hill and just below the courthouse. This group was considered to be battle tested and expected to be steady under fire. The flanks of this array of infantry was covered by cavalry units and sharpshooters hidden in the adjacent forests.

 

     After pushing his men through a 12 mile march, Cornwallis arrived at Guilford Courthouse around noon, where he immediately recognized a duplication of the Cowpens strategic arrangement. Rather than repeat the same mistake the British had made at that battle, he initiated contact with a cavalry charge along the flanks followed by a brisk cannon barrage to soften up the enemy. He then immediately formed his men into line and ordered them forward. When they reached within 300 feet of the first Patriot line, a devastating volley of gunfire was unleashed on them by the sharpshooters from the Patriot flanks and the North Carolina militia, but the troops continued marching forward until they were close enough to fire a volley with their muskets, then they charged. The North Carolina militia in the first line fired a second volley, then turned and fled, leaving the field entirely rather than reinforcing the Virginians. The British then entered the woods and advanced uphill toward the second line composed of relatively untrained Virginia militia draftees. For the next half hour the militia put up a determined, vigorous and stubborn resistance in close combat, but the British eventually pushed that line back and surged uphill toward the last line of Continental troops. One of the Maryland units poured a deadly close range volley into the British line, and followed it up with a swift bayonet charge. The other Maryland unit, however, being new recruits, broke and ran after being attacked. The British followed but were immediately flanked. Bloody and vicious fighting then broke out all along the line. At Cornwallis’ command, British cannons opened fire on the middle of the line in an effort to extricate his men, killing many of his own men with “friendly fire”. The British launched a final unsuccessful charge constituting the final phase of battle. With the North Carolinians completely gone, the Virginia line holding and the Continentals badly mauled, Greene opted to disengage and withdrew in an orderly fashion from the field in order to save his army. The British were too badly mauled to put up much of a pursuit. While Cornwallis occupied the battlefield at the end of the fighting, making the battle, technically, a British victory, the price of that victory was quite high. Of the nearly 2,000 engaged troopers, over 500, just over 25% of his force, were killed or wounded, making it a very expensive victory. American forces were much larger in number, some 4,400 strong, but their losses were considerably lower, suffering only a 6% casualty rate. (Figure 85)903,904,905,906,907,908,909
 

     For his final military service right at the end of the war, William Berry noted that he was again drafted into the Augusta County Militia, and served in Captain James Bell’s Company, whose unit was attached to Col. Samuel Lewis’ regiment, also of the Virginia Militia. The regiment became attached to the main body of the US Army under the command of General Washington. He further stated that he took part in the siege of Yorktown and was present at the surrender of Cornwallis. He also said that these events took place in 1779, but that, again, is clearly in error, since the Yorktown siege actually occurred in 1781. William Berry and William Armstrong again served in the same company for the final phase of the war, and the latter provided some additional information on the date and route of travel to Yorktown. He said that he had been drafted for a three month tour. After gathering in Staunton the company marched to Charlottesville, then Jamestown and finally to Yorktown, where they joined Washington’s main army for the final siege operations.

 

     As General Washington met with his French military ally, General Rochambeau, in May of 1781 to discuss strategy for the approaching summer and fall campaigns, the initial conclusions were to move against British forces in New York. By July, however, it was learned that General Cornwallis, after having swept through the south, had entrenched in Yorktown, Virginia, and was awaiting resupply so he could continue his campaign to subdue the southern colonies. This convinced Washington that he needed to concentrate both French and American forces on this southern threat. It was probably about this time that word went out to Virginia to draft another contingent of militia companies. By mid August, Washington received word that the French fleet, currently in the West Indies, was heading to Chesapeake Bay, so plans were immediately put into effect for a joint French-American and combined land-sea operation to trap Cornwallis. Shortly thereafter, the allied coalition of French and American armies began moving southward. In the first week of September the French fleet arrived off the coast of Virginia and successfully fended off a British sea attack. By mid to late September French and American troops, now concentrated in the Williamsburg area began entrenching around Cornwallis’ isolated and trapped army at Yorktown. The British troops, numbering less than half their opponent’s force, were soon subjected to heavy fire as siege lines were built and inched closer and closer. Cannons, mortars and siege guns rained a near constant barrage of incoming rounds to the besieged army and the French fleet, hovering offshore, prevented both evacuation and reinforcement. For the next three weeks, the constant shelling made life miserable for the British as casualties mounted and supplies and ammunition became critically low. After a final unsuccessful breakout attempt, Cornwallis finally offered the unconditional surrender of his 7,000 troops on 17 October 1781.910,911
 

     A large contingent of the American troops at Yorktown consisted of Virginia militia troops, all, of whom came under the command of Brigadier General Thomas Nelson, Jr., the governor of Virginia. These men, around 3,500 in all, built fortifications, manned siege lines, herded cattle and escorted prisoners after the surrender. Figure 88 shows the general placement and alignment of forces on both sides at the beginning of the siege, and it can be seen that there were two locations where Virginia militia units were placed – one at Gloucester Point on the north side of the York River and the other on the southern side of the river just south of Yorktown on the southeastern flank of the allied forces. Based on the pension statement of William Armstrong, who noted that his unit marched to Jamestown and then were directed to their positions on the field, it can probably be stated with a high degree of confidence that William Berry’s unit was deployed with the Virginia militia units on the southeastern side of the field.910,911

 

     With the war finally over, William Berry was 26 years old and could return to his family and his real life. For the next four years, from the spring of 1782 to 1785, he can be traced through Augusta County Personal Property Tax records (Table IX) owning some horses, cattle and an African slave. While there isn’t much in that data to go on, it does appear to represent a small time farming operation. Another son, John Berry, was born in late 1782.

 

Table IX

Augusta County Personal Property Tax Records for William Berry

1782 - 1785

 

Year

Horses

Cattle

Slaves

1782

3

4

1

1783

4

15

1

1784

ND

ND

ND

1785

5

10

1

ND = No Data

 

     In the summer of 1785, William and Rebecca finally had a daughter, Elizabeth Berry. Sometime between 1785 and August 1787, the family moved across the Appalachian Mountains to Fayette County, Virginia, since William shows up in Fayette County tax lists that year, and is correspondingly absent from the Augusta County lists from that time onward. From 1787 until sometime in late 1810 or early 1811, William Berry farmed an 80 acre plot of land nestled in the middle of the Kentucky Bluegrass region along the South Fork of Elkhorn Creek in Fayette County, Virginia/Kentucky. (Figure 87) For several years during that time, specifically, between 1789 and 1795, he was included on the lists of the local militia. His father in law, James McCleary, had also moved to Fayette County at the same time as William. They probably all moved together, and can be found on the same militia lists during this time period, so they probably lived practically within shouting distance of each other. One of Williams grandsons, N. P. Berry, reported that his grandfather, when he had first moved to the Lexington, Kentucky area, which was a tiny village comprising a few log cabins at the time, spent much time in the nearby Lexington fortification due to the continuing Indian threats in the area. He also noted that his grandfather had moved from Ireland to Virginia, but, while that is clearly not the case for William, it is most likely true for his great grandfather George Berry and his great great grandfather, the elder James Berry.   

 

     This 80 acre parcel of land had originally been part of a 2,000 acre military warrant awarded to Alexander Stephens as compensation for his military service during the French and Indian War. By the time the land was surveyed, on 11 July 1774, however, Alexander Stephens had passed away, and ownership of the land had passed to his son, Adam Stephens. The governor of Virginia signed the document awarding the patent of this 2000 acre plot to Adam Stephens on19 June 1780, and the acreage, subsequently, was divided into smaller plots for sale to settlers in this part of the Kentucky bluegrass region eager to obtain property. William Berry must have made his purchase from Adam Stephens sometime between 1780 and 1792, when he (Berry) was first recorded in Fayette County, Virginia tax records as owning his 80 acre portion of the Stephens land parcel. The South Fork of Elkhorn Creek crosses the northern portion of the Stephens 2000 acres, and according to Fayette County tax records, William Berry’s property was situated somewhere along this watercourse. That part of the Stephens land grant lies about five miles south of the old block fort built by American settlers in the area in 1779, and, according to the documentation provided by William Berry’s grandson, William Berry’s cabin lay five south of Lexington. (Figure 87)938,941
 

     From 1786 through at least 1790, Rebecca Berry and others were involved in what amounted to a major feud over the inheritance of land and money in the Moody family of Augusta County, Virginia. Rebecca was involved because of her mother, who was a Moody. It all seems to have begun with the older member of the family, Robert Moody, who passed away without leaving a will. His wife, Isabella, and their son, Robert Jr., ran the family affairs after his death. There was another son, James, and a daughter, Isabella. James married a widow with several children, and they had several children of their own. Isabella, the sister of James and Robert, married John Frazier, and they had several children. It is not stated in any of the depositions whether or not Robert Jr. had any children. He did, however, take in several of his sister’s children when her husband was unexpectedly killed in an accident. When Robert Jr. passed away he didn’t leave a will either, just like his father, but the Frazier children, and possibly their mother, claimed that Robert had left a verbal will, leaving all of his estate to them. Apparently, this included what Robert had inherited from his parents too. The children and spouses of the other brother, James Moody, did not seem to like that estate distribution much, hence the lawsuit, or series of lawsuits and the depositions that followed. Rebecca gave her deposition in Fayette County after she and William had moved west, but her comments do not appear in the abstract currently available. There is also no record indicating the resolution of the lawsuit.

 

     The first evidence of William owning any land comes in 1792, when his 77 acre plot of first rate land is listed in the Fayette County Personal Property tax records. The original owner of the land was Col. Adam Stephens, who obtained several grants of land in the area as a result of his military service during the French and Indian War. In fact, one of the land grants was for his father, Adam Stephen, who had passed away and passed the grant on to his son. Several of the grants were described as being located on the north side of the Kentucky River, and one of them was located near what was described as “a remarkable buffalo fording site along the Kentucky River”. At the present time, though it has not been determined which land grant contained the 77 to 80 acres that William Berry purchased.
 

     A daughter, Isabella, obviously named after Rebecca’s mother, was born in 1794, and another daughter, Nancy was born in the early winter of 1792. Another son, William, was born in the fall of 1796. In the summer of 1803 William Berry was named in a lengthy Fayette County court document that mainly involved a property transfer. William’s name comes into the picture when a listing is made of people who paid a license fee to operate stills in the area. Apparently, William Berry made his own version of Kentucky bourbon way back in the early 1800s, so it can probably be safely assumed that one of the crops he raised on his 77 acres of land was corn, the primary ingredient of bourbon or corn liquor. His name also shows up on a listing of people who are delinquent in paying money, probably taxes, to the US government, possibly on revenues generated from the products of the still. In 1803 he built a powder mill on the South Fork of the Elkhorn River near Lexington. A powder mill was a small scale facility, consisting, in this case, of water powered rollers for grinding saltpeter (potassium nitrate), charcoal and sulfur to create what is known as black powder or gunpowder. Barrels were also used to compact and store the final product. Accidental explosions were a common hazard, so they were built away from residences and with weak walls that would direct any potential explosions in a specific direction, for example -  into an open field. Sometime during 1804 Rebecca (McCleary) Berry passed away, leaving behind a 49 year old widow to take care of a family of seven children ranging in age from seven through 27, which, most certainly, was a terrific burden on a guy who spent his days farming and making whiskey and gunpowder. Understandably, it wasn’t long before he remarried. In the summer of 1805 he married Peggy Collins in Bourbon County, Kentucky, which is probably where her family lived. Their first child, Elizabeth, was born about seven months later, so Peggy seems to have been pregnant at the time of her marriage to William. They had another daughter, Sarah, in the summer of 1809.1086,1087,1088
 

     Fayette County tax records, summarized in Table X, show that during the time he lived in Fayette County he owned a small herd of horses, some cattle, which were not always identified in the records, and a small number of slaves. Usually there were only two or three taxable slaves, but one year, for some reason, there are 11. What that represents is not completely understood. Maybe he purchased a large number for some reason, but only maintained ownership for one year. Then again, maybe that year a large number of slaves he already owned suddenly fell into a taxable range. Again, as in the tax data for William Berry when he lived in Augusta County, Virginia, the data seems to tell a story of a small time farmer – maybe not quite at the level of a subsistence farmer, but he certainly doesn’t appear to have been a particularly wealthy man.
 

 

Table X

Fayette County, Virginia/Kentucky Tax Records for William Berry

1787 - 1810

 

Year

Horses

Cattle

Slaves

1787

5

5

 

1788

4

   

1789

6

   

1790

6

   

1791

2

   

1792

9

12

 

1793

7

15

 

1794

7

14

2

1795

7

15

2

1796

7

14

2

1797

7

   

1798

ND

ND

ND

1799

8

 

2

1800

6

 

2

1801

ND

ND

ND

1802

7

 

2

1803

2

6

2

1804

7

 

3

1805

1

 

3

1806

ND

ND

ND

1807

6

 

2

1808

6

 

3

1809

6

 

11

1810

12

 

4

 

     The last bit of information that can be gleaned from the footprints that William Berry left in Fayette County deal with the coming of age of his older sons. His oldest son, James Berry, who born in 1777, would have been 16 years old in 1793 or 1794, so, based on the tax records, 1794 or 1795 would have been the first year he qualified, by age, to appear in his father’s household as a taxable male. In 1795 William has one white male between the age of 16 and 21 in his household, which must be James. For the next two years there’s one white male in this age category in the household, so unless James can be found on his own, which does not appear likely, these tax records must represent him. There’s no tax data in 1798, which should be the last year James appeared in that category. In the following year, there are two white males in the 16 to 21 year old age category. By this time James should have been taxed in his own right, and George (born in 1780) and John (born in 1782) fall in this category. This is the case through 1802, then in 1803 and 1804, both James and George must be on their own and only John, the next youngest son of the correct age, is being counted in the household.

 

     In 1810, the Berry household, which included 11 whites and five African slaves, was enumerated in the federal census in Fayette County. Several of the individuals in the census cannot be identified, so they might represent people who were not immediate family members. Not long after the census was taken, the Berrys moved to Gallatin County, Kentucky – probably sometime in late 1810 or early 1811. Most likely, they loaded all of their gear up into horse or oxen drawn wagons in the fall of 1810 after harvest, and made the trip northward after the season’s farming was done. Gallatin County is located about half way between Louisville and modern day Cincinnati, Ohio right along the Ohio River. From 1811 through 1821 the family can be traced in that county through Personal Property tax records (Table XI). During this time they lived on 100 acres of first rate land on or near the Ohio River. The number of horses and slaves he owned during this time period are about the same as they were while he lived in Fayette County.
 

Table XI

Gallatin County, Kentucky Tax Records for William Berry

1811 - 1821

 

Year

Horses

Slaves

1811

ND

ND

1812

9

5

1813

6

5

1814

ND

ND

1815

8

5

1816

7

5

1817

8

2

1818

7

6

1819

6

7

1820

6

7

1821

6

7

 

     The last time William Berry appeared in the Gallatin County tax books was 1821. In the fall of 1823 he is recorded as purchasing land in St. Louis, Missouri, so sometime between 1821 and 1823 the family moved again, settling on a 167 acre plot straddling the Deer Creek valley on the outer edges of St. Louis, Missouri. (Figure 86). Since Missouri does not appear to have used personal property taxes to generate revenue, there isn’t as good of a track record for William Berry from this type of data as there was in Kentucky and Virginia. Missouri’s records have not yet been completely mined for potential records related to William and his family, so there is probably additional information available. He next appears in the 1830 federal census as a 75 year old man along with a few of his younger kids in the house and his 57 year old second wife, Peggy. A few years after that, he was able to file for a federal pension based on his Revolutionary War service, and the rich documentation of both his service and for his brother, John, as well as an outline of his life in the post war years, were recorded at this time. In the late summer of 1832 and in the early winter of 1833, to the best of his ability, he documented the details of his military service for the War Department. Processing of his claim continued until the fall of 1833. By May 1833, however, the War Department was having some problem documenting all of the units and periods of service he claimed, so they did not immediately approve his application. Their questions centered on the exact length of his various enlistments. In his defense, it was noted that William could not possibly swear to the exactness of the information he provided because of his old age and loss of memory. In mid September of 1833 it was still not resolved, and in a letter addressed to the Commissioner of Pensions, it was further noted that William Berry was very poor, aged and infirm, and desperately needed assistance from the federal government. By early October the matter was settled, and William Berry was placed on the pension rolls, scheduled to receive $40 a year for nine and a half months of military service to his country. In the Commissioner’s notification it was recorded that the approval was based upon five months service in the rank of sergeant and 4 months as a private. Only service in Captain McClanahan’s company and Col. Lewis’ regiment were mentioned in the approval notification.

 

     Based on William Berry’s testimonials, pension statements of soldiers he served with and well documented historical facts, it appears that William Berry actually completed about 15 months of military service during this time of national emergency. During this time he actively participated in three major battles and five campaigns. He served under Captain McClanahan for 3 months, but for a total of 6 months under Col. Lewis under two separate enlistments. Only the first enlistment period appears to have been counted in the final approval process. While it is not entirely clear what his rank was during most of his enlistments, it was certainly as a private in the approximately seven months he served in 1774, which encompassed two tours of duty. He was also definitely an acting sergeant in the subsequent four month 1778 campaign to Indian country in Ohio. If this tour as sergeant is combined with his month or possibly month and a half 1781 tour, when the Guilford Courthouse battle was fought, then the five months as a sergeant can be accounted for. His 4 1/2 months as a private must document only his 1774 service under Captain McClanahan, which culminated in the Battle of Point Pleasant and the subsequent peace treaty, and possibly a small part of his previous Tygart Valley enlistment. William claimed to have served for three months on his first tour, but appears to have been credited with only one month of service. If this is the case, then most of his early 1774 service to guard settlers in the Tygart Valley and his entire 1781 participation in the siege of Yorktown were not counted by the War Department in their calculations of his pension qualifications, which must have been something of a disappointment to William Berry. Since his Guilford Courthouse tour was probably counted at the rank of sergeant, his Yorktown tour, which followed soon after, was probably also at that rank, and both the increased service time and higher rank would have qualified him for a higher pension.

 

     William Berry wrote his will in 1834, and it was witnessed by three people apparently unrelated to him. Peggy, William’s wife, passed away in the fall of 1837, and William died about a year later. In January of 1839, when William Berry’s will was probated shortly after his death in late 1838, the two surviving witnesses testified that the will had been written about five years before. They further noted that William Berry was very ill at the time and not expected to recover, and that, in their opinion, he did not possess his full faculties when the document was prepared for him to sign. Based on this testimony, the court refused to accept the will. On the same day two sons in law of William Berry, Samuel Denny and William Truesdale, were named by the court as the estate administrators. An inventory and appraisal of the estate were conducted, and verified in court in mid March of 1839, and an estate sale was held in March of 1840.

     The inventory of William Berry’s estate was conducted by two of his son in laws and court appointed estate administrators, Samuel Denny and William Truesdale, who, from a modern point of view, seem to be poor candidates for this task, since they, quite clearly, had serious conflicts of interest in the matter. On the other hand, maybe it was common practice for family members to participate in an estate inventory. Still, it doesn’t appear to be a particularly unbiased approach. The results were submitted to the St. Louis County court in mid January 1839, barely a month after William’s death. The estate appraisal on the other hand, which was submitted to the court several months later, in March of 1839, was conducted by nonrelatives as far as can be determined. The results of the inventory and the appraisal are quite interesting, and will be addressed here separately.

 

     One element of the estate data analysis dealt with the value of the key items in the estate. The main thrust of this approach was to determine what overall conclusions could be made about William Berry’s life based on the things that he owned when he died. This analysis does not include his real estate – only his personal property. In order to determine this, each property item from the estate appraisal was assigned to a general category and the total value and percentage for each category was recorded and calculated. Results are shown in Table XII. Perhaps the most striking element of this numerical analysis is the fact that two slaves, both female, were, by far, the most valuable element of William Berry’s personal property, constituting over half and nearly two thirds of the total worth of his personal property. One was described as a negro woman named Phebe, who was valued at $100. The other was listed as a ten year old black girl named Caroline, who was worth $300. No other category of personal property even remotely approached the value of these enslaved Africans. Quite obviously, slaves represented a significant investment and their value, most likely, increased with time, at least until a certain age. Older slaves still had to be maintained, probably contributing little. A final element of the estate value consisted of debts to William Berry, which amounted to $300 owed to him by two sons and a son in law. In the table below, that debt value would raise the total value of the estate to $967.63 . Since that money does not really amount to actual personal property, it was not utilized in this analysis, so the $300 was deducted from the total estate value for calculation purposes.
 

 

Table XII

Summary & Categorization of William Berry's Personal Property Appraisal

 

Category

Value

Percent

Living Items - Slaves

$400

60%

Living Items - Livestock

$60

9%

Furniture

$92.50

14%

Tools

$19.01

3%

Household Items

$96.12 1/2

14%

Total

$667.63 1/2

 

 

     The next most interesting element of the personal property inventory and appraisal are the items represented in the “Tools” category. The low net value of these items in the estate appraisal is inversely proportional to the value of the insights they provide into William Berry’s life. These are the tools of a skilled woodworker. There are axes for cutting down trees, chains for dragging the logs away (and a horse to do the hauling), saws to process the wood , an adze for smoothing rough-cut wood, joiners for evenly placing pieces of processed wood together, and a lathe for producing professional-looking turned wood items. This tool set clearly shows that William Berry spent much of his time in his own personal woodworking shop, probably making his own furniture, and maybe even producing furniture items for sale – maybe even gifts for his children. This was a man who worked with his hands, probably for all of his life, and maybe directed some of his sons and male slaves in the same endeavors. There are also two other tool items of importance, a flax hackle and a plow. The flax hackle was a curved cutting tool for harvesting and processing flax, which was a plant whose fibers were used to make linen. The plow, obviously, would be somewhat useful in planting flax seeds. Flax was probably not the only crop William Berry grew. Certainly there must have been food crops, and when he was living in Kentucky, he had a permit to distill whiskey, so, at the very minimum, he must also have grown corn. The data from this estate inventory is certainly skewed in one sense. It represented what William Berry was doing at the end of his life and its limited nature cannot definitively account for the scope of the agricultural activities that he pursued when he was younger.

 

     Then, there’s the furniture items. Second only to the value of the slaves are the household items and the furniture that he owned. Each category, household items and the furniture, represents 14% of the total estate value, and, combined, they represent half the value of the two slaves. The furniture consists of items made of cherry, walnut and pine, all trees that would have been readily available where he lived. In all probability, William Berry made these items, and possibly much of the other furniture. Of all the furniture, the items of highest value were the beds and the two cherry bureau and desk. In the Household Items category there are spinning wheels and associated equipment, so clearly, the family made their own fabrics, probably originally derived from the flax they grew. Processing flax is a very labor intensive process, and it may well have been one of the activities performed by the African slaves. The large spinning wheel was the most valuable home item, being below the value of the slaves but more valuable than the horse.

 

     William Berry’s personal property items were inventoried, appraised and sold, and not all items appear on all of the lists. Some items were not inventoried, but were appraised or sold. Others were inventoried, but not sold. As a rough measure of the accuracy of the original appraisal, in order to ascertain a general idea of the fairness of the appraisal, all items that could be tracked through the entire process of inventory, appraisal and sale were evaluated. (Tables XIII and XIV) Of the 44 items inventoried, 32 were then appraised and sold by early 1840. Except for the two slaves, 72% of the items that were inventoried and appraised were later sold, so the analysis seems to be an accurate representation of the personal property owned by William Berry at the time of his death. As will be shown, one of the slaves had passed away, which would have represented a loss to the estate, and the other slave girl was sold later about two years later for about $100 more than her appraisal value. Neither of these items, which come close to canceling each other out, were utilized in the following analysis.
 

 

Table XIII

Comparison of Appraisal and sale Values

 

Category

Item

Appraisal

Sale

Tools

1 falling ax

$1.00

$0.50

Tools

2 log chains

$2.50

$3.00

Tools

1 cross cut saw

$3.00

$2.50

Tools

1 hand saw

$0.51

 

Tools

1 lot of joiners tools

$0.12 1/2

$0.25

Tools

1 lathe & turners tools

$1.50

$2.00

Tools

1 lot of augers

$1.00

$1.25

Tools

1 hand vice

$1.00

$0.37 1/2

Tools

1 heat trap

 

$0.18 3/4

Tools

1 fire shovel

$0.25

 

Tools

1 pair of andiron

$0.75

$1.56 1/4

Tools

1 foot adze

$0.25

 

Tools

1 knife box

$0.50

$0.37 1/2

Tools

1 old steel trap

$0.75

 

Tools

1 spade

$0.62 1/2

$0.43 3/4

Tools

1 shovel

$0.50

$0.25

Tools

1 pair of steelyards

$0.50

$0.50

Tools

1 maddox

$1.50

$1.93 1/4

Tools

2 trusses

$1.00

 

Tools

1 shove plow

$1.00

$1.00

Tools

1 flax handle

$0.75

$1.06 1/4

Tools

SUBTOTAL

$19.01

$17.17

Furniture

3 feather beds

$55.00

$61.50

Furniture

4 bed steads

$11.00

$10.68 3/4

Furniture

1 cherry bureau

$8.00

$6.87 1/2

Furniture

1 cherry desk

$8.00

$7.75

Furniture

1 small square table

$1.50

$0.87 1/2

Furniture

1 walnut falling leaf table

$2.00

$1.25

Furniture

1 square pine table

$0.50

$0.50

Furniture

1 lot kitchen furniture

$4.00

 

Furniture

4 frame chairs

$1.50

$2.50

Furniture

1 large pine chest

$1.00

$1.60 1/4

Furniture

SUBTOTAL

$92.50

$135.00

Living Items

Phebe

$100.00

 

Living Items

Caroline

$300.00

 

Living Items

horse

$60.00

$78.00

Living Items

hire of black woman

 

$46.00

Living Items

black woman

 

$11.00

Living Items

SUBTOTAL

$460.00

$135.00

Household Items

1 walking cane

$0.37 1/2

 

Household Items

1 mantle clock

$8.00

$3.25

Household Items

1 lot of books

$2.00

$2

Household Items

2 bells

$1.50

25

Household Items

1 large spinning wheel

$75.00

$25.00

Household Items

1 small spinning wheel

$1.00

 

Household Items

1 check reel

$1.00

$0.61 1/2

Household Items

3 barrels

$0.37 1/2

$0.37 1/2

Household Items

1 smoothing iron

$0.37 1/2

$0.56 1/4

Household Items

1 set of teaspoons

$0.50

 

Household Items

1 loom & rigging

$6.00

$4.25

Household Items

bells

 

$1.75

Household Items

1 rifle

 

$12.31 1/4

Household Items

kettle

 

$2.12

Household Items

pot

 

$1.00

Household Items

oven

   

Household Items

skillet

 

$0.43 1/3

Household Items

kettle

 

$0.87

Household Items

SUBTOTAL

$96.12 1/2

$42.68 5/6

 

Table XIV

Personal Property Appraisal & Sale Summary

 

Category

Appraisal

Sale

Tools

$19.01

$17.17

Furniture

$92.50

$87.72 1/4

Living Items

$460.00

$135.00

Household Items

$96.12 1/2

$42.68 5/6

Totals

$667.63 1/2

$192.57 2/3

 

     Of the 32 items that were appraised AND sold, four were sold at the appraisal value; 15 were sold at a lower value (shown in red in Table XV) and 13 were sold at a higher value (shown in green in Table XV). Thus, from the point of view of total number of items, the appraisal seems to have slightly undervalued the estate items. On the other hand, from a total value point of view, the “loss” of items that were sold under their appraised value amounted only to $11.26, while the “profit” of items sold over their appraised value amounted to $33.66 . Consequently, with an an overall gain of $22.20 in value from appraisal to sale, the appraisal, if anything, appears to have undervalued the estate items. For an estate valued at just over $667, and discounted for the 72% representation of items down to $480 (72% of $667), the total difference in price between appraisal and sale is still only about 4%. The bottom line is that the appraisal does, indeed, seem to represent a fair and accurate assessment of the actual worth of William Berry’s personal property, as determined by the actual values received from the sale of the estate items. (Table XV)
 

 

Table XV

Comparison of Appraisal and Sale Values of William Berry's Personal Property

 

Category

Item

Appraisal

Sale

Tools

1 falling axe

$1.00

$0.50

Tools

2 log chains

$2.50

$3.00

Tools

1 cross cut saw

$3.00

$2.50

Tools

1 lot of joiners tools

$0.12 1/2

$0.25

Tools

1 lathe & turners tools

$1.50

$2.00

Tools

1 lot of augers

$1.00

$1.25

Tools

1 hand vice

$1.00

$0.37 1/2

Tools

1 pair of andiron

$0.75

$1.56 1/4

Tools

1 knife box

$0.50

$0.37 1/2

Tools

1 spade

$0.62 1/2

$0.43 3/4

Tools

1 shovel

$0.50

$0.25

Tools

1 pair of steelyards

$0.50

$0.50

Tools

1 maddox

$1.50

$1.93 1/4

Tools

1 shove plow

$1.00

$1.00

Tools

1 flax hackel

$0.75

$1.06 1/4

Furniture

3 feather beds

$55.00

$61.50

Furniture

4 bed steads

$11.00

$10.68 3/4

Furniture

1 cherry bureau

$8.00

$6.87 1/2

Furniture

1 cherry desk

$8.00

$7.75

Furniture

1 small square table

$1.50

$0.87 1/2

Furniture

1 walnut falling leaf table

$2.00

$1.25

Furniture

1 square pine table

$0.50

$0.50

Furniture

4 frame chairs

$1.50

$2.50

Furniture

1 large pine chest

$1.00

$1.60 1/4

Living Items

horse

$60.00

$78.00

Household Items

1 mantle clock

$8.00

$3.25

Household Items

1 lot of books

$2.00

$2.25

Household Items

1 large spinning wheel

$75.00

$25.00

Household Items

1 check reel

$1.00

$0.61 1/2

Household Items

3 barrels

$0.37 1/2

$0.37 1/2

Household Items

1 smoothing iron

$0.37 1/2

$0.56 1/4

Household Items

1 loom & rigging

$6.00

$4.25

Red = Loss from Sale

Green = Gain from Sale

 

     The estate sale was held on 27 March 1840, and, in a Probate Court session held on 17 June 1840, the estate administrators reported a total estate value of $912.84 , consisting of estate sale income, claims by the estate, debts and the value of the female slave, Caroline. In the fall of 1840, the estate had not yet been settled, so the administrators were required to report to the court on the status of the estate’s accounts. The transcribed numbers are a bit difficult to follow and to make sense of, due to the quality of the source document, but it appears that itemized values of the estate are listed, along with itemized expenses, which, presumably, were deducted from the estate value. The numbers, as interpreted, don’t seem to make sense unless the transcription of a value of $0 for the amount of appraisement of slaves is actually $398.01. The readability of some of the original documents is often very poor, so it is quite easy to make transcription errors. Of course, another reason for the occurrence of transcription errors is the quality of the handwriting of the court or county clerks who transcribed these documents from the originals back when they were recorded in the court records. It was from the records of this fall probate court date where the death of Phebe, the other appraised slave, is recorded. She passed away on 19 Dec. 1839, so her value, the cost of her care during her final days, and her funeral expenses, were listed as estate expenses.
 

     The next record is from a probate court hearing in mid June of 1841. It seems that Samuel Denny, the estate administrator, was continuing to use the services of the young female slave Caroline, so he charged himself a rental fee that was payable to the estate. He also seems to have rented Caroline out to other people, and listed those revenues as belonging to the estate. He stated to the court that he wanted the estate to be settled among William Berry’s heirs as soon as possible, but noted that, he, being the husband of one of William Berry’s daughters, was entitled to an equal share of the estate, and wanted the business to be settled within three years. This seems to suggest that the Berry boys, or at least some of them, didn’t want their sister’s husband (and therefore their sister) to qualify for a share of the estate. In the next probate court session involving the estate, in the fall of 1841, publication costs were submitted for a series of newspaper advertisements. The publication stated that Samuel Denny, being entitled to a share of the estate, informed George Berry, John Berry and Nancy Pettit, children of William Berry who had remained in Kentucky, of that fact, and that all estate revenues would be evenly distributed among the ten heirs. In the probate court session the following fall, Samuel Denny appealed to the court to sell the slave, Caroline, in order to evenly distribute the value of the estate among the ten heirs.

 

     By March of 1842 probate court records indicate that problems continued in the estate settlement, and Samuel Denny petitioned the court, again, to sell the slave so the income from her sale could be added to the estate kitty and, thus, the monetary value of the estate could be equitably distributed among William Berry’s heirs. One wonders how affairs with our descendants will proceed after we pass away, and these records provide a rather detailed and unflattering view of one answer to that question. One sticking point here was the slave Caroline, but another was the inheritance value of a sister. If a sister married, as her brothers did, she no longer carried the family surname, and in the man’s world of those days, the husband, technically, inherited the woman’s share of an estate. That means that part of the estate would be divvied up to family that did not carry the surname of Berry.

 

     The other part of the equation is the fact that Caroline, the young female African slave, was worth a lot of money, and everyone wanted their “fair share” of her value. She needed to be sold so that her intrinsic human worth could be converted into cash and divvied up among William Berry’s heirs. Not only did the ten children of William Berry have a claim upon Caroline’s monetary worth, but the next generation of Berrys, specifically, the eleven children of James Berry, William’s oldest son, who had by this time, passed away, also had their inherited stake. Without a doubt, the genealogical value of these court records is invaluable. Not only are all of the children of William Berry identified by name, but the given and surnames of the daughter’s spouses are also provided. Daughters, quite often, represent kind of “lost loved one” element of family history. When a marriage occurs, it is the daughter who changes her surname, not the son, so, unless discrete information is provided on the identity of a daughter’s husband, this side of the family, as well as her descendants, can easily become lost to the unforgiving and permanently forgetful mists of history.

 

     By early April the court had accepted the argument and ordered that Caroline be sold with the revenue being split among the heirs. The sale was to take place in late May on William Berry’s farm, now owned by his son Joseph Berry. It was also to be on specific terms – half cash and the other half on a six month loan. Twenty one days advance notice of the sale, in the form of newspaper announcements, was also required. Apparently, the sale had been postponed or at least not immediately reported, because in June of 1842, the estate administrators reported on the amount of the estate balance, and no slave sale was noted, although other revenues to the estate, such as monies generated by Caroline’s service, were listed. By the following September, however, the estate administrators, Samuel Denny and William Truesdale, both sons in law of William Berry, indicated that the sale had, indeed, taken place, the newspaper announcements had been made, and that a man by the name of George Green had purchased Caroline for $395. Each heir was assigned $39.50, and the ten children of James Berry each received a split of their father’s share. The following year, in June of 1843, costs levied against the estate were listed, but, for some reason, the remaining monies had not yet been split among William Berry’s heirs. This appears to be due to the fact that, at different times, William had given his children property, including slaves and other items, which he had noted at the time, and that they had acknowledged, would be counted as part of their inheritance. The monies could not be evenly distributed because all of the other items were considered to constitute part of an heir’s inheritance, and it appears that at least some of those heirs refused to count these earlier bequeathments – they wanted an even split of the remaining estate money. Obviously, there was a disagreement among the heirs. An equal distribution of the estate remaining after their father’s death was not fair, since some of the children had already received their share of their inheritance, or at least part of it. Consequently, the case was brought to court. In order to create a truly fair distribution, these additional items were ordered to be considered as part of the estate, so they needed to be identified and evaluated. The process was called hotchpot, a legal process in which all identified properties, belonging to different people, are blended together, so that they can be divided evenly among all legal heirs. From this process, all items that William Berry gave to his children, and that were understood to be part of their inheritance, were considered together to be part of the estate. Table XVI shows the result of this investigation, and it clearly indicates that some of William Berry’s children had already received rather large chunks. The document was a bit difficult to transcribe, and some elements were not completely captured, but the intrinsic value is that it shows the source and relative value of each bequeathment. By far, the most valuable part of William Berry’s property were his slaves. The June 1844 pronouncement by the Probate Court summarized their findings (Table XVI), which are quite close to the transcribed records from Table XVII.893
 

 

Table XVI

Probate Court Determination of Estate Advance Distribution

 

Heir

Value of Inheritance Advance

Payment Due

George

$425

$11

Nancy

$425

$11

William Jr.

$500

 

Sarah

$466

 

Mary

$660

 

James

$730

 

John

$16

$420

Isabella

$346

$90

Elizabeth

$191

$245

Joseph

 

$757

Total

 

$1534

Total Minus Joseph's Allocation: $777

 

Table XVII

Incomplete Transcriptions of Bequeathments (and Values)

by William Berry to his Children During his Lifetime

 

Heir

Item

Date

Value

Total

George, Nancy

3 slaves

fall of 1837

$850

$425 ea

Isabella

slave

1818 - 1823

$300

 

Isabella

cow

1818 - 1823

$6

 

Isabella

bed

1818 - 1823

$10

 

Isabella

cash

1818 - 1823

$30

 

Isabella

     

$346

William Jr

slave

1823 - 1825

   

William Jr

slave

1823 - 1825

   

William Jr

     

$600 - $650

Sarah

slave

1831 - 1833

$250

 

Sarah

slave

1831 - 1833

$230

 

Sarah

cow

1831 - 1833

$5

 

Sarah

bed

1831 - 1833

$10

 

Sarah

cash

1831 - 1833

$50

 

Sarah

     

$545

Elizabeth

slave

1825

$175

 

Elizabeth

cow

 

$5

 

Elizabeth

bed

 

$10

 

Elizabeth

     

$190

Mary

slave

~1838

$450

 

Mary

cash

~1838

$200

 

Mary

bed

~1838

$10

 

Mary

     

$660

James

slave

~1825

$200 - $250

 

James

cash

~1825

$30 - $75

 

James

     

$230 - $325

John

cow

 

$5

 

John

bed

 

$10

 

John

     

$15

 

     From the probate court evidence presented in Tables XVI and XVII, it can be seen that several of William Berry’s children had already received substantial chunks of their inheritance. In particular, James and Mary had each received around $700. William Jr. had received the next largest amount, followed by George, Nancy and Sarah, who had gotten over $400 each. Isabella and Elizabeth, respectively, had received similar but lesser amounts than their other siblings, and John was definitely in last place, receiving only $16 from his father before he (his father) died. After having determined this existing distribution, the court allocated the remaining assets of the estate accordingly, with John, unsurprisingly, receiving a rather large amount. It is also significant to note that Joseph did not participate in any of this legal wrangling, most likely because he had inherited his dad’s farm, and, thus, had already received his fair share. Part of the basis of the lawsuit that came about was the claim by Samuel Denny, husband of Elizabeth, and William Truesdale, husband of Isabella, that they could claim an equal share of the existing estate holdings. The results of the hotchpot, however, show that their wives had already received much of their inheritances. John Berry, who had received virtually nothing from his father before his death, appears to have laid claim to a large chunk of the remaining estate. The data suggests that Joseph, who did not participate in the hotchpot process, appears to have received the largest amount. Samuel Denny appears to have submitted a bill at this time for carpentry work related to the construction of William Berry’s coffin.

 

     In the fall of 1845 the probate court met again in a session that included consideration of the William Berry estate. The cash balance of the estate was presented by the estate administrators, as well as costs and assessments against the estate. The final cash value of the estate was determined to be $777.00, which, amazingly enough, exactly matches the distribution determined by the court. Clearly, even though June 1844 court sessions had definitively assigned a proportional allocation of the estate based on previous bequeathments, the final distribution had not yet taken place. The records, however, do indicate that a partial payment of $180 had been paid to John Berry.

 

     The final documentation for William Berry involves the last chapter of his estate distribution in 1846, eight years after he had passed away. In early 1846, James Berry, a son and the designated heir for William Berry’s son John complained to the court that he had repeatedly asked Samuel Denny, the estate administrator, for his court ordered share of the estate, and, although Samuel Denny acknowledged the court decree, he had consistently refused payment. The last court record in May 1846 considered the partial payment and ordered Samuel Denny to pay the remaining amount. Since no further court action appears to have taken place in this matter, it probably can be assumed that a satisfactory final solution had been reached.
 

 

The Saga of the African Slaves

 

     William Berry grew up in a family that owned a small number of African slaves, was a member of a transplanted western European society that generally accepted slavery as an integral, normal and necessary part of life, and, at least in the earlier part of his life, was surrounded by mostly hostile Native American societies that regarded slavery as a vital and inevitable element for maintaining their own cultural viability. Human enslavement, quite often based on ethnic and racial foundations, was a commonly accepted condition of the social structure of the two cultures that dominated life in this part of North America, so it is not too surprising that William Berry, being a product of his environment, ended up being a slave owner himself. Although the evidence pertaining to his African slaves is somewhat general and not particularly robust, the documentation that does exist, reveals some rather interesting and unflattering aspects of the American slave owning culture, as well as some sketchy details about the individual Africans entrapped in a continuing and what was to them a permanent situation that committed existing and an unknowing future number of generations to inherited servitude.
 

     When William Berry first appears in the Augusta County tax rolls right after the end of his patriotic service in the Revolutionary War, he already owned one slave, so there’s no telling how long he had possessed this individual or when this human being had been purchased or otherwise acquired. Quite possibly this African had been bought to assist with farm and home labor about the time William and Rebecca were married so there would be some help back at home while William was deployed, performing his required military duty in service to his country in a time of extreme national emergency. While tax data is not available for two of the five years that William remained in Augusta County after the war, from 1782 to 1786, for the other three years, he was taxed on one slave. (Table XVIII) No other details of this person, of probable African origin, is available, other than his existence. There is also the presumption, here, that this slave was a male, which may not be correct. There is just no way to tell age or gender from the available records – the records document just the mere presence of a single item of valuable human property, presumably purchased for the sole purpose of providing labor. For the first seven years after he moved across the Allegheny Mountains to the Bluegrass region of Fayette County, Virginia, William Berry was not taxed on any slaves, so the obvious conclusion is that he owned none during that time period. Since he appears to no longer have possession of the slave that he owned prior to moving to Kentucky, it can probably be safely assumed that he sold this human property, possibly to help fund his move west. This nameless man or woman, whose ultimate lineage probably stems from West Africa, thus, appears briefly, and ever so indistinctly, from the mists of time, then quickly becomes enveloped, forever, by the same consuming fog.
 

 

Table XVIII

William Berry's African Slaves as determined from

Virginia and Kentucky Personal Property Tax Records

 

Year

Slaves

 

Year

Total Blacks

Blacks < 16

Blacks > 16

 

Year

Total Blacks

Blacks > 16

     

1791

0

     

1801

ND

ND

1782

1

 

1792

0

     

1802

1

1

1783

1

 

1793

0

     

1803

1

1

1784

ND

 

1794

1

1

   

1804

2

1

1785

1

 

1795

1

 

1

 

1805

3

1

1786

ND

 

1796

1

 

1

 

1806

ND

ND

1787

0

 

1797

1

 

1

 

1807

2

1

1788

0

 

1798

ND

ND

ND

 

1808

3

1

1789

0

 

1799

1

 

1

 

1809

11

1

1790

0

 

1800

2

 

1

 

1810

4

3

               

1811

0

 
               

1812

5

2

               

1813

5

2

               

1814

ND

ND

               

1815

5

2

               

1816

5

2

               

1817

2

2

               

1818

6

2

               

1819

7

3

               

1820

7

3

               

1821

7

3

ND = No Data

 

     For seven years, from 1787 through 1793, William Berry was documented in the Fayette County tax rolls as owning no slaves. (Table XVIII) This corresponds to the time that he was a member of the local militia, living with his family near the rugged frontier hamlet of Lexington in what would soon become the state of Kentucky. According to one of his grandchildren, this was a time of desperate and dangerous conditions, where the pioneer families of European ancestry in the area lived in or near fortified bases, such as Lexington was, that provided safety from the sudden, occasional and violent attacks by bands of dissident Shawnee and Cherokee warrior societies. By 1794, the Indian threat appears to have subsided to the point that it was safe enough to conduct agricultural and other pursuits in relative safety. In that year, William Berry was taxed on one African slave that he, apparently, had recently purchased from some unknown source. Profits derived from his family-run farming operation must have provided the funding for this acquisition. Additional labor was probably desperately needed to assist the Berry family with their increasing living requirements. William and Rebecca, by this time, were the proud parents of a rather large family comprising six children, ranging in age from 2 to 16. This, most certainly, would have been a daunting task for anyone living today, and probably even more so for a pioneer family that farmed an 80 acre plot of land by themselves and who made much of their own food, clothing and other needed items. The labor provided by a slave would have been a welcome addition to their existence, and probably contributed to an increase in what we would refer to today as their “standard of living”.

 

     From 1794 through 1799, William Berry’s slave holdings appear to remain at one slave. Two slaves appear in the records, briefly, in 1800, then he was back to a single slave until 1803. (Table XVIII) The additional slave could have been a purchase and subsequent resale, but there’s just no telling from these meager records what this data means. At the most basic level, however, this DOES likely represent one more nameless African, committed to a life of bondage, and appearing briefly in historical records as nothing more than a number and a piece of property. As far as the other slave is concerned, whether this represents one slave or a series of different slaves is not discernible, directly, from the data, but William Berry does not appear to have been a major slave dealer. Rather, the records suggest that it would be more accurate to describe him as a farmer generating low to moderate amounts of income by running an 80 acre family-operated farming operation and, as the Fayette County records indicate, operating a state-sanctioned and taxed whiskey distillery on the side. As an interesting side note, this probably suggests that at least one of William Berry’s crops was corn – the primary ingredient for corn liquor – otherwise known as Kentucky Bourbon or just plain whiskey. Back to the point, rather than representing a series of different African slaves, this data more likely represents one individual. This was probably someone who learned the farming and distilling techniques practiced by the Berry family, and thus, possessed a basic skill set that did not need to be re-taught to a different person every year, supporting the notion that this slave data represents one individual.

 

     Another element of information that can be gleaned from this data set is the probable presence of an older slave in a group of younger Africans. The county tax records show that William Berry purchased a slave just under the age of 16 in 1794. (Table XVIII) Assuming, as noted above, that this data probably represents a single individual, in the following year, this African servant crossed over into the next age category in the tax records, and can be tracked through the records over the next several years as he or she advanced in age. Consequently, from 1794 through 1799, the Fayette County Personal Property tax records can be interpreted as depicting a single African slave who aged from 17 to 21 years of age. Unfortunately, the gender of this person is not readily discernible from these records – only the relative age. From 1804 through 1808, there are between two and three slaves in William Berry’s tax listings, only one, of whom, is over the age of 16 during this time period. This configuration has the appearance of a slave family, with an older male or female, a somewhat younger mate, and, possibly, a baby. Why the numbers fluctuate up and down is somewhat mysterious, but, at worst it could represent a situation where the young children were sold. There’s no indication from the records what this variation really means, though.

 

     1809 is kind of an anomalous year, since county records show that William Berry, albeit briefly, owned 11 slaves. (Table XVIII) There’s nothing in the records that might explain this variance, so interpretation relies upon subjective rather than objective analysis. The sudden and short term ownership of a much larger contingent of humans than normal appears to suggest the buying and selling of slaves on this one occasion. It’s certainly not a commonly observed occurrence in William Berry’s records, so there is the temptation to suspect the existence of some special business deal. Maybe he acquired some slaves as payment in kind for agricultural or distillery services, or maybe, that year, he was renting some slaves, and one of the stipulations of the deal was that he’d have to pay the taxes on those slaves while they were being “employed” by him. There’s just no way of determining the validity of any of this analysis. Once again, individuals of African ancestry, constrained to a life of enslavement and existence as human property, briefly appear in legal records as mere numbers, then, sadly, disappear again into the Alzheimer mists of time. By the following year (1810), William Berry was back to owning a much smaller number of slaves, yet slightly higher than the anomalously high total from 1809. It seems likely that those individual Africans must have been sold. (Table XVIII)

 

     Federal and state records for William Berry’s slave ownership in 1810, while being quite close in their accounting, do not match exactly. Of course, there’s the obvious explanation that they were not recorded at the same time, so changes, such as births, deaths, purchases or sales, could have occurred in the interim period. Table XIX shows the variation. The federal data shows five slaves, while the county data documents only four. In this case, the county data is much more robust, showing that three of the African individuals were over the age of 16. Only one slave was under the age of 16, and, if this data could represent, at least partially, a slave family unit with the African slave under the age of 16 being the child of two of the slaves listed as being over the age of 16. Significantly, if this does, indeed, represent a slave family, then it also records the first time the other partner in this relationship is documented as being over the age of 16. The older slave, who turned 17 in 1795, would have been 32 at this time. A logical interpretation of this data suggests that this represents an older male and a younger female, so the slave William Berry purchased in Fayette County, after the Indian troubles abated, was probably a male.
 

 

Table XIX

Comparison of William Berry's Slave Information from

1810, 1820 and 1830 Federal and State Records

 

1810

Total

State Data

4

Federal Data

5

 

1820

Total

> 16

State Data

7

3

Federal data

11

5 to 11

 

1830

Total

> 16

Federal Data

8

2 to 4

 

     From 1810 until 1818, there are only two African slaves in William Berry’s tax accounts over the age of 16. (Table XVIII) According to the analysis developed above, this quite possibly represents a “married” African couple. More accurately, it might be described as two people entrapped in an inescapable existence of enslavement, and who were the only available life partners for each other. They lived together, most likely in much less luxurious conditions than their owners, created their family under intensely harsh conditions, and their children were subject to sale at any time. At such heart-wrenching times, these children would, presumably, disappear, forever, from their lives. The slaves under the age of 16 in these records could represent, at least in part, their children, so this data set, at least partially, could represent an enslaved African family. It’s not clear how much contact such separated slave families could have maintained under such conditions, but they could only have preserved their family ties if the new owners of their children lived nearby and allowed family visits.

 

     The year 1811 is another anomaly, but this one can be easily explained. Sometime between 1810 and 1811 the Berry family moved from Fayette County northward to Gallatin County, Kentucky. For the 1810 tax and census records William Berry was living in Fayette County, but by the time Gallatin County recorded their 1811 tax returns, the Berrys were living in Gallatin County. No slaves were counted in the latter records for William Berry, but by 1812 he was back to his full complement and slightly more. It is probably a safe bet to assume that he still owned these slaves during the intervening time, but, for some reason, they just weren’t counted in the 1811 tax returns. Maybe they they were still back in Fayette County on his old farm that was now probably in the hands of one of his sons, George Berry. Young George didn’t move to Gallatin County or later on to Missouri. He remained behind in Fayette County, probably on the old family farm, and, it seems that a logical case can be made for him to have retained his father’s slaves during the family move northward in 1811.

 

     From 1812 through 1818 there were two slaves over the age of 16 in William Berry’s slave collection. The total varied between two and six, for unknown reasons. Maybe some of them were rented out as labor at the time that the tax records were being collected, and were, thus, “hidden” from tax records. Beginning in 1819 and continuing until 1821, the end of the Kentucky tax records for William Berry, there are three slaves over the age of 16 in William Berry’s records, and the number of total slaves he owned increased to seven. Clearly, one of his younger slaves had crossed that age threshold into the “adult” category. Tax and census records from 1820, again, do not match. Four more slaves are shown in the federal census records than the county tax records. (Table XIX) As in the 1810 records, the records were collected on different dates, so many things could have happened in between, such as births, deaths or sales.

 

     After 1821, William Berry moved to Missouri, where no annual tax records are available, probably because they were not collected in the first place. He was still within the reach of big brother, though, and his dual European/African households were recorded in the 1830 census. At this time, at the age of 75, he can be shown to own eight slaves. (Table XIX) He had one elderly male slave between the ages of 26 and 55, whose birth date calculates as having occurred between 1775 and 1804. (Table XX) The African slave, tracked from 1794 through 1821 in Fayette and Gallatin County tax records, easily falls into this category, since his birth date, based on the evidence of his age categories in the 1794 and 1795 tax records, calculates to 1778. Quite clearly, if this does indeed represent a single individual and not several different people, then the elder male slave enumerated in the 1830 census could be the same man tracked through the Fayette and Gallatin County tax records.
 

 

Table XX

Detailed Data of William Berry's African Slaves

from the 1820 and 1830 Federal Enumerations

 

1820

Number & Gender

Age Category

2 male slaves

14 - 26

1 male slave

26 - 45

1 male slave

> 45

4 female slaves

14 - 16

3 female slaves

26 - 45

1830

Number & Gender

Age Category

1 male slave

< 10

1 male slave

26 - 55

4 female slaves

< 10

1 female slave

10 - 24

1 female slave

24 - 36

 

     The oldest female slave from the 1830 census was between the ages of 24 and 36, so her birth date falls between 1794 and 1820. (Table XX) As noted above, there is only one slave over the age of 16 in this slave data set until 1810, but from that time on there were two. If this second slave who turned 17 in 1810, again, represents a single individual instead of several people, then that person’s birth date calculates to 1793, which is just under the age of the date range of the oldest female in the slave in the 1830 census. It is, thus, quite easy to assume that the slave tracked through the Fayette and Gallatin county records is this female slave. With a birth date of 1778, this male slave would have been 52 years old. The oldest female slave, being born about 1793 or 1794, would have been 36 or 37 years old in 1830. All of this data seems to confirm the interpretation that this tax and census data represents a slave family composed of a male born about 1778, a female born about 1793 and their children. The 1830 census enumerated six slave children, five, of whom, were under the age of ten. (Table XX)

 

     The next critical piece of data pertaining to William Berry’s slaves come from his will, which appears to have been written in 1834, just four years after the 1830 census. It stands to reason that many, if not all, of the slaves he mentions in the will represent the same people categorized in the census record from just a few years before that time. In his 1834 will William Berry identified eight African slaves by name, gender and relative age. He also provided additional remarks and advice on the disposition of several of these individuals. (Table XXI) Perhaps the most significant information is the fact that two of William Berry’s sons, William Jr. and Joseph Berry, are charged with the care and maintenance of two elder slaves named Sipio and Phebe. These individuals, more than likely, represent the elder male and female slaves discussed above. It is somewhat ironic to note that the document that finally puts names on these individuals who had been tracked through years of county and federal records, is a record that assigns them to new owners. Sipio and Phebe must be the slave couple that formed the core of the slaves owned by William Berry and the parents and grandparents of most, if not all, of the slaves William Berry owned. Rather than continuing to purchase additional slaves throughout his lifetime, William Berry was able to benefit from the “natural increase” of the slaves he already owned. On the other side of the coin, the enslaved couple bore a number of children over the years, all, of whom, were destined to a life of servitude. Some were most likely sold to generate income for the Berry family.
 

 

Table XXI

Slave Information and Distribution from William Berry's Will

 

Slave

Bequeathed to

Remarks/Instructions

Philip

Elizabeth C. (Berry) Denny

negro child

David

Joseph A. Berry & Mary C. Berry

1/2 interest each in negro child

Carroline

Nancy (Berry) Petit

little negro girl - sell

Sharlott

Isabel (Berry) Truedale

& Sara J. (Berry) Ennis

negro woman

& all the increase of her body

Sidney

Mary C. Berry

negro girl

Phebann

William Berry Jr.

negro girl

Sipio

William Berry & Joseph Berry

old negro - maintain during his/her life

Phebe

William Berry & Joseph Berry

old negro - maintain during his/her life

 

     Most of the remaining slaves identified in the 1834 will, five of the six, are probably children. Phillip, David, Caroline, Sidney and Pheban are referred to as negro children, a little negro girl, a negro child or a negro girl. The only one who appears to be an adult is Sharlott. She is described as a negro woman, who is fated to have all of her children taken from her and sold. William Berry’s will stipulates that his daughters, Isabel and Sarah, would “inherit” Sharlott and all of Sharlott’s children as the bulk of their monetary inheritance. The clear suggestion is that they must sell these children in order to convert their human inheritance into cash. Sharlott is most likely the female slave who fell into the 10 to 24 year old age range in the 1830 census, which places her birth date sometime between 1806 and 1820. Consequently, she probably appears as a child in the Fayette and Galltin County tax records for William Berry. Reference to this data (Table XVIII) shows that new slaves under the age of 16 appear appear four times during this time period: in 1808, 1810, 1811/1812 and 1817/1818. One of these slave children must represent Sharlott. None of the other slave children included in William Berry’s 1834 will were born yet during the 1809 through 1821 date range, so the question arises as to the identity and fate of these other slave children. While none of them can be shown, definitively, to be the children of Phebe and Sipio, the obvious inference is that they were. One of the slaves from this data set turned 17 in 1819, so that person’s birth date calculates to 1802, which is a few years too early for Sharlott. This probably represents an older child of Sipio and Phebe. Since none of these individuals were included in William Berry’s “shadow” family in either the 1830 census or in his 1834 will, it seems inescapable to assume anything other than that they were sold sometime between 1821 and 1830 in order to generate income for the Berry family, or passed away from either natural or human causes. Perhaps some of them were “given” to William Berry’s children who remained in Kentucky when he moved to Missouri in the early 1820s. If these people were, indeed, children of Phebe and Sipio, the 1820s must have truly been a crushing and heartbreaking time for them.

 

     From the time he passed away late in 1838 until mid 1856, nearly 18 years later, the disposition of William Berry’s property was in dispute among his heirs, and much of the controversy revolved around the distribution of his highly valuable slaves. Shortly after his death, an inventory was conducted of his estate, all of the personal property items appraised, and the validity of the will was almost immediately questioned by two of the witnesses. All of this put into doubt the distribution of property that William Berry had stipulated. As shown by the estate appraisal, the most valuable part of his property holdings were two slaves, who constituted nearly 60% of the entire estate’s worth. Once the estate sale was conducted and the physical property sold, the only remaining problem appeared to be how to fairly distribute the value of the two slaves among ten heirs. What is significant here is that fact that only two slaves were listed as being owned by William Berry at the time of his death, a ten year old girl named Caroline and an older slave girl named Phebe, who was apparently named after her mother. All of the other slaves must have been satisfactorily transferred to his children sometime between 1834, when his will was written, and early 1839 when his estate was inventoried and appraised. Until the case was settled, one of William Berry’s son in laws, Samuel Denny, rented Caroline from the estate. Phebe, on the other hand, must have taken ill, and passed away. 1840 court records charge the estate for the expenses of her care until she passed away on 19 December 1839. After petitioning the court, Samuel Denny, one of William Berry’s son in laws and the estate executor, finally was able to arrange for the sale of Caroline, and she was sold on 1 May 1842 to George Green for the sum of $395.

 

     The family bickering continued, however, since the cash generated from all of the estate sales had not been distributed to everyone’s liking. One of the results of these battles was court documentation that specified a great deal of information on William Berry’s slaves. In the effort to contest the distribution, one of the William Berry’s children, John Berry, who still lived back in Kentucky, documented, for the court, the distribution of slaves and other property by his father to his siblings over the years, and estimated the value of these human properties. The results of this assessment are shown in Table XXII, and from this data it can be seen that the earliest distribution of slaves was estimated as occurring between 1818 and 1823. During this time William Berry gave his daughter, Isabella a slave girl worth somewhere between $200 and $300, and gave William Berry Jr. a boy slave between the ages of 15 and 18 and a girl slave of unknown age sometime. Their worth was listed as about $400. The Gallatin County records do show a sudden decrease of three slaves in William Berry’s holdings between 1816 and 1817, and all of these missing slaves were listed as being under the age of 16. While the age of only one slave from these distributions is given, that age range provided does fall into the correct age category. Much of this data was estimated and guessed at years later, so the actual dates may be off somewhat, and that seems very likely in this case. The sudden drop in three slaves between 1816 and 1817 can probably be explained by these two slave distributions. (Table XXII)

 

 

Table XXII

Distribution of William Berry's Slaves

1818 - 1838

 

 

Slave Data

William Berry Heir

Year

Gender

Age

Value

Isabella

~1818

Girl

?

$200 - $300

William Jr.

1818 - 1823

Boy

15 - 18

$400

William Jr.

1818 - 1823

Girl

?

?

Elizabeth

1825

Girl

7

$175

James

1825

Girl (Rose)

10 - 12

$250

James

1825

Boy

?

$450

Sarah

1831 - 1833

Girl

10 - 12

$250

George, Nancy

Fall 1837

3 slaves

?

$850

Mary

1838

Girl

14 - 15

$450

Sarah

Mar 1838

Boy

5 - 6

$230

 

     All of the remaining slave distribution to his children took place after he had moved to Missouri, and annual slave information was no longer collected for tax purposes. In the 1820s, and, specifically, in 1825, William Berry gave three more slaves to his children. Elizabeth received a seven year old girl, and James received two slaves, a girl named Rose, about 10 years old, and a boy of unknown age. In 1820 these two girls would have been been between the ages of 2 and 5 or 7, but the 1820 census has no females under 10, so their origin cannot be traced back in time. All of the remaining slaves were given away between 1831 and 1838, and so should have appeared in the 1830 census if they were living in the household at that time. The ages of three of the six slaves can be determined from these records. One, a boy, was born after the 1830 census, but two girls have ages assigned to them. One of the girls was about 10 years old in the 1831 to 1833 time period, which would make her just under or just over 10 in 1830. The other girl was about 14 years old in 1838, so she would have been between 6 and 8 years old in 1830. The 1820 census for William Berry shows four slave girls under the age of ten, so these two COULD have been among them. None of this data is particularly firm, but it does show that most of the slaves identified in the various records might be able to be accounted for in the tax and census records.

 

     While it is extremely difficult to reconstruct the structure of a slave family based on this limited data, it does seem possible, and quite probable that at least some of the slaves owned by William Berry were related to each other, and possibly represent, at least in part, a family. This data seems to tell the story of dual households. There’s the William Berry household composed of free individuals of European heritage and almost a shadow household of about equal size of permanently enslaved people of African heritage, some, and maybe all, of whom, were related. While there is no information from this data that explicitly defines these Africans as having any kind of blood relationship to each other, the court records, combined with the tax and census data dramatically demonstrate it may be the case. The individual African slaves represented by these data sets could constitute a completely different set of individuals every year, or, on the other end of the spectrum, it could represent the same basic group, possibly a family, all or most of the way through the time span of the records. More than likely the data represents a variation of these two end member alternatives. Being a man of somewhat limited means, it doesn’t seem very likely that William Berry would be constantly buying and selling slaves. It certainly happened on occasion, but it doesn’t appear to be common practice for William Berry. More likely, he maintained a core group of enslaved servants, probably a family group, over the long term, and probably supplementing that basic core of people with new human purchases. African slaves were a significant monetary investment, and a slave owner benefitted from the increase in family size, in this pre-birth control era, of a core enslaved African couple who could be expected to produce a series of children over the years. The children could be, and probably were, sold off to pay off bills and generate income, on occasion, a particularly cold course of action which was proposed by William Berry in his will.
 

 

 

James McCleary and Isabella Moody

In-laws of William Berry

Entry Page

Genealogy Report

Figures, Tables and Bibliography
Search This Site


**WARNING**


These electronic pages may NOT be reproduced in any format for profit or presentation by any other organization or persons.  Persons or organizations desiring to use this material must obtain the written consent of the contributors, or the legal representative of the submitters

Last Revised: 07/23/2011Ad