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A.1.e. Mary Berry

 

     Mary Berry was born in Augusta County, Virginia around 1767. The estimate of her birth date is derived from the fact that her marriage in the late fall of 1787 required the consent of her father, George Berry, Sr., which means that she was under the age of 20 at the time. Mary Berry’s birthplace can be determined with a fairly high degree of certainty. In the summer of 1755, her father, George Berry, Sr., purchased 149 acres of land along the Middle Branch of the Shenandoah River along the western side of the Beverley Grant from his father, the elder James Berry. For the next 45 years, from 1756 through 1801, George Sr. was taxed on that land and the 80 acre addition he purchased in 1775. It was here that George Sr. and his wife, Agnes (Hall) Berry, raised their nine children. Mary Berry, obviously, grew up on that family farm in the upper reaches of the Shenandoah River valley in Augusta County, Virginia. (Figures 3, 10, 89 and Table I) On 13 December 1787 she married James Henry, Jr., a son of James Henry, Sr. and Mary ? (unknown last name). While records are sparse for Mary Berry and her husband James Henry, it is known that following their marriage, they raised a large family and remained in Augusta County, Virginia at least until 1820. At the present time they have only been traced through primary source records up to 1820, so further research is needed to provide additional detail on the latter half of their lives.

 

Timeline of Mary Berry and James Henry, Jr.

 

~1763501

Augusta County, Virginia Personal Property Tax Lists
Estimated birth date of James Henry
Based on first appearance in his father’s household as a male over 21 in the 1784 Augusta County personal property tax lists

~176721

Augusta County, Virginia Marriage Bonds
Estimated birth of Mary Berry in Augusta County, Virginia
Estimate presumes Mary was 20 when she married James Henry in 1787

1784501

Augusta County, Virginia Personal Property Tax Lists
James Henry
2 White Titheables > 21      James Sr., James Jr. (~21)
1 Black < 16
6 Horses
12 Cattle

1786501

Augusta County, Virginia Personal Property Tax Lists
District 1
Jas. Henry
1 White Titheable                James Sr
2 White Titheables < 21      James Jr. (?), Robert
1 Black >16
7 Horses
14 Cattle

16 Apr 1787501

Augusta County, Virginia Personal Property Tax Lists
District 1
James Henry
White Males > 21:      Jas. Henry Sr. & Jr. (~24) & Robert
White Males 16 – 21: 1
Blacks > 16: 1
Horses: 7
Cattle: 66

6 Dec. 178721

Augusta County, Virginia Marriage Bonds
James Henry and John Berry surety. James Henry and Mary Berry, daughter of George Berry (consent).
Teste: Thomas Freeman, Luis Wiseman

13 Dec. 178721

Augusta County, Virginia Marriage Records
James Henry and Mary Berry. Rev. Archd. Scott.

29 May 1788501

Augusta County, Virginia Personal Property Tax Lists
District 1 -- James Ramsey, Commissioner
James Henry Jr
White Males > 21:      James Henry Jr (~25)
4 Horses

1789501

Augusta County, Virginia Personal Property Tax Lists
District 1 -- James Ramsey, Commissioner
James Henry Jr.
1 White Titheable      James (~26)
4 Horses

7 Nov. 178921

Augusta County, Virginia Deed Book 20, page 420
John Greenlee of Rockbridge, attorney in fact for Patrick Hayse, Sr., of Lincoln, Kaintuckey, to James Hendry (Henry).
Teste: James and Robert Henry

18 Mar. 1790501

Augusta County, Virginia Personal Property Tax Lists
District 1 -- John Ramsey, Commissioner
James Henry
1 White Titheable      James (~27)
4 Horses

30 Dec. 179021

Augusta County, Virginia Circuit Court Deeds, Deed Book 1, page 183
Teste: James and Robert Henry, Jas. Cunningham.

17 Mar. 1791501

Augusta County, Virginia Personal Property Tax Lists
District 1 -- James Ramsey, Commissioner
James Henry, Jr
1 White Titheable      James (~28)
4 Horses

6 June 1792501

Augusta County, Virginia Personal Property Tax Lists
District 1 -- James Ramsey, Commissioner
James Henry, Jr
1 White Titheable      James (~29)
4 Horses

24 May 1793501

Augusta County, Virginia Personal Property Tax Lists
District 1 -- James Ramsey, Commissioner
James Henry Jr.
1 White Titheable      James (~30)
6 Horses

5 July 1794501

Augusta County, Virginia Personal Property Tax Lists
District 1 -- James Ramsey, Commissioner
James Henry Jr.
1 White Titheable James (~31)
4 Horses

1795501

Augusta County, Virginia Personal Property Tax Lists
District 1 -- James Ramsey, Commissioner
James Henry
1 White Titheable      James (~32)
4 Horses

1797502

Augusta County, Virginia Personal Property Tax Lists
District 1 -- James Ramsey, Commissioner
James Henry, Jr.
1 White Titheable      James (~34)
4 Horses

26 May 1798502

Augusta County, Virginia Personal Property Tax Lists
District 1 -- James Ramsey, Commissioner
James Henry Jr.
1 White Titheable      James (~35)
1 Black > 16
4 Horses

1799502

Augusta County, Virginia Personal Property Tax Lists
District 1 -- James Ramsey, Commissioner
James Henry Jr.
1 White Titheable      James (~36)
4 Horses

1800502

Augusta County, Virginia Personal Property Tax Lists
District 1 -- James Ramsey, Commissioner
James Henry Jr.
1 White Titheable      James (~37)
3 Horses

1801502

Augusta County, Virginia Personal Property Tax Lists
District 1 -- James Ramsey, Commissioner
James Henry Jr.
1 White Titheable      James (~38)
3 Horses
Taxes .36

18 April 180121

Augusta County, Virginia Will Book 9, page 252
John Tate's will--To wife and children, whole estate to be kept together for their benefit. Executors, wife Jinney, friends Robert Tate, Samuel Finley, Isaac Tate.
Teste: John Tate. 3d; James Henry, Wm. Fulton, Geo. Berry.
Proved, 27th December, 1802. Jinney, Robert, and Sam. qualify.

8 April 1803202

Augusta County, Virginia Will Book 9, page 375
In the name of God amen this eight day of April in the year of our Lord 1803 I George Berry of the County of Augusta and State of Virginia aling to mind the certainty of death my judgment the same or equal to what it is formerly thanks to God I therefore make this my last will and testament in the way and manor folowing my body to the earth my soul to God that gave it and is touching my worldly goods I devise them in the manor foling and first I give to my son George Berry the plantation that I hold in fee simple on both sides of the middle River bounded by the Glabe and Lewis Shoes(?) and Davy Bratons to him and his heirs forever and to my son John Berry I give and bequeath the land on ---?--- for which I have obtained a paten the number of acres I don't remember but the contents of the paten is to him and his heirs forever and to James Henry my son in law I leave to him walnut chest and one basket the remainder of my Estate when my Debt is paid to be equaly divided to my nine children or their heirs and I appoint(?) my two friends James Berry and James Henry to be executors of this my last will and testament and I disavow all former wills made by me the day and year above mentioned Given under my hand and seal
George Berry (seal)
David Bratton
William Thompson
Robert Mayes
The articles to be devided will wrote on the other side. There is, three slaves Sambo Rood and Lip(?), one horse one mare and fole three cows and some young cattle two beds two pots one large and --?- --?-- and two pair of fire (?) dogs and I now apint and desire that if any disputes should fall out amongst my heirs about these trifels that is shall be determined by an arbitration of three good men chosen by the partys disputing this given under my hand the day and year mentioned on the other side.
George Berry
David Bratton
Robert Mayes

10 May 1803502

Augusta County, Virginia Personal Property Tax Lists
District 1 -- M. Austin, Commissioner
James Henry, Jr.
1 White Titheable      James (~40)
1 Black < 16
5 Horses
Tax --

20 June 1804502

Augusta County, Virginia Personal Property Tax Lists
District 1 -- M. Austin, Commissioner
James Henry, Jr.
1 White Titheable      James (~41)
1 Black > 16
1 Black < 16
5 Horses
Tax: 1.46

27 Nov 1804202

Augusta County, Virginia Will Book 9, page 375
At a court cont.d & held for the said county
On the motion of James Berry and James Henry the Executors named in this last will and testament of George Berry deceased who made Oath according to Law and together with George Berry and Michael garber (?) --?-- their securities entered into and acknowledged their Bond in the penalty of two thousand dollars conditioned as the law dictates certificate is granted them for obtaining a probat in due form.
Teste Chesley Kinney CC

1805502

Augusta County, Virginia Personal Property Tax Lists
District 1 -- M. Austin, Commissioner
James Henry
1 White Titheable      James (~42)
1 Black < 16
5 Horses
Tax: 1.04

31 Oct. 180621

Augusta County, Virginia Will Book 10, page 309
James Henry Sr’s Will
To wife, Mary; daughters, Sarah and Nancy; son John; son James; to Sarah Alexander, wife of Wm. Alexander; to granddaughter, Matilda; children, viz: James, Robert, Sarah, Nancy, Mary, John.
Executors, sons James and Robert.
Teste: Jno. McFaddin, Samuel Eakin, James McClung, James Poage,
Proved, 28th August 1809, Executors qualify.

1807502

Augusta County, Virginia Personal Property Tax Lists
District 1 -- M. Austin, Commissioner
James Henry Sr.
1 White Titheable      James (~44)
5 Horses

1809502

Augusta County, Virginia Personal Property Tax Lists
District 1 -- M. Austin, Commissioner
James Henry, Sr.
1 White Titheable      James (~46)
5 Horses
Tax: .60

1810502

Augusta County, Virginia Personal Property Tax Lists
District 1 -- M. Austin, Commissioner
James Henry
1 White Titheable      James (~47)
1 Black > 16
8 Horses
Tax: 1.40

1810503

Federal Census Augusta County, Virginia
James Henry
 

1 male < 10

 

1 male 10 – 16

 

1 male 16 – 26

 

1 male > 45         

 James (~47)

1 female < 10

 

3 females 10 – 16

 

1 female 16 – 26

 

1 slave

 

5 May 1811502

Augusta County, Virginia Personal Property Tax Lists
District 1 -- Morris Austin, Commissioner
James Henry, Sr.
1 Black > 16
8 Horses
Tax: 1.40

27 Apr. 1812502

Augusta County, Virginia Personal Property Tax Lists
District 1 -- Morris Austin, Commissioner
James Henry
1 White Titheable      James (~49)
1 Black >16
7 Horses
Taxes: 1.52

11 Mar. 1813502

Augusta County, Virginia Personal Property Tax Lists
District 1 -- Morris Austin, Commissioner
James Henry
1 White Titheable      James (~50)
1 Black > 16
9 Horses
Tax: 2.03

21 Mar. 1814502

Augusta County, Virginia Personal Property Tax Lists
District 1 -- Morris Austin, Commissioner
James Henry
1 White Titheable      James (~51)
1 Black > 16
9 Horses
Taxes: 3.68

22 Apr. 1815502

Augusta County, Virginia Personal Property Tax Lists
District 1 -- Morris Austin, Commissioner
James Henry
1 White Titheable      James (~52)
1 Black > 16
8 Horses
19 Cattle
1 Bureaus of Other Wood {not Mahogony}

3 Mar. 1816502

Augusta County, Virginia Personal Property Tax Lists
District 1 -- Morris Austin, Commissioner
James Henry
1 White Titheable      James (~53)
1 Black >16
8 Horses
Tax: 2.14

22 Apr. 1817502

Augusta County, Virginia Personal Property Tax Lists
District 1 -- Morris Austin, Commissioner
James Henry
1 White Titheable      James (~54)
2 Black >16
6 Horses
Tax: 3.54

23 Mar. 1818502

Augusta County, Virginia Personal Property Tax Lists
District 1 -- Morris Austin, Commissioner
James Henry
1 White Titheable      James (~55)
2 Blacks >21
5 Horses
Tax: 2.30

13 May 1820502

Augusta County, Virginia Personal Property Tax Lists
District 1 -- Morris Austin, Commissioner
James Henry
1 White Titheable      James (~57)
2 Blacks >16
5 Horses
Tax: 2.38

1820510

Federal Census Augusta County, Virginia
James Henry
 

1 male 10 – 16

 

1 male > 45

James (~57)

1 female < 10

 

1 female 10 – 16

 

1 female 16 – 26

 

1 female 26 – 45

 

1 female > 45

Mary (~54)

2 people engaged in agriculture

 

1 female slave 26 - 45

 

 

Analysis of the Timeline

 

     The available data for Mary Berry and her husband, James Henry, Jr., is quite incomplete, consisting mostly of county tax and federal census information. Limited as it is, some details of the lives of this couple can be discerned from these records, allowing elements of their life to come into focus. No primary source data records the time and place of Mary Berry’s birth, but both can be ascertained with confidence indirectly. Since Mary Berry needed parental consent when she married James Henry, Jr., she must have been under the age of 21 at the time. She was married on 6 December 1787, so a lower limit on her birth date can be established as 1766. It’s possible she was as young as 16 when she got married, which tentatively establishes an upper limit of her birth as 1771. Consequently, based on this data, Mary Berry's birth date can be estimated as occurring sometime between 1766 and 1771. Her birthplace, on the other hand, can be determined with a much high degree of certainty. In the summer of 1755, her father, George Berry Sr., purchased 149 acres of land along the Middle Branch of the Shenandoah River along the western side of the Beverley Grant from his father, the elder James Berry, who, in turn, had bought the tract from Robert Campbell, an original Beverley land owner. For the next 45 years, from 1756 through 1801, George Sr. was taxed on that land and an 80 acre addition he purchased in 1775. It was here that George Berry Sr. and his wife, Agnes (Hall) Berry, raised their nine children. Mary Berry, obviously, grew up on this family farm with her siblings.

 

     When Mary Berry came of age, she married a local boy, as did so many of the young women of her area. It is not too surprising, then, to note that there was a James Henry family living near the northern end of the Borden Grant, about nine miles away from the homestead of Mary Berry's family, and they had been there at least since 1767 when the land was purchased by James Henry from Benjamin Borden. While James and Mary were not exactly next door neighbors, they still lived rather close to each other and probably had numerous opportunities to meet. It seems quite logical to assume that James Henry, Jr., Mary's eventual husband, was part of that Henry family and grew up on that farm. (Figures 3, 8, 10, 89, Table I and Table II) As required by the Virginia colonial laws, the first step in the marriage process consisted of a bond being paid by her husband to be. Her brother, John Berry, also participated in this process, and a consent form signed by her father was also submitted to the legal system on 6 December 1787 since she was under the age of 21 at the time. The wedding ceremony took place several days later, and was performed by the Rev. Archibald Scott. The James Henry Sr. household, located in the southwestern corner of the Borden Grant, was only about nine miles away from the George Berry, Sr. household.

 

     The birth date of Mary’s husband can be approximated from Augusta County Personal Property Tax records, as well as from the tax records of his father, James Henry, Sr. The elder James Henry can be traced through these tax records from 1782 through 1811. From 1782 through 1787, he was listed merely as James Henry, and no other James Henrys appear in the tax rolls. Beginning in 1788, and continuing until his last appearance in the tax records in 1809, however, the elder James Henry was always identified as James Henry, Sr. in order to differentiate him from another James Henry in the tax records, who was always referred to as James Henry Jr. The latter individual was, most likely, a son of the elder James Henry. The fact that the younger James Henry had just gotten married in 1787, then appeared in his own household in the next tax year indirectly supports this conclusion. Furthermore, the elder James had only one tithable male in his household in 1782 and 1783. In 1784 there were two males over 21, possibly an older son, then, in 1786 there are two males under 21 (between 16 and 21), and the following year, 1787, only one. From 1788 through 1790, there is only one tithable male in the elder James Henry’s household, which is, obviously, James Henry Sr., so the younger male from 1786 probably just reached the age of 21. Since James Henry Jr. got married in 1787 and soon began appearing in the tax records on his own in 1788. Based on the mass of evidence, it seems quite logical to conclude that one of the younger males in the 1784 through 1786 records was the James Henry who married Mary Berry. If he turned 21 between 1786 and 1787, as it appears, then his birth date can be calculated as taking place in 1766, making James Henry Jr. about the same age as his wife, Mary Berry. His birth place was Augusta County, Virginia, which can be documented by the fact that his father can be traced through various Augusta County documents from 1758, a few years before the younger James was born, until his death around 1809.

 

     In 1801 James Henry was identified as a testamentary in will of James Tate of Augusta County. The Henry attribution for this entry is made to James Henry, Jr. rather than James Henry, Sr. based upon a notation by a very reliable Berry researcher, Lucy Ross Berry, who wrote the following:490

 

I do not know the name of the sister who married John Tate, but a sister, Elizabeth, married John McCleary and William married first Rebecca McCleary in 1776 at Fairfax Court House, Augusta Co, Va, and Margaret Collins 2nd in St. Louis Co Mo, a niece of John, all of Virginia

 

     While the John Tate lineage has not been closely scrutinized, Lucy Ross Berry's notation clearly establishes a Tate/Berry connection, and, based on that that, it appears that the Jinney Tate mentioned as the widow of John Tate could be Mary Berry's sister. If so, then it makes perfect sense that James Henry, Jr. would be listed as a testamentary for John Tate.

 

     Once they got married, Mary (Berry) Henry and her husband, James, can be tracked in their own household for a period of 32 years, from1788 to 1820, based on Augusta County Personal Property tax records, federal census enumerations and Augusta County court documents. The tax data is somewhat revealing in that it shows a family that gradually increased their wealth and value, although probably never achieving a particularly wealthy status. Their increasing fortunes can be seen in the number of horses and slaves they owned, as well as their tax liability, as depicted in Table XXII. Over the time period for which tax data is available for them, there was a gradual increase in the number of horses and slaves they owned, and a corresponding rise in their annual tax liability. The federal census enumeration form 1810 documented the presence of one slave in the household, although there is none listed in the county tax records for that year. It could be that the slave was sold between the two times data was collected, or that the slave documented in the census didn’t qualify as a taxable resource. The 1820 federal census notes the presence of one middle aged female slave, but the county records again show a discrepancy, showing two blacks over the age of 16. One certainly could have been an elderly person, but it’s rather difficult to tell one way or another.

 

Table XXII

Tax Data for Mary Berry & James Henry, Jr. 1788 - 1820

 

Year

Horses

Cattle

Slaves

Tax

1788

4

 

 

 

1789

4

 

 

 

1790

4

 

 

 

1791

4

 

 

 

1792

4

 

 

 

1793

4

 

 

 

1794

4

 

 

 

1795

4

 

 

 

1796

ND

 

ND

ND

1797

4

 

 

 

1798

4

 

1 black > 16

 

1799

4

 

 

 

1800

3

 

 

 

1801

3

 

 

$0.36

1802

ND

 

ND

ND

1803

5

 

1 black < 16

 

1804

5

 

1 black > 16

1 black < 16

$1.46

1805

5

 

1 black < 16

$1.04

1806

ND

 

ND

ND

1807

5

 

 

 

1808

ND

 

ND

ND

1809

5

 

 

$0.60

1810

8

 

 

$1.40

1811

8

 

1 black > 16

$1.40

1812

7

 

1 black > 16

$1.52

1813

9

 

1 black > 16

$2.03

1814

9

 

1 black > 16

$3.68

1815

8

19

1 black > 16

 

1816

8

 

1 black > 16

$2.14

1817

6

 

2 blacks > 16

$3.54

1818

5

 

2 blacks > 16

$2.30

1819

ND

 

ND

ND

1820

5

 

2 blacks > 16

$2.38

 

     James Henry is identified in several other Augusta County court records. In the fall of 1789 an attorney for Patrick Hays, Sr., who, apparently, had moved to Lincoln County, Kentucky, sold some land to James Henry. While the actual land sale was more likely to James Henry, Sr., the testamentaries were probably the sons of James Sr. - James Jr. and Robert. In 1790 the two brothers again served as testamentaries in a land sale of a neighbor. In 1801 both George Berry and James Henry served as testamentaries in the proving of John Tate’s will, but there is no good method for differentiating between father and son, either for George Berry or for James Henry, so the record has been arbitrarily assigned her to James Henry, Jr.

 

     In the spring of 1803 Mary’s father, George Berry Sr. wrote his will, bequeathing some personal property to Mary, and by the fall of 1804 Mary’s father had passed away. Two years later Mary’s father in law wrote his will, and presumably passed away not long afterwards. James Henry Jr. was identified in the will and he and his brother Robert served as the estate executors.

 

     The last remaining scraps of information that can be gleaned from the available data is a basic structure of their family. Based on information provided by the 1810 and 1820 federal census records, and illustrated in Table XXIII, a rough outline of the gender and general birth date ranges of their children is shown below.
 

 

Table XXIII

Children of Mary Berry and James Henry, Jr.

 

Gender

Birth Date Range

son

1788 - 1790

daughter

1788 - 1794

son

1794 - 1810

daughter

1794 - 1804

son

1804 - 1810

daughter

1804 - 1810

daughter

1810 - 1820

 

     No additional data for Mary Berry and James Henry has been collected, so additional research is needed to determine where and when they passed away.
 

 

 

In-laws of Mary Berry

James Henry, Sr. and Mary ? (Unknown Last Name)

 

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Last Revised: 02/28/2009Ad