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B. John Berry {B.}

 

     John Berry {B.} (~1690 - 1770/1771) was born and married at an unknown date and place, probably in either Scotland or northern Ireland, but there is no supporting documentation at the present time verifying anything other than a short period of his life in Augusta County, Virginia. Due to the repetitive use of the given name, John, by this family, in this report, this individual is referred to as the elder John Berry. As noted above, in this report, the elder John Berry is considered to be the father of the males he names in his will.211  There is an undocumented birth date of 1716 for John Berry's son, James Berry (who died in 1749), which, if true, would place a broad limit on the elder John Berry's birth date. If the elder John Berry was at least 21 years old when James was born, then his birth date calculates to 1695.321 Since no other birth dates are available from primary sources for the rest of his children, the next best source of data, which is, clearly, quite indirect in nature, comes from the birth date of one of his daughters in law. William Berry, one of the elder John Berry's sons, married Jane MaGill, a daughter of William MaGill.117,169 MaGill researchers have placed Jane's birth date as being about 1723.117,169  If William married a woman about his own age (and there is no guarantee that this is true), then his birth date can be approximated as occurring around 1723. This makes him about the same age as Thomas Berry (1718 - 1798),7,56,96,99  who is believed to be a son of the elder James Berry.7,56,96,99  If William's father (the elder John Berry) was at least twenty one years old when William was born, the elder John Berry must have been born, at least, by 1702, which is quite close to the estimated birth date of the elder James Berry. Neither James Berry's (the one that died in 1749) nor Jane MaGill's birth dates are firmly documented, but they both point to the late 1600's and early 1700's as a probable birth date for the elder John Berry. If both are considered at face value, then the elder John Berry was probably born at least by 1695, and possibly earlier. Additionally, if Thomas and William Berry are about the same age, but had different fathers, the birth date of the fathers are probably not far apart. While this analysis does not provide a solid date for the birth of the elder John Berry, it does provide an acceptable rough time frame.


     The identity of the elder John Berry's wife is unknown, although it is fairly certain she was dead by 1770, since she wasn't mentioned in his will.21,211  John's date and place of death can be ascertained with some degree of confidence based on his 1770 Augusta County, Virginia will and the subsequent settlement of the will. Since the will was written in October 1770 and proved in March of 1771, John Berry must have passed away sometime in the interim, either in late 1770 or early 1771 in Augusta County, Virginia.

 

Timeline of John Berry

 

21 March 175321

Augusta County, Virginia Order Book 3, page 414
John Buchanan, James Clark, Jacob Lockhart, Thomas Kirkpatrick, John Berry,
John Bartley, Wm. Martin, Josias Richards, William McFeeters, John Jameson, 
James Young, Hugh Young,Robert Young, William McClintock, Wm. Ledgerwood, 
John Trimble, Maurice O'Frield,Samuel Wallace, Robert Davis, Robert McClenon, 
James Moody, James Philips, Wm Akry, Cornelius Donaho, George Peary, 
Adam Thompson, Thomas Peary, John Campbell, James Peary,Wm. McNabb,
Robert Scot, Thomas Reed, Abraham Masha, Thomas Dunn, Francis Dunn,
Major Scot, John Bigham, John Black, Samuel Downing, Alexr. McFeeters, 
Andrew Cowan,James McCorkle, John Vance, James Gilmore and Patrick Martin
-- to keep road formerly laid off from James Young's Mill to said Buchanan's Mill

18 May 176221,398

Augusta County, Virginia Deed Book 10, page 243
THIS INDENTURE made the eighteenth Day of May in the Year of out Lord one thousand seven hundred and sixty two Between John Mcmachan & Isabella his Wife of the County of Frederick in Virginia of the one part and John Berry of the other part WITNESSETH that for and in consideration of the sum of one hundred and five pounds Current money of Virginia to the said John McCachen and Isabella his Wife in hand paid by the said ___ at or before the sealing and delivery of these presents the Receipt whereof they do hereby acknowledge and thereof do release acquit and discharge the said John Berry his Executors and Administrators by these presents they the said John McMachen & Isabella his Wife do give granted bargained sold aliened released and confirmed and by these presents do grant bargain sell alien release and confirm, unto the said John Berry in his actual possession now being by Virtue of a Bargain and Sale to him thereof made by the said John McMachen for one whole year by Indenture bearing Date the Day next before the Day of these presents and by Force of the Statute for transferring use into possession and his Heirs one certain Tract or parcell of Land containing Four hundred & Twenty seven acres situate lying and being in the s.d County of Augusta within the bounds of Bordens great Tract & which the s.d McMachen purchased of William Durris he from James Glasgow who purchased from Benjamen Borden dece.d & is bounded as followeth vix BEGINNING at three Elms Corner to Alexander Millers land & running thence So. Seventy three Deg. W sixty five poles to a large white oak on a Branch No. Ten Deg.s W one hundred & seven or more poles to a white oak So.Eighty two Deg.s E. one hundred & thirty six poles to a Chesnut N. Fifty Deg. E. Fifty two poles to a white Oak No. forty Deg. W Twenty poles to a black Oak No. Fifty Deg. E. Sixty three poles to a black oak & spanish oak So. Thirty nine deg E, three hundred & five poles to a large white Oak on a hill So. fifty Deg. W. Seventy eight poles to a white oak on a stony hill No. Forty three and a half Deg. W one hundred & seventeen poles to a white Oak So. Forty nine Deg. W. one hundred & fifty one poles to a hiccory & white oak saplins North Forty one Deg W. Twenty seven poles to a hiccory by a Branch So. forty nine Degrees W Fifty poles to a hiccory saplin grubb So. Twenty nine Degrees East fourteen poles to the BEGINNING and all Houses Buildings Orchards Ways Waters Watercourses profits Commodities Hereditaments and appurtenances whatsoever to the said premises hereby granted or any part thereof belonging or in anywise appertaining and the Reversion and reversions Remainder and Remanders Rents Issues and profits thereof; and also all the Estate Right Title Interest Use Trust property Claim and Demand whatsoever of them the said John Mcmachan and Isabella his Wife of in and to the said premises and all Deeds Evidences and Writings touching or in anywise concerning the same TO HAVE AND TO HOLD the said Four hundred and Twenty seven acres and all and singular other the premises hereby granted and released and every part and parcel whereof with their and every of their appurtenances unto the said John Berry Heirs and assigns forever to the only proper use and Behoof of him the said John Berry and of his Heirs and assigns forever. And the said John Mcmachan and Isabelle his Wife for themselves their Heirs Executors and administrators do Covenant promise and grant to and with the said John Berry Heirs and assigns by these presents that the said John Mcmachan and Isabella his Wife now at the time of sealing and delivering of these presents are seized of a good sure perfect and indeazible Estate of Inheritance in Fee simple of and in the premises hereby granted and released and that he hath good power and lawfull and absolute authority to grant and covey the same to the said John Berry in manner and Form aforesaid. And that the said premises now are and so forever hereafter shall remain and be free and clear of and from all former and other gifts grants Bargains Sales Dower right and Title of Dower Judgments Executions Titles Troubles Charges and Incumbrances whatsoever made done committed or suffered by the said John Mcmachan and Isabella his Wife or any other person or persons whatsoever the Quitrents hereafter to grow due and payable to our soverein Lord the King his Heirs and successors for and in Respect of the said permises only excepted and foreprized and lastly that the said John Mcmachan and Isabella his Wife and their Heirs, all and singular hereby granted and released with their appurtenance unto the said John Mcmachan and Isabella his Wife and their Heirs and all and every other person and persons whosoever shall and will warrant and forever defend by these presents. In Witness whereof the said John Mcmachan and Isabella his Wife whereof the said John Mcmachan and Isabella his Wife have hereunto set their Hands and Seals the Day and yaer first above written.
Sealed and delivered 
J Mcmachan (SS) 
in the presence of
Joseph Steel[?]
Ja.s Keith
Gabriel Jones
At a Court held for Augusta County May the 18th 1762. This Release indented from John Mcmachan to John Berry was proved by the Witnesses thereto & ordered to be recorded. Test.

10 Nov. 176421,256

Augusta County, Virginia Deed Book 11, page 714
THIS INDENTURE made the Tenth Day of November in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and sixty four BETWEEN John Berry of the County of Augusta and Colony of Virginia of the one part and William Berry of the County and Colony aforesaid of the other Part WITNESSETH that for and in Consideration of the Sum of one hundred pounds Current Money of Virginia to the said John Berry in hand paid by the said William Berry at or before the day of Sealing and Delivery of these presents the Receipt whereof he doth hereby acknowldge and therof doth realeansequit and Discharge the said William Berry his heirs Executors and Administrators by these presents and and he the said John Berry Hath Granted Bargained Sold Aliened Released and Confirmed and by these Presents Doth Grant Bargain Sell Alien Release and Confirm into the said William Berry one tract of land Containing four hundred and twenty Seven acres in his actual possession now being by Virtue of a Bargain and Sale to him thereof made by the said John Berry for one whole year by Indenture bearing Date the Day next before the Day of the Date of these presents and by force of the Statute for transferring uses into Possession and his heirs on Certain tract or parcel of land Containing four hundred and twenty seven lying in augusta County in Burdin tract and this more particularly Discribed and Bounded as followeth BEGINNING at three Elms Corner to Alex. Miller and Runneth thence South Seventy three Degrees West Sixty five poles to a large white oak by a branch then North Ten Degrees west two hundred and Sixty poles to a white oak (there is a memorandum in the Lease Concerning this line) then South Eighty two Degrees East one hundred and thirty six poles to a Chesnut then North fifty East Seventy four poles to a white oak north forty Deg.s west twenty pole to a black oak then North fifty Deg.s East Sixty three poles to a black and Spanish oaks then South thirty nine Deg.s East three hundred and five poles to a large white oak on a hill South fifty Degrees west Seventy Eight pole to a white oak on a Stony hill then North forty three and half Deg.s west one hundred and Sixteen poles to a white oak then South forty nine Degrees west one hundred and fifty one poles to a hiccory & white oak Saplins north forty one Degrees West twenty Seven poles to a hiccory by a Branch South forty nine Degrees West fifty poles to a hiccory Saplin Grubb then South twenty nine Deg.s East fourteen poles to the BEGINNING and all Houses Building Orchards Ways Waters Water Courses Profits Commodities Hereditaments and Appurtenances whatsoever to the said premises hereby Granted or any part thereof belonging or in any wise appertaining And the Reversion and Reversions Remainder and Remainders Rents Issues and Profits thereof and also all the Estate Right Title Interest Use Trust Property Claim and Demand whatsoever of him the said John Berry of in and to the said Premises and all Deed Evidences and Writings touching or in any wise concerning the same TO HAVE AND TO HOLD the said four hundred and twenty seven acres of Land be the Same more or less unto the said William Berry his heirs and assigns forever and all and Singular other the premises hereby Granted and Released and every Part and parcel thereof with their and every of their appurtenances unto the said William Berry his heirs and assigns for ever to the only proper Use and Behoof of him the said William Berry and of his heirs and assigns forever And the said John Berry for himself his heirs Executors and Administators doth Covenant Promise and Grant to and with the said William Berry his heirs and Assigns by these presents that the said John Berry is now at the time of Sealing and Delivering of these Presents is seized of a good sure perfect and indefeasible Estate of Inheritance in fee Simple of and in the premises hereby Granted and Released and that he hath good power and lawfull authority to Grant and Convey the Same to the said William Berry and to his heirs and Assigns in manner and form aforesaid and that the said Premises now area and so forever herafter shall remain and be free and Clear of and from all former and other Gifts Grants Bargains Sales Dower Right and Title of Dower Judgments Executions Titles Troubles Charges and Incumbrances whatsoever made done Committed or Suffered by the said John Berry or any other person or persons whatsoever the Quit Rents hereafter to grow due and payable to our Sovereign Lord the King his heirs and Successors for and in Respect of the said premises only Excepted and foreprized AND LASTLY that the said John Berry and his heirs all and singular the premises hereby Granted and Released with their appurtenances unto the Said William Berry and to his heirs and assignes against him the said John Berry and his and his heirs and allow Every other Person and Persons whatsoever Shall and will warrant and forever defend by these presents IN WITNESS whereof the said John Berry hath hereunto Set his hand and Sealed the Day and year first above written
SEALED AND DELIVERED John Berry (LS)
IN THE PRESENCE OF
[no witnesses names recorded] 

20 Nov 1764256

Augusta County, Virginia Deed Book No. 11, page 715
At a court held for Augusta County Nov 20th, 1764
John Berry Acknowledged this his Release for Land to William Berry which is ordered to be Recorded.

08 Oct. 1765304

Augusta County, Virginia Deed Book 12, pages 288-291
THIS INDENTURE made this Eight day of October in the year of our Lord One thousand Seven Hundred and Sixty five BETWEEN John Edmiston of Augusta of Augusta County and Colony of Virginia of the one part and John Berry of the same County of the other part WITNESSETH that the said John Emiston for and in Consideration of the sum of five pounds Current Money of Virginia to him in hand paid by the said John Berry at or before the Sealing and Delivery of these presents the Receipt whereof is hereby Acknowledged had Granted Bargained and Sold and by these presents DOTH grant Bargain and Sold to the said John Berry one [unreadable] or parcel of Land Containing one hundred and Seventy acres Lying and being in the County of Augusta and is part of a Large of Ninty two thousand one hundred acres Granted to Benjamin Bordin Gent Deceased by Patent bearing date the Sixth Day of November MDCC[???] and more particularily Described and bounded as followeth Viz Beginning at a white oak on the side of a hill then South Nineteen Degrees West one hundred poles to a hiccory South Sixty one East Eighty poles to two white oaks Corner to John Stewart then North Eighty Seven degrees East Seventy Eight poles to a Stake in a field Corner to s.d Stewart then North Sixteen poles to a Stake then South Eighty degrees East Eighty two poles to a Stake then North Ninteen degrees East one hundred & thirty poles then two hundred & thirty poles to the Beginning and all Houses Buildings Orchards Ways Waters Water Courses Profits Commodities Hereditaments appurtenances whatsoever to the said premises hereby Granted or in any part [unreadable] Belonging in any wise Appurtaining and the Revision & Revission [unreadable section] TO HAVE AND TO HOLD the said one hundred & Seventy aces of Land to the said John Berry his heirs and assigns forever & all & Singular the premises hereby Granted with the Appurtenances unto the said John Berry his heirs Executors Administrators and Assigns from this Day before the date thereof for and during the full Time of one whole year from thence [unreadable] fully to be Compleated [unreadable section] that by Virtue of these presents & of the Statute for transferring use and Possession that the said John Berry may be in actual possession of the premises and be thereby Enabled to accept and take a Grant & Release of the Reversions & Inheretance thereof to the him & his heirs. IN WITNESS whereof this John Edmiston hath herein to set his hand & seal the Day & year first above written.
John Edmiston (L.S)
Sealed and Delivered in Presence of Samuel Buchanan

15 Oct. 1765304

Augusta County, Virginia Deed Book 12, pages 288-291 
At a Court held for Augusta County, October the 15th 1765 this Lease for Land from John Edmiston John Berry was proved by the oaths of Samuel Buchanan, Robert Buchanan and Samuel Edmiston three of the witnesses thereto and ordered to be recorded.
George Dougherty 
Sam.l Edmiston 
Robt. Buchanan
THIS INDENTURE made this Ninth day of October in the year of our Lord one thousand Seven hundred and Sixty five Between John Edmidston and his wife of the County of Augusta & Colony of Virginia of the one part and John Berry of the County of Augusta & Colony aforesaid of the other part WITNESSETH that for in Consideration of the Sum of forty three pounds current money of Virginia to the said John Edmiston in hand paid by the said John Berry at or before the Sealing & Delivery of these presents the receipt whereof they do hereby acknowledge & thereof doth acquit & discharge the said John Berry & his heirs Executors Administrators by these presents they the said John Edmiston & his wife [unreadable section] by these presents Doth Grant bargain sell alien Release and Confirm unto the said John Berry one hundred & Seventy Acres of Land in his actual possession now being by Virtue of a bargain and sale to him thereof made by the said John Edmiston & his wife for one whole year by Indenture bearing Date the Date before the Day of the Date of these presents & by [unreadable] of the Statute for transferring Uses into possession and his heirs one [unreadable] part or parcel of Land Containing one hundred and Seventy acres Lying and being in the County of Augusta & is part of a Large tract of 92100 acres Granted to Benjamin Bordin the Elder Gent [unreadable] By Patent Bearing Date the Sixth of November MDCCXXXIX and is more particular Discribed & bounded as followeth Beginning at a white oak on the side of a hill then South Nineteen Degrees West one hundred poles to a hiccory South Sixty one Degrees East Eighty poles to two white oaks Corner to John Stewart then North Eighty Seven degrees East Seventy Eight poles to a Stake in a field Corner to s.d Stewart then North Sixteen poles to a Stake then South Eighty degrees East Eighty two poles to a Stake then North Ninteen degrees East one hundred & thirty poles then two hundred & thirty poles to the Beginning and all Houses Buildings Orchards Ways Waters Water Courses profits Commodities Hireditments & appurtinances whatsoever hath said premises hereby grants [unreadable] part thereof belonging or in any wise appurtenances and the Reversions and Reversions Remainder and Remainders Rents [unreadable] and profits thereof and also all the estate Right title Interest property Claims & demand whatsoever of these the said John Edmiston and his wife of in and to the said premises and all deeds Evidence and writings touching or in any [unreadable] the same TO HAVE AND TO HOLD the said one hundred and Seventy acres of Land by the same more or less & all & Singular the premises & hereby Granted and Released & Every part & parcel thereof with their and Every of these appurtenances unto the said John Berry his heirs and assigns forever to the only proper use and Behoof of him the said John Berry and his heirs and assigns forever and they said John Edmiston & his wife for themselves their heirs Executors Adminstrators do Covenant & grant to and with the said John Berry his heirs & Assigns by these presents that the said John Edmiston and his wife now at the time of Sealing & Delivering of these presents are Seized of a good Sure perfect and Indeseagible[?] Estate of Inheritance in fee Simple of and in the premises hereby granted and released & that they have good power and Lawfull and absolute Authority to grant & Convey the Same to the said John Berry in Manner and form aforesaid and that the said premises are and So forever after Shall Remain Clear of and from all former other Gifts grants bargains Sells Dower right and title of Dower [unreadable section] titles Troubles Charges and Incumbrances whatsoever made done Committed or [unreadable] by the said John Edmiston & his wife or any other Person or Persons whatsoever the [unreadable] due and payable to our Sovereign Lord the King his heirs & Successors for and in Respect of the said premises only Excepted and [unreadable] AND LASTLY that the said John Edmiston & his wife and their heirs and [unreadable] the premises hereby Granted and Released with their appurtenances unto the said John Berry and his heirs and assigns against them the said John Edmiston and his wife and their heirs and all and Every [unreadable] person or persons whatsoever Shall & will warrant and defend IN WITNESS whereof the said John Edmiston and his wife hath hereunto set their hands and Seals the Day month and years first above written Sealed and Delivered in presence of Samuel Buchanan 
John Edmiston (L.S.)
Margret Edmiston (L.S.)
At a Court held for Augusta County October the 15 1765. This Release for Land from John Edmiston & Margaret his wife to John Berry was proved by the oaths of Samuel Buchanan Robert Buchanan & Samuel Edmiston three of the witnesses thereto and 
ordered to be recorded.
George Dougherty 
Robt. Buchanan
Samuel Edmiston

01 Mar. 177021,399

Augusta County, Virginia Deed Book 16, page 336 
THIS INDENTURE made the first Day of March in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and seventy BETWEEN Archibald Alexander Executor and Magdalene Bowyer Relict and Executrix of Benjamin Bordin the Younger Late of Augusta County and Colony of Virginia Gentleman Deceased who as the Eldest Son and Heir at Law and also was the only acting Executor of his late Father Benjamin Bordin the Elder late of Orange County and Colony of Virginia Gent deceased of the one part and Samuel Nusbitt of the County of Augusta and Colony of Virginia of the other part WITNESSETH that whereas Benjamin Bordin the Father in his lifetime was seised in his demesn as of fee of and in several Tracts and parcels of Land Situate lying and being in Virginian and in the province of New Jersey and being so thereof seised made his last Will and Testament in Writing Bearing Date the third Day of April MCCCXLII and therein did order and direct that all his Estate in Land which he hade in Virginia and therein new Jersey excepting MMMMM acres on Waters of James River and the Land he then lived on should be sold and did Constitute and appoint his wife Jemiah Executive and his son Benjamin Bordin the Younger and William Fornly Executors of said Will and did impower his said Executors to make good and sufficient Conveyances in the Law to the several purchasors as well for those Lands which he himself had sold as for the several peices parcels and Tracts which they his said Executors should sell by by Virtue of said Will which said Jemiah and William Fornly hath failed and refused to prove so that the whole Burthen thereof fell upon Benjamin Bordon the Younger who proved said Will in the County of Frederick where the same remains of record and whereas Benjamin Bordin the Younger as Heir at Law to his said late Father and only acting Executor of his said Will did in persuance of the power given him by siad will promise Covenant and agree to sell and convey the fee simple Estate of and in one hundred acres of land of the Estate of his said late Father unto the said Samuel Nusbit for and in Consideration of the sum of seventeen pounds Current and lawfull Money of Virginia unto the said Benjamin Bordin in Hand paid by the said Samuel Nisbit which one hundred acres of land lyeth in the County of Augusta and is part of a Large Tract of 92100 acres granted to Benjamin Bordin the Elder by patent Bareing Date the sixth Day of November MCDCCXXX/X and is part of the Lands which the said Benjamin Bordin the Younger by said Will was directed ordered and impowered to sell and is no part of MMMMM acres above excepted and more particularly discribed and Bounded as followeth viz BEGINNING at a poplar on the side of a Branch in John Berreys line then his line North seventy five Degrees West forty pole to a Black Oak North twenty two Degrees West one hundred and thirty four pole to a white Oak on the Top of a high Hill then North thirty Degrees East sixty poles south seventy five Degrees East one hundred and twenty pole south nineteen Degrees West one hundred and twenty pole to the BEGINNING but before any further Conveyance of the said discribed parcel of land was made the said Benjamin Bordin the Younger departed this Life having first made his last Will and Testament in Writing Bearing Dathe the thirtieth Day of March MDCCLIII and therein among other things did direct and order his Executors John Lyle and Archibald Alexander together with Magdalen then his wife Executor and Executrix of said will to sell all the lands of his late Father then remaining unsold which in his life time he was ordered and impowered to sell and to make sufficient conveyances in the law to the Several persons for the same and further did direct and oder by his said will that his said Executors and Executrix should make good and sufficient Conveyances in the Law to the several persons who hade purchased of his late Father or of himself in his life time any of the Lands of his said late Fatehr as by his said will duly proved and remains among the records of the Court of Augusta may more fully appear and whereas John Lyle one of the Executors one of the Executors named in the said will of the said Benjamin Bordin the Younger has refused to act as such and the other two therein named to wit Archibald Alexander and Magdalene Bowyer hath taken upon themselves the Execution thereof NOW THIS INDENTURE WITNESSETH that the said Archibald Alexander and Magdalene Bowyer Executor and Executrix of the said Benjamin Bordin the Younger deceased hath for and in consideration of the above -------?----- premises and of the further sum of one shilling sterling to them in hand paid by the said Samuel Nusbit the Receipt whereof is hereby acknowledged hath given granted bargained sold enfeeofed aliened released and confirmed and by these presents and by virtue of the two Receipted Testaments and for the above considerations doth absolutely give grant bargain and sell aliene release and confirm unto the said Samuel Neisbit his Heirs and Assigns forever all the aforesaid parcel of Land Hereditaments and and appurtenances to the same more or less together with all Houses Building Orchards Ways Waters Watercourses Profits Commodities Hereditaments and Appurtenances whatsoever thereunto belonging or in any wise appertaining and the Reversion and Reversions Remainder and Remainders Rents ---?-- and profits thereof and also all the Estate right Title Interst use trust property claim and demand whatsoever of them the said Benjamin Bordin the Elder or Benjamin Bordin the Younger or either of them or any time of their lives or at their Deaths either in law or equity of in and or to the said premises and all records evidenceds or writings touching or in any wise concerning the same TO HAVE AND TO HOLD the said discribed parcel of Land and all and singular the premises hereby granted and sold or released or mentioned or intended to be mentioned with their and every of their appurtenances unto the said Saml Neisbet his Heirs and assigns forever to the only proper use and behoof of him the said Samuel Neisbit and of his Heirs and assigns forever and they the said Archibald Alexander and Magdalene Bowyer for themselves and each of their Heirs Executors Admin.s and each of them do Covenant promise and Grant to an with the said Samuel Neisbit his Heirs and Assigns by these presents that they the said Archibald Alexander and Magdalene Bowyer hath not nor neither of them hath done commiteed or suffered any act or Cause or thing whatsoever whereby the said pareal of Land Hereditaments or Appurtenances or any part or parcel or Member thereof are or shall or may be impeached charged or incumbered either in title Charge or Estate or otherwise whatsoever and futher that the premises now at the time of sealing delivery these presents are free and clearly acquited and discharged sold and sufficiently saved and kept harmless and indemnified and from all arrearages of Quitrents and Incumbrances whatsoever prior to the Date of these presents to the Quitrents hereafer to grow due and payable to our sovereigh Lord the King his Heirs and Successsors for and in respect of the premises only accepted and foreprized and lastly that the said Archibald Alexander and Magdalene Bowyer shall and will at any time hereafter at and upon the reasonable requst proper costs and charges in the law of the said Sam.l Neisbit his Heirs and Assigns make execute and acknowledge or cause to be made executed and acknowledged all and every such further reasonable act Deed or devices in in the Law whatsoever for the further berter conveyance and assuring of the same discribed parcel ofland Hereditaments and appurenances hereby granted and released with their and every of theri appurenancdes unto the said his Heis and assigns as by him or them or his or their council learn.d in the law shall be reasonably advised or required IN WITNESS whereof the said Archibald Alexander and Magdalene Bowyer hath hereunto set their hands and affixed their seals the day month and year first above written
Sealed and delivered 
in presence of Arch.d Alexander (SS) 
Magdalene Bowyer (SS)
James McDowell
Saml McDowell 
Lew Bowyer
At a Court held for Augusta County June 19th 1770 Archibald Alexander one of the acting Executors of Benjamin Bordin dec.d acknowledged this his Deed of Feeoffment to Samuel Nusbit which is ordered to be recorded. 

28 Sept. 1770273

Rockbridge County, Virginia Plat Record Book 1, pages 120
Know all men by there presents that I John Berry of Augusta County am held to County Court unto Hugh McClung and Francis McClung of the said County in the ??? and full sum of two hundred pounds Virginia conscience to be paid unto them & their heirs or Executor or a person to which payment well & truly to be made I bind myself my ??? ??? heirs executors administrator ??? and ??? ??? by these presents sealed with my seal and dated this twenty Eight day of September Anno Domini One thousand seven hundred and seventy
The condition of the above obligation is such that if the above bound John Berry do and shall well and truly make or cause is be made a good & indefensible title in fee simple for a track of land containing one hundred & Seventy acres it being the place where he now lives on clear of any incumerence is the said Hugh McClung and Francis McClung there being or assigns when the first payment is made then the above obligation is be void or else is full force and valid.
John Berry{Seal}
Snd Sealed & delivered in the presence of 
Samuel Henderson
Samuel Nesbet 

10 Oct. 1770221

Augusta County, Virginia Will Book 4, page 404
IN THE NAME OF GOD AMEN I John Berry of the County of Augusta and Colloney of Virginia being weakly of body but of perfect mind and Memory thanks be given to Almighty God there fore Considering the Mortallity of my body Knowing that it is appointed for all men once to die I do Make & Ordain this my last will and Testament that is to say Principally first of all I recommend and Commite my soul into the hands of Almighty God who gave it and my body to the Earth decently buried at the discretion of my Executor doubting nothing but I shall receive the same again by the Mighty Power of God at the General resurection and as Touching what estate it hath Pleased God to bless me with in this life I give devise & dispose of the same in the following Manner and form Impremis it is my Will and I do order that all my lawful debts and funeral charges be fully Paid and Satisfyed 
Item- unto Mary my Daughter one Pounds five shillings Curant money of Virginia I likewise give and bequeath unto John Neisbit six shillings and six Pence Curent Money of Virginia 
Item - I give and bequeath unto John Berry sun of James Berry deced. six Pounds Current Money of Virginia I give and bequeath unto John Berry sun of William Berry ten pounds Current Money of Virginia 
Item- I give & bequeath unto John Berry Sun of Francis Berry ten pounds Current Money of Virginia 
Item- I give & Bequeath unto Fra Berry Wheel right five pounds Current Money of Virginia 
Item- I give and Bequeath unto Mary Berry daughter of William Berry Fowar (4) Pounds Current money of Virginia 
Item I give and Bequeath to her Sister Elizabeth Berry Six pounds Current money of Virginia 
Item- I give and bequeath unto Elizabeth Berry Daughter of Charles Berry five pounds Current money of Virginia 
Item- I give & bequeath unto my Daughter Rebecca Berry twenty pounds Curent money of Virginia I likewise Constitute and appoint my trusty friends Alexander Walker Wheel wright & William Edmoston sole Executors of this my last will & Testament and do hereby disanul & revock all other Wills or Testament by me made declaring & Publishing this my last Will and Testament In witness whereof I have here unto set my hand & seal this tenth day of October in the year one thousand seven hundred and Seventy 
Published & Pronounced in the presence of us: 
John Walker 
John Walker, Junior   John Berry 
James Walker 
Francis Berry

22 Mar. 1771211

At a Court Continued and held for Augusta County
This last Will and Testament of John Berry deced was Proved by the Oaths of John Walker, John Walker, Junior and James Walker three of the Witnesses thereto Ordered to be Recorded and on the motion of Alexander Walker and William Edmiston the Executors therein named who made oath according to law Certificate is Granted them for obtaining a Probat thereof in due form they having with Security entered into and acknowledged their bond according to the law. 
Teste 
KNOW all men by these Present that we Alexander Walker, William Edmiston, John Walker and James (next page not copied)

09 Aug 1771211

Augusta County, Virginia Will Book No. 4, page 446
We the subscribers being indefferently chosen by William Berry & Alex Walker Executors of the estate of John Berry dec.d to determine the funeral & other charges due to s.d Wm. Berry from the estate John Berry do unanimously agree that the amount whole is eight pounds ten shillings. Certified by us the 9th day of August A.D. 1771
James Walker
James W. Campbell
Alesander Walker
Andrew Hays

13 Aug. 1771211

Augusta County, Virginia Will Book 4, page 411
At a court held for Augusta County 
The appraisement of the estate of  John Berry decd being returned is ordered to be recorded 
Test 
Pursuant to an Order of Court to us directed we have appraised the estate of John Berry decd in Maner following

 

.s.d

To sum Wooling Yarn and one Bagg

1.0.0 

Sum bed Cloaths    

1.19.0

and Body Cloaths    

0.15.0

Boots and Shoes Spoons and Dishes  

0.8.0 

Six shirts trowsers and Stockings  

1.4.0 

Saddle baggs brushes mall rings & Wedges

0.11.6

on(e) bell and knife and looking glass & Razors

0.5.4 

4 Books one buckskin    

1.6.0

Linning Cloath one Barrel one saddle & Bridle  

4.6.9

Reids and Geers Chist and Chairs  

1.15.0 

Loom and barrs and fraim & timples & wheel  

1.10.0

one black Mare      

12.0.0

Plough and irons 2 Chlivishes double _?_ Thingings(?)    

1.10.0

One Watch One Colt tow Reeds (?)    

2.8.6

One Pair of Gears one Cow     

2.1.0

To Book debts we think Wot (?) all Solvent   

34.19.11

By Bond on Hugh McClung & Frances McClung 

 

due the 28th of September 1771 Solvent   

17.0.0

By Bond on said McClungs due Sept 1772 Solvent

17.0.0 

By Bond on said McClungs due Sept 1773 Solvent

17.0.0

By Bond on said McClungs due Sept 1774 Solvent

17.0.0 

By Bond on said McClungs due Sept 1775 Solvent

22.0.0

By Bond on Chas. Hays Solvent  

10.16.0

By Bond Wm McGaughy (?) not solvent   

5.0.0

By Bond John McCorkry (?) not Solvent   

3.0.0

By Bond on Robert Fourice (?) not Solvent 

3.0.0

Peter Cartwright By Bond not Solvent 

1.10.0

Book debts against Robert Buchanan not Solvent

3.10.0

In all      

184.19.11

Joseph Culton John Walker John Stewart

 

16 May 178121

Augusta County, Virginia Will Book 6, page 173
An account of Estate of John Berry deceased 
The account of said estate   

 

.s.d 

Received in cash by Sundry persons  

170.6.4

the price of the land was twice put in this account and again deducted

 

By the sale of the said Estate   

42.12.8

By cash the price of land sold     

124.0.0

Totle      

336.19

The price of the land deducted  

124.0

Amount of the Estate    

212.19

Amounts debts & legacies paid  

170.3

Balance due to the Estate   

42.15.8 

Errors excepted

 

Account of more debts paid by the Executor

 

To Margaret Kirkpatrick   

0.12.6

To the sherrif for fees  46 lb Tobacco    

0.3.10

To John Berry Jun.    

1.19.0

To John Gilmore      

0.12.4

To William McFeeters   

6.1.3

To Samuel Neizbitt      

0.6.6

To fees      

0.0.10

To Eliz. Henry     

5.0.0

29.12.8 

 

Brought over     

140.10.8

Total      

170.3.4

Debts paid & Legacies by the Executor

 

To George Berry for funeral charges    

1.13.6

To the Shirrif of Augusta     

0.14.11

To John Buchanan for crying the vendue 

0.10.0

To David McCrea for funeral Liquers 

1.7.0 

To Luke Bowyer employed as Lawyer   

0.18.0

To Liquor for the Vendue     

0.12.6

To Anthony Kelly for a coffin    

0.10.0

To the remainder of a bond to Wm McFeeters

3.11.? 

To Margaret Rutherford for Bond    

2.16.9

To Capt. John Gilmore     

10.5.0

To William Berry    

8.10.0

To George Matthews Shirref   

0.16.3 

To John Stuart     

0.16.3

To William Berry    

5.14.3

To James Berry      

4.0.9

To Rebecca Buchanan    

2.17.3

To Robert Franies (?)      

0.3.0

To Alexander McIlroy   

0.16.3

To George Berry    

0.16.6 

To Charles Berry      

0.15.0

To Robert Kilpatrick    

0.12.6 

To Robert Fanies (?)    

3.9.0 

To George Gibson    

2.2.7

To William Gilmore      

4.7.1

To William Gilmore    

0.12.0

To Rebecca Kelly    

2.12.4

To Wm Moody      

0.11.6

To Gabril (?) Fortec (?)   

0.15.0

To William Berry    

4.13.0

To Mary Johnson      

0.12.6

To James Wallace    

0.2.6

To Eliz. Bell     

1.4.10

To John McCrossory (?)   

2.10.0

To Andw Buchanan    

1.9.1

To James Coulter    

0.7.3

To Andrew McCampbell for Jn Berry Jun 

7.0.0 

To Francis Berry    

1.4.0 

To Eliz. Berry       

5.0.0

To Eliz. Berry     

1.0.0

To Mary Berry    

4.0.0

To John Berry     

11.0.19

To Mary Niezbitt    

1.5.0

To John Berry Shoemaker   

6.0.0

To Mary Berry      

5.0.0

To Samuel Lyle      

2.15.0

To Rebecca Gillesy      

20.0.0

To Eve_?_       

19.0.0

To Balln due the Estate   

23.15.8 

Pursuant to an order of the court March 1781 We have examined the within account as it stands stated & find the amount thereof to be £242.19 and the 
debts paid       170.3.4 
Ballance due     42.15.8 said Estate 
as per account on the hands of Alexander Walker Executor O.E. 
Test  Elijah McClenachan William McFeeters
At court Cont. and held for Augusta County May 16th 1781 
This account of the administration of the Estate of John Berry decd. was reported pursuant to an order of Court and Ordered to be Recorded 
Test

Aug. 1799273

Rockbridge County, Virginia Plat Record Book 1, pages 120 - 123
In the County Court of Rockbridge before the Justices of said Court in Chancery Sitting, on the (blank) day of August in this year 1799.
Be it remembered that heretofore, in court at Rules held in the Clerks Office of the Court aforesaid for the month of November in the year 1797
John Robinson by his attorney filed his Bill in Chancery against Samuel Nesbit and Mary his wife late Mary Berry in the records alleges following to wit: To this worshipful Court of Rockbridge County in Chancery siting Hereby complaining herewith unto your worship your orator John Robinson That a certain John Berry was seized in his lifetime no fee of a certain tract or parcel of land lying in S(aid) County, at that time Augusta, That this Berry on the 8th day of September 1770 sold the S(aid) land to a certain Hugh McClung & Francis McClung as will appear by his Bond for a title which is hereunto refer.d as part of this Bill That S(aid) Berry afterwards to wit on this (blank) day of (blank) departed this life intestate as to this land the Title remaining in him leaving a certain Mary Nesbit late Mary Berry his only child & heiress at law That this S(aid) Berry before his death made & established his last will and Testament whereby he left Samuel Walker Executor who had the S(aid) will duly proved & qualified as Executor as well [unreadable] fully appear by the records of Augusta Court That your orator afterward purchased the S(aid) Tract of land from the S(aid) McClungs as will appear by their Bond to give him possession thereof & by their assignment of the Bond aforesaid from Berry & your orator in part consideration was to pay to Walker the Exp as aforesaid the original consideration money amounting to £85 or thereabouts with [two words unreadable] the s.d Mc Cling Bond Your orator states that he paid said money to Walker suffering he could make [unreadable] a Deed & ??? the S(aid) Bond but which he hath since lost with a number of other valuable papers of which he was robd but presume the payt may be seen by the settlement of said estate. That your orator hath been if possession of S(aid) land & paid the taxes therefore upwards of 22 years tho he hath never been able as yet to obtain a title That he for a considerable time was ignorant having never taken advice that the legal title was in said Nesbit, who before that discovery was removed with her husband Samuel Nesbit to the State of Kentucky That some years ago when S(aid) Samuel Nesbit was in this county your orator applied to him about the Title who strongly advised your orator to go to Kentucky for the purpose of getting the same which he gave orator every reason to believe would be made without trouble This your orator will hope & would have been done as the S(aid) Nesbit had lived in the Neighborhood when your orator bought & took possission of the lan`d & for long after & knew the whole circumstances, except that he was ignorant as your orator believes until he told him that the title was in the S(aid) Margaret's Your Orator further states that under these imperfections he went to Kentucky & applied to said Nesbit & wife in a friendly way for a title but was much surprised & disappointed to find S(aid) Nesbit utterly unwilling & refusing to make the same all which actings & doings of the S(aid) Nesbit & wife whom your orator prays may be made a Defendant to this Bill of Complaint are contrary to equality & good conscience In Tender consideration whereof & for as much as your orator is without relief except in a Court of Chancery where matters of this kind are properly relievable & specific performance of Covenants aforesaid To this end therefore that these Defendants may on them corporal oath been sworn & perfect answer make is all & singular the premises as fully & particularly as if the laws were herein again specifically interrogated That the Court may compel the S(aid) Defendants to make a title to your orator in fee simple for S(aid) Land & or that the Court would such other relief as may seem equitable & just.
Exhibits filed with & made part of the foregoing Bill
Know all men by there presents that I John Berry of Augusta County am held to County Court unto Hugh McCling and Francis McCling of the said County in the ??? and full sum of two hundred pounds Virginia conerece to be paid unto them & their heirs or Executor or assigns to which payment well & truly to be made I bind myself my ??? & Several heirs executors administrator assigns firmly by these presents sealed with my seal and dated this twenty Eight day of September Anno Dom One thousand seven hundred and seventy
The condition of the above obligation is such that if the above bound John Berry do and shall well and truly make or cause to be made a good & indefensible title in fee simple for a track of land containing one hundred & Seventy acres it being the place where he now lives on clear of any incumberence to the said Hugh McCling and Francis McCling there heirs or assigns when the first payment is made then the above obligation is be void or else in full force and valid.
John Berry{Seal} 
Snd Sealed & delivered in
The presence of 
Samuel Henderson
Samuel Nesbet

Endorsed We assign over all our right and tittel of the within bond unto John Robinson & desiring and empowering him to crave (?) sew & receive the within conditions as if we were personally present. Given under our hands this twenty seventh day of September in the year one thousand seven hundred and seventy three. 
Hugh McClung
Francis McClung

We Hugh & Francis McClung promise to pay unto John Robinson or his assigns the full sum of eight five pounds current money of Virginia upon the second day of November first after the hereof to be pay.d unto him his heirs or assigns to the which payment need and truly to be made we bind ourselves our heirs Executors administrators and assigns formly by these presents sealed with our seals and dated this 27th day of September 1773.
The Condition of the above obligation is such that if the above bound Hugh and Francis McClung do give s.d Robinson [peasible ?] possession of the house whereon s.d McClung lives with the cobs boards in s.d house with the fall grain that is not in the ground against the first of November next enshuring then the above obligation shall be void otherways remaining in full force and virtue. In Witness whereof we have hereunto set our hands and seal this 27th day of September 1773. 
Hugh McClung
Francis McClung
Test
John Walker
Alex.n Walker

And now at this day to wit, In the County Court of Rockbridge on the 10th day of August 1799 first aforesaid
This day came the complainant by his [unreadable] and thereupon the [unreadable] & other exhibits in this cause being seen and inspected and the order of publication duly made being considered. It is ordered adjudged and decreed by the Court that the Bill of the Complaintant be taken for con[unreadable] and that the Defendants do convey to him by proper assurances in law their title in [unreadable] the said lands and that they pay in the Complainant his costs about his suit in this behalf expended.
Copy of the order of publication in this cause Rockbridge County, May Court 1791 
John Robingson C[unreadable] 
In Chancery
against
Samuel Nesbit & Mary his wife late Mary Berry, Defts.
The Defendants not having entered their appearance according to law and the rules of this court and it appearing to the satisfaction of the Court that they are not inhabitants of this Commonwealth on the motion of the complainant by his Counsel: It is Ordered that the said Defendants do appear here on the first Tuesday in November next to answer the bill of the complainant and that a copy of this order be forthwith inserted in the Virginia Gazette for two months successively and published at the door of the Courthouse of said county.
[a copy] Test A. Reid CRC
I do certify that the advertisement in the newspaper which accompanies this between John Robingson and Samuel Nesbit & Mary his wife late Mary Berry, in the county court of Rockbridge, has been inserted in the Virginia Gazette & General advertiser [unreadable] to Law.
Richmond Tarlton W. Pleasant
August 26th 1797 for Auguston Davis
Teste Andrew Reid CRC
 

 

Analysis of the Timeline

 

    The elder John Berry can be identified from a number of Augusta County, Virginia court records, and can be traced from 1753 to his death in late 1770 or early 1771. Since his estate was not completely settled for another ten years, his name continues to appear in court records as late as 1781. The earliest record comes from a 1753 Augusta County court document, which orders what appear to be property owners to maintain a new road. Two major questions arise at this point. Is this, indeed, the elder John Berry? If so, then this is the earliest documentation of him. Does this list represent landowners? If that is true, then John Berry must own land somewhere in this area.


    First it must be established whether or not there could be other John Berrys living in the area. From his 1770 will, as well as from the wills of other Berry males and other Augusta County, Virginia documents, it is clear that there, indeed, are a number of other John Berrys living in the vicinity. George and Thomas Berry, both sons of the elder James Berry, have sons named John Berry, but these John Berrys were born in the 1760's, and clearly could not be this John Berry.7,140  The other known John Berrys are grandsons of the elder John Berry. William and James Berry, both sons of the elder John Berry, had sons named John Berry that were born in the early 1740's.20,21,100  In 1753, the oldest of these two John Berrys would have been thirteen years old, which is, clearly, too young to be this 1753 landowner. Francis and Charles Berry, two more sons of the elder John Berry, also had sons named John Berry.21,131  Since their birth dates are unknown, it cannot be determined if they could be the 1753 John Berry or not. In this report, they are interpreted as also being too young. Thus, by process of elimination, the elder John Berry appears to be the most likely candidate for being the John Berry noted in the 1753 entry.


    The second issue centers around whether or not this list represents landowners. Since no land ownership records have yet been located for the elder John Berry at this early date, it must also be established why these people are on this particular list in order to make a reasonable judgment as to whether or nor the elder John Berry was a landowner in the area at this time. The maps of the Beverley and Borden Patents (Figures 3 and 8and Tables I and II, respectively) list the names of the original land purchasers from the William Beverley and Benjamin Borden land grants, as well as the date of purchase. The following names from this list can be identified as landowners in the Beverley Patent with the dates representing either the earliest date they appear in Augusta County records or the date of land purchase as shown on the map: Jacob Lockhart (1742), Thomas Kirkpatrick (1749), John Jameson (1749), James Young (1749), Hugh Young (1746), Robert Young (1749), William McClintock (1749), Wm. Ledgerwood (1747/1751), John Trimble (1739), Maurice O'Friel (d) (1746/48), Robert McClenon (1745/49), Robert Davis (1747), James Moody (1740), George Peary (1749) Thomas Peary (1749), John Campbell (1749), James Peary (1749), William McNabb (1749), John Bigham/Bingham (1749), Samuel Downing (no date), Alexr. McFeeters (1747), James McCorkle (1747), James Gilmore (1747), Patrick Martin (1740).21,213  The locations of these properties are shown in Figure 7. In addition, John Buchanan is listed as the only land owner on the Borden grant with purchases made in 1747 and 1753.235 The following names could not be found on either the Beverley or Borden maps, but can be found in Augusta County records at earlier dates: James Clark (1746), John Bartley (1746), Josias Richards (1749), Samuel Wallace (1746), James Philips (1746), Robert Scot (1746).213  his seems to indicate that they could have been property owners, but not on either Beverley or Borden lands, or that they purchased lands from an original Beverley/Borden owner. The next group of names are not found on either map, but the surname can be found on the Beverley plat: Wm. Martin (Patrick Martin on map/1740), William McFeeters (Alexander McFeeters on map/1747), John Black (Henry Black on map/1747), Andrew Cowan (William/John Cowan on map/1749), John Vance (James/William Vance on map/1740), Adam Thompson (Moses Thompson on map/1740), John Berry (Charles Berry/1752, William Berry/1746, James Berry purchased Robert Campbell's land in 1750).221  This indicates that the family had a presence in the area, and that the name in the 1753 entry either arrived in the area later, or came of land ownership age later. This final group of names from the 1753 entry did not appear in Augusta County records at all prior to 1753: Wm Akry/Eckrey, Cornelius Donaho, Thomas Reed, Abraham Masha, Thomas Dunn, Francis Dunn, Major Scot, which suggests that these men and their families are new arrivals, and did not have family in the area prior.21,213,235


    The information gleaned from this analysis of the names from the 1753 entry indicates that the bulk, if not all, of these men are property owners that have been tasked with maintaining a new road that passes near their property and between two mills. Since John Berry is on this list, it must be assumed that he is also a property owner in this area. He must have either bought Beverley or Borden land either from an original purchaser or from outside the boundary of these land grants, since he is not listed as being an original purchaser of either Borden or Beverley lands. John Buchanan's two land holdings are at and near the northern end of the Borden Grant, and most of the identified Beverley Grant property owners are found in the adjacent portion of the Beverley Grant area. While one property of James Young lies in the latter area, he also owned land in the southern part of the Borden Grant. The location of Buchanan's mill has not yet been identified, but Young's Mill can be located through Augusta County records as being located in the southern portion of the Borden Grant where Whistle Creek enters what was known then as the James/North River (see Figure 8).21 There is also a Young's Mill Creek in the Beverley Grant, located just to the northeast of Back Creek, which might suggest the location of another mill owned by James Young (Figures 3 and 7).


    The next two John Berry entries represent a 1762 purchase of Borden Grant land, and the resale of this land parcel two years later in 1764. This 427 acre tract can be found on Figures 8, 9, 10 and 11, and is located on the next creek over from the Moffet/Hays drainage.235  Again, the identity of which John Berry is the land purchaser is an issue. Was it the elder John Berry or one of his grandchildren? Of the various known John Berrys in the area, the sons of William and James Berry (this is the James Berry that was the father of the orphans), could be considered as candidates. With birth dates of 1740 and 1742, they would have been 20 and 22 years old at the time, and certainly old enough to purchase land.20,21,100  The argument against this, however, is twofold. First, they seem a bit young to have access to what appears to be large amounts of cash (£105). Second, and more importantly, since this land was sold to William Berry, a son of the elder John Berry, only two years later (for slightly less than the original purchase price), it seems more likely that this was a land transfer from father to son rather than from son to father. The fact that William Berry took possession of the land in May 1772, not long after the death of the elder John Berry, further supports this interpretation. If this was, indeed, the elder John Berry, then it may have been here that he lived until his death in 1770 or 1771. This land transfer also lends indirect support to the interpretation that the William Berry named in the will of the elder John Berry was the son of the elder John Berry.


   In 1765, John Berry purchased 170 acres of Borden land from John and Margaret Edmiston. Figure 12 shows the surveyed outline of this land parcel, and the associated property description indicates that this land bordered the property of John Stewart along part of the south side. John Stewart was an original purchaser of Borden land, and Figure 8 shows the location (property number 143 on Figure 8 of his only known Borden property. Since John Berry's land bordered the northern edge of this property, it must have overlapped part of the 1057 acres purchased by John Wilson from Borden in 1753.


   Samuel Buchanan was listed as one of the witnesses in John Berry's 1765 purchase, and from 
Figure 8, it can be seen that Samuel and John Buchanan purchased 393 acres in the vicinity in 1747. In 1756, John Buchanan sold his share to Samuel, as shown by the following record.21


20th May, 1756. John Buchanan, gent., late of Reed Creek, to Samuel Buchanan, £132, 393 acres in 2 surveys: 1st containing 293 acres conveyed to John by Borden and recorded in Orange; 2d containing 100 acres conveyed to John by Borden and recorded in Augusta, on Moffet's Creek, cor. Jno. Edmiston


   What is interesting about this particular land sale is that it bordered land owned by John Edmiston, who sold the land to John Berry in 1765. At the time of this sale (1756), there were only two properties adjacent to this Buchanan acreage that had been sold by Borden. One was 244 acres purchased by Robert Edmiston in 1747, and the other consisted of two adjacent tracts, totaling 1057 acres, purchased by John Wilson in 1753. Since John Edmiston was not listed as being an original purchaser of Borden land (Figure 8/Table II), he must have purchased either the Robert Edmiston or the John Wilson property prior to 1756, but which one? The answer lies partially in a series of land sales that took place in mid 1765. Between May and October of that year, as shown by the John Berry land sale and the two sales abstracted below, John Edmiston sold 742 acres of land that bordered not only John Stewart's but also Buchanan's land. It appears that sometime between 1753 and 1756, John Wilson sold his 1057 acres to John Edmiston, and by mid 1765, John Edmiston had sold off 70% of that acreage. Quite clearly, the Robert Edmiston property could not have been the land owned by John Edmiston. Not only was it much smaller than the acreage sold by John Edmiston, but, more importantly, it did not border John Stewart's land. Consequently, the land that John Berry purchased must have been part of the original John Wilson property that lay north of John Stewart's land (Figure 8).21

 

20th May, 1765. John ( ) Edmiston and Margret ( ) to John Stewart, £50, 132 acres in Borden's tract; corner John Stewart; corner Wm. Edmiston. Teste: Samuel Buchanan, Wm. and Samuel Edmiston.
Delivered: Jno. Stuart, 10th December, 1790.


20th August, 1765. John Edmiston and Margaret to Samuel Steel, £150, 440 acres in Borden's tract on Moffett's Creek, Buchanan's line.
Teste: David Syer, James Kennedy, Wm. and Samuel Edmiston. 
Delivered: Samuel Steel, August Court, 1770.


   From the survey plat (Figure 12) it can be seen that the property John Berry purchased in 1765 extended eastward beyond the John Stewart property by 82 poles (1,353 feet). However, the John Wilson property, from which the John Berry property was derived, does not extend to the east past John Stewart's property at all (Figure 8). The obvious conclusion is that there is an error in the Borden map portrayal of John Wilson's property.


   On 28 September 1770, John Berry sold this land to Hugh and Francis McClung for £200, and, as will be shown, John Berry passed away shortly thereafter. The sale record also noted that John Berry lived on this piece of property at the time of the sale. Since he died shortly thereafter (sometime between October 1770 and March 1771), it seems quite likely that this is where John Berry passed away. Considering that he had purchased the land just five years earlier for £43, John Berry realized a generous return on this investment. The McClungs later sold the property to John Robinson for about £85. An interesting side note to this subject involves the property of Samuel Nesbit. In March of 1770 Samuel Nesbit, a son in law of John Berry, purchased land adjacent to John Berry, and in 1787, as he was preparing to leave Virginia for Kentucky, Samuel sold the land. The 1770 land survey noted that John Berry was an adjacent land owner, but when Nesbit sold the land in 1787, the owner along the same segment of land was John Robinson, clearly showing that this was land owned by the elder John Berry. The problem, however, is that the Borden map shows Samuel Nesbit's property some distance to the north (Figure 8) in Augusta County. That location cannot be correct for several reasons. First and foremost is the fact that the adjacent John Berry property lies just to the north of John Stewart's land, and just south of Samuel Nesbit's land, and all locations occur in what eventually became Rockbridge County. In addition, the survey notes for both the John Berry and Samuel Nesbit properties note that these tracts lay astride a large hill, which was distinctive enough to be noted as a diagnostic feature in the area. Figure 13 shows the John Stewart, John Wilson (John Edmiston) and surrounding properties, as well as the topographic expression of the area. Approximate locations are shown for the John Berry and Samuel Nesbit properties, and it should be noted that the points at which a high hill is noted on each survey, there is a very distinctive ridge. In fact, it is the highest ridge in the area, would certainly attract the attention of any surveyor who had to climb it carrying a load of heavy surveying gear.124,399


    The next entry for the elder John Berry represents a transcription of his will, which was written in the fall of 1770.21,114,168  The will named a number of people, who are believed to be his children. While he identifies two women, Mary and Rebecca, as being his daughters, none of the men are specifically noted as being his sons. Some Berry researchers have taken this omission to mean that they are not his sons, but brothers or even nephews. While no definitive source material that would settle this issue has been discovered to date, there are a few points that must be considered. If this John Berry is actually a son of the elder James Berry, then it seems very odd that some of his brothers would be named in the will (Francis, William, Charles and the deceased James), while two other "brothers" (George and Thomas), who are known to be sons of the elder James Berry, were left out. All but James were alive, and while Thomas and Francis may have already moved to Washington County, Virginia, William, Charles and George were all living in the area at the time that John Berry's will was written. In fact, William, Charles and George appear to have lived on the properties they occupied from the early 1750's until their deaths. Since all of these men and their families settled in close proximity, and moved on about the same time to the same place, they are, most likely, closely related. It seems that the more logical interpretation would be that George and Thomas, while brothers to each other, are not brothers to Charles, William, Francis and James, but cousins. If the elder John and James Berry were, indeed, brothers, then these Berry men were first cousins. 


    Another odd fact is that the deceased James Berry, the father of the orphans described above, is mentioned in this will. Since the elder James Berry was named as their guardian, many Berry researchers have interpreted this to mean that the elder James Berry is the grandfather of the orphans, making him the father of the deceased James Berry. The fact that the deceased James Berry appears in the will of the elder John Berry seems to refute this interpretation by suggesting that he is the son of the elder John Berry instead. As noted above in the discussion of the elder James Berry, in this report, the males mentioned in the elder John Berry's will are interpreted as being his sons.


    Perhaps the most noteworthy fact of the elder John Berry's will, is that he uniquely identified males with the given name of John. As noted in the discussion of the elder James Berry, the elder John Berry identified the sons of Charles, James, William and Francis bearing the given name of John. These men, clearly, had other children, but only those with this particular given name were identified. In addition, and probably most compelling, is the inclusion in this will of the son named John from his daughter Mary, who was married to a Samuel Nesbit. While Charles, Francis, James and William are not identified as sons of the elder John Berry, there is no doubt that Mary is his daughter. The unique association of these children with the same given name seems to definitively connote a close relationship, so even though the elder John Berry did not identify Charles, William, James and Francis as his sons, they clearly must be. To further strengthen this case, it should be noted that the sons of George and Thomas Berry that bear the given name of John are conspicuously absent from this will, as are George and Thomas Berry. It thus appears that in this segment of the will, the elder John Berry is naming only his children and those grandchildren that bear his given name.


    An appraisal of John Berry's estate shows that he owned only a few animals and associated equipment for them (one black mare, a colt, one cow, a bridle, a saddle, brushes and saddle bags); some farming tools and equipment, consisting of a plough & irons, barrel, reids & gears (?) pair of gears (?) mall rings, wedges, clivish (?), and reeds (?); some clothes (bed cloaths, body cloaths, boots, shoes, shirts, trowsers, stockings, buckskin); a few sewing items (loom bars, fraim (frame) timples, wheel, wooling yarn, bag); and some furniture and other household/personal items (chist (chest) and chairs, spoons, dishes, knife, looking glass, razors and four books). This does not paint a picture of a man with a lot of material possessions. Instead, from this limited view, we appear to see a small subsistence farmer and stockman, whose wife and/or daughters made cloth at home with a spinning wheel, and, presumably, sewed homemade clothes for the family members. It's also probably a pretty safe bet to assume that at least one of the books was the family bible.


    The bulk of the value of his estate consisted of money owed to him by his neighbors, and £90, which amounted to half of the entire estate's value, was a debt from Hugh and Frances McClung. This appears to have been some kind of installment loan, with the final payment not being due until the fall of 1775. Hugh and Frances McClung are not listed on the Borden land plat, but the properties of William, Henry and James McClung can be located (Figure 11). Charles Hays, another debtor, has Borden property on Walker Creek (as well as that of Charles' relatives David, John, Pat and Andrew Hays), and although no property for Robert Buchanan, who also owed John Berry money, can be found on the Borden map, there is a James, John, Samuel, Andrew and William Buchanan, who are probably family members.235  The presence of all of these debtors or their families on the Borden lands further suggests that the elder John Berry lived in the vicinity.


   Another noteworthy aspect of the will is that it was not settled for over ten years, and while some of this delay certainly can be attributed to the fact that a number of people owed John Berry money, including an installment loan and several people who were listed as not solvent in the appraisal, it could also suggest that some family members may have contested the will. Other than those people that can be clearly identified as providing funeral related services, there are quite a few additional people receiving a cash distribution in the final settling of the will than were listed in the original will. While the identity of many of the people mentioned in this settlement are known, there are a number of them that cannot be placed in the family structure. A future research challenge is to determine the questionable and unknown relationships. 

                                                              Known

Mary Neizbitt

daughter (married Samuel Nesbitt) 

Samuel Neizbitt 

son in law of the elder John Berry and husband of Mary Berry (daughter of the elder John Berry)

William Berry

son

Charles Berry

son

Francis and Elizabeth Berry

son and daughter in law 

Elizabeth Henry

granddaughter from son Charles 

Elizabeth Berry

married Samuel Henry 

Andrew McCampbell 
(for John Berry, Jr)

probable great grandson 
Nancy Berry, the daughter of William Berry and granddaughter of  the elder John Berry married Solomon McCampbell, and this could be the child of Nancy and Solomon McCampbell . This John Berry could be either the John Berry (son of William) that married Hanna ? (unknown last name, the John Berry that married Jane Campbell (son of James Berry) or one of the unknown John Berrys who were sons of Charles and Francis Berry

                                                              Questionable

George Berry

grandson ?

James Berry 

grandson ?

Mary Johnson

possibly married daughter of William Berry ?

Elizabeth Bell

possibly married daughter of Charles or William Berry ?

John Berry, shoemaker

grandson

Rebecca Buchanan

daughter ?

Rebecca Gilaspy/Gillesy

daughter ?

                                                              Unknown

Margaret Kirkpatrick, Robert Kilpatrick, Anthony Kelly, Rebecca Kelly, Capt. John Gilmore, William Gilmore, William Moody, Gabril (?) Fortec (?), James Wallace, John McCrossory, Andrew Buchanan, Alexander McIlroy, Samuel Lyle, William Gilmore, Capt. John Gilmore, Robert Fanies (?), George Gibson 

 


   The last entry for John Berry is from the summer of 1799, when John Robinson filed a lawsuit against John Berry's daughter, Mary (Berry) Nesbit. The lawsuit was initiated because of a land dispute over the 170 acre tract originally sold by John Berry to the McClungs not long before his (John Berry's) death. The McClungs did not pay cash, but, apparently, intended to make a series of payments. Shortly after the sale, John Berry passed away, and the executor of John Berry's estate assumed control of unpaid debts, including that from the McClung land deal. John Robinson, a nearby land owner (actually he was probably an adjacent landowner as shown on Figure 8) then purchased the land from the McClungs, making the entire payment to the executor of John Berry's estate. Although John Robinson, apparently, never received the title to the land, he paid the taxes on this property for the next 22 years. Sometime during the 1790's (probably when he decided to sell the property) Mr. Robinson realized he had never received the title. John Berry's daughter and son in law, Mary and Samuel Nesbit held the title, but had since moved to Kentucky. After unsuccessfully attempting to obtain title from the Nesbits, John Robinson took them to court and won. The court battle over acquisition of the title produced several documents that were entered into court as exhibits, including the record of the 1770 sale of the land by John Berry to the McClungs.

 

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