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John Perry of Nansemond

John Perry & Elizabeth Hunter/Young

John Perry of Nansemond County, VA is the progenitor of a large group of Perry’s in the area of Virginia, West Virginia, North Carolina, and Eastern Kentucky1.  My information on this family is limited in the first few generations, as I am not related to them and haven’t yet done enough research.  Most of my research on this family is of the descendants of Abraham Perry, who was the grandson (s/o John II) or great-grandson (s/o John III) of this John. 

I have seen John’s wife listed as both Elizabeth Hunter and Elizabeth Young2.  I also have seen at least one source state that he had a second wife named Mary.  One online source has stated that John and Elizabeth were married abt 1674 in Virginia.  If this is true, then John and Elizabeth were both probably born before 1655.  John was born in England or Virginia.  He lived in Whitemarsh, Isle of Wight County, VA and in Nansemond County, VA3.  He then apparently moved to Perquimans County, NC in the late 1600’s or early 1700’s and may have died there sometime in the 1720’s or so.  I wish I had more information, but my research time is constrained by obligations to both sides of my family.  I need a great deal of additional information from other researchers on this family.  Any help will be greatly appreciated!

The following is information on John’s land ownership.  He conveyed "Whitemarsh" to Col. Joseph Bridger in 1673 (Isle of Wight Records). He sold land to Col. Nathaniel Bacon May 26, 1675 while still living in Nansemond County, VA.  He sold land to George Eason of Perquimans County, NC in 1720.

Possible Children

I have seen several children attributed to John Perry of Nansemond, but only a few seem to turn up again and again in researchers files.  Their names are Benjamin born abt 1679 or 1710, John II born abt 1690, Israel born abt 1705, and Jacob born bef 17104.  Another child named Phillip appears often.  He seems to have been a grandson of the elder Phillip from Isle of Wight County, VA.  If John of Nansemond is proven as the father of this younger Phillip, then the connection to the elder Phillip may be true.  The younger Phillip’s will gave the names of three brothers; John, Joseph, and Jacob.  More research is required.

Benjamin Perry is a confusing individual.  He has been listed as born in 1679 and 1710.  The sources for the older date state that he married a Susan Baker and died in 1748 in Perquimans or Bertie County, NC.  The other sources state that he died 11 Mar 1788 in Perquimans County, NC.  He married Susannah Walton who died in 1791.  Benjamin reportedly had at least three sons whose names were Benjamin, Ezekiel, and Jacob5.

John Perry II reportedly married Sarah Mouldin and had eleven children.  Their names were John III, Benjamin, Ann, Sarah, Nicholas, Josiah, Jacob, Grace, James, Isaac, and Abraham (some sources state that Abraham was the son of John III).6  John II died abt October 1760 in either Bertie or Halifax County in NC.  Sarah died about a year later.  Click on the link for information on the descendants of Abraham Perry.

Israel Perry was born abt 1705 and died abt 03 Feb 1779 in Perquimans County, NC.  He married a woman named Priscilla (?) and had about ten children.  Their names were Josiah, Israel, John, Jacob, Millicent, Ruth, Rachel, Ann, Priscilla, and Cader (usually short for Micajah/Micager).7

Jacob Perry married Ann Lilly and had at least one child whose name was Reuben Perry I of Perquimans County, NC.  Jacob reportedly died abt 1777 in Perquimans County, NC.

Ancestral Lines

John Perry of Nansemond has been listed as the son of Phillip Perry and Grace (?).8  According to several sources, Phillip “immigrated to Virginia in 1655 and settled in Whitemarsh, Isle of Wight County where he had large land holdings. He was the uncle of Micajah Perry, London merchant who died in 1721.  He became known as Phillip Perry of Whitemarsh.”  That Phillip Perry, who was born in London, England, has been listed as the son of an elder Phillip and also a Richard, son of Roger who in turn reportedly was the son of William Perry and Alice Ilcombe.  I have not confirmed any of this information myself, but it does look somewhat probable that John was the son of Phillip. This family's connection to Micajah Perry is now in doubt due to recent DNA testing.9 Further research is needed.

Additional Information

I would like any “solid” research on this family that people are willing to share.  Perhaps if we get enough research on this family and the family of James Perry of Perrymount completed, we can sort out a great deal of the “lost” Perry families between Maryland and North Carolina.  Email me at Nansemond Perry Family with any comments, suggestions, or research. Additional information on John Perry of Nansemond and his descendants can be found on the website Sally’s Family Place.

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1Online Gedcomm files.

2Ancestral Files, LDS.

3Various Deed Records, VA & NC.

4Online Gedcomm files.

5Ibid.

6Ibid.

7Ibid.

8Ancestral Files, LDS.

9Perry Surname DNA Project www.perry-dna.org.