William Berry, Sr. - @William Berry

Started by David Decker on Monday, July 21, 2014


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7/21/2014 at 10:15 AM

@William Berry

I have a nagging question, which I hope someone can answer. If William Berry (1610-1654) and his wife, Jane Locke Hermins (c 1619-c 1687) lived in New Hampshire from the time of their emigration from England to the New World, how is it that their son, Henry Berry, Sr. (c 1635-c 1677) was born in Lancaster Co., Virginia? What am I missing here?

Thanks for reading my question.
David N. Decker

7/21/2014 at 11:07 AM

Likely a mistake.

I've disconnected Henry Berry, of Occupacia Creek as child of William of New Hampshire.

If someone knows otherwise please advise.

7/22/2014 at 5:27 AM

Erica, I believe your action was the correct thing to do, but you may find it unpopular. That said, you'll get no criticism from me.

There is evidence that Henry Berry emigrated directly from England to Virginia as a headright in a land patent issued to Epharaditus Lawson, dated May 22, 1650. Henry immediately repaid Lawson and therefore became a freeman.

This is contrary to a persistent and long held tradition that he was the son of William Berry of New Hampshire, which notion the previously mentioned documentation clearly proves inaccurate.

If anyone has documentation that proves a connection between the Virginia Henry Berry and the New Hampshire William Berry, I too would be most anxious to review it. I seek the truth relative to our shared pedigree, which goal you clearly share as well.

KUDOS, Erica, for your bravery.

7/22/2014 at 8:34 AM

I'm a Lawson and would love to be related to "old Eppie.".

There is no case I know of in his head right transports where family "also" had migrated to New Hampshire.

In fact I know of exactly one person in all of Colonial America who was born in New England and died in Virginia, and he wasn't a head right, he had his own transport.

Isaac Allerton. Who was quite wealthy.

7/22/2014 at 10:08 AM


You got me curious so I checked around to see if there's been any updated information.

This fellow did a nice analysis on origins & on his wife:


"There is no evidence of the place and date of his marriage to Ann. A marriage year of 1651 is assigned based on the estimated birth year of their eldest son Henry of 1652."

"Ann's maiden name is unproved. Some say it was Sanders, but without proof. It was more likely Pley as discussed under Ann's family sheet."

I am ready to cut her off from the legendary parent of Edward Saunders, of Wicomico Parish

What do you think?

7/23/2014 at 9:53 AM

Cousin Erica:

I descend from: Roland Lawson and Ann Chaplin > Roland Lawson (1672-1716) and Jean Glascock (1673-1733) > William Lawson (c 1695-c 1755) and Mary Graham (c 1695-c 1755) > John Lawson (c 1700-1767) and Frances Davis (c 1700-1739) > Thomas Lawson (1718-1795) and Anne Herrington (1729-c 1759) > James Lawson (1760-1844) and Sophia Johnson (1768-1823) > Lucy Lawson (1806-1866) and John McConnell, Jr (1802-1888) > Benjamin McConnell (1839-1890) and Margaret Ann Womack (1843-1916) – another old Henrico Co., VA family – to Lucy Ellen McConnell (1867-1936) and Jacob Arthur Warren (1869-1955) > Lucy Beatrice Warren (1898-1986) and Loren U. Decker (1896-1969) > Darrell Neil Decker (1925-1994) and Living Mann > Me.

I’ve not documented the entire Lawson line yet, nor have I linked it to the Virginia Lawsons. I suspect, but can’t prove, the two families may be related, but that the common ancestor was in England, rather than VA. That said, I’ve been wrong more times than I can count (too few fingers and toes).

With respect to these pesky Berrys of Virginia, I’ve learned there were a slew of them early on and two notations for a Henry Berry, as follows:

“Complete listing of Early Virginia Immigrants, 1623-1666”
(from book published 1912 by George Cabell Greer, now copyright-free)

Each line contains from left to right:
LAST & FIRST - Name of immigrant who came to America
ARRIVAL - Year of immigrant arrival
SPONSOR - Name of sponsoring person(s) paying passage of immigrant
COUNTY - County in which sponsor received land for payment of passage

Items in the listing below are separated by tabs to make it easy to cut and paste into a spreadsheet or database. Unfortunately, that also creates column alignment problems for this display. There are over 17,000 names of immigrants and over 25,000 names including the sponsors. The original book had many alphabetizing errors, which have been corrected with computerized sorting.

Scanning the 300+ pages and correcting the many errors has been a labor of love as partial repayment for those genealogists (professional and non) who have given me gifts.

Allen Price, 2011


Berry Alice 1650 David Peibles Charles City
Berry Andrew 1656 John Wood ???
Berry Daniell 1653 William Johnson Henrico
Berry EIlzabeth 1636 James Berry Accomack
Berry Elizabeth 1637 James Berry (her husband) Accomack
Berry Eppy 1654 John Wyre & John Gillet & ???
Andrew Gilson & John
Berry Francis 1643 Lt William Worleidge ???
Berry Henry 1650 Epaphroditus Lawson ???
Berry Henry 1655 John Lawson Lancaster
Berry John 1642 John Sweete ???
Berry John 1642 Thomas Curtis ???
Berry Lydia 1648 Richard Wyatt ???
Berry Mathew 1650 Laurence Peters Nansemond
Berry Michaell 1636 William Rainshaw Elizabeth City
Berry Robert 1641 Stephen Charleton Accomack
Berry William 1637 Capt Henry Browne James River
Berry William 1636 William Julian Elizabeth City
Source: “Complete Listing of Virginia Immigrants, 1623-1666,” Scanned and Updated by Allen Price, 2010, http://www.evmedia.com/virginia/, Accessed 22 Jul 2014. Original Source: “Complete Listing of Early Virginia Immigrants, 1623-1666,” George Cabell Greer, 1912 (copyright expired).

This data automatically leads to the question: “Did the same Henry Berry return to England sometime between 1650 and 1655 and subsequently come back to the Virginia Colony in 1655, or were there two different men named Henry Berry?” While returning to England wasn’t out of the question, it would be odd for someone not in a Colonial administrative position to do so, I would think. Frankly, I was surprised to see two Henrys and so many Berrys at such an early time.

This is the best documentation I’ve found relative to Henry’s arrival in Virginia:

1 “John and Rowland Lawson, 22 Nov 1655, Lancaster Co. [DNDecker Notation: formed from Northumberland and York Counties in 1651]. Virginia Land Office Patents No. 4, 1655-1664, page 21 (Reel 4), to all now know ye that I the said Edward Diggs Esquire, given and grant unto John Lawson the son of Rowland Lawson 500 acres of situate or being in the County of Lancaster, VA on the North side of the freshes of Rappahannock River about 12 miles from the falls and beginning at a marked Oak… on the lower side of a thicket and Indian fields butting upon the river extending… The said land being due unto the said Lawson by and for the transportation of 10 persons. To have and to hold yielding and paying, which payment is to be made. Dated 22 November 1655. (Name 10 person) Henry Berry, Pa. Clark, Sarah tuner, Elizabeth Lathell, N. Mothering, William Nicholson, George Goodale, John Marsell, Daniel Cooper and Nath. English. Note on the side: - This patent renewed 8 January 1663 and granted to the said John Lawson by Sir William Berkeley Knight his Majestic Governor. [CLLawson Notation: Something odd about this entry, Rowland Lawson’s son would have been a child at this time? Maybe that is why it was renewed in 1663?]”
Source: “Lancaster County, Virginia Lawsons,” Carl L. Lawson, http://lawsondna.org/Media/virginiacounties/Lancaster.html, Accessed 22 Jul 2014.

2 Virginia Immigrants, 1623-1666: Henry Berry

Name: Henry Berry
Arrived By: 1650
Sponsors: Epa. Lawson
Residence Place: Virginia
Source: Ancestry.com. Virginia Immigrants, 1623-1666 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 1997, http://search.ancestry.com/cgi-bin/sse.dll?rank=1&new=1&MSA..., Accessed 22 Jul 2014. Original Source: Greer, George Cabel. Early Virginia Immigrants 1623-1666. Richmond, VA, USA: W. C. Hill Printing Co., 1912.

3 Virginia Immigrants, 1623-1666 about Henry Berry

Name: Henry Berry
Arrived By: 1655
Sponsors: John Lawson
Residence Place: Lancaster, Virginia
Source: Ancestry.com. Virginia Immigrants, 1623-1666 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 1997, http://search.ancestry.com/cgi-bin/sse.dll?rank=1&new=1&MSA..., Accessed 22 Jul 2014. Original Source: Greer, George Cabel. Early Virginia Immigrants 1623-1666. Richmond, VA, USA: W. C. Hill Printing Co., 1912.

The other automatic question must be: “What, if any, relationship was there between Henry Berry and the other Berrys enumerated on the above list?”

There’s a mental hospital within a half-hour’s drive of where I live. I pray they have wifi there!! I fear we may share the same condition, Cuz, i.e., GOCD (Genealogical Obsessive Compulsive Disorder). I’ve been diagnosed by friends and family, so I’m sunk. Hopefully, you’re healthier than I in that respect.

I’ll do some digging on these other Berrys, but with so little information, it will no doubt prove difficult to get very far, but we shall see. Maybe I’ll get lucky.

I also found the following:

“26 April [1637]. Account submitted by Joseph Clifton, executer of Daniell Hopkinson, merchant of the “Tristram and Jane” of London, Mr. Joseph Blowe, for servants carried on her late voyage to Virginia:

“Berry Francis [sic], a maid, turned over to Worlich William.”
Source: Tristram and Jane sources: Coldham pages 2185 - 186, transcribed by Cinthy Rossen, http://www.packrat-pro.com/ships/tristramjane.htm, Accessed 23 Jul 2014.

Unfortunately, I was unsuccessful in my search of ships passenger lists for our Henry Berry. While I feel I was fairly thorough, I could have missed something. I’d be happy to provide you with notations relative to where I searched, if you’re interested.

I’ve gathered a great deal of new data on Henry, I, since we started this discussion – which I hope others will join – so I need a little time to digest and analyze. With respect to your question about the Saunders / Pley issue, I’d recommend pushing the pause button for the time being. A think allowing ourselves a little time to see what we can find before doing anything permanent would be prudent. That said, you’re a curator. I’m just an ole dumb artist. <g>

I though these little tidbits would help narrow down the date of death for Henry, I, but they only create more confusion:

“Proof that Henry the immigrant had a son named Henry comes from the appointment of Henry Sr. of Rappahannock County and Henry Jr. as executors of the will of John Butler of Westmoreland County on 6 Jan 1777. Butler wrote his will on 26 Dec 1776.” I’m assuming Jones meant to type 1677, rather than 1777 and 1676, rather than 1776.
Source: “Josepha Albrecht Pedigree,” Henry Berry, I, Gerald Jones, http://wc.rootsweb.ancestry.com/cgi-bin/igm.cgi?op=GET&amp;db=jones..., Accessed 23 Jul 2014. Original Source: Citation not available.

From that, we could assume Henry, I, was still living on 6 Jan 1777; however, we also now know Robert Peck of Elizabeth City was named executor of Henry Berry’s will on 20 Mar 1672* – more than five years earlier than the above data suggests. Which is correct? At the moment, I tend to lean toward the latter, but only because the original source was noted. I mean no disrespect to Jones, I merely seek the truth relative to Henry’s DOD. New, substantial documentation to the contrary would change my mind in a heart beat. What say you, Erica?
*Source: “Peck’s Page,” John Peck, http://www.fmoran.com/peck.html, Accessed 23 Jul 2014. Original Source: “Elizabeth City County Wills.

So, Erica, we continue our quest of tipping windmills, but at least now we’re not alone. <g>

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