An American Family History


The Berry Families


The Battle of Point Pleasant (Battle of Kanawha) was on October 10, 1774. It was between the Virginia militia and the Shawnee and Mingo. The Shawnee unsuccesfully  attempted to halt the militia's advance into the Ohio Valley.

The Holston River flows from Kingsport to Knoxville.
map by Kmusser

Thomas Berry, Sr. was born about 1718.

His children probably included:

James Berry (married Elizabeth McCutcheon),
Mary Berry (married James Trimble),
Thomas Berry, Jr.,
Barbara Berry (married David Dryden, Jr.),
William Berry (married Mary McSpadden),
Elizabeth Berry (married James Harris),
George Berry (married Elizabeth Lowrey),
Susanna Berry (married Samuel McChesney),
Rebecca Berry (married Caleb Litton),
John Berry (married Jane Temple),
Francis Berry, Sr. (married Nancy Berry and Sarah Oliver), and
Esther Berry (married David McCord).

Sometime after 1742, he moved to Augusta County, Virginia with his father, James Berry, his brother, George Berry, and some Berry cousins.

By 1770, he moved to Washington County, Virginia along the banks of the South Fork of the Holston River.

In 1773, William signed the call to Presbyterian minister, the Reverend Charles Cummings.

In 1774 Francis Berry was in the Fincastle County Militia and participated in the Battle of Point Pleasant during Lord Dunmore's War.

In 1776, Thomas and George Berry were wounded in the Cherokee Expedition. James also participated in the expedition.

James Berry signed the 1777 Petition of Holston Men.

In 1775 the Washington County, Virginia Court

ordered that certificate be given to Thomas Berry represening his rceiving a wound in his Breast Sept. 4th 1776 by a shot from the Indians when in the service of his country and continued ill to the first of June 1777.

In 1780 an Andrew, Bradley, James, Robert and Thomas Berry were in the Battle of Kings Mountain.

In 1781 at the Washington County, Virginia Court, Thomas Berry, Jr. was presented for keeping a "Tipling House" and "neglect of Duty" as surveyor of the "Main Road from Watauga."

Thomas, Sr. died in 1799.

Augusta County, Virginia was formed in 1738 from Orange County and was vast territory including West Virginia and Kentucky.
1770 - southern part became Botetourt.
1776 - parts became Monongalia, Ohio, and Yohogania.
1778 - area west of Ohio River became Illinois County.
- northeastern part became Rockingham.
- southwestern part was combined with part of Botetourt to form Rockbridge
1788 - northern part combined with part of Hardy to become Pendleton.
1790 - western part was combined with parts of Botetourt and Greenbrier to form Bath.
Virginia county formation was complex and some of the above counties were further divided or disbanded.

Washington County, Virginia was formed from Fincastle County in 1777. It originally contained Sullivan County, Tennessee.

Fincastle County, Virginia was created in 1772 from Botetourt County and abolished in 1776. It was divided into Montgomery, Washington and Kentucky Counties.


The Cherokeewere indigenous people who lived in the southern Appalachian mountains. European Americans called their towns in eastern Tennessee, the Overhill Towns. The towns included Chota, Tellico and Tanasi.

In 1776, the Cherokee planned to drive settlers out of the Washington District. The settlers were warned and stopped the first attack at Heaton's Station. The second attack was stopped at Fort Watauga. In response to these attacks, the militia burned Tuskegee and Citico.

In 1780, while the militia was away at the Battle of Kings Mountain, the Cherokee raided the setttlements. When the militia returned, Colonel John Sevier's men defeated the Cherokee at Boyd's Creek and destroyed most of the remaining towns.

To be presented to the court meant to be charged or indited.

In 1778 The Washington County, Virginia Court ordered that Hugh Berry receive five pounds for making 1750 nails for covering the Court House. . .

In 1779 at the Washington County, Virginia court

Hugh Berry and J Berry were presented by the Grand Jury for selling liquors without license & above rate.

On motion of Ann Berry, William McCormack & Thomas Berry administration is granted them on the Estate of James Berry Deceased who ade Oath thereto and give Bond with Daniel McCormack & Robert Brown their Securities in the sum of two Thousand pounds for the faithful administration of the said Decedants Estate.

The Battle of Kings Mountain was a decisive battle of the American Revoluton. It took place on October 7, 1780, nine miles south of the present-day town of Kings Mountain, North Carolina. The Patriot militia defeated the Loyalist militia commanded by British Major Patrick Ferguson.

Washington County Will Book 2, pages 209-210 

In the name of god amen, the sixteenth of December one thousand seven hundred and ninety eight [1798]. I, Thomas Berry, of the County of Washington and State of Virginia...

I do order, give and dispose the same in manner and form following, And

first I do will that all my just debts be paid within convenient time after my decease by my executors hereafter named and

seconded, I do give and bequeath to my well beloved wife Esther the third part of all the moveable Estate except the negros as I have left her the third part of the price of my land already.

I do leave to my son George a negro named Adam and all my wearing apparel and

George is to give to my daughter Rebeckah fifty dollars.

I do also leave to my daughter Esther a negro girl named Phili to her and her heirs and if the girl has any children they are to go to Esther and her heirs,

also my negro woman named Tawney I do allow her to be free and I leave her a milch cow.

I also leave to my son John, four dollars.

I also leave the rest of my estate to my children hereafter named,
son James,
son Thomas,
my daughter in law Mary Berry, wife to son William deceased,
my daughter Mary,
my daughter Barbara,
daughter Rebeckah,
my daughter Elizabeth,
my daughter Susannah,
my son Francis

to be equally divided among them.

I also leave to my grandson Thomas Dryden my best saddle.

I also will that David Dryden and Samuel McChesney and David Lowry shall be my Executors given under my hand and seal this sixteenth of December 1798.  
Witnesses present  
Jonathan Dryden  
William Palmer  
Thomas Berry LS (?)

Appalachia was the 18th century backcountry and many settlers were Scots-Irish. It includes southern New York, western Pennsylvania, North Carolina and Virginia, West Virginia, eastern Ohio, Kentucky and Tennessee and northern Mississippi, Alabama and Georgia.


Francis Berry was born about 1755 in Virginia. He was the son of Francis Berry, Sr.

In 1774 he served in the Fincastle County militia during the Point Pleasant Campaign.

He married Sarah Sharp. Sarah was born on January 18,1753 in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. She was the daughter of John Sharp and Jane Hamilton.

John Wesley Berry (1776),
Isabelle Berry (1778, married James King),
Lewis Berry (1781),
Benjamin Berry (1785)
Elizabeth Berry (1786),
Sarah Berry Dryden (1788)
Marie Ann Berry (1789)
Francis Berry (1792)
Lucinda Berry (1794)
Dale LaFayette Berry (1796),
Louise Berry (1798), and
Mary Berry (1800).

In 1787, Francis received a warrant for land in Sullivan County, Tennessee. At that time it was in North Carolina.

In 1790 Francis Berry was in the Sullivan County militia.


Samuel Berry was born about 1775. DNA evidence from Samuel's known descendants does not match that of descendants from other Augusta and Washington County Berry families.

He married Nancy Crow on November 19, 1795 in Washington County, Virginia.

Samuel and Nancy's children probably included:

Thomas Berry (1793, married Ellener King),
Robert Berry (1797),
James Berry(1799, married Elizabeth Pierce),
Samuel Berry, Jr. (1800, married Rebecca Carrier),
George Berry (1808, married Mary Cross and Mary Carrier),
William Berry (1810, married Lucy? Ballard),
Elizabeth Berry (1813, married John R. Riggs),
Henry Berry (1814, married Sarah Pierce),
Riece Berry (1822, married Mary Adkins),
Nancy Berry (1824, married Henry A. Smith), and
Ellenor Berry (1828, married Leander? Berry).








Appalachia was the 18th century backcountry and many settlers were Scots-Irish. It includes southern New York, western Pennsylvania, North Carolina and Virginia, West Virginia, eastern Ohio, Kentucky and Tennessee and northern Mississippi, Alabama and Georgia.

from Genealogy of the Berry and Associated Families of Augusta, Rockbridge, and Washington Counties of Virginia, by Jim Jackson, Carol Vass, Marie Loughlin, Donna Fischer.

Thomas Berry (1718 - 1798) was born in 1718, probably in Northern Ireland, and emigrated to the American colonies at an unknown date, probably with his father, brother and possibly other Berry family members. Indirect evidence suggests that this extended Berry family first lived in the Scotch-Irish settlements of southeastern Pennsylvania, which probably means that they entered the American colonies through Philadelphia. He married his first wife, whose last name was Buchanan, most likely while living in Pennsylvania and they soon began a family.

Sometime after 1742, though, following the mass exodus of Scotch-Irish settlers, the Berry families moved southward to rich mountain basin just behind the frontal uplifts of the Appalachian Mountain chain. His father, the elder James Berry, also moved to the area, as did his brother, George Berry, and many of his Berry cousins.

Thomas Berry and his young family settled in the northern part of the Borden Grant in Augusta County, eventually acquiring over 700 acres of land. He had five children with his first wife, and after her death, which occurred sometime between 1744 and the early 1750s,

he married Esther Ward, probably about 1753 or 1754. Six children were born from this union. Eventually, he began selling portions of his land, and by 1770 he had picked up stakes again, and moved to Washington County in southwestern Virginia along the banks of the South Fork of the Holston River. He remained on this property until his death in the summer of 1799. Presumably he was buried in a local Presbyterian Cemetery. The date of his second wife’s death is not known.


Colonial Maryland
Colonial New England
Colonial Virginia & West Virginia
Quakers & Mennonites
New Jersey Baptists
German Lutherans
Watauga Settlement
Pennsylvania Pioneers
Midwest Pioneers
Jewish Immigrants

©Roberta Tuller 2020
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