m. est. 1709-1711
Facts and Events
James Kerr was one of the Early Settlers of Augusta County, Virginia
Early Land Transaction in Augusta County, VA
James Kerr's land (Beverley Manor NE, 473 acres) as shown on the map meticulously drawn by J.R. Hildebrand, cartographer. This map is copyrighted©, used by permission of John Hildebrand, son of J.R. Hildebrand, April, 2009. Just to the north is land of his son John Kerr, and nearby is land of families that married into the Kerr's (Pickens, Robertson, etc.)
James Kerr's land (Beverley Manor SW, 474 acres, acquired from James Patton in 1750) as shown on the map meticulously drawn by J.R. Hildebrand, cartographer. This map is copyrighted©, used by permission of John Hildebrand, son of J.R. Hildebrand, April, 2009.
Administration of James Kerr's Estate
James Kerr died intestate. His son, John Kerr was named Administrator in the following Chalkley's reference:
Records of James Kerr in Augusta County, VA
Because there were many records of James Kerr in Augusta County, Virginia, they have been placed on the following page: Records of James Kerr in Augusta County, Virginia
James Kerr, MAY have been the James Kerr that patented land in Lacaster County, Pennsylvania in the following record (source: William & Mary Quarterly, "Early Settlers in the Valley of Virginia", by Charles E. Kemper:
James Carr patented 200 acres of land in Lancaster County, Pa., January 14, 1737; he settled in Augusta County, Va., prior to 1750.
John Carr patented 200 acres of land in Lancaster County, Pa., January 13, 1737; he settled in present Augusta County, Va., prior to 1750. (The name is properly spelled Carr). (Possibly James Kerr's eldest son, John, more research is necessary to prove)
James Kerr and his family left many records in early Augusta County, Virginia, but unfortunately died intestate (without a will) in 1770 in Augusta County, Virginia, where records in Augusta County named his eldest son, John Kerr (who married Lucy Pickens) the administrator of his estate.
Direct evidence links John Kerr as the "eldest son" of James Kerr, who qualified as the Administrator of James Kerr's estate, as listed in Chalkley's. Other direct and circumstantial evidence exists to support William, Andrew, Samuel, Elizabeth, James and David as other children of James, and there may be other, yet unproven children. As listed in "From Tinkling Spring, Headwaters of Freedom", by Howard McKnight Wilson, ThD., the several Kerr baptisims that occurred before 1750 were most likely all grandchildren of James Kerr and at least circumstantially piece together much of James Kerr's family.
James Kerr and his family migrated from Ireland or Scotland to Pennsylvania before 1728-1730 (possibly to Donegal or nearby Paxton Township), when his sons were married, probably in Chester/Lancaster County, Pennsylvania (Lancaster was formed in 1729 from part of Chester County).
Many researchers believe that this Kerr family came from Paxton Township, in Chester/Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, and this has been at least partially corroborated by a statement of Lt. General Andrew Pickens (The Pickens family was very close to the Kerr family, and intermarried several times):
1811 letter by Gen. Andrew Pickens to General Light Horse Harry Lee in which Gen. Pickens states that "he was born in Paxton township" (located in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania). It's transcribed in Sharp's history of the Pickens family, p. 135.:
"I was born in PA, Paxton Township, on the 19th Sept. 1739. My father removed with his family when I was very young to Virginia, and settled for a few years west of where Staunton now stands about 8 miles, and in the year 1752 or 3, removed to the Waxhaws and was amongst the first settlers of that part of South Carolina. My father and mother came from Ireland. My father's progenitors emigrated from France after the revocation of the Edict of Nantes."
James Kerr was one of the early settlers to Augusta County, Virginia and his large log house on "Middle River", built between 1738-1740, was used as an early meeting place and courthouse. In 1738/9, James Kerr purchased land in the Orange/Augusta County, Virginia area, where they migrated with several other prominent Scotch families (Buchanan, Steele, Pickens, Anderson, Allison, Campbell, Robertson and Hays just to name a few). He had a large family as detailed in several publications including "From Tinkling Springs, Headwater of Freedom", by Wilson, and in the book "Kerrs and Kin, 1730-1930", by Vincent Brown Kerr, published 1930 in Staunton, Virginia. Both publications detail James Kerr's other probable children from early Augusta County, Virginia records. The family of James Kerr intermarried with many other prominent Augusta County, Virginia families.
The identity of James Kerr's wife is unproven, but some researchers claim her name may have been Martha Ball. This researcher has seen no documents to date that prove this conclusion. On the newer headstone of David Kerr, son of James Kerr, Martha Ball is stated as his mother, although the source of this information is not known.