Facts and Events
CAUTION: There were TWO John Berry's both born about the same time that are often confused:
From Rootsweb.com post:
Augusta County Court Records
Three entries in the Augusta County Court records(21) (known as the Chalkley books) document the existence of a John Berry (born around 1743) who was the son of a James Berry, (who was deceased by at least 1751). Another James Berry is listed as the guardian of John Berry, but John is in the custody of his step father, John Jones, who is accused of being abusive. John Jones is known to be the second husband of Elizabeth Eleanor MaGill, whose first husband was James Berry. The guardian James Berry also complains about John Jones' handling of the affairs of James Berry's estate. The relationship between the two people named James Berry is not clear. They have the same given and surnames, so are not siblings, although they could be father and son. An arguement could easily be made for the relationship to be one of cousins, but it seems more likely that a son would have a greater interest in the distribution of an estate, and an older brother might be granted guardianship of a younger brother after the death of a father. The fact that it was the MaGill family that finally obtained guardianship, suggests that this is indeed the John Berry, whose mother was Elizabeth MaGill (who had been married to a man named James Berry). This data merely proves that a John Berry was the son of a recently deceased James Berry, who had been married to an Elizabeth MaGill. It does not, however, provide any information that would allow a clear determination as to which of the two John Berrys is the correct descendant. The relavent court records are as follows:(21)
29 August 1751 James Berry, guardian of John Berry, orphan of James Berry, complains that John Jones, in whose custody the orphan is, that he abuses him.
30 November 1751 James Berry, guardian of the orphan of James Berry, decd., complains that John Jones, who married the widow of James Berry, is wasting the estate.
15 March 1758 John Berry, orphan of James Berry, aged 15 years, chose McGill his guardian.
Both John Berrys were born around 1740 in Virginia. The John Berry of the John and Hanna line was born in 1742, and died in Lincoln County, Kentucky in 1790. The John Berry from the John and Jane Campbell line was born in 1740 in Augusta County, Virginia, and died in Washington County, Virginia in 1786. Each John Berry got married in 1763. While we don't know where John and Hannah were married, John and Jane are known to have been married in Augusta County, Virginia.(1)
Both John Berrys had large families, which was quite typical of their times. John and Hanna had 10 children, and John and Jane had eight. The first of John and Hannah's kids was born at an unknown place in Virginia in 1764. The next was born a year later in Augusta County. The next known birth was in Botetourt County in 1771 (about two counties south of present day Augusta County), and the next was in 1773 in Fincastle County. The rest of the children appear to have been born either in Kentucky County, Virginia (which was later to become part of Kentucky), or in Lincoln County, Kentucky from 1777 to 1788. William MaGill (Jr.) appears to have traveled with them. For John and Jane, their first child was born in 1764 in Augusta County; the next was born in 1766 in Augusta County, and the remainder were all born in Washington County, Virginia between 1768 and 1786.
This may not indicate as much movement as it suggets, since Botetourt County was carved out of a part of Augusta County in 1769, and Fincastle County (which became Washington County) was created from a portion of Botetourt County, which then became part of Washington County in 1777.30 It is quite possible these Berry families moved only once from present day Augusta or Rockingham Counties to present day Washington County, while the county names and boundaries around them adjusted as the population of the counties increased.
Both John Berrys got married in 1763, and had their first child in 1764. It also appears that both started out their married life in Augusta County. Both traveled south from Augusta County, and were in Washington County by the late 1760's or early 1770's, which is when Washington County was settled. From here John and Hannah moved west to central Kentucky (with William MaGill), while John and Jane remained in Washington County. Two individuals with the same names and living in the same sparsely settled area geographic location, and sharing such a strikingly similiar history, must be related. While many German families often named all their sons with the same first name, but a different middle name, the Scotch-Irish are not known for practising this naming technique. They are clearly not brothers, but their fathers could have been brothers, which means these two John Berrys could be first cousins. Until additional evidence comes to light, this is the most reasonable explanation. Only one of them could be the son of James Berry, which means there must be at least one brother (or close cousin) of James Berry born around 1720.