Facts and Events
William Kerr was one of the Early Settlers of Augusta County, Virginia
Early Land Acquisitions in Augusta County, VA
Approximate location of William Kerr's land (Just outside of Beverley Manor SW, 250 acres, 5 Sept. 1749) 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.
Acquisition of Land from Chalkley's:
The approximate location and acreage of William Kerr's land is based upon the following Chalkley's transactions:
- 1748 - James Kerr (acquired) - 400 acres between his son Williams land and Beverley Manor (Note: this establishes William Kerr's land just outside of the Beverley Manor line, most likely just to the north. This 400 acre tract of James Kerr was sold later to William Robertson, and in that record was shown to be adjoining James Kerr's original tract of 473 acres)
- Page 409.--15th December, 1786. Edward Rutledge and Sara to their son George Rutledge, place salled Flag Spring, part of 250 acres patented to William Kerr, 5th September, 1749. Delivered to David Stephenson, 20th July, 1790. (Note: this tells us the original acquisition date and acreage of William Kerr's land, although William was most likely on this land before 1748, as listed in the previous record)
Acquisition of Land in Augusta County, Virginia:
- Page 234 - William Kerr, 70 acres, Middle River. Adjoining Edward Rutledge, Hugh Allen, Samuel Hind. Oct. 13, 1773. [Abstract of Land Grant Surveys, 1761-1791, Augusta & Rockingham Counties, Virginia, by Peter Cline Kaylor, pg. 83].
Disposition of Land from Chalkley's:
- Page 520. 1753. William Kerr to Edward Rutlidge. Flag Spring on Middle River. Teste: John Hind, Andrew Kerr, John Pickens, Wm. Kerr.
Parentage of William Kerr
The following Chalkley's reference establishes William Kerr as a son of James Kerr of Augusta County, Virginia:
- 1748 - James Kerr (acquired) 400 acres between his son Williams land and Beverley Manor
Processioning List of 1755
- "Processioning" was the periodic review and agreement of property lines between settler's lands. Processioning Lists are useful in determining the general area of a settlers lands and their neighbors at specific time periods:
- Page 139.--By order of Vestry, dated 27th November, 1755, subscribers have processioned all the patroned land within bounds of Cap. Wm. Christian's Company, by Wm. Henderson, Thomas Stuart, viz: For William Scott, present Robert Cunningham, Waltee Davis; for Walter Davis, present Wm. Scott, Robert Cunningham; for Rob. Cunningham; for Thos. Black, present Thos. Rutlidge, Jas. Armstrong; for Wm. Henderson, present Ro. Cunningham, Geo. Caldwell; for Geo. Rutlidge; for John McNutt, present Wm. Marshall; for Wm. Marshall, present Saml. Caldwell; for James Caldwell; for John Coalter; for Wm. Ledgerwood; for Andrew Cowan, present Wm. Carry; for Wm. Carry; for James Moody; for James Wilson; for Robert Wilson; for John Shields; for Thos. Brown; for Rob. Wilson; for Andrew Alexander; for Samuel Blackwood, present Thos. Blackwood; for Thos. Blackwood; for Wm. Karr; for Robert Christian, present; for John Christian; for Wm. Christian; for Jas. Armstrong; for Wm. Armstrong; for James Frame; for Thomas Shields; for Jacob Van Lear; for James Bell; for Gabriel Alexander; for John Black; for Anthony Black; for Wm. Wright; for Jos. Tees (deceased), no one to show lines; for Wm. Long, present Alex. and John Long; for Wm. Long; for John Glass (deceased), no one to show lines; for Samuel Lusk, has no deed; for Samuel McCoule, has no deed; for John Hunter, has no deed; for James Patton (deceased), no one to show lines; for Thomas Stuart; for Edward Hall; for Alex. Thomson.
Records of William Kerr in Augusta County, VA
- Vol. 2 - List of Delinquents - 1779 - William Kerr, gone to Holstein. (Note: (likely this William Kerr) this record provides a clue to the migration of William Kerr; "Holstein" was referred to as the area currently comprising Tennessee and perhaps part of North Carolina).
- Vol. 2 - SEPTEMBER, 1801 (S to Z). Wilson vs. Kerr--Wm. Wilson vs. Thomas Kerr--Ejectment. 180 acres in Augusta. Thos. Kerr was heir-at-law of Wm. Kerr, who died testate, 1784, leaving 4 sons and 1 daughter.
Information on William Kerr
William Kerr came with his father, James Kerr from the Chester/Lancaster, Pennsylvania area to Augusta County, Virginia. He was more than likely just a child when his father, James Kerr arrived in Pennsylvania from Ireland/Scotland, somewhere around 1728. He appeared in several early records there that confirm his relationship as a son of James Kerr, the progenitor of the earliest Kerr family in Augusta County: (from Chalkley's Augusta County, VA records) William Kerr appears to have migrated to Rowan County, North Carolina with his brother Andrew around 1751-1754. William Kerr is listed in early Rowan County, North Carolina records as settling next to John Dickey in 1751.
William Kerr married Rosanna Jane Smith most likely before 1740. Some researchers believe that Isabella Kerr, that married William Gilbreath Falls is the daughter of William and Rosanna Jane, based upon circumstantial evidence, family tradition and the fact that Isabella and William's first two children were named William and Rosanna.
William Kerr was father of some of the following children baptised in Augusta County at Tinkling Spring Church, by the Rev. John Craig between 1740-1749:
"Augusta Co, Virginia Baptismal Records, 1740-1749", and it is described as "a record of baptisms by the Rev. John Craig, D.D., 1740-49, pastor of Augusta Church for thirty years". It has the following KERR baptisms:
Name of Father Name of Child Date of Baptism Place/Notes
- KERR William Andrew Sept 16, 1744 N/A
- " Wm James Apr 13, 1746 N/A
- Wm Thomas Oct 11, 1747 N/A
In "Kerr's and Kin", author Vincent Brown Kerr states that James Kerr, the first Kerr settler in the Orange/Augusta County, VA area (in 1738/9), is undoubtedly the grandfather of all of the children baptized above. This researcher, after exhaustively studying the early records in Augusta County can find no reason to doubt Mr. Kerr in his conclusion, in fact, there are many records in Augusta County, VA listing William Kerr's land adjoining his brother John Kerr, no doubt some of the original land purchased by his father, James Kerr in 1738-1739 in the Borden Tract.
Records of William Kerr in Augusta County, Virginia (Chalkley's Augusta County, VA records):
- June 1747 - William Carr appointed constable. Vice constable, James Gillespy.
- 19 May 1748 - William Kerr witnessed land transaction of Robert Black and John Miller.
- 23 June 1748 - James Kerr, 400 acres between his son William's land and Beverly Manor.
- 27 August 1751 - John Robinson, wife Jean to William Kerr along corner of James Kerr.
- FEBRUARY 24, 1762. - (198) Wm. Carr, assignee, vs. John Chambers--Defendant having made oath that he is not the person indebted--dismissed.
- Page 638.--17th March, 1764. George Skillern and Elisabeth to James Kerr, £1.10, 1 acre, 3 roods, 10 perches, in fork of Christian's Creek and Middle River of Shanandore, part of 180 acres patented to John Kerr, 6th September, 1749, and by John to James Hamilton, and conveyed to George, on Christian's Creek. Teste: Jno. Anderson, Robert Wilson, William Kerr. Delivered: James Kerr, 10th June, 1771.
- AUGUST 19, 1767. - (220) Hugh Allen appointed surveyor of highway from James Given's Mill, by his house, to Stone Meeting House, and the following to work the road: Saml. Hinds, Robt. Stevenson, Wm. Kerr, John Stewart, John Campbell, James Allen, John Anderson, Hugh Allen, William McClure, James Allen, Saml. Bell, Andrew Lockhart, John Burnside, Saml. McKee, James Searight, Thos. Storey.
This record in Augusta County in Chalkley's indicates that William Kerr died intestate (without a will) abt. 1784 with 4 sons (one named Thomas) and 1 daughter (William's wife must have also predeceased him):
- 1784 - William Kerr died intestate, leaving 4 sons and 1 dau. Thomas Kerr listed as heir-at-law.