Person:Charles Berry (10)

Charles Berry
b.ABT 1725
m. ABT 1715
  1. James BerryABT 1716 - BEF 1749
  2. William BerryABT 1720 - Bef 1793
  3. Charles BerryABT 1725 - 1789
  4. Francis Berry1734 - 1800
  5. Rebecca Berry1745-1750 - 1825
  6. Mary Berry1748 - 1828
m. est. 1750
  1. Elizabeth Berrybef 1752 - 1811
  2. James Berry1757 - 1808
  3. Mary Berryest 1760-1770 -
  4. Jean Berryabt 1765/70 - aft 1789
  5. John Berry1765 - 1831
  6. Charles Berryabt 1769 - abt 1843
  7. Robert Berryest 1775/80 - aft 1830
  8. Charlotte Berryabt 1778 -
Facts and Events
Name Charles Berry
Gender Male
Birth? ABT 1725
Marriage est. 1750 prob. Augusta County, Virginiato Mary Cunningham
Death? 9 APR 1789 Augusta County, Virginia

Charles Berry was one of the Early Settlers of Augusta County, Virginia


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Early Land Acquisition in Augusta County, VA


Charles Berry's land (Borden Tract, SW, 326 acres, 1752) 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. This land actually sits just across the Beverley Manor line in the Borden Tract.

Acquisition of Land from Chalkley's:

  • Page 226.—20th May, 1752. Borden & Co. to Charles Berry, 326 acres of 92,100. Joseph Kennedy's Mill Creek; James Roseboro's line being Beverley Manor line.

Disposition of Land from Chalkley's:

  • Page 475.--21st November, 1753. Charles Berry to Robert Gamwell, 140 acres, part of tract 326 acres sold by Borden to Charles.

Will Abstract of Charles Berry

From Chalkley's:

  • Page 168.--8th April, 1789. Charles Berry's will (Sr.), farmer--To wife, Mary, and son Robert's support; to son, Robert; to son, John; to son, Charles, tract in Washington County on Huulstone; to daughter, Challe Berry, unmarried; to daughter. Elizabeth Henry; to daughter. Jean Brawford; to son, James; to daughters, Mary, Jean, and Elizabeth, 5 shilling in room of their birthright. Executors, wife Mary and sons James and John Teste: Jo. McKemy, Jacob Patton, Mary Pattun, Wm. (mark) Trotter, Henry (X) Minger. Proved, 15th September, 1789, by McKemy and Minger. James and John qualify.

Will Transcript:

08 April 1789 Augusta County, Virginia, Will Book 7, page 168;
IN THE NAME OF GOD AMEN I Charles Berry Senr. of the County of Augusta in the State of Virginia, farmer, Being Very Sick and weak in Body but of Perfect Mind and Memory Thanks be Given to Almight God for the same and Calling to mind the Mortality of my Body and Knowing that it is appointed for all men once to Die do make and Ordain this my last Will and Testament in manner and form following,
First I Recommend my Soul into the hand of God that Gave it and my Body to the Earth to be buried in a Christian Like and decent Manner at the Discreation of my Executors and as Touching Such Worldy Estate as it hath Pleased God to bless me in this life I give and Dispose of the Same Manner and for following Impremis I Give and Bequeath to my beloved wife Mary Berry the one half of my moveable Estate after my Just Debts and funeral Charges is paid By my Executors and my Plantation that I now Live on for her Support During widowhood or Natural Life and my two oldest Negroes Viz Tom and Mack for her support and my son Robert Berry The Property Land and Negroes is to Equally for the Support of my Beloved Wife and my son Robert Berry dureang my Beloved Wifes Life and at her Death the whole of s.d property Property to Become the Property of my Son Robert Berry and his heirs and assigns for Ever- Only if the Two Negroes have any Increase they are to be at my Wifes Disposal.
Item I give and Bequeath to my son John Berry my Plantation or Tract of Land above and Joining the tract I now Live on to be his and his heirs and assignes for Ever the s.d Two Tracts to be Equally Divided across to be in Each an Equal part and my Negro Boy Named Andy to be his for Ever.
Item I give and Bequeath to my Son Charles Berry my Plantation or Tract of Land Lying in Washington County on houlstone and my Negro Boys Named Tom to be his and his heirs and assigns for Ever,
Item I give and Bequeath to my Daughter Challe Berry my Negro Girl Named Lucy and my Mare Named Mige a Saddle at five Pounds price Two Cows and a heifer her bed and furniture to be hers and assigns for Ever, and She is to have her living off the Plantation I now live on with her Mother and Brother Robert till she is Married, my Negro Girl Named Fan (?) I leav at the Disposeal of my Executors to be Continued with my Daughter Elizabeth Henry as Long as they think fit and then to be Disposed of as they think proper.
Item I give and Bequeath to my daughter Jean Brawford my Negro Girl Named Jude to be hers and her heirs if she has Lawfull Issur If she dies without Issue then to be Returned to my Executors for the use of my Family, I likewise Bequeath to my Son James Berry and to my Daughters Elizebeth, Mary and Jean to Each of them five shillings Sterling in Room of their Birthright the remainer of my of my Moveable Estate I Allow to be Equally Divided Between my Two Sons John and Charles Berry, and I do Constitute and appoit my Beloved Wife Mary Berry Exectrix and my Beloved sons James and John Berry Executors of this my Last will and Testament, and do Disannule all other Wills By me heretofore made Ratifying and Confirming this to be my Last Will and Testament in Witness whereof I have hereunto Set my hand and seal this Eighth Day of April one thousand Seven hundred and Eighty Nine
Signed Sealed Published Pronounced and Declared
By the s.d Charles Berry Senr. to be his Last Will and Testament
(Signed) Charles Berry (seal)
in Presence of
Jn MKiney [?]
Jacob Patton
Mary Patton
Wm (his mark) Trotter
Henry (his mark) Minger
15 Sept. 1789 Augusta County, Virginia, Will Book 7
This last Will and Testament of Charles Berry deceased was presented in Court by James Berry and John Berry the Executors therein named and proved by the Oath of John MKenny and Henry Minger two of the Witnesses thereto and is ordered to be recorded and on the Motion of the said executors who made oath according to Law Certificate is granted them to for obtaining probat thereof in due form they hearing entered into and acknowledged Bond with Security as the Law Directs.

Records in Augusta County, VA

From Chalkley's:

  • 16 April 1746 Augusta County, Virginia, Order Book I, page 35; Charles Berry, surety for John Pattison
  • 18 May 1749 Augusta County, Virginia, Will Book I, page 159; Agnes Patterson's bond as administratrix, as above, with sureties Joseph Cannady, Charles Berry.
  • 29 Nov 1749 Augusta County, Virginia Will Book 1, page 202; Eliz Berry, Tho Berry & Charles Berry in open court acknowledged that their bond for ? Eliz Berry trust and faith full Admin of the Estate of James Berry decd which bond is ordered to be recorded.
  • 1752 Conveyances In Borden Tract 1741-1780; Charles Berry, 326 (acres)--12p (pence)--1752 (year of purchase)--140 acres sold to Robert Gamewell, 1753, for 20p 5s (first land transfer prior to organization of Rockbridge County)
  • 20 May 1752 Augusta County, Virginia Deed Book 4, page 226; THIS INDENTURE made this twenteth Day of May in the year our Lord one thousand seven hundred and fifty two BETWEEN Benjamin Borden of the County of Augusta in the Colony of Virginia eldest son and heir at law and also the only acting Executor of the Last will and testament of Benjamin Borden late of Orange County Gentleman deceased of the one part and Charles Berry of s.d Augusta County in the same Colony of the other part Where as the s.d Benjamin Borden the testator in his life time was seized in his Demesn as of fee of and in several tracts and parcels of Land situate Lying & being in the Colony of Virginia (more contained at source)
  • 16 Mar 1772 Augusta County, Virginia Deed Book 18, page 96; Robert Gamell and Mary (Gamurell) to James Harris, 140 acres, part of 326 acres sold by Borden to Charles Berry. Delivered: Wm. Markley Oct 1780.
  • August 1780 Virginia Publik Claims, Augusta County; Charles Berry, 100 # flour, £100 250 # flour, £125
  • 1 May 1782 Augusta County, Virginia Personal Property Tax Lists; Captain Samuel McCutchan & Wm Tate’s Company: Charles Berry, 2 White Tithables, 8 Blacks, 12 Horses, 31 Neat Cattle
  • 13 June 1782 Augusta County, Virginia Will Book 6, page 251;
In the name of God amen I Thomas Cunningham of Augusta County and state of Virginia being weak in body but sound in memory Blessed be God do this thirteenth day of June in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and eighty two make and publish this my last will and testament in manner following, that is to say
first, I give and bequeath to my loving wife Elizabeth Cunningham one young bay mare three years old of the __ and __ in possession and my youngest daughter Mary I leave to her care & trust as her own also a bed of wallnut bedsteads and her thirds of the remainder of all other articles property or effects belonging to my Estate after that all expenses & debts is paid & I also bequeath to my oldest daughter Ruth Cunningham as follows seven pewter spoons two plates and a box Iron a pair of cotton cards & her mother's stript holland gown in possession & to my second daughter Sarah Cunningham I bqueath a Velvet Bonnet and Calico Bed Gown two pewter plates and the remainder as all article propertys belonging to my estate to be praised & disposed of according to Law & be divided among my wife & three children (Viz) my wife the third and my children Equal & also to my brother Archibald Cunningham I bequeat my Wearing apparel my hatt Except To my Wife also I leave my oldest daughter Ruth to the leave of James Harris & my second daughter Sarah to Mary Berry Jun & the youngest as above mentioned to my Wifes care I do also leave my Brother Archibald Cunningham & my Wife Elizabeth Executrix. I make & ordain them as before mentioned to take care & see the same performed accordingly, to my true Intent & meaning In Witness whereof I the said Thomas Cunningham have to this my last Will and Testament set my hand and seal thae day and year written Signed, sealed & delivered by the said Thomas Cunnungham as & for his last Will and Testament In the presents of us who were __ sent at the signing & sealing thereof
Thomas Cunningham
James Berry
Jacob Patton
Jas. Harris
Charles Berry
  • 19 Aug 1782 Augusta County, Virginia Order Book 18, page 80; Sarah Cunningham, orphan of Charles Cunningham, to be bound to Charles Berry--and Ruth Cunningham to James Harris.
  • 22 Aug. 1782 Augusta County, Virginia Will Book 6; This last Will and Testament of Thomas Cunningham decd was proved by the oaths of James Berry, Jacob Patton two of the Witnesses thereto & Ordered to be recorded.
  • 02 Dec. 1788 Augusta County, Virginia; Marriage Licenses, Marriage Bonds and Marriages, page 302

John Brafford and John Berry, surety, John Brawford, Jane Berry, daughter of Charles Berry.

  • 9 April 1789 - Bible Record of Robert Berry and Rebecca Scott
Charles Berry died in Augusta County, Virginia
  • 17 April 1789 - Bible Record of Robert Berry and Rebecca Scott
Mary (Cunningham) Berry passed away in Augusta County, Virginia
  • 15 Sept. 1789 Augusta County Will Book 7; Will of Charles Berry proved
  • 14 Nov 1797 Augusta County, Virginia - Marriage Licenses, Marriage Bonds and Marriages, page 328; James McChesney and Ro. Berry, surety James McChesney (widower) and Charlotte Berry, daughter of Charles Berry (deceased).

Information on Charles Berry

B.3. Charles Berry {B.3.}

Charles Berry {B.3.} was born at an unknown date and place. Since the whereabouts of his father, the elder John Berry, prior to 1753 are not known, the only certainty as to the birth place of Charles is that it could be either northern Ireland, Scotland, Pennsylvania or Virginia, although, most likely, not the latter state. For several of his children, approximate birth dates are available with the earliest date being 1757. However, there is no certainty that this is the eldest child, so estimating his birth date based on this information produces questionable results at best. Since Charles first appears in Augusta County records in 1746, apparently living in his own household, he must be at least 21 years old at this time, which would place his birth date at least at 1725, and probably somewhat earlier. Charles married a woman by the name of Mary, although her surname has not been documented. Charles and Mary produced at least nine children, and since they appear to have remained in Augusta County throughout their lives, it follows that all or most of their children were born there, as well. Since the marriage date and place is unknown, it is quite possible that some of their children could have been born prior to their move to Augusta County, Virginia.

Neither Mary's surname, nor the identity of her parents has been established with certainty, but several lines of evidence point to three parental candidates, one of which, seems more likely than the others. This evidence also suggests that her maiden name may have been Mary Cunningham. The most important source for the interpretations that follow is the will of a Thomas Cunningham. Before Thomas passed away in 1782, he identified three people as being responsible for the welfare of his three underage daughters. One was his soon-to-be widow, but the other two he identified as James Harris and Mary Berry, Jr., who are clearly not Cunninghams.291 With the knowledge of his certain, imminent death, it seems likely that he would have selected close relatives, like siblings or first cousins, to care for his children, if any were living in the vicinity. Based on this interpretation, it seems likely that James Harris was probably married to a sister or cousin of Thomas Cunningham, and that Mary Berry, Jr. is most likely a sister or possibly first cousin to Thomas. If she was his sister, then, clearly, her maiden name would have been Mary Cunningham. Another interesting aspect to this will is that Mary is identified as Mary Berry, Jr., which probably means that her mother's name was also Mary (or a derivative such as Margaret). As will be noted below in the timeline analysis, Charles Berry's wife is Mary, so the Mary of Thomas Cunningham's will is most likely Mary the wife of Charles Berry. Further strengthening this interpretation is the fact that Thomas left the care of his daughter, Sarah, to Mary Berry in his will, and that Charles Berry not only was a witness to this will, but also, subsequently, gained custody of the same child not long after Thomas Cunningham's death.

So, who were Mary's parents? Thomas Cunningham seems much too young to be her father, but there are several Cunninghams (Robert, Hugh and David) living in Augusta County by the late 1740's, as shown on the Beverley and Borden Grant maps (see Figure 3 and Figure 8/Tables I and II). Robert Cunningham purchased Beverley land in 1742, but his wife's name was Martha, which probably eliminates him as a parental candidate.21 Hugh Cunningham purchased Borden land in the fork of the James River in 1748, but was married to a woman by the name of Sarah, which eliminates him.21 David Cunningham purchased Beverley land in 1749, but his wife's name was Ann, which also removes him from the list of potential parental candidates.21 From Augusta County records, three other candidates can be found: Samuel, James and John Cunningham. The oldest one appears to be Samuel, and based on his apparent age, he seems to be the most logical choice. Samuel died about 1747, had a wife and daughter named Mary. John and James were both married to a Margaret, and John, who appears to have lived in Staunton, had a daughter named Mary.

Charles Berry passed away in Augusta County, Virginia sometime between April and September 1789, and, since Mary is mentioned in his will, she must have survived him, although the date of her death is unknown. It seems quite likely that she remained in Augusta County for the rest of her life. It appears that both Charles and Mary died in Augusta County, and were probably buried there, as well, possibly on the family farm.