Person:James Berry (76)

James Berry
b.ABT 1716 Prob. Ireland
d.BEF 29 NOV 1749 Augusta County, Virginia
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. BEF 1743
  1. John BerryABT 1743 -
  2. William BerryBEF 1749 -
  3. James BerryBEF 1749 -
Facts and Events
Name James Berry
Gender Male
Birth? ABT 1716 Prob. Ireland
Alt Marriage ABT 1737 to Elizabeth 'Betty' McGill
Marriage BEF 1743 to Elizabeth 'Betty' McGill
Death? BEF 29 NOV 1749 Augusta County, Virginia

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


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Administration of James Berry's Estate

From Chalkley's:

  • Page 201.--29th November, 1749. Elizabeth E. Berry's bond as administratrix of James Berry, with sureties Thomas and Charles Berry. (Note: James Berry apparently died intestate)
  • Page 250.--7th March, 1750. James Berry's appraisement by Thomas Beard, James Trimble, David Hays.
  • Page 319.--28th February, 1750-51. James Berry's bond as guardian of John, James and William Berry, orphans of James Berry, with surety Wm. Martin, George Berry; guardian appointed.
  • Page 226.--15th March, 1758. Wm. McGill's (Magill) bond (with Daniel Smith) as guardian (chosen) to John Berry, orphan of James Berry.
  • MARCH 15, 1758 - (88) John Berry, orphan of James Berry, aged 15 years (b. 1743), chose McGill his guardian.

Information on James Berry

B.1. James Berry {B.1.}

   James Berry {B.1.} was born at an unknown date, although, one undocumented source placed his birth date at 1716  Based on the estimated birth date of 1700 for his father, the elder John Berry, it can probably be reasonably assumed that James was born within 20 or 30 years of that date, so the 1716 figure appears to fall within a reasonable time frame.93,100 Since the Berry family does not appear to have arrived in Augusta County, Virginia until at least the mid 1740's (sometime after 1742), the only certain statement concerning his place of birth is that it was not in Augusta County, Virginia.21 As noted in the discussion of the elder James Berry, there is some disagreement on the timing of this family's emigration from the old country, and of their original destination site in the American colonies. Whether or not the elder James Berry and John Berry emigrated from the old country together is also an open question. It can only be assumed that this particular James Berry (i.e. the son of the elder John Berry) was probably born in Ireland or Scotland,96,99 Pennsylvania7 or possibly some other place in Virginia.96

     James Berry married Elizabeth Eleanor MaGill at an unknown place, and, although the marriage date is not known, an undocumented marriage date of 1737 has been found in the Berry/MaGill literature.1,21,93,94,98,99,100,110,169,321 If the birth date of 1716 is anywhere close to being correct, this marriage date also seems reasonable, since James would have been 21 years old at the time of his marriage, given these dates. Elizabeth was a daughter of William MaGill, although the identity of her mother is unknown.93,100,109,110,112,114,116,169 Her birth date and place are not known, although several undocumented sources provide a range of dates from "after 1715" to 1719 or 1721.116,322 Elizabeth's father was born in either northern Ireland or Scotland, and emigrated to the American colonies in 1726 or 1727. If Elizabeth's birth date range is correct (1715 - 1721) then she was probably born in the old country - most likely northern Ireland.265,322

   James and Elizabeth had three boys, but the birth date of only one, John Berry, is known. A 1758 Augusta County court record states that John Berry, who appears to be the youngest son of James Berry and Elizabeth Eleanor MaGill, was 15 years old at the time, which places his birth date at 1742 or 1743. The two other brothers mentioned in the court records must have been older than 16 at the time, since the court did not consider them to be minors. If the marriage date is correct, then these two boys were probably born sometime between 1737 and 1742. This is a five-year gap, giving plenty of time for two births to take place.

   There is general agreement on the date and place of the death of James Berry. Reliable primary source material for this man places his death in 1749, and most likely in Augusta County, Virginia.21,93,94,98 One secondary source, however, provides only a broad bracketing of 1751 - 1811,1 and another secondary source places the date at 1750.100 His widow, Elizabeth, (actually her second husband to be) had applied for a marriage license by February 1749, which, using the old date system, is actually February 1750. Since the Berrys arrived in Augusta County, Virginia during the agitation leading up to the French and Indian War, it is quite possible that James Berry was killed during a confrontation with the local natives. It is also of some interest to note that his father in law, William MaGill, died about the same time.21 There is certainly the possibility that they were killed at the same time in clashes with the Indians. Upon his death James Berry left three children and a widow. Although not a hard and fast rule, it was somewhat common at the time for older men to leave wills as they faced death due to old age or sickness. Young men who died suddenly were not as likely to have prepared a will, and this appears to be the case with James Berry. No will is available, probably because none was written. Shortly after his death, Elizabeth married John Jones (? - 1773), sometime between February 1750 and August 1751, and raised a second family.327,328 The date of Elizabeth's death is not known, although it appears she survived her second husband, who passed away between September 1772 and July 1773. She most likely died in Botetourt County, Virginia, which is where she and her second husband had been living for some time.327,328

Partial Timeline of James Berry (complete listing at source):

1749 - 1750

Administrator's Bonds, page 130 

Eleanor Berry, now wife of John Jones (May), recording Berry's inventory.

26 May 1750

Augusta County, Virginia Will Book 1, page 252 

This inventory and appraisement of the Estate of James Berry decd being returned into Court is ordered to be recorded.

28 Feb 1750/5

Augusta County, Virginia Will Book No. 1, page 319 

James Berry's bond as guardian of John, James and William Berry, orphans of James Berry, with surety Wm. Martin, George Berry, guardian appointed.

28 Nov. 1751 Augusta County, Virginia Order Book No. 3, page 225 To the Honourable Bench of Augusta now Sitting November 28, 1751 the Humble petition of James Berry Whereas Your pettitioner being the Guardian of the Children of James Berry Deceased part of the Estate Which was Sold at Just (?) Vandue (?) Remaining as a Book-Debt and Notes not being taken for it, it was Drawn out of the Vandue - paper into another which paper John Johnes which married the Widow of the said Ja. Berry Dilivered to your petitioner notwithstanding that is to: John Johnes had before Collected that Money and Converted to his own use and the paper which said Jno Johnes Gave to your petitioner being of no force or Value Your petitioner Shall thereby be in damages to your petitioner therefor hoped that your worships will take case into your Consideration and be Plansed (?) to order Some Redress and your petitioner will as in Duty bound ever pray.

15 Mar 1758

Augusta County, Virginia Will Book No. 2, page 226 

Wm. McGill's (MaGill) bond (with Daniel Smith) as guardian (chosen) to John Berry, orphan of James Berry.

15 Mar 1758

Augusta County, Virginia Order Book No. 6, page 79 

John Berry, orphan of James Berry, aged 15 years, chose McGill his guardian.

10 Oct 1770 (NOTE: this is this James Berry's father's will)

Augusta County, Virginia Will Book No. 4, page 404 

John Berry's will--To daughter, Mary; to John Nesbit; to John Berry, son of James Berry, deceased; to John Berry, son of William Berry; to John Berry, son of William Berry; to John Berry, son of Francis Berry; to Francis Berry, wheelwright; to Mary Berry, daughter of Wm. Berry, and her sister Elizabeth; to Elizabeth Berry, daughter of Charles Berry; to daughter, Rebecca Berry. Executors, Alexander Walker, wheelwright, and Wm. Edmastonn. Teste: John Walker, Jr., James Walker, Francis Berry. Proved, 22d March, 1771, by John, John (Jr.), and James Walker. Executors qualify (Edmiston's mark --) with John Walker, Jas. Crawford.