Person:James Kerr (88)

James Kerr 1682-1687 Prob. Ireland
  • HJames Kerrbet 1682-1687 - 1770
  • WMartha Ballbef 1692 -
m. est. 1709-1711
  1. John KerrAbout 1710 - abt 1772
  2. Elizabeth Kerr1711-1717 - bef 1752
  3. Samuel Kerr1715-1723 - before 1790
  4. William Kerrbet 1716-1720 - 1784
  5. Andrew Kerr1718-1722 - 1782
  6. David Kerr1719 - 1804
  7. Eleanor Kerrabt 1720 - abt 1781
  8. Leticia Kerr1723/24 - 1775
  9. James Kerr1726 - 1811
Facts and Events
Name James Kerr
Gender Male
Birth? bet 1682-1687 Prob. Ireland
Marriage est. 1709-1711 Prob. Irelandto Martha Ball
Death? 1770 Augusta County, Virginia
Burial? 1770 Stone Church Cemetery, Augusta, Virginia, United States


Welcome to
Old Augusta

Early Settlers
Beverley Manor
Borden's Grant

……………………..The Tapestry
Families Old Chester OldAugusta Germanna
New River SWVP Cumberland Carolina Cradle
The Smokies Old Kentucky


Early Land Transaction in Augusta County, VA

Image:Kerr JamesNE473acres.jpg

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.)

Image:KerrJamesSW474acresfrom Patton.jpg

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.

Acquisition of Land from Orange County, Virginia Records:

  • Pages 453-57. 28-29 Feb. 1739. [1740]. William Beverley of Essex County, Gent., to James Carr of Orange County. Lease and Release; for ₤14.3.9½ current money. 473 acres, part of Mannor of Beverley... line of old patent... W. Beverley. Wit: W. Russell, Robt. Christian, David Mitchel. 29 Feb. 1739 [1740]. Acknowledged by Wm. Beverley, Gent. [Relinquishment of dower as above, Beverley to Ledgerwood]. [Orange County Deed Book 3, pg. 30].

Acquisition of Land from Chalkley's :

  • Page 738.-- (transaction from 1750) Same (From James Patton, Gent.) to James Carre, late of Lancaster Co., Penna., 474 acres, conveyed by Beverley to Patton, 29th May, 1741, in Beverley Manor from Wm. Bev; corner James Leper. (Note: this record is an important reference to James Kerr's prior migration from Lancaster County, PA)
  • 1748, June 23d--James Kerr, 400 acres, between his son William's land and Beverley Manor.

Disposition of Land from Chalkley's :

  • Page 433.--17th August, 1762. James Kerr, of Roanoke (prob. s/b Rowan) County, North Carolina, to Patrick Hays in Derry Township, Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, £250, 474 acres in Beverley Manor, conveyed to Jame Patton. 18th May, 1750; cor. James Leeper. Teste: Elax. ( ) Brownlee. Acknowledge. Delivered: Pat. Hays, March Court, 1769.

The 400 acre tract patented to James Kerr in 1748 was subsequently sold in 1764 to his son-in-law, William Robertson with two other adjoining tracts (which were probably located to the north above the "old line" of Beverley Manor as listed:

  • Page 608.--17th May, 1764. James Carr (Kerr) to William Robertson, £300, three tracts joining each other on Long Meadow of Middle River of Shanandoe. "A" contains 473 acres in Beverley Manor, old line of said Manor. "B," 350 acres adjoining "A." "C" corner aforesaid tract. Teste: Mathew and Robert Kenney. Delivered: Wm. Robinson, May, 1767.

Administration of James Kerr's Estate

James Kerr died intestate. His son, John Kerr was named Administrator in the following Chalkley's reference:

  • MARCH 20, 1770 - (65) John Kerr, eldest son of deceased, qualifies admr. of James Kerr.

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

Personal Data

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 migrated to the Orange/Augusta County, Virginia area abt. 1738, where he patented 473 acres in "Beverley Manor" in Augusta County, Virginia. (Source "Chalkley's")

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.

  1.   Kerr Family Ancestors website, [1].
  2.   Wilson, Howard McKnight. The Tinkling Spring, headwater of freedom: a study of the church and her people, 1732-1952. (Fishersville, Virginia: Tinkling Spring and Hermitage Presbyterian Churches, 1954).
  3.   Kerr, Vincent. Kerrs and Kin.
  4.   Would like to exchange with you re your KERRs in 1700 Augusta co, VA
    Hal McCawley, 4178 Pindar Way, Oceanside, CA 92056 1-760-941-4716 HalMac@Cox.Net