Person:Mary Berry (72)

Mary Berry
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. ABT 1765
  1. John Nisbitt1766 -
  2. Robert Nisbitt1774 -
  3. Unknown Daughter NisbittABT 1776 -
  4. Mary Nisbitt1779 -
  5. Unknown Daughter NisbittABT 1780 -
  6. Samuel Nisbitt, Jr.1781 -
  7. James Nisbitt1785 -
  8. Jane NisbittABT 1787 -
  9. Margaret NisbittABT 1788 - 1858
  10. William NisbittABT 1791 -
  11. Rebecca NisbittBET 1798 AND 1800 -
Facts and Events
Name Mary Berry
Gender Female
Birth? 1748 Poss. Pennsylvania
Marriage ABT 1765 prob. Augusta County, Virginiato Samuel Nisbitt
Death? 19 OCT 1828 Washington County, Indiana

B.5. Mary Berry {B.5.}

   Mary Berry {B.5.} was born in 1748, according to bible records of her descendants, but her place of birth is more problematic. Although the whereabouts of her father, the elder John Berry, are not known with certainty prior to 1753, it is fairly certain that this Berry family lived somewhere in the American colonies, possibly in the Scotch-Irish enclave around Lancaster County, Pennsylvania prior to their arrival in Virginia. Consequently, a best guess for her birthplace would be Pennsylvania. By at least 1753 and until his death in 1770, her father can be documented as living in Augusta County, Virginia, so Mary probably spent her youth growing up in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia. She married Samuel Nesbit (~1745 – March/July 1814) a young man probably of Scottish background who lived nearby. Although the date of their marriage is not known, a reasonable estimate can be made based on the birth date of their first son, John Nesbit. Mary was 18 years old when her first child was born, so it is reasonable to assume that she got married not long before that date, possibly 1765. She was also most likely living in her father’s household at the time of her marriage, and since he can be documented as living in Augusta County, Virginia at the time, it follows that her marriage took place there.266,267,278,281,778

   One source records the birth date of Samuel Nesbit as 1754, but this seems highly unlikely, since by 1770 he was the father of at least one child and owned property in Augusta County. With a birth date of 1754, Samuel would have been 12 years old when his oldest child was born in 1766, which is, to say the least, highly unlikely. It seems more logical to assume that Samuel was about the same age as Mary with a birth date in the mid to late 1740s. Based on an estimated birth date of 1745, Samuel would have been 21 years old in 1766 when his first baby was born, which is much more believable. Census and tax data narrow the range only slightly. From the 1810 census both Samuel and Mary fall under the > 45 years old category, which places their birth dates at least prior to 1765. The 1783 Rockbridge County tax listing indicates that Samuel is at least 21, placing his birth date as being sometime prior to 1762. Unfortunately, no source material has yet been uncovered that identifies the parents of Mary’s husband, Samuel Nesbit. The earliest records documenting Samuel’s existence constitute a 1770 Augusta County, Virginia land sale, and another Augusta County entry notes that he had moved to the area sometime after the death of Borden, Jr. The latter is clearly a reference to Benjamin Borden, Jr., the son of Benjamin Borden, Sr., who was the Borden for whom the Borden Grant was named. Benjamin, Sr. passed away in 1743, but Benjamin Jr. lived 10 more years, passing away in 1753. Samuel Nesbit, thus, first arrived in the Augusta County area sometime during or after 1753, and most likely before 1761. Only one other Nesbit, William Nesbit, can be found in Augusta County records, and he first appears in 1761, although he subsequently appears in the 1783 and 1787 Rockbridge County tax listings. William’s relationship to Samuel is unclear, but it is, definitely, not that of a son, although the reverse could be true, William certainly could be Samuel’s father, or even an uncle, cousin or brother. Without a doubt they were very closely related, since they are the only known Nesbits in the area. It seems logical to assume that William was older than Samuel, based mostly on Samuel’s presumed age in 1761, and the most logical conclusion is to interpret William as Samuel’s cousin, father or possibly an older brother.21,92,141,267,277,411,412,413,778

   While there are no other Nesbits in the Augusta County area, there are a multitude of them in the Scotch-Irish enclave of south central Pennsylvania, all of whom can be traced back to Scotland. One group, in particular, consisted of seven sons of a John Nesbit (~1720 - ?) in Lancaster County, two of whom (Jeremiah and William Nesbit) can be documented as migrating to Bourbon County, Kentucky via the Ohio River by at least the early 1780s. As will be shown in the timeline analysis, Samuel and Mary (Berry) Nesbit moved with their family to Fayette County, Virginia in late 1788, eventually moving to Harrison County, Kentucky. Figure 42 shows the distribution of all Nesbits in Kentucky from 1790 through 1810 (based on their appearance in federal census records), and two particularly striking features are readily evident. First is the small number of Nesbits that lived in Kentucky during this time period. Second, is that these Nesbits lived practically next to each other, in Harrison and Bourbon Counties, which are adjacent to each other. The fact that the only Nesbits in the state lived right next to each other strongly suggests a close family relationship among these people. It, thus, seems very likely that both groups of Nesbits (Samuel & William of Augusta County, Virginia and the Bourbon County Nesbits) were related and were derived from the same Nesbit lineage in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania.102,279,280

  Through tax listings, family history information, deed, will, marriage and various court records, Mary and Samuel Nesbit can be traced from Augusta County, Virginia to Fayette County, Virginia, thence to Harrison County, Kentucky and finally to Washington County, Indiana. Samuel passed away in Harrison County in 1814, and was probably buried on the family farm on Gray’s Run in Harrison County or, possibly in a local cemetery. Mary (Berry) Nesbit remained on the family farm at least until 1820. In 1824, she moved to Washington County, Indiana to live with her daughter Mary (Mrs. Alexander Martin) until her (the elder Mary’s) death in 1828. Mary was interred in the Livonia Cemetery in Livonia, Washington County, Indiana.266,267,488,618,782,788

Partial Timeline of Mary Berry and Samuel Nesbit (complete listing at source):


Martin-Wright Bible Record, Samuel Nesbit DAR Documentation File

Mary Berry estimated birth date based on Martin-Wright bible entry stating that Mary Nesbit died October 22, 1828, aged 80 years

1 Mar. 1770

Augusta County, Virginia Deed Book 16, page 336 

THIS INDENTURE made the first Day of March in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and seventy BETWEEN Archibald Alexander Executor and Magdalene Bowyer Relict and Executrix of Benjamin Bordin the Younger Late of Augusta County and Colony of Virginia Gentleman Deceased who as the Eldest Son and Heir at Law and also was the only acting Executor of his late Father Benjamin Bordin the Elder late of Orange County and Colony of Virginia Gent deceased of the one part and Samuel Nusbitt of the County of Augusta and Colony of Virginia of the other part. (more information listed at source)


Rockbridge County, Virginia Tithable Lists 1778 - 1779 

Joseph Moore's List of Tithables Samuel Nesbat (?) 1


Rockbridge County, Virginia Tax Listing 

Samuel Nesbit 1 free white male over 21 years of age no slaves over the age of 16 no slaves under the age of 16 3 horses 11 cattle


Rockbridge County Tax Listing 

Samuel Nesbit 0 white males between 16 and 21 0 blacks > 16 0 blacks < 16 5 horses/mares/colts/mules 4 cattle

13 Dec. 1787

Fayette County, Virginia Tax Records

Robert Johnson’s District Saml Nisbet 1 white tithable 6 horses

1 Apr. 1788

Rockbridge County, Virginia Deed Book A, page 697 

At a Court held for Rockbridge County April the 1st 1788 This Indenture of Bargain & Sale from Samuel Nisbet and Mary his wife to John Nelson for Land was proved by the Oath of John Robinson John Fulton and Andrew Kennedy Witnesses thereto and Ordered to be Recorded. Teste A. Reed Ct


Fayette County, Virginia Tax Records

Thomas Lewis’ District Saml Nisbit 1 white tithable 5 horses

1789 - 1793

Books marked "Records from September 1789 to April 1793" Augusta County District Court, p. 113 

John Walker, aged 57, deposes, same time and place. Samuel Nesbit came to the country after death of Borden, Jr.

13 Dec. 1789

Federal Census, Fayette County, Virginia (Kentucky) 

Samuel Nesbet


The 1795 Census of Kentucky 

Samuel Nusbit Harrison County


Harrison County, Kentucky Tax Listing 

Neesbit, Samuel 300 acres on Gray's Run, original In Whose Name Entered/Surveyed/Granted: Sam.l Haws


Harrison County, Kentucky Tax Listing 

Samuel Nisbet 200 acres Gray's Run In Whose Name Entered,/Surveyed/Granted: Sam.l Haws

06 June 1809 Harrison County, Kentucky Tax Listing Samuel Nisbet, Sr. 1 white male > 21 Samuel 9 horses 180 acres on Gray's Run In Whose Name Entered,/Surveyed/Granted: Sam.l Haws