Thomas Person Berry Family


  1. Generation- Robert and Mary Williamson Berry  Princess Anne County,Virginia.
  2. Generation – Robert and Elizabeth Cate Berry Orange County. North Carolina.
  3. Generation –  William Berry and Hannah Cate Orange County. North Carolina.

THOMAS PERSON BERRY was born on June 1st 1808 in Orange County, North Carolina. His uncle Thomas and his father were searching for land in Tennessee when he was born. William may never have seen his baby son. Hannah and William had two other young sons. William Clarence Berry was born 17 Oct 1803 and Robert C Berry was born 14 Apr 1805. These three boys thomaspberrypicturewere all the children Hannah and William ever had. In the 1810 Orange County, North Carolina, Census. Hannah Cate Berry listed as head of household. Hannah’s sister was living with her and children from both families were listed in this census also. Thomas and Sarah had a son, David ll Berry who was age 8 and a daughter Eleanor Berry age 9. Thomas Person Berry was age 2 years. Hannah Berry was listed on the farm joining her Father in Law Robert Berry in 1810. There were several important changes made in Hannah Cate Berry’s and her, Sister Sarah Cate Berry’s, lives around the time the 1810 census was taken.

Thomas Person Berry's Bible

Thomas Person Berry’s Bible

Hannah must have learned that William was not planning to return home  because in 1812 she had a daughter Elisabeth Berry by an identified John Berry. Thomas Berry apparently returned home to retrieve his family and take them to Tennessee. After arriving at their new home in Tennessee   Thomas was killed by Indians and his wife was in their new cabin with two pre-teenage children. She was married again in December of 1815 to John Pigg. We also have proof that Thomas was already dead in April 1812 because that is when his Father wrote his will and noted that his son Thomas was deceased.

I know that Hannah remained in Orange County and all of her children were planning to remain in North Carolina also.Two of William Berry’s brothtpb1marriageers with all of their families left home shortly after Robert and Elizabeth Cate Berry died and Henry Berry inherited Fiddleton. William Clarence Berry Married Sally Bowles on the 20th of November 1826. William Clarence and his brother Thomas Person Berry bought 100 acres of land from Uncle Henry Berry on November 23rd 1830 for $500.  (Orange County Deed Book 24 Page 226) Thomas Person Berry married Sarah Lunsford on the 28th  September 1831. William and Sally Bowles Berry had a son born on the 28th Februrary 1829. Elizabeth Berry the three boys half sister married Theodrick Franklin on the 30th of June 1832. Thomas Person Berry and William Bowles signed their marriage bond. William Bowles was Sally Bowles’      Berry’s father. William and Sally Bowles Berry’s second baby was a little girl,  Elizabeth Jane Berry was born on the 30th of June 1832 and tfranklinbondElizabeth Berry and Theodrick Franklin’s first baby,  Temperance Jane Franklin  was born on the 05 of October 1832. Everything that was known at this time points to fact That Hanna Cate Berry’s children were planning on staying in North Carolina.

What happen next changed all of the plans that Hannah Cate Berry’s children had been making In May 1833 Roann Frances Berry was born to William Clarence and Sally Bowles Berry. Sometime after Roann was born her mother died in 1833. Most likely from complications of childbirth. On the 14th day of September 1833 William and Thomas Person Berry sold their 100 acres of land to Samuel and Felix Wilson for $450. (Orange County Deed book 25 Page 431 ). William and Thomas Person Berry’s brother, Robert C. Berry, was a witness to the land transaction. William Clarence Berry and Robert C Berry settled in Fayette, County Alabama. Elizabeth Berry Franklin and Theodrick Franklin’s second child, Henry Berry Franklin, was born in Alabama in 1835. Even though Thomas Person Berry were married in 1831 their first son was born in Orange County North Carolina in 1836. I think that Hannah Cate Berry,Thomas Person, and Sarah Lunsford Berry went to Fayette County, Alabama with the intention of locating there permanently.  I have no idea why the decided to return to North Carolina but apparently the made this decision The Franklins went back toward North Carolina as far as Floyd County Georgia where their child was born in 1837. The Franklins lived in Floyd County, Georgia, until Theodrick died in 1858.

William Clarence Berry married for the second time in Fayette County Alabama in 1836. Their first child was born in July 1838. Robert C. Berry married for the first time in Fayette County Alabama around 1838 because their first child was born in 1840.


I cannot be sure where Thomas Person and Sarah Berry were living in 1833 to 1835 but their first son was born in North Carolina  in 1836 (refer to 1850 census). Thomas was listed in the 1840 census as Parson Berry (Person). I have found several documents where he was referred to as Person Berry. In the 1840 census  there was another male listed with two children, a son and a daughter between the ages of 5 and 9. I do not know who this was but the rest of the listing matches Thomas Person Berry’s young family. I also know Thomas built the house on the left in 1852.  Both of Thomas’ first and second families lived in this house. My mother played in it when she was a little girl. The house was located near the west boundary of the original 1757 Robert Berry land grant. Hannah Cate Berry may have died in this house in 1858. Thomas and Sarah Lunsford Berry’s oldest son William H. Berry also died in 1858. Lewis Berry and  Theodrick Franklin also died in 1858. There was a world wide flu epidemic that year. After Theodric died Elizabeth Berry Franklin was sarahlunsfordberrystonevisiting her half brother, Thomas Person Berry,  in 1860 when that Orange County, North Carolina, census was taken. Elizabeth very likely returned to claim some of her mothers estate. After the Civil War was over Thomas and Sarah only had two sons who were living. Both sons were given land by their father before he died. Sarah Lunsford Berry died on the 27th of December 1870. Sarah was buried in the Fiddleton Plantation Cemetery where Robert and Elizabeth Cate Berry and about 20 other Berry family members are buried. This cemetery was found by descendants in 2005 . Robert Berry Sarah Lunsford was the daughter of William and Edy Cozart Lunsford. Edy is the descendant of Jacques  and Lea Villeman Cossart. Jacques was born in Leyden Holland in 1639.

CHILDREN of the first Marriage


Thomas Person Berry was 62 1/2 years old when his first wife Sarah Lunsford died.  Eight months after Sarah died he married Lucy Brown who was 24 years old. She was the only daughter of Alfred and Martha Brown who lived on the next farm over from Thomas.  This marriage license was a very important document to locate because Thomas Person Berry named both of his parents in it.


      • Edna H. Berry b.June 1, 1872 d.03 Apr 1929
      • Martha Bowers Berry b. June 27 1873 d.29 Dec 1939
      • Della Thomas Berry b.February 8, 1877 d. Unknown
      • Etta E. Berry b. September 11 1884 d. Unknown
      • Daniel R. Berry December 23, 1880 d.31 May 1957

Lucy Brown Berry died 16 days after Daniel was born on the 08 January 8th 1881.


Lucy B Berry headstoneThe five children of Thomas P. Berry and Lucy Brown were orphaned at a very early age and knew very little about how they were related to all of our Berry relatives in Orange County, North Carolina.  A very interesting fact stands out in Thomas Person Berry’s two families. In his first family he had four sons and in his second family he had four girls and one son. After Lucy Brown Berry died Thomas Person Berry had a very big problem. He was 73 years old and had five children all under the age of 9. He apparently managed to care for the orphans himself until his own health started to fail. At that time me must have decided to marry again so there would be someone to care for his children after he could no longer do so. He married Elizabeth Peed Bowls, a widow, on December 6th 1883. Thomas Person Berry died four months later on April 4th 1884. He was 75 years and 10 months old when he died

There was a law suit entered against Thomas Person Berry’s intestate estate by Martha Brown, the five orphan’s grandmother. She stated in her suit that the two sons of the first marriage had been given property by their father and the remaining estate should be awarded to the five orphan children for their support. This trial went on for many years and the Case was finally settled in the October session of Superior Court  1895. There is a Microfilm reel about this case located in The North Carolina Genealogy Library  at 109 East Jones Street in Raleigh North Carolina. I bought a copy of this reel which is in my private collection and printed over two hundred pages of documents concerning this trial.

Edna Hannah Berry family Edna Hannah Berry was his oldest daughter of Thomas P. and Lucy Brown Berry. Edna was given her grandmothers name as a middle name. Her Grandmother was Hannah Cate Berry. Edna’s family is pictured on the right. Edna married Cary R. Rogers about 1896. Edna Hannah Berry and Cary Rogers had 8 children. They had seven sons and only one daughter.

Martha Bowers Berry Wrenn's family Thomas and Lucy Berry’s second daughter was named Martha Bowers Berry. She married James Caroway Wrenn. The middle name Caroway is also a very interesting name. As you may remember Ann Foster Williamson married John Caraway in, Princess Anne County, Virginia about 1650. Their son John Caraway married Ann Kemp who was Robert Berry’s Aunt(Princess Anne County, Virginia. I do not know James Caroway Wrenn’s family has a connection to Anne Foster Carraway or not but middle ndmes are often family names. James and Martha had ten children. Eight sons and two daughters.Their family picture is above.

Etta Emma Berry Clayton's family Etta Emma Berry Clayton's family Etta E. Berry was Thomas and Lucy’s third daughter. Etta E. Berry went by the name Emma. When she was grown she married James Madison Clayton. The couple had seven children. This couple only had two sons and the other five were daughters.In the picture on the left you only see three of their daughters and both of their sons. This family made their home in Bushy Fork , Person County, North Carolina. On the right is a picture of Emma Berry Clayton in her later years.

Etta Emma Berry Clayton's family

Della Thomas Berry was the fourth Daughter of Thomas Person Berry and Lucy Brown.She was only three years old when her mother died. She married William Cooper Cates Sr. on May 8th 1895. Cooper and Della had a total of 15 children and made their home in Person County, North Carolina. There were 9 daughters and six sons in this family. My mother visited their home many times and spent many nights with the girls. Their daughter Sally Cates was born in 1908 the same year as my mother. Their home is still standing.

Etta Emma Berry Clayton's family

The fifth child of Thomas Person and Lucy Brown Berry was Daniel Richmond Berry who was born on December 23rd 1880. His mother died 16 days later on Januay 8th 1881. The oldest child was nine years old so Thomas Person Berry had a huge problem. He solved his problem by marrying Elizabeth Peed Bowles in December 3rd 1883.

danrichmondberry Dan Berry married Ella Pucci about 1906 and they had 5 children. The picture above right is of Dan and Ella Pucci Berry’s family. Ella Pucci Berry died on October 8th 1926. The Picture on the left is of Daniel Richmond Berry. Maggie Turner Berry The picture on the right is a picture of his second wife Maggie Turner. Dan and Maggie had 2 children. Daniel Richmond Berry is buried between his two wives at Berry’s Grove Baptist Church Cemetery. Daniel Richmond Berry was My great-grandfather John Robert Berry’s half-brother.

I feel very confident that Lucy Brown Berry died from complications of childbirth on January 8, 1881. This was only 16 days after Daniel Richmond Berry was born.  Dan Berry was known by my mother as Uncle Dan. Dan Berry died on May 31st 1957.

On December 3, 1883 Thomas Person Berry married his third wife Elizabeth Peed Bowles.  Thomas was only married to Elizabeth for five months before he died on April 30, 1884. The Orphans were placed with different families in the nearby communities and the five children had very little contact with each other while growing up. Their Grandmother Martha Brown went to court to secure an inheritance for the five orphans. Thomas Person Berry had already given property to his two living sons from his first marriage. Thomas Person Berry died intestate and the remaining property had to be divided by the court.

Thomas Person Berry Picture and youngest grand daughter Audrie Schull

Hattie Audrey Berry was the daughter of Daniel R and Maggie Turner Berry. Audrey was born on the 08 Feb 1930 and married Howard Lee Shull on 11 Oct 1948. She is shown here holding a picture of her grandfather Thomas Person Berry in 2012. Thomas Person Berry is my 2nd Great Grandfather. Audrey Berry  Shull died on 05 May 2013.

Nancy Sneed Clayton was born to James Madison and Etta Emilie “Emma” Berry ClaytonNancy Clayton Whitfield on 13 Jan 1915 in Person County, North Carolina. She married Rainey Ora Whitfield on the 06 Apr 1947. They had three children.Nancy died  on the 10 Jan 2014. Her grandfather, Thomas Person Berry, was born on 01 Jun 1808. This was 206 years 4 months and  21 days from the time Thomas Person Berry was born until his last grand child died. This might be a record for the Guinness Book of Records.


Thomas Person Berry is buried in the Fiddleton Cemetery, in an unidentified grave. Lucy Berry’s headstone has an error engraved on it.Lucy B Berry headstone

The inscription states that she was the wife of Passon Berry. My Grandfather, Wiley P. Berry, always thought his middle name was Passon.  I think his middle name was chosen from his grandfather, Thomas Person Berry. General Thomas Person for whom Person County, North Carolina, was named also had a problem with this same mispronunciation of his surname. I suspect the Southern colloquialism was responsible for this mix up.  Record keepers tended to write Surnames the way they sounded. You see this a lot when you research Census Forms from the past.

Updated January 27, 2015 and December 27 2015


Parson Berry listed in the 1840 Orange County, North Carolina Census.
Thomas P. Berry listed in the 1850 Orange County, North Carolina Census.
Thomas P. Berry listed in the 1860 Orange County, North Carolina Census.
Thomas P. Berry listed in the 1870 Orange County, North Carolina Census.
Thomas P. Berry listed in the 1880 Orange County, North Carolina Census.

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