Robert Berry (OC)

Robert Berry (OC) was the son of (Robert Berry (PAC) and Mary Williamson of Princess Ann County, Va.)  and He came to Orange County North Carolina in 1751

Robert Berry married Elizabeth Cate in 1857


Robert Berry’s oldest known Ancestors in America:  

    • Ann Foster was born in England in 1820  and was married before 1740 in America
    • George Kempe and Mary Hutchinson   were also born in England and married there before coming  to America.   

Roger Williamson married Ann Foster 

  • They had three Children:
  1.  Bartholomew Williamson born 1640
  2. Sarah Williamson born 1645
  3. Richard Williamson born 1648

Richard Williamson married Mary Kempedaughter of George Kempe

  • They had 6 children:
    1. Mary Williamson
    2.  John Williamson 
    3. Bartholomew Williamson 
    4. George Williamson 
    5. Sarah Williamson 
    6. Ann Williamson

Mary Williamson married Robert Berry 

  • They had two sons:
  1. Richard Berry 
  2. Robert Berry Jr.(OC)

Brick Wall Breakthrough

Robert Berry (OC) of Orange County, NC. was an early pioneer in North Carolina and he was our Brick Wall for about 10 years. All of the information I have been able to find now indicates that Robert Berry (OC) was born in Princess Ann County Virginia and removed to Orange County, NC. some time in 1751.

A few substantiating Facts:

  • On Robert’s 1751  land grant entry he was named Robert Berry Jr. once.
  • On Roberts’s 1753 Survey he was named robert Berry Jr. twice.
  • On Roberts 1757 Land Grant he was named Robert Berry jr. five times and Robert Berry Once.
  • Robert Berry who was born in Princess Anne County, Virginia in 1729 was the son of Robert and Mary Williamson Berry
  • Robert  Berry born in 1729 was the grandson of Richard and  Mary Kempe Williamson
  • Robert Berry in Orange County, North Carolina named his first daughter, Mary, and his first son, Robert Berry Jr. This is a typical English naming pattern.
  • Robert Berry born in 1729 had and Aunt Sarah S. Williamson Mathias wife of Mathew Mathias.
  • Robert Berry (OC) was listed a few farms away from Mathew Mathias in the 1755 Orange County Tax List.
  • Robert Berry born in 1729 inherited the family homeplace and the Robert Berry who came to North  Carolina in 1751 had money and was able to build a large Plantation Home there in 1766 only 15 years after arriving there.

Model of Robert Berry’s Fiddleton Plantation shown below

fiddleton plantation Scene

Fittleton Wiltshire County England


A map of Fittleton , Wiltshire County, England on the right. This name Fiddleton and Fittleton is very similar that is seems to be very strong proof that Robert Berry in Orange County had Berry Ancestors who lived in Fittleton, Wiltshire County, England.

When Robert & Elizabeth Cate Berry named their first son Robert Berry Jr. his father was known as Robert Berry on every official document I have ever found after his first son was born.  The first Daughter was named Mary and her Grandmother was Mary Williamson Berry and her Great Grandmother was named Mary Kempe Williamson. The second daughter was named, Elizabeth Berry, for her mother Her Maternal Grandmother’s name, Margery, and it was already been taken. Her mother’s sister was Margery Pryor.

There is a common English naming pattern that has been followed by our Berry Family. When a son is  is named Junior the father drops the Junior Prefix from his own name. The father is either known without a prefix at all or Sr, is added to his name.

After finding Robert Berry in Princess Anne County, Virginia, with a son named Robert who was born in 1729 I was convinced that  Robert Berry (OC) was born in Princess Anne County, Virginia. It cleared up the problem I had been having with the Entry, Survey, and the Granville Land grant where Robert Berry Jr. was named  on all three of these documents. I had always wondered why he was known as Robert Berry on every document after the Grant was made. It was the naming of his son robert Berry Jr. in 1760 that had changed this.
Robert Berry (PAC) 1670-1730 Princess Anne County
Robert Berry (OC) 1729 – 1814 Orange County and the young son
Robert Berry Jr.1760 – 1841-1849 was born in Orange County NC and died in Fayette Alabama.

Additional Brick wall Breakthrough Evidence

Robert Berry served as a private in the North Carolina Continental Line

Robert Berry (OC) Was born in Princess Ann County Virginia. His father died in 1730 when he was very young and his mother died in 1746 when he was about 17 years old. At 17 years old he had the courts indenture him to a family Member, Samuel Hollowell to learn the carpenter trade.

Samuel Hollowell Church Job

Source: Vestry Book of Lynnhaven Parish, Princess Anne County, Virginia, page 72.

Robert Berry born in 1729 was indentured to Samuel Hollowell at the time this Church Contract was issued and there is a very good likelihood that our Ancestor worked on this project.

In 1751 Robert and his cousin Matthew Mathias and likely others decided to remove to Orange County, North Carolina, to stake out land as planters. The map below is the most obvious route from point A to point B. John Cate and his two sons were also probably in this group since they one of Johns sons, Thomas Cate, was a chain carrier on Robert’s 1753 Survey.

Route to NC from VA

This route was being used by fur traders for as many as 50 years befor our Robert Berry entered North Carolina. John Lawson met a pack mule train on this same trail in 1704. He was headed toward Hillsborough from the South West when he encountered them and exchanged s friendly conversation that morning. The drover allowed that he was born in England and that the land was the most beautiful that they had ever seen,

Orange County 1755 Tax List Page 6

Page 5 of the 1755 Orange County, North Carolina. Tax List

Fortunately Robert had some money from the estate that his father left him. Robert located some unclaimed land just south of property owned by Thomas Bradford in Granville County. Robert built a small cabin in the north east corner of his newly claimed property. He and Mathew may have lived there for a time. After completing the cabin Robert Berry (OC) walked into the Granville Land Grant Office and made entry for a land grant on the sixth day of February 1752. This was the first step to becoming the proud owner of a large tract of land in Granville County. The Warrent was granted on the 20th Day of March 1753.

This was about as far into the wilderness as western man had settled at that time. Later in 1752 the government in Edenton decided to take part of western Granville County along with parts of Johnston and Bladen to form a new county of Orange. Since Robert placed his entry in Granville County and the warrant was issued there both documents were not found in the Granville County files until 2007. The Survey and Granville Land Grant documents were found many years ago in the Orange County NC files. Both Robert Berry and Mathew Mathias were listed and on the Orange County 1755 tax list and on the same page. You will also see Henry (Gold) Gould one of Robert Berry’s survey chain carriers listed two households away from Mathew Mathias.

Richard Gibbs was sued by Robert Berry and he was also listed on the same 1755 tax page as Robert Berry.

Sometime soon after that Robert Berry (OC) married Elizabeth Cate (daughter of John and Margery Cate) and around 1758/1759 their first child Mary Berry was born. Over the next 18 years there was a total of ten children born and raised to adulthood by this union.

1753 Survey Order and date Deeded to Robert Berry Jr. 

uncropped entry 1753 rotated

As you can see Robert Berry was listed on the back of this deed as Robert Berry Jun. This means that he had no son named Robert  in 1757 and his fathers name was Robert Berry. Once Robert and Elizabeth Cate Berry named their first son Robert Berry Jr. Robert Berry (oc) became Robert Berry Sr. All official documents that were signed after 1760 were signed by Robert as Robert Berry and he never used the Sr. or the Jr. prefix again.

The fact that Robert and Elizabeth Cate Berry  named their first daughter Mary indicates that her paternal grandmother was named Mary. Mary Williamson was Robert Berry’s wife in Princess Anne County, Virginia and they also had a son named Robert Berry who was born in 1729.

These facts were my first clue that Robert Berry who came to Orange County, North Carolina, in 1751 was the son or Robert and Mary Williamson Berry from Princess Anne County, Virginia.

There are many other facts that finally broke down my brick wall that have now been found.

uncropped entry 1753

View Warrent

I suppose that when the new county seat was formed in Orange County nobody thought about moving Robert’s Entry and Warrant to the Orange County Land Office. The survey was not done until December the 3rd 1753 almost two years after the Warrant was issued.

View Survey

William Churton signed the survey and the Chain Carriers were Henry Gold and Thomas Cate. Thomas was the youngest brother of Elizabeth Cate, the future bride of young Robert Berry. Nobody knows exactly when Robert and Elizabeth were married but from the ages of their children one can presume it was around 1759.The Granville Grant was issued on May 12, 1757 in Orange County N.C.

More Land Information

View the Granville Land Grant

Both the land grant and the survey were found in Orange County Records about ten years ago. Remains of a foundation of a cabin was located on Fiddleton property about two years ago and the Chimney which is all that is left of the plantation Home was found in February 2007. GPS location of the chimney:

Latitude: N 36.22373 N 36 degrees 13′ 25.4″

Longitude: W 79.01882 W 79degrees 01′ 7.8″

The location of the Plantation House,which was built in 1766, was about 200 yards from the southern boundary on the Original Grant property and about 200 yards East of Lick Creek.

Robert Berry was always very active in the local affairs. In 1756 and 1757 he was involved in a court case against Richard Gibb which I think he won. He served on a grand Jury in March 1759. He may have been in the battle of Alamance in May of 1771. He was almost certainly in the battle of Guilford Courthouse in April 1881. View Pay Vouchers  Mary’s husband George Waggoner was mortally wounded in that battle.

Robert Berry wrote his will on April 16, 1812 Will Book D page 408. See His Will

Robert Berry was likely the first person to be buried in the Fiddleton Cemetery which is located very near the center of his 1757 Granville Land Grant Property. There are 23 graves in this cemetery which was not discovered until 2005 To view the headstones located there CLICK HERE


Robert And Elizabeth’s ten children circa 1760 -1858. All 10 children were born in Orange County, North Carolina

  1. Mary Berry b.cir 1760 d. 1812
    1st m. George Waggoner cir uknown – 1781
    2nd m. James Kemp/Camp 1768 – 1833
  2. Robert Berry Jr.  b. cir 1762 d. 1850 m. 1778 Mary Camp
  3. John Berry b. cir 1764 d. 18o4 m Martha Stepp September 16 1793
  4. Isaac Berry b. cir 1766 d. 1840
  5. Joshua Berry b. cir 1769 d. Oct. 8, 1838 m. 1792 Nancy Ellison
  6. Elizabeth Berry b. cir 1770 d. 1826 m. never married – had daughter Mary in 1892 by William Riley 1892
  7. Thomas Berry b. cir 1772 d. 1812 m. Aug. 12, 1800 Sarah Cate
  8. David J. Berry b. cir 1774 d. Oct. 3, 1837 m. 1797  Mary Blalock
  9. William Berry b. cir 1775 d. 1855 m. Aug. 11, 1799 Hannah Cate
  10. Henry Berry b. cir 1776 d. 1855 m. never married

Children Detail:

Mary Berry 1st Marriage
George Waggoner
Born: Abt.1758
Orange County NC
Died: before 1800
Laurens SC
Spouses Father: Henry Waggoner
Abt. 1775 Orange County
2 children
Born: Unknown Orange Co. NC
Died: before Nov 1881 Orange Co. NC
Mary Berry 2nd Marriage
James Kempe/Camp
Born: Abt.1758
Orange County NC
Died: before 1800
Laurens SC
Spouses Parents: Unknown
Dec.1781 Orange County
5 children
Born: Unknown Unknown
Died: Unknown Unknown
Robert Berry Jr. Married Mary Kempe/Camp
Born: Abt. 1760
Orange County NC
Died: after 1840
Fayette Co. Berry AL Spouses Parents: Unknown
Abt. 1784
Orange County,  NC
8 children
Born Unknown Unknown
Died after 1840 Fayette Co. Berry AL
John Berry Married Martha Stepp
Born: Abt.1762
Orange County NC
Died: 1804
Jackson Co. GA
Spouses Parents: Unknown
Sept 10, 1793 Person Co. NC
5 children
Born: Unknown Unknown
Died after 1804 Unknown
Joshua Berry Married Nancy Ellison
Born: Abt. 1764 Orange County NC
Died: 01 Oct 1838
Orange County NC
Spouses Parents John Ellison and Mothers name Unknown
Jan. 28, 1792
9 Children
Born: Abt. 1775 Orange County NC died after 1850 Orange County NC
Isaac Berry Married Lydia
Born: Abt. 1766
Orange County NC
Died: after 1840
Orange County NC
Spouses Parents: Unknown
No Record 1 child Born: 1815 Orange County NC Died: after 1880 Person Co. NC
Elizabeth Berry Married William Riley
Born: Abt.1768 Orange County NC Died: Abt. 1815 Person Co. NC 1 child Born: Unknown Unknown
Died: Unknown Unknown
Thomas Berry Married Sarah Cate
Born: Abt.1770
Orange County NC
Died: Abt. 1810
Spouses Parents: William and Elizabeth Messer (Smith) Cate
Aug. 11, 1800
Orange County, NC
2 Children
Born: 27 Dec 1781 Person Co. NC Died: 07 Mar 1875 Wayne Co. TN
David J. Berry Married Mary Blalock
Born: Abt. 1773
Orange Co. NC
Died: 03 Oct 1837
Fayette Co. Georgia Spouses Parents: Unknown
Feb. 27, 1797 Orange Co. NC
7 Children
Born: Abt. 1772 Orange Co. NC Died Unknown Georgia
William Berry Married Hannah Cate
Born: 1775
Orange County NC
Died: 1860
Franklin Co. TN
Spouses Parents: William and Elizabeth Messer (Smith) Cate
Aug. 12, 1799
Orange County, NC
3 Children
Born: 1770 Person County NC Died: 1858 Orange Co. NC
Henry Berry Married Fanny Ashley
Born: 1776 Orange County NC Died: 1855 Orange County NC 1 child Born: Unknown Orange County NC Died: Unknown Orange NC

Census Information And Neighbors:

“ Robert Berry was on a tax list in Orange County in 1755 ”

Robert Berry Sr. listed in 1790 Orange County North Carolina Census

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 Last updated Feb. 2, 2015