Thomas Berry NC

Thomas Berry, son of Robert and Elizabeth Cate Berry


  1. Generation Robert and Mary Williamson Berry, Princess Anne County, North Carolina.
  2. Generation Robert and Elizabeth Cate Berry, Orange County, North Carolina.


Thomas Berry married Sarah Cate August 11, 1800.

Thomas Berry was probably born cir 1772 and was one of the last four children of Robert and Elizabeth Cate Berry family. David, Henry, and William were younger than Thomas. His family had moved into the Fiddleton Plantation home in 1766 Just six years before Thomas was born. The Regulator movement had been put down on May 16, 1771 by Governor Tryon at the Battle of Alamance. It is unsure if Robert Berry was a member of the Regulator movement. Many of the local men were and when they saw that the battle could not be won they simply melted into the forest and went home. No record has been found to verify if he was or not. In 1772 Mary who was Thomas’ oldest sister was ten years old and the other five older siblings ranged in age from 2 to 8 years old. Thomas was about ten years old when the Revolutionary War was over. There was a major Battle fought at Guilford Court House on March 15 1781 and Thomas’ Father Robert Berry (oc) and Mary Berry Waggoners husband, George Waggoner, were involved in the fighting. Robert Berry Jr. who was 21 years old may also have been a soldier in that Battle. George Waggoner was mortally wounded at Greensboro and died in the summer of 1781. George wrote his will on April 2 1781 two weeks after the battle was fought.

Robert Berry and his daughter Mary Berry Waggoner were appointed administrators of George Waggoner’s Will in the 1781 November Term of the Orange County Court.  In 1782 February Term of the Orange County Court George Waggoners Estate settlement was signed by Robert Berry and Mary Kemp. In reality Mary Berry Waggoner married James Camp between November 1781 and February 1782. Robert Berry even noted his daughters name in his own 1812 Will as Mary Kemp. The reason he always used the surname Kemp is because his grandmother who was married to Richard Williamson was Mary Kemp.  Mary Kemp was the daughter of George and Ann Kemp. Life on the plantation slowly returned to normal after the war was over and Thomas may have had a normal teenage life after the War. William Berry one of Thomas’s younger brothers married Hannah Cate on August 12 1799.  One year later Thomas married Hannah’s younger sister Sarah Cate. They were married on August 11th 1800. Sarah and Hanna Cate were sisters, Their Parents were William and Elizabeth Messerschmitt (Smith) .


Thomas Berry’s son David Berry 1802 -1882

 In 1803 there was an estate sale of William Cate’s property. There were five men from the Robert Berry family at William Cate’s estate sale in 1803. Thomas Berry purchased several items. He bought one quart of something for one pound, a bell for two shillings, a sugar pot for two shillings, two pots for one Shilling and Six pence and one pair of cards for two shillings and one pence. These cards may still be in the procession of one of Thomas’s descendants who lives in Tennessee today. Thomas spent a total of one Pound seven Shillings seven Pence at the sale. Robert Berry Sr., Robert Berry Jr., Joshua Berry, and William Berry bought several items from this sale also. Three years later on October the 4th 1806 Thomas Berry sold two hundred acres of land to James Miller for one hundred and twenty five pounds. Thomas sold land in 1806. This is the last information we have found on Thomas Berry. I know that William and Thomas left Orange County sometime after Thomas sold his land. We know that William was still in Orange County in October 1807, because he had a second son, Thomas Person Berry who was born nine months later on June 1st, 1808. It may have been in the early spring of 1808 when William and Thomas set out in search for available land to homestead. If they left before Between October 1807, and March of 1808, they would have to travel in the coldest months of the year. Of course the further south they went the milder the winters were. We believe that Hannah Cate Berry and Sarah Cate Berry and their children were living together while their husbands were gone. Hannah Berry listed head of household in 1810. Hannah’s two sons, her sister Sarah, David, and Eleanor plus one other young male were listed in the 1810 census. They were next door to Robert Berry, Hannah and Sarah’s father in Law. They may have been living in the Patrick Rutherford house that Robert Berry aquired on March 2nd 1787. Robert Berry bought the Patrick Rutherford Plantation from Rutherford’s three sons after his neighbor Patrick Rutherford had died. The three sons who signed the deed to Robert Berry were William, James, and Thomas Rutherford.

In the 1830 Blount County Alabama Census, There was a William Berry Sen. living next door to John Box Sen. and living on the next farm was Thomas Rutherford. This man could be Hannah Cate Berry’s husband but we just don’t know. We have located several William Berry’s but up until now we have no proof that any of them is Hanna’s husband

Folklore among the Thomas Berry’s descendants who live in Tennessee today is that Indians killed Thomas while he was searching for land. Thomas Berry was deceased before April 16 1812 when his father wrote his will.

Tennessee Picture Album

Sarah Cate Berry did remarry. She and John Pigg were married on December 11 1815 in Tennessee. Eleanor was 14 and David Berry was 13 when their mother married John. In a few years each of them started families of their own. Many of their descendants live there today. Six generations of Thomas Berry’s male descendants are buried in the Jackson Cemetery in Wayne County near Cypress Inn Tennessee.


ELeanor Berry b. 1801 d. 1880 m. 1824 John Reed The picture on the right is Eleanor and John Reed’s restored home. Eugene and Nellie Jones Berry bought this farm in 1956 and restored the cabin with the help of two of Eugene’s cousins Harold and David Berry. In the cabin picture Nellie Berry is the Lady in the Red sweater and white slacks.
David ll Berry b. abt 1802 d. 1882 m. 1826 Elizabeth Shipman. In the 1830 Wayne County Tennessee Census John and Eleanor Berry Reed were living in this cabin. On the next farm over lived Ruben Curtis, the next farm was owned Sarah Cate Berry Pigg Bond 1815David Berry and Elizabeth Shipman. Living on the farm next to David, was John and Sarah Cate Berry Pigg to  David’s Mother and step father. On the left is picture of back of John and Sarah Berry Pigg’s  marriage 1815 bond.

Children Detail:

Eleanor Berry Married John Reed
Born: 1801
Orange Co. N.C
Died: about 1880
Wayne Co.TN
Spouses Parents: John and Lydia Hollis Reed
Wayne Co. Tn
4 children
Born: Abt. 1795 Unknown
Died: after 1830 Wayne Co.TN
David Berry II Married Elizabeth Shipman
Born: Abt. 1802
Orange Co. N.C
Died: 1882
Wayne County TN
Spouses Parents: Jacob and Rebecca (Pigg) Shipman
about 1826
Wayne County, TN
13 Children
Born: 1809 Unknown
Died: 1882 Wayne County TN

Places Lived:

Orange County, North Carolina


“ Thomas Berry and his brother, William Berry may had been searching for land in Tennessee around 1808. Their wives, the two Cate sisters (Hannah and Sarah) were living together with their children in the 1810 Orange County Census. Somebody had returned to Orange County with the news of Thomas’s death before 1812 because his father knew he was dead when he wrote his will. Robert also knew that William was still alive. This leaves unanswered questions on what happened to William Berry”


Thomas was only in one US Census

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Last updated Jan. 25, 2015