William Clarence Berry NC, ALA, TX

William Clarence Berry, son of William and Hannah Cate Berry Berry


Generation 1 Robert and Mary Williamson Berry VA

Generation 2 Robert and Elizabeth Cate Berry NC

Generation 3 William and Hannah Cate Berry NC

WILLIAM CLARENCE BERRY was born on October 17th 1803 in Orange County, North Carolina and died on 08 September 1878 in Burnet County Texas. He and his two brothers were listed on Hannah Cate Berry’s 1810 census.The family was living in the old Patrick Rutherford plantation house which Robert Berry bought in 1787. They may have lived there for many years but Hannah did not list in the 1820 Orange County, NC, census.

William Clarence Berry and his brother Thomas Person Berry  paid their Uncle Henry Berry $500, on November 23rd, 1830, for 100 acres of land. (Orange County NC.Deed Book 24 Page 226) This is may have been where William was living when the 1830 Orange County N.C was taken. On September 19th 1833 William Clarence Berry and Thomas Person  Berry sold the same 100 acre tract to a father and son, Samuel and Felix Wilson, for $450 (Orange County NC. Deed Bk.25 Page 431). The Deed was witnessed by Charles Wilson who was Felix Wilson’s brother and Robert C Berry who was William Berry & Thomas Person Berry’s brother.

I know that Hannah was born and died  in Orange County and I think all of her children were planning to remain in North Carolina also. Robert Berry Jr. and his family  left home shortly after Robert and Elizabeth Cate Berry died and were living in Fayette County, Alabama by 1824. Henry Berry inherited Fiddleton.  David Berry and his entire family were in Georgia by 1830. Their last child was born in Orange County, North Carolina, in 1824. Some of Joshua Berry’s descendants also left home between 1812 and 1852 but most of his family remained in North Carolina. Isaac Berry lived with his brother Henry until he died. Thomas, Mary, and Elizabeth were all dead by 1820.William Berry had deserted Hannah Cate Berry and she raised all four of her children by herself in Orange County. In 1850 Hannah Cate Berry was living with Henry Berry and only Thomas Person Berry and his family were living in North Carolina. All of the other facts indicate that the children wanted to stay close to their mother.

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 Clarence and Sally Bowles Berry’s first child was a boy, George Rufus Berry, who was born on February 29th, 1829.  Their second baby was a little girl, Elizabeth Jane Berry, who was born on the 30th of June 1832. Elizabeth Berry and Theodrick Franklin’s first baby, Temperance Jane Franklin was born on the 05 of October 1832. Everything that is known at this time points to fact That Hannah 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, Rose Ann Frances Berry, was born to William Clarence and Sally Bowles Berry. Sometime after Roann was born her mother died in 1833. Most likely Sally Bowles Berry  died from complications associated with childbirth sometime  between May and September 1833. News about available land may have become known by a letter sent back from Uncle Robert Berry who was now living in Fayette County, Alabama. This news may have precipitated Hannah Berry’s  family to join Robert Berry Junior’s family in Alabama. What ever influenced their decision, Fayette County, Alabama is where William Clarence Berry and Robet C. Berry were living in 1840. Thedorick and Elizabeth Berry Franklin had a son, Henry Berry Franklin, born in Alabama in 1835. Their next child, James L. Franklin, was born in Floyd County, Georgia, in 1837. This is where the Franklins lived until Theodric Franklin died in 1838.

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 was married in 1831 his 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 they decided to return to North Carolina but apparently they made this decision. The Franklins went back toward North Carolina as far as Floyd County Georgia where their third child, James L. Franklin was born in 1837. The Franklins lived in Floyd County, Georgia, until Theodrick died in 1858

William Clarence and Sally Bowles Berry had three children. In the book “Wagons South Wagons West” by Victor Glenn Berry, he stated that William Clarence Berry walked from Orange County, North Carolina, to Fayette County, Alabama, with his three small children. New information now proves that William Clarence Berry and three small children did not go to Alabama by themselves. Pioneers always traveled in groups and in wagon trains for security and convenience.  Elizabeth Berry Franklin also went to Alabama at the same time. Elizabeth Berry Franklin, would have been the only female to care for four young children while they were traveling.George  Rufus Berry was about 6 years old,Elizabeth Jane Berry was 3 years old. RosAnn Frances Berry was about 1 year old and Temperance Jane Franklin was no more than 4. My theory is that Hannah Cate Berry, Thomas Person Berry and Sarah Lunsford Berry all went to Alabama together. This would provide three females to care for four babies. If this did happened then Thomas Person Berry, his wife, and mother returned to North Carolina. All three of them lived most of their lives in Orange County. All three of them died and are buried in the Fiddleton cemetery which is located on Robert Berry’s original Land Grant Property.  Thomas Person and Sarah Lunsford  Berry’s first child was not born until 1836. From the time Thomas Person Berry was first married until the time his first son was born was five years . This time allowed plenty of time to make a trip to Alabama and back. It is also the time that his two brothers and half Sister settled in Alabama and Georgia.

William Clarence Berry married for the second time in Fayette County Alabama. Willaim Clarence Berry married Massa Ann (Tompkins) in 1836. She is reported to be 1/4 American Indian. They had nine children and all of them were born in Fayette County, Alabama. Victor Glen Berry who wrote ” Wagons South Wagons West” decends from  William Clarence and Massa Ann Tompkins Berry and he did a wonderful job in documenting all of William Clarence Berry’s twelve  children. The family apparently were doing well in Alabama but The Civil War interrupted prosperity everywhere and Alabama was no exception. After the war was over most of William’s family made their way to Texas and homesteaded near Lampassas Texas. Much of the family living there today live in Burnet County Texas, There were a lot of relatives living in Fayette County Alabama at that time and for many years in the future. All of the Robert Berry Jr. family lived there for a while bofore some of them moved on to Mississippi and Texas. Many of his family and descendants stayed in Fayette county Alabama. The information about the walk from North Carolina to Alabama comes from a book: “Wagons South, Wagons West” by Victor Glenn Berry who is a direct descendant of William Clarence Berry.His book is primarily about the William Clarence Berry family. In my book “Our Berrys in Frontier America” on pages 114 to 121 I explain why I thought William Clarence Berry was one or Robert Berry Junior’s sons. All of this information is accurate  except for one fact, William Clarence Berry was the son of William and Hannah Cate Berry.

William and Massa Berry lived in Fayette Alabama for about 34 years. This is where they raised their family. He owned 260 acres of land in Fayette County Alabama (Vol. # 3 Page 183) and 160 acres of land in Burnet Caounty Texas (xxx page 187).  in Burnet County Texas. The family in the picture is the William A. A. Berry Family.
In 1870 William Clarence Berry and several of his family removed to Burnet County about five miles south of Lampasas Texas. More of this story is covered on Robert C. Berrys page.

William Clarence Berry's home in TEXAS

William Clarence Berry’s home in TEXAS

William Clarence Berry died on September 8th 1798. Massa Ann Thompkins Berry died on January 4th 1903. They both died in Burnet County Texas and are buried there in the Cauble Cemetery. The House on the right is located in Texas and is reported to be the home of William Clarence Berry. All of William Clarence Berry and Robert C Berry’s  children are much closer related to me than I first thought. They are all first cousins to my Great Grandfather John Robert Berry and all of Thomas Person Berry’s children by both marriages. This is where the story came from that my Uncle Harold Berry told me.  He said some of our folks went to Texas. 

My Ggrandfather

John Robert Berry and his wife Elizabeth Frances Bowling North Carolina

John Robert and Elizabeth Frances Bowling Berry’s family remained in North Carolina. Most of their descendants still live in North Carolina within 50 miles of the original Granville Land Grant of Robert Berry who first settled in North Carolina in 1751.  I am sure that the story Uncle Harold heard about having relatives in Texas came indirectly from his grandfather John Robert Berry.


George Rufus Berry

John Robert Berry served in the Civil War and Returned to his fathers home right after the War was over. George Rufus Berry his first cousin was discharged from the CSA army in Greensboro North Carolina which is about 40 miles from where he was born. The picture on the right is a picture of George Rufus Berry.




Children Of William And Sally Bowles Berry :

Children Of William And Massa Tompkins Berry :

  • John Thomas Berry Born July 26th 1838 Fayette County Alabama
  • Mary Jane Berry Born May 28 1840 Fayette County Alabama
  • Henry T. Berry Born August 12 1843 Fayette County Alabama
  • Lucinda Temperence Berry Born December 1st 1847 Fayette County Alabama
  • Sarah Catherine Berry Born in 1849 Fayette County Alabama
  • Martha Minerva Berry Born April 29th 1851 Fayette County Alabama
  • William Smith Berry Born August 18th 1857 Fayette County Alabama
  • Amanda Narcissa Berry Born April 26 1855 Fayette County Alabama
  • Julia Ann Berry Born December 15 1862 Fayette County Alabama


William Clarence Berry was listed in his mothers 1810 NC Census Hannah Cate Berry, Sarah Cate Berry, and their children are listed on this census.

William Berry listed in Orange County NC in the 1830 Census.

William Clarence Berry listed in Fayette Alabama in the 1840 Census.

William Clarence Berry listed in Fayette County Alabama in the 1850 Census.

William Clarence Berry Listed in Fayette County Alabama in 1860

William Clarence Berry Listed in Fayette Alabama in the 1870

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Last updated February 2, 2015