Friday, October 06, 2006

The Tribe of the Twelve Benjamins    (part 3)

Well, I was going to tell you today about FTDNA's new Advanced Order System but this notice suddenly appeared last night:
We are currently tuning the advanced order system because of some inconsistencies that were found throughout the day. This should be back up and running by the end of the day Friday October 6th, 2006.
I guess maybe I'll tell you tomorrow.

Instead, we'll continue with the saga of The Tribe of the Twelve Benjamins -

Benjamin 6 was the son of Benjamin 5 and Winifred Berry.   He is the nephew of Benjamin 2 as well as his first cousin once removed.

Benjamin 7 (about 1750-1838) was probably the son of Joseph Berry (older brother of Benjamin 1) and Mary Fairfax.   Thus he was a nephew of Benjamin 1 and first cousin of Benjamin 2.   He was born in King George and moved with his family to Frederick in 1759.   By 1775 at about twenty-five, he along with Marquis Calmes and others went to Boonesboro, Kentucky.   This group had made an agreement in Battletown, Frederick County, Virginia (later Berryville) to be partners in Kentucky land acquisitions.   In 1779 a Benjamin Berry is listed with other young men as guarding the people living around Lexington from Indians and the British.   There are numerous other references to a Benjamin Berry in this area during those years and thereafter.   
While there is no absolute proof, the only Benjamin of the right age who was in Frederick before the Revolutionary War and then available to go to Kentucky in the 1770s was this son of Joseph.    This Benjamin 7 is later found in the census records for Woodford County in 1810 and 1820.   This county is adjacent to, and was carved out of, Fayette County

Benjamin 8 was the son of Benjamin 7.   He also appears in the 1820 Woodford census.

Benjamin 9 filed a Revolutionary War pension application in 1833 saying he was 77 years old and had joined the service from King George County, Virginia.   He also mentions a brother Reuben.   In 1813 he moved to Mason County in the northeast of Kentucky along the Ohio River.   The 1810 and 1820 census reports list many Berrys in this county, but no Benjamin.   Nevertheless, it is likely that this Benjamin was the son of one of Benjamin 1's younger brothers, i.e. Withers or Baldwin.   Most likely the connection is to Withers since a Withers Berry appears in the 1810 Mason census.

Benjamin 10 appears to be the blacksheep of the family.   He is probably a son of William, grandson of Enoch, great grandson of William and great great grandson of Henry the Immigrant.   If so, he is a first cousin once removed of Benjamin 1 and second cousin of Benjamin 2.   He was also the nephew of Winifred who married Benjamin 4.   We know something about Benjamin 10 because of a lawsuit he filed in Mason County in 1811 against his sister-in-law, widow of brother Enoch, regarding some slaves.   The suit itself is not important, except that it gives us quite a bit of information about this family, the character of Benjamin 10, and a propensity of this group to do a lot of intermarrying.
In the suit we learn that Benjamin 10 in 1811 was living in King George, Virginia when his siblings were in Mason, Kentucky.   In a deposition of his sister we learn that she had to raise one of Benjamin 10's daughters.   Another deponent stated that Benjamin 10 didn't have a home but lived off the relatives.   It is also recorded that his brother Enoch raised Benjamin 10's other children.

But intermarriage of cousins is the most interesting aspect.   Benjamin 10 was married to his first cousin as were his brothers William and Enoch.   One daughter of Enoch married her double first cousin, William, son of Benjamin 10.   With this degree of intermarriage among close relatives, I am reminded of the accounts of inbreeding in West Virginia.   The two cousin marriages involving Winifreds, reported earlier, pale by comparison.   I suppose we should be pleased that any Berry ancestors that intermarried with cousins were not in our direct line.                                                      (to be continued...)
Responsibility for this report and the views expressed therein is solely with the author, Gerald Jones. Please send any additions or corrections to or phone me at (520) 825 0728 in Tucson AZ.
Copyright January 2006, Tucson AZ
Revised : 23 Sep 2006


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