Monday, October 02, 2006

The Tribe of the Twelve Benjamins    (part 2)

Benjamin 2, sometimes referred to as Benjamin Franklin Berry, was the son of
Benjamin 1 and is our ancestor.   He was born in 1766 in King George County and raised in Frederick County.   He moved to Fayette County, Kentucky about 1797 probably after marrying Jane Bell in Virginia.   Perhaps they moved as a group with John Bell, father of Jane, and his family.   Also moving west at about the same time were his brothers Joseph, Reuben, and John.   Brother John married Jane's sister Maria in Fayette in 1808.

Benjamin, like his six brothers, owned substantial land in western Kentucky, especially in Henderson (later Union) County.   Unlike his brothers he never lived in western Kentucky.   He stayed in Lexington until his death in 1849.

Benjamin 3 (Benjamin Taylor), son of Benjamin 2, was born about 1814.   He is not a direct ancestor, but a brother of Frances Jane Berry Weir, our great grandmother.   He is in this report just to keep track of all the Benjamins who were floating about.

Now for the 'other' Benjamins, all cousins of our ancestors listed above.

Benjamin 4 was a second cousin of Benjamin 1.   He was born in 1725 along the Rappahannock not far from where Benjamin 1 was born.   He was the son of Henry III, grandson of Henry II and great grandson of Henry the Immigrant.   About 1753 he sold his property in the area where he was born and moved to Frederick.   He married his second cousin Winifred Berry, daughter of Enoch Berry, granddaughter of William, and great granddaughter of Henry the Immigrant.   Winifred was also a second cousin of our ancestor Benjamin 1.

Benjamin 4, not Benjamin 1, is renowned for having founded (with his daughter Sarah Stribling) in 1798 the town of Berryville, which today is the county seat of Clark[e] County next to Frederick in northern Virginia.   It is certainly understandable why so many confused these two Benjamins, born about the same time in the same area and both living in Frederick in the latter part of the 1700s.

Benjamin 5 was the son of Reuben Berry, younger brother of Benjamin 1.   To add a little more confusion, he like Benjamin 4, married a cousin named Winifred Berry, but this time it was a first cousin.   This Winifred was the daughter of Benjamin 1 and thus a sister of Benjamin 2.   They married in Frederick in 1789, and in 1790 he first appeared on the county tax list as Benjamin Berry, carpenter.   As the son of Reuben, it was likely that this Benjamin would have been a carpenter since his father was apprenticed as a carpenter in 1755 with the consent of his brother Benjamin 1.

He last appears in the Frederick 1796 tax list, as did Benjamin 2, then listed as Benjamin Jr.    Benjamin 5 apparently went west with his wife's folks, including Benjamin 2, first to Lexington, then further west to the area of Henderson County.   He is shown patenting land there along with Benjamin 2 and Benjamin 2's brothers, Joseph, Reuben, and John.   He resided in the west of Kentucky for the remainder of his life.      (to be continued...)
Responsibility for this report 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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