Van Gundy Family Tree

Notes for Henry BERRY

Henry was our immigrant ancestor and the first of our line found in Virginia.

Thanks to Michael Marshall for digging through wills, land records, etc for documentation of Henry's family and descendants, then posting them at

Residences & events:


Old Rappahannock Co, VA. The exact date of Henry's arrival in America is unknown. Some say he was brought over by a large land owner, and his name did appear in court records as headright in a land patent issued to Epharaditus Lawson, dated May 22, 1650. Thus after paying Lawson, the land allotted him from the Colony of Virginia to pay for his passage, Henry started his life as a free man. By 1656 he received a land patent for 140 acres, and from then on appears often in the records of old Rappahannock County. Although he owned land on both side of the Rappahannock River, he lived on the south side, in the county of what is now Essex, upon the Occupacia Creek.

"The house of Henry Berry of Occupacia Creek" is mentioned often in court records.

11/3/1662 Henry sold land:

KNOW ALL MEN that I HENRY BERRY of the Parish of Sittingbourne in the County of Rappahanock in Virginia have for good causes sould all my right and interest of two hundred acres of land or thereabouts being in the County of Rappahanock unto GEORGE PLEY of the same County his heirs & assignes which land boundeth Beginning at a Pocickery upon the South side of OCCUPATIONCREEK from thence to marked white Oak neer upon ESE and from thence to a Swamp leading neer upon S. to a cross lyne parting Mr. HALLs and this Devident above expressed paralell by that Lyne to the North West lyne parelel by the North West lyne to the Creek againe To have and to hold to him the said GEORGE PLEY his heirs or assignes with all profits in as large manner as it was given unto me the said HENRY BERRY by a Conveyance granted from Mr. HALL to JOHN JENNINGS & from the said JOHN GENINGS granted to me the said HENRY BERRY the assignment bearing date the first of September 1658 containing two hundred acres I the said HENRY BERRY doth oblige my self that said GEORGE PLEY shall enjoy every part of the land aforesaid for Ever without hindrance of any persons & furthermore I ingage my self my heirs to acknowledge the sale in the County Court of Rappa. to the said GEORGE PLEY In Testimony of the truth I have sett my hand and seale this third of November 1662

in presence of ROBERT PLEY,

KNOW ALL MEN that I ANN BERRY the Wife of HENRY BERRY of the County of Rappahanock do hereby acknowledge to have received of GEORGE PLEY full satisfaccon for my Dower of Two hundred acres of land on which I do give my free consent to the sale hereof and do appoint JOHN WEIGHT my Lawfull Attorney for me to acknowledge the Sale in the County Court of Rappahanock and do hereby ingage to confirme what my said Attorney shall do in the premises In Witness I hereunto sett my hand & seale the 3 of November 1662 in presence of


5/10/1671 A survey was done for Henry:

"Surveyed for Henry Berry the 10th day of May 1671 in Stafford County in the Forrest betwixt the two Rivers of Potomak and Rappa", 550 acres, "beginning at a marked Wm Lips corner tree stand near the said Berrys Line", adj line of Mr James Kaye, etc. signed per me John Alexander

1676 Both Henry and son Henry were executors of the estate of a John Butler of Westmoreland Co, VA.

4/29/1730 Long after Henry's death his name appeared in land transactions:

For Robert Faldo va. Ralph Wormeley, William Taliaferro claims 600 acres of the Henry Berry patent, 1664, and survey made April 29, 1730.

His will was dated 3/30/1672 and named only son Richard who was underage, and lumped the rest together as "my children.." Sons John, Henry, and William are proven from subsequent land deeds, Rapahonock County, Va.

Will of Henry Berry King George County 1677 Old Rappahannock County book, 1677-1682

"I will and bequeah my soule to God from whom I have my first breath, my body to the ground to be buryed in a decent manner . I will that my loveing friend Robert Peck by my sole executor that the said Peck may act in any case, as if I myselfe were in front. I will and bequeath to William Herton one hundred acres of land. I will that all the rest of my reall and personall estate be equaly divided amongst my children except my wives thirds. To him that shall have the girle named Jane Stowe to have 2 cows more than the rest. I will that John Rolt have one heiffer two yeares old. I will that all my children may have a great care of the keeping of the said Jane Stow soe long as she lives. That my sone Richard may have learning as well as the rest, as witness my hand this 30th of March 1672."

Henry's wife was still alive at the time of his death for he willed her a "wives third" of the estate. This leaves some interesting questions; mainly, who was the girl Jane Stowe and why were the children cautioned to take "great care" of her? Was she a slave? A ward? Or child of a dead friend or neighbor? Was she perhaps handicapped? And, why does "him that shall have the girle named Jane Stowe" have "2 cows more than the rest?"

Copyright 2010 by BJ Van Gundy

Page built by Gedpage Version 2.21 ©2009 on 06 May 2010