THE PERRY FAMILY – by Benjamin Brodie Winborne



During the second quarter of the 17th century Phillip Perry, Sr., came to America from old England and settled within the boundries of Isle of Wight County, Va. This county was one of the eight original shires of Virginia, as the counties were then called, and embraced the territory of Southampton County, Va., up to 1748, and bordered on the North Carolina line.

Phillip Perry represented some of the most sterling and worthy families of the Old Country who grew tired and weary with the tyranny, oppression and cruel wars of England, to gratify the bloody ambitions of dishonorable schemers to gain power that they might revel in disgrace and crime.

He became a large landowner and a prominent and respected citizen of Isle of Wight County. He served with honor his county and province in several important official positions. He was the uncle of the old London merchant, Micajah Perry. Phillip was a cherished family name, as shown by the persistency of the family in retaining it through generations.

Among the old records of Isle of Wight County, Va., we find the will of Phillip Perry, dated November 20, 1667,and probated October 9, 1669. He gives his age as “70 years or thereabouts,” and mentions his wife, Grace, and sons Phillip and John, under age. In July, 1686, Thos. Green, of Isle of Wight County, consigns his tobacco to Micajah Perry and Thomas Lane, London, for sale. In 1693 John Perry, of the same county, son of Phillip Perry, deceased, conveyed a tract of land in that county to Col. Joseph Bridger, lying in Whitemarsh.

Capt. John Perry, of Westmoreland County, Va., was a prominent man in his section prior to 1661. Whether he was the brother of Phillip Perry can not be ascertained, nor can we trace the relationship, if any, between them. Phillip Perry, Sr., had other sons than Phillip and John. James Perry, Jacob Perry and Joseph Perry were also his sons.

After the 17th century many of the well-to-do families of Virginia left the colony and moved to the more attractive lands and homes in the old Albemarle section of North Carolina. Among those who were attracted by the rich soil, beautiful homes, delightful climate and good government were several of the members of the Perrys of southwestern Virginia, as it will now appear.

In the old records of Edenton, N.C. we find a grant of land from Jeremiah Perry and wife, Jane, to Christian Blount, dated October 8, 1694.

Francis and Jeremiah Perry are familiar names in the Virginia and North Carolina familes. Capt. Henry Perry, of Northampton County, Va., was closely connected with Capt. Francis Pott’s family, and Captain Perry and wife are mentioned in the will of Captain Pott, which is dated in October, 1658.

The Francis Perry, the Jeremiah Perry and the John Perry to whom the Earl of Granville granted lands in Franklin County, N. C., about the middle of the 18th century, were from Chowan and Perquimans counties, N.C. The Perrys of Virginia were also connected by marriage with the leading Virginia family of Kennons, who intermarried with the Bullocks of Granville County, N.C. They were also connected by marriage with the old Broadnax family of the Old Dominion.

In 1707 Daniel Pugh, of Nansemond, conveyed a tract of land to Samuel Smith lying on Middle Sawmp, adjoining the lands of John Perry and others. Serveral of the Perrys owned land on this swamp. In 1719 James Perry and wife, Patience, of Nansemond County, conveyed land on Middle Swamp, that runs out of Bennett’s Creek in Chowan County, N. C., to his brother, John Perry of Nansemond County, Va., and Jacob Perry is one of the witnesses to the deed. In 1715 Francis West, of Nansemond County, in his will speaks of Judith and Thomas Perry. Judith Perry married Abram Hill, of Nansemond County, Va., and they moved to North Carolina. On July 26, 1740, they conveyed to John Perry, of Bertie, 100 acres of land, and in 1756 they conveyed to Josiah Granberry a tract of land in Bertie (now Hertford) on Meherrin Swamp, which was purchased from John Perry, of Bertie County.

In 1728 Benjamin Perry conveyed to Thomas Lane, the old London merchant, 140 acres of land lying on the Chowan River and Deep Run. Susannah Perry, his sister, is a witness to the deed. Thomas Speight, of Nansemond, in 1700 conveyed land in North Carolina to John Perry. I have been unable to locate this land, but it was in the Albemarle section.

In 1734, 1735 and 1736 we find William Perry signing as witness to deeds for lands in Chowan and Bertie counties. Several of the children of Phillip Perry, Sr., of Isle of Wight County, Va., and several of his brothers moved to Perquimans County. His grandson, Phillip, died in Perquimans in 1751, leaving a will in which he speaks of his son Jesse, and Phillip, brothers John and Joseph and Jacob Perry, son of his brother Joseph. In 1759 Joseph and Benjamin Perry witnessed the will of Joseph Riddick, of Perquimans.

In 1749 Jacob Perry, Sr., Israel Perry and Jacob Perry, Jr., witnessed the will of Issac Wilson in Perquimans, who married the daughter of Jacob, brother to Israel, Phillip and Benjamin Perry.


Israel Perry, son of John Perry and wife, Mary, and grandson of Phillip Perry, Sr., died in 1779, leaving a will. His sons were Josiah, Israel, John, Cader, Jacob, Jesse, and daughters, Millicent, Ruth, Rachel, Ann and Priscilla. He had other children. He appointed his brother Phillip Perry and Thomas Twine his executors, and Jacob and Benjamin Perry are witnesses to the will.

Ruth Perry married Micajah Hill, of Perquimans County, May 12, 1763. Rachel married Richard Skinner December 11, 1770. Priscilla married Thomas Twine.

Jacob Perry, the brother of Israel and Phillip, died about 1777. His will is dated March 4, 1775, and probated in October, 1777. His children mentioned are Jacob, Israel, Reuben, Dempsey and John, and daughters, Priscilla, wife of Dempsey Welch, Ann, wife of Caleb Winslow, and grandson, Isaac Wilson, son of Isaac Wilson, Sr., and daugher Hepzibah, wife of Hardy Stallings. Jacob Perry, Sr., the son of Benjamin Perry and wife, Susan, who made the conveyance of land in 1728, was brother of Benjamin Perry II, and died in 1790. He mentions in his will his wife, Mary, sons, Miles, Leah, Lawrence and Benjamin Perry, and daughters Hepsebeth and Sally Mariah Bunch, Mary Perry and granddaughter, Priscilla Perry, daughter of Leah Perry.

His brother Benjamin is one of the witnesses to his will.

Jacob’s daughter, Mary, died unmarried in 1797, and she speaks in her will of her mother, Mary, cousins Mary and Hannah Bunch, and cousin John Perry, the son of Israel, cousin Jacob Boyce and brother, Lawrence Perry.

Jesse Perry, son of Israel Perry, married December 12, 1777, Miss Elizabeth Lindner.


Sallie Perry, daughter of Jacob Perry,Sr., married about the year 1790, shortly after the death of her father, Lemuel Weeks. There were six children by this marriage–John, James, Hugh, Polly, who married Cornelius Raper, a daughter who married a Benton, and Nancy.

James and Hugh died young and without issue.

Lemuel Weeks died in the year 1803, leaving his wife, Sally, and son, John, and several granchildren surviving him. The widow died in 1826 at the home of her son, John Weeks, on Little River in Pasquotank County, N. C.

Lemuel Weeks was the son of Thomas Weeks (who died in 1808) and wife, of Perquimans County, N. C.

John Weeks, the son of Lemuel Weeks and wife, Sally, was the grandfather of Stephen B. Weeks, the distinguished writer and historian of North Carolina.



There were three Benjamin Perrys among the older members in Perquimans. Benjamin Perry I died March 11, 1788. His wife was named Susan, and they had several children, among them were Benjamin II, who died January 10, 1784, and his wife, Hannah, died November, 1791. Benjamin Perry III represented Perquimans County in the House of Commons in 1790. The first Benjamin had a son named Ezekiel, who moved to Hertford County prior to the Revolutionary War and settled in the St John’s section.

Joseph Perry, of Perquimans, died in 1801, and Jesse died in the same year. Jesse left the following children: Mary, Elizabeth, Millicent, Rachel, who married a Nicholson, Benjamin, John and Josiah; Margaret, Christian, Martha, Sally, Asenith, William and Robert.

Jesse was a son of Phillip Perry, Sr. and uncle of Josiah Perry who mored to Bertie County the latter part of the 18th century and settled near the Powellsville section.

Robert Perry, the son of Jesse, represented Perquimans County in the House of Commons in 1817, 1818, 1819 and again in 1826 and 1827, and Josiah, his brother, represented the county in 1834.

Jesse Perry married Miss Elizabeth Lindner December 12, 1777.

Phillip, the son of Jacob Perry, died in 1809, leaving sons, Isaac, Seth, Daniel, John; daughters, Millicent, Chloe Riddick, Christian White and Elizabeth Saunders.

Thomas Perry died in 1814, and speaks of his mother, Millicent, and brother, James.

Jacob Perry died in 1814, leaving his wife, Sarah, and brother, John, surviving.

Benjamin Perry III married Millicent Riddick, of Perquimans, December 13, 1785, and they had the following children : Mary, born October 26, 1786; Thomas, born January 27, 1789; James, born August 13, 1792; Joseph, born December 20, 1796; Christian, born December 20, 1798.

William Hollowell married Mary Perry July 6, 1778. She was probably a daughter of Israel Perry, Sr. The latter had several daughters and sons whose names are not on the old memoranda before me.

Reuben Perry married Elizatbeth Pearson January 18, 1780.

Amos Perry married his cousin, Elizabeth Perry, February 10, 1783.

Thomas Stanton married, also, a Miss Elizabeth Perry August 28, 1784.

Israel Perry, Jr., married Miriam Hollowell April 4, 1785.

Seth Perry married Mary Riddick December 29, 1785.

Susannah Perry married Moses Howard June 2, 1790.

Leverne Garriss married Sarah Perry December 27, 1791. She was the daughter of Jacob Perry, Sr.

Jacob Perry married Ruth Chappell August 18, 1791, and Reuben Perry, his brother, married Dorcas Chappell January 11, 1791.

William Perry, heretofore mentioned, married Ferebe White April 21, 1791.

The Perrys of Tidewater Virginia not only sent representatives of their families to northeastern North Carolina, but some of them moved to other parts of Virginia and North Carolina. Franklin County, N. C., and that section of the State became the home of several of them, I have been careful in giving the names of the heads of the several families and the children to show that the North Carolina Perrys are of the same families that settled in Tidewater Virginia in the 17th century.

I shall now proceed to give a sketch of Ezekiel Perry’s family, of Hertford County, and of Josiah Perry’s family, who settled in Bertie County near the Hertford County line in the latter part of the 17th century.

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 Source: The Perry Family of Hertford County, North Carolina by Benjamin Brodie Winborne, published in 1909.


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