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 Robert Kerr

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Robert Kerr

  • Birth 10 Dec 1726 Scotland
  • Death 22 Jan 1808 Summerdean, Augusta County, Virginia, USA
  • Burial Summerdean, Augusta County, Virginia, USA
  • Plot NO MARKER
  • Memorial ID 16191666

Robert Kerr "of Scotland" probably came here via Northern Ireland like the many early people, and settled in this area, in 1763. Some believe he was the son of "Gustavus Ker and Jannet Allen," who "married 28 Apr 1710 in Lonmay, Aberdeen, Scotland," but I've seen no proof. (Often quoted but no one is sharing any sources to date so it's undocumented as yet. Plus visiting New Register House in Edinburgh, I could not find a birth record for Robert and checking their records many years later, could find nothing in Lonmay at all.) He married "Elizabeth Bailey of Wales, in 1763" in "Fifeshire, Scotland." It is recorded they came to PA in the same year and to Augusta Co., VA in 1783 where they settled on the Middle River at Summerdean. I have seen records refer to his settlement first near Philadelphia, PA where they "owned flour mills on the Schuylkill." Again the places are recorded with family histories written in the early 1900's but not really documented.

There were other Kerrs in this part of southeastern PA, including in then Lancaster Co., PA that also came to the same area in VA. In the Tinkling Spring Headwater of Freedom, by Howard McKnight Wilson, Fishersville, VA, 1954, p. 11 and 12 discuss the earlier Kerrs. He wrote that they were part of the Donegal Presbyterian Society on the Susquehana River in PA. (So Scots-Irish.) These Kerrs settled on Christian's Creek, Long Meadow Run, and Middle River in Augusta Co., VA, probably in about 1730 or 50 years earlier than Robert above.

I have seen his birth place in recent years listed in Lonmay, Aberdeenshire, Scotland but I have not been able to prove it. I have also seen he was born in Fifeshire and like Lonmay, they are both on the east coast. I also see his parents listed as Gustavus Ker and Janet Allen but seek ANY sources as I have found none. Please share it.

In 1743, the earliest Kerrs to this area settled on Kerrs Creek. It is unknown if and how Robert was related to them.

Robert Kerr of Scotland married Elizabeth Bailey of Wales in 1763. They came to PA in the same year and to VA in 1783 at Middle River at Summerdean. It includes several family members. The earliest Kerrs to this area on Kerrs Creek was in about 1743. It is unknown if Robert was related to them but very likely. Brief History of Kerrs and Kin 1730-1930 by Vincent Brown Kerr, 1930, Staunton, VA, p 3.

The Scottish Kerr brothers, Robert, William and James all came to America in 1763. James to the Carolinas, Wm to Ohio and Robert about 40 miles from Philadelphia. Robert Kerr, born 1720 married the same year to Elizabeth Bailey of Wales. He resided in Chester Co. then Lancaster Co. through 1783 when they moved to VA. A lot of data is given in this source, on their children and younger generations. Historical Atlas Augusta County, Virginia, by Joseph A Waddell and Jed Hotchkiss, 1885, Chicago, The Kerr and Dunlap Families, p 45.

His daughter Margaret is often recorded as born in Chester Co., PA, but I have seen no proof of it (please share).

An old 1964 D.A.R. application has data on Margaret and her parents but it is not documented or sourced therein. It gives two death dates for Robert's wife, Elizabeth Bailey Kerr: 5 Dec 1810 and 18 Aug 1828) on the same DAR app.

Military Record sources:
Robt Kerr, born 1720 in Fifeshire, Scotland, died 2 Jan 1808 in Augusta Co., VA, has a "government marker," married in 1763 in Wales to Elizabeth Bailey, born 1729 in Wales and died 5 Dec 1810 in Augusta Co., VA. He served during the American Revolution per PA Archives. 5th, Vol. 1, p 194; 5th, vol. 4, p 443; 3rd Philadelphia Battalion Capt Conrad Rush; 4th class, 5th Battalion, WASHINGTON Co., PA and Westmoreland Co. Militia, 1782, Beverley Manor Chapter, DAR, Col. Thos Hughart Chapter, DAR. Source Register of Soldiers of the American Revolution Who died and lie buried in Augusta Co., VA compiled by Katherine G. Bushman, 1988, Col. Thos Hughart Chapter NSDAR, Staunton, VA, p 145. (I'm not sure about the last 3 military records on opposite sides of the state. I have yet to see someone serve in 2 different counties, but 3, wow. Suspect they are different men so please verify them. Where is the Government marker?

A man named Robert Kerr, was stationed at Ft Fincastle (Bath Co.) under Sgt Lane. VA Colonial Soldiers by Lloyd D Bockstuck, 1988, Geneal. Pub. Co., Inc., Baltimore, p 144.

A man named Robert Kerr is listed in Virginians in The Revolution, by John H Gwathmey, 1938, Dietz Press, Richmond, p 443. It sources Illinois Papers for him, no other data.

Robert Kerr, 1720 - 22 Jan 1808, married Elizabeth Bailey, Pvt PS PA (Private Patriot Service). DAR Patriot Index, NSDAR, Washington (D.C.), 1966, p 384.

Robert Kerr, "b Fifeshire, Scotland in 1720, d Augusta Co., VA on 22 Jan 1808, resided Washington Co., PA, private." Roster of the VA Daughters of the American Revolution, 1892-1936, 1938 VA DAR, Lynchburg, VA, p 419. No proof of Fifeshire given. DAR Ancestor #: A065177

Note, his grandson Senator Abness Bailey Kerr's (FaG #30443614) bio in Texas State Government, A Volume of Biographical Sketches and Passing Comment, by E. H. Loughery, McLeod & Jackson Printers, Austin, TX, 1897, 31-34: “Abnus Bailey Kerr, Flatonia, Senator from the Eighteenth Senatorial district, composed of Fayette, Lavaca and Colorado counties, was born in Augusta county, Virginia.... His grandfather upon his father’s side, was a wealthy planter and left a a large estate that was divided equally among his children and placed them in independent circumstances."

Robert Kerr emigrated to America from Scotland in 1763, settling first near Philadelphia. He owned flour mills on the Schuylkill, staying until after the revolution and then moved down to Augusta Co., VA. He married Elizabeth Bayley of Wales, in Fifeshire, Scotland. It lists their children. “Robert Kerr, the emigrant ancestor, descended from John Kerr, of the Forest of Selkirk, Scotland, who was living in 1357 and whose ancestors came from France with William the Conqueror.” Encyclopedia of Virginia Biography, under editorial supervisor Lyon Gardiner Tyler, LL, D, Vol. IV, New York, Lewis Historical Publishing Co., 1915, p 57.

There are several Kerrs buried at Shemariah, near their homesteads.

Two clippings from the 24 Apr 1903 Staunton Spectator and Vindicator, were taken from Richmond's Times Dispatch, discuss the Kerr surname.

Randy Stalnacker (this FaG memorial creator) entered Robert and Elizabeth's burials at Shemariah Presbyterian Church Cemetery. They did live in this area and many of their kin are at Shemariah. To date there are no proven records to support their burial here. Randy explained to me it was based on an old 1964-1965 DAR application without documentation of any kind. The church records do not support it, cemetery surveys (1936 WPA, etc.) do not record it and markers for them at Shemariah have not been found. Early on DAR accepted unproven data, but no longer does. I hope we can find a reliable source to prove it once and for all. This is a logical place for him, but he could also be buried on his homestead.

Bio researched and written by LSP.


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  • Maintained by: LSP
  • Originally Created by: Randy Stalnaker
  • Added: 14 Oct 2006
  • Find A Grave Memorial 16191666
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Robert Kerr (10 Dec 1726–22 Jan 1808), Find A Grave Memorial no. 16191666, citing Shemariah Church Cemetery, Summerdean, Augusta County, Virginia, USA ; Maintained by LSP (contributor 46860931) .