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Nathaniel Berry

  • Birth 1665
  • Death Aug 1718 Mansfield, Tolland County, Connecticut, USA
  • Burial Unknown
  • Memorial ID 46687581

Nathaniel Berry, s. of Joseph & Rachel Berry, was b. circa 1665 at Portsmouth, NH and d. before Aug. 16, 1718, the date his estate inventory was rendered at Mansfield, Conn. He m. at Hampton, NH on Dec. 3, 1691, Elizabeth Philbrick, b. at Hampton on May 3, 1667, dau. of Thomas Philbrick and Ann Knapp [Dow: History of Hampton, NH, vol. 2, p. 918].
The following is provided as the basis for correcting numerous misconceptions about the Nathaniel Berry family. Further, to correct longstanding errors in the printed literature regarding daughters Bethiah and Elizabeth.

In 1712 the Nathaniel Berry family was residing at Portsmouth, NH within that town's Greenland parish or tax district. Present-day Greenland, NH was not separated from Portmouth and made its own incorporated town until 1721. In the list of Portsmouth's Greenland tax district dated Feb. 5, 1711/2, "Natll Bery" was taxed at 15 shillings. [NEHGR 22:451]

Rev. William Allen, son of Rev. James Allen of Pittsfield, Mass., was ordained the first pastor of the Greenland church on July 15, 1707, but his record of baptisms and marriages do not begin until 1712. In a list titled the "Names of those in covenant before my ordination and in full communion," number 20 is Elizabeth Berrey. This indicates that prior to July 1707 Elizabeth (Philbrick) Berry at least "owned the covenant" of some Congregational church, presumably at Portsmouth. This refers to the "half-way" covenant of the Congregational Church that allowed persons to have their children baptized, but not also take communion. In a separate heading of "Persons admitted since my Settlement," apparently made in the year 1712, number 3 is Nathaniel Berrey. [Ibid, 28:252]

In the Hartford, Conn. Probate District is the following abstracted estate record [Manwaring, Vol. 2, pp. 354-5, citing Probate Vol. IX, Page 283]:

• Nathaniel Berry, Mansfield. Invt. £165-18-06. Taken 16 August, 1718, by Thomas Huntington and John Arnold.
• Court Record, Page 78--2 September, 1718: Adms. granted to Elizabeth Berry. widow.
• Page 107--7 July, 1719: This Court appoint Elizabeth Berry to be guardian to her children: Sarah, age 14 years; Abigail, 11 years. Recog., £100. Also, the widow exhibits an account of her Adms. Allowed. Order to distribute the estate as followeth:

• To Elizabeth Berry, widow, £25-13-01
• To Nathaniel Berry, son, £20-07-00
• To Rachel Fulshom, Ann Fenton, Bethiah Gove, Elizabeth Berry, Sarah Berry, and Abigail Berry, to each £10-03-06

• And appoint Thomas Huntington, John Arnold and Thomas Storrs, of Mansfield, distributors.

Based on the above, coupled with the marriage record of their dau. Ann, the Nathaniel Berry family arrived at Mansfield, Conn. by 1716. To the best understanding available, Nathaniel and Elizabeth (Philbrick) Berry had the following children, assumed to have been b. at Portsmouth, not Greenland, NH:

• i. Rachel Berry, b. circa 1693, purportedly d. at Windham, Conn. circa 1733; she m. Israel Folsom at Hampton, NH Sept. 30, 1713. Thereafter and beginning in 1716, all of their known children were b. of record either at Ashford, at adjacent Stafford or Windham, Conn.

• ii. Capt. Nathaniel Berry, Jr., b. May 1695, d. at Kent, Conn. Dec 30, 1757, Æ. 83; m. Rebecca Hatch at Falmouth, Mass. Dec. 18, 1722, dau. of Joseph Hatch and Amy Allen, b. of record at Falmouth Jan. 25, 1699/700. She d. at Kent. Conn. May 9, 1783, Æ. 84. They are ancestral American grandparents of Sir Winston (Leonard Spencer) Churchill, Prime Minister of England during WW II.

• iii. Bethiah Berry, poss. b. May 6, 1697, d. at Hampton, NH April 17, 1727, "aged" (Æ.) 30, after giving birth to four children. Her first child, dau. Elizabeth, was b. at Hampton Nov. 12, 1719. She m. by late 1718 as his first wife Edward Gove of Hampton, NH, s. of Ebenezer Gove and Judith Sanborn. In the inventory of Bethiah's father at Mansfield, Conn. is a debt owed to Edward Gove, Bethiah's husband. Each of Edward and Bethiah's four children were individually named for their respective grandparents: in birth order Elizabeth (Philbrick), Nathaniel (Berry), Ebenezer (Gove) and Judith (Sandborn.) Dow's History of Hampton, NH, vol. 2, pp. 738-9, incorrectly gives Bethiah the maiden name of Clark, which is why her descendant family has not been successful in uncovering the identity of her parents for the last 100 years.

• iv. Ann Berry, b. circa 1699, d. July 1, 1785 at Willington, Conn.; m. Jan. 1, 1716/7 at the Greenland Cong. Chh. at Portsmouth, NH, Francis Fenton [NEHGR 65:352]. He was b. at Woburn, Mass. July 22, 1690 and d. at Willington, Conn. Jan. 25, 1781, Æ 91. Francis was the second of ten children of Robert Fenton & Dorothy Farrar, latter who by 1695 were residing at Windham and by 1703 at adjoining Mansfield, Conn.

• v. Elizabeth Berry, b. circa 1700, d. at Tolland, Conn. Mar. 8, 1728/9, Æ 29; m. as his first wife Jan. 31, 1720/1, prob. at Mansfield but only of record at Tolland, Conn., John Abbott, s. of Deac. Nehemiah Abbott and Abigail Lovejoy. He was b. at Andover, Mass. Nov. 4, 1697 and d. at Tolland, Conn. Nov. 25, 1779, Æ 83.

• vi. Sarah Berry, b. circa 1706-7, d. at Kent, Conn. Sept. 16, 1784, Æ 78; m. in Oct. 1731 at Tolland, Conn. to Jehiel Benton, s. of Joseph Benton and Sarah Waters, bapt. at Hartford (2nd Chh.) Jan. 28, 1710/11 and d. at Kent. Conn. Oct. 30, 1789, Æ 79.

• vii. Abigail Berry, b. circa 1708-9; she was living on July 7, 1719, but the writer knows of no further record concerning her after that date.

What became of the widow Elizabeth (Philbrick) Berry is unknown, but obviously she was living in July 1719.

Edited 3/25/2015


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  • Created by: Don Blauvelt
  • Added: 14 Jan 2010
  • Find A Grave Memorial 46687581
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Nathaniel Berry (1665–Aug 1718), Find A Grave Memorial no. 46687581, ; Maintained by Don Blauvelt (contributor 46932939) Unknown.