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 Samuel Berry

Photo added by Cindy S Munson

Samuel Berry

  • Birth 27 Jun 1780 Washington County, Virginia, USA
  • Death 10 Feb 1855 Petersburg, Menard County, Illinois, USA
  • Burial Petersburg, Menard County, Illinois, USA
  • Memorial ID 65261836

(Please note in lower picture error in his name)

Samuel Berry married the daughter of Revolutionary War Veteran James Weir & Margaret Sharp his wife Anny who bore him 12 children on September 6 1803 the family was living in Franklin County, Tennessee, by 1815 when he bought land on the waters of the Boiling Fork of the Elk River In 1826 Samuel sold his land in Tennessee and moved his family to Sangamon County, Illinois. In 1828 he became the Justice of the Peace and in that capacity Samuel was instrumental in the creation of Menard County, which was formed out of Sangamon County.

Samuel Berry and his family lived near New Salem, Illinois, a town now famous as the home of a young man named Abraham Lincoln. Samuel’s brother, Rev. John McCutcheon Berry, lived in New Salem as well. He was the minister of the Rock Creek Cumberland Presbyterian Church. Rev. Berry was also the father of William Franklin Berry, who opened a general store with Abraham Lincoln in New Salem in 1832.

In the 1850 census of Menard County, Samuel Berry was seventy years of age and was the owner of 1500 acres of land, north of Petersburg, Illinois. Petersburg is 3 miles from the town of New Salem.

Abe Lincoln was quite close with the Berry family. He was the best man at Samuel's son Baxter Bell & Elizabeth Cameron wedding while the other son James married Lincoln's first love Ann Rutledge sister Jane

Another interesting story is Friend of Spring Hill Cemetery and a Martin descendant, gives a wonderful account of the Cameron and Berry families journey to California in her book, Tapestry, self published in 2008. In it, Caroline writes,
John M Cameron was fifty-eight when, in 1849, he organized a 40 wagon train. It included, in part, his son and family, the unmarried Cameron daughters, and three married daughters with their husbands and families. May 1 they left Oskaloosa and began the trek to California.

Spring of year 1849, John Cameron led 40 wagons on trip from Iowa to California. Almost all the members of the Oskaloosa church went along. Cameron had 4 covered wagons and a carriage for his family. Samuel Berry was the eldest being 69 years old. Charles Purvine, a son-in- law, drove 100 head of cattle. The first few days out of Iowa were very nice, but after crossing the Missouri they were in no-mans- land, among wild Indians, the plains hot and dry.
Indians on Spanish ponies lurked on hidden trails. Cameron, Baxter Bonham (a son-in- law)and Samuel Berry held prayers each evening.

As they crossed the Alkali flats and hot desert there was much sickness. The carriage horses died from drinking poisoned water, they had to leave the carriage which Polly loved and they all enjoyed.
The wagon train passed many graves where cholera was posted as warning.The 40-wagon- train arrived at Salt Lake settlement of the Mormons without a death and they
were all thankful, but extreme heat by day and cool nights weakened their moral and members of the 36 wagons were fearful of going on till spring. Cameron saw the men eyeing his pretty daughters and decided to go on. Son Tom and family, 2 Son-in- laws and their families,Bonham camp; Purvine, John, Polly and other daughters not married. God being their guide they pulled out again. The ways ahead were heart breaking. They saw people at sides of trail that
had been tomahawked, the wagons burned, wives and children missing, having been carried off by Indians. When they saw smoke or dust, John and train switched to another trail. Once when they knew Indians were watching they held such an impressive ceremony in prayer that it is said the Indians were afraid to attack. The group had sung loud and all took part. The Indian Chief is to have said “The birds of heaven have brought a message from our Great Father, these pilgrims are not to be touched. Wait until others who do not believe so come along. The Cameron train never again had trouble.

All along they read signs telling what trail to take and the hardships to come. They decided to take the Lassen trail. They lost 1 wagon, were all very cold as it got to 20 at night and they were short of food and depended on wild fruit and game, often not having enough to eat. A group of men heard of their coming and their situation and rode out several days to help and bring food.
This trip took 6 month

Son of James Samuel Berry & Elizabeth McCutcheon
Father of:
William W Berry
Samuel Berry
Sgt Major Baxter Bell Berry
Margaret Sharp Berry
Elizabeth McCutchen Berry Jester
Mary Ann Berry
Capt William Preston Berry
Mary Berry
Sarah Weir Berry
Charity C Berry
Harriet Malinda Berry
Martha Ann Berry Clark

Family Members


  • Maintained by: William D Berry
  • Originally Created by: Cindy S Munson
  • Added: 6 Feb 2011
  • Find A Grave Memorial 65261836
  • William D Berry
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Samuel Berry (27 Jun 1780–10 Feb 1855), Find A Grave Memorial no. 65261836, citing Old Concord Cemetery, Petersburg, Menard County, Illinois, USA ; Maintained by William D Berry (contributor 48784186) .