John Perrin (Jr.) of Southampton Township, Bedford County, Pennsylvania

This section will focus on John Perrin's son John (sometimes referred to as John, Jr.); specifically the activites of him and his family in Bedford County, Pennsylvania. In a previous section I discussed John, Jr. and his activites in the French and Indian War and possible association with the tract Sink Hole Bottom in Murley Branch. A later section will discuss several of his sons as they moved to Ohio, and then I will continue this genealogy with son Thomas.

I want to dedicate this portion of the genealogy to Sharon Spielman Ashcraft, whose collaboration early on in this project was crucial for my understanding the life and times of John Perrin's son John, our mutual ancestor. To quote her; "I'm also a stickler for documentation whenever I can find it. ...The desire for facts just kinda' runs in my veins and I thrive on solving puzzles ACCURATELY!" Sharon finished writing her family history in June, 2008. She was diagnosed with cancer in August, and died September 28, 2008.

Overview of Bedford County

General Geography of southern Bedford County, Pennsylvania
Selected roads as of 1832 shown. Warrior's Path location at best an estimate

Bedford County geography

The map above shows the topography of Bedford County. The land is defined by mountain ridges and valleys. Until 1791 travel east and west through this region was along the Potomac or via a road along the Raystown branch of the Juniata river that passed through Bedford town. Travel north and south depended on a road between Bedford and Cumberland, probably constructed during the Indian War around 1758. The county itself was not formed until 1769; records previous to that time refer to this region as part of Cumberland County.

1816 Southampton Twp

Southampton Township, Bedford County (from Melish, 1816). Residences named: Dicken (Bean's Cove), Adams (Sweet Root Gap into Black Valley), north to south in Town Creek: Kinesman, Howser, Perdew and Johnson

John Perrin lived south of Bedford in present day Southampton Township, formed from parts of Colerain and Cumberland (Bean's Cove) Townships in 1801. This portion of Bedford County is separated from the county seat by a significant mountain and nearly twenty miles. Not surprisingly many of the early settlers of the Town Creek watershed came from Maryland or Virginia.

West of Town Creek is Warrior Ridge, named for the Warrior's Path. This Indian trail, drawn on the 1755 map shown here, traveled east of Warrior Ridge through the Town Creek valley north of present day Chaneysville. For its route south of Chaneysville I have two references. An original 1767 warranty for land patented on the Pennsylvania/Maryland border stated it was :

on the Old Warriors Path the west side of the Warriors Ridge, on Flintstone Creek adjoining the Provincial line in Cumb County

The survey for Spurgeons Choice in 1763 began north of Black Creek and west of Town Creek

on the point of a Little hill on the East side of a small path that Leads from Spurgeons up the old town creek

To me it looks like the Warrior's Path came north from the Maryland boundary west of Warrior's Ridge, and crossed over to Town Creek at Black Valley Gap.

Overview of Black Creek

Town Creek and Black Valley near the Pennsylvania border
Selected tracts are labelled according to their owners as of 1800

The map above shows this region in greater detail. Good land for settlement could be found only in the creek valleys, so the earliest settlers had few neighbors.

The Historical Record

Tax Assessments

The first Pennsylvania record for John Perrin was in 1767, when his residence was assessed in the newly formed Bedford Township, Cumberland County. In 1768 Colerain Township was formed, and Perrin was assessed there for the years 1768 through 1770. Bedford County was formed in 1771, and John Perrin can be found in all the known tax assessments for that county, first in Colerain Township (1773 - 1799) and then Southampton Township (1801 - 1816). Many of these records are available through secondary sources . Thhe original records are available online through FamilySearch. The table below is incredibly long and can be accessed by clicking the eyeglasses icon. While it contains the specific references for John Perrin, the general references for each year contain information about other neighboring families as well.

eyeglasses icon

In 1767, Perrin was assessed for ten acres of cleared land. Acreage estimates fluctuated widely until 1782, when a figure of 112 acres became accepted. The assessed acreage increased once more around 1796 to 212 acres. When assessments included livestock, Perrin typically had 5 or 6 cattle until 1800, at which time ther herd became smaller. Numbers of horses, while high in the 1780s, stabilized around 2 thereafter. Whenever monetary valuations were listed, Perrin usually registered higher than his neighbors.

A few tax lists recorded unusual information. The 1779 list was not recorded alphabetically. Perrin's portion of the list shown below apparently proceeded south along Town Creek and then into Black Valley. The 1784 list provided demographics; it reported one house and one cabin, with thirteen people at John Parron's residence .

Court records

Other Bedford County records mention John Perrin as well. In 1772, the first session of the Bedford County Court recorded :

On the petition of George Brent and others, setting forth the necessity of a road from Bedford to the Little Tonnollaways near John Powell's. Ordered that William Spurgeon, James Spurgeon, John Perrin, John Friend Jr., Joseph Friend and John Johnson do view the same and they or any four of them make return thereof to the next Court agreeable to the Act of Assembly in that case made and provide. Order issued.

This road is probably the one shown on the map above that goes from Bedford to Hancock, Maryland through Friend's Cove and Chaneysville. John Powell is the subject of another section. Powell's will in 1806 implied that this road was not built until about that time .

The County court appointed John Perrin as Supervisor of the Highways for Colerain Township in 1775 and Constable for the Township in 1787 . He served as juror in 1778 and 1783 . In 1785, he represented Drucilla Perrin in a case in Common Pleas Court involving John Gordon, Jr .

Land records

Persons in Pennsylvania settling on the frontier patented land in much the same way as in Maryland. The state was much more lenient, however. One could live on claimed land indefinitely without a warrant or a survey. Only in the late nineteenth century did the state push for patents on all lands.

John Perrin's original property was not formally patented or surveyed until 1855, after it had been sold to Jeremiah Robinet by John's grandchildren .

Survey map

original Perrin land

Then it consisted of 82 plus acres; probably corresponding to the 62 acres called "deeded land" in the 1791 tax assessments . Its location is shown above. The property included all of Black Valley Gap north of a stream now called Black Creek but on an 1877 map called Perrin's Run .

location of Perrin's Run

Identification of Perrin's Run, 1877

John did obtain warrants in 1787 (50 acres) and 1794 (100 acres, to John Pearrain) ; the dates correspond to two surveys recorded for the same tract .

Survey map

additional Perrin land

This land lay west of his original claim. The two properties are shown together in a final survey done in 1855 for 150 acres ; these are outlined best in the topographic map above.


John Perrin was not the first person to settle in the Black Valley Gap region.

The locations for all these tracts are shown on the topographic map above. Their placement is helpful for interpreting the geographically ordered 1779 tax assessment, a portion of which is shown here.

Last Name Surname Acerage
Johnston Joseph 95
Johnson Tho's 50
Davis Tho's 50
Spurgeon Ezekiel 50
Spurgeon Samuel 50
Stewart James 100
Amrine Henry 100
Bennit Joseph 50
Pearen John 40
Amrine George
Moss Samuel

Then there are several persons in the 1779 assessment who are not fully accounted for by later land surveys.


As mentioned above, the 1784 tax assessment  stated there were 13 people in the Perrin household.

John Perrin was not recorded for certain in the 1790 census. In Bedford County there is an entry for John Penrod; at least this is how reads the record. I have looked at the writing, and it could easily be Perrin misspelled as well. That household contained 2 males over 16 years old, 3 males under 16, and 6 females.

In 1800 the John Perrin household had 2 males under 10 and 3 females under 15 years of age. By 1810 there were an additional 2 females, for a total of 5 girls and 2 boys.

The 1820 and 1830 census, after John Perrin's death, recorded his wife Sarah as well as two adult males. The numbers of females and children present suggest that one of these men had married. From the census it seems likely that all of Perrin's daughters had left the household by 1820.

Will and Estate Inventory

John, Jr. wrote his will in 1813 :

In the name of God, Amen. I, John Perrin, of Southampton Township, Bedford County and State of Pennsylvania, being sick and weak in body, but of sound and disposing mind, memory and understanding, considering the certainty of death and the uncertainty of the time thereof and being desirous to settle my Worldly affairs and thereby be the better prepared to leave this world when it shall please God to call me hence do therefore make and publish this my Last Will and Testament in manner and form following ? That is to say: First and principally I commit my soul into the hand of Almighty God and my body to the earth to be decently buried at the discretion of my Executor herein after named and after my debt and funeral charges are paid that my wife is to keep all my other property under her command, both real and personal while she is in her natural life and after her death all my property both real and personal is to be sold by public sale and the money Kearfuly collected,? My two sons Edward and Ely is to have Eighty Dollars Each before any Divide is made amoungst the children, also Rebecka, Nancy, Amalia, Liddy is to have fifty dollars each before a Divide is made, and Edward is to have the mare wich he put to the horse this Spring and the Colt if she brings one for his own and shant be sold.? Then after this is done their shall be an Equil Devoid mate amongst the hole of the Children of the residue of my property Share and Share alike, and? Lastly I do hereby constitute and appoint my Dear wife Sarah and Richard Davis, my son-in-law, to be my Executors of this my Last will and testament, notifying and confirming this to be my Last will and testament, for testimony where I have hereunto set my hand and affixed my seal this thirteenth day of July in the year of our Lord one thousand Eight hundred and thirteen.

John Perrin (seal)

Signed, Sealed, published and declared by John Perrin the above named testator as and for his Last will and testament in the presence of us who at his request in his presence and in the presence of each other have subscribed our Names as Witnesses thereto

John Johnson William Perdue
Abil Johnson Jacob Adams

The will was witnessed by John and Abel Johnson, probable sons of Thomas Johnson , along with neighbor William Perdue and Jacob Adams, the grandfather of J. H. P. Adams. Adams and Robert Bennett proved the will on April 30, 1816.

The inventory of the estate shown above was dated May 20, 1816 .

Inventory of the goods and chattles of John Perrin, Late of Southampton Township, Bedford County, Deceased, taken and appraised by John Johnson and Robert Bennett, taken this twentieth day of May A.D. 1816 -

Item Value Item Value
one coat
one note on Thomas Perrin due 25 Dec 1820
one ditto
one sorrel horse
three vest coats 50 cents each
one mare and colt
two shirts - $1 each
one roan horse
three pair pantaloons 25 cents each
seven head of horned cattle
one Bed, Bedsted and furniture
Eight head of sheep
one Bed, Bedsted and furniture
four lambs
one other ditto
fourteen herd [head] of hogs
two chests $2 each
three Bee hives
two spinning wheels
two Iron pots
one Big [By?] wheel
two Duch ovens
one check reel
one Iron Kettle
one Dresser and furniture
one Dito
one hackle [cloak]
one Weavers loom
one friing pan
two horse geers [?]
one cuting knife
one plough and tacking
one pair shoe penchers
one Log chain
one two feet rule
old iron
one Drawing knife
one flax Break
one side saddle
set of Weavers spools
one note on Thomas Perrin due 25 Dec 1814
one old saddle
one note on Thomas Perrin due 25 Dec 1815
one pair stilards
one note on Thomas Perrin due 25 Dec 1816
two flat irons
one note on Thomas Perrin due 25 Dec 1817
one table
one note on Thomas Perrin due 25 Dec 1818
one shot gun
one note on Thomas Perrin due 25 Dec 1819
old harrow teeth

I, Robert Bennett do Solemly, sincerly and truly afirm that I have well and truly, without partiality or prejudice valued and appraised the Goods, Chattels and personal Estate of John Perron, Deceased, so far as the same came to my sight and knowledge, to the best of my skill and judgement, So help me God.

Signed, Robert X Bennett (his mark), John Johnson

Apraised and Subscribed the 21 Day of May 1816 before me - Jacob Adams

Compared to his father's inventory in 1769, there are more livestock and a fair amount of furniture. I personally am impressed with the tools needed to make cloth. There were promissory notes due from son Thomas each year from 1814 through 1820; this would suggest to me that John Perrin died between December 1813 and December 1814. On the other hand, John Perrin was still in the Southampton tax roles dated April 2, 1816; so I must conclude that Thomas was delinquent on his mortgage and John died in the spring of 1816. Using the information provided by J. H. P. Adams cited below I can arrive at 1736 as John Perrin's year of birth.


What happned to the Perrin family after John's death was determined soley by a single sentence in his will:

after my debt and funeral charges are paid that my wife is to keep all my other property under her command, both real and personal while she is in her natural life and after her death all my property both real and personal is to be sold by public sale and the money Kearfuly collected

Sarah lived for over twenty years following the death of her husband. By 1834, children Edward and Lydia sold their shares of the Perrin inheritance to Archibald Casteel ; Nancy Perrin did the same in 1838, selling her share to Robert Bennett . Finally, in April, 1839 son Eli Perrin petitioned the Orphan's Court of Bedford County. After stating the conditions of John Perrin's will, he then noted that Sarah Perrin had died on March 2, 1839. As Perrin's executor Richard Davis had died four years prior, Eli asked to become the executor of the estate and sell the Perrin property, allowing for the distributions required in the will, becoming . This was granted, and the property was sold in April, 1839 to Jeremiah Robinett for $2500.

Matters did not move smoothly from there, however. Eli, despite being bonded, proceeded to buy his own property from Michael Murphy for $550 at an estate sale in August, 1839 . In August, 1840 the husbands of Nancy and Amelia Perrin petitioned the Orphan's Court, asking them to cite Eli for not filing an account of the John Perrin estate . Disagreements regarding the accuracy of the account Eli filed resulted in a trio of auditors being appointed by the Court; the final accounts being presented to the Court in January, 1842 . Their report is notable for containing a list of John Perrin's legal heirs; viz.:

  • John Perrin
  • Jonathan Perrin
  • William Perrin
  • Edward Perrin (to Archibald Casteel)
  • Lydia Crow (to Archibald Casteel)
  • Eli Perrin
  • Susanna intermarried with Richard Davis
  • Drusilla interrmarried with Benjamin Johnson
  • Elizabeth intermarried with John Johnson
  • Rachel intermarried with Joseph Perrin
  • Sarah intermarried with Joseph Powell
  • Catherine intermarried with Benjamin McClelland
  • Mary intermarried with John Gordon
  • Charity intermarried with John Stuart
  • Adam Fetter in right of Rebecca his wife
  • Robert Bennett in right of David & Nancy Fetter
  • Amelia intermarried with Joseph Johnson
  • Joseph Perrin

Thomas Perrin is excluded from any interest in the estate in conseequence of his indebtedness to a greater amount than he would be entitled to

This list of heirs will prove valuable in assessing the family information presented below. Each share of the inheritance was worth over two hundred dollars; I do not have any information concerning its distribution.


While the probate documents provide a snapshot of what was known in 1840 about John Perrin's family, there are obvious errors as well as gaps in the information about earlier wives and children. Then there is some family lore to reconcile.

In 1907 J. H. P. Adams wrote concerning John Perrin :

John Perrin's first wife was a sister of Robert Ray. Perrin's second wife was Rachel McCoy. He was the father of twenty-two children and was a useful man in his day, and was loved and respected by all who know him. He died at a ripe old age of 80 years and was laid to rest, on his own farm.

The accounts of J. H. P. Adams unfortunately may reach into fantasy. Indeed, his description of Robert Ray is not supported by any other accounts. But while his 1756 John Perrin account discussed earlier contained little accurate information, I believe Adams' statements about later events may survive scrutiny when adjusted for inevitable exaggeration.

Further information about John's children and their spouses came from Josephine (Mrs. Henry) Nycum, daughter of J. H. P. Adams. Helen Greenburg of the Bedford Historical Society interviewed her in 1935 . Ms. Greenburg's typed notes now reside with the Pennsylvania Historical Society , and the text here is verbatim:

John Perrin born December 17, 1722
Rachel McCoy was killed by Indians
Sarah Kelley
Joseph married Mary Fletcher
Thomas McLaughlin
William 1st wife -----------
2nd  "  Rhoda Needles
issue to 2nd wife Sarah Kelly
Edward      " Alice Williams
Elis Phebe Fedora Bennett
Sarah Joseph Powell
Rachael ------ Johnson
Susan Richard Davis
Drusilla Crum or Schrumm
Elizabeth John Johnson
Catharine ------- McLaughlin
Mary John Gordain (Gordon)
Charity Joseph Spurgeon
Rebecca Adam Fetter
Nancy David Fetter
Mile (Millie) Joseph Johnson
Lydia Jacob Crow (eldest son of Michael)

Other suggestions for the children's spouses can be found in Ben Johnson's genealogy of Griffith Johnson .

Where Nycum's information came from is not known. How much of what Greenburg recorded came from Nycum, or is her own interpretation, is not clear to me. My best hypothesis would be that J. H. P. Adams' mother, Adam Powell, had a family Bible from her mother, Sarah Powell, the daughter of John Perrin, Jr. But some information in the list above, such as William's second marriage, must have been recorded no earlier than the 1850s .


Sister of Robert Ray

This person was discussed earlier in conjunction with the 1756 John Perrin story. For the purposes of this section I will assume that she is fictitious.

Rachel McCoy

There is no information regarding Rachel McCoy beyond Adams and Nycum. Nycum stated she was killed by Indians, but the chronology to follow shows that she or some other first wife must have fathered John Perrin's earlier children.

The name McCoy first appeared in western Maryland in 1739, when John McCoy patented land on Antietam Creek named Neglect ; its location in overview or detail is shown elsewhere.The will of Archibald McCoy in Washington County, Maryland (signed on September 2, 1804 and witnessed by Joseph Perrin's son Joseph) stated that Archibald was John's son . Archibald's will also mentioned his daughter Rachel Powell, so Rachel was a family name for the McCoys. Finally Joseph Perrin (John, Sr.'s son) served with Archibald McCoy in the Revolutionary War . It seems clear that the Perrin and McCoy families were close, supporting the possibility of a marriage between John Perrin, Jr., and a Rachel McCoy of Archibald's generation.

Nycum stated William and Joseph Perrin were sons of Rachel McCoy . If this be true, the census and tax information cited below make it likely that Rachel lived at least until 1779 and perhaps as late as 1781.

Sarah Kelly

John, Jr.'s last wife was named Sarah. She was named in John, Jr.'s will as well as in property deeds as early as 1801 . From the combined census data I reckon she was born between 1755 and 1760. Her date of death, 1839, is known from the probate documents . The 1800 and 1810 census data imply she bore children as late as 1800.

Arthur Kent stated in his Kent Genealogy that Sarah was a sister of Rachel and Ann Kelley, who had married John, Jr.'s brothers Joseph and Edward, respectively . Indeed William Kelley, the father of Rachel and Ann, stated in his will written in 1788 :

First, I give and bequeath unto my beloved Wife Mary Ann Kelley this tract of Land which I now live on adjoining Jacob Tutwiler and Archibald McCoy's lines together with the dwelling House, Barn and Stables, and every appertenances thereunto belonging to have and to hold the same peaceably and without Enterception from any of my Successors, heirs or assigns during her lifetime - and at her decease to return to Ann Perrin her heirs or assigns, and I bequeath unto my dearly beloved Wife her Wheel her Bed Bead Stead and Bed Clothes, and the One half of the whole of my moveable estate as her own property and at her disposal of her death, in what manner she shall see cause and the other half to be sold and the debts to be paid out of the same by my wife and also, I allow her whatever quantity of flax & wool there is and whatever is left I allow to be returned to Ann Perrin - I give & bequeath unto John Perrin One Shilling Sterling and no more. And I allow unto Jean Breathard one Shilling and no more, and to Rachel Perrin one Shilling Sterling and no more,...

A more detailed map of Antietam Creek elsewhere shows that the Kelley and McCoy tracts were adjacent to each other. That William Kelley would will a trifle to John Perrin establishes him in my mind as Kelley's son-in-law.

The will above also confirms that John and Sarah were married by 1788. Nycum's list of children implied that all of John Perrin's daughters were Sarah Kelley's children; that is not physically possible. I will therefore assume that the maternal assignments made in Nycum's record apply only to sons Edward and Eli on the list.


There are a lot of children to account for. J. H. P. Adams stated there were a total of twenty two children. Nycum listed seven sons and thirteen daughters. The probate record above lists the same seven sons and twelve daughters. Considering that John essentially had two separate families with his two wives, this is quite likely. At times the household would have been crowded; the 1784 tax assessment was consistent with as many as eleven children living in the household .


All seven sons can be found in the historical record. I believe that, excepting Joseph and John, Nycum listed their names in order of their apparent birthdate.


The Southampton Township records show Joseph Perrin from 1802 until 1816 . Joseph Perrin was present in the 1800 and 1810 Southampton Township, Bedford County census; from those entries I reckon a date of birth between 1775 and 1784. The fact that Joseph is not in the tax records before 1802 imply a birthdate of 1781 or later.

The tax records also imply that Joseph was married by 1802. The 1810 census showed that Joseph was married with four sons and one daughter. Nycum said he married Mary Fletcher , and this is confirmed in a later biographical history .

Joseph obtained a warrant and surveyed land next to John Perrin in April, 1814 .

Survey map

Joseph Perrin patent

It was sold around 1853 by the heirs of Joseph's brother Edward to Artemus Bennet .The tract is shown in red above. This Joseph may be the Joseph Perrin who served with William McLaughlin in the War of 1812 . After 1814, Joseph disappeared from the Pennsylvania record. While he is still on the tax roles for Southampton Township in 1816, it seems likely he and his family emigrated to Ohio in 1815 along with the Archibald Powell family as described in another section.


Thomas appeared in the Southampton Township records briefly. In 1788 and 1789 he listed as a freeman, i.e., not married . In the next year the following record appeared :

leaving town

Thomas' life in Maryland after 1789 will be the subject of his own section. There I assert that his birth may be 1763. Nycum stated he married a McLaughlin ; circumstantial evidence which will be developed in later sections supports that possibility.


Jonathan appeared in the Southampton tax records from 1797 until 1800 listed as a freeman . According to the 1850 census Jonathan was born in 1770. Johnson reported he moved with sisters Drusilla and Elizabeth Johnson to Harrison County, Ohio . He died there in January 2, 1852 unmarried, in agreement with Nycum . His will clearly showed his relationship to the Johnsons , giving credence to the marriages of Drusilla and Elizabeth described in Johnson's list and the probate record.


William Perrin appeared only once in the Southampton Township tax records, in 1799 . In that year his final record was crossed out, and the notation "married" was made. This notation may be incorrect, given his later marriages in Ohio. His life in Ohio is desribed in another section. From the Ohio records I can conclude that he was born in 1777; the tax record in Pennsylvania is consistent with that date. The census records imply he had left Pennsylvania by 1800.

Nycum stated William married twice, the second time to Rhoda Needles. This marriage, which took place in 1859 in Franklin County, Ohio, was actually between Rhoda and William, son of Joseph Perrin . The Ohio narrative shows William married twice, in 1809 and 1840.


According to the census Edward was born between 1790 and 1800. As he first appeared as a freeman in the Southampton Township tax lists in 1816, I would assign 1795 as his birth year . He was listed in John Perrin's will above. Edward lived on Joseph's property after he moved west, and in the 1820 and 1830 census was listed next to his mother Sarah. Nycum recorded Alice Williams as Edwards's wife . When Edward sold his rights to John Perrin's estate in 1834 and 1836 he gave his wife's name as Nancy . As Nancy was a very common nickname she may be the same person as Alice.

Edward was apparently still alive in 1838 according to Lenox Perrin's account book . Both Edward and his wife died before 1840. In that year Edward's younger brother Eli assumed guardianship for Edward's youngest son Amos . Later guardianship petitions show that Nancy had also died by 1841 It is significant that Eli, not Edward, assumed responsibility for the successful sale of John Perrin's land to Jeremiah Robinett in April, 1839 .


According to the census Eli was born about 1798. He first appeared as a freeman in the Southampton Township tax lists in 1820, consistent with that date . He served as the executor of John Perrin's estate as described above. After the sale of John Perrin's land Eli stayed in Southampton Township, purchasing 345 acres in 1739 . According to the 1860 Southampton Township map this property was 3 miles east of Chaneysville .

1860 location of Eli Perrin land

1860 map of Southampton Township detail showing E. Perrin (lower right)

The 1850 agricultural census showed he had 2 horses, 4 cattle and 16 sheep, producing some grains but mostly keeping pasture on 60 improved acres .

Nycum stated Eli married Phoebe Bennett , and this is accepted by Bennett family genealogists. Eli's will filed in 1870 named her "Frelove" . They apparently had no children, but assumed guardianship for Edward Perrin's two youngest sons Jonathan and Amos St. Clair's Bedford, The History and Genealogy of Bedford County, Pennsylvania (Laughlinton, PA: Southwest Pennsylvania Genealogical Services) 4(2) (1984): 15 and 4(4): 15.

John (III)

In 1793 John Parran or Perrin of Allegany County, Maryland patented Parran's Chance and That's All, a total of 30 1/2 acres, in the Murley's Branch region . The tax roles from that county showed him assessed for Cars Vineyard in 1798, with 3 horses and 2 black cattle . While Nycum did not record a wife for John, a John Perrin married Mary Newsom in the German Reformed Church, Hagerstown, Maryland in 1795 .

The 1800 census in Allegany County, Maryland recorded John as born between 1755 and 1774, married and with two sons and one daughter. Parran's Chance and That's All were sold to Charles Clymer by John Parran, Jr. of Bedford County, Pennsylvania and Sarah his wife on August 18, 1801 , implying both that this John Perrin was his son and that he had moved away. In another section I will outline what I believe were his family in Ohio. Judging from information there, John was born in 1762.

Im Southampton Township an additional John Perron or Perren distinct from John and Jonathan appears twice in the tax roles. The 1799 record is annotated "couloured" . The 1800 record is crossed out, with the notation "out" written . In both of these records John is listed as a freeman. None of this information is consistent with the information about John in this section or elsewhere; I am not sure what to make of it.


With the exception of Sarah, the thirteen daughters in Nycum's list appear to be ordered by birthdate . I agree with Ben Johnson when he said that Millie and Amelia are probably the same person . The probate record above agrees with that interpretation.


Nycum, Johnson and the probate record stated that Sarah married Joseph Powell . J. H. P. Adams, more specifically said

Joseph Powell married a daughter of John Perrin in the year 1765 or 6 (records destroyed by fire)

In another section I am able to describe Joseph Powell and his relations. While the above quotation by J. H. P. Adams requires a very different interpretation, I can conclude that his ancestor Joseph Powell had a second wife named Sarah whom he married after 1805. Sarah became the head of the Powell household in 1817 according to the Southampton Township tax records , implying that Joserph had died in 1816. She was also the head of the Powell household in the 1820 census. There she stated she was born before 1786.


Nycum thought Rachel married a Johnson . Johnson proposed Richard Davis or someone named Joseph . The probate record proposed that Rachel married Joseph Perrin . All of those suggestions seem unrealistic.

A reasonable sugggestion, mixing the information above, would be that Rachel married a Joseph Johnson. Such a person is in the tax lists for Colerain township but was probably born around 1748, and was married by 1775. If Rachel married a Johnson, the most likely candidate is John, the son of Thomas Johnson in Town Creek. But in 1806 John's wife was Elizabeth . Other Johnson candidates include John's younger brother Abel and a number of unnamed older brothers known to exist only from the 1784 tax assessment for Thomas Johnson.

The order of Nycum's list implies that Rachel was John Perrin's oldest daughter, born around 1765. As John Johnson witnessed Perrin's will and conducted his estate inventory  it makes the most sense that he were a relative.


Nycum and the probabe record identified Richard Davis, the named executor of John Perrin's estate, as Susannah's husband . Johnson stated he saw this marriage confirmed in Richard's estate papers  but I have not beren able to find those documents.

It makes sense that Richard was the son of Thomas Davis who lived just south of the Perrin family. The tax records for Southampton Township include Richard Davis from 1786 until 1789 . The fact that he is not listed as a freeman implies he was married as of 1786, and born no later than 1765. Later a Richard Davis and family lived near Thomas Perrin in Allegany County, Maryland as discussed elsewhere. There the 1800 and 1810 census showed his wife to be born before 1765.


The Progeny of Capt. Griffin Johnson stated Drusilla was born February 17, 1766 . This was probably from a family bible. Her marriage to Benjamin Johnson occurred in 1787. Nycum's information regarding Crum or Shrumm  appears to be incorrect, as the probabe record agrees with Johnson .

Drusilla was mentioned with John Perrin in Bedford County Court in 1785 . Benjamin and Drusilla sold property in Allegany County, Maryland in 1805 ; by then they probably had already moved with Eliazabeth and Jonathan Perrin to Harrison County, Ohio


Ben Johnson stated Elizabeth was born around 1770, married John Johnson before 1800 and died around 1801 in Harrison County, Ohio . Nycum and the probate record agreed . There is more about Elizabeth and John Johnson in a later section.


Nycum stated Catherine married a McLaughlin . William Gilbert Lafayette McLaughlin wrote in 1909 that Berriman the brother of William McLaughlin of Town Creek (more about William later) married a Perrin . The author of that family's history pointed out that Berriman married Caroline French, and this is confirmed by others, citing the birth of their first two children in Hampshire County, Virginia in 1797 and 1801, respectively . But by the time Berriman had moved to Butler County, Pennsylvania in 1804, he sold land without any wife to relinquish her dower, suggesting that Caroline French had died . Later deeds show that Berriman's wife was now Catherine, and her tombstone in Greene County, Illinois says "Catherine" as well . In the 1850 census, Greene County, the Hiram Holiday household (he being Berriman's son-in-law) included an entry for Catharine McLaughlin, age 73, born in Pennsylvania. As Caroline French was born in Maryland, this confirms that Catherine and Caroline were different persons. Thus Berriman had two wives, marrying Catherine Perrin sometime after 1804.


Nycum and the probate record stated that Mary married John Gordon . John Gordon, Sr. moved to Black Valley sometime before 1792, when he surveyed several tracts north of John Perrin . He died before 1798, and his sons Thomas and Robert were executors for his estate .

John Gordon Jr. was in the Southampton Township tax roles from 1791 until 1806. He was a freeman until 1800, implying he married around that time. The tax records also imply his birth was around 1770. John Gordon, Jr. is mentioned in the Orphan's Court records for Absalom Gordon, where it is noted that he had died and his issue were thought to be in Franklinton, Franklin County, Ohio . There are no records for any Gordon in Franklin County that I can tie to this family.


Nycum stated Charity married Joseph Spurgeon ; Johnson suggested John Stuart as well, possibly on the basis of the probate record . I fear I am not able to associate any other records with these suggested marriages for Charity.

A John Stewart had settled in Friends Cove in the 1750s; his wife in 1791 was named Rebecca and his surviving sons included Thomas, James and Joseph . There were no John Stuarts in Charity Perrin's generation, but Thomas deserves mention. Thomas Stewart claimed land south of the Bennett family in Black Valley in 1785 , and was assessed for Agreed on Town Creek in Maryland along the Mason-Dixon line in 1783 . A map showing these properties can be found here.

The James Spurgeon family included five sons older than John Perrin. All but two of these sons left the region before 1790. I would favor a marriage of Charity to one of Samuel Spurgeon's sons, as William Perrin went west with them. However the data do not support his possibility. There is only one Joseph Spurgeon I can identify; Ezekiel's son Joseph Spurgeon was on the Bedford County tax lists as a freeman from 1802 until 1805. Ezekiel's family moved to Ohio shortly thereafter, with no further mention of this Joseph.

These last four daughters are mentioned in John Perrin, Jr.'s will; they doubtless were still at home in 1813 when the will was written, and probably born after 1892.


Nycum and the probate records stated that Nancy married David Fetter . David was a son of Luke Fetter. Luke had first appeared in the Bedford County court records charged with nuisance in 1782 . He settled in Black Valley between Perrin and Gordon by the 1790s, judging from the survey maps . Luke did not appear on the tax roles until 1805, however.

David Fetter first appeared in the Southampton Township tax roles as a freeman in 1811; those records show he apparently married in 1819 . The 1820 census listed a David Fetter separate from the Luke Fetter household; his wife was born between 1775 and 1795. They had by then a son and a daughter. The 1840 census showed David Fetter's wife was born between 1790 and 1800.

In 1838 David Fetter and Nancy, "formerly Nancy Perrin and daughter of John Perrin, deceased", attempted to sell Carrs Vineyard in Allegany County, Maryland . The deed stated that they lived in Southampton Township. David died in 1852 intestate; the probate records showed he left a widow Nancy and eight children including Adam P. [Perrin] Fetters .


Nycum and the probate record stated Rebecca married Adam Fetter . The probate record further substantiates the fact that Rebecca died before 1842.

While the census records show no evidence that Adam ever married, it seems likely that his marriage and his wife's death occurred between any census records. There is evidence to support this possibility. The Southampton Township tax roles show that Adam was two years younger than brother David. He also stopped being a freeman in 1819 . There is no Adam Fetter household in the 1820 census; Adam is apparently still at home with Luke with no sign of a wife. The 1830 census for David Fetter contains an unexpected daughter, born between 1820 and 1825, who is not there in the 1840 census. Adam Fetter's will in 1871 mentions all eight of David Fetter's sons but also gives one dollar to Margaret Diehl . Margaret Diehl of Southampton Township appears in the census from 1850 to 1880; she reported her birth date of 1822. In the 1852 David Fetter Probate records there is a property adjacent to David Fetter's property owned by one Elizabeth Diehl . Without further deed work it would be impossible to say where Elizabeth Diehl's property might be located, but I reckon it was west of the original Fetter land, going up the hil towards Tussey Mountain. Since Margaret may be a nickname for Elizabeth, the two references may be to the same person.

So I am willing to entertain the hypothesis that Adam Fetter married Rebecca Perrin around 1818, and that she gave birth to a single daughter named Elizabeth or Margaret between 1820 and 1825. Rebecca died in childbirth, and Elizabeth was brought up in the David Fetter household. She subsequently married with a dower of land to a man named Diehl, probably by 1840, ultimately going by the name Margaret.


Nycum and the probate record stated Millie married Joseph Johnson . Joseph appeared as a freeman in the 1822 Southampton tax roles but was apparrently married by 1823. Joseph first appeared in the census in 1830, living next to Edward Perrin and married with three children. The 1850 census in Southampton Township recorded Joseph Johnson, born 1805 and Milla born 1810; the oldest child in the household is only thirteen years younger than Milla. An 1850 land survey showed "Johnson's Improvement" west of Edward Perrin's land . The 1927 USGS map showed "Johnson's Trail" crossing Tussey Mountain beginning at that site.

Joseph Johnson's son Joshua died August 30, 1906; the death certificate stated he was born January 4, 1833 to Joseph Johnson and Millie Perrin .


Nycum and the probate record stated Lydia married Jacob Crow.; deeds from 1834 and 1836 substantiate this . There is no information regarding this family in the census. Jacob Crow appeared as a freeman in the Southampton tax lists in 1816; he probably was the son of Michael Crow who first came to the Township in 1798. Jacob's name as freeman is crossed out in the 1822 tax assessment ; this implies a marriage that year. In the 1823 assessment Jacob was taxed for 100 acres improved land plus 1 horse and 1 cow . Unfortnately I can not identify this family in any subsequent census or land records. His last entry in the Southampton tax records is 1835.

To summarize this section, there is historical evidence to support seven sons and twelve daughters for John Perrin. There are mistakes seen in Nycum's list and the probate records, probsbly reflecting the large amount of time which had elapsed before information was recorded. Nycum somewhat relied on J. H. P. Adam's assessment of John Perrin's wives, with inconsistent reporting as a result. Incidentally, her stated birth date for John Perrin, 1722, is not possible given his father's known birth date of 1711.

Military Service

I have read that several persons have tried to claim John Perrin, Jr. as their ancestor in order to gain admission to the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR). The commonly used reference is from the Bedford County Militia, Undesignated Companies. These "undesignated" companies were primarily ranging companies, enlisted to roam through the forests on the lookout for Indian and Tory incursions. One of these companies was an undesignated battalion under the leadership of Capt. Patrick Hainey that included 'John Perrane' . I have read that the DAR is no longer accepting these applications given the difference in spelling between Parrane and Perrin. However, the original lists prepared in Bedford County from which any recruitment was made show John Paron, John Perren and John Perrin as spellings for this person . I am personally uncertain if this person was John Perrin, Jr. or else his son John.

More provocative is a reference in the Pennsylvania Archives concerning the activity of the Colonial Assembly in 1776. Two battalions of men (rifle-men and musket-men, respectively) were organized in March of that year, presumably in preparation for the war for independence. For the rifle-men, Samuel Miles of Philadelphia was made Colonel, and James Piper of Bedford County, Lieutenant Colonel. John Perrin was subsequently named a second lieutenant of that regiment .

This regiment fought in a number of battles around New York and New Jersey that year. However, the following letter from Samuel Miles to the Committee of Safety after July 4 states :

Point Pleasant, Near Amboy, July 27th, 1776.


Inclosed is a Resignation of one of our Officers, which I have taken the liberty to except off, in behalf of the Committee of Safety, and have dismissed the Gentleman from the Service. There are now several vacancies in the three Battalions, which I wish to see filled as soon as Possible, Viz't, Edward Thomson, appointed first Lieu't, & John Perrin, appoint second Lieu't, have never excepted the appointments, and Wm. Barnitt, 3d Lieu't, hath resigned.

I would recommend the supplying those vacancies in the following manner.

John Carpenter, now 2d Lieu't to be promoted, Thos. Boyd & David Sloan, both 3d Lieu'ts to be promoted to 2d Lieu'ts, and Joseph Brown Lee, James Holms & John M'Garven to be Lieutenants.

Mr. Brown Lee & Mr. Holms, have done duty as third Lieut's ever sence the Companies to which they belong were raised, & I think it will be doing them no more than common Justice, their Commissions are dated some time in April last; there is an Ensigncy vacant in the Musketry, & at the request of Col. Attlee I now recommend Mr. Davis to supply s'd Vacancy, he is Brother to Doct. Davis of the 1 Batt'n of Riflemen. If the Committee should think fitt to fill up those vacancies (w'ch I hope they will,) I should be glad the Gentlemen's Commissions were forwarded as soon as possible. I am,

Gentlemen, your most obed't
Humble Serv't
of the Pennsy'n Rifle Reg't.

makes it clear that John Perrin never showed up. Whether this John Perrin be the same as the subject of this section can not be said. Needless to say, some react negatively to the notion that their ancestor would have avoided the chance of being shot at by the British; yet it could be said in response that the same ancestor had already served in the French and Indian War.

Shawnee Graveyard

J. H. P. Adams stated that John Perrin was buried in the Shawnee Graveyard. This cemetery is thought to have been located just north of Black Valley Gap as marked on the map above. I am told the area was desecrated some time ago .

Adams at various points in his narrative mentioned several others that were buried there, including

Adams said further that the number "1731" was engraved on Joseph Johnson's tombstone.

Robert Ray seems to be fictional, as discussed previously. Sarah Vogan and her husband are doubtlessly buried in Cumberland Township . But the other three surnames come from the Balck Valley Gap neighborhood before 1800.

Map of Spurgeon and Iames land

Map of lands north and east of Black Valley Gap
Original Spurgeons Choice outlined in black. Star: site of Iames' Mill

Land Parcel Landowner Survey Year and Reference
1 Joseph Riddle (Thomas Johnston's claim) 1767
2 Hugh Iams 1794
3 Richard Dye 1830
4 Jeremiah Robinette (John Perrin's claim) 1855
5 Eliza McIlfish 1869
6 Willam Perdew, Sr. 1813
a James Spurgeon / William Spurgeon 1769
b James Spurgeon / James Spurgeon, Jr. 1769
pink Aaron Iames 1864
white William Iames (Jr.) 1843

Iames Farm Cemetery

Iames Cemetery

Photograph of Iames Cemetery © 2013 Garry A. Nelson

Davis, Perrin and Johnston were all neighbors of Iames. As Adams stated that Richard Iames was buried in the Shawnee Graveyard, placing it on the Iames property would not be unreasonable. While others have proposed that members of the Spurgeon family are buried there , only James, Sr. and his wife Susannah finished their lives on Spurgeon's Choice so I can't figure all the graves come from early members of the Iames and Spurgeon families.

Local lore states that black slaves, perhaps a dozen, are buried in the Iames Cemetery; the lore has been masterfully put into literature in The Chaneysville Incident. I should point out here that the 1790 census, in the William Iames household, listed four slaves. Similarly the Colerain Township tax roles list slaves in the Iames' assessment, although there were no more than two at any point. It would therefore seem possible that these slaves could be buried in this cemetery as well.


The history of John Perrin, Jr. and his household in Bedford County, Pennsylvania spanned seventy years. His settlement in Bedford County proved to be prosperous. He essentially fathered two households of children, who went on to intermarry with almost every family in the neighborhood.

While I am unable to make John Perrin, Jr. as romantic a figure as J. H. P. Adams' narrative would imply, this should in no way diminish the feat of raising not one but two complete families at such a time and place.