Edward Perrin and Mary Cherry in Washington County, Pennsylvania

While I descend from John Perrin, Jr., please allow me to discuss his siblings, if only for perspective. I do apologize for some significant gaps in my research regarding Edward Perrin's family; hopefully there is more information awaiting discovery both in Pennsylvania and in Jefferson and Ross Counties, Ohio.

Here I want to acknowledge that much of this research was greatly aided by work contributed to my father by Elsie Perrin Rader and Francis Spence between 1972 and 1980. Those were truly the frontier days of genealogy, before online books and databases.

Ohio Country, 1778

Ohio Country, 1778

Edward Perrin

Historical Record

Judging from the wording of John Perrin's will, Edward Perrin was his eldest son. The last section showed that Edward was in the Maryland frontier by 1760 as Constable for Linton Hundred. On the basis of several records noted in this section and later it is possible Edward stayed in Maryland until 1775.

In 1773 Edward received a Virginia patent for 400 acres of land in current Independence Township, Washington County, Pennsylvania . This region, shown on the maps above and below, lay west of the original Mason Dixon line and was claimed by both colonies until 1783. The land, named Perrinfield, was located near the present West Virginia border.

Overview of Ohio Country

Ohio Country, Virginia. Selected tract owners shown.
Solid line: current boundary between Pennsylvania and West Virginia

Edward's timing proved less than optimal. 1774 saw increased hostilities between Virginia and the Indians in the Ohio valley, and during the Revolutionary War the British supported more Indian warfare. Edward Perrine took the 1777-8 oath of allegiance and volunteered for the militia in those years . While the militia was to perform patrol work against the Indians, Edward may have felt torn regarding his commitment to serve, as the following document suggests . The original resides in the Wisconsin State Historical Society, and a scan of a copy from their microfilm copy resides here.

Addressed: 12 August 1777
To our Public Servant
General D. Gaines
In Fort Pitt

Sir we the Inhabitants of a small fort on Buffaloe request your Excellency to take our distressed case into your Serious consideration we have at the risk of our lives prepared our Crops untill now and last night we heard of a party of Indians preparing to cross the river about a mile above the Beechbottom Station and we have out of what few men we have in the fort amounting in the whole to about 20 men sent to assist in pursuing them we have likewise got order for a new draft to go from our fort to the Beech bottom which if we be obliged to answer we cannot stand but will be obliged to move off with our families and stock for their preservation we therefor pray your excellency to excuse us from a draft as we are on the front and we look upon it to be a great safety to the county our keeping the front good

--- Signed by Thos. McGuire Edward Perins and the fort people in general
Buffaloe Creek about 4 miles from the river August 13, 1777

For orientation see the map above. Perrinfield was north of Buffalo Creek. The fort described in the letter would have been downstream from it. The function and history of these forts are well described elsewhere  and a selection from this reference may be read here. They would not have differed from those built in Frederick County, Maryland in the 1750s.

Three versions of Edward's death

Edward apparently died around 1780. I have three versions of this story to show. They demonstrate the evolution of a story through two generations of narrators.

1. The first narrative came from Lydia Boggs Shepherd Cruger (1766 - 1867) . It was recorded by Lyman Draper when Lydia was in her eighties; she would have been fourteen years old at the time of the event.

In the fall of 1780, three men went from Buffalo Creek over the Ohio on a scout -- Jacob Fankler, one Perrin and Lucas Schermerhorn. Fankler was a cowardly young man, very tall, and when all three lay down before the fire at night, he desired to sleep in the middle, and being tall crooked up his legs to have the blanket cover. Some Indians shot at them, and two balls passed through both of Fankler's thighs as they struck above the others. Perrin was also badly wounded. Schermerhorn jumped up unharmed, without his gun, and ran off a little distance in the dark and trees. The Indians seemed to be afraid at first to approach the camp. Young Fankler cried bitterly, while Perrin holloaed out to the Indians to come and tomahawk them and put them out of their miseries. This was done. Schermerhorn escaped, but to fall a sacrifice to the enemy some two years after, together with John Kinser, on Buffalo Creek.

Lydia may have heard this story directly from Luke. He and Mathias Sharmehorn were in the Washington County Fourth Militia Battalion in 1782 . An administrative bond for the estate of Luke Scarmehorn was filed with Washington County in 1784, placing his death by then .

2. Draper also recorded the narrative of Elizabeth Noble in 1860 . Edward Perrin's daughter Susanna had married Abraham Cuppy, and Elizabeth was their daughter. Susanna was born in Antietam in 1766 .

Edward Perrin from Antietam, Maryland, lived seven miles back of Wellsburg - went on a hunting party over the Ohio, and camped on what has been known ever since as Perrin's Run, of Short Creek - about 14 miles above the mouth of Short Creek reckoning by the meanderings of the stream - on the north side; camped on the upper side of the bottom. They got through their hunt, and were to start the next morning for home. Luke Schemeshem and Jacob Fortner were the other two of the party. They roused up considerably before day - renewed their fire, and saw by the stars that it was too early to eat their morning meal - Perrin said so and laid down again, when Indians (about three in number as the sign subsequently proved) crept up and fired on them. This was about October 15, 1779 as near as can be estimated. Perrin was shot through the hips with two bullets and was helpless; Fortner was shot through the knee and Schemeshem was unhurt. Perrin asked Schemeshem whether he was hurt. No, was his reply. "Then why don't you save yourself - you can do me no good - I can't get away. He said that he didn't know which way to run. Perrin told him, and he ran off without his moccasins or gun, and reached Perrin's family by ten o'clock that forenoon with the melancholy intelligence. Schemeshem's feet were badly lacerated by the stones and brush. A party at once went -- Schemeshem as pilot -- found the dead bodies of Perrin and Fortner, tomahawked and scalps taken, the shot pouches and powder horns left hanging on a large sycamore and their knives which were stuck into the tree. Perrin's dog was there guarding his master's body, and they had considerable difficulty in getting him to let them approach. Perrin and Fortner were buried there and in April, 1858 their remains were plowed up and reburied in the Mt. Pleasant burying grounds. The two bullets were found in Perrin's remains. He was a large powerful built man - very tall and about 50 years old - not younger. These Indians were supposed to be on their way to a treaty at Pittsburgh, thence took no plunder except the guns. Right back of Perrins Bottom is Perrin's Point, and there Abram Cuppy settled in April 1798, and died on the same farm in Smithfield, Ohio on Short Creek, on November 3, 1849 and was buried in Mt. Pleasant.

In this version there were some minor changes in names, plus a fair amount of embellishment. I think it unlikely Sharmehorn ran barefoot all the way to Perrinfield, but rather to the fort on Buffalo Creek. The Cuppy family gained recognition here as well. This account does provide an estimate for Edward's birthdate, around 1730.

3. Finally, there is a later version of the same story, published in 1890 in a commemorative history .

During the spring of 1792, one Parron, a famous scout who forted at Van Metre on Short creek in Ohio county, Va., in company Abraham Cuppy, his son-in-law, started on a scouting expedition on the Ohio side of the river, and night coming on they went into camp at the mouth of the run known as Parron's run, which empties into Big Short creek, camping under a large elm tree, which still stood there a few years since. During the night a party of Shawnees on their way to make an incursion on the settlements on the opposite or Virginia side of the river; attracted by the light of the white men's camp-fire, surrounded them while they slept, and firing them, shot Parron through the hip, disabling him to such an extent as to prevent him from making an effort to escape and hence secured him as a prisoner. Young Cuppy made his escape and secreted himself under the roots of a large sycamore three which grew the banks of the creek. His hiding place was near enough for him to hear the conversation which passed between Parron and the Indians. The Indians who were well acquainted with his courage and ability as a scout, determined that he must die and favored burning him. But Parron reminded them that he had always been an honorable warrior and as a favor asked them to give him the tomahawk. His captors held a council among themselves, and after a lengthy deliberation concluded to grant the request of their captive, whereupon the leader stepped forward to the prostrate man as he laid upon the ground unable to rise, and tomahawked and scalped him. After this they continued their journey without making any search for Cuppy, his companion.

The young scout remained in concealment until sufficient time had elapsed to place many miles between the Indians and himself before he ventured from his hiding place and when he left it he hastened with all his speed to make secure his escape, and reaching Fort VanMetre, communicated the information of Parron's death. The commander of the fort instructed Cuppy to return to the spot where the occurrence had happened, taking with him a sufficient number of the men in the fort to recover and bury the body in a respectable manner. This they successfully accomplished. Some seventy or eighty years subsequent to this event, some of his descendants disinterred the remains that they might be interred in a more suitable resting place. Upon taking them up the ball which had disabled him was found imbedded in the hip bone. This ball is now in possession of John C. Cuppy, his grandson, who also has the buttons which belonged to his coat.

In this version Edward Perrin's only companion was Abraham Cuppy, so I assume this story came from that family. As the land sales outlined later clearly show Edward was dead by 1785, the given date for the event is wrong. A new set of embellishments involving Cuppy were appended, and Edward's disinterment gained more importance.

Wife (Ann Kelley)

Edward married Ann Kelley, daughter of William Kelley. William's will gave Ann Perrin the bulk of his estate in 1791 . Ann Perrin of Washington County, Pennsylvania sold a portion of Kelly's Delight, part of William's estate, in 1792 . Ann's will, recorded in 1820, named her as Anne Perrine, "otherwise Kelley" . More about the Kelley family in the next section.

Ann Perrin was in the 1790 census in Washington County with 3 daughters and one son, and was listed in the 1793 tax assessments for the county .

Perrinfield location

Perrinfield (Edward Perrin) and Extravagance (Joseph Dodderidge),
Independence Township, Washington County


Edward and Ann clearly had three sons and three daughters. In addition another three daughters are possible.


Edward's first son William was born by 1762, as he served in the 1778 militia . William also served as a private in April, 1781 in the Coschocton Expedition  and later in the 1782 militia . The newly formed Washington County, Pennsylvania assessed William for 150 acres of Perrinfield in 1781, including 1 horse, 3 cows and 2 sheep . His 1783 assessment included 300 acres, 3 horses and 3 cows .

William applied for a Pennsylvania patent for Perrinfield in 1784 , with a survey conducted in 1786 and the final patent for 440 acres issued in November 1788 . That document stated that the land was held in trust by William for all of the heirs of his father Edward. Perrinfield lay south and east of the current crossroads of Independence, Pennsylvania, in the middle and upper portions of Indian Camp Run, as shown above.

Survey map of <b>Perrinfield</b>

Surveymap of Perrinfield

One neighbor of note recorded on the survey map was John Doddridge, father of Rev. Joseph Doddrige . Joseph's first hand description of the Ohio valley in frontier times, first published in 1824, is worth reading for its details about everyday frontier life. I have included an extended selection from his book here.

The deed books of Washington County, Pennsylvania contain two land sales by William. In April, 1786 William sold 97 acres of Perrinfield to Walter Hill, with Joseph Kent and John Doddridge as witnesses . Recorded two pages later in the deed book William Perrin, Ann Rankin, Abraham Cuppy and John Johnston sold 100 acres to Joseph Kent . But in October, 1790 William once again sold Walter Hill 97 acres and Joseph Kent 100 acres of Perrinfield; this time the deeds included testimony from William's wife Elizabeth who relinquished her dower on the properties .

The 1790 census in Pennsylvania listed Ann and Joseph Perrin, but no William. William did not appear on any later tax lists in Washington County. What happened to William proved to be a mystery to me for the first thirteen years of my Perrin research, until J.D. Smith provided me with the answer in 2020.

Dr. Smith had pursued his own ancestry research for the last decade as well. He had found that his mother's 2nd great grandmother in Bath County, Kentucky in the mid nineteenth century had two different names. With some work he finally was able to prove her descent from Phoebe Morris, the daughter of Joseph Morris and Elizabeth Perrin. Marriage records in Bath and adjacent counties in Kentucky suggested that Elizabeth's husband was William C. Perrin. Using DNA data he noted matches for himself, his mother and maternal cousins with individuals of both Kent/Perrin and McConkey/Perrin descent. On that basis he contacted me, and together we have come up the following evidence which makes it very likely that he is a descdendant of William Perrin. Let me rephrase that; in building this edifice of documentation Dr. Smith did the heavy lifting and I filled in some cracks in the mortar.

The first record for William Perrin in this part of Kentucky was the purchase of 150 acres on Houston Creek in Bourbon County April, 1788 . This purchase was made jointly with Lewis Buskirk. Lewis' history is well documented from his petition for a Revolutionary War pension in 1832 . He testified that he was born in 1760 and had served in the war as a member of the Washington County militia, mostly at a fort at Beach Bottom from 1777 to 1778. He stated that later he moved to Bourbon County, Kentucky. I have already noted that Edward Perrin had been at the Beech Bottom fort in the same time period. While Lewis did not purchase land in Pennsylvania or Virginia after the Revolution, his brother Lawrence did, patenting land along the waters of Buffaloe Creek adjoining Lewis' residence .

Secondary sources state William and Lewis were taxed in Bourbon County in 1789 ; William is noted in the 1791 tax roles as well . William and Elizabeth Perrin sold their 76 acres on Houston Creek in 1793 . Subsequently William C. Perrin was listed in 1800 as taxed in Nicholas County (adjacent to Bourbon County to the northeast). By 1812 he was taxed in Bath County, Kentucky, the county directly to the east of Bourbon County; the household contained one male over 21 and William did not own land . William's estate inventory was recorded by Bath County on July 12, 1813 with Elizabeth Perrin as administratrix .

William acted as bondsman for several Bourbon County marriages in the 1790s involving the Sparks and Wells families. Both of these family names appear in the Revolutionary War era in the vicinity of Washington County, Pennsylvania; it seems likely that these people, and perhaps the Owings family as well, co-migrated with Perrin and Buskirk. Finally the marriage records show that Wiliam and Elizabeth had several daughters, including one named Elizabeth, who married Joseph Morris in 1814 in Bourbon County. Indeed, Elizabeth Perrin stated

I am perfectly satisfied for Mr. Joseph Morris and my daughter Elizabeth to get married


Joseph was not old enough to register for the militia in 1778, but was old enough to pay taxes on 50 acres of Perrinfield in 1781 . He therefore was born between 1762 and 1765. In the 1790 census he was listed in a different household from his mother Ann, apparently with a wife. Joseph Perrin sold his portion of Perrinfield in 1796; his wife Rachel relinquished her dower . There are no further records for him in Pennsylvania.

Some speculation is possible about Joseph; I am indebted to Jarrard Whittacre and his persistence in presenting this subject.


A later writer wrote a century ago concerning his Whitaker ancestry :

Thomas Whitaker was a soldier in the war for Independence. He enlisted in Cpt. James Gibson's Company, 4th Battallion, Cumberland County...Some time prior to 1777 they had lived at or near Hagerstown, Md. About 1782 or 1783, Thomas Whitaker located at or near Burgetstown, Washington County, Penn., where they resided for a period of perhaps twenty years. His children were as follows:... Rachel, born 1769, married Solomon Perrin;...

About the year 1802 the families of James Holmes, Eli Whitaker, William Murphy, Sol. Perrin, Chamberlain and Hull moved near Millersport [Fairfield County], Ohio. Chamberlain, Hull and Sol Perrin soon after migrated farther west, and we know nothing of them further.

While the Whitakers lived about five miles from Joseph Perrin, their land was quite close to the Cherrys, who were Joseph Perrin's cousins. Indeed, the Eli Whitaker mentioned above had married Mary Cherry . Joseph's relative age was correct for a marriage with Rachel Whitaker; all we must do is explain the pesky problem of the name Solomon! But the author of the above passage was writing in 1912 about entries in a family Bible dating from ; one hundred years earlier. Mr. Whittacre has argued that the Bible entry was "Jos.", but was misread by the elderly family historian as "Sol". This is not outside the realm of possibility. First please compare the following writing I saw when preparing the material regarding the Spurgeon family, it comes from a 1771 deed book:

signatures from Spurgeon deed

The differences between a capital J and capital S here are minimal. One would be hard pressed to tell the difference between "Junr." and "Senr." without the context. Taking this handwriting as a template, and adding an old style small "s" in its cursive style, I can create with Adobe Illustrator the following for Jos.:

Jos. vs. Sol.

So it is entirely possible that a twentieth century family member misread an entry from his family Bible.

A Joseph Perrin then surfaced in Franklin County, Ohio around 1810 . He applied for 100 acres of "second rate land", which was granted in section 2, township 1, range 19. In a later section I will make the case that this Joseph was the son of Edward Perrin, given what is known of his probable sons John and William, born 1792 and 1796 in Pennsylvania respectively. With John's birth in 1792 I think it worth considering the possibility that he is the person mentioned in the historical biography directly below.

Edward, Jr.

Edward's youngest son, Edward, Jr., stayed at Perrinfield. He was born in Maryland according to the 1850 census. In the 1800 census he had already married, with two sons and one daughter. He may have married three times . His grave in West Middletown, Hopewell Township gives a birth date of October 24, 1772 and death of November 24, 1857 .

I have not researched Edward, Jr.'s family, as it has been studied by others. But there is a commemorative biography about his descendant Clyde that included the following :

Clyde H. Perrin, one of Independence Township's enterprising and progressive young men, who, for the past two years has been operating his father's farm of 156 acres, was born at Wellsburg, W. Va., Feb. 3, 1880, and is a son of James M. and Alice (McCreary) Perrin.

Edward Perrin, the great-grandfather of Clyde H., is known to have lived in infancy on what is known as the Boles farm, south of Independence, Washington County, and probably was born there. The family lived in the county in the days of the Indians and it is recorded that one John Perrin, probably a brother of Edward, traded what is known as the Robert Liggett farm for a shot-gun with which to fight Indians. Edward Perrine was married first to a Williamson and they had two children: Samuel, and a daughter who became the wife of Robert Dinsmore. Samuel Perrin was a life long resident of Washington County, and owned and operated the farm on which Clyde H. Perrin resides. His death occurred Feb. 22, 1889, and he was the first individual buried in the Independence Cemetery. He married Susan McBride and they had three children: James M. and William, twins, the latter of whom lives at Tacoma, Wash.; and Elizabeth, who resides at Carnegie, Pa.

James M. Perrin was born in Washington County and during his entire life since his marriage, has engaged in the drug business, and at present is located at Carnegie, Pa. For a short time he conducted a store at Wheeling, W. Va., and for some time one at Wellsburg. He married Alice McCreary, who died in February, 1887. She was a daughter of James and Sarah (Sitherwood) McCreary, of Independence, Pa. Two children were born to James M. Perrin and wife: Clyde H. and Elia E. The latter is an accomplished musician, a graduate of the New England Conservatory of Music and at present is a teacher of music in the Southern Presbyterian College.

Clyde H. Perrin attended the public schools of Carnegie and the Western University of Pennsylvania at Pittsburg, where he gave special attention to a course in civil engineering and surveying in West Virginia, Virginia, Western Pennsylvania and Maryland, but during the past two years he has been residing on his father's farm in Independence Township. Mr. Perrin is a member of the Carnegie Lodge No. 831 of the Elks, and his political views are those of the Republican party. His religious affiliation is with the Presbyterian Church at Carnegie. Mr. Perrin has never married.

Ann Rankin/Kent

An unpublished manuscript from the Morgan County [Ohio] Historical and Genealogy Society summarized her history in Washington County :

Zachariah Rankin ("Capt. Zack"), born 1757 or 58, died Oct 1785. Killed a wolf with rabies. It bit him severely. After suffering terribly, "Capt Zack" made his really pathetic will and died within a week after he had contracted hydrophobia. He willed his farm of 250 or 300 acres to his "beloved wife Nancy" and to his "child as yet unborn" when it should reach the age of 18 years. Zack had married Ann Perrin ("Nancy"). Approximately three months after Zachariah's untimely death, a little daughter was born (Jan. 1786) to Ann Perrin Rankin. The baby was named Abigail for her grandmother Rankin. She may have lived in the home of her Rankin grandparents for her mother remarried a man named Kent and lived over in Harrison Co., Ohio. When Abigail was 18 years of age, her uncles Matthew, Samuel, Jesse went to court to see that "Abby" Rankin, their niece, daughter of their deceased brother Zachariah, should receive her inheritance, the farm where he had lived and originally part of father William's large tracts. This place of Zack's was on a hill above "the middle fork of Raccoon Creek". In 1805, Abigail married a man named Jesse Woods. and the next year (1806) she sold the farm and tradition says they went to Texas.

These facts are confirmed easily. Zachariah's affliction with rabies was even mentioned by Doddrige . Zachariah's will, written October 17 and proved October 24, 1785, mentioned his wife Nancy and his unborn child; it was witnessed by his neighbor Thomas Cherry . The will of Zachariah's father Wiliam included Abigail Rankin "daughter of Zachariah Rankin, deceased" . I have already referred to a deed in 1786 which sold a portion of Perrinfield ; Ann's presence on that sale confirmed that she was Edward Perrin's daughter.

Ann married Joseph Kent shortly thereafter, on July 7, 1787 . He purchased about 200 acres of Perrinfield in 1786 and 1790 .The couple ultimately moved to Harrison County, Ohio.

Susannah Cuppy

Susannah's birth date was given as March 3, 1766; she married Abraham Cuppy in 1786 in Maryland . While that may seem strange, both Doddridge  and others have written how the Washington County, Pennsylvania settlers traveled to Maryland to trade for supplies. William Perrin may have been on one such trip when he sold his portion of Perrin's Adventure in Washington County, Maryland in October, 1785 .

Abraham Cuppy was also included on the 1786 deed involving Perrinfield . He and Susanna ultimately removed to Smithfield Township, Jefferson County, Ohio as noted in their daughter's account above .

Sarah Kent

Sarah, born in Maryland on March 14, 1770, married William Kent in Washington County, Pennsylvania on February 24, 1789 . William was the brother of Joseph Kent; the descendants of William and Sarah are very well described in the Kent Genealogy , which stated that William and Sarah sold their share of Perrinfield in 1797 and removed to Ross County, Ohio, settling in Paxton Township, west and slightly south of Chillicothe .


This daughter was apparently mentioned in a later deed . She was said to be born in 1777 . I have no reason to doubt her existence, given the likelihood that there were still three daughters living in the Ann Perrin household in the 1790 census

Rachel McConkey

Rachel married James McConkey on February 23, 1804 in Perrin Springs, Jefferson County, Ohio . Married on the same day by the same Justice of the Peace was Abagail Rankin, implying to me that she was raised by someone in the Perrin family. Rachel, along with Rebecca below, were also mentioned in another deed I have not seen .

Rebecca Cherry

Discussion of this daughter first requires the introduction of the Cherry family anon.

Mary (Perrin) Cherry

The Cherry family in Maryland and Virginia

In a previous section I mentioned that John Perrin's daughter Mary married Thomas Cherry (II). He was the son of Thomas Cherry, who had come to central Maryland quite early. He had signed the 1734 Edmund Cartledge petition quoted earlier , and was taxed in 1733 and 1734 in the Monocacy Hundred, Prince Georges County, Maryland . By 1735 Thomas had moved to Virginia, purchasing land along the Potomac at the site of present day Cherry Run, Morgan County, West Virginia .

Deed records show that following Thomas Cherry's death around 1760, son Thomas (II) was still living in Virginia . Thomas (II) patented land in present day Washington County, Pennsylvania in 1774 , and according to later deeds in Virginia, he and his wife Mary had moved west by 1779 .

Indian war records

By 1774 Cherry's fort was built . A later account stated :

The stockade enclosing the houses also took in a grand spring, the largest flow of water coming out of the earth in the country and near the top of the slope from the creek. The Fort stood on the grandest location that could be found in Washington County from which could be seen the approach of an enemy by three different points and by going to the second story could see any enemy approaching from all directions, as the dwelling was a story and one half high. The chinking was 8 x 5 inches and the logs hewed so they could be joined.

This structure undoubtedly was built on the north side of Cherry Run as shown below. Later survey records document that the Cherry family patented much of Cherry Valley, with the Rankins living to the south and the Whitakers to the west .

location of Cherry, Rankin and Whitaker tracts

Upper Raccoon Creek, showing tracts patented to Thomas Whitaker (1, north),
Thomas Cherry (3, east) and William Rankin (4, south) Dot: Cherry's Fort

Militia records from 1781 and 1782  listed Thomas Cherry as ensign in David Reed's company of militia. Given his rank, I would assume this was Thomas Cherry (II). Some militia lists showed a second Thomas Cherry, private, also in Reed's company . Later records reported that a Thomas Cherry participated in the Indian massacre at Gnaddenhutten in 1782 . While this may be a later interpolation, the times of service for Cherry in the militia company coincided with that incident.


Later Cherry family records stated that Mary Perrin Cherry's first child was Thomas Perrin Cherry born June 19, 1759 . The 1781 tax assessments in Washington County listed two Thomas Cherry households of 800 and 200 acres respectively . The 1783 assessment identified these two as "Thomas Cherry, Sr." and "Thomas Cherry" respectively. When the Cherry land was surveyed in 1786 Thomas Perrin Cherry received the 365 acre tract The Comely Green . The 1790 census recorded him separately from Mary Cherry, with three children. The entire Thomas Perrin Cherry family moved to Fairfield County, Ohio in 1816 .

The other sons of Thomas Cherry and Marry Perrin included John, Ralph, and Moses, according to the Fairfield County records . John Cherry was said to have married Mary Rankin  and died around 1781 fighting Indians . An additional son, Edward, was mentioned in probate as a minor in 1791. By the 1810 census he was married, living with four children and probably also his mother.

Later Years

Mary's husband Thomas probably died in 1786, as Thomas Cherry, Jr. and Mary Cherry filed for an administrative bond with Washington County in that year . Mary signed a request for a new pastor at Upper Raccoon Presbyterian Church in 1789 , and she headed her own household in both 1790 and 1800 censuses.

These censuses also acknowledged that Mary and her children owned slaves. One slave was mentioned in Thomas Cherry's 1783 tax assessment . In the census of 1790 Mary declared four and Thomas Perrin Cherry two slaves. Thomas was a slaveowner in the 1800 and 1810 census; Edward also had a slave in 1810.

The overall prosperity of the Cherry farms was greater than Edward Perrin's lands. In 1783 Thomas and Thomas Perrin Cherry had a total of 8 horses, 8 cows and 23 sheep .

Rebecca Perrin and Edward Cherry

Edward Cherry's son William P. Cherry figured in two historical biographical texts. The first, from 1882, stated :

Thomas Cherry emigrated from near Bristol, England, with his wife and three children, in 1770, and settled in Frederick County, Md. In 1774 he came to what is now Mount Pleasant township. He built a cabin about one hundred rods west of William P. Cherry's present residence. At this place he lived but a short time after making his entry. He was found dead at a spring near the place, with a bullet hole through his brain and his empty gun beside him. His scalp was not taken. His own gun was discharged, and the character of the wound led to the conclusion that his death was accidental...

Edward, the youngest son of Thomas Cherry, married Rebecca Perrin, of Hopewell township (now Independence). He purchased the homestead of the heirs, and was born, lived, and died on the homestead. His death occurred July 1, 1854, at the age of seventy-eight years. He had ten children, of whom William P. is the eldest, now in his seventy-eighth year. He with two sisters, Maria and Sarah, all unmarried, are living on the homestead. Rebecca, also unmarried, lived with them until her death, Oct. 8, 1881


The second, from 1893, probably was submitted by William P.'s son Edward :

EDWARD P. CHERRY. This well-known and successful gentleman can boast a prouder lineage than lord or lady of royal birth, for his ancestors were among the first rulers of the New World, and martyrs for the future generation, freely giving their lives that "the children" might have happier homes and the God-giving liberties which were denied our fathers. Shall the memory of these ancestors, our royal peerage, sink into oblivion while we enjoy the priceless liberties for which our fathers toiled, suffered and died? Small wonder that we are eager to obtain and record every incident of those noble lives, hoping to thus rear a monument for our loved and honored ones, which will live in the hearts of our children when we, too, "are gathered to our fathers." Among the earliest of early pioneers the name of Cherry takes a prominent position.

Thomas and Mary Cherry were born near Bristol, England, and emigrated to America in 1770, first settling in Frederick county, Md. In 1774 they moved to Mt. Pleasant township, Washington Co., Penn., where he erected a log cabin. He was a spy in the Revolutionary war, and one morning was found lying dead by the spring near the cabin, scalped by the Indians; his son John was also killed by the Indians the following year. In 1774 Fort Cherry was built on the home farm, containing three log buildings, one twenty-five feet square, and the smaller ones arranged in a triangular manner. This was used some years as the residence of the Cherry, McCarty and Rankin families.

Edward Cherry was born in July, 1776, on the home farm in Mt. Pleasant township, this county, where his boyhood was passed amid the dangers of pioneer life, trebled by the horrors of the Revolution. On March 4, 1802, he was united in marriage with Rebecca Perrin, who was born in 1781, in New Jersey, and bore him children, of whom the following is recorded: William P., born in December, 1803, was reared on the farm, receiving a meager subscription-school education, but by close application became an expert mathematician (he was several times offered the chair as professor of mathematics, but would not accept it, preferring to remain on the old farm; he was actively interested in politics; he died April 10, 1890;...

Both accounts stated that Thomas Cherry and family emigrated from Bristol in 1770, and that Thomas died in 1780 from a gunshot wound. These statements do not agree with the records presented above. However, I like the Bristol reference given what I have presented as the Perrin family ancestry in previous sectons.

The first commemorative history implied that Edward Cherry married his first cousin. The second account probably identified Rebecca with the Perrine family in Cross Creek Township, who had indeed come from New Jersey. However, the 1880 census showed that William, Maria and Sarah Cherry all claimed their mother was born in Pennsylvania. On that basis I believe the later account is incorrect, and that Edward Cherry did marry his first cousin Rebecca Perrin. Incidentally, marriage between first cousins was not considered objectionable, or illegal for that matter, until later in the nineteenth century.


Edward Perrin and Mary Cherry show remarkable similiarity in the courses of their lives. Both settled initially near the homes of their parents. In the 1770s they joined in the first wave of settlement from Maryland and Virginia into the Ohio county. As a result both families were involved with protracted Indian conflicts, and both saw the death of family members. Several of their children continued to move with the frontier after 1790, making their tracks hard to follow.