EDITOR:   Robert "Mike "Terry


Table of Contents

Editor's note: I'm still thinking about what to write  by Mike Terry


TERRY LETTER   contributed by Tim Mattingly

Queries........................................................... by subscribers

Editor's note: I'm still thinking about what to write


Well, if you reading this -- 

The news is the TERRY-FAMILY-HISTORIAN.COM domain for those with an interest in preserving the history of the TERRY family is up and running. I do not know if we are the only ones who actually have a website domain for a family surname or not. I would probably like to think we are the biggest website dedicated one family surname. So here goes.

The way this is going to work is I am going to try to start a new issue every two months and it will be a living document that changes as I receive information. For example, this September-October 1999 TFH was just started to day. How do you subscribe? -- Just log into the TFH and start reading.

Back in the "Olden Days" (1982) we used to have to wait for someone to point out errors and 4 months later the correction would be printed.  Now, someone can let me know in a few minutes what's not right -- Thanks and I want that kind of feed-back.

We didn't ever have the time or energy to index the older issues either. -- No problem here now -- I can have all the pages on the TFH site searched and indexed by someone else. See the Pico Search Icon on the home page.

And now -- I've got all this help out there in the world..... Awesome.

Let's get Terry'Fied.

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Please note just because it is on the internet does not mean you can ignore copywrite. If you wish to use information found in the TERRY FAMILY HISTORIAN please contact the person originating the article or the publishing company noted to secure written permission to use an article somewhere else. In all cases, please cite your sources. -- Robert "Mike"  Terry, Editor


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by Margie G. Brown

Recently on Genforum and on Gen Connect at Rootsweb, Halifax,Co. VA. page, on the Internet, a Benjamin Terry, who was alive in the 1850 census of Halifax Co, Va. showing his age at that time as 65 years, was put forth as the husband of Delilah (Motley) Terry, and listing children at odds with the true descent of this couple.

The misidentification of this son of Benjamin II and Elizabeth (Parker) Terry, is unfortunate, for a casual researcher has no reason to investigate what has been presented as a documented line. Further research shows that the Benjamin alive in the 1850 census, born ca 1785 can not be the Benjamin III with wife Delilah Motley. Other than the obvious problem of addition and subtraction, citation of Court records and other documents, will show clearly that a mistake has been made.

Benjamin Terry III, was the son of Benjamin Terry II (died testate 1817) 1 and a grandson of Benjamin Terry I (died testate 1771. 2 This family was an early one of Pittsylvania County, Virginia and almost all the records for the solution of descent lie in that county.

On December 15th, 1794, William Parker and Benjamin Terry III gave Bond 3 in Pittsylvania Co. for a license to marry Delilah Motley.

This couple were married 40 years, bringing forth 16 children. When Benjamin III died prior to 15th Dec 1834,4 eleven of those children survived him. The guardianship papers for the three youngest children who had not come of age, Delia Margaret, Robert Alexander, and James Nathaniel, 5 can be found in the court records. Before the 20th of March 1837, Delilah (Motley) Terry dies. 6 The adult Sons Benjamin F. Terry, Joseph Motley Terry and William Parker Terry7 are adm'rs for both their father and mother's estates.


1. Pittsylvania Co. VA Deed & Will Bk 11, p 473 prob 15 Dec 1817 (here after Pittsy D & W)
2. Pittsy Co. D & W Bk 5, p 375, prob 26 Sep 1771
3. Copy of original Bond, Pittsy., Terry Records of Virginia by Edna Harris Bushnell pub 1980 (here after TRV) page 187
4. Pittsy Co. Court Orders BK 32, pp 278, 280, 297 (here after C.O.)
5. Ibid. Bk 32 pp 297, 299, 506 Bk 33 p 12
6. Ibid. Bk 33 p379 Bk 35 pp 49, 204
7. Ibid. Bk 34 p284

The following Family Record is printed with the kind permission of the owner, a great, great grandson, Thomas Ragland Terry of Appomattox, Virginia, who retains the copyright.


Births of Terrys

Benjamin Terry of Pittsylvania Co. was born
June 10th 1769
Delilah Motley      "                "               "
December 7th 1779
            They were married 1794
1st child (died an infant) was


Dec 20 1795
2nd " Elizabeth Forrest Terry " Sept 19 1797
3rd " Martha Jane Terry " Oct 3 1799
4th " Lucy (died young) " Sept 14 1801
5th " Sally (died young) " Dec 20 1802
6th " Ann Nathaniel Terry " April 1 1804
7th " Mary Bibb Terry " Oct 10 1806
8th " Benjamin Franklin Terry " Sept 6 1808
9th " Joseph Motley Terry " June 8 1810 d 88
10th " William Parker Terry " Dec 5 1813
11th " Daniel Terry " June 7 1815 d 27
12th " Obediah Terry " Nov 4 1816 [died young]
13th " Delia Margaret Terry " Mar 22 1818
14th " Robert Alexander Terry " June 1 1821
15th " A girl not named " 1822 d 22
16th " James Nathaniel Terry " Aug 1823


1st " Marie Antoinette Wilkerson  " April 19 1820

Elizabeth F. Terry married 9 Mar 1814 Floyd Tanner9
This couple were guardians of Elizabeth's young brother Robert A. Terry, when they enrolled him at VMI 1840. 10 They had probable children: Joseph Motley Tanner, Joel Tanner and Asa Tanner.

Martha Jane Terry married 10 Nov 1823 Frederick T. Wilkinson, 11
and the only known child, is Marie Antoinette, mentioned in the Family Record, there could have been others. Martha Jane was widowed by 30 Dec 1842. 12


8. Copy of the original in writers possession
9. TRV Pittsy. MB. p 187
10. Virginia Military Institute Archives (here after VMI) re: Robert Alexander Terry.
11. TRV Pittsy. MB. p189
12. Family papers owned by T.R. Terry, Appomattox, VA. Copy in writers possession.

Ann Nathaniel Terry never married, she was alive in the 1880 census, living with her nephew James Nathaniel Terry Jr. in Halifax Co. Va. 13

Mary Bibb Terry
never married, she died 28 Sept 1876, her Will is in Pittsylvania Co., Va. leaving her estate to her unmarried sisters, Ann N. and Delia M. and at their deaths it was to go to "my nephew Robert A. Terry [aka James Nathaniel] son of my brother Dr. Nathaniel James Terry." 14

Dr. Benjamin F. Terry
married in Prince Edward Co., Va. 23 Dec 1834 Lucy Parke Smith 15 d/o James Smith and his wife Ann Parke Street. He lived in P.E. Co., he was an Elder in the Hampden-Sydney College Church, his home was called "Hard Times". He was a doctor having graduated from the University
of North Carolina with an A.B. in 1830 and an A.M. in 1838. In 1833 he graduated from the Medical School, University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia.16 After many years in Prince Edward Co., Va. the family moved, after the 1870 census, to McAdenville, N.C. Dr. Benjamin F. died 12 June 1891 and Lucy died 25 Jan 1886. They are buried in Charlotte, N.C. Their Children were: Mary Floyd Terry wife of   Rufus McAden, of  McAdenville, NC., Robert Parke Terry wife Ann Loving of Buckingham Co. Va., Nannie Terry the wife of Conway C. Taliaferro, Ella Terry the wife of Hay P. Taliaferro, and
Elizabeth Terry wife of Donidas J. Moore of New Berne, N.C. 17

Joseph Motley Terry married 23 Dec 1834 Catherine Thompson Coles, 18d/o John and Louisa (Payne). Joseph M. Terry was the adm'r of his father's estate, with his oldest brother Dr. Benjamin F.Terry and adm'r on his mother's estate with his brother William Parker Terry. He qualified in the Court of Pittsylvania Co., Va, 19 21st July 1834 as an Attorney. In later years, Joseph M. Terry moved to Roanoke Co. and was a successful farmer, dying in 1888. He had one son by Catherine Coles. He married second 18 Dec 1851 Elizabeth Dandridge Payne. He had no issue of the second marriage. His son John Coles Terry, was born on his grandfather Coles estate, "Farmington" in 1844 and died in Roanoke Co., Va. 25 Feb 1926. John Coles Terry married 1872 Elizabeth Beverly Whittle, d/o Commodore Win. Conway Whittle and his wife

13. Halifax Co. VA (HFX) 1880 Census ED 118 Meadsville Dist. p 3
14. Pittsy Accounts Currents Bk 38 p 171, Pittsy Will, copy in hand of writer.
15. P.E.Co. VA, TRV p 194
16. Ltr from Edward S. Thorpe to 3. D. Eggleston, MSS Eg396, Sec 31, TERRY, Virginia Historical Society Richmond, VA
17. Ibid Ltr 3. D. Eggleston from Henry M. McAden, Charlotte, NC 1941
18. TRV by Bushnell, Pittsy Co. p188
19. Pittsy C.0. Bk 32 p139

Elizabeth (Sinclair) of Norfolk, Va. He entered VMI 1861, and in March 1863 joined the Confederate Army, serving until the surrender at Appomattox. 20 He had five children, three surviving at the time of his death in 1926.

William Parker Terry married 27 May 1851 Mary Thornton King d/o Jacob King and Louisa (Thornton) King of Henry Co. Va. 21 William P. Terry was a successful farmer in Henry county, and he and Mary had nine children. Three of their sons were involved in the last shoot-out on the streets of Martinsville, Va. in 1886. William King Terry and his brother Jacob King Terry dying from their wounds. Benjamin King Terry was wounded but survived. 22 Their other children were Louisa K. Terry, Anna S. Terry, Mary K. Terry, Edward S. Terry, James N. Terry, Thornton K. Terry and Corina Terry. The children all died unmarried, leaving no descent into the following generation. The children and their parents are buried in the "Terry Graveyard", near Cascades, Va. William P. Terry born 1808 died 1885, 23 Mary (King) Terry born 1828 died 1863.

Delia Margaret Terry
never married, she died 3 Sep 1876 leaving a Will 24 that was probated in 1876, devising her estate to her unmarried sisters Ann N. and Mary B. and after their deaths, "to my nephew Robert A. [aka James Nathaniel] son of my brother Dr. Nathaniel James Terry. "

Robert Alexander Terry
was the BLACK SHEEP of this family. He was entered as a student at VMI in 1840 by his Aunt Elizabeth and Uncle FLoyd Tanner, and was dismissed July 1841. He then attended Virginia Tech and graduated with a degree in Mineralogy."   He became quite wealthy but at the start of the Civil War, he sold his fine farm in Franklin Co. for Confederate dollars. He hired a subsitute during the war. After the war, he became destitute, took to drink, and died in the Poorhouse in Pittsylvania Co. circa 1877." A nephew, oldest son of his brother Dr. Nathaniel James Terry, was his namesake. Some time after the 1870 census, the namesake Robert A. changed his name to James Nathaniel Terry. (see below) 25

20. VMI archives, Lexington, VA Ltr 12 Feb 1909 to Joseph R. Anderson from John Coles Terry
21. TRV by Bushnell, Henry Co. Marriages p142
22. Halifax Advertiser Newspaper Sat. 22 May 1886
23. Terry Cem. Cascades, VA, Stones copied 1942 by Nathaniel Chatham Terry
24. Will 1876 Pittsy, Copy in hand
25. VMI Archives Ltr to J. R. Anderson, Lee, VA from Duval Porter Cascades, VA 10 July 1917

Dr. James Nathaniel/ Nathaniel James Terry married first in Appomattox, Va 13 Nov 1853 Sarah Harper 26 d/o Gabriel S. Harper and Sarah T. Anderson. They had one son, James Nathaniel (aka Robert A.) Terry., who married in Halifax Co., Va. 5 Apr 1882 Elizabeth Lassiter Sydnor. 27 Dr. Nathaniel J. Terry, who often reversed his two given names, married as his second wife Mary Jane Booker on 28 Oct 1863. 28 By her he had eight children: William Parker Terry, Sarah Love Terry married John Henry Couch, Georgianna Terry married Carlton Couch, Mary E. Terry died as a child, Henry T. Terry married Mary Ann Abbott, Dr. Joseph Dandridge Terry married Bernice Bradshaw, Adrian Terry married Grace Pearl Price and Eston Morehead Terry married Lula Berger. 29 Dr. Nathaniel J. Terry attended Washington and Lee University and graduated from Jefferson Medical College in Philadelphia, Pa. He became a Surgeon in the Confederate Army in 1861. 30 After the war, he practiced Medicine in Charlotte and Pittsylvania counties until his death, 12 Apr 1897. Mary Jane died 16 Jul 1917. 31

Dr. Nathaniel J. Terry is the ancestor of former Attorney General of the Commonwealth of Virginia, Mary Sue Terry and Thomas R. Terry, teacher in the Appomattox, Va. school system. Many of the progeny of Benjamin and Delilah (Motley) Terry, have remained in the Commonwealth of Virginia and led lives of distinction. There have been Doctors, Lawyers, Educators, successful merchants and farmers.

This article is dedicated to the true descendants of Benjamin III and Delilah (Motley) Terry, especially Thomas Ragland Terry who so graciously has shared his family record, letters and memorabilia.

All Court documentation and Archival information has been researched by Margie G. Brown Copyright 1999


26. Family papers Thomas R. Terry, Appomattox, VA
27. "Sarah Harper and Her Descendents, The Terrys" by Micajah Boland pub. 1958
28. TRV P.E. Co. VA MB p194
29. Ibid pp 193-194
30. Ltr from Eston M. Terry to J. D. Eggleston MSS Eg396 Sec 31 TERRY, Virginia Historical Society Richmond, VA
31. Family Papers Thomas Terry Appomattox, VA

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I just copied it word-for-word yesterday, and here is a   letter from one of our family. It had a lot of family info for  me (central Indiana), and you may get some info too.

Tim Mattingly



My name is Tim Mattingly (gtm.3@insightbb.com). This letter was written by my great grandmothers sister. My great grandmother was Florence Vietta Terry and she married John William Mattingly. Florence had two sisters: Ora May Terry and Fannie Fern Terry. Fern Fanny Terry wrote this letter, long hand, on Nov.9,1958, 2 months after she turned 70.

I made this copy from the original letter and would like to share it with other TERRY's. I will copy down the words, just as they appear, but will make correction, as I know, in [brackets]. 

A history of my Ancestors, by Fannie Fern Nicholeson [she   married Marion Nicholeson on Jan.21,1903] Thinking this may be of  interest to my children, I will wright down what I can remember of  my mother's and father's History.

My father, Washington Terry, was born in Cincinnati, Ohio on Price Hill. His father, Robert Terry came from Ireland and settled on this land [we are fairly sure Washington Terrys parents and grand- parents were born in America]. My father was a twin. His twin brother's name was T. Jefferson. They built a church and a grave yard and they  are aburied there [Chaple Hill cemetery in Centerville, IN]. This  was consificated by the city when it was no longer used for church  purposes. My father was married twice, he had two daughters, Annie  and Alice. Alice married Dave Holler [Jan.4,1874] and is buired in  Dunkard Cemetery at Hagerstown [Indiana]. She had one child, stillborn.  My father was born about 1837 [Oct.12,1829]. He had two half sisters, Elisa Kirkpatrick and Mary Fetz Patrick. His brother, Jeff  lived in California and had an adopted son was very weathly dealer in  imported articles like fine faintings and china. One Brother was  drowned. He lived to be 93 and is buired at Centerville, Ind. 

My mother Amy Ann, was born in or near what is now called Losantsville, Ind. June 9,1849. Her mother was Mitilda Gravat and  was born in Pennsylvania [her marriage to Absolum Francis Gravatt on  May 27,1842, in Delaware Co., IN, showes her as Matilda Sanders from  NC]. Her mother was Sanders, I dont know her first name. Her grandmother was 1/2 Breed Indian named Mary Wild Goose. Her grand-father was full Bred Indian. His name has since had different  interpretain as few people could write then probably was caused by  spelling the name different. It is now called Willard and also Woolard.

These facts were taken from a family Bible which was in the possession  of Stella Woolard whose home and contents were destroyed by fire.   My Mother had 2 brothers, William and George. Her brother, William lived and died at Santa Rosa California. Her brother George lived at Indiana. Him and his wife Rosa had the post office. He was  an invaled and was in a wheel chair for years. Her sister Mandy lived  Bentonville, Ind. She had several children but only raised three, Tena   [looks like "Tena" or "Lena"], Roe, and John. She later moved to Muncie [Indiana]. She is buired in Mt. Pleasant Cemetery. She was married to John Bell. One sister was married to Dr. Campbell and lived at  Hagerstown, Ind. One was married to Walter Gray. They are relatives of  the Lawyers Gray, but I don't know just how her daughter married a Hole. The father of Dewey Hole.

My Mothers father was born Frances Gravatte in France [the Gravatts came from Monmouth Co., NJ, where Francies was born].  He is buried in Dunkard Cemetery in Hagerstown, I saw his tombstone with his name on it [I have a photo of the stone]. He was called Francis Gravat. I don't know anything about him expect that   my mother was married in Evansville, Ohio in the governors House.  [Washington Terry and Amy Ann Gravatte were married Aug.3,1869 by  Rev. Knoles Shaw in Warren Co.,OH] The governors wife gave her 12  silver teaspoons for her wedding gift. She had 12 silvers dollars  melted and made them. My father got a job at Cambridge, Ind and they  moved to Falmouth, Ind.  I think all of us children were born there. They lived in a  log cabin untill my father could build a house. There were six children.

Florence Vietta Nitingale who married John Mattingly and had two children, Gurney [my grandfather] and Edna. She is buried in Beech  Grove Cemetery, Muncie, Ind. Walter Clinton-five children, Murieb,  Dorothy, Dores, Walter and Edward.  Ora May who was married to Edger A. Lamb. She had two Adpoted   children, Harry Gordon and Betty June. She is buried in Elm Ridge  Cemetery, Muncie, Ind.  Albert Fay married to Daisy Alden [second wife] and had 2 children Don and Adah. He is buried in California. George William  married to Winnew. They have four children George, Gerald, Kenneth  and Charles. He is buired in Leursvlle, Ind [I don't know what town  she ment] Fannie Fern married to Marion Nicholson Jan.21,1903 and  have eight children John Norris, Lyle Terry, Mary Kathleen, Amy May, Alice Louise, Edgar Victor, Robert Wayne and Martha Jane.

Finish it

Signed by

Fannie Fern Nicholson
Nov. 9,1958

[was added later] PS Fannie Fern Nicholson died   Nov.27,1969 (age 86  Written by Elsie Nicholson, her daughter in law)




-----Original Message-----

From: Sharon Fontaine Terry [mailto:STerry@pxe.org]
Sent: Sunday, October 03, 1999 9:34 PM
To: mike.terry@terry-family-historian.com

Subject: Abraham Terry, d. 1910, Brooklyn

Hi Mike, Great pages you've put together. My husband, and therefore my children, are Terry's. But I get very stuck very fast when going back - can you help?   Here is all I know:  My husband's father Edward Terry, born in Brooklyn or Queens, 5 Sept. 1937 (sibs Dolores and Ronald) > His father was Edward Terry born 1904 in Brooklyn, he married Margaret Reifenberg; and his father was Abraham Terry, died 1910 in Brooklyn.


Sharon Terry

To: Mike Terry <mike.terry@terry-family-historian.com>
From: Betty Brooks <berbrooks@centurytel.net>
Date: Saturday, October 02, 1999 8:03 PM
Subject: Visiting about Arkansas

We are in the rocky part of Ar, as you know, but Turkey Mt. is the home of our golf course and it is one of the prettiest I've ever seen. This is Izard Co., is there anythng I can look up for you?
I knew the Terry family had spread far and wide from VA. My Terry connection is to the Tate family in Bedford Co., Va.  in 1700's.  Gnealogists never quit claimng cousins, even 10th cousins, 12 times removed.

Betty Brooks


From: Neil Christie [mailto:npchristie@bigpond.com]
Sent: Tuesday, September 28, 1999 1:09 AM
To: Mike Terry <mike.terry@terry-family-historian.com
Subject: Terry


I hope you don't mind but I'm hoping you might be able to give me some advise. My husbands mum died when he was just under 2 years old her name was Dorothy Mabel Christie (nee. Terry) and his father never talked about her so my husband knows absolutely  nothing about her life. he has always been desperate to find out something about her and I've been trying for the last 3 months to find out something but to no joy. It doesn't help that we live in Australia and she was born in UK we have only just managed to get her Death certificate which says she died in Hertfordshire. Neil remembers visiting someone in Stansted (an old lady). Standted is in Hampshire so that may have been a grandmother ? Anyhow all we know is she was born about 1923 (possibly hertfordshire) got married about 1946 to Arthur C Christie (don't know where in Uk) and that is about it. Someone seems to remember hearing that her mother had left her when she was young an disappeared to America, but no-one ever heard of a father so don't know if Terry would have been her Mothers name or fathers name. I'm at a loss as where to go next. Haven't managed to locate a Birth Certificate yet. Do you hold any records for Terry's in Uk.

Help. I'd really like to be able to give Neil some kind of a family, albeit if they've all passed away. Hid dad died young as well so finding a family is quite important to him.

Any advise please

Many thanks
Christine Christie

Karen Marshall [KarenMarshall@sprintmail.com]

Do you have any ties to Missouri---Daviess do. or Waunita, Nebraska?


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