A Family History


Submitted by Zane Perry.

Arnold R. Perry moved into Floyd Co. (now Pike Co.) Kentucky in 1806. Arnold R. Perry was born in Bertie Co., North Carolina in 1784. Arnold's mother, Mary Robinson, was not married to Arnold's father, Abraham Perry. Abraham Perry was a Planter in Bertie Co., and had a wife named Anne Perry, as well as two daughters named Priscilla and Sarah. These two daughters married brothers -- Solomon Stone and William Stone of Bertie County. It is believed that Mary Robinson was Abraham's mistress, and that they had at least three children -- Asenath "Sena" Perry, Arnold R. Perry, and Elizabeth "Betsy" Perry. Family history states that Arnold also had a brother who went "back east". This brother may have gone by the last name of Robinson. It is believed that the Robinsons of Pike Co., KY, as well as the Stones, are relatives to the Bertie County, North Carolina Robinsons and Stones. Other Bertie Co. families, including the Warrens, Rowes, and Waltons, may have also had family members who ventured west into Pike County, Kentucky with these families.

Abraham Perry was killed by a lightning strike in early 1788(before May 1788) in Bertie Co., NC. Abraham had deeded land to Mary Robinson and her children in Bertie Co. in 1787. After Abraham's sudden death, his estate was settled, giving Mary and her children clear title to that land. Mary Robinson and her children lived on that property in Bertie County (on the Chowan River and Eastermost Swamp, at an area known as Perrytown) until January 1799, when Mary Robinson married to Arthur Venters. Arthur Venters was originally from Bertie Co., but had claimed a Revolutionary War Land Grant in Onslow Co. during the 1780s, so Mary Robinson and her family moved to Onslow County, North Carolina in 1799 to live with Arthur Venters and his family. Arthur Venters already had a family from his first wife, including his sons Jesse Venters and John Venters. Power-of-attorney documents from Onslow County in January 1806 indicate that the family was preparing for the move to Kentucky. Arthur Venters first shows up on the 1810 Census of Floyd Co., Kentucky, and Arnold Perry and his siblings were residing in Arthur Venters' home at that time. The Perrys and the Venters lived on Cedar Creek, as well as Coon Branch of Island Creek, on the Levisa Fork of Big Sandy River in present-day Pike County before the town of Pikeville existed. Streams in that area, including Arnold's Branch and Robinson Creek, bear the names of these families to this day.

The Perry, Venters, and Robinson families of Bertie Co., North Carolina were affluent Planter families, and owned slaves up until the 1790s. It is not known whether these families brought any slaves with them into Kentucky, but it is known that some of the families in Kentucky into which they married did in fact own slaves. Arnold Perry married to Mary "Polly" Ratliff in 1816 in Floyd Co., Kentucky. Polly Ratliff's father, Nathaniel Ratliff of Montgomery Co., Virginia, was a slave-owner, as was his son Thompson and others of that family. Many of Arnold and Polly Perry's descendants, including my GGG-grandfather Nathaniel Perry (born in September 1827 in Pike Co., KY), were southern Democrats with pro-slavery sentiments. Nathaniel Perry fought in Company "K", 8th Virginia Cavalry, C.S.A. from 1861 to December 1864. By the 1840s, Arnold Perry, Sr., along with his nephews Arnold Perry, Jr., George Perry, Abraham Perry, and Josiah Perry, as well as Arnold Perry, Sr.'s sons Andrew Jackson Perry, Jesse "Curly Jesse" Perry, Jeremiah Perry, and Nathaniel Perry, were claiming land in Virginia along the Twelve Pole Creek drainage. These claims are listed in the Virginia State Archives as being located in Logan County, although the area today is in the vicinity of southern Wayne County, West Virginia -- around the Perry Ridge area. Many of the Perrys that were settling in other sections of Logan County, as well as on the Guyandotte River of Cabell Co., were distant relatives to this same Perry family. After the 1840s most of the Perrys had moved east out of Pike Co. over the Big Sandy River into present-day West Virginia.

Zane D. Perry is the GGGG-grandson of Arnold R. Perry.

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