Robert E Perry
(Abt 1777 to aft 1860)
Robert E. Perry (middle name may have been Edward) was born about 17771 probably in Bedford County, VA. Tradition states that his family was from Ireland and according to another tradition, Robert wasn’t Perry, but a Wright that was raised by a Perry family. Recent DNA testing has proven the link between Robert and a Wright family. He seems to have been related to a Thomas Wright who died in Bedford County, VA in 17632. This man had two sons by which Robert may have in turn been a son. Robert may have been a child born from an extramarital affair or his parents may have died while he was still young. All that is currently known is that Robert was related to Thomas Wright of Bedford County in some way.
Robert married Frances H. Basham and perhaps an Eleanor before her. There is a record listed online that states that Robert married Frances in 18073 and since he had two children born before that time, he may have indeed married twice. This needs to be researched further.
Robert’s first two sons were born in Bedford County, VA and his wife Frances was born in neighboring Franklin County where a Perry family lived. This Perry family may have been the same family that raised Robert. We first see a William Perrey (note the spelling) in the area about 17804 and then George Perry appears on the personal property tax list in Franklin County in 1788 (Franklin County formed in 1786). This same George, along with Jacob (both listed as Pearry), was on the tax list of 1799 in Franklin County. Perhaps a will or guardianship papers could tell us more about who raised Robert.
Soon after his marriage to Frances, Robert and his family moved to Kanawha County in what would later become West Virginia around 1807/08. This was during the time that few people lived in the Kanawha River Valley and Robert’s family was among the early settlers to the area.5 The family settled on Cabin Creek, where Robert’s other four children were born. Robert worked as a schoolteacher and along with his wife Frances, spent the rest of his life in the area.
Robert’s family can be found on the census records in Kanawha County for the years 1810, 1830, 1840, 1850, & 1860. According to the 1860 Census, Robert was 83 and Frances was 82, which is where their birth years of 1777 and 1778 were derived. They were living with their daughter Mary Ann Romine and husband James at the time of the census. Neither Robert nor Frances has been found on the 1870 census, so they probably had passed away. Whether Robert was married once or twice, we do know he had at least six children. If you have additional information that you would like to contribute on this family please feel free to email me at Robert E Perry.
James R Perry
William E Perry
Mary Ann Perry
Robert E Perry II
Frances B Perry
John Linville Perry
1Census records, 1860 Kanawha Co., VA (WV).
2Research from Perry & Wright DNA Projects' test results.
3Supposedly from the Monroe Co., VA Marriage records; I haven't confirmed yet.
4Franklin Co., VA tax list 1780.
5W.S. Laidley, History of Charleston and Kanawha County West Virginia and Representative Citizens (1911).