Our Perry Family History

We have traced our Perry line to James Perry of Perrymount, County Down, Ireland.  He is mentioned in Jonathan Swift's book, Journal to Stella, as being his cousin, Nan Swift's husband. Click here to see their Family Group Record.

From his will we find James Perry had four sons; Swift, John, Adam and Joseph and two daughters, Jane who married Edward Usher.  Another daughter, Martha, who married Edward Arnold, is not listed in the will, so possibly she died before her father. Also listed are the children of Swift, listed as James, Adam, John and Swift. The last Swift is the one we find in the Colonies. With the exception of Joseph it is doubtful that any of the sons of James Perry came to the Colonies. The other Perry's we find in Maryland were probably Joseph's nephews, the grandson's of James Perry.

Joseph Perry first appeared in the Colonies in the 1730's.  We find record of him in Frederick County, MD where he was one of the early settlers in that area, which was then the American Frontier.

We don't know why he chose to immigrate.  At the time the population of Ireland was increasing.  It was becoming more difficult for the younger people to achieve a way of life that was known to their parents.  They had the promise of being able to make it in a new land with abundant resources through sheer hard work.

We assume that Joseph Perry, and his nephews that came over later, were educated and had been acquainted with the better way of life than many who were driven to the new land.  His father, James Perry, was a gentleman and his mother was of the prestigious Swift family.  Joseph probably came to the Colonies in his twenties.

He married Isabella Charlton before 1742.  We don't know where they married but we think that Isabella was born in Frederick Co., MD, so it's likely they married there.  They had seven daughters and one son.  The son probably died in infancy as there is not much mention of him.

The first reference to Joseph Perry and his activities in the area was on one of the raids led by Capt. John Charlton, Isabella's brother.  At the time, a border dispute between Pennsylvania and Maryland was going on over which state had jurisdiction over the northern area of what is now Maryland.  The state boundaries were not well established at that time.  Capt. Charlton and four men went into Pennsylvania where they captured a magistrate, Elisha Batchell.  They beat him and compelled him to come back to Maryland with them.  This took place at Nottingham in Chester County, PA on June 29, 1737.  One of the men who accompanied Capt. Charlton was Joseph Perry.  The men were armed with guns, hangers (a short sword carried at the waist) and swords.  

A few months later (October 26, 1737), a group of men, again led by Capt. Charlton, raided the county jail at Lancaster, PA.  They freed some of their friends, unjustly imprisoned in a border war.  All this was with the blessing of the Maryland governor.  In all probability, Joseph Perry was in this group.

Joseph Perry of Frederick County of the Antietam Hundred owned land called Perry's Retirement. He served for a time as constable of Antietam Hundred in 1751. According to the Gower - Stehl Family Genealogy, Joseph Perry was from the Leitersburg District.

Joseph Perry purchased Deceit from John Darling in 1754.  He secured a resurvey whereby the area was increased to 658 acres.  The tract received the name of The Resurvey on Deceit, issued on February 17, 1761.  

In November 1774 Joseph Perry was appointed as a representative to the Continental Congress during the Non-importation and tea burning episode in Frederick. He was from Upper Antietam. (From Books found in the Frederick Co. Library....Western Maryland Genealogy.. a monthly publication.)

From Revolutionary Patriots of Frederick Co., MD: Joseph Perry - served on Committee of Observation in 1775 (Ref. I-85). Appointed by the Com. of Correspondence to solicit subscriptions to purchase arms and ammunition in Upper Antitam in 1775. 

His will:  Joseph Perry of Washington Co., farmer. Will dated 30 August 1777, sick to my aged wife, Isabella: 20 lbs. per year and 200 lbs in hand. After her death the money to augment the stipends of the Rector of the Episcopal church and the parish where I live. To daughter, Martha McCoy: 10 shillings. To Perry McCoy: 50 lbs. and to each of his siblings 10 lbs. To daughters, Jane and Isabella: annuity of 18 lbs each. To daughter Ann Perry: annuity of 10 lbs. and the balance to her children after her death, except Isabella Morehead. To daughters Alice Charlton and Eleanor: 400 lbs and to each of their children: 10 lbs. To granddaughter: Isabella Morehead: 200 lbs. to my grandchildren by daughter Ann Perry (except Isabella): 10 lbs. each. To nephew John Perry: 100 lbs. To old friend John Darling: 30 lbs and clothes. Wife Isabella executrix/s/ Joseph Perry. Wit: Andrew Hoover, john Sides. Proved 25 June 1785 (125-126)

Here is the content of the abstract:

PERRY, Joseph. Adm. Richard Dowlar 6/9/95; widow, Martha McCoy 4.5 1/10; This distribution had two figures; the first figure was a legacy; the second figure appears to be what each received after a deduction of some kind. I have lettered the parts to keep them separated:
(a) Perry McCoy legacy 50 received 22.2.8; (b) Daniel McCoy, Jacob McCoy, John McCoy, William McCoy, Martha McCoy m. Fackler, Elinor McCoy m. E. Foard, Margaret McCoy m. Beard, legacy 10 received 4.8.6 4/10; (c) Alice Charlton legacy 400 rceived 177.1.3 2/10 and her 4 children each, legacy 10 is 40 received 10.14.1 4/10; (d) Elenor Perry legacy 400 received 177.1.3 2/10 and her 3 children each, legacy 10 is 30 received 13.5.7 3/10; (e) Richard Dowlar in right of his wife formerly I. Morehead legacy 200 received 88.10.8; (f) John, James, Ann, children of Ann Perry each, legacy 30 received 13.5.7 2/10 (g) John Perry legacy 100 received 44.5.4; (h) John Darling executors legacy 30 rceived 13.5.7 3/10; (i) Isabella Perry for Ann legacy 18 per annum, legacy 300 received 132.16.0; (j) Ann Perry ditto 166.13.4 is 73.15.6 6/10?; (k) 0.8.10 3/4 for legacy or 1817.3.4 is legacy 804.7.10 legatee's part (this statement complicates matters); (l) Samuel Jones signature at bottom of distribution

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