Pension of Benjamin Berry

W 23570

PENSION of Benjamin Berry and widow Sobriety

I Abigail Watson of Durham in the County of Strafford and State of New Hampshire on oath depose and say that I am ninety years of age and upwards, I was born in Durham aforesaid and have always lived in this town from my birth. I was well acquainted with Sobriety Duda in my younger days, who was about my age. I lived in the same neighborhood with her until she was married, she was the daughter of Benmore Duda, and recollect two brothers of hers named Lemuel and Asa. There was another brother by the name of Obadiah and I think he was the oldest, there was a brother called Joseph who died when he was young; the daughters were Sobe, as she was called, Phebe and Patience - Phebe and Patience married men by the name of Durgin, they have been dead many years. Sobe married a man who was a soldier and was said to have been a soldier by the people of the neighborhood. Sobe Berry was a widow about sixty years ago and lived at one time in a little house in the road in the neighborhood where she was born and had one or two children. Benjamin Berry was not a native of Durham and I never was acquainted with him till about the time he was married. He had been in the place a short time before they were married. It is said that he was a deserter and that he was taken up and carried back into the army. Benjamin Berry died about the time of the close of the Revolutionary War and I should judge he had been married four or five years before his death, perhaps more. There never was any question that Sobe Duda was lawfully married to Benjamin Berry and I never heard the fact disputed or questioned and it was always said they were married by Parson Adams. I never heard of or saw any other man by the name of Benjamin Berry. - Abigail Watson (her mark)

May 21, 1847

Sir, I have received with your letter of May 17, 1847 Military Land Warrant No. 2437 issued to Polly Merrill the sole heir of Benjamin Berry, deceased, who was a private in Regiment of the New Hampshire line commanded by Col. Reed in the Revolutionary War for one hundred acres of land and given at the Dept of the Interior (?) on the 16th May 1849.
I am very Respectfully your obt. Servant. F. Bradford

Sobriety Berry, widow of Benjamin Berry, who was a private in the revolutionary war, certificate of pension issued 1848 #4522

State of Maine
County of Piscataqua Ss
On this eighth day of June in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and forts seven, personally appeared before me the subscriber Judge of Probate in and for the County aforesaid, Sobriety Berry, a resident of Wellington in said County, aged ninety one years who being duly sworn according to law, doth, upon her oath make the following declaration in order to receive the benefit of the act of Congress passed July 4th 1836.
And this declarant states that her husband Benjamin Berry was a resident of Epsom, State of New Hampshire in the line of the Revolutionary War and was a soldier in the Continental Army and served, she believes, nearly the whole of the ear. Her husband enlisted for __ the war and she believes was in the Regiment to which Major or Colonel Winborn Adams belonged for she has heard her husband speak of that officer and say that he was killed in battle. This declarant states that when her husband had been in the service two or three years he had a furlough to go home and overstayed his furlough and was returned a deserter. He was taken up after he had remained at home some time and again entered the service and remained in the service to the end of the war and had an honorable discharge. This declarant states that her husband was taken up by her brother Lemuel Duda when she believes was Ensign in the Continental Army and went back into service with him. She was married and had one child before her husband came out of the army. This declarant is unable to state the names of the officers under which her husband served but she heard him name many officers of the army but has forgotten their names. After the close of the war of the Revolution he sailed from Portsmouth, she believes, with Capt. Chapman. Her oldest child is now living and is about seventy years of age.
And this declarant says that she was married to Benjamin Berry in Durham, New Hampshire by the Reverend Mr. Adams more then seventy one years ago and at the time of her marriage was a resident of Durham and lived in that town while her husband was in the service and that her husband died soon after the close of the war as she here before stated, and she has remained a widow ever since. She therefore claims a pension by virtue of the act aforesaid and __ the following testimony in support of her claim.
Sobriety Berry (her mark)

State of Maine
I Sally Morrill, heir at law of Benjamin Berry, do upon oath testify and declare, to the best of my knowledge and belief that said Benjamin Berry did enter the service of the United States in Epsom, NH for term of __ in 1777 and served as a private soldier under the command of Col. Reed and that he continued in the service aforesaid until the end of the war and was honorably discharged.
I further declare that I have never received a warrant for the bounty land promised to the soldiers of the Revolution on the part of the United States, nor do I believe that the said Benjamin Berry ever received the same in his life time or transferred his claim to it in any manner whatsoever.
In testimony I hereunto set my hand and seal this eighth day of June 1847.
Sally Morrill

I Asa Smith of Wellington in the County of Piscataqua and State of Maine now common act in Portland in the County of Cumberland and State aforesaid on oath depose testify and say that I was thirty nine years of age on the seventh of April last; I was born in the town of Union, Lincoln County and resided there till I was about thirteen years of age. Since that time, about twenty six years, I have resided in Wellington. I am the son of Sally Morrill by her first husband, Nicholas Smith, my father. Sobriety Berry is my grandmother and lived in the town of Union when I was a boy and resided there with my father. Soon after my father and his family moved to Wellington or Bridgetown, as it was then called, my grandmother removed there also and has continued there to the present time. She has lived in Solon a few years out of that time. She now lives with me. I have often heard Sobriety Berry, my grandmother, speak of the Revolutionary services of her husband, Benjamin Berry, and also about his death. She has told me that her husband served during the war and that at one time he over-stayed his furlough and for fear of punishment, tried to keep out of the way and secreted himself in a house but was finally taken up by her brother, Lemuel Duda and carried back into the army. She says that after the close of the war he went to South Carolina and died there of the yellow fever. My mother, Sally Morrill is the only child living of Benjamin Berry. She has always told me that she was born in Old Durham, as she calls the name of the town in N.H. She had one brother by the name of Joseph Berry who died before he was married and left no children. From the information that I have received from my mother and grandmother, I have no doubt but Benjamin Berry, my grandfather, served during the war of the Revolution and was entitled to Bounty Land as a ____ and that he died soon after the war. My grandmother has always told me that she was married before her husband left the service and even before he was taken up and carried back into the army.
Asa Smith

I Eleazer Bennett of Durham in the County of Strafford and State of New Hampshire, on oath depose and say that I am ninety seven years of age and upwards. I was born in Old Durham, New Hampshire, so called, and have resided in the same town the whole of my life excepting the time I was in the war of the Revolution and some short periods when I worked out in my younger days. I served under Capt. Winborn Adams and Capt. Alpheus Chesley in 1775 and 1776 at Cambridge, having entered Capt. Winborn Adams Company as a substitute for Trueworthy Durgin the first of September 1775 and remained in said company three months. After I had served three months under Capt. Adams, I was discharged and came home and immediately after enlisted under Capt. Chesley and served under him four months, being the term of two several enlistments, and was discharged a few days after the British troops left Boston which was on or about the 17th of March 1776. My next enlistment and service was under Capt. Smith Emerson in 1776 which service was performed in the State of New York and was in the battle of Long Island at which time General Sullivan was taken prisoner. This last service was three months.
I was well acquainted with Benmore Duda who was a near neighbor to me in the time of the Revolutionary War and who lived a tenant twenty two years under Col. Joseph Smith. During the whole of the twenty two years I was intimately acquainted with said Benmore Duda and his family, he had two wives while he lived here, the maiden name of the first was Crummet and of the second, Bickford. The sons by the first wife were as follows, viz, Obadiah, Asa, Lemuel and Joseph who died young. He also had the following daughters by his first wife viz, Phebe who married David Durgin and died soon after she was married; Patience, who married Joseph Durgin cousin to David Durgin; and Sobriety who married Benjamin Berry, who was a soldier of the Revolution at the time she was married to him. Benjamin Berry was not a native of Durham, but came to this town a soldier on furlough in the time of the war, and put up or stopped at Benmore Duda's - became acquainted with Sobriety his daughter and was married to her a short time after he came to this town. They went together to Parson Adams and were married at his house. I did not see them married but recollect the circumstance well because the family of Benmore Duda were opposed to the match and we used to laugh about it. They went to the ministers on foot, the distance of more than two miles to be married. While Benjamin Berry was in Durham at this time, he was sick or pretended to be and overstayed his furlough and then tried to conceal himself. He was taken up however and carried back into the army. I thin I saw him once afterwards and that was after the war. He died soon after the war and left Sobriety a widow who lived in Durham and vicinity a number of years. The oldest child of Sobriety Berry was named Sally, who was born in Durham soon after her mother's marriage. Sally Berry married a man by the name of Smith in Loudon, she having gone to Loudon a short time before her marriage to keep house for a brother in law of mine by the name of Ephraim Clough. She also had a son by the name of Joseph Berry who learned a shoe makers trade and died without children in some town in Massachusetts and left some property for his mother. Sobriety Berry and her daughter Sally (after the marriage of the latter) went into the State of Maine and I have not heard from her since until I was informed about her by Mr. Coe, Town Clerk of Durham two or three weeks ago. There never was any question but Sobriety Duda was lawfully married to Benjamin Berry in the time of the Revolutionary War. Benjamin Berry when in Durham at the time of his marriage wore a soldiers dress and was reputed to have been a soldier on furlough of the Continental Army. I do not know of any of the family of Benmore Duda now living, some members of the family have changed their names from Duda to Durrell or Durell and some of the dame of Durrell or Durell are living in this vicinity, but I believe they are descendants of Nicholas Duda, otherwise Durell, who was a brother of Benmore. Lemuel Duda, the brother of Sobriety Berry was in the service as I understand the whole of the Revolutionary War.
Eleazer Bennett (his mark)

[Note: In a volume "Bounty Land Script-Act of 1833" are many names of Revolutionary War soldiers and heirs who were issued bounty land scrip in place of military bounty land warrants given for their service. Entries run from 1833-1970. It authorized veterans to surrender unsatisfied bounty land warrants and get in their place certificates of scrip which could be exchanged at any land office in Indiana, Ohio or Illinois. In this volume the following NH entry is shown]

BERRY, Benjamin, Pri, cert 11380. 1855-sole heir: Sally Merrill (her heirs: Fanny and Rosannah Marble; Wm. M; Nath., Asa & Gardner Smith; Jane Davis; Lucy Hamilton).