Mary (Polly) Perry

Mary (or Polly) Perry1 was an older sister of my great-great-grandfather and the second child of Moses and Sarah (Russell) Perry. She was born 13 Feb 1796 in Northumberland county,2 Pennsylvania, and came to Scrubgrass township, in Venango county, PA, as a small child with her parents. She lived until at least 1860 in Venango county, then moved to Kent county, Delaware, along with some of her children.

Mary married Eli Williams 14 Apr 1818 in Venango county. Eli was born 30 May 1789, also in Northumberland county.2 He served in the War of 1812 as a private in the 132nd Regiment, PA Militia, Fifth Company, under Captain Hugh McManigle. He was the son of Benjamin and Tamar (Caywood) Williams and brought Polly to live on the family homestead after their marriage.

Children. Eli and Mary had the following children, all born in Venango county:

  1. Sara Williams, born 20 Mar 1819.
  2. Tamar Williams, born 2 Dec 1820.
  3. Moses Perry Williams, born 20 Jan 1823, died 23 Mar 1914. Went by middle name.
  4. Benjamin Franklin Williams, born 24 Jan 1825.
  5. Amos Caywood Williams, born 11 Dec 1827, died 15 Dec 1898.
  6. Jesse Russell Williams, born 23 Sep 1830.

The 1850 census finds Polly3 living in Rockland township, across the Allegheny River from Scrubgrass, along with her sons Amos and Jesse. Moses is listed as Perry Williams, with his wife and children, in the next household.

Death. Eli Williams died 22 Apr 1844 in French Creek township, Venango county, PA. Mary (Perry) Williams died some time after 1870. Although I've seen information to the effect that Mary and Eli are buried at the Scrubgrass Presbyterian Church's cemetery, Agnes Lacey1 was unable to find their tombstones in that cemetery, nor was she able to find them in any cemetery listing.

Our Perry researcher cousins have continued the quest for information about Polly and her family. In October 2008, Mary Pierotti wrote:

I have been working with Jackie Russell on the question of Mary "Polly" Perry--daughter of Moses.

We all have information from the Agnes William Lacey Book The Benjamin Williams Family in America that states that Mary survived the death of her husband by 9 years. Her husband, Eli Williams, died in 1844--making the death date of "Polly" as 1853.

I can't find any other record that would confirm this date. I also can't find a record of burial in either Scrubgrass or Clinton Townships.

Jackie Russell points out that in 1860 there is a Mary Perry4 the correct age who is living with what should be her son, Amos Caywood Williams, in Cranberry Township,4 Venango, PA.

In 1850 Polly3 had been living with Amos in Rockland Township, Venango, PA.

By 1870, Mary Perry4 is still living with Amos. Amos and family have moved to Dover, Kent, Delaware.

I think that Jackie is correct about Mary "Polly" Perry. She did not die in 1853 as stated in the "Williams" book.

I have corrected my tree "New World Roots" to reflect this information.

Could Polly have died, and been buried, in Delaware? We can't answer this question, but the 1880 census lists A. C. Williams and family in Kent county, DE, living next door to her 32-year-old granddaughter (Perry's daughter), Tamar Powell. Polly doesn't appear in this census, so it appears she died between 1870 and 1880. To confuse matters, there was another Mary Williams, living in Scrubgrass township in 1880, who I thought might be Mary (Perry) Williams. Mary Pierotti cleared up this misconception when she informed me, based on Nancy Scott's research:

There was another Mary Polly (Phipps) Williams who was the same age as our Mary Polly (Perry) Williams. This other Polly was the wife of Levi Williams, while his brother (Eli) married Mary Perry. These two Pollys were sisters-in-law!!!

1 The information in this page is based on the research of Nancy Scott, as found in her book, Westward, Ho! Nancy, in turn, credits one of Mary Perry's descendants, Agnes (Williams) Lacey (1906-2001), author of The Benjamin Williams family in America: 1775-1981, Group Four Printing, 1981, for most of her information on this Perrry line.
2 Polly and Eli may have both been born in the part of Northumberland around Williamsport which became Lycoming county in 1795.
3 She was listed as Polly Williams in 1850.
4 The 1860 and 1870 census records actually say "Mary Williams" and the 1860 record says "Sandy Creek township", which is adjacent to Cranberry, but this is definitely the right person. The 1860 census lists Mary's other sons, Jesse and Perry, and their families in adjacent households.
This page was last updated 17 Nov 2008.