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A Biographical Dictionary of the Maryland Legislature 1635-1789 by Edward C. Papenfuse, et. al.
Volume 426, Page 132   View pdf image (33K)
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BER BIOGRAPHIES

in 1658. WEALTH AT DEATH. DIED: in 1666; size of
estate unknown.

BERRY, WILLIAM (ca. 1636-1691). BORN: ca.
1636, possibly in Virginia; first son. IMMIGRATED:
in 1652/53 as a minor with his family from Vir-
ginia. RESIDED: in Calvert County; Talbot County
at the time of his death. FAMILY BACKGROUND.
FATHER: James Berry (?-1666). MOTHER:
Elizabeth. BROTHER: Roger. SISTER: Martha. MAR-
RIED first, Naomi (?-1663), daughter of Richard
Preston (?-ca. 1669/70). Her brothers were RJch-
ard (?-by 1669); James, and Samuel. Her sisters
were Margaret; Rebecca; and Sarah, who married
William Ford (?-1678/79). MARRIED second, in
1669 Margaret (?-1688), widow of Richard Pres-
ton (?-by 1669); daughter of Thomas Marsh (ca.
1615-1656/57). Her brother was Thomas Marsh
(ca. 1643-1679). Her sisters were Elizabeth (?-
1684); Sarah (?-1688). CHILDREN. SONS William
(?-1693), of Pennsylvania, who married first,
Nancy, and second, by 1691 Mary; James, who
married first, in 1686 Sarah Wilchurch, and sec-
ond, in 1691 Elizabeth Pitt; and Thomas (1678-?),
who married in 1699 Sarah Godard. STEPSON:
Samuel Preston. DAUGHTER: Rebecca, who mar-
ried in 1686 James Ridley. PRIVATE CAREER. EDU-
CATION literate. RELIGIOUS AFFILIATION: Quaker.
SOCIAL STATUS AND ACTIVITIES: second genera-
tion burgess; Mr., by 1657. OCCUPATIONAL PRO-
FILE: planter. PUBLIC CAREER. LEGISLATIVE SER-
VICE: Lower House, Calvert County, 1674-
1674/75 (elected to the 3rd session; Laws 3, 4).
LOCAL OFFICE justice, Calvert County, 1669/70.
STANDS ON PUBLIC/PRIVATE ISSUES: very active in
1674, 1676, and 1681, in petitioning the Assembly
to exempt Quakers from having to take oaths.

WEALTH DURING LIFETIME. LAND AT FIRST

ELECTION over 500 acres. WEALTH AT DEATH.
DIED will probated on May 16, 1691. PERSONAL
PROPERTY: at least 2 black servants. LAND: ca.
2,000 acres.

BESSON, THOMAS (ca. 1617-1679). BORN: ca.
1617 in England. IMMIGRATED: in 1649 as a free
adult with his family from Virginia. ADDITIONAL
COMMENTS: transported to Virginia in 1638 by
Robert Freeman, a merchant. RESIDED: in Anne
Arundel County. MARRIED Hester, widow of
Henry Caplin. She subsequenly married by 1680
Thomas Sutton. CHILDREN. SONS: Thomas; Wil-
liam; and John. DAUGHTERS. Anne, who married
Nicholas Gassaway (1634-1691/92); Martha. PRI-
VATE CAREER. EDUCATION: literate. RELIGIOUS
AFFILIATION: Protestant, probably a Puritan. SO-

CIAL STATUS AND ACTIVITIES: no title on arrival
in Maryland. OCCUPATIONAL PROFILE: planter.

PUBLIC CAREER. LEGISLATIVE SERVICE: Assembly,

Providence (Anne Arundel County), 1657; Lower
House, Anne Arundel County, 1666. LOCAL OF-
FICE: justice, Anne Arundel County, 1658-1668.

MILITARY SERVICE: captain, 1661. WEALTH DUR-
ING LIFETIME. LAND AT FIRST ELECTION. 800

acres in 1658. WEALTH AT DEATH. DIED: will pro-
bated On April 29, 1679. PERSONAL PROPERTY:
TEV, £80.18.0 sterling; FB, £43.8.0. LAND: 3
tracts of unspecified acreage.

BIGGER, JOHN (ca. 1654-1714). BORN: ca.
1654, certainly by 1657, in Calvert County. NA-
TIVE: second generation. RESIDED, in Calvert

County. FAMILY BACKGROUND. FATHER: John
Bigger (ca. 1634-ca. 1673), who immigrated in
1652 as an indentured servant and became a
planter with over 3,000 acres. MOTHER: Ann, who
subsequently married James Rumsey. BROTHER:
James Bigger. SISTER: Mary, who married James
Stockley (?-1676), son of Woodman Stockley (?-ca.
1663). MARRIED Ann, daughter of Dr. James
Trueman and wife Ann Storer; niece of Thomas
Trueman (ca. 1625-1685). Her stepbrother was
Robert Skin ner (?-1713). Her half brothers were
Clark Skinner; William Skinner; and Adderton
Skinner (ca. 1677-1756). Her sisters were Mary,
who married Thomas Hollyday (ca. 1661-1702/3);
Martha, who married Thomas Greenfield (ca.
1649-1715); and Elizabeth. Her stepsister or half
sister was Mary Skinner. CHILDREN. DAUGHTER:
Ann, who married first, William Head, and sec-
ond, James Gibson. PRIVATE CAREER. EDUCA-
TION: literate. RELIGIOUS AFFILIATION: Protestant.
SOCIAL STATUS AND ACTIVITIES: closely related
by marriage to the powerful Skinner, Greenfield,
and Hollyday families. OCCUPATIONAL PROFILE:

planter. PUBLIC CAREER. LEGISLATIVE SERVICE:

Lower House, Calvert County, 1692-1693. OTHER
PROVINCIAL OFFICE: justice, Provincial Court,
1699-1702. LOCAL OFFICES, justice, Calvert
County, 1692-1699, 1705-1706 (quorum); trustee,
King William's School, 1696. MILITARY SERVICE:
captain, 1690-1694; major, 1694-1695; lieutenant
colonel, 1695-1700; colonel, 1700-still serving in
1707. STANDS ON PUBLIC/PRIVATE ISSUES: an ac-
tive supporter of the revolution of 1689, which
brought him his first political offices. WEALTH

DURING LIFETIME. LAND AT FIRST ELECTION: at

least 1,450 acres. WEALTH AT DEATH. DIED= will
probated in November 1714. PERSONAL PROP-
ERTY: TEV, £1,584.8.3 sterling (including 32

132



 

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A Biographical Dictionary of the Maryland Legislature 1635-1789 by Edward C. Papenfuse, et. al.
Volume 426, Page 132   View pdf image (33K)
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