Berry Edwards, Sr.
& Ruth Davis

Berry Edwards, Sr., son of David EDWARDS, Jr. & Elizabeth ANDREWS, was born Feb. 20, 1799, in Ashe Co., NC, and died May 13, 1870, in Alleghany Co., NC. He married Ruth Davis, daughter of Thomas DAVIS of Grayson Co., VA, abt. 1819. She was born abt. 1800 in Grayson Co., VA, and died July 15, 1864, in Alleghany Co., NC. Berry and Ruth are buried at the Center Edwards Cemetery, located off Hwy. 21 near Sparta, Alleghany Co., NC.

Children of Berry Edwards, Sr., & Ruth Davis:

  1. +Thomas Edwards, b. June 16, 1820, Ashe Co., NC; d. Jan. 11, 1897, Alleghany Co., NC; m. (1) Nancy FENDER, daughter of John FENDER & Martha TOLIVER, about 1840 (b. Feb. 10, 1826; d. Mar. 9, 1869); m. (2) Delilah Jane HIGGINS, daughter of John HIGGINS & Susan EDWARDS, Nov. 25, 1869, Alleghany Co., NC (b. Oct. 14, 1828; d. Sept. 11, 1916); bur. Hiram Edwards Cemetery, Road 1162, Bledsoe Creek, Alleghany Co., NC.
  2. +Starling Edwards, b. Nov. 2, 1821, Ashe Co., NC; d. Oct. 16, 1912, Alleghany Co., NC; m. (1) Amy WILES, abt. 1843 (b. Feb. 9, 1823; d . Dec. 15, 1885); m. (2) Sarah A. PHIPPS, daughter of Preston PHIPPS & Sarah Jane DIXON, Sept. 15, 1890, Alleghany Co., NC (b. May 1842; d. aft. 1910); bur. Starling Edwards Cemetery, Road 1135, Alleghany Co., NC.
  3. Louisa Edwards, b. Apr. 1, 1823, Ashe Co., NC; d. July 20, 1893, Alleghany Co., NC; m. Berry G. ESTEP, abt. 1840 (b. Oct. 6, 1820; d. Jan. 10, 1911); bur. Antioch Primitive Baptist Church Cemetery, Alleghany Co., NC. Children: Jacob W. "Jake" Estep (1841), Haywood D. Estep (1843), William (1845), James A. Estep (c.1850), Nancy Caroline Estep (1852), Hiram John Estep (1854), Ruth Elizabeth Estep (1856), Sarah Jane Estep (1859).
  4. +Haywood Thomas Edwards, b. Aug. 8, 1824, Ashe Co., NC; d. Oct. 17, 1894, Alleghany Co., NC; m. (1) Jane "Jennie" LANDRETH, abt. 1847 (b. abt. 1833; d. 1850-1853); m. (2) Lucinda CARR, daughter of Thomas CARR & Elizabeth PORTER, Oct. 20, 1853, Ashe Co., NC (b. May 1836; d. 1903); bur. Center Edwards Cemetery, Hwy 21, Alleghany Co., NC.
  5. Rebecca Edwards, b. abt. 1827, Ashe Co., NC; d. aft. 1880, Dallas Co., TX; m. James BILLINGS, abt. 1845 (b. abt. 1827, d. bef. 1880). Children: Louisa Billings (c.1846), Matilda Billings (c.1848), Thomas Billings (c.1849), David Billings (c.1851), Berry Billings (c.1853), Nancy Billings (c.1855), James Billings (abt. 1872).
  6. +Center (Senter) Joshua Edwards, b. June 2, 1826, Ashe Co., NC; d. Aug. 19, 1901, Alleghany Co., NC; m. his 2nd cousin Mary Jane CHOATE, daughter of Richard "Dickie" CHOATE & Sarah EDWARDS, Sept. 10, 1852, Ashe Co., NC (b. July 3, 1836; d. Mar. 15, 1899); bur. Center Edwards Cemetery, Hwy. 21, Alleghany Co., NC.
  7. David C. "D.C." Edwards, b. June 1, 1829, Ashe Co., NC; d. Sept. 24, 1904, Winston, Forsyth Co., NC; m. Martha Osborne REEVES, daughter of George T. REEVES & Nancy FIELDS, Apr. 7, 1863, Alleghany Co., NC (b. Apr. 8, 1846; d. Feb. 8, 1935); bur. Elk Creek Church, Alleghany Co., NC. Children: George Walter Edwards (1864), Nancy B. "Nannie" Edwards (c.1867), Dr. Arthur D. Edwards (1871), Burta L. Edwards (1874), Dr. Albert David Edwards (c.1875).
  8. +Berry Edwards, Jr. ("Berryson"), b. Aug. 4, 1831, Ashe Co., NC; d. Dec. 17, 1889, Alleghany Co., NC; m. Amanda Melvina WAGONER, daughter of Jacob WAGONER & Annie ROBERTS, abt. 1850 (b. Dec. 28, 1831; d. July 4, 1895); bur. Center Edwards Cemetery, Hwy. 21, Alleghany Co., NC.
  9. +Caroline Edwards, b. Mar. 10, 1834, Ashe Co., NC; d. Jan. 6, 1893, Alleghany Co., NC; m. (1) Reeves CROUSE, son of John A. CROUSE & Jane WILLEY, Nov. 27, 1853, Ashe Co., NC (b. abt. 1834; d. July 11, 1864); m. (2) Meredith T. NORMAN, Nov. 22, 1866, Alleghany Co., NC (b. Mar. 24, 1831; d. Dec. 24, 1919); bur. Center Edwards Cemetery, Hwy 21, Alleghany Co., NC.
  10. Ruth Emeline Edwards, b. July 20, 1837, Ashe Co., NC; d. May 14, 1930, Cloud Co., KS; m. John W. JOINES, son of Thomas JOINES & Lydia HOPPERS, Apr. 20, 1856, Ashe Co., NC (b. abt. 1832; d. 1919). Children: Cynthia Joines (1857), Phoebe Jane Joines (1862), William Joines (c.1865), Sarah E. Joines (c.1868), Nellie Joines (c.1873), John Joines (c.1876), Myrtle E. Joines (c.1879).
  11. +Hiram S. Edwards, b. Feb. 2, 1838, Ashe Co., NC; d. July 3, 1909, Alleghany Co., NC; m. (1) Sarah WILLEY, daughter of Levi WILLEY & Nancy BILLINGS, Apr. 5, 1866, Alleghany Co., NC (b. abt. 1842; d. Nov. 11, 1884); m. (2) Mary Jane WEAVER, daughter of James WEAVER & Anne C. JOHNSON, June 29, 1885, Alleghany Co., NC (b. Oct. 23, 1850; d. Feb. 12, 1890); m. (3) Mary Ellen CHEEK, daughter of Henderson CHEEK & Lucy BRYAN, Jan. 1, 1891, Alleghany Co., NC (b. Oct. 13, 1857; d. Jan. 26, 1891); bur. Center Edwards Cemetery, Hwy. 21, Alleghany Co., NC.
  12. Elizabeth Edwards, b. abt. 1840, Ashe Co., NC; d. ?; m. John CONNERLY (b. abt. 1853 in Indiana; d. ?). Moved to Republic Co., KS.
  13. Cynthia Edwards, b. Mar. 15, 1842, Ashe Co., NC; d. Sept. 24, 1877; m. William WHITEHEAD, son of Daniel WHITEHEAD & Sarah CROUSE, Nov. 12, 1866, Alleghany Co., NC (b. abt. 1847; d. unk.); bur. Center Edwards Cemetery, Hwy. 21, Alleghany Co., NC.


Berry Edwards, Sr., born in 1799, was one of eight sons of David Edwards, Sr., of Ashe/Alleghany County, NC. Berry seems to have owned a fair amount of land around Bledsoes Creek, Elk Creek and the Peach Bottom Mountains.  His wife, Ruth, was the daughter of Thomas Davis of Grayson County, Virginia.  (Source: Alleghany County Heritage, p.185, article No. 285.)  Berry and Ruth probably married about 1819 based on the ages of their children.  They made their home on "the Toliver Place" about 1 ½ miles west of Sparta, according to a memoir dictated in 1900 by Berry's son David C. Edwards.  (Alleghany County Heritage, p.182, article No. 281.)  They are buried at the Center Edwards Cemetery, which is located off Highway 21, about 1 ½ miles northwest of Sparta.  (See Alleghany County Cemeteries Through 1986 published by the Alleghany Co. Hist-Gen. Society.)  A.B. Cox wrote in Footprints in the Sands of Time (1900), that "Berry Edwards was a leading citizen of Alleghany County and one of its best financial officers."

Berry EDWARDS died May 13, 1870, according to the date on his gravestone.  However, his estate was not probated until 1875.  (NC Archives Box No. CR.004.508.8; Alleghany Will Book A, p.1).  Ruth predeceased him in 1864.

One of Berry Edwards' sons, Berry Edwards, Jr. ("Berryson") served Alleghany County as a justice of the peace and sheriff, and was elected to the State Legislature in 1887.  (See John Preston Arthur, Western North Carolina: A History (1730-1913) (1914), Ch. VIII, p.198.)  Another son, David C. Edwards, spent six years in California during the Gold Rush. (A.B. Cox, supra.)

The Edwards were one of the largest and most extended families in Alleghany County.  It is a safe bet that virtually everyone whose family came from Alleghany County has at least one Edwards in their family tree.  When researching Berry Edwards, it is important to keep in mind that there were actually five different men named Berry Edwards in Alleghany County:

  1. Berry Edwards, Sr. ("B. Edwards") (1799-1870), the subject of this article; son of David EDWARDS, Jr., & Elizabeth ANDREWS; married Ruth DAVIS.
  2. Berry Edwards, Jr. ("Berryson" or "B. Edwards Jr.") (1831-1889), son of Berry EDWARDS, Sr., & Ruth DAVIS; married Amanda Melvina WAGONER.
  3. Berry Franklin Edwards ("B.F. Edwards") (1831-1917), son of Richard Clifford EDWARDS, Sr., & Mary FENDER; married Mahala Emeline AUSTIN.
  4. Berry H. Edwards ("B.H. Edwards") (1843-1911), son of Thomas EDWARDS & Nancy FENDER; married Sarah M. WHITEHEAD.
  5. Berry Edwards (c.1855), son of Starling EDWARDS & Amy WILES; married Sarah Ann CHEEK; appears to have died or left the area before 1880.


1820 Census, Ashe Co., NC, p.6: BERY EDWARDS
1 w/m under 101 w/f 16-25
1 w/m 16-25 

David, William, and Richard Edwards are also listed on page 6 of the 1820 Census of Ashe Co., NC.

1830 Census, Ashe Co., NC, p.31: BERRY EDWARDS
3 w/m under 51 w/f under 5
2 w/m 5-91 w/f 5-9
1 w/m 30-391 w/f 30-39

1840 Census, Ashe Co., NC, p.8: BERRY EDWARDS
1 w/m under 53 w/f under 5
4 w/m 5-91 w/f 5-9
1 w/m 10-141 w/f 10-14
2 w/m 15-191 w/f 40-49
1 w/m 20-29 
1 w/m 50-59 

1850 Census, Ashe Co., NC, p.241 (HH#47):
BERY EDWARDS, age 51, farmer, $1500, NC
-- Ruth, 50, NC
-- Senter, 21, NC
-- David, 20, NC
-- Berry, 18, NC
-- Caroline, 17, NC
-- Emaline, 14, NC
-- Hiram, 12, NC
-- Elizabeth, 10, NC
-- Cinthia, 8, NC
1860 Census, Alleghany Co., NC, p.414/p.207 (HH#499):
REEVES KROWSE, 26, farmer, $1,000, $920, NC
-- Caroline, 25, NC
-- Sarah Jane, 4, NC
-- Cynthia E., 2, NC
EDWARDS, Berry, 61, NC
SPURLIN, Polly, 20, NC

Note: Ruth EDWARDS is listed separately in the 1860 census, living with her unmarried son David Edwards and three other adult children:

1860 Census, Alleghany Co., NC, Gap Civil P.O. (HH#136):
DAVID EDWARDS, 28, farmer, $1500, $3600, NC
-- Hiram, 21, NC
-- Elizabeth, 19, NC
-- Cynthia, 17, NC
-- Ruth, 60, NC
BILLINGS, Granville, 25, laborer, NC

Spring term, 1866. A complaint entitled Berry EDWARDS vs. Elizabeth CROUSE, widow and executrix of Daniel CROUSE, was filed in the Spring term 1866 in the court of Alleghany County, NC. Berry EDWARDS alleged that he had loaned Daniel CROUSE $149.66 on Mar. 4, 1859, of which $68.00 was still owing when Daniel CROUSE departed this life about one year ago. He further alleged that Elizabeth CROUSE had refused to admit Daniel CROUSE's will to probate and that she was now selling off the property and preparing to move to Iowa. The complaint was supported by a statement from David EDWARDS dated Mar. 20, 1866. The next day a warrant for arrest was issued for Elizabeth to post bond, not leave Alleghany County or the State of NC. She appeared before the Sheriff and her bond was posted by Wm. J. JOINES in the amount of $200.00 on Mar. 24, 1866, and she was ordered to appear at the next court to be held at Shiloh Church. Berry EDWARDS also had to post a $100.00 bond to the court and his bondsmen were D. EDWARDS and George REEVES. [Alleghany County Court records, transcribed by Carolyn Spence.]

Deed Abstracts

Nov. 29, 1834. State of NC to Berry EDWARDS, 20 acres in Ashe County on Little River near Jas. ANDREWS line to include vacant land between him and William EDWARDS. Entered Nov. 12, 1832. (NC Archives Land Warrants & Plats, File No. 1964, Folder No., Grant No. 1867, Book 141:233.)

Jan. 13, 1838. Berry EDWARDS witnessed a deed from Adam WAGGONER to John WAGGONER for 50 acres on the Little River. The deed was not recorded until 1885 and had to be proved by Berry EDWARDS' signature, since he was deceased. (Alleghany DB 6:233.)

Sept. 24, 1842. George BOWER, Clerk & Master of Equity of Ashe Co., NC, to Berry EDWARDS, 8 tracts of land on Bledsoes Creek formerly belonging to John TOLIVER, dec'd, for $900; sold at public auction by court decree on petition of heirs of John TOLIVER, dec'd (Hiram, Tobias, Patience, Marthy, Jane, Isham, Eli, Francis, & Levi TOLIVER, & Thursy PHIPPS wife of Matthew PHIPPS). 1st tract: 150 acres granted John MCMILLAN adj. an old path. 2nd: 100 acres granted John MCMILLAN on top of Peach Bottom Mountain & south side of the mountain. 3rd: 100 acres granted John MCMILLAN near Bledsoes Creek. 4th: 100 acres granted Charles TOLIVER adj. gap of Peach Bottom Mountain near the head of the middle fork of Fiting [Fighting] Creek, south side of the mountain. 5th: 100 acres granted Jessy TOLIVER adj. his old line & Charles TOLIVER. 6th: 300 acres granted Jessy TOLIVER on Little River & a branch of Bledsoes Creek. 7th: 100 acres granted William BURTON adj. Richard BURTON. 8th: 100 acres granted John TOLIVER adj. Jessy TOLIVER & Charles TOLIVER. Signed: Geo. BOWER, Clerk & Master. Proved Apr. 28, 1869, by Rob. GAMBIL from George BOWER's handwriting. (Alleghany DB 1:242.)

Jan. 6, 1845. State of NC to Berry EDWARDS, 97 acres in Ashe County beg. near his mill race, adj. BOWER, SCOTT, & said EDWARDS line. Entered Aug. 12, 1842. (Ashe Land Grant No. 4088; Alleghany DB 1:358.)

July 21, 1847. David MAXWELL to B. EDWARDS, 95 acres on Elk Creek adj. EDWARDS' own line, for $95. Signed: David MAXWELL. Wits: Thomas EDWARDS, Joseph BLEVINS. Proved Aug. 11, 1869, by Thomas EDWARDS. (Alleghany DB 1:375.)

Sept. 20, 1847. B. EDWARDS to Starling EDWARDS, 3 pieces of land supposed to be 120 acres on Bledsoes Creek, for $100; being land granted to John MCMILLAN, Sr. 1st tract: adj. a cond'l line between Thomas EDWARDS & Starling EDWARDS, the line of a 100 acre tract, the ford of the branch, & the road. 2nd tract: top of Peach Bottom Mountain, adj. an old path. 3rd tract: adj. the 2nd tract & Allen FENDER. Signed: B. EDWARDS. Wit: Thomas EDWARDS. Proved Aug.21, 1869 (ack'd). (Alleghany DB 1:350.)

May 17, 1851. B. EDWARDS to Haywood EDWARDS, a tract of land [no acreage stated] adj. a cond'l fence between Thomas REYNOLDS & Hiram ESBRAYE?, for $100. Signed: B. EDWARDS. Wits: Allen FENDER, Center EDWARDS. Proved Sept. 22, 1869 (ack'd). (Alleghany DB 1:424.)

Sept. 9, 1854. B. EDWARDS to Senter EDWARDS, 100 acres on Bledsoes creek adj. the wagon road, east side of Dick mountain orchard, top of the ridge, MOXLEY, & line of said EDWARDS' 300 acre tract, for $1. "B. EDWARDS is to have the privilege of the mill his lifetime to grind." Signed: B. EDWARDS (ack'd). Wit: Starlin EDWARDS. (Alleghany DB 1:149.)

Jan. 21, 1857. Jacob TOLIVER to Berry EDWARDS, 10 acres on Little River known as the old rye field, adj. B. EDWARDS, T.C. DOUGLAS, the wagon road, the old hedge row, & an old road to the top of a ridge, for $25. Signed: Jacob TOLIVER. Wits: T.C. DOUGLAS, Chesley CHEEK. (Alleghany DB 1:177.)

June 28, 1858. Richard GENTRY & George BOWER to Berry EDWARDS, 230 acres on Bledsoes Creek on Peach Bottom Mountain adj. BURTON's old corner, an agreed line between John BURTON & David GILHAM, an agreed line between GENTRY & BOWER & David GILHAM, & an old line south of the mouth of a branch that runs into Bledsoes Creek, for $350. Signed: R. GENTRY, Geo. BOWER. Wits: Daniel WHITEHEAD. Proved Aug. 5, 1869, by Daniel WHITEHEAD. (Alleghany DB 1:354.)

Nov. 9, 1859. B. EDWARDS, Sr., to B. EDWARDS, Jr., 150 acres on Bledsoes Creek adj. William BARTEN [BURTON], mouth of a branch, an agreed line between Thomas EDWARDS & B. EDWARDS, Jr., a fence between B. EDWARDS, Jr., & James BILLINGS, top of a ridge, & the old John BURTIN line, for $100. Signed: B. EDWARDS, Sr. Wits: [blank]. (Alleghany DB 1:52.)

Apr. 28, 1861. B. EDWARDS, Sr., to Reeves & Caroline KROWSE [CROUSE], 200 acres on Little River & Brush Creek adj. the line of a 100 acre tract formerly owned by David EDWARDS, Sr., bank of Little River, crossing Brush Creek, for $1. After the death of Caroline KROWSE the land shall belong to her living children. Signed: B. EDWARDS. Wit: David EDWARDS. Proved Aug. 14, 1869 (ack'd). (Alleghany DB 1:464.)

July 22, 1861. Thomas EDWARDS to B. EDWARDS, 8 acres on top of Peach Bottom Mountain & middle fork of Fitin [Fighting] Creek, adj. Charles TOLIVER, for $1. Signed: Thomas EDWARDS. [No wits.] Proved July 22, 1869 (ack'd). (Alleghany DB 1:356.)

Sept. 25, 1863. B. EDWARDS, Sr., to Thos. EDWARDS, 5 acres on Elk Creek adj. Thos. EDWARDS' line in the wagon road, Starlin EDWARDS, & my own line, for $10. Signed: B. EDWARDS (ack'd). [No wits.] (Alleghany DB 1:154.)

Apr. 30, 1867. B. EDWARDS to David EDWARDS, 250 acres formerly owned by John BURTON, beg. at the old BURTON line south of the mouth of a branch, up the branch to the fork, top of the ridge, VAUGHAN, a line made between Geo. BOWER & John BURTON, & a line between B. EDWARDS & David GILHAM, for $100. Signed: B. EDWARDS. Wits: Starling EDWARDS, B. EDWARDS, Jr. Proved July 21, 1869 (ack'd). (Alleghany DB 1:356.)

Jan. 25, 1868. Berry EDWARDS to H.S. EDWARDS, 300 acres beg. in the 60 acre tract that John TOLIVER sold to Daniel MOXLEY, adj. the line of a 300 acre tract granted Jessy TOLIVER, the bank of the Big Branch, the line of a 150 acre tract granted Jessy TOLIVER, Charles TOLIVER's line, the gap of Peach Bottom Mountain, Berry EDWARDS, Senter EDWARDS, Henry EDWARDS, top of a ridge, the wagon road, & the line of a 60 acre tract formerly Daniel MOXLEY's, for $100. Signed: B. EDWARDS. Proved Apr. 30, 1869, by B. EDWARDS, Sr. (ack'd). (Alleghany DB 1:241.)

Feb. 4, 1868. B. EDWARDS, Sr., to Senter EDWARDS, 2 tracts, for $100. 1st tract: 200 acres on Bledsoes Creek adj. the line of a 300 acre tract, BOWER, SCOT [SCOTT], an agreed line btw. B. EDWARDS & Senter EDWARDS, top of a ridge, & the fork of a branch. 2nd tract: 50 acres beg. south side of the meadow, adj. James PARKS, MOXLEY, & a line btw. B. EDWARDS & Senter EDWARDS. Signed: B. EDWARDS, Sr. Wit: B. EDWARDS, Jr. Proved July 21, 1869 (ack'd). Reg. Nov. 8, 1885. (Alleghany DB 5:562.)

Nov. 26, 1868. B. EDWARDS to David HOLBROOK, 365 acres on Brush Creek, for $218. 1st tract: [no acreage stated]. 2nd tract: 100 acres adj. a spring. 3rd tract: 50 acres. 4th tract: 38 acres. 5th tract: 10 acres adj. HOLBROOK. 6th tract: [no acreage stated] adj. John EDWARDS, Young EDWARDS, George DOUGLAS, & said HOLBROOK. 7th tract: 12 acres. 8th tract [no acreage stated] adj. a branch, the creek, & George DUGLISS. Signed: B. EDWARDS. Wits: John HIGGINS, P.C. HIGGINS. Proved Aug. 14, 1869 (ack'd). (Alleghany DB 1:330.)