Monday, July 7, 2014

Mystery Monday - Benjamin Asberry Sumrall


I am trying to solve several mysteries about my maternal 3rd great grandfather, Benjamin Asberry "Berry" Sumrall.  I descend from his son, Daniel Sumrall, who married Mary Rebecca Pouncey.
Who were his parents?
What was his wife's maiden name?
When was the date of his death?
Where is he buried?



Benjamin Asberry "Berry" Sumrall was born circa 1806 in South Carolina. Berry migrated with his family from South Carolina to Mississippi.  He married Margaret (?) prior to 1829 and the birth of their first child, Henry, on March 15, 1829 in Perry County.  Census records as early as 1840 show Berry and family living in Marion county.



1841 Mississippi Census Record
1845 Mississippi Census Record

It is not until the 1850 U. S. Census that we learn Berry's date and location of birth. This information is also documented in the 1860 and 1870 census reports.

1850 U. S. Census Record

1860 U. S. Census Record

1870 U. S. Census Record

The following children were born to Berry and Margaret (?) Sumrall:
  • Henry, 1829-1864 (m. Amanda Elizabeth Bennett, 1836-1904)
  • Mary Elizabeth, 1830-1862? (m. James William Mixon, 1824-1896)
  • Martha, 1833-1905 (m. Elias Allen, 1831-1883)
  • Alvin, 1836-1864 (m. Elizabeth Caroline Perry, 1838-?)
  • Margaret, 1838-?
  • Minerva, 1841-aft 1910 (m. Cameron, died bef 1880)
  • Daniel, 1845-1923 (m. Mary Rebecca Pouncey, 1852-1941)
  • William, 1849-1902 (m. Ann ?, 1856-1903)

I have yet to find an 1880 census for Benjamin Asberry "Berry" Sumrall.  I did find his wife, Margaret (?) in the 1880 census.  She is listed as Single and living in the same household as her daughter, Minerva Sumrall Cameron and her children.  This seems to indicate that Berry Sumrall died prior to 1880.

1880 U. S. Census Record

James H. Hines, author of 'The Families Summerville, Somervail, Summerall, Summerell, Summerille, Summerlin, Sumlin, Sumrall, and Sumril', wrote about the early immigration of John Somervell (b. 1666) from Scotland to Isle of Wight, Virginia.  Thomas Sumrall, the great grandson of John Somervell, migrated from South Carolina to the Mississippi Territory prior to 1800.

Several family researchers believe that Isaac, son of Thomas and Ann Sumrall, is the father of Benjamin Asberrry "Berry" Sumrall.

Per Teryl Smith, who descends from Martha Sumrall, daughter of Berry and Margaret, Isaac is mentioned in the Marion County abstract of deeds page 168:
Thomas Sumrall gives to his son Isaac Sumrall's widow Mary Sumrall, five cows and their calves and the balance of the stock of cattle.  Wit. Henry Sumrall and Joseph Magnum.  Dated 12 July 1821.
Teryl Smith also supplied the following information on Berry's wife, Margaret:

"Regarding the Benjamin Sumrall and Margaret McRae marriage. I have a theory that the McRae surname is incorrect although I have not been able to concretely disprove or prove.

In papers that my Great Grandmother Lillie Serena Allen had she indicated
  • Her Grandfather was Berry Sumrall
  • Her Grandmother was Peggy Nicholson 
  • She indicates Peggy was born in Scotland and came to Biloxi Mississippi at 11 or 12
  • All the other information that Lillie had has checked out as true
I think a mistake was made and the Margaret McRae should have been shown married to a Thomas Sumrall. This McRae family has a future governor of Mississippi in it and having a governor in the family is something that would have been passed down if true."

Any help with answering these questions would be greatly appreciated.

Who were Berry's parents?
What was his wife's maiden name?
When was the date of his death?
Where is he buried?


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