I am seeking assistance in filling in some gaps and resolving some conflicting information regarding my early Peery ancestors.I descend from Philip Peery of Botetourt County, Virginia, through his daughter Mary Elizabeth Peery (b. Dec. 1769; d. 24 Sep 1844 in Clark County, Ohio) and her husband Frederick Miller (1760-1822).Much of my information comes from the book “The Genealogy of the Descendants of Frederick and Mary Elizabeth Peery Miller” by their grandson Professor John Peery Miller, published in 1913.I recently visited Botetourt County and found some additional information at the Fincastle Library in the Kessler Collection.That information was in a series of correspondence from the mid-1980s between Mrs. Kessler and Ruth Peery of Post Falls, Idaho.In her letters Mrs. Peery states that Philip was the son of Joseph Peery who came to Botetourt County in the early 1740s.This seems to contradict Professor Miller’s account which places Mary Elizabeth’s birth in Cumberland County, Pennsylvania.He also states on page 11 that …”in their early life Frederick Miller and his wife, Elizabeth Peery Miller, resided in Cumberland Co….” and that “After their marriage they moved from Pennsylvania to the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia…”It is, however, certainly possible that Joseph preceded his children and perhaps grown grandchildren to Virginia.
Mrs. Peery also stated that the Peerys were believed to have come from Scotland or Northern Ireland.Again, this seems to contradict Prof. Miller’s description of his grandmother’s family.He states on page 11 that …”Botetourt County was also the home of Philip Peery of German ancestry, the father of Frederick Miller’s wife…”On page 14 he adds, “Frederick and Elizabeth (Peery) Miller, being of German Lutheran faith…” and “Grandmother Miller preferred to atttend service which was rendered in German, her native tongue.”To me this appears to be unequivocal proof that the Peerys were German, not Scots or Scots-Irish.Moreover, in colonial times there was little mixing of the Pennsylvania Germans and the Scots-Irish, though that eventually became rather commonplace as was the case in this very family a couple of generations later.(As an aside, I should add that I tend to place considerable credence in Professor Miller’s account of his grandparents given that much of it was provided by his older brother Samuel who was 15 when their grandmother died, during a period in our history when passing along family history had yet to be overtaken by television or video games.)
Finally, I found in the courthouse an inventory of Philip Peery’s estate that places his date of death as 13 February 1831.
I will welcome any comments on my analysis and any additional information that can round out the picture of the Mary Elizabeth-Philip-Joseph Peery lineage.Thank you.