The Wherrys of Ireland

The Wherrys of Ireland

-- (Reveille Echo, New Palestine, Ohio, Sept. 17, 1903)

Bllllngsley-Wherry FamiIies Meet Saturday for the Tenth Time.


One Hundred Present - Officers Elected for Another Year.

The tenth annual reunion of the Billingsley and Wherry families was held at the beautiful home of Mrs. James Watson of Negley on Sept. 12th, 1903.

The day though warm was all that could be desired by those who wished to make it a pleasure and visiting day, and by twelve o'clock 110 relatives and friends had exchanged greetings and surrounded the table to partake and enjoy the union dinner which was amply provided by the ladles who belong to the organizalion.

At the close of the dinner hour Mr. J. C. Billingsley, President of the organization, called the society to order and from the program called in order the exercise of the afternoon.

The first response was given by Prof. Harry M. Wherry of Alliance who read the genealogy of the Wherry families, as far back in the period as the year 1720. The next to reply to the president's call was Dr. J.G. Wherry, of Elyria, Ohio, who gave additional interesting history of the Wherry famliles. This history as glven by the above gentleman is as follows:

David Wherry, native of North Ireland, emigrated with his wife and three children. and settled in Chester county. Pa., about the year 1720. In his will, which was proven July 12, 1743, he gave his plantation to his two sons, James and David. To his son-in-law he gave 5 [pounds]. We do not know the name of his daughter, but her husband's name was John Lusk, who was killed by the Indians during the revolutlonary war. There is no account of any of Lusk's descendants.

James Wherry died in 1771 and by his will, which was proven October 17, 1771, we learn that he left four children, Mary, Ann, James and David. Of these and their descendants we have very little information.

From David, the second son, we trace the descent of the branch of the Wherry family represented at this reunion. This David Wherry was born about 1719, in Ireland and came to America when about 2 years of age. He married his first wife, Isabella Sharp, August 8, 1746, by whom he had 6 children. In June 15, 1772, he married Margaret Mackey, daughter of James Mackey, Sr., of Little Elk Creek, Maryland, by whom he had 9 children. All his children except one attained maturity, and all but three married and left descendants. HIs wife Margaret died January 5, 1807. She was of a family of means and of first respectability, and greatly loved and respected by both children and step children. So many has been her name-sakes that changes such as Margaretta and others have been adopted.

David Wherry died July 7, 1800, at the age of 80 years, of a lingering illness, supposed to have been asthma. This occurred some months after the death of George Washington. All the mourning goods in the country had been used for national purposes, so the family had difficulty in obtaining black goods to wear.

The children of the first wife were James, Esther, Joseph, David, Isabella and Isabella again.

The children by the second wife were Jesse, Janet, Mackey, Ebenezer, William, Mary, Lyda, John and Silas.

Without taking time to give an account of the various members of this large family, of whom we have many interesting accounts, and who have many descendants living in Pennsylvania, Ohio, and other states, we proceed to the family of James the oldest son, from whom we trace our descent.

James married Miss Sarah McConnel and settled in Washington County, Pa., neat Bentleysville. Both he and his wife died in 1807. They had the following children: John, David, Arthur, James, Sarah, Elizabeth, William, Sarah (again) and Esther.

The Wherry part of this reunion represent two members of this family, Arthur and Sarah.

Arthur Wherry came to Columbiana Co., from Washington Co, Pa., about 1815. The deed to the Wherry farm shows that it was purchased in that year. He was born May 22, 1787, and dled January 14, 1861. His wife's name was Nancy Mitchell from near Bentleysville, WashIngton Co., Pa. The following are the children born to them: Elenor, Margaret, Martha, Mary, Alice, Madlson, Nancy, Sarah, and a son whose name I have been unable to obtain.


Sarah Wherry, sister to Arthur, married David Fisher, Sept. 3, 1810. To them were born the following children: Susannah, James, Samuel, Sarah, Jane, Arthur, Milliy Ann, David and Nancy. The descendants of Arthur Wherry and Sarah Wherry, Fishers are the only representatives of the name living in Columbiana county, Ohio

There are, however many of the name living. All the Wherrys in America, so far as known trace back to Ireland, and nearly all are Presbyterians. The name Wherry Is said to be of Welsh origin, and, without doubt, the family emigrated from Wales to Ireland. There is a very old tomb of a Robert Wherry in Lincolnshire, England, also many Wherry tombs in Cornwall, neat the Wherry tin mines in Mounto Bay. A large part of Penzance is or was called Wherrytown. In North Ireland is a Wherry glen, Wherry river running through a glen, Wherry parish and there is a glen Wherry church.

There are several families of this name in the U.S., some spelling the name "Wharry" others "Wherry," having a distant relationship with the family before mentioned. One spelling the name with an "a" settled in Orange County, N.Y., about 1730 or 1731. Another family spelling with an "e" came from county Antrim, Ireland, and settled in Cumberland Co., Pa., about 1762-1764, still another family settled in South Carolina of whom tradition says "they came from Pennsylvania, York or Chester counties, uncertain which." There is still another branch in Tennessee, descendants of William Wherry who removed from New Berne, N. Carolina about 1799 or 1800, and died in Sumner Co., Tenn., 1827.

For much of the information here given we are indebted to Dr. John G. Wherry, of Elyria, O., Margaretta Wherry of St. Louis, Mr., and Rev. Rob't Gray of Dublin, Va., as well as other members of the Wherry family.

Rev. Ball and others made appropriate and fitting remarks. Eight new names were added to the enrollment. The secretary reported that in this society during the last year there had been two marriages. eight births and five deaths.

The committee on arrangements was authorized to select the place and name the time for the next annual reunion.

[NOTE: Mary Luetta (Fisher) Foulks, grandmother of Thomas E. Foulks, Sr., was a granddaughter of Sarah Wherry and David Fisher. No information has been found to factually explain the presence of two daughters born as "Sarah" in the family of James Wherry and Sarah McConnel.]

Do you have Columbiana County Connections? Here's the Columbiana County USGenWeb site, where you can start your search.

-- Thom Foulks

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