Three cases of previously unidentified Gentry families are examined here. (1) An apparent extended family found in the 1850 Paulding County, Georgia, census appears to have a widowed lady, Cheruby Gentry, as the matriarch. Cheruby is proposed as the widow of Allen Gentry, born about 1791 in Spartanburg District, South Carolina. (2) A parent family is proposed for a Shaderick (or Shederick, or Shedrick, or Shadrack) Gentry who was born about 1796 in South Carolina. What little is known of him is summarized. (3) Henrietta Gentry is proposed as a daughter of David-IV Gentry (son of David-III and grandson of Nicholas-II) and his first wife, Jane Kendrick. She is not mentioned in "The Gentry Family in America"<1>.
1850 Census Record
The 1850 census for Paulding County, on page 59 lists three adjoining households. Inferences that can be drawn from the various entries are inserted after each entry.
| Age /
|96||Cheruby Duggar, widow||34 F||SC||This Cheruby appears to be the daughter (or step-daughter) of Cheruby Gentry|
|Thela and Sarah are probably daughters of Cheruby Duggar|
|Betsy Ann Gentry||14 F||TN||Probably a younger sister of Cheruby|
|97||Cheruby Gentry, widow||70 F||SC||The matriarch of the group|
|– Dianna "||22 F||TN||Records of the Van Wert Baptist Church into which Dianna was received in 1854<2>, show her as unmarried (the records refer to her as "Miss Dianna Gentry").|
|Given the age of Eliza Gentry in particular, Elizabeth and Eliza appear to be children of Dianna.|
|98||Jefferson Jentry||19 M||TN||From his age and birthplace, we infer that Jefferson (also known as Thomas [Jefferson] Gentry) was a son or (stepson) of Cheruby Gentry|
|- Elizabeth "||19 F||GA||Newly married wife of Jefferson|
|- John T "||1 M||GA||Child of Jefferson and Elizabeth|
In addition, two other households are of interest, for which only the head of house and spouse are listed below,.
|555||Samuel Gentry||37 M||SC||Because of their age and TN connections, these two families appear to be part of an extended family of Gentrys even though they were not living adjacent to the others.|
|- Nancy "||41 F||TN|
|564||John Gentry||35 M||TN|
|- Jane "||35 F||TN|
There is no clue from these records as to the name of the father who obviously must have died. The birth records in this census suggest that the father was living in Tennessee until at least 1836, but probably died before 1840. Whether the family moved to Georgia before or after his death is unknown.
Three other Gentrys living not far away, an Elizabeth, another Thomas Gentry and a Matthew Gentry are believed to be part of a different family than Cheruby's. They were all born in South Carolina and had long-standing Georgia roots. They are believed to descend from Matthew Gentry Sr., born about 1765 in South Carolina and a son of Allen Cain Gentry.
Proposed Relationship to Allen Gentry
The author suggests that this family group was part of the family of the "Allen-B" Gentry described in the Journal of Gentry Genealogy, 2005, Issue A, published in March of this year<3>. In the 1830 census for McMinn County, Tennessee, we find a listing for Allen Gentry, Sr. Opposite the appropriate entries for that census, we have inserted the proposed individual that is found in the 1850 Georgia census for Paulding County.
|1830 McMinn Census||Birth Range||1850 Paulding Census||Born||In|
|Allen Gentry||M||1780-1790||(presumed dead)|
|- Spouse||F||1780-1790||(#97) Cheruby Gentry||1779/80||SC|
|- Son||M||1810-1815||(#555) Samuel Gentry||1812/13||SC|
|- Son||M||1815-1820||(#564) John Gentry||1814/15||TN|
|- Daughter||F||1815-1820||(#96) Cheruby Duggar||1815/16||SC|
|- Daughter||F||1825-1830||(#96) Dianna Gentry||1827/28||TN|
|(#98) Jefferson Gentry||1830/31||TN|
|(#96) Betsy Ann Gentry||1835/36||TN|
The correlation is not perfect, but given the uncertainties of ages found in the census records, the age correspondence is good. The birthplace of Samuel Gentry is no problem, but the birthplace of Cheruby Duggar in South Carolina is a marginal match. Allen is thought to have served briefly in the militia of Roane County, Tennessee between October 1813 and January 1814. He is also believed to have moved from Spartansburg District, South Carolina shortly before this (see refr. 3). Three possibilities might explain the birth of Cheruby in South Carolina. The most obvious choice is that the senior Cheruby was married to a first husband who was the father of the younger Cheruby. As a corollary, this would involve Allen also having been married to someone else before he married Cheruby. Two other suggestions are less likely. Either Allen's wife remained briefly in South Carolina, or returned to South Carolina, to have her child there, or daughter Cheruby's age should have been somewhat greater than that given in 1850. Either of these alternatives is possible. We have no suggestion as to the identity of the missing four sons and a daughter that were in the 1830 census but missing in 1850.
In summary, there is no direct evidence linking the Gentrys present in Paulding County,
Georgia in 1850 with the Allen Gentry who was in McMinn County, Tennessee, in 1830, but the
correlation of census data is very good. There is certainly ample reason to consider the
relationship of Cheruby Gentry to Allen Gentry as being not only possible but in fact
South Carolina, Tennessee and Alabama Records
Shaderick was born in South Carolina in approximately 1796, and one would certainly look for him to be present with some family in the 1800 and 1810 census records. A summary of other records concerning him is as follows.
1840 and 1850 Census Records
Shaderick's family was listed in the 1850 Jackson County, Alabama census as shown below. The 1840 census listing for S. K. Gentry in De Kalb County is set opposite the 1850 record for comparison. The Allen Gentry inserted in the listing for Shaderick was living not far from Shad's family, and is presumed to be a son of Shad.
De Kalb, AL
|1850 Census, Jackson, AL|
|M||1790-1800||234||Shand [Shad?] Gentry||54 M||SC|
|F||1790-1800||Rebecca "||50 F||unk|
|M||1825-1830||Samuel "||27 M||TN|
|M||1825-1830||||[Allen Gentry]||[25 M]||[TN]|
|F||1825-1830||234||Eliza "||22 F||TN|
|F||1830-1835||cont'd.||- - -|
|F||1830-1835||Harriet "||18 F||AL|
|M||1830-1835||- - -|
|M||1830-1835||- - -|
|F||1830-1835||Caroline "||13 F||AL|
|M||1830-1835||- - -|
|M||1835-1840||James "||10 M||AL|
|William "||8 M||AL|
|Hiram "||5 M||AL|
The record for Shaderick after 1850 is curious. War Department pension records for Shaderick's Alabama militia service list Martha J. Gentry as his spouse. This suggests that Rebecca died after 1850 and Shaderick married a second time. He is found in the 1860 census in Howell County, Missouri, with Martha listed there as his wife. His birthplace is given again as South Carolina, and his age is given as 60, only modestly different from 1850. However, his children are quite different. None of his 1850 children appear to be present, and all but one of his children in 1860 were born after 1853 – two in Alabama and two in Arkansas. The oldest child was a Joseph who would have been age 3 in 1850, but is not included in that census. Nor have any of Shaderick's five older sons in the 1850 census been found in later records. We have no explanation for this other than possibly a catastrophic loss.
Ancestry of Shaderick Gentry
Aside from figuring out what happened to all of Shaderick's children – between 1840 and 1850 and between 1850 and 1860 – the biggest problem is determining the identity of his parents. None of the facts concerning him that we have listed above, directly give evidence as to this parentage. Taken together, however, they provide clues that may be helpful in making logical deductions concerning this family relationship. We list some of these below.
Accordingly, we are looking for someone who may have been in the 1800 South Carolina census, born 1790-1800, and in the 1810 South Carolina census, born 1794-1800. He may or may not have been in the 1820 South Carolina census, but we have no expectation of finding him in any 1820 Tennessee census. Prior to 1800, the only Gentrys in South Carolina were members of the families of David-II Gentry, and of Nicholas-III Gentry, Samuel-III Gentry and Nathaniel-III Gentry (sons of Samuel-II), so Shaderick must have been a part of one of these families. Another clue lies in the name of Shaderick's oldest son, namely "Samuel". Families in the period of time in which Shaderick lived were very consistent in the naming of children unlike today's wild proliferation of unusual and manufactured names. It so happens that in three generations of descendants of David-II the name Samuel virtually never appears. On the other hand, it was a very common name among the descendants of Samuel-II as would be expected. This is not compelling evidence but it is persuasive that Shaderick was a part of the Samuel-II extended family. If we accept this possibility, the search for Shaderick's parents can be confined to Spartanburg District, South Carolina, specifically within the families of Nicholas-III, Samuel-III, and Nathaniel-III.
At this point the reader may find it helpful to refer to the chart of South Carolina Gentrys in the Journal article referenced above<4>. We can eliminate the family of Nathaniel Gentry. None of his family have ever been identified as being present in South Carolina in or after 1800. The same is true of Nicholas' sons Nicholas-IV, and Richard. Samuel-IV (Samuel the Younger) was present, but there is no room for Shaderick among his family as listed in census and other records.
The other family that was present in Spartanburg District before and after 1800 was that of Samuel-III. His oldest son, Allen was the "Allen-A" Gentry ( as described in the previously-cited article describing the various Allen Gentrys<3>). "Allen-A"'s son, "Allen-C" Gentry is thought to be the Gentry who was present in McMinn County, Tennessee, tax records between 1828 and 1831 at the same time as Shaderick's presence in these records. "Allen-A" had two sons born before 1800 (both in South Carolina), but they are thought to be "Allen-C" and Samuel who both wound up in Tennessee. He also had two sons who are shown in the 1810 census to have been born after 1800.
The identified family of Samuel-III's son, Nicholas, does not allow for the presence of Shaderick. Samuel's youngest son, Samuel Jr. likewise can be dismissed. He left South Carolina soon after 1800 and moved north into Kentucky and then Indiana. Samuel's son, Jeremiah, on the other hand is a very strong prospect for being Shaderick's father. He had a son, who has not been otherwise identified, who was present with Jeremiah in the 1800, 1810 and 1820 census and was of the appropriate age. We know he was married in Roane County, Tennessee in 1823, so the timing is very appropriate. None of Jeremiah's other children are known to have left South Carolina for Tennessee, but we can easily rationalize such a move by Shaderick. The move of his uncle Allen Gentry and his cousins, Allen's sons, to Roane County could have been a big influence on the direction of this move away from home. As to the name "Shaderick", Jeremiah had a first cousin, "Shadrack" (son of Samuel's brother Allen-III Gentry) but it is doubttul if they ever met and the erratic spelling of Jeremiah's son's name does not suggest that this relationship had a bearing on his name.
In summary, the author proposes that Jeremiah Gentry of Spartanburg County is the most
likely prospect as a father of Shaderick Gentry. By extension, Samuel-III Gentry is suggested as
being Shaderick's grandfather. These proposals are by no means certain, but may provide a
building block by which future research into Shaderick may be facilitated.
David's will, recorded in 1813 in Will Book A of Madison County, Kentucky, listed his wife and their children as heirs to his estate without naming them. He then specifically named two children, namely James and Henrietta as heirs. His son, Pleasant, and a daughter, Jane, are named as executors<8a>. At the time of probate, James had already died (in 1809), so it appears that the will was written several years before David's death. The will as reported in a published abstract by Charles Franklin<8> is misleading and suggests that James, Henrietta and Pleasant were the only children to inherit. A reading of the original will book by the writer<9> clarifies David's apparent intent. The will actually leaves the bulk of his estate to his "last" wife and her children. It then makes special provision for two gifts of cash taken from his estate for his children James and Henrietta. This leads the writer to conclude that all of his other children shared equally in his estate though unnamed, but James and Henrietta were included as additional heirs as children of an earlier wife.
Henrietta Gentry was married to William Francis in Madison County in 1797<10>. Both because the age is right, and because there are no other Henrietta Gentrys in the Madison County records, we can readily assume that this Henrietta was the daughter to whom reference is made in David's will and was an unlisted child of David . From the date of her marriage, we can estimate that she was probably born in about 1781, and must surely have been a daughter of David's first wife, Jane Kendrick. The date of David's marriage to his second wife, Jane Haggard is not known exactly, but since their first child, Bright Berry Gentry is said to have been born in September 1784, this marriage must have been about 1783. David's oldest son, James, is estimated to have been born about 1782, so we can probably safely assume that Henrietta was an older sister. David himself is said to have been born in 1761 which means that his first marriage must have been close to 1780.
A very large proportion of the early Gentry settlers in Kentucky are referenced in one way or another by "The Gentry Family in America". There still are census, marriage, tax and other records there as well as in Tennessee, Georgia and other states for individuals who are not mentioned in this book, or for whom the published data is wrong. The Gentry Journal is interested in trying to resolve as many of these uncertainties as possible, and we will continue to suggest solutions to nagging problems. We do caution, as always, that the proposals we have advanced in this present issue are based on informed judgments concerning collateral evidence even though they lack unambiguous documentation.
1. Gentry, Richard, "The Gentry Family in America 1976 to 1909", The Grafton Press, New York, 1909.
2. Harris, Nancy of Morganton, Georgia, private communication, "Minutes of the Van Wert Baptist Church, 1854-1867".
6. Byron & Barbara Sistler, "Early Middle Tennessee Marriages", Nashville, TN, 1988.
|1823||May 24||Gentry, Shedrick||Rebecca Ballard||George Moor, bond|
7. McMinn County Tax List film 266, Tennessee State Library and Archives
|1830||Shederick Gentry (p.60)
Allen Gentry (p.82)
David Gentry (p.82)
|(a)||Gentry, David (Will Book A-740), recorded 6 Dec 1813|
|Exec.||Pleasant Gentry, William Haggard, Jane Gentry|
|(b)||Estate Records found in Will Book A|
9. Madison County, Kentucky, Will Book A, p.740, Will of David Gentry, (abstract).
|–||Gives to his wife unless she remarries in which case she gets her 1/3 dower.|
|–||Gives to children of his last and above mentioned wife, reserving only £2 currency each taken from the balance of the estate for son James Gentry and daughter Henrietta|
|–||Executors, Pleasant Gentry, son-in-law William Hogard and Jane Gentry.|
|–||Proved 6 Dec 1813 in court.|
10. Annie Walker Burns, "Record of Marriages and Wills
of Kentucky", 1937
|1797||Oct 17||Henrietta Gentry||William Francis|
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Originally published June 2005, (Revised February 2011, November 2014, February 2015)
© 2015, W.M. Gentry - All rights reserved. This article may be reproduced in whole or in part for non-commercial purposes provided that proper attribution (including author and journal name) is included.