Mary Berry was born on September 30th, 1776 in Candia, New Hampshire, according to her obituary. There are some people on ancestry that think she was born in Quebec, Canada though the only thing that I have to go on at this time is what her obituary says. I haven’t yet be able to determine who Mary’s parents were, either.
Mary married Jacob Kenison, (the spelling of Kenison has changed several times over the years. It seems a second n was added in the next generation to make it Kennison, which is how my own Grandmothers family spelled it.)
The couple had twelve children. Most of them were born in Quebec, Canada. That could indicate that maybe Mary was originally from Quebec.
From a letter to her son David in 1847, it seems that Mary was a very religious woman. The letter is transcribed below.
From Mary’s obituary, we see that the family moved west. They were living in Iowa when Jacob passed away on November 16th, 1855. The couple had been married for over 60 years.
Mary passed away when she was just a few weeks shy of 81 years old, on September 15th, 1857.
She is buried in the Ion Methodist Cemetery in Ion, Iowa.
At the top of Mary’s headstone is a carving of a Weeping Willow tree. The inscription reads: Mary Wife of Jacob Kenison – Died Sep 15, 1857 Age 80 Yrs, 11 mos.
Letter from Mary Berry Kenison to her son David
(Blank lines indicate where I couldn’t make out the word.)
Belmont New York
June 22, 1847
My Dear David,
I send you these few lines to inform you that I am well as is also your father.
Abraham & Wife & Children are well. Peter, Hariett and his family are well.
Jonathon, Wife and Family are well. Benjamin C.__ Wife and Family are well. William Collins Wife & Family are well and in good health. There are no distempers with any of our friends and neighbors only that of sin. I want you Dear David to send me word by letter that you may inform me what state your Uncle John is in and Country and Town, that I may write to him and inform him of your Aunt Doras death. I feel much in trouble of mis respecting her preperations for her Eternal State on accord of her being taken so suddenly. I warn you David and Polly to have __ the Wedding garments and Oil in your Lamps to go forth to meet Jesus at his comming for the time draweth near. Prepare to meet they god and if on this earth we meet no more, I hope we shall meet in the eternal state in Christs Kingdom. I want you to give my love to John and hope he will live close to god that he may reign here upon this earth with Christ Jesus our lord and his halo horse. And let John know he went away from here in a manner which caused me trouble of mind. I want you to gife my love to all _________ friends and to write me a letter as soon as you possibly can and let me know every thing respecting the family. Now Dear David I want you to be watchful and prayerful and look forward to a comming and ease all your cares on Christ who careth for all in the praise of god.
Mother Mary Kenison
Obit appeared in “The North Iowa Times,” M’Gregor, [Clayton Co., Iowa], Wednesday, October 7, 1857. Transcription rec’d by MAK from Elaine Mershon, Grants Pass, OR; 17 Nov 2004.
“Died on the 15th inst., at Ion in Allamakee County, MARY KENISON, widow of the late Jacob Kenison, in the 81st year of her age; leaving numerous descendants in the State of Iowa, and followed to her last resting place by a large number of children and grand children. She was a native of the State of New Hampshire but removed with her husband to the State of New York at an early age, and from thence followed the tide of emigration to the West, from State to State until she has at length found a resting place on the Western bank of the Mississippi. Having ever preserved and maintained a constant religious character as well as that of a gentle and affectionate mother, a kind and forbearing spirit towards her neighbors, her loss at her extreme age, though not altogether unexpected, is deeply deplored and regretted, not by her connexions (sic) only, but by her acquaintances generally. In full possession of her mental facilities, to the last she lived amoung friends and died instantaneously. G.S.”
Mary Berry Kennison was my 4th great-grandmother.