William Curry Sr., Father of William Who Died 1801, Mercer County KY

Before I share the myriad pile of miscellaneous Curry records to be found in early Mercer County, Kentucky, let’s take a look at William Curry Sr.

William Curry Jr., who died in Mercer County in 1801 and kindly left us a will naming his surviving children and “married daughters” is estimated to have been born c1740.

William Curry Sr. is said to be the father of William of Mercer County. According to the DAR Patriot Index, William Sr. was born c1715, place unknown and he married a McAfee. McAfee family papers have identified his wife’s given name as Mary.

I have a problem with the death date of William Curry Sr. He is said to have died in 1781 OR June 1791 in Botetourt County, Virginia. The DAR Patriot Index gives his death date as June 1791. However – and this is a big however – I can’t find ANY evidence to support that claim.

I commented earlier that there are no land deeds for ANY Currys in the Botetourt County index between the years 1770-1815. Furthermore, a page by page reading of the probate records finds absolutely no mention of any Curry at all in the 1791 records.

What I did find is an inventory of the estate of William Curry, deceased filed in February 1781.

Botetourt County, VA Will Book A:134
Source: FamilySearch

I’m not going to even bother transcribing the list because the appraisers aren’t even named by the court clerk!

Unfortunately, likely due to the war, the next year of probate records begins in 1787 so there is no follow up record of an estate sale or settlement of this William Curry’s estate.

I have found NO EVIDENCE whatsoever to support the idea that this William is the father of William who died in Mercer County 30 years later.

In fact, I tend to doubt that this William is “my” William’s father. Why? Yes, Botetourt County was formed from Augusta County in 1769, but there are a zillion Currys running around Virginia in the 1700s and a number of them moved on into Kentucky and Tennessee.  While some were surely related, there may be others who simply share the fairly common Curry surname.

Next, my William Curry’s father is most likely found in Augusta County records. I wrote about the appraisal of Alexander McFeeters’ estate in 1761 done by William Curry and John Bigham, who are excellent candidates to be the fathers of William Curry and John Bigham who both migrated to Mercer County and are found together in court records.

There are numerous mentions of one or more William Currys in the Augusta County records, right up to a William Curry dying there in the early 1800s. With only abstracted information at hand, I have no way to cleanly sort out all the Virginia Currys any more than I can unsort all of the Kentucky families, as you will see tomorrow.

William who died in Botetourt County died by February 1781. Yet, his supposed son William, along with William’s supposed siblings moved en masse to Kentucky. William is documented in Mercer County (which was still part of Lincoln County) by 1780.

How likely is it that the children all moved to Kentucky but left their elderly father back in Virginia? I don’t think it was very likely.

William Curry Sr. married [Mary] McAfee, c1738. Their birth years are estimated as c1715 and 1716 with places of birth being in County Armagh, Northern Ireland.


1, William, born c1740; died before October 1801, Mercer County, Kentucky; married Sarah (Bigham?), c1765, Virginia.
2. Susan, born c1742; married George McAfee, c1763, Virginia. George (first cousin to Susan) died in 1803, Mercer County, Kentucky
3. James, born c1746; died 11 February 1828, Mercer County, Kentucky; married Ann Curry, 25 February 1778, Rockingham County, Virginia. Ann’s parentage is unknown, but she gave her maiden name as Curry when she applied for a widow’s pension. She died exactly ten years after her husband on 11 February 1838, Mercer County, Kentucky. Marriage and death dates are also found in Ann’s widow’s pension application as James served during the Revolution under General George Rogers Clark in Illinois.
5. Alexander?, died 1795, Mercer County, Kentucky
6. Andrew?, died before 28 March 1798, Mercer County, Kentucky
7. Rebecca, born c1752; married William McAfee, c1772, Virginia. William died in August 1780, Floyd’s Station, Kentucky.
8. John, born c1757; reportedly died 1822/23, Knox County, Indiana; married Margaret Adams, 1777, Botetourt County, Virginia. Bondsmen were William Curry and William Adams.

If Alexander and Andrew were not sons of William and Mary, then they were likely sons of William (died 1801) and Sarah Curry.

This is just a possibility – Ann Curry, wife of James Curry above, might be the daughter of another James Curry. On 19 August 1794, James Curry of Bourbon County, Kentucky granted power of attorney to his son, James Curry, Jr. of Rockingham County, Virginia.

I have found no documentation for the children of William Curry Sr. and Mary McAfee, other than family histories, but I have no reason to doubt the information at this time because they most definitely traveled herd-style from Virginia into Kentucky and the children are the right ages to be siblings.

Tomorrow, we’ll take a look at James Curry, who died in Mercer County, Kentucky in 1828 and miscellaneous Curry records found there.



2 thoughts on “William Curry Sr., Father of William Who Died 1801, Mercer County KY”

  1. According to family records: William Curry was born in 1715 in Ireland and died 1791 in Botetourt Co, VA. He married Mary McAfee before 1740. Children consisted of:
    Susan, Rebecca, William, James (born 1750 & died March 1828) and John Curry.

  2. I’m commenting on Curry dying 1801 in Mercer Co, KY.
    My Simon Pancake also died 1801 in Mercer Co, KY, and I don’t know why, he had two small children approx 1 & 2 yrs. His wife was Rebecca French Pancake. Their mothers were sisters.
    These dates might be off a year.
    Thanks for any help!

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