James Samuel Perry, aka James S. and Samuel, is as far back as we can trace the Perrys. He is my great-great-great grandfather.
According to the family bible, James was born in Middletown Springs, Vermont in 1819. He married Lydia Smith (from Canada, Maine, or England, depending on the source) in Illinois where their first son Charles, was born. There is no hard evidence on his parents or siblings, although a John Perry redeemed James’ mortgage in Winnebago MN in 1869.
The difficulty lies after 1870. There is no James Perry in the Minnesota or US Census (or at least not the “right” James Perry) for 1870 and 1875. Some of the kids are living with neighbors in Rapidan, Blue Earth County and Mapleton. There is no James Perry located near the rest of the family after 1869. Some evidence suggests he might have moved back to Vermont, but since James Perry was a pretty common name there is no way of verifying it is the same person.
That is brick wall number one.
Here are pictures of two Perry babies, buried just north of Winnebago MN. The family had no idea that James Perry and family lived in southern Minnesota until I moved to Mankato and started doing much more local, primary sources, research. I was driving through Winnebago, saw the cemetery, and pulled over. I “just knew” I would find something here and I did.