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Bazil Derry

Gender: Male
Birthdate: Apr 1786
Birthplace: Maryland
Christ. Date:
Christ. Place:
Death Date: 20 May 1879
Death Place: Fayette County, Pennsylvania
Burial Date:
Burial Place: Field across Old Paul's School, Woodbridgetown, Fayette, Pennsylvania
  • Bazil Derry Hunting Rifle

  • Notes:

    Research Notes by Joan Derry -- David G Brewer (
    BAZIL DERRY (1786-1879)
    1838 - BAZEL DERRY bought 4 acres 90 perches of land on George’s Creek in
    	Georges Township, Fayette County, PA from ALEXANDER BROWNFIELD
    	and his wife, MARTHA.
    1840 - MARY DERRY, daughter of OLD MARY, bought _ of Lot #4 in Haydentown,
    	Georges Township, Fayette County, PA from RICHARD SMITH. (*log cabin)
    1843 -	Will of MARY DERRY, mother of MARY DERRY (FOWLER), bequeathed
    	log cabin to her grandson, ANDREW DERRY (FOWLER).
    1852 - BAZIL DERRY, appointed guardian for his sister, MARY DERRY (FOWLER),
    	3 minor children:  ANDREW (1839), BASIL (1848) and MARY (1849).
    1856 - Settlement of accounts for estate of MARY DERRY, who died January 1852.
    1857 - Sale of log cabin to CHARLES HARTMAN through auction.
    1876 - Citation filed against BAZIL DERRY by ANDREW DERRY (FOWLER) of
    	Millersburg, Elkhart County, Indiana, for non-settlement of accounts.
    Genius of Liberty Newspaper – August 31, 1876  (research credit to Vickie Leonelli)
    GEORGE:  ...BASIL DERRY is in the neighborhood of ninety and MARY DERRY, 
                               nearly as old...
    1879 - BAZIL DERRY and MARY, his wife deeded over 4 acres 90 perches of land on
    	Georges Creek, Georges Township, Fayette County, PA to his grandson,
    	BASIL DERRY (Jr.).
    2007-05-23 11:09:36
    Will of Mary Derry - May 15, 1843 -- David G Brewer (
    Will of Mary Derry
    The last will and testament of Mary Derry of George Township Fayette Caounty State of Pennsylvania. 
    In the name of God I Mary Derry considering the uncertainty of the mortal life and being of sound
    mind and memory blessed be almighty God for the same, do make this my last will and testament in
    manner and form following that is to say, first I give and bequeath unto my grand child Andrew Derry
    the son of Mary Fowler the house and lot where I now live in Haydentown or George Town lying and
    being in George Township in Fayette County and state above mentioned it being the whole of my
    freehold estate whatsoever to hold to him the said Andrew Derry his heirs and assigns forever whom I
    hereby appoint Mary Fowler sole Executrix of this my last will and testament hereby revoking all
    formers wills by me maid (sic).  In witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand and seal the
    fifteenth day of May in the year of our Lord one thousand eighteen hundred and forty three.
    	Jacob Dawson
    	Jacob Derry
    2003-08-06 21:53:14
    My General Research Notes -- David G Brewer (
    1810 Maryland Census Index
    	Derry, James		Kent	229	No TWP
    	Schultz, C.		Balt	296	Baltimore
    	Schultz, Frederick	Balt	169	Baltimore
    	Schultz, John		Balt	295	Baltimore
    1820 Census Index - Pennsylvania
    	Derry, Bazel		Fayette 159 Georges
    	Derry, Jacob		Fayette 159 Georges
    	Derry, London		Fayette 110 Washington
    	Derry, Mary		Fayette 159 Georges
    	Derry, Phebe		Fayette 159 Georges
    	Derry, Phillip		Fayette 101 Springhill
    1840 Census Index - Pennsylvania
    	Derry, B.			Fayette 298	Georges
    	Derry, Mark		Fayette 230	Washington
    	Derry, Murry		Fayette 297	Georges
    	Derry, Solomon		Fayette 230 	Washington
    1850 Census Index - Pennsylvania
    	Derry, Bazil		Fayette 048 Georges TWP
    	Derry, Jacob		Fayette 048 Georges TWP
    	Derry, Solomon		Fayette 378 Washington TWP
    	Derry, Mary		Fayette 047 Georges
    1850 - Census, Fayette County, Pennsylvania
    	Georges TWP p. 48
    12 12
    Mary Derry		39 F Widow	Pa
    Andrew			12 M			Pa
    Bazil				 5 M			Pa
    Mary E.			 2 F			Pa
    19 19
    Bazil Derry		50 M Farmer	Md
    Mary				57 F			Md
    Charity P.			16 F			Pa
    Lavina			14 F			Pa
    24 24
    Jacob Derry		32 M Shoemaker 100 Pa
    Nancy			28 F			Pa
    Mary E.			10 F			Pa
    Bazil				 5 M			Pa
    Melechor			 4 M			Pa
    Margaret Hartman	24 F			Pa
    George			22 M Laborer	Pa
    Josiah Mitchell		21 M Do.		Va
    35 35
    Alexander Brownfield	53 M Farmer	3000	Pa
    Martha				48 F			NJ
    Merker Hartman		62 M Farmer		Md
    1852 - La Fayette - Marriages of Fayette Co.
    	George Hartman, farmer, s/o Melker and Mary Hartman, born in Georges Twp, now residing in Georges
    Twp., and Charetta Phebe Derry, d/o Bazel and Mary Derry, were married 23 Dec 1852 in Georges Twp. in
    a legal ceremony by G.W. Hertzog of Smithfield.
    1860 Census - Fayette Co., PA Georges TWP
    	1395 1391
    	Derry, Bazzil		74 M Old Gent	Pa
    	Mary				72 F			Pa
    	1402 1398
    	Derry, Jacob		45 M Shoe Maker	Pa
    	Nancy			40 F				Va
    	Mary E.			19 F				Pa
    	Bazzil			17 M Shoe Maker	Pa
    	Melchi			16 M				Pa
    	Margaret Hartman	33 F Domestic		Pa
    1861 - La Fayette - Marriages of Fayette Co.
    Gaskins, William and Mary Ellen Derry, both of Georges Twp.  married on 27 Dec. 1861 by Lewis Hunter
    Esq. (9 Jan 1862)
    1870 Pennsylvania Census - Georges TWP, Fayette County, PA
    	423 427	Derry, Basil	83 M W	Invalid	200 --  	Penna
    				Mary		82 F W	Keeping House		Virginia
    			Mother & Father of Mary are of Foreign Birth
    1880 Census - Fayette County, PA Georges TWP
    	50 50	Hartman, George	W M 52	Husband	Farmer  Penna W.Va Penna
    				Phebe		W F 41	Wife			     Penna Penna Penna
    				Ellen			W F 22	Daughter		     Penna Penna Penna
    				Nancy		W F 18	Daughter		     Penna Penna Penna
    				William		W M 14	Son			     Penna Penna Penna
    				Liza Jane		W F 12	Daughter		     Penna Penna Penna
    				Sarah		W F 10	Daughter		     Penna Penna Penna
    			Dery, Mary		W F 86	Mother of Wife	     Penna Penna Penna
    7/4/90 -  Information from Arch Miller as written in his book. (brackets are my comments)
    			Arch Miller
    			c/o Barbershop
    			Fairchance, PA 15436
    Polly Shultz - There was supposed to be a write-up in the Pittsburgh paper listing witches and she
    was on the list.  It is possible she just beleived in omens & superstitions and in those days the
    people thought she was a witch.  (born before our time)
    Charlotte Phoebe Derry married George Hartman Dec. 23, 1852 by Rev. G.W. Hertzog in Smithfield, Pa. 
    Parents of George were Melker & Mary Hartman.
    In 1884 Jacob transferred a piece of property to Basil his brother.
    Basil Derry							Polly Shultz
    b. around 1787 MD					b. 1788 still listed
    d. between 1870-1880					in 1880 census
    Shoemaker (leather)					bn in MD
    				Jacob - Nancy Hartman
    				Barbara - John Bates
    				Charlotte Phobe - George Hartman
    				Kathryn - Samuel Huntly
    				Lavina - William Emme
    				Basil - single (Smithfield)
    				Sofe - Henry Roderick
    1. Charlotte Phoebe - 1834
    2. Lavina - 1835
    3. Jacob - 1815
    4. Nancy - 1822
    5. Basil - 1845
    6. Melicher - 1846
    7. Barbary - 1823		Basil Jr. died 3-22-1917
    						Lavina Derry
    						b. Sep 2, 1835
    						d. Nov 14, 1927
    						youngest of children
    						bad temper
    Basil Derry/Polly Shultz
    	lived around Haydentown, Pa.  They are buried at Rubles Mill in a field opposite Paul School on the
    	Henry Roderick & Jones buried there.
    2003-08-06 21:42:12
    An Old Hunter - Submitted by Joan Derry -- David G Brewer (
    Newspaper article – May 1, 1879  (research credit to Vickie Leonelli)
    BAZIL DERRY was born in Bedford County, PA, in the month of April 1786, and is now 92 years of age. 
    His wife, MARY, was born in the same county, in the year 1789 and is now 90 years of age.  This
    venerable couple have lived in the same house nearly 70 years, about a half mile south of Wood’s
    Tannery, and near the foot of the mountain in George Township, Fayette County, PA.  Mr. DERRY has
    been confined to his bed for 8 months, is reduced to a mere skeleton and is almost blind.  
    They had 5 children born to them, all of whom are living.  JACOB, their only son is over 60 years of
    age.  Mrs. JOHN GATES (nee Barbara Rosanna Derry), Mrs. SAMUEL HUNTLEY (nee Kathryn Derry), Mrs.
    WILLIAM EMME (nee Lavina Derry) and 
    Mrs. GEORGE HARTMAN (nee Chariety Phebe Derry), are their daughters; they have a large number of
    grandchildren and several great-grandchildren.
    Mr. DERRY was a shoemaker by trade, but followed hunting in the mountains until his eyesight failed,
    and it is safe to say that he has killed more deer and bear, caught more coon, and shot more turkeys
    and squirrels and killed more rattlesnakes than any other man that ever lived in Fayette County; he
    has been to the head of Cheat River and all over the Canaan Valley on that stream in his hunting
    Mr. DERRY is a very singular and excentric man; is entirely unlettered, but well-acquainted with the
    habits and instincts of wild animals.			R. H. J.
    	(*Note:  BAZIL DERRY died a few weeks after this article on May 20, 1879.
    		 He and his wife, Mary, are buried in a  field across from the
    		Old Paul’s School in Woodbridgetown, Fayette Co., PA - unmarked).
    	(*Note:  A road is named DERRY HILL after Bazil where he and Mary lived).
    2003-08-06 21:37:03
    Submitted by Joan Derry -- David G Brewer (
    Genius of Liberty Newspaper, Uniontown, PA – Thursday, January 1, 1891 
    (research credit to Vicki Leonelli, Uniontown Library)
    Who slew wild animals about Haydentown in early days
    The following story comes to us from Gainesville, New York.  Many of our readers will remember DERRY
    and his wife.  For further information concerning them we refer you to J. GATES HARTMAN and A. W.
    SCOTT, who knew them well.
    “Of all the men I need to hunt with, when the Pennsylvania woods were filled with game, not one of
    them is alive, and they were all younger than me except one, BASIL DERRY of the Laurel Hill
    mountains, ‘way down in Fayette county’, said the veteran, 
    URL PARMLY, of Gaines Corners.  Mr. PARMLY is nearly 93 years of age, and undoubtedly is the oldest
    hunter in the state, although he does very little hunting now.  ‘Not because I’m too old’, he
    says, ‘but because there isn’t game enough to make it worthwhile’.
    ‘BASIL DERRY was seven years older than I,’ continued the old hunter, ‘and he’s been dead ten
    years.  He was a great hunter.  He had bought a small piece of land on the Laurel Mountain as early
    as 1812, and there married a girl named MARY SHULTZ, a member of the same stock that rock-ribbed old
    GOV. SHULTZ* same from.’
    	(*Note:  John Andrew Melchior Shulze of PA – 1775-1852)
    ‘The day they were married they started afoot through the woods on their wedding tour to their new
    home in the mountains.  BASIL, carried his rifle and on the way to, killed fifteen wild turkeys, five
    deer, a bear and two wild cats.  The bear and the wild cats, BASIL and his wife hung up in the woods
    out of the reach of wolves, and he shouldered the two deer and six of the turkeys and his wife loaded
    herself with the nine remaining turkeys and carried them to their home.  Some of the burden had to be
    carried twenty miles.’
    ‘The business BASIL was going to engage in on the mountain was charcoal burning for the furnaces at
    Haydentown and he sold the deer and the turkeys he killed on his wedding trip for enough money almost
    to pay for his cabin.  The bear and wildcats his wife and himself went back and carried in after they
    got their other game safe home.  They had to take a tramp of ten miles to do it, and then got back
    home before dark.  This was in the early part of March 1812.’
    ‘A few days after BASIL and his wife – he was only 20 and she 17 – got settled in the
    wilderness on the Laurel Mountain, BASIL had gathered in a back load of wild turkeys.  He started
    with them to Haydentown and on his way in killed a bear.  He sold his turkeys and his bear skin,
    having left the bear’s carcass in the woods, and was about to start back home, when he was
    solicited to stay and fiddle for a dance that was to be given in Haydentown that night, BASIL being a
    good natural fiddler.’
    ‘He didn’t want to leave his wife alone in the cabin, miles from any place, although he knew she
    could take care of herself, but the snug purse they offered to make up for him he needed, and so he
    agreed to stay and fiddle.  He left for home at daylight and when he got home he found that MARY had
    been sitting up all night shooting wolves from a loophole in the cabin, around which they had been
    howling all night.  The snow was strewn with dead wolves and the young wife told BASIL she was glad
    he had stayed at Haydentown and earned the money.’
    ‘When out hunting DERRY always wore moccasins made by himself out of a groundhog skin.  He made his
    way through the woods on these as noiselessly as a shadow.  He had two guns, both flint locks, and he
    never changed them to percussion locks when those were invented.  He said the old flint locks had
    always stood by him and he intended to stand by them.  He called his guns Burnt Eye and Black Snake. 
    Black Snake he always kept home for his wife in case of emergencies.  In case no emergency arose, she
    frequently started out herself in the woods to raise one.  She seldom came back home without a turkey
    or two, perhaps a deer, and likely as not a bear.’
    ‘One time, after they had lived on the mountain a year or two, he wounded a big buck late in the
    afternoon.  One of the buck’s forelegs was broken by the shot.  BASIL did not follow the deer then,
    but returned home, ate his supper, and then told his wife he was going back to run down the deer.’
    ‘All right’, she said, ‘I’d go with you’.  Taking a couple of dogs which they led, BASIL
    and his wife started for the clearing where he had wounded the buck.  Arriving there, they waited and
    listened.  They heard deer after deer pass them in the darkness by their footfalls on the dry leaves,
    but the quick ear of BASIL could tell that none of them was his wounded buck.  By and by a deer came
    along through the woods and by its gait, BASIL knew it was the wounded buck.  The dogs were turned
    loose.  Down the steep ascent the deer went, the dogs after him.’
    ‘BASIL ran after the dogs and his wife kept easily at his side.  They ran nearly two miles and then
    came out suddenly in an open space lighted brightly by the mon.  In the moonlight BASIL saw that one
    of his dogs had caught the deer and was holding it by one of its hind legs.  He shot it.  Aided by
    his wife, he dressed and skinned it.  They were at least seven miles from home and it was late. 
    BASIL built a fire.  His wife cooked some of the venison.  She ate a hearty meal and lay down on the
    bare ground and slept soundly until morning, although it was late November.  How was that for a young
    married couple?’
    ‘For sixty-seven years BASIL DERRY followed the life of a hunter and backwoods farmer and the many
    grand hunts I’ve had with him make me feel good to think of.  He never had his superior as a
    woodsman.  He was a native of Loudoun county, Virginia and was a son of MOLLY DERRY, the
    fortune-teller of the Revolution.  DERRY died in Fayette County and his wife was still living in 1883
    hale, sound and hearty.’?
    2003-08-06 21:35:36