Aaron Cherry & Penelope Pierce

Aaron Cherry ca 1778 – 1856
& ?Penelope Pierce
of PA, OH, LA and TX

This is my working hypothesis – the way I see it as of this moment!!

Aaron Cherry Sr
drawn from an old painting

17 Feb 03 from Sherlene Mats – – her web site – My grand mother was a Cherry. Her father was Will Cherry, whose father was John J. Cherry. They were descendants of Aaron Cherry.

Aaron Cherry 1778 PA – 1856 TX married Penelope Pierce?

Children of Aaron Cherry and wife Penelope Pierce?
1. Sarah Cherry 1805 – 1880 LA
married Demcey Iles in LA 14 children
i. Catherine Iles
ancestor of Carol’s husband
2. John Cherry 1808 – 1891
married Mitilda Bridges 1811 – 1849

from a tin type photo

i. John Jackson Cherry 1831 – 1899
married Lucinda Outlaw
a. William [Will] Cherry 1874 – 1951

Will Cherry

married Martha Lee Ann Freeman 1881 – 1974
line of Sherlene Mats – her web site
a. Annie Mae Dot Cherry
married Dan A Hacker Sr
Martha Lee Ann Freeman Cherry

ii. Nancy Jane Cherry 1832 –
iii. Ellen Elizabeth Cherry 1833 –
iv. James E Cherry ca 1834 –
married Sarah Alexander
a. William T Cherry
married Sarah Holman
1. Homer R Cherry
married Mildred Stafford
v. Mary Cherry ca 1838 –
vi. Matilda E Cherry ca 1841 –
vii. Washington Cherry ca 1844 –
viii. Hirum Calvin Cherry ca 1846 –
married 2nd Roxy Merritt 2 children
married 3rd Frances Holt [Smith] 1828 – 1891 Liberty Co TX 11 children + 1 Smith
3. Aaron Cherry Jr 1811 – 1880 TX
married 1852 Laura Holt 1836 – 1914 9 children
i. John T Cherry
a. Carrie V Cherry
ancestor of Alycia Ure
4. William Cherry 1814 – 1863
married Elan Buxton ca 1830 – 1894 Liberty Co TX
5. Martha Cherry
married H C Hall

1850 Census Liberty County Texas
167 William Cherry 37 Louisiana
Helen 20 Texas
168 Aaron Cherry 72 Pennsylvania
Rachel Johnson 30 Louisiana
Honor 9 Texas
169 Aaron Cherry 35 Louisiana
Jackson 5 Texas
170 John Cherry 40 Ohio
John 19 Texas
James 15
Mary 12
Matilda K 8
Washington 5
Hirum C 4
William Collins 5

I have recently been given a copy of a letter dated November 1, 1953 , from a Homer Cherry in Kilgore, Texas. This letter and a copy of a newspaper article tell about the Cherry clan as related to Aaron Cherry. At the bottom, a hand written script ways “Moses Cherry, your ancestor, was a brother of Aaron Cherry Sr. you are a descendant of noble ancestry.”
Another letter attached listed the children (including Aaron ) of a Thomas Cherry born in Ireland who came to Virginia in 1737 and a David Cherry, born in Ireland in about 1690 who came to S. Carolina about 1750, first cousin of Thomas Cherry.
Attached is also a document from an interview with a Mrs. Ollie Jones dated July 20, 1952. This was my father’s Aunt Ollie, his mother’s older sister. It lists her sisters, father (George Riley Cherry) and mother Elizabeth Westbrook , and information about each. Do you have a source I could go to to find out more? My father and one sister are all that remain alive of the 13 children born to Rhonda Rachel Cherry and Theo Earl Ingram of Wood Co. I would love to find out more. Dad and Aunt Madie are in their 80’s and buried their baby sister this week. My links are fading fast. I would appreciate any help you may be able to give. Barbara Ingram Ford

Aarron Cherry was my husbands 3rd Great Grandfather from his daughter Sarah that married Demcey Iles in La. Sarah and Demcey had a daughter Catherine that moved to Texas between 1880 & 1889 and that is where my mother in law and husband come in. My Mother in law is 96 years old, Catherine was her grandmother and a grandchild of Aaron Cherry. Carol


Hi Sally,

I am a 3rd great granddaughter of the elusive and mysterious Aaron Cherry. I will read over all of your website later, I got it via email from another Cherry researcher. Have you ever looked at the 1826 Atascocita Census of the Liberty County Area? Aaron’s age is given in this census, and Homer Cherry’s research did not have access to this census in the 50’s, and Aaron Cherry did not live to be 110 years old. Also, the stories I have read (tradition) about why he fled Ohio somewhere between 1800 and 1810 leave wide room to doubt that Aaron lived “peaceably” until the 1776 War and was of “noble descent”. All the stories I have heard paint a picture of a wild and eccentric man who took the law into his own hands and had a temper. That isn’t to say he didn’t have any good qualities. I find him colorful and do not mean any of my comments disrespectfully, however, I do not like to embelish history, and honestly I haven’t seen proof of this line going back as far as they say and other stories praising him. Also, I do know from the 1826 census again, that he did not live from 1736 to 1846. I have in short, been very frustrated with my research on this ancestor of mine. I can tell you that in my family, there is a colorfully eccentric streak, and I think part of that may well have come through Aaron Cherry.

But I am interested in your posting, because I know that history is unfolding all the time, and I may find some interesting factual information on him.

Sincerely, Paula Iles Restrepo

P.S. My line is I am the daughter of Howell Cyril Iles (1909-1994) who was the son of

John Gill Iles (1867-1949) who was the son of Howell William Iles (1833-1909) who was the son of Dempsy Iles (1796-1871) and Sarah Cherry (1805? I think this is from memory to 1885 or somewhere about then.)
Sarah Cherry Iles was the daughter of Aaron Cherry and we aren’t sure of her mother’s name.
Some people say Rachel something, but I have never seen proof of this.
His wife in the 1826 census is listed as Eleanor Spencer.

The Cherry brothers were given land in Ohio for their services in the army, and along with other members of the family, they moved in approximately 1803; to Highland County, Ohio, and settled on land given his brother Capt. William Cherry for services in the American Revolution (According to legend, it snowed every month of the year 1816 in Ohio.), following the close of the war of 1812.

During that period of colonization, Aaron Cherry, Sr., organized a party to seek their fortune in a strange new land of their dreams, inspired by the promise of liberal land grants from the Spanish Government to colonists in Texas.

With his family and other relatives, they set out on a new adventure. They floated down the Ohio River into the Mississippi River in flat bottom boats to New Orleans, LA. There one if their party died, William Cherry, a nephew of Aaron Cherry, Sr., it was the year 1818. From there they continued their journey by sailboat. That same year Aaron Cherry came to Galveston, while Jean Lafitte was in possession of the island. However, the pirate gave them no trouble since they were from the United States and Lafitte claimed to only rob Spanish ships. A friendship between Aaron Cherry, Sr. and Jean Lafitte was forged and lasted until the latter left for Central America. Col. David Carlton Hardy who was in Texas from 1839 to 1845 later wrote in a published article that anyone who wanted to get into a fight could do so by arguing with old Aaron Cherry; he was beyond 75 years old, with hair as white as cotton; that Jean Lafitte was a pirate.

There was only one settlement in what is now Liberty County at the time. Which was the Lallemand and Rigaud party of Frenchmen, who came there in 1818 and were driven out by the Spanish in early 1819. The Frenchmen quickly abandoned their settlement near what is now the town of Liberty and escaped, annihilation by the aid of Jean Lafitte at Galveston. (According to legend, Jean Lafitte fell in love with the beautiful Madeline Rigaud, whose husband had died on the Trinity shortly after their arrival there. It is said that Lafitte loved her tenderly. She died in Galveston, and according to tradition, he buried her under the “Maison Rouge”, a famous landmark in Galveston, Texas.)

In 1819 the party came up the Trinity River to Drews’ Landing, near what is now Shepard, Texas, and lived alongside the Coushatta Indian village until Aaron Cherry, Sr. was granted a league of land, 4428 acres, by the Mexican Government in Liberty County.

Aaron Cherry, Sr., built a double log house on his league of land on the East bank of the Trinity River about 1834, near the present town of Romayor. This location is now part of the Plantation Ranch. There was a large painting of the original Cherry home in the museum at the headquarters of the Ranch.

Joaquin de Rumayor, the brother-in-law of Aaron Cherry, Sr. was granted 6 leagues of land joining Aaron Cherry, Sr.’s and the town of Romayor, Texas was named for him. Joaquin de Rumayor, born in an Indian Village in Spain, married Honour Cherry, a sister of Aaron Cherry, Sr., in Antrim County, Ireland. Joaquin de Rumayor was very friendly with the Coushatta tribe of Indians. One of his followers, John Scott, became Chief “Tafaluka” of the tribe in 1873.

The Cherry family lived undisturbed among the Indians all through the revolution that caused Mexico to become independent from Spain and was identified with them for many years. They learned to speak the Indian’s language as well as they could speak their own. Family tradition says that Aaron Cherry, Jr. became a sub-chief in the Coushatta tribe. However, he got into trouble with the Big Chief over killing a horse and left the village.

It is evident that the friendly Indians protected the Cherry party. The friendship established by Aaron Cherry, Sr. has lasted down to the present generation. When the United States Government erected a monument to his memory for his service of the Revolution, Chief Ti-Ca-I-Che of the combined tribes of Alabimo and Coushatta Indians in a formal ceremony put his blessing on it and laid a wreath of flowers on the grave of Aaron Cherry.

In 1843, Sam Houston built his home near Aaron Cherry’s, and established the post office of Grand Cane. The old Concord Baptist Church organized in 1845 with Margaret Houston as one of the charter members was built on Aaron Cherry’s land. His son, William, and other family were among the early members, but there is no record of him ever being a member.

Sam Houston often visited the home of Aaron Cherry. On one occasion he wrote a letter dated “at A. Cherry’s, 80 miles From Houston, dated July 10, 1838, addressed to Dr. Ashbel Smith. It requested that in company of Mr. Jno. R. Johnson, the bearer, the doctor was to “come forthwith risking all hazards” on account of the illness of Mr. Ross, “who has been sick three days.”*

Aaron Cherry lived to see his land become part of the Republic of Texas and later a part of the United States. After he became too old for the chase of the hunt, his sons ran a big black bear into his yard and let him shoot it. This was the last bear he ever killed, he died October 2, 1856 and was buried in the shade of a stooping oak tree near his home, which is now in the Cherry cemetery. The old home was afterwards abandoned and later destroyed by a forest fire. The exact date is not known.
*From the writings of Sam Houston, 1813-1863, edited by Amelia W. Williams and Eugene C. Barker, Volume II; page 262-63


8 thoughts on “Aaron Cherry & Penelope Pierce”

  1. My great great grandfather is Aaron Cherry Jr.. I noticed the records showed that he married Laura Holt but, no mention of my great grandmother (his daughter), Laura Cherry. As a child, I enjoyed a fond relationship with her in Lufkin. My grandmother, Lillie Mae was her first born daughter(second child) out of eight children. I remember her talking about the reunions they had in Houston with the Cherry families and the Alabimo and Coushatta Indians. I also recall the family talking about Homer Cherry being the family historian. I was able to attain a copy of a pay stub from Sam Houston to Arron Cherry Jr. from the Daughters of the Texas Revolution Library at the Alamo in San Antonio, an interesting place to visit. He served as the Indian interpreter for Sam Houston during the Texas Revolution. Also of interest is a plaque on the interior wall of the Capitol, by the north entrance, that lists Arron Cherry Senior’s name as one of the few Texans that fought in the American Revolution. I have been given the honor of approval for burial at the Texas State Cemetery for service provided to the State of Texas.

  2. Yes, everyone got confused when Arron Cherry the father was left out of the story and someone project it was he and not his son that moved to Texas. Go back to the further in your research and notice is was born 30 years before his son Aaron in Virginia, but served in the Fifth Penn. This means he had moved to Penn. where his son (gone to Texas) was born. The truth is there. Stop jumping over the evidence. Homer Cherry made the mistake between the father and son when he submitted for the headstone that now marks the grave of the son with the birth date of his father. I have been to the cemetery and have pictures of the gravestone thanks to Clifton Cherry who keeps up the plot on the Daniels Ranch (current owners of the Arron Cherry league of land granted to him by Sam Houston)

  3. I am a 10th generation Cherry! I was wondering if there is any other information – documented – that I could learn about?

  4. Hi! I came across this site as I research my ancestry. Aaron Cherry is my 5th Great Grandfather , if I calculated that correctly. His daughter, Sarah Cherry, had a daughter, named Elizabeth Iles, who married William B Welborn II. I’m so fascinated with with this! I’m from DeRidder, LA.

  5. Hello,

    What is the source for Penelope Pierce having been a wife of Aaron Cherry Sr.? I have yet to see it. There seems to be a lot of conflicting and confusing research and stated as facts concerning Aaron Cherry Sr. who lived on Tarkington Prairie and is listed in the 1820 Atascocito Census. Listed wife as Eleanor Spencer. My research always said that he moved from Louisiana to Texas after his daughter Sarah married Demcy Iles Sr. I’m always open to new provable information. Thank you.

    1. Hi I’m a cna and I work in Chicago il but a part I work in is Oak park Il and I’m taking care of a woman who spoke of Family Cherry i looked up and she is a descendent of Aaron Cherry !!!! Her name is Patricia Flohr (married named) .. Her maiden name is ( miles) I think how you spell it. I googled Aaron and showed her his grave and picture she was so happy!!!

    2. My mother, Zelma Page, daughter of Mitte (Cherry) Page gave the Cherry family documents she had in her possession to the Tarkington Prairie Historical Society. Arron Cherry (born in Virginia) and his Wife Penelope were the father and mother of the Arron Cherry born in Pennsylvania. Arron the father was only in the Revolutionary War Army for 1 month with the Fifth Pennsylvania, which means he was living in Pennsylvania at the time the revolution and of his sons birth.

      ie: The Census is correct and puts his real birthday in 1777-1778 in Pennsylvania:
      1850 Census Liberty County Texas
      168 Aaron Cherry 72 Pennsylvania
      Contact Clifton Cherry in Cleveland Texas for access to the Cherry Historical information.

  6. Yes, Aaron (revolutionary war) and Penelope are the parents of the famous Aaron Cherry that is buried on the Daniels ranch. The cemetery is being kept up by Clifton Cherry of Tarkington Prairie (Cleveland), TX. Homer made the mistake and confused the age when he ordered the headstone that still marks the gravesite in the old Cherry cemetery located on the Eastside of the Trinity River on the left before reaching the church building.

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