PEDIGO, Berry Rowlett, of Kentucky and Oklahoma

Berry Rowlett Pedigo was born Hart Co KY, 12 Mar 1842,[1] the third or fourth child of Elijah Pedigo and his first wife, Frances (Harper) (Meredith) Pedigo. By 1850, Berry’s mother had died, the father remarried[2], and the boy was living with an unrelated family named Hunter. Berry died 5 Apr 1923 in Bridgeport, Caddo Co OK; he was hit by an unscheduled train.

After serving in the Union Army during the Civil War, Berry returned home and married Martha Jane Gossett, a half first cousin once removed,[3] on 27 Jul 1866 in Hart Co KY.[4]

Martha Jane Gossett was born in Barren Co KY 4 Jan 1846, daughter of Henry and Elizabeth (Pedigo) Gossett.[5]

On 8 Aug 1835, in Barren Co KY, Berry’s father Elijah Pedigo, married Frances Harper, widow of Mr — (poss. William) Meredith, daughter of James and Mary Harper of Hart Co KY, mother of William Meredith, who was in the California Gold Rush in 1854 and probably returned to Hart County, and sister of Willis Burton Harper of Harrison County, Missouri.[6] The couple had as many as eight children, but probably five. For the 1850 census, the children’s father, apparently a remarried widower, placed his young children with farm families.

Jesse S [or L] Pedago, 11, was with the Jeramiah Wilson family in dwelling #1172, household #1204 of Hart Co KY. Agness Pedigo, 12, was in the household of John O Kelly, dwelling #503, household #505. Mary M Pedago,[7] 14, was with the James Grinstead family, next to the home where Berry was living, 7. Hester, 9, was living with the family of George Hardy Jr, Dwelling #1040 and household #1068. The smallest daughter, Amanda Frances, has not been located in 1850.

Berry Rowlett Pedigo’s 1860 census had not been located. He enlisted soon after in Civil War, 21st KY Cavalry (GAR 1861-66).[8] The marriage followed not long after Berry’s return home from the war.

In 1870, Berry and Martha were in Green River PO, 3rd Election Precinct, Hart Co KY, p 316, 433-433,[9] with one child and several young family members. In 1880, seventtenthey were in District 56, Green Co KY, page 4; this time with six living children, although only five are listed.

1900 was the last census year the Pedigos spent in Kentucky. They were in Green Co KY, Brentwood Prct, ed 38, sheet 3, 60-60; Martha stated that eight of her eleven children were living. This should read eight of 13 were living.

Berry and Martha had seventeen children in about 23 years. Four babies died as infants. A daughter, Esther, died in 1882 at the age of 11.

The family left their four children buried in Kentucky and turned toward Oklahoma in late 1900 or in 1901. Berry was the first preacher at the Missionary Baptist Church in Hinton, Oklahoma. He and Martha ran a hotel for railroad workers in their two-story home right on the banks of the South Canadian River. In 1919, flood in the river nearly swept away their land and did take the life of their unmarried son Elijah.

Berry and Martha had the following children:

  1. Louisa Frances PEDIGO. Born on 2 Oct 1867 in Barren Co KY. Louisa Frances died in KY on 8 Jun 1868.
  1. Lucy Jane PEDIGO. Born on 6 Feb 1869 in Barren Co KY. Lucy Jane died in Bridgeport, Caddo Co OK, on 20 Jun 1918. Buried in Graceland Cemetery, Bridgeport, Caddo Co OK.

On 28 Dec 1886 when Lucy was 17, she married Benjamin T KESSLER in Kentucky. Born in 1867 in Kentucky. Benjamin Kessler died in 1929. They had the following children:

  1. Stanley (1898-1906)
  2. James S (1890-1971)
  3. iii.        Cora E (1892-<1937)
  4. Vanada (1888-1976)
  5. Hattie L (1895-)
  6. McKinley H (1896-1983)
  7. vii.       Clara (1901-)
  8. viii.      Elijah Underwood (1903-1974)
  9. May (1905-1995)
  10. John (1908-1999)
  11. Wanda A (1910-)

3. Esther Calvin PEDIGO. Born on 2 Sep 1870 in Barren Co KY. Esther died there, on 22 Jul 1882.

  1. Peter Henry Ross PEDIGO. Born on 16 Feb 1872 in Barren Co KY. Peter Henry Ross died in Tulare Co CA, on 5 May 1928.

On 15 Oct 1895 when Peter Henry Ross was 23, he married Clara Mae JONES in Kentucky. Born in May 1880 in Kentucky. They had the following children:

  1. Martha E (1896-)
  2. Mary E (1898-1992)
  3. iii.        Lucy E (1900-)
  4. Maggie M (ca1902-)
  5. Henry Roulette (1904-1974)
  6. William B (1907-1992)
  7. vii.       Hallie A (ca1909-)
  8. viii.      Gladys (1912-)
  9. Bradley (1914-)
  10. George O (Twin) (1916-)
  11. Fred (Twin) (1916-1993)
  12. James (1917-)
  13. Bertha Virginia (1922-1995)
  14. Eleanor Christine (1926-1996)


4. Elijah PEDIGO. Born on 3 Dec 1874 in Hart Co KY. Elijah died in Bridgeport, Caddo Co OK, on 30 Oct 1919. Buried in Graceland Cemetery, Bridgeport, Caddo Co OK.

5. Holland Bain PEDIGO. Born on 21 May 1877 in Cave City, Hart Co KY. Holland died in Bridgeport, Caddo Co OK, on 4 Oct 1960. Buried in Graceland Cemetery, Bridgeport, Caddo Co OK.

On 24 Mar 1897, Holland married Sarah Frances FORBIS, daughter of James Robert FORBIS & Nancy Elizabeth WELLS, in Barren Co KY. Born in Aug 1874 in Kentucky. Sarah died in Bridgeport, Caddo Co OK, in 1938. They had the following children:

  1. Thomas E (1898-1974)
  2. Martha K (1900-)
  3. Eva Mary (1901-1985)
  4. Berry Ross (1905-1958)
  5. Marie (1907-)
  6. William P (1911-1980)
  7. Walter


6. Joshua Abraham Lincoln PEDIGO. Born on 13 Jun 1878/80 in Greensburg, Green Co KY. Joshua Abraham Lincoln died in Geary, Blaine Co OK, on 23 Feb 1959. Buried on 27 Feb 1959 in Geary, Blaine Co OK. Religion: Crackerbox Missionary Baptist Church, a founder. Occupation: Farmer.

On 4 Feb, Lincoln married Lucy Birdie ATWELL, daughter of William Rush ATWELL & Jane C HUFF, in Glasgow, KY. Born on 17 Oct 1887 in Three Springs, Hart Co KY. Lucy Birdie died in Geary, Blaine Co OK, on 8 Dec 1985. They had the following children:

  1. Ruby Jane (1904-1986)
  2. Mary Wood (1905-1982)
  3. Ellis Bradley (1907-1978)
  4. Edwin Eugene (1908-1997)
  5. Henry Norman (1910-1953)
  6. Ada Lou (1912-1985)
  7. William Leslie “Picket” (1914-1983)
  8. Gracie Margaret (1918-1975)
  9. Lola Ethel (1923-1998)
  10. Joe Orville (1926-2001)
  11. J[oshua] L[incoln] (1932-1932)


8. Berry Rowlett PEDIGO. Born on 31 Dec 1881 in Green Co KY. Berry Junior died in Green Co KY, on 20 Jun 1882.

9. Margie Elizabeth PEDIGO. Born on 27 Aug 1883 in Green Co KY. Margie died in Green Co KY, on 15 Feb 1885.

10. Clyde Thomas PEDIGO. Born on 2 Jul 1885 in Green Co KY. Clyde Thomas died in Bridgeport, Caddo Co OK, in Dec 1934.

On 23 Mar 1908, Clyde married Beulah Viola Rose HALSEY. Born on 18 Jul 1886 in Kansas. Beulah Viola Rose died in Bridgeport, Caddo Co OK, on 9 Oct 1920. They had the following children:

  1. Addie Jane (b & d ca1910)
  2. Floy Elsie (1910-1992)
  3. iii.        Ray Thomas (1913-)
  4. Dorothy Esther (1916-1991)
  5. Jesse Leroy (1918-1990)
  6. Jack Kenneth (<1920-)
  7. Luna (1920-)
  8. Clara (1920-)
  9. John (1920-)
  10. Philip (1920-)


11. Dora Ritter PEDIGO. Born on 6 Aug 1887 in Green Co KY. Dora Ritter died in Geary, Blaine Co OK, on 22 Dec 1983. Buried in Hinton, Caddo Co OK.

On 25 Jun 1905, Dora married Greenwood C WILCOXSON, son of William G WILCOXSON & Kate FORBIS. Born on 30 Dec 1879 in Kentucky. Greenwood C died in Oklahoma. They had the following children:

  1. Lena (1905-)
  2. William G (ca1908-)
  3. Joseph (1913-1914)
  4. James R (1912-1988)
  5. Jewell (Hodge) (<1920-)
  6. Eloise (ca1924-)
  7. Marjorie (McVey) (ca1926-)
  8. Herbert L (1928-<1988)
  9. Florence (Collins) (>1930-)


12. Rosa M PEDIGO. Born on 27 Dec 1889 in Kentucky. Rosa M died after 1930. On 20 Nov 1910 when Rosa was 20, she married Pearl McCOY probably in Caddo Co OK. They had the following children:

  1. Ada W (ca1912-)
  2. Thomas J (ca1923-)

13. Franklin PEDIGO. Born ca 1891. Franklin died bef 1900.

2010, Kathy Alvis Patterson

[1] Berry R. and Martha Jane Pedigo tombstone, Graceland Cemetery, Bridgeport OK, transcribed by Kathy Alvis, 2 Sep 1966. Later photographed.

[2] It is possible that Ellen (–?–) Pedigo, Elijah’s wife in the 1850-1880 censuses was actually Frances, but family tradition says the mother of Elijah’s children was deceased. Frances’s six or more children were living with other families. It appears that Ellen had no children.

[3] Berry’s father and Martha’s grandfather were half-brothers.

[4] Berry R. Pedigo file, no. 1205293. National Archives. Included in this file is the County Clerk’s certificate of the marriage as found in Hart County Marriage Book no. 2765, affidavit from county records (now burned), dated 10 Sep 1923. Witnesses at Berry’s parents’ wedding were Ransom Harper, possibly the bride’s brother, and Jacob S Harper, Ransom’s son. Berry’s wedding took place at Jacob S Harper’s home; a witness was G[illegible[ Harper. [No one with an initial G was in the 18160 census in Hart Co; possibly a letter J was indicated.]

[5] Berry R. and Martha Jane Pedigo tombstone, Graceland Cemetery, Bridgeport OK, transcribed by Kathy Alvis 2 Sep 1966. Later photographed. The date of Martha’s death was never added to the tombstone.

[6] See letter from William Meredith to his uncle Willis B Harper, dated 26 Jun1856, at

[7] Probably the youngest child of Martha’s father, William Pedigo, 1791-1845.

[8] Berry R. Pedigo file, pension file no. 336.027, National Archives, Washington DC.

[9] 1870 US census, Hart Co KY, Green River PO, 3rd Election Precinct, p 316, 433-433. B R Pedigo 28 m w farmer 300 800 KY male citizen, Martha J Pedigo 23 f w keeping house KY, Lucy J 1 f w KY, M E Reynolds f w 11 KY at school, J C Gossett 21 farm hand KY cannot rd & wr male citizen, Judatte Gossett f w 16 at house KY can’t rd & wr.

On the same page of this census were Berry’s sisters Amanda Bishop, Martha Hester Pedigo and Lucy Handy. The sons of their deceased older brother George were with the Bishops.

Published on August 7, 2010 at 2:04 am  Comments (1)  

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  1. James Grinstead is a direct descendant of Elizabeth Key (a daughter of a unknown black slave and a white man Thomas Key) and William Grinstead, a white man, a man from Britain.

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