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James Snelling/Perry Mystery of Miller, Missouri
Posted by: carmen forquer (ID *****9203) Date: October 07, 2007 at 17:42:42
  of 503

Need help on this mystery from anyone who may have clues. James seems to have changed his name from Snelling to Perry when he moved to Oregon in 1853. The only record of him as James Perry (or any other Perrys) in Missouri is his marriage to Elizabeth Lane. The History of Miller Missouri by Judge Jenkins mentions that Hugh and James Snelling were brothers, but no documentation has surfaced. They arrived in Miller, MO about 1838 and James married Elizabeth Lane in 1839, this is the only instance I find that he uses the name Perry. All his descendants use the name Perry and so far I have not found a descendant that has tried to research James any further back, so I have not found anyone who is aware of the name Snelling having once been his surname. He named his 1st son Hugh so this is a clue.(Later on in 1860 another James Snelling moves into Miller, MO -this is a different Snelling and it is uncertain what the relation is if any. He lived in Anderson, KY in 1850 so he is not the James Snelling/Perry listed (below)on the 1850 Census Miller, MO)

James M. Snelling /Perry
b. 1814 listed as KY on 1850 census, AL on 1860 Census
d. 11/14/1860 Sublimity, Marion, OR
Buried Hobson-Whitney Graveyard , Sublimity, OR
Parents: undetermined

Wife: Elizabeth Lane
b. 10/26/1816 Otter Creek, Wayne County, KY
d. 9/4/1905 Albany, Linn, OR
Buried Riverside Cemetery Albany, Linn, OR
Second Husband: Married Olney Fry 7/7/1867 Marion , OR
Parents: Mordecai Lane and Celia Atkinson

7/25/1839 James Perry and Elizabeth Lane married by John Abbott; Miller, Missouri

1840 Glaze, Miller, MO Census
James Snellen; 1male 20-30 and 1 female 20-30

1850 Census District No. 15, Miller Co, MO 10/4/1850
James Snelling 35 KY
Elizabeth 33 KY
Hugh 9 MO
Melissa 8 MO
Nancy 6 MO
James 6 MO
Rebecca 2 MO


April 1853-Aug 1853 James Perry/Snelling and family went on a wagon train to Oregon. It is said that half the people on this train were related to his father-in-law, Mordecai Lane. According to family lore of Kitty Kier, Mordecai’s son, John Jackson Lane was the Captain of the train.

Jul 25, 1853-Immigrants to Oregon List from Umatilla Agency- arrived in Willamette Valley in August 1853. Perry, James, W, 2s, 3d (with wife, 2 sons, and 3 daughters).

1853 James Perry Tax Assessment Oregon Provisional & territorial 12277A
Oregon Donation Land Claim #4645
Abstract: “James Perry, Marion Co; b. 1815 KY; Arr. Ore. 12 August 1853; SC 20 Aug. 1853; m. Elizabeth July 1838/39 Mo. James T. Lynch & D.S. Stayton gave aff. That James Perry d. on or abt. 1862 & said Elizabeth has since remarried & her name is Fry, Aff. Creed T. Biggers. Mordecai Lane, Peter Bilyeu, James T. Lynch, D.S. Stayton.”

The Land claim paperwork for James Perry’s land claim was not officially completed until 4/16/1875. It is in the name of “Elizabeth Fry, formerly Elizabeth Perry, widow, and the heirs at law of James Perry deceased.” His brother-in-law James T. Lynch and another man D.S. Stayton signed an affidavit stating that they knew that James and Elizabeth were married until the time of his death. Peter Bilyeu and Mordecai Lane signed (their name) as witnesses for the claim on 9/21/1857.


1860 Sublimity Precinct Marion, OR
James Perry 45 AL
Elizabeth 42 KY
HM 20 MO (Hugh Marion Perry)
NA 17 MO (Nancy Ann Perry)
JM 13 MO (James M. Perry Jr.)
R 12 MO (Sophrona Rebecca Perry)
J 6 OR (Joan Perry)



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