From NKAA, Notable Kentucky African Americans Database (main entry)

Berry, Isaac, Sr.

(born: March 10, 1831   -  died: January 11, 1914 

Isaac Berry, Sr. was a violin player who was born into enslavement in Garrard County, KY. He had been willed to one of his owner's daughters. The daughter married James Pratt, and the family moved to Missouri.

With the permission of Mrs. Pratt, Berry ran away;  James Pratt posted a $500 reward for Berry, dead or alive. Berry made his way to Ypsilanti, MI [see George McCoy] by following the railroad tracks, the trip taking him three weeks. Members of the Underground Railroad helped Berry to make his way on to Detroit, then to Canada.

Berry's daughter, Katy Pointer, was born in Windsor, Ontario in 1864, and the family moved to Mecosta, MI, in 1877.

Isaac Berry, Sr. was a blacksmith and carpenter.  He was the husband of Lucy, who was born in New York; both are last listed in the 1900 U.S. Federal Census. The Berry family was among the early settlers of Morton Township in Mecosta, MI, where Isaac Berry built a school for Negro children as well as other structures.

Berry, Sr. was born March 10, 1831 and died January 11, 1914 [source:].

For more see Negro Folktales in Michigan, edited by R. M. Dorson; A northside view of slavery. The Refugee: or the Narratives of Fugitive Slaves in Canada, by B. Drew (1856); and Isaac Berry Sr. at

Kentucky County & Region

Read about Garrard County, Kentucky in Wikipedia.

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“Berry, Isaac, Sr.,” Notable Kentucky African Americans Database, accessed May 26, 2024,

Last modified: 2024-05-26 11:43:24