Little Berry Moore Rainwater was born ca 1833 in Georgia to Elisha Gentry Rainwater and his first wife Elizabeth Grant. Berry was probably born in Hancock or Warren County.
He is found in the 1850 census of Green County, Georgia as a border in the home of his employer, M. L. Barrett. His occupation is listed as coach trimmer.
He is said to have arrived in Rusk County, Texas in 1852, with the family of Wiley Astin Parker, and on 5 September 1856, Berry married Parker’s daughter, Susan Ann Marinda Parker. Together, they had ten children: Ellen E. G., born ca 1857; James W., born ca 1858; Laura W., born ca 1860; William Thomas, born Jan 1862; Marion Edward, born ca 1864; Frances Myrtle, known as Fannie, born 28 Dec 1867; Walter Shurman, born 13 Oct 1873; Belzora Isabelle, born 16 Jun 1875; and Susan Mary, born 8 Aug 1878.
Susan A. M. Parker Rainwater died on 23 Jun 1879, and is buried in Shiloh Cemetery in Rusk County.
A year later, Berry married Eliza Caroline Peters McGuire. She is listed in the 1880 household of her brother as married, though she may have been a widow. She brought three children with her into the marriage: Mary Elizabeth, known as Mollie, born 8 Oct 1874; James T., born ca 1876; and John S., born ca 1879; all of whom went under the McGuire surname. With Berry, she produced another seven: William Charles, born 21 Apr 1883; Hettie E., born Aug 1888; Ira E., born Jul 1889; and Joseph N., born 9 Aug 1892. The Rusk County History adds one additional child, Viola, whose birth year is not known, and who is not listed in the 1900 household. Barbara Miller and Jeanne Fuller list two additional children: Ollie Bertha, born 6 Jun 1881; and Amanda Gertrude, known as Mandy, born 2 Aug 1885.
Eliza Caroline Peters McGuire died following the birth of her last child, sometime between 1892 and 1900. Following her death, many of the minor children were taken in by Berry’s son from his first marriage, William Thomas, who had married one of Caroline’s daughters from her first marriage, Mary Elizabeth "Mollie" McGuire. This is the configuration of the family found in the 1900 census of Collin County. By 1910, Berry had moved in with his son Walter, also in Collin County.
During the Civil War, Berry served in the First Partisan Texas Rangers, Company C, Lane’s Regiment from Hunt County. He served not with a gun, but with leather crafting tools, as a saddle and harness maker. After the war, he is found listed on the Texas Confederate Indigent List as Berry Rainwater, 3 dependents, Rusk Co., TX, 16 Feb 1865. He later filed for a Confederate pension from Collin County.
Little Berry Moore Rainwater died on 25 Sep 1919 in Henderson, Rusk County, Texas and is buried in Little Cemetery in Wood Glen, of the same county.
Pension application #05828
About the name Littleberry
A Google search turns up dozens late 18th and early 19th century men named Littleberry and many named Littleberry Moore. The popularity of Littleberry seems to originate with Littleberry Mosby, Jr., a captain of the Virginia militia in the Revolutionary War, and later a Brigadier General in the War of 1812. How the name Littleberry became linked with Moore is unclear.
This biography was drawn from the flawed and partly incorrect biography in "Rusk County History" published by the Rusk County Historical Commission, and original research. The photograph was jointly contributed by Barbara Miller and Jeanne Fuller. Barbara and Jeanne also contributed corrections to this biography.
© 2018 Susan Chance-Rainwater
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