John Berrien

John Macpherson Berrien (1781 - 1856)

Privacy Level: Open (White)
John Macpherson Berrien
Born in Rocky Hill, Somerset, New Jersey, United Statesmap
Ancestors ancestors
Husband of — married [date unknown] (to 25 Aug 1828) [location unknown]
Husband of — married 10 Jul 1833 (to 2 Feb 1852) in Savannah, Chatham, Georgia, United Statesmap
[children unknown]
Died in Savannah, Chatham, Georgia, United Statesmap
Profile last modified 1 Jan 2020 | Created 25 Mar 2016
This page has been accessed 641 times.
Preceded by
9th Attorney General
William Wirt

Preceded by
John Elliott

Preceded by
Wilson Lumpkin
John M. Berrien
10th United States
Attorney General
Dept of Justice

US Senator (Class 3)
from Georgia
Seal of the US Senate
US Senator (Class 2)
from Georgia
1841—1845; 1845—1852

Succeeded by
11th Attorney General
Roger B. Taney

Succeeded by
John Forsyth

Succeeded by
Robert M. Charlton



John Berrien is Notable.


John Macpherson Berrien was born on 23 August 1781 at the home of his grandfather in Rockhill, New Jersey, the son of Major John Berrien and Margaret Macpherson.[3] In the Fall of 1784, John's mother died of fever, and at the age of six, he was sent to boarding school in New York.[4] John returned to Georgia only once in the next nine years.

  • Family moved from New Jersey to Georgia in 1782
  • Graduate of Princeton College, 1796; admitted to the bar at age 18 in Georgia
  • Veteran of the War of 1812. Rank: Captain in the Georgia Hussars.
  • Strong advocate of slavery. In the 1830 Census, her owned 90 slaves. This increased to 148 in 1840, with 143 slaves reported in 1850.


John married twice.

  • He married, as his 1st, to Eliza Anciaux, daughter of Major Nicholas Anciaux.[3] She died in 1828.[3]
  • He married in July 1833, as his 2nd, to Eliza C. Hunter, daughter of James Hunter of Savannah.[3] She died in 1852.[3]

Death and Legacy

  • Berrien County, Georgia and Berrien County, Kentucky are both named in his honor.
  • Berrien Springs, Michigan is named in his honor.


Children of John and his first wife, Eliza (Anciaux) Berrien (nine):

  1. John MacPhereson Berrien, Jr. born before 1828 (possibly died prior to 1841, when another child by this name was born to second wife)
  2. Valeria Gibbons Berrien, born August 4, 1806, died April 1, 1883, married Joseph Hallett Burroughs, on June 26, 1828
  3. John Wiltheim Berrien
  4. William Davies Berrien, died December 2, 1840
  5. Nicholas Anciaux Berrien, born June 22, 1816, died June 17, 1817
  6. Eliza Anciaux Berrien, born June 30, 1818, died August 9, 1894, married James Parsons Carrol, in 1841
  7. Margaret Lydia Berrien
  8. Louisa Green Berrien
  9. Williamina Moore Berrien, born 1820, died January 12, 1882, married Henry Williams

Children of John and his second wife, Eliza (Hunter) Berrien (six):

  1. Harriet Hunter Berrien
  2. James Hunter Berrien
  3. Sarah Lowndes Berrien, married Alexander Jenkins Semmes
  4. Catherine Hunter Berrien
  5. Lieutenant John MacPherson Berrien, Jr. born October 27, 1841, died July 8, 1875 (of typhoid fever)
  6. Lawrence Cecil Berrien, born 1843, died April 19, 1902, married Rosa McHugh Falligant


  1. Resigned to become U.S. Attorney General, vacant March 9, 1829 – November 9, 1829 when successor elected.
  2. Resigned to become judge of the Supreme Court of Georgia, vacant May 1845 – November 13, 1845 when elected to finish his term and re-elected in 1846.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 MacDonell, Alexander R., (Mar 1933) "John Macpherson Berrien." The Georgia Historical Quarterly. Georgia Historical Society, (Vol. 17, No. 1, pp. 1-12).
  4. Bryant,, Jonathan M., (2015) Dark Places of the Earth: The Voyage of the Slave Ship Antelope. (Page nos. omitted in sample).

From behind the subscription wall:

More Genealogy Tools

Sponsored Search

Is John your ancestor? Please don't go away!
 star icon Login to collaborate or comment, or
 star icon contact private message the profile manager, or
 star icon ask our community of genealogists a question.
Sponsored Search by

DNA Connections
It may be possible to confirm family relationships with John by comparing test results with other carriers of his ancestors' Y-chromosome or mitochondrial DNA. However, there are no known yDNA or mtDNA test-takers in his direct paternal or maternal line. It is likely that these autosomal DNA test-takers will share DNA with John:

Have you taken a DNA test? If so, login to add it. If not, see our friends at Ancestry DNA.

Images: 1
John M. Berrien
John M. Berrien


Leave a message for others who see this profile.
There are no comments yet.
Login to post a comment.

John is 21 degrees from Greg Clarke, 15 degrees from George Hull and 12 degrees from Henry VIII of England on our single family tree. Login to find your connection.