It's been quite some time since I've done any research on the BERKSHIRE family that ties into my HUNTER family. [And NO, the two Hunter families are not related!] However, after spending this afternoon digging through records, it's a possibility that your BERKSHIRE's may be related to the BERKSHIRE lines I have.
SARAH ELLEN BERKSHIRE [1862-1924], the daughter of George S. Berkshire and his wife Nancy HARRIS, is my great-grandmother. She married RICHARD MARTIN HUNTER [1857-1915] in 1885 in Daviess Co., IN, and shortly after they married, they moved to St. Louis.
George Berkshire's parents were CORNELIUS [1788-1866] and ELIZABETH [STEALEY] BERKSHIRE [1790-?]. Cornelius's parents were JOHN ADAMSON [1750-1831] and ELIZABETH [MNU] BERKSHIRE [1752-1837]. And Jon Adamson's parents were RICHARD [1711-1794] and MARTHA MARY ADAMSON [1715-1794].
You mentioned that you're looking for more information on William Hunter, who is supposed to have died about 1860 in Illinois. Have you tried the online IL Secretary of State's website? The addy is:http://www.cyberdriveillinois.com/departments/archives/datab...
Of course, not everything is online in IL and that's the problem I have with the site. However, I did find the following under the McLean Co. Will Record Index:
Name: HUNTER, EMILY
Date Span: 1855-1862
Volume Page; 3, 509
Type of Case: Minor
The above is, I believe, your Emily Hunter [b. 1843], who would definitely have been a minor when her father died in about 1860. Unfortunately, you will have to write to the McLean Co. courthouse for more information, as what I've posted above is the only info online.
I was contacted years ago by an Avis Mathias, asking about William D. Hunter and Nancy Jane Berkshire, and we corresponded for a while, but then I didn't hear from her after that. I do not know now if she is still alive and I've searched for my original correspondence from her and, for right now, I cannot find it (!).
But if memory serves, Nancy moved west with one or more of her children, settling in Kansas where she apparently operated a store/trading post "on the frontier." The impression I got was that Nancy Jane was quite a character!
I hope some of this helps! I'm going to keep searching for that elusive correspondence and will keep in touch.
If you want to contact me, you can e-mail me at email@example.com
Mary Hunter Linneman