American Settlers and Colonialism
In New England native
acculturation started early in the 17th century with the Christianization
of America's first people.
Plagues, war, intolerance, and pressures from the Europeans for land
forced the Native people to constantly move along
ahead the tidal wave of settlers. Their history is, of course, far more
complex than these simple sentences can convey.
Much of their history is not written. Much of what is written, is only the
white man's version of what happened. Native
Americans fought freedom battles for the American's, French and
English and they often fought among themselves.
When they were unsure of their loyalties, they remained neutral on the
advice of their elders.
This process of moving from their homelands began in the 1600's and
continues well into the 21st century. Our family
line began moving early in the 1700's from Connecticut. The
Newberry's were not just Native American but a mixed-
blood family whom we are only beginning to understand. This is still in
the conjecture phase. I welcome any new
The surnames they used were
probably picked up when they became Christianized or intermarried. SMITH
instance, is a common name in most cultures around the world.
When I first started this search, I found the name
Smith to be common to the Tuscaroras, in a reference encyclopedia of
names. STEPHENS is also found in the
Mohawk Tribe. HOLLEY
is a Cherokee/Tuscarora name, as is NEWBERRY.
Newberry is found affiliated
with the Cherokee of North Carolina in early history. Names may have come
from intermarriage with traders or
as a result of indenture. Some names were also chosen when an individual
was baptized into one of the Christian
faiths, that were busy converting Native people in various time
frames. Intermarriage was frowned upon, but it did
happen. So just how did these people become Newberry?
The towns of Stonington
and Groton, Connecticut were primarily
Indian towns and joined the towns of Farmington,
Mohegan, Niantic, Charlestown and Montauk as busy centers for the
Indian people. (Note significance below with
John Newberry information.) Most were rocky, and did not support the type
of farming the English were accustomed
The town of Mystic up river from Groton was destroyed in the first half of
the 1600's (1638) by the English who
were helping other tribes to secure the land from the Pequot.
After King Philips war in 1676 the surviving
Pequot Indians were put out as servants and slaves to the English, or sent
to the West Indies for slave labor. (see
reconnection below.) Women and children went into slavery as a way to
survive after their husbands and sons were
killed in the war. Orphaned children were often raised in English
households becoming none like their parents and
loosing their Indian-ness. It is tragic that these people were
traded like commodities and property.
After the King Phillip War, it
was common for the victors to ship the warriors away to the West Indies as
of these people have recognized their family in Bermuda and made an
attempt to reconnect. This website is an interesting
story of those people Reconnecting
For those who were left behind, to protect themselves, and their families,
they tried to assimilate and blend into the
conquerors world.. As the white man moved further into the
interior, their brothers and other tribal families were to
feel the same pressures.
We are unsure as to where the Newberry name was acquired by our ancestors.
Could it have been bestowed under
servitude and Christianization of the remaining Pequot? Or could our
Newberry clan have risen from English traders
from the Southern Colonies who mixed with the Cherokee nation?
Travel between the colonies was frequent, and
mixing of tribes began early. Connecticut's coastal towns like Groton were
seaports very early, allowing the English
and Dutch to trade with the Indians.
More on names
In the past six months, I
have run across a book that has been especially helpful in native
surnames. Many of the
names associated with my Newberry family by early genealogists have been
found there. In November of 2004,
I was tipped by another researcher, that one of my family members had been
doing research and discovered the
Newberry name might be tied to the Wampanoag tribe. When asked about
this, the researcher, who will go unnamed,
said that he had made a mistake, and that the information was incorrect
for Tryal Newberry, whom he thought was of
the Wampanoag tribe. Since then, I decided to look into it myself.
volume, Territorial Subdivisions and Boundaries of the Wampanoag,
Massachusett, and Nauset Indians,
by Frank G. Speck has been extremely instructional in determining
tribal surnames, and in one case the roots of one
known collateral ancestor George John Wixon who was married to Electa
Louisa Newberry, daughter of James A.
Newberry. Interestingly, this man was connected with the line of
Massasoit. In checking the index against early names
in my family lines, I found the following: Dodge, Haskins, Rose,
Stephens, Smith, Wixon and Williams. However,
Tyral Newberry is not shown in the listing. Stephens, Beebe and
Holley are also shown in other N.E. tribes.
many of the other names that I found in this book also appear in the New
York towns where the Newberry's resided.
Without further research it would be hard to say for certain that these
people were Native, but it certainly looks like |
there was a mass exodus of people from New England into New York, who
later crossed the Hudson River and settled
in Orange Co.
The stories are beginning to come together, but the one
story that always touched my heart was the fact
that when the people who settled in Orange County arrived there, they
invited many of the Lenni Lenape to come back
and live among them. Knowing the attitudes of most of the early
English settlers, I would say that this would be an
uncommon invitation, so one might surmise that these people in Orange
County were indeed also descendants of the
early New England tribes. Many small clues tend to come forth and
lodge in the consciousness of someone such as
myself who is interested in the possibility. Some of the leading
names of the town of Warwick, New York, can also
be found in the listings of people detailed by Briggs - see links below.
Another book that is especially helpful in the history is Indian
History, Biography and Genealogy pertaining to
the Good Sachem Massasoit of the Wampanoag Tribe and His Descendants
by Ebenezer W. Pierce and Zerviah
Mitchell. Another which has been extremely useful is The
Wampanoag Genealogical History of Martha's Vineyard,
Massachusetts Referenced to Banks'
History of Martha's Vineyard, Mass. Volume 1: Island History, People and
from Sustained Contact Through the Early Federal Period, by
back from 1710
Up until recently, I have not had the
inclination to go backward from 1710. The reasons are as follows,
to present a conundrum of missing, unverifiable information.
Research genealogists in the
East who have done extensive work on the Newberry name, have found our
cannot be tied to the Newberry’s of Windsor, Connecticut.
I have not attempted to go back further than the John
Newberry born in 1710 for a number of reasons – the main one being the
documentation is poor and suspect. Though
I have discussed this with other genealogists, and they disagree with me
on some counts, I feel there is something more
that is missing in the research, that needs to be re-discovered. There is
however, a Bible
that documents John Newberry
circa 1710 owned by his son Jonathan from 1767. Jonathan was the brother
of our John in Warwick, N.Y. part
is transcribed above. Jonathan however did not detail his parents vital
records in the Bible.
Helen Bourne Joy Lee the author
of The Newberry's in Connecticut published in
1975, stated unequivocally that
our James Newberry born circa 1791, (son of John in Warwick, who is the
son of John born in 1710)
cannot be connected with the Windsor people. She also says there were no Newberrys
in the Groton, Stonington,
or Mystic areas before 1836, (or at least none of her Newberry line who
were the primary English line).2 Yet, if one accesses
other Connecticut records, some Newberry people DO show up in the
area. There are some records that appear to
connect this line and they can be seen at the following website
The Aaron Stark Chronicles. However, I personally feel
that there is something missing in the record that we have yet to find.
The Barbour Records are also helpful in understanding
colonial Connecticut. Some of the Stonington
Barbour records can be accessed at this site.
In the 1870's Hannah Maria Newberry Morris' son George V. Newberry Morris,
b. 1850, attempted to map out the family line.
In a letter dated 1876, Hannah Maria requested from her brothers and
father more information on their ancestors. However,
I believe they had no further knowledge. Her father and mother, James and
Mary Newberry left a record called Baptisms for
the Dead, (BFTD) in which they posthumously baptized their deceased
relatives into the LDS faith. In those records neither
had enough information to accurately name their own grandparents, let
alone anyone further back. They are simply identified as
great grandfather Newberry, etc. Later, Susan Easton Black, professor at
BYU, wrote a book in which relationships were
attempted for these records. They were done with the help of the familysearch.org
database, which has been developed
over the past 150 years by members of the LDS Church. This
information was done by, amateur family genealogists.
Black incorporated this information into her assessment to show to
whom the BFTD records were referring, which in my mind
is not proof at all. In the case of the Newberry family, she may
have some of it correct, but we have found that some of it is not.
My point here is, if James Newberry didn't have the information; how sure
can we be certain of information that was uncovered
by genealogists who had access to less primary documentational information
than we have today? The problem remains, many
people did not use first sources, if they existed at all.
Additionally, it appears the Temple recorder, (that is the person who
the information during the baptisms) had only the information provided to
him by the members who were being baptized.
In yet another letter, a genealogist wrote a letter to George V. Newberry
Morris indicating that his line could be seen in the
publication, Newberry Genealogy, The Ancestors and Descendants of
Thomas Newberry of Dorchester,
Mass., 1634 Published by J. Gardner Bartlett, for John
Strong Newberry, Boston, Mass.1914. However, George was never
able to connect his line to that of the Windsor people. He did however,
write a ledger for the LDS Church showing all the
Newberry people who had been baptized for the dead, identified from this
book for that purpose. None of them were his
own line. This ledger after his death was rescued from a trash bin by a
family member. I have a copy of the original book from
microfilm and a copy of the ledger, how much actual use it is to naming
our family line is negligible.
Tyral tied to the Wampanoag
From some of the work done by
other genealogists it appears that there may be as many as three lines of
The one to which our John Newberry is most often linked was through
Richard Newberry as the first generation, then
Tyral, John, John in Connecticut and then John in Warwick. Some of these
early genealogists believed that Tyral was
in some way attached to the Wampanoag tribe. I have lately been
trying to assess this information. There are several
lists which show that some of our collateral lines could possibly
be connected to the Wampanoag, but so far the
Newberry clan does not appear here. The Briggs
lists from 1849 and associated
information show the Hyatt, Rose,
Stephens, Dodge and Haskins families.
The part of the Newberry line
that was Native American, will not likely have much information. The
carried down their stories orally in most cases, but some of it was
written down by Native ministers of the gospel
who were trained early in New England at Harvard
and Dartmouth Colleges. Most available written records were
produced by the towns and hamlets where these people lived, in the form of
records of marriage, birth, death, and
some court records. Massachusetts and Connecticut have the best records
available. The Wampanoag people had
more autonomy early on than did other surrounding tribes. Intermarriages
took place, or we wouldn't be seeing so many
of our indigenous kin with what appears to be an English name. Proper
records regarding native people start emerging
after about 1677, but still, they often hid their ethnicity and attempted
to blend with the society of the time. Therefore,
when the census' began in 1790 most native people who could, hid their
lineage by claiming to be white, which, many
were to some degree. It was not unlike today, where we claim our
heritage based on which ever feels best to us.
So many of us have extremely varied ethnic lines, that one or the other
may not seem important - and so it probably was
with our ancestors.
According to one researcher,
Ann Marie Plane, colonial marriage practices of the native people of this
time, were not
structured like those of the English. Native American people
were a matrilineal people and had lineal family lines rather
than nuclear family ties. In the late 17th century the English
cajoled native families into adopting their ways of marriage
and civilization, and only at that time will we find written records
- when the Indians began to become "literate" in English
sense of the word, and "civilized" by the definition of English
Ann Marie Plane gives the
flavor of Indian marriage in her book, Colonial Intimacies, Indian
Marriage in Early
New England Cornell University 2000. In her introduction she
"Marriage itself forged a bond between a man and a woman, but it was
usually a bond that could be dissolved should
either party wish to take a new spouse or sexual partner. As in all
passionate human relations, separations were fraught
with a potential for acrimony, wounded feelings, and even violence or
community censure. Still, dissolving a marriage
did not necessarily affect the distribution of property, the
legitimization of children, or the ability to sustain oneself and
one's family. Thus it was relatively easy to accomplish, when
compared with contemporary European divorces."
Indian relationships were far
more complicated and harder for the European mind to understand,
therefore, they believed
them to be ill conceived, and outright immoral.
here to continue to New York information on the Newberry family
Anne Marie, Colonial Intimacies,
Indian Marriage in Early
Helen Joy Bourne, The Newberry's of
Connecticut published 1975.
Anne Marie, Colonial Intimacies,
Indian Marriage in Early