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The Berry Surname of Devon, England

The Berry family lived in the county of Devon, where the family settled after arriving in England with William the Conquerer at the time of the Norman Conquest of England.  The name is derived from the phrase “at the bury”, which has evolved to the more modern term “borough”.  The surname of Berry was first found in Devon, in the parish of Berry-Pomeroy and before that Berry (or Berri) was the appellation of one of the old provinces of France.  The surname Berry was most numerous in Lancashire England and afterwards in the counties of Northampton, Warwick, and Devon.  “Berry” was the name of a Devonshire parish, while Bury was the name of towns and localities in Lancashire, Suffolk, etc.

The historical motto of the Berry family found on the family crest is “Nihil sine labore”, meaning “Nothing without labour.”

Berrynarbor is a village in Devon, England.  As of 2011, the total population was only 802.  The town has a small school and a small village shop run by volunteers.  There are a few other shops on a camp-site and in a camping park.  There are also two pubs called “Ye Olde Globe” and “The Sawmill Inn”.  There are some guest houses and tea rooms, a church, and Watermouth Castle (where the Berry family were Lords of the manor when it was called Berrie Nerbert).  The ancestors of the Berry family came from here and lived in Devon, England for at least 500 years before the first immigrant to America, 400 of which years were in the town of Berrynarbor.







Wilhelmus Nerbert de Bury – (b. abt 1160 · Berrynarbor, Devon, England)  Sometime during the reign of King John of England (1199-1216), the manor of Berrie-Nerbert (today called Watermouth Castle) was held by John de Lidford, William Beckleigh, and Henry Annet.  But the manor was an inheritance due to be passed on to Wilhelmus Nerbert de Bury, through Berry ancestors, the Penris (or Penrhys) family (whose arms they quartered).  The ancient name of the place was “Bury”.  The castle was inherited, but not occupied by Wilhelmus.  His son Ralf later took possession.

Ralf (Ralph) de Bury/Biry/Berry – (b. abt 1188 · Berrynarbor, Devon, England)  During the reign of King Henry III of England (sometime between 1216-1272), Ralf de Berry was the first to come into possession, through his father’s inheritance, of the manor of Berrynarbor, then called Berrie Nerbert.  The Berry family went on to remain Lords of Berrynarbor until 1708 when the male line of heirs became extinct.  The last to be Lord of Berrynarbor in this direct paternal line of the family was Nicholas Berry, Lord of Berrynarbor and Martinhoe (b. 1487, d. 1565).  After Nicholas Berry, the male descendant/ancestors of this direct family line were not the eldest males, and thus not in line to be heir to manor.  The property was sold in 1712 to the Bassett family of Watermouth.  The original manor house that the Berry’s lived in is adjoined to the church and is still standing today.  Since the acquisition by the Bassett’s, the Berry manor house, (which had previously been a beautiful mansion, but after years of neglect and pillaging, as of the mid to late 1800s came to be dilapidated) was used for a time as a farm house.  The Berry manor house as of the late 1800s was still used by the parish to house an annual feast on the first Sunday following St. Peter’s Day.  The church and manor house still house some ancient monuments of the Berry family.  In 1825, the main castle was erected, which was later renovated and converted to an amusement park, with the living quarters now used as rented apartments/hotels.

Galfridus (Geoffroy) de Berry – (b. abt 1225 · Berrynarbor, Devon, England), married to Editha – (b. abt 1230 · England)

William de Berry, Lord of Berrynarbor – (b. abt 1255 · Berrynarbor, Devon, England), married to Clarisa

Johannes (John) de Berry – (b. abt 1285 · Berrynarbor, Devon, England), married to Elizabeth

Ricardus (Richard) de Berry, Lord of Berrynarbor – (b. abt 1315 · Berrynarbor, Devon, England), married to Agnetta (Agnes) de Bolkwart – (b. abt 1318 · England, daughter of Lawrence de Bolkwart)

Johannes (John) de Berry – (b. abt 1345 · Berrynarbor, Devon, England / d. abt 1410), married to Maria van Lathem – (b. 1345 / d. 1415)

William de Berry – (abt 1367-1370 · Berrynarbor, Devon, England), married to Isabel de Penrise – (b. btw 1367-1373 )

John (Jenkin) Berry, Lord of Berrynarbor – (b. abt 1395-1397 · Berrynarbor, Devon, England), married Elizabeth (b. abt 1397)

John Berry of Berrynarbor – (b. abt 1420 · Berrynarbor, Devon, England), married Elizabeth Fulleigh – (b. abt 1423, daughter of John Fulleigh)

Thomas Berry of Berrynarbor – (b. abt 1450 or 1457 · Berrynarbor, Devon, England) (d. 20 Apr 1493 · Berrynarbor, Devon, England), married Anna Margaretta Regina Pedissiqua – (b. abt 1457 · Berrynarbor, Devon, England) (d. abt 1493 · England).  Anna Margaretta Regina Pedissiqua, was a Lady in Waiting to Queen Margaret of Anjou (the wife of Henry VI).  Pedissiqua was not Anna’s surname and her parents are unknown.  The word “Pedissiqua” was used to describe the women that accompanied the Queen on foot when she was out walking.

Nicholas Berry, Lord of Berrynarbor and Martinhoe – (b. 1487 · Berrynarbor, Devon, England) (d. 02 July 1565 · Berrynarbor, Devon, England), married Elizabeth Bowden (b. abt 1490 · Bradwill, Devon, England) (d. abt 1579 · Berrynarbor, Devon, England).  Nicholas married Elizabeth Bowden (daughter of John Brudwell Bowden) in 1504 when he was 17 years old and Elizabeth was 14 years old in Berienderbor, Devon, England.

John Thomas Berry (also found in some lines spelled Berrye/Bary/Berrie) – (b. 1518 · Selling, Kent, England) (d. 17 Sept 1576 · Selling, Kent, England), married Agnes Rayney-Berry-Cox – (b. abt 1520 · Selling, Kent, England)

Thomas Berry (also found in some lines spelled Berrye/Bary/Berrie) – (b. 07 Apr 1556 · St. Nicholas Cole Abbey, London, England) (d. 02 Feb 1623 · England), married Margaret Elizabeth Warde Brooke – (b. 08 Mar 1561 · St. Leonard, Eastcheap, London, England) (d. 10 Oct 1634 · Grace Church, London, England).  Thomas married Margaret Elizabeth Warde Brooke on 02 December 1582 in Great Berkhapstead, Hertfordshire, England.  Thomas had only one child with her, Johan Cutting, that was born in 1583.  He had 3 other children with a woman named Margery Bull (Thomas, Elizabeth, and Edward).  When Thomas died in 1623, he was buried at Almondbury, All Hallows, Yorkshire, England, likely at the Huddersfield All Hallows Church Cemetery.

Sir Johan (John) Cutting Berry – (b. 19 Apr 1583 · St. Gregory by St. Paul, London, England) (d. 01 Apr 1622 · Lancaster, Lancashire, England), married Lady Susannah Philbrick (b. abt 1584 · New Castle, Lancashire, England) (d. abt 1645 · Portsmouth, Rockingham, New Hampshire, USA).  Johan married the Lady Susannah in 1609 in England, when he was 26 years old and she was 25 years old.

[MYTH BUSTED : Some of the Berry family that immigrated from Devon England lived in Roanoke, Virginia and are named as some of those that were part of the famous mysteriously disappeared lost colony of Roanoke.  However, the descendents of this direct line were not those that went on to Roanoke.  The ancestor of one Berry line (a Lumbee line) that was in Roanoke was Henry Berry.  The other line was descended from Richard Berry.  Henry and Richard are thought to have been brothers.  The colony of Roanoke “disappeared” between 1587-1590, when the ancestors of our Berry line were still in England.  The Henry Berry of our family line was not born in Devon until 1628.  Henry and Richard were likely related in some way to our Berry line from Devon, as there is only one identified Berry family in that area during that time.  But Henry and Richard would have likely been cousins of our family.  An interesting fact is that there was also a Polk family in the disappeared lost colony (that was featured in the 6th season of the popular television series “American Horror Story”).  Berry descendants married Polk descendants in the 1800s and 1900s, but neither of our direct lines were part of the lost colony.  Through a ftDNA “Lost Colony Family” DNA GEDCOM project, descendent Kimberly Berry (b. 1973) was matched to 60 other Berry’s that were also identified to be distantly related to the Berry’s of Roanoke.]

William Henry Berry, Sr.  (IMMIGRANT) – (b. 1610 · Newcastle, Lancashire, England) (d. 28 June 1654 · Strawberry Bank, Rockingham County, New Hampshire, USA), married Jane Lock Hermins (IMMIGRANT) – (b. 09 Dec 1611 · Fletching, Sussex, England) (d. 1687 · Portsmouth, Rockingham County, New Hampshire, USA).  During the “Great Migration” between 1620 and 1640, thousands of English immigrated to America, which led to the establishment of the first 13 colonies.  William Henry Berry and Jane Lock Hermins (daughter of Thaddeus John Hermins and Jane Locke), came to America 1631, planning to arrive in New Hampshire with Captain John Mason.  John Mason was famous for being the founder of the New Hampshire Colony.  He and Sir Ferdinando Gorges received a patent from the Council for New England for all of the territory lying between the Merrimack and Kennebec rivers, which they divided with Mason receiving the southern portion.  But Mason never actually set foot in New Hampshire as he died the same year he was preparing for his first voyage to the new colony.  Ferdinando Gorges had been a military commander and governor of the port of Plymouth in England.  He was involved in the unsuccessful Essex’s Rebellion against Queen Elizabeth I of England in 1601, but escaped punishment by testifying against the main conspirators.  Gorges, like Mason, also never set foot in the New World.  The territory divided between Mason and Gorges were separated such that the portion granted to Gorges would come to be Maine and the portion granted to Mason would come to the New Hampshire.  It is unknown who captained the ship that brought William and Jane to America, but they settled in Mason’s colony of New Hampshire.  William and Jane remarried in Portsmouth, Rockingham County, New Hampshire in 1635.  Five years later, having been among the principal settlers and inhabitants of Portsmouth (along with Governor Francis Williams), William obtained a deed of 50 acres of land, ¾ of which was in Strawberry Bank, Rockingham County, New Hampshire.  On 31 January 1648, William was granted additional land in Sandy Beach (now Rye), New Hampshire.  Then on 13 January 1654, he was granted another 40 acres of land in Sandy Beach.  William died in Strawberry Bank in 1654 and was buried at the William Berry Family Cemetery in Portsmouth.  Jane later married again on 08 July 1678 to Nathaniel Drake and she died in 1687 in Portsmouth.

Henry Berry, Sr. (IMMIGRANT) – (b. 26 Oct 1628 · Devon, England) (d. Jan 1677 · Occupacia Creek, Old Rappahannock [now Essex County], Virginia, USA), married Ann Saunders – (b. abt 1635 · Lancaster County, Virginia, USA) (d. abt 1677 · Rappahannock County, Virginia, USA).  Henry Berry, Sr., was an immigrant born in Devon, England in 1628.  His parents, William Henry Berry and Jane Lock Hermins came to America in 1631, when Henry was 3 years old, but they left him behind in England.  Henry later came to America when he was 22 years old in a group of colonists led by Richard Lawson in 1650.  He married Ann Saunders (daughter of Edward Saunders II and Mary Thomas) the same year he arrived to America.  Ann’s parents were born in Devon, England but had come to America in 1635.  Edward and Mary Saunders married their daughter Ann to Henry Berry when she was 15 years old and Henry was 22 years old.  On 27 February 1656, Henry received a land patent in Occupacia Creek for 140 acres.  In his will dated 30 March 1672 in Old Rappahannock, Virginia, the executor of Henry’s estate was his friend Robert Peck.  Henry left his friend William Herton 100 acres of his land.  He left his wife Ann 1/3 of the remainder of the estate, with the rest divided equally among Henry and Ann’s children.  He also left 2 cows to a girl named Jane Stowe and 1 cow to a man named John Rolt.

John William Berry (First BERRY born in America) – (b. 22 May 1650 · St. Paul’s Parish, King George County, Virginia, USA) (d. 02 June 1721 · Hanover Parish, King George County, Virginia, USA), married Margaret Daughty (b. 1675) (d. 1719).  John was the first Berry to be born in America, in St. Paul’s Parish, King George County, Virginia.  In 1680, at the age of 30, he was living in King George County, Virginia, which was along the banks of the Potomac River on the north and Rappahannock River on the south, and was settled in the 1680’s.  John was a white man of British descent married to Margaret Daughty on 05 May 1686.  But by 1693 he was living in York County, Virginia and had a son that year, with Mary Jewell-Cuttillo (a “mollotto” woman).  Mary Jewell-Cuttillo was the daughter of Abram Cuttillo and Katherine Jewell-Pond.  Abram Cuttillo was the first African in the Berry line of the family and was from Ndongo, Huambo, Angola, Africa.  The son that the British John William Berry had with Mary Jewell-Cuttillo’s name was registered with the county at the time of his birth as James Cuttillo.  As he grew older, he came to be known as “Old James Berry”, becoming the first “Berry” of African descent in this family line.


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