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 Indians to constantly move along ahead
of settlers. Their history is of course, far more complex than these
simple sentences can convey.
Much of their history is not written. What history 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
continued well into the 20th 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, and 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 N.C. 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 in various time frames. Intermarriage was frowned
upon. So just how did these people become
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.)
The town of Mystic up river from Groton was destroyed in the first half of
the 1600's by the English who were helping
other tribes to secure the land from the warlike 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. 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.
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.
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 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. In checking the index
against early names in my family lines, which
have been suspected of having native people attached, I found the
following: Dodge, Haskins, Rose, Stephens,
Smith, Wixon and Williams. However, Tyral Newberry is not shown in
Stephens and Holley are also shown in other N.E. tribes. The Mohawk in
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
for not continuing the line backward from 1710
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. There is
however, a Bible
that documents John Newberry circa 1710 owned by his son Jonathan from
1767. (see above)
Jonathan was the brother of our John in Warwick, N.Y. part
of which is transcribed above. Jonathan however did not
detail his parents vital records in the Bible.
Helen Bourne Joy Lee the author
of a book detailing Newberry genealogy in Connecticut has stated
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
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.
In the 1870's Hannah Maria Newberry Morris' son George V. Newberry Morris
attempted to map out the family line.
In a letter dated 1876, Hannah Maria requested from her brothers and
father more information on the family line.
In yet another letter, a collateral family member wrote a letter to George
indicating that his line could be seen in a
publication Newberry Genealogy, The Ancestors and Descendants of
Thomas Newberry of Dorchester, Mass.,
1634 Published for limited circulation by
Bartlett, J. Gardner for John Strong
Newberry, Boston, Mass. 1914.
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. None of which were his own
From some of the work done by
other genealogists it appears that there may be as many as three
lines of Newberry's.
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.
The part of the Newberry
line that was Native American, will not likely have much information
simply because in the
17th century most native people could neither read nor write.
Therefore, all available records would be done by the
English for their own lines, and not those of the indigenous peoples
unless they intermarried. This was not a common
occurrence until the mid 1700's. 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.
After the King Phillip War, it
was common for the victors to ship the warriors away to the West Indies as
To protect themselves, and their families, the native people who remained
vainly tried to assimilate. As the white man
moved further into the interior, their brothers and other tribal
families were to feel the same pressures.
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 marriage.3
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
Anne Marie, Colonial Intimacies,
Indian Marriage in Early