Newberry Family in Connecticut

Our John Newberry I,  and family traveled from Connecticut  in the 1740's to Duchess
County, New York with the Burt family. The Burt family plays along the edges of the
Newberry family history from the 1740's forward. They are mentioned in a family journal
written one hundred years after this migration took place. It mentions two people in it as
Aunt and Uncle Burt. There is no other information explaining the relationship in the family
record. Eddy Newberry married Ruth Burt in the 1760's and moved back to Duchess Co.
Ruth Burt was also the grand daughter of Elder James Benedict who was the father of
Jemima Benedict who married John Newberry in Warwick, N.Y. John was the son of
John and Zerviah Burch  Newberry who were the early settlers in Duchess Co. 

In 1818 Phoebe and James Burt  are witnesses to a will in Warwick, N.Y. for John
Newberry II,.  In Warwick, James Burt is a very prominent citizen and became a Senator.
Are these people those who were referred to as Aunt and Uncle Burt?  We have not
yet figured out how they are related - if in fact they are at all.

I have wondered if the Burch name became Burt at some point?  Is this possibly how
the family has become related to the Burt family in the family journal?  John Newberry
was married to Zurviah Burch, and as you will see in the following information, the
Burch family lived near the Newberry family in Duchess Co.

The researcher is hard pressed to find a lot of information on this Newberry family. 
Both families migrated to the area at the same time, yet the Burt social standing seems to
have been more prominent than the Newberry's.

Another piece of earlier information that has come to light regarding the Burts, was that in
1701 James Burt (ancestor of above James) gave a young Indian woman refuge from her
unkind master (John Smith of Taunton), and went to English court to secure her legal
removal from the previous master's household.1 This took place in New England. This
James Burt is likely a progenitor to the one mentioned above.

When the Newberry's moved to N.Y. their close neighbor was Jonathan Burch who was
also related.  Transcriptions  appear below courtesy of Putnam County Historical Society,

Land of John Newberry in Duchess Co/Putnam Co. N.Y. 
Information acquired from the Putnam County Historical Society – Reg White - historian

December 20th 1780  L2000 Continental

All that Certain tract or parcel of land Situate lying and being in Fredricksburgh
Precinct now in the possession of John Newbury and is Distinguished in a map or field
book these of made by Benjamin Morgan Among other Farms by farm number thirty-
nine Beginning at a Stake the North East Corner of Utters and Benjamins farms,
thence turning South eighty-three Degrees West, Eighteen Chains and Thirty five links
to A Stake and heap of Stones, then North Sixty three Degrees West Twenty four chains
and forty links to two Chestnut Trees Marked, then North Twenty Three Chains to a
Stake and heap of stones, then North Eighty Eight degrees forty five Minutes East forty
eight Chains to a Stake on a Mountain, then South Fourteen Degrees West Thirty four
Chains, to the place of beginning Containing One Hundred and twenty five acres More
or less.

May 1st 1781 L45 . Certificate

All that Certain tract of land Situate in Fredricksburgh Precinct Dutchess County,
whereon John Newberry lives, beginning at a Heap of Stones in the south line of the
Farm, Which is the Southeast Corner of Comfort Ludington’s for or Wood Lott, then
turns North ten degrees East thirty seven chains to a White Oak Rush Marked.  Standing
in the East line of Comfort Ludington’s land, then South Eighty Seven Degrees East
Nineteen chains and Seventy-five links to Jonathan Burches land, then South bounding
on the Said Burches land and John Newberry land Thirty-eight chains to a large Chestnut
tree, which is the southeast Corner of John Newberry’s land the North Eighty-seven
Degrees West, Nineteen Chains to the first  Bounds containing Sixty Acres – More or less.

Why did they migrate?
Another question about the Newberry family that needs solving is their motivation for migrating
to N.Y.  If they were Native American there is one reason that may float.  Christianization
was reaching a fevered pace in colonial New England.  Because of the Englishman's need
of order they felt that if they could convert the Indians, then they could more easily spread
across the land and acquire more acreage.  Because of the problems they encountered
with mortality from the white man's diseases the Indians began to accept Christianity, believing
that if their tribal elders couldn't save their race, then perhaps the English could.

The English trained Indian people in the ministry.  A Mohegan man named Sansom Occum,
took up the collar. Beginning in the 1740's he advised the native races to move to Duchess Co.
N.Y. feeling that they could more easily survive on the frontier with other Christian Indians in
'praying towns'. There were several praying towns run by different religious organizations.
Stockbridge in Massachusetts  was one of the more famous ones.  Also the Moravians had
many of these towns one of the first was in Duchess County and was called Shekemeko.

Occum was trained by Reverend Wheelock's school which eventually became  Dartmouth College.
He encouraged this up until the Revolution, and then again after the fighting had ceased.  The Oneida
offered refuge for many of the people in Massachusetts and Connecticut. A new 'praying town' was
established in Oneida territory, and was called New Stockbridge. Many of those people fought in
the French and Indian Wars and the Revolution.  Oneida territory was a long way from Duchess
County.  So in moving earlier in the century as Occum suggested, the people who abided found a
much different  situation in Southeastern N.Y. than those of the people who moved to Oneida

Tribes prevalent to Dutchess County, N.Y. were the Mahicans, and a related tribe called the
Wappingers - all related to the Mohegans in Connecticut, who in turn were related to the
grandfather tribe - Lenni Lenape or commonly called the Delaware Indians. Contrary to
James Fenimore Cooper's, story, the 'Mohicans' did not become extinct.  The Mahican tribe,
as it is alternately spelled - is alive and well.

John Newberry and Zurviah Burch
Through out this web site the children marked with this symbol
are the the direct descendants from one family to the next.

John Newberry was born August 16, 1710  Groton, New London, Connecticut. 
Died - Franklin, Duchess Co. (area now Putnam Co.) N.Y. April 19, 1809
Married November 26, 1739 – Stonington, Connecticut.  Shown in the 1790
N.Y. census as 'Moberry'.
Zurviah Burch was born June 4, 1713
Stonington, New London, Connecticut.
Died - unknown

Their children are as follows:

1. Jonathan Newberry b. Sept. 3, 1740, Jonathan Newberry’s son Nathaniel Newberry
was a pioneer in Michigan. 

Nathaniel Newberry

2. Joseph Newberry  b. 1741
3. Eddy Newberry b. 1743 married Ruth Burt a childhood friend.  The Burt's traveled
with the Newberry's from Groton.  Eddy went with his brother John to settle in Warwick,
Orange County, N.Y. 

4. John Newberry b. 1746,  married Jemima Benedict daughter of the first Baptist
minister of Warwick who established the Old School Baptist Church. Benedict was
keenly familiar with Joseph Brant who warned him of the impending infamous massacre
(Wyoming Massacre) at Wyoming, PA. Because of Brant's warning Benedict took flight
with his family.

John Newberry was thought to be a trader of some sort, but detailed information is difficult
to find. During the Revolution it is said that John Newberry and family were neutral activists
or Tory's which could indicate some affiliation with tribal elders. During the Revolution, the
Newberry's helped to string the huge chain across the channel of the Hudson river. See
page on Revolution for more information.

5. Elizabeth Newberry   b. Nov. 30, 1771
6. Zurviah Newberry   b. 1751
7. Joshua Newberry   b. 1753
8. Mercy Newberry  b. 1755
9. Zilphia Newberry  b. 1757

The above information was graciously provided by Sherman Boivin, of Santa Rosa, California.

Jonathan Newberry Bible  (see full record here) circa 1769, Original family from Groton,
. Migrated to Duchess, Orange,  Putnam Counties in New York State.

Native American Settlers
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 information.

The surnames they used were probably picked up when they became
Christianized or intermarried. SMITH  for 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 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

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.

Reasons 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 John Newberry cannot be tied to the Newberry’s of Windsor,
.  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 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.


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 by Bartlett, J.
Newberry Genealogy, The Ancestors and Descendants of Thomas Newberry
of Dorchester, Mass., 1634
Published for limited circulation by the Author 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.

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.

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 explained.

"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.

Click here to continue to New York information on the Newberry family

1 Plane, Anne Marie, Colonial Intimacies, Indian Marriage in Early New England.
Cornell University Press, Ithaca and London, 2000.

2 Lee, Helen Joy Bourne, The Newberry's of Connecticut  published 1975.
3 Plane, Anne Marie, Colonial Intimacies, Indian Marriage in Early New England.
Cornell University Press, Ithaca and London, 2000.

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/ Iowa / Exodus to Utah / Utah Hannah's Children / Hannah's Necklace /
/ Family Album / Jonathan Newberry Bible /