Whispers - Beginning the Search
   The Newberry story as I know it  began when my family whispered rumors of our Native American heritage.
    I decided to make a point of finding out what I could and hoped to renew knowledge of my heritage and family,
   with pride.

    My Great Great Grandmother, Hannah Maria Newberry Morris made a last photographic record of herself  which
    hung in my Great Grandmother's home until her death in 1931.The photo mysteriously disappeared, but through
    detective work I located another copy that I have used in this study.

   The photo showed her
as an elderly gray haired, work worn woman in her 60's.  She is wearing a curious necklace
   which was purported to be Native American in origin, and supposedly bear claw.  I have stared at that photo for hours
   trying to see the bear claws to no avail.  I finally decided to start asking questions of people who might have more
   information. The necklace has been the only solid clue to her ethnicity. I have found several people who have assured
   me that it is indeed a Native American  'family necklace'. More on that later. 

   At the same time I started querying people in N.Y. state about my relatives and found many willing people who have
   gifted me with huge amounts of research on the family. Ditto for family in Iowa.

   Our Newberry's lived reclusive lives in an effort to protect  their children. They hid their  Native American heritage to
   escape persecution and the prospect of extinction. They intermarried with and lived as white men and avoided speaking
   of their heritage. Wherever they went, they only spoke in half-truths to avoid the treatment forced upon their tribal
   cousins. Events such as the Trail of Tears, and numerous other death marches forced on the tribes by a land hungry
   civilization, required them to hide their ethnicity or risk continued genocide.

   Hannah's parents set out from Warwick, N.Y. for the Ohio frontier around 1819. They headed for "Western Reserve",
   a part of Ohio that was set aside by the Connecticut Land Company for people who were leaving the east. This land
   was supposed to be reserved for people who lost their land in the east for one reason or another. Someday we hope
   to know our family's reasons. Hannah's parents specifically sold their ownership in the inherited family land to
   siblings, who in turn eventually disposed of it..

   Hannah Maria Newberry was born in Strongsville, Ohio on March 23, 1823. However, the whole story begins
   generations before she is born, in Connecticut and New York.
Her father James Newberry born in N.Y. in 1791 was
   probably from Iroquoian or Delaware stock, and her mother Mary Smith, Northern Cherokee.  By this time many of
   the tribes had intermarried with white men and the Newberry's claimed to be Caucasian in the early (1790) census
  records. In some cases it is the information that is missing that is most telling!

   Physical characteristics have diminished through each succeeding generation. However, a friend of mine who is a
   Cherokee Elder believes,

                                         "the heart contains the flame that shelters our ethnicity,
                                                         no matter our physical appearance."                                                                      

   The necklace has lead me on a saga of intrigue, and continues to fuel the fire to find more information. I hope you will
   enjoy the information as it is presented.

The necklace         home

  Other Topics and Destinations:

   Newberry Researcher's Corner - BRICK WALLS