Lost Colony, Hyde County and Lumbee Berry Families

I am very hopeful that one of our subscribers can help solve this mystery. As you will see, several members of the Lost Colony Research Group (via the Berry and Lost Colony DNA Project) are working on this puzzle, but we currently need Berry family members ancestral to both Robison and Hyde Counties in North Carolina to DNA test.

There are two Berry families who claim descent from the Lost Colonists of Roanoke Island in 1587, Henry and Richard Berry, who are presumed to be related to each other.

The progenitor of the first line is Henry Berry or O’Berry who is first found owning land in the 1730s in what is today Robison County, NC. This is the Lumbee Berry line. Priscilla Berry Lowery, the unconfirmed sister of Henry Berry/O’Berry reportedly talked about her family’s oral history of descending from Henry Berry, the colonist. I began writing a report about the various pieces of oral history and documentation that surround this legend and that is what started this Berry comparison project. That report is lengthy and will be published in a future Lost Colony Research Group Newsletter as well as on www.nativeheritageproject.com.  The newsletters are free and online for everyone at www.lostcolonyresearch.org although some are currently offline in the process of being reformatted, so check back if one you want to see is missing right now.

We do have two people who believe they descend from this Lumbee Berry line and their DNA does match. We are working with the Berry Family DNA project. This is the group known as the English Colony Berry’s by the Berry family DNA project. Scroll down on this link to find “English Colony Berry Family” — there are seven men in this group, Berry project ID #43, 61, 107, 112, 138, 140, 181.  http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~langolier/BerryDNA/family_dna_results.html

We do not have a Berry from the confirmed Lumbee line, but one of our members is attempting to find one. I do believe this is the correct line. We have one person from Craven County where Henry Berry’s son inherited his land and one from SC where other families from this group were known to have moved.

A second Berry line carries a very strong oral history of descent from Richard Berry, the second Berry colonist. This family is from the New Bern/Hyde County, North Carolina, region. Researcher Faye “Mary” Fulford Moore descends from this line. This family was introduced in 1937 when the Lost Colony play opened as the living descendants of the colonists. Unfortunately, Mary has no living Berry people to test. However, her father used to go to Hyde County when she was young and visit the Berry family there whom he claimed to be related to. One of them was a mortician. Mary’s father also duck hunted with a Mr. Stotesbury whom he also referred to as “cousin.”

Sharron Brace’s father was a Berry, also from Hyde County and this line has DNA tested.

In the Berry DNA project, this is known as the Spartanburg line and it does not match the English Colony Berry Family line to which the Lumbee Berrys are assigned. http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~langolier/BerryDNA/Family_yAncestry/spartanburg_co_sc_yancestry.html

Sharron tracked down the line of the mortician’s family and she cannot prove that this line descends from or is related to her line using documentation alone. We need someone to DNA test that we can prove is genealogically connected to the same line as the mortician, whom Mary’s father said they were related to.

Here is what Sharron found about the mortician’s genealogy:

“The funeral director in Swan Quarter in 1944 was Dan Berry. In the 1930 census I found Daniel Berry, age 44, living on Main Street in Swan Quarter with his wife Noi. At that time he was a general store merchant. He died in September 2, 1959. His father was listed in the death record as James Edward Berry Sr. and his mother was Evelyn Benjamin Williamson. According to Jim Berry’s website, James Edward Berry Sr. is the son of John Berry Jr. and Sally Stotesbury.  John Jr. is the son of John Berry Sr. and Rebecca Benson.  John Berry Sr. born in 1778 is the son of William Berry and Sarah Green.”

The John Berry born in 1778 may or may not be the brother of Sharon Brace’s ancestor, William Berry born in 1786-88 so we still don’t know if the two Berry lines were related.

So, we need a Berry male to take the DNA test who descends from John Berry born in 1778 through any of his son’s lines. I expect this line will match Sharron’s line, but it may not.

If Henry Berry and Richard Berry, the colonists, were indeed brothers or from the same paternal line (like uncle/nephew, etc.) their DNA will match each other, and their descendants DNA will match each other as well.

Sharron’s Hyde County line does not match that of the Henry Berry Lumbee line. The John Berry 1778 Hyde County line could match Sharron’s line, or could match Henry Berry’s line, or could be a completely different line.

What we need is someone to test from the John 1778 line. Because we know that Faye “Mary” Fulford Moore’s Berry family claimed to be related to this Berry line, the person who tests from the Swan Quarter John Berry (1778) line is representing the Richard Berry “potential colonist” line.

Solving this mystery is quite within reach if we can just find and test the right people.  Here’s hoping that the key lies with one of you!

58 thoughts on “Lost Colony, Hyde County and Lumbee Berry Families

  1. Roberta, I have already done the FTDNA mtFamilyFinder testing. My brother has done the 37 marker DNA.
    I don’t understand all the ins and outs of the DNA but after reading the above thought I’d let you know that our GR GR grandparents were a John Moore b. 1796 PA and Susanna Lowery b. 1806 >married in Jan 1827. I can send you our kit numbers if you think they might help out on this. Just struck me as odd that both Lowery and Moore being in the same article was unusual.
    I believe that I have seen the name Estes as a last name among my FF matches.

  2. Roberta I have a friend who lives in Robeson (correct spelling) County, NC who is a Lumbee Indian. I will forward your post to her just in case she may know some ‘genealogy folks’ there to contact or forward this to. Hope this might help.

  3. Roberta, I discovered my 6th g grandfather robert Campbell 1718-1810 married Lucretia Crockett. He was also married to a Jane Allison, is their any DNA on David Crockett descendents?

    W. Sent from my iPhone

    • I don’t know. Check the Crocket DNA project and see what people list as their oldest ancstor. I have Campbell’s too and thought it was this line for a long time, but it wasn’t. But my line is horribly brick-walled.

  4. Henry Berry Lowry was my dad’s great-uncle. His proper name was Lowry not Berry. Ther are some Berrys over in the Elrod Or the Union communities. Come to Robeson county and you’ll get a lot of info. Contact Billy Lowry Jr. In Pembroke, NC.
    /

  5. I believe I found my ancestrial line to Henry O Berry. In doing research Samuel J. Berry lived in Marion Count, SC. If I’m correct Henry O. Berry is his grandson. He moved to louisiana where my family now resides.

    • Jackie, you mentioned before, I think, that your family story is that you are descended from the colonists. Could you share what that story says, exactly. You can e-mail me at robertajestes@att.net. I’m trying to see if the stories in peoples families are alike and if they contain any info I might be able to track down.

  6. My grandfather resides in Swan Quarter. John Berry Sr was his great great grandfather and he is interested in your project.

  7. I would like to find out if i am indian. I am from northern maine i was told that i was indian but have no idea how to go about this . could you please give some information on how i should start or a place i can go for dna testing .

  8. I hope this project will continue to make progress.
    Note that the y-DNA of descendants of a John Henry Berry (born about 1706 in Virginia) match the y-DNA of descendants of an Andrew Berry (born about 1710 in South Carolina). John Henry’s family is rumored to start with a George that came from England, but they ended up in the same North/South-Carolina border region as their cousins in Andrew’s family. Who knows what the connection is?

  9. Hi, my name is Mack Berry, I have traced back our direct decedents to the Spartanburg s.c. Line to 1798. In short I want to take a DNA test to verify my origins. Can you point me in the right direction to do so to contribute to this project. Thanks

  10. I am a member of the Lumbee Tribe of North Carolina. I have been researching my ancestry and have found Priscilla Berry in a few of my lines. In one, she is my 7th great grandmother… In another, she is my 8th great grandmother. Is there a way that I or anyone in my family could help with this project?

  11. My wife is a 4th great-granddaughter of Andrew Berry of Marion, S.C.. She is a descendant of his son Henry Berry. Would a DNA sample, albeit from a female of the line, be helpful to the project?

  12. My granddaughters are descendants of the Rev War Patriot, Robert Berry. His wife was Amelia Hays. He had a son named John Berry Lowrie (Surname spelling??) They were from No. Carolina.. Can anyone tell me if they know these names and where did the middle name of Berry come from? If so, would you please contact me at: spirit76es@gmail.com. Thanks, Ellie S.

  13. I am a decendant of Henry O’Berry who owned land on the Raft Swamp in NC. He had a son, James O’Berry who moved to McIntosh Co. in GA. While in GA, he sold his inheritance of the land on Raft Swamp. James had a son also named James O’Berry who had a son named Solomon O’Berry. Solomon had several sons including my ancestor Wilson Connor O’Berry who was killed during Shermans march through GA. Wilson Connor had a son also named Wilson Connor O’Berry who settled in Western Ware Co. GA after the war and had three sons, Benjamin Franklin O’Berry (my great-gf), David Ebeneezer O’Berry, and John Green O’Berry. There are many O’Berry’s in Ware Co. GA directly related to the Henry Berry/O’Berry from Robeson Co NC.

    “1771, Oct. 3, pp. 316-317: Solomon Johnston of Parish of St. Mathew in the Prov. of Georgia, to Hugh Brown of Bladen Co., N.C. for L 60 proc. money…..land on S side Raft Swamp, part of 600 acres granted to HENRY OBERRY 8 Oct. 1748, and by deed from JAMES OBERRY to Solomon Johnston….Solomon Johnston (seal), Wit: THOMAS KERSEY, JAMES OBERRY, Thomas Meacham, Bladen Co., N.C. Court of 1771, prov. by Thomas Caraway. Maturin Colville, C.C.”

    see http://lumbee-genealogy.org/oberry.htm

    Tracy White

    • Hello,
      I am also the GG Grand of Benjamin Franklin O’Berry. My Grandfather WC O’Berry lived right down the lane from him in Millwood, Ware Co. I knew him personally. He died in 79 when I was 8 years old. I remember him. Did you ever hear back from this project? I am very curious about this!
      Thanks,
      Winnie Davis

  14. Pingback: DNAeXplain Archives – General Information Articles | DNAeXplained – Genetic Genealogy

  15. I am from the south , north Carolina Berry’s And would like to hear more about this and participate in anyway possible

  16. Hi My 4 times great grandfather is John Berry that married Edith Ann Polk in the 1700’s just trying to see if this is was in the same family. This party of the family are the ones from Mississippi. What kind of DNA are you needing?

  17. I wrote earlier but I didn’t get any responses. My granddaughters are descendants of Robert Berry Lowrie/Lowrey, who is a DAR Patriot.. The father of my granddaughter is still alive; perhaps his DNA would be of help. Contact me at: Spirit76es@gmail.com

    • I believe the Lowry line has tested. If you have a male Berry, that would be wonderful. Autosomal DNA is always useful regardless of whether the paternal Y line has tested or not. That is the Family Finder test at Family Tree DNA. So, the answer is yes.

  18. I am looking for information on James O’Berry b. 1787 in Effingham County, Ga. Any insofar matin would be greatly appreciated.

  19. I am a direct descendant of Samuel J. Berry and Nancy Jane George of South Carolina. Who moved to Georgia Then to Louisiana where most were living but have passed away in Marthasville, Louisiana. My linage is Samuel J. Berry, George Washington Berry, George Washington Henry berry, Elmer Berry, George J. Berry, And Mark A. Berry myself and my brother Kenneth L. Berry . The reason I wrote is my father was the family historian who I asked to write down every person in or family he could remember and those in residence in the Marthasville, Louisiana cemetery. Which he did. However on one page he wrote my fathers (Elmer’s) indian blood line. I thought he got it wrong since his wife was Half Choctaw indian . Now I believe he had it right and I wonder if he was referring to the Tuscarora Indians. which if I am not mistaken is where the berry Lumbee or is it Lowry line or native American. I once had a Tuscarora Native ask me if I was a descendant of the tribe and I stated I don’t know.

    • Im 3/16 Choctaw and trying to find out more about my Sir Name Berry. I don’t know much just I do have a cdib card and my grandpas mother was Choctaw. My grandfather is Turner Arthur Berry Jr.

  20. What is the status of this project? I am a male defendant of the Berry clan who have lived on both sides of the border of NC (Robeson county) and SC (Dillon county). I still have male cousins living who carry the Berry surname in this area. Ironically their father’s name is Henry. They reside in Hamer, SC which borders Robeson county in NC.

  21. My sister and I have been researching our ancestry lines and have found Priscilla Berry whom was married to James Lowie. She is our 9th great grandmother. Can we be tested to see if there is any connections?

  22. Hi I’m Mary Ruth Chavis my dad is Ernest Chavis his mom is Reddie Chavis her mom is Polly lowery her dad is “Henry Berry Lowery “. Please contact me any time !! Very interested in this (443)783-9723 thank you

  23. Im Jason Berry trying to figure out what line of berry’s I come from. My grandfathers name was Turner Arthur Berry Jr. He lived in Oklahoma. He was half Choctaw his mother was an original enrollee her name was Mary Jane Berry (Collins) I believe. Any Ideas out there?

  24. My name is Mark Berry. I don’t know if my family could be one that you are looking for but would be interesting in finding out.

  25. Is there still a need to test ‘ Berry’ DNA
    I am the daughter of a Berry from Hyde County. I have two brothers.
    My Dad had two brothers & they each have sons.

    Thank you

  26. Hi. I am researching my ggg grandfather John Henry Berry and his wife Sarah Baxter who I have found in Barnwell County, South Carolina in 1850. Is there any connection?

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