Historical research
   from century to century . . .  

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Please visit my new historical research web site at: www.worldwidenewburghproject.com


Publishing update:  May 22, 2014

In the July 2014 issue of the Connecticut Society of Genealogists publication, The Connecticut Nutmegger; my article about the Newberry family of colonial Connecticut will appear. The article is titled, “The Resurrection of John Newberry – Hanged Man of Windsor.” It is about a young man from a prominent family who found himself in very hot water when he confessed to an unsavory crime. Historians took the word of one man’s diary to pronounce him hanged in December 1647. Like so many historical accounts, this one proved to be a cover job instigated by his family. In reality, he was banished back to England after the New Year in 1648. The article details the documents that prove his survival. After July, the article will be available for download from this web site.

RESEARCH UPDATE  April 5, 2014

In the past seven years, I have worked with my colleagues in England following my passion for the Newburgh family. It has been an amazing journey, but the goal of finding our root family in England (Richard Newbury of Malden, MA. - d. 1685) still eludes my efforts. In the past few years, I have found a few clues that led me to believe I finally had the answer, but then, that ONE SEMINAL piece of information has always been just out of reach, rather like a carrot on a stick. 

To briefly recap, over the past half-decade we have secured and translated hundreds of documents. We began by retracing the steps of Joseph Gardner Bartlett’s, The Newberry Genealogy to see what research he may have missed. When the first round of re-worked 17th century wills did not provide answers, we decided that there could have been inaccuracies in medieval history. That is when we mounted a DNA study of the Newberry surname, focusing on New England immigrants.


One anomaly in our DNA testing captured my attention. In studying the YDNA tests, there are two main haplotypes. One is termed I1 and the other is R1b; which, thus far, is the more common of the two. In comparing results IF
R1b is the more common, it may help prove a theory I have been working on with regard to the medieval heirs of East Lulworth and perhaps eventually our Richard Newbury. 

A medieval family drama may be at the root of the dissimilar haplotypes and may in the future be of monumental importance to separating the family lines properly. 

Some medievalists will tell you feudal inheritance laws were static and were  rigidly followed to the letter. Others cautiously disagree, knowing families often found creative means to retain their power and lands. Solid proof is always preferable to conjecture, but in the case of John Newburgh, Esq., a queer set of circumstances have led me to believe the Newburgh family was often engaged in political difficulties that threatened their armigerous standing. However, much of this circumstantial evidence has been overlooked by past historians, in favor of following static feudal law. In some of the documents I have studied, subtle departures from conventional, boiler plate legal language and law practice also occurs.

Around 2009 we began looking at the Newburgh/Beaumont family from the time of William the Conqueror (1066) going forward up until 1484. When we studied John Newburgh, Esq.’s kin from 1402 to 1484; we realized some of the records weren't reflecting what was previously written about the family. It appears there was a breach in family harmony (perhaps political in origin) during the ‘War of the Roses’.  

It appears John Newburgh’s step-son William was conveniently aliased into the Newburgh family as heir, when in fact, he was actually fathered by Alice Carent's first husband John Westbury. Alice was John Newburgh’s second wife. In attempting to keep within the law of feudal primogeniture, some scholars have suggested that William was a base child produced between Alice and John before their marriage in 1449. I find this idea difficult to believe, in view of the DNA results we have collected and other records we have studied. Admittedly, these results are but a speck of dust upon the larger picture. However, if these results are indicative of the truth, the Newburgh family may have fractured into two lines, one from the earls of Warwick, and the other from Alice Carent Westbury’s first husband, via the aliasing of her son William as a Newburgh before 1460. It is my belief this was done to protect Alice's dower rights.  Her family line was important enough to engender any change they saw fit in maintenance of their power.  

Additionally, William was a knight, and was probably regarded as a hero. He was martyred on the field of battle at Tewkesbury after seeking sanctuary in the abbey.  

Incredibly, it appears that William’s aliased status, took priority over the blood line of John Newburgh, Esq. Many historians will not deviate from the accepted law of primogeniture which says; only first sons could be legal heirs to the great estates of England. But what’s to say that the first son’s position could not be adjusted to fit the course a family wanted to create; especially if the rightful heir’s politics deviated from that of his father and family? This is what I think happened during the 15th century at E. Lulworth.

Ultimately, the non-blooded son William and his descendants became the heirs of the E. Lulworth fortune. In succeeding generations, E. Lulworth and many of the attendant manors were lost due to the fact that no male heir was produced after 1484. In prior generations, the Newburghs had a strong predilection toward producing male heirs who smoothly carried the family estates through the centuries via acceptable primogeniture. Only if the male heir was deceased, did a female become heir. Prior to the 15th century this happened only one time when two male heirs died in succession and their sister became heiress to the earldom of Warwick.  

As mentioned, extant documents suggest there was a family disagreement, specific to John Newburgh junior, who was born to Edith Newburgh, the first wife of John Newburgh, Esq. Then after their marriage in 1449, William Newburgh emerges as the heir to the E. Lulworth estate. Strangely, he is not mentioned ANYWHERE before 1460. Of course, this is but a brief summary of the records, and there is much more evidence pointing to the Westbury alias.  

The true heir, John Newburgh junior, suffered inexorably at the hands of William’s heirs and his own brother Thomas. Unfortunately, we may never have documented proof, but innuendo recorded in the historical record time and again points squarely to this theory. John junior appeared to support King Edward IV when it was unpopular in the West Country.  A Cambridge scholar has suggested with the information we have already uncovered that perhaps the final clue can be found in Royal Pardon Rolls.

This brings me back to our New England forefather Richard Newbury of Malden, MA. If final research bears out my theories, we may be closer to understanding where Richard came from. I BELIEVE that he is from the line that goes back to the earls of Warwick, from the natural born son(s) of John Newburgh. 

After 1484, the records show that the Newburgh name metamorphosed into Newbury and Newberry. At his death, John Newburgh, Esq.’s two (living) sons were John Junior and Thomas. It was their descendants who began using the NEWBURY spelling shortly after the death of the family patriarch. Before this period of transition, the name was conventionally spelled Newburgh/Neuburgh. John Junior died at Turnerspuddle in 1497. His son and descendant Roger, was called NEWBURY. Thomas was in Berkeley, Somerset where his family was known as NEWBOROUGH. There is still a lot of information to wade through concerning these splintered brothers. 

Finally, it is important to note that research is becoming much more expensive than it used to be. Since 2011, acquisition of documents from the TNA has jumped in price from £15 to £25 per scanned document. The exchange rate varies, but just one document can cost almost $40 U.S. dollars. Only a few people have an interest in the English roots of Richard Newbury of Malden. I hope with this summarized background information, you will be sufficiently curious in the outcome. If you have an interest, and would like to assist in obtaining more documents, please let me know.

THE MEDIEVAL NEWBURGH FAMILY OF EAST LULWORTH, DORSET

John Newburgh Esq. of East Lulworth, Dorset, was the son of Sir John Neuburgh and Lady Joan Delamare.* This family traces its line back to the first six generations of the earls of Warwick. Continuing back in time, the family was known as Beaumont or Bellomont, and were cousins of the Conqueror, and counts of Meulan (Mellent) in Normandy. The Newburgh family was described as 'right ancient'? by Fuller, and for good reasons.  

The aim of this monograph is to revisit some of the published inaccuracies relating to the fifteenth century medieval Dorset family who had additional holdings in Somerset, Wilts and Kent. Original documents from the British National Archives and the Dorset Record Office have been acquired and painstakingly re-translated. Some of these documents have never been accessed or were misunderstood by previous historians. Now, complicated mysteries have been uncovered and in most cases adequately solved. We begin with Sir John Newburgh, patriarch of the 15th century Newburgh dynasty.

Sir John Newburgh, senior's Inquisition Post Mortem (IPM) cited that his son John Jr. (Esq.) was born 7 July, 3 Henry IV (1402). His mother was Joan Delamare, daughter of Sir John Delamare, Lord of Nunney Castle and head of the family in Wilts and Somerset. Sir John Newburgh (Nebourgh) had an illustrious career as a knight and Member of Parliament (MP) until about 1439. He was born circa 1372, and died 20 March 1444, leaving the family legacy to his son John, who from then on would be known as John Newburgh, Esquire.

John Newburgh Esquire (b. 1402-1484) Lord of East Lulworth

Throughout his life, John Newburgh acquired significant land holdings via inheritance, marriages, political manoeuvering and various suits. His circle of associates were considered some of the most powerful, learned and pious men of the West Country. The West Country gentry stuck together through decades of political upheaval and the Wars of the Roses. Known as Lord of East Lulworth, John Newburgh's decease commenced the decline of the Dorset family line.

Eight decades after his birth, he died on the 'Thursday after the Feast of Annunciation,' 27 March 1483/84, 1 Richard III. The details available about his life are impressive. His tenacious attitude toward maintaining the ancient nobility of his primogeniture is staggering and filled with intrigue. Yet, he made an interesting choice in promoting his stepson ahead of his natural born sons. Because of this, the significant familial land holdings he garnered during his eighty years began to erode at his death. The family name noticeably changed and declined during the reign of Henry VIII, and by 1530, Thomas Howard, 3rd Duke of Norfolk took possession of many Newburgh holdings including the Castle at East Lulworth. Howard's son married a descendant whose direct blood line was not actually related to the esteemed BEAUMONT family. Erosion of the family estates continued during the reign of Henry VIII. At the dissolution, the famous Cistercian abbey of Bindon, founded by the Newburghs was dissolved and torn down. Eventually the original castle was demolished by Thomas Howard, Viscount of Bindon, and replaced with the castle/hunting lodge that stands in its stead today, truly erasing the Newburghs of East Lulworth.

New England in the 17th century

In 1995 I began researching and writing about my ancestors who colonized New England in the 17th century. As more people immigrated to America, old settler families pushed further into the interior of Connecticut and New York. By the 19th century they began migrating further west into the Connecticut Western Reserve. Most of my time has been spent studying Newberry clan, who originated in New York and traveled with the Mormons during their search for religious freedom.

After working in the American records for several years, I wanted to try something new, so I hopped the Pond and went all the way to England, journeying back in time to the early Medieval period, where I have spent the past four years. Once again, I discovered time travel is definitely possible. This period is actually right up my alley, since the art and history of the Renaissance was my emphasis at the University of Utah.

In ancient England, the Newberry family was descended from the Bellemont/Beaumont family of Normandy. They arrived in England with William the Conqueror. Roger Bellemont's son took the name de Novo Burgo, which means new place or village, and was the name of the castle where he was born in Normandy.** Using this moniker separated him from the rest of the Bellemont family, which later helped to spotlight the accomplishments of his descendants. Known for their extensive Dorset holdings, the Neuburgh name began to slip into extinction, or evolve, at the death of John Neuburgh, Esq. who died in 1484 at Lulworth Castle at East Lulworth on the Jurrasic Coast. Some of the family relocated to Somerset where other Bellemonts earlier had held sway. Some generations are missing or have been confused because of the medieval gentry's adoration for the forename John.

My main objective has been to identify a specific medieval line that went missing sometime around 1478, and which may be the link to the Devon families of Newberry. I am exploring clues that have previously been misunderstood in ancient sources such as cartularies, heraldry, chancery records, fines, wills and inquisitions post mortem. Fortunately, several knowledgeable colleagues who have experience in the English records, and degrees in the ancient history of England, have fallen in beside me to follow this fascinating family.

The 16th and 17th century Newberry clan inhabited parts of Devon that border modern day Dorset and were formerly part of the same until the mid 19th century. In most circles, all the surname permutations are thought to be part of the early armigerous Neuburgh family of Dorset.

Jumping ahead to New England and the "Great Migration" from the West Country of Dorset/Devon, some old assumptions begin to fall apart.  John Newburgh's pedigree was published by genealogist Joseph Gardner Bartlett, in his 1914 work The Newberry Genealogy. Bartlett's work has recently come under intense scrutiny and criticism. As early as 1925, the College of Arms informed him of errors in the pedigree. Since that time, little attention has been given to the inaccuracies discussed between Bartlett and Sir A.T. Butler. Unfortunately, the Internet continues to promulgate his errors.

Another man named Richard Newberry was also living in Massachusetts by 1643. Recent DNA evidence (one test so far) suggests the two men were probably not related; however, additional tests will be needed to verify this. Another individual who was part of the colonial experiment was Rev. Walter Newburgh, who was thought to be related to both the Newberry men that settled in New England. Rev. Newburgh, however, never made it to America. He died in 1631. 

The "Father of New England," William White was close friends with Rev. Newburgh, who was recognized among those who helped finance the first immigrants to New England. A group of gentry and merchants formed an organization known as the Dorchester Adventurers.  Newburgh is listed among those who moved the immigration experiment forward under the direction of White who led the Puritans.

A colonial case I have been studying involves young John Newberry, who at the age of nineteen was said to have hanged in Windsor, Connecticut for a distasteful crime. This son of Thomas Newberry, whom 19th century historians declared as dead, was actually banished - back to England. For three and a half centuries his demise was based on five unclear words scrawled in the back of a diary penned by a man named Matthew Grant. Digging into records on both sides of The Pond, I have been able to reconstruct some of what actually happened to John Newberry, Hanged Man of Windsor. I am currently seeking a venue to publish this story. My interest was piqued after reading the Roger Wollcott Papers, noting important points Bartlett had missed in his investigation of the same.  See below.

Current Project:

In 2013-14, I will be publishing a book titled, Two Castles, The Newburgh Legacy 1400-1485. This is a study of the medieval Dorset Newburgh family, who descended from the Earls of Warwick. The focus of the book is on the society and family of John Newburgh, Esq. who after a long tenure as the Lord of Lulworth Castle, died in 1484, The book will cover not only his family, but the friends and associates who surrounded him at his death.  New details on his pedigree will be revealed.

My Vitae:

The Newberry family, Saga of a Clan
Newberry DNA Project, Administrator - partnering with DNA Consultants of Phoenix. 
*Administrator and founder of World Wide Newberry Project and DNA Study - a private research web site for all families Newberry
* Administrator and founder Hidden Nations, Smoke Signals a web site dedicated to Indian Research - my family.com - by invitation only.
*Former Administrator of the James A. Newberry family web site - myfamily.com - by invitation only website
*Former Administrator and founder of the George and Hannah Maria Newberry Morris family web site - myfamily.com - by invitation only.

Author of:
























The Quiet Patriarch - The Life of James A. Newberry, Native American Pioneer," In-the-Works Productions, 2006. Copies available from author. Click here. 

The Quiet Patriarch is currently being prepared for a second edition which will be offered only in ebook format.Newer research will be added as well as an errata page to correct previous errors. This book is still available in paperback form from the author. 


Recent articles from Sue Simonich's research:
Watch this space for more original articles.

The Resurrection of John Newberry  1647
In 1634 Thomas Newberry immigrated to New England from the West Country of England with his second wife and 
their children. Thomas' three sons by his first wife were Benjamin, Joseph and young John who was just a lad. 
By 1647, at the age of nineteen, John was accused of an unnatural sexual indiscretion and was sentenced to hang.

It seems colonial recorder, Matthew Grant, jumped the gun in his diary when he recorded vague notations of hangings
in Windsor. Following 17th century written records, I have located documentational evidence supporting instead, the banishment of John Newberry. Joseph and John returned to England just weeks after John was sentenced.  The documention comes from old letters between the Wolcott family and their overseers in Tolland, England, combined with Chancery suit details from 1676.Many old wills were secured and translated in the process.  The evidence overturns the notion that John Newberry was hanged in 1647. Stunning evidence in the last pages of the Wolcott letters gives a first person account of the Newberry family, as  told by the presiding overseer of Wolcott's lands after the death of John Newberry.

The article is available through the author at a cost of $8.00.Use the "contact author" link at the bottom of
this page for ordering details.

Newest article March 2013

The Legacy of John Newburgh, Dorset Esquire  1484

John Newburgh Esq. of East Lulworth, Dorset, was the son of Sir John Neuburgh and Lady Joan Delamare. This family traces its line back to the first six generations of the earls of Warwick. Continuing back in time, the family was known as Beaumont or Bellomont, and were cousins of the Conqueror, and counts of Meulan (Mellent) in Normandy. The Newburgh family was described as right ancient by Fuller, and for good reasons. 

The aim of this monograph is to revisit some of the published inaccuracies relating to the fifteenth century medieval Dorset family who had additional holdings in Somerset, Wilts and Kent. Original documents from the British National Archives and the Dorset Record Office have been acquired and painstakingly retranslated. Some of these documents have never been accessed or were misunderstood by previous historians. Now, complicated mysteries have been uncovered and in most cases adequately solved. We begin with Sir John Newburgh, patriarch of the 15th century Newburgh dynasty.

Sir John Newburgh, senior's Inquisition Post Mortem (IPM) cited that his son John Jr. (Esq.) was born 7 July, 3 Henry IV (1402). His mother was Joan Delamare, daughter of Sir John Delamare, Lord of Nunney Castle and head of the family in Wilts and Somerset. Sir John Newburgh (Nebourgh) had an illustrious career as a knight and Member of Parliament (MP) until about 1439. He was born circa 1372, and died 20 March 1444, leaving the family legacy to his son John, who from then on would be known as John Newburgh, Esquire.

John Newburgh Esquire (b. 1402-1484) Lord of East Lulworth

Throughout his life, John Newburgh acquired significant land holdings via inheritance, marriages, political manoeuvering and various suits. His circle of associates were considered some of the most powerful, learned and pious men of the West Country. The West Country gentry stuck together through decades of political upheaval and the Wars of the Roses. Known as Lord of East Lulworth, John Newburgh's decease commenced the decline of the Dorset family line.

Eight decades after his birth, he died on the Thursday after the Feast of Annunciation, 27 March 1483/84, 1 Richard III. The details available about his life are impressive. His tenacious attitude toward maintaining the ancient nobility of his primogeniture is staggering and filled with intrigue. Yet, he made an interesting choice in promoting his stepson ahead of his natural born sons as his heir. Because of this, the significant familial land holdings he garnered during his eighty years began to erode at his death. The family name noticeably changed and declined during the reign of Henry VIII, and by 1530, Thomas Howard, 3rd Duke of Norfolk took possession of many Newburgh holdings including the Castle at East Lulworth. Howard's son married a descendant whose direct blood line was not actually related to the esteemed BEAUMONT family. Erosion of the family estates continued during the reign of Henry VIII. At the dissolution, the famous Cistercian abbey of Bindon, founded by the Newburghs was dissolved and torn down. Eventually the original castle was demolished by Thomas Howard, Viscount of Bindon, and replaced with the castle/hunting lodge that stands in its stead today, truly erasing the Newburghs of East Lulworth.

A new twist to this research has been discovered regarding John Newburgh Esq.'s son William Newburgh and discussed in my articleDiversion from Patrimony in the Medieval Newburgh Family -Sorting the John Newburghs of Dorset. Some work remains to be done.

Lamanites of the early LDS Church - James Newberry 

The identity of Native American members of the early LDS church has been an ongoing study for a handful of research historians. Individual accounts are sketchy, given that Joseph Smith counseled members to keep their heritage private. Ultimately, his advice was taken to heart by all members, thereby shielding the racial identities of Indian followers. As an incontrovertible consequence of human bias, many of their identities have remained the subject of confidentiality and denial for almost two centuries.

The loss of records during the evacuation of Far West, Missouri in 1838, may be the reason excursions through archives and special collections yield only limited material on the subject. Present knowledge is due to the conservation of oral and written histories by descendants whose native ancestors pioneered the church with Joseph Smith. With these histories, and modern DNA studies, a more complete picture is slowly falling into place.

Scouring LDS and Community of Christ histories and archives, it is possible to piece together a few Native American families who were early members of the Mormon Church. Success largely depends on researching specific communities, mission organizations and activities inspired by Mormon doctrine. This framework was important to documenting James A. Newberry, in my monograph titled, The Quiet Patriarch. 

This article summarizes the details of my book about James A. Newberry, titled, "The Quiet Patriarch" and adds details not found in the book, which will be available electronically in 2013.

​In Search of Castle Lulworth

This article summaries what is known about Lulworth Castle.  The article is online and written by this author.
In Search of Castle Lulworth - periodical




For more information contact the author.

Organizations (present and past)

1. New England Historic Genealogical Society
2. Foundation for Medieval Genealogy
3. Orange County Genealogical Society (New York)
4. Dorset Castles Research Group (DCRG) 
5. Society of Genealogists London
6. Connecticut Society of Genealogists
7. Salem History Society

Contributor:
Genuki, British-Genealogy, and Rootschat Online














Thomas Earl of Warwick
Dreamstime.com 
supplied the quill and compass illustration.


Web site copyright © Sue Simonich 2012

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Connecticut Genealogy News  Summer 2012
Book Reviews
By Russell A. DeGrafft, CSG 

"The Quiet Patriarch, the Life of James Abram Newberry, Native American Pioneer,"
by D. Suzanne Simonich. Self-published by In-the-Works Productions, Sue Simonich, Renton Washington 2006. 8 1/2 x 11, softcover, 182 pages. Order directly from the author. Cost $32.00 plus S & H.

​This extraordinary book portrays an important player in early Mormon historical development. Anyone involved in genealogical research should be aware of the important part the Mormon Church plays in family reconstruction. James Newberry played a significant, but fairly unknown part in the chronology of this family story. The investigation of the Native People of this country make many of us proud that we have a small percentage of their blood flowing in our veins. This is a book of unusual content and entertaining qualities. It is a delightful read to be enjoyed again and again. The reader does not need a vast supply of aids to enjoy this book. The table of contents, thoughtfully written forward, followed by a preface and historical overview were painstakingly annotated by the author. The concluding bibliography provides the reader with a vast selective wealth for further reading.