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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2014

Origins Available: English, German, Irish

Where did the English Berry family come from? What is the English Berry family crest and coat of arms? When did the Berry family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the Berry family history?

The Norman Conquest of England in 1066 added many new elements to an already vibrant culture. Among these were thousands of new names. The Berry family lived in the county of Devon, where the family settled after arriving in England with William the Conqueror at the time of the Norman Conquest of England. The name is derived from the phrase at the Bury which has evolved to the more modern term borough.


Norman surnames are characterized by a multitude of spelling variations. The frequent changes in surnames are largely due to the fact that the Old and Middle English languages lacked definite spelling rules. The introduction of Norman French to England, as well as the official court languages of Latin and French, also had pronounced influences on the spelling of surnames. Since medieval scribes and church officials recorded names as they sounded, rather than adhering to any specific spelling rules, it was common to find the same individual referred to with different spellings. The name has been spelled Berry, Bery, Berey, De Berry and others.

First found in Devon, where they were granted lands by King William after the Norman Conquest in 1066.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Berry research. Another 149 words(11 lines of text) covering the years 1781, 1873, 1768, 1831, 1635, 1690, 1675 and 1691 are included under the topic Early Berry History in all our PDF Extended History products.


Another 131 words(9 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Berry Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.


Some of the Berry family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 121 words(9 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.


Many English families emigrated to North American colonies in order to escape the political chaos in Britain at this time. Unfortunately, many English families made the trip to the New World under extremely harsh conditions. Overcrowding on the ships caused the majority of the immigrants to arrive diseased, famished, and destitute from the long journey across the stormy Atlantic. Despite these hardships, many of the families prospered and went on to make invaluable contributions to the development of the cultures of the United States and Canada. Early North American immigration records have revealed a number of people bearing the name Berry or a variant listed above:

Berry Settlers in the United States in the 17th Century

  • Zeeheriah Berry, who arrived in America in 1620
  • John Berry who settled in Virginia in 1626
  • Elizabeth Berry who settled in Virginia in 1636
  • Richard Berry, who arrived in New England in 1636
  • Edward Berry, who arrived in Maryland in 1637

Berry Settlers in the United States in the 18th Century

  • Phill Berry, who arrived in Virginia in 1700
  • Anne Berry, who landed in Virginia in 1701
  • Margt Berry, who arrived in Virginia in 1702
  • Dowland Berry, who arrived in Virginia in 1703
  • Richd Berry, who arrived in Virginia in 1704

Berry Settlers in the United States in the 19th Century

  • John Berry, who arrived in America in 1811
  • Godfrey Berry, aged 32, landed in New York in 1812
  • Francis Berry, who arrived in New York, NY in 1816
  • Michael Berry, who arrived in New York, NY in 1816
  • Joseph Berry, who arrived in New York, NY in 1817


  • Wendell Berry (b. 1934), American man of letters, academic, cultural and economic critic
  • William D. Berry (1926-1979), influential Alaskan artist known for his wildlife sketches, cartoons, and paintings
  • Charles Edward Anderson "Chuck" Berry (b. 1926), iconic and influential African-American guitarist, singer and songwriter, 2014 Polar Music Prize laureate
  • Richard Berry (1935-1997), African-American singer and songwriter
  • Martha McChesney Berry (1866-1942), American educator and philanthropist
  • Clarence Jackson Berry (1867-1930), American businessman and successful gold miner in the Klondike Gold Rush
  • Corporal Charles Joseph Berry (1923-1945), American Marine awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor in 1945
  • Halle Berry (b. 1966), American Academy Award winning actress, former fashion model, and beauty queen
  • Brigadier-General Robert Ward Berry (1902-1960), American Commanding Officer, 1st Region US Army Air Defense Command (1960)
  • Edward Wilber Berry (1875-1945), American paleontologist and botanist, awarded the Walker Prize (1901) and Mary Clark Thompson Medal (1942)



  • Berry and Related Families by Louis Ansel Duermyer.
  • Berry-Berrey Family: The Family of Elijah Berry, Virginia, Georgia, Alabama, and Texas, 1700-1980 by Lynn Berry Hamilton.

The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.

Motto: Nihil sine labore
Motto Translation: Nothing without labour.


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  1. Virkus, Frederick A. Ed. Immigrant Ancestors A List of 2,500 Immigrants to America Before 1750. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1964. Print.
  2. Bolton, Charles Knowles. Bolton's American Armory. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1964. Print.
  3. Hanks, Hodges, Mills and Room. The Oxford Names Companion. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2002. Print. (ISBN 0-19-860561-7).
  4. Cook, Chris. English Historical Facts 1603-1688. London: MacMillan, 1980. Print.
  5. Hanks, Patricia and Flavia Hodges. A Dictionary of Surnames. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988. Print. (ISBN 0-19-211592-8).
  6. Humble, Richard. The Fall of Saxon England. New York: Barnes and Noble, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-88029-987-8).
  7. Bede, The Venerable. Historia Ecclesiatica Gentis Anglorum (The Ecclesiastical History Of the English People). Available through Internet Medieval Sourcebook the Fordham University Centre for Medieval Studies. Print.
  8. Burke, John Bernard Ed. The Roll of Battle Abbey. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  9. Fairbairn. Fairbain's book of Crests of the Families of Great Britain and Ireland, 4th Edition 2 volumes in one. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1968. Print.
  10. Matthews, John. Matthews' American Armoury and Blue Book. London: John Matthews, 1911. Print.
  11. ...

The Berry Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Berry Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

This page was last modified on 19 August 2014 at 14:23.

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