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Early Mayburys in
England, Ireland and America


John Maybury, who first married Margaret Bourder in Brightling, Sussex in 1565 is the common ancestor of all those today even though they may spell the family name in various ways.

John Maybury was a skilled iron worker called a "hammerman", who helped to build and operate blast furnaces in Sussex, Staffordshire, Monmouthshire, Hampshire and probably elseshere. His sons and grandsons continued in the same work and, by 1630, were producing iron in Glamorganshire, Derbyshire, Shropshire, Staffordshire, Warwickshire, Herefordshire, Monmouthshire and Lancashire. By 1680 some members of the Maybury family were working as far north as Yorkshire and others had emigrated to Londonderry and Kerry in Ireland and also to the Virginia Colony in America.

We have been able to reconstruct large parts of the early Maybury family in England though the use of parish registers which were first introduced in 1538 to record baptisms, marriages and burials. But the earliest records were usually written on loose sheets of paper. As a result many were subsequently lost. In 1597 Queen Elizabeth I required that parish records be kept in parchment books. She also decreed that records going back as far as 1558 be transcribed onto parchment and that copies, called Bishop's Transcripts, be sent to local Bishops. Even so, only a small number of the early records still exist. Fortunately, the records kept after 1600 have survived in greater numbers and these help us to understand where the Mayburys lived and when they moved from one place to another.

Between 1550-1750 the Mayburys were living in about 30 counties in England and Wales. The chart below shows the locations, movements and growth of the family during this period. It sould be noted that some of the earlier records are based on unusual spellings (Mayborowe, Mobrey, Mowberie etc.) which may reflect unrelated families.

Maybury Records by County and Period
The numbers below represent the total number of Baptisms, Marriages, & Burials in Parish Registers
at the time of our research. A few additional records (not shown) have been discovered in recent years.
County 1500-1550 1550-1600 1601-1650 1651-1700 1701-1750
Buckinghampshire 5
Oxfordshire 3
Sussex 26 3 1
London 6 5 9 8
Derbyshire 3 13 2
Warwickshire 3 2 7 5
Staffordshire 10 6 12
Shropshire 1 28 71 104
Lancashire 16 8
Monmouthshire 1 28 69
Worcestershire 1 13 76
Herefordshire 1 19 31
Hampshire 1 1
Dorset 11 19 9
Gloucestershire 1 2 19
Glamorganshire 1 12
Breconshire 6
Yorkshire 6 11
In the counties below, only a handful of records have been found and
many of these may be from unrelated families like "Mowbery" or "Mobery"
Devon 2 1
Surrey 1 1
Essex 1 2 1 1
Kent 1 3
Lincolnshire 2 1
Hertfordshire 9
Leicestershire 1 1
Somerset 3
Bedford 1 1
Rutland 1 1
Bedfordshire 1 1
Carmarthenshire 1 1


Records show that most of John Meberie's son's and grandsons were either hammermen or forgemen. The number of iron workers was especially high among the Mayburys in Shropshire as early as about 1600. Some of these Mayburys followed the iron industry as it spread to the Forest of Dean, Monmouthshire, Herefordshire, Worcestershire, and to Breconshire and Carmarthenshire in Wales.

Not only did these Maybury iron workers carry their trade to a number of counties in England, and Wales, some of them also took their trade with them when they emigrated to Ireland, America and Australia:

  • John Maybury "forgeman" was born in Lancashire in 1628. In 1657 he emigrated to County Londonderry in northern Ireland. Some of his descendants can still be found in Ireland while others emigrated to Canada, and the United States.
  • Thomas, Francis and John Maybury "hammermen" were part of Sir William Petty's English plantation in County Kerry, Ireland about 1671. William Maybury, who may or may not have been an ironworker, is probably the progenitor of the later County Kerry Mayburys.
  • Thomas Maybury "ironmaster" emigrated to Pennsylvania by 1716 and was later working in Virginia; At least six of his sons and grandsons were also "ironmasters" in Pennsylvania, Maryland, New Jersey and Virginia.
  • Francis Mayberry "hammerman" was working at Principio furnace in Cecil County Maryland at least by 1734. He had a son, Francis Mayberry, Jr., who also worked at Principio. He was probably closely related to Thomas Maybury, who settled in Bucks County, Pennsylvania about 1716.
  • William and George Mayberry emigrated, possibly from Ireland, to become "ironmasters" in Virginia's Shenandoah Valley.
  • John Maybery, who emigrated from Monmouthshire to Australia in 1853, was an ironworker who had worked as an "angle-iron smith" on the construction of the "Great Britain", which was built of iron and launched at Bristol in 1843.
Reconstructing the relationships of the early English Mayburys

Our present task combines conventional genealogical research with DNA evidence to find the connections between these early ironworker Mayburys and later Mayburys, Mayberrys, Mabrys, etc. in England, Ireland, Canada, the United States and Australia. We are making progress and it is our hope that before long most Modern Mayburys, however, they spell their name, will know whether or not they descend from the ironworker Mayburys of 16th century England. Some will be able to document their ancestry using traditional records; others will at least have the satisfaction of knowing that such a relationship is proved by their DNA.









August 2014