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Mystery Mayburys


Delilah Mabry
of Edgefield and Abbeville Counties, South Carolina


One of the most fascinating and perplexing persons we have encountered is Delilah Mabry of Abbeville County, South Carolina. She was the head of her household in the 1800 census of Edgefield County with 3 males and 1 female under 16. Delilah was in the 26/45 age group. There is another Mabry household nearby but the given name is very difficult to read. This second household contained: 1 male 10/16; 2 males 16/26; and 1 female 16/26.

In 1806 Delilah moved to nearby Abbeville County where she lived not far from Reuben Mabry. We know that Delilah had at least three sons: James Eaton, Bartholomew and Dudley Mabry. Reuben Mabry was the right age to have been another son, but that seems unlikely, even though he lived in the same area.

We have searched in vain for any trace of Delilah’s husband, thinking that he may have died before 1800. However, a reference to her in the minutes of a Grand Jury of Newberry County, South Carolina in September 1788 leads us to speculate that perhaps Delilah did not have a husband:

'Fourthly, We present Delila Maberry a woman of this county a Nuisance by reason of her leading a Very disorderly life for some time passed. Ordered that the County Attorney Prosecute the S'd Delila accordingly.'
This intriguing bit of information led us to obtain DNA samples from two descendants of Delilah’s son, James Eaton. While these two DNA signatures match each other, they do not match the usual signature of the Maybury family.Unfortunately, we cannot draw any definite conclusions from this DNA evidence:

  1. These two DNA tests, both of which come from descendants of one of Delilah Mabry's sons, might be an indication that the father of that son was not a Mabry. However, we cannot draw that conclusion until we have DNA tests from descendants of other sons.
  2. It would also be helpful if we can obtain DNA samples from one or more descendants of Reuben Langdon Mabry. It those samples match the samples of those who descend from James Eaton Mabry, then we would at least know that Reuben was also Delilah's son.
Delilah Mabry bought and sold land in Edgefield and Abbeville Counties and served as a witness to several legal documents. She is last found in the 1810 census of Abbeville County. However, we have wondered if she might be the female, age 70-80, in the household of her son, Eaton Maberry (sic) in the 1830 census of Shelby County, Alabama. Eaton later lived in Mississippi. His brother, Bartholomew also lived in Shelby County, Alabama and then moved to Conway County, Arkansas.

If you have information that might help us to further identify Delilah Mabry, please contact Don Collins



August 2014