Last name: Berry

This is an ancient English surname of topographic or locational origin. It derives either from the pre 7th century 'byrig', meaning 'a fortified place' or the later 'beri', or 'buri' denoting a fortified manor house. Topographically the surname was given either the owner of a manor house, or possibly to somebody who lived close by. Locationally the surname may derive from such places as Bury in Huntingdonshire, recorded as Byrig in the Anglo Saxon Chronicles of the year 974, Bury in Lancashire or Sussex, Berry(brow) in Yorkshire, or Bury St. Edmunds, Suffolk, this latter place being recorded as Sancte Eadmundes Byrig in 1038. The modern surname can be found as Berry, Berrey, Berrie, Bury and Burry. Early examples of the surname taken from the various authentic registers and charters include, Roger Bury in the 1260 Assize Register, for the city of Cambridge, Hubert Bery, in the rolls known as "The feet of fines" for the county of Suffolk, in 1268, and William ate Bury in the Subsidy Rolls of Sussex in the year 1327. Richard de Bury, 1281 - 1345 was the bishop of Durham in 1333, and Lord Chancellor of England in 1335, whilst later Admiral Sir John Berry (1635 - 1690) fought several successful battles against both the Dutch and the French particularly in the West Indies. The first recorded spelling of the family name is believed to be that of Gilbert de la Beri, which was dated 1202, in the Pipe Rolls of Cornwall, during the reign of King John of England, known by the nickname of 'Lackland', 1199 - 1216.

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