TABLE OF CONTENTS
The New Jersey Historical Society
Finding aid encoded by Julia Telonidis. December 2004. Production of the EAD 2002 version of this finding aid was made possible by a grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. Finding aid written in English.
This collection is mainly about the Berry Family and its travels to America from Great Britain. The tale of the Berry family starts with Thomas Berry (1750-1830) and Elizabeth Adams (1770-1930). Their son, John (1798-1867), and his wife, Catherine Mercy Hooper (1794-1865), immigrated to Elizabethtown, New Jersey in 1835, it took them 42 days to travel from Sussex, England to New Jersey. John worked as a tanner upon arrival to America. They traveled back to England in 1847 but returned to America the next year. They moved around the country first to Richmond, Virginia and finally ending up in what would become Detroit, Michigan. They were against the abolitionist ‘Yankees’ that surrounded them in Detroit. John and Catherine had two sons that are known, John and Joseph. These two men started the Berry Brothers Paint and Varnish Company in 1860 out of Detroit. One of their daughters lived in Louisiana and married a man who eventually became an officer in the Confederate Army. The family lived through the Civil War and consisted of both Southern and Northern sympathizers as well as apathetic family members still living in England, such as Thomas Berry.
Because there are many names the following will can be used to clarify the names of the family members in this collection.
Thomas Berry (1750-1830) and Elizabeth Adams (1770-1830) had 5 children, 2 of which are known: John Jr. (1798-1867) and Thomas (1801-1866). John and his wife Catherine Mercy Hooper (1794-1865) are the two main characters in this collection. These are the two people that came to America in 1835. Thomas Berry stayed in England. Catherine was the daughter of Cleeve Hooper and Mary Woodward who are not very significant in this collection (Catherine and her parents wrote a few letters to each other which can be found in the collection). The other significant figure in this collection is Cleeve Hooper (1816-1910) who is the nephew of John and Catherine. Also mentioned is George Hooper (1786-1862) who is Catherine’s brother.
This collection consists of letters and other papers relating to information about both the Hooper and Berry families. Folder six includes a section written by Morris Martin, the donor, and certain excerpts from selected letters describing different aspects of the family’s life. Some of the letters include a description of the voyage back to London in 1847 and then coming to New York a year later. There are also some descriptions in the letters about sentiment toward the Civil War. There over 50 letters many of them involving John Berry and his wife Catherine Mercy Hooper (she would later take the name Berry). Included in the collection are the memoirs of Cleeve Hooper who was John and Catherine’s nephew.
Also, most of the original letters are not in this collection or are not dated so it is hard to tell which transcribed letter it is. The transcribed letters are all located in folder one while the originals are in folders two and three.
Manuscript Group 219, City of Newark Records, 1714 / John Ogden, Jr. (1743-1815) Journal, 1787-1791 /Stone Carting Records, 1804-1813, The New Jersey Historical Society.
This collection should be cited as: Manuscript Group 1627, Guide to the Berry Family Papers, The New Jersey Historical Society.
This collection was donated to the New Jersey Historical Society by Morris Martin in June 2004.