Greenberry English born about 1822, died between 1858 and 1866. Those dates make him a very frustrating brick wall. The only record that is known, as of today, is a marriage record in Madison County, Florida. He married Mary Elizabeth Newbern, my great-great-grandmother, on July 11, 1853. Another record that is probably him is the 1850 census.
His birth date of 1822 is from this census in 1850 Gadsden County, Florida.
This Green English, age 28, was working as a laborer for Tabitha Batemen. The proximity to other English families in the county leads to the assumption that this is my great-great-grandfather. Using the given age, that would make his birth year 1821-1822.
Mr. Folks Huxford in Pioneers of the Wiregrass, speculated that Greenberry was possibly a son or grandson of Cornelius English, although there are no records to indicate such. Indeed, researcher Gwen Kodad’s examination of court records regarding the Cornelius English family in Georgia finds no reference to Greenberry as a descendant. She speculates that he probably is related just not a descendant of Cornelius of Gadsden County.
Another possible connection could be a Josiah English born 1778, listed in 1850 Gadsden County Florida census. He is living at this time and I haven’t found anything on him before or after this listing. It is possible that Josiah is a brother or cousin to Cornelius since a son of the latter was named Josiah. Thanks to Gwen for suggesting this possibility. Could Josiah be Greenberry's father?
1860 Taylor Co 15 June 1860
Marey E. English 27 F housekeeper GA
Thomas H English 4 M FL
Greenbury English 2 M FL
Since Laura Jane English isn’t listed here and knowing she was born in December, I assume Mary was pregnant at this time. My grandmother told me that her mother, Laura, never revealed her real year of birth, so she is listed as being born in 1858 through 1861 in various documents. Not knowing the year of Greenberry’s death, 1860 seems a logical assumption.
In 1866, Mary Newbern English married John Norton. In the census of 1870, Greenberry’s family is in Madison County and Mary is a widow for the second time. This shows Laura possibly being born in 1860.
1870 Madison Florida 14 July 1870
Norton, Mary 38 F keeps house GA
English, Thomas H 14 M works on farm FL
Greenbury 12 M FL
Laura 10 F FL
A cousin, Elsie Peddie, was creating the English and Newbern family tree back in the 1960’s. Her mother stated that Laura Jane English said that she was a cousin to Henry Harrison (Hack) English. Henry was a grandson of Cornelius through his son Cornelius. This could be another clue to Greenberry being a cousin of the elder Cornelius of Gadsden.
Lastly, a recent thought is that Greenberry could be a middle name or his name could be Green Berry. Just another possibility to throw into the mix.
The search for Greenberry’s origins will continue.