Maybury/Mayberry DNA Project

The Maybury DNA Project
Maybury . Mayberry . Maberry . Mabery . Mabrey . Mabry
Our project began in 2003 and now has more than 120 participants

The purpose of the project has been:
  1. to find out if most Mayburys, Mayberrys, Mabrys, etc. descend from a common ancestor;

  2. to look for markers that might help us identify major branches of the family;

  3. to look for answers to questions that conventional genealogical research cannot answer.
What have we learned so far?
  1. The Y chromosome, found only in males, contains a unique "family signature" which is passed down from father to son. This signature is unchanged over many generations, except for rare but random mutations which then become part of the signature for future generations. We have identified this unique DNA signature for the Maybury family (Mayberry, Mabry, Maberry, etc.).

  2. We now believe that MOST Mayburys, Mayberrys, etc. descend from a "common ancestor". The Y-DNA test makes it possible to calculate about approximately when our "Most Recent Common Ancestor" (MRCA) lived. While DNA testing alone cannot tell us the NAME of our common ancestor -- it does tell us that he lived approximately 400-450 years ago.

  3. By combining the results of DNA testing with conventional genealogical research, we believe that we have found the identity of our common ancestor. An analysis of "Maybury events" (births, marriages and burials) found in the parish registers of 16th century England has convinced us that our most recent common ancestor was, almost certainly, a skilled iron worker named John Maybury, who was born about 1540 likely in Sussex or in France. He died in 1618 at Cleobury Mortimer, Shropshire.

  4. A few of our participants carry a DNA signature that does not match the usual signature of the Maybury family. Instead they carry a different family signature which was probably acquired through a "paternal event" sometime in the past.
    "A paternal event" is a euphemism that points to a past family event by which the Maybury DNA signature on the Y chromosome was replaced by the signature of another family. This usually happens when a male child is either adopted into a Maybury family or born out-of-wedlock to a Maybury mother. That son carries with him the DNA signature of his own biological father, which he then passes on to future generations.
  5. If a new DNA signature is brought into the family through adoption, etc., and the family continues to use the Maybury (Mayberry, etc.) name, the new signature becomes, in effect, a new Maybury DNA signature for that branch of the family .
  6. The family of Frederick Mayberry of Bedford County, Virginia may be an example of such a "new Mayberry DNA signature". This would be true if it turns out that Frederick Mayberry (or perhaps his father) was born out-of-wedlock or adopted into a Mayberry family. On the other hand the same thing would be true if it turns out that Frederick Mayberry was born in Germany and changed his name to Mayberry when he came to America.
  • It is normal for mutations to occur rarely and randomly on genetic markers. If those mutations occured a number of generations ago, they might serve as a "distinguishing marker" to help us identify later generations of that branch of the family. Early in our study we did not see a pattern in these mutations. However, as the number of participants in our project increased we began to notice some identifiable patterns in major branches of the family.
  • We have recently discovered "distinguishing markers" which can help to identify some branches of the family such as the Mayburys of County Kerry, Ireland; the Mayberrys of County Londonderry, Northern Ireland; and the descendants of Francis Maybury of Virginia.

    As the number of our participants increases, we should be able to identify additional "distinguishing markers" for other branches of the family. The more participants we have in our DNA project, the more we learn. Thus we continue to welcome new participants and hope to learn even more from their individual DNA reports.
    What is required to participate in the Maybury DNA Project?

    Participants in the project must be male because only males have the Y chromosome where the family signature is found and they must have a variant of the Maybury surname (Maybery, Maberry, Mayberry, Mabry, Mabrey, etc.).

    The basic 12 marker test is not always sufficient to confirm the authenticity of the Maybury family DNA signature, since other families may share the same 12 marker combination. Therefore, we use the Y-DNA37 test as the standard for our study.

    We prefer that new participants order their Y-DNA test from FamilyTree DNA, the premier company offering DNA testing for genealogical purposes. Other providers, such as, may use a few different markers which makes it difficult to compare their results with the participants in our study. 90% of Y-DNA testing is done by FamilyTree DNA.

    You will receive a simple test kit which will enable you to collect a DNA sample by swabing the inside your cheeks with a special brush. After you return the kit it usually requires about 4-5 weeks to process your DNA and produce a report.

    Don Collins, whose mother was a Mabry, is administrator of the Maybury DNA Project. He will be happy to answer your questions. He can also e-mail you a special link which will enable you to order your test kit and enroll in the Maybury Project.
    Where can I get more information?
    1. Our study is being conducted by FamilyTree DNA in Houston, Texas.
    2. More information about the Maybury DNA Project can be found at FamilyTree DNA.
    3. The latest results of our project can be found in the Latest Report of the Maybury DNA Project.
    How can you help?

    The Maybury DNA Project is ongoing. As more participants join the project, we will learn more about hard to identify branches of the Maybury and Mayberry families. Here's how you can help:

    1. Volunteer to have your DNA tested -- Sending your sample is simple and painless.
    2. If you have already had a 12 marker test, please consider extending your report to 37 markers which will give us more information to help identify different branches of the Maybury family. Extending your report does not require another test.
    3. Contribute to the cost of the Maybury/Mayberry project. Additional funds will help us increase the number of participants or to upgrade Y-DNA tests from 12 or 25 markers.
    4. Tell other family members about the Maybury/Mayberry DNA project.
    5. Contact Don Collins if you have questions or would like more information.

    September 2014