I started researching the Bembry line over ten years ago. Since then I’ve discovered that all Bembrys have some connection to Miles Bembry, a plantation overseer who popped up in Martin County, North Carolina at the end of the 18th century. I still don’t know where he was born, or what brought him (or his father, or grandfather…) to this country, though I have some theories. To my knowledge, however, he was the first person to call himself “Bembry” on this side of the pond.
Miles and his four sons, William, John, Thomas, and Kenneth, were all slave holders. For that reason, there are many African Americans who share our surname, and our history. (We may well, in fact, be cousins!) I have learned that slavery was unfortunately central to my family’s story. Hopefully, by sharing the records that I find, I can assist African-American Bembrys in researching their own history as well.
Thanks to Diana Bryan Quinn for her help with Bryan family history and Miles Bembry’s biography. To Sharon Simpson for her help with Sarah Simpson’s family history. To Ray Bembry for pointing me in the right direction on several occasions! To Geneva Cunningham and Sharon Bembry Gay for all their help. To Evelyn Bembry and Hiram Bembry for all the wonderful family photos. And to my dad, Elwyn Bembry, and his brother Lonnie Shelton Bembry for the help with Civil War records!
I am always happy to share my information, and welcome any tips, photos, or leads from other researchers or family members. If you have information or corrections to share, please post a comment! Thanks for stopping by.
Kelly Bembry Midura