Newbury, a worldwide phenomenon

The name of a settlement can reveal so much about the history of a place. Newbury for example comes from "New Burgh", a new market town created in the 11th century, which over the centuries became Newbury. Thatcham on the other hand has a few possible sources. Local legend says it was named after a Saxon chief called "Tace" who created his village, "Ham", thus becomming Tace's Ham - over the years turning to Thatcham. Another variation comes from "Thaec - Ham" meaning settlement near or on a river meadow. And there are others. There is little to support which is correct but one that springs to mind to rule out is that it was not because the buildings were thatched. Most buildings in the country in Saxon times were thatched and so would not more settlements be called Thatcham or similar?

Likewise with nearby Henwick with two possible sources. One theory is that Henwick is derived from the celtic word Hen-Vicus which presumably referred to the Roman settlement in that area. Another is that it is derived from Henewyk referring to a monks dairy farm which might have been in the area. Both seem equally likely, it might be both are correct.

It seems unlikely that I could solve these latter two, so rather than dig through these I though it might be nice to take the local settlements and map out other places around the world with the same or similar names. In addition to see if there was a link back.

So starting with Newbury, I will come back to others at a later date, what I have done is to map out all settlements and roads named Newbury or similar. With this I have then researched as many as I can to find a little bit of their history out and trace a link back to our Newbury (Berkshire, UK), if that is a link exists. I will do a more detailed write up on each but for a start these are the settlements I have discovered, so far, around the world:

USA

  • Newbury, Vermont
  • Newbury, Massachusetts
  • Newbury, Kansas
  • Newbury, Ohio
  • Newbury, New Hampshire
  • Newbury Park, California
  • Newberry, South Carolina
  • Newberry, Florida
  • Newberry Township, Pennsylvania
  • Newberry, Indiana
  • Newberry, Michigan
  • Newberry Volcano (x2)

Canada,

  • Newbury, Ontario

Australia

  • Newbury, Victoria

England

  • Newbury, Somerset
  • Newbury, Kent
  • Newbury, Warminstser
  • Newbury, Berkshire

New Zealand

  • Newbury

I will come back and write up each in more detail, many do have a connection back to our Newbury. For example Newbury, Massachusetts, was settled in 1635, Thomas Parker who was one of the first settlers had come from our Newbury. Many then left Newbury, Massachusetts and settled elsewhere creating more settlements called Newbury. But all that in a later post.

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