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Birthmark not unique to the Maybury family

The same birthmark is common in many other families

A few years ago we heard about a distinctive birthmark at the hairline on the back of the neck, which appeared to have been passed on for many generations among the Mayburys of County Kerry, Ireland.

When we asked if the same birthmark was present in other branches of the Maybury family, we heard from many others including:
  • Descendants of William Maybury, who went to County Kerry, Ireland in 1671;
  • Descendants of Francis Maybury of Virginia;
  • Descendants of Delilah Mabry of Edgefield/Abbeville Counties in South Carolina;
  • Descendants of Thomas Maybury "ironmaster" of Pennsylvania;
  • Descendants of James Washington Mayberry (1792-1872) of Chambers County, Alabama;
  • Descendants of Frederick Mayberry (died 1801 in Bedford County, Virginia);
  • Descendants of the Mayberrys of County Londonderry, Ireland;
  • Descendants of other Mayburys who never left England.
This birthmark very often appears at the hairline on the back of the neck and is clearly present in many branches of the family. This type birthmark is commonly referred to as a "storkbite" or a "port-wine stain", etc. Sometimes it skips a generation and then appears again in the next. It is passed on by both male and female descendants. Here are some typical descriptions of the birthmark:

  • "It is an irregular port wine coloured shape approximately 3" across & 2" in length. It starts half way up his neck & is about 1" into his hairline; therefore it is not noticeable as at first might be thought."
  • "It was quite bright at times..and pink to red...larger in size than a half dollar and almost into the hair and the very center of the back of the neck!"
  • "I have the "storkbite" birthmark, as does my 2 brothers and 1 of my 5 sisters. (a red/pink birthmark at the base of the head at the neckline)."
  • I have four children...and all four have them. So do I. I have two sisters...and they also have them. One sister has five children (all have the mark), the other has two children (each has one). Boys and girls of the line each have it. We get it from our father...who got it from his mother. They do not fade over time but they are usually high enough the hair covers most of it when it comes in - hence you see it best when they are babies and once again when they are old men!
  • "My 22 year old daughter has that exact birthmark on the back on her neck at the hairline."
  • "My grandmother..., my Father, and all five of his kids including me and my three kids all have the mark."

One of our cousins who has the birthmark said, "I just thought that was where the term "redneck" came from!"

Research shows that this birthmark is common and occurs in many families

Our limited research indicates that the phenomenon is fairly common and that it is by no means limited to the Maybury/Mayberry family. More information can be found in various articles, some of which say that 30-50% of all newborn babies have birthmarks; that these can occur on various parts of the body; and that one of the most common locations is on the back of the neck.

August 2014