A little about Don Collins
About "The Maybury Family" webpage
and its author, Don Collins

About The Maybury Family webpage

Recognizing that the internet was becoming more and more important as a source of genealogical information, this webpage was begun in 1995. It was one of the first webpages devoted to the "surname study of one family". The page was first called "The Mabry Family" and then later changed to "The Maybury Family" to reflect the wider family which continues to use numerous variant spellings.

Having begun my research on my mother's Mabry family while I was still in high school, I long ago become "the expert" on the family. For many years Those with with an interest in knowing more about their family's origin and growth have contacted me to ask what information I might have to help in their research. I have encouraged questions and have always tried to answer them as accurately as possible. I continue to receive several inquiries each week. In the 20 plus years since the page first appeared on the internet, it continues to be popular and by April 2016 the number of "hits" passed 107,000!

Over the years, the web page has grown in scope as I began publication of a family newsletter (1995-2011) and the "Maybury DNA Project". I have consciously worked to keep the page updated and have periodically revised it for the sake of simplicity, clarity, etc. Now, in 2016, I am once again re-working the page, conscious of the fact that I am 79 years of age and will not be around forever! It is my hope that interested descendants of the family will be able to locate the page and make use of if for many years to come.

About the author, Don Collins

My interest in genealogy began at a Collins family reunion in 1954. There my great aunt, Orra Sidney Collins, spoke of her grandfather, Samuel Collins (pictured at left) being killed in what she called, "the Kansas-Nebraska War". Fascinated by this, I went home and wrote to the Kansas State Historical Society for more information. I soon learned that my gr. gr. grandfather, Samuel Collins (1810-1855) had been active in the free state movement which opposed making Kansas a slave state. This led to an armed confrontation with pro-slavery supporters in the fall of 1855 in which Samuel was killed. Soon I was searching every available library for books on Kansas history. To my surprise there were many accounts of the Collins-Laughlin incident. The details of these accounts differ considerably since the authors often held strong "pro-slavery state" or "free-state" views and made little effort to report the matter objectively.

Fascinated by this history on my Dad's side, I set out to research my mother's Mabry family. She and I wrote to several of her cousins and soon discovered about dozen others who also wanted to learn more about their Mabry ancestors. After thirty years of research, I traced our Mabry line back to Francis Maybury and later became "the expert" on the Mabrys. Some called me "the Mabry guru". The following timeline tells the rest of the story:

  • 1954 - My reseach of the Mabry family began.
  • 1987 - Publication of my first book, The Mabry Family: Descendants of Francis Maybury and Elizabeth Gilliam of Surry County, Virginia.
  • 1997 - Publication of the the first of two soft-cover reprint editions, including 75 pages of new information.
  • 1995 - Publication of The Mabry Family newsletter began.
  • 1995 - The Mabry Family web page, one of the first famly pages on the internet, began.
  • 2002 - Two cousins in England began helping with research on early English Mayburys.
  • 2003 - Beginning of the Maybury DNA Project to learn about different branches of the family.
  • 2004 - Discovery that John Maybury (c1540-1618) of Sussex was likely our common ancestor.
  • 2005 - The newsletter became The Maybury Family, using the most common spelling in England, to include the wider family.
  • 2011 - Publication of The Mayburys, telling the stories of the major branches of the family in England, Ireland, the U.S. and Australia.
  • 2011 - The Maybury Famlly newsletter ceased publication after seventeen years.

Now retired, I devote much of my time to genealogy, a hobby which still fascinates me and has taught me more about history than I ever learned in school. It has been my privilege to help thousands of Mayburys, Mayberrys Mabrys, etc. to discover their branch of the family and its place in the larger Maybury family. I have also researched many of our other ancestors. A more complete listing can be found at Rootsweb's WorldConnect Project.

In 1998 my wife, Edie, and I retired to my native Colorado to build "Skyhouse" in the mountains west of Denver. We ejoyed 10 wonderful years living on the edge of the Pike National Forest. Then, in 2008, we decided to move to Wind Crest, an Erickson retirement community, located in a Denver suburb where, at 3000 feet lower altitude, I found it much easier to breathe.

Finally, just for fun, have a look at "How we elect our Presidents". It will provide you with some interesting facts for your dinner time or watercooler conversations!

May 2016