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Home: Surnames: Blyth Family Genealogy Forum

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Re: blyth family in essex and miami
Posted by: John Barrymore (ID *****3396) Date: November 04, 2010 at 01:43:53
In Reply to: blyth family in essex and miami by Katrina Bradfield of 265

Note: William Henry Blyth is a member of the Blyth family who were Squires in the Essex area. Sneating Hall was the name of the ancestral home.

William Henry Blyth is one of my ancestors as well. In the 1800s, Herbert Blyth, my great grandfather, took up acting and changed his name to Maurice Barrymore (presumably to spare his family, Squires and therefore members of the peerage) the disgrace of having an actor in the family. Maurice (nee Herbert) then married into a very well established acting family, by marrying Georgiana Drew, daughter of actor John Drew as well as brother of actor John Drew (neither one of them used a 'Jr.' or 'Sr.' suffix).

Georgiana and Maurice emigrated to the Philadelphia, PA where Georgiana Drew founded the Arch Street Theatre there. They had three children, John, Lionel and Ethel Barrymore. While Barrymore has become world famous through the exploits of those three children, the Blyth name is still alive and well in the family, it's my middle name as it was my father's and grandfather's, and it's the first name of one of my sisters and one of my daughters.

John Barrymore was my grandfather, his full name being John Sidney Blyth Barrymore. His son, my father, was born John Blyth Barrymore Jr, later changing his name to John Drew Barrymore. My father is also the father of Drew Barrymore (the actress). On our birth certificates my son and I are both also identified as John Blyth Barrymore Jr., though neither one of us uses the Jr. suffix

Don't know if you already knew of the Blyth/Barrymore connection, but I've been in contact with, and even met, some of our close relatives (first cousins, a few generations removed). Those cousins are in Australia, with another branch of the family (no longer with the surname Blyth) in Tasmania.

Both Blyth and Blythe are used as spellings throughout the family. There's a graveyard in Philadelphia where a lot of them are buried, under both names. Some of the other family names that have married into Blyth are Devereaux, Lane, Mendum, and Colt.

I have a good deal of into someone in the family sent me, you can contact me at if you'd like me to send you a copy.

Hope that helps

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