About Us

Mike Otterson
Mike Otterson
Cathy Berry Otterson
Cathy Berry Otterson

Our Approach

It's been said that there is nothing more boring than someone else's genealogy.  We don't know if that's true or not, but it's certainly true that most of us have plenty of fascination in our own.

The Otterson and Berry families came together in Liverpool in 1968. The Otterson history was mostly in County Durham, and their connections extend deep into that part of England as well as into Norfolk and Suffolk. The Berry roots were in Liverpool and Ireland, and their lines reach into the English Midlands and Cornwall.

This website explores the origins of both families, but makes no effort to reproduce extensive family trees, or document family relationships with lots of dates and places and charts. For anyone looking for that, you can find it all on Otterson-Berry Tree 2019 on Ancestry.com. If you don't have an Ancestry.com account, leave us your email and request a link, and we'll send you a guest invitation so you can log on for free.

What this site is about is capturing the stories and the essence of who our forebears were - the lives they touched, the paths they trod and the challenging times in which they lived.  Our ancestors' stories are very much like those of your ancestors, whether coal miners or sailors, whether born in poverty or comfort, whether they spoke with English, Irish or American accents. And learning about our ancestors often teaches us something about ourselves.

We hope you find something of interest here, and if you do, please let us know. We'd be glad to hear from you on the Comments page. Email addresses are never shared.

How it all began...

Mike's interest in family history has its origins in his teens. Otterson is not a very common name in England - certainly not in Liverpool where he grew up, or in Sunderland either, where both his parents were born and raised. And so he promised himself that one day he would trace his name to its roots.

That journey of discovery started in earnest in the early 1970s, but since the couple had moved to Australia, research of English records was slow and difficult.

Early in the 1990s the family - now considerably larger - moved to the United States, specifically to Salt Lake City, Utah, the home of the largest genealogical library in the world. A few years later the Internet exploded with its masses of new data and sources. Genealogical research boomed all over the world, and a passion to find and tell these stories was born.