From the files of Stephen M. Lawson
Top of Page Freeman Family Lines Index Chart Index Surnames
The Byers Family in England, Ireland and America
The foundational information on the Byers family is
based on the research of Deanna Byers Thomas and obtained from the web
site of Ken Crouse in January 2000. Neither of these sources is
responsible for any errors of interpretation or presentation introduced
by the compiler, nor for information added from other sources. One of
the major compilers of Byers family history was Thurlo V. Byers
(1923-1998), and his son Tom Byers is making much of the information available on the web as a Tribute to his Dad.
William and Louisa (Kinkade) Byers
William BYERS - b. Aug. 11, 1647, St. Ives, Cornwall, England. Married Jun. 7, 1677 in St. Ives, Cornwall, England.
Louisa KINKADE - b. Jul. 6, 1654, St. Ives, Cornwall, England. It is likely that there were more children, including daughters.
Children of William and Louisa Byers
- John - b. Jun. 27, 1678, St. Ives, Cornwall, England. Married
Martha WORK (b. May 1, 1693, Milltown, Co. Cravan, Ireland), daughter
of Alexander WORK (b. Jul. 28, 1669) and Louisa LOWERY (b. Feb. 7,
1673). The family, including son John BYERS (b. Dec. 3, 1716,
Milltown, Co. Cravan, Ireland), sailed on Jun. 4, 1734 from Dublin,
Ireland aboard the 'Friendship', arrived at Philadelphia, PA on Oct.
16, 1734, and settled first in Chester Co., PA, before moving to
Lancaster Co., PA. Son of John and Martha BYERS: John married Sarah
- Robert - b. Aug. 13, 1680, St. Ives, Cornwall, England. Married
Louisa PATTERSON. The family, including son James BIAS (b. May 17,
1722, Milltown, Co. Cravan, Ireland), sailed on Jun. 4, 1734 from
Dublin, Ireland aboard the 'Friendship', arrived at Philadelphia, PA on
Oct. 16, 1734, and settled first in Chester Co., PA, before moving to
Lancaster Co., PA. As noted, his son James used the variant surname
spelling of BIAS, which is also found spelled BYOUS and BYAS. Son of
Robert and Louisa BYERS: James married Elisabeth LARKIN.
- William - b. May 6, 1687, St. Ives,
Cornwall, England; d. Apr. 8, 1742, Lexington, Augusta Co., VA; bur.
New Monmouth Cem., Augusta Co., VA.
Top of Page Freeman Family Lines Index Chart Index Surnames
William and Elisabeth (Cox) Byers
- b. May 6, 1687, St. Ives, Cornwall, England; d. Apr. 8, 1742,
Lexington, Augusta Co., VA; bur. New Monmouth Cem., Augusta Co., VA.
Son of William BYERS and Louisa KINKADE. The
family relocated from Exeter, Devon, England to Milltown, Co. Cavan,
Ireland about 1717, to North Oxford, Chester Co., PA in 1734, and to
Lexington, Augusta Co., VA by 1742. Seven children were born in
England, four in Ireland, and son William was born shortly after the
family arrived in America. Family sources record that the BYERS family
sailed on Jun. 4, 1734 from Dublin, Ireland aboard the 'Friendship',
arrived at Philadelphia, PA on Oct. 16, 1734, and settled at North
Oxford District, Chester Co., PA on Nov. 3, 1734. William's brother
Robert BYERS also lived in Chester Co., PA. William BYERS and Elisabeth
COX were married in 1708 at St. Mathew Chapel, Exeter, Devon, England.
Elisabeth COX - b. Sep. 4, 1688, Exeter, Devon, England; d.
Aug. 19, 1741, North Oxford, Chester Co., PA; bur. Sycamore
Presbyterian Church Cem., Chester Co., PA. Daughter of James COX (b. Jun. 7, 1649) and Agnes Virginia BEST (b. Aug. 8, 1654). Elizabeth may have had two younger sons, Joseph and Nathan, who died as infants.
Children of William and Elisabeth Byers
- Edward - b. 1709, Exeter, Devon, England. Married Margaret WHITE.
- Agnes - b. Exeter, Devon, England. Married Robert BLACK
- Martha - b. Exeter, Devon, England. Married William BYNUM.
- Isabella - b. Exeter, Devon, England. Married Tedford SYKES.
- b. about 1714, Exeter, Devon, England; d. May 2, 1775, Rowan Co., NC.
Married first about 1732 in Co. Cavan, Ireland to Margaret WHITE (b.
Aug. 24, 1715, Milltown, Co. Cravan, Ireland). Married second Margaret
SMITH (b. Feb. 3, 1728, Chester Co., PA; d. Apr. 22, 1772, Rowan Co.,
NC). On Sep. 20, 1764, Robert's son David BYERS, together with Hugh
BERRY, witnessed the will of Hugh LAWSON, Sr. (Rowan Co., NC, Book A,
p. 87; probate 1772), in which Hugh LAWSON named children Roger, Hugh
and Mary, and sons-in-law Thomas IRWIN, George EWING, Hugh BERRY, and
James HENDERSON. On May 20, 1772, Robert received 600 acres on the
North Branch of Davidson's Creek, Micklenburg Co., NC. Children of
Robert and Margaret BYERS, his first wife: William married Peg WORK;
David married Esther WORK (daughter of Alexander WORK, Sr. and Isabell
COX), Joseph never married; James married Margaret SMITH; and four
other children. Children of Robert and Margaret BYERS, his second wife:
- Sarah - b. Oct. 21, 1716, Exeter, Devon,
England; d. York Co., SC. Married Samuel PORTER.
- Elizabeth - b. Exeter, Devon, England; d. Chester Co., PA. Married
at 4PM on Jul. 2, 1728 in St. Peter's Chapel, Milltown, Ireland to
William BRYSON (b. Jun. 21, 1710, Co. Antrim, Ireland; d. 1760). Sons
of Elizabeth and William BRYSON: William; Daniel; James; John; Elisha;
- Jane - b. Milltown, Co. Cavan, Ireland. Married Tedford SYKES, probably the widower of her sister Isabella.
- Jeany - b.
Milltown, Co. Cavan, Ireland. Married Mar. 9, 1742 in Chester Co., PA
to John ALLISON. They moved from PA to Augusta Co., VA in 1742.
- James - b. 1718, Milltown, Co. Cavan, Ireland. Married Mary SYKES.
- b. about 1721, Milltown, Co. Cavan, Ireland; d. Sep. 1794; York Co.,
SC; bur. Beersheba Cem., York Col., SC. Married first in 1745 at
Penneastmeadow, Chester Co., PA to Margaret 'Peg' CARSON (b. Nov. 3,
1721, Ireland; d. 1778, York Co., SC; bur. Beersheba Cem., York Col.,
SC), daughter of Samuel CARSON (d. 1766) and Jane PATTERSON of Chester
Co., PA, with sisters Agnes, Hanna, Elizabeth married Abraham McCARTER,
Mary married Walter CARSON, and Rebecca, and brothers William married
Susanna, Francis and Walter married Nancy (Agnes) HARE. Peg's father Samuel CARSON married second Sarah
(REESE) WALLACE. David married second about 1778 in SC to Sarah
(SLEVIN/SLAVEN) CARSON (b. about 1729, PA; bur. Beersheba Cem., York
Col., SC), daughter of William SLEVIN and Isabella LUCKEY (daughter of
Robert LUCKEY) , with sisters Agnes, Isabella, Betsy and Nancy, and
widow of John CARSON (d. Rowan Co., NC), whom she married Aug. 31,
1775. Children of David and Margaret BYERS: William J. married Jane;
Samuel married Margaret HANDLEY; Ann married William HARRIS; and Jeane
Isabella married her first cousin David PORTER (son of Samuel PORTER
and Sarah BYERS). Child of David and Sarah BYERS: Margaret married
- William - b. Apr. 5, 1735, Chester Co., PA; d. Feb. 17,
1799, York Co., SC. Capt. William BYERS was a member of the Second
Provincial Congress of SC 1775-1776, with his title from his service in
Col. Thomas NEEL's regiment during the Revolutionary War. Married in
1760 in Augusta Co., VA to Elizabeth 'Betsy' WALTON (b. 1740, VA; d.
1795, York Co., SC). William was an elder of the Beersheba Presbyterian
Church of York Co., SC, and is likely buried in the church cemetery.
Children William and Elizabeth BYERS: Edward married first Mary 'Polly'
SMITH, second Martha ALEXANDER, and third his first cousin Elizabeth
Martha BYERS (daughter of William J. BYERS and Jane); Nancy Ann married
Maj. Adam MEEK; William married first Catherine 'Kitty' HOPE, and
second Sarah; Lorena married Capt. Thomas WOODS; Elizabeth 'Eliza'
married Charles Ephraim McLEAN; Susanna 'Susan' married Capt. James
MEEK; and David 'Davie' married Mary 'Polly' GORDON.
Porter Family Introductory Notes
The information on Robert PORTER is gleaned from the pages of Bridges
to the Past, by Roy Brooks and Mrs. Ernest Newton (Forest
City, 1992), notably Volume I, pages 80-83 and 95, and Volume
II, pages 49-50. Additional information received from Ben Callahan,
sharing the research of Harold Rollins and Miles Philbeck, and
from Kayla M. Michael, sharing research by her and others. Extensive
information on the family of James PORTER appears in the article
"Porter of Rowan and Rutherford," by Miles Philbeck,
Bulletin of the Genealogical Society of Old Tryon County,
Vol. 26 (1998), No. 4, pages 175-85. Thurlo V. Byers (1923-1998)
compiled information on the PORTER kin of the BYERS family, and his son
Tom Byers is making much of the information available on the web as a tribute to his Dad. None of these sources is
responsible for any errors of interpretation or presentation
introduced by the compiler.
CAUTION: Some compilations, including the first noted above, indicate that Robert and Mary PORTER were the parents of Samuel PORTER of
York Co., SC, and of James PORTER of Rowan Co., NC. However, court
records regarding the 1745 will of Robert PORTER indicate that his sons
Samuel and James were minors in Feb. 1755, when a guardian was
appointed for them, and they could not be Samuel PORTER of York County
and James PORTER of Rowan County.
Robert and Mary Porter of Lancaster Co., PA
- b. Ireland, d. 1745, PA. The
will of Robert PORTER, proved in Lancaster Co., PA on Sep. 9, 1745,
names wife Mary as Executor, and children Robert, John, James, Samuel
and Jannet. Subsequent documents appeared as follows:
Jun. 2, 1746 - William Richey named guardian of minor children of Robert Porter.
May 7, 1747 - Minor children Robert and John, administrator James Gillespie Esq. and guardian William Richey.
Jun. 6, 1749 - William Richey, guardian.
Feb. 5, 1755 - James Gillespie and William Richardson [Richey?], guardians of minor children James and Samuel Porter.
- Executor of the 1745 will of Robert PORTER.
Children of Robert and Mary Porter
- Robert - Minor in May 1747. Named in the will of Robert PORTER.
- John - Minor in May 1747. Named in the will of Robert PORTER.
- James - Minor in Feb. 1755. Named as son in the will of Robert PORTER.
- Samuel - Minor in Feb. 1755. Named as son in the will of Robert PORTER.
- Jannet - Not found in guardianship documents 1746-1755. Named as daughter in the will of Robert PORTER.
James Porter of Rowan Co., NC
James PORTER - b. about 1722, Ireland; d.
1789-1791, Rowan Co., NC. An immigrant to PA from Ireland, James
settled first in Lancaster Co., PA. He later moved with his family to
Rowan Co., NC, where his will was dated Sep. 6, 1789. James left land
in Lincoln Co., and Iredell Co. to his sons. His sons were in
Rutherford Co., NC prior to the Revolution, in which they both served
Children of James Porter
- William - b. about 1750-57; d. 1817. William was an officer in
the NC militia during the Revolution, with service at the Battle of
Kings Mountain. He held political office representing Rutherford Co.,
NC from 1780 until his death, and served as one of the original
trustees of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Col.
Porter married Mary GILKEY (b. about 1763). Children of William and
Mary PORTER: Charles did not marry; William D. married Hannah Porter
WALLACE(daughter of Lt. William WALLACE and Ruth PORTER)
married John HUGGINS; Rebecca married her first cousin John SWAN;
Robert S. married Margaret IRVIN; John; David Hall married Salena GRAY;
Samuel Grimes married Martha WHISNANT; and Sarah Lee married James
- Susannah - b. 1753. Married Aug. 30, 1774, Rowan Co., NC Samuel
ECTOR (b. 1744). They resided in Orange Co., NC. Children of Susannah
and Samuel ECTOR: Joseph married Caty ANDERSON; James married Jane
ANDERSON; Jane; Samuel; William married Elizabeth GETTIS; Margaret
married James ANDERSON; Hugh married Elizabeth MITCHELL; Keziah marred
Robert TATE; and Thomas P. married Jane.
- Kesiah - Married Oct. 26, 1774, Rowan Co., NC Joseph SWAN. They
lived in Mecklenburg Co., NC. Children of Kesiah and Joseph SWAN:
Joseph B.; James; R. H. M.; John married his first cousin Rebecca
PORTER; and Moses.
- Ann - Married John SWAN. They lived in York Co., SC. Children of
Ann and John SWAN: John B.; Mary H.; and Jne married Mr. VICKERS.
- Jane - d. 1852. Married William YOUNG. Children of Jane and
William YOUNG: Margaret married Alexander LAWRANCE; Mary 'Polly'
married Henry BURKE; Samuel married first Betsy THOMPSON, and later
Lucretia; and Jane married Tennessee Henry BARKLEY.
- James - b. about 1760, probably Rowan Co., NC; d. Aug. 16,
1840, Selma, AL. Served in the Revolution and wounded at the Battle of
- Margaret - b. Aug. 17, 1764; d. Mar. 2, 1819. Married May 6,
1786, Rowan Co., NC James GRAHAM (b. Jan. 29, 1757; d. Feb. 9, 1834.
Children of Margaret and James GRHAM: Abel married Mary Knox; Jane S.
married Moses Dickey KILPATRICK; Matilda married Samuel BARR; Margaret
Foster married David RAMSAY; William P. married Mary K. BARR; Aly C.
married Rufus JOHNSON; and Sally Hamilton married John N. ANDREWS.
The Porter family in America
Samuel and Sarah (Byers) Porter
Samuel PORTER - b. Dec. 18, 1701, Belfast, No. Ireland; d. 1774, Camden Dist. (now York Co.), SC. His will
written Jul. 28, 1774 in Camden District, SC [recorded Feb. 13, 1784,
Book A, No. 7, pages 12 and 13, by John McCAW, County Clerk of York
Co., SC], naming his wife Sarah and all his children. About 1783, a
record in Augusta Co., VA indicates that David PORTER defaulted on a
1774 bond in SC, likely his bond as Executor of his father's will.
David PORTER had moved to VA sometime during the Revolution, returning
to York Co., SC and recording of his father's will in 1784. Family
lore, recorded by Clara Howe PORTER, wife of Charles Thomas
PORTER, Sr. (son of the named Ezekiel PORTER), states that "Ezekiel's
grandfather [Samuel] sailed from Ireland with five brothers." William
PORTER, who married Margaret and lived in Leacock Twp., Lancaster Co.,
PA, names Samuel's son James PORTER as his nephew in a Mar. 1796
deposition. Although evidence indicates Samuel was from Lancaster Co.,
PA, his parents have not been identified, and he was not the son of Robert PORTER.
Sarah BYERS - b. Oct. 21, 1716, Exeter, Devon, England; d.
abt 1794, York Co., SC. A BYERS researcher places her death at age 78,
about 1794. Daughter of William BYERS and
Children of Samuel and Sarah Porter
- Matthew - b. about 1730-35, No. Ireland or PA; d. Aug. 1783,
York or Union Co., SC. Married Mary. A Feb. 20, 1788 Union Co.,
SC deed, witnessed by Robert KENNEDY, Abraham ENLO and William
WALLACE, from Samuel PORTER to William PORTER identifies the
former as the "oldest son to the above named Matthew Porter
who died intestate in August 1783." The will of William
PORTER of Mecklenberg Co., NC, dated Dec. 28, 1822 and proved
Feb. 1823, names all his siblings, children of Matthew PORTER.
Children of Matthew and Mary PORTER: Samuel married Jane DOWDLE (line of Kayla M. MICHAEL);
William married possibly Jean MONTGOMERY; Elizabeth married John
MONTGOMERY; Mary married possibly Henry HOUSTON; Martha married
Samuel HOGSHEAD; and Ezekiel married Mary Jane 'Polly' PHILLIPS.
- Agnes - Unconfirmed family sources say that she married Enoch
Enloe. Even if this is true, the Enoch Enloe she married could
not have been the brother of Isaac Enloe, since Isaac's brother
Enoch Enloe married first Agnes SPRUCEBANKS and second Jane McCORD.
- David - d. 1812, Rutherford Co., NC. Will dated Apr. 27,
1812, and recorded Jul. 1812 names wife Jane, brother James and
his son David, Ruth WALLAS, and sisters Vilet ENLOW and Ann CANADAY.
David served in the Revolutionary War. Married his first cousin
Jeane Isabella BYERS (b. about 1753, Lancaster Co., PA), daughter
of David BYERS and Margaret CARSON. Jane's will dated Dec. 10,
1818, and recorded Apr. 1819 names sisters-in-law Vilet ENLOW,
Ann KANADA, and Ruthy WALLES. The bequest to sister Ruth was
"my wagon without any gears only the naked britch bands."
David and Jane moved to Rutherford Co., NC about 1797. Children of David and Jane PORTER,
possibly including Robert (will dated Oct. 16, 1810, proved Jul.
1811), who married Elizabeth and had 8 children.
- b. Mar. 3, 1749; d. Apr. 9, 1827, York Co., SC. Married Isaac
ENLOE/ENLOW (b. Feb. 13, 1745; d. Jun. 10, 1819, York Co., SC; bur.
Beershaba Cemetery, York Co., SC), son of Abraham ENLOE (b. Dec. 1707,
Baltimore, MD; d. 1758, Baltimore, MD) and Mary DEASON (b. 1711, MD; d.
1774, York Co., SC). Lived in York Co., SC. Isaac ENLOE was the brother
of Anthony ENLOE and Enoch ENLOE, and uncle of Abraham ENLOE of
Rutherford Co., NC (1770-1841). Legend, unproved but supported by some
and denied by many, says that Abraham ENLOE had an illegitimate son by
Nancy HANKS. This son was named Abraham, and took his supposed
step-father's surname of LINCOLN. The legend appears in several
tellings, with possibly the most detailed being on pages 6 and 7 of THE
HERITAGE OF RUTHERFORD COUNTY, published by the Genealogical Society of
Old Tryon County (1984). This legend would result in Violet (PORTER)
ENLOE being the great aunt of Abraham LINCOLN. Children of Violet and
Isaac ENLOE: Jane probably died young; Nathaniel; Asahel; Gilbert;
Christina; Ruth; Elizabeth; Jane; and Hannah.
- James - Purchased land from his brother David PORTER by deed
of May 18, 1771, Tryon Co., NC. James served in the Revolutionary
War. He received a court order dated Feb. 9, 1793 to give a deposition
in an Iredell Co., NC suit (Minute Book B., page 93 of the February
Court 1793) by David PORTER against William BYERS Senr. and Sarah
PORTER. An Iredell Co., NC deed from James PORTER of Rutherford
Co., NC and William PORTER of Lancaster Co., PA is dated Apr.
16, 1800. A Mar. 26, 1796 deposition states that William PORTER
of Leacock Twp. Lancaster Co., PA said that during the Revolutionary
War his nephew James PORTER had left land papers with Margaret,
wife of said William PORTER, for safekeeping. Son of James PORTER: David.
- Nathaniel served in the Revolutionary War. Apparently not married
when his will was written in Camden District, SC on Apr. 7, 1784, and
probated Apr. 29, 1784. In his will, he names "eldest Brother Matthew,"
and his other siblings Agnes, David, James, Vilet, Rebakah, Ruth and
Ann. His mother and sister Ann were willed the remainder of his estate,
with Ann named as heir after the death of their mother. Executors were
his mother Sarah and her brother William BYERS. The three witnesses to
his will were Edward BYERS, Adam MEEK and James MEEK, with Edward and
the MEEKs wives being children of Nathaniel's uncle William BYERS. The
estate of Nathaniel PORTER, "late of Bullock's Creek," in southwest
York Co., SC, included two negro slaves and was appraised at
£341.11.2, and was presented Apr. 29, 1784 by Nathaniel's mother
Sarah PORTER and uncle William BYERS. Note that the marriage of Dec.
22, 1808 recorded in Rutherford Co., NC of Nathaniel W(allace) PORTER
to Elizabeth GROVES, may be a clerical error for the marriage of
Nathaniel P(orter) WALLACE.
- Ann - d. about 1828, York Co., SC. Married Robert KANADA/CANADAY/KENNEDY
(d. Jul. 4, 1814, York Co., SC; bur. Beersheba Cemetery, York
Co., SC). Robert signed the church transfer of his sister-in-law
Ruth and her husband. Child of Ann and Robert KANADA: John.
- Ruth - b. about 1756;
d. 1849, Rutherford Co., NC. Married Lt.
- Rebecca -