John Byers of Beglieve

The family connections of John Byers of Beglieve 


Generation 1             Robert Byers of ?

Currently designated Generation 1 unless there's a possibility of reaching further back!

NB: This generation and its 'Robert Byers' is purely conjectural at the moment - a backward projection from the known John Byers, recorded below as Generation 2!

Robert Byers would likely have been born sometime around say 1785.

His wife might well have been called Sara or Sarah (see naming convention note in the next section re Generation 2.

Also still to be identified are the parents of Martha Coote, daughter in law of this conjectural Robert.

Again, bearing in mind the naming conventions, Martha’s father was possibly James (or Joseph) Coote and his wife might be Elizabeth Coote. Though not completely satisfying those criteria, one real possibility is that Martha Coote was the 13 year old girl recorded in the 1821 census as living in the townland of Carne in the Parish of Castlerahan at House No.1 (a single-storey building):

John Coots [= Coote], age 51, farmer with 53 acres
Eliza Coots, his wife, age 47, spinner

       their children:
Thomas Coots, age 21, labourer
William Coots, age 16, labourer
Martha Coote [sic], age 13, spinner
Elizabeth Coote, age 11

 also Luke McCahill, age 14, servant & labourer
Terence Monahan, age 21, servant & labourer
Mary McKinley, age 19, house servant
Joseph Smyth, age 22, linen weaver  

There is also a 14 year old Martha Coote in the 1821 census who is a servant to 74 year old widow Mrs Kellett who runs a "lodging house" at House No.5 in the town of Virginia.

And there is one other possibility from the 1821 census in the townland of Killvally in the Parish of Denn, Barony of Castlerahan. In a single storey house (No.1) lives:

William Coote age 59
Ann Coote, his wife, age 55

their children:
Jane Coote, age 23, spinner
Martha Coote, age 21, spinner
Ann Coote, age 19, spinner
Isaac Coote, age 17, spinner
William Coote, age 13


Generation 2            John Byers of Tievenaman

We know from the marriage records (see below) that the Robert Byers of the next generation (here labelled Generation 3) was the son of John Byers of Tievenaman (who himself may have been the brother of Joseph Byers, also of Tievenaman, who married Mary Byers and - just to confuse things or open up further possibilities, also had a son called Robert in 1833 (see the Ballyjamesduff Presbyterian Church PDF). All of which might confirm two brothers, John and Joseph, with Robert as their father), though Joseph's Robert was the second-born son! Nothing's straightforward).

John Byers would have been born before 1807, given that he was most likely 21 or older at the time of his first-born child (Elizabeth) in July 1828.

The quoted dates of John's son Robert’s age at the time of his first marriage and his death are somewhat out of kilter – but that is often the case in such records.

Just to underline all of the above: it’s most probable, given the traditional naming conventions, that the eldest son was given the name of the father’s father. Hence the likelihood that, if John and Martha are the correct parents, then John Byers of Tievenaman was the son of a Robert Byers (see Generation 1).

It’s also possible that John Byers’s mother was called Sarah and that Martha Coote’s father was called James (or Joseph) Coote - see Generation 1 above.

These are the usual naming conventions of the time:
Oldest son named after the Father’s father
2nd son named after the Mother’s father
3rd son named after the Father
4th son named after the Father’s oldest brother
Oldest daughter named after the Mother’s mother
2nd daughter named after the Father’s mother
3rd daughter named after the Mother
4th daughter named after the Mother’s oldest sister 

The following births are from the Ballyjamesduff Presbyterian Church records for:

John Byars and Martha Byars alias [née] Martha Coote of Tivinaman [sic]

  • Elizabeth, aged 4 days, baptised 22.07.1828
  • Robert, born 27.12.1830, baptised 08.01.1831 (of “Tievenaman”) (entry very faint – needs re-checking with original)
  • James [or Joseph? Could be Jas or Jos!], born 25.12.1832, baptised 09.01.1833  (parents given as Jno & Matty Byars alias Matty Coote – no townland)
  • Sara, "2nd daughter & 4th child", born 07.01.1835, baptised 02.02.1835  (this entry from Rev J. Ritchie’s notebook)
  • Jane, "aged 1 day", baptised 06.12.1836 (Matty Byars / Matty Coote of Tivnaman)
  • Frances, aged nearly 3 weeks, baptised 07.06.1840 (John & Martha of Tivnaman)
  • Mary Anne, baptised 25.12.1850, "aged 6 weeks on last Saturday", (parents given as Jno & Matty Byars alias Matty Coote of Tivnaman)

I suggest that the “under age” John Byers, son of John Byers "of Tivnaman", who married Elizabeth Deyell in July 1854 at the First Presbyterian Church, Cootehill, Parish of Drumgoon, might well be an undocumented son, born perhaps around 1837.
There may be other currently undocumented children after the birth of Jane in 1836.

Byers-Deyell marriage 1854

John and Elizabeth emigrated to Australia from Liverpool aboard the Truro in 1855 and started a new life in Queensland.  Their daughter Elizabeth Jane Deyell Byers was born during the voyage from Liverpool. There was at least one more child - a daughter Margaret.

Question: Apart from Robert, what became of the other children of this Byers-Coote marriage? Presumably there may be further lines of descendants apart from Robert's line and John's line. Has anyone got the answer?

John Byers's eldest daughter Eliza Byers married William Vogan on 27 January 1853 in Bellasis Presbyterian Church. One of the witnesses was Anne Coote.

Robert married in 1862 (see Generation 3)

Footnote: Before leaving Tievenaman (and its many variant spellings), it's worth looking at the Farham Estate papers in the National Library of Ireland. See here

In 1799, there was a rental reappraisal. In that year, lands at Tievenaman were leased for 3 lives to Benjamin and Alexander Stafford. No mention of any Byers family. However, there's a William and a Henry Byers at Cornagrow in 1832, a Joseph Byers at Fintawan, also in 1832, and at Gallonnambraher there are John, Robert and William Junior in 1825, William Senior in 1826 and (simply) a William Byers in 1832. All with leases for three lives.


Generation 3        Robert Byers of Rooskey

Robert Byers was the father of John Byers of Beglieve (see Generation 4).

This is Robert’s first marriage:

Drung Church in the Parish of Drung in the Dio[cese of] Kilmore

I have not as yet traced any children from this marriage.

Griffith’s Valuation records a Robert Caraher of Cormeen Glebe, Co. Cavan, and there is also this Co. Cavan civil marriage recorded 17 years later:

It is possible that Mary was a sister of Martha.

Martha Byers (née Caraher) died in 1871.

This is the information from her death certificate from the Civil Records, registered on 13 May 1871 in the District of Cootehill in the Union of Cootehill in the Counties of Cavan and Monaghan:

 Phthisis is any progressive wasting disease, especially pulmonary tuberculosis

So Robert Byers is now farming at Rooskey. He remarried the following year, 1872, in Bellasis Presbyterian Church.

It looks as if John Byers, farmer of Tievenaman, had perhaps built or helped to build houses or outbuildings, something which still pertained with some of the sons of John Byers in Generation 5.

Mary Anne Byers was presumably Robert’s young (relatively, very young – a late arrival!) sister, baptised in Ballyjamesduff Presbyterian Church on 25 December 1850, “aged 6 weeks on last Saturday, daughter to Jno. and Matty Byars alias Matty Coote of Tivnaman”.   Matty is an abbreviation for Martha.

Joseph McIlwaine is most likely a brother of Jane’s. And there was a sister: the Bellasis marriage in 1866 of James Doughty, a farmer of Kilmore, and son of “the late John Doughty” was to Anne McIlwaine from “Lisanamore”, daughter of “the late Joe McIlwaine”, a farmer. James Doughty of Lisanymore died 23 September 1912 aged 76 and Anne Doughty née McIlwaine of Lisanymore died 9 May 1919 “aged 80”. Both are buried at Billis Parish Church.

From her gravestone at Knockbride Parish Church, Jane McIlwaine was born in 1839, making her 32 or 33 years of age at the time of her marriage to Robert Byers.

A son, John Byers, was born nine months later.

James George Gamble, a neighbour who would be John Byers’s best man, was born the following year.

These are their baptisms from Knockbride Parish Church.

John’s father, Robert Byers, died when John Byers was just 5 years of age.

Extract from Civil Records for 1877. Registered on the 10th December in the District of Cootehill in the Union of Cootehill in the Counties of Cavan and Monaghan:

Three months later, Jane remarried.

Rooskey is stated as being “in the Parish of Knockbride”;   Lissannamore “in the Parish of Billis”

Jane Byers signs as “X (Jane Byers) her mark”

Robert Johnston(e)’s parents were Arthur and Maria Johnston of Lissanymore. Robert was born before the surviving church baptismal register … but there were at least two younger sisters.  

John Byers’s half sister, Margaret Johnston, was born in 1880.


Generation 4        John Byers of Beglieve

In 1889 came this Memorandum (variant spellings and lack of punctuation are as given in the handwritten document): 

Memorandum of Agreement between Robt. Johnson, his wife and stepson John Byers

[NB. Based on average earnings, £30 in 1889 would now be worth around £16,000.]

We Robert Johnson Rooskey and his wife Jane Johnson, and her son John Byers agree this 15th day of January one thousand eight hundred and eighty nine, 1889.

First: That if the said John Byers at any time wishes to leave this his father’s house he John Byers is to get the sum of thirty pounds (£30) sterling and is to give up all claim to his father’s property and Will.
And if he the said John Byers prefer and agree to live with his mother and his stepfather the said Robert Johnstone and does continue to work and care everything well he the said John Byers is to get the whole of his father’s farm and the chattels thereon at the death of the said Robert Johnson, and he the said John Byers is to pay to his half-sister Margaret Johnson the sum of thirty pounds sterling (£30) when she is twenty one years of age and is to support his mother while she lives.

Second: If said John Byers take the thirty pounds above named and give up all claim to his father’s land and property; and if the said Robert Johnson survives his present wife Jane he the said Robt. Johnson is hereby bound to give the sum of thirty pounds sterling (£30) to his daughter Margaret Johnson when she arrives at the age of twenty one years; but if her father the said Robt. Johnson remains a widower he is not bound to pay the said £30 to his daughter but is hereby bound to leave the said land (of the late Robert Byers) with the chattels thereon at his death to his said daughter Margaret Johnson and in confirmation of this agreement we the aforesaid affix our signatures in presence of witnesses.

Signed by   Jane Johnson  X  Her mark
                  Robert Johnston
                  John Byers

Witnesses present: Joseph Brown; William Morrow

I James Doughty executor of the will of the late Robert Byers give my full consent to the above agreement.

Signed by James Doughty


Paid to John Byers on October 25th 1900 the sum of £25 twenty five pds ster as part of the £30 thirty pounds of the agreement on the other page of this document.

Signed by John Byers


[No date] Also paid the balance of the £30 being the sum of £5 five pounds sterling in presence of me.

Signed by Joseph Brown
Countersigned by John Byers


John’s mother, Jane Johnston, formerly Byers, née McIlwaine,
of Coronary townland, died on 24 May 1899. She was 61 years of age.

John Byers married on 6 December 1900 (see below) and the couple settled in Killycloughan.

The Beglieve farm was inherited through the family of John Byers’s wife, Letitia Alice Ney.

Griffith’s Valuation c.1856 gives two Ney families at Beglieve: Samuel Ney and James Ney (their landlord, Elphin Schools’ trustees, had an address in Co. Sligo (source: Land Owners in Ireland, 1876)).

Samuel Ney’s son, William Ney, was described as a farmer of “Begliff” at the time of his marriage to Martha Dickson (or Dixon) on 13 February 1868. 

Just for the record, the 1855 Knockbride Parish Church records have the baptism of a William Ney, son of Robert and Jane (née Bell) Ney. It gives their home as “Begleff”. Their marriage in the same church in 1849 had recorded Robert’s home as “Begliff” and his father as George Ney. There’s also the 1848 marriage in the same church of Caroline Ney, daughter of William Ney. Lots of family connections there to be teased out!

1st Bailieborough Presbyterian Church / Corglass - marriage

William was born in 1841 and his siblings were George, b.1845, Mary, b.1853, Jane, b.1855, and Alice, b. 1858.

After their marriage, William and Martha lived and farmed at Killycloughan (“Killiclochen”), Coroneary (Martha’s father’s farm). Their four children were baptised at Coronary and Corglass Churches.

Coronary Church, Parish of Knockbride – baptisms

  • 1870    William Ney, Martha Dixon his wife,
                           Margaret Jane, their first child, baptised 20 March 1870
  • 1874    William Ney, Martha Dixon his wife,
                           Mary Anne, their second child, baptised 01 January 1874

Corglass – baptisms

  • 1875    Letitia Alice to William Ney (farmer of Killacloughan) and Martha Dixon,
                           born 26 December 1875, baptised 25 June 1876 [their third child]

  • 1878    Samuel James to William Ney (farmer of Killacloughan) and Martha Dixon,
                            born 06 May 1878 [their fourth child]

Patricia Kostelnik has posted the following school record online:

Drutamon National School [Girls] 1864-1939

Year: 1890               Entry Number: 139
NEY, Letitia Alice     Presbyterian    age 13
Townland: Killicloghan (transferred from Drumbinis School)

A Margaret Jane Ney died in September 1899 (see Wills), but this may have been another relative, because the eldest daughter here, Margaret Jane, is said to have married a Mr Unsworth and lived in Perth, NW Australia. See a possible photo below with Alex Byers in the following section, The Children of John Byers of Beglieve

Mary Anne Ney, the second daughter, is recorded in the 1901 census as being the cook and domestic servant for Henry Thomas Geoghegan (aged 60, a retired civil engineer) and his 50 year old sister Frances Anne Geoghehan. They lived at house no.8 in Ballynadrough (Swords, Dublin).

She emigrated in 1906, presumably with her recently acquired husband John Henry Cole to Quebec, Canada. The 1911 Canadian census has the family at 598 Labelle, 172 Maisonneuve, Montreal, Quebec (my thanks to John Blair for this information). John Henry Cole was recorded as 27, born March 1884, while Mary Anne is said to be 31 and born October 1879. Was this discrepancy to conceal a greater age difference between husband and wife? Or did the first Mary Anne die, to be replaced with a new addition to the Ney family in 1879?

Meanwhile John Byers had been born in 1873 to Robert Byers and his second wife, Jane.


And so Letitia Alice Ney married John Byers on 6 December 1900. The witnesses were Letitia Alice’s sister Mary Anne Ney and James George Gamble, a neighbour who grew up alongside John Byers at Rooskey.

Coronary marriage

The 1901 Census gives a snapshot of the 2 homes – Beglieve and Killycloughan:

Details of property 


Family: general details

Family: specific details

Date of census

Beglieve No.6 

Built house;  private dwelling;
3 out-offices: 1 piggery, 1 stable, 1 shed
House inhabited; Walls of stone/brick/concrete
Roof perishable (thatch, wood or other)
5 or 6 rooms;  4 windows at front
Class of house: 2nd

Head of family: George Ney
No. of rooms occupied by family: 3
No. in family: 4
No-one sick
Land-holder: George Ney
Religion: all family recorded as Presbyterian
Language (Irish etc.): English
All could read and write.

George Ney: head of family, 45, male, farmer, not married, born Co.Cavan
Mary Ney: sister, 48, female, house-keeper, not married, born Co.Cavan
Jane Ney: sister, 46, female, housekeeper, not married, born Co.Cavan
Alice Ney: sister, 43, female, housekeeper, not married, born Co.Cavan
03 April 1901

Killycloughan No.10

Built house;  private dwelling;
3 out-offices: 1 cow-house, 1 piggery, 1 barn
House inhabited; Walls of stone/brick/concrete
Roof not perishable (slate, iron or tiles)
between 2 and 4 rooms;  3 windows at front
Class of house: 2nd

Head of family: William Ney
No. of rooms occupied by family: 4
No. in family: 3
No-one sick
Land-holder: William Ney
Religion: all family Church of Ireland
Language (Irish etc.): not given
All could read and write.

William Ney: head of family, 60, male, farmer, widower, born Co.Cavan
John Byers: son-in-law, 28, male,  farm-servant, married, born Co.Cavan
Letitia Byers: daughter, 23, female, blank re job, married, born Co.Cavan

13 April 1901

In Rooskey that year, according to the Census, No.2 (John’s original home) was occupied by his stepfather, Robert Johnston, aged 55, widower and farmer, along with his daughter Maggie, aged 20. There was a boarder, Kate Barron, aged 15, described as a General Servant. Robert’s religious affiliation was given as Church of Ireland; Maggie and Kate were “Irish Church”.

The house had 3 outbuildings – a cow-house, a piggery and a barn.
No.3 has John Gamble, aged 64, and his sister Margaret, aged 54 (landlord and farmer), affiliated to the “Irish Church”.
No.4 has James Gamble, aged 65, his wife Eliza, aged 60, and his sons: John Edward, 27, James George, 25, William (school-teacher), 21 and daughter Isabella, aged 23. They were Church of Ireland.   
No.10 has Ellen Gamble, aged 57, farmer’s wife; her daughter Martha, aged 30, and sons John G. aged 26 and Thomas, 20
No.11 has Margaret Anne Gamble, farmer, widow, aged 54, and her sons William (school-teacher), 29, and John (carpenter) 26.

Ten years on, and the 1911 Census records Robert Johnston’s age now as 70!
His daughter Maggie has been married less than a year - now Maggie Wedlock, aged 30, with husband Thomas Wedlock, aged 23.

The houses have either been renumbered, or people have moved around – or both!

Robert Johnston’s is now No.3.
No.4 has 38 year old farmer John Gamble, his 24 year old wife, Mary Jane, his 71 year old mother, Ellen Gamble and three children: Ella Jane (4), Anna Elizabeth (3) and Robert William (1). They’ve been married 5 years and have lost one child.
No.6 has Margaret Gamble (John Gamble’s widow), now aged 64, and her grandson, Samuel Young (7).
No.7 has Schoolmaster William Gamble (from No.11 in 1901), now married to Margaret A., aged 25, and with a 2 month old daughter, Margaret Mildred.
No.11 has farmer James Gamble, now 75, his wife Eliza, now 72, his son John Edward (38), daughter Isabella G (34) and Elizabeth Gamble a 6 year old granddaughter. James and Eliza have been married for 44 years with 7 children born alive but only 4 then living.
No.12 has farmer John William Wilson, aged 43, living with his 62 year old aunt, Margaret Gamble.

Beglieve a while ago ...  

Beglieve in 2009

These are the returns from the 1911 census:


Details of property 



Family: general details

Family: specific details


Date of census

Beglieve No.2

Built house;  private dwelling;
6 out-offices
House inhabited; Walls of stone/brick/concrete
Roof perishable (thatch, wood or other)
2, 3 or 4 rooms;  4 windows at front
Class of house: 2nd

Head of family: George Ney
No. of rooms occupied by family: 3
No. in family: 3
No-one sick
Land-holder: George Ney
Religion: all family recorded as Presbyterian
Language (Irish etc.): English
All could read and write.


George Ney: head of family, 55, male, farmer, single, born Co.Cavan
Jane Ney: sister, 53, female, - [blank re job], single, born Co.Cavan
Alice Ney: sister, 50, female, - [blank re job], not married, born Co.Cavan


27 April 1911
Killycloughan No.2

Built house;  private dwelling;
6 out-offices
House inhabited; Walls of stone/brick/concrete
Roof not perishable (slate, iron or tiles)
2, 3 or 4 rooms;  3 windows at front
Class of house: 2nd

Head of family: John Byers (spelt Byres)
No. of rooms occupied by family: 3
No. in family: 9
No-one sick
Land-holder: John Byers
Religion: all family recorded as Presbyterian
Language (Irish etc.): not given
Letitia is recorded as 10 years married with 7 children born; 7 alive
First 5 on family list below could read and write; Eliza, Robert, Christina and George “cannot read”.
All children “born Co.Cavan”.

John Byers: head of family, 38, farmer, married, born Co.Cavan
Letitia Alice Byers: wife, 34, female, - [blank re job], married, born Co.Cavan
John William Byers: son, 9, scholar, single
Martha Jane Byers: daughter, 8, scholar, single
Samuel Byers: son, 7, scholar, single
Eliza Byers: daughter, 5, scholar, single
Robert Byers: son, 3, - [blank re status], single
Christina Byers: daughter, 2, - [blank], single
George Byers: son, 9 months, - [blank], single


24 April 1911

John Byers’s half-sister Margaret Johnston married Thomas Wedlock on 1 December 1910. She died in 1962.

Robert Johnston, of Rooskey townland, died on 26 April 1924, aged 82.
Robert and Jane were buried at Knockbride Parish Church - as was James G. Gamble (a witness at John Byers's wedding) of Rooskey on 1 March 1944 aged 70.

Robert Johnston's  son-in-law, Thomas Wedlock (1887-1965) and wife, Margaret Wedlock née Johnston (1880-1962), continued to live at Rooskey.  

Thomas and Margaret’s family included their daughter Ethel May Rusk Wedlock (1919-1958) and their son Samuel James Wedlock (1926-1980).

Robert Johnston provides a good example of why one should not accept ages at face value. According to the gravestone, Robert Johnston was born in 1852; according to the burial record he was born in 1842, according to the 1901 census he would have been born c.1846!


And so to the family of John and Letitia Alice Byers.

John Byers and his family moved in to Beglieve on 3 June 1921 and the house was then rebuilt/remodelled. Just for the record: 'Beag' is the Irish for 'small' or 'little'. Beglieve (or in its Irish spelling 'Beagshliabh') would mean 'small mountain'.

Eleven children were born to Letitia and John (Walter, the youngest son, suggests there was another child who didn't survive, born before him and after Albert James).

Letitia Alice Byers (nee Ney)
Above: Letitia Alice Byers
Left: This photograph of Letitia Alice and John Byers is said to date from 1939.

Both John and Letitia are buried in the graveyard of Corglass Church. John Byers died on 19 December 1958 and Letitia died on 27 October 1960.                      


Generation 5       The children of John Byers of Beglieve

Byers family at Beglieve - c.1924

Back row: John Byers, Willie, Sam, Lily, Jennie, Letitia Alice

Front row: Chris, George, Annie, Alex, Bertie, Walter

Bob took the photo.


All the Byers family baptisms of this generation took place at Coronary [Corraneary] Church.


John Byres [sic] and Letitia Alice Ney had John William, their first child, baptised 23 February 1902.  Born 2 September 1901.
  • William (Willie) married Lucy Wedlock and they farmed at Beglieve. They had two children: Ivan and Jean. Willie predeceased Lucy who died on 2 January 2009 aged 97. Willie had died on 3 February 1983 and is buried at Corglass with his parents.

L to R: John Byers, his wife Letitia Alice, and his eldest son William.

Above (L to R): Granny Wedlock (Lucy's mum), Lucy (Willie's wife) and Letitia Alice Byers

Right (L to R): Sam Bleakley, Jean Bleakley née Byers, Ivan Byers


John Byres [sic] and Letitia Ann [sic] Ney had Martha Jane, their second child, baptised 7 June 1903.  Born 25 January 1903 (though USA records state 26 January). If the sources are correct, she died 6 March 1995 at 33173 Miami, Miami-Dade, Florida, USA. (SSN 070-20-2303)

Jennie married Bill Beck, and they went to New York from Derry (White Star line?) in1928.   Family chat states that Bill’s other brothers, John & Alex, all went to Canada. Maybe eventually - but Alex is identified in New York in the 1930 US federal Census, living with the Becks.
The Census reveals that at 948 Mile Square Road, Yonkers, NY, a property owned by William Beck and valued at $8,500, lived Jennie Beck (aged 27), brother-in-law William J. Beck (aged 28), W.J. Beck’s younger brother, Alexander Beck (aged 26), Robert Byers, aged 23, and a lodger, James Hill (aged 29).
William Beck was a builder, Robert was a helper in a shop, Alexander Beck was a plasterer in the building trade and James Hill was a janitor at a school.

William and Jennie had been married for 2 years. William and Alexander were born in New York, but both their parents were born in the Irish Free State. Jennie and Robert give their birthplaces – and that of both their parents – as Irish Free State. Hill states “Northern Ireland” for himself and both his parents.

Jennie gives 1928 as her year of immigration; Robert gives 1929; James Hill gives 1926.
In the 1940 census, the family is still living at the same address. So too is Robert Byers (age 30) and Alexander Beck (aged 36).

William (Bill) and Martha (Jennie) now have two children: Vivian J[ean], a daughter aged 8; and a son, Walter W., aged 4.

William is now a Guard on a private estate, earning $1800 in 1939 with 52 weeks worked.
Alexander is a plasterer in the building trade, earning $480 in 1939 with 12 weeks worked.

See below for details about Robert Byers who is still living with the Beck family in 1940.

The PDF on the right has more information on the Beck family in Skeagh, Co Cavan:
Beck family.pdf Beck family.pdf
Size : 85.614 Kb
Type : pdf
Above L to R: Audrey Bateman (Walter's daughter), Jennie, Jennie's daughter Jean and Jean's husband Ken Hart.
Left: Jennie with Audrey in 1982.


John Byres [sic] and Letitia Alic [sic] Ney had Samuel, their third child, baptised 24 October 1904.  Born 25 July 1904. He died on 31 October 1940 and was buried at Woodland on 2 November 1940..
  • Sam emigrated with brother George to Canada c.1928 from Derry (White Star line?).
  • Sam married Emmie Shaw in the early 1930s and the family was living at 21 Harvey St., Hamilton, Ontario when Samuel died in the Mountain Sanatorium, Wentworth, Ancaster. Cause of death was Pulmonary Tuberculosis. He'd lived in Hamilton for 12 years and was unemployed at the time of his death.

Samuel Byers (1904-1940)

 Sam, before he left Ireland in 1928.

Emmie and Samuel Byers

Emmie and Sam on their wedding day.

Sam and Emmie had two daughters: Patricia Ann Byers, born 10 May 1933, and Barbara Emmie Byers, born 14 December 1935.

In September 1940, just before Sam died, the two daughters lived as foster children: Patricia with Cora and Walter McDonald of Hamilton, Ontario; Barbara with Laura and Alfred Crew of Burlington, Ontario. The respective families then adopted the children on Emmie's death in April 1941.

Barbara became Barbara Anne Crew; Patricia became Patricia Ann Byers McDonald.

Samuel Byers with daughters Patricia and Barbara, c.1939
Patricia and Barbara Byers, c.1939
Above: Barbara and Patricia
LH pic: Samuel Byers with daughters Barbara and Patricia, c.1939

Barbara died in April 1955.

Patricia married Mr Lloyd (christian name?) and they had two daughters, Barbara and Sandra.

Mr Lloyd, born 1933, died on 30 November 1976 and Patricia later married Tom Ziegler, a widower with four daughters.

Above: Barbara Anne Crew in 1954 (aged 18).

Right: Patricia and Tom Ziegler in centre; daughter Barbara with her husband Grant on right; daughter Sandra with her husband Rich on left.


John Byres [sic] and Letitia A. Ney had Eliza, their fourth child, baptised 14 May 1906.
Born 28 November 1905. She died in 1992.

Lily moved to Belfast in the 1930s and had a wool shop on the Castlereagh Road.  She married Robert (Bob) Morrison and they lived on the Knock Road. No children.

Lily Morrison nee Byers
Above left: Byers Family Group -  Bertie, possibly Jennie (?), Lily and Alex. 

Above right: Lily in 1972.

Left:  Bob and Lily Morrison


John Byres [sic] and Letitia A. Ney had Robert, their fifth child, baptised 4 November 1907.
Born 9 August 1907. Died 23 January 1998 at 10704 Yonkers, Westchester, New York, USA. (SSN 125-09-8396)

Robert Byers, aged 23, is listed in the 1930 United States Federal Census. Immigration year was given as 1929. He was living at 948 Mile Square Road, Yonkers, Westchester, New York, with his sister Jennie Beck (aged 27) and brother-in-law William J. Beck (aged 28).
See above under Martha Jane Byers.

Robert was a helper in a shop. He and his sister Jennie give their birthplaces – and that of both their parents – as Irish Free State.
In the 1940 census, the Becks are still living at the same address. So too is Robert Byers (age 30), now a stationary engineer* in the building trade, earning $1800 in 1939 with 50 weeks worked.
* A stationary engineer operates heavy machinery and equipment that provide heat, light, climate control and power.
Robert (Bob) met and married Margaret, a Scottish girl. He lived at 944 Mile Square Road, Yonkers, New York. Two children: Betsy and Bob (who died of croop when he was 5 or younger).
Bob and Margaret Byers
Byers family group in New York
Above: Bob and Margaret in 1970.
Top Right: Margaret, Roslyn (Walter's daughter), Bob and his brother George in 1972.

Right: John Beeston (Roslyn's husband) with brothers Bob and George, 1972.



John Byres [sic] and Letitia Ney had Christina, their sixth child, baptised 25 October 1909. Born 27 March 1909. She died in 1986.

  • Chris married Bertie Noble; lived in Dublin. Three children: Joy, Vivien and Trevor.

Chris Noble (nee Byers) i

Top left: Christina (Chris).

Bottom left: Bertie and Chris - probably November 1955

Top right: Chris and Bertie Noble.

Bottom right: Chris at Joy's graduation at TCD.


John Byres [sic] and Letitia A. Ney had George, their seventh child, baptised 24 October 1910.
Born 6 July 1910.

  • George emigrated with brother Sam to Canada c.1928 from Derry (White Star line?). He married Loretto, a French-Canadian girl. She pre-deceased George who died c.1998/99.

Byers family group in Co. Cavan

Above: Byers family group - L to R: George, John and Letitia Alice, Bertie, Willie and Alex Byers.

George Byers

Above: George in 1972.


John Byres [sic] and Letitia Ney had Anna Mary, their eighth child, baptised 27 May 1912. Born 21 September 1911. She died in 1994.

  • Annie came to Belfast via Dundalk and married Jack Stanex. They had two sons: Raymond and Derek.

Byers family group

L to R: Annie, Bertie and Lily, c.1935.


John Byres [sic] and Letitia Alice Ney had Alexander, their ninth child, baptised 25 May 1914.
Born 17 September 1913.
He died in April 2009 (funeral on 17 April).

  • Alex came to Belfast and lived in Roden Street.  He married Dorothy Acheson, born 1920, who had been introduced to Alex as a new shop assistant by his sister Annie. Previously she had worked for Harland and Wolff. They married in 1951. No children. They retired to their home at Orlock, Co.Down. Dorothy died on 5 November 2012.

Above: Photo taken outside Alex's shop in Roden Street, Belfast. L to R: ? Unsworth, said to be from Australia (so this is probably Letitia's sister Margaret Jane Ney ... or a daughter?), Dorothy (Alex's wife), Letitia Alice Byers and Alex Byers.

Right: Alex and Dorothy Byers

Alex and Dorothy Byers



John Byres [sic] and Letitia Ney had Albert James, their tenth child, baptised 29 August 1915. Born 14 April 1915. He died on 3 February 2009.

  • Bertie served an apprenticeship at a grocery shop in Mullagh. Came to Belfast c.1935 and served his time with S.D. Bell’s grocery shop. Bought his own grocery shop at 48 Kenilworth Street. Stayed in “digs” in Ravenscroft Avenue and on the Beersbridge Road. Married Winifred Ethel May Martin in 1946 and bought a house at 12 Clonaver Park (off Holywood Road), moving to Sweet Auburn, 82 Old Holywood Road, Belmont, Belfast BT4 2HP, c. 1951 and to 19 Strathearn Mews, Belmont, Belfast BT4 2QU in May 2002. Then moved to Bangor, Co. Down c.2006. 
         Four children: David, Heather, Elaine and Sharon.


Right: A.J. Byers (Bertie), c.1940

Below Left: Bertie at Mullagh

Below Right: Bertie returns to Killycloughan, 2007

Albert James Byers

Above: Bertie, 2003            Right: Ethel, 2003

Ethel Byers

Above left:  Bertie with daughters (L to R): Sharon, Elaine and Heather (early 1960s).

Above right: Ethel Martin c.1946.

Right: Albert and Ethel in Israel, c.1985.
Albert and Ethel Byers in Israel c.1985


John Byres [sic] and Letitia E.[sic] Ney had Thomas Walter, their eleventh child, baptised 28 October 1918. Born 18 May 1918.

  • Walter came to Belfast with Alex and the two worked together for a time in a garage in Roden Street.  Walter married Martha (Cis) Bowden on 12 June 1947 and eventually moved to England. They had three children: Audrey Elizabeth, Roslyn Annette and Clive Walter

 Walter died on 23 April 2016, just a few weeks short of his 98th birthday.

Cis and Walter Byers
Cis Byers and Audrey

Top left: Cis and Walter in 1962/63.

Top right: Cis and Walter in 2001.

Middle left: Cis with Audrey

Middle right: Walter at 90 (2008)

Left: Walter and son Clive in 2009.