Byers from Cornwall to USA via Cavan

The family connections of William Byers and Louisa Kinkade


Most of the material elsewhere on this website has been gathered from church records that I have consulted and transcribed (and therefore which may be liable to mistakes in that transcription and so should always be double-checked!).

However, in this Cornwall/Cavan instance I have often merely correlated much of the available information from the internet.

I have sought verification for the English and Irish periods – with relatively little success.
I would welcome some genuine source evidence to authenticate this information.

In the meantime,
until such times as the relevant sources can be traced, do not accept the information on this specific page about the family of William Byers and Louisa Kinkade as having been properly authenticated.
Many websites provide details of a late 17th century Byers family grouping from Cornwall and Devon in south-west England which apparently moved to Co. Cavan in Ireland around 1717 and thence immigrated to Pennsylvania in 1734.

It does seem a curious route.

Why would they move from Cornwall to Cavan in the first instance? 

LH pic: Norman Wilkinson's fine poster for the Southern Railway company, 1947. It shows Pentire Head from across Padstow Bay.
The PDF, on the right, lists some of the websites which provided some of the details of this Byers-Cornwall connection.   Caution: see my reservations below.
Given the multiplicity of American and Canadian Byers families that have traced their ancestry back to these specific Cornwall/Cavan connections, I assume (and one never should!) that that later part of the genealogical trail, at least back as far as the Settler period, has been properly authenticated through state records, wills, family bibles, etc.

The Christian names used by the earliest Cornwall/Cavan families are certainly typical of those used by Byers families in Cavan in the 18th and early to mid 19th centuries.

However, there are real problems about this earlier data:

•    Where is the supporting documentation in records from Cornwall and Devon?

•    Where is the supporting evidence from Irish records for the Cavan period?

•    Where are the details of the 1734 sailing that brought the family members to Philadelphia?

I've provided information about the sources I've checked, if only to show a nil result.
The information already available on the web may indeed be correct, but I would feel much more confident, in presenting that material here, if someone would kindly provide details of the relevant validating sources.

So much of the currently available material seems to originate from one common source – the work of Thurlo Vermont Byers (1923-1998). See here (external link).

What I’ve seen of his work online – and it does appear to be a remarkable achievement – seems fairly thorough on the American side, but, with respect to his memory, the earlier Cavan and Cornwall/Devon facts need to be treated warily until the primary sources are identified, examined and verified. 

RH pic: The 6th century King Mark of Cornwall, uncle of Tristan and husband of Iseult in Arthurian legend.
1905 illustration by Howard Pyle (1853-1911).

The worry is that we all continue to spread that information as if it were absolutely proven.

Thurlo V. Byers was a friend of Elmer Oris Parker, an archivist and historian who worked for the National Archives and whose work I shall also be quoting later on this page.

I present here the early family details of the Cornwall/Cavan/USA connection, as gleaned from a number of those internet sources, hoping that someone may authenticate or disprove the information!

One internet source suggested a Scottish parentage for the Cornwall Byers family, speculating that William the ‘Seaman’ (Generation 2) was the son of Thomas Byers and Mary Kerr from Ayr.

Where is the evidence for that? Where do these precise dates come from?


Generation 1  (highly speculative on someone's part methinks!)

Thomas Byers born 02.06.1620, Ayr [or Ayrshire?], Scotland; died 07.03.1675, England;
            married Mary Kerr, born 15.02.1624, died Cornwall.


                       William Byers, born 11.08.1647, St Ives, Cornwall.
This parentage for William must remain highly questionable until someone provides real evidence! If it were to be correct, and given the naming traditions of this period, it would seem odd that the names Thomas and Mary don't recur in the next generation at all.

I have completely failed so far to identify any Byers, or Bias, or Byas connections in the parish registers
of Cornwall or Devon on the dates so frequently given (and repeated here) in Generations 1, 2 and 3 for the relevant Byers births, marriages and baptisms.

However, the name 'Byers', or versions of it, are indeed to be found in Cornwall in the 17th century. Details in this PDF:
BYERS in Cornwall in the 17th century.pdf BYERS in Cornwall in the 17th century.pdf
Size : 64.538 Kb
Type : pdf
Above: Old railway poster for St Ives, Cornwall.
Despite those occurrences of Byers, or at least of similarly spelled surnames, in 17th century Cornwall, I would support the theory (assuming that it can be proved that there is a Byers connection in Cornwall!) that this particular Byers family (in whatever way the surname was spelled) would have had its more recent origins in Scotland.

Was the Scottish link with Cornwall a sea-faring one?

Why would a family with, apparently, some sort of sea-faring connection move from Cornwall to rural Cavan around 1717? After all, the Presbyterians in Ulster suffered from religious intolerance and were not allowed to hold any government office.

Indeed, 1717 marked the first important wave of emigration out of Ulster.

I suspect that there may have been a connection with family members already in Cavan (perhaps even excluding John's family which seems to have moved to Cavan first, c.1712). Otherwise, why not go somewhere else in Ulster - like Co Down, so much nearer the sea?

Had the 1715 Jacobite Uprising in Cornwall and Devon any bearing on their departure for Ireland? It's unlikely they would have supported that Uprising, being (one assumes!) Presbyterians. Perhaps they had been tarred with the same Scottish brush as the Jacobites. 


Generation 2

William Byers, born 11.08.1647, St Ives, Cornwall
                married in St Stephen’s Church*, St Ives, Cornwall, on 07.06.1677 or 07.07.1677,
                to Louisa Kinkade, born 06.07.1654, St Ives, Cornwall

                             William died 14.03.1713, **Halifax, Novia Scotia, Canada
                             Louisa died ??


                        John Byers, born 27.06.1678, St Ives, Cornwall
                        William Byers, born 06.05.1687, St Ives, Cornwall
                        Robert Byers, born 13.08.1688 (or 1680), St Ives, Cornwall

* But I’ve not found a record of such a church. There’s St Stephen in Brannel (in the middle of the county), St Stephen by Launceston (at the opposite end of the county from St Ives) and St Stephens by Saltash (again, at the other end of the county!).

** He is often referred to as ‘William the Seaman’, supposedly having gone to sea when he was 16 as a gunner’s mate. He is said to have been lost at sea near present day Halifax, Nova Scotia. Proof of all of this?

Interestingly and confusingly, some websites give William's death on the same date, but in Halifax, Yorkshire, England! So who's right and who's made the wrong assumption?
Evidence of the Byers name in Cornwall and Devon does indeed exist, if a century or so later.

This next PDF, somewhat beyond the timeline of the generations under investigation, lists some of those later Byers families, including the interesting printer, William Gilborn Byers, who was the proprietor of the Devonport Independent and Plymouth and Stonehouse Gazette.

Those Byers families in Cornwall and Devon in the 18th and 19th centuries may have everything to do with those listed from the 17th century in the previous PDF, and absolutely nothing to do with the Byers family that apparently moved to Cavan around 1717.

Please see the cautionary notes at the end of Generation 3 questioning dates and places.
And I repeat the cautionary warning that, despite all the seemingly precise dates that follow, I have, at present, no authentication for the accuracy or reliability of the Cornwall or Cavan ones.


Generation 3

John Byers, born 27.06.1678, St Ives, Cornwall    
               married on 03.04.1712 in Milltown, Killeshandra Parish, Cavan, Ireland,
               to Martha Work, born 01.05.1693, in Milltown, Cavan.  
               Martha was the daughter of Alexander Work, born 28.07.1669, and Louisa Lowery.
                         Presumably John had moved to Co Cavan before 1712.
                         Did this whole family also move to America c.1734?
                         Or might one or more of the sons have remained in Co Cavan?

              John died 08.04.1742, Augusta County, Virginia
              Martha died ??

William Byers born 31.08.1714, Milltown, Cavan, Ireland
John Byers born 03.12.1716 in Milltown, Cavan, Ireland
James Byers born 17.02.1718 in Milltown, Cavan, Ireland
Joseph Byers born 31.12.1720 in Milltown, Cavan, Ireland
Robert Byers born 21.09.1724 in Milltown, Cavan, Ireland
William Byers, born 06.05.1687 St Ives, Cornwall,
               married on 08.11.1708, in St Matthew Chapel*, Exeter, Devon,
               to Elizabeth Cox, born 04.09.1688, in Exeter,
                    daughter of James Cox (b. 07.06.1649)
                    and Agnes Virginia Best (b. 08.08.1654). 
               Elizabeth may have had two younger sons, Joseph and Nathan, who died as infants.

                          The family apparently moved to Cavan c.1716.

                          The family ‘shipped to America in 1734’.
* Caution again!: “St Matthew’s Parish, Exeter, was created on 24 April 1883 from part of the parishes of St Sidwell and St James. The church was built in 1882 in an Early English style of red brick, to a design of R Medley Fulford.”
William died 08.04.1742, Lexington, Augusta County, Virginia, USA. He is said to be buried in the New Monmouth Presbyterian Church Cemetery, Rockbridge Co, Virginia, USA (formerly Old Monmouth). Accordingly he is listed amongst the list of names of those buried there (see here.)  Question: is that listing from church records or from public contributions/conjectures? Worryingly, the website allows the public to add burials!

Elizabeth died 19.08.1741 in North Oxford, Chester County, PA (also given as Oxford, East Nottingham Township). She is buried in the Sycamore Presbyterian Church Cemetery, Chester Co., Pennsylvania.   

Children (different sources list some, but not all; this is a gather-up!):

Edward Byers, born 1709, Exeter, Devon
        m. Margaret White – but see possible confusion with Robert, below.
        IGI gives birth 08.12.1709 and death at Milltown, Cavan on 05.03.1724

Martha Byers, born c.1710-1714, Exeter, Devon
        m. William Bynum.

        IGI gives Martha as b. 1712, d. 1784, Lancaster, PA

Agnes Byers, born 13.09.1711, Exeter, Devon; died 18.05.1784
        m. Robert Black.

Elizabeth Byers born c.1711, Exeter, Devon
        m. William Bryson on 02.07.1728, *St Peter’s Chapel, Milltown, Cavan.
        ‘Betsy’ died in 1759 in Chester Co., Pennsylvania
                              (or c.1784 in Lancaster Co., Pennsylvania?).
        Wm. Bryson was born 21.06.1710, Co. Antrim. He died in 1760.

                * If 'St Peter's' is at all correct, this may be St Peter's Church,
                   Templeport - about 7 miles north west of Killeshandra -
                   for which no 18th century church records seem to survive.
                   I am unaware of any St Peter's in Killeshandra,
                                                    never mind the village of Milltown.

Robert Byers born 15.03.1714, Exeter, Devon
          m. (i) Margaret White (b. 24.08.1715), c.1732, Milltown, Cavan
                                         (IGI gives marriage at Antrim); 
          m. (ii) Margaret Smith (b. 03.02.1728 Chester Co., Pennsylvania;
          d. 22.04.1772, Rowan Co., North Carolina).
          Robert died 02.05.1775, Rowan Co., NC.

                       More in Thurlo B’s book and reference to a Bible record source:
                       See here.

*Sarah Byers, born 21.10.1716, Exeter, Devon [or c.1720??],
          married Samuel Porter (born Belfast 18.12.1701), in Chester Co.,
          Pennsylvania. Both died in York Co., South Carolina;
          both buried in Beersheba Cemetery.
          (Sarah died c.1770; Samuel c.1803)

          * See the section (below) on Beersheba Cemetery and grave markers.

Jane Byers, born c.1717, Milltown, Cavan. Died 1733.
         m. Tedford Sykes – but see also Isabella below.

Jean Byers, born 1717, Milltown, Cavan. Died 1724.

James Byers born 05.04.1718, Milltown, Cavan. Died 01.06.1768.
         m. Mary Sykes perhaps a sister of Tedford?

*David Byers, born 07.12.1720 (or 19.04.1721?), Milltown, Cavan;
         died Sept. 1794, buried in Beersheba Presbyterian Church Cemetery,
         Clover, York Co., South Carolina.
         Married (i) Margaret Carson (daughter of **Samuel Carson and
         Jane Patterson) in 1745 at Penneastmeadow, Chester Co.,
         Pennsylvania; she was born 03.11.1721 in Ireland; died in York Co.,
         c.1778; buried in Beersheba Pres. Church Cemetery.
         Married (ii) Sarah Carson née Slevin [or Slavin] c.1778
         in South Carolina. She was born c.1729 in Pennsylvania
         (daughter of William Slevin [or Slavin] and Isabella Luckey),
         married John Carson on 31.08.1775, widowed,
         and then married David Byers.
         She too was buried in Beersheba Pres. Church Cemetery.

       * See the section (below) on Beersheba Cemetery and grave markers.

       ** A copy and a transcript of Samuel Carson’s will
          (including mention of David and Margaret Byers) can be seen here.

Isabella Byers born c.1722, Milltown, Cavan (m. Tedford Sykes);
         died c.1784. (IGI gives birth 13.03.1722, Exeter, Devon)

Jeanetta Byers born 15.05.1724, Milltown, Cavan.
         ‘Jeany’ m. John Allison on 09.03.1742 in Chester Co.,
         Pennsylvania.They moved from PA to Augusta Co., VA in 1742;
         died 05.06.1764 (or 05.07.1764 – web source gives month as “ju”.
         See here.  

William Byers, *born 05.04.1735, Chester County, Pennsylvania;
          died 17.02.1799, believed to be buried in Beersheba Pres. Church
          Cemetery, Clover, York Co., South Carolina where he was a church
          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.
          He married Elizabeth Walton in 1760 in Augusta Co., Virginia.
          She was born in 1740, Rockridge Co., Virginia and died in 1795
          in York Co., South Caroliana; buried in – (?).

* Thurlo Byers stated in one case (William Byers, Page 3) that
  William Byers (later Capt) was born 05.04.1735. ‘He was
  conceived on the Atlantic Ocean on the Friendship.’

  However, Thurlo Byers and Elmer Oris Parker also reckoned that
  William was actually born in Cavan – which raises questions over
  the date of emigration from Ireland. William’s birth date can also
  be found as c.1733 (in Thurlo V. Byers, William Byers – Family II –
  Page 19).

Robert Byers, born 13.08.1688, St Ives, Cornwall
            married Louisa Patterson, born 09.05.1694, Plymouth, Devon


Robert Byers, born 05.04.1718, Milltown, Cavan
*James Byers (Bias), born 17.05.1722, Milltown, Cavan
             m. Elizabeth Larkin in Lancaster Co., and moved to Amherst Co.,
             Virginia c.1761. Died c.1785
David Bias
Robert Bias
Andrew Bias
Frances Bias
Esther Bias
William Byers, born 03.11.1723, Milltown, Cavan
Nancy Byers, born 02.08.1732, Milltown, Cavan

* According to Thurlo V Byers, James Bias came to America on 27.08.1734
So when did Robert and Louisa arrive in America? Thurlo Byers states:
At first they [William and Elizabeth] stayed with Robert Byers, brother of William Byers “The Emigrant”.  William Byers and Elizabeth Cox bought 300 acres from Thomas Patterson, a cousin of Elizabeth Cox.  They attended the Sycamore Presbyterian Church and Elizabeth was buried in the church cemetery.
Caution: Given the paucity of Irish records from this period (including emigration records), where does this Co Cavan information come from? 


Notes on Milltown, Co Cavan
Milltown is in the parish of Killeshandra which had a greater number of Scottish settlers than was the norm in the early years of the Plantation of Ulster. The village of Killeshandra quickly grew to be a town, but in the 1641 Rising it was burned down to prevent it falling into Irish hands.  
Within a few decades the town was re-establishing itself. In 1688 a parish church was built by Lord Southwell (the family lived at Castle Hamilton and their coat of arms is still on the front wall of the ruined church).

By 1837 this church was being described as "a very ancient structure, but in a state of dilapidation" (Lewis: Topographical Dictionary).

A new parish church was built a short distance away in 1841. Church records for Killeshandra Church of Ireland survive from 1735, though the earliest years are in a somewhat damaged state. 

Old Parish Church, Killeshandra.
Pic © Garibaldi McFlurry 2011, used with permission. See here
I could find only two mentions of anyone called Byers in these records.

It was difficult to decipher, but one listing was the baptism of Thomas, son of Wm. Byers of Corhonny, 1737 or possibly 1738.

The other was for the burial of a William Byers, aged 60, on 30 June 1813. His place of residence was hard to decipher, but it looked like 'Noleoghderla'.

I have not searched these records beyond 1817.

Interestingly, in connection with Generation 2 above - but with probably no actual connection whatsoever - the old cemetery attached to the church has two Kinkead burials: 

            Here lieth John Kinkead, died 19th August 1774, aged 9 years.
            Also Willm Kinkead, his brother, died 20th September 1774, aged 5 years.

A Presbyterian congregation was established in Killeshandra and strengthened by a new wave of Scottish settlers in the 1690s.

From 1701, the Killeshandra Presbyterians were in the care of a new presbytery that later became the presbytery of Monaghan. Rev. James Tait was ordained in Killeshandra in 1705.

Croghan Presbyterian Church, built in 1742. Pic © is courtesy of the Killeshandra Community Council website. See here.
Croghan Church (later known as Killeshandra Presbyterian), was built in 1742 and had a wide catchment area around a 12 mile radius of Killeshandra.

Some of its marriage records go back to 1741; baptisms and accounts to 1743. Unfortunately much of it is very difficult to decipher on the microfilm.

I have checked through those records and I can find no mention of Byers at all.
I am indebted to the Killeshandra History website (see here) which itself acknowledged an article Croghan: The Presbyterian Congregation at Killeshandra by Lindsay T. Brown, M.Sc., Ph.D.
The fact that all the Byers references within this family are to Milltown, rather than to the name of an area, or areas within the townland, continues to puzzle me. Nor does Milltown ever occur again in any of my researches into the available Byers information for Co. Cavan.
By 1837, Killeshandra town had over 1,000 inhabitants.

Milltown is a very small village to the north of Killeshandra. It boasts one shop and one pub.

Its only church is a Catholic one,
dating from 1868 and designed by William Hague, Jun.

Close by are the ruins of Drumlane Monastery and its round tower.

RH pic  used here under a Creative Commons licence. © Gerard Lovett, 2010.
The stone buildings and round tower of Drumlane Abbey, Milltown, Co. Cavan, which date from the 12th century.  
As it happens, there is another small area in Co. Cavan called Milltown. It's on the Bailieborough Road, the R178, north of Bailieborough and north of Glasleck, and north of Milltown Lough.

If it wasn't for Killeshandra parish having been listed in the American sources, this other Milltown might be worth further exploration, not least because it's closer to where so many of the Co. Cavan Byers families lived.


Notes on these Byers families' emigration from Cavan to Pennsylvania.
Thurlo Byers has this about the Byers families' emigration: "The Friendship sailed June 4, 1734 out of Dublin, Ireland with 52 souls aboard. It encountered two storms while crossing the Atlantic. It arrived in Philadelphia on October 16, 1734. They arrived at their home in North Oxford District, Chester County, Pennsylvania on November 3, 1734."
Records show that a ship named Friendship arrived in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on 14 August 1682; another, the Friendship of Bristol, arrived in Philadelphia on 16 October 1727.

Presumably a different boat, the Friendship, certainly arrived on these dates: 20 Sept 1738; 3 Sept 1739; Sept. 1739; Sept. 1740; 12 Oct 1741; 2 Nov 1744; 19 Nov 1753; and 21 Oct 1754. Most, if not all, these journeys were from Rotterdam via Cowes or Dover with Palatine immigrants.

There's also another sailing of a boat named Friendship mentioned in Scotland's Mark on America by George Fraser Black, PH.D., publ. by the Scottish Section of America's Making, New York, 1921:
Two shiploads of Scottish Jacobites taken at Preston in 1716 were sent over in the ships Friendship and Good Speed to Maryland to be sold as servants. The names of some of these sufficiently attest their Scottish origin, as, Dugall Macqueen, Alexander Garden, Henry Wilson, John Sinclair, William Grant, Alexander Spalding, John Robertson, William MacBean, William McGilvary, James Hindry, Allen Maclien, William Cummins, David Steward, John Maclntire, David Kennedy, John Cameron, Alexander Orrach [Orrock?], Finloe Maclntire, Daniel Grant, etc.
Does anyone have Philadelphia shipping records for the period 1734 or around that year?

Is there a record of the Friendship making that 1734 journey from Dublin?

And why did the family sail out of Dublin rather than one of the northern ports?

The majority of the 250,000 people from Ulster who emigrated between 1717 and 1775 were Presbyterians who initially moved to Pennsylvania and then travelled into the southern colonies. 

Emigration occurred in several waves, with the greatest influx to America being in 1717-1718, 1725-1729, 1740-1741 (following the terrible Irish famine of 1740), 1754-1755 (after a serious drought), and 1771-1775.

Interesting that 1734, the year in which the Byers families from Milltown, Co Cavan, were said to have emigrated, falls outside these peak periods.

The reasons for emigration from Ulster to America have been well documented.

For Presbyterians (the Ulster-Scots):
  • there was no religious freedom in Ulster;
  • there was economic depression thanks to the English Government's restrictions on the wool and linen trades; and
  • there was a sharp rise in the rents imposed by landlords.
On top of all of that there was a serious drought between 1714 and 1718 which affected the sheep and the growing of flax for linen.

So far I have failed to locate any passenger list or shipping record to substantiate the Byers families' travel from Dublin to Philadelphia in 1734.
This PDF (on the right) lists the books in which I've looked to date, though not the many websites which have so far not yielded any corroboration.

Anyone out there who can help?

Emigration Books consulted.pdf Emigration Books consulted.pdf
Size : 107.04 Kb
Type : pdf


Beersheba Cemetery and grave markers.
In Thurlo Byers's researches there's a photograph of part of Beersheba Presbyterian Church cemetery in Clover, York Co., South Carolina, showing grave markers, field stones, for members of the Byers family (see here). These are his comments:
All of the Byers head stones were recorded, or so I thought, by others many years ago. The Byers graves are in the southwest area of the cemetery about fifty feet east of the stone wall running parallel with Beersheba Road. We, Elmer Parker, Helen and Thurlo V. Byers, viewed the stones and Elmer pointed out a stone which read S P 87. This was Samuel and Sarah (Byers) Porter’s resting place.

Three unidentified stones sat 20' west and by looking closely some letters could be seen. Pictures were taken and when processed they proved to be those of David Byers, Sarah (Sleven-Carson) Byers and Margaret (Carson) Byers. This took place on April 20, 1993 at 11.20 a.m.

I concluded that no self respecting Scot would risk their skinflint reputation by using only one side of a grave marker. With that in mind Helen and I returned to York County, on Labor Day, September 6, 1993, to obtain the balance of the information. At this time we found the Capt. William Byers stone, which had been moved to the stone wall and that of Elizabeth (Walton) Byers.

To reach the cemetery go west on Highway 5 from York, SC. After two miles you will be on the land purchased by David Byers in 1764. Another three miles will be Beersheba Road. The church and cemetery sit in the southeast corner of the intersection.
RH pic - Thurlo Byers's photo is entitled: 
Beersheba Cemetery - York Co., SC
       Hwy 5 & Beersheba Road
He has numbered each stone as follows:
1.  David Byers stone

2.  Sarah (Sleven-Carson) Byers stone

3.  Margaret (Carson) Byers stone

4.  Capt. William Byers stone

5.  Elizabeth (Walton) Byers stone.

Byers gravestones in Beersheba Cemetery
Thurlo Byers also provided the following drawings of two of the gravestones. They relate to two of the children of William Byers and Elizabeth Cox (Generation 3 above).

My questions, which probably reveal my ignorance of such things, are
(1) Is this sort of overfilled naive-style inscription found elsewhere?

(2) Are there actual photographs of these inscriptions?

(3) Why are they so stylistically random?

(4) Are they real?

The higgledy-piggledy nature of the inscriptions is one thing.
Another question arises over the word "Galic".

The following quotation is from
Scotland's Mark on America by George Fraser Black, PH.D., publ. by the Scottish Section of America's Making, New York, 1921.
... many Irish-American writers on the Scots Plantation of Ulster have assumed that the Scots settlers were entirely or almost of Gaelic origin, ignoring the fact, if they were aware of it, that the people of the Scottish lowlands were "almost as English in racial derivation as if they had come from the North of England." Parker, the historian of Londonderry, New Hampshire, speaking of the early Scots settlers in New England, has well said: "Although they came to this land from Ireland, where their ancestors had a century before planted themselves, yet they retained unmixed the national Scotch character ... Nothing sooner offended them than to be called Irish.
Capt William Byers (1735-1799), youngest son of William Byers and Elizabeth Cox, is mentioned on the Sarah Byers marker above. The following information was sourced here where it in turn credits the source as Capt. Wm. Byers of the Revolution by Elmer Oris Parker.
This is the Elmer Oris Parker (1915-2002), a friend of Thurlo V. Byers and an Asst. Director, U.S. National Archives, Washington, DC, USA.
Some Pioneer and Allied Families of Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, and Texas - A Collection of Records and Abstracts

Researched and Compiled by Elmer Oris Parker, Archivist and Historian, Columbia, South Carolina, 1996.

Upon arriving in America with an older brother David, he [William Byers (1735-1799)] settled in Lancaster/York or Chester, PA, then migrated down the Shenandoa valley to Augusta, now Rockbridge County, Va. In 1758, he enrolled in Virginia militia raised for the protection of the frontiers of the province. Later moved to York County, SC and settled on the headwaters of Bullock Creek, while his brother David migrated from York County, PA and located near Wm. on Turkey Creek.
Wm. was a delegate to the Provincial Congress and took his seat in Charleston in the State House there on Nov. 3, 1775.  Wm. was later called out two times to the militia, one being under the command of General Andrew Williamson in the Cherokee War of 1776.
After the fall of Charleston in 1780, Wm. Byers and his family took refuge in North Carolina, and after the battle of Cowpens, his wife and children fled in advance of the British Army under Lord Cornwallis, to her former home in Rockbridge County, Va.
In 1784, he was appointed one of the tax assessors/collectors for the New Acquisition District, as York County was then called. Wm. served as an elder in the Beersheba Presbyterian Meeting House in 1785 and years afterwards. It is likely that he was buried in the Churchyard at Beersheeba, but if his grave was marked, the stone has long since disappeared.


 Generation 4
I have not proceeded too much beyond this point. I reckon this generation can be traced relatively easily from internet sources and, rightly or wrongly, I assume that USA records provide supporting evidence (bearing in mind that it’s always wrong to make assumptions!).

However here are a few details of some for handiness (and beware – these are merely copies of information readily available on the internet and have not been checked for accuracy or reliability of sources).

The families of some of the children of William Byers and Elizabeth Cox
Elizabeth Byers (c.1711-1759 [or c.1784])

                  m. William Bryson (b.1710-?)


                              William Bryson
                              John Bryson
                              Hugh Bryson
                              Daniel Bryson
                              James Bryson
                              Elisha Bryson
                              Samuel Bryson
Robert Byers (c.1714-1775)

                m. (i) Margaret White (1715-c.1755)


                           William m. Peg Work
                           David m. Esther Work
                                        (daughter of Alexander Work, Sr. and Isabell Cox)
                           Joseph never married
                           James married Margaret Smith
                    and there were four other children.

               m. (ii) Margaret Smith (1728-1772)


                          Robert (b.1757, Chester Co., PA)
                          Elizabeth (b.1759, PA; m. John Lyle)

                                 Elizabeth’s children are detailed here.

On 20.05.1772, Robert Byers received 600 acres on the North Branch of Davidson’s Creek, Mecklenburg Co., NC.
Sarah Byers (1716-c.1770)

             m. Samuel Porter


                        David Porter, b. 1742
                        James Porter, b. 1750
                        Violet Porter, b. 1752
                        Ann Porter, b. 1754
                        Ruth Porter, b. 1755

David Byers (1720 or 1721-1794)

            m. (i) Margaret Carson (1721- c.1778) in New London District, Chester Co., PA

                       William J. (06.04.1747-17.01.1837)

                               m. Jane [surname?] in 1771
                       Samuel (b.1749, York co., d.?, Lumpkin Co., GA)
                               m. Margaret Handley. He died 02.03.1843
                       Ann (1751 -?) m. William Harris
                       Jeane Isabella (1753-?) married her first cousin David Porter
                                                                (son of Samuel Porter and Sarah Byers).

           m. (ii) Sarah Carson née Slevin [or Slavin] (1729- ?)

                      Margaret married Josiah Henry

On 20.09.1764, 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.
Jeanetta or Jeany Byers (09.03.1742-c.1771)

                          The following information is a transcript from here.

John Allison most likely married [his second wife], Jeany Byers, daughter of William Byers and Elizabeth Cox, on March 9, 1742 in Chester County, Pennsylvania (this researcher has not seen a proven record of this marriage).

Evidence to support John Allison's second marriage to Jeany Byers comes from the Byers family records and records in Augusta County, VA that cite the migration of the Byers and Allison families from Lancaster County, PA to Augusta County, VA in 1742. (Source: Capt. William Byers (1735-1799) of Chester County, PA, Augusta County VA, Frederick County, VA and York County,South Carolina, web site address [not active, June 2012].
William Byers, father of Jeany died shortly after this migration to Augusta County, VA on Apr. 8, 1742. Records in Augusta County, VA on March 23, 1754, show that the family of Capt. William Byers, brother of Jeany Byers lived next-door to John Allison, along the road from Campbell's School House to Renix’s Road.

Later records in Augusta County in 1762 and 1767 place the location of John Allison’s house in the ‘Middle River’ area, next to the Kerr, McClure, Falls, and Buchanan families, most of which married into this Allison family. John Allison and Jeany Byers had three known children, listed in Augusta County, VA records, Martha, b. bet 1743-1746, Jennet, b. 1748 and William (later known as Capt. William Allison) b. 1749.

On August 13, 1771, in Botetourt County, VA (which was formed from part of Augusta County, VA in 1769), John Allison and ‘Jenet’, his wife conveyed 110 acres of land, located on the fork of the James River to Charles Allison, John's son by his first wife.
William Byers (1735-1799)

          m. Elizabeth Walton (1740-1795)


                       Edward Byers (b. 05.12.1761 in Augusta, VA; d.13.03.1832 in York, SC
                                                             and buried in Beersheba Presbyterian, York, SC)    

                              m. (i) Martha Alexander (1767-1794) on 04.05.1786 in York, SC.
                                             Four children (b. 1787, 88, 90, 93.)

                              m. (ii) his first cousin Elizabeth Martha Byers
                                                             (daughter of William J. Byers and Jane)
                                             Two children (b. 1799, 1801)
                              m. (iii) Mary 'Polly' Smith
                                             Four children (b.1805, 07, 09, 12.)
                      Nancy Ann [or Agnes?] Byers (1763-20.05.1818)
                              m. Maj. Adam Meek in 1783, York Co., SC
                      William Byers, Jr. (09.04.1765-24.08.1816)
                              m. (i) Catherine (Kitty) Hope in 1797, Augusta, VA
                              m. (ii) Sarah ? [Hope?]
                      Lorena Byers (29.01.1767-31.01.1837)
                              m. Capt. Thomas Woods in 1784, York Co., PA
                      Elizabeth (Eliza) Walton Byers (15.09.1769-21.07.1852)
                              m. Charles Ephraim McLean, 21.01.1790, York Co., SC
                      Susannah Byers (12.03.1771-03.04.1844)
                              m. *Capt. James Meek, 21.01.1790, York Co., SC
                                                       (a double wedding or a transcription error?!)
                      David (Davie) Byers (03.10.1774-16.08.1862)
                              m. Mary (Polly) Gordon, 27.08.1795, York Co., SC

* Major James Meek (1758-1819) was one of the men involved in the murder of Tory Lieut. Colonel John Mayfield. Meek was born in 1758 in Cecil County. Maryland. Upon removing to South Carolina, he settled on Bullocks Creek in the Camden Judicial District. Major Meek sided with the Whigs during the Revolution and enlisted in the SC Fourth Regiment on 15 January 1776. He served as a captain and later as a major, under the overall command of General Thomas Sumter. During the Battle of Kings Mountain, Meek commanded a company of militia from the area that later became York County SC. His wife was Susanna Byers (1771-1844), the daughter of Captain William Byers and Elizabeth Walton Byers. On 3 March 1819, Meek drowned while attempting to cross the Seneca River in Northwestern South Carolina, while on his way to attend a sale of public lands in Alabama.
                                    (Paragraph by Phil Norfleet. See here.)

This PDF contains some additional Byers information relating to the above families and others. 
Additional American Byers information.pdf Additional American Byers information.pdf
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Type : pdf