James M. Byrd born ca 1800 in TN and wife Elizabeth Bevers born ca 1805 in TN were my 3rd great grandparents. We have no known male descendents to enable us to get a DNA until we find missing male children born to them (we know we do not likely have all children documented and known yet). Here's what we do know and have documented proof of...
James M. aka Jim Byrd was born ca 1800 in TN
Elizabeth Bevers born ca 1805 in TN
We cannot find them in the 1840 or 1850 census in MS but feel strongly they lived in or near Coahoma county, MS in those years based upon the 1854 court records we have found on two different Gift of Deeds and the marriages and birth of their children. Sometime between Dec 1854 and 1860 James & Elizabeth moved to Hunt County, Texas where they resided with their children still at home by then in 1860 Hunt County, Texas cenus. We suspect James may have been killed during the Civil War era before 1870 and Elizabeth likely died ca 1870-1880. We have not found the death and burial locations for either of them. IF ONLY WE COULD FIND AN 1850 CENUS on the family, we could then possibly identify other children born of this marriage - but no census prior to 1860 has been found yet! Only a few court records in Mississippi in the 1850-1860 timeframe have been found (as yet).
We have 7 documented children born to James M. "Jim" Byrd and Elizabeth Bevers-Byrd (but suspect we are missing some children born to them earlier in TN, AL, or MS due to the birth dates on the known children). There is a Richard Byrd that died in the Civil was in Texas on 24 Apr 1865 that MIGHT be an older son, but this has not been proven (he would have been born ca 1827-1828 timeframe and killed in Civil in 1865).
Married before November 1828 (as that is the when their first born documented/known child (daughter Mary Ann Byrd) was born in TN, but could very well have had children born before 1828). They may have migrated to Alabama or Mississippi ca 1836 (their 2nd child has conflicting data of where she was born, but either MS or AL). We know for sure they were in MS when the 3rd child was born ca 1841. We know they were still living in MS in 1854 because James Byrd executed a Gift of Deed to his oldest daugher in 1854 and another daughter was married in MS in 1854 (both in Coahoma County, MS court records)
Known children (documented proof):
1) Mary Ann Byrd born 11 Nov 1828 in TN (possibly Warren co but no proof of county). Mary Ann Byrd married James "Jim" Bonaparte Dorough before July 1854 but we are not sure where as we have not found the recorded marriage, but in July 1854 her father executed a Gift of Deed to his Daughter Mary Ann (Byrd) Dorough so we know she and James Dorough married before 1854 likely in MS but have not found the recorded marriage to confirm. Their first known born child was Pruvy Melviney "Martha" Dorough born 17 May 1856 in MS. We know by March 1858 they resided in Madisonville, Madison County, Texas where their next child William "Bill" Montgomery Dorough was born 25 Mar 1858; Nancy Katherine (Kate) Dorough was born ca 1861 in Madisonville, Madison County, TX; Mary "Mollie" Sarah Ann Dorough was born 22 Nov 1862 in Madisonville; James Derling (Jim) Dorough was born ca 1865 in Madisonville; and by 1867 they were living in Ladonia, Fannin County, Texas where their 6th child George Shook was born 18 Oct 1867. Mary Ann Byrd-Dorough died on 06 Jan 1875 in Ladonia, Fannin County, Texas and James Bonaparte Dorough had 3 more wives before he died 20 Feb 1901 in Gober, Fannin County, Texas (Mary Ann Byrd-Dorough and James "Jim" Bonaparte Dorough are both buried in Mount Carmel Cemetery in Wolf City, Hunt County, Texas. I have documented where all the children, who they married and where they are buried also for anyone who might be interested to make the connection. James Dorough and 2nd wife Mary C Glover are found in the 1880 Census living next door to Mary Ann Byrd-Dorough's sister: Sarah Frances Byrd-Shelton and family and their married PICKETT daughter next to James & his 2nd wife and Mary's sister's family all livign side-by-side.
2) Martha Jane Byrd born ca 1836 in either Alabama or Mississippi. Married 1st John W Cohran in Coahoma County Mississippi on 03 July 1854. We have not found whether John W Cohran died in MS or TX, but we know that Mary Jane (Byrd) Cohran was living in Fannin County, Texas in the 1860 census with a daughter Susan Francis Cochran born 20 Nov 1857 in Hunt County, Texas (they were living in the Sloan household in the 1860 Fannin County, Tx census).
Note: James M. Byrd and Elizabeth Bevers (her parents) were living in 1860 Census in Hunt county, Texas so we assume that Martha Jane likely lived with or near then in 1857 in Texas when Susan Francis Cochran was born and by 1860 Census Martha Jane and Susan were living with a Sloan family (Martha listed as a teacher). Martha Jane Byrd-Cochran then married a 2nd time to Solomon Washington Suther, Sr on 24 Oct 1861 and had 4 more children born of this 2nd marriage: Soloman Washington Suther, Jr, Martha C Suther, Virginia Caroline Suther, Ida Nancy (Nannie) Belle Suther. Martha Jane Byrd-Cochran-Suther died between Sept 1870 and 08 Jan 1871 in Wolfe City, Hunt County, Texas but burial location not yet located. Soloman then married Martha's sister Isabella "Belle" Viola Byrd had they had 7 more Suther children.
3) Rhoda E Byrd born ca 1841 in MS (last found living with her parents in Hunt County, Texas in 1860 Census
4) Nancy E Byrd born ca 1844 in MS (last found living with her parents in the Hunt County, Texas 1860 Census
Note: No recorded marriage or burial locations have been located yet for #3 & #4 above.
5) Sarah Frances Byrd aka "Sadie" was born ca 1846-47 in Mississippi. She married John Elbert Shelton ca 1868-1869 (they were my 2nd great grandparents). They are living in Madisonville, Madison County, Texas in the 1870 census (near Sarah's sister: Mary Ann (Byrd) Dorough and spouse James Dorough and their Dorough children). Sarah was expecting their first child who was born in Fannin County, Texas in October 1870 (so Sarah & John had migrated up to Fannin County, Texas shortly after they were enumerated in the 1870 census in Madisonville). In the 1860 Census in Madisonville they also had two Rhodes children living with them (likely orphaned but not yet identified who their Rhodes parents were). It is possible (but not probable) that Sarah Frances Byrd had a prior marriage to a Rhodes (but no proof) so we assume these two Rhodes children were orphaned and possibly related to the Shelton or Byrd family (not proven absolutey either way). Sarah Frances Byrd-Shelton died between 22 Aug 1885 and 13 Jun 1900 and was reportedly taken by horse and buggy to be buried near her Byrd family in Spicewood Springs, Texas (but no burial location yet found). John was listed as widow in the 1900 census. John and Sarah had 7 children born of their marriage. Their 1st born son: Steve S Shelton born 10 Oct 1870 in Fannin county, Texas is my great grandfather (he died in 1933 in Austin, Travis county, Texas). By 1882 when their 6th child was born they had migrated from Fannin county to McLennan county. By 22 Aug 1885 when their last child: Elbert Levy Shelton was born they lived in Austin, Travis county, Texas (likely near Montopolis bridge where their eldest son Steven S Shelton lived). We have one photo of a yet unidentified Shelton baby that may have been an 8th child of John & Sarah born after 1885 and before 1900 (but not proven). John Elbert Shelton was a widower until his dath in January 1925. He is buried by two of his daughters and one of his grandsons in Lytton Springs Cemetery in Caldwell County, Texas. But, we have not located his wife, Sarah Frances Byrd-Shelton's burial date or location.
6) Samuel Byrd (born ca 1847 in MS) and died after 1865 likely in the Civil War (we find a Samuel Byrd that served out of Hunt County, Texas in the "Hunt county Rebs" and feel that he must have been killed in the Civil War as cannot find him in any census after 1860 living at home in Hunt County, Texas with his parents.
7) Isabella "Belle" Viola Byrd born ca Jan 1848 in MS (headstone says she was born in 1849 and died in 1936, but census records indicate 1848 as her birth year). She married Solomon Washington Suther Sr (widower of her sister Martha Jane Byrd-Cochran-Suther) on 08 Jun 1871 in Hunt county, Texas. They had 7 known children (6 daughters & one son). Isabella died o 03 Feb 1936 in Santa Clara, Santa Clara county, California a widow. Solomon had died 9 Jan 1909 in Blossom, Lamar County, Texas.
It seems this Byrd line had more daughters than sons. So, until such time we identify any unknown male children carrying the BYRD surname, we cannot participate in a DNA project. Very frustrating.
Anyone on this project that might notice any possible connections to our James M. Byrd and Elizabeth Bevers-Byrd line, please contact me. Will be more than glad to share any ideas or info to help solve our mysteries.
Lynda (Lehmann) French