Saturday, August 5, 2017

Benjamin Johnson, Sr - "Granddaddy"

Benjamin "B.J." Johnson was the third child of four children born to Lee & Sarah (Franklin) Johnson. He was born on December 30, 1905, in Montgomery, Montgomery County, Texas. He found Christ at the age of 15 and was baptized at Mt. Sinai Baptist Church in Montgomery by the late Reverend Churchwell. Benjamin, his siblings, mother, and step-father all left Montgomery sometime in the early 1920's and moved to Fort Worth, Texas. Around 1925, Benjamin and his brothers, Oscar (wife Alberta), and Edward Lee moved to Houston, Texas where they lived at 2606 Leeland Avenue located in the historic Third Ward community. Benjamin united with the Spiritual True Church of Christ in Third Ward under the leadership of the late Reverend Bible. In 1927, Benjamin met Dorothy (Austin) Higgins and the two were united in holy matrimony on June 18, 1927. They were the parents of 11 children: Thomas Higgins, Jr. (Dorothy's son from her first marriage), Robert Lee Johnson, Sr., Wilford Johnson, Maud Esther (Johnson) Addison, Nathaniel Winston Johnson, Shirley Jean (Johnson) Pipkins, Bernard Johnson, Sr., "Living" Johnson, Carolyn Joyce (Johnson) Lee, "Living" Johnson #2, and Theresa "Baby Girl" Johnson (Stillbirth). 
In 1949, Benjamin and his family moved to Fifth Ward, where he built the family home on 5108 Salina Street. Benjamin and his family united with Greater True Vine Missionary Baptist Church under the leadership of the late Pastor B.J. Collins, where he served as a Deacon.  
Benjamin retired from Folgers Coffee in 1969 after 25 years of service. He died on Wednesday, April 7, 1993, in Houston, Texas and is buried at Paradise North Cemetery next to his wife of 44 years. He was affectionately known as “Granddaddy” by his grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

C.A. Garnett shared the following memories about her grandfather: 
Benjamin on the day of his retirement in 1969
"My earliest memories of my grandfather are of him coming home from work every day and the grandchildren opening the gate for him to pull his car in. Grandpa was a hardworking man who provided for his wife and 11 children. He retired from Folgers Coffee that was located on Navigation Blvd., Maxwell House has since taken over that location. He took always took a syrup in a bottle every day that had the letters "SSS", which stood for 3 S Tonic. He took it every day to ward off any colds or other ailments that would keep him from working. He loved to work and he always kept a coffee can full of loose change. He was very stingy with his money and was not too quick to give you any money. After my parents divorced we went to live with him and my grandmother, he would give us approximately $.05 every day for milk. Occasionally, we would get an extra penny ($.01) for candy. Yes, back in the day you could buy a piece of candy for one cent.
Granddaddy would never eat all of his lunch; he always took at least 3 sandwiches and a half a dozen of cookies every day. He always brought, at least, one sandwich home that the grandchildren would fight over. I still remember the day that he retired from Folgers and we were very excited for him. He was a very good carpenter and he built dog houses, but before that he built the family home and the apartments that were located in the back of the home. He was a strict disciplinarian and he was just as strict on his grandchildren as he was on his own children. Whenever one of the grandchildren got into trouble, his favorite was "get on your knees". Those words would hurt as bad as a whipping, he did not have to whip the grandchildren, he would just put you on your knees and you would have to stay on your knees until he fell asleep in his chair or he would tell you that you could get up. Usually, someone would be on their knees for about an hour at the most. It was especially difficult if all of your siblings and cousins were outside running around and you could not join them.
In his later years before he went to live with his son, he would be driving around and he would always pick up hitchhikers. He learned his lesson when he was tied up and robbed at gunpoint. He would never drive on the freeway and I learned all of the back streets of Houston just by riding with him. When he was driving and I needed to go somewhere, he would always be willing to take me. He took me and picked me up many times. The only time that I did not like riding with him was when he was with his sister, Milliernea. They would argue constantly, and they disagreed about any and almost everything." - C.A. Garnett, Granddaughter

In an email correspondence from September 13, 2006, Benjamin’s niece, E.L. Clark relayed the following:
"I also mentioned to you earlier how bonded the three brothers were. Although Uncle Oscar and my father had the business together, Uncle B.J. was with them. He would work with them at the business on the weekends and the three of them would make the house blocks together. You can see how hard these men could and would work although they had regular jobs. My mother still mentions that now. I was able to see that with Uncle B. J. and my father." - E.L. Clark, Niece

Benjamin Johnson, Sr., in his earlier years working at Folgers
– Photo from the collection of the late, Shirley (Johnson) Pipkins

Benjamin Johnson, Sr. and Dorothy (Austin) Johnson
– Photo from the collection of the late, Shirley (Johnson) Pipkins
Benjamin Johnson, Sr. Family Tree


-Terrence A. Garnett (August 5, 2017, 12:52 pm)

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Slaves of Joseph Byers, Jr - Iredell County, North Carolina

  • Joseph Byers, Jr. (Nov. 24, 1775 - July 14, 1844) is the son of James Byers (1742-1807) and Margaret Smith Byers (1754-1806)
    • Joseph Byers, Jr., was named after his paternal Uncle Joseph Byers, Sr (1748-1829).
    • Joseph married Martha Locke on June 10, 1816, in Rowan County, North Carolina. Martha is the daughter of Richard Locke (1763-1819) and Jennet "Jane" Robinson Locke (1765-1829). 
    • Joseph and Martha had two daughters: Jane Julia Ann Byers & Margaret Narcissa Smith Byers.
    • Jane Julia Ann Byers married her 1st Cousin Joseph C. Simonton, son of Henry S. Simonton & Mary "Polly" Byers.
    • Margaret Narcissa Smith Byers married John F. Irwin of Mecklenburg County, North Carolina.
    • Surname Variations: Byars, Byers, Byas, Bias, Byus, Buys, Buise, Biars. (http://www.byersstl.com/tvb/Art/Forward.pdf)
    • Due to a courthouse fire in 1854 (Iredell County), many records were destroyed. Most of Joseph Byers probate records were destroyed leaving only two pages and his will. 


I discovered the slave owners of my family in May of 2010 after locating Ben, the son of my ancestors George & Lucy working in the household of Joseph Simonton. This led me to discover that his wife Jane Julia's maiden name was Byers (Which was the surname of several African-Americans who lived near my ancestors in 1870). I eventually found the will of Julia's father, Joseph Byers, Jr. which confirmed that my ancestors and several of their neighbors were enslaved on his plantation.

-Terrence A. Garnett


Timeline

Date/YearSourceEventPlace
10/3/1808     Inventory of James Byers Estate (p. 2)
Inventory of the Estate of James Byers, deceased
  • Joseph Byers, Jr purchased a Negro boy named James for $290
 Iredell County, North Carolina
1810           U.S. Census
Joseph Byers, Jr., Negro Property as of 1810
  • Owns 24 slaves (age categories are not listed for this census)
Iredell County, North Carolina
1815     
Iredell County Earliest Extant Tax List by: Jo White Linn
(p. 72)
 Iredell County, North Carolina - 1815 Tax List
Capt. Davidson's Company (District)
  • Joseph Byers, Jr. - 1 White Poll, 5 Black Poll, 475 Acres valued at $1,152 
Iredell County, North Carolina
4/9/1819 Will Book 2 (p.67-69) 
Joseph Byers, Sr., wills to his nephew Joseph Byers, Jr. Slave: Nero 
Joseph Sr wrote his will in 1819 and eventually passed in 1828. 

Iredell County, North Carolina
1/25/1819Will Book G (p. 528-530A)
Richard Locke to his daughter Martha Locke Byers -- Negro Slaves: Ale & Sarah.
Rowan County, North Carolina
1820     U.S. Census
Joseph Byers, Jr., Negro Property as of 1820
  • Males: 10 (14 & under), 8 (14-25), 1 (26-44), 1 (45 & older)
  • Females: 4 (14 & under), 6 (14-25), 1 (26-44)
Iredell County, North Carolina
5/4/1822Deed (L-227)
Joseph Byers, Sr., to nephew Washington Byers (Brother of Joseph, Jr.) Slaves: Reuben (16), Stefney (12), and King (10).
  • This is the slave named King mentioned in the  1843 will of Joseph Byers, Jr. 
Iredell County, North Carolina

2/24/1829  
Sale of Negroes
(Iredell County Estate Files)
The sale of 6 Negroes of the Estate of Joseph Byers, Sr., deceased 
(I've only listed the two slaves purchased by Joseph Jr.)
  • Joseph Byers, Jr. brought Amy for $150 - This is the slave named Emy mentioned in the 1843 Will of Joseph Byers, Jr.
  • Joseph Byers, Jr. brought King for $405 - This is the slave King mentioned previously in the 1822 deed between Joseph Byers, Sr., to his nephew Washington Byers. 
Iredell County, North Carolina
1830 U.S. Census
Joseph Byers, Jr., Negro Property as of 1830
  • Males: 7 (10 & under), 2 (10-23), 1 (24-25), 1 (36-54)
  • Females: 5 (10 & under), 1 (10-23), 2 (24-35), 1 (36-54)
Iredell County, North Carolina
1837     Iredell County Earliest Extant Tax List by: Jo White Linn
(p. 104)
Iredell County, North Carolina - 1837 Tax List
Capt. Fitzgerald's Company (District)
  • Joseph Byers - 1 White Poll, 14 Black Poll, 964 Acres valued at $3,800, Tax $6.14
Iredell County, North Carolina
9/17/1838Deed/Loan (T- 352B - 353A)Joseph Byers loans slaves to Joseph C. Simonton of Alabama (son-in-law).
  • Slaves: Gerre (George?), Suck, Sile (Cibby?), Tom, Ann, Julius
Iredell County, North Carolina
1840      U.S. Census
Joseph Byers, Jr., Negro Property as of 1840
  • Males: 6 (10 & under), 7 (10-23), 3 (24-35), 2 (36-54), 1 (55-99)
  • Females5 (10 & under), 4 (10-23), 2 (24-35), 1 (36-54)
Iredell County, North Carolina
12/6/1843 (probated in 1844)Will Book 2 (p. 296-297)
Will of Joseph Byers, Jr.
To: Jane Julia Simonton - Negroes: Allen, Anthony, Nero, William, Big George, Tom, McCoy, Little George, Julius, Emy, Ealy, Suckey and her four children; Ann and child Vina; Cibby and children Lucetta and Loisa; and Caroline.

To: Margaret Narcissa Smith Erwin - Negroes: Jack, Henry, Alexander, Prince, King, Stephen, Isaac, Tom, Pinkney, Betsey, Maria, Sarah and child John, Lucy, Elouisa, Peggy, Narcissa, and Monrow.

Iredell County, North Carolina
1844        Charlotte Journal (Mecklenburg, NC)
July 26, 1844 Charlotte Journal
DIED, in Iredell County, on the 11th instant of dropsy, MR. JOSEPH BYERS, in the 69th year of his age.
Iredell County, North Carolina
11/13/1850    U.S. Census - Slave Schedules
Joseph Simonton (Spouse: J.J. Byers) -- 27 Slaves total
  • 57 year old, female, black
  • 45 year old, male, black
  • 42 year old, female, black
  • 35 year old, male, black 
  • 33 year old, male, mulatto 
  • 25 year old, male, black 
  • 25 year old, male, black 
  • 24 year old, female, black 
  • 24 year old, female, black 
  • 22 year old, female, black 
  • 20 year old, male, black 
  • 15 year old, female, black 
  • 12 year old, female, black 
  • 12 year old, female, black 
  • 12 year old, female, black
  • 10 year old, female, black
  • 9 year old, female, black
  • 9 year old, female, black
  • 7 year old, male, black
  • 7 year old, male, black
  • 6 year old, female, black
  • 6 year old, female, black
  • 5 year old, male, black
  • 5 year old, male, black
  • 3 year old, male, black
  • 3 year old, female, black
  • 1 year old, male, black
Iredell County, North Carolina
11/6/1850U.S. Census - Slave Schedules
John F. Irwin (Spouse: M.N. Byers) -- 24 Slaves total
  • 50 year old, male, black
  • 40 year old, male, black
  • 30 year old, male, black
  • 23 year old, male, black 
  • 23 year old, male, black 
  • 23 year old, male, black 
  • 19 year old, male, black 
  • 19 year old, male, black 
  • 16 year old, male, black 
  • 14 year old, male, black 
  • 8 year old, male, black 
  • 4 year old, male, black 
  • 4 year old, male, black 
  • 4 year old, male, black 
  • 55 year old, female, black
  • 35 year old, female, black
  • 28 year old, female, black
  • 26 year old, female, black
  • 15 year old, female, black
  • 8 year old, female, black
  • 5 year old, female, black
  • 3 year old, female, black
  • 2 year old, female, black
  • 1 year old, female, black

Mecklenburg County, North Carolina
1856-1859    Texas Tax Assessments Rolls
The families of J.C. Simonton, J.F. Irwin, and J.A. Huggins moved from North Carolina to Fort Bend County, Texas in 1856. 
  • 1856 Fort Bend County Tax Assessment Rolls - Entry for J.C. Simonton, 28 Slaves, Valued at $ 11,200. [Online Image: 15]
  • 1856 Fort Bend County Tax Assessment Rolls - Entry for Huggins & Irwin, 25 Slaves, Valued at $ 10,000. [Online Image: 8]
  • 1857 Fort Bend County Tax Assessment Rolls - Entry for J.C. Simonton, 29 Slaves, Valued at $ 14,500. [Online Image: 16]
  • 1857 Fort Bend County Tax Assessment Rolls - Entry for Huggins & Irwin, 35 Slaves, Valued at $ 14,000. [Online Image: 7]
  • 1858 Fort Bend County Tax Assessment Rolls - Entry for J.C. Simonton, 29 Slaves, Valued at $ 14,500. [Online Image: 15]
  • 1858 Fort Bend County Tax Assessment Rolls - Entry for Irwin & Huggins, 35 Slaves, Valued at $ 14,000. [Online Image: 8]
  • 1859 Fort Bend County Tax Assessment Rolls - Entry for Joseph Simonton, 29 Slaves, Valued at $ 20,300. [Online Image: 13]
  • 1859 Fort Bend County Tax Assessment Rolls - Entry for Huggins & Irwin, 35 Slaves, Valued at $ 24,500. [Online Image: 7]
Fort Bend County, Texas
3/11/1859          Deed (E - 369)
 J.F. Irwin to Young &  Jones - Deed of Trust
  • A negro man named George of Dark complexion aged about __ years, now on the plantation of the said Irwin & Joel Huggins in the said county of Fort Bend. 
Fort Bend County, Texas
6/18/1860         U.S. Census - Slave Schedules
Joseph Simonton (Spouse: J.J. Byers) -- 33 Slaves total
(8 slave houses)
  • 65 year old, male, black
  • 48 year old, female, black
  • 38 year old, male, black
  • 38 year old, male, black 
  • 32 year old, male, black 
  • 35 year old, male, mulatto 
  • 26 year old, male, black 
  • 22 year old, male, black
  • 35 year old, female, black 
  • 35 year old, female, black 
  • 28 year old, female, black 
  • 24 year old, female, black 
  • 24 year old, female, black 
  • 21 year old, female, black 
  • 18 year old, female, black 
  • 18 year old, female, black
  • 18 year old, female, black
  • 14 year old, female, black
  • 14 year old, female, black
  • 12 year old, female, black
  • 12 year old, female, black
  • 19 year old, male, black
  • 19 year old, male, black
  • 12 year old, male, black
  • 12 year old, male, black
  • 11 year old, male, black
  • 11 year old, male, black
  • 6 year old, male, black
  • 6 year old, male, black
  • 10 year old, female, mulatto
  • 2 year old, male, mulatto
  • 2 year old, female, black
  • 1 year old, male, black

Fort Bend County, Texas
6/18/1860     U.S. Census - Slave Schedules
John F. Irwin (Spouse: M.N. Byers) -- 39 Slaves total
J.F. Irwin Slaves - 9 Slaves (2 slave houses)
  • 27 year old, male, black
  • 7 year old, male, black 
  • 2 year old, male, black
  • 35 year old, female, black 
  • 20 year old, female, black
  • 12 year old, female, black 
  • 10 year old, female, black 
  • 4 year old, female, black
  • 1 year old, female, black
Irwin &  Huggins Slaves (Partnership) - 30 Slaves (10 slave houses)
John F. Irwin & Joel A. Huggins both are listed with their separate slave property and then the slaves listed in their partnership. 
  • 55 year old, male, black
  • 50 year old, male, black
  • 36 year old, male, black
  • 31 year old, female, black
  • 25 year old, male, black 
  • 21 year old, male, black 
  • 13 year old, male, black 
  • 34 year old, male, black 
  • 13 year old, male, black 
  • 35 year old, male, black 
  • 40 year old, male, black 
  • 13 year old, male, black 
  • 10 year old, male, black 
  • 9 year old, male, black 
  • 4 year old, male, black
  • 4 month old, male, black 
  • 37 year old, female, black
  • 15 year old, female, black
  • 10 year old, female, black
  • 9 year old, female, black
  • 4 year old, female, black
  • 5 month old, female, black
  • 2 year old, female, black
  • 35 year old, female, black
  • 17 year old, female, black
  • 22 year old, female, mulatto
  • 17 year old, female, mulatto
  • 40 year old, female, black
  • 12 year old, female, black
  • 8 year old, female, black
Fort Bend County, Texas































12/23/1866
Freedman's Bureau Endorsements sent - Vol. 2 [147]
(p. 76)
Labor Contracts
Name of Planter: J.F. Irwin
Names of Freedman: Curtis Huggins, Mariah Huggins, Alice Huggins, Austin Shorrall, Monroe Byers, Vincy Jurin, Ann Wards, Louise Huggins, Ann Henry, Genoa, Jim Alonzo, Rachel Waters, Ben, Milley, Patsey, Sarah Waters, Peter Hunter, Amanda McCarty. 
Remarks: This contract provides that the party of the first part does promise to pay the party of the second part, one third (1/3) of the mill proceeds of the years crop of cotton, corn, and potatoes. Also to furnish provisions, and to give attention the sick, furnish medicine, when a Physician is required for the party of the second part to pay the doctors bill.
1867     
Freedman's Bureau Register of Letters Received & Contracts [Vol. 144]
(p. 138-139)
Labor Contracts
(No. 31) J.C. Simonton - Freedman: Isaac Byers, Bacchus Falls, Philip Byers, Francis Byers, Sarah Byers, Eliza Parks, Daniel Randon, Melinda Randon, Andrew Jackson, Fayette Byers, Mary Byers, Alex Byers, Angie Byers, Austin Byers, Louisa Byers, Tobe Jefferson, Caroline Jefferson, Frank Martin.
  • Date of Entry: 2/26/1867 
  • Date of Application: 1/22/1867
  • Date of Term: 1/1/1868
(No. 32) J.F. Irwin - Freedman: Curtis Huggins, Peter Irwin, Sarah Weeks, Columbus Walker, Albertus Long, Mary Long, Alice Sheral, Ann Ward.
  • Date of Entry: 2/26/1867 
  • Date of Application: 1/23/1867
  • Date of Term: 1/1/1868
Richmond, Fort Bend County, Texas
5/19/1867Freedman's Bureau Endorsements sent - Vol. 2 [147]
(p. 85 + Loose Paper)
George Irwin (aka George Savannah) vs. J.F. Irwin
  • Dissatisfied with settlement claims, has paid too much for board of children. See Bill, See Contract - Settled, Satisfactory
    • George & Lucy to J.F. Irwin
      • Jan. 1866 - Cash to Lucy $20.00
      • Apr. 1866 - Cash to Susan $0.50
      • Apr. 1866 - Cash to George $1.80
      • Apr. 1866 - Candles for Susan $0.35
      • May 1866 - Cash to Lucy $0.10
      • May 1866 - Cash to Susan $2.50
      • May 1866 - Cash for shoes, George $2.00
      • Jun. 1866 - Cash to Laura $2.50
      • Dec. 1866 - Dress for Susan $10.00
      • Jan. 1867 - Board, Lucy 2 months $5.00
      • Jan. 1867 - Board, Laura $2.50
      • Jan. 1867 - Board, Susan $1.28
      • 10 months - Lucy $60.00
      • 8 2/3 months - George $52.00
      • 11 1/2 months - Susan $92.00
      • 5 months - Laura $15.00
      • 12 months - Fonso $ 36.00
      • -------------- SETTLED -----------------
      • Lucy, last 2 months
      • George, last 3 1/2 months
      • Susan, last 1/2 months
      • Laura, last 1 month
Richmond, Fort Bend County, Texas
1870          U.S. Census
Fort Bend County, Texas, Pages: 4–9, 12-13, 20-21, and 25
A community of the formerly enslaved people who were previously held in bondage by Joseph Byers, Jr. and his heirs (John F. & Margaret N. Irwin and J.C. & Julia A. Simonton).

(Enumerated: August 1st - August 8th)
  • Dwelling & family #28, p. 4
    • Sherrill, Archy (Age: 30, North Carolina)
    • ---------, Caroline (Age: 25, Georgia)
  • Dwelling & family #31, p. 4 - [Slave Owner]
    • Irwin, John F. (Age: 56, North Carolina)
    • ------, Margaret N. (Age: 48, North Carolina)
  • Dwelling & family #48, p. 6
    • Randon, Toby (Age: 38, Texas)
    • ----------, Louise (Age: 36, North Carolina)
  • Dwelling & family #52, p. 7
    • Allen, Susan (Age: 50, Alabama) - Her older children were born in North Carolina.
  • Dwelling & family #54, p. 7
    • Emerson, John (Age: 45, North Carolina)
    • -----------, Hetta (Age: 34, North Carolina) 
  • Dwelling & family #56, p. 8
    • Jackson, Andrew (Age: 24, District of Columbia)
    • Byers, Andrew (Age: 23, North Carolina
  • Dwelling & family #57, p. 8
    • Byers, David (Age: 35, North Carolina)
    • -------, Cicily (Age: 30, North Carolina)
  • Dwelling & family #58, p. 8
    • Byers, Austin (Age: 33, North Carolina)
    • -------, Louisa (Age: 33, North Carolina)
  • Dwelling & family #59, p. 8
    • Sparks, Eliza (Age: 24, North Carolina)
    • Byers, Peter (Age: 91, Africa)
  • Dwelling & family #60, p. 8
    • Bostic, John (Age: 40, Alabama)
    • --------, Angie (Age: 22, North Carolina)
  • Dwelling & family #61, p. 8B-9A
    • Byers, Philips (Age: 35, North Carolina)
    • -------, Mary A. (Age: 24, North Carolina)
    • Smith, Austin (Age: 21, North Carolina)
    • -------, Watson (Age: 25, North Carolina)
  • Dwelling & family #63, p. 9
    • Byers, Lafayette (Age: 24, North Carolina)
    • -------, Mary (Age: 22, North Carolina)
  • Dwelling & family #64, p. 9
    • Gayle, James M. (Age: 26, Mississippi)
    • Byers, Huley? (Age: 54, North Carolina)
  • Dwelling & family #65, p. 9
    • Byers, King (Age: 60, North Carolina)
    • -------, Sina (Age: 48, Georgia)
    • Scott, Taylor (Age: 28, Georgia)
    • ------, Milley (Age: 23, North Carolina)
  • Dwelling & family #66, p. 9
    • Byers, Pinkey (Age: 36, North Carolina)
    • -------, Harriet (Age: 31, Georgia)
  • Dwelling & family #68, p. 9
    • Spates, Caesar (Age: 23, Louisiana)
    • --------, Laura (Age: 19, North Carolina) - Geo & Lucy's child
  • Dwelling & family #69, p.9 - [My 4th great-grandparents]
    • Savannah, George (Age: 48, Alabama)
    • ------------, Lucy (Age: 42, North Carolina
  • Dwelling & family #93, p. 12
    • McClennon, Curtis (Age: 32, North Carolina)
    • --------------, Mariah (Age: 40, North Carolina)
  • Dwelling & family #109, p. 13
    • Lewis, Waller (Age: 25, Virginia)
    • -------, Julia (Age: 19, North Carolina)
  • Dwelling & family #178, p.20B-21A - [Slave Owner]
    • Simonton, Joseph (Age: 63, North Carolina) 
    • ------------, Julia A. (Age: 52, North Carolina)
  • Dwelling & family #214, p. 25
    • Byers, Thomas (Age: 37, North Carolina)
    • -------, Rebecca (Age: 36, Georgia)
Note: I've only listed the Head of House and their spouses.  A few of them I've listed the Head and particular boarders or relatives who were from North Carolina.
Precinct 3, Fort Bend County, Texas


The Families

A community of the formerly enslaved people who were previously held in bondage by Joseph Byers, Jr. and his heirs (John F. & Margaret N. Irwin and J.C. & Jane Julia Simonton). The other Byers in the area were brought to Texas in 1863 from the Estate of James Smith Byers, deceased. I've only listed those who were mentioned in the 1843 will of Joseph Byers, Jr.

George Savannah
Born: Circa 1822, Alabama 
Died: After 1871, Richmond, Fort Bend County, Texas
  • There were two slaves named George on the plantation of Joseph Byers, Jr. "Big George" and "Little George". At this time I'm not certain which George is my ancestor as the terms "Big" and "Little" could mean that one was older and the other was younger, or that one of them was stocky and the other was slim. 
  • Not certain how or when Joseph Byers acquired George....was it by will, slave auction, etc. Was his mother on the plantation too?
  • Taken to Fort Bend County, Texas by his owners in 1856.
  • Was likely allowed to visit his wife Lucy on the Irwin place.
  • Listed as George Irwin in 1867 complaint concerning over payment of room & board of children.
  • Last appeared on the 1871 Fort Bend County Tax Rolls - [Geo Savannah, Line 41, Online image: 30]

Lucy (Byers) Savannah
Born: Circa 1828, Iredell County, North Carolina
Died: After 1870, Richmond, Fort Bend County, Texas
  • Lucy was born into slavery on the plantation of Joseph Byers, Jr. in Iredell County, North Carolina. 
  • Her sister was Mariah McClinton.
  • I suspect that Thomas and Pinckney are also siblings of Lucy and Mariah.
  • She was listed in 1843 Will of Joseph Byers, Jr.
  • At the death of her owner, she was given to Margaret Narcissa Smith Irwin, daughter of Joseph Byers, Jr.
  • Taken to Fort Bend County, Texas by her owners in 1856.
  • Lucy and her husband George along with their children remained on the Irwin Place after emancipation.
  • She died sometime after 1870, it may have been during childbirth with her last child Benjamin or possibly Typhoid Fever which killed quite a few people in the area around that time. In 1880, the younger children were being raised by their older siblings. 
  • She is my direct line maternal ancestor - According to 23andme, my Haplogroup is L2a1e.
Children of George & Lucy

  1. Susan Savannah Powell (b. Circa 1849, Mecklenburg County, North Carolina - d. 28 March 1924, Houston, Harris County, Texas) - My 3rd Great-grandmother.
  2. Laura Savannah Spaights (b. Circa 1851, Mecklenburg County, North Carolina - d. 20 March 1933, Houston, Harris County, Texas)
  3. Alphonso "Fonzy" Savannah (b. Circa 1852, Mecklenburg County, North Carolina - d. 10 August 1929, Brookshire, Waller County, Texas)
  4. Hannah "Anna" Savannah Thompson (b. Circa 1855, Mecklenburg County, North Carolina - d. After 1880, Brookshire, Waller County, Texas)
  5. Clara Savannah Thompson (b. Circa 1860, Fort Bend County, Texas - d. 22 January 1937, Brookshire, Waller County, Texas)
  6. Eliza Savannah Jones Howard (b. Circa 1862, Fort Bend County, Texas - d. After 1900, Brookshire, Waller County, Texas)
  7. Mary Savannah (b. Circa 1864, Fort Bend County, Texas)
  8. Olivia "Livia" Savannah Brown Clow (b. Circa 1869, Fort Bend County, Texas - d. After 1940, New York County, New York)
  9. Benjamin "Ben" Savannah (b. Circa 1870, Fort Bend County, Texas - d. 1 February 1917, DeSoto Parish, Louisiana)

Mariah (Byers) McClinton
Born: Circa 1830, Iredell County, North Carolina
Died: After 1880, Fort Bend County, Texas
Spouse: Curtis McClinton (Formerly Curtis Huggins, a slave of Joel A. Huggins).
  • Mariah was born into slavery on the plantation of Joseph Byers, Jr. in Iredell County, North Carolina. 
  • Her sister was Lucy Savannah.
  • Thomas and Pinckney may be siblings of Mariah and Lucy.
  • Listed in 1843 Will of Joseph Byers, Jr.
  • At the death of her owner, she was given to Margaret Narcissa Smith Irwin, daughter of Joseph Byers, Jr.
  • Taken to Fort Bend County, Texas by her owners in 1856.
  • Mariah's met her husband Curtis on the Huggins and Irwin place in Fort Bend County, Texas.
  • She had a daughter named Lucy Ann (likely named after her sister) and a son named Thomas (possibly named after her suspected brother).
  • She and her husband were listed under the surname Huggins on the 1866-1867 Labor Contracts for Fort Bend County.
  • She and her family lived next door to Pink Byers in 1880 (Fort Bend County, Texas).
  • She appears to have passed sometime after 1880. 
  • The death certificate of her daughter Amanda Faulwell lists her maiden name as Sherrior, which is a variant of Sherrill (the surname Mariah's oldest daughter Alice is listed under in 1870). The informant was Amanda's son Gus Spencer.
Children of Curtis & Mariah
  1. Alice Sherrill Moore (b. Circa 1853, Mecklenburg County, North Carolina - d. After 1874, Brookshire, Waller County, Texas) - Mariah's daughter from a previous union/relationship.
  2. Lucy Ann McClinton Tilly (b. Circa 1856, Fort Bend County, Texas - d. 23 August 1945, Brookshire, Waller County, Texas)
  3. Amanda McClinton Spencer Faulwell (b. 18 May 1861, Fort Bend County, Texas - d. 16 February 1940, Houston, Harris County, Texas)
  4. Rebecca McClinton Armstrong (b. Circa 1866, Fort Bend County Texas - d. After 1900, Houston, Harris County, Texas)
  5. Thomas "Tom" McClinton (b. 14 December 1878, Fort Bend County, Texas - d. 12 January 1941, Seguin, Guadalupe County, Texas)

Thomas "Tom" Byers
Born: Circa 1833, Iredell County, North Carolina
Died: After 1895, Fort Bend County, Texas
Spouse: Rebecca Huggins (A slave of Joel A. Huggins).
  • Thomas was born into slavery on the plantation of Joseph Byers, Jr. in Iredell County, North Carolina. 
  • Thomas may be a sibling of Pinckney, Mariah, and Lucy.
  • Listed in 1843 Will of Joseph Byers, Jr.
  • At the death of his owner, he was given to Margaret Narcissa Smith Irwin, daughter of Joseph Byers, Jr.
  • Taken to Fort Bend County, Texas by his owners in 1856.
  • Thomas met his wife Rebecca on the Huggins and Irwin place in Fort Bend County, Texas.
  • He had a daughter named Maria (possibly named after his suspected sister Mariah)
  • In 1910, his grandson Tom Byers (son of Henry Byers) was listed in the household of Gus Spencer, grandson of Mariah McClinton.
  • Last appeared on the 1895 Fort Bend County Tax Rolls [Tom Byers - Line 41, pg. 18].
Children of Thomas & Rebecca
  1. Julia Byers Richardson (b. Circa 1855, Mecklenburg County, North Carolina - d. May 15, 1930, Fulshear, Fort Bend County, Texas)
  2. Eva Byers Randon Scott (b. 27 May 1861, Fort Bend County, Texas - d. 27 November 1937, Fort Bend County, Texas)
  3. Maria Byers Johnson Williams (b. Circa 1862, Fort Bend County, Texas - d. After 1900, Fort Bend County, Texas)
  4. Henrietta Byers Hall (b. Circa 1864, Fort Bend County, Texas - d. After 1900, Waller County, Texas)
  5. Fannie Byers (b. Circa 1866, Fort Bend County, Texas)
  6. Owen Byers (b. Circa 1869, Fort Bend County, Texas - d. After 1910, Fort Bend County, Texas)
  7. Henry Byers (b. 5 May 1871, Fort Bend County, Texas - d. 27 April 1931, Simonton, Fort Bend County, Texas)

Pinckney "Pink" Byers
Born: Circa 1834, Iredell County, North Carolina
Died: After 1880, Fort Bend County, Texas
Spouse: Harriet Smith (a slave of Joel A. Huggins)
  • Pinckney was born into slavery on the plantation of Joseph Byers, Jr. in Iredell County, North Carolina. 
  • He may be a sibling of Thomas, Mariah, and Lucy.
  • Listed in 1843 Will of Joseph Byers, Jr.
  • At the death of his owner, he was given to Margaret Narcissa Smith Irwin, daughter of Joseph Byers, Jr.
  • Taken to Fort Bend County, Texas by his owners in 1856.
  • Pinckney met his wife Harriet on the Huggins and Irwin place in Fort Bend County, Texas. It appears she may have previously belonged to Joel Huggins wife Caroline Moore of Georgia.
Children of Pinckney & Harriet
  1. John Byers (b. Circa 1860, Fort Bend County, Texas - d. 24 November 1934, Fort Bend County, Texas)
  2. Sarah Byers Allen James (b. Circa 1863, Fort Bend County, Texas - d. 23 March 1945, Brookshire, Waller County, Texas)
  3. Sinie Byers Hughes (b. Circa 1867, Fort Bend County, Texas - d. 4 October 1942, Brookshire, Waller County, Texas)
  4. Matilda Byers Davis (b. 15 September 1871, Fort Bend County, Texas - d. 23 June 1950, Houston, Harris County, Texas)
  5. Josephine Byers (b. Circa 1873, Fort Bend County, Texas)

Narcissa (Byers) Richards
Born: [Bet. Late 1820's - Early 1830's], Iredell County, North Carolina
Died: After 1860's, Fort Bend County, Texas
Spouse: William Richards
  • Narcissa was born into slavery on the plantation of Joseph Byers, Jr. in Iredell County, North Carolina. 
  • Listed in 1843 Will of Joseph Byers, Jr.
  • At the death of her owner, she was given to Margaret Narcissa Smith Irwin, daughter of Joseph Byers, Jr.
  • Taken to Fort Bend County, Texas by his owners in 1856.
  • Unable to locate her in 1870.
  • Her name was listed on the Death certificate of her son.
Children of William & Narcissa
  1. William Richards (b. 15 December 1856, Fort Bend County, Texas - d. 9 March 1932, Fort Bend County, Texas)

King Byers
Born: Circa 1810, Iredell County, North Carolina
Died: After 1882, Fort Bend County, Texas
Spouse: Sinie Byers (Maiden name not known)
  • King was born into slavery most likely in Iredell County, North Carolina.
  • It is not known if King was born on the plantation of Joseph Byers, Sr., or did he belong to someone else previously. 
  • In 1829, at the death of his owner Joseph Byers, Sr., he was purchased by Joseph Byers, Jr.
  • Listed in 1843 Will of Joseph Byers, Jr.
  • At the death of his owner, he was given to Margaret Narcissa Smith Irwin, daughter of Joseph Byers, Jr.
  • Taken to Fort Bend County, Texas by his owners in 1856.
  • Not certain if his wife Sinie is the mother of all three children. In 1900, Sinie was listed in the household of John Scott (Millie's son) as his grandmother.
  • In 1880, there were three additional children listed as his: Charles Byers (b. 1863), Bill Byers (b. 1867), and Mollie Byers (b. 1870). A search of the 1870 U.S. Census for Fort Bend County revealed they were children of Caroline Hall (1st wife of Wade Hall). Not sure if they are children who were (1) born "outside" of King's marriage, (2) grandchildren (3) or children that he and his wife Sinie decided to take in and help raise when their mother passed.
  • Last appeared on the 1882 Fort Bend County Tax Rolls - [King Bias, Line 22, Stamped p. 1329]
Children of King
  1. Millie Byers Scott Lewis (b. Circa 1847, Mecklenburg County, North Carolina - d. 6 February 1933, Fort Bend County, Texas) - DC list her mother as Ann Berkley. Not sure how accurate that is as the only Ann Berkley/Burkley in Fort Bend County was close in age to Millie. 
  2. Julia Byers Lewis (b. Circa 1851, Mecklenburg County, North Carolina - d. After 1880, Fort Bend County, Texas)
  3. Sarah J. Byers Davis Murray (b. Circa 1854, Mecklenburg County, North Carolina - d. 18 November 1922, Brookshire, Waller County, Texas)

Aley (Locke) Davidson  
Born: Circa 1800, Rowan County, North Carolina
Died: After 1880, Fort Bend County, Texas
Spouse: Unknown
  • Aley was born into slavery on the plantation or Farm of Captain Richard Locke in Rowan County, North Carolina.
  • She is listed as (Ale in 1819 and Ealy in 1843)
  • At the death of her owner Richard Locke in 1819, she along with Sarah were given to his daughter Martha (Locke) Byers, wife of Joseph Byers, Jr.
  • I suspect that Aley and Sarah were sisters and were related to the other slaves listed in the estate of Richard Locke. 
  • Listed in 1843 will of Joseph Byers, Jr.
  • At the death of her owner, she was given to Jane Julia Simonton, daughter of Joseph Byers, Jr.
  • In 1880, she lived the household of Austin Byers (no relationship was given)

Sarah (Locke)
Born: Circa 1801-1806, Rowan County, North Carolina
Died: N/A
  • Sarah was born into slavery on the plantation or Farm of Captain Richard Locke in Rowan County, North Carolina.
  • At the death of her owner Richard Locke in 1819, she along with Aley were given to his daughter Martha (Locke) Byers, wife of Joseph Byers, Jr.
  • Sarah and Aley may be siblings.
  • Listed in 1843 Will of Joseph Byers, Jr.
  • At the death of her owner, she was given to Margaret Narcissa Smith Irwin, daughter of Joseph Byers, Jr.

Amy (Byers)
Born: Circa 1786, North Carolina or Virginia
Died: N/A
  • Amy's place of birth is currently unknown. It's possible she may have been born in North Carolina or Virginia.
  • She was mentioned in the will of Joseph Byers, Sr. (1819): "Also a negro woman and her two children. Which I placed in the hands of my brother, James Byers to remain with him during the lifetime of him and his wife, my sister-in-law Margaret Byers named Amy. I do will still to remain in the family while they continue together or until their own Estate descending from their father is distributed and the said woman and her two children together with any increase she may have, I will and devise that they shall be equally divided between all my said nephews and nieces, as their Father's estate may be divided agreeable to the spirit and intention at the time of their said divide. And if any one or more, do not amicably agree in said division they are not to hold, nor enjoy no part  of said last mentioned negro woman and her increase" - [I'm curious as to why Joseph Byers, Sr. wanted her to remain with in the family]
  • The names of Amy's two children were not mentioned in the 1819 will.
  • In 1829, at the death of her owner Joseph Byers, Sr., she was purchased by Joseph Byers, Jr.
  • Listed as Emy in the 1843 will of Joseph Byers, Jr. 
  • At the death of her owner, she was given to Jane Julia Simonton, daughter of Joseph Byers, Jr.