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John Byrd

Of North Carolina


The earliest known Byrd in the Albermarle Sound Region of North Carolina (Albermarle Precinct) was John Byrd.

In 1663, when people were coming down from Virginia into the Albermarle Sound Region, Thomas Woodward, Sr., was granted land for bringing persons down, among them one John Byrd.

Another early settler was William Byrd. North Carolina Colonial and State Records, Volume I, page 249, listed him as an inhabitants of Pasquotank and Albermarle County.

John and William Byrd probably were brothers and some believe they are sons of William Byrd of Charles City and Surry Counties, by his first marriage. Southern Colonial Families does not list a son John born to William. Surry County originally extended from the James River to the northern boundary of North Carolina.

John Byrd was referred to as John Jr. then it most likely his father was John Sr. and not William Byrd.

John Byrd was born about 1670 in Virginia and died in Chowan County, North Carolina in 1716. He married Rebecca Sutton Peterson, widow of Jacob Peterson, and daughter of Nathaniel and Deborah Astine of Perquimans County. They were married in Berkeley, 24 August, 1697. Rebecca died 12 February, 1758.

In "Old Albermarle by Worth S. Ray, page 209", Rebecca Byrd is listed as one of the early residents of Chowan County who lived west of Chowan River in the generally vicinity of present Windsor, before Bertie County was established.

John Byrd was a planter and also served as a Justice of the Peace. He was juryman in the October term of Court in 1703. The Vestry Book of St. Paulís Parish in Chowan precinct 1712 list John Byrd as a member.

John Byrd left his will in Chowan County North Carolina, dated 13 September, 1716, and proved 17 October, 1716. He left the following in his will:

Son, John Byrd 640 acres lying at Newmarket
Son, Edward Byrd 635 acres
Son, William Byrd 345 acres
Son, Richard the plantation I now live upon
Wife, Rebecca
daughter, Ann

The Mississippi group of Byrdís descends from the son William and traveled South into South Carolina, then Georgia and many on to Mississippi in the early 1800ís. Almost 200 years later many Byrd descendants still reside in the same area, one being Robert George Wiggins Byrd, a sixth great grand son of John Byrd of Chowan.

The five children of John and Rebecca birth date or year are

Edward Byrd born 22 July, 1698 Virginia
John Byrd Jr. born 6 January, 1701 Virginia
William Byrd born 1704 Virginia
Richard Byrd born 1707 Virginia
Ann Byrd born 1709 Virginia


William Byrd

Son of John Byrd


William Byrd, third son of John and Rebecca Sutton Byrd was born about 1704 in Chowan County North Carolina. He died before 1777 in Sumter District, South Carolina. The wife of William Byrd was Jean Bell, daughter of Robert Bell and wife Ann Ferguson. William is the ancestor of the Mississippi Byrdís who came to South Mississippi.

William Byrd received a bequest of 365 acres of land in his fatherís will dated 16 September, 1716. Bertie County was formed from Chowan County in 1722. William Byrdís land lay in Bertie County. In "Abstract of North Carolina Wills" by Grimes, page 170 William Byrd is named as cousin and executor of will of Edward Homes, dated 9 August, 1750. He is also listed along with his brothers, John and Edward in Bertie and Edgcombe Jurymen County Court, 25 February 1739-1740.

Sometime before 1753, William Byrd moved to Duplin County, North Carolina.

In 1753 he sold his land, 600 acres, to Joseph Knott of Bertie County, North Carolina. He was already living in Duplin County at that time. The sale reads, "William Byrd of Duplin County, providence of North Carolina, to Joseph Knott of Bertie County 600 acres, 1753" (I William Byrd am lawful owner, Jean Byrd wife of me).

In 1764, William Byrd along with several of his sons, sold their lands in Duplin County and moved to South Carolina. There are many deeds in Sampson as evidence of these transactions.

William Byrd, Sutton Byrd, John Byrd, Joshua Byrd and Nathaniel Byrd were in Craven County South Carolina, on Lynches Creek in 1766. At that time the province of South Carolina was divided into four Counties. Craven between the Pee Dee and Santee Rivers, Berkeley from the Santee to the Ashley; Colleton from the Ashley to the Combabee; and Granville from the Combabee to the Savannah River.

William Byrd received a grant of 200 acres on back of swamp near Lynches Creek on 16 January, 1766. William received another grant of 150 acres on 15 July, 1767. Here is a transcript of that land grant.

Children of William Byrd were:

Sutton Byrd born 1728 Bertie Co. NC.
George Byrd born 1730 NC
John Byrd born about 1732 NC
Edward Byrd born about 1734 NC
William Byrd born about 1736 NC
Unknown name Byrd born about 1738
Unknown name Byrd born about 1740


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