Byrd Family  

This history of the Lenoir County BYRD family was researched by the late Charles Holloman, well known Lenoir County Genealogist. Prepared by Charles R. Holloman, Sr., July, 1978

The Colony of Carolina was first settled by Englishmen who came down to the area of present Albemarle Sound from earlier English settlements on the James River and Chesapeake Bay in the Virginia Colony. The first permanent English settlements were made in the Albemarle Sound area about 1650. Until the Carolina Charter of 1663, these settlers looked to Virginia, and particularly to Lower Norfolk County, for governance. It is possible to find in the records of Lower Norfolk County, Virginia, the earliest records of settlers living in the Albemarle Sound area of what is now North Carolina. No research has been conducted in Lower Norfolk County or other Virginia records for the purpose of this research paper.
        The Carolina Charter of 1663 resulted in plans to set up four counties in a Carolina Colony: Albemarle County, Bath County, Clarendon County, and Craven County. Of these only Albemarle County became fully organized; and for many years the precincts of that county extended southward from Virginia as far as white settlements could be found or until the banks of the Cape Fear River was reached. The precincts of Old Albemarle were at first given names of English noblemen: Carteret, Berkley, and Shaftsbury; but around 1671 some sort of action was taken (documentation of which has not been found and probably is lost) to give officially to the precincts the Indian names by which the settlers preferred to call them anyway. Thus, the precincts of old Albemarle County officially became Currituck (formerly Carteret, not to be confused with present Carteret south of the Neuse), Pasquotank, Perquimans, and Chowan. The Indian names are all names of rivers upon which tribes with those names were living at the time of the first English settlements. Most if not all of these rivers had their fountainheads in what are now the lower counties of Virginia and flowed southward to the Albemarle Sound, each forming a colonial waterway down which settlers could travel conveniently in boats and small ships to penetrate the coastal swamps and ridges of Carolina. The Blackwater Swamp of Virginia's Isle of Wight County (the southern part of which is now Southampton County) is a primary source of the Chowan River which becomes a broad stream before reaching Edenton, county seat of Chowan Precinct (now County) and the broad waters of Albemarle Sound. On the way down, the Chowan River is joined from the west by Wiccacon Creek the upper reaches of which are called Ahoskie (formerly Chorsqui) Swamp. Indians in the coastal plain set up tribal boundaries along streams and lakes, using part or all of a drainage basin to establish the outermost boundary line. Thus, different lengths of a stream came to have different names. This accounts for the anomalies of such river names as the Tar (Indian Tor) which turns into the Pamlico and the Yadkin which turns into the Pee Dee.
        In 1696 the territory south of the Albemarle Sound (River) was partly organized into Bath County (a full scale County government was never set up). Bath County extended at first as far southward as Cape Fear River and as far westward as there were white settlements. Three precinct governments were organized in Bath County in 1705: Wickham, Pamptecough, and Archdale. On December 7, 1710, Carolina was formally divided into North Carolina and South Carolina by the Lords Proprietors. Upon that division, the counties of Clarendon and Craven fell into the South Province, leaving North Carolina without a Craven County. Lord Craven was held in esteem by North Carolinians. They promptly changed the name of Archdale Precinct to Craven Precinct to perpetuate his memory in the geography of North Carolina. The boundaries of Archdale Precinct had been established Indian style by extending the Precinct to all lands drained by the Neuse River and its tributaries and in addition all lands extending southward as far as Cape Fear River. Craven County fell heir to these bounds when it and other Precincts were elevated to the status of counties in 1739 at which time the old counties of Albemarle and Bath were abandoned. In 1722 the western portion of Chowan Precinct (that portion west of Chowan River) was used to set up a new Precinct called Bertie (pronounced Ber-TEA). In 1746, early in the year, the up-the-Neuse-River area of Craven County was used to erect a new county called Johnston. Only the eastern boundaries of Johnston was specifically laid out. This was done by running a line due north from the mouth of the Southwest-of-Neuse Creek on Neuse River (a mile or two down river from present Kinston) until the line intersected the boundary of Edgecombe County (which had been erected out of western Bertie). On the outside of Neuse River, the new Johnston County line was required to run up the Southwest Creek "to the uppermost part of the County". About six miles upriver from the mouth of Southwest Creek, a stream called Falling Creek enters Neuse River on the northern side. This stream is the Falling Creek referred to in records of the BYRD family of Craven, Johnston, Dobbs, and Lenoir Counties. This stream and its drainage basin shifted from county to county as new counties were formed from older counties; but, of course, the stream and the BYRD settlers along it did not migrate merely because a new county had been formed around them. The BYRDs came to Falling Creek and settled in the latter half of the 1730s when the area was in Craven Precinct of Bath County. They were there when Bath County was abolished and Craven Precinct became Craven County in 1739. They were there when upper Craven County was used to create Johnston County in 1746. They were still there when the eastern part of Johnston County was used to create the county of Dobbs in the spring of 1759; and they were still there when Dobbs County was abolished to create Lenoir County and Glasgow (now Greene) in February 1792. Wayne County had been created out of western Dobbs in 1779, and its eastern boundary ran only a few miles westward of where the BYRD families had plantations in old Dobbs. The Lenoir County community known as The Institute (formerly Lenoir Collegiate Institute's location) is in the general vicinity where the BYRD families settled and long lived on Falling Creek and its tributaries. It is not to be confused with another Upper Falling Creek, formerly in Dobbs but now in Wayne, which enters Neuse River on the South side in the general vicinity of Goldsboro.
        One further geographical note will complete the political geography in which the early BYRD families under research in this article made their homes: The remnant of Johnston County lies westward of Wayne County and still to this day constitutes a fairly large county on the Neuse River. It was to this "new" Johnston County that the BYRD ancestor in this lineage eventually migrated from Falling Creek in Lenoir County. Richard BYRD who appears in the 1796 Dobbs County tax list as son of Richard BYRD the elder, migrated with other members of his family about 1807 to the southwestern area of present Johnston County and settled there in Mingo Swamp and Mill Branch, not far from the then Cumberland County line which is now Harnett County line with Johnston County. This researcher has visited among the BYRD families still there, in search of information on the BYRD family. Indeed, Mrs. Holloman's family at Coats Harnett County is related to these BYRDs. The late Willie BYRD of Coats was grandson of Lemuel D. BYRD, a son of Richard BYRD, Jr., who died in Harnett County in July 1876 who was son of Richard BYRD of the 1769 Dobbs County tax list. The latter Richard BYRD died at this plantation on Mingo Swamp in Johnston County in 1818. An abstract of his will appears later in this research.

John BYRD - ca. 1675-1716
        In North Carolina Colonial Court Records, miscellaneous papers #187, are several lists of headrights presented to the County Clerk of Albemarle County in Carolina during the period ca. 1680-1704. Among these is an undated list which reads as follows:
        "John BIRD, Headrights: For ye Honorable Court the Humble Petition of John BIRD Humbly Sheweth
        That he hath six rights, viz.: himselfe, Mathew Anderson, Mary his wife, Jno. BIRD, Junr., James Bassford & Richard Wiggins."
        Apparently another entry of the same headrights differently stated and clearing up some ambiguities in the first, is reported in the recently published Volume 2 of The Colonial Records of North Carolina (Second Series) edited by Mrs. Mattie Erma (Edwards) Parker and comprised of documents dating approximately 1697-1701. At page 14 of Vol. 2, it is recorded:
        "John BYRD proves Rights to 300 acres of importation of himself, Mathew Anderson, Mary BYRD, James Basford & Rich. Wiggins."
        Furthermore, at page 70 is transcribed from the File CCR #187:
        "Apr. - June 1697: Petition of John BIRD humbly sheweth That he hath six headrights, viz.: himself, Mathew Anderson, Mary his wife, Jno. BIRD, Junior; James Bassford, Richard Wiggins."
        The fact of the matter is that it is not possible to determine from the documents now existant the date at which John BYRD imported himself and the persons named. For each headright 'imported' into the Carolina Colony at that time, the person importing was entitled to claim the headrights and could receive, upon application to a court of record, fifty acres of land by landgrant. Obviously, the headrights found for John BYRD (alias BIRD) were a single imported group. It is noted that the name of John BIRD, Junior, was inadvertently omitted from the record on page 14 of Vol. 2 and from the manuscript there recorded. This may account for the headrights having to be proved again later. On the other hand, the transcription on that page proves that the phase 'Mary his wife' (which in the first transcription appears to make this female the wife of Mathew Anderson whose name precedes the phrase) is actually the wife of the rights claimant, John BYRD himself. Nothing further is heard of this Mary BYRD. Certain facts and circumstances now to be presented and examined provide possible evidence though not positive proof, that the John BYRD who earned these headrights might have been born as early as 1655 and the first had a wife Mary by whom he had at least two children of the names Hannah and John, Junior. The Colonial Records of North Carolina (Second Series) Vol. 1 (1670-1696) at page 344 shows the 'Hannah BIRD, daughter of John BIRD.'
        "At a Court held April 2nd 1684...Upon the petition of Richard Byer, Ordered that Hannah BIRD, daughter of John BIRD, live with him the said Richard Byer till she comes of age of one and twenty years or day of Marriage." (CCR #189 in file in N.C. Archives). It will be noted, however, that no daughter Hannah is shown on either copy of the headrights, but an apparent son, John BYRD (BIRD), Junior is shown on one copy.
        This researcher has found only three men of the name BYRD or BIRD in records of Albemarle County prior to 1700. Two of these are John BYRD and John BYRD, Junior heretofore noted in the headrights. The other is Valentine BIRD (or BYRD) Esquire, a Council Member of the Carolina Colony and Collector of Customs. Valentine BIRD died prior to March 29, 1680. (See The Colonial Records of North Carolina (Second Series) (1670-1696), Ibid. In 1675 Valentine BYRD was appointed Collector of Customs by the rebel General Assembly of Carolina (ibid. p. xliii). An order to appraise his decedent estate was issued by a Court of Grand Council (Chancery) on March 29, 1680, and there is some indication that he had orphans, though this is not proved certain. Valentine BIRD had died intestate apparently, since nothing has been found to indicate that he had a will. The Court of Grand Council entry reads:
        "Ordered that Mrs. Culpeper's inventory of the estate of Valentine BIRD be appraised, appoints Wm. Nowell, Samuel Davis, and Jno. Dye the appraisers."
        The Colonial and State Records of North Carolina (First Series) published between 1892 and 1914 provide additional information about Valentine BIRD in Volume I. Other information will almost certainly be found in records of some of the original precincts of old Albemarle County. Valentine BIRD served in the Carolina General Assembly. He was a leader in the Culpeper Rebellion which occurred shortly before his death. The 'Mrs. Culpeper' who prepared the inventory of his estate was almost certainly the wife or widow of John Culpeper who gave the ill-fated Culpeper Rebellion its name.
        No effort has yet been made to establish whether John BYRD or John BYRD, Junior, mentioned in the headrights, were descendants or relatives of Colonial Council Member Valentine BIRD. It does seem certain that a John BYRD had married before 1684 by which year he had a daughter old enough to be assigned to a guardian. It is noted that the daughter Hannah BIRD was not made a apprentice, though this has been implied by other researchers. Nothing is said of a responsibility to teach her nor of what she is to be taught, nor is it mentioned that she is being apprenticed or placed under a guardian. It is as if she is being placed with a close relative with consent of her father; but the kinship, if any to Richard Byer, is not stated. She is to live with Byer until she comes to age 21 or marries. There is no uncertainty about the year this occurred, 1684.
        More definite information is known about the John BYRD who is proved to be the patriarch of the lineage in this research, even though it is uncertain whether he should be called John BYRD or John BYRD, Junior, in the phrasing of the claim for headrights. Hathaway's North Carolina Historical and Genealogical Register, published in three volumes from 1901 to 1903, published records and abstracts of records then found by the author in various North Carolina courthouses. In Volume 3, p. 408 appears "Births, Deaths & Marriages in Berkeley Precinct." Present Perquimans County was an early colonial precinct along the Perquimans River, named for the local Indian tribe. The Precinct was first named Berkeley in honor of the Lord Proprietor and Governor of the Virginia Colony; but inasmuch as the settlers in 'Perquimans' persisted in using the Indian name, the Precinct name was changed to Perquimans about 1672. A similar thing happened to neighboring Carolina precincts at the same time. In those days the precincts were also part or all of an Anglican parish and were supposed to keep church records. At the time of the Revolution, the parish Anglican Church records of some parishes were either in the local courthouse (which served for religious services in parishes where there was no church edifice) or were deposited in the court clerk's office as public records. For example, it is known from information in a Bertie County case tried and appealed to the North Carolina Supreme Court about 1818, that the Anglican Parish records of Society Parish in Bertie County were still in existence there in 1818 and that they spread over the period 1715 to as late as the Revolution. The Births, Deaths & Marriages in Berkeley Precinct comprised abstracts by Hathaway of similar records which had been preserved in Perquimans. These records show that John BIRD and Rebecca Peterson were married in that parish on August 24, 1697 by John Burnet, Minister. Also, John BIRD, son of John BIRD and wife Rebecca was born July 22, 1698. Edward BIRD, son of John BIRD and wife Rebecca was born January 6, 1701/2 (ie 1702 - the official 'Court year' ended on March 25 rather than with the calendar year). Also, of interest because of kinship connection later to be noted: Dennis Odeare, son of Denis Odear and wife Mary was born April 29, 1685. Also Rebecka Suton, the daughter of Nathaniel Suton and Deborah his wife was born ye 8th of Agust 1676 (Hathaway Vol. 3, p. 208, 373, 370). The records transcribed are found in Vol. 3 pp. 199 to 220; 363 - 410 and 368 - 401. Nathaniel Sutton of Perquimans Precinct died 29 Dec. 1682. His daughter Rebecca, married first to Jacob Peterson, Junior, who died young in 1797, the day and month of his will not being stated thereon. (See Grimes's Abstracts of North Carolina Wills, page 286, or see the original will in N.C. Archives). This was a nuncupative will - the kind spoken by a person on his deathbed and reduced to writing very promptly thereafter by the witnesses who must not themselves be legatees. A nuncupative will could pass only personalty. Jacob Peterson, Junior, left everything to his wife 'Bebekah'. Jacob Peterson, the father of Rebecca's deceased husband, made his will on January 13th, 1697/98 (1698). The will of Jacob Peterson, the elder was in writing and was probated at July Court, Albemarle County, 1698. In it he gave one shilling in silver to 'Rebonah Boord, my daughter-in-law', according to Grimes's Abstract. My own reading of the manuscript renders the name 'Rebakah Burd'. The senior Peterson also gives one shilling to each of his daughters Elizabeth and Constant and leaves to go to his daughter Ann Peterson a plantation which he had bought from Jno. Durant. His Executrix was Mary Peterson. His will, therefore, provides evidence that by January 13, 1698, Rebecca had married John BYRD and her name was no longer Peterson.
        In Vol. 2 of The Colonial Records of North Carolina (Second Series) (1697-1701) several lawsuits are noted to which John BYRD (BIRD) was a party in the Colonial Court. One of these was John BIRD and Rebecca his wife, Administratix of Jacob Peterson, Jr., v. James Cole, in the summer of 1698. In CCR file #102, N.C. Archives, on a list of cases in the Colonial Court term in early 1697/98 the list refers to her as Rebecca Peterson alias BIRD (p. 181 of Vol. 2 printed records cited above) and on page 180 is a listing dated January 28, 1697/98 showing Jno. BIRD & his wife Rebecca, Administratix of the Goods and Chattels of Jacob Peterson, Junior vs Jacob Peterson the Elder in a plea of trover for two Swine of 30 shillings value.
        CCR file #310 N.C. Archives shows a conveyance (deed) of a tract of land in Perquimans Precinct from John BYRD and wife Rebecca to a Mr. Harvey. This deed was signed for Rebecca by Clerk of the Court, Nathaniel Chevin, under a power of attorney from Rebecca who had been privately examined for assurance that she freely consented to sell the property. (Vol. 2 op. cit. pp. 33). This indicates that the land almost certainly had been hers by descent from some blood kinsman and that John BYRD's interest in it was acquired by virtue of the fact that he was her husband and had had born by her one child at least by a live birth, as the law required for the right of courtesy to attach. It has already been seen that her earlier husband, Jacob Peterson, Junior, left no heir and that his father, Jacob Peterson, Senior left no male heir.
        John BYRD served as deputy marshal of Albemarle County (p. 77 of Vol. IV, Second Series, NCCR - 1702-1708). He was one of the executors of Dennis McLendon, the Elder, in 1706 (CCR 104, N.C. Archives) and of William Rowlinson in March, 1716 (See case of Richard Pickering v. John BYRD, Executor of the last Will and Testament of William Rowlinson, Deceased, noted in Vol. V - 1709-1723 - of Second Series, NCCR).
        In September 1712 and at other times John BYRD was judge of the Admiralty Court in the County of Albemarle (Vol. V, op. cit. p. 469); and he is often shown to be a Captain in the militia of Albemarle County (e.g. Vol. V, op. cit. p. 81 (1714) Captain John BIRD v. Thomas Everett, lawsuit on a promissory note and p. 56 Captain John BYRD v. James Curlee, lawsuit for a debt.
        The deeds of Chowan County, though well preserved, are poorly microfilmed in the North Carolina Archives. Furthermore, the indexing and recording system prior to 1848 culminated in a General Index being prepared for the period from 1702 to 1848 which is nothing but a conundrum. A few deeds of John BYRD (BIRD) were found in Chowan but they contribute little to the genealogical information of this family.
        The will of John BYRD of Chowan County is abstracted on page 59 of Abstract of North Carolina Wills compiled from Original and Recorded Wills in the Office of the Secretary of State (now in N.C. Archives) by J. Bryan Grimes, Secretary of State, Raleigh. 1910, otherwise referred to herein as Grimes' ABSTRACTS. I have also examined the original manuscript. The will was made on September 13, 1716 and was probated at October Court 1716, of the Court of Common Pleas and Quarter Sessions of Chowan Precinct (now Chowan County). Eldest son John BYRD is given a tract of land comprising 640 acres lying at New Market. Son Edward BYRD is given 365 acres of land. Son William BYRD is given 365 acres land. Youngest son Richard BYRD is to receive the home plantation, following the widowhood of wife Rebecca. Daughter Anne BYRD receives a legacy. No other daughter is mentioned nor the children of any deceased child. It is known when this John BYRD's son John was born and that he died in 1744 long after his father had died. Among witnesses to the will in 1716 is Susannah Williams. Other witnesses are Jno. Crambie and Mary Damrell, according to Grimes' reading of the script. The Executors named in the will are wife Rebecca and John Hardy.
        Nothing has been found in the Chowan County records to disclose when youngest son Richard came into possession of the home plantation or whether he ever came into possession of it. No deed can be found in Chowan records by which Richard or his mother or anyone on their behalf conveyed the land to someone else in the Chowan County Deed Registers. It is observed by this researcher that the best evidence be found indicates that Richard was born in or very near the year 1711 and reached his majority in or about the year 1732. In 1722, when Richard was about eleven years old, the western area of Chowan (across the Chowan River) was used to create the new precinct of Bertie. It is only in Bertie Precinct (now County) records that any deed with Richard BYRD (or BIRD) as a party has been found in this research. Bertie County Court Minutes for May 9, 1732, show probate of a Power of Attorney given to James Curree by John BYRD and William BYRD authorizing their attorney-in-fact to execute a deed of sale to Richard BYRD. This record was made Tuesday ye 9th day of May 1732 A.D. (See page 26 and opposite in the mounted pages of the minute book in North Carolina Archives). By the same Power of Attorney, William BYRD conveyed through James Curree his attorney-in-fact certain property to George Bell on the same date. (Bell married BYRD's sister).
        The only deed in Bertie Deed records from 1720 to 1796 with a Richard BYRD shown as grantor to another person named BYRD or BIRD in is Bertie Deed Book E, p. 11. This deed is dated Feb. 6, 1735. In it "Richard BYRD of Bertie Precinct, planter..." conveys "to Edward BYRD of the same precinct and Province...for £500 lawful money of North Carolina...200 acres...located on Miery Branch near lands of Colonel Robert West...lines adjoin Folly Branch...Beaverdam Swamp..." This deed is witnessed by Robert (Thomas?), Richard S. P. Pickering, and John BYRD. It was proved in Bertie County Court at August Term 1736 before Jno Wynns, Clerk of County Court. This deed makes no mention of the source from which the grantor obtained the land. The very next deed in the deed book is one made by Edward BYRD to Michael King on May 5, 1736, for lands patented "to said Edward BYRD by patent dated October 9, 1716 (which would seem to be almost exactly when Edward and Richard's father, John BYRD, died in (then) Chowan, bearing in mind that John BYRD's will was made September 13, 1716 and probated at October Court of Chowan Precinct 1716. The land conveyed to King by Edward BYRD lay "on the fork of Maple Branch in Bertie Precinct. Witnesses were Robert Sharman, John Butter & William BYRD. This deed was probated at August County Court of Bertie, 1736. It should be noted that these two deeds in 1735/1736 involve all four of the sons of Captain John BYRD who died in October 1716. They are all four evidently still living in Bertie Precinct at that time, though the tendency scribes, lawyers, and clerks to show parties to an instrument as being resident in the local precinct as a mere matter of form cannot be ignored when we have the place of residence indicated only by one or two documents of a highly formal character. A tax list would be preferable but none could be found of appropriate dates for Bertie Precinct.
        Between 1720 and 1725 another set of BYRDs came to North Carolina and settled in Bertie Precinct. This was a Thomas BYRD family. It is mentioned here for two reasons: (1) There was only one set of BYRDs in Chowan-Bertie Precincts prior to the arrival of the family of Thomas BYRD and that original set consisted of John BYRD and his sons and descendants. (2) The Thomas BYRD had a daughter Margaret who married in Isle of Wight County Christopher Holloman (variously spelled) whose plantation was on the Blackwater Swamp until the Holloman family migrated to Bertie County and settled near the present town of Ahoskie and left several sons and a multitude of other descendants in that area and across the nation. The names of the BYRD sons and other relatives named BYRD in his household can be gleaned from the following records, among others:
        In Bertie County Court Minutes dated Feb. 8, 1742, it is recorded: "Thomas BYRD proved his (head)rights with Thomas BYRD, (*Junior), Elizabeth BYRD, Ledia BYRD, Jane BYRD, Isabell BYRD, Rachel BYRD, Gabriel BYRD" (and other persons whose names I omit here - CRH).
        In Bertie County Court Minutes Feb. 8, 1742, (same date as above) it is stated that the last will and testament of Thomas BYRD was proved by Anthony Wedd, a subscribing evidence thereto. A County Court order to lay off a road from Quiaucoson Road through Loosing Swamp into Cashy near Beaverdam Swamp was issued May 11, 1742 and persons named in the order included two BYRDs; namely, Thomas BYRD, Junior and William BYRD. This William is most certainly the son of old John BYRD. The Thomas BYRD is certainly the son of Thomas who claimed another Thomas BYRD in his headrights. The fact appears to be that Thomas, Junior, submitted the headright claims to the same court that probated his father's will. The will itself has not been found; and the records show that Elizabeth, the widow of Thomas BYRD, was issued letters of administration on his estate. This would happen in the case of a will only if the will named no executor of if the executor named was deceased or refused to serve. Further information is found in a deed of gift made by Thomas BYRD of Bertie County in 1735 and recorded in Deed Book D at page 198. In this deed he names three sons Henry BYRD, Edmond BYRD, and Thomas BYRD, Junior.
        I am correct in saying above that the will of Thomas BYRD has not been found. It is of record in the records of the Secretary of State and is abstracted by Grimes as follows:
        Thomas BYRD of Bertie County, will made December 14, 1742, proved at February Court of Bertie, 1742. Sons: Thomas (water mill); Edman (still); Daughters: Honer Baker, Elizabeth Jones, Margerrit Holloman, Sarah BIRD, Ann BIRD. Wife: Elizabeth, Executrix. Witnesses: Chrisfor Halloman, Thomas Baker, Antho. Webb. Clerk of the County Henry Deson (DeLon-CRH). It is noted that a deed made by Charles Jones and wife to Thomas BYRD is dated in 1725 and is recorded in Bertie County Deed Book A, p. 431 for lands located in the modern county of Hertford which was formed largely from Bertie County territory in 1759. The county line of Hertford and Bertie runs east and west a short distance south of Ahoskie and the most southerly portion of Ahoskie Swamp in Hertford County. This land was later conveyed to Christopher Holloman who passed it to a son by deed with warranties against all persons "other than the heirs of Charles Jones and wife".
        Richard BYRD, son of John BYRD of old Albemarle County, married at least twice. The name of his first wife has not been found; but he must have married her about the time that he reached majority age, which is believed to have occurred about 1732. His son Richard BYRD, Junior, was born of a second wife of whom more is known. This wife was Mary O'Dyer (or Odyer) daughter of Dennis Odyer who at the time of his death in 1746 had been for some years a resident of the Falling Creek (near The Institute) area of Craven County, which area became part of newly created Johnston County in the early part of 1746. Dennis Odyer wrote his will on February 16, 1746, and it was probated in Johnston County Court at June Term 1746. It names a daughter, Mary Odyer who is evidently unmarried then. No other child is named in the will. The widow Ann Odyer is named. Executors are Ambrose Aris (Ayres) and John Clark. Clerk of the Court is Will Hodges and the court is noted as held at the house of Francis Stringer on Nuce River. There is no mention of any BYRD or BIRD in this will. However, John Stewart then of Craven County (and obviously of the Falling Creek section) wrote his will October 13, 1741. It was probated June 22, 1742. He evidently had neither wife nor child then surviving. His will names only legatees (persons who take personal property by bequest in a will as contrasted with devisees who are persons that take real property by bequest in a will). His legatees named are Jacob Tomson; John, son of Richard BYRD: Elizabeth, daughter of Samuel (Present*). Executors named are Dennis Odyer (father-in-law of the testator) and Richard BYRD. Witnesses are John Herring and Richard BYRD. The Registrar is Edward Griffith.
        In the records of the Secretary of State are reports of cases in which the docking of fee tail estates were judicially determined. One of these cases involved lands inherited by Mary Odyer from her father in a fee tail estate. This restriction upon freedom of alienation (conveying) by deed to another party caused trouble in later years and resulted in a petition to dock the entail. The record shows that Mary Odyer married Richard BYRD and had children by him. It seems that this marriage must have occurred prior to the date when Dennis Odyer wrote his will on February 16, 1746; otherwise, how can one explain the legacy given by Dennis Odyer's son-in-law John Stewart on October 13, 1741, to John, son of Richard BYRD which Richard BYRD is named together with Dennis Odyer as an executor of said John Stewart? Furthermore, it is evident that Richard BYRD must have been married a considerable time prior to October 13, 1741, in order to have a son John BYRD old enough to strike the fancy of testator John Stewart. The possibility that Richard BYRD had some close relationship to John Stewart through an earlier marriage of BYRD or of Stewart was not overlooked; but a considerable search disclosed nothing to support the idea. In passing, it may be noted that the other legatee of John Stewart, a man named Jacob Tomson, made his will May 25, 1750, and it was probated in Johnston County in June Court 1750. In it he names his sons Thomas and Jacob Thomson, his wife Mary, and his Executors he names Thomas Lewis and Richard BYRD. Witnesses are Mikel Rasher and Robert BYRD. Clerk of the Court is Richard Caswell, and the courthouse is located on Walnut Creek. (This is near Goldsboro now in Wayne County and the site is marked). Johnston County Landgrants in the office of the Secretary of State shows that Robert BYRD of Johnston County was issued a grant for 300 acres on 10 April 1761. The date of entry is missing from the record. The land lay "in Johnston County....on east side of Falling Creek" and this statement proves that it must have been entered before the latter part of 1758 because it was then that an Act was passed in the North Carolina General Assembly setting up Dobbs County in the eastern territory of Johnston County and thus putting Falling Creek into the new County of Dobbs. This Act became effective in March of 1759 whereas the grant did not issue to Robert BYRD until April 10, 1761, long after the land applied for had fallen into Dobbs County. Little is found in Johnston or Dobbs records of this Robert BYRD. The old Grantee Index of Deeds indicates the approximate date of this disappearance from Dobbs County records.
        The search of early deeds of Craven County in hope of finding earliest official records of the arrival of Richard BYRD and his family upon their migration from Bertie to Craven's Falling Creek settlement has not been as productive as ought to be expected. The condition of the Craven early deed records makes research in them tedious and time consuming. Resort to the County Court Minutes - and particularly to the setting up of crews to work roads or lay off roads in the vicinity of what is now Lenoir County - also produced little or nothing concerning the BYRDs or many of their known neighbors. From a report of a processioning of lands in Craven Precinct found in fragmented condition in Secretary of State's Papers file Box SS 751 in North Carolina Archives, it is found that Richard BYRD of Bath County and Craven Precinct was issued a landgrant for 250 acres on November 18, 1739. The land lay on Falling Creek, Joyning Ambros Ayres land and running up (the Creek?) for ye Complement. Under column headed "To Whom Directed to Survey and by Whom Survey Returned" appears the name Jno. Powell, Novbr 18, 1739. (It is of interest that the John Herring family of Bertie who migrated to Craven's Falling Creek section at about the same time as did Richard BYRD is mentioned as one of the grantors of a deed to William BYRD in Bertie County in 1738. This deed is recorded in Bertie Deed Book E, p. 328 - deed to William BYRD from John Herring and Others.) Since application for a landgrant was often preceded for varying periods of time by an entry and the making of improvements upon the land desired and reducing parts of it to tenancy or cultivation, we need not assume that Richard BYRD had arrived very recently at the time he received the landgrant in November 1739. He could have been there several months; but earlier proof of his being there remains to be unearthed. The County Court Minutes for the period from about 1717 to about 1737 are exceedingly difficult to decipher and are, for the most part, too faded to read by ordinary means and need to be recovered by some such enhancement method as is used by the Space Agency to bring greater definition to photographs of the surface of other planets.
        The next earliest record found thus far of Richard BYRD after his arrival in Old Craven County is noted in the State Landgrant Office Book 5, page 280, and envelope file #354. This record indicates a grant was issued on March 17, 1740 to Richard BYRD of Craven County for 150 acres on the northside of Neuse River and eastside of Bear Creek. The location given is not very definitive, not to say specific and could be referring to the same Falling Creek vicinity which also is on the the northside of Neuse River and on the east side of Bear Creek which latter is a much larger stream than Falling Creek and therefore was used more frequently in early times as a general reference point in similar manner to Neuse River. Bear Creek runs generally from north to south until it enters the Neuse which itself has a course lying generally west to east. Richard BYRD next appears in the will of John Stewart made October 13, 1741, as heretofore noted.
        Recorded in the State Landgrant Office in Book 10, p 112 under date October 9, 1747 and referring to warrant, plat, etc., in envelope #1, 163 for Johnston County is a grant for 250 acres located on the north side of Falling Creek...Beginning at a water oak on the north side of Falling Creek (says the duplicate record in Book 5, page 272, file 335) ...Beginning at a water oak on the northside of Falling Creek...adjoining a corner of lands of Ambrose Ayris. Duplicate records were file to cross-check landgranting - a set of books in the office of the Secretary of the Province (later of State) and another set in the office of the Treasurer (later State Auditor). The landgrant recorded here under date October 9, 1747, sounds much as if it is the same or very near the one processioned in November 1739 as having been surveyed for Richard BYRD. (See above for comparison of information on boundaries). Reference has already been made to appearance of Richard BYRD in connection with the will of Jacob Tomson (Thomson) of Johnston County in May/June 1750. A Johnston County landgrant was issued January 7, 1755, for 200 acres granted to Richard BYRD of Johnston Count...the land lying on the east side of Falling Creek in Johnston County. The landgrant is recorded in LGO Book 15, p. 87 and the envelope file is #885. The entry was made February 20, 1754. There are a number of other landgrants and also the Grantees Index of Johnston, Dobbs, and Lenoir County deeds contain numerous entries with Richard BYRD as a party. Reference will be made only to a few of these which are particularly pertinent and generally relate to extant manuscripts of original deeds or certified copies originating before the courthouse fires which so largely destroyed Johnston County deeds from 1746 to 1759, Dobbs County deeds throughout the life of the County; ie, 1759 - Jan. 1792; and Lenoir County from Feb. 1792 to April 1880.
        Richard BYRD served in his county militia. As a rule few lists of non-commissioned militia personnel are to be found for most counties, especially at such early date as have so far entered this report. However, Richard BYRD appears as a commissioned militia officer on a report filed by Colonel Lewis DeRosset, commander of the Johnston County Regiment, for a date in the year 1754. The month and day are not distinguishable. (See N.C. Archives, Military Collection, Troop Returns 1747 - 1868 - Various Counties, Box #1). The 1754 return for Johnston County shows names and numbers of commissioned officers but numbers only of non-commissioned officers and other soldiers. For Company #7 the report shows: Captain Benjamin Herring, Lieutenant Richard BYRD, Ensign (now 2nd Lt.) Michael Risher. There are eleven companies in this report. No other named BYRD is shown. The name of Richard BYRD is NOT followed by the word senior or junior. There is a report also of a troop of horse. Richard BYRD continued to serve as a Lieutenant in the Johnston County militia; and when Dobbs County was formed effective in the spring of 1759, he became a lieutenant in the militia of that county. In Governor's Office Papers Number 146 (now in N.C. Archives) page 66, is a list of the militia officers of Dobbs County dated March 11, 1761. The first few on the list show as follow: Richard Caswell, Colonel; Abraham Sheppard, Junior, Lieutenant Colonel; William McTyree, Major; Charles Young, Captain "Died during this year"; Richard BYRD, Lieutenant "Promoted to Captain during this year."* (*BYRD replaced Charles Young who had been killed accidentally at Johnston Courthouse while he slept in his bed in an upstairs room. Someone in a bar below accidentally fired a musket. The ball penetrated the ceiling, the upstairs floor, the bed, and the body of the sleeping Charles Young.) Richard BYRD was approximately fifty years old when he became Captain in the Dobbs militia. His exact age has not yet been reported on any document found.
        It may be well to note here that Richard BYRD received a landgrant on May 23, 1757 for 170 acres on the northside of Neuse River (no other description). It is recorded in Book 15 LGO at page 224 (file #972) and also in Book 13, p. 157.
        There exists, so far as is known, no countywide tax list for Craven County from one in 1719 to one in 1769. There is no tax list of taxables by name in Johnston County for the period when lower Falling Creek was in that County (1746 to 1759). The first countywide tax list extant for Dobbs County is for the year 1769. The list is in the North Carolina Archives and a transcription of it appears in The Story of Kinston and Lenoir County by T.C. Johnson and Charles R. Holloman, Edwards & Broughton Company, Raleigh, N.C., 1954, pages 360-385. The names of poll taxables are given for each household. Households are listed with name of the household. These names were alphabetized by the clerk of the County Court but only to the first letter of the surname. Sometimes the occupation of the taxable or some other descriptive note was entered to distinguish between persons of the same name; and occasionally the unemancipated minor sons of the head of household and living at home are noted with their kinship. On this list all of the households of the BYRD (BIRDs) then residing in Dobbs County are given. The BYRD (BIRD) entries are as follow:
BIRD, Thomas one white poll; one total polls
Next are two households of the Barwick family and then the following
BIRD, Richard & son Richard; Negroes Green, Paul & Jude 2 white polls; 3 black polls; 5 total polls
BIRD, Benjamin one white poll; one total polls
Next are two other households then more BIRDs as follows:
BIRD, John; Negroes Hannah & Lucy one white poll; 2 black polls; 3 total polls
BIRD, Nathaniel one white poll; one total polls
Then follows 29 households other than BIRDs and then another BIRD as follows:
BIRD, Joshua one white poll; one total polls

        There are no other persons named BIRD or BYRD on this tax list. This tax list is submitted in proof of the paternity relationship of Richard BYRD, Junior, son of Richard BYRD who came to Falling Creek area from Bertie County, son of John BYRD of Old Albemarle County. Inasmuch as the name Richard BYRD passed down from father to son and sometimes occurred in families of other sons of a Richard BYRD, hereafter in this report, the Richard BYRDs will be assigned Roman numerals; viz., Richard BYRD I, Richard BYRD II, etc.
        Between 1769 tax list and the next countywide extant Dobbs County tax list in 1780, there are several lists of many of the men in Dobbs County but very little information of a more specific and genealogically significant character. There are full lists of seven of the ten Dobbs militia companies that marched under the command of Governor Tryon to make war upon the Regulars, an expedition which ended in the Battle of Alamance in 1771. There are lists of ten Dobbs militia companies that marched to battle the Tories at the Battle of Moore's Creek Bridge in February 1776. These name every man showing rank, function, days served, in what company, and how much pay, and some other occasional happenings. Also, commissioned officers are shown for Dobbs Minute Men Units and at least one Company of Continentals from Dobbs. Some of these companies are shown by name for other expeditions early in the Revolution. There is a list of freeholders of Dobbs who voted for members of the General Assembly in March 1779 (before Wayne County was formed from Western Dobbs in December, 1779. The 1780 tax list covers all of Dobbs that was left after Wayne was formed. It is not a poll tax list but a list of freeholders resident in Dobbs showing the valuation of their taxable estates. I believe there is not a single instance of a kinship relation being shown on this list between any two or more persons. Virtually the same list is found in the form of a tax assessment list to be paid in commodities during the year 1780.
        Thomas BIRD and Robert BIRD are listed among soldiers drafted from Captain Kennedy's Company of Dobbs County Militia July 20, 1777, to be sent out of the State on expeditions under Continental command. Benjamin BYRD and Jesse BYRD also had some Continental service. Benjamin also served in the War of the Regulation. Nathan BYRD was a drummer in Captain Jesse Cobb's company of Minutemen of Dobbs County in the Minutemen Battalion from the New Bern District participating in expeditions against Tory insurgents and the threat of British invasion in 1776 and thereafter. Nathaniel BYRD is at the same time serving in Captain Joseph Green's Company of Dobbs Militia on the expedition to the Battle of Moore's Creek Bridge in February-March 1776.
        Richard BYRD II needed to be age 16 or above to be a poll taxable in 1769. He was probably not over age 16 inasmuch as he is not in the Grantee Index of deeds until several years later as grantee receiving a deed. This researcher estimates that he was born about 1752. He died in 1818 in Johnston County. The best evidence available shows that his father, Richard BYRD (I) died in Lenoir County (successor to Dobbs) sometime between April 9, 1796, and November 6, 1797, as evidenced by two more deeds passed between members of the BYRD family of Dobbs-Lenoir which are preserved in original copies or certified copies made several years before the Dobbs-Lenoir records were burned. The original copies are now in the North Carolina Archives in the Brooks-Darden Collection and in the Hines Collections. They have been copied into a record book in Lenoir County Register of Deeds Office entitled Colonial Records of Lenoir County and a microfilm of that book is in North Carolina Archives and in the library of a number of educational institutions including Lenoir Community College at Kinston, Lenoir County. In studying these deeds for genealogical proofs, it is extremely necessary to read closely and to plat any large tracts of land described. Otherwise, the repetition of the name Richard BYRD, Richard BYRD, Senr., and Richard BYRD, Jr., will prove baffling. Specific deeds to establish proof of identities of the Richards are as follows:
        Page 258 of Colonial Records of Lenoir County: Deed of sale for 376 acres by Joshua BYRD, Thomas BYRD, Richard BYRD, Junior, and Sammuel BYRD of the State of North Carolina and the County of Lenoir, planters, to Richard BYRD, Senior, of the County and State aforesaid, planter...Witnesseth: Whereas the said Joshua BYRD, Thomas BYRD, Richard BYRD and Sammuel BYRD for and in consideration of the sum of one hundred pounds specie money to us in hand paid by Richard BYRD, Senr., before the ensealing and delivery of these presents, the receipt whereof we do hereby acknowledge ourselves therewith fully satisfied (etc...) convey unto the said Richard BYRD, Senr. (etc.) a certain plantation tract or parcel of land...three hundred seventy six acres situate, lying and being ... Beginning at a black gum standing at the mouth of a branch in the plantation, runs up the various courses of the branch to a gum in the patent (landgrant) line, thence (other description...) Also one other tract of land beginning at a pine Richard BYRD, Senior's third corner and on the North side of Jumping Run and the patent line reversed North 68 East 136 poles to a lightwood stump (etc. other descriptive data given...) to a pine the beginning of said patent, with the given line reversed to the last corner of said patent being Nathan BYRD's legatees corner ... ... down the Branch to where Richard BYRD's line crosses the same thence South 20° East to the beginning - 376 acres in the two adjoining tracts. THIS DEED DOES NOT SAY WHAT KIN THE FOUR GRANTORS ARE TO THE GRANTEE. See also on page 260 of the same volume a deed dated 26 June 1793 from William Aldridge to Richard BYRD, Junr. which refers to the same line of Nathan BYRD (who was then still living) and the line of Richard BYRD, Senior (who was then still living). This deed is witnessed by another Richard BYRD (with no suffix of Junior or Senior whereas the two internally in this deed are identified as Junior (the grantee) and Senior (the adjacent owner). Deed originally enrolled in Lenoir Feb. 1796.
        In Lenoir Colonial Records p. 233 is a deed from Nathaniel BYRD to Richard BYRD, Senior made 6 Nov. 1797 (Registered originally 5 June 1798 in Lenoir County). "This Indenture this sixth day of November in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and ninety seven between Nathaniel BYRD of the State of South Carolina and County of Orange to Richard BYRD (the senior is omitted here but is in below in the same deed) of State of North Carolina and County of Lenoir ...for consideration of thirty-three pounds, six shillings and eight pence to mein hand paid by said Richard BYRD, Senr. before the sealing and delivery of these presents.... .... convey to said Richard BYRD ....a certain plantation tract or parcel of land containing by estimation three hundred and seventy-five acres, situate, lying and being in Lenoir County and in the East side of Falling Creek, beginning at a Black gum standing in the mouth of a branch in the plantation and runs up the various courses of the Branch so far as will make 164 poles a straight line to a gum in the patent line, thence with Samuel Thomas's paten Line South 20° East 116 poles to a post oak, thence South 70° West 160 poles, thence to the Beginning. Also one other tract of land, beginning at a pine Richard BYRD, Senior*, deceased's, third corner and in the north side of Jumping Run and run the patent line reversed North 68° East 136 poles to a lightwood stump, thence South 36° East 100 poles to a pine, the beginning of said patent, thence with the ----line reversed to the last corner of said patent, being Nathan BYRD's Legatees corner, thence with their line South 88 West 246 poles to a post oak, theence North 45 West 44 poles to a pine in the Branch, then down the branch to where Richard BYRD's line crosses the same, thence South 20 East to the beginning; for three hundred and seventy-six acres ...warrant etc. to the said Richard BYRD, Senior* etc. etc. Witnesseed by Sam BYRD and Edward (his mark) BYRD. Enrolled in Lenoir Registry 5 June 1798.
        * Note that after the old Richard BYRD, Senior, became deceased, the one hitherto called Richard BYRD, Junior began to be called Richard BYRD, Senior. However the third Richard, grandson of the first, seems not to have taken up the Junior. In the same volume at p. 237 is a deed from Benjamin BYRD to John BYRD made Aug. 9, 1802, ...a tract or plantation in Lenior County on north side of Jumping Run containing by estimate 100 acres more or less...beginning at a red oak in Thomas BYRD's line...refers to Huckleberry Pond...refers to a part of a patent granted to Sammuel Thomas and says this particular land is part of two patents, one granted to Richard BYRD, the other to John Moseley. There are Mosely family deeds which tie in with these BYRD deeds and have also been saved. Witnesses Sam BYRD and Simon Herring.
        Page 239 is a quit claim deed from Fereby BYRD widow of Thomas BYRD. This one is made 5 Jan. 1815 who for consideration of $118 quit claims her right, title and interest in fifty nine acres of land, being one third part of my dower in the lands of my dead husband, Thomas BYRD to be laid off on the South or lower East of said land joining the lands of Jesse BYRD, deceased by a line South 70 east from said Herrings line to Falling Creek ...for and during the term of my natural life. Witness Sam BYRD and Wm. Croom.
        Page 255 of same source has a deed made 28 Feb 1804 between Richard BYRD and John BYRD of Lenoir Co to Rachel (BYRD - widow) Bryan for $2,000 sold a piece of land in Lenoir County on Falling Creek and Jumping Run being part of four surveys: ONE granted to Samuel Thomas; ONE to Richard BYRD, Senr.; ONE to Richard BYRD, Junr.; and ONE to John Aldridge (These are all identifiable I the State Landgrant records - CRH) beginning at a pine MILLER BYRDS corner on a small branch and runs with his line South 45° east 44 poles to a post oak his his corner, then with his other line North 88° east 198 poles to a maple at the run of Jumping Run Branch, thence down the same so far as will make 235 poles on a straight averse to a stake JESSE BYRD's corner, then with his line South 68° West 79 poles to THOMAS BYRD's line, then with his other line north 20° West 100 poles to a post oak his corner, thence South 70° West 160 poles, then north 20° West 132 poles to the mouth of the branch MILLER BYRD's Line, then up the various courses of the Branch, being MILLER BYRD's line to the beginning, containing 380 acres INCLUDING THE PLANTATION WHERE THE SAID RICHARD BYRD AND JOHN BYRD NOW LIVES, THE GRAVEYARD EXCEPTED.
        Page 251 of same Lenoir Colonial Records Vol. has a deed from MILLER BYRD TO WILLIAM HERRING, both of Lenoir County, Made 8 Nov. 1816...for $1,772 sells Herring 202 acres on North side of Neuse River and the lower side of Falling Creek, being part of TWO surveys: one granted to Samuel Thomas dated 1745 ONE granted to RICHARD BYRD, SENIOR date 1767.
        ....Samuel Mewborne's line mentioned...also Jumping Run and Falling Creek. Witnesses Jno. Meyer and John Shirley. Proved in open court by the grantor at Lenoir County Court, January Term 1817. Enrolled 15 Jan. 1817.

ENTRIES IN THE OLD GRANTEE DEED INDEX SHOWING PERIOD WHEN ENTRY WAS MADE AND ALL BYRD GRANTEES FROM VOLUME 1 which began in January 1746 in Johnston County TO VOLUME 21 (inclusive) which was in use in Lenoir County beginning Jan. 1804:

Original Deed Book
Number - Page



Richard BYRD from Samuel Thomas

in Feb. 1746



Richard BYRD to Henry Garrett

March 1746



Richard BYRD to Joshua Herring

about 1753



Richard BYRD from Charles Holmes

about 1754/55

        No other BYRD grantees in the Johnston County period of present Lenoir County. That period ran from Jan 1746 to April 1759 at which time the Dobbs County period of present Lenoir began and ran unntil Feb. 1792 at which time Lenoir period of Lenoir Began and the records of all periods weere burned Oct. 1878 (as to Clerks and all records but deeds) and April 1880 (as to all deed records and Clerk's records accumulated since Oct. 1878 - CRH)



Nathan BYRD from Williams (FIRST APPEARANCE OF NATHAN BYRD) about 1763






(Recall that this John is mentioned in the Will of Stewart)



Thomas BYRD from William & John T. Miller

about 1766/67 FIRST OF THOMAS



Thomas BYRD from Richard BYRD

about 1772



JOSHUA BYRD from John Creek

about 1775 or a little later FIRST OF JOSHUA



(The firsts means only in the Deed Grantee Index - see also 1769 tax list



Richard BYRD from John Creel

About 1779



Richard BYRD from Elijah Hinson

About 1779



Archibald BYRD from William W. Vining

About 1781



Richard BYRD from Moses Parker

About 1781



Nathan BYRD form Richard BYRD, Senior

About 1786




Nnathan BYRD from Benjamin Sheppard

About 1786 - 1792



Richard BYRD from Nathaniel BYRD About 1797 FIRST MENTION OF NATHANIEL



Richard BYRD from Jonathan BYRD




Lemuel BYRD from John Garland




RICHARD BYRD, SR. from WILLIAM Aldridge, Jr. Enrolled June 1797



Lemuel BYRD from Archibald BYRD about Aug 1796 (SECOND MENTION OF ARCHIBALD)



Richard BYRD, Jr. from Archibald BYRD



Joshua BYRD from Major Croom



Joshua BYRD from same



Nathan BYRD from Jesse Farmer



Lemuel BYRD from John Caile



Elijah BYRD from Frederick Jones (FIRST MENTION OF ELIJAH BYRD) ca 1796



Nathan BYRD from William Aldridge

ca 1797-1799



Thomas BYRD from Drewry Aldridge

This deed exists but have misplaced it.



Richard BYRD from Drewry Aldridge



Richard BYRD from John Aldridge



Lemuel BYRD from John BYRD



Richard BYRD from Lemuel BYRD



Nathan BYRD from Moses Gooding



Lemuel BYRD from James Glasgow



John BYRD from Benjamin BYRD

deed extant ca. 1802












Thomas BYRD from Joshua BYRD



Lemuel BYRD from Spencer Caldwell



Rachel BYRD from Richard and John BYRD

deed extant made 28 Feb 1804







Joshua BYRD, Jr. from Joshua BYRD




Lemuel BYRD from William Copeland

        Other BYRD entries in the Grantee Index are in my notes down to 1870 - CRH
        There is a countrywide list of Dobbs Voters (freeholders who voted in an election for the General Assembly in March 1779. No BYRD-BIRD voted:
        A list of taxables with their valuation of their taxable estates for the year 1780 (after Wayne was cut off) shows the follow BYRDs with their valuations:
In District # 1:        Benjamine BIRD £1,021; Nathan BIRD £774; Richard BIRD £1 3,092; Thomas BIRD £400
In District # 2:        Joshua BIRD £624 and Nathaniel BIRD (Hatter) £1,205
There was no BIRD/BYRD on the 1786 tax list for Wayne County.
        Dobbs County freeholders who voted in an election for Constitutional Convention representation in March 1788 show the following BYRD/BIRD members:


Richard BYRD





Richard BYRD, Junior


Robert BYRD





Nathaniel BYRD


Thos. BYRD





Lam. BYRD (Lemuel)


Richard BYRD, Senr.


The age minimum for voting was age 21


Joshua BYRD



Each voter had to own at least 50 acres of land

#286        Archibald BYRD

        A petition from Dobbs County on behalf of holding a new election to replace a disputed election and proposing it to be held 14 and 15 July 1788 contained signatures of the following BYRDs in Dobbs:
#138        Thomas his mark BYRD
#140        Joshua BYRD
#146        Joshua BYRD, Senr.
#192        Thomas BYRD (no difference in the two)
#204        Richard his mark BYRD
#206        Nathan BYRD


Archibell BYRD



Papers in N.C.Arch File SS907

        JESSE BYRD of N. C. was applicant for Rev. War Service Pension but his application was rejected by U. S. National Archives File Rev. War Applications R-1574.
        THOMAS BIRD born in Duplin Co. N. C. widow Nancy, a Rev. War Pensioner in his service right. Her U. S. Pension Number indexed as W-8183 She also received bounty land warrant No. 56942 for 160 acres in 1855. U. S. Archives.
        The deed records of present Johnston County are in good condition back to March 1759 and were burned at Lenoir Courthouse for all prior dates. BYRD Deeds from 1790 to 1818 have been reviewed successfully.
        *The above BRIGHT BYRD is ancestor of Mrs. Tera BYRD Averett, 100 North Ouida Street, Enterprise, Ala. 36330.
        From 1760 to 1776, the Provincial government required that certain information with respect to Wills probated and Administrations granted be sent by the Clerk of County Court to the Treasurer and many of these list showing the testator or intestate, the executors or administrators, the securities and their bonds and the date letters issued or the Court Term when probated are shown. The lists for Dobbs County from 1763 through 1774 have been examined and no testate or intestate of the name BYRD was found on any of them. Also there is nothing in the Grantee Index or other records found prior to 1792 to suggest the death of an adult male in the BYRD family within Johnston, 1746-1759 or Dobbs 1759-1792- who left an estate in land or in other property of consequence. The case papers of the Superior Court for the New Bern Districts and the Minutes Books of that Court have been gleaned for information on the BYRD family and these also show no death of a male BYRD as stated above for the period 1746 to 1792 when Nathan BYRD died. Consequently, this researcher can affirm with confidence that Richard BYRD, Sr. who was born about 1711 in Chowan County died in Lenoir in 1796 or 97, that his son Richard BYRD, Junior, born about 1752 in Johnston County (now Lenoir) died in 1818 in Johnston County (now Johnston) and that the latter had at the date he wrote his will in 1807 a young son named BRIGHT BYRD who was still of school age but who survived and became a prominent planter in Johnston County.

((John BYRD, b CA 1655 m(1) Mary and m(2) Rebecca Peterson He died in 1716. His youngest son, Richard, was born in or near 1711 and reached his majority in or about the year 1732, at which time he received a deed of sale from John BYRD and William BYRD. Richard married twice. The name of his first wife has not been found. But his son, Richard, Jr. was born of a second wife, Mary O'Dyrs (or Odyer), daughter of Dennis Odyer. Richard, Sr. was deceased by 1797. Richard, Jr. died in 1818. The wills of John BYRD (BIRD) and of Richard BYRD, Jr. are shown below. We are concerned with the two sons of Richard BYRD, Jr. who came to Dale County, Alabama, in the 1820s from North Carolina, namesly, Bright BYRD and Redding BYRD. A chapter of genealogy has been devoted to each - TBA))

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