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John F. Byram & Mary E(unice) Tidwell, Coweta Co., GA
Posted by: Judy Fowler Kilgore (ID *****3323) Date: September 24, 2006 at 12:04:42
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Seeking information on the Byram families of Coweta and Campbell counties in GA, particularly those who connect to the Tidwell families of Coweta and Meriwether.

Info I have so far on John F. Byram, son of James and Hannah Williamson Byram, collected from various sources:

John appears to have moved with his parents and siblings from Mecklenburg Co., North Carolina to Georgia between 1831 and 1833, per 1850 census. James Byram appears in the 1820 and 1830 censuses of Mecklenburg County. (I haven't checked 1810.)

1840 Coweta Co., GA census, page 328
(Same page as Benjamin Tidwell, son of Benjamin Tidwell and Milly Grimes, who married Hannah Permelia Byram. This is NOT the Benjamin who was the father of Mary E. Tidwell who married John Byram. See end of message.)
(James Byram's household)
...1 male 50-60 (1780-1790) James b. 1782
...1 female 40-50 (1790-1800) Hannah b. 1791
...1 male 20-30 (1810-1820) James b. 1817 (married in 1841)
...1 female 15-20 (1820-1825) Amy b. 1825
...1 female 10-15 (1825-1830) Jane/Jean b. 1827
...1 female 10-15 (1825-1830) Martha b. 1828
...1 male 5-10 (1830-1835) John F. b. 1831
...1 male 5-10 (1830-1835) Andrew J. b. 1833

1850 Coweta Co., GA census, #634/634
(Name looks like Byrom)
...Byram, James, 68, m. farmer, $4000, b. VA
...Byram, Hannah, 59, f, b. NC
...Byram, Jane A., 23, f, b. NC
...Byram, John F., 19, m, student, b. NC
...Byram, Andrew J., 17, m, student, b. GA
...Mellon, Jas E., 3, m, b. GA

In the same 1850 census, Mary E. Tidwell is found with her father, Benjamin Tidwell, and stepmother, Martha Moody, in Meriwether County. Mary's father, Benjamin, married (2) Martha Moody in 1840, Pike Co., GA. She was the daughter of Benjamin Moody and Sybilla Westmoreland. They lived next door to Benjamin's brother, John J. Tidwell, who married (1) Nancy Byram (Biram) and (2) Martha Westmoreland. The Tidwell land in Meriwether was practically on the Coweta County line, north of Mt. Carmel Methodist church, east of Haralson and Alvaton. (Have land records.) Mary grew up in Meriwether and had two half-siblings, Benjamin Jones Tidwell and Luraney Smith Tidwell.

On 6 March 1856, in Coweta County, GA , John F. Byram married Mary Eunice Tidwell, daughter of Benjamin Tidwell and Nancy Boyd, granddaughter of William and Mary Amelia Jones Tidwell and John and Nancy Chambers Boyd. (Nancy was named in her grandfather's will in Newberry, SC)

(Nancy Boyd's brother, James Boyd, married Milly Tidwell, sister of Benjamin. John Tidwell, Benjamin's brother, married Nancy Camilla Byram, thought to be the sister of John F. Byram.)

John and Mary then appear in the 1860 census with their first daughter, Alice:

1860 Coweta Co., GA census, County Line P.O., #868
...Byram, John F.H., 30, m, farming, $2000/$2490, NC
...Byram, Mary E., 21, f, b. GA
...Byram, Allis V., 5/12, b. GA

Another daughter, Nancy Lavonia was born in 1861.

Sometime prior to Dec. 12, 1862, John died, location and cause unknown. Burial place unknown for certain. Some Civil War information has been searched but results are inconclusive. There is no grave for him in the Coweta Cemeteries book but it is thought that he may be buried in the Cook, Attaway, Cedar Creek (it has lots of names) cemetery near Palmetto, along with Mary Eunice. However, no gravestones exist for either.

On Dec. 12, 1862, Isham J. Moody applied for letters of Administration on the estate of John F. Byram. Isham was Mary E. Tidwell's "step" uncle, the brother of her stepmother, Martha Moody. Isham and Martha were the children of Benjamin Moody and Sybilla Westmoreland. Bond was posted in the amount of $8000.00 with John Brock as security. Appraisers appointed by the court included John R. Brock (married to John F. Byram's sister, Amy), Robert Farmer, Thos. G. King, James Stamps, and B.D. Smith.

In the appraisal inventory, the usual items appeared which most families owned during that period, livestock, furniture, farming tools, buggy and wagon, two Negroes named Henry and Ann, and 100 acres of land. The total came to $6007.13. Most interesting were overdue notes owed by A.J. Byram ($519), Wm. Cathcart ($4.44), J.E. Gurley ($12.19), and H. Hammond ($50), with a line written underneath, “Supposed to be insolvent.”

The estate sale was held Dec. 29, 1862 and took in $1,983.86, with most items (17) going to a T. Watkins and the next highest number (12) going to the widow, Mary Tidwell Byram. Doct. Zellars purchased 6 items, J. Powell purchased 4, and B.D. Smith, E. Alexander and W.J. Gay each purchased 3 items. Those purchasing only one item included John Brock, E.J. Cook, James Byram, B. Watkins, W. Chowan, Wm. Church, James Hogan, Wm. Bullard, Z. Rainwater, S. Avery and someone named Hearlin or Kearlin.

In December of 1863, the adminstrator changed from Isham Moody to Mary E. Byram. Isham was leaving the state and asked the court to relieve him of his duties as administrator. Mary was "willing" according to wording in the court documents, and was appointed Administratrix with Richmond C. Bridges security. Bond was $10,000.00. Mary continued to administer the estate, pay the bills, paid taxes and expenses for raising her girls. Both girls' names were mentioned in the estate.

Tuition was paid to Sallie Bridges for 1866 for Alice V. Byram ($4) and personal items purchased for the girls included a spelling book, 2 pair of shoes, 7 yards of ribbon, 4 yards of apron checks and 2 roach combs. Schooling for 1867 was $6.

In some of these vouchers, John is referred to as “John Byram of Campbell County” and that is the location given for his farm. Allen Brock submitted a bill for clearing “four acres and 120 rods of land at $5 per acre.” This was done in 1862 and was paid by the estate. Vouchers show that Mary shopped at stores in Palmetto so their farm was probably very near there. There are many vouchers included in this estate settlement and many people, neighbors, business associates and relatives, are mentioned.

At the September 1869 term of Coweta County Ordinary's Court, administration was deemed complete and dismission papers were issued to Mary. One month before, August of 1869, she had remarried to William Henry Harrison Hayes. They had one son, Oscar Boyd Hayes, b. 1871.

According to W.H.H. Hayes Bible records, Mary Eunice died 16 Sept. 1874. In 1883, he remarried Amanda Moody, a cousin of Mary Tidwell Byram Hayes' stepmother.

The following note appeared in the Newnan Herald, 14 Dec 1928 issue, Madras News:
"Mr & Mrs O B Hayes attended the funeral of the former's aunt, Mrs L S Gilbert at County Line near Senoia Sunday afternoon." L.S. Gilbert was Luraney Smith Tidwell Gilbert, half-sister of Oscar's mother, Mary Eunice Tidwell.

There is a serious error shown by many in their family trees regarding Mary E. Tidwell appearing to have married her mother's brother. This is not true, and may have been propagated in part by an error in the Coweta Cemeteries book made more than 20 years ago. In listings for graves said to be in the Cook, Attaway, Cedar Creek, etc. cemetery, it is stated that Mary E. Tidwell Byram Hayes was the daughter of Benjamin Tidwell and Hannah Permelia Byram. The person who submitted that information has since recanted it after talking with her older living relatives, finding the other Benjamin Tidwell and evidence in Meriwether and coming across the newspaper notice. She didn't know at that time that there were two Benjamin Tidwells, both with daughters named Mary E., both born about the same time. They were just in separate counties. "I always wondered why Uncle Oscar's name was 'Boyd.'" she told me.

John F. Byram's estate information found in Coweta County, GA, Probate office in:
Sales Bills Book 10
Minutes, Book D, pp. 387, 398, 436
Letters Book A, pp. 32, 115, 136
Bond Book C, pp. 27, 321, 341
Misc. Orders Dismission Book C, p.199
Appraisement Book I, p. 274
Annual Returns Book L, p. 94; Book M, p. 627; Book N, p. 440

Other sources include U.S. census records (, official marriage records, Bible records of William Henry Harrison Hayes, Bible records of Benjamin Moody and Sybilla Westmoreland, probate and deed records from Meriwether County, GA.

Anyone who can add to this information is most welcome to do so.

Judy Fowler Kilgore
Newnan, GA

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