Finding Your Folks: More early Byrams of Pike County

Judy Fowler Kilgore's picture

Providence smiled on me again last week when some information on an unknown child (at least to me and a few others) of Beverly Byram fell into my lap. Her name was Martha Byram, she married John Parker, and she was an ancestor of my third cousin, Chris Wren, of Alabama. This child was not among those posted on the Bethel UMC Website from which I obtained my original information on Beverly's children. Martha was born about 1808 in North Carolina, according to the 1850 census.

Before I get too far into this, I need to correct two errors I made last week. First, I said that James Byram, son of Beverly Byram, was the executor of Beverly's will. That is not true. James was mentioned in the will as being a son and heir. In fact, he was the only child mentioned in the will at all. Other heirs were alluded to but not named specifically (one of the reasons I'm having trouble finding the names of children). The executor of Beverly's will was Cadesman Pope. The name written on Beverly's will says "Cageman." The name on Cadesman's own will (Pike County Will Book D, page 111.), recorded 7 Oct. 1855 in Pike County (wife was Susan), is spelled "Cadesman."

The second error I made was in the Land Lot number and location of Beverly's land in Pike County. The location was my error. The land lot number was a discrepancy in the deed book. The deed index had lot no. 124 while the actual deed read "one hundred seventy four ..." Numerals were not used to confirm the lot number and it was hard to distinguish between "seventy" and "twenty." I checked ahead where the lot was later sold and it was 174, not 124. Lot 174 is in the First District, about halfway between Hollonville and the Flint River and is bisected by present Ga. Hwy. 362. (Transaction found in Pike County Deed Book B, page 87.)

I also had said that Beverly's land was in the center of Hollonville and part of it was now owned by my sister and brother-in-law, which is not true. Actually, my sister and brother-in-law's land (lot no. 182) was first purchased by a John Byram in 1828, relation to Beverly unknown at this time. John also purchased lot no. 181. So there we have Beverly Byram and John Byram owning land very close to each other ... lots 174, 181 and 182. Hmmmm ... interesting. Were they related? And if so, how? We'll try to tackle that in a future article.

But let's get back to our newly found daughter of Beverly Byram, Martha Byram Parker. How did I find her and what is my source (besides Chris)? In the book, "Georgia Memoirs," there is an article about Henry G. Parker of Carroll County whose mother was said to be "Margaret" Byram, daughter of Beverly Byram. "Margaret" actually turned out to be "Martha" who appears in the 1850 and 1860 Pike County census with her husband, John, and several children, among them the Henry G. Parker of the above-mentioned article.

John Parker was married first to Elizabeth Spurling on 4 Feb. 1829 in Pike County. The couple had two children: Sarah C. and William A. Parker. John then married Martha Byram on 13 Jan 1833, also in Pike County, and they had seven children: Catherine F., Mary E., John H., James A., Henry G., Cassie Louisa, and Martha Jane Parker.

This family had a hard life, if we can read between the lines a bit. In 1842, John Parker gave his children all his property in a deed of gift (Pike County Deed Book F, page 547) and is listed in the next two censuses as "insane." In the 1860 census, Martha is listed as head of house with John in the second slot. An educated guess would be that John was diagnosed with a debilitating illness in 1842 and provided for his family while he still could. He named his children in this deed: Sarah C. Parker, William A. Parker, Catharine T. Parker, Mary Parker, John H. Parker, James A. Parker, and Henry G. Parker. The land included a total of 329 acres, varying portions in the First (Lot 251) and Eighth (Lot 80) Districts.

John and Martha both must have died between 1860 and 1870 because neither appears in the 1870 census. I checked all the estate records, court minutes and wills during this time period in Pike County and there are no records available on either. The last record of John's selling land was on June 15, 1860, when he sold 50 acres in Land Lot 198 in the First District of Coweta County to his son James A. Parker. This deed was recorded 28 March 1862.

Although I will give more detail on some of the Parker children next week, I'll give you their known spouses now: Catharine Parker m. (1) William R. Dunn, (2) Sterling Norris; Mary E. Parker m. Anderson Prince; John H. Parker m. Mary (Molly) Entrekin; James A. Parker m. Martha Henrietta Stewart; Henry G. Parker m. Sarah Cannon; Cassie Louisa Parker m. William Prince; Martha Jane Parker m. William Cannon Entrekin.

I am thrilled at having an excellent researcher such as Chris as an ally on this difficult family. He also gave credit to Kathy Parker Hanson and the Rootsweb file of Phil Entrekin for information included in this Parker family. More next week.

Family histories about your ancestors who lived on Atlanta's south side are always welcome. Send them to or Mail to The Citizen, P.O. Drawer 1719, Fayetteville, GA 30214. All letters and e-mails I receive are subject to being used in the column.

login to post comments | Judy Fowler Kilgore's blog