Finding Your Folks: The Byram, Parker, Cannon family

Judy Fowler Kilgore's picture

We continue our series on the descendants (or probable descendants) of Beverly Byram and Sarah Williamson who settled in Pike and Coweta counties in the 1800s. I say "probable" because there are few who can actually be proved, based on evidence I've been able to uncover (and there's not much). I've had to take a piece from here and a snippet from there, put them together and say, "Well … that might be another one … but then, again … maybe not." Quite frustrating. I wish someone would come out of the woodwork with a family Bible and say, "Oh. Is this what you're looking for?"

So far, we only have one who can definitely, without a doubt, undeniably be called a child of Beverly Byram, and this is James because he was the only one named specifically in Beverly's will. The other was named (sort of) in a story written for a book called "Memoirs of Georgia," and published back in the late 1890s. That would be "Margaret" who we later learned was actually "Martha" Byram. The "Memoirs" book was published, along with others of the same style, portraying stories of pioneers and settlers who had made their marks on an area, or maybe not, but who had submitted their life stories to be published and paid a fee to have them included in a "history" book.

Many say these stories sometimes were inaccurate and possibly they are right. I have found some inaccuracies that could be attributed to errors in handwriting, even one in the story we relate today on Henry Parker. One of Henry's first children's names in the "Memoirs" story was given as "Jennie," but there was no child by that name. Henry's first child was named "James" and is consistently recorded as such in censuses through 1870. Also, Henry's mother's name was given as "Margaret" in the "Memoirs" story when it was actually "Martha," as seen in both the census and her marriage certificate. One person has her doubly safe, recorded as "Martha Margaret" on his Rootsweb file. Could be.

Henry also was well represented in "The Heritage of Carroll County," published several years ago, with four stories on his Parker family submitted by Kathy Hanson, Bessie Mae Garner, Jean Parker Pruitt, and Donna Wallace Strickland.

Henry Parker was born in 1842 in Pike County, the son of Martha Byram and John Parker, and grew up there with his brothers and sisters. As most young men his age did, Henry enlisted in the Confederate Army, along with his brother-in-law, Anderson Prince, and fought valiantly in many battles as part of the 44th Georgia Infantry Regiment. However, at Chancellorsville he received a leg wound which later resulted in amputation. Anderson brought him back home to Pike County where he recuperated with the assistance of his sister, Mary, Anderson's wife.

In 1868, in Coweta County, Henry married Sarah Cannon, daughter of George and Mary Elliott Cannon, early settlers of Pike County, and they moved first to Coweta County, where they started their family, and then to Carroll County where they purchased a 300-acre farm. In 1870 in Coweta County, Henry and Sarah lived next door to Preston A.H. and Ann Herndon on one side, and Mary C. (Neill) Byram on the other side, widow of Henry's cousin, James Beverly Byram, who had died in the Civil War. They all lived in the Senoia District.

In 1880, Henry, Sarah and their growing family were in Carroll County's Turkey Creek District, and by 1900 had settled in the Mandeville District, where they were found again in 1910. All family stories say they lived in Bowdon Junction.

According to censuses, Henry and Sarah's family included James, Mary, Henry, Lizzy, Ella, and Lela. However, in the 1900 census, Sarah said she had given birth to nine children, with eight still living. So, some of her children were obviously missed.

The "Carroll County Heritage" story on Enoch Parker (John Parker's father) written by Kathy Hanson shows Henry and Sarah Cannon Parker's children as (1)James Aaron (1869) m. Florence E. Murphy, (2)Henry Steve (m. Emma Kate Casey) and (3)Mary J. (m. James Henry Johnson), both born in 1871 but probably a typo since one was born in June and the other in December, (4)George Washington (1873) m. Frances Ellen Barlow, (5)Sarah E. (1876) m. William Larkin Evans, (6)Ella Cornelia (1878) m. William Jasper Duke, (7)Harriett Henrietta (1880) m. Wilbur Edward Wallace, (8)Martha Jane (1883), and (9)Leila Frances (1886) m. Van Kierbow.

Henry, despite meager beginnings and having to plow with a wooden leg, is said to have amassed quite a fortune and gave each of his children a 60-acre farm. This fact from from Jean Parker Pruitt's story in "Carroll County Heritage." Henry died in 1913 and Sarah died about 1925. They are both buried at Pleasant View Missionary Baptist Church cemetery in Carroll County, as are many of their children.

It is interesting to note that even though we don't see the two Byram brothers' families (Beverly's and James') written about together, members of both followed each other closely and lived near each other in different areas of Pike, Coweta and Carroll counties. James Byram's children, Upton Byram and Hannah Permelia Byram Tidwell, both lived in Carroll County, and Permelia even lived in Coweta for a while. Descendants of Beverly moved to Cullman and Blount counties in Alabama and, again, Hannah Permelia and her husband, Benjamin Tidwell, lived in Jefferson County, adjacent to Blount and just a snip away from Cullman. Don't we wish we could slip back in time and see how all the relatives interacted?

Next week: James Byram and Louisa Webster, ancestors of Heather Byrom Hannah of Senoia.

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.

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