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THE EPHRAIM BYERS FAMILY

IN TOWNS and UNION COUNTIES, GA

 

Two of the first Byers families to live in what is now Towns County, GA,  were the families of Robert Byers and his brother, James Kuykendall Byers.  They were sons of the well known minister, the Rev. Joseph Judson Byers.  James K. Byers had moved to Alabama along with his father, and Robert Byers was moving to Fannin County just before their cousin, Ephraim Byers, was moving into Towns County.

Ephraim Byers  was born in Rutherford county, NC, on August 21, 1806, the son of David Byers and Rebecca McClain Byers.  He was named for his uncle, the Rev. Ephraim McClain, who performed the wedding ceremony of his parents.  Sometime before 1830 the family moved to what is now Haywood county, NC, and Ephraim grew up in the Jonathan's Creek area.  On November  11th, 1830, Ephraim  Byers married Milly(Mily, Millie) Ratcliff.  Milly was born September 18, 1810,  the daughter of Abraham Ratcliff.  Ephraim and Milly had the following children:  Telitha C. Byers(2/06/1832-11/06/1887, Lucinda A. Byers(10/13/1833-10/23/1907, David A. Byers(5/20/1835-7/22/1915), Lucille A. Byers(11/17/1836-4/21/1859), Elizabeth A. Byers(4/12/1838-4/30/1867, Francis Marion Byers(12/12/1839-2/20/1885,Ephraim Asbury Byers(12/02/1841-12/12/1876), Jasper D. Byers(1843-5/09/1863), Phidela Cebrum Byers(10/27/1845-3/29/1929, Merzie Ann Byers(8/04/1848-10/01/1910), Joseph B. Byers(7/20/1850-5/22/1878), and Samuel Virgil Byers(1853-1930).

By the 1860 US Census,  Ephraim Byers and family were at Ft. Hembree, now Hayesville, NC.  Lucille had died in 1859 and is buried at Old Scrougetown Ledford Cemetery near Hayesville, NC.  The family was still at Ft. Hembree in 1870.  Elizabeth had died in 1867 and is buried beside her sister, Lucille.  By the  1880  census they had arrived in Towns County GA, and lived on a farm at the head of what is now Byers Creek.  The family all lived and worked on the farm until starting their own families, except for Telitha and Lucinda, who never married.

Ephraim and Milly moved to Union County, GA, sometime after 1880.  They possibly lived with their son, David A. Byers.  Ephraim and Milly are buried at Mt. Zion(The Glade) Cemetery in the Dooley District of Union County, GA.  Ephraim died 12/19/1892 and Milly died 1/19/1896.

 

Telitha C Byers, (2/06/1832-11/061887), sometimes spelled Talitha, was the eldest child of Ephraim and Milly.  She never married and continued to work on the farm.   Telitha died in 1887 and is buried at Old Union Cemetery, Towns County, GA.  Buried beside her is sister Lucinda Byers and brother Joseph B. Byers.

 

Lucinda A. Byers, (10/13/1833-10/23/1907),the next child of Ephraim and Milly,  never married and continued to live on the farm until she died in 1907.  She is buried beside her sister, Telitha, at Old Union Cemetery, Towns County, GA.

 

David A. Byers, (5/20/1835-7/22/1915), son of Ephraim and Milly,  married Martha Jane Nichols.  They had the following children: Fitzhugh Byers, William J. (Jape) Byers, Merzie Byers(named for her aunt Merzie Ann), Frank Byers(died young), Robert F. Byers, Laura Byers, Taylor Byers, Mary Byers and Joe Byers(died young).  David A. Byers and Martha Jane moved with their children to the Dooley District, Union County, GA, between 1880 and 1890.  They are buried at Mt. Zion(The Glade) Cemetery near Nottely Dam, Union County GA.  Most of their children except Fitzhugh are buried at Mt. Zion also.  Fitzhugh is buried at Toccoa Cemetery, Fannin County, GA, with his wife and some of their children.

 

Lucille A. Byers, (11/17/1836-4/21/1859), daughter of Ephraim and Milly, died young and is buried beside her sister Elizabeth Byers at Old Ledford Cemetery at Scrougetown, Clay County, NC.

 

Elizabeth A. Byers, (4/12/1838-4/30/1867), daughter of Ephraim and Milly, also died young and is buried beside Lucille at Old Ledford Cemetery at Scrougetown, Clay County, NC.

 

Francis Marion Byers, (12/12/1839-2/20/1885), son of Ephraim and Milly, known as"Marion", was a Confederate veteran, 39th Reg Co E, North Carolina Troops,  who was captured by Union forces and held prisoner at Louisville, Kentucky.  He was released about May 1865 at Chattanooga, TN.  He had been home on sick leave and never made it back to his unit.(Nick Byers passed on the story of his Uncle Marion walking home from Chattanooga after the war ended).  Marion married Mary Loggins and reared the following children:   Sarah L. Byers, Milly L. Byers, Mary A. Byers, John Cebarn Byers, Caroline Byers, Angeline Byers, Adaline Byers, Iva A. Byers, Georgia Byers and Ephraim A. Byers(not to be confused with his uncle, Ephraim Asbury Byers). 

There was a Ketty and Lula, we don't know if they were alternate names for the girls already listed or if they were additional children and died between censuses.  

Francis Marion and his wife are buried at Old Brasstown Cemetery, Towns County, GA.  Ketty, Caroline, Lula and Georgia(Georgie) are buried alongside their parents at old Brasstown Cemetery. 

Angeline married a Truelove.  She died young and she is buried just west of the rest of the family at Old Brasstown Cemetery.

According to the late Ella Faye Byers, one of the girls was known as "Lou".  This may have been Sarah, but we don't know for sure.  She married Elisha(Luce) Groves and had the following children; Virge, Lee, Ross, and Lilly Mae.  

Another was known as "Laura".  She married Fate Groves and moved to Texas, no further info. 

Adaline married a Brown and had no children.  

John Cebarn Byers went to Texas with a man named William Harrison "Uncle Billy" Lance.  He married Amanda Lance, daughter of "Uncle Billy".  Descendants of John C. Byers and Amanda Lance still own 68 acres of the old Byers-Lance Ranch in Texas. John and Amanda are buried in Texas.  In her Byers Family History, the late Ella Faye Byers says that John Cebarn visited the Towns area when he was 91 years of age and told her, "I won't see you here again, but I will meet you in Heaven".  John Cebarn lived to be 96.

Ephraim A. Byers(named for his uncle, Ephraim Asbury Byers), known as "Eph",  married first Carrie Curtis who died in childbirth.  This child was named J. Hicks Byers and was reared by his grandmother, Mary Loggins Byers.  Hicks became a minister and was known as "Preacher Hicks".  Eph then married Mary Keys and had the following children; Pauline Byers(not to be confused with her cousin Pauline, Nick's daughter), Corrine Byers, Irene Byers, Edna Mae Byers, Neva Byers, Frank Byers(not to be confused with Frank,of Union County) John Byers(known as "Little John Byers") and Gladys Byers.  Eph and family eventually moved to Clay County, NC.  He and Mary are buried at the Baptist/Presbyterian Cemetery at Hayesville, NC, along with some of their children and grandchildren.

 

Ephraim Asbury Byers(named for his father), (12/02/1841-12/12/1876), son of Ephraim and Milly, know as "Asbury", married Melissa Charrity McClure.  They worked on the farm and had two children, Lilly A. Byers and Vienna(Viny)  A. Byers.  Asbury and  family are shown on the 1870 census for Towns County.  Charitty and the children are shown without Asbury on the 1880 census.  Asbury had died in 1876.  He is buried at Old Brasstown Cemetery in the southwest corner .  Charitty was shown living alone in Towns county in 1900.  According to the late Ella Faye Byers, Lilly Byers married John Truelove and they had one child, Randall Truelove, no further info.  No further information on Vienna Byers.

 

Jasper D. Byers, (1843-5/09/1863), son of Ephraim and Milly, was member of the Confederate States Army and died in a hospital at Atlanta, GA, in 1863.  To our knowledge, he never married nor had any children.

 

Phidela(sometimes spelled Phidella or Fidela) Cebrum, (10/27/1845-3/29/1829), son of Ephraim and Milly, was knowm as "P. C.", or as "Cebe".  "Cebe" was a member of Col. Benjamin Ledford's GA Militia, Co E, CSA.  He married Sarah Jane Coffey, and they settled in the Brasstown district of Towns  County, GA.  "Cebe" was a member of Stephens Lodge #414, F & AM, at Young Harris, GA.  He and Sarah Jane had the following children: Alfred Pinkney(known as "Pink") Byers, Dillard Agnew(Agnew) Byers, Nicholas(Nick) Asbury Byers, Joseph Jasper(known as Jasper) Byers, Luther(Lute) Athan Byers, Waco(Wake) Smith Byers, Mary Ella(known as Ella) Byers, Florence Emma Byers, Lawrence(Hutch) Byers, and Hobart(Hobe) Byers.  "Cebe" and Sarah moved to the Ivy Log District of Union County in their later years and are buried at Ivy Log Cemetery, Union County, GA.

"Pink" Byers married Arkie Bruce and had the following children; Jack Byers(not to be confused with distant cousin, Jack, of Hayesville)Fred Byersnot to be confused with distant cousin Fred,of Hayesville) Florence Byers, Flossie Byers, Lora Byers, Valley Byers and Bonnie Byers.  "Pink" and family migrated to Union County, GA, then to Whitfield County, GA.  "Pink" is buried in Dalton at Welcome Hill Cemetery.

Agnew  Byers married Ida Ditmore  and they had one son, Claud Sr.  Agnew's family  lived in Towns County, GA, until Claude was a young man.  Agnew, Ida and Claude settled in Whitfield County, GA. and are buried at Welcome Hill Cemetery, Whitfield County, GA.

 "Nick" Byers married Nancy Bryson and they had the following children; Lela  Byers, Viola Byers, Pauline Byers(not to be confused with Eph's daughter, Pauline), Ralph C. Byers(not to be confused with Eph's grandson, Ralph), and twins, Ella Faye and Ruel Ray Byers(died at birth). Nick, Nancy and the family moved to the Ivy Log District of Union County sometime after 1920.  Nick and Nancy's daughter, Pauline Byers Moss, is still living at this writing and turned 100 years of age in March, 2006.  Nick and Nancy, and daughters Viola Byers and Ella Faye Byers, are buried at Old Brasstown Cemetery, Towns County, GA.

Joseph Jasper Byers, known as "Jasper", left Georgia as a young man and went to Oklahoma and then Arizona.  No more information except that some family members went to Arizona and brought Jasper back to Dalton as an old man.  He soon died there at his sister Ella's home and is buried at Welcome Hill Cemetery.

Luther Athan Byers married Allie Thomas and had the following children; Ray Byers, May Byers, Ferd Byers, Grady Byers, Ruth Byers, Wayne Byers, Roy Byers and Beatrice Byers.(Wayne and Roy are not to be confused with distant relatives Wayne and Roy of Clay County, N. C)  "Lute" and Allie moved to Whitfield County, GA, and reared the family there.  They are buried at Dalton, GA.

Waco(Wake) married Hattie Hampton.  They lived for a while in western Towns County and had the following children; Toy Byers(died at age of 3, buried at Many Forks Cemetery), Pearl Byers, Ruby Byers, Eunice Byers, and Johnny Byers.  "Wake" and family moved to Ivy Log and eventually settled in Whitfield County, GA.  At this writing(2006), Eunice is still living at 91 years of age.  Waco and Hattie are buried at Welcome Hill Cemetery, Dalton, GA.

Mary Ella Byers married Robert(Bob) Hampton, brother to Hattie.  Bob and Ella had twins who died at birth.  Bob and Ella finally settled in Whitfield County, GA.  They are buried at Sunset Memorial Gardens in Dalton, GA.

Lawrence(Hutch) Byers married Lillian Hyatt.  They had two or three children who died from whooping cough.  They adopted a son, Cecil Byers.  Hutch and Lillian settled in Ivy Log, Union County, sometime in the 1920's.  They are buried at Ivy Log Cemetery, Union County GA.

Florence Emma Byers died as a child and is buried at Old Brasstown Cemetery.

Hobart(Hobe) Byers married Ella Stephens.  Hobe and Ella lived in western Towns County.  They had two children, Robert and Troy.  Hobe and family moved to Whitfield County, GA, sometime in the 1920's.  Hobe and Ella are buried at Many Forks Cemetery.

 

 

Merzie Ann Byers, (8/04/1848-10/01/1910), daughter of Ephraim and Milly, married John Stephens of the Young Harris area of Towns County, GA.  They had the following children; Sam Stephens, Exie(female, never married) Stephens, Julius(died 6 weeks old), and Arrie Stephens(female, never married).  John Stephens died young and Merzie reared the children with the help of the family.  Merzie never remarried and Exie never married.  Sam Stephens married Mollie Franks and settled in Union County.  Exie and Merzie eventually went to live with Sam and Mollie. 

John, Merzie, Julius and Arrie are buried just a few feet from Merzie's siblings, Telitha, Lucinda and Joseph Byers at Old Union Cemetery at Young Harris, GA.  Exie, Sam and Mollie are buried at Antioch Cemetery, Union County, GA.

 

Joseph B. Byers, (7/20/1850-5/22/1878), son of Ephraim and Milly, married Roxanna Coffey.  Roxanna's sister, Sarah Jane, married Joseph's brother, "Cebe" Byers.  Their sister, Mary Coffey, married Joseph's and "Cebe"s cousin, Thad Byers. Joseph and Roxanna had two sons, Ephraim Smith Byers(known as "Smith" Byers), and Joseph B. Byers(known as "Joe").  Joseph Byers Sr. died young and is buried at Old Union Cemetery with his sisters, Telitha and Lucinda.  Roxanna Coffey Byers then married Jim Evans and moved to Texas where they reared a family.  "Smith" and "Joe" stayed behind and were reared by their maternal grandparents, Athan and Mary(Polly) Coffey.

"Smith" Byers married Ida Kimsey and they had the following children; Ephraim Glenn Byers, Effie Mae Byers, Christine Byers, Zanna Byers, and Myrtle Lou Byers.  "Smith" and Ida settled on a farm on the GA/NC border at Warne, NC, just west of Mt. Pisgah Church.  They are buried along with some of their children at Mt. Pisgah Cemetery, Clay County, NC.

"Joe" Byers married Ida Long and had the following children; Roscoe Byers, Roxanna Byers, Aubrey Byers, and Carl Byers.  They eventually settled in the Ogden district of Clay County NC.  Joe and Ida are are buried at along with some of their children at Hickory Stand Cemetery, Clay County, NC.

 

Samuel Virgil Byers, (1853-1930), son of Ephraim and Milly, known as "Uncle Sam", first married Eviline Hyatt, daughter of Shadrick and Barbara Hyatt.  She died in childbirth.  We do not have any information on the child.  Eviline is buried at Old Brasstown Cemetery just to the  west of her brother-in-law, Ephraim Asbury Byers, in the southwest corner of the cemetery.  Sam then married Laura Erwin and had the following children; Ora Byers, Will Byers, Georgie Byers(not to be confused with her cousin Georgie, daughter of Francis Marion Byers), Kate Byers, Nellie Byers, Eula Byers and Frank Byers(Not to be confused with Frank Byers of Clay county).  Sam and Laura moved to Colorado where they reared their family.  Some of their children went to Idaho and some went to Alaska and reared families.  "Uncle Sam" and Laura are buried in Colorado.

 

Compiled by Donald Ralph Byers from the following sources:

The late Ralph C. Byers, the late Nick Byers, the late Ella Faye Byers, Pauline Byers Moss, Zadie Cunningham McCall, Barbara Byers, Claude Byers, Jr., Raymond Byers, Ron Byers, Clinton Moore, Eunice Byers Parks, Sharon Tucker, Bill Ledford, Mary Grace Hemphill, Gertrude McClain Dodson, Dale Elliott, Union County Historical Society, US Census, Civil War Troop Roster, and Certificate of Dimit for P. C. Byers, Stephens Lodge #414, F & AM, Young Harris GA.

 

 c2006 Don Byers

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