William Payton Byars was born in Virginia in 1792 and marĀ­ried Nancy 
Sutton. They left Virginia for Illinois but stopped in Kentucky and
made a crop. They again started for Illinois with him leading the old 
mare on which his wife and child rode along with their worldly possessions 
including a double shovel while with the other hand he carried a long 
rifle. Thus they arrived east of the Horse Creek bottoms on the south 
side of the County Line Road before the county line was surveyed. After
the survey he moved a short distance north into Marion County.

This husband and wife produced thirteen children: Mary 1815; Betsey 
1819; George J. 1820; Rebeck 1822; Dise 1824; John 1826; William 1828; 
Memlise 1830; Harit 1832; Jackson 1834; Washington 1836; Mahuldy 1840; 
Didama 1842. Nancy died in 1855 and William in 1873 and both are buried
in Byars Cemetery.

William married Mary Anne Meador, daughter of Ephram and Lydia 
(Flannery) Meador. To this couple were born: J. Flannery, 1851-1933; 
Elza Worth, 1854; Millie, 1857; Oliver Perry, 1859; Martha A., 1862; 
William Lee, 1864.

Mary Anne died around 1865 and William then married Sarah French and
the following children were born to them:

Anna, 1866; Evaline, 1868; Margaret, 1871; Laura, 1873; Winfield Scott, 
1877; Aurie, 1883; Lou, 1885; and Leuty, 1888.

A great many cousins of the first, second, third, and fourth generation
removed reside in and around Jefferson County. To name a few: Pearl 
Wells, Betty Young, Charles Fields of Texico; Jessie Cassidy, Bernice 
Chambers, Stanley and Velma Myers, George Byars, Earl Hanes, Wilroy 
(Jake) Byars of Mt. Vernon; Gleason Byars of Bluford; Marion Arnold, 
Mildred Blank, Roberta Blankenship, Renabelle Stuber of Iuka; Vera 
Wooters of Centralia; Irene' White of McLeansboro; Reva Boyles, Bonnie 
Meador, Oplli and Dalton Byars of Salem; Tom Wimberly of Marion; and a 
host of others.

William went to the California gold fields in 1853 signing on as a meat
hunter with a wagon train. He told how the Indians followed the train 
across the prairie waiting for the big rear wheels of the wagon to
catch the smaller front wheels and run over them. He was a member of Panther 
Fork Church and served on its first building committee.

John Flannery married Pelixnia Ann Alvis, daughter of Carrol and 
Lucinda (Simmons) Alvis and to this couple were born: William Elmer, 
1873-1941; Oscar, 1876-1961, married Tina Howard; Charles E., 1878-1878.
(See also history of the Byars family by Irene Ward.) - Dalmer Byars

Source: Facts and Folks A History of Jefferson County, Illinois"
Jefferson County Historical Society
Printed by Taylor Publishing Company, Dallas, TX Page 107, 108

Submitted by Sandy Whalen Bauer

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