Thursday, August 28, 2014

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks: #34 Margaret Byers


This is my thirty-fourth  posting for the 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks challenge

This week I am writing about Margaret Byers, my great-great-great grandmother, Margaret Byers .

Nothing is known about her early life. According to information in the writings of Helen Johnston, who I believe had the Johnston family Bible, Margaret was born 1 June 1793 in Dumfrieshire, Scotland. [1] Her surname has been recorded with three different spellings: Byres, Byers and Byser. She married James Johnston 31 May 1815 in Annan, Scotland. [2]

Margaret and James had five known children. First came David Johnston, from whom I descend, on 26 October 1816. Next came Margaret Dickson Johnston on 20 September 1818. Then they had three sons. John was born 23 January 1821; James was born 17 March 1825 and William was born 30 June 1830. Because of the gap in years between each of the last three I am wondering if she had other pregnancies but the children did live to be baptized in the Parish Church in Annan.

James, Margaret and family came to Canada in 1833. They first lived in Richmond Hill but in 1834, they moved to Uxbridge Township, near Uxbridge.


Margaret died there on 24 July 1866  and is  buried in St. Andrew's Scotch Kirk Cemetery, Quaker Hill, Uxbridge Township, Ontario. Margaret, James and four of the children and their families are buried in the St. Andrew's Scotch Kirk Quaker Hill cemetery which fronts the farm. [4] When Margaret died she left a will where she designated what each person was to receive. I will share that in a future posting.


[1] Johnston, Helen, "Descendants of James Hardy Johnston 1788-1872 and Margaret (Byres) Johnston 1793-1866 of Annan Scotland and Quaker Hill"  (Queensville, ON : H. Johnston, 1979-1984.), information taken from the family Bible,  published in 1822, and brought with them to Canada., p. 2. Handwritten family history at the Uxbridge-Scott Museum.

[2]  Register of Marriage in the Parish of Annan, Scotland , Johnston-Byre marriage, (microfilm #102307, Family History Library  ).

[3] Johnston, Helen, Descendants of James Hardy Johnston 1788-1872 and Margaret (Byres) Johnston 1793-1866 of Annan Scotland and Quaker Hill   p. 2.
[4] Tombstone transcription - by Whitby Oshawa OGS.
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