John Carter Byrd

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John Carter Byrd

Birthplace: Henrico County, Province of Virginia
Death: before October 25, 1830
Greene County, Tennessee, United States
Place of Burial: Greene County, Tennessee, United States
Immediate Family:

Son of Colonel William Evelyn Byrd, III and Elizabeth Hill Byrd
Husband of Mary Baker Byrd; Mary Byrd and Mary Bryd
Father of John Carter Bird, Jr.; Philip Bird; Jacob Wheeler Bird, Sr.; David Bird; Joseph Bird and 2 others
Brother of William Evelyn Byrd, IV; Thomas Taylor Byrd; Elizabeth Hill Skipwith and Lt. Colonel Francis Otway Byrd
Half brother of Maria Horsmanden Page; Evelyn Taylor Harrison; Abigail Willing Nelson; Richard Willing Byrd; Charles Willing Byrd, Secretary of Northwest Territory and Acting Territorial Governor and 3 others

Occupation: Clerk of Court/Magistrate
Managed by: William Edgar Bird
Last Updated:

About John Carter Byrd

Reference number 5112 on page 2

DAR A 010327, Patriotic service, NC

John Carter Byrd, b: 27 Jan 1750 (1751 using the 1752 British Colonies adopted Gregorian calendar) was the 2nd child of William Evelyn Byrd III of Westover and Eliabeth Hill Byrd (Carter) of Shirley, Charles City County, Virginia. Their other children were: William Evelyn IV, Thomas Taylor, Elizabeth Hill and Francis Otway Byrd. All five were born at Belvidere, Henrico County, Virginia, the Byrd's 2nd manor. During Wm III's and Elizabeth's marriage, Wm III's mother, Colonel Wm E. Byrd II's 2nd wife, Maria Byrd (Taylor) of Kensington (London, England), lived at Westover Manor. Maria and Elizabeth were incompatible.

Elizabeth and Wm III had a very volatile marriage. 14 Aug 1756, John Kirkpatrick wrote Wm III's good friend, Colonel George Washington, "Colonel Bird (sic) I am told has repudiated his wife, who is now in a delirium for his behavior, and is resolved to make a campaign under Lord London (sic)---he has committed his estate to the charge of some friends, & settled all with a design never to return to Virginia". When he left Elizabeth, Wm III sent his three oldest sons Wm Evelyn IV, John Carter and Thomas Taylor (ages 7, 5 and 4) to England to be raised and educated under the supervision of his uncle British Colonial Francis Otway, his mother's brother-in-law.

Instead of a British military commission, Wm III and Augusta County, Virginia, resident William Preston were given Augusta County Ranger Companies. 12 Apr 1758, Virginia authorized a 2nd military regiment, and named Wm III its Colonel. Wm III's senior Colonel was his good friend, George Washington.

Wm III lived a very rich and flamboyant lifestyle, and, by his own admission, was severely lacking in financial skills. In 1744, upon the death of his father, 15 years old Wm III had reportedly become Virginia's largest landowner and wealtiest citizen. By 1761, it was becoming known he was losing his inherited fortune. His affairs "were desperate", and he was being "warmly pressed on all sides" by those to whom he owed money.

11 May 1766, John Robinson, Speaker of the House of Burgesses and Treasurer of Virginia, died. He was, along with his father-in-law, Colonel John Chiswell, and Colonel Wm E. Byrd III, owner of the SW Virginia located Fincastle (Chiswell) Lead Mines. After Robinson's death, it was discovered he had been making large illegal unsecured loans to his friends. The loans came from Treasury currency that was supposed to have been destroyed. The person owing the Treasury the largest sum was Wm E. Byrd III. The Lead Mines, through the three partners, owed the 2nd largest amount.

Edmund Pendleton, John Robinson's protege, was one of three highly respected Virginia officials appointed to collect the Treasury debt. One appointee, Peter Randolph, soon became ill and died. Another appointee, Peter Lyons, provided minimal assistance. Judge Pendleton was left to manage and collect the Treasury debt. It would take him decades to complete the task.

Edmund Pendleton, b: 9 sept 1721, d: 23 Oct 1803, was 13 years old when both his father and grandfather died. As an orphan, he was bound by the "Gentlemen Justices of Caroline County (Virginia)" to Benjamin Robinson, Clerk of Court, "to serve as apprentice for six years and six months, and to be housed and provided for" by Robinson. Benjamin Robinson was Virginia Treasurer John Robinson's uncle. 1740, Edmund Pendleton became Clerk of Court, Caroline County. 25 April 1741, Colonel Wm E. Byrd II accepted Benjamin Robertson's petition for Edmund Pendleton to practice law. It was approved. Judge Edmund Pendleton held many Virginia leadership posts before becoming head of Virginia's Judiciary; a position he held until his death.

25 Jul 1760, Wm III's wife, Elizabeth, was accidentally crushed to death at Belvidere. 29 Jan 1761, Wm III married Mary Shippen Willing, first cousin, once removed, of Margaret "Peggy" Shippen,, the second wife of General Benedict Arnold. Wm III and Mary would have ten children. American traitor, British General Benedict Arnold, would stay at Westover before burning and capturing Richmond, Virginia. British General, Lord Charles Cornwallis, would stay at Westover before moving his troops on to Yorktown, where he would be defeated by General George Washington to end the Revolutionary war.

In 1767, Wm E. Byrd III went to Europe to negotiate with business partners to whom he was deeply in debt. In 1768, he brought back to Virginia his sons, John Carter, age 17, and Thomas Taylor, age 16. With the assistance of his uncle, Colonel Francis Otway, Wm III was able to buy his oldest son, Wm IV, a British Royal Officer Military Commission.

Wm IV and John Carter had read law at London, England's, "Middle Temple, Inns of the Court". 14 Jun 1768, Wm III employed, on retainer, recent College of William and Mary law graduate, and Byrd family admirer, Thomas Jefferson. John Carter and Thomas Taylor were enrolled in the College of William and Mary. John was enrolled in its "Moral and Mathematical School", and he read law with Judge Edmund Pendleton.

Upon return from Europe, Wm III created a lottery designed to raise enough money to pay off his debts. Because Wm III sold the lottery tickets on credit, the lottery was a failure. Unpaid lottery tickets became part of the debt Edmund Pendleton was trying to collect to pay off Byrd III's illegal loans from Virginia's Treasury. The lottery also depleted most of the assets Wm III's father, Wm II; grandfather, WIliiam Evelyn Bird/Byrd I; great great uncle, Thomas Stegge, Jr. and his father, Sea Captain, Thomas Stegge had amassed over 130+ years, and Wm III had inherited upon the death of his father, Wm II.

In 1772, John Carter Byrd, using the name Amos Bird, performed Clerk of Court like services for Jacob Brown's Nolichucky Community. Jacob Brown's Community was located inside Cherokee Indian Territory, in what is today's NE Tennessee. In his 1763 Royal Proclammation, King George III, had declared land transactions within Indian Territories by British subjects was Treason.

3 Jan 1773, SW Virginia's Fincastle County began operations. The county was headquartered at the Fincastle (Chiswell) Lead Mines. John Carter Byrd was named Clerk of Court. Senior county leader, Colonel William Preston, was sworn in as Sheriff and Surveyor. William Christian was sworn in as Deputy Clerk of Court. Others taking the oath included Stephen Trigg. 7 May 1774, John Carter Byrd became Colonel of Fincastle County Militia, a position he held throughout "Dunmore's War".

2 Aug 1774, John Carter Byrd purchased 125 acres of Dunkard Bottom residental property from Stephen Trigg. In Wm III's, 6 Jul 1774, "Last Will & Testament", John Carter Byrd was bequeathed Wm III's rights to the Fincastle (Chiswell) Lead Mines and 2,000 acres of surrounding property. (See Colonel William Evelyn Byrd III's Profile for the full contents of his will).

1 Jan 1777, Wm III committed suicide at Westover Manor. 8 Jan 1777, patriot stronghold, Montgomery County, Virginia, began operations. It was headquartered at the Fincastle (Chiswell) Lead Mines. John Carter Byrd's younger brother, Continental Army Lieutenant Colonel, Francis Otway Byrd, was named Clerk of Court. Otway had been disinherited by his father for resigning his British Royal Navy Commission and joining the Continental Army. When Montgomery County was formed, Otway was in South Carolina fighting the British. John Carter Byrd was named "Acting" Clerk of Court.

Mid year 1777, Edmund Pendleton chaired a Virginia government ruling that declared the Fincastle (Chiswell) Lead mines and surrounding property Wm III had bequeathed to John Carter Byrd belonged instead to Virginia. It was to be used to help pay off Wm III's debt to the Virginia Treasury. Before Sep 1777, John Carter Byrd resigned as "Acting" Clerk of Court and removed from Montgomery County, Virginia, to a section of Jacob Brown's Nolichucky Community on the Nolichucky River, located in what is today's Greene County, Tennessee. His purchased property was above Horse Creek. Using his 1772 Nolichucky Community name, Amos Bird, John had purchased his property via a 20 May 1776. Land Indenture from Jacob Brown. That purchase was treason according to King George's 1763 Royal Proclamation

February 1778, at the first term of the newly created Washington County, North Carolina, John Byrd, using Amos Bird as his name, and John Smith were selected as jurors for the next Supreme Court to be held for the Salisbury District. 18 Aug 1783, at the creation of Greene County, from Washington County, Amos Bird (John Carter Byrd) was identified as a county Magistrate. Notations on the original 1783 Greene County Tax List identify "Amos Byrd from Westover Manor in VA" as one of the first pioneers of Greene County. For his Revolutionary War service, John received a North Carolina land grant in the name of John Bird,. Thereafter, he used both that name and Amos Bird in his Greene County transactions. Because he owned taxable assets in both names, Greene County's 1783 Tax List shows he was taxed in both names.

At the collapse of the State of Franklin, its citizens petitioned North Carolina officials to let them retain the properties they had acquired without using North Carolina land grants, eg. Watauga and Jacob Brown Communities and State of Franklin purchases. 14 and 20 Nov 1788 were the dates their petitions were rejected, and their rejected properties seized by North Carolina. On the 14 Nov rejected petition, John signed his name as both John Bird and Amos Bird. On the 20 Nov rejected petition, which covered a different State of Franklin area, John signed his name both John Byrd and Amos Byrd.

After the loss of his Jacob Brown and State of Franklin purchased properties, located records indicate he only used the name John Bird. He lived the rest of his life on Horse Creek, Greene County. Several of his descendants were named both John and Amos. His granddaughter, Allis Moore Clifton (Long), daughter of his and Mary Byrd/Bird (Taylor)'s 5th child, Elizabeth Long (Bird) named two of her children Amos Bird Clifton and John Byrd Clifton.

For additional information about John Carter Byrd; his wife, Mary Byrd/Bird (Taylor); the Amos Bird living in Washington County; along with the sources used in John Byrd/Bird's profile; DNA supporting evidence and John Carter Byrd's Fincastle County, VA, Clerk of Court signatures; his Greene County land transactions and his residental land purchase from Stephen Trigg, which, as Fincastle Clerk of Court, he wrote in its entirety, see William Edgar Bird's State of Tennessee and East Tennessee Historical Society Certified "First Families of Tennessee" membership papers located in the Calvin M. McClung Historical Collection, 601 S. Gay Street, Knoxville, Tennessee.

Other information about John Carter Byrd may be found at:

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John Carter Byrd's Timeline

January 27, 1750
Henrico County, Province of Virginia
Henrico County, Virginia, United States
Washington, North Carolina, United States
Washington, North Carolina, United States
Greene, North Carolina, United States
Greene, Franklin (now TN), United States
Greene, State of Franklin/NC-TN?, United States
September 18, 1789
Greene, North Carolina, United States
October 25, 1830
Age 80
Greene County, Tennessee, United States