Shadrack Byrd

This information is contributed by Kenneth Byrd

(b. 1750 Bertie Co. NC - d. Apr. 30, 1814 Byrd Creek, Stewart Co. TN)

According to Byrd family historian and great-granddaughter of Shadrack 
Byrd, Cleo Cherry Grogan of Murray, KY, Shadrack Byrd was born in 1750, 
Bertie Co. NC. His first name is variously spelled as Shadrack, Shederick, 
Shadrach, Shadrick, Shedrich, and Shaderick in the historical documents 
that mention him.

Recently, both Michael K. Byrd of Huntsville, AL and Dr. Thomas M. Byrd of 
Cary, NC have kindly shared information with me that confirms Shadrack 
Byrd's father, Robert Byrd Sr., lived in Bertie Co. NC between 1727 and 
1753. Robert Byrd Sr. moved to the Faison area of Duplin Co. NC in the late 
1750s; land he purchased between 1758-1769 along Reedy Branch was probably 
where Shadrack Byrd and his sibs, including Joshua, Rachel, John, Rebeckah, 
Daniel, Michael, Susannah, and Robert Jr. grew up during the years before 
the Revolutionary War. Shadrack appears to be the oldest child of Robert 
Byrd Sr. and Sarah Byrd.

On page 49 of the book Revolutionary War Records, Duplin and Sampson 
Counties, North Carolina, Contributions to Genealogy by V.L. Bizzell and 
O.M. Bizzell (1997, Sampson County Historical Society, Newton Grove, NC, 
LOC 97-065743), Shadrick [sic] Byrd and his brothers Michael and Robert Jr. 
are all listed as having been soldiers in the North Carolina Militia. Both 
Private Shadrack Byrd and Private Robert Byrd Jr. are described as having 
seen action at the Battle of Moore's Creek Bridge on Feb. 27, 1776. 
Shadrack is documented as having served under Captain William Dickson and 
Colonel James Kenan for 14 days during the Moore's Creek Bridge campaign 
and received 2 pounds/12 shillings as pay. Later auditors stated that he 
had been overpaid, but in North Carolina Revolutionary War Army Accounts 
(Vol. V, Bk 176) there is a voucher (#3868 M) paying him 5 pounds/17 
shillings. Apparently Shadrack Byrd and his brother Robert Jr. were part of 
the 300-man Duplin County Militia that marc!
hed with Colonel James Kenan down to the vicinity of Cross Creek 
(modern-day Fayetteville), approximately 20 miles Northwest of Wilmington, 
NC. During the actual battle, Shadrack's captain, William Dickson, had a 
horse shot from under him (Bizzell & Bizzell, 1997). The battle was an 
unqualified success for the Patriot forces: Loyalist forces suffered 30 
killed, 40 wounded, and 850 captured; only one Patriot soldier died. More 
details can be read at this website:
The above information was made available to me by the very kind help of 
Jerome Tew, Goldsboro NC.

Information provided by Dr. Thomas M. Byrd indicates that Shadrack Byrd 
purchased 138 acres of land from Douglass Powell Jr. in Duplin Co. on July 
17, 1778; this land was along Youngs Swamp and Wolf Pit Branch. Shadrack 
then sells this land for a tidy profit on Aug. 24, 1778 (Duplin Co. Deed 
Books 6, p. 94 and 5, p. 455). On Nov. 29, 1778 a Duplin Co. marriage bond 
was issued for Shadrack Bird [sic] and [Nancy] Ann Guy; Robert Byrd [sic] 
was listed as the bondsman.

According to Cleo Cherry Grogan in Murray, KY, Shadrack Byrd married Nancy 
Young, "a German girl"; in addition, Cleo has written " is stated that 
Shederick Byrd [sic] was an Englishman and lived in Georgia, and was a spy 
in the colonial army in the Revolutionary War. Tom Patterson was his 
brother-in-law and they served together as U.S. spies for seven years." 
This information was apparently recorded by one of Shadrack Byrd's 
daughters, Susanna Byrd McKinney, who lived in the Murray, Calloway Co. KY 
area. To date, there are no documents confirming that Nancy Byrd's maiden 
name was indeed Young rather than Guy; in addition, Dr. Thomas M. Byrd has 
found a Duplin Co. NC will for Samuel Guy (Aug. 16, 1794, Duplin Co. Will 
Book A, p.171) listing Nancy Byrd [sic] as his daughter and to receive 
"..the cow and calf and the bed that I lent to her soon after her 
marriage." It is very interesting to note, however, that the land in Duplin 
Co. that Shadrack Byrd purchased/sold in 1778!
  was indeed along Youngs Swamp (emphasis mine, KEB). Also, the mystery re 
Shadrack's supposed brother-in-law, Tom Patterson, is also unresolved. 
Jerome Tew has found a Tom Patterson in NC, but not close to Duplin County 
(email of 12/03/00).

Shadrack Byrd is listed in several Duplin Co. documents between 1778 up 
through 1787; he does not appear on the 1788 Duplin Co. taxlist. Dr. Thomas 
M. Byrd has found a Duplin Co. document dated Jan. 21, 1791 listing 
insolvents for 1789 - Shadrick Byrd [sic] is on this list. It is uncertain 
if this listing indicates that Shadrack Byrd was "absent/gone" or "couldn't 

Shadrack Byrd next appears in Washington Co., GA in a listing of 
"Substitutes for the 1790 Missing Georgia Census, p. 158". Shadrick Burd 
[sic] is listed in a muster roll of Capt. McCavy's (5th) Company, 1st 
Battalion, 2nd Regiment of Washington County (recorded 1793?). Also in this 
company muster roll is listed Stephan Powel [sic] - a possible relation of 
the Powells in Duplin Co. NC???

Cleo Cherry Grogan lists the children of Shadrack Byrd and Nancy Ann Guy 
[Young?] Byrd as follows:

Bryant Byrd (b. ? - d. ? married? children?) assuming he is the oldest son 
since he was the administrator of Shadrack Byrd's estate in Stewart Co. TN, 

Charity Byrd (b. ? - d. ?) married Thomas Berry on Sept. 17, 1801 at ??.

Susanna Byrd (b. Feb. 28, 1791 Washington Co. GA - d. Aug. 17, 1876 
Calloway Co. KY) married Isaac McKinney on ??.

John Wesley "Jack" Byrd (b. Jan. 1792 Washington Co. GA - d. July 3, 1866 
Byrd Creek, Stewart Co. TN) married Luna Louisa Brigham on Oct. 27, 1814 
Stewart Co. TN (my great-great-great-grandparents - KEB).

Rebecca Byrd (b. Oct. 8, 1792 Washington Co. GA - d. Feb. 2, 1859 Stewart 
Co. TN?) married John Kirksey ~1817 at ??.

James Byrd (b. ? Christian Co. KY - d. 1849 Stewart Co. TN) married Harriet 
Brigham on Aug. 20, 1814 in Stewart Co. TN.

Shadrack Bird(e) [sic] is listed as receiving 117 acres along "Birds Creek" 
in Christian Co. KY on April 9, 1799 (Kentucky State Archives Old Land 
Grants microfilm, Book 9, pp. 478-479; Christian Co. KY Survey Book 1, p. 
285); this deed was signed by then Governor Charles Scott and recorded on 
Jan. 13, 1812. Cleo Cherry Grogan asserts that this particular land grant 
was for Shadrack's service during the Revolutionary War and is located near 
modern-day Cadiz, Trigg Co. KY. Shadrack Byrd is listed in the 1800, 1801, 
and 1802 Christian Co. KY tax lists; he is also listed on page 20 of the 
Christian Co. KY Court Order book (B, part 1) as being "..exempted from 
working on Publick roads hereafter in Christian County." The 1810 census 
for Christian Co. KY (p. 590) lists Shadrick Byrd [sic] and his family: 
free white males - 1 under 10 yrs, 1 between 10-16 yrs, 1 between 16-26 
yrs, 1 at 45 yrs & over; free white females - 1 at 45 yrs & over.

Shadrach Bird [sic] next appears in an 1806 Stewart Co. TN document listing 
the members of Capt. John Allen's Company. It should be noted here that 
this part of Stewart Co. TN is immediately adjacent to Christian Co. (later 
Trigg Co.) KY and is today known as Land Between The Lakes (LBL) National 
Recreational Area (between the Tennessee and Cumberland Rivers). Also 
listed in this document (apparently recorded by "… Charles Polk, Esqr. 
1806") is Thomas Brigham - the father of Shadrack Byrd's future 
daughter-in-law, Luna Louisa Brigham. According to family historian and 
direct descendant Cleo Cherry Grogan, sometime ~1808 or so, Shadrack Byrd 
sold his land in Kentucky and moved to "The Land Between The Rivers" in 
nearby Stewart Co. TN.

Land certificate No. 352? dated Nov. 15, 1809 obtained from the 
Commissioner of West Tennessee by George Ridley and entered on Jan. 21, 
1811 was granted to "… Shadrack Bird [sic] apignee of the said George 
Ridley.." on the "…Lick Creek waters of Tennessee River on the North Side." 
This land transaction was recorded on Feb. 3, 1815 (Stewart Co. TN land 
deed microfilm, roll 67, Book E-5, pp. 131-132).

An 1812 tax list for Captain Gray's Company in Stewart Co. TN (and recorded 
by William King, J.P.) lists Shadrach Bird [sic] and his then 20 year old 
son, John Bird [sic]. The oldest son of Shadrack Byrd is listed in the same 
1812 tax list as Bryan Bird [sic] and being a member of Capt. Nathan Ross' 

A Wednesday, Feb. 4, 1813 Stewart Co. TN court minutes document (page 29) 
describes the following: "Shedrack Bird [sic] comes into court and produces 
two wolf scalps, one was six months and the other under six months old, 
which are burned and ordered to be certified." Apparently Shadrack Byrd was 
still fairly active at this time of his life.

A State of Tennessee Land Grant (#8058) entered July 22, 1813 " No. 
11112" describes Shadrack Byrd [sic} apigne of said Ephraim Alexander 
(original land certificate No. 321? dated Oct. 15, 1810) receiving land on 
Lick Creek (later renamed Byrd Creek) on the Tennessee River and adjacent 
to lands of Abel Olive. This is the land of District No. 8 of Stewart Co. 
TN, adjacent to and surrounding modern-day Byrd Creek, Byrd Bay (which 
drain into the Tennessee River), and the Bailey-Byrd Cemetery in LBL.

Shadrack Byrd died on April 30, 1814 presumably at his home near the 
Tennessee River; the inventory of his estate recorded on June 18, 1814 
(Stewart Co. TN Will Book A, p. 220; microfilm roll 52, pp. 220-222) is 
signed by his oldest son/administrator Bryan Bird [sic] and his widow, 
Nancy Bird [sic]. Many of his neighbors there in the Land Between The 
Rivers attended the estate sell and purchased the auctioned items. Of 
interest was the fact that certain items were sold to his widow, Nancy 
Byrd, for a low price - apparently these were favorite possessions of hers 
and the neighbors did not bid against her for them (see attached document).

Nancy Ann Guy [Young?] Byrd died on Oct. 21, 1833; both she and her husband 
Shadrack Byrd are buried today in marked, but not identified graves in the 
Bailey-Byrd Cemetery, LBL National Recreational Area, Stewart Co. TN. 
According to their great-granddaughter, Cleo Cherry Grogan, Shadrack and 
Nancy Byrd are buried in two of the unidentified graves towards the East 
end of the cemetery.

- Kenneth Elburn Byrd *

*(great-great-great-great-grandson of Shadrack Byrd and Nancy Ann Guy 
[Young?] Byrd

Indianapolis, IN
Dec. 10, 2000

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