William Thomas Beckham, who was born January 12, 1822, in Tennessee and was the son of Jesse and Susan Griffin Beckham, married Jane Shaw, born about 1823 in Georgia. William Thomas and Jane had a daughter, Sarah Susan, born August 1, 1858. Jane Beckham died shortly after 1860. William Thomas had remarried by 1870 and Sarah was living with her father and his new wife, Martha.

On May 6, 1875, Sarah Susan Beckham married George Washington Byrd, son of Eli and Eliza Coleman Byrd of DeKalb County, Alabama.  George and Sarah lived in the house where she was born. This house was located in the same area as Cloverdale Baptist Church, where Sarah was a member. Their marriage produced six children before Sarah’s death on March 3, 1894. One daughter, Mary Ina, died as an infant on May 22, 1894. The other Byrd children were: William Lowery, Walter Eli, George Luther, Clayton Raymond and Effie Ida. William Lowery married Gertrude Richards. Their children were Bonnie, Beatrice, Jay, Velma, Susie, Ruth, Alma, and Goma. They lived in Walker County, GA. Walter Eli married Eva Alcorn. Their children were Raymond and Nellie. They lived m the McMinnville, TN area. George Luther married Lou Gilliam and lived in Sherwood, TN. Their children were Audrey, Gilliam, Allie, and Billy Joe.   Clayton Raymond married Mary Lou Byars. Their children were Clayton Raymond and Clifford Byars Byrd. Clayton and family lived in Jasper, TN for many years. Effie Ida married Joe David Gilliam, brother to Luther’s wife, Lou. Their children were Sallie Mae married Marlin Haskew, Emma Jane who married William Edward Haskew and Rufus Houston Gilliam who married Lillie Mae Lovelady. They lived in the Battle Creek area of Marion County. Many of Effie’s descendants still live in this area.

By 1911, Sarah’s children sold the land they inherited from her to George W. Forrester. This piece of ground is still called the Byrd field.

Written by Ida H. Smith


  1. Ida Smith

    Bitty Joe should be Billy Joe.

  2. alicemc

    THANK YOU!!




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