Byers Bible


BYERS - SHAKELY Bible to be claimed.

Submitted 27 November 1996 by:
Kathryn Rhinehart Bassett
Pasadena CA
Email: is permanent alternate address if 1st gets
closed for some reason. No need for duplicate messages.

A friend gave me a Bible that he has had about 15 years. He canít remember how he came in
possession of it, but it doesnít belong to his family. He knew that I had ways to get the
word out so that it could be passed on to someone in this manís family. The usual terms - the
first person to show a connection to this family gets it for cost of postage. Iíve standardized
dates and corrected spelling to make this all readable. Lines indicate a different page.

Surnames in this record:

Die Bibel ober Die ganze Heilige Schrift des alten und neuen Testments, New York 1850
[Old German typescript title page - not sure of some of those letters, but itís a Bible in any case.]
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Fred Weills Byers, Monroe, Wisconsin, 10 May 1890 [note that the middle name of Weills may
be Wills, it is hard to tell if the W has a fancy end to it or if it is We.]
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One of my motherís Bibles. She was both a German and English scholar - but loved to read her
German Bible and prayer books better than English. Frederick W Byers, Monroe Wisconsin, May 1890.
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[On the pages in the middle of the Bible are blank pages titled Familien Register and written
beside that are the words "or History" then on next line "of Frederick W. Byers". Then the following:]

My Great Grandfather on my motherís side was Nickolas ALLIMONGE who came to the USA some time
in 1700 probably from Alsace or Lorraine and located first in Westmoreland County PA, then
moved to Armstrong Co. He married my motherís Grandmother whose maiden name was SNYDER. Her
family were all massacrd by Indians. She was struck down and scalped, but recovered and my
mother often told us how she combed her hair in such a manner as to cover that part of the
are skull from which the scalp had been torn. My grandmother, whom I well remember was
Elizabeth ALLIMONGE who married David SHAKELY who was killed accidentally at a house raising.
Grandmother Shakely was born July 1790 and lived to a grand old age.
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The history of the BYERS family is not well known. My grandfather Byers, also met an accidental
death when my father was only two years old. I am informed that he was twice married - that at
his death the children of the first wife were taken to South Carolina. Those by his second wife,
whose maiden name was Catharine MANN after married Mr SILVEES, were raised in Fayette and
Westmoreland counties PA. I had always believed that were of German extraction but in 1885 I
met Dr A.G. Byers of Ohio who informed me that he was in possession of documents which proved
that the Byers family of MD and PA sprang from four brothers who came from the North of Ireland,
two of whom were soldiers in the Siege of Londonderry.
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My father Jacob Byers was born on 5 Jan 1798 and married my mother Mary SHAKELY 1 Jun 1824.
Mother was born 30 Apr 1806. I am not now in possession of dates of death. I remember three of
my fatherís brothers - George, John, and Frederick. The latter claimed me his namesake, but my
motherís uncle Fred. Weills told me when a lad that I was named for him and I chose this name
for myself. My father had two sisters. One married a Mr LONG of PA, the other Joseph KING of
Butler PA. Of my motherís brothers I recall Michael, John, George, Henry, and David; and two
sisters - one married David BARNHART, the other a DAUBENSPECK. The Shakely family were all
industrious farmers. (???) David owns the farm in Armstrong County on which stood an important
Fort, long after the days of border warfare in western PA were over. I well recall stories of
Indian battles told me when a boy, around that fort.
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I was born at the village of Shippenville in the county of Venango, now Clarion, PA 10 Feb 1837.
My brothers were Henry S., Samuel W., Jacob L., Joseph K., and Albert (L?). My sisters Margaret
(WALTERS), Elisabeth (KEPPLE), Maria (KAHL), and Phebe who died in infancy. 1890 all the rest
are living except Joseph K. Who died in St Louis 30 Nov 1878. After serving in the volunteer
army to close of the war, I was married to Olive DeHANSON [editor, not positive of this name]
of Clarmo [editor, again not sure of name] Wisconsin 5 Jul 1865. Six children now living - Morna,
Winnie, Harry S., Joe Rodney, Grace, and Ben. - -

- In different colored pen, seemingly written at a different time, but looks like same handwriting,
is - - He enlisted in 121 PA vols. Wounded at Fredericksburg right arm amputated in Libby Prison.
Was made an officer in the regular army, a major returned. When he died buried in National Cemetery
near St Louis MO. - - - then again in different ink - - Jefferson Barracks (?) [question mark his
not editorís]. [editorís interpretation is that this last part refers to Fredís brother Joseph].

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[Undated newspaper article (with picture) pasted in Bible] Major F.W. Byers, surgeon of the First
infantry, is familiarly known as "The Old Man" in the Wisconsin National guard. He was born near
Oil City PA 10 Feb 1837 and with three brothers served all through the war for the Union; one of
the four was an officer of the regular army and died a few years since of wounds received in the

The autumn of 1861 found the subject of this sketch in Camp Butler, near Springfield IL, and the
next summer on duty at Camp Douglas, Chicago, then joining the 96th Illinois volunteers he was
commissioned assistant surgeon of that regiment and participated in its marches, battles and
sieges until near Atlanta, when he was appointed a brigade surgeon and served on staff duty until
the close of the war.

The historian of the 96th IL volunteers says "Without disparagement to others, it may be said that
Surgeon Byers was always the most jovial and popular member of the staff and held the affections
of the entire command to a degree that was entirely exceptional."

In the fall of 1865 he located at Lena IL where he practiced his profession for 12 years removing
to Monroe WI in the fall of 1877. In 1878 he went to TX and into the Indian nation and was connected
with the Post Traders at Fort Sill where he saw much of frontier and army life. He was appointed US
examining surgeon for pensions in 1880 and still continues to hold that position. When the National
guard of WI was reorganized he was commissioned assistant surgeon of the First regiment 22 May 1882,
and was made surgeon 6 Nov 1885. He was on duty during the Milwaukee riots of 1886, and has never
missed an encampment during his long service.

Major Byers was member of assembly for 1885, served as chairman of the committee on militia and was
known in the legislature as the untiring friend and advocate of the National guard. He has been
prominent in the Grand Army of the Republic, served repeatedly as commander of his post, elected
medical director of the department of Wisconsin for 1885, and national delegate in 1889; also
selected aide-de-camp on the staff of commanders in chief for two terms in succession. Major Byers
joined the military order of the Loyal Legion in 1880 and is recognized as one of the jolly
wide-awake members of Wisconsin commandery. At the annual encampments, his genial presence is
welcomed by the guardsmen generally and the "Old Man" will no doubt make the "round" this year
regularly as he has done for the past ten years. - - - handwritten underneath this article are
the words "Died on flag day 1915" and "Mother died 8 Nov 1920".
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