In my hometown newspaper following my birth, my birth was announced as Mr. and Mrs. J. L. BYARS ... "a boy." Well, the big problem is that my name is BYAS, not BYARS. All of my life, I have been called BYARS, I have rec'd mail in the name of BYARS or BYERS or even BYER...My gg grandfather was listed on the 1870 census as BYERS, but every other census, from 1850 through 1910, he listed either as BYAS, or BIAS. He is listed in SEQUATCHIE COUNTY FAMILIES as BICE...One census (1860) the indexer listed him as BYENS, but when I went to the actual census, it was clear to me that the person had scrawled out BYAS, like they were an M.D. or something writing out a prescription.
My point is that someone posted that we BYAS/BICE/BIAS should not post for BYARS families, and I would like to say that in geneaology we cannot be so restrictive. When I first started years ago, I looked for BYAS for a long time before I went to look for BIAS and other variations.
My ancestor, Robert BYAS (that is how he is listed in Alabama in 1840, but BIAS in Tennessee in 1850) was born in North Carolina in 1813. So, I have tried to find a possible link in NC...the problem is that every time I find a Byas or other variation, these same names also show up as BYARS in another census or source.
In the estate settlement of Elkanah Haralson, in North Carolina in 1783, John and Nathan BYAS are listed, but not any one named BYARS. Now I realize that Nathan Byars married Drucilla Harrelson, but they are plainly listed as BYAS, not BYARS. When Nathan's son Harrel moves to Tennessee he is listed as BIAS in the 1820 census.
An Andrew Byers is listed on the census in TEnnessee in 1820 and 1830. In 1826 he purchased land in Franklin County TENN..in 1830 he has moved to Bedford County, but by 1850 there is no longer an Andrew Byers, but there is an Andrew Byas, listed as 64 years old and born in NC...a Harrelson family history book asserts that Nathan Byars had a son named Andrew and that he was born in 1786...
In the 1777 census of NC, there is both a Nathan Byas and a Nathan Byars listed in Caswell County, NC. By 1790, in the first federal census, Nathan BIAS is listed in Rutherford County NC. In 1800, he is now Nathan BYAS of Rutherford County, NC. By 1810, Nathan is now BYARS of Rutherford County. When they moved to Spartanburg County, SC, they are Byas again...The same thing happens to the names of Robert, James, George, and Stripling in these censuses.
It appears that these people were listed as BYAS or BIAS more often and earlier than they were listed as BYARS. I am not asserting that they were all originally BYAS/BIAS and changed to BYARS, but I do think it is possible. It is also possible that these people were BYARS all along and they kept being mistaken as BYAS/BIAS.
I have even found where a Robert Byas rec'd a land grant in Ark (about 1820), signed by President James Monroe himself. This Robert Byas is listed as Robert Byas (alias Byars). I take from that that his name was Byas, but was sometimes called Byars.
If my Robert Byas, born in NC in 1813, is not related to the Byars/Byas/Bias family (e.g. Nathan, Robert, James, Stripling) of Rutherford County NC and Spartanburg SC, then that means that several censuses are just wrong when they assert that Robert was born in NC, or they passed thru NC between censuses coming from somewhere else, or perhaps they landed in NC from the moon or something long enough to have my ancestor then off they went to Tennessee.
For whatever it is worth, besides my gg grandfather, who was named Caswell after a maternal uncle, the other sons were named James, Robert, Jonas, and Thomas. Another son died before 1850 and is name is unknown to me...I think that if I had that name then I might be further along on this...
I hope I have not offended anyone with this, but I think in genealogy, we cannot be dogmatic about what our ancestors either called themselves two hundred years ago, or what they were called. Hey, the carpet cleaning place called me yesterday, asking for Mr. Byars, and my name is.....