Simon Byrum

Private, Co. C

Burnet's Battalion

1st Texas Sharpshooters

By Sue Byrum Harris

My great-grandfather, Simon Byrum, was born ca 1835 in Sumner Co., TN, according to census and Civil War muster roll records. His parents were Weden E. Byrum, b 1804 in Stafford Co., VA, and died 1850 in Sumner Co., TN, and Eliza Whitworth, b 1809 in Sumner Co., TN, and died 1888 in Dallas Co., TX. Weden changed the spelling of his name from Byram to Byrum, and his descendants used the spelling Byrum, while descendants of most of his brothers continued to use the spelling Byram. Weden's parents, Simon and Tamor Stark Byram, were from early Stafford Co., VA, families. Simon and Tamor went to Sumner Co., TN, about 1809 with members of her family. Eliza Whitworth's father was James Whitworth, born 1779 in Amelia Co., VA, who came to Sumner Co. from Amelia Co. around 1795, with his parents, John and Elizabeth Claybrook Whitworth. James Whitworth's wife was Ann Harding, also from an early Stafford Co., VA, family.

Simon Byrum's father died when he was about 15 years old, and within a few months his mother married Edmund Turner as her second husband. He was a widower with several children, and a neighbor and close family friend. Simon's sister, Mary Ann, married Robert H. Turner, son of Edmund Turner by his first marriage, on 6 March 1850 in Sumner Co. Other brothers were James A. Byrum, who married Sarah F. Talley on 13 August 1854, and William R. Byrum, who married Susan Scott on 1 Feb. 1866, both marriages recorded in Sumner Co.

Simon married Caroline Duncan, daughter of Edwin Duncan and Aley Cooper, on 21 Oct. 1856 in Wilson Co., TN. Their first child was Thomas Edwin Byrum, born on 30 Oct. 1857 in Sumner Co., TN. They moved to Leon Co., TX, prior to 1860, when they were living there in the household of Leonard Keeling, who was a brother-in-law of Simon's mother, Eliza. Simon's uncle, John Byram, and his sister Mary Ann and her husband, Robert H. Turner, moved to Fannin Co., TX, by 1860, where they appeared on the census. Another brother, William R. Byrum, also moved to the same area, so Simon and Caroline probably moved to the Northeast Texas area to be near relatives. William R. also served in the war, first in the Honey Grove Mounted Riflemen, then in the 11th Regiment of the Texas Cavalry. He was taken prisoner and after his release from Rock Island, IL, in March 1865, returned to Tennessee.

On 1 August 1862, Simon enlisted as a Private in Co. C, Burnett's Texas Sharpshooters, for three years or the war. On the muster rolls of March and April, 1863, he was absent sick in the hospital at Marksville, LA, returning to duty 23 April. Later muster rolls, the last dated October 1863, say he was left sick on 29 April 1863, at Port Hudson, LA. No more muster rolls have been found, but his death must have occurred around July or later in 1864, as their daughter, Mattie Voline, was born on 5 April 1865, in Wilson Co., TN, Caroline having returned to her family's home in Tennessee after Simon's death.

Caroline Duncan Byrum married her second husband, Isham Green Jackson, a widower, on 3 Dec. 1867, in Wilson Co., and they had two sons born in 1869 and 1873. Jackson died on 1 June 1896 in Trousdale Co., TN, and Caroline applied for a Civil War widow's pension on the service of her second husband. She did not state the date or place of death of her first husband, Simon Byrum. Mattie Voline Byrum, daughter of Simon and Caroline, married John Stephen Griffin, and had three children. She died on 10 Jan. 1909, and is buried with her husband at the Griffin Cemetery in Trousdale Co., TN. Caroline lived with her daughter's family until about 1911, when she moved back to Texas to live with her three sons, this time settling at Garland, Dallas Co., TX. She died on 14 Jan. 1922 and is buried in the Knights of Pythias Cemetery near her Jackson sons and Thomas Edwin Byrum, her son by Simon Byrum.

Thomas Edwin Byrum married Lenora Susan Belcher on 20 July 1890, in Trousdale Co., TN. He had bought land in Garland in 1888, sold it and returned to Tennessee, then returned to Garland again in 1908. He died on 5 May 1938, and his wife on 7 Feb. 1930.

By Sue Byrum Harris, 13600 Paisano Circle, Austin, TX 78737, Great-granddaughter of Simon Byrum and Caroline Duncan.

©Ron Brothers and Sue Byrum Harris, 1998. All Rights Reserved.

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