Will of David Byrns

I David Byrns of Wise County Va, being of sound mind
and memory do make this my last will and Testament. 

1st  I want all the land that I own in the County of
Bland to be sold and the proceeds applied to the

payment of my just debts.  I will also my waggon and

all my tools sold and applied also to the payment of

my debts, and if the above named property is not

sufficient for the payment of all my just debts, I

will that all my land on Guest River be sold and a 

sufficiency of the proceeds taken to finish paying of

my debts.  And the remainder if any I will to my

Beloved wife Elizabeth Byrns and to my Daughter Mary

B. Byrns jointly as long as they both shall live, and

at the death of either the proceeds to go to the other

to be disposed of as they may desire.  And of the

money I have on hand I will that my Executor herein

after named pay the remainder of an execution or

judgement against the Estate of my son John W. Byrns

Dec’d in favor of Abraham McConnel.  And to all my

other heirs at law I will that my daughter Mary B.

Byrns pay each one dollar, and further if any thing

not herein named I will to my wife Elizabeth & my

daughter Mary B. Byrnes and lastly I do constitute and

appoint my Friend Daniel S. Hoge Executor of this my

last will and testament, hereby revoking all former

wills by me made. 

In witness whereof I have set my hand and affixed my
seal this 27th day of Feby 1863.


                     David Byrns   (seal)

H.C. Bruce

Hiram A Bickley

E. Jane Hoge


                At a quarterly Court began and held
for Wise County at he Court house thereof on Tuesday

the 24th day of March 1863, Present William Roberson,

Harvey C. Bruce, John H. Vanover, Wm. Vanover, Calvin

C. Perkey, Isaac Willis, Jeremiah Powers, John

Hunsucker, George St. Gray, Dulaney Bowling, John B.

Boggs, Jacob Ramey, Wm. Richmond, Adam G. Roberson.

The will of David Byrns, Dec’d was proven in court by
the witness of Harvey C. Bruce and Hiram A Bickley

subscribing witnesses to the will, and thereupon the

will was admitted to record, and Daniel S. Hoge,

Executor and Harvey C. Bruce, Hiram A. Bickley & James

W. Ramsey appraisers.

     A copy-

           Teste:  WB Hamilton, Clerk
              By   CA Johnson, D.C.

                  County of Wise to wit:

                                     In the Clerk’s
office of said County the 30th day of Dec. 1919, the 

foregoing will with the order of probate, was recorded

in Wills and Inventories No.7 page 225 

                   WB Hamilton, Clerk
                    CA Johnson, D.C.

From the Dickenson County News.
Volume 2 - Number 8.

Clintwood, Dickenson County, Virginia, Saturday, September 27, 1919



     “An appeal in Johnson case refused.”  These few words in a telegram from the secretary of the supreme court of appeals of Virginia, now in session in the city of Staunton, to Senator Roland E. Chase, of Clintwood, Va., give information that the end has been reached of one of the most important and hardest fought legal battles that has been waged in the courts of Virginia for years.  This telegram refers to the case of B. T. Johnson, Jr., of Narrows, Giles county, against J. R. Miller and the heirs-at-law of David Byrnes, deceased,  which suit involved a very valuable manganese mine in Bland county, Va., on the end of Flat Top Mountain.
     This suit has been in progress for some twenty months. It was first started in the circuit court of Bland county in February, 1918, and by reason of Judge Fulton Kegley, the judge of the circuit court of Bland county, being related to some of the defendants, he declined to hear the case, and it was removed to the law and chancery court of the city of Roanoke, and was referred by Judge Robertson, of the law and chancery court of Roanoke, to Wm. B. Kegley, of Wytheville, as a special commissioner, to hear the evidence and report to the law and chancery court his finding as to who was the owner of the mine. Commissioner Kegley after hearing a vast amount of evidence, reported to the law and chancery court that, in his opinion, the heirs-at-law of David Byrnes, the defendants in the suit, were the true owners of this mine.  Judge Robertson then heard the case in February, 1919, and confirmed the report of Commissioner Kegley, and gave the mine to the heirs-at-law of David Byrnes. From the decision of Judge Robertson, the attorneys for Johnson asked for an appeal to the supreme court of appeals of Virginia, which has just been refused, and which gives to the David Byrnes heirs the mine.  In this suit Johnson was represented by Jackson & Henson, of Roanoke, and Williams & Farrier, of Pearisburg, and the Byrnes heirs were represented by Roland E. Chase, of Clintwood, and Wm. B. Snidow, of Pearisburg.
     There are several of the heirs of David Byrnes and most of them reside in southwest Virginia.  David Byrnes came to what is now Bland county about 1800, and resided at Mechanicsburg until about 1856 , when he moved to what is now Wise county, but this was before Wise county was formed.  He died at Tacoma, Wise county, in 1863.  While he lived at Mechanicsburg, in 1842, he obtained a grant for a tract of 177 acres of land on the west end of Flat Top Mountain, from the state of Virginia, and it is within this grant that this mine is located. Johnson claimed this mine under an old grant to Samuel Hollingsworth, but it was established in the case that this mine was inside of one of the exceptions contained in this Hollingsworth grant, and that therefore the Hollingsworth grant did not include the mine.
     Johnson and the Byrnes heirs each did a large amount of surveying in this section of Bland county, in their attempts to locate many old connecting grants in that part of the country.  One of the important issues in this case was the correct location of a spring in one of the old Henry Banks grants, which is over 130 years old, called by the name of the “Clover Spring,” and many lines were run and much evidence of the older settlers of this county taken on the question of the location of this spring.  This spring as contended by the Byrnes heirs was located by E. M. Davidson, county surveyor of Bland county, at three bold springs on the north side of Flat Top Mountain.  These three springs come out of the ground in the shape of a three-leaf clover, and it was the contention of the Byrnes heirs that this was probably the reason for these springs being called the “Clover Spring.”  The decision of the commissioner and Judge Robertson sustains the contention of the Byrnes heirs as to the correct location of the “Clover Spring.”
     The following are the names of the heirs-at-law of David Byrnes:  Mrs. Matilda A. Wohlford, Crandon, Bland county; Mrs. Victoria C. Cecil, Dublin, Pulaski county; Miss Lola Ewald, Wytheville; Mrs. Katie Newland, Bristol, Tenn.; Robert Byrnes Ewald, Buena Vista; J. Frederick Ewald, Wytheville; Miss Elizabeth Ewald, Boston, Mass.; Benj. F. Ewald, Richmond; Harry E. Ewald, Bristol; Raymond E. Ewald, Anniston; Mrs. Virginia H. Land, Gallatin, Tex.; Mrs. Bettie Sheppard, Mechanicsburg; Jas. A. C. Harmon, Granham; Mrs. Lue Hutchins, Bland; Miss Hester Ann Harmon, Bland; Mrs. Nannie L. Chase, Clintwood; Mrs. Annie E. French, Clintwood; Rev. E. A. Dunbar, Abingdon; Dow M. Bruce, Tacoma; Leonard H. Bruce, Wise; Mrs. Hester Ann Salyer, Whitesburg, Ky.; Mrs. Alice B. Horne, Tacoma; Mrs. Cora Renfro, Tacoma; Mrs. Callie Bruce, Dott, Va.; John M. Neel, Clintwood; T. E. Neel, Clintwood; Mrs. Nannie E. Colley, Fremont, Va.; Charley H. Neel, Coeburn; Mrs. Laura Revis, Bondtown, Va.; and Josie J. Davis, Toms Creek; Mrs. Sallie Ann Hamilton, Pound.
     Mrs. Nannie E. Colley, of  Fremont, Va., is the mother of the wife of J. Lake Ellis, of Bluefield. - Bluefield Daily Telegraph, September 17, 1919.

Note:  In February of 1918 a law suit was filed in Bland Co., Va. on behalf of the heirs of David Byrnes regarding the ownership of a manganese mine. This list of his children was drafted at that time for use in that suit. 

David Byrnes’ Children

     John Byrnes married Annie Evans and they had several children, one of whom was David Byrnes, who was born in the year 1786 and died at what is now Tacoma, Va. in the year 1863 of small pox.  He married Elizabeth Draper in the year 1811 and Elizabeth Draper Byrnes was born in the year 1789 and died in the year 1863 at what is now Tacoma, Va. and was a daughter of John Draper and Ester Nicewonder.

     David Byrnes and Elizabeth Byrnes had the following children, viz:
     1. Hester Ann, born in the year 1812 and died in the year 1851; married John Harmon in the year 1834.

     2. Polley Byrnes (sometimes called Mary Byrnes), born in the year 1815 and died in the year 1878 without issue.

     3. Sarah Jane, born May 4, 1817, died at Abingdon, Va, July 30, 1904; married Loranza Dow Dunbar, May 9, 1839. He was born Oct. 20, 1818 and died at what is now Dwale in Dickenson county, Va, April 13, 1860.

     4. Dr. John Wesley, born Nov. 11, 1819 and died May 7, 1862; married Sallie Mustard January 7, 1844.

     5. Israel Green, born in the year 1821, died in the year 1824 without issue.

     6. Joseph Draper, born in the year 1823, died in the year 1845 without issue.

     7. Louemma, born Sept. 20, 1827 and died in Clintwood, Va, July 24, 1907; married William Patton Neel.  He was born March 6, 1825 and died at Dwale, Va, Oct. 4, 1885.



First.  Sarah Jane Dunbar’s Children:

Mrs. Nannie L. Chase, Clintwood, Va.
Mrs. Anna E. French, Clintwood, Va.

Rev. E. A. Dunbar, Abingdon, Va.

            The children of Cynthia Bruce, Deceased:
         4. Dow M. Bruce, Tacoma, Va.
         5. Lenard H. Bruce, Appalachia, Va.
         6. Mrs. Hester Ann Salyer, Whitesburg, Ky.
         7. Mrs. Alice B. Horne, Tacoma, Va.
         8. Mrs. Cora Renfro, Tacoma, Va.
            The only child of James A. Bruce, Deceased:
               9. Mrs. Callie Bruce Skaggs, Dot, Va.

Second.  Luemma Neel’s Children:

10.  John M. Neel, Clintwood, Va.
11.  T. E. Neel, Clintwood, Va.

12.  Mrs. Nannie E. Colley, Fremont, Va.

13.  Charley H. Neel, Coeburn, Va.

14.  Mrs. Laura J. Revis, Bondtown, Va.

15.  Mrs. Josie Davis, Tom’s Creek, Va.

16.  Mrs. Sallie Ann Hamilton, Pound, Va.

Third. Dr. John Wesley Byrnes’ Children:

17.  Mrs. Matilda Ann Wohlford, Crandon, Va.
18.  Mrs. Victoria Caroline Cecil, Dublin, Va.

             The children of Lizzie Ewald, Deceased:
       19.  Miss Lola Ewald, Wytheville, Va.
       20.  Mrs. Katie Newland, Bristol, Tenn.,  No. 435 Taylor St.
       21.  Robert Byrnes Ewald, Buena Vista, Va.
       22.  J. Frederick Ewald, Camp Lee, Va.,  Telegraph Operator.
       23.  Miss Elizabeth Ewald, Boston, Mass.,  61 W. Brooklyn St.
       24.  Benjamin F. Ewald, Richmond, Va., In care of American Locomotive Works.
       25.  Harry E. Ewald, Bristol, Tenn.,  No. 435 Taylor St.
       26.  Raymond G. Ewald, Co. M. 116 U.S. Inf. Camp McClellan, Anniston, Ala.

Fourth.  Hester Ann Harmon’s Children:

The only living child of Lizzie Bennett, Deceased:
27.  Mrs. Virginia H. Lane, Gallatin, Texas.

28.  Mrs. Nancy Jane Sheppard, Mechanicsburg, Va.

29.  James A. C. Harmon, Graham, Va.

30.  Mrs. Lue Hutchins, Bland, Va.,  R.F.D. No. 2

31.  Miss Hester Ann Harmon, Bland, Va., R.F.D. No. 2.

transcribed and submitted by Sarah Countiss © 2002

return to main page

Copyright Notice
All files on this site are copyrighted by their creator. They may not be reproduced on another site without specific permission from Vickie Sturgill Stevens  Although public information is not in and of itself copyrightable, the format in which they are presented, the notes and comments, etc., are.