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Below is a family biography included in The History of Dyer County, Tennessee published by Goodspeed Publishing Company in 1887.  These biographies are valuable for genealogy research in discovering missing ancestors or filling in the details of a family tree. Family biographies often include far more information than can be found in a census record or obituary.  Details will vary with each biography but will often include the date and place of birth, parent names including mothers' maiden name, name of wife including maiden name, her parents' names, name of children (including spouses if married), former places of residence, occupation details, military service, church and social organization affiliations, and more.  There are often ancestry details included that cannot be found in any other type of genealogical record.

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Dr. J. M. Byrd was born in Alabama, February 3, 1853, son of Michael and Lydia A. (Phyfer) Byrd. The former is a North Carolinian by birth and of Scotch-Irish descent. He was born in 1827 and was married in 1850, and in 1852 removed to Alabama and began tilling the soil. From 1861 until 1867 he resided in Jasper County, Miss., and the following three years lived in Independence County, Ark., and died in Jackson County, Ark., in 1872. His wife was born in 1832 in the same State as himself, and became the mother of seven children: Dr. J. M., Mary C. (Mrs. James O. Woolley), Nancy C. (Mrs. Samuel Way), Wiley F., Orie C., Robert E., Bettie J. and Mittie E. Dr. J. M. Byrd was educated in Alabama and Mississippi, and resided with his mother until he was twenty-two years of age. He began clerking in a general merchandise store in Newport, Ark., and filled the position until 1878, when he engaged in business for himself by buying out the store of Capt. Joseph L. Todd, of Swifton, Ark., and continued in the business for three years. In 1876 he began the study of medicine, and in 1880 sold his store and went to Granada, Miss., and continued the study of medicine, his preceptor being Dr. J. B. Gage. In 1882 he went to Walnut Bend, Ark., and began practicing, and in October, 1885, entered the Memphis (Tenn.) Hospital Medical College and attended one term. In February, 1866, he came to Dyersburg, Tenn., where he has since practiced with excellent results. He is a Democrat and a member of the Baptist Church. February 13, 1879, he married Amelia Roberson. Mrs. Byrd was born in Missouri, in 1852, and died in Granada, Miss., in 1882. To them were born two children: Walter R. and Millie T. The first child lived only eight months.

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This family biography is one of 128 biographies included in The History of Dyer County, Tennessee published in 1887 by Goodspeed.  The History of Dyer County was included within The History of Gibson, Obion, Dyer, Weakley & Lake Counties of Tennessee. For the complete description, click here: History of Gibson, Obion, Dyer, Weakley, and Lake Counties of Tennessee

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