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Billiou to Bilyeu:  Pioneers and Vagabonds
France> Staten Island> Maryland> Tennessee> Missouri>

    Credits: Joanne Merrill Kartak 2001, 2002  All rights reserved.
  All material contained on these pages is available for the free use of those researching family origins.        Any commercial use, without the express consent of the host/author of these pages is prohibited.

A Disclaimer: I have delayed making this report public because of serious problems I've had  in completing  the direct-line from Jean Billiou --who starts our story-- to his descendant John Bilyeu in Generation 6 --who died in Missouri in 1853.  But it seems I am in good company, as the dean of Bilyeu researchers,  Edna Hazel McCullough Lowery,  co-author of  Our Bilyeus, is quoted as saying she knew our Bilyeus were all descended from Pierre, but the records just don't exist to prove it.   Another  problem for Bilyeu Researchers is in proving which son of Peter and Margritia Billiou was the father of  John. Bilyeu, born 1775, and the grandfather of Cornelius Bilyeu.  I believe there are only two choices. Take your pick and I guarantee  I can provide a well respected genealogist who will agree, but no one has presented solid evidence for either choice.   Have I have  made the correct connection?  I think so,  but cannot prove it.  If you have information that can clarify this, please contact me..  I'd like to know for sure who is my great+ grand-father, and who is my great+ great-uncle.   The following is one of the generally accepted--but mostly unproven-- Bilyeu Genealogies.  Perhaps some day we'll have the answers.  JMK.

Thomas Billiou and Aime (???) 

Generation No. 1

*Thomas Billiou, born abt. 1575 in Artois, France.  He married Aime, buried 1 July 1621 in Leyden, Netherlands ~~~~~~~

*Children of Thomas Billiou and Aime were as follows:
Jean Billiou, born abt. 1600 in Artois, France
Abigail Billiou, born abt. 1602 in Artois, France, she married on 22 Oct 1622 in Leyden, Netherlands to John Dunham
Anna Billiou, born abt. 1604 in Artois, France.  She married on 28 May 1624 in Netherlands.
*This information credited to Mary Greenawalt Murphy, 1991
Descendants of Jean Billiou

              Generation No. 2

      There is some disagreement --and no proof-- about the relationship of Jean and Thomas.

Child of JEAN BILLIOU is:
2. i. PIERRE BILLIOU/BILYEU, b. 1625, Lille, Labasse, France; d. January 06, 1706/07, Staten Island, Richmond,          New York.

            Generation No. 3

2.  PIERRE BILLIOU/BILYEU (JEAN2 BILLIOU, THOMAS1 BILLIOU/BILYEU) was born 1625 in Lille, Labasse, France, and died January 06, 1706/07 in Staten Island, Richmond, NY.  He married (1) FRANCOISE DU BOISE April 20, 1649 in Leyden, S. Holland, Netherland, daughter of CHRETEIN DUBOISE  and CORNELIA DUBOISE.  She was born June 17, 1632 in Reins, Marne, France, Normandy, and died Bef. January 17, 1694/95 in Stanton Island, NY. .He married (2) GERRTJE LAMBERTS January 17, 1694/95 in Stanton Island.  She was born Abt. 1655.  

                           Note: Link to
Duboise information is courtesy of descendant Kate Moore.

On August 6, 1661, Pierre and Francoise arrived in New Amsterdam in  what is now part of New York City.    After settling his family temporarily,  Pierre led 18 other men over to Staten Island to see if they could establish a permanent settlement there.  Previously, others had found the native Americans on the island discouraging of settlers, but Pierre was able to befriend them in a positive way, and a permanent settlement was begun.  The house Pierre built in 1662 is currently the oldest house still standing on Staten Island, and the third oldest in NY State.  It is known as the Perine House, or the  Billiou-Stillwell-Perine House, and is located at 1476 Richmond Road, Staten Is. It is owned and maintained by the Staten Island Historical Society. (See picture at top of page.)

The following is taken from a letter to "Billiou Descendants" from A. Combs in June of 1997 and a letter to "Friends of the Billiou-Stillwell-Perine House" from the Staten Island Historical Society,  May 3,1999.

The house is modest and unimposing, a mix of additions added to accommodate growing needs of several generations, with the major portions being built in 1661, c.1680 (Stillwell  portion-), and 1760,1790, and 1830 (the Perine portions). The resulting three chimneys seem more than the house needs, and the one in the middle stands much higher than the others. The Bilyeu portion of the house sits at the rear and consist of a single main-floor room with a steeply pitched roof that provides space for an attic accessed by narrow steps.   Although closed to the public, one can view the  house by appointment.   A family lives in the Stillwell portion to keep the property looking "lived in" and to have a caretaker on-site.  Restoration that began in 1943 has continued off and on through the years.   A  Bilyeu Family  fund raiser was begun early in 1999 to help in restoration of work on the windows in the oldest  part of  the house and to seek a solution to the "rising damp" in the stone walls  which are contributing to the structure's deterioration.


PIERRE BILLIOU/BILYEU: Emigration from France: Bef. 1661, Spent at least 12 years in Netherlands and England before leaving for America on ship St John Baptiste from Walslant, Netherlands.
Home: 1662, Built a house on Staten Island, NY (Source: Pre-Revolutionary Dutch Houses by R. Fellows Bailey.)

PIERRE BILLIOU/BILYEU and FRANCOISE DU BOISE: Marriage: April 20, 1649, Leyden, S. Holland, Netherland
Children  are:
       i.  MARIE BILLIOU/BILYEU, b. Abt. 1649, Naaren, Holland; d. Bef. 1699, Staten Is, NY.
           m. June 03, 1670, Kingston, NY to Arnewt Jansen Prall

       ii.  MARTHA BILLIOU/BILYEU, b. Abt. 1650, Leyden; d. 1736, NY.
:           m. January 18, 1668/69 to Capt. Thomas Stillwell in Graves End,  NY. He was a well-known
            constable, sheriff, magistrate, captain of the militia and member of the Colonial Assembly. 
            They had 4 children. 

      iii.   PETER BILLIOU/BILYEU, b. Abt. 1652, Leyden; d. 1698.
      iv.   CATHERINE BILLIOU/BILYEU, b. 1654; d. 1733.  m.  To Richard Curtis

       v.   FRANCOISE BILLIOU/BILYEU, b. 1655.
      vi.   CHRISTINA BILLIOU/BILYEU, b. October 1658, Leyden.
3.   vii.   ISAAC BILLIOU/BILYEU, b. Bet. May 09 - August 06, 1661 at sea between Leyden and America;
               d. September 01, 1708, Staten Island, Richmond, NY.
      viii . JACOB BILLIOU/BILYEU, b. 1663.
       ix.   JOHN BILLIOU/BILYEU, b. 1668.

Generation No. 4

3.  ISAAC BILLIOU/BILYEU (PIERRE3, JEAN2 BILLIOU, THOMAS1 BILLIOU/BILYEU) was born Bet. May 09 - August 06, 1661 in At sea between Leyden and America, and died on Staten Island, Richmond, NY. on September 01, 1708   He married IDA SUEBERINGH November 02, 1684 in Bergen, NJ, daughter of JAN SUEBERINGH and ADRIANA POLHEMUS.  She was born 1664 in Stanton Is.

Isaac was baptized: August 10, 1661, NY
Will: September 07, 1696, Written; Probated 12/22/1709

Marriage: November 02, 1684, Bergen, NJ
Children  are:
      i.      JACOB5 BILLIOU/BILYEU, b. 1685; d. 1747.
      ii.     JOHN BILLIOU/BILYEU, b. 1687; d. 1758, Morris Co. NJ; m. JANE RAMBOUT; she was b. Abt. 1690.
      iii.     FRANCIS BILLIOU/BILYEU, b. 1692.
      iv.     MARIETJE BILLIOU/BILYEU, b. 1694.Baptism: 1st Reform Church of Raritan
       v.     ISAAC BILLIOU/BILYEU, b. 1696.
      vi.     CATHERINE BILLIOU/BILYEU, b. 1698.
4.  vii.      PETER BILLIOU/BILYEU, b. 1700, Stanton Island, Richmond, NY; d. 1811.
     viii.     MARY BILLIOU/BILYEU, b. 1702.
       ix.     ABRAHAM BILLIOU/BILYEU, b. 1704.
       x.     LUKAS BILLIOU/BILYEU, b. 1707.
      xi.      DANIEL BILLIOU/BILYEU, b. September 01, 1708.

Generation No. 5

4.  PETER BILLIOU/BILYEU (ISAAC4, PIERRE3, JEAN2 BILLIOU, THOMAS1 BILLIOU/BILYEU) was born 1700 in Stanton Island, Richmond, NY.   Peter  married MARGRITIA BILYEU Abt. 1728 in Staten Island, Richmond, NY.  She was born 1704 in NY.   

    i.   HENDRICK6 BILLIOU/BILYEU, b. 1729.
5. ii.   PETER BILLIOU/BILYEU, b. November 20, 1731, Six Mile Run, Somerset, NJ; d. 1811.
   iii    EURYDA BILLIOU/BILYEU, b. January 19, 1732/33.
   iv.   ABRAHAM BILLIOU/BILYEU, b. 1736.
    v.   MAREYTJE BILLIOU/BILYEU, b. October 1738.
   vi.   STINTYE BILLIOU/BILYEU, b. 1740.
6.vii    JOHN BILLIOU/BILYEU, b. Bef. January 09, 1742/43, Somerville, Six Mile Run, NJ  d Aft. 1794,
          Bourbon County, NY. 
  viii.  AELTJE BILLIOU/BILYEU, b. 1748
     ix.  JOHANNAS BILLIOU/BILYEU, b. 1750.

Two of Peter and Margritia's sons are each mentioned as the father of the John Bilyeu who was born in 1775.
The elder, Peter (#5 above)  was born in 1731, the younger, John, (#6) was born about 11 years later.    Note:  There are several respected Bilyeu researachers who question the existence of John Bilyeu b ca 1742. 

    Generation No. 6

5.  PETER BILLIOU/BILYEU (PETER5, ISAAC4, PIERRE3, JEAN2 BILLIOU, THOMAS1 BILLIOU/BILYEU) was born November 20, 1731 in Six Mile Run, Somerset, NJ, and died 1811.  He married MARGARITA WORKMAN Abt. 1770.  She was born 1752.

I believe, but
cannot prove,  that the following --with the possible exception of Olive-- are the children of PETER BILLIOU/BILYEU and MARGARITA WORKMAN:  

7. i.   JOHN BILYEU, SR., b. 1775, Allegany Co. MD; d. January 21, 1853, Iberia, Richwoods Township, Miller
            County, MO.

       ii.   PETER  BILYEU, b. 1777.
      iii.   ISAAC BILYEU, b. 1780.
      iv.   ANDREW BILYEU, b. 1792.
      v.   OLIVER BILYEU, b. 1793.
      vi.  WILLIAM M BILYEU, SR., b. March 17, 1795.


6.  JOHN BILLIOU/BILYEU (PETER5, ISAAC4, PIERRE3, JEAN2 BILLIOU, THOMAS1 BILLIOU/BILYEU) was born Bef. January 09, 1742/43 in Somerville, Six MIle Run, Somerset, NJ, and died Aft. 1794 in Bourbon County, NY.  He married TRYNTJE BARENTS Bef. 1760.  She was born July 10, 1743 in Six Mile Run, Somerset, NJ, and died Aft. 1795.

Many researchers  disagree re John and Tryntje, with some reporting her as  the wife of  John born 1760.   
Children: Bet. 1760-1795, Ten children, 5 probably born in NJ; Peter born in MD, Isaac in VA. 

  8.     i.      JOHN7 BILYEU, b. 1760, Six Mile Run, Somerset, NJ.
                  be continued IF and WHEN any solid source information becomes available  which would prove the connection between the early Bilyeus and those reported below.

Generation No. 7


7.  JOHN BILYEU, SR. (PETER6 BILLIOU/BILYEU, PETER5, ISAAC4, PIERRE3, JEAN2 BILLIOU, THOMAS1 BILLIOU/BILYEU) was born 1775 in Allegany Co. MD, and died January 21, 1853 in Iberia, Richwoods Township, Miller County, MO.  He married (1) SARAH "SALLY" MCGREW,daughter of JAMES MCGREW, August 19, 1795 in Hardin County, KY  Bond was posted by John Bilyeu and David Bogarth, presumed to be stepfather or guardian of Sarah.  Both men signed their names with a mark(X) .  She was born Abt. 1777, and died Bet. 1822 - 1826.  He married (2) RACHEL CARR Bef. 1834.  She was born Abt. 1790.

There are several errors in the article below, and  I can't find  any verification of a blood-relationship between the Bilyeus and William Penn. 

John Bilyeu

                                                          by Clyde Lee Jenkins of Tuscuombis, MS;
                                                    from Eldo, Missouri newspaper article 10/26/1972

"In 1832 Andrew and John Bilyeu arrived in the northernmost reaches of Pulaski CO. MO; now Miller CO.  Natives of Maryland, they were of French-Huguenot descent, and relatives of William Penn, founder of Pennsylvania Colony.  John settled in the Big Richwoods, Andrew in the Little Richwoods, and their children settled around them. Generally, they had traveled out of Maryland into Virginia, then from the Old Dominion State into the Carolinas, through Tennessee, Kentucky, Indiana and the country of the Illinois before entering Missouri, some traveling one route and some another.

"John was born in Maryland in 1775, settled in the Big Richwoods, northeast to Iberia, in the Bray's country.  He was married to Rachel, born in 1810, a native of Kentucky.  No doubt she was a second wife.  Their children included Isaac, William, Cornelius, Joseph, Mary or Polly, Delilah, Lydia, James, John, Didama, Susannah, Peter, Sarah, Andrew Jackson, and Larkin. In the war with the Creek Indians, John had fought under General Jackson serving as a private in the 1st Regiment of Bradley's Tennessee Volunteers.  He rushed to arms on Oct 4, 1813 to avenge the frightful massacre of nearly 400 men, women and children at Fort Mimms in Alabama on August 30.  At Talladega, ALA on November 9, the Tennessee troops engaged the Indians, killing nearly 300 warriors.  After two more battles in November and one in December, in which the Indians were defeated with great slaughter, John returned home.

"John died at his home in the Big Richwoods near Bray's Mill on January 21, 1853 (age 78).  He was a farmer and blacksmith.  By will he had given his plantation, livestock, mechanical, blacksmith, and farming tools to his widow, Rachel, and upon her death or marriage, to his sons Andrew Jackson and Larkin, equally.  The sale of personal property was held on March 15, 1853; 400 pounds of bacon excepted to the use of the widow. . . .In the autumn of 1861, (Civil War) Rachel's place in the Big Richwoods was raided by sympathizing forces moving south; her cattle, livestock, and provisions taken, and the torch put to her buildings.  Rachel then moved to Lebanon for protection."


Listed in Census: 1820, Overton Co. TN - JOHN BILYEU, SR

Military service: Bet. 1812 - 1815, Battle of Horseshoe Bend vs. Creek Indians  Serving in this same company were his brothers William and Isaac.

Occupation: Farmer and blacksmith.  Worked as a "marker" on the first road through Iberia, now part of Hwy 42.

At his death  John Bilyeu left at least 15 children.  Named in estate settlement in 1853 were:  Isaac, William, Cornelius, Joseph, Polly Melton,  Andrew and Larkin, all of Miller Co. MO.  Delilah Osborne and Lydia Parrack of Ill; James, John, Didamia Denny, all of Indiana; Susan Carmack, TN; Peter Bilyeu, Oregon; Sarah McClothlin, res. unk.Will: Miller Co, MO.   [Source?:  Research notes of  Edna Hazel McCullough Lowery, courtesy of Marguerite von Marenholtz.]

War Pension: Application for an Indian War Pension by Rachel as widow.

Children: Bet. 1795 - 1838 (?) John had 13 children, with the youngest two usually credited to Rachel by researchers.
Source:  Family records.

Children of JOHN BILYEU and SARAH MCGREW are: 
     i   JAMES BILYEU, b. March 05, 1796, d. Aft. 5 March 1886.  He m. Eunice Alexon (?) 15 July 1824 in
          Lawrence Co. IN.
   ii     ISAAC8 BILYEU, b. 1795. (
Our Bilyeus gives dob as  12 Dec. 1812.) d. 19 Jan 1892 Miller Co.  m Mary "Polly"
         BIlyeu 2 Nov 1831, Sangamon Co. IL. 
         Census: 1840, Richwood Twp. Listed as widower with 3 sons and 2 daughters at home.
DIDAMIA BILYEU, b. 10 June 1800,  m John Denny 21 January  1821.
   iv.   PETER BILYEU, b. 29 September 1802, d 27 July 1877 in Scio, Linn Co. OR., m Jane Coker 18 March 1821.
    v.   JOHN BILYEU, b. Abt. 1806, TN. d 17 July 1862 in  IN., m. Mary Tyler Orange Co. IN.
   vi.   WILLIAM BILYEU, b. 15 February 1809 in KY., d 22 April 1879 Miller Co. MO., m Mary McCart 27 Apr 1831
          Orange Co. IN.                                                                                                            
  vii.   DELILAH  BILYEU, b. February 1812.  In  Census: 1840, With husband  Larkin Osborne in Miller, Co. MO     She made  application for an Indian War Pension 1897.   (Source: Oregon Historical Society; Portland, OR.)
9. viii. CORNELIUS BILYEU, b. March 04, 1814, Overton Co, TN; d. July 15, 1856, Miller Co. MO.
     ix.  SARAH BILYEU, b. Abt. 1817, m Daniel McLaughlin 26 June 1838 Miller Co. MO.
      x   LYDIA BILYEU, b. Abt. 1820. m Samuel Parrack 4 Feb 1841 Miller Co. MO.
     xi   JOSEPH BILYEU, B 1823 Overton Co. TN; m Ann Osborne. 
    xii   MARY 'POLLY' BILYEU B CA 1824 m William R. Melton
    xiii  Susannah Bilyeu b abt 1826, m
? Carmack.

Children of JOHN BILYEU and RACHEL CARR are:
     xiv  ANDREW JACKSON8 BILYEU, b. Abt. 1835.

xv  LARKIN BILYEU, b. Abt. 1838.

Sources for the above information include:  Information copied from a Bilyeu Family Bible and found in my grandmother's research notes;  my cousins Lois Coates and Peter Moser;  
Our Bilyeus, by  Mildred Lander Roden & Edna Hazel McCullough Lowery,  (privately printed at Cassville, MO., Jul 1979) and research notes of Hazel Lowery, both courtesy of Marguerite von Marenholtz, who also shared her own research.    Because I have used other resources as well,  no single source, or combination of sources  should be held responsible for any mistakes I have made, for those are entirely my own.   Something to be aware of:  Not all of the sources are in agreement.