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Compiled by Lowell (aka Ozzie) Salyards


Table of Contents:

I. Introduction

II. Virginia Salyards Families

II-A. Early Records

II-B. William Salyears of Dunmore/Shenandoah County

II-C. Professor Joseph Monterville Salyards of Shenandoah and Rockingham Counties

II-D. Dr. Wesley B. Salyards of Virginia and the Midwest

II-E. John Salyards and Mary Ann Ayres of Virginia and Ohio

II-F. Reuben Salyards and Margaret DeLong of Virginia and Ohio

II-G. William Sal(l)yards of (West) Virginia

II-H. John Salyards of Pennsylvania and Wheeling, West Virginia



I. Introduction:

In December 1980, I began my genealogical journey. Since that time, I have had considerable opportunities in various libraries and repositories around the United States to do research. In addition, I came into contact with other persons around the country that were doing Salyards family research. In particular, Catherine Salyards Butler of Duluth, Minnesota who continued the research work of her grandfather and father which they began in the early 1900's. Their research was primarily done by correspondence with various Salyards families around the country. Unfortunately, Catherine and other members of her branch of the Salyards have died over the past few years. We all readily shared our respective research with each other and the information given below is a composite of all of this research.

As far as I know, the immigrant Salyards to the United States is not known. My personal belief is that it is an Anglicized version of the French-Norman name, de la Seyliard. There is a Salyards Message Board here on Rootsweb and you can see my brief writeup about the origin of the Salyards name which I posted on 28 February 2000. The name exists back to about 1200 in northwest Kent County, southwest of London.

There appears to be two main branches of Salyards families, one in Virginia and one in Pennsylvania. The relationship between the two is not known. There are other smaller branches and it is not known how they relate to the others.

As far as I know, there have been two national publications on Salyards families. In 1988, Florence McBride Salyards, wife of Justin Salyards, self-published HISTORY OF EDWARD SALYARDS, HIS DESCENDANTS AND ALLIED FAMILIES. Also in 1988, I (Lowell E. Salyards) self-published CHRONOLOGIES OF WESLEY B. SALYARDS AND HIS KNOWN CHILDREN. A revised edition was issued in 1989. Copies of both of these publications were placed in major state and national libraries around the country. These included such repositories as The Library of Congress, the Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah and the Allen County Public Library in Ft. Wayne, Indiana.

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II. Virginia Salyards Families:

II-A. Early Records:

The earliest possible record found so far is that in John Hotten's THE ORIGINAL LISTS OF PERSONS OF QUALITY, etc, where it shows a Jo: Syard, age 38, leaving London on the ship named Transport on 4 July 1635, bound for Virginea (sic.). Jo: apparently stands for Joseph as the name John is written out. This record is on file in the Public Record Office (PRO) in England. A copy needs to be examined to see if Syard has been misread. The name Sallard existed in Virginia in the 1600's but its relationship to Salyards is not known and will not be further discussed here. It may well be the origin of Salyards.

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II-B. William Salyears of Shenandoah County:

Another key document is that found in the "Bird-Samuels" papers as published by Gaius Brumbaugh in his REVOLUTIONARY WAR RECORDS, VOLUME I, VIRGINIA. These show original census and military (1775) records of old Dunmore (aka Shenandoah) County. For the "Fork District," Thomas Allen listed a William Salyears with two white boys under age 16. It is believed that the "Fork District" is that area between the north and south forks of the Shenandoah River, just south of Front Royal. The Shenandoah County records show a marriage bond for William Sellers and Susannah Connor in 1772. John Wayland's HISTORY OF SHENANDOAH COUNTY shows the birth of Levi, son of William Saliers and Susanna. In 1750-51, a John Sollars was involved in a road project in this same area around the south of Front Royal. Perhaps he was the father of William Sellers/Saliers/Salyears. The other white male under age 16 may well have been a John Salliers who shows in an 1810 Shenandoah County census and then went on to Tuscarawas County, Ohio. In 1785, John Netherton's tax list showed a William Sollars in this same south branch area with six white souls and one dwelling.In 1794, Levi Sollars and Alse (sic.) Edwards were married in Shenandoah County, as reported by Wayland. The two published books of Shenandoah marriage bonds, one by Ashby and the other by Vogt & Keithley, report them as Levi Sellers and Alse Edwards. In Elon Henkel's MEMORIAL ADDRESS ON THE LIFE & CHARACTER OF JOSEPH SALYARDS, his parents are listed as Levi Salyards and Alice Edwards, Joseph being born in 1808. Their other children were John (b. ca. 1794), Rebecca, Isabella (b. ca. 1801) and Wesley (b. ca. 1816), my great grandfather. John is probably the one who married Margaret Rudolph; Isabella's 1836 marriage record to Joseph Welcher is in Rockingham County; Joseph married Sarah May and then Elizabeth Flory; Wesley married Isabelle Kessler and then Rebecca Anderson. There are numerous descendants of Joseph in the Shenandoah Valley at the present time. Wesley's descendants scattered across the midwest and west.

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II-C. Professor Joseph Monterville Salyards of Shenandoah and Rockingham Counties:

The best records on Joseph M. Salyards are the book listed above and John Wayland's two county histories, one for Rockingham and one for Shenandoah. In addition, federal census records contain information on his family. There are no printed records for his middle name of Monterville but a descendant in North Carolina had seen it as such and Josephs younger brother Wesley and his descendants used it several times in naming children. However, when one does a search engine search on the Salyards name, a couple of websites dealing with spiritualism come up. A former student of Professor Joseph claims to have heard from him after he died and the signature on them is Joseph H. Salyards. Handwritten "H" and "M" can be easily mixed up. I prefer a middle name of Monterville.

Joseph was born on 09 April 1808 near Front Royal, Virginia in then Warren County. As stated above, his parents were Levi Salyards and Alice Edwards. He was primarily a self-educated man, being an educator, poet and linguist (he knew eight languages). He wrote an epic poem entitled IDOTHEA, a copy of which is in the Library of Congress. About 1828, he married Sarah May in the vicinity of Timberville, Virginia. They had the following children:

1. George Webster, 15 Aug 1831-25 Feb 1909; married Wilmothann Rebecca Shomo, 6 Nov 1851

2. Erasmus, abt Oct 1832- abt 15 Dec 1855

3. Amanda, abt 1834-12 Mar 1870(?); married Daniel Shomo, 1 Mar 1852

4. Algernon Sydney, abt 1836-??

5. James Henry, abt 1839-after 1910; married first Rebecca St. Myers, 14 Jun 1860; married second, Margaret Broyles, 18 Jan 1866

6. Martha, abt 1840-??; married Benton D. Gaines, 20 Aug 1857

7. Emeranion/Emma,13 Feb 1843-9 Apr 1915; married Nathaniel Breeden, 21 Nov 1867

8. Caroline Virginia, 16 Jun 1848?-6 Jun 1916; married John Franklin Holsinger about 1876

Sarah May died in March 1860 according to the 1860 federal Mortality Census Schedule.

Joseph then married Elizabeth Flory on 9 Mar 1861. They had the following children:

9. Joseph S., 8 Feb 1862?-31 Oct 1883

10. Minnie G., 28 July 1866?-30 Mar 1881

11. Wesley U., 25 Jul 1871?-10 Apr 1892

Joseph Monterville Salyards died on 10 Aug 1885 and Elizabeth died on 8 Feb 1903. I wish to thank many present-day descendants who supplied me with considerable information, such as obituaries and filled-out Family Record Sheets. I have been able to compile nearly 400 descendants of Joseph.

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II-D. Dr. Wesley B. Salyards of Virginia and the Midwest:

Wesley B. Salyards was my great grandfather. He was the youngest known child of Levi Salyards and Alice Edwards. Information on him has been elusive. In the 1860 federal census for Staunton, Augusta County, Virginia, he is listed as being 44 years old. This is the only census that I have ever been able to find on him. He is listed as a physician, most likely having received his training through apprenticeship with another doctor. He first married Isabelle Kessler. They had the following known children, all most likely born around Shenandoah County, Virginia:

1. John William C., 8 Sep 1836-6 Dec 1910; married first, Mary Jane Hadley, 24 Mar 1858, LaSalle Co., IL; a second marriage is listed for him in Rockingham Co., VA to Laura Virginia Salyards, 23 Feb 1871, not known to have been completed; he married thirdly, Jane/Jennie E. Webster on 17 Mar 1874 in Ford Co., IL. They are both buried in Lake Park, Iowa.

2. Milton L., Aug 1837-27 Jan 1902; married Mary Reeves Edwards, 20 May 1865, LaSalle Co., IL. They are both buried in Carthage, Missouri.

3. Joseph Monterville (Sr.), 4 Jul 1839-19 Jan 1926; married first Hetty Ann Landis, abt 1860; married second, Louisa Williams, about 1873, possibly in Lebanon Co., PA. They are both buried in Dakota, Illinois.

4. Charlotta Temple, 6 Oct 1841-3 Nov 1915; married William McCauslin, 4 Mar 1865, Belmont Co., OH. They are both buried in Utica, Illinois.

We dont know what happened to Isabelle Kessler but Wesley then married Rebecca Anderson. There is a record of this marriage in Shenandoah County, Virginia but the date is a little confusing. Perhaps a late entry--between October 8 and 21, 1857. It is believed that Rebecca was the mother of the following children:

5. David Brewer, abt Oct 1846-01 Mar 1901 in the Dayton National Old Soldiers Home, buried in the nearby national cemetery. He married first Rebecca Jackson, 19 Oct 1866, Clinton Co., OH; secondly, Mary Dudgeon, 12 Sep 1883 in Butler Co., OH. David served in the Civil War and when Mary applied for a pension there was much confusion as on their marriage license he is listed as "Sellers" and not Salyards. There is a massive collection of documents in this pension file in the National Archives testifying that he was the same person. A son, Alonzo/"Lonnie," retained the Sellers name according to a letter in the pension file written to his half-brother, Edgar Salyards.

6. Miranda J., abt. 1850-??; married Charles W. Arthur, 20 May 1871, Clark Co., OH

7. Louisa M., abt1852-28 Jan 1919; married John S. Martin, 27 Feb 1872, Clark Co., OH

8. Virginia Ceil, 13 Jul 1853-15 Nov 1914; married Marcellus E. Rue, 25 Dec 1877, Miami Co., OH

9. Anna E., abt 1856-17 Mar 1916; married George W. Smith, 19 Dec 1875, Union Co., OH

10. Sophma?, abt 1858-??; This name appears on the 1860 Augusta Co., VA federal census.

11. Jerome, abt Mar 1860-19 Apr 1892 in Richmond, IN.

12. Hannah Martha,abt Feb 1863-12 May 1926; married Emery D. Toops, 14 May 1885, Greene Co., OH.

13. Marietta Eva, abt 1865-26 Apr 1918; first married Henry C. West, 1 Feb 1883, Clark Co. OH; married second William Randolph in about 1915, probably in Dayton, OH.

14. Emma Florence, twin to Marietta, abt 1865-22 Aug 1938; married first to John B. Newman, 29 Oct 1891, Wayne Co., IN; married second to a Mister Gearheardt.

Further Comments on Wesley Salyards:

A tintype photograph of Wesley exists with a descendant, it being dated 1872. His widow and family appear in the 1880 federal census for Middletown, Butler Co., OH. Rebecca, Hannah and Emory Toops, Florence E. Salyard , Jerome and Marietta are all buried in the Earlham Cemetery in Richmond, IN. In addition to them, there is a grave marker for Harry Arthur, 1874-1902. He is possibly a son of Miranda and Charles W. Arthur. A descendant of Virginia Salyards Rue has information that says that Wesley is buried in St. Paris, Ohio. This has not been investigated. The city directories for Dayton, Ohio for the early 1900s show Marietta/Mary and Rebecca as Solyard, not Salyard. This spelling repeats elsewhere also.

I wish to thank the many relatives with whom I have in been contact and supplied me information. This has enabled me to compile over 500 descendants of Wesley Salyards.

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II-E. John Salyards and Mary Ann Ayres of Virginia and Ohio:

As stated above, several of us Salyards Searchers feel that the John Salyards that went to Tuscarawas County, Ohio is one of two white males under age 16 in the 1775 census listed above, Levi being the other. In a HISTORY OF COSHOCTON COUNTY, OHIO, it being a neighbor of Tuscarawas County, Annis Salyards Thomas Wolfe states that her parents were William and Julia Ann Moffatt Salyards and her grandparents were John and Mary Ann Ayres Salyards. In the 1850 Coshocton County census, William is age 45 and born in Virginia. In the 1810 Shenandoah County, Virginia census, there is listed a John Salliers with three male children and three female children. By the time of the 1820 census for Tuscarawas County, Ohio, Mary Ann is the head of the household and there is another male under age 10. During the 1820's and 1830's, Sarah, Daniel, William, Nathan, and Susannah Salyards are married in that county and Isaac Salyards is married in neighboring Coshocton County. This tends to point that they are all of this John Salyards family. Considerable research has been done on the children of William Salyards: Annis, Samuel, Mahala, John, Joseph, and Adam B. Nathan himself had 15 children, many in west-central Indiana. In the 1850 Tuscarawas County, Ohio census, Nathan (as Salyers) is 40 years old and born in Virginia. There is an interesting letter in existence between two descendants of Annis in which the comment is made that their ancestor Mary Ann Ayres was related to a prominent Ayres family in Lexington, Kentucky. Recent research by one of our Salyards Searchers bears this out.

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II-F. Reuben Salyards and Margaret DeLong of Virginia and Ohio:

There is a marriage record for a Reuben Salyards and Margaret DeLong on 12 June 1817 in Frederick County, Virgina, the next one north of Shenandoah County. His relationship to the above Salyards from Shenandoah County is not known. This family went on to the Columbus, Franklin County, Ohio area. They had at least two children, Willliam and probably a Mariah who married George Mumea in Putnam County, Ohio. Descendants of William went on to Iowa, Nebraska and Colorado where a present-day descendant was born and has researched this family. One should not confuse this Reuben with the one or two in Pennsylvania.

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II-G. William Sal(l)yards of (West) Virginia:

Hardy County, West Virginia is the next one west of Shenandoah County, Virginia. West Virginia split from Virginia in 1863, during the Civil War. Key information on this family comes from two similar letters written by two brothers, grandsons of William, and living in Kansas in 1929. These letters are reproduced in Elizabeth Salyer's THE SALYER FAMILY. In it, Greenbury Samuel Sallyards of Eureka, Kansas and Joseph Pierce Sallyards of Kansas City, Kansas, state that their grandfather William Sallyards came down from Germantown, Pennsylvania, this being in the Philadelphia area, around 1800 to Hardy County. Six children, all born in Germantown, came also, Namely, Margery, Polly, Eliza, John, Elliot, and William Scott, father of Greenbury and Joseph. Their grandfather was an ironmaster who built forges and furnaces. Note that his family uses the "Sallyards" spelling. A limited number of present-day descendants still use this spelling. Census records for Hardy and neighboring Hampshire Counties for 1840-1860 show William, John and Willliam S. but no Elliot. However, in the 1840 Hardy County census the name Johnson E. (as Salyaras) appears. This raises the question if Elliot's real first name was Johnson. Then in the 1850 Morgan County, Ohio census, Johnson E. Salyard appears again. In his household is a son named Winchester, age 4 and born in Ohio. In the 1860's, Greenbury Samuel Sallyards had migrated to Greenwood County, Kansas where Eureka mentioned above is located. He raised a large family and was a prominent citizen there. In this same Greenwood County in the 1900 census is a Winchester Sallyards, born in 1847 in Ohio. This would fit the Winchester listed above under Johnson E. Salyard which would further support the idea that Elliott was this Johnson E. Sallyard. Greenbury started a small community called Sallyards on the western border of Greenwood County but it was an oil boom town and it "died" when the oil expired. Some older maps still show it. Although Greenbury had a large family, the last I knew there was only one descendant left, an unmarried woman on the west coast. His brother Joseph Pierce Sallyards came to Kansas at some time and he is the ancestor of present-day descendants. The family of William Scott Sallyards shows in the 1880 Van Buren County, Iowa federal census.

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II-H. John Salyards of Pennsylvania and Wheeling, West Virgina:

This John Salyards came from Pennsylvania and ended up in Wheeling, West Virginia. He had a large family and was a tailor. A descendant of his, Richard Savery Salyards, was a prominent leader in the Reorganized Church of Latter-Day Saints. This is a separate branch from those Mormons that went on to Utah. Further information on this Salyards family will be given later when I deal with the Salyards of Pennsylvania.


1. Ashby, Bernice M., SHENANDOAH COUNTY MARRIAGE BONDS, 1772-1850, Berryville, VA, Virginia Book Co., 1967

2. Brumbaugh, Gaius Marcus, REVOLUTIONARY WAR RECORDS, VOL. 1, VIRGINIA, Baltimore, MD, Genealogical Publishing Co., 1967

3. Henkel, Elon O., MEMORIAL ADDRESS ON THE LIFE AND CHARACTER OF JOSEPH SALYARDS, New Market, VA., Henkel & Co., Publishers, 1893

4. Hill, Norman Newell, Jr, HISTORY OF COSHOCTON COUNTY, OHIO, Newark, Ohio, A.A. Graham & Co., 1881

5. Hotten, John Camden, Ed., THE ORIGINAL LISTS OF PERSONS OF QUALITY; ETC, 1600-1700, Baltimore, MD, Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc., 1980

6. Salyards, Florence McBride, HISTORY OF EDWARD SALYARDS, HIS DESCENDANTS AND ALLIED FAMILIES, Pass Christian, MS, self-published, 1988

7. Salyards, Joseph, IDOTHEA (or THE DIVINE IMAGE), New Market, VA, Henkel, Calvert & Co., 1874

8. Salyards, Lowell E., CHRONOLOGIES OF WESLEY B. SALYARDS AND HIS KNOWN CHILDREN, Rochester, NY, self-published, lst Ed., 1988, Rev. Ed. 1989

9. Salyer, Elisabeth L.W., THE SALYER FAMILY, GENEALOGY AND RECORDS OF THEIR FIRST 250 YEARS IN AMERICA, Stuart, Florida, Privately published by American Memoirs Publishing, 1982

10.Vogt, John L. & Keithley, T. William Jr, SHENANDOAH COUNTY MARRIAGE BONDS, Athens, GA, Iberian Publishing Co., 1984

11.Wayland, John W., A HISTORY OF SHENANDOAH COUNTY VIRGINIA, Baltimore, MD, Regional Publishing Co. (Affiliate of Genealogical Publishing Co.), Second (Augmented) Edition, 1980, 1989 


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Last Updated: August, 2003