by Manuel H. Johnson Jr.
In this book, Manuel H. Johnson Jr. traces his direct line of Byrd ancestors from a common grandfather with the Westover Byrds who lived in England. He points out that the first Byrd to occupy Virginia, possibly as early as 1635, was this man’s son and uncle of the original Westover Byrd. In a fascinating account, he follows these Byrd ancestors for ten generations as they first settle in Virginia, then migrate to North Carolina, and finally relocate to Alabama. Along this family journey, Johnson takes us through the Byrds’ survival of Bacon’s Rebellion, battles during the American Revolution, and tragedy during the American Civil War. The author also paints an engrossing picture of Byrd family struggles throughout the reconstruction era in Alabama and then brings us into the 20th century with this extraordinary story.
In the final chapter, we are provided a firsthand account of the author’s return to Virginia and the almost eerie reconnection with his Westover Byrd relatives.