The Byerley Family

Edward Worsley Byerley

Birth: 3 February 1880

Baptism: 20 January 1883, in St Albans, Pretoria, Transvaal
The baptism was sponsored by F. A. Worsley, S. Byerley and Christiana Byerley

Father: George Alexander Byerley

Mother: Selina (Ford) Byerley

Barberton Railway Accident 1902
Scene of the railway accident in Barberton (1902)
photograph posted by The South African
Military History Society
, original courtesy of the Barberton Museum
Notes: Edward was involved in a railway accident in Barberton. He was accompanying his sister-in-law Charlotte and her two daughters on a return trip from Lourenço Marques. One of his nieces was thrown from the train and Charlotte and the other were pinned underneath an overturned carriage, but all survived. Presumably this accident was the one that occurred on 30 March 1902 in which 49 people died. Most of the dead were British soldiers.
Poverty Bay Herald 15 May 1902 p4
THE BARBERTON RAILWAY FATALITY.
  BARBERTON, April 3 (Reuter).—In connection with the railway accident, the detachment of the Hants Regiment in the train comprised 36 men of the Volunteer Company, under Captain Grant and Lieutenant Holbrooke. Of these, ten men were killed and 25 wounded; 30 men of E Company, under Lieutenant Parker, of whom 24 were killed and four wounded; 31 of G Company, of whom six were killed and nine wounded. One man each was killed from B and D Companies, making a total of 80 killed and wounded out of 102 starting.
No officers were injured.
  Corporals Childs and Henty were the only non-commissioned officers killed; all the others were privates.
  The engine-driver, named Rankin, was killed on the spot, while the stoker, a Mauritian, died unconscious on the way to the hospital.
  A civilian named White jumped from the carriage, and was killed against the bridge. One Dutch child has since died. The accident occurred four miles from Barberton, at the sharp curve leading on to the bridge, over a donga forty feet deep.
  At the end of the three miles down incline the train had attained a speed of over eighty miles per hour. The engine first left the rails, turning completely over, and then the boiler burst. Six trucks, containing soldiers, were hurled with terrific force 20 to 30 yards from the line and smashed to matchwood, three lying all in a heap. One caught the corner of the bridge and fell into the donga. Twenty-two dead bodies were taken from here. The passenger coach, with several women, children, and men, had a most miraculous escape. The wheels left the rails, and the coach ran across the bridge on the girders, within three inches of the edge. All must have been killed had it followed the soldiers' trucks into the donga. This would have happened had not the guard (Ross) kept the brake down, after the engine and front trucks left the rails. With the exception of the Dutch child and a passenger badly cut about the head, all the passengers escaped with a severe shaking, although the carriage was completely smashed.
There are now in hospital two dangerous and six serious cases. Thirty others are doing well. The regiment was very popular during its year's stay here, and deep sympathy is felt by the whole community over the terrible calamity. The cause of the engine getting out of control is still unknown.


Barberton c1900
Barberton, Transvaal c. 1900
Photograph taken by Edward Worsely Byerley
photograph held at the Australian War Memorial Research Centre donated by T. Collins
18th Brigade Field Hospital near Barberton c.1900
18th Brigade Field Hospital near Barberton c. 1900
Photograph taken by Edward Worsely Byerley
photograph held at the Australian War Memorial Research Centre donated by T. Collins
Edward was a photographer. In addition the portrait of his mother, two photographs of his taken at Barberton during the Anglo-Boer War are held at the Australian War Memorial Research Centre.

Sources:

Edward William Byerley

Birth: 28 February 1903, in Barberton, Transvaal

Baptism: 28 March 1903 in the Wesleyan-Methodist Chapel, Barberton, Transvaal
Edward William was baptised by M. J. Goodwin. He is recorded as born on 28 February 1903, the son of George F. Byerley and Charlotte D. Byerley. The parents's abode is recorded as Barberton.

Father: George Ford Byerley

Mother: Charlotte Dingwall Harper

Married: Isabella Annie Leggett

Isabella was born on 21 April 1906 and died on 26 November 1978.

Notes: Edward was known as "Ted"

Death: 3 July 1970

Grave of Edward William Byerley
Gravestone of Edward William Byerley in Stellawood cemetery, Durban, Natal
photograph by Colin Garvie at eGGSA
Buried: Stellawood cemetery, Durban, Natal, South Africa, with his wife
Their headstone reads:
In Loving Memory of
Edward William Byerley
28 · 2 · 1903  - 3 · 7 · 1970
Isabella Annie Byerley
21 · 4 · 1906  - 26 · 11 · 1978

Sources:

George Alexander Byerley

George Alexander Byerley
George Alexander Byerley
photograph scan courtesy of Alan Fitz-Patrick 
George Byerley and Selina (Ford) Byerley
George Alexander Byerley and Selina Ford
taken in Verulam, Natal, 1867 - thought to be taken on their wedding day
photograph scan courtesy of Alan Fitz-Patrick
Birth: 20 November 1843, in West London district, London, England

Baptism: 5 February 1854 in Old Church, Saint Pancras, London, England

Father: William Byerley

Mother: Christiana (Burclay) Ford

Married: Selina Ford on 18 February 1867, in Mission House, Verulam, Natal
George Byerley is recorded as a bachelor, aged 23. He is a clerk, resident in Pietermaritzburg. Selina Ford is recorded as a spinster, aged 21, resident in Riverton. The wedding was performed by Thomas Kirkby and witnessed by G. Andrews and M. A. Andrews.

Children: Occupation: Clerk (1867); Hotelier (1877); Land Agent

Notes: George Byerley emigrated to the Cape Colony, arriving in Algoa Bay with his mother and 5 siblings on the Schah Jehan on 8 July 1859 to join his father, a pastry chef, who had set up a bakery there. George is recorded as aged 14.

In 1877 George and Selina were operating a canteen at Sptitzkop in the eastern Transvaal where one of the early gold rushes was taking place. They were encountered there by Rowland Atcherley, an Englishman on a year-long adventure in Natal and the Transvaal.
A Trip to Böerland p110 (Rowland J. Atcherley, 1879)
We had a farewell evening at a canvas canteen, dignified by the name of Byerley's Hotel. There was a goodly troop in attendance, a fairish supper on the board, and Byerley's Kafir cook had triumphed in his art. The “feast of reason” being over, the table was cleared for the “flow of soul;” a banjo, tambourine, and bones were dug out of some obscure old chest, and a case of French brandy having been opened, songs were sung, healths were drunk, and speeches made. I had been elected to the chair, and as I had to fairly bellow every time I wanted to be heard, the scene may be better imagined than described. Midnight came on, but no cessation—more speeches, now a little disjointed, more songs, and more hygienic wishes. 
pp127-8
On the occasion of one of these storms, I happened to be at Byerley's “Spitzkop hotel,” gradually eating out, in the shape of an occasional meal, a small debt he owed me for money lent. There were present but myself, Mrs. Byerley (a delicate young Englishwoman, little fitted for the rough life of the gold-diggings), and her three little children, Byerley himself being away at another creek, endeavouring to get in some outstanding accounts. We had just finished dinner when the storm came. A new fly had been stretched over the roof, and the wind, catching this, ripped it off with a report like that of a cannon, and left it to leeward, flapping and cracking like a gigantic whip-thong. The rain descended with terrible force, beating through the thin canvas, and wetting everything within. A large stock of mealie flour, which when once wetted becomes useless, was utterly ruined and the poor woman began to grow very much alarmed at the course the unruly elements were taking. Her screaming children clinging to her added to her distraction; and what with the thunder, the children, and the destruction, I think she came very nigh being frightened out of her wits. But the culminating point had yet to come. The door opened, and Byerley himself was seen standing like a water-sprite dripping in the opening. The next moment and the “Spitzkop hotel” was in the air, and crockery, pots, pans, men, woman, and children were floundering about in the mud together, entangled in the folds of the flapping and torn canvas. With some difficulty we got out, Mrs. Byerley and the children taking refuge in a neighbouring iron store; while Byerley, with the assistance of myself and a few others, collected his scattered household gods and put them in a place of safety. But the “Spitzkop hotel” never rose again: poor Byerley was played out; he could neither get debts nor customers, and a few days afterwards departed, with his wife and children, on the weary journey in search of better luck, but with the bitter sickness in their hearts of “hope deferred.”

George seems to have moved a few miles north to Pilgrim's Rest, site of another gold rush, where his eldest daughter, Selina, died in 1878.

Death: 6 March 1893, in the South African Republic

Sources:

George Ford Byerley

Birth: 1874/5

Father: George Alexander Byerley

Mother: Selina (Ford) Byerley

Married: Charlotte Dingwall Harper on 14 May 1898 at Mrs. Harper's house, Barberton, South African Republic
George Ford Byerley is recorded as a bachelor, aged 23, the son of George Alexander Byerley, a law agent. George is a compositor, resident in Barberton. Charlotte Dingwall Harper is recorded as a spinster, aged 20, the daughter of Robert Harper, a contractor. Charlotte is resident in Barberton. The marriage was performed by L. H. Hardy and witnessed by William Harper and J. C. Dallov.

Charlotte was born in 1877/8 and died in 1949.

Children: Occupation: Compositor
A compositor is a person that sets written material into type.

Barberton Railway Accident 1902
Scene of the railway accident in Barberton (1902)
photograph posted by The South African
Military History Society
, original courtesy of the Barberton Museum
Notes: Charlotte and her daughters were involved in a railway accident in Barberton. She was returning from Lourenço Marques with her two daughters and her brother-in-law, Edward Byerley. One of daughters was thrown from the train and Charlotte and the other daughter were pinned underneath an overturned carriage, but all survived. Presumably this accident was the one that occurred on 30 March 1902 in which 49 people died. Most of the dead were British soldiers.
Poverty Bay Herald 15 May 1902 p4
THE BARBERTON RAILWAY FATALITY.
  BARBERTON, April 3 (Reuter).—In connection with the railway accident, the detachment of the Hants Regiment in the train comprised 36 men of the Volunteer Company, under Captain Grant and Lieutenant Holbrooke. Of these, ten men were killed and 25 wounded; 30 men of E Company, under Lieutenant Parker, of whom 24 were killed and four wounded; 31 of G Company, of whom six were killed and nine wounded. One man each was killed from B and D Companies, making a total of 80 killed and wounded out of 102 starting.
No officers were injured.
  Corporals Childs and Henty were the only non-commissioned officers killed; all the others were privates.
  The engine-driver, named Rankin, was killed on the spot, while the stoker, a Mauritian, died unconscious on the way to the hospital.
  A civilian named White jumped from the carriage, and was killed against the bridge. One Dutch child has since died. The accident occurred four miles from Barberton, at the sharp curve leading on to the bridge, over a donga forty feet deep.
  At the end of the three miles down incline the train had attained a speed of over eighty miles per hour. The engine first left the rails, turning completely over, and then the boiler burst. Six trucks, containing soldiers, were hurled with terrific force 20 to 30 yards from the line and smashed to matchwood, three lying all in a heap. One caught the corner of the bridge and fell into the donga. Twenty-two dead bodies were taken from here. The passenger coach, with several women, children, and men, had a most miraculous escape. The wheels left the rails, and the coach ran across the bridge on the girders, within three inches of the edge. All must have been killed had it followed the soldiers' trucks into the donga. This would have happened had not the guard (Ross) kept the brake down, after the engine and front trucks left the rails. With the exception of the Dutch child and a passenger badly cut about the head, all the passengers escaped with a severe shaking, although the carriage was completely smashed.
There are now in hospital two dangerous and six serious cases. Thirty others are doing well. The regiment was very popular during its year's stay here, and deep sympathy is felt by the whole community over the terrible calamity. The cause of the engine getting out of control is still unknown.


Death: 1939

Sources:

Lorna Selina (Byerley) Leggott

Birth: 17 May 1901

Baptism: 6 July 1901 in the Wesleyan-Methodist Circuit, Durban, Natal
Lorna Selina was baptised by Frederick Mason. She is recorded as the daughter of George Ford Byerley and Charlotte Dingwall Byerley. The parents's abode is recorded as "Barberton, presently in Durban".

Father: George Ford Byerley

Mother: Charlotte Dingwall Harper

Married: Albert Henry Leggott on 8 July 1920 in the Irish Presbyterian Church, Pietermaritzburg, Natal, South Africa
Albert Henry Leggott is recorded as a bachelor, aged 29. He is a carpenter and joiner, resident at 4 Bateman Avenue, P. M. Burg. Lorna Selina Byerley is recorded as a spinster, aged 19. She is a typist, resident at 4 Bateman Avenue, P. M. Burg. The marriage was performed by Hedley Vicars Taylor, Presbyterian minister, and witnessed by John Coulson Ashley and Mildred Olive Byerley.

Albert was born in  1890/1, in England. He died in 1956.

Occupation: Typist

Barberton Railway Accident 1902
Scene of the railway accident in Barberton (1902)
photograph posted by The South African
Military History Society
, original courtesy of the Barberton Museum
Notes: As an infant, Lorna was involved in a railway accident in Barberton. Her mother was returning from Lourenço Marques with her, her sister and her uncle, Edward Byerley. One of daughters was thrown from the train and Charlotte and the other daughter were pinned underneath an overturned carriage, but all survived. Presumably this accident was the one that occurred on 30 March 1902 in which 49 people died.

Sources:

Nellie Caroline (Byerley) Caughey

Birth: 18 November 1881

Baptism: 20 January 1883, in St Albans, Pretoria, Transvaal
The baptism was sponsored by William Bales, Sarah James and Clara Bancroft

Father: George Alexander Byerley

Mother: Selina (Ford) Byerley

Married: Robert Lloyd Caughey

Death: 1961

Sources:

Selina Byerley

Birth: 12 April 1868

Father: George Alexander Byerley

Mother: Selina (Ford) Byerley

Death: 24 April 1878, aged 10

Gravestone of Selina Byerley
Gravestone of Selina Byerley in Main cemetery, Pilgrim's Rest, Transvaal
photograph by Tian Schutte posted at eGGSA 
Buried: in Main cemetery, Pilgrim's Rest, South African Republic

Sources:

Winifred Annie (Byerley) Leggott

Birth: 18 September 1898

Baptism: 30 October 1898 in the Wesleyan-Methodist Chapel, Barberton, South African Republic
Winifred Annie was baptised by J. H. Hardy. She is recorded as the daughter of George Ford Byerley and Charlotte Dingwall Byerley. The parents's abode is recorded as Barberton.

Father: George Ford Byerley

Mother: Charlotte Dingwall Harper

Married: Frank Howard Leggott on 12 October 1918 in the Irish Presbyterian Church, Pietermaritzburg, Natal, South Africa
Frank Howard Leggott is recorded as a bachelor, aged 23. He is an engineer, resident in Empangeni, Zululand. Winifred Annie Byerley is recorded as a spinster, aged 20, resident in P. M. Burg. The marriage was performed by George Grieve and witnessed by Charles Lancelot Little and Lorna Selina Byerley.

Frank was born on 13 August 1896, in Barberton, South African Republic. He died in 1964.

Barberton Railway Accident 1902
Scene of the railway accident in Barberton (1902)
photograph posted by The South African
Military History Society
, original courtesy of the Barberton Museum
Notes: As a child, Winifred was involved in a railway accident in Barberton. Her mother was returning from Lourenço Marques with her, her sister and her uncle, Edward Byerley. One of daughters was thrown from the train and Charlotte and the other daughter were pinned underneath an overturned carriage, but all survived. Presumably this accident was the one that occurred on 30 March 1902 in which 49 people died.

Death: 1948

Sources:
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