Chelmsford Historical Society

George Byam was probably born in England; d: May 28, 1680 in Chelmsford, MA. He was one of the earliest settlers and an upstanding member of the church, having come with Rev. John Fiske from Wenham in 1653. It is said his family was Welsh in origin, although no direct ties to English or Welsh families has been established.

In 1646, George took in the orphaned child of Sister Hersome after her death, but a family squabble later arose over the division of her estate, which became the source of agitation within the church. In 1661, George Byam, who offered to clean the meeting house when Abraham Parker refused to perform the task in the absence of John Nuttings, "…that it be kept in a desent posture & of the hower [hour] glass, Cushion &c. For a yeere." He testified on behalf of numerous persons who wished to join the church at Chelmsford and Wenham.

During a church meeting in 1657, Nathaniel Shipley was charged with lying, saying that Goodwife Byam "was a hard woman and would beat him often, and that he trod on her toes and did run away from her." And, he stated that while "sleeping on a plank at the mill, Thomas Adams took [him] by the heels and hung him over the pond and made him believe he would drown him if he would not help him to husk that night and come to be catechised." At this point, Abraham Parker speaks out, "drown the rogue." Shipley was charged and confessed to five lies.

In 1835, Ezekial Byam was the first to commercially produce Lucifer matches in this country, replacing the flint and tinder method if lighting fires. One hundred matches sold for twenty-five cents. One ignited the match by drawing it through a piece of bent sandpaper. His son, Ezekial, continued the business of matchmaking, which is still known as the "Diamond Match Company." The following verse was printed on the wrapper:

For quickness and sureness the public will find

These matches will leave all others behind;

Without further remarks we invite you to try 'em,

Remember all good that are signed by

E. Byam


The following persons with the name Byam were born in the town of Chelmsford, MA:


BYAM (see also Biam, Boyam, Byham),

Abigail, d. Abraham and Hannah, Sept. 29, 1731.

Abraham, s. Abraham and Mary, Feb. 10, 1713.

Amos, s. Henry and Lucy, July 3, 1754.

Amos, s. Amos and Sarah [(Peirce). P. R. 25.], Apr. 24, 1784. Amos Adams, s. Amos and Lucy, Sept. 9, 1808.

Ann Relief, d. Henry and Relief, July 25, 1827. Anna, d. John and Sarah, July 5, 1791.

Arabella Parker, d. Josiah and Sophronia, Mar. 13, 1830.

Aseph, s. Amos and Sarah [ (Peirce) . P. R. 25.], Jan. 29, 1791.

Augustus Bateman, s. W[illia]m A., farmer, and Mercy M, Oct. 4, 1849.

Austin Grosvener, s. Henry and Relief, Oct. 2, 1836.

Benjamin, s. Abraham and Hanah, Nov. 29, 1733.

Benja[min], s. Benja[min] and Mary, July 15, 1769.

Betsy Procter, d. Solomon and Abi, Dec. 20, 1803.

Betty, d. Benja[min] and Mary, Dec. 10, 1766.

Charles Wellington, s. Henry and Relief, June 19, 1832.

Chellis Carpenter, s. Stillman, wheelwright, and Mary A., at Baptist Village, Mar. 8, 1847.

Clarina A., d. Solomon and Abi (Adams), Apr. 18, 1808. P. R. 13.

Daniel Proctor, s. Marcus D. and Mary [(Proctor). P. R. 13: Nov. 8, 1841.

Deliverance, d. John and Sarah, Dec. 4, 1789.

Diliverance, d. John and Sarah, Dec. 4, 1768.

Ephraim Albert, s. Stillman, wheelwright, and Mary Ann, at Baptist Village, Nov. 7, 1844.

Ephraim L., s. Solomon and Abi (Adams), Aug. 16, 1812. P. R. 13.

Ezekel, s. William and Rebeckah Sept. 13, 1795.

Francis Charles, s. W[illia]m A., farmer, and Mercy, at Bap­tist Village, Aug. 18, 1847.

Frank Colby, s. Solomon E., farmer; and Hannah, at Bap­tist Village, Mar. 26, 1848.

George Henry, s. Henry and Relief, Sept. 7, 1829.

George Otis, s. Otis and Lavinia, at Boston, Apr. 2, 1829.

Hannah, d. John and Sarah, May 10, 1785.

Henry, s. Amos and Sarah [ (Peirce) . P. R. 25.], Oct. 23; 1788:: [Oct. 2. P. R. 25.]

Henry Augustus, s. Henry and Relief, July 10, 1825.

Henry Stillman, s. Stillman and Mary Ann, Sept. 20, 1841.

James, s. John and Sary, Feb. 18, 1764.

Jemimah, d. Abraham and Hannah, Jan. 24, 1735-6.

Joanna, d. Jacob and Sary, June 24, 1734.

John, s. Isaac and Mary, Feb. 7, 1730-31.

John, s. John and Sary, June 28, 1761.

John, s. Josiah and Sophronia, Feb. 5, 1832.

John Bateman, s. Ezekiel and Charlotte, Mar. 21, 1823.

Jonathan, s. Jacob, jr. and Sarah [of No. 6. c. R. 1.], Dec. 9: 1753.

Josephine, d. Josiah and Sophronia, Nov. 15, 1840.

Josiah, s. Solomon and Abi, May 8, 1795.

Laura, d. Solomon and Abi (Adams), Jan. 13, 1815. P. R. 13

Laura Jane, d. Marcus D. and Rebecca [(Chamberlain). P. R. 13.], June 24, 1834.

Lucinda Catharine, d. Josiah and Sophronia, Sept. 10, 1825.

Lucy, d. Amos and Sarah [(Peirce). P. R. 25.], Sept. 17, 1780.

Lucy Marind[a], d. Amos and Lucy, Feb. 15, 1811.

Lysander Marcus, s. Marcus D. and Rebecca {(Chamberlain). P. R. 13.], Nov. 26, 1837.

Marcus D., s. Solomon and Abi (Adams), Apr. 15, 1805. P. R. 13.

Mary, d. Abraham and Mary, Nov. 8, 1708.

Mary, d. Henry and Lucy, Dec. 13, 1757.

Mary, d. John and Sarah, Jan. 25, 1776.

Mary, d. Solomon and Abi, Sept. 20, 1801.

Mary Savell, d. Henry, farmer, and Relief S., May 4, 1845.

Mercy Elzina, d. W[illia]m A., farmer, and Mercy M. [at Baptist Village. dup.], Sept. 11, 1844,

Molley, d. Amos and Sarah [(Peirce). P. R. 25.], July 8, 1782.

Olive, d. John and Sary, Oct. 29, 1762.

Oliver, s. Henry and Lucey, May 30, 1762.

Otis, s. Solomon and Abi, Feb. 27, 1799.

Patty, d. Solomon and Abi [(Adams). P. R. 13. ], June 8, 1791.

Raymond Stratton, s. Otis and Lavina, Nov. 15, 1839.

Rebeckah, d. Henry and Lucey, Dec. 7, 1759.

Rebeckah, d. Amos and Sarah [(Peirce). P. R. 25.), July 23, 1787.

Roxanna, d. Josiah and Sophronia, Sept. 3, 1836.

Rufus, s. Amos and Lucy, Sept. 9, 1816.

Rufus G., s. Rufus, farmer, and Eunice G., May 15, 1845.

Salathial, s. Solomon and Abi, Feb. 5, 1797.

Sally, d. John and Sarah, Jan. 12, 1787.

Samuel, s. Isaac and Mary, Feb. 14, 1729-30.

Samuel, s. Jacob and Sarah, Aug. 13, 1736.

Samuel Leander, s. Otis and Lavina, May 10, 1837.

Sarah, d. Jacob and Sarah, June 26, 1729.

Sarah, d. John and Sarah, Dec. 15, 1758.

Sarah Lavinia, d. Otis and Lavina, at Boston, Feb. 27, 1835.

Sarah Parkhurst, d. Henry and Relief, Oct. 3, 1834.

Simeon, s.. John and Sarah, Jan. 30, 1767.

Solomon, s. John and Sarah, May 17, 1770.

Solomon E., s. Solomon and Abi (Adams), July 13, 1810. P. R. 13.

Sophronia Ann, d. Josiah and Sophronia, Apr. 25, 1824.

Stillman, s. Solomon and Abi (Adams), Sept. 11, 1817. P. R. 13.

Susanna, d. John and Sary, Mar. 18, 1760.

Susanna, d. Josiah and Sophronia, Sept. 12, 1838.

Thankfull, d. John and Sarah, Nov. 1, 1765.

Tryphena, d. Solomon and Abi, Feb. 20, 1793.

Willard, s. Henry and Lucy, Mar. 16, 1756.

Willard, s. John and Sarah, Jan. 23, 1778.

William, s. John and Sarah, Oct. 28, 1772.

William Augustus, s. Ezekiel and Charlotte, July 20, 1820.

Zebediah, s. Benjamin and Mary, Jan. 10, 1761.

BYHAM (see also Byam), Abel, s. Jacob, jr. and Sarah, Jan. 4, 1747-8.

Abel, s. Lt. Benjamin and Mary, Oct. 18, 1762.

Dorcas, d. Abraham and Hanah, Feb. 16, 1729-30.

Elizabeth, d. Jacob and Sarah, Mar. 11, 1731-2.

Experiance, d. Abraham and Mary, May 4, 1723.

Henry, s. Abraham and Mary, Sept. 27, 1720.

Henry, s. Henry and Lucy, May 15, 1750.

Jacob, s. Jacob and Sarah, July 3, 1724.

Jacob, s. Jacob, jr. and Sarah, Apr. 16, 1749.

Jessee, s. Jacob and Sarah, Oct. 22, 1750.

Joseph, s. Jacob and Sarah, Aug. 15, 1744.

Mary, d. Isaac and Mary, Feb. 12, 1725-6.

Patty, d. John and Sarah, bp. July 31, 1774. c. R. 1.

Pheneas, s. Jacob and Sarah, Feb. 25, 1725-6.

Rachal, d. Jacob and Sarah, May 20, 1739.

Sarah, d. Jacob and Sarah, Mar. 27, 1722.

Sarah, d. Lt. Benjamin and Mary, Oct. 25, 1764.

Thomus, s. Abraham and Mary, Feb. 24, 1715-16.


Information sources include Chelmsford Vital Records to 1850, the Notebook of the Rev. John Fiske, and the History of Chelmsford Massachusetts, by Wilson Waters.

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