Dr. John Nelson Byers was born in Ontario, in October of 1841. He was the 2nd of 10 children born to Samuel Byers and the former Margaret Jane Rouse. He was raised in Durham Twp with his siblings; Elizabeth Jane Byers, Andrew Allen Byers, George Henry Byers, William Byers, Jenette “Christena” (Byers) Asling (died while giving birth in 1877, her baby girl Rosie May Asling died a few days later), David James Byers, Mary Agnes Byers, Ella Matilda Byers and Raymond Montemore Byers. His father was a cabinet maker and a farmer.
Dr. Byers graduated M.D. from Victoria College Medical School in 1869. According to the 1872 Ontario Medical Register, Dr. Byers joined the College of Physicians and Surgeons on the 8th of July, 1869.
He married Jeanette Pennington Hadwen shortly after he graduated. Mrs. Byers was born in Lancashire, England in 1842. She was the youngest of 9 children born to Robert Mitchell Thomas Hadwen and the former Jeanette Pennington. Her parents were farmers and her siblings were; John, Robert, Ann, Mary, Matthew, Isabelle, Ellen and Alice (who died at the age of 2).
Dr. and Mrs. Byers first settled in Bracebridge, Ontario. In 1875 the Byers family re-located to Nobleton in York County.
Dr. and Mrs. Byers had 5 children; Samuel John Nelson Matthew Byers was born in Bracebridge on the 17th of March 1870, George Allan Byers was born in Bracebridge on the 19th of August, 1873. Their daughter Margaret Jane ‘Eleanor’ Byers was born in Nobleton, Ontario on the 19th of September, 1875, William ‘Robert’ Charles Hadwen Byers was born in Nobleton on the 3rd of December, 1877 and Jeremiah ‘Bernard’ Chapman Byers was born in Nobleton on the 20th of January, 1882.
According to the 1891 census, the Byers family was living in the Town of Uxbridge.
By 1893, Dr. and Mrs. Byers were living in Dresden. Dr. Byers advertised his medical practice in the Ontario Directory and Gazetteer. While they were living in Dresden, Dr. and Mrs. Byers’ daughter Eleanor married Dr. Oscar Charles Hopper on the 19th of April, 1899 in Dresden. Dr. Hopper was raised in Chatham-Kent, but he is not known to have practiced medicine in Chatham-Kent. Dr. Byers advertised his Dresden medical practice in the Farmers and Business Directory of 1900.
Between 1900 and 1904, Dr. and Mrs. Byers moved to Fontanelle Twp in Nebraska, but in February of 1904 Dr. Byers made application to be homesteaders in Alberta. On the declaration, Dr. Byers advised that he was temporarily residing with his son while his home was being constructed.
According to the 1910 U.S. Census, Dr. and Mrs. Byers had returned to Fontanelle Twp., (Washington County) in Nebraska. After Dr. and Mrs. Byers moved to Nebraska their sons Samuel, George and Robert all became doctors. (His son, Bernard moved to Alberta where he farmed.)
Dr. Byers died in York, Ontario on the 6th of July, 1910. At the time of his death, he resided at 142 Chester Street in Toronto. He was buried at the Bethel Cemetery in Durham County.
After the death of Dr. Byers, Mrs. Byers lived with her daughter Eleanor and her husband Dr. Oscar Hopper in Stanton, Nebraska, according to the 1920 U.S. Census. Her daughter, Eleanor died on the 20th of April, 1920 and she was buried in Stanton, Nebraska. Mrs. Byers went to live with her son, Dr. Robert Byers in Fremont, Nebraska and she was listed with his family on the 1930 U.S. Census. Mrs. Byers died on the 3rd of May, 1938. She was buried at the Stanton Cemetery, Stanton County, Nebraska, USA.
*Dr. Byers’ brother David James Byers became a physician. Dr. Byers’ son Dr. George Allen Byers served with the U.S. Military during WWI. His son, Dr. William Robert Charles Hadwen Byers also served with the U.S. Military during World War I. His son Dr. Samuel John Nelson Matthew Byers graduated from the University of Western Ontario in 1899 and practiced medicine in Nebraska and Alberta. He died in Alberta on the 4th of April, 1948.
**Mrs. Byers’ sister Isabelle Hadwen married Dr. Culling Erdely Knowlys, who practiced medicine in Toronto. Mrs. Isabelle Knowlys died of typhoid on the 30 of October, 1872 at the age of 36.