I searched eagerly for Bayleys in Loudoun County, Virginia and found none. At first I wondered if the Kilgores had gotten it wrong too since no such family was showing. Then I noticed on one of the pages that often the name Bayley was also in some cases spelled Bailey, Baily, Bayles, and Bayless.
A light went on. I went back to the estates of James Frier and Robert Muir and that odd name all of us had seen for decades made sense. John Bayles was a witness to the estates of James Frier and John Bayless was a witness to Robert Muir’s will. Also, Martina was a very rare name. I had never seen it before in my research so there couldn’t be many of them. If I could find a Martina Bayles or Bayless, that would be a huge step in the right direction.
The Lost Bayles Sisters
As it turned out, this was the only step I needed. My first Google search for Martina Bayles led me to a page on www.genealogy.com posted by Sherry Bayless.
Martina Bayles (b. 10 Dec 1741, d. date unknown)
I noted that Martina was there with dates and nothing else and that nobody knew what had happened to her. Her life was a blank, lost to history.
A further quick search led me to a book, The Bayles Family of Long Island and New Jersey and Their Descendants by Howard Green Bayles, published in 1945.
It was on the Internet in PDF form so I downloaded it and turned to the pages with the Daniel Bayles and Joanna Lake family, knowing that I needed to see Phoebe and Abigail there to prove my theory.
I read down the list of children of Daniel and Joanna Bayles there they were in order with dates of birth:
- Daniel Bayles born 13 Oct 1737
- Phoebe Bayles born 25 Oct 1739
- Martina Bayles born 10 Dec 1741
- Abigail Bayles born 26 Jun 1744
- John Bayles born 26 Nov 1746, married Ann Price of Loudoun Co., VA.
That was as far as I needed to read. Here were Phoebe, Martina and Abigail and even the mysterious John Bayless of Loudoun Co., VA. The book also gave the answer to my first question (What was the source of the information?) It says that the dates of the birth of the children are from a family Bible record from Mrs. Mary Hoss Headman. Mrs. Headman was still living in 1945 but died in 1956 at the age of 81 in Knoxville, TN. She was a direct descendant of the Bayles families who went to Washington Co., TN in the 1780s.
I have studied the Bayles records thoroughly. Nobody in the family knew what had happened to the three sisters. they vanished from history. In all the publications, no marriage is given nor is there a date of death for any of them.
Where did these couples marry? It seems that Daniel Bayles and family lived in Cecil Co., MD from about 1758 to about 1768. We know the Kilgores lived in Cecil Co., MD at the same time and that James Frier Sr lived there until 1762 and then moved across the state line to Chester Co., PA. Robert Muir’s location at this time was uncertain until I looked at the deeds in Cecil Co., Maryland and found that he had made a bill of sale of all his household property to Daniel Bayles in 1764. This was common when a person was moving to another area and did not want to move all the possessions. Many times this property was deeded to a relative. Then we discovered a notice from 1753 that one Robert Muir had run away from redemptionist servitude in Delaware, just a few miles from Cecil Co., Maryland, placing him in the area before 1769, when he leased land in Loudoun Co., VA. The entire family left for Loudoun Co., VA in the mid-1760s. James Frier Jr. was there before 1766, Robert Muir by 1769 and the Kilgores about the same time. Danile Bayles Sr. sold his property in 1770 and went to Loudoun Co., VA. Note that James Frier named his eldest son Daniel after his wife’s father and his daughter Phoebe after his sister-in-law, Phoebe Muir. One last bit of information. Robert Frier, the son of James Frier Jr., mentioned in the 1771 will, turned up in Washington Co., TN in 1782, along with the entire Bayles family. My thought is that after James Frier died 1771, his widow Abigail joined her family members when they went to Tennessee. By the way, Abigail’s son Robert named two of his daughters Abigail and Phebe.