According to Family Tree DNA, my DNA did not match any other Byars who had been tested in South Carolina, North Carolina, or Virginia. Those were all places where, according to my grandfather’s family tree, my ancestors had lived.
Rather, my DNA matched three gentlemen surnamed Sarrett, Surrette, and Surritt. In fact, the probability of a common ancestor within just two generations was 59.37%. Within three generations the probability jumped to 74.10% and within five generations the probability jumped to 89.48%. We very likely share a common ancestor within that last 125 years.
I decided to return to the family tree that I had discovered online to see if there were any Sarrett names. It was then that I realized the family tree was hosted on the SARRETT/SARRATT/SURRATT Families of America (SFA) site.
I then looked back through my grandfather’s notes and found this picture. My great grandfather Willie Forest Byars had married Julia Ann Robbs in 1914. Here was a photo of the Robbs School in Cherokee County, South Carolina, from that year. On the last row, far right, stands Fitzhue Robbs. I remember my grandfather often talking about Uncle Fitzhue and seeing a photo on his bookshelf taken of him with Uncle Fitzhue. Also mentioned in the picture are an Ethel Sarratt and a Quentin Sarratt. On the upper right of the page, is a photo captioned “Sarratt and Sims Com–“.
All of this was fascinating, but I still wondered where my family was from originally.