m. 9 MAY 1724
m. 14 APR 1748
Facts and Events
William Byrd III (September 6, 1728 – January 1 or January 2, 1777) was the son of William Byrd II and the grandson of William Byrd I. He inherited his family's land in Virginia and continued their planter prestige as a member of the Virginia House of Burgesses.
He chose to fight in the French and Indian War rather than spend much time in Richmond. In 1756 he was colonel of the 2d Virginia regiment.
William Byrd III had a reputation as a notorious gambler. He initiated what was said to have been the first major horse race in the New World, involving other planters Samuel Ogle, John Tayloe II, Francis Thornton, and Benjamin Tasker, Jr.
Byrd III eventually fathered five children by his first wife (Eliza Carter, m. 1748, d. 1760), moved to Annapolis, and fathered ten more by his second wife, Mary Willing, daughter of Charles Willing of Philadelphia. After he squandered the Byrd fortune on gambling and bad investments, Byrd III parceled up the family estate and sold its lots in 1768. He also sold the enslaved laborers who had worked at his estate.
Byrd III committed suicide on January 1 or 2, 1777.
The 10 children of his second marriage (to Mary Willing) were: Maria Horsmanden Byrd, Evelyn Taylor Byrd, Charles Willing Byrd (died as child), Abby Byrd, Anne Willing Byrd, William Boyd Byrd, Charles Willing Byrd, Dorothy Byrd (died as child), Jane Byrd and Richard Willing Byrd.