Select Tyson Miscellany



Here are some Tyson stories and accounts over the years:

Gilbert Tyson of Alnwick


Tradition holds that after the Battle of Hastings William the Conqueror bestowed the barony of Alnwick in Northumberland to his standard-bearer Gilbert Tyson.  But the reality appears to have been that Gilbert already held the estate, having received it at the time of Edward the Confessor, and that he fought and died fighting against William at Hastings.

Gilbert's son William stepped into his role as lord of the manor at Alnwick.  His lands later passed to the Norman lord de Vesci.   It may have been that the transition occurred peacefully, William's daughter Alda marrying Ivo de Vesci.  Or it may have been that William was forcibly removed from his properties.

Some have said that these Tysons were Saxon rather than Norman.  But Gilbert may have been Norman after all. Tyson or Tesson was a Norman baronial family descended from Radulphus Taxo of Angers who founded the Abbey of Fontenay near Caen. 


Early Tyson Wills in Eskdale

1567
John Tyson
Eskdale (Bakerthwaite)
1576
Isabel Tyson
Eskdale (Birker)
1584
Edward Tyson
Eskdale (Birker)
1588
Roger Tyson
Eskdale
1596
Richard Tyson
Eskdale (Birker)



Tim Tyson and Colin Dodgson in the Lake District

Tim Tyson and Colin Dodgson were insatiable hill-climbers from Grasmere.  Colin ran a tearoom in the village, while Tim the local shoemaker.  Colin was a sort of über-bagger and the older Tim was happy enough to let his friend wander off to the more obscure bumps alone.

Although they finished their Munros together on Mull in 1951, only Dodgson’s name appears in the list.  “Don’t go writing a lot about me,” said Tyson when interviewed by Harry Griffin for the Manchester Guardian.

The pair’s love of the hills extended to the liquid bits and Griffin – the greatest of all hill journalists – was able to write a Guardian piece in 1959 entitled “Cold comfort for the tarn baggers”.  This marked Tyson and Dodgson completing their dips in all 463 Lakeland tarns with one on Esk Pike.  That wasn’t enough for them, though.  The pair revised their list and eventually plunged into 534 tarns and 195 pools.



Tyson Surname Distribution in the UK in 1891

County
Numbers
Percent



Cumberland
  610
  18%
Westmoreland
  140
   4%
Lancashire
 1,150
  34%
Yorkshire
  350
  10%
London
  350
  10%
Elsewhere
  800
  24%
Total
 3,400
 100%


James Tyson the Australian Rancher


Isabella Tyson had been convicted of theft and transported to Australia in 1809 and her husband William and young son travelled on the transport ship out with her.  And so began for this family a period of hardship, courage, bravery, and survival.  They were real pioneers in the early days of settlement in Australia.  Isabella and William were to have nine children in total, of which James was the third.  James Tyson turned out to be a fine-looking man, six foot four inches tall, hard working and fair minded. 

His fortune was founded on success in butchering on the Bendigo goldfields.  It was extended by canny buying, knowledge of cattle and of stockroutes, pastoral lending, and the judicious selection of enormous leaseholds to provide a chain of supply from north Queensland into Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney.    

He was a byword for wealth and a legend during his own lifetime.  Unmarried and without heirs, he died in 1898 without leaving a will.  Many Tysons back in England, hearing of developments, pushed their case that they should inherit his fortune.  The Liverpool Mercury, for instance, carried this article in early 1899:

"It appears that there are claimants in Flintshire to the millions left by the late James Tyson the Australian millionaire.  The claimants reside in the neighborhood of Northop Hall near Hawarden and consist of two branches of the family, descended from Tyson who came from Ireland in the last century with the proprietors of the Irish colliery.

It is Peter Tyson from Northop Hall who claims to be a cousin of the late millionaire.  Five years earlier, his sister Mary had spent some time researching the family pedigree and had written to James Tyson claiming to be a relative through his grandmother."

The following article appeared more recently in the Journal of the Cumberland Family History Society.

"A century ago anybody and everybody with the name of Tyson, possibly for the first time in their lives, suddenly became fascinated with the precise details of their ancestry.  In an article about the importance of wills, the treasurer of this society wrote:

'When I became vicar of the remote parish of Ulpha, in every register I found old letters addressed to one of my predecessors thus - Dear Sir: re. Tyson millions - from which I gathered that the said Mr. Tyson had died intestate and that dozens of hopeful Tysons hoped to acquire a share of his wealth.'"

James Tyson's estate, which realized £2 million, was eventually divided among his next of kin after an extended series of court cases.


Archibald Tyson of Lowndes County, Alabama


Archibald Tyson left Pitt county, North Carolina for Alabama in 1828.   According to the family tradition he journeyed for five weeks with twelve Negroes and ten mules to get to Alabama.  Archibald married in 1843 and he and his wife Sarah built their antebellum house in Lowndesboro known as The Pillars.  He was remembered there as a successful cotton farmer of practical means who would not allow his overseers to whip his slaves.

When the Civil War ended, he had on hand 500 slaves to set free.  But he had come through the war with 500 bales of stored cotton and $10,000 in saved gold.  Archibald's descendants still live in the area.


John W. Tyson of Tyson Foods

According to company lore, truck driver John W. Tyson ran out of gas in Springdale, Arkansas and decided to settle there.  He hauled hay, fruit, and chickens for several years. 

When he was unable to get enough freight work in Arkansas he spent his life savings to buy a truckload of chickens and drove them to Chicago where they sold for a higher price.  He repeated this procedure several times, then bought several more trucks, and became a leading supplier of chickens in several major cities across the Midwest.

In 1935, when he was unable to purchase enough chickens to supply his route, he began raising his own chickens and milling feed.  Tyson Feed & Hatchery opened its first processing plant in 1957 and went public as Tyson's Foods in 1963.

Tyson and his wife were killed in 1967 when their car was broadsided by a speeding train.  At the company's headquarters a replica of its founder's office is maintained, with a clock on the wall stopped at the moment of his death.

The business, known as Tyson Foods since 1971, is now the world's largest beef processing firm, America's second largest chicken supplier, and a leader in pork production.


Reader Feedback - Tysons from Germany

In 1987 one of my cousins compiled a Cornelius Tyson Descendant Book:  1652-1986.  She lived in Wood County Ohio where most of the Tysons settled.  

Cornelius Tyson was believed to be born in Krefeld (Crefeld) Germany in 1652.  The exact date of his arrival in America is unknown.  He was noted in Germantown when the town was formed in 1684.  Reynier had arrived in Germantown in 1683 aboard the Concord but there is no proof that Corneilius and Reynier were brothers.  

Cornelius was married to Margaret and they were Mennonites in the Skippack area.   According to his will, he was a weaver, lawyer and surveyor (these documents at the Library of the University of Massachusetts).  He was named as one of the original settlers of Germantown history.  

Cornelius’s first son Matthias was born in Krefeld Germany in 1682 and came to this country with his parents.  Matthias married Barbara Sellen and Mathias was a business man, oil miller and attorney in Germantown.   There are deeds where he purchased tracts of land.   They lived along the Mill Road, Creamery, Pennsylvania.  

Isaac Nash Tyson's son Daniel Fry Tyson moved to Montgomery township in Wood county Ohio.  A Tyson reunion is held each year and I believe it is over 100 years now. 

Tysons of Wood County (tmehall@midco.net).




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