Ancestor Stories

Jacob Syers

Jacob Syers was my great grandfather. He was also known as Jake, Jack and John and was terribly hard to find! It turns out that Jacob was married 1st to Virginia Sullivan in Union Co, KY. An elderly relative told me the story that Jacob caught his wife in a compromising situation with his brother and packed up the family and moved them to Saline County, IL. He became a traveling salesman in the coal industry and his main office was in Peoria, IL.

His 2nd wife was Grace Mae Horrell (Mace) Syers. Together they had 1 daughter, Clarice Eleanor Syers.


  • 11 Sep 1873 - Born DeKoven, Union County, KY
  • 1880 - enumerated with parents and siblings in Caseyville, Union Co, KY
    • John Siars 35
    • Royena Siars 32
    • John Siars 12
    • William Siars 10
    • Fredrick Siars 8
    • Jacob Siars 6
    • Henry Siars 4
  • 24 Dec 1895 - Married Letha Virginia Sullivan Henderson County, KY
  • 1900 - enumerated in Caseyville, Union County, KY
  • 1910 - enumerated in Caseyville, Union County, KY
  • Moved to Harrisburg, Saline County between 1910 - 1920 from Union County, KY
  • 12 Sep 1915 - Age 45 registered for WW1 draft in Union County, IL, blue eyes, 5'9", dark hair
  • 1916 - Married my great grandmother Grace Horrell
  • 1918 - Wilma SYERS born to Letha Virginia Sullivan SYERS and Jacob SYERS
  • 1918 - Eleanore SYERS born to Grace Horrell SYERS and Jacob SYERS
  • 1920 - Photos of Jacob, Grace & Eleanore taken in Peoria, IL
  • 1920 - on census records with Letha in Saline County, IL
  • 1920 - on census records with Grace in Madison County, IL
  • 1933, 1935, 1936 - listed in City directories in Peoria, ILL
  • 1935 - Grace obtained divorce in Madison County, IL
  • 1936 - applied for Social Security Card in Peoria, ILL - I have a copy of the application
  • 1 April 1940 - enumerated in Union County, KY with 1st wife
  • 17 Dec 1940 - passed away in Harrisburg, buried with first wife ... Jacob died first
Eleanor and her father Jacob
Clarice Eleanor Syers with her father Jacob

Jacob Syers
Jacob Syers, Images were scanned from postcards marked Novelty Photo Studio, 502 1/2 Adams, Peoria, Illinois (Wm. Iritz, Prop)

Jacob Syers
Jacob Syers, Images were scanned from postcards marked Novelty Photo Studio, 502 1/2 Adams, Peoria, Illinois (Wm. Iritz, Prop)

Jacob Syers the traveling salesman

Family Group for Jacob Syers

Husband: Jacob Syers
Birth: 11 Sep 1873 Place: DeKoven, Union County, KY
Death: 17 Dec 1940 Place: Harrisburg, Saline County, Illinois
Father: John Syers (1843-1912)
Mother: Roxena Boettger (1848-1899)
Marriage: 24 Dec 1895 Place: Commerical Point, KY
Wife: Letha Virginia Sullivan
Birth: 11 Oct 1878 Place: Crittenden Co, KY
Death: 10 Apr 1961 Place: Saline Co, Illinois
Father: David Sullivan
Mother: Nancy Cordelia Newcomb
1. F Child: Lista Syers
Birth: 6 Sep 1896 Place: Kentucky
Death: About 10 May 1983
Spouse: Benjamin Bell
2. M Child: Talbott Syers
Birth: 6 Mar 1899 Place: Kentucky
Death: 2 Feb 1972 Place: Saline Co, Illinois
Spouse: Helen Hazley
-------------------------------------------------- 3. F Child: Ethna Syers
Birth: 1901 Place: Kentucky
Death: 1980
Spouse: Herman King
4. F Child: Madge Syers
Birth: 1904 Place: Kentucky
Death: 1980
Spouse: John Swartz
5. F Child: Wilma Syers
Birth: 26 Feb 1918 Place: Illinois
Death: 3 Jan 1926 Place: Saline Co, Illinois
Husband’s Notes...
Notes: According to Earl (nephew) and Jennie Syers, Jacob worked for the Peoria Mining Co. Another relative reported that he worked for the Austin Powder Company. Census records can be found on him for 1900 (Union Co, KY), 1910 (Union Co, KY), and 1920 (Saline Co, Illinois). On the 1920 Saline Co, Illinois census he is listed as a traveling salesman.

His nephew, Earl remembers that he traveled a lot and was often away from home. He and his wife "Kit" didn't always get along. His death certificate lists his immediate cause of death as cardiac decompenstion due to Lyrnphatic Leukemia, splenomeyaly, nephrolithians. Madge Schwartz, Harrisburg, Illinois is listed as the informant.

His place of burial is Sunset Hill Cemetery at Harrisburg. The occupation listed on the death certificate is Salesman for the Western Mfg. Co. Jennie believes that she has seen photos of this Jacob and they are the same images that I found among my grandmother's photos and marked as her father.

Wife’s Notes...
Notes: Some researchers have referred to her as Katherine, but Earl and Jennie Syers remember her being called "Kit". She and Jacob were having some marital problems. I don't know if they divorced or not.Jacob and his first wife were married at her father's home in Commerical Point, KY. She and Jacob are buried in Sunset Hills, Cemetery, Harrisburg, Saline Co, Illinois.

Jacob's second marriage was to Grace Mae Horrell (MACE) Syers in 1916, location unknown. These are my great grandparents.