Family Affair

Keitt|Sapp|Shumake|McRae|McMillian|Clark|Ryal - All from Georgia

“Over the course of the millennia, all these ancestors in your tree, generation upon generation, have come down to this moment in time—to give birth to you. There has never been, nor will ever be, another like you. You have been given a tremendous responsibility. You carry the hopes and dreams of all those who have gone before. Hopes and dreams for a better world. What will you do with your time on this Earth? How will you contribute to the ongoing story of humankind?” ~ Laurence Overmire

Helen and Betty Ryals as little girls


The family name Ryals is believed to have originated in this region, specifically in Forez, where the family has been a prominent family for centuries, and were seated with lands and manor. The family was well established in this region and several members of the family distinguished themselves through their contributions toward the community in which they lived. They were rewarded with lands, titles and letters patent confirming their nobility.
Throughout the course of history most surnames have undergone change for many reasons. A son may have chosen not to spell his name the same way that his father did. Many are simple spelling changes by a person who gave his version, phonetically, to a scribe, a priest, or a recorder. Many names held prefixes or suffixes which became optional as they passed through the centuries, or were adopted by different branches to signify either a political or religious adherence. Hence, we have many variations in this name, Ryals some of which are Real, Reael, Reaele, Reals, Riel, Rielle, Rill, Rille, Rile, Rele, Relle, Rels, Rhels, Rhelle, Rhel Riels, Rhels, van Riel, van Rielle, Reau, Rheaume, Reaumur, Reaume but all are included in the basic origin of the surname.
During the 12th century, Forez on the west bank of the Rhone enjoyed great prosperity. The north and south formed two separate regions of trading. Later, in the 14th century, development of the transport system linking Forez to St. Germain-Laval, and north to Nevers brought even greater prosperity. The Counts of Bourbon acquired sovereignty over the region in 1372 and the House of Bourbon maintained their rule for the next two centuries.

First found in Forez, a former region of France and began as a part of the Roman Empire, where the family has been the prominent family for centuries, and held a family seat with lands and manor. The family were well established in this region and several members of the family distinguished themselves through their contributions toward the community of which they lived. They were rewarded with lands, titles and letters patent confirming their nobility.

My Connection:
My great grandfather Essex Ryals (b.1862-1932), is a real mystery.   His parents were Frank and Katie Ryals, both from Georgia, of which I have no knowledge, this is information that I was told, and have not been able to find him in any census with his parents.
There are quite a few Essex Ryals in the Alamo, Georgia area at the same time.  My Essex Ryals married Susie Mary McRae (b.1875) also from Georgia. and they had 12 children;Franklin, Emma, Carrie, Moses, George, Pinkney, Maxie (my maternal grandfather), Fayto, Joseph, Ralph, Catherine, and Susie.

This side of the family is still a bit of a mystery to me, but I am hoping to find more when I am able to spend more time in Montgomery County, Ga.

Links to Ryals Posts

70th Birthday