John Sayles gravestone
(Photo by Vernon B. Paddock)

B. 1815 in Queens County, Ireland
D. July 19, 1879
Find A Grave memorial (click here)

  • Wife: Betsey E. (Owens) Sayles born about 1815 in New York; married John Sayles in 1841 in New York; in 1880 after the death of her husband, John, Betsey lived with her son Frank and his wife, Jane in Grant Township, Lake County, IL; Betsey died February 19, 1883 (aged 67 years); buried in Grass Lake Cemetery, Antioch, Lake County, IL.
  • Children:
    1. Ellen Jane Sayles born about 1841 in New York
    2. Francis “Frank” H. Sayles born about 1847 in Wisconsin; married Jane A. Johnson on December 29, 1870 in Lake County, IL
    3. Cynthia A. (Sayles) Dunnill born April 29, 1850 in Fox Lake, Lake County, IL; married Harry (Henry) Dunnill (1838-1896) on November 25, 1868 in Lake County, IL son of Richard Dunnill and Ann (Gray) Dunnill; children born were: 1) Harry Dunnill (1869-1928); 2) William Dunnill (1871-?); 3) Albert Dunnill (1873-1937); Mabel (Dunnill) Gerretson (1876-1947); Cynthia died February 24, 1925; Cynthia and Harry are buried in Grass Lake Cemetery, Antioch, Lake County, IL;

According to “Portrait and Biographical Album of Lake County, Illinois”. Chicago, Lake City Publishing Co. 1891, page 699:

   “Harry Dunnill, proprietor of Dunnill’s Hotel, near Nippersink Point, Grant Township, is numbered among the early settlers of the county.  He was born in Yorkshire, England, about fifty-three years ago, and is a son of Richard and Ann (Gray) Dunnill.  His father was a laborer and in his native land married Miss Gray.  They determined to make their home in America and came to this country, but after two or three years returned to England, as both were in poor health during their residence in the United States.  Their last days were spent in their native land, where both died some years ago.  In their family were nine children, three of whom came to America.
   Mr. Dunnill, whose name heads this sketch, was reared to manhood upon a farm and early put to work.  He never received any educational advantages and when quite young began making his own way in the world.  At the age of eighteen years he came to America.  he first located in Allegheny, Pa., and after a short time, continued his journey to Chicago, Ill., coming thence to Lake County, where he has since made his home.  His first settlement was at Volo, where he spent about five years working for various farmers in that neighborhood.  He settled on Nippersink Point when it was wild and unimproved and has made his home here continously since.  He met the usual experience of frontier life, not escaping the hardships and trials of the pioneer, but his industry and thrift overcame all difficulties and he has become one of the substantial citizens of the community.  He has well-improved home and during the summer months keeps a hotel for city boarders which will accommodate from fifty to sixty people.
   In Volo Mr. Dunnill was united in marriage with Cynthia Sayles, the wedding ceremony being performed by ‘Squire Rogers.  unto them have been born four children, three sons and one daughter: Harry, William, Bert and Mabel.  They were educated in the public schools.  Mr. Dunnill has never become a naturalized citizen of America.  He did not take out papers because he was one of the heirs to a large property and he thought by renouncing British citizenship he might interfere with it.  He has lived a quiet, unassuming life, devoting himself alone to his business interests and with good success.”

4. Edward O. Sayles born January 1850 in Illinois; married Betsy Jane Norton (1850-1924); children born: (1) Ettie B. Sayles (1876-?); (2) Ernest F. Sayles (1879-?); (3) Grace Cynthia (Sayles) Wise (1888-1965); Edward died 1935 in Indian River County, FL; Betsy is buried in Sebastian Cemetery, Roseland, Indian River County, FL

Additional Information:

According to the 1850 U.S. Census for the Town of Goodale (Grant), the household members were:

“John Stales (sic Sayles), age 33, occupation: farmer, born in Ireland; Betsey Stales, age 33, born in New York; Ellen J. Stales, age 9, born in New York; Francis Stales, age 3, born in Illinois; Cynthia Stales, age 7/12, born in Illinois”

According to the 1860 U.S. Census for the Town of Goodale (Grant) with a Fox Lake post office, the household members were:

“John Seals (sic Sales), age 48, occupation: farming, born in Ireland; Betsey Seals, age 45, born in New York; Ellen Jane Seals, age 18, born in New York; Francis Seals, age 14, born in Wisconsin; Cynthia Seals, age 9, born in Illinois; Edward Seals, age 7, born in Illinois”

According to the U.S., Civil War Draft Registrations Records, 1863-1865; enrollment lists enumerated July 1864 listing persons in the 2nd Congressional District, Illinois between the ages of 17 and 20, and between the ages 42 and 45:

“John Sayles, resident of Goodale, Lake County, IL, farmer, born in Ireland, married (Noted: “The enrolling officer could not ascertain the ages of these men but from authority thinks they are between 42 and 45”).  Also listed is possibly John’s son, Frank Sayles, farmer, born in Canada, married, born March 1846”

According to the 1870 U.S. Census for the Town of Grant with a Fort Hill post office, the household members were:

“John Sales (sic Sayles), age 54, occupation: farmer, born in Ireland, both parents are foreign born; Betsey Sales, age 54, born in New York; Francis Sales, age 22, born in Illinois; Edward Sales, age 17, born in Illinois”

According to “The Past and Present of Lake County, Illinois”. Chicago. Wm. Le Baron & Co., 1877, page 400:

“SAYLES, JOHN, farmer; Sec. 9; P.O. Fox Lake; Dem.; Cath.; owns 160 acres, worth $5,000; born in 1815 in Queens Co., Ireland; came to N.Y. in 1829, with his mother and family; married Betsey Owens in N.Y. in 1841, and then came to Wisconsin, and after remaining there a few years settled on the farm on which he now resides in 1848; had only $100 when he came to the county; have three children – Francis, Edward and Syntha”