There are a number of records of a certain John Beal, beginning with the 1790 United States Census and ending with a document concerning the sale of his estate in 1836. These documents seem to refer to the same man, forming a biography of a sort. This paper will attempt to use the documents to describe what we know of John but, equally, to identify his descendants and so construct a family tree. We begin with the man we believe to be his father, Thomas Beal ( c. 1740-1823 ) and continue with John and his sons and their families. There will be some speculation and inference here. It will be identified as such. Further research will prove or disprove the validity of the inferences. The value of the inferences is that they give us a direction for our further research.
THOMAS BEAL ( c.1740-1823 )
The first record of Thomas is in the will of his father-in-law, Daniel Norris, in Orange County, North Carolina in 1765 ( 1 ). Chatham County was formed from Orange County in 1771. Daniel bequeathed " the plantation whereon I now live containing two hundred and twenty acres of land lying on both sides the Bear Creek, after the death of his mother, to him, his heirs and assigns forever". This statement raises an interesting question. Was Daniel married to Thomas's mother ? If so, then mother and son married father and daughter. Thomas's wife was Ann Norris. From later census data, their first children were born by about 1760. Thomas's birth has been estimated to be in about 1740, simply because of the age of his children and the date of his death ( 1823 ). Thomas was quite active in Chatham County affairs. He served in Captain Joab Brooks's Company in the Chatham County Militia in 1772 ( 2 ). He had regular service as a juror, was
often a member of a jury chosen to lay out a road that was to be built and had responsibility for road maintenance, probably along the road on which he lived ( 3 ).
From his land dealings, it appears that he may have inherited some money. His first recorded purchase was in 1769 when he purchased 75 acres for 30 lbs. By 1821 he had purchased a total of 1090 acres for 251 lbs. He acquired another 1051 acres by way of land grants from the State of North Carolina. By 1818 he had sold 1656 acres, including 200 acres to his son John and 100 acres to son Thomas, Jr.. In 1821 he gave 300 acres to his youngest son Britain, then age 16. In his will, dated 1 March 1820, he left another 220 acres to Britain and an unnamed amount to his grandson Archibald.
Thomas was the father of sons Daniel, John, Joshua, Thomas, Jr., Benjamin
and Britain and of daughters Mary Smith, Patsy Poplin, Ann Taylor, Lyda
Dotson and Jenny Dotson ( 4 ).
JOHN BEAL ( c. 1760-1836 )
John's age is given in the 1830 Chatham County Census as 60-70. His implied birth year is
then 1760-1770. He is the right age and has the right name to be the son of Thomas and Ann Norris Beal. He named one son Thomas, as will be seen further on in this treatise. He bought 200 acres from Thomas in 1813. In the 50 year period from 1785 to 1835, a Beal was the grantee on 27 deeds that were recorded in the Chatham County Courthouse. Every one of these 27 had the name Thomas or that of a son of his, the implication being that there were few other Beals in the county at that time. We conclude that this John of the 1830 census was, indeed, the son of Thomas.
Now, to complicate the story, we must add that there are two John Beals in Chatham County in the 1830 census. One is John, age 30-40, with an implied birth year of 1800-1810. The other is John, Jr. age 60-70, the man we have just discussed. If these two are father and son, as I think they may be ( See the later paragraph on John Beal ), then the census taker erred in identifying the older man as Junior. If they are not father and son then there was an older John Beal in the county, but we have no record of him. At that time in North Carolina, the designations Senior and Junior did not necessarily infer a father-son relationship ( 5 ). If two men in the same locality had the same name, the older one was called senior and the younger junior.
John first appears in the 1790 census, along with his father Thomas and brothers Daniel and Benjamin. John's household consists of himself and three females ( Only the first name of the head of the household is given until the 1850 census ). John bought 200 acres from his father in 1813, at a price of 50 lbs. He bought 43 acres from Aaron Evans in 1814 and 244 acres from Thomas Farrish in 1815. An 1815 tax list shows John as the owner of 322 1/4 acres valued at $580.
John has the following family at the time of the 1830 census.
1 male under 5
1 male in the 10-15 age range
1 male in the 15-20 age range
1 male in the 60-70 age range
1 female under 5
3 females in the 5-10 age range
2 females in the 10-15 age range
1 female in the 15-20 age range
1 female in the 20-30 age range
1 female in the 40-50 age range
John died in 1836. The record we have of his death is a one half page
inventory of his earthly goods( 6 ). It is dated 14 May 1836 and is signed
by Asa and Thomas Beal, who made their marks. The writer believes that
Asa and Thomas were John's sons. See the later discussion.
Here is the inventory
o Cash $10
o Note on Asa Beal due 25 December 1835 $50
o 1 Jury Ticket $5.83
o 1 note on Joshua, Joseph and B. Beal due 25 December 1835 $12.50
o Farm and household goods. The amount of sales of the estate was $287.60
MARY BEAL ( 1787-AFTER 1860 )
In the 1850 census for Upper Regiment Township there is a large family headed by Mary Beal.
The listing is as follows:
Beal, Mary 63 f
Betsey 42 f
Jane 40 f
Phebe 37 f
Margaret 30 f
Eliza 23 f
Edward 21 m
Edy L. 16 f
William H. 13 m
Alpha J. 8 f
Nancy I. 9 mo. f
Murchison, Alexander 1 m
As will be seen, the writer believes that Mary was John's wife and that
the members of this
household are John's extended family-children and/or their wives and grandchildren. See the articles on Thomas and Asa for the reason for believing that Mary was John's wife. It should also be noted that the census shows that Mary was living in the immediate vicinity of Beal families whom we know to be descended from John. Mary was in residence no. 215. Thomas, who is certainly John's son, was in residence no. 213. Note that Thomas bought part of his father's property in 1833. It was land that Thomas was then living on ( 10 ). This places him immediately adjacent to Mary. The Patsey Beal and Rebecca Willett families were in residence no. 216. John W. Beal, Asa's son, was in residence no. 217. Britton Beal, John's youngest brother was in residence no. 218. Asa, who also lived next to Mary, was in residence no. 270.
In passing, it should be noted that Britton lived on land on which his father Thomas had lived. Thus, these people were all living on or near the land on which Thomas had originally settled. That is the land in the immediate vicinity of Meronies Church.
Mary's age in 1850 was 63. Her birth year was 1787. She was too young
to have been the
mother of Asa ( b. 1795 ). But she could have been the mother of Thomas ( b. 1807 ),
John ( b. 1800-1810 ) and Elisha ( b. 1816 ). Mary was probably John's second wife. She
cannot have been one of the three females in his 1790 household.
Note that there are 4 women, aged 30 to 42 in the household. One imagines
that they are
daughters or daughters-in-law of Mary & John. One of them may be the wife of their son
John who died in 1844.
Alpha and Margaret are found in later censuses. Alpha became the wife of William Phillips
on 28 August 1857 ( 35 ). Alpha is shown as the wife of Wesley Phillips ( was he Wesley
William or William Wesley ? ) in the 1860, 1870 and 1880 censuses. Margaret is included
in the Phillips household throughout that period. In 1880, she is identified as Wesley's mother-in-law.
The 1860 census shows that Edward and Edy L. were man and wife and that Nancy I. was their daughter. Edward is 32, Edy is 26 and Nancy is 11 in that census. They can also be found in the 1880 census. Was Edward a son of John ? He was born in 1829 when John was in the 50 to 60 age range and Mary was 42. It is certainly possible. We know that he was not a son of Thomas or Asa or of that John who died in 1844. we have the names of their children and Edward is not one of them. He is quite possibly John's son.
An Eliza Beal married Joseph Hilliard on 3 January 1852 ( 36 ). It is quite possible that she is the Eliza of this census and the daughter of that John Beal who died in 1844. See the article on John, below. Eliza and Joseph were married by, A. Gaston Headen and the witness was W.P. Taylor. These men performed the same service at the marriage of Thomas' daughter Mary Lewis Beal to John A. Pugh on 21 September 1852.
If Eliza was John's daughter then her mother was probably Jane or Betsey
of the 1850
census, they being of approximately the right age to be her mother.
Mary, Jane and Phebe are still living together at the time of the 1860 census. Jane and Phebe are living together in 1870.
Who was Rebecca Willett, with whom Patsey Beal was living in 1850 ? Was she a Beal who married a Willett ? And was Mr. Willett dead ? It is interesting to speculate that she was a daughter of John and Mary and Elisha's sister. That would explain the choice of the name Rebecca for Elisha's oldest child.
That there was some relationship between the Willetts and the Beals is shown by the fact that Asa was bondsman for the marriage of Oran Willet ( sic ) and Phebe Willett on 19 January 1842 ( 37 ). Also, Joshua Willet, Thomas Beal and Peter Sinclair were bondsmen at the marriage of Jesse Stone to Phebe Willet on 31 December 1826. The same Phebe ?
THOMAS BEAL ( 4 NOVEMBER 1807-8 FEBRUARY 1884 )
The writer believes that this Thomas was a son of John and a grandson of that Thomas who died in 1823, for the following reasons
o There is a deed, dated 21 November 1838, in which Thomas bought
John H. Hawkins. In the deed Hawkins says " I moreover warrant and defend to
said Beal fourteen acres I purchased from said Beal's father. I also warrant and defend
to said Beal two shares of the land which belonged to his father, but the widow's portion
is excepted... " ( 7 ). This deed was apparently defective in that it neglected to state
that Thomas had paid Hawkins for the land, that money had actually changed hands.
Accordingly, a second deed ( 8 ) was written and dated 21 November 1858. It was
identical to the first one except as follows. Hawkins says "...I moreover warrant and
defend to said Beal fourteen acres I purchased from Beal's father. I also warrant and
defend to said Beal two shares of the land which belong ( sic ) to his father, the widow's
dower is excepted, for which the said Thos. Beal has to me in hand paid two hundred
and eighty eight dollars ".
In a deed dated 14 September 1832, John Beal sold 14 1/4 acres to John H. Hawkins for $63.90 ( 9 ).
The writer concludes that John H. Hawkins bought
14 acres from John Beal in 1832 and sold it to John's son Thomas in 1838.
This establishes that Thomas was John's son.
Evidence which supports the notion that Thomas was John's son but, by itself, is not conclusive, is contained in an 1833 deed ( 10 ). The January 19 deed records Thomas' purchase of 52 acres from John for a price of $105. The land description says, in part, " on the waters of Rocky River, it being the land on which the said Thomas now lives..".
Thomas and family were then living on land owned by John. This is certainly suggestive of a familial relationship. One can imagine a young man working a part of his father's property until he had enough money to buy it. Thomas was then 26 years old and married, with 3 year old daughter Elizabeth.
It was mentioned earlier that Thomas and Asa jointly signed the
inventoried John's estate. The law regarding administration of estates at that time has
been summarized as follows " The right to administer an estate belonged first to the
decedent's next of kin, usually the surviving spouse or the eldest son who was still
living within the court's geographic jurisdiction " ( 11 ). The implication is that Thomas
and Asa were sons of John and that they jointly administered John's estate. Asa was
older than Thomas. An entry in the minutes for the August 1838 Session of the
Chatham County Court of Pleas and Quarter Sessions verifies that Asa and Thomas
were the legal administrators of John's estate. It reads " no. 29. Robert Marsh vs
Thomas Beal and Asa Beal, administrators of John Beal, dec.".
The widow of a man who died intestate was entitled, by law, to the use during her lifetime of one third of the property of her husband ( 12 ). Thus the reference to the widow's portion or dower in the Hawkins deeds. It appears that Hawkins had come into possession of John's land after his death. The inventory of John's estate does show that " Farm and household goods " were sold at a price of $287.60. Hawkins may have purchased the land at that time, though there is no deed in the Chatham County records that would indicate this. It is interesting to note that Thomas paid $288 to Hawkins for the two thirds of the property that did not go to the widow. Clearly, he was purchasing what had been his father's land.
Thomas was married to Julia Ann Tysor, daughter of Lewis Tysor, a Revolutionary
veteran ( 13 ). They were probably married in about 1827 when Thomas and Julia Ann were 20 and 23 years old, respectively. Julia Ann was born on 18 October 1804 and died on 6 October 1882. The graves of both can be seen at Meroney's United Methodist Church on North Carolina Highway 902 a few miles north and west of Goldston.
They had two daughters. Elizabeth, born about 1830, married a
Mr. Johnson and gave
birth to Thomas Monroe, Julia Ann and Julia Josephine Johnson ( 14 ). She died before 1866 when Thomas wrote his will. Mary Lewis, born about 1834, married Captain John A. Pugh and gave birth to Eugenia, Josephine, Annie, Lizzie, John N., Robert Lee, Thomas A. and Mary E. Pugh.
Thomas was a trustee of Meronies United Methodist Church, as were his
nephew John W.
Beal and son-in-law John A. Pugh ( 15 ).
Some writers have reported that this Thomas Beal was Thomas, Jr., the son of Thomas, Sr.,who died in 1823. That this is incorrect has been demonstrated here. Also, it is known that Thomas, Jr. and his brother Benjamin and their families moved to Tennessee in about 1824 ( 38 ).
ASA BEAL ( c. 1795-1866 )
Asa and Chloe Moran were married on 28 November 1817 ( 16 ). They can be found in
the United States Census reports from 1830 through 1860. Their family included
o John W. Beal who, with his wife Louisa, is buried at Meroney's United Methodist Church. John W. was born on 4 November 1818 and died on 7 November 1900
o ( 17 ). Louisa was born in July 1825 and died on 6 February 1916. As mentioned above, he was a trustee of Meronies Church. He was executor of his father's will.
o Julia Ann Beal who married Alvis Fields on 15 March 1849 ( 18 )
o Abigail Beal, born about 1824, never married. She was the first person to be buried at Meroney's Church ( 19 ). A short history of that church ( 19 ) says " Miss Abigail Cloy Beal was the first person buried in the church cemetery. She was the daughter of Asa and Cloy Beal. On the monument that marks her last resting place is the following inscription ' Buried at her request where the old brush arbor stood ' ". The brush arbor was a temporary shelter for use during camp meetings.
o William Beal, born about 1830, married Phoebe Dowdy, daughter
of Thomas Dowdy on 27 January 1853 ( 20 ). William enlisted as a Private
in Co. G, 48th North Carolina Infantry on March 11, 1862 ( 21 ). He suffered
from disease thoughout his military career, was captured at Bristow Station,
Virginia on 14 October 1863 and died of disease at Lincoln Military
Hospital, Washington, D.C. on 19 January 1864.
He was buried on January 22 ( 21 ). He left his wife Phoebe and children Jane, Martha, Margaret, Mittie, Robert E. Lee and Asa.
o Robert A. Beal, born about 1838, married Miss Moody on 19 December 1858 ( 22 ). Robert enlisted as a Private in Co. G, 48th North Carolina Infantry on 17 April 1862. He died on January 2, 1865 ( 21 ). He left one son John.
o Eliza, born about 1838. She may have been a twin to Robert.
o Aaron G. Beal, born about 1843.
As was mentioned earlier, Asa lived adjacent to Thomas and Mary Beal. He was administrator, with Thomas, of his father John's estate. Upon the death of another John Beal in 1844, whom the writer takes to be a brother of Asa and son of John, Asa was appointed administrator of his estate ( 23 ).
Because Asa was administrator of the estates of both the older and younger
Johns, it is reasonable to assume that he was the son of the first and
the brother of the second. The basic rule being that the task of being
administrator would fall to a close relative if there was one available.
This argument becomes stronger when it is recognized that Asa shared the administrative work with Thomas, who was certainly John's son. Asa died in 1866. His son, John W. Beal, acted as administrator of his estate ( 24 ).
JOHN BEAL ( c. 1800-1844 )
The John Beal family can be found in the 1830 census. John and his wife are each in the 20 to 30 age group. There are 2 females under the age of 5. The next thing we hear about John is that he died in 1844 ( 25 ). Asa was appointed administrator of his estate. A dispute arose between Asa and John's children Bethina, Emily, Pherebe ( or Feraby ), Eliza and Willie P. Mangum Beal. The children claimed that Asa was slow about settling up with them and that he owed them a significant amount of money. Subsequent events showed that, in fact, the estate was in debt to Asa. Nevertheless, a guardian was appointed for the children, who were minors. Note that the appointment of a guardian does not mean that their mother was dead. The children were legal orphans if their father was dead.
Thomas Beal and Thomas Rogers were bondsmen for the guardian Oran A. Tysor. They were indebted to Chatham County in the amount of $4000 if Oran did not fulfill his duties as guardian. In acting as bondsman, Thomas assumed a significant financial risk. The fact that he did so suggests family ties, reinforcing the notion that Thomas, Asa and John were brothers.
It seems that the person chosen to be a guardian would also be a near relative of the children. Oren Alston Tysor was the brother of Thomas' wife Julia Ann. Julia Ann, of course, was their aunt and Thomas was their uncle. Was the children's mother a Tysor ?
ELISHA H. BEAL ( c. 1816-AFTER 1889 )
The first record we have of Elisha is his marriage bond, issued on 3
June 1840. His bride was Lydia Barber and his bondsman was Asa Beal ( 26
). It is the fact of Asa's acting as bondsman for Elisha that leads us
to believe that there was a close family relationship between the two.
Asa ( b. 1795 ) could be a father or a brother of Elisha ( b. 1816 ). But Asa was married on 28 November 1817 and his first son, John W. Beal, was born on 4 November 1818. The evidence we have, as will be shown later, shows that Elisha was born between 1814 and 1818, dates that are incompatible with Elisha having been the son of Asa. One is led then, to the supposition that Elisha was Asa's son, though other relationships cannot be ruled out.
There are two other facts, besides Asa's role as bondsman, that are consistent with, although not conclusive proof, that Asa and Elisha were brothers, the sons of John Beal. One of these is that Elisha named his first son John, as did Asa. The second is that the 1830 census shows that John Beal had one son in the 10 to 15 age range. As will be shown we have 5 records of Elisha's age. All except one of them are consistent with his having been in that age range in 1830.
The records of Elisha's age are
o In the 1840 census, he is said to be 20 to 30 years of age,
meaning he would have been 10 to 20 in 1830.
o In the 1850 through 1880 censuses, his age was given as 34, 44, 55 and 66 with implied birth years of 1816, 1816, 1815 and 1814. If he was born in 1815 or 1816, he would have been in the 10 to 15 age range in 1830.
o On July 26, 1864 Elisha enlisted as a Private in Co. E, 6th Regiment, North Carolina Senior Reserves, in Pittsboro. In the military record, his birth date is given as
17 December 1818. If this was his birth date then he would have been in the 10 to 15 age range in 1830.
The military record describes Elisha as being 5 feet, 7 1/2 inches tall
and as having a fair
complexion, dark hair and grey eyes. His occupation was given as shoemaker. In the 1850
through 1880 censuses, his occupation is given as boot/shoemaker, cooper, farmer and
Elisha's wife, Lydia Barber Beal, was the daughter of Zadock and Tempe Stinson Barber and granddaughter of Moses and Elizabeth Barber ( 27 ). Her birth year is given as 1819 in a Barber family genealogy. In the 1840 census she is said to be in the 15 to 20 age range, with an implied birth year of 1820. In the years 1850 through 1880, her age is given as 36, 42, 54 and 66 with implied birth years of 1814, 1818, 1816 and 1814.
The census records show their family as being Rebecca ( b. 1841 ), John ( b. 1843 ), Atlas ( b. 1845 ), Martha ( b. 1848 ), Mary Ann ( b. 1850 ), Catherine ( b. 1853 ), Ann ( b. 1859 ) and Elisha ( b. 1860 ). The 1870 census shows John and Elisha living with their parents and working as coopers. There were turpentine distilleries in the area at that time, which explains the employment of Elisha and these two sons as coopers. The family lived in and around the area of Gulf and Egypt ( now Cumnock ), Chatham County all their lives.
In 1870, Elisha and Lydia are sharing their home with Brown Burke (
age 21 ), his wife
Martha and son Oran D. ( age 1 ).
There is a headstone in the community cemetery at Cumnock that bears
" MARY ANN BEAL April 18, 1850 - October 16, 1873 ".
The 1880 census lists the following members of the family: Elisha
( age 66 ), Lydia
( age 64 ), John F. ( age 37 ), David B. ( grandson, age 7 ), Robert L. ( grandson, age 6 ),
Sarah C. Stone ( daughter, age 23 ), Mary A. Stone ( granddaughter, age 6 ), Elisha F.
Stone ( grandson, age 3 ) and Doctor Stone ( grandson, age 1 ).
David B. and Robert L. are apparently sons of John. Sarah C. may be Catherine of the 1850 and 1870 censuses. The only justification for this identification is that Sarah's middle initial is C., the first letter of Catherine. And, of course, she is called a daughter and she has a son Elisha. There is an age mismatch. Catherine was born in 1853. She would have been 27 in 1880.
Atlas served as a Private in Co. H of the 70th North Carolina Regiment
in the Civil War.
On 6 July 1901 his wife, Susan A. Beal made application for a widow's pension. She stated " my husband died 7 years ago last March " ( 28 )
Elisha Beal married Sarah Hilliard on 4 September 1881 ( 29 )
(SEE ADDENDUM ON ELISHA BEAL AT END OF PAGE, BELOW)
REBECCA J. BEAL ( 1841- AFTER 1896 )
Rebecca is reported as being 9 years old in the 1850 census. She seems to have been counted twice, once in the home of her parents Elisha and Lydia and once in the home of her grandmother Tempe Barber. This was easily possible. The two families lived near to one another. The Beal family was household no. 1027 and the Barber family was household no. 1030. In the 1860 census, Rebecca is 19 years old and living with her parents, Elisha and Lydia.
In 1870, she is sharing a household with Aaran Mills. Rebecca has daughter
Jane, age 6,
and Aaran has children Joseph ( age 15 ), Rosanne ( age 13 ), John ( age 10 ) and Ambrose ( age 4 ). Rebecca's age is given as 30. She is in Oakland Township, near her parents ( She is in household no. 249. They are in no.262.
On December 15, 1873 Rebecca was married to Joseph Mills in Osgood, Chatham County. Rebecca's age was given as 27 and Joseph's as 19 ( 30 ).
The 1880 census has this listing
Mills, Joseph 24 male farmer
Rebecca 40 female wife
Rose A. 7 mo. female daughter
Beal, Lucy 15 female stepdaughter
On September 24, 1892 Joseph and Becky Mills are named as the parents
of Lucy Mills,
age 22, at her marriage to Daniel L. Palmer of Canada.
On November 2, 1896, Rebecca Mills is named as the mother of Lucy Palmer,
age 25, at
her marriage to Pat Riley.
There is a consistent chain of evidence that links the Rebecca Beal
of the 1870 census to
Rebecca Mills of the 1896 marriage of her daughter Lucy to Pat Riley.
o In 1870, she, with daughter Jane, age 6, is living with that
Aaran Mills family, one of whose members is Joseph, age 15.
o In 1873, she is married to Joseph. Seemingly, she fudged her age by a considerable amount. She was probably 32 and reported her age as 27. This may have been done to make their age difference appear to be a little less. One might wonder why she would marry such a young man, but this was the period immediately after the civil war, when the men of her generation had suffered heavy casualties.
o In 1880, she is Joseph Mill's wife and her daughter Lucy, age 15, is Joseph's
o In 1892, Joseph and Becky Mills are named as the parents of Lucy Mills, age 22, at her marriage to Daniel L. Palmer of Canada.
o In 1896, Rebecca Mills is named as the mother of Lucy Palmer, age 25, at her
marriage to Pat Riley.
There are discrepancies in the dates and ages here. One can only attribute these to inaccurate reporting by illiterate people and/or to some fudging to make someone seem younger than they were. The discrepancies do not necessarily mean that the family relationships are wrong, that the Lucy reported as 15 in 1880 is someone other than the Lucy reported as 22 in 1892, for example. In both cases, she is named as the daughter of Joseph and Rebecca/Becky Mills. It is safer to assume that she fudged on her age.
Was Rebecca's daughter Jane, of the 1870 census, the same person as
her daughter Lucy of the 1880 census ? It seems to this writer that she
was and that Jane was, perhaps, a pet name. Was Lucy's name really Lucy
Jane ? or Louisa Jane ? She was known as Louise in later years, though
she still reported her name as Lucy in the 1900 census ( 32 ). The age
of 6 in 1870 is roughly compatible with the age of 15 in 1880. The major
reason for thinking that Lucy and Jane are the same person is the
thought that Rebecca is the same person in the two censuses.
The reason for thinking that is the connection with the Mills family. She is living in the same household with 15 year old Joseph in 1870 and is married to him in 1873 and is Mrs. Mills, Lucy's mother, in 1880.
Is the Rebecca of the 1850 and 1860 censuses, the daughter of Elisha
and Lydia, the same
person as the Rebecca of the 1870 and 1880 censuses, the mother of Jane/Lucy ? An argument in favor of this proposition is the reported ages-9,19,30,40 in the 4 censuses. These could well be the ages of one person, given in successive censuses.The one year discrepancy is small compared to what is often seen in comparing data from successive censuses. See, for example, the ages reported for Elisha and Lydia in 4 successive censuses, above.
Rebecca lived in close proximity to Elisha and Lydia. In the 1870 census, she was in household number 249. Lydia and Elisha were in household no. 262. In 1880, Rebecca was in household no. 415, while Lydia and Elisha were in no. 411. These data, showing close physical proximity, support the notion of a parent/child relationship.
There was another Rebecca Beal in the 1850 census in Upper Regiment Township. She was Rebecca N. Beal, the 8 year old daughter of Patsey Beal. This Rebecca married Elias Fields in 1859 ( 33 ). She cannot have been the mother of Lucy.
LOUISE ( LUCY ) McDONALD RILEY ( 1864-1947 )
Louise is my grandmother, the mother of Henry ( my father ) and Walter Riley. Henry changed the spelling to Rielly. Here, I will use the spelling as it is found in the historic record. She is the Lucy Beal, daughter of Rebecca Beal Mills and stepdaughter of Joseph Mills of the 1880 U.S. census in Oakland Township, Chatham County, North Carolina.
She seems to have been called Jane when she was 6 years old, in the 1870 Oakland Township census. She is called Lucy in all the other North Carolina documents. She identified herself as Lucy Rieley in the 1900 census in Gem, Shoshone County, Idaho. In the 1920 census in Granite Falls, Snohomish County, Washington she is named as Louise Riley. This writer always heard her referred to as Louise.
In the 1900 census she reported her age as 35 and her birth date as December 1864. This is consistent with her reported age of 15 in the 1880 census in Chatham County. It is close to consistent with the age reported for " Jane " in the 1870 census. The consistency of these three dates suggests that she fudged a little on her age as reported in the two Chatham County marriage licenses. Of even greater importance in explaining these ages reported to the marriage registrar ( The Register of Deeds in Chatham County ) is the fact that the marriage licenses were obtained by neither the bride nor the groom. A. J. Beal obtained the first one and Alex Hamilton obtained the second one. Did either of these men know her age ?
In the 1900 census, Lucy's household consisted of herself, her 4 year
old son Henry and
her 15 year old daughter Minnie. She was married but her husband was not living in the same household. Minnie died in 1912. Her age was reported as 27. Her father's name was given as Dan L. Palmer, born in Canada. Her mother's name was reported as Lucy McDonald of North Carolina ( 34 ). Minnie's birthplace was given as North Carolina. This information was given by Minnie's husband, William McKee of Hope, Idaho.Minnie's ages of 15 in 1900 and 27 in 1912 both indicate that she was born in 1885, 7 years before Lucy and Daniel were married.
Was she Daniel's daughter by an earlier marriage ? Or did Lucy and Daniel formalize their
marriage only after living together for 7 years ? We will never know.
Minnie, age 16, was married to William McKee, age 23, on 1 June 1901 in the town of Gem, Shoshone County, Idaho ( 40 ). Because of her age, Lucy was required to give an affadavit in which she gave her permission for the wedding. It was signed Mrs. Lucy Rieley. Sometime after that the entire family-Minnie, William, Lucy, Henry and Walter moved to Hope, Bonner County, Idaho. Minnie and William and daughter Viola and son William. Henry, age 6, is listed in a school census in Hope, in 1903. Henry, Walter and Viola are listed in the Hope school census in 1910 and 1911.
In that 1900 census Lucy reported that she had given birth to 4 or 5
children ( The entry
looks as though the census taker had tried to change a 4 to a 5 or a 5 to a 4 ). She gave her occupation as laundress and she said that she, Minnie and Henry were born in NC. Henry was born in North Carolina on 4 August 1897.
Her son Walter Leon Riley was born on 31 August 1900. His application for social security says that he was born in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho and that his father's name was Patrick Henry Riley ( 39 ).
The only Patrick Riley in Idaho in the 1900 census is in Florida Precinct,
This was a mining district near Silver City. One man with whom I spoke, thinks that the
Florida Precinct may have been the Tradedollar Mine. Patrick reported his age as 32 and
his birth date as August 1867. He had been married for 5 years and was born in New York.
His parents were both born in Ireland. His age of 32, his 5 years of marriage, his birth in New York and his employment as a miner all suggest, but do not prove that he was Lucy's husband.
We know from contemporary newspaper accounts that men came from New York and
Pennsylvania to work in the mine at Egypt ( now Cumnock, Chatham County ). He, with a
long list of other men, was a boarder, probably at a bunkhouse operated by the mining company.
Likely, there was a shortage of work in northern Idaho at the time. So he left his family there while looking for work in the Silver City area, a practice not unknown in the Rielly family.
Donald H. Rielly
October 16, 1998
1. Orange County Record of Wills 1752-1795, vol. A, pp37-38, NC Archives,
2. Chatham County 1771-1971. Wade Hampton Hadley, Doris Goerch Horton and Nell
Craig Strowd, Delmar Printing Company, Charlotte, NC
3. Excerpts from Chatham County Court Minutes 1774-1779; 1781-1785; February 1785-
May 1785; May 1790-August 1792.
4.Thomas Beal will, 1823. NC Archives.
5. NC Research Genealogy and Local History, 2nd Edition, NC Genealogical
Society, Helen F. M. Leary, editor.
6. John Beal estate papers. NC Archives
7. Chatham County Deed Book AF, page 292
8. Chatham County Deed Book AF, page 555
9. Chatham County Deed Book AC, page 311
10. Chatham County Deed Book AC, page 339
11. NC Research Genealogy and Local History, 2nd edition, NC Genealogical Society,
Helen F. M. Leary, editor.
12. Same as 11, page 196
13. The Tysors of Old Chatham, p. 197, W. Harold Broughton.
14. Thomas Beal will. 1866.
15. Chatham County Deed Book Aw, page 298.
16. Marriages of Chatham County North Carolina 1772-1868. Compiled by Brent H. Holcomb
Genealogical Publishing Co.. Baltimore. 1987
17. Headstone at Meroney's United Methodist Church Cemetery, NC Route 902 near
Goldston, Chatham County, NC
18. Fayetteville Observer, March 27, 1849.
19. A 1983 History of Meroney's UMC.
20. Chatham County Marriage Index
21. Civil War records, National Archives
22. Chatham County Marriage Index
23. John Beal estate records, NC Archives, Raleigh, NC
24. Asa Beal estate records, NC Archives, Raleigh, NC
25. John Beal estate records, NC Archives, Raleigh, NC
26. NC Marriage Bonds. Record no. 022-01-002, Bond no. 000019840.
27. Descendants of Moses Barber, a Barber family genealogy.
28. Widow's Application for Pension, Susan A. Beal. NC Archives, Raleigh, NC
29. Chatham County Marriage Index
30. Chatham County marriage records. Letter to D.H. Rielly from Reba G. Thomas, Chatham
County Recorder of Deeds, 15 September 1997.
31. Louise Riley Death Certificate, Lincoln County, Washington, June 8, 1947
32. United States Census, Shoshone County, Idaho, 1900
33. Marriages of Chatham County, NC 1772-1868. Compiled by Brent H. Holcomb.
Genealogical Publishing Co., Baltimore, 1987
34. Washington State Board of Health. Death Certificate, Spokane County. 10 Oct. 1912
35. Marriages of Chatham County, NC 1772-1868
36. Same as 35
37. Same as 35
38. Beal Summary. Compiled by Mrs. Laura Waddle, Rt. 5, Box 4600, Lexington, TN 38351.
39. Walter Riley's Application for Social Security, 14 February 1937.
40. Marriage certificate. Shoshone County, Idaho
ADDENDUM FOR ELISHA BEAL
ELISHA E, ( POMP ) BEAL ( 1860 - )
As will be seen, ELISHA E. BEAL was, in 1896, convicted of having maliciously sabotaged a boiler at Mr. Matthew Gilmour's cotton gin near Egypt, Chatham County, NC. He was sentenced to 10 years in the NC penetentiary in Raleigh. He went to prison and was never seen or heard from again by his family. This posting contains biographical information about Mr. Beal and some newspaper accounts of his trial and conviction. Does anyone know of his life subsequent to his conviction and sentencing ?
Elisha's Family Background
ELISHA was a son of ELISHA H. and LYDIA BARBER BEAL, who were married in Chatham County in 1840. The family is found in all of the United States censuses from 1840 through 1880. They lived, in their earlier years near LYDIA'S parents, ZADOCK and TEMPIE STINSON BARBER and later in and around the area of Egypt. Other children of ELISHA H. and LYDIA were REBECCA ( b. 1841 ), JOHN ( b. 1843 ), ATLAS G. ( b. 1846 ), MARTHA E. ( b. 1848 ), MARY A. ( April 18, 1850 - October 16, 1873 ), Catherine ( b. 1853 ), Ann ( b. 1859 ). ELISHA E. was born in 1860.
In the 1880 census, ELISHA E. is listed as being 18 years of age, a farmer/laborer, living with his parents in Oakland Township. A sister, SARAH C. STONE and her children MARY A., ELISHA F. and DOCTOR are also living with her parents.
ELISHA E., age 22, was married to SARAH HILLIARD, AGE 21, on September 4, 1881. The marriage certificate, in the Chatham County Marriage Index, bears the notation " Gulf ".
ELISHA and SARAH had two sons. GEORGE WASHINGTON BEAL was born on October 13, 1886. The other son was WILLIS MONROE BEAL, who was younger than GEORGE.
Physical Description of Elisha E. Beal
This description is taken from the North Carlina Prison Descriptive Register May 1896 - July 1917, Volume 11, obtained from the NC State Archives in Raleigh.
Number: 11746, Nativity: NC, Residence: Chatham, Education: None, Occupation: Laborer, Age: 36, Sex: Male, Color: White, Social Relation: Married, Height: 5 ' 8 1/2 ", Weight: 150, Color of Eyes: Brown, Color of Hair: Gray, Where Tried: Chatham, Expiration of Sentence: 8 December 1906, When Sentenced: 8 December 1896, Term of Sentence: 10 Years, Offense: Manslaughter, No. of Imprisonments: 1, Remarks: Baldheaded.
The Newspaper Record
THURSDAY, JANUARY 30, 1896 - THE CHATHAM RECORD
BOILER EXPLOSION. A white man, named ELISHA BEAL, has been brought here to jail, to await his trial at our next court, upon the charge of having maliciously caused the fatal explosion of the steam boiler at Mr. MATTHEW GILMOUR'S cotton gin near Egypt. It is alleged that he was the former engineer and because another man had been put in his place he fixed the engine so as to cause it to explode. It is said that if the explosion had occurred a few minutes later five persons would have been killed. It was bad enough as it was, Killing Mr. ( ? ) GIBSON and Mr. MILES GUNTER.
THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 13, 1896 - THE CHATHAM RECORD
SUPERIOR COURT. State against ELISHA BEAL, indicted for murder. The defendant in this case is charged with having maliciously caused the explosion of the steam engine at Mr. MATTHEW GILMORE'S cotton gin near Egypt. He was arraigned on Tuesday and the trial is set to begin today, and it was ( ) be very interesting.
THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 20, 1896 - THE CHATHAM RECORD
SUPERIOR COURT. The case against ELISHA BEAL was continued until next court on account of the absence of important witnesses for the defendant. In this case the defendant is indicted for murder, for having maliciously fixed the steam engine at GILMORE'S gin so as to cause the explosion which killed two men.
THURSDAY, MAY 14, 1896 - THE CHATHAM RECORD
SUPERIOR COURT. The case against ELISHA BEAL was begun on Thursday and was not finished until late Saturday afternoon when the jury retired and, after consulting together until nearly midnight, returned a verdict of guilty of manslaughter. The judge then sentenced the prisoner to ( ) but an appeal was taken to the supreme court which cannot be heard until about the first of next November. ( ) ballot the jurors were evenly divided, there being six for acquittal and six for manslaughter.
There was a ( ) the defendant being charged with the ( ) of WALTER ( ) who was killed last January in the explosion of the boiler in Mr. MATTHEW GILMORE'S cotton gin near Cumnock. BEAL had been the fireman and two days before the explosion he had been discharged and another put in his place and it was alleged that he had maliciously tampered with the engine and ( ) to cause the explosion inrevenge for having been discharged. The prisoner was defended by ( CABOT ? ) and P. H. CALVERT who had been assigned to that duty by the judge, as the prisoner was too poor to ( ) an attorney, and they performed their duty assiduously. This was Mr.CALVERT'S first case in court and his ( ) was highly complimented.
THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 12, 1896 - THE CHATHAM RECORD
BEAL'S CASE. The Supreme Court, on last Tuesday, affirmed the judgment of the Superior Court in the case of the State against ELISHA BEAL, and he will now have to serve his sentence of 10 years in the penetentiary. It will be remembered that he was tried and convicted last May for having maliciously caused the explosion of the boiler at GILMORE'S gin, last January, which killed Mr. JAMES GILMOUR and Mr. WALTER GUNTER. He appealed to the Supreme Court and that tribunal has now affirmed the judgment of the Superior Court.
Descendants Knowledge of ELISHA E. BEAL
This information is from the descendants of GEORGE WASHINGTON BEAL, ELISHA'S son. Prior to the discovery of these newspaper articles, they knew ELISHA only by his nickname POMP BEAL.
GEORGE WASHINGTON BEAL said that he never saw or heard from his father after he went to prison. He also said that he remembered his father swearing his innocence.
RUTH BEAL FOX said that the boiler was blown up
by a cake of soap that was put into a pipe ( Presumably building up boiler
pressure until it exploded ). It was said that ELISHA had bought a cake
of soap prior to the explosion and that he was heard to say that he hoped
it would blow up.
RUTH is a daughter of GEORGE.
RUTH reported that she once visited a half sister of GEORGE'S mother SARAH HILLIARD. The half sister was BELLE " SCRAP " HILLIARD, who lived near Goldston, Chatham County and was about the same age as GEORGE.
RUTH also knows that GEORGE had a cousin named DOC STONE, who lived in or near Sanford, Lee County, NC. GEORGE sometimes visited his cousin there. Doc would, one imagines, be the son of SARAH STONE, who was living with her parents, ELISHA H. and LYDIA BEAL at the time of the 1880 census.
Does anyone know what became of ELISHA ?
Donald H. Rielly
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