Friday, April 20, 2018

52 Ancestors #16: David Fleming Beard, Sr. (1812-1878): A Man of His Times

Ancestor: David Fleming Beard, Sr., great great grandfather
DNA Haplogroup: I-M253

David Fleming Beard, Sr., was born on 24 December 1812 in Bedford County, Virginia, to James Harvey Beard and his first wife, Mary McMullin (or McMullen). He was the eldest known child. When David was not quite a year old his father joined the Virginia Militia and served with a battalion of artillery during the War of 1812.

David signed a marriage bond, promising to marry Ann Dooley, daughter of Moses Dooley and Hulda Sharp, on 16 February 1842. Surety was provided by Joshua Sharp, a relative on David's mother's side of the family. David and Ann married sometime after the bond was signed.

When the 1850 census was enumerated David and Ann lived in Bedford County with their three children. David's occupation is listed but it is not legible and it is not farmer. They had their fourth child in 1853. His name was Moses F. Beard but he died 15 July 1858 in Bedford County. In 1860 David, Ann and their three children continued to live in Bedford County. David's occupation was listed as planter and his real estate was valued at $2,700 and his personal property at $700.

David's wife, Ann (Dooley) Beard died at the age of 50 in September 1861.

The Civil War

David and Ann had two sons who were of age to serve in the Civil War. Edward M. Beard, born about 1843 and William H. Beard, born about 1847. Many public trees indicate these sons were killed during the war but I have not found compelling evidence to support that tragedy. Their names are not listed in Linda B. Nezbeth's Roster of Confederate Soldiers of Bedford County, Virginia. An E. M. Beard died at Richmond Hospital on 13 June 1863; he served as a private in Company H of the 34th Regiment Virginia Heavy Artillery.

David was a supporter of the Confederate cause. On 12 June 1862 he delivered to the Confederate States Army 142 pounds of bacon he sold to Major Andrew Vaughn in Liberty (now Bedford, Virginia). He was paid $42.60.

Receipt for 142 pounds of bacon sold by David F. Beard to the Confederate
States Army; courtesy of Fold3.com

Some 3,500 men from Bedford County fought for the Confederacy, including three of David's nephews -- Robert L. Beard, was taken prisoner but eventually returned home; John W. Beard, was killed in action while serving in the 28th Virginia Infantry; and James F. Beard served in the 38th Virginia Light Artillery Battalion. John W. Beard was one of the over 400 men from Bedford County died during the war.

News about the conflict surely was a popular topic of conversation as county citizens tried to learn about friends, family and how the war was progressing. In June 1864 the war came to Bedford County. Union General David Hunter, with 12,500, men burned Virginia Military Institute in Lexington and planned to attack Lynchburg, a Confederate rail hub and city of hospitals. On the way Hunter's troops march past the Peaks of Otter near Liberty.

Gen. Hunter and 700 cavalry soldiers raid Liberty in a small action that became known as Hunter's Raid. They destroyed miles of railroad tracks, burned the station depot, and sacked several buildings. Hunter and his aides had lunch at a hotel in Liberty, which I am sure did not please the citizens of the county seat much at all!

As Confederate Jubal A. Early prepared to attack, Gen. Hunter began to worry he was outmanned and decided to retreat. His troops burned bridges over the Big and Little Otter rivers but Confederate sharpshooters picked off Union troops as they retreated out of Bedford County.

Second Marriage

David Fleming Beard had been a widower since the first few months of the war. On 6 December 1866 he married Barbara Ann Mitchell, daughter of Daniel Mitchell and Sarah "Sally" Wood and 29 years David's junior. They were married by Rev. George P. Luck. David and Barbara Ann had four children between 1868 and 1876.

David died 4 July 1878 in Bedford County. He was interred in the Key Family Cemetery. His brother, Charles Edward Beard, had married a Key, and his daughter-in-law was a Key. His widow, Barbara Ann (Mitchell) Beard died on 28 September 1890 and was also interred in the Key Family Cemetery.

During his lifetime, David Fleming Beard, Sr., experienced the War of 1812, which confirmed the independence of the United States; saw his country expand in size, adding twenty states; likely read about the Mexican-American war in the newspaper, and witnessed the invention of the railroads, which transformed transportation, and photography and many others. But likely the most impactful event was the Civil War -- a war largely fought in Virginia and in which he may have lost two sons.

The Virginia economy was destroyed by the Civil War and the Emancipation Proclamation. We will never know, if David continued farming after the war or how he was able to work the land as I have been unable to find his family in the 1870 census. Unlike many other Virginians, his sons and daughters remained in Virginia; however, they all moved away from Bedford County into the city of Roanoke, forsaking a way of lived by generations of Beard families since coming to America.

Probate

I have not found a last will and testament for David Fleming Beard, Sr., but have found a list of sales and an administrator's account. David's eldest son by his second marriage, Albert Monroe Beard, was the administrator of his estate. On 1 May 1891, he filed a list of his father's property that had been sold:

List and sale of the property of D. F. Beard, deceased
1 May 1891

From Bedford County, Virginia, Will Books Volume 28,
page 73; courtesy of Ancestry.com

A. M. Beard, Administrator David F. Beard

Commissioner's Office
Bedford City, Va., 26 April 1892

The foregoing list of sales of the personal property belonging to the estate of David F. Beard, deceased, was this day returned, and being in proper form was approved.

W. W. Berry, Commissioner of Account
Per W. M. Quarles

In Bedford County Court Clerk's Office 26 April 1892
This list of sales of the personal property belonging to the estate of David F. Beard, deceased was produced in said office and together with the certificate thereto annexed admitted to record.

Teste,

Robert Quarles

The Estate of David F. Beard, deceased, In account with Albert Beard, His Administrator

Bedford County, Virginia, Will Book Vol. 28, page 314; courtesy
Ancestry.com

Commissioner's Office
Bedford City, Va., 2 Jun 1892
The foregoing account is a final settlement of the estate of David F. Beard with Albert M. Beard Administrator, the statement was laid before me on the 26th day of April 1892, and the balance found due the said Albert M. Beard Administrator as aforesaid seventeen and 30/100 dollars the voucher was satisfactory and the bond sufficient, the name of the administrator was embraced in the list of fiduciaries posted at the front door of the court house May term 1892 (ten days having elapsed) said account is herewith returned. Given under my hand, as Commissioner of Accounts of Bedford County Court.

W. W. Berry, Commissioner

In Bedford County Clerk's Office, June 2nd 1892
This settlement of the account current of Albert M. Beard Administrator of David F. Beard deceased, was this day filed said office for exceptions.

Teste,

Robert S. Quarles, CBC

At Bedford County Court, February 2nd 1893
This settlement of the account current of Albert M. Beard Administrator of David F. Beard deceased, having lain in the clerk's office of this court more than one month, was produced in court, and no exceptions having been taken thereto, it was examined, confirmed and ordered to be recorded.

Teste,

Robert S. Quarles, CBC

Land Squabble

David owned 210 acres of land in Bedford County when he died. His widow, Barbara Ann (Mitchell) Beard continued to live on the property until her death in 1890. When she died her three youngest children were still minors and went to live with relatives.

Snippet of the original bill of complaint from Bedford County Chancery
Court cause 1901-117, which proved Effie Beard was the daughter of
David Fleming Beard, Sr.; courtesy of Library of Virginia

Albert's half siblings E. M. Beard and Martha Virginia (Beard) Mitchell and her husband, Burwell David Mitchell filed a bill of complaint in the Bedford County Chancery Court against their minor half siblings by their father's second wife: Effie, Sarah and David Fleming Beard, Jr. I'm not entirely sure why Albert was not a party in the suit. The plaintiffs wanted to sell the 210 acres of land their father had owned and distribute the proceeds among his heirs as they did not believe it could conveniently divided and retain its value. The court found for the plaintiffs and ordered the land to be sold. Albert bought the tract but defaulted on the first bond payment. So the court appointed a new administrator and required him to hold a second sale. The land was eventually sold and a final decree in the case was filed in 1901, ten years after the suit began.

This is my entry for Amy Johnson Crow's 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks. The theme for this week was "Storms," which I did not follow.

Using the Ancestral Reference Numbering System, David Fleming Beard, Sr., is Ancestor number 18 on my family tree:

18 David Fleming Beard, Sr., born on 24 December 1812 in Bedford County, Virginia, to James Harvey Beard and Mary McMullin/McMullen; died 4 July 1878 in Bedford County; married 1) Ann Dooley, daughter of Moses Dooley and Hulda Sharp, on 16 Feb 1842 in Bedford County and 2) Barbara Ann Mitchell, daughter of Daniel Mitchell and Sarah "Sally" Wood, on 6 December 1866.

18.1 Edward M. Beard, son of Ann Dooley, born about 1843 in Bedford County, died on an unknown date.

18.2 Martha Virginia Beard, daughter of Ann Dooley, born 10 December 1844 in Bedford County; died in January 1892 in Bedford County; married Burwell David Mitchell on 15 December 1864 in Bedford County.

18.3 William H. Beard, son of Ann Dooley,  born 6 December 1846 in Bedford County; died on an unknown date, but possibly on 31 May 1865 at Point Lookout Military Prison.

18.4 Moses Fleming Beard, son of Ann Dooley, born 8 October 1853 in Bedford County; died 15 July 1858 in Bedford County.

18.5 Albert Monroe Beard, son of Barbara Ann Mitchell, born 23 February 1868 in Bedford County; died 16 September 1937 in Roanoke, Virginia; married Emily Key, daughter of John David Key and Ella Garvin, on 31 January 1893 in Bedford County.

9 Effie Beard, daughter of Barbara Ann Mitchell, born 1 October 1871 in Bedford County; died 4 May 1906 in Roanoke, Virginia; married Charles Edward Jennings in June 1895, son of Powhatan Perrow Jennings and Catherine Jewell, his second wife.

18.6 Sarah Birdelle "Berta" Beard, daughter of Barbara Ann Mitchell, born 7 January 1874 in Bedford County; died 26 March 1940 in Roanoke, Virginia; married Sidney Samuel Mays, son of Elijah Fletcher Mays and Nancy Jones before 1906, his second wife.

18.7 David Fleming Beard, Jr. (twin?), son of Barbara Ann Mitchell, born 1 December 1876 in Bedford County; died 14 December 1915 in Roanoke, Virginia; married Anna Buford St. Clair, daughter of Buford William St. Clair and Virginia Ann Secrest, before 1903.

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Sources:

1850 US Census (database and images), David S Beard, Bedford county, Virginia; citing family 918, NARA microfilm publication M432 (Washington, DC: National Archives and Records Administration), page 272B (accessed 12 Apr 2016).
34th Regiment, Virginia Infantry (Confederate), Wikipedia (accessed 20 Mar 2018).
1860 US Census (database and images), David F Beard, Northern District, Bedford County, Virginia; citing NARA microfilm publication M654 (Washington, DC: National Archives and Records Administration, page 312, FHL microfilm 805335 (accessed 13 Dec 2017).
34th Regiment, Virginia Infantry, National Park Service, Soldiers and Sailors Database (accessed 20 Mar 2018).
Amendment XIII, Constitute (accessed 21 Mar 2018).
Clemens, William Montgomery. The Mitchell Family Magazine, Vols. I and II, 1916-1917, (New York, NY: William M. Clemens, 1916), page 77.
Confederal Citizens File, 1861-1865 (database and images), Fold3, David F. Beard, 142 pounds of bacon, 12 Jun 1862, citing NARA microfilm publication M346 (Washington, DC: National Archives and Records Administration, roll 0051 (accessed 28 Dec 2018).
Find A Grave, 1600s-Current (database and images), FindAGrave, David Fleming Beard (1812-1878), Memorial No. 164139793 (accessed 13 Apr 2016).
Hinshaw, William Wade. Encyclopedia of American Quaker Genealogy, Vol. VI, (Baltimore, MD: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1973), page 878.
List of U.S. States by Dated of Admission to Union, Wikipedia (accessed 21 Mar 2018).
Nezabeth, Linda B. Roster of Confederate Soldiers of Bedford County, Virginia, (Goodview, VA: Linda B. Nezbeth, 2016), page 4.
Timeline of Historic Inventions, Wikipedia (accessed 21 Mar 2018).
US, Social Security Applications and Claims Index, 1936-2007 (database), Ancestry, David F Beard father of Albert Monroe Beard (accessed 18 Dec 2018).
Viemeister, Peter. Historical Diary of Bedford, Virginia, U.S.A.: From Ancient Times to U.S. Bicentennial, (Bedford, VA: Hamilton's, 1993), pages 16-33.
Virginia Births and Christenings, 1584-1917 (database), FamilySearch, David F. Beard in entry for Henry Beard, 1 Dec 1876, Bedford, Virginia, reference V1, page 136, FHL microfilm 30599 (accessed 11 Feb 2016).
Virginia Births and Christenings, 1584-1917 (database), FamilySearch, David F Beard in entry for Moses Fleming Beard, 9 Oct 1853, Bedford County, Virginia, reference V1, page 1, FHL microfilm 30599 (accessed 11 Feb 2016).
Virginia Births and Christenings, 1584-1917 (database), FamilySearch, David F. Beard in entry for Sarah B. Brard, 7 Jan 1874, Bedford, Virginia, V1, page 98, FHL microfilm 30599 (accessed 11 Feb 2016).
Virginia Deaths and Burials, 1853-1912 (database), FamilySearch, David F. Beard in entry for Moses F. Beard, 15 Jul 1858, Bedford County, Virginia, page 247, line 15, FHL microfilm 30600 (accessed 11 Feb 2016).
Virginia Marriages, 1785-1940 (database), FamilySearch, David F. Beard and Barbara A. Mitchell, 6 Dec 1866, Bedford, Virginia, page 6, FHL microlim 30597 (accessed 11 Feb 2016).
Virginia Marriages, 1785-1940 (database), FamilySearch, David F Beard and Ann Dooly, 15 Feb 1842, Bedford, Virginia, page 75, FHL microfilm 30591 (accessed 11 Feb 2016).
Virginia Marriages, 1785-1940 (database), FamilySearch, David F. Beard in entry for Albert M. Beard and Emily F. Key, 31 Jan 1893, Bedford, Virginia, page 224, FHL microfilm 30,597 (accessed 12 Feb 2016).
Virginia Marriages, 1785-1940 (database), FamilySearch, David F. Beard in entry for Burwell D. Mitchell and Martha V. Beard, 15 Dec 1864, Bedford, Virginia, page 38, FHL microfilm 30597 (accessed 12 Feb 2016).
Virginia Wills and Probate Records, 1652-1983 (database and images), Ancestry, David F. Beard List of Sales, 1 May 1891, Will Books 28-29, page 73 (accessed 18 Mar 2018).
Virginia Wills and Probate Records, 1652-1983 (database and images), Ancestry, Administrator's Account for David F. Beard, 26 Apr 1892, Bedford County, Virginia, Will Books 28-29, page 314 (accessed 18 Mar 2018).

Peaks of Otter Presbyterian Church Land
Peaks of Otter Presbyterian Church Petition
The Elizabeth Beard First Cousins: Which Is Which?
Samuel Beard (1750-1814): Revolutionary War Veteran
The Several Elizabeth Beards
Adam Beard (c1727-1777): Constable of Bedford County
John Beard (c1705-1780): A Man of Means
Who's Your Daddy, Adam Beard?
Beard and Jennings: More Interconnected than I Thought
The Court Case Regarding the Slaves of Mary (Mitchell) Beard
Proving James Harvey Beard's Father
Slaves of John Beard (1705-1780) of Bedford County, Virginia
The Court Doth Adjudge, Order and Decree
The Mother Nobody Knew
George Washington Spoke to Him
Ancestry DNA and Finding a New Cousin

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Peaks of Otter Presbyterian Church Land

One hundred and two members of the Peaks of Otter Church in Bedford County, Virginia, petitioned the House of Burgesses for permission to purchase slaves in order to work church land in order to support the maintenance of a full-time minister. The Burgesses' Committee on Religion reported the petition as reasonable on 21 May 1774 but Lord Dunmore, the royal governor, dissolved the House of Burgesses on 25 May. So we don't know if an official act was ever passed granting the petition. However, we know the church members did buy four slaves. (See Peaks of Otter Presbyterian Church Petition)

In From Slaves to Satellites: 250 Years of Changing Times on a Virginia Farm, published in 1999, author Peter Viemeister wrote on page 29:

"Neither church nor county land records reveal where the slaves were quartered nor where they worked. Relevant church minutes have been lost. Perhaps one of the big landowners -- like Beard or Ewing -- said, in effect, 'Here, use this land as long as the church wants to. No need for formal deed, contracts, and all that. If the church stops using it, we'll take the land back.'..."

I believe I have found the record regarding the land in Chancery Court cause 1769-003. Robert Mitchell, my five times great grandfather, and John Erwine purchased two hundred acres from John Hardiman which was described as being located between "Molly's Creek on the one side, the road on the other, and Dutchman's Branch on the last side" for "settlement of a certain David Rice, their minister."

Snippet from page three of Bedford County Chancery 1769-003; courtesy
of the Library of Virginia

John Erwine and Robert Mitchell entered into two bonds each for the sum of fifty Virginia pounds for the agreed upon 200 acres. The parties also agreed if after being surveyed the triangle described did not include 200 acres additional acreage would be added to the agreement. And that was the rub.

Surveying revealed the land to be 150 acres and the parties had two different ideas about how to make up the shortfall. John Hardiman wanted to add land along the banks and across Falling River and John Erwine and Robert Mitchell thought that land was worthless and refused. The first bond was duly executed but while Hardiman, Erwine and Mitchell were discussing what to do about the additonal 50 acres they had committed to purchase, Hardiman assigned the second bond to John Richards, who promptly went to court and obtained a judgment against Erwine and Mitchell.

John Erwine and Robert Mitchell were outraged, and their ire comes through the stilted court language almost 240 years later:

"...the said Hardiman disregarding every principal of honesty has confederated with the said Richards...to defeat your orators out of the just deductions and encouraged the commencement and prosecution of the said suit; and after judgment by bond, used a subpoena...for recovery of the debt."

John Erwine and Robert Mitchell told the court they were always willing to pay some portion of the second bond if agreement could not be reached on which land should be used to make up the acreage shortfall. They felt the dealings of Hardiman and Richards had been unnecessary and resulted in needless and expensive court costs. They begged the justices to put the two men under oath each time they were questioned -- clearly they didn't think much of the two men's word!

This is yet another Chancery Court case file that peters out without a final decree. John Richards never responded to two subpoenas to appear in court and answer the bill of complaint. The last page is a bond signed by John Erwine, Robert Mitchell, and Israel Read for twenty Virginia pounds which was be effective until the court rendered its decision. If Ewine and Mitchell prevailed, the bond would be void.

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Peaks of Otter Presbyterian Church Petition