Monday, April 2, 2018

The Several Elizabeth Beards

My seven times great grandfather, John Beard,  married a woman named Elizabeth sometime about 1727 in Virginia. Her maiden name remains unknown to this day. John's son, Adam Beard (c1727-1777) also married a woman named Elizabeth. Her maiden is unknown as well. They had three sons -- David, Samuel and Adam -- and each of them had a daughter named Elizabeth Beard. Within four generations, there are five women named Elizabeth Beard and they were all living in Bedford County, most of them at the same time.

Peter Viemeister, author of From Slaves to Satellites: 250 Years of Changing Times on a Virginia Farm, wrote this about John and Elizabeth coming to the area that became Bedford County:

Among the earliest settlers of the Brunswick/Lunenburg/Bedford region were John Beard and his wife, Elizabeth (born 1710). The family would have brought tools, nails, salt, and some provisions in wagons pulled by oxen. Beard bought land which would yield his family marketable bounty. He also acquired extra land which he believed he could resell at a profit as more settlers came this way."

Adam Sr.'s wife, Elizabeth, died shortly after her husband in late 1777 or early 1778. Both their wills were proved in a Bedford County court session on 23 March 1778.

Last Will and Testament of Elizabeth (maiden name unknown) Beard; courtesy
In the name of God Amen. I Elizabeth Beard do hereby dispose of what hath been pleased to God to bless me with in this life in the following form and manner to wit:

After Negro Martin and all our other just debts are paid, it is under my free will and pleasure that the remainder of our moveable estate of every kind left at my disposal by my late husband be equally provided between my four children to wit David Beard, Rachel Dickson,[1] Samuel Beard, Adam Beard to them and their heirs and assigns forever. I hereby constitute and appoint David Beard and my son Adam Beard executors of this my last will and testament, revoking all other wills or testaments by me heretofore made [illegible] or executed, confirming this and no other to be my last will and testament witnessed whereof I thereunto set my hand and office my seal this 6th day of December 1777. Signed and acknowledged in presence of us.

Elizabeth Beard (her mark)

Robert Ewing
William Armstrong
Alex Armstrong

At a court held for Bedford County the 23rd day of March 1778
This last will and testament of Elizabeth Beard, deceased, was proved by the oaths of Robert Ewing, William Armstrong and Alexander Armstrong, witnesses thereto. Subscribed and ordered to be recorded, and on the motion of David Beard, one of the executors therein named who made oath thereto. Certificate is granted him for obtaining probate in due form giving security whereupon he together with David Wright, James Buford, and James Patterson. His securities entered into and acknowledged their bond in penalty of one thousand pounds for the said executors due and faithful administration of the said decedent's estate and performance of his will. Liberty being reserved for Adam Beard, the other executor therein named, to join in the probate thereof when he shall think fit.

J. Steptoe, Clerk

So we learned that Adam, Sr., and Elizabeth did not name their only daughter who lived to adulthood Elizabeth. Thank goodness!

[1] Rachel (Beard) Dickson's married surname was also spelled Dixon in documents of the time.

Adam Beard (c1727-1777): Constable of Bedford County
John Beard (c1705-1780): A Man of Means

No comments:

Post a Comment