About Me

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Just to tell you a little about myself, my name is Vickie and I was born and raised in Kentucky. The majority of my ancestors have been in Kentucky since the 1790’s. I have always loved history, a good mystery and puzzles and that is what Family History Research is all about. As a child we would take day trips on Saturdays and head down some dirt road looking for old cemeteries. A lot of the time we weren't looking for anyone in particular, we just like to read the epitaphs. We would have a picnic lunch packed and have lunch at whatever cemetery we were at. If the weather was bad my Dad and I would go to a courthouse and dig through old records in musty old basements looking for our ancestors. So as you can see I have had an interest in Family History for quite some time.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

My Doss Origins

Researched and written by Descendant Vickie Beard Thompson in 2011 and updated with new info in 2014

The origins of my Doss family are not known for certain at this time, I and others have been able to trace them back to the mid 1600’s still in Virginia and so far we have not been able to get them across the pond as the saying goes.  I believe that the Doss surname is of English origin, but some seem to think it might be German instead.  There is still more work that needs to be done before we can determine their exact country of origin with any certainty.  For those of you reading this there are people with the Doss surname in England and Germany, today, as well as back in the 1600’s.  So as you can see I still need to do more work to figure out where ours came from.  Most of my direct line Doss family seemed to have owned a little land and some slaves for the first few generations here in America, but our direct line by 1804 or so was not as well off. 

My first known Doss ancestor was John Doss who was born about 1655 in Virginia, married on 26 January 1680 in Christ Church, Middlesex County, Virginia to Ann Taylor and died 17 September 1687 in Middlesex County, Virginia.  John and Ann had only three children that I am aware of before his untimely death, twins William and Ellener born in 1681 and Thomas born in 1687 just a few months before his father’s death.  My line comes through their son, Thomas who had at least two sons named James and Thomas Jr.  I have yet to find nor as anyone else what Thomas’ wife’s name was at this time.  The following is a county map of Virginia with the names of the counties in that state, so just look for the counties I have mentioned in this post.

My next blood line is James Doss born in about 1715 in Middlesex County, Virginia son of Thomas Doss and an unknown mother.  James Doss married Frances Nix in about 1741 in Virginia and they had at least seven children before Frances died in about 1777.  James died in May of 1796 in Pittsylvania County, Virginia.  The children of James and Frances were: James Jr, Thomas, Delilah, John, Mary, Ambrose and Rachel.  I come through James Doss, Jr. who was born in about 1742 in Amelia County, Virginia son of James and Frances, who married Elizabeth Lester in about 1771 and who died in about 1812 in Pittsylvania County, Virginia.  James Doss, Jr. and Elizabeth Lester had at least five known children, namely: Elizabeth, Phillip Valorius, Lavina, Mary Ann and William.  These families mentioned so far, all had a little land and some slaves, but our line kept heading west looking for more land and eventually ended up with one heck of a lot of nothing.

I now come to Phillip Valorius Doss son of James and Elizabeth who is my next ancestor coming this way.  Phillip was born in about 1775 in Pittsylvania County, Virginia and got married in about 1804 to Rhoda Elizabeth Thurman and was dead before 14 June 1814, leaving Rhoda with at least seven young children.  These children were named: Joel Burgess, James, an unknown daughter, Phillip Valorius, Jr., Labon Thurman, Samuel and Anna.  Now here is where the story starts to get interesting.  According to court records in Pittsylvania County, Virginia in August 1804, Phillip is arrested for stealing a hog.  This would have been around the same time he was getting married, so things probably weren't real good with the in-laws. J  Phillip is paying taxes in Pittsylvania County from 1799 to 1810, but only for a couple of animals, a horse and cow and not for any land, so he was probably share cropping for someone or just working odd jobs.  He must have been pretty hungry to have stolen a hog, which was a pretty bad offense back in the day and could lead to your death.  You just didn't mess with other people's livestock. 

Around 1811, Phillip with his wife and their first four children, left Virginia for Kentucky settling in and around the counties of  Adair, Cumberland and Wayne.  What happen to Phillip is unknown at this time, but according to court records in Wayne County dated 14 June 1814, Rhoda was the widow of Phillip Doss who was deceased.  The county courts in these three counties at different times, took Rhoda’s children, the boys not the girls, from her and bound them out to someone to learn a trade.  Rhoda had the boys sneak away from their masters when they could and then she and the children would apparently hide out and barely survive until the courts found them again.  Back in those days’ people did not think women could take care of themselves, well off their children, so they would take them away and the children would be bound out to learn a trade until they reached the age of 18 to 21 years. 

How they thought this woman with two little girls, would be able to fend for herself and grow a crop and everything else that would have been entailed during this time without the help of her sons is beyond me.  Even her oldest child was only 9 or so when his father died and the others even younger but the courts would not let her keep them and so in the middle of the night she would sneak to the farms or businesses where her children were and off they would go again.  From everything I have been able to find Rhoda never remarried and was living with her son Samuel in Christian County, Kentucky in 1850 and sometime after that she moved, apparently with some of her children to Missouri where she is suppose to have died.  Others say she left Missouri and went to live with one of her grandsons, Charles Henry Doss in Illinois and died there.  Either way I cannot find her after 1850, so I am still not sure what really happen to her.

Joel Burgess Doss is my next ancestor and the son of Phillip and Rhoda.  Joel was born on 18 October 1804 in Pittsylvania County, Virginia and at the age of 10, according to the court records  was ‘apprenticed or bound out to learn the trade and the art and mystery of cotton spinning and wool carding’, which occupation he followed the rest of his life.  On 8 December 1825 Joel married Mildred Hurt in Adair County, Kentucky and they became the parents of at least eleven children, namely: James Phillip, Sarah Ann, an unknown daughter, John Burgess, Charles Henry, Joel Burgess, Jr. William A., Nancy Susan, Elizabeth Mildred, George Samuel and Emily Frances.  Joel and Mildred moved around quite a bit before they eventually settled in Webster County, Kentucky sometime before 1860, living in the town of Clay.  Joel and Mildred were both still alive in 1875, but sometime after that and before the summer of 1880 they both had died and are buried at the Odd Fellows Cemetery in Clay in unmarked graves.  This information was told to me by Mama Jessie, my grandmother.  I know as a child she took us to the graveyard and showed us the spots, which if I remember correctly were very close to her parents who are also buried at this cemetery.  Joel and Mildred’s son Charles Henry became a doctor and lived in Illinois where he died in 1914 and three of his sons also became doctors as well.  The rest of Joel and Mildred’s children pretty much followed farming.

Back in June of 2006, I was able to go and meet with Helen Withers Griffith in Lexington, Kentucky.  She was also a descendant of Joel and Mildred through their daughter Nancy Susan Doss.  Helen gave me copies of some pictures she had of this family.  I had never seen them before and neither had my Dad.  I will include them here so that everyone can see what this side of the family looked like.  I have listed their names under their picture.

Mildred Hurt Doss born ca. 1808 - died after 1875 and before 1880

Nancy Susan Doss Wicks born ca. 1842 died ca. 1885

I believe Mildred and Nancy’s picture were probably taken in the mid 1870’s, Mildred died after 1875 and before 1880 and Nancy Susan died in 1885.  Since Mildred and her daughter look like they are setting in the same chair in these two pictures, I am assuming the picture was probably taken at the same time.  The picture of Emily and her daughter Janice was probably taken around the late 1870’s.  Emily’s daughter Janice was born in 1871 and she looks like she is about 7 or 8 years old so this picture was probably taken in about 1878 and I am thinking probably after her husband American Wesley Wicks was killed in January of 1878. 

Emily Frances Doss Wicks 1850-1928 and her daughter Ada Janice Wicks 1871-1946

Nancy and Emily married half-brothers, Nancy married James William Wicks and Emily married American Wesley Wicks.  Emily is the one Mama Jessie always talked about who she called Aunt Em.  Aunt Em as the story goes was a witch and fortune teller and lived way out in the woods and Mama Jessie said she just loved her.  Aunt Em’s husband American Wesley Wicks was killed when he fell off a roof he was shingling.  They had only been married for 8 years and had four little children and Aunt Em never remarried.  Helen Withers Griffith said her Aunt Ruth use to say that Aunt Em embarrassed them when she came to town because her dress would be dragging on the ground and be covered in dirt and mud.   Mama Jessie said people would pay Aunt Em to cast spells or fix up a tonic to help with different ailments.

On to my next ancestor in line Joel and Mildred’s tenth child who was my great-grandfather, George Samuel Doss, the father of Mama Jessie, my grandmother.  George was born on 28 January 1848 in Logan County, Kentucky and he also worked in the woolen mills for awhile before going full time to farming.  George met and married Nancy Lougena Woosley on 8 December 1878 in Christian County, Kentucky and they became the parents of eight children of whom the youngest was my very own Mama Jessie.  I received a copy of the wedding picture of George and Nancy which I had never seen before from, Pamela Uknavage Russell, a granddaughter of Aunt Verlie, one of Mama Jessie’s sisters, that picture follows.

The eight children of George and Nancy were: Lena Alice, Lillie Mildred, Fred Raymond, George McKinsie, Lloyd Robert, Verla Leona, Anna Luretha and Jessie Holeman.  Mama Jessie’s middle name of Holeman came about because that was the name of the doctor who delivered her according to Mama Jessie herself.  Mama Jessie’s oldest son, William Teague, said that his Grandpa, George Doss’ nickname was Kookie.  He had gotten this nickname from Tarzan's son on an old radio show. Another thing I was told is that all the girls first names really ended in ‘ie’ Lenie, Lillie, Verlie, Annie and Jessie, but I have found them on a number of records with the spellings, I have listed first, but I know I always called my great-aunts, Lenie, Lillie, Verlie and Annie as did most everyone else.  However, some family members of these different ladies say their names were legally Lena, Lillie, Verla & Anna.

The surviving Doss siblings, from left to right: Verlie, Annie, Lloyd, Lenie and Jessie.  This picture would have had to have been taken after 1952 when their brother Fred died and before 1960 when Lenie died.  I remember Aunt Lenie just barely as I was only a little over 2 years old when she passed.  I remember Uncle Lloyd and Aunt Annie really well and Aunt Verlie not as much since she lived over in Illinois and we were in Kentucky.

All of these children lived to adulthood and married except for George who was killed in a mining accident in Mine #4 of the O'Gara Coal Company in Saline County, Illinois.  He was only 27 years old and had never been married.  According to newspaper accounts the mine started to cave in and the men started running to get out, some of them made it but a number of them were killed.  Just as George and his brother-in-law Will Smith, nickname Smokey Bill, were almost to the mouth of the mine when a big slap of slate fell from the roof of the mine and crushed George.  His brother-in-law Will Smith, husband of Verlie, somehow raised that big old piece of slate off of George and dragged him out from under it.  Will had somehow been missed by the falling debris.  George lived for about 3 or 4 days after and before George died some of his friends came over and sang "In the Sweet By and By".  George sang some with them and everyone wondered how he did it.  He called in all the family to talk to them before he died and the last one he called in was his sister Jessie who he always called Judy.  He told her to not be sad and to always try and be good girl and a few minutes later he died.  Mama Jessie never got over the death of her beloved brother George and she talked about him all the time.  I remember so many times the stories Mama Jessie would tell about him and the pranks he would pull on his siblings and even his parents.  This is the only picture I know of that exists of Mama Jessie’s brother George, it was taken in about 1910.

George McKinsie Doss 1887-1915

Another sibling of Mama Jessie’s that must have been an interesting character was her sister Lillie.  According to my uncle, William Teague, oldest child of Mama Jessie, Aunt Lillie was in a honky-tonk and was shot and lost her arm and he said he was maybe 9 or 10 years old when it happened.  Uncle William could not remember which arm it was though.  Another of my uncles, George Beard, Mama Jessie’s third son, said when he was about 8 years old, Aunt Lillie came to visit and being a little kid he ask her how did you lose your arm and she told him a jealous lover shot it off.  He said he never forgot her telling him that.  I also remember Mama Jessie saying that her sister had lost an arm, but I never heard how it happened but I tend to think Uncle William probably would have known how it happened since he was 18 years old when she died in 1937.  The shooting that took Aunt Lillie’s arm would have happened sometime I believe after 1920 and before her death in 1937.  In 1930 Aunt Lillie and her son Lenard Dale Worsham were living in Pontiac, Michigan so I thinking maybe the shooting took place there.  Aunt Lillie’s husband Leonard Worsham was also killed in a mining accident on 11 Sep 1919 at the O’Gara Mining Company in Saline County, Illinois the same mines that her brother George was killed in 1915. 

As of 3 April 2013 I have a copy of a letter which was written on 12 February 1931 in which it states that Lillie is in the hospital, because she was shot in the arm with a 30.30 rifle while at her home by a jealous lover and it had to be removed.  Aunt Annie, younger sister to Lillie, is writing this letter to my grandma, her sister Jessie, and it says that Lillie had left her house (Annie’s) on Sunday morning in Toledo, Ohio and this had happen on Sunday evening around 6:30 after Lillie got back to her house in Pontiac, Michigan.  Aunt Annie goes on to say that they had to take about 10 inches off from her shoulder down.  That would make the date 8 Feb 1931 when she was shot and lost her arm.  That would have made Uncle William almost 12 years old and Uncle George almost 3 years old when Aunt Lillie was shot.  Aunt Annie also tells Mama Jessie to please let their sister Verlie know, but make sure and not tell their Momma, because it would just kill her to hear something like this.  Here are some pictures of Aunt Lillie, she was a very pretty woman.



George and Nancy Doss lived in Clay, Kentucky for most of their married life and they died in 1925 and 1931 respectively.  They are both buried at the Odd Fellows Cemetery in Clay.  The obituary for Nancy, reads as follows:  From the Twice a Week Providence Enterprise Newspaper in Webster County, Kentucky.  Aged Clay Woman Dies There Friday 6 March 1931, Mrs. Jeany DOSS, 75, died at 10 o'clock Friday night in Clay.  Senility is thought to have caused her death.  Five brothers, two sisters and several children survive her.  Funeral services were held at the General Baptist Church Sunday with the Rev. Nealey Pearcy in charge.  Interment was in Odd Fellows Cemetery. 

The picture of Nancy and George on their wedding day in 1878 shows that they were a very handsome couple, but the years took their toll on them.  Following is what they looked like years later.  Life must have been very hard on the both of them.

My next ancestor was my grandmother, Jessie Holeman Doss who was born 5 March 1899 in Clay, Webster County, Kentucky the daughter of George Samuel Doss and Nancy Lougena Woosley and she was the eighth and youngest child of her parents.  She was spoiled rotten by her brothers and sometimes even by her sisters.  When Mama Jessie (as almost all of her grandkids called her) was three years old her family moved to Charleston, Missouri.  They lived in a tent while her Daddy was cutting timber and snakes were all over the place, she recounted this story many times to my Dad and myself.  She didn't go to school until she was about 7 or 8 years old because her Mom wouldn't let her, this school was in Clay, Kentucky.  She hated school didn't like it at all.  The last school she went to was at Wheatcroft, Kentucky and she only went to 5th grade then quit and never went back.  Her nickname was Judy, which her brother George bestowed on her.  From Charleston, Missouri they moved back to Kentucky then over to Illinois in about 1908 and lived in Marion, Illinois then moved over to Harrisburg, Illinois and lived there for a while then moved back to Kentucky.  Mama Jessie was very superstitious.  Some of her things were: whatever door you come in that’s the door you leave out of, and don't put a baby in front of a mirror before they are a year old or they'll die before they were 21 years old.   The following picture was taken in 1918 before her first marriage.

Mama Jessie was married five times, first to William Ernest Teague in 1919; next to Burke Atwood Ward in 1921 for about two weeks when she found out he was already married.  I don't know if the marriage was annulled or if there was a divorce.  Mama Jessie was living in Kansas City, Missouri when she found out he was a bigamist.  This info was given to me by my aunt, Helen Beard Loftis, Mama Jessie’s oldest daughter.  Third marriage was to Benjamin Franklin Walls in 1923, fourth to my grandpa, Aubrey David Beard in 1925, then her fifth and final marriage to Veldo Thomas Corley in 1943, who we all called Pa and loved dearly.  I wish Mama Jessie was here to tell me the story of her life and I wish I had written down all the stories she use to tell.  About all I can do is try and remember some of the things she told me and I have been told over the years by her children and other family members.  

This picture of Mama Jessie was taken in about 1920.  I have always loved this flapper look in a barnyard of all places.  Always trying to look like she had more then she really did.

Mama Jessie always insisted she was born in 1900, but the 1900 census indicates she was born 5 March 1899.  I guess she just felt that being born in the 1800's made her seem too old, one of the reasons we called her Mama Jessie was because she did not think she was old enough to have grandchildren and never wanted to be called grandma. J   Apparently she did tell the truth to the Social Security because they have her listed as being born in 1899, but she had her tombstone made before she died and had 1900 put on it.

Not sure when this picture was taken of Mama Jessie but I would think 1920's or early 1930's.

Mama Jessie was the mother of 10 children and 50 grandchildren.  Those children were: Charles William Teague 1919-2008, Harold Crawford Walls 1924-1997, Dorothy Helen Beard 1926-2009, George Anderson Beard, Audrey Dale Beard 1930-2014, Donald Ray Beard 1932-2004, Jackie Loy Beard 1934-2004, Violet Joy Beard, 1934-2016, Duell Franklin Beard (my Daddy) 1935-2009 and Bobby David Corley.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

My Baird/Beard Origins

Researched & written by descendant Vickie Beard Thompson in 2011

The origins of my Beard family start out for certain in Ireland in the early 1700’s, and according to family lore somewhere in County Antrim was where they lived, before migrating to the America Colonies, before the Revolutionary War.  County Antrim in Ireland is directly across the North Channel of the Irish Sea from Scotland.  The surname in Ireland and Scotland is found as Baird for the most part, back throughout the ages and stayed that way in America for the first few years but then went back and forth between the spellings of Baird and Beard.  My family spelled our surname as Beard, since at least 1820 or so.  Below is a map of Ireland, and County Antrim is in Northern Ireland and I have highlighted it in red so you can see where it is located.  

Image Source Page: http://www.map-of-ireland.org/

My first known Beard ancestor here in America was Hugh Beard who was born about 1740 in Ireland and his wife was Mary Gibson also born in Ireland about 1747.  Hugh and Mary were part of a large migration of Scotch/Irish Presbyterians who left Ireland because of religious persecution for America before 1775.  Scotch/Irish were for the most part people who were born in or resided in Ireland, mainly Northern Ireland, but whose earlier ancestral origins were in Scotland, but they could have been in Ireland for 200 years or 2 years and still been called Scotch/Irish.  Hugh and Mary arrived in America sometime between 1770 and 1775, possibly in Charleston, South Carolina but so far I have been unable to find the exact ship they came over on or the exact year.  From everything I have been able to find, all of our Beard ancestors and their children followed farming as their occupation, some would pick up odd jobs here and there, but for the most part farming was what they did to make a living and to survive.

The crossing of the Atlantic by our ancestors during the 1700’s would have taken anywhere from 5 to 6 weeks depending on weather, winds, the worthiness of the ship, captain and crew.  It could have taken even longer if they had been blown off course by a storm.  There were not really any passenger ships during the 1700’s; there were mainly war ships or commercial ships.  When more and more people started to immigrate to America they started to refit these ships to carry passengers.  Often times 300 or more people would be packed into a ship and assigned tiny cots lined up, side by side, extra floors were sometimes installed to add more people, but standing up would have been almost impossible.  Sometimes you would have to literally crawl to your cot and you were not allowed to go on deck except for a short time every few days in some instances.  Food was eaten where you stood.  There were no dining rooms and by the first week the food was moldy and sour and water became foul and undrinkable.  Disease would have been present in many shapes and forms.  If you died during the crossing your body was thrown overboard and it was not like in the movies where they wrapped you in some kind of cloth and said a prayer and slid you slowly into the deep.  No, there was no extra cloth, there was no time for prayer and you weren't allowed on deck, so you usually did not see your loved one thrown in.  Pirates were also common during this time period and if you did not die of hunger or disease then the pirates might get you, either way you would have had to have been made of some pretty sturdy stock to even think of leaving your homeland for the unknown and uncertainty of reaching America.  A ship during this time period would have possibly looked something like this, or maybe not even this good.  

The homes our ancestors lived in here on the frontier in America would have probably been made of logs, one room with a fireplace on one wall, to cook the food and heat the home.  If the family was really lucky they might even have had an upstairs loft where everyone slept, giving them more room for cooking and cleaning downstairs.  There might have been one or two windows downstairs, but they would have been very small and most likely covered in some kind of animal skin.  Glass in the windows was pretty uncommon during the time period our ancestors were living in the Carolina’s and even in Kentucky and glass cost so much that most people could not afford it even if they could acquire some.

Below is a picture of an old log home that is still standing in Eastern Kentucky which may have been built around the early 1800’s.  This picture can kind of give us an idea of the type of home our Beard ancestors might have lived in during the 1700’s and in to the late 1800’s.  If you will notice this cabin has a metal chimney, metal roof and a porch, but these would have been added in much later.  Most cabin fireplaces during the frontier times would have been made of rock inside and out and also with wood shingles on the roof or even heavy sod and no porch.  This one also comes with a small loft, but as you can tell there still was not a lot of room in these cabins.  Can you imagine our ancestors with 8 to 12 children living in a home this small?  Most of the cabins during this time period were only about 16 feet by 16 feet, so as you can see not spacious at all.  

I know that Hugh Beard and Mary Gibson had at least three sons born here in America in approximately 1778 (Simon), 1780 John (my ancestor) and 1784 (James), because of their (Hugh and Mary) ages I am assuming they had older children who came with them from Ireland, but to date I have been unable to find any of them with any certainty.  Hugh and Mary are first found in the Lancaster County, South Carolina area when they received a land grant of 250 acres on the north side of the Catawba River on the south side of Cane Creek on Rum Creek, in Lancaster County, South Carolina, which was granted on 15 Nov 1774.  By the early 1790’s and before 1797 the Beard family has moved over to the Abbeville County, South Carolina area.  The following picture is a county boundary map for the state of South Carolina and I have colored in the areas for Lancaster County and for Abbeville County.  The Catawba River runs along the western boundary of Lancaster County between York, Chester, Fairfield and Kershaw Counties and Cane Creek and Rum Creek if you look at the following map would be about where the ‘A’ in Lancaster is located, so that would have been approximately where the Beard land grant was located.

My Beard families settled in the Cedar Springs area of Abbeville County and were members of the Cedar Springs Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church.  If you look at the map above, this church and cemetery would be located in the top right corner of Abbeville County almost on the border of the Greenwood County line.  Hugh Beard and his possible brothers or cousins, Simon Beard, John Beard and Adam Beard were some of the signers of a petition to have Rev. Alexander Porter preach at Cedar Springs in March of 1797.  By August of 1814, Rev. Porter asked to be released from Cedar Springs and went to Kentucky and Ohio to preach.  This was granted and the following month in September of 1814, Rev. Porter left with 34 members of his congregation in Cedar Springs for Kentucky taking wagons and livestock.  Some of the Beard family went with him, however, part of the Beard families that left at this time or shortly before, stopping in Kentucky only briefly then went on to Preble County, Ohio and others went to Randolph County, Illinois.  My ancestors, Hugh Beard and Mary Gibson, I believe died in Abbeville County, but so far I have not found any death dates for them, but they could be in unmarked graves at the Cedar Springs Church Graveyard.  One of these days I would like to go there and look around and who knows I might just find a marker for them.

Just to clarify a little for those that might not know, back in the day if you belong to certain congregations you could ask for a certain preacher to be assigned to your church or if you needed a preacher and none were around you could send a letter to the main church and request that a preacher be sent.  You would get the members in the area to sign a petition requesting a new preacher and hopefully your request was granted as soon as possible.  The people in the Cedar Springs area must have really liked Rev. Alexander Porter, because there were a number of children born in the area who were named Alexander Porter, even in my own family there were at least four descendants of Hugh Beard and Mary Gibson named Alexander Porter Beard.  When a preacher wanted to be released from the area he was serving in, he would have to send a letter to the main church and request this and once it was granted then he could move on to new areas.  Rev. Porter was born in about 1770 in Abbeville County, South Carolina and was the first native born minister of the Associated Reformed Presbytery of the Carolina’s and Georgia here in America.  Rev. Porter died in about 1836 in Preble County, Ohio.  The following is a picture of the Cedar Springs Church and Graveyard as it looks today.  The original church was framed and made of wood and built in about 1797, but the church today is made of brick and was built in about 1853.  

Image Source Page: http://www.hmdb.org/marker.asp?marker=7184

My next ancestor John Beard son of Hugh Beard and Mary Gibson, with his wife Catharine McKinney who was born in Ireland in about 1780, as well as their first six children, namely: Robert, Hugh, John, Alexander (my ancestor), Simon and William; left Cedar Springs in the spring of 1817, for Kentucky, moving into the Livingston County area that eventually became Crittenden County in 1842.  John Beard and Catharine McKinney had been married at the Cedar Springs Church on 13 September 1803.  After arriving in Kentucky, John Beard and Catharine McKinney had five more children, namely: William, Matthew, Margaret, Catharine, James and Nancy Agnes; making eleven children in all that they had.  At one time my Dad, Duell Franklin Beard, talked to a woman in Marion, Kentucky named Nina Ordway, who had the old Beard family bible and in it were listed all eleven children with their complete birth dates.  I don’t know whatever happen to the bible, but it would sure be great if it still existed out there somewhere.  The following picture is a county boundary map for the state of Kentucky and I have colored in the areas for Livingston and Crittenden Counties so you can see where the family eventually came to live after leaving South Carolina in 1817.

When John Beard was about 52 years of age in 1832, he died, weather it was from an illness or an accident I have been unable to determine as of yet.  His youngest child was just five years of age.  John’s wife, Catharine McKinney never remarried, but lived out the remainder of her days with most of her children living either with her or close by.  Catharine McKinney Beard died in January of 1873, having been a widow for almost 41 years.  John and Catharine had two children Hugh and Nancy Agnes who never married and who both lived to be quite old, they are both buried at what is called the Coleman Donakey Place Cemetery in Crittenden County and I believe that John and Catharine may also be buried there as well, but none of them have markers that I am aware of.  It was not unusual at all for a woman to remain widowed during this time period, although there were many that did remarry sometimes within months of their spouses death, I think it just depended on the person.

My next ancestor, Alexander Beard was born in 1811 in Abbeville County, South Carolina the son of John Beard and Catharine McKinneyAlexander was just 6 years old when the family moved to Kentucky.  In 1838 Alexander Beard married Hulda Ford and they became the parents of seven children, namely: Julia Ann, Charlotte, Nancy Agnes, William, Sarah, Mary Ann and George Anderson (my ancestor).  When Alexander Beard was about 61 years of age in 1872, he died, I have been unable to determine as of yet what the cause of death may have been for him as well.  Alexander Beard died less than a year before his mother, Catharine McKinney Beard died. 

Alexander Beard’s youngest child was just 13 years of age and was my ancestor George Anderson BeardHulda Ford Beard remarried in 1875, to Anthony Franklin a widower and who my brother Tony (Anthony Franklin Beard) was named for.  Anthony died in 1890 and Hulda lived as a widow after that time until 1905 when she passed away.  Hulda is buried at the Hurricane Cemetery in Crittenden County, Kentucky.  My Dad, Duell Franklin Beard was also given this man’s last name for his middle name, so they must have thought very highly of him.  My Dad also said he was named for the doctor who delivered him Dr. Franklin, who by the way was a descendant of Anthony Franklin who married the widow, Hulda Ford Beard.

My next ancestor, George Anderson Beard was born in 1859 in Crittenden County, Kentucky the son of Alexander Beard and Hulda Ford.  He was married first to Nellie Elder and she died in childbirth along with the baby in 1890.  On the December 17, 1891 in Marion, Kentucky, George Anderson Beard married Rose Etta Daniel and to them were born eight children, namely: Nina Ruth, Aubrey David (my grandfather), Addie Lou, George Duell, Cleo Wilma, Daniel Nunn (Petieman), Gladys Rosemond and Mary Gwendolyn; the last two being twin girls who were eleven years old when their father died.  George Anderson Beard also died fairly young at the age of 65, in 1924 in Clarksville, Arkansas and is buried at the Oakland Cemetery in Clarksville.  He had been sick just a short time, but I do not know what the illness was.   The following is a picture of his grave taken the day he was buried.

George's widow Rose Etta Daniel Beard never remarried and she and the children had moved over to Bowlegs, Oklahoma before the 1930 census was taken.  Rose Etta Daniel Beard and some of her children moved to Tulare County, California sometime after the census was taken that year and by the end of the summer of 1930 and she died in Woodlake in 1939, being a widow for 15 years.  Rose Etta Daniel Beard is buried in the Woodlake District Cemetery in Woodlake, California and thanks to great-granddaughter Sheena Sharp Wilson who saw to the ordering and placing of the marker and the many cousins who donated the money needed to order the marker, Rose now has a marker there. Also listed on the marker are two of her children who did not have markers either and their names were: Daniel ‘Petieman’ Beard and Cleo Wilma Beard Jones. The following is a picture of Rose's grave the day she was buried in 1939 and then the marker placed at the cemetery years later. 

The following are pictures of George Anderson Beard and his wife Rose Etta Daniel.

George Anderson Beard and Rose Etta Daniel’s second child and first son, was my grandfather, Aubrey David Beard who was born in 1895 in Marion, Crittenden County, Kentucky.  In 1925 Aubrey David Beard, who had never been married before, married Jessie Holeman Doss who had already been married and divorced three times and had two sons, William Teague and Harold Walls.  All most all of us grandkids called Aubrey, Papaw Beard and we called Jessie, Mama Jessie.  The marriage of Aubrey and Jessie apparently started off pretty rocky and went downhill from there.  They ended up having seven children together before eventually getting a divorce in June of 1942.

The divorce decree gave the seven children to Aubrey with a stipulation that said that Jessie could see the children when she was orderly and at reasonable times.  The following year in July 1943, Aubrey and the seven children, Helen, Dale, George, Don, Violet, Jack and Tog (my Daddy), left Kentucky and moved to Woodlake, California.  Aubrey never remarried, he always said once was enough and he would never make that mistake again. J  Papaw Beard and Mamaw Jessie had seven children together and if I counted right those seven children gave them thirty-seven grandchildren.  The following is the only picture I know of where my grandparents, Aubrey & Jessie are together.  It was taken in either Marion or Providence, Kentucky around 1925 or 1926.