My ancestor this week is Alexander Beard, who was my 2nd great-grandfather on my Dad’s side of the family, which you probably figured out all ready since my maiden name is Beard too. J
Alexander Baird was born March 25, 1811 in Abbeville County, South Carolina the son of John Baird born in South Carolina and Catharine McKinney born in Ireland. The Beard surname was spelt Baird in Ireland and also during the time they lived in South Carolina, but after my line of the Baird family came to Kentucky in the summer of 1817, the surname started being spelled as Beard instead for the most part and especially for my direct line. Alexander was the 4th child of the 11 children that John and Catharine had together.
I have the names of all eleven children with their full birth dates, because back when I was a kid my Dad, Frank Beard, talked to an older woman in Marion, Kentucky named Nina Ordway who had the old Beard family bible. I wish I knew whatever happen to that old bible. I would love to have copies of the bible pages with all the dates listed. The siblings of Alexander and the other children of John and Catharine listed in the old family bible were: Robert McKinney Beard born January 28, 1806 died before 1880 in Hamilton County, Illinois; Hugh Beard born August 6, 1807 died before 1900 in Crittenden County, Kentucky; John F. Beard born May 14, 1809 died before 1860 in Massac County, Illinois; Simon Beard born April 15, 1813 died 1878 in Crittenden County, Kentucky; William Beard born January 28, 1817 died 1859 in Hamilton County, Illinois; Matthew Beard born December 12, 1818 died before 1880 in Hamilton County, Illinois; Margaret Beard born August 28, 1820 and she may have died young because all I have is her birth date; Catharine Beard born June 30, 1822 died after July 1870 in Pulaski County, Missouri; James Beard born December 12, 1824 and he may have died young because all I have is his birth date and finally, Nancy Agnes Beard born January 21, 1827 died April 18, 1904 in Crittenden County, Kentucky.
Alexander’s father John Baird only lived about 15 years after they came to Kentucky and died when he was about 53 in 1832 in Livingston County in the area which became part of Crittenden County in 1842. Alexander’s mother Catharine continued to live on for quite some time and two of her children Hugh and Nancy never married and lived with their mother until her death when she was about 93 years old in January of 1873 in Crittenden County, Kentucky. Hugh and Nancy continued living in the old log cabin out by the Coleman/Donakey Place. Not sure when Hugh died but he was still alive in October of 1892 but was dead by 1900. Family stories say that Nancy was found one afternoon unconscious by the spring, she was 77 years old.
In 1838 Alexander was married and the marriage record reads this way: Alexander (made his X) Beard to Huldah Ford, married February 21, 1838 by William Pippin a Justice of the Peace. Bond dated February 19, 1838 and bondsman was Cutchings Council. Alexander Beard of lawful age and Huldah Ford daughter of Lucy Ford whose consent was proven by Cutching Council dated February 20, 1838. "Mr. James A. Dellem pleas to let Alexander Beaird have his lisons." signed Lusy (made her X) Ford, witnessed by John F. Beaird. Notice all the different spellings going on in just one record.
Alexander and Huldah soon set up housekeeping and Alexander set up farming for himself and continued in that occupation until his death. I am not sure if they had any children that died young before the first one I know about, but it was four years after their marriage before their first child was born that I am aware of. Alexander and Huldah’s children were: Julia Ann Beard born February 22, 1842 who married first James Sisco in 1850 and after his death possibly during the Civil War, she then married George B. Clark in 1865, she had seven children and died July 4, 1911 in Crittenden County, Kentucky. Next was, Charlotte Beard and she was born in about 1845, married Lynn Burrell Anderson in 1861, and had three children before she died in 1879 in Hardin County, Illinois. Next was, Nancy Agnes Beard born about 1847, married Francis M. Knight in 1864 and they apparently divorced before 1880 and she died after 1880 possibly in Logan County, Kentucky. Next was, William J. Beard born March 1, 1848, married in 1871 to Sarah C. Thompson, they never had any children, he died November 21, 1897 in Crittenden County, Kentucky. Next was, Sarah P. Beard born May 14, 1854 and died December 24, 1856 in Crittenden County, Kentucky. Next was, Mary Ann Beard born November 1, 1856, married first Layton Bradford Powell in 1872 and they had six children, he died before 1920 and Mary then married second William Wallace Harness in 1920 and she died March 19, 1940 in Crittenden County, Kentucky.
This following is a picture of Mary Beard Powell Harness, probably taken in the 1920’s or 1930’s. I don’t have any pictures of any of the older children of Alexander and Huldah, but I sure wish I did. Doesn't she look like such a sweetheart…
Alexander and Huldah’s last child was my great-grandfather, George Anderson Beard who was born April 14, 1859, married first to Nellie Elder in 1889 who died in childbirth with their first child in 1890. George then married my great-grandmother Rose Etta Daniel in 1891 and they had eight children together, before George died in 1924 in Clarksville, Johnson County, Arkansas. I don’t have any pictures of Alexander or Huldah, but the following is a picture I have of George Anderson Beard and I would like to think he looked like his Daddy, Alexander. I think this picture could have been taken around the early 1890’s or so and as you can see George and his sister Mary looked a lot alike. So was it their father they favored the most or their mother?
Alexander and Huldah probably led a pretty ordinary life, farming and raising their family on a little farm in Western Kentucky. From everything I have found I don’t believe they ever lived any place else, though some of their children and some of their siblings, did leave the area and went to some of the surrounding states. I just don’t know a lot about their lives, other than what I have been able to find in a handful of records, I wish I knew more.
I do know from family stories that Alexander was supposed to have died in 1872 in Crittenden County, Kentucky and maybe buried in an unmarked grave at the Coleman/Donakey Cemetery, just like his mother Catherine, brother Hugh and sister Nancy are supposed to be. To get to this cemetery from Marion you take Hwy 60 West about 4 miles to Hwy 297 and follow that road to the Siloam Church Road then go to the Aldridge Road and turn onto this road, the cemetery is located behind a house on the right. Alexander’s wife Huldah remarried in 1875 to Anthony Franklin an older gentleman who was 23 years older than her and who was also widowed. Huldah died in 1905 and was supposed to be buried at the Hurricane Cemetery and apparently is also in an unmarked grave. Alexander and Huldah’s son William J. Beard and his wife Sarah Thompson are both buried at Hurricane Cemetery and they do have a tombstone.
If anyone that reads this knows more about Alexander and his family I would love to hear about it.