Descendants of John Beard


from a letter dated December 2, 1959 from Edith M. Beard to Phin Horton


     ‘I thought you might like to have a copy of the Beard Pedigree which I have spent considerable time compiling…

     The Beards who were in Nantucket in 1710 were Quakers and all…up to James William A. Beard and Martha Henley were Quakers.  James and Martha were “married out of unity” and did not “condone” and rejoin the Quaker Church but became Methodist.

     I have found no skeletons; the worst, I guess, was one of the clan who was dismissed for fiddling in his home and card playing and another for joining the army.  They “condoned their misconduct” and were reinstated.

     There is some question as to whether “Asbury” or “Ashbury” is correct in the name of William A. and James. Wm. A.  I have found it both ways, but in J.W. Beard’s Journal in his own handwriting it is “Ashbury” so I feel that to be right.  Or was there an ardent Methodist somewhere who made it “Asbury”?’


Unless otherwise referenced all information is taken from Edith Beard’s “Beard Pedigree”



Generation 1




JOHN1 BEARD, “the 1st, was born about 1665 and was from Exeter, Devonshire, England.  The name of his wife is not recorded in this country.  He came from Teigmouth, a widower, with two sons…Richard, probably born around 1690, and John, Jr., 1704-1795.  Richard had with him his wife, Dorothy.  Around 1710 they had settled at Nantucket Island, Massachusetts.  They were Quakers.”


JOHN BEARD had two sons:

                   i.    RICHARD2 BEARD was born about 1690 in England and married Dorothy.

                  ii.    JOHN BEARD, JR. was born in 1704 in England and died in 1795 in Massaschusetts.  He married Deborah Pease.



Generation 2




RICHARD2 BEARD (JOHN1) was born Abt. 1690.  He married DOROTHY. 


RICHARD and DOROTHY had one son:

.                  i.    RICHARD3 BEARD, JR. was born in 1718 and died in 1803.  He married Eunice Macey.


JOHN2 BEARD, JR. (JOHN1) was born 1704, and died 1795.  He married DEBORAH PEASE, daughter of NATHAN PEASE and HANNAH CHASE.  She was born in 1714, and died in 1791.


                   JOHN and DEBORAH had ten children:

                         i.   ANNA3 BEARD was born in 1732 and died in 1802  She married       NATHANIEL GARDNER who was born in 1724 and died in 1765.  Anna       then married ROBERT FAIRWEATHER.

                         ii.  RUTH BEARD was born in 1733 and died in 1791.  She married   EBENEZER GARDNER, JR., in 1752.

                         iii.  ELIZABETH BEARD was born in 1735 and died in childbrith in 1757.       She married JOHN WATERMAN.  He later married Elizabeth’s sister    MARY.

                         iv. MARY BEARD was born in 1740 and died in 1821.  She married JOHN WATERMAN, Widower of her sister ELIZABETH

                         v.  JOHN BEARD was born in 1743 and died in 1827.  He married RUTH      RUSSELL.

                         vi. DAVID BEARD was born in 1744.

                         vii.MATTHEW BEARD was born in 1746 and died in 1785.  He married       ELIZABETH MYRICK.

                         viii.DEBORAH BEARD was born in 1748 and died in 1813.  She married      ZACHARIAH COFFIN.

                         ix. BARRETT BEARD was born in 1750 and died in 1777.  He never       married.

                         x.  ODEDIAH BEARD was born in 1754 and died in 1794.

                         xi. PHOEBE BEARD was born in 1758 and died in 1816.  She married    ISAIAH NICHOLSON.



                         “In 1790 John’s family with the exception of Obediah were all living in Nantucket.”



Generation 3




RICHARD3 BEARD, JR. (RICHARD2, JOHN1) was born in 1718, and died in 1803.  On July 09, 1742 he married EUNICE MACY, daughter of JABEZ MACY and SARAH STARBUCK.  She was born in 1721, and died in 1776.


      ‘They left Nantucket for Guilford County in North Carolina in 1772 when     “many islanders who cared more for cultivation of the earth than pursuing the     whale departed for more distant lands during the years 1771-1775.  Several went    to Orange County (later Guilford County was made from it) in North Carolina    to several of the springheads of Deep River.”  At the time their certificate was received, New Garden was the only official Quaker meeting in this new   settlement.  It was set off from Crane Creek Monthly Meeting in 1754.  The       Quakers in the Deep River Settlement belonged to New Garden Monthly    Meeting until Deep River Monthly Meeting was set up later.


      The home of Richard and Eunice was located a few hundred yards south of Deep     River Friends Church and Cemetery.’


RICHARD and EUNICE had six children:

               i.     DAVID BEARD died in infancy. 

                  ii.    WILLIAM4 BEARD was born in 1751 and died in 1795.  He married Lavinah Gifford at Dartmouth.

                iii.   EUNICE BEARD was born in 1744 and married JOHN GIFFORD.

                 iv.   GEORGE BEARD was born in 1754 and married MARY WAY.

                  v.    ELIZABETH BEARD was born in 1761 and married THOMAS BULL who changed his name to Talbot.

                 vi.    REUBEN BEARD was born in 1763 and married MARY HOGATT.



Generation 4




WILLIAM4 BEARD (RICHARD3, RICHARD2, JOHN1) was born in 1751, and died in 1795.  On February 04, 1773 he married LAVINAH GIFFORD in North Carolina.  She died in 1807 and “was a sister of Jonathan Gifford, who married William’s sister, Eunice, in Nantucket.  They probably made their home with William’s parents south of the Church at Deep River.”


     ‘To establish with certainty the home of William and Lavinah Beard we copy a   part of Cornwallis’ report to his Government after the battle of Guilford Court House, March 15, 1781.  “We were encamped between the forks of Deep River at    the Quaker Church on the 13th and 14th, and received word that Green had   moved his army to Guilford about twelve miles away.  On the morning of the      15th at daybreak we broke camp and met the enemy.”  (Wheeler: History of   North Carolina)  Reliable tradition records that Cornwallis was encamped in       and around Deep River Church with his tented headquarters under four large    white oak trees almost in William’s yard.  The trees were historic landmarks      until recent years when they have decayed and fallen.


      What occupation William was engaged in other than farming would be     conjecture, but in all probability, he carried on hat-making to some extent.

      There is also evidence at the old home of some form of pottery business.’   


WILLIAM and LAVINAH had five children:

                    i.    DAVID5 BEARD was born in North Carolina in 1774 and died in 1849.

                   ii.    BENJAMIN BEARD was born in 1776 and died in 1841.

                  iii.    WILLIAM BEARD, JR. was born in 1777 and died in 1839.

                  iv.    LYDIA BEARD was born in 1780.

                   v.    RACHEL BEARD was born in 1782.


      ‘From his (William’s) will executed November 9, 1794, he willed to his, David

     “All the interest by his Hatter’s Trade, also all the hatter’s tools and his time

      from my death till he arrives at the age of 21.”  This may have been of large

      value than it appears.


     To his son, Benjamin, he willed: “all that tract of land I bought of Richard

     Glover and William Roper containing eighty-eight acres be same more or less

     with all the privileges thereto belonging to him and his heirs forever.”      From all

     evidence this covered the homes of Benjamin’s heirs in later years and in 1933

     was largely owned by Virgil Beard, a great-grandson.


     To the youngest son, William, Jr., he willed “at his Mother’s decease or

     marriage, the plantation or tract of land that I now line on with all the privileges

     thereto attached.”


     To his daughters, Lydia and Rachel, he made minor bequests.


     This will was probated in May 1795, soon after his death.  Stephen Gardner and

     John Talbot were executors and settled the estate.’     


Generation 5




DAVID5 BEARD (WILLIAM4, RICHARD3, RICHARD2, JOHN1) was born in 1774 in North Carolina, and died 1849.  In 1796 he married REBECCA BROWN who was born in 1778 and died in 1858.  She was the  daughter of JAMES BROWN and MARTHA, “who moved to North Carolina in 1778 from McDuffie County, Georgia.”


    “Receiving no land from his father’s will, David purchased in 1979 a tract of      

     land from Pheneas Mendenhall about one mile north of Jamestown.  There was    

     on this property until recent date a commodious brick dwelling of Colonial  

     architecture with hip roof and gable windows.  Here David built and equipped 

     his later well-know Hat Shop which was located about two hundred feet west of  

     the home.


     Here he conducted a retail store in trade for furs.  There were shelved full of 

     goods and within a few years he had accumulated considerable wealth for the 

     times, but soon he had lost all by overstocking with merchandise during the War  

     of 1812.   


     Some two hundred feet north of the homesite was a fine spring of water in a  

     clump of forest oak and a short distance down this stream was a tanyard of 

     twenty or twenty-five vat capacity.  There is no evidence there were any 

     improvements on this property when purchased: therefore, we conclude that 

     David erected the building, developed the hat and tannery business by his own

     industry and made for himself a name of at least local historic interest.  The last      

     know hat that he made has been placed, along with a copy of the history of the

     family by A. M Briggs of High Point in the Guilford College Library.”



DAVID and REBECCA had three children:

                    i.    WILLIAM ASHBURY6 BEARD was born in 1797 and died in 1876.  He  married MARTHA HENLEY.

                   ii.    JAMES BEARD was born in 1801 and died in 1870.  He married MARY MANLOVE in 1822.

iii.      LYDIA BEARD was born in 1807 and died in 1847.  She married JOHN B.  

                        GUYER, 1836.


Generations 6 - 8

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