BECKETT, Neva Agnes

Submitted by: David Myers
My sources for the following information were the 1850,1860, 1900 census, the series of Books of Belmont Co. marriages located in the St. Clairsville library, and several family genealogies contributed by Bill Beckett of New Jersey, Sarah Harding of Canton, Ohio, and Rhoda Miller of Bellaire.
I am the grandson of Neva Agnes Beckett born on Sept. 7, 1891 to John William Becket and Sarah Armida Piper in Smith Twp. Neva died in Canton Ohio at the age of 100 years in Sept. 1981. She left me with a few stories of growing up farms in southeastern Smith Twp. and northeastern Washington Twp.

Grandma, told of a Miles Hart who called her father on the telephone to tell that an automobile was traveling down the road from Centerville toward Armstrong Mills. The first automobile seen in that area, she recalled it was about 1898. They lived several times during her childhood in an old log house that was on the Beckett farm, then owned by an uncle Beckett. Neva was babtized with Delay Fitch and her brother in a creek. She also told of how her mother would send her to the store in Centerville with a basket of eggs to exchange for some groceries. Some of the families decided to move to Missouri, Granny Street was too old to go and was left with in-laws.

Later on her father moved to Steubenville and went to work for the railroad. Neva graduated from high school and became a nurse getting her training at the Martins Ferry Hospital. She became friends with Edith Leeper there. Years later her friend Edith and Neva married two cousins named Puncheon. I believe that Edith's husband became a doctor in Brilliant and Neva and William Puncheon opened a store in Canton. She lived in Canton since the mid 1920's but she always remembered the farm in Belmont County and she tried to pass a glimpse of that part of her life along to all her children and grandchildren.

As I said before Neva was the first born of John William Beckett and Sarah Armida Piper. Johns' father was Thomas Beckett who married Mary E. Weekly. Sarah's parents were Nathaniel Piper who married Elizabeth Lucy Mobley. All four of these grandparents of Neva have early ties to Smith Twp.

Thomas Beckett was born accoss the Ohio river in Marshall Co. Va. (W.Va.post 1863). Thomas's father was William Beckett born in Belmont Co. on 24 Dec 1815. This is listed in the Mormon Church I.G.I. records and it states that he is the son of William (Humphrey) and Rachel Becket. The 1820 Census shows that Humphrey and Rachel have three boys under age 10 and three girls under the age of 10 as well as one girl age 10 to 16. That census also lists both Rachel and Humphrey as between age 26 and 45 and there is one female over age 45 living with them. Possibly this person is one of their mothers.

I find it unique that in Smith Twp. some of the same family names still appear on the farms as they did almost 200 years ago. I believe that the original Humphrey Beckett farm is still in the possesion of a Beckett and there are Pipers, Ramseys,Lucas, Mobley's and Weekley's still in that area today as well.

My name is David Myers of 403 Glenwood S.W. North Canton, Ohio 44720

Return to Biography Index | | Return to Belmont County Home Page