The Gene Pool: JTR's Colorful Family History

The Great Jacob Beal’s Debate

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JTR sent this letter to several family researchers in 1994:

Would you please take a look at the following reasons why I think JACOB BALES WAS THE SON OF THOMAS & SARAH (ANCRAM) BEALS and not John and Margaret (HUNT) BEALS as seems to be the current consensus of family researchers. Please let me know what you think!

One of the reasons for linking Jacob to John & Margaret, as I understand it, was the discovery of an old Hunt Family History by Nathan Hunt Ballenger written in the 1800s that shows a Jacob as an "add-on" to the list of John and Margaret's children. Another reason was the Greene Co., MO census where Jacob was shown as being 91 and born in Virginia. Please let me know if you see any holes in the following theory or let me know if I am completely on the wrong track and have missed the big picture altogether!!

The name "BOATER/BORTER/BOWATER, etc." that runs through the family is proof that our Jacob was a descendant of John and Sarah (BOWATER) BEALS and was a member of an old and very prolific Quaker family. Unfortunately, almost all branches have used the name "Jacob" to an excess! Since none of the available descendants (from 3 sons John, Thomas or Bowater) initially seemed to fit our statistics, our family researchers have been "stumped" for years about "ou

Some reasons for my believing that Thomas & Sarah (ANCRAM) BEALS were the parents of our Jacob BALES:

1. Jacob and Rebecca (ADAMSON) BEALS didn't name any of their children John or Margaret.

2. They DID name children Sarah and Thomas (common family names, it is true.)

3. On a plot map of New Garden, Guilford Co., North Carolina, there is the "Beal's Sawmill" 1755 right next to Thomas Beals! Jacob always started up a mill where ever he went! Could he have learned this trade from Thomas?

4. In 1792, a Jacob Beals is condemned for "outgoing marriage" at Westfield MM, Surrey Co., North Carolina. This is the Quaker Monthly Mtg. where records were kept for those traveling into the frontier where there were not yet Quaker Meetings set up. The Tennessee MM were organized: 1797 - Lost Creek MM, Jefferson Co.; 1801 - Mt. Pleasant MM, Grayson Co.; 1795 - New Hope MM, Greene, TN. The year 1792 would correspond with the birthdates of Jacob & Rebecca's children (1790?1794, etc.)

This Jacob has been identified as the son of Bowater and Sarah (Cook) Beals by many Quaker researchers. However, that particular Jacob married Mary Horton, according to one of their descendants who lives here in Eugene (Margie Stone). Their children were: Asenath, Asa, Anna, Nathan, Bowater and Martha. I assume Mary Horton was from the Quaker Horton family because I see these children listed in the Westfield, NC MM minutes and marriage records, pg. 959. 1810,10,1. Asenath, dt. Jacob & Mary, Surry Co., m Asa Burnsides; 1817, 12, 13. Asa con his mou.; 1820, 2,13. Bowater, s Jacob & Mary, Surry Co., m Elizabeth Marshall; Nathan s Jacob & Mary m. Jemima Hiett; 1822, 9, 14. Asa & fam. gct Springfield MM, Ind. Seems like that Jacob's family were very fine Quakers. THE WOMEN'S RECORDS AT WESTFIELD WERE LOST!

5. Thomas Beals and his family were for a time in Lost Creek, Jefferson Co., Tennessee. There was a very large ADAMSON group living there at the same time. Some ADAMSONS were Quakers, but others had been disowned for various reasons. Rebecca and Jacob could have met there in Tennessee. Rebecca was probably not Quaker, since none of the children are ever listed in the Quaker records. Contacting a representative from these ADAMSONS, we were told the name AILSEY/ALSY/ALICE was a common name in this branch of the Adamson family!

My current ADAMSON theory (no proof!!!): Rebecca ADAMSON was a daughter of SIMON ADAMSON, b. 1733, Bucks Co., Pennsylvania. He was disowned for marrying out of unity and disappeared from the Quaker records. The family tree I have shows SEVEN sons which I am assuming are Rebecca's brothers. They are 1. John b. 1767 d. 1828 Blount Co., TN m. Mary HAMMER; 2. Jonathan b. 1771? TN, d. 1835 Wayne Co., IN m. Ruth WILLIAMS; 3. Thomas m 1796 Jefferson Co., TN, d 1814 Jefferson Co., TN m. Rachel WILLIAMS - their daughter was ALSY (Alice); 4. Jesse b. 1758 m. Mary WELLS; 5. Enos b. 1760; 6. Simon d. 1814 Jefferson Co., TN m. Eleanor Routh; 7. David goes to Lawrence Co., Indiana!

6. The Quaker Encyclopedia by Hinshaw (Westfield MM, Surry Co., NC) says Tom's Creek Monthly Meeting, the predecessor of Westfield, was located in Surry Co., NC, not far from the Virginia line. The meeting for worship was organized about 1771, the monthly meeting was established in 1786. Previous to this time, Tom's Creek Prep. Mtg. had been attached to New Garden Monthly Meeting. In addition to Surry and adjoining counties in North Carolina, the verge of Westfield MM included adjacent territory in Virginia and settlements in Greene and Jefferson Counties in Tennessee. No complete list of original membership exists, but these names were taken from the early minutes: John Bowater Beals, William Beals, Samuel Bond, Benjamin, many Jacksons, Jessops, Sumners, Hiatts.

The following signatures appear on 10 Aug 1774 marriage certificate of Jacob Jackson and Ann Beals at Tom's Creek in Surry Co., NC: Abraham? Ballard; David Ballard; Bowater Beals, Daniel Beals; Elizabeth Beals; Thomas & Sarah Beals, Sarah (Cook) Beals, Ruth Beals, Samuel Bond, John Bryant, Lydia Bryant, Esther Burris, John Burris, Uriah Carson, Amos Henley, Ann Hiett, Hannah Hiett, John Hiett, Joseph Hiett, Suzannah Hiett, Catherine Jackson, Curtis Jackson, Samuel Jackson, Ann Jessop, Caleb Jessop, Jacob Jessop, Mary Jessop, Thomas Jessop, Jr., Thomas Jessop, Sr. , Jamima Jones, Richard Jones, Phebe Sumner, Thomas Sumner, Ruth Worley.

In 1798, Thomas and his 3 sons John, Daniel and JACOB request permission at Westfield MM to go to Scioto River, Ohio (are denied). They seem to have gone anyway.

8. The May 1807 enumeration of Fairfield Twp. in the "Early Settlement of Highland Co., OH" lists the following sons of Thomas: JACOB, Daniel and John Beals and two sons of Daniel (Jacob and Curtis who are over 21 at the time). Also listed is Benjamin CARR (husb. of Patience who is dau. of Thomas & Sarah), David BRANSON (hus. of Hannah JACKSON, gr dau. of Bowater/Sarah COOK); John JACKSON (husb. of Phebe, dau. of Bowater/Sarah Cook). I didn't recognize ANY names from the immediate family of John & Margaret (Hunt) BEALS. In a nutshell: There were two Jacobs there when the mill was started up. One was Daniel's son Jacob. One was OUR Jacob, son of Thomas!

7. The book "Early Settlement of Highland Co., Ohio" says Thomas's 3 sons, John, Daniel and JACOB came to Fairfield Twp. and the Jacob who "came early" started up a tubmill on Hardin's Creek. Jacob and Rebecca had property and a mill on this creek. We have documents to prove 1808/1816 land sales (one names both Jacob & Rebecca).

9. William and Alexander BAILS (BEALS) are shown on 1820 Lawrence Co., IN fed. census near Thomas TODD, KEITHLEYS, John McBRIDE, John HORTON, John WILLIAMS. Daughters of Thomas/Sarah married HORTONS & WILLIAMS. William BEALS, son of Thomas/Sarah, marries Priscilla HORTON. Also probably coincidence, that WILLIAMS name pops up in the ADAMSON family in Lost Creek, TN.

10. A Jacob and Daniel BEALS are shown on the 1800 census living in Gallipolis Twp., Washington Co., Ohio. Jacob BALES, born 1768, age fits the 1820 Decker Twp., Monroe Co., IN census (would be 51, says 45 & Up); age fits the 1830 Salt Creek Twp., Jackson Co., IN census (pg. 218/434) (would be 61, says 60-70); age fits the 1840 Greene Co., MO census (would be 71, says 70-80); However, his age does NOT fit the 1850 Greene Co., MO census (would be 81, says 91). Wedding announcement 1850 says Jacob is of "Revolutionary War Memory". Did he gain 10 years when he married his second wife Anna/Amy Crouch?

11. Most of Thomas and Sarah's children are listed as being born in Virginia. They were recorded and probably raised at New Garden, North Carolina while Thomas was traveling west to be with the Indians? The only ref. found so far to Jacob's birthplace says Virginia (on 1850 MO census).

12. A daughter of Thomas/Sarah Ancram, Mary, was married to Thomas JESSOP. They leave for Indiana in 1816 (same year as Jacob/Rebecca) and are charter members of Driftwood MM in Jackson Co., IN in 1820.

13. A Jacob BALES is disowned by the Quakers in 1833 for joining another society. This was at Driftwood Jackson Co., IN and reported to Fairfield Twp., Highland Co., OH. Coincidentally, Jacob sells his property and moves to Missouri shortly after this??? We know this is when the BALES family heads for Missouri thanks to a family story that says that they saw an incredible meteor shower during their trip and some turned back. In 1833, they didn't know they were witnessing the now well-documented Leonid Meteor shower.

Cheska Wheatley (Quaker researcher) comments: "He (Jacob) is then dis by Fairfield MM which must have still had his certificate since it was never recorded at Driftwood... sounds like Jacob may have tried to get his papers in order before heading for the wilds of Missouri and his transgressions caught up with him!"

14. A possible explanation for the confusion about this Jacob's identity .... not only was there often more than one Jacob living in the same area, this Jacob was often listed with a wife named Mary. This Mary was, however, the Mary HORTON that married the Jacob, son of Bowater/Sarah (COOK) BEALS or the Mary THORNBURGH who married Jacob, son of Daniel (Jacob's brother). A wife named Beulah HEAD pops up occasionally in records. I have also seen that the issue of this marriage, a daughter Matilda, was possibly raised by her grandfather Daniel BEALS. Would she be the daughter of Daniel's son Jacob who marries Mary THORNBURGH in the same year that this child is born??

From Thomas Hamm 7/94: Matilda Beals is NOT the granddaughter of Daniel and Susanna (Jackson) Beals. Matilda was born 11-28-1807. Daniel's son Jacob was married 2 months earlier, 9-16-1807, in a Friends ceremony to Mary Thornburgh. He can't be Beulah Head's husband. Moreover, it would not be a case of Beulah being the mother of his child out of wedlock. Such a thing would have been very difficult to conceal; the Quaker marriage process was designed with just such things in mind. A committee was appointed to make sure that there were no entanglements like a pregnant girlfriend involved.

Excerpts from "HIGHLAND CO. PIONEER SKETCHES" by Elsie Johnson Ayres (page 835): THE HEAD FAMILY .... were French Huguenots, members of All Saints Parish Church in Maryland & Virginia. Margaret Beall (later spelled Bell).... Mary, a sister of Bigger HEAD I, married John Beall, son of Col. Ninian Beall. Col. Beall ..... Capt. Alexander Beall, Capt. Joslenor Beals, Samuel and Thomas Bealls, all served in some capacity during the Revolution...

The BEALL family mentioned doesn't appear to be Quakers, yet is connected by marriage to the HEAD family. Is there a possible mixup here of who this Beulah Head actually married? Or could this be the family of Thomas Beals, Jr. who was disowned by the Quakers?

15. One of the family traditions says that Jacob lived to be 104. I notice one reference to Thomas BALES (the son of Thomas & Sarah?) who was disowned for marrying out of unity. It said that HE lived to be 104! Maybe the story was about an uncle?

This quote is from the "History of Ross & Highland Counties, Ohio" page 472. "Thomas Bales was in the war of 1812, and died in Fayette County at the age of one hundred and four years His son, Nathan, came to Highland County, and after a short residence removed to Arkansas, where he died. His son, John married a daughter of Zimri Manker and lives in the north part of Washington township"

I also find it curious that if Rebecca was indeed a daughter of Simon ADAMSON, she would have SEVEN brothers, also a family story passed down (but the 7 bros. supposedly belonged to Jacob, not Rebecca).

16. From June, 1994 letter from The Southern Ohio Genealogical Society, PO Box 414, Hillsboro, Ohio 45133 - a Jacob Beals is shown on Poll Books of Election 1806-1808-1809-1810 and not after that. From Elsie Ayres "Highland Co. Pioneer Sketches" pg. 318 - The original voters in Fairfield Twp. contained the following names of the family: Abraham, Curtis, Daniel, Jacob, Sr., Jacob, Jr., John Sr., John, Jr. and John B. Beals. Thomas B. Beals, although his name was not found among the voters, was born in 1785 and died March 8, 1860. He was a soldier during the War of 1812." I think the 1785 is a typo. Thomas Beals was born 29 Oct 1745. He would have been 104! (see #15 above!)

17. Daniel, Jacob and James Hough (Huff) are named on the probate records of George TODD in Monroe Co., Indiana in 1831. This is BEFORE Anna BALES marries Andrew Todd, son of George. Are these possibly sons of Daniel Huff, the 2nd husband of Margaret Beals, daughter of Thomas and Sarah? Thomas Hamm says no.

18. On pg. 348 of Elsie Ayres "Highland Co. Pioneer Sketches": "Soon after Phineas Hunt erected his first mill, Jacob, SON OF THOMAS BEALS, put up another small mill structure on Hardin's Creek."

19. Nathaniel Pope, who is described as a "personal friend" of Daniel Boone lives adjacent to Jacob Beals' on Hardins Creek according to the Jacob's land sale entries.

From Highland Co., OH Deed Book E, pages 15-16 (dated 29 Feb 1808, signed X Jacob Beals): "....... on Hardins Creek a branch of the Rattle Snake fork of Paint Creek and bounded as follows Viz, beginning at two white oaks in the line ...... crossing Hardins Creek to a Hickory and dogwood corner to a tract of 150 acres sold to NATH POPE ...."

If Thomas (and Jacob?) had been wandering about the Indian Territories (especially the Clinch River, Kentucky area where they stayed at Beverly Milner's home), they no doubt met up with Boone at some point. Boone was also raised a Quaker in Pennsylvania and Guilford Co.!! In "Highland Co. Pioneer Sketches" Elsie Johnson Ayres comments that Thomas Beals introduces Nathaniel Pope to Chief Tecumseh and shows the rest of the Quakers where the Quaker Bottom land was located. He had obviously been there before. Daniel Boone was captured by the Indians and taken to Chillicothe.

20. I notice that our Jacob signed his Indiana land deeds with his mark "X" signifying no formal education. If he had been the son of Margaret (Hunt) and John Beals he would have been raised in New Garden, North Carolina. I read that the literacy rate of the Quakers in this area was 85%+! This observation from Faragher's book about Daniel Boone "one consequence of the love for the woods was a neglect of book learning" would also apply to Thomas Beals and his family.

21. From Elsie Ayres "Highland County Pioneer Sketches & Family Genealogies" pg. 318: "Sarah (Ancram) Beals, already seventy-seven years old when her husband was killed, decided to continue the journey. The caravan bade goodbye to the lonely grave and once again set out for the SITE CHOSEN BY THOMAS BEALS for his family's new home. They remained as guests of the Pope family until a cabin could be prepared for them. The Beals' home was on the north side of an Indian trail that became a township road known today as Burgess Lane. Their farm was east of the site of Hardin's Creek Meeting House."

It would make sense to me that Thomas Beals and Nathaniel Pope would select adjoining properties. A coincidence that our Jacob ends up on it?

Please let me hear from you! Would love any additional information, documentation that I am missing.

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