Ely M. (possibly Elzy M.) Beard was born to Hugh and Mary Beard between 1827 and 1830 in Bedford County, Tennessee. Ely was the son who stayed in the home with his widowed mother and worked her land, for in the 1850 census of Panola County, Mississippi at twenty, he was the eldest child at home. In 1860, listed E. M. Beard, he was 34 and unmarried. Even with the age discrepancy common to these old censuses, we are fairly sure that this is the same son. He is probably the same person as E. M. Beard, listed with Packer's Company of the Pope Guards during the Civil War, and it is also probable that he died during the War, as we do not find him on another census.