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Over the last dozen years or so, we have "collected" various notes and tidbits about the life and times of all of our eighteenth century Beard ancestors, and we have found the most information on Hugh Beard. He lived in interesting times, and he certainly seems to have led an interesting life. Some old family stories say that he was born in Botetourt County, Virginia, but Botetourt was not formed until 1770, so he was no doubt born in Augusta County, and in the part of Augusta from which Botetourt was later formed. We think that Hugh was born about the year 1745, plus or minus a few. His family moved onto lands along the Cowpasture River in the 1750s. In 1763, we found a record of a Hugh Beard being called to Augusta County Court to face the charge of "feloniously biting the ear of William Farris". He was found not guilty. This could be our Hugh as an impetuous teenager or young adult, or it could have been a different Hugh Beard, as there was at least one other in the area. We know that our Hugh married a bride named Esther/Ester, and suspect that the wedding was in the late 1760s.
We believe that Hugh began a soldiering career early in life. In 1755, a conflict with the Indians began and became known as the Seven Years War, part of which was the French and Indian War. It is thought that young Hugh was involved, if only in the late years, because of the land grants he was later given in the new territories southwest of Virginia. Throughout his life, Hugh would be in the midst of military matters. In 1774, a conflict that was called Lord Dunsmore's War began with the Shawnee Indians, culminating in the Battle of Point Pleasant. Almost every able bodied man in Botetourt County, Virginia was involved in this conflict, and Hugh must have been there.
On 12 April 1774, Hugh Beard was appointed "surveyor of the road from the Red Hill to the county line on the Cowpasture River in the room of Boston Shavor, who is discharged from that office". Boston Shavor is said to be Sebastian Shawver, according to information from that family.
In the fall of 1774, troops gathered at the Botetourt County Courthouse at Fincastle to march to the Greenbriar River on their way to the aforementioned Battle of Point Pleasant. On 10 October 1774, the Colony of Virginia forces went to do battle with two tribes who had been attacking the settlers. This battle is considered by some historians to be the first struggle in the Revolutionary War. Andrew and Charles Lewis led their troops to the Kanawha River to advance on the forces of Cornstalk of the Shawnee.
In 1779, a Hugh Beard was recorded on land grants in the Southwest Territory, probably having to do with military service in Virginia against Indians. The Southwest Territory was the area of Eastern Tennessee that was once a real Wild West, full of dangerous Indian unrest and more dangerous animals. Many hardy men of Augusta and Botetourt County moved into this area, encouraged by land grants given for service. One land grant to Hugh was on the north side of the French Broad River, the other was near Dumplin Creek. It is apparent that Hugh left Virginia and lived in the Southwest Territory full time by the very early 1780s. A Botetourt County record written in 1780 records that Hugh Beard was discharged, or relieved, of his duties as Surveyor of the Road in the Cowpasture Valley, and his younger brother Samuel was appointed in his place. We believe that Hugh went to the Southwest Territory first, then his brother John either went with or right after him, leaving their younger brother Samuel living with or next to their father, whom we believe to be the James Beard listed next to Samuel on the Bath County, Virginia tax list of 1785. This part of Bath County had previously been a part of Botetourt County.
NOTE: Be very careful in these old records. In addition to our Captain, later Major, Hugh Beard operating in the Territory at this time, there are cites for John Beard. Yes, Hugh had a brother named John who also came to the Territory and settled near him. But there was also another John Beard, who became notorious as the Captain John Beard who chased and killed a small band of Indians and federal agents. This man is not related to our family. We have researched him and we have corresponded with his descendants, and we know this. At this link, you can read about this Captain Beard and the attack on Hanging Maw information. A few old histories, still in print, have said that Hugh Beard was the perpetrator, but this is just a mistake in identity for the several military Beard men who were in the area. Capt. John Beard was the one who was called to a court martial hearing for the deed, not Hugh.
Hugh remained active in military action, as evidenced by the various grants in his name in the area. Although we have no proof, we are certain that Hugh was among the young officers with John Sevier's Over Mountain Men present at the Battle of Kings Mountain. Most of the names of the participants of this battle were not preserved in history. We will see that John Sevier was a personal friend with Hugh Beard and obviously thought highly of him. The name of Sevier was occasionally used as a first or middle name through the years in the Beard families.
In 1780, Hugh entered more land in this territory.
We find Hugh with his brother John Beard on tax lists in Greene County, Tennessee records in 1783 and in 1787. In 1784, we find another land grant issued to Hugh in Washington County, Tennessee and also the same year 150 acres on Horse Creek in adjoining Greene County. In 1785, a Rockbridge County, Virginia deed mentions that the land involved bordered on Hugh Beard, Hugh Wear/Weir, William McCandlys/McCandless, Alexander Greer, and one John Milliken was a witness. We do not know, however, if this is our Hugh or the other one.
From Ramsey's Annals of Tennessee: on page 372 is an account of the new settlers in the fork between the Holston and the French Broad River, who were beginning to clear their lands. "Near [Manifold's Station] Gibson, Beard, Bowman, and Cozby settled, and with them came James White, afterwards the proprietor [founder] of Knoxville." Although the body of the text only contains the name "Beard", it is listed "Col. Hugh Beard" in the index to the book. From the location described and the time period, we feel certain that this note pertains to our Hugh. This area was growing rapidly with settlers. This place is today in and around Kodak, Tennessee, about halfway between Knoxville and Dandridge, on the French Broad. Several of the settlers were moving from the Nolichukey River area over to this Kodak area, which was just a few miles southeast. John Sevier also owned land in this area. His first farm had been on the banks of the Nolichukey, as well. Modern visitors to Knoxville should make a stop at "James White's Fort" which is open to the public and located in the heart of old Knoxville, overlooking the beautiful Tennessee River.
An interesting fact is that the famous Davy Crockett was born in August 1786 in a small cabin on the Nolichukey River at a place called Limestone. This author has been to the preserved Crockett homestead as well as to the lands along the Nolichukey, and it is just a distance of two or three miles. Hugh Beard and his family no doubt knew the Crockett family. Visitors to this area should make a stop at the Crockett birthplace on this lovely river, as it is an excellent way to see how our eighteenth century ancestors lived as pioneers in this area.
In February 1787, Hugh Beard served as bondsman for the Greene County, Tennessee wedding of John Carpenter and Mary O'Neal, both from families who also settled along the Nolichukey River and Horse Creek areas of Greene County. In 1790, a Hugh Beard was issued 300 acres on the north side of the French Broad, at the mouth of Tuckahoe Creek. Also, there were issued 100 acres on Deep Creek of the French Broad, with John Beard in the same area, and another parcel on the south side of the Chuckey (Nolichukey) River.
On 10 February 1787, Hugh Beard was involved in a Greene County lawsuit against William Henry. It was a jury trial and the jury found in favor of Hugh.
During the year of 1787, there were several land grants issued to John Beard near the lands claimed by Hugh. We believe that this is his brother John.
In November 1787, Hugh served as a juror in the trial of Martin Prewit (Pruitt?) vs John Galbreath. At another trial held in the same cabin courthouse in the same month, Andrew Jackson was a juror.
In December of 1787, settlers in the area came to the boiling point regarding a lack of support from the government of both Virginia and North Carolina, and decided to form their own state and tend to their own needs. This was the famous but short lived "State of Franklin" episode. A petition was drawn up for all in favor to sign, and our Hugh Beard and Samuel Beard both appear on it, signing one below the other. The petition contains many names familiar to history, including Andrew Jackson, as well as many names familiar to anyone researching this Beard family. A complete copy including transcribed signatures can be read in entirety here. It is obvious that both Hugh and Samuel felt strongly about this issue, as Samuel Beard was involved with John Sevier's force in a skirmish against the Tiptonites, who were against the State of Franklin movement, and Hugh Beard was present and deeply involved, as well. On 20 August, in a deposition, the Tiptonites charged that "...Hugh Beard and Joseph Hardin of the aforesaid party were aiding and abetting him the said John Sevier and others of this party to commit the hostilities...." Also this month, a young local lawyer was admitted to practice law in Greene County. His name was Andrew Jackson.
In 1789, Hugh Beard served on a jury in Greene County in August. In November of that year, Hugh was noted as absent from grand jury duty, and a fifa was issued for him. He was later excused from service; we suspect he was ill or on military duty at the time.
On 1 February 1790 in Greene County, Mathias Broyles purchased 150 acres on Horse Creek from Hugh Beard and paid a hundred pounds for it. This property was patented by Hugh on 10 November 1784, and it is described as bordering Emanuel/Imanuel Sandusky. This Broyles family also owned lands next to this 150 acre parcel, descendants still maintain it, and this beautiful place has been designated as a Century Farm of Tennessee.
Hugh filled out the rest of 1790 by serving on various juries; in one trial a woman was accused of fornicating, but she was acquited. He was also on a grand jury to review and mark the best road to go from the county line "south of Nolachuckey and where the War Path crosses same the highest and best way to the War Ford on Big Pigeon". In August, he served on a jury with Samuel Beard.
In 1791, May 28 to July 11: From the "Southwest Territory Militia", a list is found of the Holston Treaty Guards, the roll of Captain Hugh Beard's Company of the Holston Treaty Guards, stationed near the mouth of the French Broad River, who were protecting the commissioners as they worked out the terms of the treaty between the Cherokees and the United States. Included in this list of guards in Hugh Beard's company are William Reynolds, Thomas Milliken, Isaac Milliken, John Beard, and Robert and John Looney. All of these families were from Virginia and all had some relationship to our Beard families over the next years. In the same documents are found a review of the payroll of Major Hugh Beard's Battalion in the service of the United States for the Protection of the Frontiers. There were field officers and staff, including an Indian interpreter. There were reimbursements for items such as five ferries, to wit, the Cumberland River, the Clinch River, the Holston River, horses, etc. Link.
When he was not busy with military duties, Hugh was serving on two juries in 1791, and he was adding to his considerable lands.
It appears that about this time, Hugh Beard was divesting himself of his land near and on the Nolichukey and moving over to the lands in and around what would be Knoxville, as several records of the settlers around the Nolichukey River include note of Samuel, John, and James Beard, but not of Hugh anymore. More proof of this is given by a record that Hugh Beard was given leave to build a mill on his "own land, at mouth of the Tuckahoe Creek". This creek appears to be found in present day Knox County; the land that Hugh built a grist mill on was probably located very near where the Douglas Dam is today, on Douglas Lake near Dandridge. Knox County was formed the next year (1792) from Greene County. It certainly seems that after the sale of Nolichukey River land to Mathias Broyles, Hugh then settled in on his land in what would soon become Knox County.
Also this year, Hugh was granted more land, 300 acres on the waters of the William Emeries River, adjoining William Blount's south line. William Blount was an extremely prominent man who was the first territorial governor of the Southwest Territory. The river is now called the Emory River. Hugh Beard was definitely a mover and shaker in the formation of the new Knox County.
1792 was again a busy year for our Hugh. He was put in charge of readying a blockhouse for defense of the Mero District (which was to become Nashville). The blockhouse was sometimes referred to as "Beard's Blockhouse", but was formally known as Fort Blount, after Hugh's neighbor, William Blount. Read about the fort and Hugh Beard in this article.
8 May 1792: Hugh sold a large parcel of land on the south side of the Nolichukey River to George Baker and Matthias Broyles. The record states that the land was adjoining John Beard and "being the place where Hugh Beard formerly lived".
Knox County was offically born on 11 June 1792. "Five days thereafter, 16 June 1792, James White, John Sawyers, Hugh Beard, John Adair, George McNutt, Jeremiah Jack, John Kearns, James Cozby, John Evans, Samuel Newell, William Wallace, Thomas McCulloch, William Hamilton, David Craig, and William Lowry presented a Commission from Governor Blount, appointing them Justices of the Peace for Knox County and appeared before the Honorable David Campbell, Esq, who in the presence of Governor Blount administered to each of them an oath to support the Constitution of the United States, and also an oath of office." From the First and Second Report of the Bureau of Agriculture of the State of Tennessee, found also in The Annals of Tennessee, page 568.
"Appointed and commissioned Hugh Beard the captain of a troop of horse of Knox County. Nathaniel Evans, lieutenant of same, Thomas Milligan, cornet. Appointed and commissioned the field officers of Knox County: James White, lieutenant colonel, Alexander Kelly, same, John Sawyers, first major, Hugh Beard, second major." From Andrew Jackson and Early Tennessee History, page 132. From this record, we may well believe that there was our Hugh, a major, and there was a younger Hugh Beard, who was appointed a captain. This younger Hugh could have been the son of Hugh, or a nephew, a son of one of his brothers, John or Samuel.
Right away, Hugh was called upon to serve once again. In July, he led the mounted infantry to the Mero District for a three month tour of duty to protect the settlers in that place from Indian attacks,from which they had been suffering.
In October, the Knoxville Gazette reported that "Yesterday returned to this town, from performing a three month tour of duty in Mero District, a company of mounted infantry, commanded by Hugh Beard, and two companies of infantry under the command of Captains Brown and Lusk."
It appears, from an absence of records, at least, that Hugh's life may have calmed down a little bit during the winter of 1792/3; however, by spring, the Indians were active in the area once again. In the spring of 1793, more than six hundred Creek warriors crossed the Tennessee River on the warpath against the Cumberland settlements. This was the same Mero area where Hugh and his units had garrisoned the past year. Groups of Indians "split off and perpetrated mischief wherever it could be affected with safety, or wherever the stations were defenseless. The settlers were incensed that the government left them thus without protection and was so tardy in making provision for their defence. The many complaints induced Governor Blount to do something for their relief. On the 29th of April, he sent one hundred twenty men from Southwest Point under the command of Major Hugh Beard to assist the people of Mero District against the Creek invasion." Annals of Tennessee, page 602-603.
The Knoxville Gazette added to the story on May 18: " Last Tuesday week two horses were stolen by Indians from James Boyd and Stephen Graves, at McTear's Station, twelve miles from this place. And on Saturday night last, fifteen horses were stolen from Mathew Bishop's, eight miles from this place. From undoubted information we can assert that since the first of April, six hundred and sixty Creeks have crossed the Tennessee, at the lower towns of the Cherokees, for war against the district of Mero, Cumberland Settlements [Nashville]. On the 29th ultimo, a detachment of mounted infantry consisting of one hundred and twenty men under the command of Major Hugh Beard, marched from South West Point (mouth of Clinch) to the relief of Mero District." This would be the march of April 29, 1793.
And then, on 25 May, this story: Thomas Gillam and his son James were killed and scalped by the Indians in the Raccoon Valley, eighteen miles from Knoxville. Captain Beard, with fifty mounted infantry, made immediate pursuit. [This was Captain John Beard/Beaird, as Major Hugh Beard was not returned until June.] From the Knoxville Gazette of 1 June 1793: "Killed by Indians, on Saturday last, Thomas Gillum and his son James Gillum, on Bull Run, eighteen miles from this place. The persons who buried them, judging from the signs, report the number of Indians to have been twelve. Trails of several other parties were discovered, making in the whole about forty. The main camp of this marauding party is supposed to be in Cumberland Mountain, in search of which the Governor has ordered out Capt. John Beaird, of Knox County, with fifty mounted infantry." This was the time when Captain Beaird went a bit over his orders and pursued too far and attacked a band of Indians. As referenced elsewhere in this history, this Captain Beaird is well researched and does not come from our band of Beard brothers.
There are payroll records for the company of Major Hugh Beard for the period June 14 through July 14. Major Hugh Beard''s Battalion, Southwest Territory, Mero District, "Territory of the United States, for protection of the frontiers"...field officers and staff included Indian interpreter, reimbursement for five ferries on the Cumberland River, the Clinch River, the Holston River...four horses furnished at Hanging Maw's, Tellico Block House". See the official record here.
This man truly did live in the saddle. He was well rewarded for his time, however, in land. On 29 July, Hugh Beard was granted 100 more acres, located on Deep Creek, north side of French Broad, adjoining himself.
In The Annals of Tennessee, page 589-590, the only list of active Captains of the troops in the service of the Territory, in 1792 and 1793. This list was from published paymaster items in the Knoxville Gazette for those years. Hugh Beard is the first one listed, then captains Lusk, Brown, Rains, Doherty, Briant, Henley, Tate, Christian, Gillespie, Samples, Crawford, Cooper, Grier, Milliken, Childers, White, Gregg, Allison, King, Marshall, Bunch, Chisum, Richardson, Evans, Copeland, Cantrell, Murray, Shannon, Cordery, Nash, Parker, Edmonson, Frazier, Wm. Blackmore, Johnston, Hoggatt, G. D. Blackmore, Walker, Lieutenant G. L. Davidson, Cornet Milligan. In 1793 were added Captain Cox, Lieutenants Bird, Hubbard, Henderson, and Sergeant McClellan.
In August 1793, we find a record for Hugh's brother Samuel Beard "of Knox County" selling 327 acres in Greene County, south side of the Nolichukey River, adjoining land of Joseph Byrd and Hugh Beard, to Lewis Broyles for 350 pounds. On the same day he sold the same buyer land on Horse Creek in Greene County. Did Samuel move to Knox County to join his brother Hugh?
In this period of time in Knoxville, serious difficulties with Indian attacks were suffered and at one point, Knoxville was under virtual siege. Go here to read a bit of the history that affected the life of Hugh Beard in the years 1793 and 1794. Because of the past year and a half of serious attacks, John Sevier gathered his troops and organized a plan to quell the violence on the settlers by going on the attack themselves. This was the last military operation that Sevier would lead. "Sevier's troops were generally his neighbors and the members of his own family. Often no public provision was made for their pay, equipment, or subsistence. These were furnished by himself, being at once Commander, Commissariat, and Paymaster. The soldiery rendezvoused at his house, which often became a cantonment--his fields, ripe or unripe, were given up to his horsemen; powder and lead, provisions, clothing, even all he had, belonged to his men." From the Annals of Tennessee. No doubt Hugh Beard and every other Beard man of age went with Sevier on this campaign, which lasted several weeks in October of that year. They rode to the Indian camps which were south of Knoxville, in southern Tennessee, far western North Carolina, and northern Georgia. The army was discharged on 24 October 1793.
In early 1794, a James Beard sold 246 acres along the Cowpasture River to a neighbor, Richard Mayse. In April of this year, James Beard appeared in Greene County records, buying 50 acres in the town of Greeneville. John Beard was a witness to this deed. From years of research, we have proposed that this is Hugh's father, James Beard of Cowpasture, who has now moved to be with his sons John, Hugh, and Samuel in Eastern Tennessee. According to the historian Oren Morton in a History of Allegheny County, Virginia, James Beard settled on lands along the Cowpasture River in Virginia and James went to Tennessee in 1794. Only fifty acres, and located in the town, so this Greeneville parcel was not a farm, but a residence. "Governor Blount found it almost impossible to restrain the inhabitants south of French Broad, where this massacre took place, from an immediate invasion of the Indian Territory. His efforts in this would not have succeeded but for the...advice of the civil officers of Knox County." By June 20, a meeting was held in the home of James Beard, Esq. Attending were James White and other members of the civil officers of Knox County. We believe that the James Beard Esq is an elder man, who already knows and is connected with these prominent Tennesseans, and that he bought land both in Greeneville and in the nearby newly formed Knox County. The Knox County land may have been his farmland. If so, it was located close to Hugh Beard.
Hugh Beard was a friend, associate, and neighbor of John Sevier, as well as one of his officers in his militia. We have found some interesting notes in the small pocket diary that John Sevier kept as a daily journal during these years. On 2 October 1794, he went to the "Beard vendue" (yard or estate sale) and bought three sheep, thirteen geese, and twelve ducks.
Hugh was variously described as "Captain Hugh Beard" and "Major Hugh Beard".
In 1796, "Captain Hugh Beard's company of the Southwest Militia is referenced as being active" at this time. In 1798, Hugh Beard "of Knox County, Tennessee" bought or sold a fifty acre lot in the town of Greeneville. This was Lot number 45. We hope to obtain a full transcript of the record in order to see if the lot was bought or sold. Hugh also bought a 92 acre parcel on the Nolichuckey River on 13 February 1799.
In 1799, Hugh received a 200 acre land grant on the south side of the Green River in Kentucky, part of the survey of George Rogers Clark. Kentucky had become his focus and his future home, along with his brothers John and Samuel and all the families.
From the diary of John Sevier again, on 13 June 1800, Governor Sevier made a trip by horseback and on the way home, he "lodged at Dandridge." The next day, he "set out early. Fed our horses at Major Hugh Beard's. Crossed Holston River at Gillums Ferry...arrived Knoxville in evening."
This is the last mention that we have found of our Beard ancestors in Eastern Tennessee. From about 1796, they had been acquiring lands in Green County, Kentucky, a part of which would become Adair County in 1801. Hugh Beard acquired land and in 1802 he was listed on the Tax List on his land on Russell Creek, along with his son. From the records of Adair County, Hugh Beard was appointed the surveyor for the town of Columbia, to lay off the streets, alleys, etc. He was one of the first Commissioners for the town, along with Colonel William Casey, Andrew Ewing, William McNeely, and Robert Hill. Hugh also built the first jail of Adair County.
Other than his civic activities, Hugh was leading a very different life than the one he left in Eastern Tennessee. He was no longer a military man, who had to jump into the saddle and leave home to protect settlements. At this time, Kentucky was tranquil and safe from Indian problems.
In 1806, his daughter Elizabeth married William Hurst.
In 1807, Hugh emancipated his slaves.
In March of 1807, we find Hugh buying 200 acres on Russell Creek to add to his land holdings. The sellers were Joseph and Lillly Miller. The Millers had apparently lived in early Botetourt County, Virginia, too, and in Kentucky Hugh Beard's family and this Joseph Miller family had many dealings and appeared to be close. The next year, the Millers are on a record buying acreage next to Hugh Beard's land. In fall of the same year, Hugh purchased a small tract of land from the Millers.
In 1808, Hugh paid taxes on 200 acres of Sulphur Lick property. He paid taxes for 290 acres in 1810 and for 300 acres for four years, 1811 through 1814.
Also in 1808, Hugh Beard, son of Hugh Beard Sr, married his cousin Margaret Beard, the daughter of Samuel Beard. Also in the fall of this year, Mary "Polly" Beard, daughter of Hugh, married Absalom Coffee.
On the 1810 census of Adair County, Hugh Beard was enumerated as over 45, with a male 16-26, one male 26-45, two females 26-45, and one female oer 45, which would be Esther. About this time, Hugh started making plans to move south into middle Tennessee. In September of 1814, he purchased land in Bedford County, Tennessee from Thomas Milligan. This deed was recorded in Adair County, Kentucky. (On the same date, Milligan "of Bedford County, Tennessee") appointed Hugh Beard his attorney in fact to convey to John Beard 200 acres on Butler Creek, filed in Adair County. In December, Hugh Beard Sr and his wife Esther sold property in Adair County on Russell Creek to their son in law Absalom Coffee.
In 1815, Hugh sold property to Wharton Lampton in Adair County. In August, he purchased property from his brother John Beard, and in November from William Caldwell. The following year, John Beard purchased property from Hugh Beard!
In 1818, Hugh bought land in Bedford County, Tennessee on Big Flat Creek and a record was filed in Adair County, Kentucky. On 28 December 1818, Nancy Butler and James, her son, sold fie acres to Hugh "Baird" on big Flat Creek in Bedford County, Tennessee. She was a widow, Nancy Millican/Milligan Butler, who married Isaac Butler in 1797 in Green or Adair County, Kentucky. Our best conclusion as to her parents are James and Elizabeth, and Nancy's brother James married Jane Beard, the niece of Hugh and daughter of Samuel.
On 3 November 1818 in Bedford County, Tennessee, a Margaret Beard married William Shook. They went to Jackson County, Alabama and eventually died there. Who were her parents? She was born in Knox County, Tennessee in 1791, according to Shook family records. If she was one of our Beard line, then she had to be a daughter of Hugh or Samuel, and Samuel's daughter Margaret is present and accounted for in our history so it was not her. Hugh Beard was definitely in Knox County during this period, and we think it is a real possibility that Margaret was his daughter. Hugh definitely had another daughter, Polly Beard Coffee/Coffey, who also was in Jackson County, Alabama.
When the 1820 census was taken, Hugh Beard and his brother Samuel were both listed in Bedford County, Tennessee. Many of their grown children were still in Adair County, Kentucky. Hugh was over 45, wife over 45, one female under ten, and this may have been a granddaughter rather than a child of the marriage.
Reportedly there is a document on file in Adair and/or Bedford County that states that in 1824 a Beard sold 137 acres in Bedford County. Another note "twice witnessed sale of land in Bedford County, Tennessee by Elizabeth Wilson" seems to be referring to Hugh Beard. We do not have a transcription or cite for this land sale record yet.
The next year, on 8 June 1825, Hugh Beard and wife Esther of Bedford County sold a lot in Columbia, Adair County, Kentucky, to Edmund Waggener of Adair County.
On 7 November 1826, Hugh Beard of Limestone County, Alabama gave a Power of Attorney to Absalom Coffee of the same to secure land from Joseph Miller, whose bond said Hugh holds, and deed it to Alex Miller. Hugh and Esther have now moved down to far northern Alabama, which is on the border with Tennessee His daughter Mary Polly Beard Coffee and her husband Absalom moved there from Bedford County as well, probably at the same period (1820-1825). Polly and Absalom married in 1808 in Adair County, Kentucky. There are several interesting Beard individuals in the northern Alabama area at this time.
In 1827, the same Joseph Miller sold to Hugh Beard "late of the state of Tennessee", 200 acres on Russell Creek. We think this is one of the younger Hugh Beards, but we are not certain. Hugh Beard Sr. had patented this same parcel on Russell Creek on 1 November 1798 and it seems to have gone back and forth between the Millers annd the Beards over many years.
We believe that Hugh Beard, Sr passed away by 1829 in Jackson County, Alabama. He had at least two daughters who lived in Jackson County at this time. No burial place is known, and it is not known when his wife Esther died. An elderly woman was living in the home of Margaret Beard Shook in both 1830 and in 1840, the right age and place to be Esther Beard, Hugh's widow. Hugh Beard was a patriot, a military man, a surveyor in his own right, a builder, and a mover and shaker.
In 1831, a document states that "Hugh Beard, deceased, of Jackson County, Alabama, father of Jane Doak, whose husband David Doak..." Limestone and Jackson County, Alabama are contiguous counties.
The following links are to the stories of the children of Hugh and Esther Beard. There may have been other children that we have not "discovered" yet. One line, that of daughter Margaret, is not even known to be Hugh's daughter but we include the line for research and exploration. Any further information would be most welcome.