Joseph Patton Beard was born in November 1833. On the censuses he was listed, his place of birth was given as Kentucky, which is an anomaly as the family lived in Tennessee and all his brothers and sisters were born in that state. It is certainly possible that he was born on a family visit to Adair County, Kentucky, as we know that his grandfather Samuel Beard was also up there around this time, perhaps for a family wedding, funeral, or reunion. Joseph married in Marshall County, Tennessee on 20 May 1855 to Sarah W. Gant. She was born 11 March 1839 in Marshall County, the daughter of William G. and Elizabeth C. Hendrix Gant. Her cousin, William Zachariah Gant, married Joseph's sister Mariba Beard in 1860. In 1860, Joseph and Sarah were listed in Marshall County, Tennessee with two small daughters, Joseph's widowed mother Martha, and his siblings Mariba, Eliza, Matilda, and William David all living in the home. This was the eve of Civil War, and Joseph very soon enlisted in Company B of the 53rd Tennessee Infantry of the Confederate forces, and his brother William David was with him in this unit. They were in the Battle of Fort Donelson where they and many others were taken prisoner by Federal forces. They were paroled and released. William rejoined his unit and fought with his brother Samuel; Joseph returned to Marshall County, where he was sorely needed by all the families. In 1870 Joseph and Sarah were listed at Lewisburg, Marshall County, Tennessee with five children. In 1880 they lived in same with five children. By 1900, the family had moved into Crockett County, Tennessee and while only one son remained at home with them, they lived next door to their married daughter Mary A. Pyland and her family. Joseph died before the next census, probably in Crockett or in Dyer County. He was possibly buried at the McCullough Chapel Cemetery in Dyer County, Tennessee, as that is where Sarah was laid to rest just a few years later. Sarah was listed as a widow on the 1910 census in Dyer County, living in the household of her married son Samuel. She died on 30 May 1915 in Dyer County and her gravestone has been found in the McCullough Chapel Cemetery there.
The children and descendants of Joseph Patton and Sarah W. Gant Beard were:
1. Martha E. Beard was born in 1857 in Tennessee. We do not find record of a marriage or any further information about Martha after the 1870 census at age thirteen.
1. Mariba Jane Beard was born on 30 July 1858 in Tennessee. She died on 2 November 1902 in Marshall County, Tennessee. Mariba is said to be buried at the Garrett Cemetery in Marshall County, but proof is needed.
1. Victoria Clementine Beard was born in 1861 in Tennessee. She was called "Clemmie" by her family. We do not have information about a marriage or death.
1. Josiah William "Joe" Beard was born 8 June 1863 in Marshall County, Tennessee. Josiah was also sometimes listed as "Sy" Beard. He married on 3 February 1887 in Crockett County, Tennessee to Sarah Etta Ann Agee, the daughter of John Dean Agee and Tennessee Ann "Tenney" Burrow. She was born on 8 June 1863 in Marshall County. The couple appear on the 1900 Crockett County, Tennessee with four of their five children. In 1910 they were also in Crockett County, with three teens in the house. 1920 finds them in Dyer County, Tennessee with grown son Joseph and a small granddaughter living or visiting with them. In 1930, in Dyer County again, Josiah and Etta were listed with Joseph in the home still. Sarah Etta Beard died on 22 February 1945 in Dyersburg, Dyer County, Tennessee. Josiah died just four months later, on 17 June 1945 in Shelby County, Tennessee and they are both buried at the Antioch Cemetery in Crockett County.
1. Mary Ann Virginia "Mollie" Beard, born on 15 May 1869 in Crockett County, Tennessee, married on 28 December 1893 in same. The groom was James Daniel "Jim" Pyland. He was born on 18 September 1868 in Crockett County, the son of James F. and Sarah Catherine Matilda Agee Pyland. They were listed on the 1900 census of Crockett County with two small daughters, living next to Mary Ann's parents. James Pyland was a timber man. In 1910 theye were still in Crockett County. Probably they were there as well in 1930, but so far census searches are negative. In 1930 James and Mary Pyland lived in Crockett County. James Daniel Pyland died on 24 January 1940 in Crockett County. He was buried at Floyd's Chapel Cemetery near Maury City, Crockett County, Tennessee. Mary Ann Beard Pyland passed away on 12 April 1946 in Crockett County and was buried at Floyd's Chapel beside James.
1. Margaret A. Beard was born in 1871 in Tennessee and died before 1880.
1. Elijah Samuel Beard was born on 5 October 1871 in Tennessee. He was married three times, but we know the identity of only two of the brides. On 14 October 1897, he married Fannie A. Bledsoe in Crockett County, and this was probably his second marriage. She was the daughter of James Pink and Mary A. Bledsoe, and she was a bit older than Elijah, born in August 1862 in Tennessee. She had also been previously married, and she had at least two children by that marriage, daughters who were listed as Beard in the 1900 census. In that census, listed in Crockett County, Tennessee, Elijah and Fannie had the two teenage "stepdaughters" listed with them as well as two baby sons from the present marriage. It is presumed that Fannie died before 1902, as Elijah married again in March of that year to Mollie Adeline Peel. Mollie had been previously married to Charles Toy Harrison in Dyer County, and she had two children. She was born 22 June 1877 in Lenox, Dyer County, Tennessee, one of a set of twin daughters of William Riley Peel and Mary Marina Treadway. In 1910, Mollie and Samuel were listed in Dyer County with his two sons and her two Harrison daughters, along with his mother Sarah Gant Beard. In 1920, they were in Dyer County with the same, along with three added children of their own marriage. Elijah Samuel Beard died on 18 December 1924 in Dyer County, Tennessee. No burial place is known at this time. Mollie Peel Beard died on 13 November 1962, probably in Dyer County. She was buried at the Fairview Cemetery in Dyer County and it is certainly possible that Elijah Samuel Beard was also interred here at this family burial place.
1. Dee Z. Beard was born in June 1878 in Tennessee. The "Z." probably stands for Zachariah, as it was the name of his Gant great grandfather and the middle name of his uncle William Zachariah Gant. He is last found on a record search living with his parents on the 1900 census in Crockett County, Tennessee.