The Beards: Three Hundred Years of Pioneers

Greeneville Apr 2011 and Jag loading Apr 2011 009

The old tavern across the street from the Washington County, Tennessee courthouse on the main street of old Jonesborough, Tennessee, site of many contentious meetings back in the late 1700s, when our Beard family were here and deeply involved in the local issues. No doubt they gathered here with other settlers in the 1780s and 90s.

Welcome to our family history research site! We hope you will find your Beard ancestor here and discover something new about your family. If you connect to our Beards, please leave us a message, edit the pertinent page, or click on the "Discussion" button and let us know how your ancestors fit in. The purpose of our website is to pool our knowledge of this very old American pioneer family, to tell some of its known history, to discover unknown history, and to find new members of the family. While under constuction, you will not be able to access these features; we hope to have the basic framework of the family done in a timely manner. Until then, check back frequently to see what is new.

You may view a complete Table of Contents page, which will be updated frequently.

Many years of work by several researchers have been accumulated here, aided by the science of DNA as well as by old documents that help us make connections. Our goal is to take a bird's eye view of the entire family and to gather as many descendants as possible. Our current database numbers in the tens of thousands, including extensive research of many of the allied lines, as well.

We will be steadily adding all our information to this site. Check back with us for the latest as we start with the oldest ancestors and work down through the generations, a process that will take some time to complete.

A word about spelling is necessary to the study of this family. The Beard name has been spelled many different ways through the ages, sometimes several different ways in the same document. Until the late 1880s, our families and the census takers and scribes were not as concerned with a "correct" spelling as we are today. We have found the following variant spellings in this family: Beard, Baird, Bard, Berd, Beaird, Byard, Biard, Byerd, and Broard. In my own branch, we have found that we started out in the 1700s as both Beard and Baird, were sometimes named Baird in the early 1800s on censuses, and in the late 1800s an ancestor apparently decided to add an "i" to the name to differentiate our family from another crowd of Beards who had arrived in the county. Thus, we have been "Beairds" for the last hundred years or so. Abandon any preconceived notions of spelling in order to succeed in the study of this family! In addition to providing all presently known information regarding our Revolutionary War generation, we will attempt to trace all known descendants through the years. A very detailed Timeline has been added to aid in the study of the history of the families and the areas of the country in which they lived. Various features will highlight significant events or interesting adventures of members of the family. At times we have added a particularly interesting or humorous note from the court records in order to shed some light on their habits and lifestyles. Historic events have been noted because we should all know what our ancestors lived through and all of their sufferings and triumphs as they helped to settle this great country. Eventually, we plan to add many photographs that have already been accumulated through the help and generosity of every branch of this family. Click on a picture for a detailed image. Again, pitch in and provide information, ask questions, or just make observations, for every Beard is important to us and no detail is too small--contribute and help us all!

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