Back to Table of Contents Court documents of Adair County, Kentucky concerning the case of John A. Beard, Complainant, against Samuel Beard Heirs and H. S. Beard Heirs, Defendants. Children of Samuel and Rebecca are listed with their links at the end of this article.
Background: In about 1798 in Adair County, Kentucky, Samuel Beard bought land from the famous soldier and explorer General George Rogers Clark. Included were 196 acres that in 1833 Samuel Beard sold for a pittance to his nephew (and son in law), Hugh S. Beard, husband of Samuel's daughter Margaret. Samuel died in about 1834. Hugh S. Beard was the son of Samuel's brother Hugh Beard. Hugh S. Beard died before 1850, and the land was conveyed to his son John A. Beard. In 1850, said John A. Beard was in the unenviable position of having to clear the title to the land before he could sell it or mortgage it. In order to do this, he had to hire a lawyer and go through all sorts of legal filings, and he and his mother put together a list of the children of Samuel and Rebecca, and if they were deceased and had heirs, those heirs were listed. There was certainly no family squabble involved, just legal necessities to give a clear title. A further point is that they also had to list all the heirs of Hugh S. and Margaret Beard, John A. Beard's siblings. This document trove has been of inestimable value to Beard research, as it lists names and known whereabouts of these families. At the very end of this article we list all the heirs, in an attempt to make the relationships clear.
May 2, 1850: John A. Beard, Complainant, files bill May 2, 1850 against named and unknown heirs of Sally Fossett and John Fossett, Polly Ward and ___ Ward, James Beard, children of James Beard, deceased, who was the son of Samuel Beard, deceased; Hugh Beard, son of Samuel Beard, deceased; Elzalina Stephens, (late Caskey), wife, and Allen Stephens her husband, said daughter of Elizabeth Caskey, who was daughter of Samuel Beard, deceased; Polly Selvy (late Beard), a daughter of Samuel Beard, deceased; Jno Beard, Josiah Beard, Samuel Beard, and other unknown heirs of Elijah Beard, deceased; the unknown children and heirs of Rebecca McClure, deceased; John Millican, Levisa Millican, and John Millican her husband, and Elizabeth Pate and James Pate her husband, and another child of Jane Millican and all children and heirs of Jane Millican deceased, daughter of Samuel Beard, deceased; and residents of Adair, Rebecca Harden, Josiah Beard, Louisa Goode, Robert J. Staton, William Staton, Robert Caskey, Rebecca Goode, Margaret Beard, Parthenia Miller, Milton Beard, Octavia Beard, Hugh S. Stults, John A. Stults, and Mary Levisa Stults; and residents of Casey County, Bryant Stephens and Charlotte Stephens, and of Taylor County, Samuel Beard Sr, son of Samuel Beard, deceased, and Parena Beard, widow of David Beard [note: Pyrena/Parena was the widow of William Beard], Josiah Beard, John Beard and James Beard, infant heirs of William Beard, deceased, and David Beard, Sr.
May 27, 1850: Bill filed and to Adair to June 19th, alias issued to Adair and returnable to September, returned executed on Josiah Beard, Louisa Goode, Robert Caskey, Robert J. Staton, William Staton, Rebecca Hardin, Margaret Beard, Octavia Beard, and Mary L. Stults and not executed on Milton Beard and Parthenia Miller by order of Plaintiff, and other Defendants not found.
June 19, 1850: The Commonwealth of Kentucky to the Sheriff of Adair County, Greetings: All again command you to summons Rebecca Harden, late Rebecca Beard, Josiah Beard, Louisa Goode, late Louisa Caskey, wife of Edmond Goode, Robert J. Staton and William Staton, children of Serilda Staton, deceased, (late Serilda Caskey) Robert Caskey, and Rebecca Goode (late Rebecca Caskey), wife of Hugh S. Beard, deceased and Heirs at Law of Samuel Beard, deceased, and Parthenia Miller (late Beard), wife of Dewitt Clinton Miller, Milton Beard, Octavia Beard, Hugh S. Stults, John A. Stults and Mary Louisa Stults, infant children of Levisa Stults, deceased, late Levisa Beard, and heirs in Law of Hugh S. Beard, deceased, to appear before the Judge of Adair circuit court at the Courthouse in Columbia on the first day of __? next September and them to answer to a certain bill in chancery lately exhibited in our said court against them by John A. Beard, and this they shall in therewith an? the penal sum of $100 each and have there this writ...attorney Junius Caldwell, clerk of said Court at the Courthouse in aforesaid this 19th day of June 1850, 58th year of the commonwealth. Junius Caldwell CACCC
June 29, 1850 Executed on Josiah Beard the 29th day of June, 1850, on Luvisa Goode, Robert Caskey, Robert J. Staton, and William Staton July 4, 1850 and on Rebecca Harden, Margaret Beard, Octavia Beard, and Mary L. Stults August 16th, 1850. Not executed on Milton Beard, Parthenia Miller by order of plaintiff. Other def's not found. Tho G. Miller DS for C. Miller
August 3, 1850: The Commonwealth of Kentucky to the sheriff of Casey County, Greetings: We command you to summons Bryant Stephens and Charlotte Stephens, his wife (late Charlotte Caskey) to appear before the judge of our Adair Circuit Court at the courthouse in Columbia on the first day of the next September term to answer a certain bill in Chancery lately exhibited in our said court against them and others by John A. Beard and this they shall nowise omit under the penal sum affixed each and have them there this __? Junius Caldwell, Clerk of our said court at the courthouse this 3rd day of August 1850, the 59th year of the commonwealth. Junius Caldwell.
August 3, 1850: Process issued to Taylor and Casey returnable to September and returned executed on Milton Beard and so made oath (to the service by him) in open Court.
August 16, 1850: Executed on the within named Bryant Stephens and Charlotte Stephens August 16, 1850. Milton Beard.
August 20, 1850 Executed on the written named David Beard Sr August the 15th, 1850 and on the written named Parena Beard, David Beard Jr, Josiah Beard, John Beard, and James Beard August 16th, 1850 and on this written named Samuel Beard by reading to and explaining to each of them this within process. Milton Beard.
September 2, 1850: Order ___?, non redts? unknown heirs is proof by M. Beard, service process in Taylor and Casey above...
September 2, 1850 Kentucky, Adair County
This day personally appears in open court John A. Beard, Complainant in the foregoing bill and made oath that the names of the heirs in the foregoing bill mentioned as unknown heirs are really unknown to him as also the place of residence of those whose place of residence are in said bill said to be unknown are really to him unknown as therein stated. Submitted and sworn to before me in open Court.
September 16, 1850: Case continued.
March 1851: Traverse for non resident and unknown heirs, thirty days given to answer true motion...
Date? John A. Beard, Complainant against Samuel Beard's heirs and Hugh S. Beard's heirs, defts... This day came the complainant by his counsel and on his motion it is ordered thata the allegations of his bill be taken for confessed against all the defendants, who were served with process before the last term of this Court. Whereupon the cause came on to be tried upon the bill, exhibits filed, the orders of warning and traverse heretofore made in the case, and the order taking the bill for confessed and the court being sufficiently in and concerning the premises it is now decreed and orderred that the defendants do on or before the first day of the next term convey the land in the bill and exhibits mentioned to the Complainant by good and sufficient deed with clause of general warranty, and on failure to comply with this decree the court will by its further decree cause the said land to be conveyed to complainant by a commissioner to be appointed for that purpose and the cause is continued..
June 1851: Decree for defendants: Junius Caldwell appt court to convey to the Honorable Judge of the Adair Circuit Court Chancery setting, thereinby complaining your Orator John A Beard states that a number of years since his Father, Hugh S. Beard, now deceased, purchased from one Samuel Beard, who has also departed this life, a tract of land in said county of Adair on Sulphur Lick Creek, containing by survey one hundred and nnety six and three fourths acres, to which his is informed and believes that Samuel had a good title. He states that H. S. Beard, deceased, purchased the land at and for the price of one hundred dollars and that on the 24th day of May 1833 he had a full and final settlement with said Samuel, deceased, and paid the full amount of the balance due of said purchase money and said Samuel gave said Hugh S. a receipt in full of all demands against him executed to said Hugh a bond for a title to said land by which he bound himself, his Heirs, Executors, and administrators or assigns to make a cause to be made to said Hugh S. Beard a deed with general warranty to said land and acknowledges the rest of the purchase money in said bond, which bond is here filed (Marker A) and made part hereof and prayed to be so taken and considered as also said recorded?, which he filed, marked B. And your Orator further states that sometime after the execution of said bond that Hugh. S. Beard, for a good and valuable consideration, transferred and assigned the benefit thereof to your Orator by written assignment thereon endorsed and therein authorized and directed the title to said land to be made to your Orator, all of which will appear from an inspection thereof which is here referred to as part hereof and is prayed to be so taken and considered. Your Orator states and charges that he has a right to have the title to said land to be land conveyed to him. This refers to the Deed from General Clark to said Samuel Beard (an office copy of which he will file herewith as part hereof and a plat and certificate of the said Hugh S., deceased, by said Samuel, which he also files herewith, marked (C, marked part hereof), for the courses and distances and a fuller description of said land. He states that said Samuel has long since departed this life and that the following are his children and descendants and Heirs at Law so far as known to your Orator:
1. Sally Fossett (late Beard), wife of John Fossett who resides at last account in Tennessee; Polly Ward (late Beard), wife of one __ Ward who resides when last heard from by your Orator in Mississippi, and James Graham Beard, who also lives in Mississippi when last heard of by your Orator, and who are children and heirs at law of James Beard, Deceased.
2. Rebecca Harden, (late Beard), a daughter of said Samuel, deceased, who also resides in Adair County, Kentucky.
3. Samuel Beard, a son of said Samuel Beard, deceased, and who resides in Taylor County, Kentucky.
4. Josiah Beard, a son of said Samuel Beard, deceased, and lives in Adair County, Kentucky.
5. Hugh Beard, a son of Samuel Beard, deceased, and a citizen of Mississippi when last heard of by your Orator.
6. And the following Widow and children, Heirs at law of William Beard, deceased, who was a son of said Samuel Beard, deceased, and who reside in Taylor County, Kentucky: (viz) Parena Beard, his widow, and David Beard, Josiah Beard, John Beard, and James Beard, the last four are all infants under 21 years of age.
7. The following descendants and Heirs at law of Elizabeth Caskey (late Beard) who was a daughter of said Samuel Beard, deceased, to wit, Louisa Goode (late Caskey), wife of Edmund Goode; Robert J. Staton and William Staton, both under 21 years of age, children of Serilda Staton, deceased (late Caskey), who was the wife of John Staton; Rebecca Goode (late Caskey), wife of Valentine Goode. The last five Citizens of Adair County, Kentucky. Sharlotte Stephens (late Caskey), wife of Bryant Stephens, who resides in Casey County, Kentucky; Elizalina Stephens (late Caskey), wife of Allen Stephens, who reside at last accounts in the state of Mississippi.
8. David Beard, a son of said Samuel Beard, and who resides in Taylor County, Kentucky.
9. Polly Selvey (late Beard), a daughter of said Samuel Beard, deceased, and when last heard of by your Orator a citizen of the state of Illinois.
10. John Beard, Josiah Beard, Samuel Beard and others, their names to your Orator unknown, children and Heirs of Elijah Beard, deceased, who was a son of said Samuel Beard and all who reside in Tennessee when last heard of by your Orator.
11. And the following children and Heirs of Jane Millican, deceased, late Millican, who was a daughter of said Samuel Beard, deceased, (viz) the unknown children and heirs of Rebecca McClure, deceased, (late Millican), John Millican, Levisia Millican, wife of John Millican, and all of whom reside in the stae of Tennessee when last heard of by your Orator, and Elizabeth Pate, (late Millican), wife of James Pate, who resided in Mississippi when last heard of, and another child of said Jane, the name and residence to your Orator unknown.
12. Margaret Beard, widow of said Hugh S. Beard, deceased, and a daughter of said Samuel Beard, deceased, who resides in Adair County, Kentucky. And the Hugh S. Beard left the following children and Heirs at law, all of whom reside in Adair County, Kentucky: (viz) Parthenia Miller (late Beard), wife of Dewitt Clinton Miller; Milton Beard; John A Beard (your Orator); Octavia Beard; and Hugh S. Stults, John A. Stults and Mary Levisa Stults, infant heirs of Levisa Stults, (late Levisa Beard), all of whom, except your Orator, together with the husbands of the __? he prays may be made Defendants to this bill and that process be awarded him against them requiring each and all of them to appear before your Honor's court and answer on oath all the allegations hereof fully and completely. And on final hearing hereof he prays that by your Honor's decree you cause to be conveyed to him on behalf of said Defendants, the descendants and Heirs at law of said Samuel Beard, deceased, the said tract of land of one hundred and ninety six and three fourths acres with clause of general waranty as stipulated in said bond and grant to your Orator such other and further relief as the equity and justice of hs case may entitle him to as in duty bond he will ever pray. John A. Beard, Isaac Caldwell, Counsel
The following seem to be exhibits contained in this file:
"Know by all men by these presents that I, Samuel Beard, of the county of Henderson of Tennessee and now in Adair County and State of Kentucky do hereby bind myself, my Heirs, Executor, Administration or Assignees to make or cause general warranty to a certain tract or parcel of land lying in Adair County, Sulphur Lick Creek, waters of Green River, it being a part of a survey of land that the said S. Beard bought of General Clark, containing one hundred and ninety six and three fourths acres by survey to be the same more or less to Hugh S. Beard, he heirs or assignees to be well and truly made for and in consideration of the sum of one hundred dollars to him paid in testimony whereof I have set my hand and affixed my seal this 24th day of May, 1833." Samuel Beard SEAL Witness: John Craig, Reuben B. Henderson
"Received of Hugh S. Beard sixteen dollars forty four cts in full of all demands that I hold against him up to the present date May 24th, 1833. Samuel Beard"
"I assign the benefit of this Bond to John A. Beard for value received of him and hereby indorse and ?? the title be made to him this May the 10th, 1834. H. S. Beard Teste: G C Honain?"
'The following is a listing of all the known children and heirs of Samuel and Rebecca, along with links to the descendant pages for all. 'We note that in the court filings, there were two different lists of order of the heirs. We are going to list them in the order of mention in the recital of fact in the lawsuit, but from facts gathered on censuses and such, we know that this is definitely not the birth order. The numbers refer to the number given each in the lawsuit. See our probable birth order listing at the very end of this article, each child linking to his or her own pages. [under construction, bear with us as we enter all this information]
1. James Beard. In the suit he was noted as deceased. His heirs were listed as: Sally Fosset, wife of John Fosset, who resides (in spring of 1850) in Tennessee [this is Sarah Elizabeth "Sally" Beard Fausett/Fawcett/Fawcette, married to John Fausett in 1830 in Henderson County, Tennessee near or with her grandparents Samuel and Rebecca but moved to Panola County, Mississippi before 1838 and listed there in 1850 at the time of the lawsuit.]; Polly Ward, wife of ? Ward, who resides in Mississippi [this is Mary Ann "Polly" Beard Ward, who married John Russell Ward in the early 1830s, probably in Henderson County, Tennessee, and this couple appear to have migrated to Panola County, Mississippi at the same time as the Fausett family and are listed near them in 1850.]; Margaret Ward, wife of _? Ward, who also lives in Mississippi [this is Margaret Jane Beard Ward, who married Jesse Ward, probably brother of John R. Ward, and in 1850 lived in Panola County, Mississippi, and James Graham Beard, who also lives in Mississippi [James Graham Beard lived in Panola County, Mississippi 1850 census.]
2. Rebecca Harden, late Beard, who resides in Adair County, Kentucky. [Rebecca is probably the third wife of Nicholas Harden/Hardin, according to Harden family records, and she was a widow by the time of the lawsuit, as her husband would have been named with her had he been living. In 1850, she is not found in Adair County, but there is a Rebecca Hardin of about the right age listed in neighboring Taylor County, living in a Dunham household.]
3. Samuel Beard, who resides in Taylor County, Kentucky. [He is on the 1850 Taylor County census, states he was born in 1787 in Tennessee]
4. Josiah Beard, who lives in Adair County, Kentucky. [He is listed on the 1850 Adair County census, born 1790 in Tennessee]
5. Hugh Beard, a citizen of Mississippi when last heard of. [Hugh died by the time of the 1850 census, probably right before, in Panola County, Mississippi. If the Adair County family had heard of his death, his heirs would have been listed.]
6. William Beard, deceased, [William Beard died in 1847 in Taylor County, Kentucky.] His heirs are listed as his widow, Parena [this is Pyrena/Parena J. Staton/Stayton] and sons David, Josiah, John, and James. [These boys' full names are William David, Josiah, John A., and James Mason Beard and they were all listed with their widowed mother in 1850 Taylor County, Kentucky.]
7. Elizabeth Caskey, deceased [Elizabeth Beard married Robert A. Caskey in 1810 in Adair County, Kentucky, he died before 1840 and she died between 1840 and 1850 there.] Heirs listed were Louisa Goode [Louisa Eliza Caskey married Edmund Goode in 1829, Adair County]; Robert J. Staton and William Staton, both under 21, the heirs of Serilda Staton, deceased, wife of John Staton, all of Adair County [William E. Staton and Robert Joseph Staton of Adair County]; Rebecca Goode, wife of Valentine Goode of Adair County [His name is probably John "Venable" or Valentine Goode; he appears to be on the 1850 census in Ray County, Missouri, listed with wife Rebecca J. and a Sampson Caskey--who is he? ]; Sharlotte Stephens, wife of Bryant Stephens of Casey County, Kentucky [Charlotte T. Caskey married Bryant Stephens in Kentucky]; Elizalina Stephens, wife of Allen Stephens who reside at last account in state of Mississippi [Elzalina Caskey married Allen Stephens in Kentucky, in 1850 they lived in Pulaski County, Missouri, not Mississippi, possibly an abstraction error.]
8. David Beard, who resides in Taylor County, Kentucky. [Born in Kentucky in 1799.]
9. Polly Selvey, when last heard of lived in state of Illinois. [Mary Polly Beard married Lingan Selbey/Selby in 1815 in Adair County, Kentucky and they moved first to Indiana with many other Selbeys, then to Wabash County, Illinois. From all research, it seems that she died about 1829 in Illinois. The Adair County family obviously did not know of this or her children would have been listed as heirs. They appear to have completely lost contact with this branch of their family.]
10. Elijah Beard, deceased, heirs listed were John, Josiah, Samuel and "others their names not known", who all lived in Tennessee when last heard of. [Elijah died in October 1845 in Marshall or Bedford County, Tennessee. Sons listed were the three eldest, he had at least five other children.]
11. Jane Millican, deceased, [Jane Beard married James Millican/Milligan Jr. in 1792 in Greene County, Tennessee. By the early date of marriage, she is probably the eldest child of Samuel and Rebecca.] Her heirs listed are Rebecca McClure, deceased [Rebecca Milligan married Samuel McClure, probably in Henderson County, Tennessee, before 1829 and she died about 1832 in Tennessee.]; John Millican [John apparently was born in Tennessee about 1810-1815 and is probably the John W. Milligan on records in Panola County, Mississippi in 1850]; Levisa Millican the wife of John Millican [Levisa was born in 1806 Kentucky and married a possible cousin, also named John Millican. In 1850 they lived in Pope County, Arkansas.] and Elizabeth Pate, wife of James Pate, who resided in Mississippi [we are working on finding this family. In 1850 there was a James Pate with wife Elizabeth listed in Carroll County, Mississippi, but they are both listed born in Mississippi. We think they had lived in Mississippi but moved to Arkansas with other Beard family]
12. Margaret Beard, widow of said Hugh S. Beard, deceased, daughter of Samuel Beard, who resides in Adair County, Kentucky. [this is Samuel's daughter who married her cousin Hugh S. Beard in Adair County 4 April 1808. She was born about 1787 in Eastern Tennessee, reports Tennessee as birthplace on two censuses. We believe that her middle name was Hildegard, as there are two records for the same marriage date, one for Margaret Beard and one for Hildegard Beard, both grooms listed Hugh Beard.] The Complainant in this lawsuit was her son, John A. Beard. She no doubt worked with him to list all her brothers and sisters and their heirs. The heirs of Hugh S. Beard [was his name Hugh Samuel Beard? Hugh Sevier Beard?] were listed as Parthenia Miller, wife of Dewitt Clinton Miller of Adair County; Milton Beard, John A. Beard [the Orator, or Complainant], Octavia Beard, and Hugh S. Stults, John A. Stults, and Mary Luvisa/Levisa Stults, infant heirs of Luvisa Stults, late Luvisa Beard. Luvisa Beard married William Burke Stults on 5 August 1834 in Adair County. She died in 1846, probably at birth of youngest child. Octavia Beard would marry Benjamin B. Stults in 1855, the brother of William Burke Stults who married her sister Luvisa/Levica Beard.]
The Children of Samuel and Rebecca Beard, in best birth order, according to present research:
1. Jane Beard
2. James Beard
3. John Beard
4. Elizabeth S. Beard
5. Margaret Hildegard Beard
6. Hugh Beard
7. Samuel Beard
8. Josiah Beard
9. Mary Polly Beard
10. Rebecca Beard
11. Elijah Beard
12. David Beard
13. William Beard