“What Would You Like On Your Tombstone?”


2014 began with a bang!

Yesterday (New Year’s Day) I found the graves of three Howard’s illusive ancestors on Find-a-Grave.com! He has been looking for them for years with no luck. The entries for these people on Find-a-Grave were only made recently: his great-great grandfather–his great-great grandmother (I stumbled across her totally by accident!)–and his fourth great grandfather!


The search for his great-great grandfather has been a steady project for years. People believed that Thomas Heugh Beall died in Henderson, Kentucky in 1830. End of story. There were no death records to support this contention. He last appears on the 1830 census for Henderson, Kentucky and does not appear anywhere in 1840. I suppose people assumed he died in 1830, or shortly thereafter.

Well, he didn’t!

He died shortly after the 1850 Census in Henderson, Kentucky, and he is shown on that census record with his wife!

(The Civil War destroyed many of the records in courthouses in Kentucky. I suppose people have to take what they can get!)

There isn’t much left of his tombstone as it has been sinking into the ground. The Find-a-Grave volunteer who took this picture noted the following:

“Birth: 1787 Death: unknown Note: Dates on marker are buried. Living in Henderson Co. in 1850 with his wife, (Susan) [Note: name on the census record is Sarah] Burial: Fernwood Cemetery Henderson Henderson County Kentucky, USA Created by: Lynn Fischer Record added: Aug 07, 2012 Find A Grave Memorial# 94940496”

The mystery surrounding Thomas Heugh Beall is finally solved. But what about his wife, Sarah Cheston?


Sarah was easier to track down. She was born in Hunterdon, New Jersey and by 1860, she was in Cumberland, Maryland living with her son–Howard’s great-grandfather, William Ryland Beall, who had a huge tobacco operation! She last appears in his household on the 1870 census. I speculated that she was probably buried in Rose Hill Cemetery in Cumberland–the one where I almost fell into an open grave years ago–but I didn’t recall seeing or photographing a tombstone there for any Sarah Beall. My search took me to Find-a-Grave once again, and I searched all the Beall records there. Lo and Behold–there was a entry for a Sarah Beall, who died in 1871. That date was a few years off from most people’s records. However, the Sarah Beall in William’s household in 1870 did not appear in his household in 1880. There was no photograph on her grave, so I put in a request. This morning–the request was fulfilled! And yes, this has to be Sarah Cheston Beall, the wife of Thomas Heugh Beall! According to the entry:

“Birth: 1793 –Nov 27, 1786 Death: Mar. 3, 1871 Inscription: Aged 84 yrs, 3 mos & 26 days Burial: Rose Hill Cemetery Cumberland Allegany County Maryland, USA Plot: Section 1 Created by: John Fazenbaker Record added: Dec 27, 2013 Find A Grave Memorial# 122304708”

(Her actual birthdate was probably November 27, 1786 since she was 84 years, 3 months and 26 days old at the time of her death.)

There is no other Sarah Beall of record her age on the 1860 or 1870 Census for Cumberland, Maryland! I believe I have succeeded in finding her! 🙂

And now, concerning Howard’s fourth great-grandfather, Richard Beall?


Richard was another problem. Howard knew his exact dates of birth and death, but he had no idea where he was buried. I was trolling through the Ancestry.com search engine, and stumbled over a Find-a-Grave Entry for him.

“Guess who I just found!” I announced to Howard.

Computers totally amaze him. He doesn’t tweet, and he doesn’t do Facebook, and he doesn’t turn on a computer unless it’s absolutely necessary.

“Are you sure it’s him?”

Yes, I am sure. There is no photo of his grave on his profile. Someone has already put in a request for that, and Find-a-Grave only allows one photo request per memorial. So we both have to be patient and wait. But this is Richard’s entry:

Jan. 17, 1738
Prince George’s County
Maryland, USA

A ug 18, 1778
Montgomery County
Maryland, USA

Richard Beall was born in Prince George’s County, Maryland on 17 Jan 1738 as the eldest son of Samuel Beall, Jr. and Eleanor Brooke. He and Brooke Beall, his brother were twins. Whether or not identical twins, is not recorded. He died in 1778 and his will was probated in Montgomery County, Maryland. In 1775 he was commissioned by Frederick County Maryland Committee of Safety to collect $133 in NW 100 to buy arms for the Revolutionary Army. On May 20, 1777 he was appointed Justice of the Peace for Montgomery County, Maryland.

The Will of “Richard Beall of Samuel” is as follows as copied from Will Book A, pp. 39-40, in the office of the Register of Wills at Rockville, Md. . . A verbatim copy except that the item giving his soul to God
and his body to the earth is omitted.

“In the name of God, I, Richard Beall of Samuel, being in health and sound memory, do make and ordain this my last will and testament in the manner following:
“Item I give and bequeath unto my beloved children all real and personal estate to be equally divided among them share and share alike to them and their heirs forever.
“Item. I will and bequeath that my beloved wife, Sarah Beall, have her third part of my land laid off to her in the place she shall choose and at her decease to be equally divided among my children as aforesaid share and share alike to their, and their heirs forever.
Item. I will and bequeath if my said wife do marry that my children during their minority may be put to school and the expense thereof be paid out of the rent of their estate at the discretion of their uncle, Samuel Beall, the 3d, who is hereby appointed their guardian if their mother do marry.
I do hereby constitute and appoint my beloved wife Sarah Beall whole and sole executrix of this my last will and testament, this 12th day of September 1775.
(Signed) Richard Beall of Samuel.” (Seal.)
Probated, August 19, 1778.

Family links:
Sarah Brooke Beall (1738 – 1797)

Asa Brooke Beall (1774 – 1853)*

*Calculated relationship
Rock Creek Cemetery
District of Columbia
District Of Columbia, USA

Created by: Candee
Record added: Feb 21, 2013
Find A Grave Memorial# 105591027″

So my year started off with a bang as far as Howard’s ancestors are concerned.

Now I need to turn my attention to Levin Dean and start writing Chapter 16 in my book!

One thought on ““What Would You Like On Your Tombstone?”

  1. Too cool wish you would take a road trip to meet my mom Barbara Nolin let me know if you ever want to she would love it. I should be back to the grind stone by Sun night or next Wend first store Broomfield Kings I think the one off 136th Not sure how much I’ll be staying with Kelly this year. Happy New Year Love Sharon

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s