Letters to Brian: No. 1

Mother's Bracelet

Mother’s Bracelet

Mother’s Day is quickly approaching. I thought about it the other day and how this would be the first year I would not receive something from you. You and LuAn were wonderful each year bringing me flowers and plants for Mother’s Day and my birthday combined. I thought about not receiving my plants this year, but I have a special garden planted for you in our front yard.

Brian's Memorial Garden, April 2016

Brian’s Memorial Garden, March 2016

This picture is an early photo of my endeavor. Please note I have your little Pittsburgh Steelers guy standing in the display. (No, please do not worry. I do not leave him out there or the others. They are there for the picture alone! They would not be standing there in the morning if I left them out there permanently. I might be receiving letters and post cards from them from strange parts of the world!) A more updated picture of your memorial garden looks like this:

Brian's Memorial Garden. April 19, 2016

Brian’s Memorial Garden. April 19, 2016

We’ve had several blizzards since you left us, so this garden has undergone a number of changes. Please note that in addition to the tiny Kansas City Royals figure (your favorite baseball team), I added a Colorado Rockies weather gnome. I think he will keep us informed of approaching blizzards and hopefully, we won’t have any more this season! Please note that I planted the Easter Lily in your garden that we had dedicated in your memory in church Easter Sunday. I hope it will come up again next year, but this is a practice I plan to continue. I think you will recognize the columbine plants you gave me for Mother’s Day and my birthday two years ago. They are blooming since I took this picture.

I have been sick with a cold the last week–a terrible cold! I haven’t had a cold like this since the days when I was teaching college classes! You remember those days! Students would drag into class with every bug imaginable and pass it on to me! I would sneeze and cough forever! (You are so fortunate not to have to deal with colds any more! Thank goodness mine is almost over!)

So, what is it like now that you are in Heaven? I wonder about the people you have met there. I was working on my DNA matches on Ancestry the other day, and I wondered how many of those people you have met. I’m sure they have told you some amazing stories since they were such colorful characters. There was never a dull minute in their lives. Now you can see why you had a thirst for adventure. Remember my book? We are all the “sum total” of our ancestors!

Speaking of adventure, there is something I would like to take up with you. I was feeling a little blue earlier because this is the first Mother’s Day I would miss your gift. And while I was feeling sorry for myself, all at once, the idea of a Mother’s bracelet sprang into mind. I brushed it aside at first, but it kept coming back. And it wasn’t any time at all before I was on eBay, searching for Mother’s bracelets. Only one caught my fancy. I put it on my watch list and went about my business, but I kept thinking about it. Something kept urging me to buy it. And wouldn’t you know? That’s what I finally did. I have a picture of it at the beginning of this letter. It is coming all the way from New Jersey, so it may not arrive until next week. That’s all right since the plants I received from you were for Mother’s Day and my birthday. So this is for both as well. I guess it has already shipped. Wouldn’t it be funny if the post office delivers it on Saturday? Maybe I shouldn’t get so anxious. I could write a huge book about my experience with the post office and packages! I will certainly look forward to its arrival. If it gets here Saturday, I can wear it to church Sunday!




A Life in Pictures

A Life in Pictures: Brian Scott Beall (1968-2016

A Life in Pictures: Brian Scott Beall (1968-2016)

Shortly after Brian’s passing, I decided to create a scrapbook of memories for him. What began as one album quickly became two. Then three. Then four. And I eventually decided to cover each album with material representing his favorite athletic teams. Album No. 1 is covered with his favorite team: The Pittsburgh Steelers,  I found the material from a seller on eBay and now have enough Steelers material to cover two albums. But then I wouldn’t be able to tell them apart. So I decided to decorate the remaining albums with material representing his other favorite teams.

We were living in the Missouri Ozarks when Brian became a fan of the Pittsburgh Steelers. We were watching a Super Bowl on television in which the Steelers were dusting off the Dallas Cowboys. Early in the game, I asked, “Want to know which team is going to win, Brian? See the team with the black helmets?” (I confess I wanted the Steelers to win because some people I didn’t admire were rooting for the Cowboys! But I didn’t tell Brian that!) Anyway, Brian later informed me from that moment on, he became a die-hard Steelers fan!  Album No. 1 covers 1968 (his birth in Louisville, Kentucky) int0 1975 (our move to Kansas City, Missouri).

Album No. 2 is covered with Kansas City Royals material–his favorite baseball team. We were living in Kansas City, Missouri when he was a little boy, and that was when he began following them.  The second album begins with our move from Missouri to Colorado in 1980 through 1992 (his and his sister’s marriages).  I found the material on eBay and just barely had enough to cover the album! However,  I made it fit! Even though he was ill last fall, Brian watched the Royals win the World Series.  He was thrilled since he had been waiting to see that for years! Album No. 2 covers 1975 (our move to Kansas City) through 1992 (Brian’s and Debbie’s marriages in Colorado.)

Album No. 3 is covered with his second favorite baseball team–the Colorado Rockies! Yes, he actually liked a team from Colorado! He often attended their games at Coors Field and looked forward to going.  Whenever some of his relatives came to town, they went to those games with him as well. Album 3 begins with 1993 and concludes with 2010. (As can be imagined, Albums 2 and 3 are huge! I have to tote the things around in separate bags. I could probably use them for weight-lifting!)

Finally, Album No. 4 is covered with Broncos material–my fantasy, I suppose. I had to add the Broncos! Brian was not a fan, but he cheered for them when they were playing teams he didn’t like–i.e., certain teams who messed up Pittsburgh! He was really ill during this last Super Bowl, but he was delighted to see the Broncos win. So I feel justified in covering the last album with their material. This album begins with 2011 and ends in 2016.  It is the smallest album partly because of the digitals I copied for the pages. The other three albums hold original photographs; a portion of the third and 98% of the fourth albums house the digitals. I created Word documents for the pages and inserted the jpgs on the pages. My HP printer did a marvelous job in printing them.

Putting these albums together has been a rewarding and a healing experience, but it is time to move on.  There are a few pictures I’m still looking for, and I will insert them when I find them.

Now, I can finally return to genealogy!

Tribute To A Newspaper Carrier: Brian Scott Beall (1968-2016)


The day of Brian's graduation from Fort Sill, Oklahoma, 1996

The day of Brian’s graduation from Fort Sill, Oklahoma, 1996



Shortly after our move to Colorado in August 1980, our son Brian Scott Beall began carrying The Denver Post. We moved to a different address by November. He gave up his Post route and began carrying The Rocky Mountain News, and carried that route for approximately two years. After that, he carried not only The Rocky Mountain News, but The Denver Post and The Boulder Camera as well. I can still see him pushing his bike with the News on the front, the Post on the back, and the Camera somewhere in between. He needed to complete those routes before school. Eventually, he gave up the Rocky Mountain route to his sister. I helped her with that endeavor. But Brian continued with the other two, sometimes pushing his bike with flat tires through snow drifts.

In 1989 while he was still in the Army and stationed in Germany, one of our neighbors wrote a Letter of Personal Character Recommendation for Brian.  Howard found it among his valuables just a few days ago. The author passed away some years ago and now with the passing of Brian, I am sharing the contents of this letter:

To Whom It May Concern

Subject: Personal Character recommendation for Brian Beall

I have known the subject young man since he was a youngster. Brian was our paper boy and the manner in which he conducted that modest first business was truly outstanding. He undertook it as a profession and carried out his duty just as effectively as if he had been a highly paid person in another job. Being a paper boy is to many people near the bottom of the list in endeavors. Brian not only made it into something professional but to my knowledge never missed. He didn’t just toss it in the bushes or into a snow bank. It was always at the top of my steps where I wanted it.

I guess when you assess character it is how much zeal you put into the little jobs. This young man has been a real joy and credit to his parents but has always been well liked in the neighborhood.

Reaching adulthood he has elected to join the military and serve his country. It is my observed personal judgment that Brian should be observed as highly recommended for any job or position that he seeks and of course one commensurate with his abilities. Having been a Naval Officer for most of my life I consider my assessment of this young man to be much more than just a routine observation

Robert E. Williams

Lieutenant Commander, US. Navy Retired

April 9, 1989

A Star Wars Glass and the U.S. Postal Service — “May The Force Be With You!”

Brian's Star Wars Glass and Little People

Brian’s Star Wars Glass


Brian’s exclamation came from the back seat. We were returning from our weekend grocery shopping spree in a Missouri town about a half hour’s drive from our place in the country. As always, the brownies and bananas never made it home. Brian and Debbie quickly devoured those as soon as they were inside the car. And now, they were examining the cereal boxes.

“I’M GOING TO GET THIS!” Brian announced.

“What?” I asked.


He passed the box up to me so I could see what he had found.

“A Star Wars thermo-glass!” I commented. “You need two box tops from two of these cereal boxes and one dollar!”

“I have the money!” Brian announced. “I’ve been saving for something big! I want this!”

“Well, okay. You have the money and one box top. Now you need another box top.”

“Can we go back to the store and get another box of cereal?”

“Brian, we are halfway home! You can wait until next weekend for that second box. And then you can send off for this.”

During the following week, Brian and Debbie both acquired a taste for that cereal. They ate it for breakfast and lunch, and they also ate it during their snack time. I am quite certain that Louie the cat and Heidi the poodle were also given treats. And the following weekend, we were back in the store acquiring the second box of cereal. Brian wasted no time in removing the box top. Then he had me fill out the order and address the envelope.

“We’re going to the library Monday,” I told him. “You can take this into town and mail it at the post office.”

“I’m going to get it ready!” he exclaimed as he ran down the hallway to his room.

When Monday morning arrived, a happy Brian bounced out to the car with a bulging envelope in his hand. When we were all in the car, I had to turn around to look at his pride and joy.

“What in the world do you have in that envelope?” I asked.

“Two box tops, the form and my money!” he responded.


“I have a dollar’s worth of pennies!”

“Brian, that will not make it through the post office!” I told him. “The envelope will rip open, and those pennies will drop out!”

“Oh yes, it will!”

“Why didn’t you give your pennies to your dad, and let him give you a dollar bill?”

“Because these are my pennies I saved, and I wanted to use them! Besides, I said a prayer for my envelope!”

Well, who was I to question the faith of a child?

When we pulled up in front of the library, Brian jumped out of the car and ran up the street toward the post office.

“I’ll bet we have to buy two more boxes of cereal and give him a dollar bill and do this thing all over again,” I told Howard.

Presently, a happy Brian bounced into the library.

“See? I told you! He took my letter!” he announced.

“The postmaster took your letter with all those pennies in it?”

“He put a lot of tape around it!”

“I’ll bet he did!” I responded.

The wait began. Brian raced up to the mail box each afternoon, hoping to find his package. Then about three weeks later, an excited Brian raced down the driveway with a package in his hands.

“See? I told you!” he announced.

“Is that your Star Wars glass?” I asked, completely surprised.


He tore the package open and sat staring at his prized possession.

“Two things must have happened,” I told Howard later. “Either the envelope made it through the mail with all that heavy tape on it and all those pennies inside it. Or, the postmaster waited until Brian left the post office. Then he made out a new envelope and replaced all those pennies with a dollar bill!”

Brian didn’t care what happened. He was so excited to have his Star Wars glass that he kept it on his dresser instead of in the kitchen. He drank all of his beverages from it ranging from Kool-Aid to milk. Then he grew up and left home, leaving the glass in our care, custody and control.

We kept it high in the cupboard for years until I re-discovered it several years ago. Today, it holds pens and pencils on an antique wash stand in our living room.


The Adventure of No. 1518 and Beulah the Buick: The Big Snow

March 23, 2016 Blizzard

March 23, 2016 Metro-Denver Blizzard


Our blizzard yesterday caused me to reflect upon a number of past snow events this time of year. March in Colorado often generates a spectacular snow to be long remembered. March 2003 definitely stands out as “the big one.” I was teaching back then and was granted two weeks of spring break–something I did not mind at all! Neither did my students!  March 2006 is another vivid memory, but not for the depth of the snow. Howard and I decided to make a trip to Missouri over spring break that year. The weather was wet and snowy–a rain-snow mixture that plagued us most of the trip until our return home. But we enjoyed it. As I recall, this was our second trip over spring break. Our first spring break trip included our children in 1984 when we left on a road trip for California. We experienced at least three seasons then. But there is one year that stands out vividly in my mind as another March storm event. That storm involved not only me but our children Brian and Debbie as well.

It was March 7, 1990. I awoke at my usual time and got ready for my day at the office. Turning on the radio, I caught the tail end of a local weather forecast.

“Light snow today!” the announcer stated. “No accumulation; just flurries.”

“TIME TO GET UP!” I yelled down the stairway.

“Yeah! Yeah!” Brian’s sleepy voice responded.

Discharged from the Army a couple of months previously, our son Brian returned home and settled in with us. He needed a job, so his sister Debbie got him hired by her employer–a radio shop in downtown Denver. At that time, my husband and I owned a large 1974 Buick Electra I had nicknamed Beulah. Driving Beulah was like driving a huge battleship, something I refused to do. I always felt the boat was driving me! So I used a monthly bus pass while Brian and Debbie drove Beulah. Howard drove a 1974 Cadillac DeVille he acquired  at a local auction. So we all set off in our separate directions that morning.

“It’s going to snow!” I announced to the others as we left. “But I don’t think it is going to amount to much.”

…or so I thought!

I stood on the bus stop, watching light flakes descend about me. By the time I reached the park ‘n ride, the flakes had grown larger and heavier. And by the time I reached downtown, the ground was painted white. During the ride down the mall, I watched the swirling flakes outside the window.

Glad I wore my boots! I hope the kids wore theirs!


I remember calling home when I first arrived in the office. No answer. Everyone had left.

“Can I see you for a moment?”

The office adversary’s nose penetrated the doorway of my office. I quickly forgot the snow swirling outside my office window and turned my attention to her.  Something in her voice suggested that this would be one of those days. She led me down the hallway to the refrigerator in the employee’s lounge.

“Did you toss out the salad dressing in here?” she demanded.

Surprised, I responded, “No, I did not!”

“Well, someone threw it away! It’s not here now!”

“It wasn’t me!” I told her. “I don’t use the refrigerator.”

I watched her storming down the hallway in search of another victim. As for me, I returned to my office where a pile of correspondence awaited me on my desk–blessings from the adversary with a note:

You are to read through this correspondence, circle important matters, copy the correspondence and put it on the proper desk.

That project engaged me most of the morning. The noon hour found me in the employee’s lounge where the adversary was complaining about missing salad dressing to her thirty-fourth victim that morning. I elected to return to my office to eat my lunch, where I turned on the radio. The list of closures caught my attention immediately.

“All local colleges! All local schools! All government offices! All public libraries…”

Is it that bad?

A sheet of white draped the window, preventing me from viewing the extent of the storm.  I returned to my desk where another project awaited my attention. And then at 4:00, the office manager arrived.

“Barbara, we are closing the office. You should go home now. We want to make sure all our employees get home safely.”

At 4:00? I thought.

Other places had closed hours ago. But I wasn’t about to argue the situation. Before leaving, I called home. Hopefully, Howard, Brian and Debbie were there.

“I just got home!” Howard told me. “It’s terrible out there!”

“What about Brian and Debbie?” I asked.

“They aren’t here. I called the radio shop, and they have already closed. So hopefully, they will get here soon!”

“I’m leaving now. I should be home in an hour or two.”

Then I locked up my office for the evening and headed out into the storm.

Stepping out onto the street was like stepping out into the Ice Age. Huge snow drifts blanketed the streets and sidewalks making movement impossible.  The shuttles had ceased running. I would have to trudge to the bus terminal on foot–an endeavor that proved quite challenging. I don’t know how many times I fell during the process. Finally, the bus terminal came into sight.

And look at the lines!

It took a long time for me to make my way through the bus terminal, following the line for the Boulder bus. About an hour later, I actually mounted the steps of the bus and dropped upon the last seat available. When standing-room-only filled the aisle to the emergency line up front, the door closed, and the driver put the bus in reverse. This was not a small bus. Regional and express buses in this area are the size of Greyhound or old Trailways buses.


Snow and ice had filled the exit of the bus terminal. As soon as the tires struck the obstruction, they could only spin. The driver threw the bus into reverse and charged again to no avail. Finally, with chants of “Go! Go! Go!” from the passengers, the great bus overcame the barrier and lunged out to the street.

What is the number of this bus? I wondered, peering at the overhead sign at the front. 1518! I need to remember this. I think this is going to be a long ride!

I no longer remember how long it took for the bus to attain I-25, but it was a long time of tire-spinning, getting stuck and unstuck, stopping and starting. And the trek up I-25 was no better. That portion of the trip was an inch-by- inch enterprise.

“I don’t think we’re going to make the 5:30 connection at the park-n-ride!” one man commented.

The driver turned on the radio so we could listen to music.

“Don’t forget Happy Hour at Benigans!” the radio announcer stated.

“I don’t think we’re going to make that either!” another man quipped.

We were standing still at the entrance to the Boulder Turnpike. As we sat there in the darkness, listening to the howling wind outside, I settled back in my seat, wondering about the kids.


Presumably, the radio shop closed earlier in the afternoon. I do not know the time Brian and Debbie were actually set free. I’m certain the trek across the parking lot was a challenge and the fight getting Beulah out of the parking lot was profound. I-25 was jammed; the kids knew that.  I believe Brian may have opted for Wadsworth. Wadsworth is one of the major snow routes in the area that is supposed to be plowed and ready for action. However,  in a situation like this, the plowing was undoubtedly one swipe. Brian spent more time spinning his tires and freeing himself from snow banks than he did in achieving progress up the road. Debbie acted as cheerleader during the ordeal. When Beulah was stuck in a drift:

“Oh, please, God! Oh, please, God! Oh, please, God!”

And when Beulah sprang free:


There were more “Please, Gods” than there were “YIPPEEES” on their trip home. However, Brian and Beulah prevailed. Beulah inched her way up Wads with a lot of tire spinning, rocking back and forth no doubt to the rhythm of the blaring radio.  They finally reached the end of our street about 7:00 or 7:30 that night. And that’s when Beulah’s battery sighed and died. They got out of the car and trudged down the street to our house!

“WE’RE HOME!” Brian announced.

Relieved, Howard added, “But, I’m worried about your mother!”


Meanwhile, back on the bus…

We were still sitting at the entrance of I-25 and the Boulder Turnpike. Music continued to play on the radio. Passengers cracked jokes. Maybe we could get home faster if we walked, some suggested. Finally, the bus gained some traction and navigated the low hill it was trying to mount. We crept up the Turnpike and passed a school yard slowly, its swings and slides buried in drifts.  This storm occurred long before the invention of cell phones, so no one could call anyone and let them know our whereabouts. Then, we stopped again and sat still, completely unable to move.

“Well, that’s it!” the driver said. “We’re here for the night unless we try something else.”

He opted for the second choice. In those days, there was only a small barrier between the eastbound and westbound lanes on the Boulder Turnpike. By rocking the bus back and forth, the driver was able to turn the bus sideways. And then with more rocking and churning, No. 1518 mounted the barrier and landed safely in the eastbound lane.

“There goes the playground again!” someone quipped as we headed past it.

We took the Federal entrance and headed north. Federal is another snow route that is always plowed first during such occasions. In this case, the road was plowed, but ice defied travel up hill. At one point, passengers got off the bus and pushed it to free it from an icy spot.

I glanced at my watch. 11:30 P.M.

“I don’t think I’m going to work tomorrow,” I told the person sitting beside me.

“You and me both,” came the response.

The bus turned down a side street. We navigated that street well and came out on Wadsworth near the park n’ ride. Cars were buried there. We were told to get out at the edge of the park n’ ride and walk to emergency vehicles waiting there for us. They would take us down to Nativity Church for the night. Well, Nativity is only a couple of blocks from my house, I noted. I could walk home from there.

By now, the snow had stopped. We grabbed hands as we struggled through drifts to police jeeps waiting to drive us down to the town. I hurried up to one of them.

“Do you have room for one more?” I asked.

“Right here in front,” the officer told me.

First and only time I’ve ever had a trip in a police vehicle.

We pulled into the parking lot at Nativity. I went inside briefly to call the house, but discovered the line for the phone went on forever.  Instead, I thanked them for getting me down out of the park n’ ride and headed home.

The moon glowed brightly overhead as the clouds moved away. As I headed down Emerald, I remembered some of the resolutions I made over the course of my experience. One was to free myself from the awful environment where I worked–a place full of snap dragons and venom suckers. I had been in similar environments previously and now I was doing it again. No more! At that moment, I felt as though I could walk on forever.

When I turned our corner, I stopped to look at the great white Buick stalled there.

“Beulah?” I exclaimed. “Then the kids got home safely!”

By now it was 12:30 A.M. And when I opened the door, a chorus of voices greeted me:




The 7:10 to Heaven: Brian Scott Beall (1968-2016)–A Mother’s Memory

Photo taken at Fort Garland, Colorado June 2009

Photo taken at Fort Garland, Colorado, June 2009

It was one of those hot, sticky Missouri summers where the sweat rolled off of us, causing us to stick to the furniture.

We had just returned from an afternoon swim at the local lake. Brian and Debbie hurried down the lane to the pond  behind the house where they were building a fort. I landed on an upholstered platform rocker, wondering when autumn would fall. Presently, I heard the back door slam, water running in the bathtub and the door slam once again.

“Brian, what are you doing?”

No answer. I looked through the window and saw him running down the path.

Oh well!

Howard was busy pulling weeds in the front yard. He was always busy out there.  As for me, I pulled the knob on the TV set and collapsed once again on the chair.

About a half hour later, I wandered down the hallway to the bathroom, where I was greeted by a loud sound from the bathtub.


What in the world is that?

Peering over the edge of the tub, I was greeted by a large bull frog sitting in water.


And I wasted no time in racing out to the back deck to register my displeasure.


Brian appeared at the end of the path.

“Well, he wants to stay in the house!”


“Okay! Okay!”


I stood at the window and watched Brian carry him down the path toward the pond.

Years later when I reminded him of this adventure, Brian stated, “Oh no! You didn’t call me BRIAN BEALL. You called me BRIAN SCOTT BEALL. And when I heard my middle name, I knew that I was in trouble!”


Brian Scott Beall was born August 6, 1968 at 3:45 P.M. in St. Anthony’s Hospital, Louisville, Kentucky–our first born child. And I must admit I was somewhat terrified. Unlike many of my friends from school and my sister, I did no babysitting while growing up. At most, I may have held one or two babies–but beyond that, I was clueless. My mother-in-law, Mildred Warfield Beall, came to stay with me my first week home. Howard was teaching school and the year was just beginning for him. Rather than leave me alone to my own uncertainties, Mildred came to the rescue. I don’t know what I would have done without her. And I cried after she returned home.

Howard's parents: Mildred Lee Warfield Beall (1917-2007) and Rev. Edward Leyburn Beall (1907-1992) standing behind their house in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Winter 1963.

Howard’s parents: Mildred Lee Warfield Beall (1917-2007) and Rev. Edward Leyburn Beall (1907-1992) standing behind their house in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Winter 1963.

Brian and cousin Kari Jo's baptism, November 1968, Farmington Presbyterian Church, Farmington, Missouri. Their grandfather, Rev. Edward L. Beall, performed the baptism. Kari Jo is the daughter of Howard's brother, and Prince's wife Cleone.

Brian and cousin Kari Jo’s baptism, November 1968, Farmington Presbyterian Church, Farmington, Missouri. Their grandfather, Rev. Edward L. Beall, performed the baptism. Kari Jo is the daughter of Howard’s brother, and Prince’s wife Cleone.

My new role as mother left me clueless. I stood beside his crib and watched him smile in his sleep. My own parents would be coming on vacation in October to see their first grandchild. That should give me time to figure out what I was supposed to do with the little fellow.

One morning I carried him into the living room and sat down in my comfortable chair, arching my legs on the footstool. Brian rested against my legs and looked at me as though wondering “Who is this strange person?” I think I smiled first and said, “Hi!” He smiled. And then I knew we connected. He wrapped his tiny hands on each index finger and smiled again. After that, it was Row, Row, Row Your Boat — The Teensie Weensie Spider, and Pee Paw–a word that eventually became his word for Peek-a-boo! I see you!

Brian getting his bath when my parents were in Louisville, October 1968

Brian getting his bath when my parents were in Louisville, October 1968

My parents Gordon Loren Inman and Elva Gail Spence Inman arrived on their vacation trip. I kept looking through the window of the front door for them and put Brian back in his bed. I had already experienced one disaster that morning with a furnace vent cleaner. We had just installed a new furnace in the house. Well, the new furnace was installed a few days previously, but the vents weren’t cleaned out,  and the pilot light wouldn’t stay on. So Howard called the people that morning and told them to “get out here” and “clean the vents!” It was chilly that morning. We needed heat with a new baby in the house. The man arrived, blew out the vents, lit the pilot and left. And I stood in the dining room in tears. Having spent several days cleaning the house to make it spotless for my parents, I now needed to reclean it and get it in shape before my parents arrived. Fortunately, the task was quickly finished just as their car pulled up in front of the house. Our dachshund Heidi was elated. She loved my parents and hadn’t been getting as much attention since Brian arrived.

“I couldn’t believe you are a mother until I saw your little baby!” my mother told me as we looked at the sleeping Brian.

As I recall, they were there about a week. We even went on an excursion to Stephen Collins Foster’s “My Old Kentucky Home.” That was Brian’s first road trip. He did just fine.

Did I mention the little squeaky noise he made while being fed? I had joined The La Leche League in Louisville just before Brian was born because I was determined to breast feed him. I took him to a meeting one night and he decided he wanted a night cap. All eyes traveled to Brian as he noisily enjoyed his feast–the squeakiest little baby in the room!

Springtime in Louisville took us out to the yard where Brian enjoyed his swing set and playing in his walker. He also had a stroller and a swing, both of which he plainly enjoyed.

Brian and me, late Spring 1969, Louisville, Kentucky

Brian and me, late Spring 1969, Louisville, Kentucky

Howard had started a master’s program in counseling through Western Kentucky University that spring and decided that we would move to Bowling Green in June. So we sold our house and moved to Bowling Green, Kentucky in June 1969. It took us a while to find a place to live there, but we found a place by late October or early November and were in Bowling Green until the following July.

Howard and Brian in front of our house in Bowling Green, Kentucky.

Howard and Brian in front of our house in Bowling Green, Kentucky. Taken December 1969

Brian sitting on our front porch in Bowling Green, Kentucky, June 1970

Brian sitting on our front porch in Bowling Green, Kentucky, June 1970

Before the Summer of 1970, however, we made a trip to Cedar Rapids to see my parents, where some generation photos were made.

Four generation photo: my maternal grandmother Oda Elizabeth Hopper Spence (1894-1981); my mother Elva Gail Spence Inman (1917-2003); Brian and me

Four generation photo: my maternal grandmother Oda Elizabeth Hopper Spence (1894-1981); my mother Elva Gail Spence Inman (1917-2003); Brian and me, Probably taken Summer 1969

Three Generations: my dad Gordon Loren Inman (1908-1974), Brian and me. This was taken on one of our spring jaunts

Three Generations: my dad Gordon Loren Inman (1908-1974), Brian and me. This was taken on one of our spring jaunts. Taken Spring 1970













Howard and Brian on the porch of his parents home, Auburn, Kentucky the day he graduated from Western Kentucky University.

Howard and Brian on the porch of his parents home, Auburn, Kentucky the day he graduated from Western Kentucky University.


In July 1970, we moved back to my home town of Cedar Rapids, Iowa where Howard had a teaching contract. I was pregnant when we moved there. Brian’s sister Deborah Lee Beall (“Debbie) was born January 12, 1971 in St. Luke’s Hospital, Cedar Rapids, Iowa–the same hospital where I was born. Brian stayed with my parents during the week I was in the hospital and didn’t quite know what to make of a little sister who had just arrived. They squabbled when they were little but bonded well with the passage of time. Debbie, a nurse, would become Brian’s “cheer-leader-in-chief” during his last illness.

Brian, age 3, Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

Brian, age 3, Cedar Rapids, Iowa. June 1971

Deborah Lee Beall at six months of age. Taken June 1971, Cedar Rapids, Iowa

Deborah Lee Beall at six months of age. Taken June 1971, Cedar Rapids, Iowa

Brian attended Garfield Elementary School in Cedar Rapids from 1973-1975 during Kindergarten and First Grade. We moved to Kansas City, Missouri after my graduation from Mount Mercy College.  While in Third Grade at Renner School north of Parkville, Brian became a member of a cub scout troupe. I was the Den Mother for his pack. Our most memorable occurrence? A week of daytime camp activities! “Snakes stay in their holes! Leave the other wildlife alone!” the cub scouts were told. I remember sitting in a puddle in the pouring rain, wondering how I had gotten talked into this! But for Brian, it was a week of fun. The cub scouts made rockets they shot off the last day of the camp. Brian’s rocket placed second highest.

We were in Kansas City until 1977 when we moved to the Missouri Ozarks for a three-year stint. That’s where the frog-in-the-bathtub incident occurred. I had long known Brian had a special love for animals beginning with Heidi the dachshund. He and his sister  had a rabbit named Peetie and guinea pigs galore. We didn’t know guinea pigs could be so productive! By the time we moved to the Ozarks, a cat named Louie moved into our house. He belonged to the former residents and took off for the woods the day they were moving. Louie was joined in December by Heidi the poodle. She belonged to Howard’s parents, and they let us take her back to Missouri with us. Brian thought that all of nature belonged in the house. Besides the frog, Louie and Heidi, Brian brought a box turtle named Red Top inside the house, as well as a rabbit named Christie.  We also had a pony named Red. Brian did not attempt to bring Red indoors!  Brian had a couple of gold fish named Bubbles and Fattie. When the goldfish died, Brian took them outside and buried them beneath our bedroom window. Then he placed tiny crosses on their graves. And then he wanted to have a funeral for them. Howard joined the ceremony and said a prayer for the fish. I had never witnessed a funeral for fish before. The big problem was keeping Louie from digging them up.

The pet drama continued well into our move to Colorado. In seventh grade, Brian rescued a cat named Lucky. One of his teachers was looking for a home for Lucky, and Brian volunteered. Lucky died just before Brian entered the Army. I guess he sensed Brian was going away for a long time.  Several years later, he brought our little cat, Shadow, home while out making pizza deliveries. Shadow’s owner was a rookie for the Denver Broncos that year. He and his wife felt sorry for the kitten when they were gone. We had several additional rabbits, a dog named Gigi, a second Louie cat, a hamster named Tidbit and much later, our daughter Debbie’s dog Ramsey. In the end, Ramsey and Shadow lived with us the longest. Both have been gone for some time. Shadow died in 1997; Ramsey died in 2005. Brian went on to acquire his own pets after his marriage: a cat named Cheeto, a German Shepherd named Thor–both of whom lived a long time. Another dog named Sparky joined the club and died about a year ago. Some years ago, Brian and LuAn adopted two cats from a rescue place: a Siamese named Moe and a big bundle of love named Melvin. Melvin is the lone survivor. We often thought Brian should have been a veterinarian.

In August 1980, we left the woods for the plains and mountains of Colorado. By the time we made our move, Brian was a full-blown Pittsburgh Steelers fan–something that did not ingratiate him with Bronco supporters in Denver. He later had a habit of going to Bronco games dressed in Steeler garb. Someone once yelled at him, “Why don’t you go back to Pittsburgh?” Brian’s response? “Never been there!”

He delivered newspapers in junior high and later delivered papers as an adult for extra cash. “All of Colorado should be proud to have such a wonderful paper boy!” one client wrote the supervisor. “He’s the best newspaper deliverer I’ve ever had!” wrote another.

Brian and school did not mix well during his junior high and high school years. He was a visual learner, and he was dyslexic. When he was in seventh grade, he made a family tree book–something his dear old mother helped him with. I gave him the pictures; he wrote the stories to go with the pictures. Of course I told him the stories as he wrote them. “Only A+” I ever got!” he remembered. By high school, he was completely bored.  Howard and I turned gray over his driving escapades as well as his speeding tickets.  So Howard enrolled him in Front Range Community College in Westminster, Colorado. He joined the Army after graduation, where he became a field artillery surveyor. He did his basic training at Fort Sill, Oklahoma and then went to Germany for the rest of his tour where he served at Herzo Base. He was awarded the Army Achievement Medal for Perfect Service. After his discharge, he returned to Denver where he rejoined his family.

The day of Brian's graduation from Fort Sill, Oklahoma, 1996

The day of Brian’s graduation from Fort Sill, Oklahoma, 1997

In May 1990, I received my master’s degree at the University of Colorado of Denver.  Brian came to my graduation and while we were posing together in the front yard, Brian told me, “Mom, I met someone last night. Her name is LuAn!”  He had fallen in love with a woman while in Germany–something that didn’t work out. And then he met LuAn.

Brian's Army photo. I'm not sure whether this was taken at Fort Sill or in Germany

Brian’s Army photo. I’m not sure whether this was taken at Fort Sill or in Germany



Brian and me the day I received my Master's Degree, May 19, 1990.

Brian and me the day I received my Master’s Degree, May 19, 1990.











Brian and LuAn were married in the front yard of their home March 9, 1991. March 9, 2016 would have been their twenty-fifth wedding anniversary.

Brian and LuAnn on their wedding day, March 9, 2016

Brian and LuAnn on their wedding day, March 9, 2016



Brian and LuAn taking their vows. Brandon is standing in the foreground

Brian and LuAn taking their vows. Brandon is standing in the foreground








Luan, Brandon and Brian heading out for a Christmas party, 1991

LuAn, Brandon and Brian heading out for a Christmas party, 1991


The following year on August 22, 1992, Brian’s sister Debbie married Dee Wall. Jr. in our back yard. Brian was the disc jockey at her wedding.

Debbie Beall and Dee Wall wedding, August 22, 1992

Debbie Beall and Dee Wall, Jr. wedding, August 22, 1992









Brian worked ten years for Jolly Rancher  Candies and two years for Budweiser. He graduated from Red Rocks Community College in fire science. In 2003, he became a locomotive engineer for the Union Pacific Railroad, where he worked for fourteen years.  A lover of sports, Brian organized a softball league with friends from Jolly Rancher. As I recall, they played for several seasons. He traveled extensively with the railroad including a several month stint in Illinois.  He loved to travel–a love he acquired while in Germany. He and LuAn made several trips to the Indianapolis 500. He wanted to go to the Kentucky Derby but didn’t make it there. He even had his name on a season ticket list for the Pittsburgh Steelers. That would not come to pass either.

About five or six years ago, Brian and LuAn joined Calvary Chapel in Broomfield. They were both immersed–the second time for LuAn and the third time for Brian– and they became active participants in their church. They went on a Healing Waters Mission Trip to the Dominican Republic in 2012 or 2013. Brian and LuAn co-founded the Bean Saver Project that feeds hungry children. That project is still active.

In May 2014, Brian went to a high school graduation in Parker, Colorado. Jason Wall, one of our grandsons and Brian’s nephew, was graduating from Thunder Ridge High School in Douglas County. I remember sitting on the bleachers, looking for Brian. Presently, he arrived and sat on the bench next to me. He was dressed in his Pittsburg Steeler’s attire.

Dee Wall, Jason Wall, Brian Beall, May 2014, Parker, Colorado

Dee and Jason Wall, Brian Beall, May 2014, Parker, Colorado

Brian seemed fine that day. After the ceremony, we went to Debbie and Dee’s house for food and celebration. An hour or so later, Brian went into the bathroom.  When he came out, he said he was going home. We didn’t think anything about it at the time.  Then in July, he drove over to our house and said he had something to tell us.

“I have cancer!” he said.

Of course, I didn’t want to believe it. Our daughter was diagnosed with the beginning stages of breast cancer two years previously. She underwent a double mastectomy and hasn’t been troubled with it since. But during her ordeal, they discovered a mutant gene in the family that makes a person carrying that gene more susceptible to any form of cancer. Brian had the same gene. He was suffering from Stage 4 esophageal cancer. Surgery was scheduled for October 22, 2014.  And Debbie organized a team of supporters on his behalf called Team Brian.

Team Brian: Debbie, Brian, Mandy, Dallas, Jason, Dee, LuAn, Joshua

Team Brian:  Front L-R–Debbie, Brian, Mandy, Dallas; Back L-R–Jason, Dee, LuAn, Josh


Brian underwent his surgery on October 22, 2014. At that point, the operation was successful. They had to redo his esophagus and cut out about half of his stomach. He believed he was cancer free. He would return for a check-up in January. But he really seemed great that fall. And we believed the cancer was gone.

Brian Scott Beall (1968-2016)

Brian Scott Beall (1968-2016)

Unfortunately, it returned. Brian told me he knew it was back–he could tell!  He also added, “Well, Jesus is going to heal me, whether in this world or the next!”

In January 2015, he began a three or four month heavy deluge of chemo. He became so ill, he couldn’t keep food down. The doctor told him he would fight cancer the rest of his life and by fall, forbade him from ever returning to work.  And so began the alternating periods of chemo-non-chemo-hydration, etc. which eventually took their toll on him. I might add that Brian and Debbie were quite adept at keeping us out of the loop on all of this. The first time I learned he was in the hospital was in September 2015. He called saying he needed a ride home! So we drove to the hospital to pick him up. He told me he would be waiting in the lobby. I didn’t see him, so I asked the lady sitting at the front desk.

“He’s still in his room!” she told me while giving me the number.

When I knocked on the door and opened it slowly, there sat Brian, eager to get out of that place. He needed to go in for hydration and had been there a few days.

The last time we saw him when he looked good was on Veteran’s Day, November 11, 2015. He went with us to Applebee’s for their Veteran’s Day Special. It was the first time he had an evening out without going to a doctor or hospital since this whole thing began. We left Applebee’s that night confident Brian was on the mend.

Brian and me at Applebee's, November 11, 2015

Brian and me at Applebee’s, November 11, 2015

Howard and Brian at Applebee's, November 11, 2015

Howard and Brian at Applebee’s, November 11, 2015









Christmas told us another story. Brian called on the 23rd, announcing Debbie had arrived, and he wanted us to come over for our Christmas. I remember saying, “Right now?” When we arrived, we saw a different Brian. He did not look well at all, and his legs were swollen with edema. Nevertheless, we carried on with our celebration and went home.

Brian spent the first three weeks of 2016 in the hospital. He went home, but was no better. So he went to another hospital and was told the other hospital had not been treating him properly. He had gained 51 lbs. of liquid on his legs! He was in that hospital for another week getting re-corrected.

I’m not sure whether he was in the hospital in early February. But he began having difficulty breathing. In my last telephone conversation with him, he told me his cancer had spread into his intestines and elsewhere. So I knew it would take a major miracle for him to be healed during this side of life. LuAn drove him to the hospital on Sunday afternoon, February 28, 2016 about an hour after we talked with him on the phone. He said he couldn’t talk long because of a shortness of breath. He didn’t go by ambulance and was a walk-in. They said he had fluid on his lungs. On Monday, they planned to drain it. They would keep him overnight, and LuAn could pick him up and take him home on Tuesday morning. I don’t know whether they drained the fluid. But on Tuesday morning, March 1, 2016 Brian passed away at 7:10 A.M. between the shift change. The night shift checked on him as they left. He was alert. The day shift arrived and checked on him, and he had passed. LuAn arrived on the scene and discovered that he had died. Debbie called us about 9:30 and  told us we needed to go to the hospital because “Brian passed away this morning.” The cancer didn’t kill him. I believe the pneumonia did.

Our sweet Brian was gone!

The room was empty. The others went out in the hallway. I stood beside the bed and held and kissed his hands. My sweet baby was only 47 years of age! I remembered holding him in my arms and kissing his tiny little face after he was born. Presently, I grabbed the metal bar of the bed and pulled myself up in bed beside him. Then I kissed his face–told him I loved him–and said goodbye.


After a passing, tears flow with fond memories of a loved one gone. Brian will forever be in our hearts. His memorial service  is Tuesday, March 15, 2016 at 2:00 P.M. at Calvary Chapel, 1200 Miramonte, Broomfield, CO–an informal service. Brian would have wanted it that way. He will have a military burial at Fort Logan National Cemetery in South Metro Denver at a later date. More than likely, that will be in April. A leather cover will deck Brian’s urn. He was a leather-type of guy and would have liked that as well.

Brian was called “Bri” and “Brian” by Howard. I called him “Honey” and “Brian”–and yes–occasionally Brian Scott Beall! –but not recently, thank goodness!  LuAn called him “Honey”–a term he called her as well. Brandon called him “Dad.” And four little girls–Trinity, Kanoe, Brooke and Delaney–called him “Pappy.” Debbie and Dee’s children-Joshua , Jason and Amanda–called him Uncle Brian, as did a host of nieces and nephews named in his obituary. He was a nephew in his own right to Dickson and Joan Beall, Prince and Cleone Beall, and Edward Leyburn and Marilyn Beall–Howard’s brothers and their wives. His Uncle Ley called him “A.J.”–a term inspired by some of Brian’s early driving activities. He was “Cuz” to a host of cousins. Most  people called him “Brian”. Some people called him “Mighty Mouse” because he was short and able to “bend steel in his bare hands!”  My Grandfather Spence called him “Bub” the first time he saw him at four months of age. Brian will be missed by many.

Here are some interesting facts about Brian:

1. He was born during Leap Year (1968) and he passed away during Leap Year (2016)
2. He was born in St. Anthony’s Hospital in Louisville, Kentucky, and passed away in another St. Anthony’s Hospital.
3. When Brian was born in 1968, a crazy presidential campaign was underway. We were watching the Republican Convention the night I went into labor and had just heard Eisenhower’s speech when things within my body began happening. Brian was in this world during the Democratic convention–that crazy thing in Chicago resulting in the Democratic implosion. When Brian passed away in 2016, another presidential campaign is underway and viewing the cast of characters involved, there is probably another implosion enroute..
4. Brian was born August 6, 1968 and passed away on March 1, 2016. There are five months between March and August. If you add one day, you get the number “6”). (Kind of a wacky connection, but it is there).
5. Brian’s wife LuAn was born and raised in southern Indiana, just across the river from Louisville, Kentucky. She once joked and said, “I was probably the girl who winked and smiled at you in a grocery store!” They met in Denver, Colorado. I was trying to think of a connection between Kentucky and Colorado, and this must be it. Her father lived a few blocks from our house in Louisville during the time that we lived there!

I recall reading an article the day after Brian’s passing about some strange radio signals from outer space. The signals are sporadic and come at unpredictable intervals. They are several light years away, but they are really beginning to puzzle the people who are studying them.

Smiling, I said aloud: “Brian is churning up the universe while driving the 7:10, his own heavenly train!”

"See ya!"

“See ya!”





The Ringing of the Bells–Part Eight: The Other Patriarch– Col. Ninian Beall (1625-1717) and the Mystery of Sarah Beall (1659-1734)

Col. Ninian Beall (1625-1717)

Col. Ninian Beall (1625-1717)

Col. Ninian Beall (1625-1717) was larger than life–an understatement by most accounts. Born in Scotland, he was captured at the Battle of Dunbar in 1650, transported to Barbados where he cut sugar cane as an indentured servant. From there, he made his way to Maryland where he acquired large amounts of land. He had two marriages: one in Scotland and the second in Maryland. Most of his children came from his second marriage. He was a close associate of Alexander Magruder (1610-1677). Until recent years, most people have accepted that Col. Ninian’s daughter, Sarah Beall (1659-1734) married Alexander Magruder’s son, Col. Samuel Magruder (1654-1711). Samuel Magruder and Sarah Beall were Howard’s seventh-great grandparents. Alexander Magruder and Col. Ninian Beall were Howard’s eighth-great grandfathers. It has been established that Alexander Magruder’s second wife Margaret Braithwaite (1635-1670) was the mother of Col. Samuel Magruder. It has also been accepted that Sarah Beall’s mother was Col. Ninian’s second wife, Ruth Polly Moore (1648-1707).

I am about to upset the apple cart!

But I will provide some background material before upsetting it!

A short account of the life of Ninian Beall appears in the Compendium of American Genalogy:

“From the Compendium of American Genealogy First Families of America, Vol. 6, p.756: “BEALL (Beal, Beale), Col. Ninian (b Largo, Fifeshire, Scot.,1625-d 1717), as prisoner of Cromwell was exiled to Barbadoes, 1650; to Prince Georges Co., Md., ca. 1652; later planter in Calvert Co., Md.; lt., 1668, 76; dep. surveyor, Charles Co.,1684; chief mil. officer, Calvert Co., 1689; maj. Calvert Co.militia, 1689; high sheriff, 1692; col. of militia, 1694; mem.Gen. Assembly, 1697-1701; Md. Gen. Assembly passed “Act of Gratitude” for distinguished Indian services, 1699; ruling elder, and “Father of Presbyterianism in Md.”; m Elizabeth Gordon (d in Scotland); m 2d. 1668-70, Ruth (1652-1707), dau. of Richard Moore, of St. Marys Co., Md., m Jane –.” ” LDS Spouse: Chaddock Gordon Birth: About 1625 in Scotland Death: Scotland He held a commission as cornet in the Scotch-English army, raised to resist Cromwell. He fought in the battle of Dunbar, 9/3/1650 against Cromwell. He was captured and made to serve 5 years servitude and sent to Barbadoes, West Indies. In 1652 he along with 149 other prisoners appeared in the province of Maryland.(1)


Our Summer With Ninian Beall began in May 1992 while enroute to Pennsylvania, where I was beginning my doctoral studies. Howard had been researching him for some time, and he wanted to see and to touch everything pertaining to his ancestor. So we took the long route to Pennsylvania by way of Maryland and fulfilled some of Howard’s ambitions. Our first stop was a place called Calvert Manor.

Calvert Manor in Maryland. Photo taken May 1992.

Calvert Manor in Maryland. Photo taken May 1992.

I wish I could remember its exact location. As I recall, it was owned by a sportsman’s club, and they were in the process of sealing it off from public access. So I imagine we were the last outsiders to walk the grounds and take pictures of it.  It overlooked the Pawtuxent River and probably dated back to the 1670s. I hope that someone has current information about it. I’m not sure whether Ninian Beall ever lived in this place. If so, it may have been when he was the High Sheriff in 1692.



Communion set presented to Presbyterian Church by Col. Ninian Beall. Photo taken Summer 1992

Howard with communion set presented to Presbyterian Church by Col. Ninian Beall. Photo taken Summer 1992



Before leaving Colorado, Howard contacted the Presbyterian Church in Maryland where a portion this communion service set is kept. Colonel Ninian Beall gave it to the Presbyterian Church in Maryland in 1707. We were able to stop there while enroute to Pennsylvania and were allowed to see it–something Howard considers a treasured event.

Dumbarton House, Washington DC. Photo taken Summer 1992. Headquarters of the National Society of Colonial Dames. We visited Dumbarton House on our Washington DC Trip. The house was transferred from Col. Ninian's son, George Beall, to his son, Thomas Beall.

Dumbarton House, Washington DC. Photo taken Summer 1992. Headquarters of the National Society of Colonial Dames. We visited Dumbarton House on our Washington DC Trip. The house was transferred from Col. Ninian’s son, George Beall, to his son, Thomas Beall.


Our trip would not have been complete without our visit to Dumbarton House, which is today a museum owned by The National Socity of Colonial Dames. We walked the grounds and also went through the museum. According to Ruth Beall Gelders: “It is recorded that George Beall, son of Ninian’s son Ninian, was born in 1729 in the home built on Rock of Dumbarton. Another house was built at 1703 32nd Street, at the corner of R Street on “Rock of Dumbarton” by William Dorsey. It is known as “Dumbarton Oaks.” From August through October 1944, the first conference of the United Nations was held at Dumbarton Oaks. Dumbarton Oaks had several owners until it was acquired by Robert Woods Bliss who gave it to Harvard University. A research library has been collected containing about 10,000 volumes relating to gardening, Byzantine and early Christian art. This is one of the finest museums and libraries in the world on Byzantine and early Christian art. The present mansion was built about 1800.(2)

Front photo of Dumbarton House By dbking - Flickr, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=2922979

Front photo of Dumbarton House
By dbking – Flickr, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=2922979


St. John's Church, Washington DC with Howard standing in front of it. Taken Summer 1992

St. John’s Church, Washington DC with Howard standing in front of it. Taken Summer 1992

We also visited St. John’s Church in Washington. D.C. where Col. Ninian Beall’s memorial plaque is located. This church is commonly called The Church of the Presidents. The marker was originally placed on a huge boulder in front of the church. It has since been relocated to the side of the building.

Original site of the Ninian Beall Plaque, St. John's Church, Washington, DC. Photo Taken Summer 1992

Original site of the Ninian Beall Plaque, St. John’s Church, Washington, DC. Photo Taken Summer 1992

Ninian Beall plaque on the side of St. John's Church, Washington DC. Photo taken Summer 1992

Ninian Beall plaque on the side of St. John’s Church, Washington DC. Photo taken Summer 1992

The Plaque reads: “”Colonel Ninian Beall, born Scotland, 1625, died Maryland 1717, patentee of the Rock of Dumbarton; Member of the House of Burgesses; Commander-in-Chief of the Provincial Forces of Maryland. In grateful recognition of his services “upon all Incursions and Disturbances of Neighboring Indians” the Maryland Assembly of 1699 passed an “Act of Gratitude.” This memorial erected by the Society of Colonial Wars in the District of Columbia, 1910.”(3)






Ruth Beall Gelders provides a list of some of Col. Ninian’s properties:

  • “Beall’s Pleasure” – The house is up a narrow, private road on the left, 16.3 miles N.E. along Bladenton Road from Old Toll Gate, or at Bladensburg. Rd. and H Street, but is visible from the main road. This early colonial and brick house was built in 1795 by Benjamin Stoddard, 1st Secretary of the Navy, and confidential agent in securing rights for the Capital City. This fine example of Georgian architecture was built of brick burned at clay pits still visible on the grounds. The house was erected on foundations of a still earlier house, probably one built by Ninian Beall when he first patented the land and gave in the name in 1706.
  • “Mackall Place” – On R street between 28th and 29th in Georgetown. Soon after 1717, George Beall came to live on his inheritance called the Rock of Dumbarton, and this small structure may have been his first home here. It consists of a large room with a huge fireplace which was still standing when this description was written. Later, when the Rock of Dumbarton was sold to make part of the City of Georgetown, Beall built, about 1750, the large brick mansion at what is now 3033 N Street, northwest of the oldest brick houses now in the District. This is the house to which Jaqueline Kennedy and her children moved and in which they lived for a year when they left the White House after the death of President Kennedy.
  • “Ninian Beall’s Pleasure Map” – Land around the headwaters of the Anacostia had been patented in 1696 to Ninian Beall who sold it to Dr. John Gerrard. Charles Calvert, descendant of the Lords Baltimore, acquired it through marriage to Gerrard’s daughter. Calvert’s daughter Eugenia sold 60 acres in 1742 for the town of Garrison’s Landing.
  • “Dumbarton – Washington House” 1647 30th Street at R Street. Built by Thomas Beall shortly after he inherited the Rock of Dumbarton from his father George Sr. in 1784. At that time he gave his elder brother, George Jr., the Beall mansion on N Street. The new home “Dumbarton” went to Thomas’ daughter Elizabeth Ridley as a wedding present when she married George Corbin Washington, great-nephew of the President. It was inherited by their son, Lewis Washington, who sold it to Elisha Riggs, co-founder with W. W. Corccoran of Riggs National Bank.
  • “Inspection House for Tobacco” – Ninian Beall received the patent for the Rock of Dumbarton in 1703. Some years later, George Gordon acquired some of the land and also acquired “Knave’s Disappointment’ from James Smith. He renamed the land “Rock Creek Plantation.”
  • “Rosedale,” 3501 Newark, and “Woodley,” 3000 Cathedral Ave. – Both estates were part of a much larger tract, 1300 or 1400 acres west of Rock Creek and extending beyond the Cathedral grounds, which George Beall acquired in 1720 and described as an addition to the Rock of Dumbarton grant to his father.
  • “Dumbarton House” Q street in Georgetown – This red brick mansion was built by the Bealls and occupied by them until 1796. “Dumbarton” later belonged to Joseph Nourse, first Register of Treasury, and to Charles Carroll. It is now the headquarters for the National Society of the colonial Dames of America. Dolly Madison fled here when the British burned the White House in 1814.(4)

We were able to find some of these properties on our excursion, including the Jacquelyn Kennedy house. When we were there in 1992, the owner was a Mrs. Fox, who was connected with the Twentieth Century Fox family. I have a picture in my album, but have not scanned it as yet.

Our Summer of Ninian Beall came to an end in August. While I kept busy with papers, research, classes and discussion groups, Howard continued his quest for Col. Ninian. At that time, he firmly believed his connection to Col. Ninian was through Ninian Beall, Jr. (1674-1710). Since then, “Yours Truly” discovered the connection was through Col. Ninian’s daughter, Sarah Beall (1659-1734), As previously noted, she became the wife of Col. Samuel Magruder (1654-1711). Their daughter, Verlinda Magruder (1690-1745), married John Beall (1688-1742). And John was the son of the immigrant, Alexander Beall (1649-1744), a cousin of Col. Ninian Beall. Sadly, Howard had to pack away Ninian Beall, Jr. and gravitate toward the Alexander Beall-Alexander Magruder group.


What do I know about Sarah Beall?

[NOTE: I am citing a number of sources in this section in order to identify Sarah Beall. I believe her date of birth was 1659, as stated in this article. Other sources provide different birth dates for her, one at late as 1669. I have acknowledged all these sources in this section and discussed them. But I believe she was born in 1659 as stated below.]

I’ve spent the last week trying to answer that question. As a result, I’m about to shake things up all over again. Believe me–this has been a ride!

Sarah Beall was born abt 1669[sic]  in Prince Georges County, Maryland, United States. She was the daughter of Colonel Ninian Beall (1625-1717) and Ruth Polly Moore Beall (abt 1637-abt 1712).

Sarah married Francis Watts in 1678 in Prince Georges County, MD. Francis is the son of Edward Watts (1620-1690) and Anne (Sherman) Watts (1620-1651). This couple had one known daughter, Sarah Watts.

Sarah married Col. Samuel Magruder in 1685 in Prince George’s County, Maryland, United States. This couple had 7 known sons and 4 known daughters: Samuel, Ninean, John, James, William, Alexander, Nathaniel, Verlinda, Mary, Elizabeth and Elinor (or Elenor).

Sarah died on 9 May 1734 in Anne, Arundel Prince Georges, MD, USA. She was 76 years old. (5)

What I posted here is the general opinion people have of Col. Ninian’s daughter, Sarah Beall. The Francis Watts information in this particular biography was new to me because I had never heard of him before reading this piece! And it raised an immediate question concerning Sarah’s age. If she were born in 1669 and if she married Francis Watts in 1678–she would have been only nine years old! And so I discarded Francis–temporarily! A Find-a-Grave Memorial for Francis Watts provided me with a new interpretation:

Birth: 1650
Stafford County
Virginia, USA
Death: 1711
Anne Arundel County
Maryland, USA

Francis Watts was born abt 1650 in Stafford County, VA. Francis is the son of Edward Watts (1620-1690) and Anne (Sherman) Watts (1630-1665). Francis married Sarah Beall in 1678 in Prince Georges County, MD. This couple had one known daughter, Sarah Watts. Apparently, Sarah and Francis were divorced as both remarried and had other children by other spouses.Francis married Margaret Purdy in 1698. This couple had 4 known children: John, Francis, Richard and William.Death 1711 Age: 56 All Hallows Parish, Anne Arundel, Maryland, USA All Hallows Register.Burial 171112 Apr Anne Arundel Co, Maryland Source: SPECIAL COLLECTIONS (All Hallow’s Protestant Episcopal Church Collection) – Parish Register 1700-1724, p. 7 [MSA SC 2458 M 221]; Parish Register 1669-1721, p. 43 [MSA SC 2458 M 221].Probate 1713 Anne Arundel Co, Maryland Source: Abstracts of the testamentary proceedings of the Prerogative Court of Maryland, V L Skinner; Maryland. Prerogative Court. Court Session: 1 August 1713 22:56 Exhibited accounts of John Hardin on estate of Francis Watts (AA).Family links:
Edward Watts (1620 – 1690)
Anne Sherman Watts (1630 – 1665)Spouse:
Sarah Watts Beall Magruder (1659 – 1734)*Children:
Sarah Watts Warman (1679 – 1710)**Calculated relationship
All Hallows Church Cemetery
Anne Arundel County
Maryland, USA
Created by: Stella
Record added: Feb 03, 2013
Find A Grave Memorial# 104561634 (6)

“All Hallows Church Cemetery–the Brick Church?”

Yes, we were there! But not in 1992. We were there in 1998 after I had graduated with my doctorate and while we were on our way down to North Carolina. Both of us had to do research there. We were visiting a friend in Maryland near Birdsville. She took us to that cemetery! I remember walking around, looking at the stones before deciding no one we knew was buried there! How little did we know.

Sarah’s 1669 birthdate still plagued me however. If born in 1669, she was still nine when she married Francis. Col. Ninian married Ruth Moore in 1668. Perhaps I was missing something.

And what if Sarah wasn’t Col. Ninian’s daughter?

I reread all the research materials I had accumulated over the years about Sarah, including her Find-a-Grave Memorial linked to Francis Watts. It was there where I discovered a birth year for Sarah of 1659! And this discovery led to a new problem.

Ninian Beall did not marry Ruth Moore until 1668!

“Oh dear!”

I was back to the drawing board once again, rereading everything I had collected, including some theories that Francis Watts’ first wife was not Sarah Beall, but Sarah Mills! This Sarah Mills is also projected as the wife of Col. Samuel Magruder!

Here we go again!

People also have Sarah Beall married to James Offutt The Immigrant (1648-1711). Then they twist it around and have her married to James Offutt’s grandson–Judge James Offutt (1690-1782). In the first case, James Offutt The Immigrant (1648-1711) married a Rachel probably in England before coming to America. The marriage record suggests that her surname may have been Beall, but no one seems to know.(7)  Judge James Offut (1690-1782) (the grandson) had two marriages–both of them to Bealls. The first is also to a Rachel??? (Beall), only this Rachel is sometimes described as a daughter of Col. Ninian Beall and Ruth Moore. That is not correct. I will get into that later! Judge James Offutt’s second marriage is to a Sarah Beall (1717-1779). This Sarah was a daughter of Howard’s sixth great-grandparents, John Beall and Verlinda Magruder.

And yes, there is a problem concerning Sarah Beall!

She is not mentioned in Col. Ninian’s will. Making matters worse, many of the Calvert County records were destroyed when they were moved from St. Mary’s to Prince Georges County. They were also destroyed by fire on several other occasions. So there is no primary source stating absolutely and forever establishing that Sarah Beall was a daughter of Col. Ninian Beall! In other words, there is really no way of absolutely proving or disproving it. What we are facing is an accumulation of theories from a variety of informants who build their theories from secondary sources. These sources are used to support their arguments. And that is exactly what I am doing here! Someone suggested that everyone is entitled to an opinion. I am presenting mine.

A number of basic secondary sources support the Sarah-as-Ninian’s-daughter theory. They provide a starting point but are secondary sources since they are record transcriptions. Some of these sources follow:

  1. U.S. and International Marriage Records, 1560-1900. Sarah Beall and Samuel Magruder married in 1686. (8)
  2. Family Data Collection-Individual Records state that Sarah Beall wsas the daughter of Col. Ninian Beall and Ruth Moore. The records also state that Sarah was born in 1659 in Maryland, and that she married Samuel Magruder in Prince Georges County in 1685. The records also state that she died May 9, 1734 in Prince Georges County. (9)

Virtus Edmondson’s “Notes on Sarah Beall” particularly caught my attention since it cites a number of secondary sources in the text:  ”

ID: I13244

  1. Name: Sarah BEALL
  2. Sex: F
  3. ALIA: /Bell/
  4. Birth: 1661 in Prince Georges County, Maryland?
  5. Birth: 1661
  6. Death: BEF 1 MAY 1734 in Prince Georges County, Maryland
  7. Note:

    Alternate Birthplace: Fifeshire, Scotland
    There is much conjecture abourt Sarah Magruder’s Maiden Name. Many researchers incorrectly idenified her as Sarah Beall, daughter of Ninian Beall. There is a possibility that she was a Beall relative from Scotland. Page 35, Early Settlers of Maryland, Gus Skordas lists a Sarah Bell (i.e Beall) transported in 1675. MD Liber 18, Folio 306. In a biographial sketch on John Beall (of Alexander’s line) on page 215, Volume 6 EFSM it says that John’s wife Verlinda Magruder was “d/o of Samuel Magruder & Sarah Bell (MCW VII.113);” (10)

An article titled “Who Was Mary?” describes the problem in depth. The following is a section from Rick Saunder’s website at http://home.netcom.com/~fzsaund/beall.html:

There are several myths that have attributed Mary, wife of John POTTINGER, and Sarah, wife of Samuel MAGRUDER as being children of Ninian BEALL. While that has been disproved, in that the evidence shows that Ninian’s daughter Mary married Andrew HAMILTON, the thought remains among some researchers that they were BEALL sisters, and relatives of Ninian. The couples were related in that Samuel MAGRUDER in his will call John POTTINGER his “brother” [brother-in-law]. Recent research of Brice Clagett (Nov. 2001) concluded that John POTTINGER married Mary MULLIKAN and Samuel MAGRUDER married Sarah POTTINGER, sister to John. This was based on relationships derived from John DEMALL in his 1725 calling Robert POTTENGER, son of John and Mary his “cousin.” Research of mine in Feb. 2002 concluded that he overlooked that Robert POTTENGER’s wife Ann EVANS was niece to DEMALL’s wife, Mary EVANS. While CLAGETT’s research could still be valid, and Mary a MULLIKIN and Sarah a POTTENGER, it cannot be considered as proved. The theory which at present has the most validity is that Samuel MAGRUDER’s wife Sarah may have been the daughter of William MILLS and wife Tabitha, and thus a step-daughter to Tabitha’s second husband Thomas BLANFORD. Some MAGRUDER researchers believe that John POTTENGER may have had a short-lived marriage to Samuel MAGRUDER’s sister Elizabeth. Note, though, that in 1706 the estate of William MILLS, Jr., there was a payment to “John POTTENGER for the use of Martha BLANFORD.” Martha was a daughter of Thomas BLANFORD and wife Tabitha, and half-sister to the MILLS children. Another popular myth is that Ninian BEALL had a daughter Margery that was the second wife of Joseph BELT, who first married Ninian’s daughter Hester/Esther. Margery was nee WIGHT, and the widow of Thomas SPRIGG. Ninian BEALL died between 15 Jan. and 28 Feb. 1717 when his will was written and probated in Prince George’s Co., MD. His wife Ruth was living on 12 Sep. 1713 when she acknowledged a deed with her husband,but probably died before Ninian wrote his will. (11)

The Sarah Mills/Col. Samuel Magruder theory is currently in vogue. I have dismissed the Francis Watts connection, although someone posted a comment on the Francis Watts’ Find-A-Grave Memorial, stating that his first wife was Sarah Mills. I cannot substantiate this claim since people who support the Mills/Magruder theory aligned Sarah Mills’ birth and death dates with the original Sarah Beall’s. As already pointed out, there is no way a young child eight, nine or ten years of age would have married Francis Watts. And there is no way to substantiate the names of William Mills’ daughters (with the exception of Tabitha) since he does not name them in his will:

On January 18, 1663, William Mill patented his first tract of land called Trenant.  In the will of John Boage, written July 8, 1667 and proven on December 16, 1667, legacy was left to his countryman, William Mill. Through this legacy William Mill became the possessor of more acreage of  Trenant, Dunbar, and Haddington which had been patented to John Boage in 1663. These tracts adjoined William Mill’s own tract of Trenant. The property of William Mill is marked today by a point on the Patuxent Bay called “Milltown Landing”. Milltown Landing Road runs through the original William Mill’s property.  

William Mill wrote his will in Calvert County, Maryland. on March 13, 1676.  It was proven on April 26, 1676. In his will he bequeathed his tracts of land, previously mentioned, to his sons after the death of his wife. His wife, Tabitha, was named as executrix.  The will mentioned his eldest son,William Mill Jr., his second son, John Mill, and  daughters# (unnamed – but one known to be Tabitha, who married Edward Willet; another is thought to be Sarah, who may have been the wife of Samuel Magruder). (12)

My attention focuses on the Virtus Edmonston reference to a Sarah Bell who immigrated to Maryland from Scotland in 1675.(13).  This focus is not misplaced.  What follows is my theory!


Sarah Bell/Beall (1659-1734)

Colonial families of the United States descended from the immigrants who arrived before 1700 sets the stage for this scenario:

There really had arrived and recorded in the Land Office at Annapolis at Annapolis, and otherwise disposed of two women immigrants, named Sarah Bell and Mary Bell, as follows:

Mary Bell arrived in 1666. See Vol. X, folio 417, Land Office, Annapolis.

She m. Peter Elzey, Nov. 11, 1672 Somerset County. See Original Court Records, Vol. DBIKL local court, Somerset County, 1672

Sarah Bell arrived 1675. See Vol. XVIII, folio 306, Land Office, Annapolis.

She m. Sept. ____, 1681, James English of Somerset County. See Original Court Records, DBIKL local court, Somerset County, 1681.

It is estimated that a Sarah Bell and a Mary Bell appeared about this time in what is now Prince Georges County, and that they came with these above mentioned 25 immigrant families that came with the Rev. Nathaniel Taylor.

They must have been very  attractive Scottish lassies, for Samuel Magruder (1661-1711), married Sarah Bell in 1686, and John Pottinger (1662-1735), married Mary Bell about the same time.

Colonel Samuel Magruder, in his will of 1711, mentioned “my brother John Pottinger.” This confirms the relationship between Sarah and Mary Bell, as sisters.

Sarah Bell Magruder named two of her children, Mary and John, as a compliment to  her sister, Mary, and her husband, John Pottinger.  Mary Bell Pottinger named two of her children, Sarah and Samuel, as a compliment to her sister, Sarah, and her husband, Samuel Magruder.

The apparent fondness of Sarah Bell Magruder for Colonel Ninian Beall and his family indicates either a relationship or strong friendship. She named her second son for Colonel Ninian; and in her will of 1734, she makes valuable presents to Mary and Samuel Beall, children of Ninian [2] Beall, (1672-1710).(14)

[Note: Ninian Beall, Jr. was a son of Col. Ninian Beall and Ruth Moore. Mary and Samuel Beall were their children. Ninian Beall, Jr.’s wife was Elizabeth Magruder (1689-1764), a daughter of Samuel and Sarah Bell Magruder.]

Based upon her year of birth (1658/1659) and the location of her birth (Largo, Fife, Scotland), I believe that Sarah Bell was a daughter of Col. Ninian Beall and his first wife Elizabeth Gordon.  I know that some contend there was no first marriage for Ninian. I believe there was and Elizabeth Gordon was his first wife.

For one thing, the Gordons were quite prominent in Scotland, as were the Bells/Bealls and the Magruders/McGregors. The Gordons intermarried with the Sutherlands, as noted in a short history:

The Earldom of Sutherland, the oldest extant in Britain, is said to have been granted by Alexander II, to William, Lord of Sutherland, about 1228, for assisting to quell a powerful northern savage of the name of Gillespie. William was the son of Hugh Freskin, who acquired the district of Sutherland by the forfeiture of the Earl of Caithness for rebellion in 1197. Hugh was the grandson of Freskin the Fleming, who came into Scotland in the reign of David I, and obtained from that prince the lands of Strathbrock in Linlithgowshire, also, the land of Duffus and others in Moray. His son, William, was a constant attendant on King William the Lion, during his frequent expeditions into Moray, and assumed the name of William de Moravia. He died towards the end of the 12th century. His son, Hugh, got the district of Sutherland, as already mentioned. Hugh’s son, “Willielmus dominus de Sutherlandia filius et haeres quondam Hugonis Freskin“, is usually reckoned the first Earl of Sutherland, although Sir Robert Gordon, the family historian, puts it three generations farther back.

The ninth earl died, without issue, in 1514, when the succession devolved upon his sister Elizabeth, Countess of Sutherland, in her own right. This lady had married Adam Gordon of Aboyne, second son of George, second Earl of Huntly, high-chancellor of Scotland, and in his wife’s right, according to the custom of the age, he was styled Earl of Sutherland. The Earl of Sutherland, when far advanced in life, retired for the most part to Strathbogie and Aboyne, in Aberdeenshire, to spend the remainder of his days among his friends, and intrusted the charge of the country to his eldest son, Alexander Gordon, master of Sutherland, a young man of great intrepidity and talent; and on the countess’s resignation, a charter of the earldom was granted to him by King James V, on 1st December 1527. She died in 1535, and her husband in 1537. Their issue were – 1. Alexander, master of Sutherland, who was infeft in the earldom in 1527, under the charter above mentioned, and died in 1529, leaving, by his wife, Lady Jane Stewart, eldest daughter of the second Earl of Atholl, three sons – John, Alexander, and William, and two daughters; 2. John Gordon; 3. Adam Gordon, killed at the battle of Pinkie, 10th September 1547; 4. Gilbert Gordon of Gartay, who married Isobel Sinclair, daughter of the laird of Dunbeath..(15)

In another account of the Sutherlands/Gordons from the same website states:


The name Sutherland originates in the county of Sutherland, the Sudrland or South land of the Norsemen of Caithness and Orkney. It has been suggested that the Sutherlands are descended from the pre-Christian tribe of the Catti. The modern counties of Caithness and Sutherland were formally known as the province of the cat or land of the people of the cat and a wild cat is on the Sutherland crest. The chiefly line descends from Freskin, progenitor of both the Murrays and the Sutherlands. His youngest son, Hugh, received the lands of Sutherland from King William the Lion in 1197. The Earldom of Sutherland, claimed to be the oldest in Britain, is alleged to have been granted to William, Lord of Sutherland about 1228 and the line remained unbroken until 1514. William, 2nd Earl, fought for Bruce at Bannockburn. The 4th Earl also William, married a daughter of Robert the Bruce. Over the following centuries, the Sutherlands had many feuds with neighbouring clans, particularly the Mackays. The male line was broken when John, 9th Earl died in 1514 and was succeeded by his sister, Elizabeth, Countess of Sutherland. She married Adam Gordon who took the courtesy title of the Earl of Sutherland. During the 1715 and 1745 Risings, the Sutherlands supported the Hanoverian cause, their estimated fighting strength was 2,000 men, many of whom were later enlisted in the Sutherland Fencibles, raised in 1759. William, 18th Earl who died in 1766 was the last of the Gordon Earls of Sutherland. His daughter, Elizabeth, married George Granville Leveson-Gower, later Marquis of Stafford, who was created Duke of Sutherland in 1833. The Duke’s ill-conceived “improvements” on his estate caused much misery and led to excessive clearance evictions which took almost the whole population of his lands overseas. When the 5th Duke died in 1963, the Dukedom went to the Egerton Earls of Ellesmere, his niece, however became 23rd Countess of Sutherland whose seat is at Dunrobin Castle.(16)

Looking at the ancestral charts for the Bells/Bealls, Magruders/McGregors, and the Gordons/Sutherlands, these people all had common ancestors!

Elizabeth Jane/Jean Gordon was born about 1627 in Sutherland, Fifeshire, Scotland, and she died about 1668 in Largo, Fifeshire, Scotland. She appears to have been the daughter of John Thomas Gordon, 14th Earl of Sutherland (1608-1679) and his first wife Jean Drummond (1609-1637). She married Col. Ninian Beall (1625-1717) about 1646 in Largo, Fifeshire, Scotland. They had two sons and two daughters, per the following:

  1. Major Thomas Bell/Beall (1647-1730)–long regarded as the only child of Ninian Beall and Elizabeth Gordon to immigrate to Maryland. He was born about 1647 in Largo, Fifeshire, Scotland, and he died in 1730 in Calvert County, Maryland. Unfortunately, his records are as confused as the others. He reportedly married Elizabeth Bateman, but there are several marriage records for him. His records appear to be the same as an uncle named Thomas Beall. I can honestly say I don’t know anything more about him.
  2. John Bell/Beall (1647-1725). Appears to have been Thomas’s twin, if the birth dates are correct. I don’t know the origin of the year of death.
  3. Mary Bell/Beall (1657-1720)–already discussed above. She was born in 1657 in Largo, Fife, Scotland, and she died in Prince Georges County, Maryland 1720. Her first husband Peter Elsey died in 1685, causing her to return to Prince Georges that same year. The Elseys had two children:
    1. William Elsey (born 1673)
    2. Ann Elsey (1680-1714).

She married John Pottenger (1661-1735) in Prince Georges, County. They had the following children:

  1. Sarah Pottenger (1688-1743)–Sarah Pottenger was born July 20, 1688 in Marlborough, Prince Georges County, and she died in 1743 in Prince Georges County, Maryland. She has often been confused with her aunt Sarah Bell/Beall. Her husband was Richard Isaac (1679-1759). Their children were: (a) Mary Isaac (1712-1759); (b) Sarah Isaac (1714-1789); (c) Rachel Isaac (1716-1718); (d) Keziah Isaac (1719-1749); (e) Richard Isaac (1720-1792); (f) Drucilla Isaac (1723-1800); (g) Joseph Isaac (1725-1771); (h) Jemima Isaac (1726-1786)
  2. Mary Pottenger (1689-1719)  May was born October 22, 1689 in Prince Georges County, Maryland, and she died in Maryland in 1719. Her husband was William Holmes (1687-1741). Their children were: (a) Phebe Holmes (1711-1712); (b) Edward Holmes, b. 1712; (c) John Holmes, b. 1714; (d) William M. Holmes (1715-1758); (e) Mary Holmes (b. 1718); (f) Clara Holmes (b. 1720); (g) Sarah Holmes (b. 1722); (h) Jemima Holmes (b. 1724); (I) Verlinda Holmes (b. 1726); (j) Rachel Holmes (b. 1728); (k) Elizabeth Holmes (b. 1730); (l) Phoebe Holmes (b. 1732).
  3. John Pottenger (1691-1719).  John was born August 20, 1691 in Queen Anne Parish, Prince Georges County, Maryland, and he died March 1719 in Prince George’s County.
  4. Samuel Pottenger (1693-1735)  Samuel was born April 11, 1693 in Queen Anne Parish, Prince Georges County, Maryland, and he died April 7, 1735 in Prince Georges County. His wife was Elizabeth Tyler (1701-1738). Their daughter was Susannah Pottenger (1719-1779).
  5. Robert Pottenger (1694-1738)–[Now, I’m really excited about this one. Robert Pottenger is the great-grandfather of Jim Bowie who died at the Alamo. That means Jim Bowie was a descendant of Col. Ninian Beall!  More about that in a future article! Robert was born February 25, 1694 in Queen Anne Parish, Prince Georges County, Maryland, and he died June 5, 1738 in Prince Georges County. His wife was Ann Evans (1697-1768).  Their daughter was Elizabeth Pottenger (1717-1775).
  6. Rachel Pottenger (1700-1757).  Rachel was born June 20, 1700 in Marlborough, Prince Georges County, and she died October 15, 1757 in Anne Arundel County, Maryland. Her husband was Richard Purnell (1698-1754). Their children were: (a) Ann Purnell (b. 1720); (b) John Purnell (1722-1754); (c) Mary Purnell (1726-1776); (d) William Purnell (1729-1777); (e) Sarah Purnell (1743-1761); (f) Benjamin Purnell (1743-1767); (g) Verlinda Purnell (1747-1778).
  7. Jemima Pottenger (1702-1734).  Jemima was born  October 2 1702 in Marlborough, Prince Georges County, Maryland, and she died August 2, 1734 in Prince Georges County, Maryland.
  8. William Pottenger (1704-1720).  William was born May 3, 1704 in Marlborough, Prince Georges County, Maryland, and he died in 1720 in Prince Georges County.
  9. Verlinda Pottenger (1706-1747). Verlinda was born October 18, 1706 in Queen Anne Parish, Prince Georges County, Maryland, and she died March 5, 1747 in Anne Arundel County, Maryland. Her husband was Zephaniah Wade (1705-1746). Their children were: (a) George Wade (1720-1814); (b) John Wade (b. 1723); (c) Daniel Wade (b. 1725); (d) Robert Wade (1731-1795); (e) Eleanor Wade (1733-1764); (f) Zephaniah Wade (1735-1794); (g) William Wade (b. 1737 and d. either 1815 or 1838); (h) Verlinda Wade (1737-1785); (I) William Zethonia Wade (1737-1785); (j) Mary Wade (1739-1753); (k) Sarah Wade (1741-1742); (l) John Wade (1741-1822).

4. Sarah Bell/Beall (1659-1734)–The subject under discussion here.  Sarah married Col. Samuel Magruder. The next article will deal with their family.

People have speculated that Elizabeth Gordon died around the time of the Battle of Dunbar, which would preclude the two daughters, Mary and Sarah. A significant number of people believe she died in 1668, about the time when Col. Ninian married his second wife Ruth Polly Moore (1648-1707). After the birth of the two sons, Col. Ninian was fightin in the English Civil War and was taken prisoner in the Battle of Dunbar in 1650. He was transported to Barbados where he was placed in servitude. I don’t know how often he was able to correspond with his wife in Scotland, but I am certain he did. By early 1650s, he was in Maryland, where he served the rest of his time for Richard Moore. Once he had served his time and was released, he began buying land in Maryland. The name Ringing Bell appears on several land transactions. He probably planned to bring his wife and sons to Maryland, but that didn’t happen. By mid-to-late 1650s, he began recruiting Scottish relatives to immigrate to Maryland. He returned to Scotland in order to complete his endeavor and to see his wife and sons again. That’s when Mary and Sarah were born. And Elizabeth was not interested in moving to Maryland. So the children remained in Scotland with her, and Ninian returned to Maryland to build his legacy.

Ninian returned to Scotland whenever he could to see his family in the early 1660s and to recruit family members and friends to relocate to Maryland. John remained in Europe. Thomas apparently went to America, but his records have been confused. I am not sure when he arrived or whether he actually married. I am suspicious that Ninian returned to Maryland with his daughter, Mary, in 1666 (14). She would have been around nine years old at that time, and Col. Ninian was a bachelor. He knew the Moore family in Calvert County and their daughter, Ruth. It is possible that Ruth became Mary’s nanny. Col. Ninian and Ruth Moore married after the death of his wife.

Elizabeth Gordon died in 1668. Col. Ninian returned to Scotland to bury his wife and to see that his family was settled. Sarah was around nine or ten at the time of her mother’s death, and she had probably settled into a family. In 1675, as already noted, Sarah relocated to Maryland.

The rest is history!

This series continues with Part Nine: The Family of Colonel Samuel Magruder and Sarah Bell/Beall


[Note: This article has been such a chore to write, I will save Col. Ninian’s second marriage for the last article in this series!]


(1) “Life of Ninian Beall”, first posted to Ancestry.com by sharksrus on 05 June 2009. Ancestry.com, Provo, Utah. Date Accessed: 13 Feb 2016. Available online at http://www.ancestry.com

(2) Ruth Beall Gelders, “Colonel Ninian Beall” (1976). First posted to Ancestry.com by scottcotton_1 on 24 Aug 2010. Ancestry.com, Provo, Utah. Date Accessed: 13 Feb 2016. Available online at http://www.ancestry.com

(3) Ruth Beall Gelders, “Colonel Ninian Beall” (1976). First posted to Ancestry.com by scottcotton_1 on 24 Aug 2010. Ancestry.com, Provo, Utah. Date Accessed: 13 Feb 2016. Available online at http://www.ancestry.com

(4) Ruth Beall Gelders, “Colonel Ninian Beall” (1976). First posted to Ancestry.com by scottcotton_1 on 24 Aug 2010. Ancestry.com, Provo, Utah. Date Accessed: 13 Feb 2016. Available online at http://www.ancestry.com

(5) “Biography of Sarah Beall”. First posted to Ancestry.com by beallrose on 07 Feb 2015. Ancestry.com, Provo, Utah. Date Accessed: 13 Feb 2016. Available oline at http://www.ancestry.com

(6) Francis Watts Find-a-Grave Memorial. Created by Stella 03 Feb 2013. Find-a-Grave.com Website. Date Accessed: 13 Feb 2016. Available online at http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GSln=WAT&GSpartial=1&GSbyrel=all&GSst=22&GScntry=4&GSsr=3401&GRid=104561634&

(7) U.S. and International Marriage Records, 1560-1900 about James Offutt and Rachel? Beall. Ancestry.com, Provo, Utah. Date Accessed: 13 Feb 2016. Available online at http://www.ancestry.com

(8) U.S. and International Marriage Records, 1560-1900 about Sarah Beall and Samuel Magruder. Ancestry.com, Provo, Utah. Date Accessed: 13 Feb 2016. Available online at http://www.ancestry.com

(9) Family Data Collection-Individual Records for Sarah Beall. Ancestry.com, Provo, Utah. Date Accessed: 13 Feb 2016. Available online at http://www.ancestry.com

(10) “Notes on Sarah Beall by Virtus Edmundson. Originally submitted to Ancestry.com by twood1111 on 04 Nov 2013. Ancestry.com, Provo, Utah. Date Accessed: 13 Feb 2016. Available online at http://www.ancestry.com

(11) “Who Was Mary?” Originally submitted to Ancestry.com by ladyrodder on 14 Apr 2012. Ancestry.com, Provo, Utah. Date Accessed: 14 Feb 2016. Available online at http://www.ancestry.com: Original source: Rick Saunders; Article available online at http://home.netcom.com/~fzsaund/beall.html

(12) “The William Mill Story”, originally posted to Ancestry.com by glyordy on 17 Nov 2015. Ancestry.com, Provo, Utah. Date Accessed: 14 Feb 2016. Available online at http://www.ancestry.com

(13) Gus Skordas, Early Settlers of Maryland, Liber 18, Folio 306, Maryland State Archives.

(14) Colonial families of the United States descended from the immigrants who arrived before 1700, pp. 102-103. Ancestry.com, Provo Utah. Date Accessed: 14 Feb 2016. Available online at http://www.ancestry.com

(15) “Sutherland” from the ElectricScotland Website. Date Accessed: 14 Feb 2014. Available online at http://www.electricscotland.com/webclans/stoz/sutherl2.html

(16) “Sutherland” from the ElectricScotland Website. Date Accessed: 14 Feb 2014. Available online at http://www.electricscotland.com/webclans/stoz/sutherl2.html

(17)U.S. and Canada, Passenger and Immigration Lists Index, 1500s-1900s about Mary Bell(Beall). Ancestry.com, Provo, Utah. Date Accessed: 14 Feb 2014. Available online at http://www.ancestry.com

The Ringing of the Bells–Part Seven: Alexander Magruder (1610-1677)–His Second and Third Marriages

Marker is in Annapolis, Maryland, in Anne Arundel County. Marker can be reached from the intersection of College Avenue (Maryland Route 450) and Prince George Street, on the left when traveling east. Click for map. Marker is a To honor the three hundredth anniversary of the coming to Maryland circa 1652 of Alexander Magruder, founder and progenitor of the Magruder family in America, and to the men of his blood who have been students at St. John's College.

Marker is in Annapolis, Maryland, in Anne Arundel County. Marker can be reached from the intersection of College Avenue (Maryland Route 450) and Prince George Street, on the left when traveling east. Click for map. Marker is a
To honor the three hundredth anniversary of the coming to Maryland circa 1652 of Alexander Magruder, founder and progenitor of the Magruder family in America, and to the men of his blood who have been students at St. John’s College.

In 1653, Alexander Magruder married Margaret Braithwait (1635-1671) in Prince George’s County, Maryland. They were Howard’s eighth great-grandparents.  Alexander had been in Maryland for a little over a year and had already acquired land. Sometime within that time frame, he brought his daughter, Annaple, to Maryland. It is possible that Margaret Braithwait took the young child into her care. She was the daughter of Capt. William Braithwaite (1570-1649), and she was born May 9, 1635 in Hawkshead, Lancashire, England. As previously noted, William Braithwaite was “..a member of the First Assembly of MD in 1637; Commander of the Isle of Kent, in 1633 which was the earliest seat of the Proprietary Government of Maryland. He was acting Governor of the Province in 1644.”(1)  Margaret was apparently the child of a first wife, whose name is currently unknown. William Braithwaite married Heleanor (Eleanor) Stephenson (b. 1614) in 1638 in Calvert County, Maryland.

The children of Alexander Magruder and Margaret Braithwait follow:

  1. Col. Samuel Magruder I (1654-1711)–Howard’s seventh great-grandfather. He will be covered in the next article.
  2. James Magruder (1658-1685). James Magruder is mentioned in his father’s will. He was born about 1658 in Upper Marlboro, Calvert, Maryland, and he died 23 Dec 1685 in Annapolis, Anne Arundel, Maryland. His wife’s name is unknown. They had one daughter: Isabel or Isabella Magruder, who was born about 1685 in Anne Arundel County, Maryland, and who died after 1739 in Maryland. She had two marriage, one to Alexander Lindores, about whom nothing else is known, and another to John Henry (1656-1739). The Henry’s had a daughter named Eleanor Henry. I have no additional information
  3. John Magruder (1662-1685). John was born in Upper Marlboro, Prince George’s County, Maryland in 1662, and he died in 1685 in Calvert County, Maryland. He is presumed to have died unmarried. I have no other information about him.

After Margaret’s death, Alexander married Elizabeth Hawkins (1634-1677) about 1670 or 1671. And here we run into a controversy. Some people believe Annaple was Elizabeth’s daughter. That is unlikely since Annaple was born in England in 1649 and Alexander didn’t marry Elizabeth Hawkins until 1670 or 1671 in Prince George’s County, Maryland. Some people believe he married a Sarah Hawkins, but I could find no record of that. It is possible that Elizabeth Hawkins’ full name was Sarah Elizabeth Hawkins or that Margaret Braithwait’s middle name was Sarah.  I am inclined to favor the Elizabeth Hawkins’ connection with Sarah, making her full name Sarah Elizabeth Hawkins.

The children of Alexander  and Elizabeth Hawkins Magruder follow:

  1. Alexander Howard Magruder III (1671-1746). Alexander was born in Prince George’s County, Maryland in 1671, and he died May 20, 1746 in Prince George’s County. His wife was Susannah Busey/Bussey (1675-1746). Their children were: (a) Priscilla Magruder (b. 1700); (b) Ann Magruder (b. 1712-1776); (c) Sarah Magruder (1713-1733); (d)  Alexander Magruder (1716-1779); (e) Elizabeth Magruder (1717-1753); (f) Eleanor Magruder (1720-1800); (g) Nathaniel Magruder (1720-1793); (h) Hezekiah Magruder (1729-1806)
  2. Nathaniel Magruder (1675-1734).  Nathaniel’s wife’s name was  Mary. Their children were: (a) George Magruder; (b) Ann Magruder; (c) Elizabeth Magruder; (f) Mary Magruder; (g) Susannah Magruder. I do not have any dates for these people.
  3. Elizabeth Magruder (1676-1749). Elizabeth was born in Prince George’s County, Maryland. I have no additional information about her.  She did not marry Col. Ninian Beall’s son, Ninian Beall, Jr. Some people believe that she did.

The Will of Alexander Magruder follows:

Will of Alexander Magruder                     Calvert Co., Md.  10 Feb. 1676

File contributed for use in USGenWeb Archives by Carol Collins. Mroots95@aol.com

In the name of God, amen.  This the tenth day of february in the years of our
Lord 1676, I Alexander Magruder being in health of body thanks be to god and
calling me to Remembrance the Uncertaintie of the Transitory life & that all
flesh must yield unto death when it pleased god to call I doe make Constitute
ordaine & declare this my last Will & testament in manner & form following
denouling & pronounceing by this presents all testament & testaments will and
wills hereto fore by me made & declared either by word or writing & this
onely to be taken my Last Will & testament & none other. And first being
sorrie for my Sins from my heart most humbly desireing foregiveness for the
same I give & comit my Soule unto Almighty god my Saviour & Redeemer in whome
& by this merits Jesus Christ I trust & believe assuredly to be saved & to
have full remission & foregiveness of all my sinnes & that my soule with my
body at the day of the resurrection shall rise againe with joy & through the
Merits of Jesus Christ death & passing possess & inherit the Kingdome of
heaven prepared for the Elect Chosen & my body to be buried in such place
where it shall please my Executors hereafter mentioned to poynt.  Now for the
settling my temporall estate & such Chattells & debts as it hath pleased god
far above my deserts to bestow upon me.  I ord’n & give & dispose the same in
manner & forme following that is to say first I will that those debts &
duties which I owe in Right or Conscience to any p’son or p’sons whatsoever
shall well and truely payd in Convenient time after my decease by my
Well beloved wife Elizabeth Magruder & James Magruder & Samuell Magruder whom
I doe leave & appoint & ordaine them my whole Executrix over my whole

Item: I give & bequeath to my loving wife & her three children two thirds of
my personal estate & that plantation that I now live on to my loving wife
Elizabeth Magruder for her lifetime & after her decease to my son Alexander &
my son Nathaniell to them & their heires forever, and if either of them dies
without issue the the longest liver to have it.  The said Land doth Containe
by Patent & Conveyance Eight hundred Acres of land.

Item: I will bequeath to my loving sons James Magruder & John Magruder Nine
hundred acres of land lying on the Western branch of Petuxent River held by
two Pattents called Alexandria & Dumblain to them & their heirs.

Item: I will bequeath to my Son Samuel Magruder five hundred acres of land
lying in the Westerne Branch called Good Luck to him & his heires forever.

Item: I will that my son Samuell shall assist my son James when he is minded
for to goe upon his owne, that is for to say to cleare & fence & build as is
done upon Samuell Plantation hafe as much

Item: I will and bequeath the third Part of my personall estate to my three
sons James Samuell & John Magruder & if either of these my three sons dye
without issue what doth belong to him that is deceased to be equally divided
betwixt the other two & they are to have what estate belongeth to them at the
age of Twenty years & to my daughter Elizabeth at the day of her marriage.

I will & bequeath to my daughter Elizabeth two hundred acres of land called
by the name Cragnigh lying in the Westerne branch of Petuxent River adjoining
to my son Samuell’s land her brother & these my sons shall not buy nor sell
not above the value of four hundred pounds of tobacco without the consent of
one of these my Overseers untill they are at the age of twenty five years of
age of this my last Will & testament I request my Well beloved friends Mr.
Nathaniell Truman, Mr. Samuell Taylor, Mr. Ninnian Beale.  I pronouce this my
last Will & Testament whereunto I set my hand & seals the day & year above

Alexander Magruder
James Magruder – John Lane
John (X) Johnson
James (X) Soulivant                                             (original wax seal)
James Guthrey

Original will, Maryland Hall of Records
also Calvert Co. Will Liber 5, fol. 261(2)

[Note: “Mr. Ninian Beale” mentioned as an overseer of Alexander Magruder’s Will was Col. Ninian Beall.

Alexander Magruder died before July 25, 1677, the date his will was entered for probate in Prince George’s County, Maryland. (3) Alexander and his wives Margaret and Elizabeth are buried on Anchovie Hills, per Alexander’s Find-a-Grave Memorial:

He died and was buried at his home at “Anchovie Hills”, which was located southeast of what is now Magruder’s Ferry and Croom Rd., Brandywine, MD. At that time, Brandywine was called Baden and was in Calvert county, but is now in Prince George’s county…His headstone has not been found, that I know of, and the site is on a private wildlife refuge now.(4)

This series continues with Part Eight: The Other Patriarch– Col. Ninian Beall (1625-1717) and the Mystery of Sarah Beall (1659-1734)
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