The Ringing of the Bells–Part Three: Alexander Bell (1625-1655)


Bell Border Tartan

Bell Border Tartan


Bell Border Tartan–Dress Blues


Alexander Bell is believed to have been born during the early 1600’s in Fife County, Scotland. Although the identity of Alexander’s parents has yet to be determined beyond doubt, there are a number of researchers, including the author, who believe that his father was named William. There was a “William Bell, elder, weaver” who witnessed the transfer of a parcel of land (Sasine) that had been bequeathed to Alexander from his cousin Christian Pattersone. This same William Bell, elder, also witnessed the christening of Alexander’s son, William, on 22 August 1647. It is further believed that Alexander had a brother, also named William, and that it was this “William Bell, younger, weaver” who married Christian Traill in the parish church at St. Andrew’s in Fife County, Scotland on 5 December 1639 . No additional information has been found concerning these Williams, however. Alexander, who was also a brabener (linen weaver) by trade, was later married to a woman named Margaret Ramsay in the parish church at St. Andrew’s in Fife County on 21 May 1646. With the exception of their son, Robert Bell, the following children were identified through the christening records of St. Andrew’s Church as being Alexander and Margaret’s. Because no birth or christening records have been found for Robert Bell, his actual relationship to this family is still being debated by some. However, since this family is not found in the St. Andrew’s Church records after the christening of their son, Andrew, I cannot help but think that Alexander and Margaret must have moved to another Parish, where they could very well have had additional children. Unfortunately, where Alexander and Margaret may have moved to after Andrew’s christening has simply not been determined yet. In light of the fact that Alexander’s son, also named Alexander, specifically referred to a brother named Robert in his will, I have included this Robert as also being a son of Alexander and Margaret Bell.(1)


Name confusion is a major problem in studying the Beall line. The problem makes it difficult parking these people in the right space, but I will give it a try.

Howard’s eighth great-grandfather, Alexander Beall, was born in St. Andrews, Fife, Scotland, and he died January 10, 1655 in St. Andrews. A weaver by trade, Alexander, was the son of William Bell (1599-1633) and his first wife Christen Gourlay (1605-1639), and the grandson of William Bell (1535-1600) and Margaret Patterson (1534-1600). Alexander Bell’s father William Bell (1599-1633) was a brother of Alexander Bell (1565-1612). This Alexander Bell was the father of Dr. James Beall (1603-1646), and the grandfather of Col. Ninian Beall (1625-1717). That would place Alexander Bell and the Ninian Beall in a cousin relationship.

There is another connection I need to mention here–this one involving Alexander Bell’s wife: Margaret Ramsey (1625-1655).  There were two Margaret Ramseys:  Margaret Ramsey (1625-1655)–wife of Alexander Bell (1625-1655),–the subject under discussion here– and Margaret Ramsey (1565-1605)–wife of Alexander Bell (1565-1612), the grandparents of Colonel Ninian Beall. In other words, there were two Alexander Bells and two Margaret Ramseys. The Margaret Ramseys are often referred to as Margaret Ramsey, Sr. and Margaret Ramsey, Jr. I will refer to them in this fashion here.

Margaret Ramsey, Sr. was born in 1569 in Largo, Fife, Scotland, and she died in Largo in 1605. She appears as the daughter of John Pearce Ramsey (1530-1620) and his wife Sarah (1530-1619). In 1593, she married Alexander Bell (1565-1612) in Largo, Fife, Scotland. Some people link the older Ramseys to Margaret Ramsey, Jr. However, the age difference does not compute. I have not heard of centenarians giving birth to children outside Abraham and Sarah in the Bible! Margaret, Sr.’s Find-a-Grave Memorial follows:

Birth: 1569
Fife, Scotland
Death: 1605
Fife, Scotland

Margaret Ramsey born in 1569 in Largo, Fifeshire, Scotland. Margaret was the daughter of John Pearce Ramsey (1530-1620) and unknown mother.Margaret married Alexander Beall (1565-1612)in Largo, Fife, Scotland in 1593. He was the son of William Beall (1535-1600) and Margaret (Patterson) Beall (1534-1600).Alexander and Margaret Beall were the parents of the following known children: Alexander Beall, James Beall, Andrew Beall, William Beall, Robert Beall, Ruth Beall, John Beall and Ninian Beall.Margaret (Ramsey) died in 1605 in Largo, Fifeshire, Scotland. She was 36 years old. Burial information unknown at this time.Family links:
Alexander Beall (1565 – 1612)*Children:
James Beall (1603 – 1646)**Calculated relationship
Created by: Stella
Record added: Jul 03, 2014
Find A Grave Memorial# 132260765(2)

Margaret Ramsey, Jr. was born in 1625 in St. Andrews, Fife, Scotland, and she died in February 1655 in East Kilbride, Lanarkshire, Scotland. Her parents are unknown, although some people believe her father’s name was John Ramsey.  On May 21, 1646, she married Alexander Bell (1625-1655) in Saint Andrews and Saint Leonards, Fife, Scotland.(3)  The following is a synopsis of my research about the Alexander Bell family:

Copied from freepages:



1. Alexander Bell.

Alexander Bell is believed to have been born during the early 1600’s in Fife County, Scotland.  Although the identity of Alexander’s parents has yet to be determined beyond doubt, there are a number of researchers who believe that his father was named William.  It is further believed that Alexander had a brother, also named William, and that it was this William who married Christian Traill in the parish church at St. Andrew’s in Fife County on 5 December 1639.  No additional information has been found concerning this William, however.

Alexander, who was a brabener (linen weaver) by trade, was later married on 21 May 1646 in the parish church at St. Andrew’s in Fife County to a woman named Margaret Ramsay.  With the exception of Robert, the following children were identified through the christening records of St. Andrew’s Church as being Alexander and Margaret’s.  Because no birth or christening records have been found for Robert, his actual relationship to this family is still being debated.  It is my belief, however, that Alexander and Margaret could have had additional children that were christened in another parish, and that they simply have not been located yet.  In light of the fact that Alexander’s son, Alexander, specifically referred to a brother named Robert in his will, I have included this Robert as also being a son of Alexander and Margaret Bell.

Known and probable issue:  (Surname Bell)

2. William
b. in Fife Co., Scot.
chr. 22 August 1647 at St. Andrew’s Church, Fife Co., Scot.

3. Alexander
b. in Fife Co., Scot.
chr. 11 October 1649 at St. Andrew’s Church, Fife Co., Scot.
m. (1) unknown.
m. (2) Elizabeth (Buckerfield) Bates in MD.   (widow of William Bates)
d. 1744 in Prince George’s Co., MD.

4. James
b. in Fife Co., Scot.
chr. 5 February 1652 at St. Andrew’s Church, Fife Co., Scot.
m. 1693 to Sarah Pearce in MD.
d. 1725 in Prince George’s Co., MD.

5. Andrew
b. in Fife Co., Scot.
chr. 28 March 1655 at St. Andrew’s Church, Fife Co., Scot.
m. (remained single)
d. 1742 in Prince George’s Co., MD.

6. Robert
b. in Scot.
m. Margery (      ).
d. ca. 1754/55 in Prince George’s Co., MD.(4)

The children of Alexander Bell and Margaret Ramsey follow:

  1. William Bell (1647-unknown). William was christened in Saint Andrew’s Church, Fifeshire, Scotland August 22, 1647 (5)  A biography of William Bell by Jack E. Powell notes:

William Bell, the son of Alexander Bell and Margaret Ramsay, was born in Fife
County, Scotland. He was subsequently christened in the parish church at St.
Andrew’s in Fife County on 22 August 1647. At the present time, it is not known
whether or not William emigrated to Maryland with his brothers or remained in

NOTE: According to Fielder M. M. Beall in his book “Colonial Families of the United
States Descended From the Immigrants Bell, Beal, Bale, Beale, Beall,” William Bell
was married in Maryland in about 1695 to Elizabeth Stallings, the daughter of
Richard Stallings (also written Stallinges). It is also stated by Fielder Beall that this
William died in Calvert County, Maryland in 1731, and that his will was submitted for
probate before the Calvert County Court on 10 April 1731. This William’s surname
was not listed as Bell or Beall, however, but as Deal (Deale).  
The wills of this William’s father-in-law and brother-in-law, as well as information
presented in the Stallings family genealogy, consistently refer to this person as
William Deal, Deale, or Dealt. This surname also appears to have been used by this
William’s descendants as well. As a consequence, I believe Fielder Beall’s
assessment of this William is inaccurate, and that this individual is not the son of
Alexander Bell and Margaret Ramsay.(6)

Beyond his christening date, I have found no additional information for William Bell.

2. Alexander Bell (Beall) (1649-1744). Howard’s seventh great grandfather. He will be discussed in Part Four.

3. James William Bell (Beall) (1652-1725). James was christened in St. Andrew’s Church, Fifeshire Scotland February 5, 1652.(7)  The full name James William Bell appears on  his  christening record. He could have born the middle name William if his older brother died as an infant or toddler, hence the reason why I could find no additional information about William Bell. James arrived in Maryland in 1668.(8)  A summary concerning his life from Rootsweb follows:


  • ID: I476
  • Name: James Immigrant BEALL
  • Sex: M
  • Birth: 1652
  • Christening: 5 FEB 1652
  • Death: BEF NOV 1725 in Prince George’s Co., MD
  • HIST: See BGN:123, 442 1
  • Note: 2 3 2 4 5

    Note: B-ALEX-3 James Beall, baptized St. Andrew’s Ch, Fifeshire, February 5, 1652, of Prince Georges County, Planter; Immigrant, of Alexander of Scotland [G1621], d. 1725. Said to have immigrated 1668 (AALO 15:340; FMMB:148, however this citation may refer to a James Bill). Doliante (14) believes came in 1690 with Rev. Nathaniel Taylor and a congregation of Scots from Fifeshire. Land Transactions. Lord Baltimore 1685 ceased giving land grants to immigrants, and James Beall never received a land grant. No references to James Beall or other brothers prior to 1695. First property was 562 a. Rover’s Content, purchased from Col Ninian Beall in 1698. 7 Sep 1711 Lone Head surveyed for James Bill; patended Apr 10, 1715, 782 acres. (Rent Rolls Book PGC #1:118; FMMB:149). James Pearre, probably from Aberdeenshire, lived next to Lone Head, patented by James Beall, the Immigrant and willed to his son. June 4, 1714, Good Luck, located on east side of Cabbin John Branch, surveyed for James Beall; patended Apr 20, 1719 (Rent Roll Book, PGC #1:333; FMMB:149) Sep 16, 1715, 225 acres Drumaldry surveyed for James Beall in now Montgomery Co. (FMMB:149) “On the Northwest Branch and still north of [Dumaldry] James Beall was granted Lay Hill 17 Aug 1716 containing 1298 acres.” The present suburb of Layhill in Montgomery County, halfway between Rockville and Burtonsville, is located within this tract. Marriage. In 1693 m. Sarah Pearce, dau of John and Sarah Pearce. Church Affairs. Nov 25 1704, Col Ninian Beall gave 1/2 acre for church “& made a # of kinsman trustees”, including James Beall. (PGLO C:116b-116c). Aug 19 1707 listed as vestryman for Broad Creek P. E. Church, Piscataway Parish [Rock Creek Vestry Records, ff 22; FMMB:149]. 1713 elder in Presbyterian Church, Upper Marlboro. (Briggs’ American Presbyterian, 1884; FMMB:149) Will, 1723. Left yearly sum of money to Rev. Hugh Conn, Presbyterian. At death, James’ sons Robert and Joseph to inherit Layhill, divided eqully between them. Will 21 Nov 1723-10 Jul 1725. If named in will, underlined (Heterick, II:1). If cited by Doliante, (*) asterisk. Brother Alexander, son John, and cousins William (B-COUSIN-1/G1665) and James, (B-COUSIN-2/G1667) executors. (Heterick II:1). Several of the children appeared in the PG Orphans Court in the period 1723-1735 (Beall News:123–dates marked OC).
    1. *Margaret/Mary, b. 1694 (+)
    2. *John, Jr, b. G1700 (+)
    3. *Nathaniel, b. G1709 (OC); 1699 (FMMB:154; Beall News:13); (Doliante: after 1705) Aug 1725 “Of a competent age as tis said” (b. NET 1708) choose as guardian William Beall Sr of PGC (B-ALEX-1/G1647 or B-ALEX-21/G1683 William Beall Sr of Alexander) (PGOC L:486; Beall News:123) (+)
    4. *James, Jr, b. Jan 1711 (OC); 1710 (FMMB); 1708 (Doliante) Caution–This line follows events and children assigned by Doliante. Events and children assigned by FMMB and Beall News, p. 12 (James Beall, b. 1698) are found under James B-ALEX-24/1690 of Alexander, Immigrant. Events and children assigned by Heterick are found under James B-JAMESBEALL, b. G1720 (+)
    5. *Sarah, April 1713 b. 1710-12 (Doliante) or 1703 (Beall News,p. 12, E) (+B-ALEX-35/1710) At age 13 next April selects mother Sarah Beall as guardian, (PGOC Nov 1725 L:509,510, Beall News:123)
    6. *Robert, b. 29 Nov 1717 (OC) (1716-1740, FMMB) Age 10 in 1726 (Doliante, 19) or 1705 (Beall News,13, F) To inherit Layhill (+B-ALEX-36/1716) At age 19 years by 29th day of next November, Selects Thomas Odell of Prince Georges County, Planter, as guardian (PGOC Mar 1735 V:350, Beall News:123)
    7. *Joseph, b. 1719 (OC) 1720 (FMMB). Age 6 in 1726 (Doliante:19) or 1708 (Beall News,13, G) To inherit Layhill. Aug 1735 aged 16 “or thereabouts”, selects Thomas Odell as guardian. (PGOC V:542, Beall News:123) (+B-ALEX-37/1720)
    8. *Zephaniah, b. 1723 (+) Age 3 in 1726 (Doliante, 19) or 1720 (Beall News,13, H) (+)

    1725 Beall, James P. G. 18, 394

    BEALL, James 1652 PEARCE, Sarah 1680 911.000 DB CTF 1 1695
    BEALL, James 1652 RIDGELY, Sarah 1341.000 DB CTF 1 1722


    (N), m. by 16 March 1700, Sarah, eld. dau. of Thomas
    Sprigg. Her dau. Sarah m. James Bell (Beall?) (PGLR A:362).

    James Beall, Sr., 1652-1725, Immigrant
    JUDGE JOSEPH BEALL, 1708-1798.
    GENERAL REZIN BEALL, 1769-1843.
    JUDGE WM. MURDOCK BEALL, 1742-1823.

    James Bell, b 1652, son of Alexander Bell and his wife, Margaret Ramsay Bell, baptized in St. Andrew’s Church, Fife County, Scotland, Feb. 5, 1652.
    James Bell arrived in the Province of Maryland 1668. Liber 15, folio 340, Land Office, Annapolis.
    James Beall, Sr., b 1652, d 1725, of Rovers’ Content and Fife. Will probated Feb. 10, 1725, P. G. Co., Liber 1, folio 140, 1725.
    Mentions brother Alexander and son-in-law Thomas O’Dell.
    James Beall, testator to will of John Emmert, Charles County, made April 13, 1695. Md. Cal. Wills, Vol. II, folio 152.
    Ninian Beall and his wife, Ruth Moore Beall, deeded to James Beall, Jan. 23, 1698, a tract of land called Rovers’ Content, 562 acres, in P. G. Co.
    James Beall made trustee of a Presbyterian Church. Land in Upper Marlboro, P. G. Co., deeded by Colonel Ninian Beall, Nov. 25, 1704, “for ye propagation of ye Gospel of Jesus Christ.”
    James Beall vestryman in Broad Creek P. E. Church, Piscataway Parish, Aug. 19, 1707. See records Rock Creek Church Parish, folio 22.
    James Beall elder in the Presbyterian Church, Upper Marlboro, 1713. Briggs’ American Presbyterian, 1884.
    James Beall testator in will of Steven Johnson of P. G. Co., made Dec. 25, 1718. Md. Col. Wills, Vol. IV, folio 296.
    Land called Lone Head was surveyed for James Beall, Feb. 7, 1711. Patented April 10, 1715, 782 acres. See Rent Rolls Book, P. G. Co., No. 1, folio 118.
    Land called Drumaldry was surveyed for James Beall, Sept. 16, 1715, 225 acres. It was in now Montgomery County.
    Land called Ley Hill surveyed for James Beall, Aug. 17, 1716, 1,298 acres, located in N. W. Branch, north of Drumaldry, in now Montgomery Co.
    Land called Good Luck, located on east side of Cabbin John Branch, surveyed for James Beall, June 4, 1714. Patented April 20, 1719. See Rent Roll Book, P. G. Co., No. 1, folio 333.
    James Beall m Sarah Pearce, 1693, dr of John and Sarah Pearce. See deed, Liber A, folio 361, P. G. Co., 1701. After the death of James Beall, 1725, his wife Sarah m Dr. John Haswell of P. G. Co. She survived Dr. John. In her will, probated Nov. 28, 1761, W. B. No. 1, folio 535, P. G. Co., she leaves bequests to her Beall children, and a calf to “my granddaughter, Charity, dr of my son James.” This was the Charity Beall who m Haswell Magruder, son of Samuel, Jr. She also mentions her dr, Sarah O’Dell, and her great-grandchildren, James Williams and Sarah Williams.
    James and Sarah had issue:
    A, Mary; B, John; C, James; D, Nathaniel; E, Sarah; F, Robert; G, Joseph; H, Zepheniah.
    A. Mary Beall, b 1694, d before 1723; m Thomas O’Dell, b 1692, son of Thomas O’Dell, Sr., and his wife, Sarah Ridgley Brewer. Issue unknown.
    Beall, James, planter,Prince George’s Co.,21st Nov., 1723;
    10th July, 1725.
    To eldest son John, “Rover’s Content,” “Fiffe,” pt. of “Good Luck,” on e. side of Cabbin Br., and “Drumaldree.”
    To son Nathaniel, “Easy Purchase” and “Addition to Easy Purchase.”
    To son James, pt. of “Good Luck,” on w. side of Cabbin Br., and “Lone head.”
    To sons Robert and Joseph, “Lay Hill” equally.
    To son Zepheniah, pt. of “Allisons Park” and “Cooper.”
    To dau. Sarah, pt. of “Beall’s Mannour” and £30 to be pd. her by son-in-law Thomas Odell on day of marriage or on demand.
    To Rev. Mr. Hugh Conn and to the ministers that shall succeed him, £10 yearly.
    To wife Sarah, dwelling plantation — and personalty during life; residue of personal estate to children equally.
    Exs.: Bro. Alexander, son John, cousin William and John Beall, Sr.
    Test: Thos. Applegate, Joseph Beach, Mary Boyce. 18, 394.

  • Change Date: 15 NOV 2001Father: Alexander BEALL b: ABT 1621 in St. Andrews, Fifeshire, Scotland
    Mother: Margaret RAMSAY b: in St. Andrews, Fifeshire, ScotlandMarriage 1 Sarah PEARCE

    • Married: ABT 1692


    1. Mary Or Margaret BEALL b: 1694
    2. Nathaniel BEALL b: abt 1699/1709 in Prince George’s Co., MD
    3. John BEALL b: ABT 1700 in Prince George’s Co., MD
    4. James Jr. BEALL b: JAN 1711 in Prince George’s Co., MD
    5. Sarah BEALL b: APR 1713 in Prince George’s Co., MD
    6. Robert BEALL b: 29 NOV 1717 in Prince George’s Co., MD
    7. Joseph BEALL b: 1719 in Prince George’s Co., MD
    8. Zephaniah BEALL b: 1722/1723 in Prince George’s Co., NOTE: This Zephaniah Beall died young.]
    1. Sources:
    2. Type: Book
      Periodical: Beall Genealogical News
      Publication: Robert Clair Beall
    3. Text: Jackson H. Day’s Beall Database, 200+ pgs., Received Dec. 1996, Jackson H. Day, 11892 Blue February Way, Columbia, MD 21044, Jackson H. Day
      Among numerous others, Jack employs the following sources:
      Fielder M. M. Beall, Bell and Beall Families of Maryland, Maryland Room, Prince Georges County Library, Hyattsville, Md
      Elizabeth B. Heterick, Five Families Beall of Maryland (Montgomery County Historical Society)
      Gaius Marcus Brumbaugh, Maryland Records: Colonial, Revolutionary, County and Church from Original Sources, Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co, 1993
      Fielder Beall: Colonial Families of the US descended from the Immigrants Bell, etc.
      Genealogy of the Beall Families, located in Montg. Co. Hist. Soc; quoted by Barbara Collins
      Western Maryland Genealogy (journal)
      Maryland Genealogical Society Bulletin (journal)
      Alice Norris Parran, Register of Maryland’s Heraldic Families, Baltimore: H. G. Roebuck, 1935
      J. Thomas Scharf, History of Western Maryland, Philadelphia, 1882, repr. Baltimore, Regional Publishing Co., 1968.
      George Norbury Mackenzie, Beall & Edmonstone Colonial Families of America, Bk II
      Charles Ninian Edmonston, “Mary Edmonston” in My Own Edmonstons and a few others, ”
      Katherine Beall Adams, Maryland Heritage, A Family History
      Pioneers of Old Monocacy
      Millard Milburn Rice, This was the life: Excerpts from the Judgement Records of Frederick Co, MD 1748-1765, Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co, Inc, 1984
      Effie Gwynn Bowie, Across the Years in Prince George’s County. Richmond: Garrett & Massie, 1947
      Millard Milburn Rice, This was the Life: Excerpts from the Judgment Records of Frederick County, Maryland, 1748-1765, Redwood City, CA: Monocacy Book Co., 1979
      Heitman, F. B., Historical Register of Officers of the Continental Army during the War of the Revolution April 1775 to December 1783. Washington, DC: W. H. Lowdermilk & Co, 1893
      F. Edward Wright, compiler, Marraiges and Deaths in the Newspapers of Frederick and Montgomery Counties, Maryland, 1820-1830, Westminster, Maryland:
      J. D. Warfield, The Founders of Anne Arundel and Howard Counties, Maryland, Baltmore: 1973, Regional Publishing Company
      Patriotic Maryland and the Maryland Society Sons of the American Revolution. Baltimore, 1930
      Charles Francis Stein, Jr, Origin and History of Howard County, Maryland. Baltimore, 1972
      Frederick C. Beall, Robert Beall (Bell): His Ancestors and Descendents
      Virgil D. White, Abstractor, Genealogical Abstracts of Revolutionary War Pension Files, Vol. I.
      Muster Rolls of Maryland Troops in the American Revolution, Genealogical Publishing Co, Baltimore, 1972
      Robert Barnes, Marriages & Deaths from the Maryland Gazette 1727-1839. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing House, 1973
      Helen W. Ridgley, Historic Graves of Maryland and the District of Columbia. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co, 1967. Originally published NY: The Grifton Press, 1908
      Maryland German Church Records, Historical Society of Carroll Co, Westminster, MD 1992
      F. S. Weiser, Frederick Maryland Lutheran Marriages and Burials 1743-1811, Washington, DC: National Genealogical Society, 1972
      Anderson, Grant James, Genealogy, in Part, of the Anderson-Owen-Beall Families, October 1909
    4. Text: Index of Maryland Colonial Wills, 1634-1777 In the Hall of Records Annapolis, MD, compiled by James M. Magruder, Jr., Baltimore, Genealogicical Publishing Company, 1967.
    5. Type: Web Site
      Author: Norris Farnell
      —————————————————————– ———–
      Last Name FARNELL
      First NORRIS
      Address1 4998 ORTEGA BLVD
      ST FL
      ZIP 32210
      Code CTF
      Date 11/23/1993
      File FARNELL
      Phone (904) 384-8769
    6. Type: Web Site
      Title: MD State Archives

[Note: Another Zephaniah Beall is of particular interest to me. Howard and I discovered him our first summer in Pennsylvania in 1992. In 1780-1782, this Zephaniah moved from Maryland to Western Pennsylvania with his family, and settled in Washington County. According to SAR Records:

He served as an ensign of Capt. Burgiss’s Company of Militia in the ??? District of Frederick County, Maryland. In 1780-2, he moved with his family to Washington County, Pennsylvania and in 1782 he served as a major in Col. Crawford’s Unfortunate Expedition against the Indians in Ohio. May 14, 1785, he received a warrant of land from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania in Washington County, which was surveyed and patented to him March 19, 1788. This was a reward for his military service.(10)

Zephaniah Beall had two wives: Keziah Offutt (1735-1783) and Verlinda Ferguson (1766-1794). His children by his first wife were: (1) Reasin Beall (1769-1843); (2) Nancy Beall (b. 1771); (3) Zephaniah Beall (1773-1853); (4) Thomas Beall (b. 1775). Zephaniah Beall died July 1801 in Beallsville, Washington, Pennsylvania, a town that was named for him.

Elizabeth Ann Beall Grave, Beallsville, Washington, Pennsylvania. Photo taken Summer 1992

Elizabeth Ann Beall Grave, Beallsville, Washington, Pennsylvania. Photo taken Summer 1992.  Elizabeth was born May 1828, and she died February 7, 1835


We had been in Pennsylvania only a short time before Howard discovered Beallsville. He drove over there while I was in class one day, and he was caught in a terrible rainstorm. He ran around a cemetery looking for graves when the storm became so blinding, he was forced to return to Indiana, Pennsylvania (where we were staying), postponing his adventure for another time. I went with him on his return. We found two houses Zephaniah had built and owned: one, a stone house in the country, and the second, a log home in Beallsville. The log home was across the road from a cemetery where it was believed that Zephaniah and his family were buried. We were able to visit the cemetery. It was located on private property, but the owner allowed us to view what was left of it. He had moved all the tombstones inside the barn. The rest were mostly destroyed. We were able to see one stone belonging to an eight year old girl named Elizabeth Ann Beall (1828-1835). Elizabeth was the daughter of James Perry Beall (1796-1869) and his third wife, Minerva Jane Huff/Hough (1800-1875), the granddaughter of Colemore Beall (1760-1839) and Jeanne Doull Offutt (1770-1815), the great-granddaughter of Mordecai Beall (1742-1777) and Elizabeth Beall (1740-1786), the second great-granddaughter of William Beall (1710-1787) and Sarah Magruder (1713-1734), the third great-granddaughter of  Ninian Beall (1686-1743) and his wife Ruth (d. 1749), and the fourth great-granddaughter of Alexander Bell (Beall) (1649-1744) and Elizabeth Coombs (1650-1743). (Alexander and Elizabeth were Howard’s eighth great grandparents to be discussed in Part Four). We drove through Beallsville the following summer, but the graveyard was covered with corn. I presume Elizabeth’s stone was moved shortly after our visit. At any rate, Zephaniah Beall became a focus of interest for both of us.

According to Beall researcher Barbara Beall Mauri, this Zephaniah Beall’s mother was: “..Margaret Edmonston …. her mother was Col. Ninian Beall’s daughter, Jane Beall, and her father was Col. Archibald Edmonston.” Zephaniah’s father was “James Beall of Robert of Alexander.” (Barbara Beall Mauri, Comment dated  30 Jan 2016.)

Several years ago, I  discovered that James Perry Beall’s son by his first wife Sarah Jane Alpert/Albert (1791-1817) —Alexander Offutt Beall (1817-1888)–had a daughter named Permelia Beall (1855-1885). She married Jacob Stillions (1850-1910) — my second cousin three times removed on my father’s Stillians line. Permelia is my seventh cousin twice removed  on another line!

What a long way we have come since visiting little Elizabeth’s grave!]

4. Andrew Bell (Beall) (1655-1742). While discussing Andrew, I must also discuss #5. Robert Bell (Beall) (1655-1755) and their mother Margaret Ramsey, Jr. (1625-1655). It appears that Andrew and Robert were born in February 1655, making them twins. If Margaret died in February 1655, she either died in childbirth or shortly thereafter.  Her husband Alexander Bell (Beall) died in January 10, 1655. Since the children were orphaned, they went to live with relatives in either Saint Andrews and Saint Leonards, or perhaps Largo. I remember seeing an article that suggested Margaret remarried shortly after Alexander’s death, and that her second husband’s name was Robert. (I cannot recall his last name). The same article suggested that her son, Robert, was named for him.

Andrew Bell (Beall) was born in February 1655. He was christened March 28, 1655 in St. Andrews with Alexander and Margaret listed as his parents.(11) Jack E. McDonald notes:

Andrew Bell (also written Beall and Beale), the son of Alexander Bell and Margaret
Ramsay, was born in Fife County, Scotland.  He was subsequently christened in St.
Andrew’s Presbyterian Church in Fife County on 28 March 1655.

Andrew later emigrated to the New World, where he settled in the Province of
Maryland.  Andrew died in Prince George’s County, Maryland in 1742.  His will, which
was written on 3 January 1742, was submitted for probate before the Prince
George’s County Court on 23 March 1742.  Andrew left his entire estate to David
Ross and John Goodman.  Because no wife or children were mentioned in his will, it
is assumed that he remained single throughout his life..(12)

5. Robert Bell (Beall) (1655-1755). (Possibly Andrew’s twin, as noted above.) Robert is not mentioned in the St. Andrews christening records. However, as noted in the opening piece by Jack McDonald, his brother, Alexander, refers to Robert as his brother in his will and for that reason, he is accepted as a member of the family.

Robert had two marriages. His first wife was Elizabeth Bidwell (1655-1728). Their child was John Bell (1675-1751). His second wife was Mary Berry (1677-1709). Their children were: (1) James Beall (1698-1783); — the father of Zephaniah Beall of Beallsville-(2) John Beall (1700-1767); (3) Richard Beall (b. 1702); (4) Margaret Beall (1707-1761).

Robert died October 9, 1755 in Prince Georges County, Maryland.


This article continues with Part Four: Alexander Bell (Beall) (1649-1744)



(1) “Alexander Bell” by Jack E. Powell–Wyoming (2012)., Provo, Utah. Date Accessed: 06 Jan 2016. Available online at

(2) Margaret Ramsey Bell (Sr.) Find-a-Grave Memorial No. 132260765. Website. Record added by Stella 03 Jul 2014. Date Accessed: 6 Jan 2016. Available online at

(3) Scotland, Select Marriages, 1561-1910 about Alexander Bell and Margaret Ramsey. Ancestry. com, Provo, Utah. Date Accessed: 6 Jan 2016. Available online at

(4) “Another Biography,” Copied from the Freepages by herbertmail 09 Sep 2008. Posted on by herbertmail 09 Sep 2008. Date Accessed: 6 Jan 2016. Available online at

(5) Scotland Select Births and Christenings, 1564-1950 about William Bell., Provo, Utah. Date Accessed: 6 Jan 2016. Available online at http://www.

(6) “William Bell” by Jack E. Powell–Wyoming., Provo, Utah. Originally posted by bevloomis1 8 Jun 2013. Date Accessed: 6 Jan 2016. Available online at

(7) Scotland Select Births and Christenings, 1564-1950 about James William Bell., Provo, Utah. Date Accessed: 6 Jan 2016. Available online at

(8) U.S. and Canada, Passenger and Immigration Lists Index, 1500s-1900s about James Bell (Beall). Ancestry. com, Provo, Utah. Date accessed: 6 Jan 2016. Available online at

(9) “James Immigrant Beall”, copied by cindybeall1001 and posted to 22 May 2009., Provo, Utah. Originally posted by cindybeall1001. Date Accessed: 6 Jan 2016. Available online at

(10) Zephaniah Beall SAR Application No. 49340, dated 8 Nov 1929., Provo, Utah. Date Accessed: 6 Jan 2016. Available online at

(11) Scotland Select Births and Christenings, 1564-1950 about Andrew Bell., Provo, Utah. Date Accessed: 6 Jan 2016. Available online at

(12) “Andrew Bell, died  1742,” from THE BELL – BEALL FAMILY OF SCOTLAND AND MARYLAND,
BY JACK E. MAC DONALD., Provo, Utah. Posted by bevloomis1, 05 Jun 2013. Date Accessed: 6 Jan 2016. Available online at

The Ringing of the Bells–Part Two: They Came From Scotland

The Borders family of Bell may well descend from a Norman follower of David I who reigned until 1153 and was, by the end of the thirteenth century, well established in Dumfriesshire, Berwickshire and Perthshire. The name may derive from the French “bel” meaning “fair” or “handsome”. Since the derivation is descriptive, common ancestry cannot be assumed for all those bearing the surname. The arms attributed to the principal family are in the nature of canting, or punning, heraldry, alluding to the pronunciation of the name rather than its origin. The suggestion that it relates to living beside a bell tower seems far fetched. The Bells participated in the Borders disturbances as one of the riding clans of border reivers. In the thirteenth century Gilbert Le Fitzbel held lands in Dumfries. Sir David Bell was Clerk of the Wardrobe to Robert II. In 1426 William Bell’ s lands of Kirkconnel were confirmed by James I under a charter recorded in the register of the great seal. The Bells, along with other Borders families, became increasingly turbulent throughout the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. The Crown’ s determination to pacify the Borders led in 1517 to the Clan Bell receiving royal letters of warning to keep the peace. The tower of Blacket House was destroyed in a raid by the English in 1547. After the union of the Crowns in 1603 the family suffered much the same fate as the other border reivers; many emigrated to the new plantation lands in Ulster, where the name is among the twenty most numerous in that province. Others settled further a field throughout Australia and New Zealand. The descendents of the Lairds of Blacket House stayed in the realm but moved to the cities where they contributed substantially to learning and in particular medical science. Andrew Bell, founder of the Madras system of education, was born at St. Andrews in 1753. General Sir John Bell was a distinguished soldier during the Napoleonic Wars. George Joseph Bell wrote “Principals of the Law of Scotland”. More recently, Alexander Graham Bell was a pioneer in the development of the telephone. Although the Bells were a Borders, family, there are others of this name who are of Highland origin, and in that case, Bell is held to be a sept of Mac Millan. (1)


The Clan MacMillan has its roots in an ancient royal house and from the orders of the Celtic church. The progenitor of the clan was Gillie Chriosd, one of the sons of the Cormac, the Bishop of Dunkeld. As a Columban priest, his head would have been shaved over the front of his head, rather than in the more usual fashion.

This distinctive tonsure is described in Gaelic as ‘Mhaoillan’. The name MacMillan is therefore “son of one who bore this tonsure”.

An early branch of the MacMillan clan was to be found at Loch Arkaig in Lochaber. However, tradition states that the family was moved from this area by Malcolm IV and placed on the crown lands of Loch Tay in Perthshire. It was at these lands in Perthshire that Robert the Bruce, fleeing after the stabbing of the Red Comyn, was sheltered by the MacMillan chief. The family proved its loyalty to the Bruce by fighting at his side at the Battle of Bannockburn. (2)


Tracing the Bell/Beall lines in Scotland is a particular challenge, especially since there were so many Bells, and they traveled in all directions.  While scrounging through my Beall research folder, I found an article titled Bell/Beall/M’Bell that may shed some light on the matter. Unfortunately, I do not know where I got this source since I’ve had it in my folder for so many years. It appears to have been saved from the internet, and it may have been part of a larger work:

The “Border Bells”
The recognition of the likelihood that many of the southern Bells may also have been in origin M’millans (as suggested by the record of the 14th century Gilbert fitz Bel) would not in any way harm the Border Bells’ claim to have become a separate clan – as they do indeed appear in the royal records of the sixteenth century – any more than the universal acceptance of the MacAlisters’ descent from the MacDonalds derogates from their recognition as a clan in their own right. All modern clans evolved from earlier clans – the Clann an Mhaoil (the MacMillans) from the Clans Cormaic and Aibertaich (from whom come the surnames MacCormack and MacAverty) and Clan Donald (the MacDonalds) from Clann Somerhairle (surname, MacSorley) – and the same process of surname evolution/choice would have happened in the middle ages in the then Gaelic speaking Southern Uplands of Scotland as in the Highlands. This is not to deny that some “Border Bells” may have come from England – and would therefore have had nothing to do with the MacMillans – but a French origin for any Scottish Bells looks extremely dubious. It is clear, for instance, that the patronymic appellation “fitz”, which appears in English records relating to Dumfries and Galloway in the fourteenth century, is simply the Norman-French version of the Gaelic patronymic “mac”; and no more indicates a French origin for the fitz Bells than it does for their contemporaries the fitz Canes, who are simultaneously to be found recorded as McKans.

            Bells who can prove that their ancestors came from the Borders, and particularly from the Middlebie and Kirkconnel areas of Dumfries-shire, may indeed look to the successors of the Bells of Blackethouse as their chiefs; but in doing so might care to distance themselves from the insulting claims put forward by some that Bells who accept a connection between their own name and that of MacMillan have been fooled and are perpetuating a myth. The truth has long been clear in the Highlands of Scotland, as it is to genealogists and Gaelic scholars throughout the home country today, whatever may be thought elsewhere in the world. (3)

In an article titled “Colonel Ninian Beall”, Ruth Beall Gelders discusses Ninian Beall’s Scottish ancestry as follows:

Ninian Beall had the distinguished name of a Christian Saint and a Druid Priest, prophetic of his future prodigious leadership and experience.

He was probably descended from the Celts who came to Scotland about the 4th century BC. The Celts were known in Europe from the second millennium BD. Armed with iron weapons, they spread rapidly over Europe, introducing the newly developed iron industries. Greek influences stimulated the use of the chariot and later of writing, and art flourished in richly ornamented styles.

By the 4th century BC, the Celts could no longer withstand encroaching tribes, so they came across the sea to England, Ireland, and Scotland. A division of the northern Celts called Picts or Cruithne settled in Fife in Scotland. They had a hierarchical tribal organization in which priests, nobles, craftsmen, and peasants were clearly defined. They were agriculturists who reared cattle and owned domestic animals, and were tall with long heads, light eyes, and dark or red hair.

The Celts relied on the ministry of the Druids. For a long time, the powers of the priests were kinglike but later the priests became less political and were leaders in the Druid religion, the advancement of art and writing, and teachers of children. The Druids were worshipers of nature and considered the oak tree and the mistletoe which grew upon it to be sacred. They believed in the immortal soul, and its departure at death into another, not earthly, body.

The Druid priests became known by the name Beall, with its various spellings, Beal, Bell, Bel, or Beall. (Genealogical column in “The Warcry,” Salvation Army paper 1936).

Christianity was accepted by the Celts about the 5th century AD. It was brought to Scotland by St. Ninian and his disciples. St. Ninian was the son of a British chief in Galloway who was already Christian. Many churches were dedicated in St. Ninian’s name. He is buried at the cemetery on Molindenar Burn. Ninian Beall was possibly one of many who were named for St. Ninian. (4)

Ninian Beall’s Scottish ancestors settled in Fifeshire in the areas of St. Andrews and Largo.  Records pertaining to his direct ancestors are a bit murky. His father has been established as Dr. James Bell/Beall (1603-1641)–a Reverend and not a Medical Doctor, who was educated at the University of Glasgow–and his mother was Anne Marie Calvert (1603-1646).  My husband Howard actually attains his Beall ancestry through two connecting Scottish Beall lines. His connection to Ninian Beall is through the Magruder line. And his connection to Alexander Beall (1625-1655) is through his main Beall line. I believe it is fair to say that people have many differing opinions about this ancestry. What I present here is the sum and substance of my own findings. If my conclusions differ from others, so be it. My conclusions are subject to change. Any new discoveries will result in future articles. What I present here is what I have discovered to date.

The earliest Beall ancestors I have been able to find in Fifeshire are William Bell (1535-1600) and his wife, Margaret Patterson (1534-1600). Two of their children were Sibil/Sybel Bell/Beall (b. 1555), who married a Graham, and Howard’s ancestor,  Alexander Bell/Beall (1565-1612). William was a weaver by occupation. In those days, the trades were more important than wealth and royalty because the trades kept the wealthy royals supplied! Alexander Bell followed his father’s occupation as a weaver, per the following account:


Alexander BEALL was born in 1565 in Largo, Fifeshire, Scotland. He died in 1612 at the age of 47 in Largo, Fifeshire, Scotland. Alexander was a braboner (Scottish for weaver).

In 1967, a search was made for an ancestor of James Beall by the Scots Ancestry Research Society. The report said there are no existing parochial registers for St. Andrews prior to 1627, and the birth of Alexander Bell was not listed in the record of 1627-29. There is little hope of learning the parents of Alexander through these records. The Index of Testament for the Commissariat of St. Andrews, which included Fife, was consulted. A will was recorded 8 Nov 1653 for Christian Traill, wife of William Bell the Younger, who died July 1653. No children were mentioned but William Bell the Younger, and William Bell the Elder, braboner of St. Andrews, were named. It may be possible that William Bell the Elder is the father of both William Bell the Younger and Alexander Beall, who married Margaret Ramsay. The William Bell who witnessed the baptism of William, eldest son of Alexander and Margaret on August 22, 1647, makes [it] seem probable.

Source: “Maryland Heritage” A Family History, Katherine Beall Adams, 1983,p.32. Particular Register of Sasines (property) for Fife was also consulted. Here recorded, June 1646, that Alexander Bell, braboner of St. Andrews, had inherited from Christian Paterson, daughter of his grandmother’s brother (his first cousin once removed), the property of “Northmure”. That same year Alexander married Margaret Ramsay. He is described in the record as a young man. William the Elder is not mentioned in the index for 1603=1609 or 1617-1660.Perhaps it is possible to trace the ancestry of Margaret Ramsay or Christian Paterson for some clues. (Source: Adams,p. 32)
Source:Ancestors of Homer Martin Taylor(worldconnect)
Parents: William BEALL.

Spouse: Margaret RAMSEY. Margaret RAMSEY and Alexander BEALL were married in 1593 in Largo, Fifeshire, Scotland. Children were: Dr. James B. BEALL, William BEALL, Andrew BEALL.(5)

William Beall/Bell, a child of Alexander Bell and Margaret Ramsey, was a brother of Dr. James Bell and an uncle of Ninian. He was born in 1599 in St. Andrews, Fifeshire Scotland, and he after 1653 in Largo. William had two marriages, and both wives were named Christen. His marriage to Christen Gourlay (1605-1639) took place about 1620 in St. Andrews. Their children were:

  1. Alexander Bell (1625-1655).(6) [Howard’s direct Beall line. A number of people believe that Alexander was a brother of Ninian Beall, but that has never been proven.]  I will discuss Alexander in Part 3.
  2. Jeane Bell (b. 1633). Jeane was born September 5, 1633 in St. Andrews.(7). No additional information.
  3. Bessie Bell (b. 1637). Bessie was born in January 1637 in St. Andrews. (8) No additional information. It is possible that William’s first wife died in 1637 during the birth of Bessie. Bessie may have died at birth or shortly thereafter.

On December 5, 1639, William married Christen Trail in St. Andrews, Fifeshire.(9). Their children follow:

  1. William Bell (1642-1725). William was born before February 5, 1642 in St. Andrews, (10) and he died in 1725 (location unknown)
  2. James Bell (b. 1644). James was born before February 17, 1644 in St. Andrews. (11) No additional information.
  3. Andrew Bell (b. 1650). Andrew was born before January 20, 1650 in St. Andrews. (12) No additional information.


This article continues in Part Three with Alexander Bell (1625-1655). [Ninian Beall will return in a later piece relating to the Magruders].



(1) Clan Bell, Celtic at Copyright 1995-2015. Date Accessed: 30 Dec 2015. Available online at

(2) Clan MacMillan History. From The Scot Clans Website (2013). Date Accessed: 30 Dec 2015. Available online at

(3) Bell/Beall/M’Bell. Internet source–full citation unknown. Copy of page located in Beall Research Folder (Barbara Inman Beall) 30 Dec 2015.

(4) Ruth Beall Gelders, Daughters of the American Revolution, Joseph Habersham Chapter, Atlanta, GA. Colonel Ninian Beall (1976). Located on Kim Beall’s Beall Ancestry Pages. Kim Beall, 1996 at Date Accessed: 30 Dec 2015.  Available online at

(5) FrancesCHall196248, “No Clear Father.”, Provo, Utah. Originally submitted 28 Dec 2014. Date Accessed: 02 Jan 2016. Available online at

(6) Family Data Collections about Alexander Bell/Beall. Individual Records., Provo, Utah. Date Accessed: 02 Jan 2016. Available online at

(7) Scotland, Select Births and Baptisms about Jeane Bell., Provo, Utah. Date Accessed: 02 Jan 2016. Available online at

(8) Scotland, Select Births and Baptisms about Bessie Bell., Provo, Utah. Date Accessed: 02 Jan 2016. Available online at

(9) Scotland, Select Marriages, 1561-1910) about William Bell and Christen Trail., Provo, Utah. Date Accessed: 02 Jan 2016. Available online at

(10) Scotland, Select Births and Baptisms about William Bell., Provo, Utah. Date Accessed: 02 Jan 2016. Available online at

(11) Scotland, Select Births and Baptisms about James Bell., Provo, Utah. Date Accessed: 02 Jan 2016. Available online at

(12) Scotland, Select Births and Baptisms about Andrew Bell., Provo, Utah. Date Accessed: 02 Jan 2016. Available online at

The Ringing of the Bells: Part One– An Introduction: Colonel Ninian Beall (1625-1717)

Col. Ninian Beall (1625-1717)

Col. Ninian Beall (1625-1717)

“Did you see the article about Col. Ninian Beall?”

Howard’s voice rang excitedly over the telephone. Puzzled, I frowned before responding–

“Col. Ninian WHO?”

“My ancestor! It’s in the paper on the picture page.”

By now it was early 1964. Howard and I were to be married in the spring. I opened the paper to the picture page and read that Jacqueline Kennedy bought a house once belonging to the Bealls in Washington D.C.  Thereafter, I was regularly fed a steady diet of Bealls and their ancestry to the point of exploding. Making matters worse, these feedings often degenerated into arguments of which side of the family had the better ancestry: the Bealls or the Warfields.

“Warfield!” my mother asked when I mentioned the name. “Is she related to the Duchess of Windsor?”

“Fourth cousin–or something like that,” I answered

Howard’s aunt, Belle Beall (pronounced Bell) of North Carolina did the original research concerning the Bealls and related families. She was married to his uncle, George Beall, my father-in-law Edward Beall’s brother. They had no children, so Belle devoted her life to libraries, court houses, and state archives in search of Beall and related family ancestry. After YEARS of research, she sent the completed packet to family members. As far as I know, Howard’s family’s packet was kept in an attic trunk until the day Mrs. John F. Kennedy’s new residence was announced. And then, I heard nothing BUT! I really sprang to life when Howard made an announcement one evening.

“If we have a boy, his name will be NINIAN!”

“OH NO, HE WILL NOT!” I announced. “Do you want all the kids calling him Ninny or Nincompoop?”

Then I fell silent, wondering whether I really wanted to become a member of this clan!

No doubt realizing the complete look of boredom on my face, my future mother-in-law added the following comment:

“Well, Barbara, I suppose your ancestors were all poor farmers!”

How little we all knew at the time!


Describing Col. Ninian Beall as a colorful figure is a gross understatement. I retired from teaching in 2009 and recall an incident that happened my last semester at Metro State. I was heading down the hallway toward my office when the office administrator’s voice rang through her open doorway.


I stopped in my tracks and turned.

Did she say Ninian Beall?

Returning to her doorway I peered inside.

“Ninian Beall!” she repeated.

“My husband’s ancestor,” I told her.

“I thought so when I read the comic strip. The name was spelled the same as yours.”

“Comic strip?”

“The Washington Post ran a series of cartoons about him several years ago.  I saved them because I thought there was some connection with you, and I ran across them the other night. I’ll bring them tomorrow and put them in your box.”

Col. Ninian Beall awaited me in my mailbox on my return to campus a day or so later. I had already told Howard about the cartoon series–something that excited him immensely and delighted him more so when I arrived home with the collection. I had also discovered that the internet was full of stories about the series, per the following messages on a genealogical bulletin board:

“Magruders who have associations with Ninian Beall will be interested in the “Flashback” series in the color comic pages of The Washington (DC) Post. While taking a few “liberties” with history, the 17 Mar 2002 strip was on “Showdown at Dunbar,” on 24 Mar “Scottish Slaves” and 31 Mar “The Beall Land Grant” which details Ninian Beall’s rise from “imprisonment” to owning more than 20,000 acres “which covered much of present-day Washington, D. C. including Capitol Hill, the White House and Georgetown.” Creator Patrick M. Reynolds shows the latest strip on his web page ; along with some books on Scottish heritage and wars (and references to some of his other strips on NY, PA and TX). It’s not every day you can cite the “funny pages” in your family research!”(1) 

[NOTE: The “Red Rose Studio” link is no longer working. BB 24 Dec 2015]

This message garnered interest, as noted below, posted by RRatliff0932:

“Magruders are linked with Bealls in the 7 Apr 2002 “A Brain Tonic” on The Washington Post Sunday color “funny pages.” Ninian Beall “owner of most of what is now Washington, DC, married Ruth Moore in 1667. He was 42; she 16 . . . One of their daughters, Sarah, married Sam [sic.: Samuel] Magruder. Sam’s father [Alexander, the immigrant] fought in the Scottish army alongside Ninian and was also captured.” A century later some of the two families moved to Georgia where Martha Bernetta Beall married into the Chandler family and a son of that marriage bought a “brain tonic” from an Atlanta chemist, changed the formula but kept the name: Coca-Cola! “(2)

Dang, if this isn’t funny! I thought when I carted Col. Ninian home inside my briefcase.

As previously noted, Howard was elated! No sooner did I hand over the series when he raced toward the car, drove to the local UPS store and had the whole series laminated for safekeeping.

I wish I could say this series still exists online, and I suppose it does in archived issues of The Washington Post. The artist’s website is no longer available. (Well, how many websites still exist after thirteen years! I kept one for ten, another for five, and this blog for the last year!) However, while searching for the cartoon series, I did make an interesting discovery from “The Strange Rock of Georgetown: Colonel Ninian Beall”:

With such a lineage, it’s no wonder that the legendary Ninian Beall earned himself a monument in Georgetown. It took almost 200 years but on October 30, 1910 hundreds of family members and friends gathered at St. John’s Episcopal Church on O St. NW for a special ceremony. Among the attendees were members of the Society of Colonial Wars, American Clan Gregor, and many relatives of the Beall family. In Ninian’s name, a bronze-plated rock was placed on the lawn of the church. The plaque read: “Colonel Ninian Beall Born Scotland 1625, Died Maryland 1717, Patentee of Rock of Dumbarton, in grateful recognition of his service.”[3]

That’s all fine and good, but not really all that remarkable. After all, we live in a city of monuments and memorials… Yes, but not a memorial quite like this. According to the Washington Post account of the dedication ceremony, the stone mason in charge of the rock hid something special inside the marker:

Few of those attending the services knew that in a hole hidden by the tablet were a number of articles placed there by I.B. Millner who secured and cut the stone. Mr. Millner is an enthusiast on aviation and placed in the hole a photograph of a Curtiss biplane in flight, an editorial on aviation cut from a Washington newspaper, and a program of the exercises and several pictures. He predicts that some time in the far-distant future the stone will fall apart, and future generations will read wonderingly of the beginnings of flying.[4]

Wait, what?

Apparently I.B. Millner really liked airplanes and decided to turn Ninian Beall’s memorial into a homemade aeronautics time capsule. You know, just because… (No word on whether he included anything about the 1903 Langley Aerodrome, but if not he totally should’ve.) Bizarre.

As far as we can tell, Millner was going rogue with this one. There doesn’t seem to be a connection between Ninian Beall and the miracle of human flight. Then again, Beall accomplished a whole lot during his extra-long lifetime. So maybe he was working on a flying machine, too. But probably not…

And so – at least until the rock breaks open – the story ends with a weird guy receiving a rather weird monument filled with some weird articles about airplanes. Like we said before, bizarre.(3)

I have a feeling this whole series is going to be bizarre!

To be honest, I’ve been dragging my feet in the search for Ninian Beall. Colonel Ninian was Howard’s special focus. I had my own family tree to climb.

Howard began his research in 1990 by using Belle Beall’s manuscript as his starting point. I retyped it for his father in 1989, making an extra copy for Howard. Then I punched Howard’s copy and placed it in a notebook. And my warning?

“Don’t take those pages out of the notebook! You will lose them forever.”

He did!

The pages are lost and extend all over the house in various boxes, etc. Howard would remove pages and take them to the local Family History Center or to the  library whenever we went out to do our research. But those pages were never returned to the notebook. As a result and after my retirement, I had to rebuild Howard’s entire tree on Ancestry!

But the story doesn’t end here.

I’ve been climbing my family tree since 1991 when I first accompanied Howard to the Denver Public Library. We went to the genealogy section, and he directed me toward the county history collection.

“You will find your ancestors in these books!” he told me.

“My ancestors aren’t going to be found in ANY of these books!” I argued, harking back to my mother-in-law’s early comment regarding  poor farmers!

To humor him, I located the Adair, Iowa County History. When I found my great-grandfather, Levi Clay, listed in the Index, I selected two additional histories: one for Floyd County, Iowa–my Dad’s Inman family–and one for Jasper County, Missouri–my mother’s Spence line–and hauled them to a table.

“I thought you said you wouldn’t find your ancestors in those books!” Howard teased.

“Apparently, they were more than poor farmers!” I retorted,

They were!

Col. Ninian Beall was Howard’s seventh great-grandfather.


Col. Ninian Beall was my eighth great-grandfather!

(Something I did not discover until this past year and something I have several DNA confirmations to support!)

Not only that, but Col. Ninian Beall was a direct ancestor of my mother-in-law, Mildred Lee Warfield (Beall) (1917-2007).

And after all those Warfield vs. Beall discussions I heard years ago! Something she never knew!

Thus begins the saga of Howard’s eccentric Beall line and related families and more of my strange ancestors as well.

I hope to present a new episode each week until the series is finished. However, there are other lines I am working on from my family, so I will be working on articles from those lines from time to time as well. As noted in a previous entry, the articles on this blog are all linked here by surname and/or topic, so the Beall families will all line up under Beall, etc. (At least I think they well. They have a habit of doing their own thing!)

This series is guaranteed to be a wild ride!


(1) “Ninian Beall Makes Comic Pages”, posted by Robroyr 30 Mar 2002. Magruder Message Board, Ancestry. com, Provo, Utah. Date Accessed: 24 Dec 2015. Available online at

(2) “Ninian Beall Makes Comic Pages”, posted by RRatliff0932 06 Apr 2002. Magruder Message Board,, Provo, Utah. Date Accessed: 24 Dec 2015. Available online at http:://

(3)  Ariel Veroske. “The Strange Rock of Georgetown: Colonel Ninian Beall”. From Boundary Stones: WETA’s Local History Blog. 15 Jul 2013. Date Accessed: 24 Dec 2015. Available online at


Up On The Housetop: A Family Picture Album


Howard Lee Beall at approximately six months of age. Taken summer 1938, Sykesville, Maryland

Howard Lee Beall at approximately six months of age. Taken summer 1938, Sykesville, Maryland

Barbara Ann Inman, taken at two months of age ca. July 1943, Cedar Rapids Iowa

Barbara Ann Inman, taken at two months of age ca. July 1943, Cedar Rapids Iowa

Our parents: Gordon Loren Inman and Elva Gail Spence Inman; Edward L. Beall, Sr. and Mildred Lee Warfield Beall

Our parents: Gordon Loren Inman and Elva Gail Spence Inman; Edward L. Beall, Sr. and Mildred Lee Warfield Beall. Our wedding April 25, 1964, Cedar Rapids, Iowa

Brian (age 4) and Debbie (age 2)), taken December 1974, Cedar Rapids, Iowa

Brian and Debbie, taken December 1973, Cedar Rapids, Iowa.



Brian, LuAn and Brandon, taken Christmas 1991/2, Broomfield, Colorado

Brian, LuAn and Brandon, taken Christmas 1991/2, Broomfield, Colorado. They were married in Broomfield March 9, 1991.

Debbie and Dee's Wedding, August 22, 1992, Broomfield, Colorado

Debbie and Dee’s Wedding, August 22, 1992, Broomfield, Colorado









Group shot taken in our driveway Christmas 2005: Brian, Jason, LuAn, Brandon, Trinity, Joshua, Debbie, Howard and Mandy

Group shot taken in our driveway Christmas 2005: Brian, Jason, LuAn, Brandon, Trinity, Joshua, Debbie, Howard and Mandy



Debbie and Dee, Joshua, Jason and Mandy. Taken about 2003.

Debbie and Dee, Joshua, Jason and Mandy. Taken about 2003.








Howard teaching Brandon's daughter, Trinity, how to make a dove call. Taken in Broomfield, Colorado about 2006.

Howard teaching Brandon’s daughter, Trinity, how to make a dove call. Taken in Broomfield, Colorado about 2006.

Brandon's daughters Brooke and Delaney. Taken in Broomfield, Colorado Christmas 2009

Brandon’s daughters Brooke and Delaney. Taken in Broomfield, Colorado Christmas 2009


Joshua and Dallas at their high school graduation, May 2012

Joshua and Dallas at their high school graduation, May 2012

Dee, Jason and Brian at Jason's high school graduation May 2014

Dee, Jason and Brian at Jason’s high school graduation May 2014


Mandy and her prom date May 2014. She will be graduating this spring.

Mandy and her prom date May 2014. She will be graduating this spring.



Brian has been battling cancer this past year. Debbie has been the "Chief Supporting Officer."

Brian has been battling cancer this past year. Debbie has been the “Chief Supportive Officer.”

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

Team Brian: Debbie, Brian, Mandy, Dallas, Jason, Dee, LuAn, Joshua. Debbie organized a Gofundme account for Brian as he wages his war against cancer. With Team Brian on his side, Brian will win his war!!

 Wishing each of you a blessed holiday season. May you have a wonderful Christmas and a happy and joyous New Year 2016.

Barbara and Howard Beall

Christmas 2015










A Special Thanksgiving

A Special Baptism: our family on the left; Howard's brother, Prince's family on the right

A Special Baptism: our family on the left–L-R: Barbara (Me), Howard holding Brian. Howard’s brother, Prince’s family on the right: Prince holding Kari Jo and Cleone on the end. Edward L. Beall, Sr. in the middle. Photo taken the Sunday after Thanksgiving, Farmington Presbyterian Church, Farmington, Missouri

Thanksgiving 1968 was a special one for us. Our son Brian was born August 6, 1968 in Louisville, Kentucky, and his cousin, Kari Jo, was born August 29, 1968 in Wichita, Kansas. We were all scheduled to make a migration to Farmington, Missouri for Thanksgiving that year. One reason? The babies were to be baptized by their grandfather, Rev. Edward L. Beall, Sr. in the Farmington Presbyterian Church. This would be Baby Brian’s first big trip!

Howard was teaching school. It was the day before Thanksgiving, and he was scheduled to be home by mid-afternoon. I spent the morning packing and making certain our dachshund Heidi was taken care of. Howard backed into the driveway–we loaded the car–and then we were on our way to Farmington by way of St. Louis. We were driving a 1967 VW Bug at the time, so we were certainly loaded down. Brian went to sleep, something for which I was grateful!

As I recall, it was cloudy–typical of a November day. We drove across southern Indiana and Illinois, and the rain began in one of those states. It rained lightly at first. I remember stopping at a restaurant somewhere in Illinois where I ordered my favorite breaded pork tenderloin sandwich and onion rings–something I generally don’t get outside of Missouri or Iowa. I laid Brian down in the booth beside me. He smiled at first. Then he decided that (a) he was in a strange place; (b) he was tired; (c) he was hungry–and he YELLED at the top of his lungs. Shoving the rest of the sandwich and onion rings down my throat, I bundled him up and went out to the car so the patrons could eat in peace! Wouldn’t you know it? He was sound asleep the minute I fed him. I sat inside the car, listening to the falling rain, wondering whether this was a foretaste of events that would happen.

And that’s when the drama began!

It was pouring down rain by the time we reached the Missouri River. And halfway across the bridge, our windshield wiper motor died right in the center of the bridge!

Talk about a frightening experience!

By some miracle, we made it across the bridge without incident. But we still had 60 miles to go. The rain was still pelting our car. There was no way we could drive 60 miles in the dark without windshield wipers! Howard called his father, who drove to St. Louis to pick us up. We left our car near a station and headed south to Farmington.

But the drama didn’t end there!

Just as we arrived at the house, Howard’s mother was leaving.

“I have to drive to Potosi!” she told us. “Prince and Cleone broke down there!”

Just then, the phone rang. Prince’s car finally started, so Mildred didn’t have to rescue them. We waited for them to arrive, talked for a while. And we all finally settled down to sleep.

But the drama didn’t end there!

When morning broke, the rain stopped–but it transformed into snow overnight leaving a sheet of ice on everything!

Howard’s brother, Ley, his wife Brenda, and their daughter Carmen were scheduled to fly into St. Louis from Kansas City, Missouri the next morning (Thanksgiving Day). Howard’s mother drove to St. Louis to pick them up, and Howard went with her. He wanted to retrieve his car in St. Louis since we didn’t want to walk back home to Kentucky! They checked on his car first, which was fine. Then they travelled to the airport where they waited–

–and waited–

–and waited.

Finally, they heard the announcement:

All flights from Kansas City have been cancelled!

The reason?

It seems that earlier that morning, a plane from Kansas City slid on ice on the runway in St. Louis. So they weren’t going to send any more of their planes to St. Louis unless and until the ice has been cleared. Now, I don’t know whether you are acquainted with the relationship between these two cities. There has always been a rivalry between them outside of opposing football teams. We lived in Kansas City in the 1960s before moving to Kentucky, and I remember how that rivalry was so pronounced. It may have moderated since then, but it was really strong at that time. I think it dated back to the Civil War. St. Louis regarded Kansas City as a haven for incorrigible outlaws and Kansas City regarded St. Louis as a haven for eastern Yankee snobs.

[Kansas City didn’t like Kansans (Jayhawkers) either in the 1960s. But that is another story].

“My kids were scheduled to fly in here!” my mother-in-law complained. “How are they supposed to get here?”

“Well, you’ll have to sit down and wait,” she was informed. “They are on their way–by bus!”


“I believe that’s the direct route.”

She called to update us on the situation.

“This isn’t fair!” she complained. “I want to be there in Farmington holding my babies, and I have to sit here in this stupid airport all day. Well–we’ll have Thanksgiving when we all get there!”

Six hours later, they all arrived. Howard followed them down in his car, relieved that it was finally safe in Farmington. And once they all stopped talking and settled down at the table–the Thanksgiving feast was tremendous. Everyone enjoyed both the food and the conversation!

Then, when the dishes were out of the way–

“Well, we have to celebrate Christmas!” my Mother-in-Law announced. “You’re all here now, and you won’t be here next month!”

So, out came the tree, the other decorations, and the music. Once the halls were appropriately decked, we had our gift exchange. It was probably after midnight again when we finally ran out of gas! I remember the touch football game in the yard the next day. Then Brenda, Ley and Carmen had to return to Kansas City since Ley had to be at work at TWA that evening.

Sunday was the day of the baptism, the event so conveniently worked into our Thanksgiving-Christmas celebration!

The baptism was a signature event. Howard’s Uncle MacPherson Beall (people called him Mac) and his family drove to Farmington from St. Louis for the occasion. And Clan Beall all descended upon the Farmington Presbyterian Church, sitting in the designated section for honored guests. My father-in-law had been minister at that church for several years, so the gathering was a quite an occasion. Then came the moment of the baptism. Brian’s parents (us) and Kari Jo’s parents (them) journeyed to the front with the babies in tow. What I remember most about the baptism is that Baby Brian recognized his Grandpa Beall and began his little chant: “Da-da-da-da-da-”

“I baptize you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost! Amen!”

We had to have another celebration after all of that!

The MacPherson Bealls went to the house in Farmington as did the rest of the Clan. We had another feast (Thanksgiving leftovers) and plenty of dinner table conversation. Beall table conversations generally turned to politics and other world events. In those days, the conversation focused on Richard Nixon (the newly elected President) and what he planned to do about ending that awful war (Vietnam)–and whether or not Howard’s cousin, Scott, would be called up for duty. He said he expected it; his wife said “No!” (He did serve as a medic. He retired several years ago after many years as a surgeon!)

Our return trip to Kentucky was without mishap or misadventure. Brian slept most of the way. The sun shone brightly and the roads were clear.

And our little dog Heidi was certainly glad to see us!


“What Would You Like On Your Tombstone?”


2014 began with a bang!

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


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

Well, he didn’t!

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

“Are you sure it’s him?”

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

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

A ug 18, 1778
Montgomery County
Maryland, USA

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

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

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

Family links:
Sarah Brooke Beall (1738 – 1797)

Asa Brooke Beall (1774 – 1853)*

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

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

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

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