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About Alexander Beall, Jr.
Alexander BEALL Jr. was born 11 Oct 1649 in Scotland. He died before 6 Sep 1744 in Maryland. Alexander married Elizabeth COOMBES on 11 Oct 1649 in Fife County, Scotland.
BIOGRAPHY: NOTES FROM WALTER BEALL OF WINSTON-SALEM, NC
BIOGRAPHY: Alexander Beall, progenitor of this Beall line in America, was born in 1649 to Scottish parents who spelled their name Bell, in St. Andrews Parish, Fife County, Scotland.
The City of St. Andrews in 1649, the year of birth of Alexander Bell, had a population estimated at 350 persons. Parochial registers of St. Andrews record the birth of Alexander Bell, as follows: " 1649. 11th October. Alexr. Bell and Margaret Ramsay had one sone called Alexr. Witnesses Alexr. Young and/ John Gibsone." Ministers of The Parish Church of the Holy Trinity, the Church of Scotland founded in St. Andrews circa 1140 and removed in the year 1412 to its 1973 site, have stated that given the known facts of Alexander Bell and the few people of the village, he was baptized in that Church, on the site it occupies today, fronting on South Street in the center of the City of St. Andrews. Histories of St. Andrews say that, after the depopulating effects of the Reformation, the population increased until 1585, when it was terribly reduced by pestilence. By the middle of the seventeenth century however, the merchants appear to have been fairly prosperous and some of them were comparatively wealthy. It was during this period that Alexander was born.
The prosperity was short-lived, for the years 1643 to 1685 also brought religious and military suppression of the Scots by King Charles I, Oliver Cromwell and King Charles II, as well as the capture and exile to the Caribbean of thousands of Scot soldiers. There ensured a decrease of population and economic welfare of the people of St. Andrews. In 1697, it was written:
"This place being now only a village, where (for the) most part farmers dwell, the whole streets are filled with dunghills, which are exceedingly noisome and ready to infect the air, especially at this season (September) when the herring gutts are exposed in them, or rather in all corners of the toune by themselves, and the season of the year apt to breed infection."
Some American genealogies state that Alexander Bell reached America in 1666, after collapse of Cromwellian rule. The continuing oppressive military rule of Charles II in Scotland, however, was ample cause to seek a life elsewhere. It is not known whether Alexander arrived with his parents or alone or indentured or via the Caribbean as a released military prisoner, as is said of his contemporary Ninian Beall.
Detailed documentation, supported by numerous references of Alexander Beall in Maryland, and of his descendants of this line through Maryland, North Carolina, Georgia and Texas, is contained in the files of: (1) Robert Hunter McLean, Society of Colonial Wars in the State of Texas, by right of Captain Samuel Magruder; (2) Varner Beall Bell, National Society Colonial Dames XVII Century in the State of Texas, by right of Alexander Beall d. 1744, and (3) Lucile Beall McLean, The National Society of the Colonial Dames of America, Colonial State Maryland, Associate State Texas, by right of Alexander Beall d. 1744. Alexander Beall added the "a" to his name, as did other Bell immigrants to America, for reasons presumably sufficient, perhaps uniform pronunciation.
Alexander Beall settled in Charles or Calvert County, from which Prince eorge's County was formed in 1695. It is in the latter County that first references of him were found. Alexander and his descendants in Maryland, moved ever northward in the State, so it is probable that before he is found in 1716 living "halfway between Marlborough and the Eastern Branch" (now the Anacostia River), he had earlier settled to the south.
In 1695 Alexander was one of those signing an "Association Address presented to his Sacred Majesty [King William] upon news here arrived of the horrible intended conspiracy against his Royal person . . .," and is described therein as one of the "Civil Officers & Magistrates of Prince Georges County. Among others signing the felicitation was Samuel Magruder, joint grandfather with Alexander of Samuel and Josiah Beall of this line.
By the year 1695 Alexander Beall must have had large holdings of land. Some of his later acquisitions have been identified as "Largoe" which lay on both sides of the southwest branch of the Patuxent River and a nearby tract named Neighbourhood both due east of now the District of Columbia, and Friendship Enlarged not far distant.
Court records of Prince George's County disclose that in January, 1697, Alexander Beall was a member of the Grand Jury, in June 1698 he was a member of the Grand Inquest, and in March 1699 he was Foreman of the Grand Inquest.
In those years there were but few communities, and they widely separated, in Prince George's County. Planters selected virgin land in advance of population movements and, to facilitate marketing of plantation products, preferred sites along navigable rivers.
The population of Prince George's County, then a vast area of land that has since been subdivided into other counties, has been estimated at some 2,000 persons of which less than 300 were negro slaves, mostly domestic servants. The preferred labor supply consisted of whites bound by voluntary legal servitude, or English court sentences, or by voluntary indenture agreeing to work a term of years in return for expenses of passage to America. Most of the plantations produced tobacco, which also served as the medium of exchange and as legal currency then and for years after. Blacksmiths, carpenters, surveyors and craftsmen of other skills, possessed of the scarce and highly va1ued tools of their trade, were in great demand. Those conditions, briefly stated, existed as the year 1700 approached.
On November 20, 1704, Col. Ninian Beall deeded a half acre of land out of a tract called "Meddows," located on the Western Branch of the Patuxent River in Prince George's County, to Rev. Nathaniel " Taylor, Presbyterian Minister, for erection of a church. Trustees named in the deed include Alexander Beall and a James Beall, believed to be Alexander's brother. The deed was witnessed by Samuel Magruder.
The presence of a Church of Scotland minister and the publicly recorded deed of Ninian Beall for a Presbyterian church identifying several Presbyterians by name, evidence relaxation of the religious intolerance of the Maryland Assembly of 1692 which restricted religious worship to the Anglican Church. As a consequence of that Assembly Act there were few Presbyterians in Maryland, and they self-restrained in open worship. In December, 1706, Alexander Beall accompanied his minister, Rev. Nathaniel Taylor, to a meeting attended by six other ministers from Maryland, Philadelphia and Delaware. The purpose of the meeting was to establish an organized Church from among the independent congregations. That meeting was the beginning of the Presbyterian Church in America. Presbyterian Elder Alexander Beal1 attended annual meetings of the Presbytery in the years 1708, 1709 and 1714, and in 1718 attended the general Synod, successor to the general Presbytery.
On October 11, 1709, Alexander Beall was again named Trustee for a Presbyterian Church when Dr. Mordecai Moore of Anne Arundel County deeded to Rev- Nathaniel Taylor, Alexander Beall, James Beall and others, as Trustees, a half acre of land on the Eastern Branch of the Potomac for a Church.
That new site was more convenient to Alexander Beall, who as earlier related "lived halfway between Marlborough and the Eastern Branch," than the Patuxent River Church initiated by Ninian Beall in 1704.
In November, 1716, Alexander Beall continued his missionary work and brought worship still closer to his home by Court registration of his residence on the Eastern Branch as a Presbyterian meeting-house.
The church history of Alexander Beall establishes him as an early Elder and Trustee of the Presbyterian Church, and as a founder of the national Presbyterian Church in America.
"Friendship Enlarged" was patented to Alexander Beall on May 14, 1716. This tract of land contained 920 acres and fronted on the Northwest Branch of the Patuxent River, a short distance from their juncture. This tract lay about ten miles northeast of Beall Town, now Bladensburg, Maryland; also, about 15 miles northeast of the mouth of the Anacostia River in what is now Washington,D.C.
The 1719 Prince George's County lists of taxables in West Branch Hundred, includes Alexander Beall. That taxing district lay a short distance southeast from Beall Town, now Bladensburg.
The 1733 lists of taxables include Alexander in the West Branch Hundred and also in the Eastern Branch Hundred which extended northeastward from Beall Town, now Bladensburg. Alexander's will mentions a tract of land "my Dwelling Plantation .. Largoe" which has been located mid-way between Bladensburg and Upper Marlboro. As earlier cited, Alexander is reported in 1716 living "halfway between Marlborough and the Eastern Branch." That would be the tract named "Largoe." These locate Alexander's residence at a point ten miles due east of the point where the Anacostia and Potomac Rivers join in now the District of Columbia. Alexander's son, John Beall d. 1742, laid out, and sold many lots in Beall Town before the name was changed to Bladensburg by Act of the Maryland Assembly in 1742. John's will devised other land adjoining or near Bladensburg, now a part of the Metropolitan area of the District of Columbia although in the State of Maryland.
Thaddeus Beall, son of Josiah d. 1768 the son of Alexander d. 1744, deeded from Josiah's estate "a tract of land called Indolence lying on the west side of the Piney Branch of Rock Creek, consisting of 107 acres." The description places this tract north of the Zoological Park of Rock Creek Park in now the District of Columbia.
There are other references of land holdings of Alexander, but these cited are adequate to establish his residence at least as early as 1716 and continuing to his death as slightly southeast of Bladensburg. His numerous land holdings were at distances up to some ten miles from his residence.
On January 16, 1743, of the Old Style calendar, which would be 1744 in the New Style calendar adopted some nine years later, Alexander Beall drew his will. It was filed of record September 5, 1744, in Prince George's County, and is now among Frederick County records.
Alexander's will mentions no wife so, obviously, his wife or wives had pre-deceased him. His will does mention two deceased sons, John and James. Alexander, born 1649 and died 1744, was 95 years of age at his death.
BIOGRAPHY: The will is abstracted below:
BIOGRAPHY: "to my Brother Robert Beall all my Wareing apparel." (Robert is believed to have been a foster brother).
"to Lingon Wilson's Wife Mary my Shase & Harnise." (Mary is believed to be a daughter). "I give and bequeath to my negro Woman Ann her freedom forever."
"I give and bequeath to my son William Beall my Dwelling Plantation and Land being part of Two Tracts of Land Called Neighbourhood and Largoe
"I give and bequeath to my son Ninian Beall the other part of a Tract of Land called Largoe ... Commonly Called Menellas."
"One fifth part [of the estate remainder] to my Son William Beall, and one fifth part to my Son in Law John Jackson, one fifth part to my Son Ninian Beall, one fifth part to my Decd. son John Bealls Children, and one fifth part to my Decd. son James Bealls Children."
"William Beall, Ninian Beall and John Jackson to be Executors."
BIOGRAPHY: At first impression it would appear that Alexander's will was more generous with one or another of his children than with others. It was a custom of the time and of this Beall line, to deed land and give personal property, including slaves, to children as they matured and married. For example, John and James Beall, sons of Alexander, are known to have been substantial land owners 20 years before Alexander's death. Alexander's son-in-law, John Jackson, was a man of prominence of Maryland in his day and also a large land owner. Customs and the circumstances of this will indicate that Alexander, prior to his death, had made substantial gifts to some of his children.
BIOGRAPHY: Above notes from "Alexander Beall - 1649-1744" by William Hunter McLean published 1977."
FULL TEXT OF WILL: In the name of God, Amen, the sixteenth day of January in the year of our Lord One Thousand Seven Hundred forty and three, I, Alexander Beall of Prince George County, being weak in Body but of Perfect mind and memory, thanks be given unto God therefore, Calling unto Mind the Mortality of my Body and knowing that it is appointed for all men to Die, do make and ordain this my last Will and Testament that is to say, Principally and first of all I give and Recommend my Soul into the hands of God that gave it, and for my Body, I recommend it to the Earth to be buried in a Christian like and decent Manner at the Discretion of my Executors, nothing doubting but at the General Resurrection, I shall receive the Same again by the Mighty Power of God, and as touching such Worldly Estate wherewith it bath pleased God to bless me in this Life I give, devise and bequeath of the same in the following manner and form:
Imprimis.--I give and bequeath to my Brother, Robert Beall, all my wareing apparel. I give and bequeath to Lingon Willson's wife, Mary, my shase and harnise.
Item.--I give and bequeath to my Negro Woman, Ann, her freedom for ever.
Item.--I give and bequeath to my Son, William Beall, my Dwelling Plantation and Land,being part of two Tracts of Land called Neighborhood and Largoe, which Lyeth on the South Side of the South West Branch of Potuxen with All and Singular the appurtenances thereto belonging to him and his heirs forever.
Item.--I give and bequeath to my Son, Ninian Beall, the other part of a (*)
"The writer suggests that the wife of Captain Alexander Beall was Sarah Greenfield,daughter of James Greenfield,son of Colonel Thomas Greenfield and Martha Truman (born Storer). There are many corroborative facts,but,so far,no exact proof. This proof the writer still hopes to obtain. "
Tract of Land Called, Largoe, which I now hold and enjoy lying on the North Side of the aforesd South West Branch of Potuxen Commonly Called Menellas quarter, w'th all and Singular the appurtenances thereunto belonging, to him and his Heirs forever.
Item.--I give and bequeath that all the Remaining part of my Estate be divided into five Equall parts, that is to say, one fifth part to my Son, William Beall; one fifth part to my Son-inlaw, John Jackson; one fifth part to my Son, Ninian Beall; one fifth part to my decd Son, John Beall's children (that is nominated in his Will for the Division of the Remains of his Personall estate) to be equally Devided between them; and one fifth part to my Deceased Son, James Beall's children now Living, to be equally divided between them, and my will is that my Estate be devided into five equall Lotts and two of them which I have given to my two Sons (John and James), children be exposed to sail by any one that the Majority of the said Children thats of Age shall agree on and the Profitts ariseing thereby to be Divided according to the true Intent of this my Will. And Lastly, I do ordain, Constitute, my Sons, William Beall, Ninian Beall and John Jackson to be Ex'rs of this my last Will and Testament hereby making Void all other Will by me heretofore made,in Witness, I have hereunto Sett my hand and Seal the day and year first above written.
ALEX'R BEALL Probate, Sept 5th, 1744. Witnesses Meredith Davis. his John S. X. Curry. mark Joseph Beall.
Alexander Beall, Jr.'s Timeline
October 11, 1649
Saint Andrews Parish, Fifeshire, Scotland
Anne Arundel, Maryland, USA
Marlboro, Prince George's, Maryland, USA
Largo, Fife, , Scotland
Calvert, Maryland, USA
September 5, 1744
Largo, Prince George's, Maryland, USA
Frederick, Maryland, United States
Fifeshire, , , Scotland