Ninian Colonel Beall, Sr. (1625 - 1717) MP

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Nicknames: "Ninian Beale", ""The immigrant" Ninian Beall"
Birthplace: Largo, Ligensheim, Fife, Scotland
Death: Died in Prince George's, Maryland
Occupation: 6'7" red hair, Col., Colonel, Army, Indentured Servent
Managed by: James Michael McCullough, Jr.
Last Updated:

About Ninian Colonel Beall, Sr.

See "Discussions" for more on wives and children of Col. Ninian.

NINIAN BEALL, may have been born in Largo, Fifeshire, Scotland, in 1625. He held a commission as cornet in the Scotch-English Army, raised to resist Cromwell. He fought in the battle of Dunbar, 3d Sept. 1650, against Cromwell, and was made prisoner at that battle, and sentenced to five years servitude. He was sent with 150 other Scotchmen to Barbadoes, West Indies. About 1652 they appeared in the Province of Maryland. Ninian BEALL served his five years with Richard HALL, a planter of Calvert Co. (see also )

He seems to have identified himself with the Presbyterian Church of Maryland before 1690. During that year 200 Presbyterian immigrants came over from Scotland under his supervision. He located them along the Potomac River and called the settlement New Scotland. These immigrants brought with them Rev. Nathaniel TAYLOR. There is recorded at Upper Marlboro a deed of gift from Colonel Ninian BEALL to Reverend TAYLOR, of land in Upper Marlboro upon which to build a church. In 1707, Colonel Ninian BEALL presented the above church a costly silver communion set, made in London. A portion of this silver communion set is now in the Presbyterian Church at Hyattsville, Maryland.

COLONEL NINIAN BEALL had three brothers who settled in the Province of Maryland, namely: Thomas, John and George. Their descendants are numerous. He married. about 1670, to Ruth MOORE, daughter. of Richard and Jane MOORE, Barrister of St. Mary's Co., Md. He died. in 1717. He was buried on his Rock of Dumbarton Plantation, at a point now Gay Street, Georgetown, D. C. When his body was removed, his skeleton was found to be perfect, and measured six feet seven inches, and his hair had grown long and retained its youthful color of red.

Ref: http://www.owingsstone.com/getperson.php?personID=I2013&tree=owingsstone

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Born in Scotland.

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Col. Ninian Beall (“… in later years he was quick to remind people that his name was not pronounced as spelled, but was a ‘Ringing Bell’…”) was born in Scotland and was a coronet in the Scottish Army. (Technically, the coronet is the crown worn by nobility and below the rank of sovereign, or king: hence, he was very highly ranked, probably a duke or earl in the Scottish feudal system). He was captured as a prisoner of war by the English during the battle of Dunbar on September 3, 1650. He was sentenced to 5 years servitude, served briefly in prison in Ireland, then sent in the hold of a prison ship with 149 other Scots to Barbados, and finally exiled to Calvert County, Maryland, where he worked out his sentence as an indentured servant. For his indenture-hood, he received 50 acres of land. His story is fascinating: he stood 7 feet tall and had flaming red hair and beard. He rose to become one of the largest landowners in all the colonies during the late 1600's, with over 18,000 acres. He was considered the Daniel Boone of Colonial America. His home plantation, the Rock of Dumbarton, included all of present day Georgetown (in present-day Washington, D.C), and one of the manor houses, Dumbarton Oaks built in ~1800, still exists and was the site of the conference in 1944 that led to the formation of the UN.

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leader of royalist forces, captured by Cromwell in battle of Dunbar 1650, was exiled to Barbadoes, to Prince Georges Co., Md., ca. 1652; later planter in Calvert Co., Md.; Served five years as indentured servant to Richard Hall, 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;

Member of the .Gen. Assembly, 1697-1701;

Member of the House of Burgesses, patentee of the Rock of Dumbarton, owned most of the land now known as Washington D.C. -- including Georgetown, Rock Creek and the White House

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Ninian Beall's father was Dr. James Beall of Largo, Fifeshire, Scotland. Ninian was born in 1625 at Largo, in East Scotland between the Firth of Forth and the Firth of Tay. He grew to be seven feet tall and had red hair. In later years, he was quick to remind people that his name was not pronounced as spelled, but was "ringing bell".

Largo is in the lowlands, but is near the Lomond Hills which rise to 1500 feet. Fishing villages of great antiquity dot the eastern coast, indicating that fishing was one of the occupations of Ninian's time. In addition to fishing, there was also agriculture, mining, weaving, glass blowing and ship building. An adequate judicial system has evolved, and children were required to attend school.

St. Andrews, founded in 1411, seat of Scotland's oldest university, was the ecclesiastical capital of Scotland until the Reformation, and is located in Fife. Dunfermline, also located in Fife, was the royal seat, occupied by the Stuarts. Charles I, second son of King James I and Anne of Denmark, was born there. James I died in 1625, the year of Ninian Beall's birth.

Oliver Cromwell, an active leader in the Puritan cause, had risen to power in England, and in 1648 he repelled the Scottish Royalist invasion at Preston. Scotland had become Presbyterian, principally through the work of John Knox, although the Stuarts favored the Episcopal Church. In 1649, Cromwell's political power was enhanced by the removal of Presbyterian leaders from Parliament. In 1650, he invaded Scotland and defeated the Royalist Scots at Dunbar. More than 3,000 Scotsmen were slaughtered on the field and 10,000 prisoners were taken. The wounded among these were released, but 5,000 were sent into virtual slavery in Northumbria, and the rest were shipped off to America and the West Indies. Among these was Ninian Beall who held a commission as a cornetist in the Scottish-English Army under Leslie raised to resist Cromwell, and fought and was made prisoner in the battle of Dunbar, September 3, 1650. He was sentenced to five years of servitude and, after a short stay in Ireland, was packed into the hold of a prison ship with 149 other Scotsmen and sent to Barbadoes, West Indies.

About 1652, he was transferred, still a prisoner, to the Province of Maryland where he served five years with Richard Hall of Calvert County.

"Then came Ninian Beall of Calvert County, planter, and proved his right to 50 acres of land for his time in service, as military prisoner, performed with Richard Hall of said county. This servitude which came to him through the fortunes of war was an Honor." (From Liber 2, Folio 195, Maryland Land Office, Jan. 16, 1957)

When Ninian was captured and exiled, he was already a husband and father, although his Scottish wife, Elizabeth Gordon, probably died even before the battle of Dunbar. Thomas, one of the sons of this marriage, eventually came to America (about 1667).

In those days, Maryland extended from 40 degrees North to the Potomac River, King Charles having granted a charter for this territory to George Calvert, first Baron Baltimore, in 1632.

Catholics had come to Maryland to avoid persecution. However, the ships Ark and Dove brought both Catholics and Protestants and religious conflict was strong in ensuing years. Soon the Puritans seized control and there was a brief civil war. In 1657, the proprietorship was briefly restored to Lord Baltimore. After England's Glorious Revolution of 1688, the government of the colony passed to the Crown, and the Church of England was made the established church. In 1699, as a member of the Assembly, Ninian Beall signed the petition to King William III for the establishment of the Church of England in Maryland, although Ninian was a Presbyterian Elder.

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Colonel Ninian Beall

By Ruth Beall Gelders, 1976

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 B.D. 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.

Ninian Beall's father was Dr. James Beall of Largo, Fifeshire, Scotland. Ninian was born in 1625 at Largo, in East Scotland between the Firth of Forth and the Firth of Tay. He grew to be seven feet tall and had red hair. In later years, he was quick to remind people that his name was not pronounced as spelled, but was "ringing bell".

Largo is in the lowlands, but is near the Lomond Hills which rise to 1500 feet. Fishing villages of great antiquity dot the eastern coast, indicating that fishing was one of the occupations of Ninian's time. In addition to fishing, there was also agriculture, mining, weaving, glass blowing and ship building. An adequate judicial system has evolved, and children were required to attend school.

St. Andrews, founded in 1411, seat of Scotland's oldest university, was the ecclesiastical capital of Scotland until the Reformation, and is located in Fife. Dunfermline, also located in Fife, was the royal seat, occupied by the Stuarts. Charles I, second son of King James I and Anne of Denmark, was born there. James I died in 1625, the year of Ninian Beall's birth.

Oliver Cromwell, an active leader in the Puritan cause, had risen to power in England, and in 1648 he repelled the Scottish Royalist invasion at Preston. Scotland had become Presbyterian, principally through the work of John Knox, although the Stuarts favored the Episcopal Church. In 1649, Cromwell's political power was enhanced by the removal of Presbyterian leaders from Parliament. In 1650, he invaded Scotland and defeated the Royalist Scots at Dunbar. More than 3,000 Scotsmen were slaughtered on the field and 10,000 prisoners were taken. The wounded among these were released, but 5,000 were sent into virtual slavery in Northumbria, and the rest were shipped off to America and the West Indies. Among these was Ninian Beall who held a commission as a cornetist in the Scottish-English Army under Leslie raised to resist Cromwell, and fought and was made prisoner in the battle of Dunbar, September 3, 1650. He was sentenced to five years of servitude and, after a short stay in Ireland, was packed into the hold of a prison ship with 149 other Scotsmen and sent to Barbadoes, West Indies.

About 1652, he was transferred, still a prisoner, to the Province of Maryland where he served five years with Richard Hall of Calvert County.

   "Then came Ninian Beall of Calvert County, planter, and proved his right to 50 acres of land for his time in service, as military prisoner, performed with Richard Hall of said county. This servitude which came to him through the fortunes of war was an Honor." (From Liber 2, Folio 195, Maryland Land Office, Jan. 16, 1957)

When Ninian was captured and exiled, he was already a husband and father, although his Scottish wife, Elizabeth Gordon, probably died even before the battle of Dunbar. Thomas, one of the sons of this marriage, eventually came to America (about 1667).

In those days, Maryland extended from 40 degrees North to the Potomac River, King Charles having granted a charter for this territory to George Calvert, first Baron Baltimore, in 1632.

Catholics had come to Maryland to avoid persecution. However, the ships Ark and Dove brought both Catholics and Protestants and religious conflict was strong in ensuing years. Soon the Puritans seized control and there was a brief civil war. In 1657, the proprietorship was briefly restored to Lord Baltimore. After England's Glorious Revolution of 1688, the government of the colony passed to the Crown, and the Church of England was made the established church. In 1699, as a member of the Assembly, Ninian Beall signed the petition to King William III for the establishment of the Church of England in Maryland, although Ninian was a Presbyterian Elder.

Maryland became a royal province in 1691. The proprietorship was restored in 1715, but Maryland remained virtually the same as a royal province. Ninian Beall was freed from his obligations as indentured servant during the proprietorship of Lord Baltimore. But after the colony became a royal province, he continued to rise and was appointed Chief Military Officer of Calvert County. He rose from indentured servant to Member of the House of Burgesses, and Commander in Chief of Provincial Forces of Maryland. He was one of the most influential men in the settling of the District of Columbia and its surrounding area, and the protection of the colonists from the Indians.

As religion was the basis for the wars that precipitated the exodus of the colonists to America, it was a vital part of their lives while the country was being settled.

Before 1690, Col. Beall gave land in Upper Marlboro upon which a Presbyterian church was erected. For a minister, he turned to the Rev. Nathaniel Taylor, one of his 200 immigrants from Scotland. In 1707, Col. Beall presented the church with a costly silver communion service set. In 1936, the church and the silver set had been moved to Hyattsville, MD, and an Episcopal Church had risen on the old site at Upper Marlboro.

In 1699, Ninian Beall gave land on the Patuxtent River for "Ye erecting and building of a house for ye Service of Almighty God."

Records at Annapolis give the following memoranda of Ninian's Offices:

   * 1688 - Lt. Ninian Beall
   * 1676 - Lt. of Lord Baltimore's "Yacht of War, Royal Charles of Maryland, John Goade, Commander"
   * 1678 - Captain of Militia of Calvert County, Maryland
   * 1684 - Deputy Surveyor of Charles County
   * 1688 - Appointed Chief Military Officer of Calvert County
   * 1689 - Major of Calvert County Militia
   * 1690 - One of the 25 Commissioners for regulating affairs in Maryland, until the next assembly
   * 1692 - High Sheriff of Calvert County
   * 1693 - Colonel, Commander in Chief of Maryland forces
   * 1694 - Colonel of Militia
   * 1697 - On a Commission to treaty with the Indians
   * 1679 - 1701 - Member of General Assembly
   * 1696 - 1699 - Representative of Prince Georges County in the House of Burgesses

Much of Colonel Beall's time was spent in the saddle riding over Maryland. His interest was centered in the land and the beauties of nature, and the establishment of a foothold in this great new country which we know to day as the United States of America.

The States of Maryland and Virginia were most influential in establishing the Capital in it's present location, as the land upon which it rests belonged mostly to Maryland with a small portion belonging to Virginia. George Washington, a native of Virginia, selected the site of the Nation's Capital and the District of Columbia. Maryland and Virginia granted land on each tide of the Potomac River.

The Indian name for this territory was "Tohoga". The Indian tribes and the immigrants were probably drawn here for some of the same reasons. The soil was rich, the climate was mild, game was plentiful, there was a variety of trees and wild plants, and there was easy access to the sea via the Chesapeake Bay and the wide Potomac. The beautiful Falls and the Potomac Palisades complimented the wide expanse of level land suitable for growing corn and tobacco.

As he rode through the woods admiring the loveliness of this land, Col. Ninian Beall must have been an impressive figure with his great height, red beard and hair. Ninian was instrumental in the negotiation of a treaty with the Piscataway people so that together this tribe and the colonists were able to fight off incursions of the dreaded Susquehannas. In 1699, the General Assembly passed an Act of Gratitude for the distinguished Indian services of Colonel Ninian Beall:

   "Whereas Colonel Ninian Beall has been found very serviceable to this Province upon all incursions and disturbances of neighboring Indians and though now grown very aged and less able to perform well, continues, now beyond his ability to do the like service at this juncture of affairs, it si therefore thought fit in point of gratitude for such his good services done and towards his support and relief now in his old age to make him an allowance out of the public revenues of this province."

In 1636, Lord Baltimore stipulated the terms for allotment of land under his official seal. Every adventurers in the first expedition, 1634, who had transported five men between 15 and 50 years of age, was to receive 2,000 acres of land for a yearly rental of 400 acres for himself, a like area for his wife (if he had one) and for each servant, and 50 acres for every child under the age of sixteen. For this he was to pay a yearly rental of 10 pounds of wheat for every 50 acres.

Those who should arrive after 1655 were promised 1,000 acres for every five men they transported to the colony, and the rent for it was fixed at 20 shillings a year, payable in the country's produce. Ships from the Old World continued to arrive with settlers for the manors and plantations of lower Maryland. In 1633 began the patents in the upper reaches of the Potomac and near the Falls. Before 1700, the whole area now covered by Washington was in the possession of its first land owners.

As Ninian Beall was responsible for about 200 immigrants coming to the country, when Prince Georges County was created out of Calvert County, over 7,000 acres of his property were found to be in the new county. On part of this acreage, the District of Columbia is now located, an on another part the famed "Dumbarton Oaks." His first tract of land was called "Rock of Dumbarton." This grant was received from Lord Baltimore and was for seven hundred and ninety five acres.

The area in Maryland now included in the District of Columbia, in those days before 1700 was called New Scotland Hundred, and was a part of Charles County. This county was created by Lord Baltimore in 1658. It was the property along the Potomac River from Wicomico "as high as the settlements extend." New Scotland Hundred extended from Oxon Branch (opposite Alexandria, Va.) to the falls of the Potomac. Charles Beall was the pressmaster of this county. The area included:

   * "The Nock" - grant of 500 acres first warranted to Ninian Beall.
   * "Meurs" - 500 acres first granted to Ninian Beall, originally named "Chance"
   * "Barbadoe" - first laid out or surveyed [but not owned] by Ninian Beall, 250 acres
   * "Inclosure" - patented on Oct. 2, 1687, 1503 acres surveyed for Ninian Beall and by him taken up in 1687, and which was a tract now part of the National Arboretum.

On the eastern side of the Anacostia River the land belonged to Col. Beall above the land of the Addisons. "Fife Enlarged," 1,050 acres, named for Fifeshire, Scotland, was deeded by Co. Beall so his son Capt. Charles Beall, who died in 1740.

In the western portion of the area later covered by the National Capital, early taken up by various grants, there was no opportunity for ownership by Col. Beall until the end of the 17th century. His interests had centered on the area, however, probably through his early trips to the Garrison at the Falls. Eventually, Col. Beall was successful in obtaining tracts on both sides of Rock Creek, "Rock of Dumbarton" on the western side of Rock Creek, and on the eastern side, nearly opposite "Rock of Dumbarton," his earlier tract, "Beall's Levels," 225 acres between Mr. Hutchison's land, and the tract called "Widow's Mite."

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.

Through his may acts of faithfulness and bravery, and because of the large number of immigrants to his credit, Ninian Beall was given warrants for thousands of acres of land. As Deputy Surveyor, he seated many families along the Eastern Branch and the Potomac in Scotland Hundred, most of them through his own land warrants.

Some interesting descriptions of Beall properties obtained from "Washington, City and Capitol, " American Guide to Service, 1937, U.S. Govt. Printing Office, Supt. of Documents, Washington, D.C., follow:

   * "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 ion 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.

As mentioned before, Col. Beall's first wife, Elizabeth Gordon , died in Scotland, and only one offspring of this marriage is known to have come to America, their son Thomas.

Ninian's second wife was Ruth Moore, daughter of Richard Moore, a Calvert County lawyer. According to records, they were married in 1633 and were the parents of twelve children. Col. Ninian Beall's children are listed as follows:

{{see Discussions for more on the accuracy of these lists; for example, the 1633 marriage date with Ruth is inconsistent with the birth date of son Thomas out of Elizabeth as listed below.}}

Son of his first wife Elizabeth Gordon:

   * Thomas Beall, 1647 - 1730, m. Elizabeth Bateman

Children of his second wife Ruth Moore:

   * John Beall 1670 - 1711
   * Capt. Charles Beall - 1672 - 1704
   * Ninian Beall - 1674 - 1734, m. Elizabeth Magruder
   * Sarah - 1669 - 1734 m. Col. Samuel Magruder
   * Hester - m. 1707 to Col. Joseph Belt
   * Jane - m. Col. Archibald Demonston
   * Rachael
   * Col. George Beall - 1695 - 1780 m. Elizabeth Brooke, daughter of Col. Thomas and Barbara Brooke.
   * Mary - m. Andrew Hanbleton
   * Thomas, died in 1708, unmarried
   * Margery, m. (1st) Thomas Sprigg; (2nd) Col. Joseph Belt, her brother-in-law
   * James

Sarah's grandson, Joshua, married Millicent Bradley, daughter of Robert Bradley and Ann Fendall, daughter of the first Governor of Maryland.

The Bealls were of the Macmillian Clan, and the Magruders were of the MacGregor Clan. There were marriages with the Magruders and several marriages with the descendants of Gov. Robert Brooke of Maryland. Gov. Robert Brook came across the Atlantic in his own vessel carrying his wife, ten children, and forty servants in 1650.

Alexander Beall came to this country late in the 17th century. His large land holdings began at Sligo Creek in the edge of Silver Spring, Maryland, and reached across what is now Montgomery County. There were marriages between his descendants and Col. Ninian's.

The necessary research and the space to list all of the members of Col. Ninian Beall's family in all professions and types of employment who have been of service to the country, outstanding and distinguished citizens, is for hands other than mine to finish. However, in this Bi-Centennial year, let us remember the men and women who spent their lives in the establishment of out country, both at its beginning and those who have helped to develop it into the great country which now exists.

A bronze plaque has been installed on a large oval rock, symbolic of the "Rock of Dumbarton," in front of St. John's Episcopal church in Georgetown, 3240 O Street N.W., with the following inscription:

   "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.

Colonel Ninian Beall died at the age of 92 at Fife's Largo, named for the place of his birth in Scotland. This was the home mentioned in his will (1717) and was in Prince Georges County near Upper Marlboro. It is believed that he is buried at Bacon Hall, another of his homes in Prince Georges County.

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The Mystery Of Ninian Beall's Burial Place Remains Unsolved

by

George Magruder Battey

At a recent dinner party in Washington assembling a group of descendants of Col. Ninian Beall, Maryland pioneer, the question of where he was buried was animatedly discussed. From the conclusions arrived at it would seem that this red-haired giant, who was reputedly six feet seven inches tall, possessed the unusual faculty of occupying several places at once.*

     *The following quotation is from Sally Somerwell Mackally, Early Days of Washington, p. 48:  "In 1783 there were no public burying grounds.  Prominent families had private ones adjoining their homes.  Ninian Beall's lot was on Gay [N] street [Georgetown].  In recent years this lot has been built upon, and when the foundations were being dug... the body of Ninian Beall was removed.  His skeleton was found in perfect preservation, and measured six feet seven inches, and his hair which was very red had retained its natural color."  --En.

The guests had in mind a proposition to erect a monument to the memory of their remarkable Scotch forebear, provided they could definitely locate his sacred dust, and provided further that the spot, once found, should be suitable to such a plan. They recalled that the matter had been mooted for many years, with the same result, and they went home.

It is with a feeling that Colonel Beall has been scantily recognized by history and will stand further interpretation and appreciation that the writer has taken up his pen.

Science has prolonged the life of the average man of this day to some 35 years, and in contrast with this limit we note that Colonel Beall lived to 92. In point of years, then, he lived nearly three average lives; and in point of accomplishment and hair-raising adventure (fighting Oliver Cromwell in Scotland and Indians and other troublesome elements in the new country of America) he packed at least six lives into one.

Colonel Beall never paid any attention to the old Biblical injunction to attain a stretch of three score years and ten, and then shake off this mortal coil. At 70 he had just begun to accumulate momentum. When he turned this familiar corner he was met by various committees who suggested it was time to retire and take things easy. He waved the committees aside, got himself appointed or elected to the Maryland Legislature, continued to fight Indians and put down other unruly elements, rode his spirited horse over his numerous plantations, especially in Prince George County, which in the production of tobacco topped all neighborhoods of the Tobacco Belt.

As a young man Colonel Beall just couldn't get started. He was born in 1625 at Largs, Fifeshire, Scotland, on the Firth of Forth, near the scene of recent German bombardments. Largs was the native town of Alexander Sclkirk, who, in the Queen Anne age, as marooned on the Island of Juan Fernandez in the South Pacific and thereby furnished Daniel Defoe with the materials for the world-famous romance of "Robinson Crusoe." Ninian Beall was the son of Dr. James Beall (or Bell), of Largs. People married earlier in that day, as they had fewer responsibilities and more money, particularly those who entertained some hope of emigrating to America and populating the broad expanses on this side. Ninian Beall is reliably reported to have married one Elizabeth Gordon in Scotland.

The matter of coming to America in 1650 when 25 years old was an afterthought. In fact, it was not his thought at all, but Oliver Cromwell's. The thought in that connection was that the rangy young Ninian would add greatly to the Cornwellian manpower needed to produce raw materials in the American Valhalla.

The idea came into Cromwell's head as the result of spreading his war net for canny Scots at the Battle of Dunbar across the Firth of Forth from Ninian's home. The fatal date was Sept. 3, 1650, of a morning. Cromwell's 12,000 "Ironsides" had fallen back before the 23,000 Scotch under command of David Lesley, and come to a halt at Dunbar, in a valley.

The Scotch commanded the surrounding hills and passes and could have soon starved the Cromwell force except that dissension broke out in their own camp and led them into a monumental blunder. The swordbearing preachers who had accompanied the Scotch army prevailed upon Lesley to dismiss the Cavaliers from his ranks and to give up the high ground and meet the English on the plain. The battle raged for an hour on equal terms until Cromwell's cavalry, coming up, turned the tide.

We can assume that as Cavalier or otherwise, Ninian Beall was in the thick of the fight, leading a detachment but powerless to stop the rout of his countrymen, who negotiated those craggy hillsides with the alacrity of billygoats and made tracks for Edinburgh. Ten thousand Scots, including our hero, were captured, and the booty consisted of all the artillery, 15,000 stands of arms, and 200 colors, not to mention the kilties.

The Tower of London and the jails of England were insufficient to contain such a horde of prisoners, for concentration camps were then unknown. The embarrassment of housing and feeding so many was so great that Cromwell quickly released 3,000, but these did not include the doughty Ninian, who as a staunch supporter of the evanescent and exiled Charles II was considered a "rare specimen."

The "spoils system" did not start with Andrew Jackson in the early days of the United States. It probably started before Oliver Cromwell. At any rate, Cromwell profited by it or turned it to the account of England. He packed a lot of those Dunbar prisoners off to the Island of Barbados, in the West Indies, on cockleshell sailing ships, to do time. Ninian Beall, of the flint-and-steel makeup, he who had been captured but not conquered, went along.

Barbados was a large island with highly fertile valleys and snug harbors. It was ruled by Governor Searle and his retinue of plantation grandees. Tobacco and cotton were the principal crops, with sugar cane and molasses as the minor items. The grandees were closely allied with the London merchants, who had bought the Dunbar prisoners at public auction and placed upon them the obligation of working five years, seven years or some other number of years to "pay their way out."

Governor Searle soon had so many captives from Scotland and Ireland that he and his staff proposed to Cromwell the grandiloquent plan of driving the Spanish out of the western world; "and see," exulted the Governor, "our proud little island alone can furnish you 10,000 strong fighting men." Despite the fact that Cromwell adopted the plan, it proved unpopular with the merchants and the grandees, with the result that only 2,000 recruits left the island for the Spanish Main, and the expedition proved a failure for want of adequate support.

We do not know how Ninian Beall figured in this mixup. We only know he showed up in Calvert County, Maryland, about 1657, with the determination to make a new start in life. Subsequently he was identified with Prince George County, which was cut off Calvert. He may have driven some kind of bargain with Governor Searle, or swam to Florida and footed it to Maryland, for he had heard that in this State the English followers of Sir Walter Raleigh put their faith in excellent smoking tobacco.

Cromwell meanwhile, must have found some of his Scottish Barbados prisoners in the London ballrooms and ale shops, for he complained to Governor Searle, who meekly replied that if the men were leaving the grandee paradise, it was without his knowledge and consent.

Cromwell was pocketing a nice wad of money for the English Exchequer in the business of selling captives to the London merchants, and he continued fighting the adherents of Charles II until he had either laid them out or taken them into his bag. Came the final battle of Worcester in the shire which suggests appetizing sauce--a year to the day after Dunbar, that is, Sept. 3, 1651. We mark the date especially because in the is final stand of Charles II, by an odd quirk of fate, Cromwell captured another batch of troublesome men, including one whose son was subsequently to marry into the family of Ninian Beall. Reference is to Alexander Macgregor, a member of the outlawed Highland Clan Gregor which for 150 years resisted the attempt to unite Scotland and England at the expense of those knights of the thistle who held the clan system next to life itself.

Of the three brothers Macgregor in the Battle of Worcester, James was killed, and Alexander and John were taken prisoner and sent to Barbados, whence they proceeded to Maryland. By this time the two survivors had changed their name to MacGroother, which in time became Magruder. John Magruder died without issue. Alexander Magruder married as his first wife Margaret Braithwaite, daughter of William Braithwaite, Commander of the Isle of Kent, earliest seat of proprietary government in Maryland, member of the first General Assembly of the province, Acting Governor and cousin-german to Cecelius Calvert, second Lord Baltimore. He married secondly Sarah Hawkins, and thirdly, Elizabeth Hawkins. His son, Samuel Magruder I, born 1654 in Prince George County, married Sarah Beall, daughter of Col. Ninian Beall, and they became the ancestors of the numerous and prominent Magruders of Maryland, Virginia, Georgia, Mississippi, and elsewhere.

At 42 years of age, in 1667, Col. Ninian Beall married secondly 16-year-old Ruth Moore, daughter of Richard Moore, a Calvert County lawyer. The children of this union were numerous and are represented in Maryland by the families of Beall, Brooke, Bowie, Addison, Balch, Mackall, Washington, Johns, Magruder and others. Mr. J. Ninian Beall, Washington business man, has estimated that Col. Ninian Beall left 70,000 descendants, who can probably be found in every State of the Union. Colonel Beall died at "Bacon Hall," Prince George County, Md., 3 miles south of Upper Marlboro, in 1717.

As an illustration of the way the family tree branched, we may take the State of Georgia, to which Bealls and Magruders repaired from Maryland and Virginia in the great land boom following the Revolutionary War. Ninian Offutt Magruder settled as a planter in Columbus County, Ga., near Augusta, and from him descended Robert Battey, of Rome, physician and surgeon, and numerous progeny. Noble Preston Beall and wife, Justiana Hooper, settled in Franklin County, Ga., and from this union sprang (through Samuel Charles Candler and Martha Bernetta Beall) the remarkable family of Candler of Atlanta, including the late Asa Griggs Candler, of soft drink fame, and his brother, Bishop Warren Aiken Candler, of the Methodist Church, South, and former President of Emory College. On the bench, in business and political life, in science and the pulpit the Candlers, six generations down, have ably upheld the banner of the irrepressible nonagenarian who was the forbear of Maryland Governors Sprigg, Pratt, Lowe and Warfield.

Indeed, the various other ramifications of this pioneer family have averaged high, and have set a mark for future generations to emulate.

Some years ago, with symbolical reference to Colonel Beall's "Rock of Dumbarton" estate, on the terrace of the St. John's Episcopal Church in Georgetown was unveiled a bronze tablet, suitably inscribed and superimposed upon a massive stone.

Writes an enthusiastic red-haired descendant, Mrs. Rufus Lenoir Gwyn, of Lenoir, N.C., to whom we are indebted for the excellent portrait:

"Unless I'm greatly mistaken, Colonel Ninian Beall is buried beneath that stone."

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Died between 15 Jan. and 28 Feb. 1717 when his will was written and probated in Prince George's Co., MD.1 His wife Ruth was living on 12 Sep. 1713 when she acknowledged a deed with her husband,19 but probably died before Ninian wrote his will.

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1. He fought against Cromwell at the battle of Dunbar in 1650 and was taken prisoner. Transported to Barbados, he escaped and found his way to Maryland where he became exceedingly prosperous, eventually owning 25,000 acres of land. He married Ruth Moore of Calvert County (daughter of a London barrister) by whom he had twelve children, including the youngest daughter named Jane who married Archibald Edmonstone.

2. Colonel Ninian Beall gave the land and founded the first Presbyterian church in Maryland at Upper Marlborough.

3. Will Proved:

In the Name of God, Amen. I, Ninian Beall, of Prince George's County, in the Province of Maryland, being indisposed in Body, but of sound and perfect memory, God be praised for the same, and considering the mortality of human nature and uncertainty of life, doe make, ordain, constitute,and appoint this to be my last Will and Testament, in manner and form following. Vist. Impris. I give and bequeath my soul into the hands of Almighty God in hopes of free pardon for all my sins and as for my body to be committed to the Earth from whence it came, to be decently burried at the discretion of my trustees hereafter mentioned.

Item. I will and bequeath that all my debts and funeral charges be first paid and satisfied and as for what portion of my worldly goods as shall be then remaining, I bequeath and bestow in the manner following.

Item. I doe give and bequeath unto my son George , my plantation and Tract of Land called the Rock of Dumbarton, lying and being at Rock Creek and containing four hundred and eighty acres, with all the stock thereon, both cattle and Hoggs, them and their increase unto my son George and unto his heirs forever.

Item. I doe give and bequeath unto my said George Beall his choice of one of my feather beds, bolster and pillow and other furniture thereunto belonging, with two cows and calves and half my sheep from off this plantation I now live on unto him and his heirs forever.

Item. I doe give and bequeath unto my son in law Andrew Hambleton my negro woman Alie unto him and his heirs forever.

Item. I give and bequeath unto my granddaughter Mary Beall the daughter of my son Ninian Beall, deceased, the one half part of all my moveables or personal estate cattle and Hogs, Horses Household good after my Legacyes before bequeathed are paid and satisfied, unto her the said Mary and to their heirs forever.

Item. I give and bequeath to my Grandson Samuel Beall all the remainder part of Bacon Hall together with the Plantation and Orchyard and tobacco houses hereunto belonging (with this proviso) that when he comes to the age of one and twenty that he make over by a firm conveyance all his right and title that he hath unto a certain Tract of Land called Sames (or Sam's) beginning on the South side of the road goeing to Mount Calvert unto the said Mary and unto her heirs forever, but if my said Grandson should happen to dye before he arrive to be of that age to make over the land soe as aforesaid then, I doe give and bequeath unto my said Granddaughter Mary, the whole Tract of Bacon Hall with the houses and Orchyard thereon unto her and her heirs forever.

Item. I give and bequeath unto my grandson Samuel Beall my Water Mill lying on Collington Branch with the houses. Iron work houses and all other matterealls thereunto belonging unto the said Samuel and his heirs forever.

Item. I give and bequeath unto my son-in-law, Joseph Belt, part of tract of Land called Good Luck, containing two hundred forty five acres, he allowing unto my heirs the sum of four thousand pounds of tobacco according to our former agreement, he deducting what I doe owe him on his books for several wares and merchandizes to the said Joseph and unto his heirs forever.

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Item. Whereas I owe several debts, I doe empower my trustees hereafter named to enable them to pay the same to sell a certain Tract of Land called Recovery lying and in the freshes of Patuxent River near the head of the Western Branch to be sold, it containing four hundred acres, the aforesaid tract of land bequeathed unto my son Belt is adjoining thereunto.

Item. I doe give and bequeath unto my son Charles Beall a Book of Bishop Coopers work the Acts of the Church and the Chronicles of King Charles the first and King Charles the second, and I doe request and oblige my son Charles Beall and my son George to send for a dozen of books entitled an advice to young and old middle age set forth by one and Godsons.

Item. I give and bequeath unto my son Charles a thousand acres of land called Dunn Back lying on the South side of great Chaptank in a creek called Wattses creek, unto him and his heirs forever, and lastly I do make, ordain, declare and appoint my grandson Samuel Beall to be my sole and whole executor of this my last will and test i ment and I doe devise my loving son Charles Beall, Joseph Belt and George Beall to do and perform my devise as above exprest and to set and doe for my executors until he arrive to the age of one and twenty, hereby revoking and annulling all former and other wills by me at any time heretofore made and signed, and doe devise my said sons to use their best care and endeavor that my two Grand children, the children of my beloved son Ninian Beall deceased to be brought up and have that education suitable to their estate, I doe also appoint my said sons Trustees to this my last will to make their appearance every Easter Tuesday or any other time as they shall think a more fitting time at my dwelling plantation yearly to inspect into all affairs there of, and of a yearly increase of all the creatures upon my plantation and at the mill for and on behalf of my two Grandchildren who are to be joint sharers therein, my Granddaughter to have her part at the day of her marriage.

In testimony whereof I have to this my last will and testament set my hand and seal this fifteenth day of January in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and seventeen.

Ninian Beall (Seal)

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Note: The above will was proven Feb.28,1717; recorded in Liver 1, folio92, one of the Will Books of Prince George County, Maryland.

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NINIAN BEALL, b. in Largo, Fifeshire, Scotland, in 1625. He held a commission as cornet in the Scotch-English Army, raised to resist Cromwell. He fought in the battle of Dunbar, 3d Sept. 1650, against Cromwell, and was made prisoner at that battle, and sentenced to five years servitude. He was sent with 150 other Scotchmen to Barbadoes, West Indies. About 1652 they appeared in the Province of Maryland. Ninian BEALL served his five years with Richard HALL, a planter of Calvert Co. (see also )

He seems to have identified himself with the Presbyterian Church of Maryland before 1690. During that year 200 Presbyterian immigrants came over from Scotland under his supervision. He located them along the Potomac River and called the settlement New Scotland. These immigrants brought with them Rev. Nathaniel TAYLOR. There is recorded at Upper Marlboro a deed of gift from Colonel Ninian BEALL to Reverend TAYLOR, of land in Upper Marlboro upon which to build a church. In 1707, Colonel Nin...

-------------------- Colonel Ninian Beall was known as the founder of Georgetown, http://www.geni.com/people/Colonel-Ninian-Beall/6000000006895419429

The Strange Rock of Georgetown: Colonel Ninian Beall http://www.geni.com/people/Ninian-Beall/6000000025057405615

By Ruth Beall Gelders, 1976 Daughters of the American Revolution

Joseph Habersham Chapter, Atlanta, GA

read http://www.krystalrose.com/kim/BEALL/ninian1.html

The Mystery of Ninian Beall's Burial Place Remains Unsolved." Records of the Columbia Historical Society, Washington, D.C.. (1940/1941): 161-167. http://blogs.weta.org/boundarystones/2013/07/18/strange-rock-georgetown-colonel-ninian-beall#_ftnref2

Colonel Ninian Beall (Paperback) By: Caleb Clarke Magruder (Author) June 4, 2009

The Colonial War Services of Colonel Ninian Beall, 1625-1717 (Paperback) By: Moses Zebina

Remembering Georgetown: A History of the Lost Port City [Book by David Mould, Missy Loewe · History Press · (2009) · paperback · 159 pages

he was also the owner of Woodley Mansion hilltop house in Washington, D.C., constructed in 1801 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Woodley_Mansion

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Colonel Ninian Beall's Timeline

1625
September 16, 1625
Largo, Ligensheim, Fife, Scotland
1647
1647
Age 21
Edinburgh, City of Edinburgh, United Kingdom
1647
Age 21
Fife, Scotland
1650
September 2, 1650
- September 3, 1650
Age 24
Dunbar, Scotland, UK

Ninian Beall captured and sent to Barbados, West Indies.

1651
April 23, 1651
Age 25
Largo, Fifeshire, Scotland Find all individuals with events at this location
1652
1652
Age 26
USA
1652
- 1717
Age 26
Maryland, USA
1657
January 16, 1657
Age 31
MD, USA
1658
1658
Age 32
1660
1660
Age 34
MD, USA