1. Thomas Watt Beard was born about 1795 in South
Carolina. He appeared on the census in 1820 in Franklin County, Tennessee.
(1) He appeared on the census in 1830 in Marion
County, Alabama.(2) He appeared on the
census in 1840 in Shelby County, Tennessee.(3)
He died about 1845 in Jackson County, Arkansas. Derived from
his children's census records, Thomas Watt Beard was born in South Carolina.
The 1830 census in Marion County, Alabama, where he is listed as "Thomas
Beard", indicates he was born between 1790 and 1800.
Birthplaces of Thomas Watt Beard's children indicate that they lived
in many places (Alabama, Georgia, Tennessee, and Mississippi). An Indian connection
has always been told in family history, but cannot be proved. However, they
were likely in Marion County, Alabama in 1830, though some children list Tennessee
as their birthplace during this time. According to the 1860 census, Willis was
born in Mississippi in 1838, and William in Tennessee in 1843. Mary Ann Beard,
another child, lists her eldest child being born in Arkansas in 1845. Nevertheless,
we are sure of Jackson County, Arkansas, by 1850, where they appear on the federal
census. Thomas Watt Beard was dead or off traveling by 1850, as Isabelle is
listed as head of family.
Sometime after February, 1852 and before March, 1854, the family moved
to Coryell County, Texas. Thomas Watt Beard, Jr., received a grant there in
1859. Lucy Beard lived with Thomas Jr., in Coryell County, at the time of the
1880 census. She presumably died about 1894 in Coryell County, Texas.
An allied family of the Beards, Thomas J. Scott and family, moved with
them from Jackson County, Arkansas to Coryell County. This family was from Fayette
County, Alabama (next to Marion County), and Monroe County, Mississippi, and
could have traveled from there with the Beards to Arkansas.
Thomas Watt Beard's name is from a book by Nelson Lee Beard (son of
Thomas William Beard, 1862-1937) entitled, "Nelson Lee Beard's Book of Memories".
Currently, we are exploring the theory that Thomas Watt Beard was
the son of Alexander and Sarah Baird. Alexander was from Carlyle, Pennsylvania,
and claimed revolutionary war service from there in three applications for a
pension, two of which were filed from Franklin County, Tennessee, and the last
in 1831 in Marion County, Alabama.
He was married to Isabelle "Lucy" Ward (daughter of
Solomon Ward) about 1823 in Franklin County, Tennessee.
Isabelle "Lucy" Ward was born in 1802 in South Carolina.
She appeared on the census on 4 Nov 1850 in Bird Township, Jackson County, Arkansas.
(4) She appeared on the census on 12 Jul 1860
in P. O. Station Creek, Coryell County, Texas.(5)
She appeared on the census on 5 Oct 1870 in P. O. Gatesville, Coryell
County, Texas.(6) She appeared on the
census on 8 Jun 1880 in 26th E. D., Coryell County, Texas.
(7) She died in 1894 in Coryell County, Texas.
Not much is known of the ancestry of Isabelle "Lucy" Ward, though she
is reputed to have been part Indian. A Willis Monroe Ward of Marion and Fayette
Counties, Alabama, who was known to be part Cherokee, is said to have have had
a sister named Lucy. This Willis Ward was from Franklin County, Tennessee, a
son of Solomon Ward. This Solomon Ward was from Spartanburg, South Carolina.
In the 1880 census, Lucy said she was born in South Carolina, and her parents
were born in Virginia.
Thomas Watt Beard and Isabelle "Lucy" Ward had the following children:
Mary "Polly" Ann Beard.
Thomas Watt Beard Jr..
Solomon "Joel" Beard.
Isabella Mahulda Beard.
Rebecca Jane Beard.
William M. Beard.