Surname Saturday: Beach

Okay, time to alternate back to one of the lines on my side of the family.  This week, we will look at one of the most heavily researched lines in my family.  It connects back to some of the earliest settlers of Massachusetts Colony and continues all the way to close family members who are still living today.  There are quite a few researchers looking into this line from the early-1800s back to the 1600s, possibly due to the line's connection to Sir Winston Churchill (yes, that Winston Churchill), so this will be a fairly long post with nine generations listed, but there seems to be one universal stumbling block when we go back far enough.

Since some of my immediate family members who are still living were born with the Beach surname, we'll start tracing the line a couple generations ago with my great-grandfather, Emerson Asa Beach. To the right is a photo of Emerson cropped from part of a family reunion photo taken in 1922.  Emerson was born on 27 February 1884 in Tippecanoe County, Indiana.  He married Grace Rice on 17 November 1904, and together they had seven sons and three daughters all born between 1905 and 1927.  Grace was born on 20 November 1886.  On the 1910 U.S. census, Emerson and Grace are listed as living in Randolph Township, Tippecanoe County, Indiana, with their first three children.  By the time Emerson registered for the World War I draft, he was living in Linden, Montgomery County, Indiana, and listed his occupation as farmer.  But then in the 1920 U.S. census, he and Grace were listed in Tippecanoe County again, now with six children who were all born in Indiana.  Both Tippecanoe and Montgomery Counties were established in the early 19th century, but part of the confusion could be explained by the fact that Tippecanoe County is just to the north of Montgomery County and Randolph Township is near the southern border of Tippecanoe County while Linden is near the northern border of Montgomery County.  On his World War II draft card in 1942, Emerson entered that he was living in Crawfordsville, Indiana, and employed as a fireman at the Crawfordsville Shale Brick Company.  I don't have any of the birth locations for the other relatives verified yet, but I suspect from family stories and the location of this photograph (behind the family home in Crawfordsville), that most of these relatives were born in Montgomery County, Indiana.  Family records differ on Emerson's death date with one showing 27 February 1956 and the other showing 6 March 1956.

Emerson's parents were Josiah Nathan Beach and Elva Allen (the same Elva Allen that I wrote about two weeks ago and updated last week).  Much of this family's information was in the previous posts, so I won't go into much detail on the Allen line here.  Josiah was born on 1 April 1840 (although I have found one source that lists his birth date as 3 April 1841) in Wingate, Montgomery County, Indiana.  He first married Ella Tracy House (b. 21 Feb 1850; d. 15 Oct 1873) on either 2 or 21 February 1870.  Josiah and Ella had one child together, Mayme E. M. Beach (F; b. 2 Nov 1870; m. 29 June 1897 D. I. Newton; d. 10 Nov 1907 in Romney, Tippecanoe County, Indiana).  After Ella's death, Josiah then married Mary E. Crouch (b. 15 Oct or Nov 1848; d. 22 Nov 1880) on 15 November 1874.  Josiah and Mary had two children: Eva Lula Beach (F; b. 28 Nov 1876; d. young) and Garfield Nathan Beach (M; b. 30 May 1880; m. 28 June 1905 Golden Crull, divorced in 1911; m. Bertha Mae Holman; d. 11 July 1960).  Garfield and Bertha are buried next to each other in Linden, Indiana.  Josiah's third marriage, following Mary's death, was to Elva Allen on 17 November 1881.  Josiah died on 6 April 1914 in Crawfordsville and he is buried in Linden near many other family members.

Josiah was one of several sons born to Nathan Beach and Mary Meharry.  Nathan was born on 6 February 1798 in what was then known as the Northwest Territory of the newly formed United States.  Today, the location is within the current boundaries of Ohio (which was admitted to the union in 1803).  Between 1820 and 1826, Nathan worked on the flat-boats and steamboats of the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers.  He married Mary Meharry (b. 25 Oct 1803; d. 9 Apr 1868) on 1 November 1832 at the Meharry residence in Adams County, Ohio.  Nathan and Mary moved to Attica, Fountain County, Indiana, and then on to Coal Creek Township, Montgomery County, Indiana, in 1837.  The couple had seven children: Stephen Alexander Rufus Beach (M; b. 2 Jan 1835; m. 8 Sep 1859 Margaret Ellen Carter; m. 1 Oct 1870 Hanna Eliza Espey; m. 3 April 1890 Rachel Victoria Holton; d. 21 Jan 1895), Sarah Jane Francis Beach (F; b. 25 March 1837; m. John R. Sheets; d. 2 March 1868), Josiah Nathan Beach (see above), Marvin Beach (M; details unknown), Thomas Jefferson Beach (M; d. young), Flaveous Josephus Beach (Unknown; d. after 1860) and Jesse McKendry Beach (Unknown; d. young).  Mary died on 9 April 1868 in Wingate, Montgomery County, Indiana, and Nathan Beach died on 15 September 1874 in Wingate.

Nathan was the third child of Stephen Beach and Sarah Sherwood.  Of this couple, I know very little right now, but I do know that Stephen was born in 1770 in Fairfield, Massachusetts Colony.  Stephen and Sarah were the parents of: Rhoda Beach (F; b. 20 Dec 1792; m. __ Aldridge), Susan Beach (F; b. 23 March 1796; m. __ Scott), Nathan Beach (see above), Hannah Beach (F; b. 12 Oct 1801; m. __ McColm; d. Aug 1878), Elias Beach (M; b. 8 Aug 1805; m. Jane __), Tamar Beach (probably F; b. 9 Dec 1807; m. W. Freeman), Stephen Beach (M; b. 12 Dec 1808; m. Ann Putney), James Beach (M; b. 1810), John Lawrence Beach (M; b. 4 June 1812; m. 23 Aug 1832 Sarah Wickoff; d. 4 April 1872), Thomas Beach (M; b. 14 Jan 1814; m. __ Ross), David Beach (M; b. 1816; m. Rebecca Firebaugh) and Mary Ann Beach (F; b. 30 March 1818; m. __ Evans).

Stephen's parents were Nathan Beach and Sarah Burton.  This elder Nathan was born on 23 May 1721 in Wallingford, Connecticut Colony.  He served in the military during the French & Indian Wars in 1760, and it is probably after this service that he first married Desire Herrick.  Together they had Nathan Beach (M; b. 16 July 1763; m. Susan Thomas; d. 26 June 1847), Huldah Beach (F; b. circa 1766) and Mabel Beach (F; chr. 20 Jan 1766).  I don't know the circumstances of Nathan and Desire's separation, but with Stephen's birthdate in 1770, it is likely that Nathan and Sarah (b. 11 Jan 1722) were married sometime in the late 1760s.  Stephen is the only child I have confirmed so far as belonging to Nathan and Sarah.  Judging by the sizes of the families near Nathan and Sarah, it is likely that there are several more children that I don't know about yet.

Nathan was the fourth child of Nathan Beach and Jemima Curtis.  This elder Nathan was born 18 August 1692 in Wallingford, Connecticut Colony.  He and Jemima (b. 15 Jan 1693/4 or 1694/5 in Wallingford) were married on 29 September 1712 or 1713, and they had 11 children: Joseph Beach (M; b. 10 June 1714; m. 31 Oct 1734 Experience Beecher; d. 25 July 1795), William Beach (M; b. 18 Nov 1716; m. 15 Oct 1739 Susanna Holt; m. 26 May 1743 Martha Clark; d. 1799), Lydia Beach (F; b. 26 Feb 1719; m. Benjamin Blakeslee; d. after 1782), Nathan Beach (above), Sarah Beach (F; b. 27 Oct 1723; m. Joseph Deremore), Enos Beach (M; b. 30 Jan 1726; m. April 1748 Ann Squire; d. 18 Dec 1809), Stephen Beach (M; b. 16 April 1729), Jemima Beach (F; b. 11 May 1732; m. 19 Nov 1751 Waitstill Parker), Elihu Beach (M; b. 14 Dec 1734; m. 16 June 1755 Zerviah Byington), Eunice Beach (F; b. 5 March 1737; m. Simeon Fuller; d. after 1782) and Mehitabel Beach (F; b. 2 Nov 1738).  It is this generation that connects to Winston Churchill's ancestry.  Churchill was descended from Nathan and Jemima's first child, Joseph; according to the relationship calculator in Roots Magic, that makes Sir Winston Churchill my fifth cousin twice removed.  I'll post more about that connection after I research it further.  Nathan died in 1739 in Wallingford, while Jemima died 3 March 1739, also in Wallingford.

One generation further finds Nathan's parents, Thomas Beach and Phebe Wilcoxson.  Thomas was born in May 1659 in Stratford, Connecticut Colony and Phebe was born a couple months later on either 2 August or 9 August 1659 also in Stratford.  Thomas was first married to Ruth Peck (b. circa 1660 in Hartford, Connecticut Colony) on 12 May 1680.  Before Ruth's death on 5 December 1686, Thomas and Ruth had four children: Hannah Beach (F; b. 26 Feb 1680/1; d. 18 Dec 1683), Ruth Beach (F; b. 24 Oct 1684; m. 3 Jan 1705/6 Samuel Fairchilds; d. 1712 or 1722), Thomas Beach (M; b. 9 Dec 1865; d. 13 Dec 1685) and Benoni Beach (Unknown; b. 20 Oct 1686; d. 5 Dec 1686).  I can only imagine how devastating it must have been for Thomas to lose both his wife and youngest child on the same day, but Thomas went on to marry Phebe Wilcoxson.  I am guessing that the second marriage date was sometime in 1687 since their first child was born shortly after Ruth's death.  Together Thomas and Phebe had eight children: Timothy Beach (M; b. 11 Jan 1689; m. 26 Nov 1713 Hannah Cook), Nathan Beach (above), Moses Beach (M; b. 1693 or 19 Feb 1695; m. 21 Sep 1722 Esther Tyler; m2. Susanna __; d. 1781), Gershom Beach (M; b. 23 May 1697; m. 26 Oct 1721 Deliverance How; d. 27 June 1729), Caleb Beach (M; b. 1699; m. 26 May 1726 Eunice Tyler; m. 4 Oct 1733 Margaret Thompson; m3. Hannah __; d. 13 Jan 1761), Thankful Beach (F; b. 20 Sep 1702; m. 28 Sep 1724 Jacob Royce; m. 30 Dec 1730 Daniel Baldwin; d. 1754), Phebe Beach (F; b. 23 May 1705; m. 7 April 1731 John Tyler; d. 9 July 1740) and Joanna Beach (F; b. 9 Oct 1710; m. 23 Oct 1723 Abel Royce).

Thomas's parents are the farthest that researchers have been able to prove with a reasonable assurance.  His father was John Beach, one of three brothers (with Thomas and Richard being the other two) that emigrated to Massachusetts Colony from England.  As far as I have found, John was born in 1620 in Derbyshire.  Some records refer to John as "The Pilgrim" for being the first of the Beach line to move to the American Colonies.  He arrived in Massachusetts in July 1638.  The next record of John that I've found is from the fourth month of 1643 when he was fined £5 to compensate George Smyth for a cow that was killed under a falling tree that John cut down.  John was married circa 1650 to Mary Staples (b. 16 Dec 1627 in Fairfield, Massachusetts Colony).  John and Mary had ten children: Elizabeth Beach (F; b. 28 March 1652; m. 1675 Elisaph Preston), John Beach (M; b. 16 April 1654; m. 18 Dec 1679 Hannah Staples; d. 1712), Mary Beach (F; b. Sep 1656; m. Simon Tuttle; d. Aug 1722), Thomas Beach (above), Nathaniel Beach (M; b. March 1662; m. 29 April 1686 Sarah Porter; d. 24 July 1747), Hannah Beach (F; b. 12 Dec 1665; m. 3 Nov 1681 Zechariah Fairchild; m. 5 May 1708 John Burritt), Sarah Beach (F; b. Nov 1667), Isaac Beach (M; b. 27 or 29 June 1669; m. 3 May 1693 Hannah Birdseye; d. 30 April 1741), Joseph Beach (M; b. 5 Feb 1671; m. before 1697 Abia Booth; d. 17 Dec 1737) and Benjamin Beach (M; b. 3 or 8 March 1673 or 1674; m. 1695 Mary Hitchcock).

There is still some question as to John's parents.  I've seen some that mention his father's name as Rev. John Beach and a mother as __ Moss.  I don't have positive proof linking them yet, but have found that the elder John died in 1667 in Wallingford, Connecticut Colony.

I have mentioned above that this line has been well researched by many others.  One excellent resource for information on this line is the publications titled Beach Family Journal.  There were actually two publications by this name, one published in the 1930s and another published in the 1990s until about 2005 by Eugene Beach of Michigan.  Eugene saw a query of mine many years ago and made the connections for me from Stephen Beach and Sarah Sherwood back to the earliest John Beach.  Sadly, the Journal publication has ceased due to health issues; I've seen mention of a few Beach cousins who would be willing to pick up and continue publication, but it hasn't come to fruition as far as I can find.  If it ever is started up again, I will be waiting to subscribe and to purchase copies of all the back issues.

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