The mystery has been solved of who the parents were of Indiana’s Samuel Beeher (1796-1863)!
Thanks to a Y-DNA test taken in 2018 by Tom Beher of Indiana, a descendant of Samuel, it is proven that Samuel’s parents are his father, Frederick Beher (also recorded in records as Frederick Beecher), who died in Botetourt County, Virginia, in 1811, and his mother, Catherine Wintrode.
The Y-DNA test also solved another mystery that had puzzled researchers of Frederick’s father, Henry Beher/Beecher/Buecher who died in 1795 in Littlestown, Pennsylvania. It was known that Henry had a son Frederick, and later lived somewhere in Virginia. When Tom’s Y-DNA test exactly matched other descendants of Henry Beecher, it proved that Frederick in Botetourt County, Virginia was Henry’s son and Frederick’s wife was Catherine Wintrode, as stated in her marriage record in Pennsylvania. Click for Henry’s family tree. Click for Samuel Beher’s family tree.
Y-DNA tests are special and not like the popular ancestry DNA tests you see advertised on TV. Y-DNA is only passed from a father to his sons. That means any male who wants to know the origin of his surname’s family can take a Y-DNA test (costing as little as $49) to discover other males descended from their common male ancestor, who has the same surname (or a variation of it.)
The Beher families descending from Samuel Beher are part of a larger family descending from two immigrants who arrived on the ship Neptune in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on 23 September 1751: Johann Engel Bücher, and Johann Heinrich (Henry) Bücher, who is the Henry father of Fredrick Beher and grandfather of Samuel Beher of Indiana.
Bücher – with the two dots, umlaut, above the u – is pronounced somewhat like Beecher, but when the German immigrants pronounced it, it was recorded with many spellings by Englishman, and the result was many different surname spellings are found today in the living descendants of Engel and Henry, as proven by Y-DNA tests: Beecher, Beacher, Beeker, Beher, Beicher, Biecher, Bicher, and Beechert (see our Beecher page for more info.)
More Evidence Regarding Samuel Beher
We are fortunate that Samuel served in the War of 1812, because he later applied to receive bounty land given to soldiers, and a military pension in his old age. Those applications have revealed that Samuel served in a unit in Botetourt County, Virginia, which led a Beecher researcher to begin studying him as the possible son of Frederick Beher.
Scroll down this page to see Samuel’s military papers, and a map showing where he lived in Indiana.
We tested our 1st Beher male in Indiana because we suspected a relationship due to this evidence…
1) Frederick Beher’s wife Catharine is found in Botetourt County, Va in 1820 and 1830 census with 1 son (who turned out to be Samuel Beher of Indiana.)
2) Samuel Beher’s pension files for his service in War of 1812 identify he served in Botetourt County, Virgnia, and his birthplace is listed as Rockbridge, Virginia in pension files as well as in his son Edward’s Indiana death certificate.
3) Records establish that Frederick Beher lived on Rennick’s Run, a creek in Botetourt County right at the Rockbridge County border, and alongside that creek today is a road called Beecher Lane.
4) A 1797 deed on file in Germany Township, Adams County, Pennsylvania states:
“Frederick Beeher or Becher & wf:Catharine of the state of Virginia, she being one of the dau. & legatees of Jacob Winterode, deceased of Germany Twp., deeded their share of land to Samuel Beecher….
York Co., PA before me Adam Winterode Esq. of York Co., appeared Frederick Becher & Catharine his wife and certified to this deed 1798.”
5) All of Henry Beecher / Buecher deeds in Germany Township, Adams County, PA, and the beginning of his will, bear the surname Beher or Beeher, even though all of Henry’s other known descendants adopted surname Beecher or Beeker (the North Carolina branch also proven by our Y-DNA tests.) Henry signed his will with his real German surname: Buecher which is identical to Bücher (when it has the umlaut – two dots – above ü.)
1879 Map of Samuel & Elizabeth Beher TractJackson Township, Rush Co., Indiana
by J. H. Beers, Chicago.