Henry Beecher of Baxley, Appling County, Georgia

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In 2018, a Y-DNA test on a male Beecher who descends from Henry Beecher revealed his family is the same line as America’s famous Beecher family, that of Rev. Henry Ward Beecher and his sister Harriet Beecher Stowe, author of “Uncle Tom’s Cabin,” who were champions of the anti-slavery movement, and were born in Connecticut, their family descending from John Beecher who arrived with the English party to found New Haven, Connecticut in 1637.

Henry Beecher of Georgia arrived in Darien, Georgia,  directly from England in the early 1800s, and was likely was born in or near Kent, England, which is where John Beecher was known to come from. Also, as part of our Beecher Y-DNA project, we have tested a living male Stephen Beecher in Kent, England, and his test also matches the Y-DNA of Henry Beecher of Georgia.

When did Henry Beecher of Georgia’s line share an ancestor with John Beecher who died in 1637 in Connecticut?

The TIP calculator at FamilyTreeDNA.com indicates there is a 90% chance It will be in the early 1600’s.

We are beginning to build the family tree of Henry Beecher (work in progress)

Click to learn more about our Beecher Y-DNA Project, which traces only the father’s father’s father’s (Beecher) relationships.

Henry Beecher’s Parents are Not John Henry Beecher and Margaret Ann Rogers of Gainsborough?

Many online family trees show the parents of Henry Beecher are John Henry Beecher born 1780 and Margaret Ann Rogers born 1790 who were in Gainsborough, England. However, that is proved false by a report created by a professional genealogist in England, Jean M. Fathrope. Please click to download a PDF copy of her report.

The genealogist’s research concludes that someone on Ancestry.com tied the wrong baptism record to Henry Beecher, and that mistake is being copied into everyone’s trees.

Also read this other research document regarding the marriage of Margaret Rogers and John Henry Beecher.

This research was commissioned by Michael Stubley, who lives in England. His wife’s DNA test reveals she is related to the Henry Beecher family who came from England to Georgia. Knowing now that Henry Beecher’s 2018 Y-DNA test reveals he is related to the Kent, England, Beechers, the Stubleys are conducting research to identify Henry’s real parents.

While Fathrope’s research indicates Henry’s parents are not the Gainsborough Beechers, his real parents may be a different Henry Beecher and Margaret or Marjorie Rogers, as explained below, perhaps in or near Kent, England.

Henry Beecher’s Birth Date

All of Henry Beecher’s census records, as well as death certificates of his children, state Henry Beecher was born in England.

He first appears in American records in the 1840 census in District 9, Appling county, Georgia as follows:

The 1840 census recorded Henry Beecher with this household:
1 male under 5 (son William Lumpkin Beecher)
1 male 20 & under 30 (Henry Beecher), therefore born 1800-1810
1 female 15 & under 20 (wife Lucinda)
 
The 1850 census recorded on 14 Sep 1850: Henry Beacher [sic], school teacher, 36, living with wife Lucinda, 26; William A., 16; Henry H., 7; Margarette M., 6; Wilson L., 5; Almira, 3; and Light H., 11 months old. Everyone was born in Georgia except Henry in England.
 
The 1860 census recorded in the Southern District of Appling County, post office Holmesville: Henry Beecher, farmer, 46, living with wife Lucinda, 38; Wm. A., 19; Henry H., 18; Margaret M., 16; Wilson L., 15; Elmirah, 13; Light H., 10; Sarah E., 9; Hansel, 7; Gelle A., 5; and Harriet L., 2. Everyone was born in Georgia except Henry in England.
 
So, those the 1850 and 1860 census records agree on his same age, indicating an 1813 or 1814 birth year for Henry. (The census is recorded in the summer months so subtracting age from census year can actually pertain to one year earlier.)
 
1870 census has Henry Beecher, school teacher, 57 so 1813 or 1812.
 
1880 census has Henry Beecher, farmer, 64 so that suggests 1816.
 
The 1900 census is the first where they recorded a month and year born. Henry’s age was first written as 87 then crossed out and 77 written above with July 1822. So, given the earlier evidence, one must think that should be July 1812. In 1900 Henry was living with son Wilson Lumpkin Beecher. He is not found in 1910 or later.
 
A hand-written family tree is shown below, which Beecher researcher and descendant Deb Alberts confirms was drawn by Henry’s son, Wilson Lumpkin Beecher. Below Wilson’s name at bottom states “aged 84 1928” suggesting when he drew this tree. This drawing lists Wilson’s brothers and sisters at top, and at bottom shows Wilson’s parents as Henry Beecher and Cindy Hagen. The drawing shows the parents of Henry Beecher as Henry Beecher and “Margaret or Marjorie Rogers.”
Under the elder Henry Beecher is written “came to Darien, Ga. 1812”. This could mean either the elder Henry was the immigrant and arrived in 1812, or, perhaps Henry Jr. arrived in Darien, Georgia and was born in 1812.
Darien is in Glynn county and in the 1800s was a major seaport exporting timber and cotton including to England, so English ships did arrive here. Appling County did not exist in 1812 (it was created in 1818 to honor War of 1812 hero Daniel Appling).
 
We have conducted an extensive search in all Georgia counties from Savannah to Florida during the 1812 to 1830 period for census records for any Beechers (or any variant spelling — it’s common for Beecher to be transcribed as Bucher since two handwritten e’s can appear like a u, or Bucker since an h can look like k, etc. ) We find no elder Beecher records exist. The first record found in Georgia for any Beecher-like person is the 1840 census record mentioned above and that Henry’s age makes him the younger Henry Jr. who married Lucinda. We conclude Henry’s father never came to Georgia, or, rather, he never was recorded in any census.
 
The 1840 record suggests Henry Beecher arrived in the 1830s. We have searched for any immigration records or naturalization records for when Henry became a U.S. citizen and to date have found none. A search at the Georgia Archives indicates there are no surviving records in the area of Georgia where Henry Beecher’s citizenship would have occurred.

Henry Beecher’s Land & Grave

We are hoping to find a tombstone that can reveal Henry’s birth and death years, so we began to research where he might be buried.

On 22 April 1861, Henry’s sons William A. and Henry H. Beecher purchased for $500 Lot 570 (490 acres) from Elijah Sapp, shown on the map at right, and recorded in Appling County Deed Book K pages 76-77.  Sapp was the brother-in-law of their brother, Wilson Lumpkin Beecher.

On 10 Jan 1874 Henry Beecher purchased for $100 all 490 acres in Lot 571, Deed Book N page 395. Lots 570 & 571 are about 11 miles north of Baxley, the county seat.

Henry Sr. took possession of son William’s interest in the east half of Lot 570 by September 1880, when Henry Beecher Sr. filed a homestead exemption in Deed Book J page 124 for himself and his family recorded as Lucinda Beecher aged 58, Andrew Lee Beecher 17, and John Morgan Beecher 17, described as the east half of lot 570 consisting of 228 1/2 acres. (His son Henry H. Beecher applied for an exemption on the west half of lot 570 on 1 Mar 1887.)

On December 25, 1880, Henry’s wife Lucinda was murdered by her son-in-law, William Young, according to a 1 February 1881 article in the Atlanta Constitution. Knowing she was buried in 1880, when Henry was living on Lot 570, we believe she and Henry are likely buried nearby. Lot 570 was on today’s West River Road where shown on this Google Map.

In 2017 we went to Baxley seeking Henry’s grave site and  learned that family lore said Henry was buried in “Mann Cemetery.” The site FindAGrave.com had a Mann Cemetery in north Appling county on West River Road, so we searched there for graves for hours in a timbering forest, but found none. We conclude that  FindAGrave’s location is inaccurate.

Weeks later, we discovered an old U.S. Geological Survey map with Mann Cemetery in another  location east on W. River Road on private property now owned by Ronnie Mann, which plots on a aerial photo map as shown. We have written to Mr. Mann and are awaiting a response and will visit this location if warranted. To add to the intrigue, we know from Henry’s deeds his Lot 570 borders Ronnie Mann’s property on the south. W. J. Mann (1853-1904) owned Lots 583, 569, and 535 surrounding the Beecher’s Lot 570. W. J. Mann is buried nearby in Deen Cemetery #2 on Deen’s Landing Road so perhaps Henry’s grave is there, if not behind Ronnie Mann’s?

We also checked at the Appling County Public Library in Baxley for a record of Henry’s death and an obituary. Since researchers indicate he died about 1908, we reviewed the surviving copies of the newspaper in the years 1907-1909 but did not find mention of Henry’s death. There are no surviving newspaper copies before 1907 and some from 1907 to 1909 also didn’t survive, so it’s possible Henry’s obituary was in a missing issue. Click to download our PDF of the 1907-1909 newspapers but this is a very large file taking a half-hour to download on a fast Internet connection. We also have the Baxley News-Banner from 1910 to 2005 which has many Beecher articles so email if you need access.

Contact Jonathan Beacher at jonathan@searchtrees.com with questions or comments.

Beecher’s Deeds in Appling County Prior to 1910 (list not yet complete)

We have begun studying all deeds associated with Henry Beecher to see if they hold clues about when Henry died and will report what we find when that research is complete. It is worthwhile  to note that many Beecher deeds are recorded as surname Becher in the indexes and the transcribed deeds. Also, while grantors (sellers) are indexed in the county books, grantees (buyers) are not indexed extensively, making it harder to learn when the Beechers bought land. For this reason, we have yet to discover the first place and time when Henry obtained land. Also, in early years, there was no law requiring deeds to be filed with the county. The buyer just kept the deed to prove he owned land. But later sales of that same land sometime mention who originally owned it.

On 2 Mar 1898 H. H. Beecher sold his 245 acres in the west half of Lot 570 in the 2nd District for $300 to Green T. Melton. We cannot find a record showing Henry Sr. sold his east half of Lot 570 prior to his death.  He did sell to J. A. Bell on 4 Dec 1895 for $50 50 acres in the northeast corner of lot number 570 bordered on the north and west and south by lands of W. J. Mann and east by public road running from Baxley to Piney Bluff.

In the 1900 census, Henry Sr. lived with son Wilson Lumpkin on Tillman’s Ferry Road. From 1900 to 1910 we haven’t found any records where Henry Sr. sold land. 

Microfilms of the Appling deed books can be viewed in the FamilySearch.org catalog. These are not computer-indexed , so the books must be read page by page. Some books have indexes of grantors at the end of the books, and some at the beginning.

Date Grantor Grantee Deed Book Description
2 Jun 1853 Beecher, Henry Mobly, Jesse D pg 71 Lot 362 2nd Dist.
10 Jan 1874 Spillers, James Beecher, Henry N pg 395 Lot 571 2nd Dist.
14 Nov 1877 Beacher, H H Hall, Peter H pg 225 Lot 571 2nd Dist.
7 Nov 1880 Beecher, Henry Homestead Exmp. J pg 124 Lot 570 2nd Dist.
1 Mar 1881 Griffin, William Beecher, H H J pg 265 122 1/2 acres SE corner Lot 426 2nd Dist.
24 Aug 1886 Sellers, William Beecher, H H M pg 538 5 acres Lot 391 2nd Dist.
27 Aug 1886 Beecher, H H Beecher, Sheldon P 8 pg 28 5 acres Lot 391 2nd Dist.
28 Aug 1886 Beecher, H H Beecher, S P 8 pg 28 1/4 Lot 426 2nd Dist.
28 Aug 1886 Beecher, H H Beecher, S P 8 pg 28 1/4 Lot 391 2nd Dist.
9 May 1887 Beecher, H H Homestead Exmp. N pg 170 Half Lot 570 2nd Dist.
1 Jul 1887 Beecher, H H Melton, G F N pg 189 Mortgage
22 Sep 1890 Beecher, A H Weatherly, Sallie P pg 335 Bill of sale horse
4 May 1891 Beecher, Mozell McTier, Dave Q pg 269 Part 399 3rd Dist.
20 Feb 1892 Beecher, S P Zetter, Elmira R pg 21 Part 426 2nd Dist.
8 Aug 1892 Beecher, H H Horton, J G R pg 109 Lot 546 2nd Dist.
10 Feb 1894 Beecher, A L Tippins, John W A pg ? Mortgage 25 acres Lot 434 in 2nd Dist.
28 Jun 1894 Becher A H & Mary Hinson, James B pg 8 Mortgage mule cattle & hogs
20 Aug 1894 Becher A H & M J Hinson, James R pg. 580 367 1/2 acre Lot 512 in 2nd Dist.
5 Dec 1895 Beecher, Henry Bell, J A S pg 406 Part Lot 570 2nd Dist.
2 Nov 1896 Becher, H L Sellers, J I H C pg 514 Note 25 acres Lot 434 2nd Dist.
29 Mar 1897 Beacher, L H & A H Williams, R C D pg 226 Mortgage personalty
19 Apr 1897 Becher, M J Williams, B N D pg 269 Mortgage personalty
9 Mar 1898 Beacher, Mary & A H Maddox Cock Probate E pg 70 Mortgage personalty
2 Mar 1898 Beecher, H H Melton, Green V pg 21 Deed 245 acres in west half Lot 570
2 Jul 1898 Becher, A L Sellers J L E pg 221 Mortgage realty
8 Feb 1899 Beecher, Mary J Board of Education W pg 239 Deed
3 Jul 1899 Becher, Sabra E. Carter, W R V pg 156 Deed
18 Aug 1899 Becher, A H Winn & James F pg 89-90 Note
18 Sep 1899 Becher, Henry H Clark, J J V pg 301 Deed
29 Sep 1899 Beecher, Mary J Sheahan, John D V pg 393 Deed
20 Oct 1899 Beecher, Mrs. M J Stansil, B V pg 336 Deed
3 Jan 1900 Becher, H H Deen, H C V pg 398 Deed
6 Jan 1900 Becher, A H Winn, F T & Co. F pg 261-262 Mortgage note
6 Jul 1900 Becher, Garry Melton G F & Sons F pg 579 Mortgage
26 Oct 1900 Becher, A H Deas, R C G pg 8-10 Mortgage
18 Jul 1901 Becher, H H Swain, Mrs. N E W pg 530 Deed. Sold cows. Mentions his minor children Shelton, Emma, Harriet, John, Oliff, Lumpkin
15 Oct 1901 Becher, Elizabeth Sapp, Susan A Y pg 3 Deed 20 acres in  Lot 388 2nd Dist.
7 Nov 1901 Becher, A H Jarman & Winn G pg 572 Mortgage
2 Dec 1901 Becher, Mrs. A H Carter, H A & E P H pg 52-53 Mortgage
29 Jan 1902 Becher, A H Jarman & O’Quinn H pg 129 Mortgage
26 Apr 1902 Becher, L L Leach, J W H pg 359 Mortgage
23 Dec 1902 Becher, Estella Carter, W R Z pg 47 Deed
4 Jan 1903 Becher, Ele. Frank, James & Son Z pg 316 Quit Claim Deed
10 Jan 1903 Becher, W L Becher, A L Z pg 67 Deed
14 Feb 1903 Becher, A L Jarman & Winn J pg 32 Mortgage
17 Mar 1903 Becher, A H Jarman & Winn I pg 15 Mortgage
16 Sep 1903 Becher, E C Dykes, R J Z pg 199 Deed
5 Nov 1903 Becher, E C Frank, E G Z pg 239 Deed
21 Nov 1903 Becher, A C Mann, W C Z pg 216 Lease
28 Nov 1903 Becher, A O Con. N. S. Co. J pg 231 Mortgage
15 Dec 1903 Becher, A C Mann, Y Z Z pg 243 Lease
18 Dec 1903 Becher, A C Con Nav. S. Co. Z pg 244 Transfer
25 Apr 1904 Becher, T H & L H Jarman & Winn J pg 148 Mortgage
9 Aug 1904 Beecher, L L Jarman Winn & Williams K pg 65 Mortgage
23 Aug 1904 Becher, L L O’Quinn, J J K pg 80 Mortgage
30 Aug 1904 Becher, H O Jarman & Winn J pg 169 Mortgage
30 Aug 1904 Becher, A L Jarman & Winn J pg 169 Mortgage 487
3 Apr 1905 Becher, H H Atty Johnson, M B X pg 283 Deed
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