The Jackson Purchase region of Kentucky is comprised of the eight westernmost counties - Ballard, Calloway, Carlisle, Fulton, Graves, Hickman, Marshall and McCracken. It is bordered on the west by the Mississippi River, on the north by the Ohio River, on the east by the Tennessee River and the state of Tennessee to the south. By Kentuckians it is generally referred to simply as "the Purchase".

Andrew Jackson and Isaac Shelby purchased the land lying west of the Tennessee River from the Chickasaw tribe and opened the area for settlement around 1820. Within the next few years, my grandfather's ancestors came there from Virginia, North Carolina and Tennessee - the Beadles, Clapps, Pryors and Wingos settled in Graves County with the Reeves and Halls in neighboring Ballard County.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

A Step Forward in Beadles Research

For many years, Beadles' family researchers have been trying to find some documentation that would link our ancestor William Beadles of Louisa County, Virginia to other Beadles' families. There were numerous individuals living in Virginia in the late 18th century whose ages and geographic locations suggest that they may have been siblings but no documents to support that conclusion could ever be found.

The births of several of the older children of William Beadles and his wife, Ann Yancey, are recorded in The Douglas Register of St. James Northam Parish in the 1780's and during this same period, the births of children of James Beadles and his wife Susannah "Sukie" West are also recorded. Both William and James Beadles are listed as taxpayers in Louisa County in 1782 and in that year, another possible sibling, Revolutionary War soldier Edmond Beadles is also listed as a taxpayer in Louisa County. 1783 tax records in neighboring King William County record James Beadles and another likely brother, Joseph Beadles. It has always seemed that surely these individuals must be brothers or at the very least cousins, but in the end, the only connection between them was proximity which is never credible evidence of kinship.

As the Library of Virginia continues to add more scanned documents to their Chancery Suits Index, I occasionally return to their website and again search for Beadles in Virginia. This week to my great surprise, I found a Louisa County court case - Wm. & James Beadles vs Achilles Tandy, Admr. of Wm. Tandy dated 1804 but pertaining to events that took place during the late 1780's. As I read through the 59 pages of original documents, I finally found on the second page of an affidavit by William Thomson proof of the relationship between William and James Beadles. William Thomson stated "James Beadles informed him that his brother Wm. gave three bonds of Fifty pounds each for the purchase of Wm. Tandy's land..."

Finally there was proof of one sibling relationship between these Beadles. A statement by Lewis Yancey Beadles regarding events at his father William's plantation in Albemarle County in the late 1780's further confirmed that this was the correct Beadles family. Another small document torn from a larger one which appears to be a 1786 deed, had the signature of Edmond Beadles as a witness linking him to this court case along with William and James.

After 30 years of searching, we've finally taken a step toward finding the family of William Beadles. As with so many other genealogical mysteries, the answers are probably going to be found in the minute details of Albemarle, Hanover and any of the other adjacent counties whose records have survived wars, courthouse fires and other disasters.


  1. This is great! I am trying to prove that I am related to this Joseph Beadles who "may" be a brother to William. Again, proximity and speculation are great, but are not definitive! Would love to compare notes - is there a way I can contact you?

    1. Tara,

      I'm glad you found the blog and would love to compare notes. Feel free to write me at


  2. Ok gang. I need help with Rice Beadles. He shows up in 1786 in Pittsylvania next to Edmond Beadles. Then in 1800 they are next to each other in Lincoln, Kentucky. I would assume they are brothers, otherwise cousins at least. An article about Rice's son, Rice, states that Rice Sr's father was also Rice but I have not found any records of that name. Anyone?????

  3. Best email for me is for any info on Rice and Edmond Beadles relationship. Shari

  4. Sharon, I confess, I have never seen a Rice Beadles from an earlier generation in all of my Beadles research but that doesn't mean there wasn't one. I read somewhere that either Rice or Seaton Beadles said that they had come from Buckingham County, Virginia before arriving in Pittsylvania. I seem to recall that he even mentioned Lynchburg VA. I surely saved that data but I have so many files of Beadles material I have no idea how long it will take me to find it. I do recall that looking for anything in Buckingham County was fruitless - as the story goes, a carpetbagger who settled in Buckingham after the Civil War burned the courthouse and destroyed all the records.

    These Beadles are a hard bunch to research. Have you done an autosomal DNA test? I keep hoping to come up with some matches to other Beadles descendants that will help us find out who is related to who.

    I'll search through my Beadles files and if I can find anything I'll send it to your email address.