Sunday, August 1, 2010

SNGF ... Come Sunday Morning

I am always late with these prompts! [Once in a while I manage to actually get to a Saturday Night Genealogy Fun challenge that Randy Seaver readies for us on GeneaMusings]

Last night's challenge?

"Awake and arise, you wonderful Genea-Musings blog-readers, and know that it is Saturday Night - time again for more Genealogy Fun!

We all have "brick wall ancestors" - those for whom we cannot find a complete name, or identify a set of parents. By posting information about a "brick wall ancestor," someone mght find your post and be able to contribute to your knowledge about that ancestor.

Your mission, should you decide to accept it (and I sincerely hope that you do) - is to check your files and sources, advance to your keyboard, and:

1) Identify one of your "brick wall ancestors," and tell us about him or her. What do you know? What would you like to know?

2) Tell us about this person in a blog post of your own, a comment on this blog post, or a Facebook comment or note. Be sure to leave a way for readers to contact you."

I have one main person in my brickwall "list", that I revisit over and over. That is my paternal great-great-great grandfather. William McBean.

We do not know where William came from [although we suspect he was Irish, DNA leads us to those craggy shores]. William is first found in this country in 1780 in Augusta County, Virginia, where he married the lovely Sarah Bane. [A descendant of one of the Bean brothers who first graced the shores of this country in the late 1600's, and from whose ancestry William may have also descended.

William is purported to have been a Loyalist during the Revolution, as told in family lore. However, there are several William McBean/ MacBean/ McBane/ MacBane's who are found on Loyalist and Tory lists. We are told in family legend that he served "under Cornwallis". Unfortunately, that is tantamount to someone saying their great-grandfgather served under Lee or Grant during the Civil War! Or grandpa under Patton during WWII!!!

After his marriage to Sarah, William moved into western Virginia, into what is now bordering West Virginia, along an area called Stoney Creek. Today, Stoney Creek is a deep ravine that runs straight up and down. At that time, it was useless except for trappers, and was little more than a passage through the break in the mountains between the tiny hamlet of Waiteville, WV and Pembroke, VA.

In 1790 the couple had a son named John, and in 1792 a son named William.

In February 1804, John is placed for indenture in Monroe County. His parents are not named, he is listed as an orphan. He is thirteen years of age. In September of 1804 his brother William is being placed for indenture as well. He was 12.  John was to be taught to be a weaver, and William a blacksmith.

We know that the boy's father must be dead at this point, for them to be named as orphans. However, their mother is found in 1805 on the Monroe County Tax Rolls as "Sarah Bean - Widow" her taxes listed as "Owing nothing atall - owning only her clothes and spinning wheel".

The property on Stoney Creek was sold in 1805 for back taxes.

John is not heard from again until his death certificate in 1872, when he is reported as single, being born in Greenbrier County, and nothing regarding his family. He died of reasons "Unknown". [His death is indexed as "Beard" but on examination of the handwritten text it is clearly Bean.

Of William, we know quite a lot. And William Bean is in fact, my great-great-grandfather. [His history is quite full, and a rich and colorful story!]

After 1805, Sarah Bean disappears from history, and we do not find her again.

It is Sarah's husband, WIlliam, that we would like to learn more about. Where he came from. When and how he died. His military service for the Crown [if that is true]. And his parentage.

And now you know... my brick wall!

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