For a very long time we did not know who our William Bean's [1792-1864] parents were. They are believed to have been William McBean and Sarah Bane, although this has not been proven.
I routinely pore back over census, birth, death and marriage files hoping to get a glimpse of something... anything that might provide us proof, or disproof of this heritage.
DNA testing has not matched us with anyone, other than our own line, and so literally has not helped us.
Then today, a little startling bit of information was located when I searched the census indexes on Ancestry.com using an odd spelling. Instead of using Bean or McBean, I instead used a spelling I had once found my great-grandfather's name as, BEEN.
It is known that William McBean owned property in Giles County, Virginia. And it was believed he had died, and his wife was unable to care for her young sons, and placed them up for indenture. William McBean's name has been found spelled McBean, McBane, and Bean. And his sons all spelled their names Bean. However, until now, we have never found any further hint of the man beyond 1804. His property was sold in 1805 due to lack of payment on taxes. It was, therefore, presumed he had died.
But look at what I found below:
On line 4 we find a William Been. He is between the ages of 26-44 [perfect for the father of gr-grandfather if he is on the upper end of that age bracket].
We note there are children in the home: a male less than 10, 3 females under 10, and a female between 16-25.
Is it possible? Could it be? Is this the same man???
After watching this past week's episode of Who Do You Think You Are with Jason Sudeikis, I of course jumped to this conclusion!
But let's see if we can possibly locate again.
Ah, yes... there he is, in the 1820 Census. Listed as William BANE.
Hmmm.... Bane? Isn't that supposed to be his wife's name? Sarah Bane???
Sarah is supposed to be the daughter of James. Although records indicate otherwise. [James had a daughter Sarah, but she isn't normally found with William Bean.] As a matter of fact... Sarah's father, James, as well as her siblings, lived in Giles County.
Okay.... so thinking rather abstractly, could it be that William's last name was really BANE and not McBean? Could it be that the name Bane was really influenced by William, rather than his wife?
Oh, it's a conundrum of major proportion!
I will have to definitely see if our DNA can be compared to known DNA of Bane descendants to rule out the wild theory that now courses through my head!
This is a rural area, and it would be extremely easy, at that time, for a man to have two separate families!
Gr-grandfather's father, William [Mc]Bean would have had to have been born about 1770 at the earliest. [He had a son John born in 1790, and William was born in 1792.]
Definitely time for some deeep digging!