Somewhere a Bible was seen with the inscription of his parents marriage, and their names, along with his birth. No one knows where the Bible is now, so we have only someone's say-so that this was true.
In Morton's History of Monroe County, Morton reflects that William's son stated his father was from Ireland, and had stolen on board a ship to come to America (which would totally through out the Bible theory). And he was then put into servitude as an indentured servant at the age of 12 (actually on his 12th birthday) until the age of 21 to repay his passage and education.
The possible scenario of William's parents went around like crazy, and while not proven, many claim it as cold hard fact. But the recounting of William stowing away on board ship to get to America makes more sense. It explains the DNA testing we have had done so far.
The latest DNA study indicates that William was most likely from England or Ireland, which would explain the story as recounted in Morton's.
Monroe County, West Virginia court records shows that a John Bean was placed in indenture in February 1804. While William was placed on September 18, 1804. William also told his family he had a younger brother named Roy who ran away from indenture and was never heard from again. Court records have not revealed a Roy, however.
Family insist that William told that his father, also named William, fought in the American Revolution on the British side, along with Cornwallis. No record has been found of this however.There is a record of a William McBean taking the American Oath and receiving local land grants. These would place the younger William right where we expect he should have been.
I did see his exact birthdate listed in a parish record in Baltimore, with William McBean and his wife, Sarah as his parents, which would then throw out the English/Irish theory. But would, in fact, cement the Bible record.
Our DNA tests have matched no one, except for expected cousins from William's line. Which causes one to pause, and wonder if McBean/Bean was his actual name. Unless we are of the last of that line. Even so, we should at least partially match someone else. But nothing to date to tie us to another Bean line, or even another family.
This is my brick wall.
William was born September 18, 1792, in Baltimore, Maryland to the best of our knowledge. He was placed under indenture on September 18. 1804 until the age of 21, where he was to be taught to be a blacksmith (that is fact, we have copies of this indenture).
The rest we know.
It's the past that keeps me awake at night. That mystery of simply not knowing for certain! It's what keeps the research going. It's what keeps it incomplete.
Perhaps I may never know the answers in my lifetime, but by golly, I've made my stamp trying to figure it all out! And that's going to keep me going for a long, long, time.