ABEL'S FAMILY


Abel Beals' first wife, and the mother of all his children, was his cousin Abigail Kent.  We don't know exactly when they were married but it was probably in 1777.  Their family consisted of two daughters and nine sons.  All except one son, Seth, married and had families of their own.  There were 87 grandchildren, 74 of whom had been born at the time of Abel's death.  Two and a half years after Abigail died in 1820, Abel married Mary Clark the widow of Richard Clark and the daughter of Francis Miller.  Abel died August 23, 1830 at the age of 75. 

ANDREW was Abel's oldest son.  No record of his date of birth has been found but assuming he was at least 18 when he bought a piece of land in July 1796, he was probably born in 1778.  He bought 167 acres from his father in 1798 and another 40 acres in 1808.  The north end of this land bordered on the Annapolis River and, being on the valley floor, it was excellent farm land after it was cleared.  He no doubt lived there until the land was sold to Christopher Prince about 1816.  Andrew married Charlotte Charlton, the daughter of Henry and Mary (Crane) Charlton.  They had six sons and five daughters.  Two of Andrews sons lived in Inglisville.  After Andrew died Charlotte lived with her daughter, Emily Beals (wife of Nehemiah) in Nictaux.  She died in September, 1871, at the age of 88. 

RACHEL was born June 6, 1782 and married Boyd McNayr, a Scotchman, in September, 1802.  They lived on the eastern part of Abel's land south of the South Williamston road and Boyd eventually bought the 88 acres in 1808.  This property was sold to John Warner about 1824.  In 1819 Boyd joined John Grinton as the second settler of what is now Springfield.  He made a clearing, built a cabin and planted wheat among the stumps.  A quotation from Mary F. Kendrick's history of Springfield "Down the Road to Yesterday" follows:

In .... 1824, Mr. Boyd MacNayr brought his wife and children to their new home.  Mrs. MacNayr rode on horseback holding her three months old baby in her arms while another small child sat in the saddle with her.   Mr. MacNayr walked beside the horse guiding it along the rough forest trail that extended from Lawrencetown to Grinton's Settlement, a distance of twenty-five miles.   They arrived on Lunenburg Road April 14, 1824. 

In 1824 Rachel was 41 and Boyd 45.  Without a doubt they were very courages pioneers.  They were the parents of fourteen children, 6 sons and 8 daughters.  The two youngest were born in Springfield, one living only one day.  The three months old baby referred to above died five months after they arrived.  Many of their descendants still live in Springfield.  Boyd died in 1854 and Rachel in 1872 at the age of 90. 

ABEL (the 3rd) was born about 1783 and on Christmas day, 1803, married Susannah Hennebury.  Three years later he bought a 105 acre piece of land from his father.  It was situated on the west side of Abel's land south of the South Williamston road.  By 1819 Abel had sold this land to his brother Arod and was living in Albany on 460 acres he had bought from Samuel and Jeremiah Bancroft.  His family consisted of four sons and five daughters.  Abel died in 1844. 

JOSHUA was Abel's fourth child born about 1784.  He married, in 1807, Rebecca Taylor daughter of James (a loyalist) and Becca (Smith) Taylor.  In October, 1807, Joshua bought 200 acres from his father.  This land was situated in what is now Inglisville and therefore he had the distinction of being one of the first settlers of what was then known as "Beals Mountain".  Joshua and Rebecca had two sons and seven daughters.  Two of their grandsons (sons of Isaac) emigrated to Blain, Maine and their descendants still live there and in Massachusetts.  Their other son, Stephen, and his descendants lived in the Middleton area.  Joshua died in 1865. 

AROD was born about 1785 and married Catherine Delong on December 31, 1808.  The same year he purchased 200 acres from his father.  This strip of land was on the east side of land owned by his brother Joshua.  Arod died April 20, 1822, at the relatively young age of 37.  He probably died suddenly as there was no will.  His wife and two brothers, Joshua and Abel, were administrators of his estate and disposed of his personal property and probably some land to pay his debts.  Surprisingly it was not until 1861 that action was taken to give Catherine legal title to one third of her husbands property as her "dowry" right.  One lot was where she lived on the south side of the South Williamston road and the other up on Beals Mountain.  Arod's death left his wife with 8 children, three sons and five daughters.  The oldest child was 13 and the youngest one year old less five days.  This oldest child, Wesley, was ordained as a Methodist minister in 1835.  Catherine died December 28, 1861. 

ELIJAH, Abel's sixth child was born about 1787.  In 1812 he purchased 130 acres from his father.  Some time previous another 170 acres had been obtained to make one 300 acre lot which was situated east of Arod's land.  The brothers then proceeded to trade their properties.  In January, 1813 Elijah and Hannah Banks, daughter of Joshua and Dorothea Banks were married at St.Jean de Baptiste Church, Port Royal.  They had 11 children, eight sons and three daughters.  Their oldest son, Henry, was a farmer in Bedford near Halifax and another son, Arod, a butcher in Liverpool.  Their tenth child, John, was a farmer in Inglisville and Clementsport but after his wife died the family moved to New Hampshire.  One son died in infancy.  The remaining four sons were farmers in Inglisville and at times their descendants were a significant proportion of the inhabitants of that village.  Some still live there and in nearby communities.  Elijah died in 1847 and Hannah in 1870. 

ISAAC was born about 1788 and in 1820 married his cousin Catherine, the daughter of Zarah Kent.  He received his land by way of his father's will.  Isaac and Catherine had five children, three sons and two daughters.  One son, Nehemiah, lived in Nictaux and the other two, John Strong and Isaac, were farmers in Inglisville.  Isaac died in 1865 and Catherine in 1879. 

STEPHEN was born April 7, 1791 and married Nancy Henshaw in 1814.  Although Abel says in his will that "my six sons" (including Stephen) "have allready received from me in lands what I intended to give them", there is no record of Stephen having received any land from his father.  However he did buy 200 acres from George Kniffen at Waldec (between Bear River and Clementsport) in 1817.  His wife was from that area.  There were ten children in the family, 6 sons and 4 daughters.  About 1845 four of the sons and one daughter migrated to Erin Township, north west of Toronto and were among the early settlers of that area.  Later two sons moved on to Peck, Michigan, north of Detroit.  One son, Edward was a sea captain who lived near the mouth of the Bear River.  Another son, Elijah, also lived in that area and fought in the American Civil War eventually dying of wounds received in that conflict.  Stephen and Nancy both died in 1876. 

SETH was born about 1794 and died three years later on June 26, 1797. 

ABIGAIL, Abel's second daughter, was born about 1796.  She married Edward Henshaw on January 17, 1822 and they had one son and one daughter.  She died in 1884 and Edward died in 1891. 

JOHN COOPER, commonly called Cooper, was born about 1800 and was the baby of the family.  (A Methodist itinerant minister named John Cooper was in the area in 1791).  In his will Abel bequeathed the west side of his farm to his youngest son.  Cooper married Nancy Clark on January 18, 1828 and 20 days later, on February 7th, their first child was born.  (That was cutting it pretty close wasn't it).  Nancy's mother was Abel's second wife and it would be easy to assume that she lived with the family.  They had eight children, 3 sons and 5 daughters who all married and lived in the area.  Cooper died in 1872 and Nancy in 1879.  



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Copyright © 2005 by Donald W. Beals, author.