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Descendants of Ephraim Beasley

Circa 1735 Virgnia to Frontier Illinois

My fourth great-grandfather William Beazley (1758-1824) m. Elizabeth "Ellie" (or "Ellis") ______. His family of Culpepper County is often confused by amateur family history researchers with William Beazley (1766-1826) m. Elizabeth Carlton of Spotsylvania County, Virginia.

William Beazley of Culpepper County

William Beazley's family is well-established by court records documenting his death in 1824. His will was cited in an April 1838 lawsuit over the negroes belonging to the estate.

In his will, William makes un unusual provision for a negro slave and her children.

Secondly it is my desire that the following children (who are children of my negro woman Nutly) named Lewis, Job, Joel, Frederick, Eliza, Moriah, and Jane be kept and raised among my children until arrive at age, the boys 21 and the girls 18, at which time they are to be emancipated.

These slaves and five others named John, Temple, Robert, Edmund and Polly were named in both the will and the lawsuit.

Roadblock

roadblock

Known Facts

The Beazley family of Culpepper County is another dead end in my genealogical search. We have not yet determined if there is a relationship between Ephraim in Essex County and the Beazleys in Spotsylvania County.

Records Found

Under development.

Relevant Clues

Under development.

Ephraim Beazley of Spotsylvania County

William Beazley b. 1761 in Spotsylvania County, Virginia is also equally well-documented in his will and estate. In Deed Book P 1797-1800, it was recorded that his father, "Ephraim Beazley, deceased, father of the above named William, Ephraim, Sarah, Nancy, Ann, Charles, Elizabeth, Mary and Harry did in his lifetime sell to the above named Harry Beazley a tract of land and received of him the sum of 94 pounds..." For details, see Ephraim Beazley Wills and Deeds.

Plantation Landholders

The Beazleys were Virginians deeply rooted in the traditions of the Southern plantation system. According to the Federal census in 1810:

  1. Winnifred Waggener Beazley (1739-1798) widow of Ephraim (1735-1798) Spotsylvania County 34 slaves
    1. William Beazley (1761-1826) Spotsylvania County 8 slaves
    2. Ephraim Beazley (1762-1833) Spotsylvania County 14 slaves
    3. Henry Beazley (1765-___) Spotsylvania County 5 slaves

These Spotsylvania County Beazley family members were all enumerated on the same page in the census as shown below.

"The earliest record here is in 1759, when John Beasley of Caroline County sold 100 acres of land to Charles Beasley. On May 5, 1760, Charles and his wife, Susanna, sold 100 acres to Charles Curtis of 35 Shillings. Charles Beasley, it seems, was active in buying and selling farms and in the next 25 years, many similar transactions are noted in the land record. Two sons are also mentioned, Charles Beasley, Jr., and Henry Beasley."

"Ephraim Beasley first appears in the record April 6, 1761, as an overseer on the estate of Beverly Stanard. In 1763, he began buying land, and many transactions appear under his name, such as buying and selling farms, negro slaves, and tobacco. Evidently, Ephraim was the most affluent Beasley in this section."

"Little is known of my immediate Beasley family, but no doubt, more information is available in the records of Culpepper County, Va. Grandfather [Thomas Wesley] Beasley was a carpenter and farmer, and served with the famous regiment of Col. Mosby in the Civil War. Several books have been printed on Col. Mosby and his "guerilla band" who were feared and respected by the Northern Armies. The Beasley family home was located at Brandy Station, Virginia.

Arrival in Virginia

The Beazley family first arrived in Virginia before 1735. They were prominent slave and plantation owners for several generations in Spotsylvania County.

In 1851, Thomas Beasley of Virginia married Ann Elizabeth Claggett, the daughter of Samuel Claggett III and Lucy Sanford, and a granddaughter of the Revolutionary War surgeon Dr. Samuel Claggett Jr. The Daughters of the American Revolution report that in Dr. Claggett served in the Revolutionary War "est 1777 Charles Co. MD, while student of medicine at Port Tobacco, MD, as surgeon's mate; settled in VA after RW [Revolutionary War]; dd [died] 4th Monday of March 1821."

Thomas Beasley and Ann Claggett's fourth child, Luther Sanford Beasley (1859-1925), was born six miles from Brandy Station in Culpeper, Virginia. According to the obituary of Ann Elizabeth Claggett, Thomas Beasley's wife, "Her husband died in Virginia in October 1897." She died one year later on Jan 24, 1898 in Lexington, Illinois.

Thomas William Beazley was Johnson's grandfather. I could not find any records to substantiate his belief that Thomas Beasley fought with Col. Mosby's Confederate Army "guerilla band", the 43rd Battalion Virginia Cavalry Partisan Rangers. Mosby's Rangers fought at Brandy Station from November 27th-29th, 1863, near where the Claggett and Beasley families lived. In fact, the individual was Thomas Johnson Claggett (1841-1901). He is the son of Samuel Claggett and Julai Frances Sanford, John Beasley's grandmother Ann Elizabeth Claggett's brother.

In the Provost Marshal's report, he was reported as was 17 years old. He was described as having light hair, 5' 10" tall, dark eyes, and fair complexion. He was captured by Union forces on September 20, 1864 at Rock Fork, Virginia. The report stated, "This man belonged to Moseby's Guerilla Band & was attached to Maj. Gen. August Comd'g Military District of Washington, D.C., by order of Maj. Gen. Sheridan Comd'g M. M. Dist." Thomas was released June 13, 1865.

Thomas Johnson Claggett  Confederate service record
Provost Marshal's report on Confederate captive Private Johnson Claggett, captured September 20, 1864 at Rock Fork, Virginia.

The men of the 7th Virginia Cavalry took part in the famous Jones-Imboden Raid into Western Virginia. On Thursday, November 26, 1863, Mosby attacked a heavily guarded wagon train near Brandy Station; Mosby escaped unharmed; his horse was not so lucky, receiving a ball in the breast. Brandy Station is located about six miles northeast of Culpeper, Virginia on State Route 29.

There are a large number of Beasleys and an almost equally large number of ways to spell the name: Beezly, Beazly, Beezly, Beazley, etc. Both black and white people carry the surname, so perhaps the blacks were given the name of their white slaveowners at some point.


Our thanks to cousins Kenneth Young, Lesley Carter , and Mac Crawford for their contributions to the record of the Beasleys or Beazleys. Kenneth, from Salt Lake, established a link back a generation for us that was a critical missing link. Lesley, close by Virginia in Maryland, has been a valuable hands-on researcher. Mac has hit the census and is looking up info on the families' whereabouts.