Vol IV File 1: The Maternal Ancestry of Homer Beers James

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Vol IV File 1: The Maternal Ancestry of Homer Beers James


Revision Date: June 19, 1995

The Genealogy of Homer Beers James

Volume Four

The Maternal Ancestry of Homer Beers James

(Descending from Anthony Beers, eventually through Samuel Perry Beers, Sr. to Helen Mae Beers and finally to Homer Beers James)

Compiled and Written by

Homer Beers James

Published by

JANDA Consultants

1636 Jamestown Place

Pittsburgh, PA 15235

Copyright (c) Homer Beers James 1995


The initial source that triggered my efforts was a small, privately printed, pamphlet on the Negus family, my paternal ancestors. I obtained this copy through my cousin, Barbara Gervang, living in Novato, California. This document was written by Rev. Ira E. Nolte, of Minneapolis, Minnesota. "The Negus Family Ancestry Through Terrell - Wing - Coppock Lines." It is undated, but it was published circa 1950. It lists ancestral lines back to King Egbert of England, 802 A.D., including such names as Plantaganet, De Clare, Fitz Alan, Marney, Muscegros, Beauchamp, Bassett, Bohun, Quincy, Berkeley, Lygon, and many others.

Later I obtained Brother's Keeper, an IBM-compatible computer program which facilitates the systematic compilation of genealogical records.

From this point I started a serious study of available information in public libraries, university libraries, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Family History Library, and other sources, using the names of the various ancestors in the Negus records.

Later I obtained records on the Beers family from my maternal aunt, Harriet Beers Slater, through her daughter, my cousin, Pat Barrett, of Bakersfield, California.

Mary Louise Regan , of Palatine, Illinois, has written four volumes on the descendants of Anthony Beers, the first Beers settler in America. This has been a vast depository for all the Beers descendants in the United States. This information is the main resource for this volume of the Genealogy of Homer Beers James. In the spring of 1993 I visited Mary Louise Regan at her home. She has devoted most of her adult life to the study of the Beers genealogy. Her husband, a professional printer, produced the four volume set.

By March 1993 I had accumulated information into a 225-page narrative document, but due to a massive "crash" of the 210-megabyte hard drive on my computer, I lost every bit of what I had done due to an unknown virus which wiped out the entire hard drive. The only record of this genealogy that survived was an earlier "hard copy" of about 75 pages of material as of January 21, 1993. Thus it was necessary to again research the documents all over a second time; a huge task, representing over 400 hours of time just on the word processor, all of which was lost, in addition to reentering all the material from the "hard copy." The record was essentially restored by June 3, 1993, after many hundreds of hours of reconstruction. Additions have been made continually since then.

Any errors or omissions are my responsibility, but I invite anyone with additional or correct information to contact me at any time.

Homer Beers James

1636 Jamestown Place

Pittsburgh, PA 15235

June 19, 1995

1. Beers Line

The following information is found an article by Rev. Evelyn Bartow, "The English Ancestry of the Beers Family," in the New York Genealogical and Biographical Record, Vol. 13, No. 2, April 1888:

"The Beers' family seem to have been seated originally at a place called Bere's, or Byer's Court, Parish of Westcliffe, co. Kent, England. William de Bere, of Bere's Court, was bailiff of Dover, in the 2nd and 4th year of King Edward I. Nicholas de Bere held the manor of Bere's Court in the 20th year of King Henry III. Soon after the family disappeared from the place, and it passed into the possession of the family of Toke, who remained there for some generations.

Of this same family was Roger Byer, or Bere, who died in the reign of Queen Mary. His son, John Bere, or Beer (Hasted's History of Kent, Vol. II. Berry's Gen. Kent), who purchased, in 1542, of Thomas Horsman, the famous Horsman Place, "a mansion of some note," in Dartford. By his will, dated 1572, John Beer founded four alsmhouses in Dartford, and devised his mansion, called Horsman's, to his eldest son, Henry. An altar-tomb erected to him in Dartford Church bears his arms. Edward Beer, his grandson, died unmarried in 1627, bequesting Horsman Place, Kent, to John Twistleton, of Drax.

I. Martin Bere, or Beere (Berry's Gen. Kent. Herald's Visitations, procured by the late Rev. Henry Beers Sherman), of the same family as the preceding, was a notary public, and secretary of the diocese of Rochester, in 1486. He married a daughter of Thomas Nissell, of Wrotham, gentleman, and Alice, his wife, by whom he had a son, John.

II. John Bere, of Rochester, son of Martin, married Faith Raydon, daughter of John Raydon, Esq., by whom he had a son, James, and a daughter, Mary, who married William Tilghman, of Shodland, co. Kent, who died August 27, 1541.

III. James Bere, son of John and Faith Bere, lived in the city of Rochester, and married Dorothy Kingswood, daughter of John Kingswood, Gentleman, by whom he had two sons, James and John, who both settled at Gravesend, co. Kent. The elder son, James Bere, of Gravesend, was master of a ship under Sir Martin Frobisher, in 1577, had five sons and five daughters, and died in 1609. On the south wall of the Gravesend Church, on a mural tablet of Black and white marble, are effigies of a man and wife and five sons and five daughters, also a coat of arms. The inscription is on two compartments. On the right is legible only:

. . . James Beer, . . . obit . . . 1609

On the other is the following:

After much weary sayling, Worthy Bere

Arrived this quiet port, and harbers here.

As skillfully in honestie he brought

His humaine vessell home, as he was thought

Equal with any that by Card or Starr

Took out and brought again his Barke from farr.

So let him rest in quiet till he hear

The trumpet sound, when all must rise with Bere,

And for his fame and honest memorie,

This is his frail and brief eternity.

The church was burned in 1727, but the above is preserved in a manuscript collection of Kentish epitaths of 1724, in the Library of the British Museum.

IV. John Bere, (from investigations made in England, and communicated from the late Rev. Henry Beers Sherman, of Esopus, N.Y.), of Gravesend, second son of James and Dorothy Bere, was one of the jurors. He married Mary Shelby, daughter of Robert Shelby, Esq., of Yorkshire, by whom he had five children, as follows:

i. Samuel Bere, of Gravesend, married Joan Miller.

ii. Mary Bere, married Peter Bally.

iii. James Bere, of whom presently.

iv. John Bere, of Oakenham, co. Berks, married Elizabeth Warburton, of Cheshire, and had John, William, Edward, and Sidney.

v. Richard Bere, born 1607, emigrated from Gravesend to New England, in 1635, with his orphan nephews, Anthony and James. Richard settled in Watertown, MA., where he remained; was Representative to the General Court for thirteen years, and captain of the military forces. He died September 4, 1675. His descendants are chiefly in Massachusetts and very few. (Note: There is extensive documentation on Richard Bere.)

V. James Bere, of Gravesend, second son of John and Mary Bere, was a mariner, and not living in 1635. His widow, Hester, died in 1635, when his two sons, Anthony and James, accompanied their uncle, Richard, to New England. James was some time of Watertown, MA.; removed to Fairfield, CT., where thirteen parcels of land are recorded to "James Beere" from 1659 to 1684. He died in Fairfield in 1694, where, and at Stratford, descendants are still found. The number of his descendants, mostly in Connecticut, is comparatively small, among whom is the late Hon. Seth P. Beers, of Litchfierld, CT. The name occurs variously in the early records, both in Massachusetts and Connecticut, as Bere, Beere, Beare, and Beeres. It finally became Beers, and continues thus. Note: This James Beers is reported by Regan (Beers Family Newsletter Issue # 50, July 1994) as the father of Martha Beers, who married Joseph Bulkeley. This Joseph Bulkeley was a descendant of King Edward I., through his daughter, Joan and thence to Margaret de Clare, who married Piers de Gaveston. This lineage leads to the paternal side of the James Family. See Volume I. and II. of the James Family Genealogy. The granddaughter of Joseph Bulkeley, Olive Bulkeley, married James Beers, also a grandson of this James Beers. Seven generations later, Louisa Emerson (1813-1900) married Charles Ridgeway Beers, a descendant of John Beers. These lineages reportedly lead to Calvin Coolidge and George Bush, who Presidents of the United States.

VI. Anthony Bere, came from Gravesend, in 1635, to Watertown, MA.; removed to Roxbury, and ultimately to Fairfield, CT., where a tract of land is recorded to "Anthony Beere" in 1607, which he sold in 1669. He was a mariner, as his father before him, and was lost at sea in 1676. By Eliza, his wife, he left Samuel, Ephraim, John, Hester, Sarah, and Barnabas. This Barnabas, born at Roxbury, MA., September 6, 1658, married, April 4, 1688, Elizabeth Wilcoxson, and died in 1714. Josiah Beers, his son, born at Stratford, CT., August 8, 1693, married May 10, 1717, Elizabeth Ufford, and was father of Nathan Beers, of New Haven, CT."


The following is taken from Regan, "The Descendants of Anthony Beers of Fairfield, CT., Vol. 2, Through His Son, John," (1974):

Anthony Beers may have been born in Gravesend, co. Kent, England in the 1620's, and he was quite probably brother to James Beers, also a settler of Fairfield, CT. It is entirely possible that they were sons of James and Hester Beers of Gravesend and nephews of Richard Beers, an early settler of Watertown, MA. A Richard Beers left Gravesend on the ship "William and John" on September 2, 1635, then aged 28 years. (N.E.H.G.R., v.14, p. 355.)

There is no record that gives any reliable clue to the birthdate of Anthony Beers. The date of about 1627 was probably assigned simply on the basis of the birth of his first recorded child in 1647. In fact, very little is known of this man who was the progenitor of most people in the United States today who bear the family name of Beers. He was in this country at least as early as 1644. This is documented by the probate inventory of Thomas King of Watertown, MA, who died December 3, 1644, which listed a debt of one pound at Boston to Anthony Beares (N.E.H.G.R., v.8, p. 561; Bond's "Watertown," pg. 326.) He had children born in Watertown from 1647 through 1657. He was a member of the Watertown military unit called "the train band" in 1652 under Capt. Hugh Mason, at which time he also took the oath of fidelity. He was admitted as a freeman there on May 6, 1657. In 1658 he was a resident of Roxbury, MA, but moved soon to Fairfield, CT, possibly as early as 1659, but no later than 1661. The town of Fairfield granted him a homelot in 1667 which then passed to Richard Hubbell, who sold it to Samuel Wakemen in 1669, then described as one acre more or less. The bible record of his grandson Josiah notes that he came to Fairfield with several children and was soon drowned about the year 1676. The inventory of his estate, dated May 14, 1679, showed only personal property.


We commence the genealogical record of the Beers Family as follows:

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