Stephen Beard – 1839-1905
I belong to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and believed for a long time that apart from my own immediate family there were no others who shared that faith in my family’s history so it has been an exciting part of my family history journey to discover that that just isn’t so and there are many in fact who have gone before who were of the same faith. Perhaps even more exciting for me personally was the discovery that a member of my family was also one of the early Pioneers of the Church.
On this day in 1839 Stephen Beard was born and of all places in Dukinfield, Cheshire, England where many of my family came from and some still reside. He was married three times in his life and his third wife Jane Carter born in Ingham, Lincolnshire, England was my third cousin 3 times removed on my maternal line with her Great Great Grandfather John Brumby (1750-1816) [I’ve mentioned him before!] being my 5th Great Grandfather. Stephen worked in the mines from being a boy in England and endured some horrible working conditions and poor pay. His father had decided that he wanted to move somewhere where conditions were better and his family could attend church. Shortly after he met missionaries from the Church and Stephen along with his parents and brother Thomas were baptised. Marrying soon after that, Stephen decided to leave England for a better life in the US and went on ahead of his first wife Emma Lee who would follow later. Stephen had 3 daughters with Emma but sadly his first child died at birth in England born prematurely, his second died at sea on the journey over to the US and both Emma and Stephen’s third daughter whom he never met in mortality as she was born just after he had left England died whilst crossing the plains to join him.
He married again to a Mary Ann Roberts and had a further 7 children, this time all of them boys and they settled in Henefer, Utah.
(Stephen and second wife Mary Ann with children John Roberts, William Henry, George Thomas and Jeremiah James Beard)
(Stephen’s family home in Henefer, Summit, Utah, USA)
Tragedy befell this family also as two sons were killed and their home was burned down. He joined the Army and fought in the Black Hawk War, served a mission to the Southern States, was a musical man and a choir leader for many years. Mary Ann died in 1900 and in 1901 Stephen married my ancestor Jane Carter who was 17 years younger than Stephen and married when she was 45 and he was 62.
(Marriage Certificate for Stephen Beard and third wife Jane Carter – 19 Jun 1901 – Salt Lake, Utah, USA)
He died from Pneumonia 4 years later in 1905 and Jane died many years later in 1940 aged 84.
(Stephen Beard’s Headstone in Henefer, Sunnit, Utah, USA)
I have more pictures and documents in relation to this man and his family and any of my family with an interest who has access to my family tree on Ancestry or the tree at FamilySearch can find much more information than I can include here. Definitely one of my more interesting relations.
(Many thanks to several descendants of Stephen Beard and his family who have made contributions both photographic and documentary to Stephen’s story at FamilySearch.org)