Beach Family

Beach Family Stories and Histories

A Sketch of the early life of Jesse Beach,  Written in 1867 by Mrs. Emily Beach DeWitt.

Where a person is known, it is not necessary to produce credentials as a passport to credit or respectability:  but there are those who are better pleased to claim an acquaintance with persons who have descended from some distinguished ancestor.  To such, I will state a few facts.

Richard Mansfield obtained a grant from Queen Elizabeth for a township of land in New Jersey, and named it Elizabethtown, in honor of the queen.  Richard Mansfield had ten daughters, but no sons; one of his daughters married Timothy Beach, the grandfather of Jesse Beach.

Timothy Beach had two sons, who married sisters by the name of Bennett, and were living then in Stratford, Conn. a few miles west of New Haven.  One, Ebenezer, moved to the Catskill Mountains, about one mile south of the village of Catskill, N.Y.  His descendants are well known for their enterprise, business capacity and for filling various offices of trust in different places.  The other son, Timothy, moved to Otsego County, N.Y., on the East side of the Susquehanna river, a little above what was then known as Wattles' Ferry, now where the beautiful town of Unadilla is.  The place where Timothy Beach lived has been in the possession of Hon. Monson Betts for a number of years, a man well known in that part of the State and in the Legislative Halls of our country.  Towards the latter part of the last century, it was the custom of the early settlers living near the Susquehanna River, to travel in canoes on the river instead of journeying over the unimproved roads, and Timothy Beach was engaged to go with a man down the river about 100 miles or more to a place called Tioga Point (now Athens) into business as a blacksmith, and wished to have a set of blacksmith tools taken with him.  He had an unpleasant presentiment of danger about starting on this journey, and to a neighbor to whom he had lent quite an amount of gold, he said "he hoped he would do justice by his family if he never came back."  The neighbor wished some evil might befall him if he wronged them, and if there was any honor in man he would pay them.  He took a silver brooch from his collar, and gave it to his wife, and told her if he never came back to give that to his son Timothy.  His family never saw him again. 

Sometime after, a stranger called to see them, and as he came in, a little boy some two or three years old said "that man killed daddy."  They thought he spoke by inspiration, for the family did not know that anything had happened.  This stranger proved to be the man that Timothy Beach had started to go with down the river, and he told his wife and children that they ran the canoe under a limb of a tree, when Mr Beach was knocked off and the canoe sank.  Imagine the feelings of a woman, if you can, who had been brought up in one of the old towns of her native State and removed to the wilderness country, left a widow without a moments warning, the mother of eight children, and the ninth, Jesse, an unborn child at the time of his father's death. 

The days of chivalry were so far past that there were men even then, who instead of protecting a woman would wrong them.  The neighbor never paid the borrowed gold, but the avenger of evil overtook him for he was killed by a fall on the ice.

My Beach Family Heritage, By Gerald Fanning Darrow

Jesse Beach and Margaret Ferris Bible

Jesse Beach and Margaret Ferris Bible

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