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John Beals Sr (abt. 1650 - 1726)

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John Beals Sr aka Beales
Born about in Rumboldswyke, Chichester, Sussex, Englandmap [uncertain]
Ancestors ancestors
Son of [uncertain] and [uncertain]
[sibling(s) unknown]
Husband of — married 11 Jan 1682 in Chester, Chester, Pennsylvaniamap
Descendants descendants
Died in East Nottingham, Chester, Marylandmap
Profile last modified 9 Dec 2019 | Created 8 Apr 2011
This page has been accessed 3,051 times.
John Beals Sr was a Friend (Quaker).
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William Penn
John Beals Sr was a part of William Penn's Pennsylvania Settlers community.
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Caution: the date and place of origin of John Beals are presently unknown. Until those are documented any parents attached are Uncertain and speculative. Please do not add birth or christening records without definitive documentation they are this John Beals. Any speculative records should be added under Research Notes.


The following is adapted from "The Beals Family" by Bill Putman[1] with additional citations and notations from other researchers, genealogists, and sources.

John Beals (Beales) was born in Wales, Worcestershire or perhaps Yorkshire in the early 1650s. Researcher Roger Boone gives a birth date of 28 Jan 1650 for John. With his place of birth currently uncertain, his parentage is presently speculative.

No record can be found on any passenger lists to show when or where he arrived in America. Boone feels he came to America from Wallsworth in Gloucestershire, a seaport on the Welsh-English border. Some believe that he, like so many of the early Quakers, settled in John Fenwick's Colony in Salem, New Jersey.There is reasoned conjecture by Ruth Kline Ladd[2] that he may have gone first to Ireland, perhaps Scotland, prior to arriving in America. Ladd believe's he emigrated to New Jersey from Fenwick aboard the Griffin in 1675 which is known to have taken passengers from Ireland and Scotland.[2]

It is known that John Beals came to Pennsylvania sometime prior to 1677. In a 1691 court case in Chester County, Pennsylvania, John testified that he had plowed the land in question some fourteen years earlier, placing him in Chester County in 1677. He would have come somewhat earlier. His father in law, William Clayton, had come in 1677 and he may have arrived at the same time. Again, there is no arrival record that exists today.

There is documented proof that the Clayton family of his wife arrived on board the ship Kent on August 16, 1677. There is an entry in the "Annals of Philadelphia, and Pennsylvania" that says:

"The following were among those who came over before the end of the year 1682:
... John Beals (or Bales), who married Mary, the daughter of William Clayton, Sr., in 1682."[3]

John was in Chester County in 1677 and had his own farm there in 1679. In the minutes of the Chester Monthly Meeting, there is a reference on October 2 1682 where John announced his intentions to marry Mary Clayton, daughter of William Clayton and Prudence Langford Clayton.[4] Mary was born in the parish of Rumbaldsweek, Sussex, England on August 29, 1665. They were married on January 1, 1682/3.[4][5]

John and Mary Beals remained on his farm in Chester County until 1701. He was active in both church and local affairs. In 1694, he was appointed the constable of Aston Township. This part of Chester County was later included in Delaware County when that County was formed out of Chester County in 1789.

In 1702, the Beals and others took up lands in what was called the Nottingham Lots which were then a part of Chester County, Pennsylvania, but after the drawing of the Mason-Dixon Line in 1767, placed these lands in Cecil County, Maryland. John Beals received a grant for two lots in the new area of Nottingham.[5] As late as 1705, he still owned lands in West Chester, Chester County, Pennsylvania.

These Quaker families established the new Nottingham Monthly Meeting and both John and Mary were quite active in Church life. Mary was chosen Overseer in 1706 and John was also chosen in 1709.

Mary most likely died sometime in the early 1720s, as she was not mentioned in John's will of 1726. John Beals wrote his will on 'Ye 11th of Ye 8th Month, 1726' (11 Oct 1726).[6][7] The will was proved after his death on December 17, 1726.[8] His death was sometime between these dates. He was buried at Calvert, now in Cecil County, Maryland.

Children [9]

John and Mary Beals had at least five children.

John (junior) was born on January 20, 1686 or on the 28th day of the 11th month 1685/6 old style. He was born in Chester County, Pennsylvania in Aston Township.
William Beals was born February 1, 1687 in Chester County, Pennsylvania.
Jacob Beals was born July 28, 1689 in Chester County, Pennsylvania.
Mary was born April 24, 1692.
Patience was born in Chester County on March 16, 1695.

Some records include a Grace Beals but that profile presently lacks primary source documentation and she is not included in Hinshaw's unpublished records for New Garden Monthly Meeting.

Will of John Beals Sr.

Name: John Beals
Description: Decedent
Residence: Nottingham
Date: 11 Oct 1726
Prove date: 17 Dec 1726
Remarks: John Beals of Nottingham. 8/11/1726. December 17, 1726. A. 206.
1. To eldest son John, bed and furniture and £5, paying to his 5 children viz Sarah, John, Thomas, Ann, and Phebe, 10 shillings when of age. (grandchildren)
2. To daughter Mary Harrold £8, Paying to each of her children, viz Elizabeth, Rachel, Jonathan and Richard 10 shillings when of age.
3. To son Jacob £12, paying to each of his four children, viz John, Jacob, Mary and William 10 shillings when of age.
4. To daughter Patience Jones the £8, 15 that is due of bond of her husband and £5 more paying to their 4 children. viz Judith, Mary, Sarah and Charity 10 shillings each, when of age.
5. To kinswoman Mary Davis of Philadelphia 20 shillings.
Executors: sons John and Jacob. Witnesses: James McMullin, Wm. House. [10] [11]

Research Notes

Parents: Thomas Beals (1625 - 1654) Sarah Edge Beals (1637 - 1692) [Note: claiming these are his parents, though frequently seen, requires documentation of his place of origin which has not been done as of 22 Jan 2019 12:25 UTC T Stanton.]

Baty-260 22:50, 19 June 2018 (UTC) I have noticed the spelling of the surname "Bales" in two places, CMM (monthly meeting minutes) and the Annals of Philadelphia, 1857.[3] Note: Futhey and Cope [5] also spell the surname Bales on some entries and Beals on another.

Date of Birth note T Stanton 6 Aug 2019 20:54 UTC
See the g2g for additional discussion but a more reasonable estimate for his year of birth would be 1657-1658. That would reduce the age disparity at marriage (although the current 15 year estimated difference is not without precedent) yet accommodate the statement of activity in 1667.


  1. Putman, pp. 1-8.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Ladd, Ruth Kline, One Ladd's Family, typescript 1974, exceptionally well researched and footnoted, available at Ancestry or FHL, Entry #588
  3. 3.0 3.1 Watson, John F. Annals of Philadelphia, and Pennsylvania... Philadelphia, PA: Edwin S. Stuart, 1857. Volume III, p. 38. Accessed 20 June 2018 by SJ Baty at;view=1up;seq=50.
  4. 4.0 4.1 Swarthmore College; Swarthmore, Pennsylvania; Men's Minutes, 1681-1721; Collection: Philadelphia Yearly Meeting Minutes; Call Number: MR-Ph 92
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 Futhey & Cope, History of Chester County, Pennsylvania, Everts, Philadelphia, 1881, p 498, 195, 196
  6. Estate Papers, No 116-261, 1700-1810, Estate Papers, 1713-1810; Author: Chester County (Pennsylvania). Register of Wills; Probate Place: Chester, Pennsylvania (original)
  7. Wills, 1713-1854 ; Index to Wills, 1713-1923; Author: Chester County (Pennsylvania). Register of Wills; Probate Place: Chester, Pennsylvania
  8. Chester County Wills. Located at the Chester County Archives and Records Service.
  9. Hinshaw, William Wade. William Wade Hinshaw's Index to Unpublished Quaker Records. New Garden Monthly Meeting. Swarthmore, Pennsylvania: Friends Historical Library, Swarthmore College.
  10. Book: Chester County, Pennsylvania Wills,(Abstracts) 1713-1825, Vol A p. 206
  11. Web: Chester County Will Index [1]
  • Putman, Bill. "[" The Beals Family]. Last accessed 21 August 2018.
See Also:
  • Bond, Samuel Garrett, Bond Genealogy : A history of the descendants of Joseph Bond : born 1704, in Wiltshire, England. Indiana, 1913.

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It may be possible to confirm family relationships with John by comparing test results with other carriers of his Y-chromosome or his mother's mitochondrial DNA. However, there are no known yDNA or mtDNA test-takers in his direct paternal or maternal line. It is likely that these autosomal DNA test-takers will share DNA with John:

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Comments: 24

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I'm fine with detaching them also. I think it indeed might be best to merge them away . . .
I would concur on detachment and leave a notation (with links) about it under Caution or in Research Notes. Also think we may need to reconsider the year of birth per notations now in the g2g forum for this profile. Meanwhile, want to revisit Ruth Ladd's genealogy work and see if anything comes to mind in light of the recent discussions. When she doesn't have primary source documentation she always has a cogent reason for any postulations.
posted by T Stanton
I've made a discovery about the currently connected parents Thomas and Sarah (Edge) Beals. I believe them to be a conflation of the in-laws of John's son, John Beals Jr: Thomas and Sarah (Edge) Bowater. Additionally, Bellarts (1973) writes that John Sr.'s father is William Beals. Please see the 15 March 2019 answer at:

Based on this information, and that both parents are completely unsourced I would like to open discussion that they be detached completely. And possibly even merged into the Bowater profiles or marked as [Uncertain Existence].

posted by SJ Baty
I changed the parents to uncertain,
posted by Maggie N.
Bio rewrite and re-sourcing completed. Suggestions? Should we formally change the parents to Uncertain? They are uncertain and speculative. Currently investigating Ruth Kline Ladd's theory that he first went to Ireland before Pennsylvania. Hopefully something will turn up in Quaker records not available to Ruth in 1974. Thanks to Darlene for below.
posted by T Stanton
Done! 'Have away' at improving it! Thanks!
Please add as a Profile Manager account so the project can assist in tracking and improving this profile. Thank you.

posted by T Stanton
This profile seems to have a lot of gedcom residue, missing sections, & some missing source citations. I opened a G2G thread in case the discussion is too much for the comment bar here.
posted by SJ Baty
Several sketches and paintings go much further back. I am always amazed by graphic artists that can combine family characteristics into their work. The manner in which statistics and computers are used is great!
posted by David Wilson
@ T Stanton - good catch, clearly no one had any photos taken in the 17th century!
posted by SJ Baty

John is 20 degrees from Danielle Liard, 14 degrees from Jack London and 12 degrees from Henry VIII of England on our single family tree. Login to find your connection.