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Lydia (Russell) Bean (1726 - 1788)

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Lydia Bean formerly Russell
Born in Farnham, Richmond, Virginiamap
Ancestors ancestors
[sibling(s) unknown]
Wife of — married in Greensboro, North Carolinamap
Descendants descendants
Died in Washington County, Tennesseemap
Profile last modified | Created 3 Mar 2011 | Last significant change: 23 Mar 2019
01:34: James Luper III edited the Biography for Lydia (Russell) Bean (1726-1788). (Bio edit - post merge - 811 Uncleaded...) [Thank James for this]
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Lydia was born in 1726. She passed away in 1788. "Mrs. William Bean was before her marriage Lydia Russell, daughter of James Russell, of Virginia, and a member of that pioneer family of the name who furnished so many well-known frontier soldiers and statesmen. When Mrs. Bean accompanied her husband to Watauga she was the mother of' five children, William, Robert, George, Sarah and Jane. It is possible that there were other children whose names are not known." [1] [2]

•Birth: ABT 1726 in Virginia

•Death: 1788 in Washington Co., Tennessee


This is by Jenny Pullen it has Lydia Russell (b Sept 19, 1726 in (Virchmond)?? N. Farnham Co., VA with father James Russell, b. abt 1700 in VA.

Brothers: John and George Russell. "She was captured by the Indians as she rode horseback toward Fort Lee at Watauga and was taken to the Cherokee Camp on Nolichucky River.

She was told that she would be killed. She was questioned . . . [and] taken to a little town along the Little Tennessee River. Mrs. Bean was taken to Toquo and tied to a stake at the top of a large mound. The fire had been lighted around her when the Beloved woman, Nancy Ward, arrived on the scene.

Revolted at the thought that a Cherokee should torture a squaw she hastened to the rescue, scattered the burning brands and cut the bonds which fastened the prisoner.

She took Mrs. Bean to her own house where she was treated kindly.

Lydia Bean in her gratitude instructed Nancy Ward and the other Cherokee women in the art of making butter and cheese.

Due to Mrs. Bean's training Nancy Ward became the first owner of a herd of cattle."

The Lydia Russell Bean, Knoxville Chapter of the DAR, was organized 18 Apr 1959 . . . When captured in 1776 by the Indians, she led her captors to believe the garrison was well defended, thus preventing an attack. The following members of the chapter [in 1973] are direct descendants of Lydia Russell Bean and William Bean, Sr.: Miss Anna Lucille Evans, now deceased; Annabel King Agee; Gladys King Alexander; Margaret King McAfee; Jamie Ault Grady.[3]

More on Lydia

"Nanyehi (Cherokee: ᎾᏅᏰᎯ: "One who goes about"), known in English as Nancy Ward (ca. 1738–1822/1824) was a Ghigau, or Beloved Woman of the Cherokee Nation, which meant that she was allowed to sit in councils and to make decisions, along with the other Beloved Women, on pardons. She believed in peaceful coexistence with European-Americans.

Beloved Woman

Nancy Ward was born in the Cherokee town of Chota and was a member of the Wolf Clan. Her mother, whose actual name is not known, is often called Tame Doe and was a sister of Attakullakulla. Her father was Francis Ward "Fivekiller", a white man living in the Cherokee nation. Nancy's first husband was the Cherokee man Kingfisher. Nanyehi and Kingfisher fought side by side at the Battle of Taliwa against the Creeks in 1755. When he was killed, she took up his rifle and led the Cherokee to victory. This was the action which, at the age of 18, gave her the title of Ghigau. At age 14, Nancy Ward and her first husband Kingfisher had a daughter, Catherine. When she was 17, their son Littlefellow Fivekiller was born. After her husband and father were killed in the same battle, Nancy, who was then 18, married her father's brother, Bryant Ward, a South Carolina colonist and Indian trader, and their child was Elizabeth Ward, later to become the one-quarter Cherokee wife of General Joseph Martin. In the Revolutionary War, Ward warned the whites of an impending attack by her cousin Dragging Canoe, an act that has made her a Patriot for the Daughters of the American Revolution and the Society of the Sons of the American Revolution.

Changes to Cherokee society

As a Ghigau, Nancy had the power to spare captives. In 1776, following a Cherokee attack on the Fort Watauga settlement on the Watauga River (at present day Elizabethton, Tennessee), she used that power to spare a Mrs. William (Lydia Russell) Bean, whom she took into her house and nursed back to health from injuries suffered in the battle. Mrs. Bean taught Nanyehi a new loom weaving technique, revolutionizing the Cherokee garments, which at the time were a combination of hides, handwoven vegetal fiber cloth, and cloth bought from traders. But this weaving revolution also changed the roles of women in the Cherokee society, as they took on the weaving and left men to do the planting, which had traditionally been a woman's job.

Mrs. Bean also rescued two of her dairy cows from the settlement, and brought them to Nanyehi. Nanyehi learned to raise the cattle and to eat dairy products, which would sustain the Cherokee when hunting was bad. The combination of loom weaving and dairy farming helped transform Cherokee society from a communal agricultural society into a society very similar to that of their European-American neighbors, with family plots and the need for ever-more labor. Thus some Cherokee adopted the practice of chattel slavery. Nanyehi was among the first Cherokee to own African-American slaves.

Later life

Nanyehi objected to the sale of Cherokee lands to whites, but her objections were largely ignored. In 1808 and again in 1817, the Women's Council came out in opposition to the sale of more and more land. Nanyehi became a de facto ambassador between the Cherokee and the whites. She learned the art of diplomacy from her maternal uncle, the influential chief Attakullakulla ("Little Carpenter"). In 1781, when the Cherokee met with an American delegation led by John Sevier to discuss American settlements along the Little Pigeon River, Nanyehi expressed surprise that there were no women negotiators among the Americans. Sevier was equally appalled that such important work should be given to a woman. Nanyehi told him, "You know that women are always looked upon as nothing; but we are your mothers; you are our sons. Our cry is all for peace; let it continue. This peace must last forever. Let your women's sons be ours; our sons be yours. Let your women hear our words." An American observer said that her speech was very moving.

On July 5, 1807, the Moravian mission school at Spring Place, Georgia, in the Cherokee Nation, was visited by three elderly women, including a very distinguished lady who had been a widow of fifty years and almost one hundred years old. She was described as "an unusually sensible person, honored and loved by both brown and white people." "This old woman, named Chiconehla, is supposed to have been in a war against an enemy nation and was wounded numerous times...Her left arm is decorated with some designs, which she said were fashionable during her youth...." Chiconehla stayed for two days, entertained by the students and discussing theology with the missionaries with the aid of translating by her distant relative, Mrs. James Vann (Margaret Scott). The circumstances of this high status woman leave little doubt that this Cherokee named Chiconehla was identical to the person known as Nancy Ward.

Death, burial, and remembrance

Nancy Ward opened an inn in southeastern Tennessee on Womankiller Ford of what was then called the Ocowee River (present day Ocoee River). Her son cared for her during her last years. She died in 1822, or possibly 1824, before the Cherokee were removed from their remaining lands during the Trail of Tears. She and her son Fivekiller are buried at the top of a hill not far from the site of the inn, which is south of present-day Benton, Tennessee. In 1923 the Nancy Ward chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution, based in Chattanooga, placed a memorial marker at the grave sites near Benton, Tennessee. Polk County, Tennessee, where Benton is located, is trying to raise money to create a Nancy Ward Museum. The Polk County Historical and Genealogical Society currently maintains a Nancy Ward Room in their genealogy library until such a time as the museum is created.

Ward was the last woman to receive the title of Beloved Woman until the 1980s, when Maggie Wachacha was given the title.

A statue of Nancy Ward, carved by James Abraham Walker, stood in a cemetery in Grainger County, Tennessee for about 70 years before it was stolen in the early 1980s.

The Sequoyah Birthplace Museum in Vonore, Tennessee holds an annual Nancy Ward Cherokee Heritage Days celebration in her honor.

Nancy Ward is not only remembered as an important figure to the Cherokee people but is also considered an early pioneer for women in American politics as she advocated for a woman's voice during a turbulent period in her tribe's history."[4]

Lydia was born about 1720. [5]


  1. Notable Southern Families, Volume 2</>[1]
  2. Entered by Marie Mills, Jan 27, 2012
  3. (Taken from John P. Brown's "Old Frontiers.")
  4. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
  5. Unsourced family tree handed down to Jeffrey Payne.

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It may be possible to confirm family relationships with Lydia by comparing test results with other carriers of her mitochondrial DNA. However, there are no known mtDNA test-takers in her direct maternal line. It is likely that these autosomal DNA test-takers will share DNA with Lydia:

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On 1 Mar 2019 at 16:14 GMT Judith Weeks wrote:

Lydia (Russell) Bean is not the daughter of William Russell. According to the data in this biography her father is James Russell. She should be removed from William Russell and his wife. [1] [2]

Lydia is 39 degrees from Graham Chapman, 18 degrees from Janet Wild and 13 degrees from Henry VIII of England on our single family tree. Login to find your connection.

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