View of Rogue Valley from Wagner Butte

1857 letter from Henry Beeson in England to Welborn Beeson in Oregon

Henry Beeson wrote to Welborn Beeson to inform him of the Beeson ancestors in England.

The following is a transcription of the letter and a hand drawn genealogical chart

Mr. Welborn Beeson
                                                (Farnley near Leeds)
                                                January 1, 1857
Dear Nephew
            As you would like to know more than your father has told you about your Ancestry I wish I could supply just what he has omitted but I do not see how I am to find it out. If I give you a few family traditions perhaps you may have memory enough to compare his accounts with mine I have no records to refer to and can only repeat a few things which I have heard from my father if you should wish in future to make any enquiry I shall understand you if you mention the name and the generation.
            I will now tell you what I know of my Great Grandfather, William Beeson who is the remotest person on of our ancestry of whom I know anything I cannot tell where he was born he was apprenticed to a corn miller at Long Clawson a large village in Leiscestershire from whence also my Aunt by my mothers side and her husband Wm Thornton and their family emigrated to America some of them with your Father. Wm Beeson settled and prospered at North Stoke as a Miller and farmer I remember the house in which he lived I was born in it and also my father and Grandfather we vacated it about 1800. It has now passed away. Wm Beeson occupied a large farm and two mills driven by water. He was twice married by his first wife he had one son who was named after himself and was settled in a farm at South Stoke or Stoke Rochford where he is still represented by a great grandson in a farm. His second marriage was with Ann Bennet of Woolsthorpe which I believe is your Mother’s native village. The fruit of this marriage was 4 or 5 sons and one daughter. The first of these was the first of the Bennet Beesons. He was my grandfather then there was Joseph, Thomas, James, and I think Stephen and Elizabeth who was married to Mr. Sculthorpe of Hollowell Norethamptonshire. Wm Beeson settled all his children well except my Grandfather who was saddled with the payment of some of their fortunes which kept him so far behind others that he did not marry until the day he completed his 41styear. I cannot tell anything of their ages at death. Wm Beeson went to visit his children at their village feasts. His son, Tom was settled at Ponton Mill which his father had once occupied and where their descendants are still this was about two miles from his home he drank too much the last time he was here and would return home on a cold night against his son’s remonstrance. He lost his way and was a long time with a wet foot took a severe cold lingered 6 months and died. O that it might be a warning to all the family against strong drink. He was an old man I cannot tell anything more of his death or character or amount of his wealth it was distributed. I know of none having so much land and business as he is said to have had. It has been said he rented half the Lordship which comprised about 5000 acres but I cannot be certain.
            Bennet Beeson had a farm under 200 acres and no Mill. He was an amiable man. I believe he faithfully discharged his duty to his Brothers and sister and impoverished himself. In his management he was prudent. Was largely employed in conveying oak timber for ship building to the nearest port when roads were bad a distance of 30 miles or more which required great labour. He married Maryt Annis from Sproxton who had been his servant, and who was to him a good wife. They had one son and two daughters Elizabeth, Mary and James. The former was married to Edward Burt. Mary died in her youth. My father was left with his widowed mother in his 19thyear so it appears my Grandfather died somewhere about 60 years of age. About the same time the Lordship was inclosed and the farms newly arranged which involved great expenses both to the Landlord and tenants, the former could reimburse by raising the rents, the latter could only get his return by a course of success thro years of careful management of which opportunity my Grandmother and Father were deprived by a wicked scheming of an Uncle who by misrepresenting the affairs of the farm to the landlord succeeded in taking it before the tenants were discharged and it was believed there had been no thought of discharging them until it was suggested by this villainous relative who when he had done his mischief came to see his widows sister gave her a kiss. She began to get him some harty dinner while she was cooking with the frying pan he began to tell her that he had taken her farm. She replied it was not to let there had been neither discharge nor resignations. He wanted to make the contrary appear. She had sagacity enough to discover his villainy but not temper enough to endure so she threw at him the frying pan and its contents giving his dinner over his raiment and made the house too hot for him, He discharge soon came they were obliged to sell and quit and the Uncle came in and never prospered had always poor crops and lean cattle and after an occupation of 10 years they had to sell and quit because they could not hold it any longer. Some of this family became dependant on their relatives I believe they are all dead several were never married. I know of no representive descendants although there was a family of 10 sons and daughters. I cannot tell you any more at present. You can ask your father any question to see whether he can correct anything of which I may have been misinformed. Give my love to your Mother. I am thankful to hear of her good health and remain your affectionate Uncle
                                    Henry Beeson

Genealogical Chart hand written by Henry Beeson 

A followup letter from Henry reads as follows:
To Welborn Beeson
Dear Nephew
     I should be happy to gratify what I consider a very proper wish in you to know some thing of your Ancestry. Were it in my power but I know of no records to assist me except parish registers of Baptisms and burials which would have to be searched out and would require both time and money and some knowledge of what church to got to to seek and when found the information would be scanty and uncertain. If a person would be remembered they must do great and worthy deeds such as building a durable house containing some tablet of durable material in which they might engrave their name and honor or write a worthy book including their own memories sufficiently interesting that the public would buy and read it. Or if it be not good enough to print write out a fair connected copy in a well bound book and keep it in a box in a dry room and possibly it may be read after you are dead by such as love your memory and genealogical tables like these may serve to show the right lines of descent. The Noble and wealthy families in this country preserve these tables for many generations to aid the proofs of their titles to their estates. but you may depend that if we do nothing worthy of being remembered we shall soon be forgotten among men for God says the Name of the wicked shall not the Righteous shall be had in everlasting remembrance. The last time I was among the graves of our kindred I was satisfied that many of the gravestones I had seen before were missing. I suppose to make room for recent funerals. I have seen them broken up by careless sextons sometimes built into walls and sometimes paving the path and walked over until all the letters are effaced. I seldom see one 100 years old.