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Surnames and Family Research Forum

Mystery: Andrew Jackson Beard, AL 1849 - 1921-2?

According to numerous websites Andrew Jackson Beard - inventor :

Andrew Jackson Beard was born a slave on a plantation in Woodland in Jefferson County, Alabama in 1849. When he was 15, he was emancipated, and he married at the age of 16.

He had a number of occupations which included amongst others, farming, working on the railroad and inventing. In 1881, he invented and patented a new design of plow which he sold three years later for $4,000. In 1887, he invented a second plow which he sold for $5,200. He also patented a rotary steam engine in 1892. He invested the proceeds from his inventions into a successful real estate business.

His experience of working on the railroad had taught him that coupling two railroad cars together was extremely dangerous - a worker would have to brace himself between the two cars and then drop a pin at exactly the right moment. Many workers were injured in this practice and Beard himself lost a leg in a coupling accident.

His invention joined two cars together simply by bumping them against each other and was patented in November 1897. It was known as the Jenny Coupler and revolutionized the railway industry, becoming the forerunner of today's automatic coupler. Andrew Beard received $50,000 for the patent rights to his Jenny coupler.

Little is known of Andrew Jackson Beard's life from this time until his death in 1921.

http://www.thatsalabama.com/heroes/andrewjacksonbeard/

Numerous websites make the same claims, that little is known about him after 1897.

Curious I did a search - for a bio mentioning the names of his wife or children.

Found nothing.

But on ancestry family tree found that someone had documented a family history, which included census records from 1870 - through 1920:

http://trees.ancestry.com/tree/9790149/person/-743231093?ssrc=

They have linked a second wife, but I see no other documentation.

I had already found the same census records this family researcher had uncovered.

Here's 1900:

Name: Andy Beard
[Andy J Beard]
Home in 1900: East Lake, Jefferson, Alabama
Age: 52
Birth Date: May 1848
Birthplace: Alabama
Race: Black
Gender: Male
Relationship to Head of House: Head
Father's Birthplace: Alabama
Mother's Birthplace: Alabama
Spouse's name: Eddie J
Marriage Year: 1870
Marital Status: Married
Years Married: 30
Residence : Precinct 10 East Lake, Jefferson, Alabama

occupation listed as "inventor"

Household Members:
Name Age
Andy Beard 52
Eddie J Beard 55
Andy Carr 24 nephew

Directly underneath is this record, seems to be his son:

Name: John Beard
Home in 1900: East Lake, Jefferson, Alabama
Age: 30
Birth Date: May 1870
Birthplace: Alabama
Race: Black
Gender: Male
Relationship to Head of House: Head
Father's Birthplace: Alabama
Mother's Birthplace: Alabama
Spouse's name: Martha
Marriage Year: 1887
Marital Status: Married
Years Married: 13
Residence : Precinct 10 East Lake, Jefferson, Alabama
Occupation: Carpenter
Neighbors: View others on page
Household Members:
Name Age
John Beard 30
Martha Beard 25
Naman Beard 12
Willie Beard 10
Eliza Beard 8
Enoch Beard 6
Ester Beard 4
George Beard 1
Phillip Wood 17 boarder

Name: Andrew Berd
Home in 1880: Broken Arrow and Cropwell, Saint Clair, Alabama
Age: 30
Estimated birth year: abt 1850
Birthplace: Alabama
Relation to Head of Household: Self (Head)
Spouse's name: Etta
Father's birthplace: Alabama
Mother's birthplace: Alabama
Neighbors: View others on page
Occupation: Carpenter
Marital Status: Married
Race: Mulatto
Gender: Male
Cannot read/write:

Household Members:
Name Age
Andrew Berd 30
Lee L. Berd 16
Etta Berd 34
John Berd 13
Andrew Berd 11

on same census page there is also a Jack Beard - blacksmith, wife and family. Wonder if there is a connection?

1870 misspelled:

Name: Andrew Barid
Birth Year: abt 1849
Age in 1870: 21
Birthplace: Alabama
Home in 1870: East Half, Blount, Alabama
Race: Mulatto
Gender: Male
Value of real estate: View image
Post Office: Blountsville
Household Members:
Name Age
P M Gillespie 70
Martha Gillespie 25
Andrew Barid 21
Edy Barid 24
Jno Barid 4
Andy Barid 1
Ellis Latham 9
Lee Latham 6
Barny Hanby 66

Has anyone researched this family?


18 Dec 2002 :: 14 Nov 2008
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