Friday, July 14, 2017

Indiana Pioneer - Noah Beauchamp

Indiana pioneer Noah Beauchamp who moved his family into the Indiana Territory around 1813, settled in Franklin County.

Noah Beauchamp was born in Maryland in 1785 and moved with the family to Kentucky in the 1790s. He married and left Kentucky for Ohio in 1804. The Beauchamps lived in Montgomery County until they eventually left for the Indiana Territory.

Noah purchased land in Section 24 of what was to become Connersville on December 14, 1812. It is most likely that his family would have moved  after his wife Elizabeth had her baby Mary who was born on March 13, 1813. Noah very likely would have gone ahead of his family and cleared some land and built a cabin.

Noah remembered events years later, "I moved to the State of Indiana and purchased a quarter section of land adjoining the town of Connersville... and settled in the woods; made some improvements and then I traded off that place, and my last residence in that county, was on Williams' creek."

It was living in Franklin County that he was commissioned as a lieutenant in the 11th Indiana Regiment during the War of 1812. There are only two sources for this information. A 1900 book which was transcribed from the original hand written Executive Journal of India Territory and another from 1901 by William Pratt, entitled The History of the National Guard of Indiana. In the Executive Journal of Indiana Noah is listed as, "Noah Beachan" and in The History of the National Guard of Indiana he is listed as "Noah Beacham."

According to Pratt many of the early records were lost or destroyed, "official papers relating to the early days of Indiana are few. Many were lost during the moving of the State government from one capital to another, and from one State House to another. A wagon load of these valuable old documents was sold as waste paper by a janitor who did not realize their value. The record of early days is necessarily incomplete."

So for hundreds of soldiers in these early days of Indiana there are either no records of their service or very few. The fact that Noah was appointed a lieutenant is the only reason it is known that he was even in the 11th Regiment because the order survives in the Executive Journal. He died in 1842, before pensions were offered, so he never applied for one. Pension applications and records are a great source of genealogical and historical information.





Friday, June 16, 2017

Randolph R. Harris (b. 1786)

Randolph R. Harris was born in 1786 in Warren Co., North Carolina. He was the son of James H. Harris and Mary Smilley/Smelley. The name is sometimes written as Smilling.

Randolph married Sarah Davis on November 9, 1809 in Warren Co., North Carolina. I believe they are listed in the November 15, 1810 Montgomery Co. Census under Randle Harris as head of the household.

Shortly after this they moved to Dickson Co., Tennessee where Randolph joined Capt. Michael Molton's Regiment in 1813 and fought in the Creek War.

They had several children although I know the name of one for sure who was born in 1815. He was John C. Harris who was born in Dickson Co., Tennessee.

The 1820 and 1830 census records records indicate that Randolph and his family were still living in Dickson County.

In 1824, Randolph purchased goods at Drury Price's estate sale in Dickson County.

After 1830, I believe that Sarah died, for in 1840, the age of Randolph's wife, in the census record is recorded in the next age bracket down from Randolph's.

In February of 1839 a son Thomas H. Harris was born to Randolph and Molly his second wife. What Molly's last name was and when and where they were married is not known. It has been speculated that Mary was the daughter of former Guilford Co., North Carolina resident Thomas Archer who was a Tennessee land speculator in the early 1800s. This speculation is based on family papers that came down through the Harris line.

In 1840 Randolph R. Harris and his family are listed as living in Hardin Co., Tennessee.

By 1850, they are living in Fayette Co., TN and Randolph is just listed as R. R. Harris, his wife Molly is down as having been born in Tennessee circa 1797.

In 1856, Randolph was mentioned in the records as living in the Northeast corner of Fayette County.

Randolph is not listed in the Tennessee census for 1860, instead he and his wife Mary are listed in the 1860 Arkansas Census and are listed as living with T. A. Dixon and his wife Sarah J., who was their daughter, in Duncan Co., Arkansas. Their son Thomas H. Harris age 21 is also listed as living with them.

After this 1860 Census Randolph disappears from the records. He must have died sometime after 1860.

In 1870 his widow Mary is living with her son Thomas H. Harris and his family in Fayette Co., Tennessee.

Thomas H. Harris was a soldier in the Civil War for the CSA from Fayette Co. later he removed back to Arkansas and died there in 1900.