Updated August 14 2010.
MELINDA LUKEI with various early family Histories.
I previously mentioned that Malachi Beasley had land on Mackay Island. Malachi Beasley was the son of William Beasley and his wife Nancy. Malachi Beasley whose will was written 2 Oct 1840 had two groups of children. He married three times. His first wife was Mary, I haven’t found her maiden name. She was the mother of Ezekiel Beasley, Rhoda Carolina Beasley who married around 1840 Timothy Bowden, Ann Beasley who married William Ansell and Capt John M. Beasley who married Nancy White. He died 24 June 1942. Malachi Beasley’s second wife was Lydia, I don’t know her maiden name. Before this marriage she was married to John Litchfield and was the mother of John Litchfield who died young, Clarissa Litchfield and Caleb Litchfield. The union of Malachi and Lydia made her the mother of Caleb Beasley. Malachi’s Beasely’s third wife was Sally Waterfield who was the daughter of Mikiel Waterfield. Sally’s child was Joachium Beasley who was born in 1842. Joachium was 8 years old on the 1850 census living in the Fruitville Township. He is referred to in Ezekiel Beasley’s will dated 1 Dec 1862 as his half brother.
Malachi Beasley had a brother John Beasley who was the father of Mary Frances Beasley who married Timothy Bowden (the father of the Timothy Bowden that married Carolina Beasley). John Beasley married Mary Wicker. Malachi and John’s father was William Beasley and his father William Beasley served in the Revolutionary War. William Beasley married Bridget Jones. William Beasley’s will was dated 19 Aug 1790 and was probated 15 Jan 1791. The younger William Beasley, son of William, married Nancy (I don’t know her maiden name either) was born in 1759, his will was probated in Feb 1822. He also served in the Revolutionary War. He lived on land that joined John Jones, James Ansell and Charles Lovett on Knotts Island. He bought this land from Taylor Beasley. He married twice Lydia and Nancy. Nancy is listed in his will so she outlived him. He had at least eleven children. I don’t have birth dates so I don’t know which child belongs to each wife. I found a birth date on Nancy as 1791 so she was 22 years his junior and probably didn’t marry until around 1811 when she would have been 20 years old. Usually the men wanted to immediately marry after the death of a wife in order to have someone take care of them and their children. Men were no good at women’s work in those days. They preferred to be waited on, so they didn’t stay single long. Quite often the sister of the deceased became the husband of the widower, but I don’t know if this happened in this case. The only way I would pick up the maiden name would be in a will from a father or a deed of gift from a father of one of these girls or a brother or sister listing them in their will or deed.
In the will of William Beasley dated 19 Aug 1790 he mentioned his brother John. In his Revolutionary War pay warrent issued 1785 his · mother Elizabeth is named. His wife Bridget Jones was the daughter of Cornelius Jones and Elizabeth Taylor. Her brother to Taylor Jones who was captain of the Knotts Island Militia. Cornelius Jones died in 1749. William Beasley and Bridget Jones had eight children listed in the will. Mordica who’s will was dated 9 Mar 1801 will probated 14 June 1801, (he was the one who was exporting goods up and down the coast in his ship "The Hazzard"). The other children were Cornelius, Joachium, William, Richard, Tolar, Henry and Edney who married William Smith.
The Ansell family was another old family of Knotts Island. James Ansell came from Northampton County on the Eastern Shore of Virginia and bought 191 acres in 1691 and sold it in 1710. His second wife Ann Shepherd signed the deed. His first wife was Sarah Matthews,. She was the mother of his two children. His will was dated 12 Sept 1738. The two children listed in his will were Sarah Roberts and a son John. John married around 1730 Mary. In John Ansell’s will in Currituck dated 1755 he listed eight children Caleb, John, Nathan, James, William, Mary, Sarah and Lettissha (who married Henry White). John’s widow Sarah married John Mackie and her will was dated Mar 1771. Son John Ansell was the great grandfather of Samuel J. Ansell born 20 Sept 1803 and died 15 Oct 1859. He had two wives Lydia and Nancy. Samuel’s son Henry Beasley Ansell was born in 1832 and died in 1920. He married Lydia Simmons, the daughter of John Simmons and Kassey Taylor. Henry Beasley Ansell was the clerk of Court in Currituck and he wrote the History of Knotts Island around the 1880 or 1890’s. His accurate records are the only resource we have to our history except for court records. His diary is in his own handwriting and probably consist of a thousand pages. If you haven’t read it, do so. There was a typewritten copy of it at the Knotts Island Library. Henry is one our unsung hero’s for his contributions to the history of the Island. He wrote down legends and facts about the people and gives a clear understand of what life was like in the late 1800’s on the island.
Thomas Swan of James City Co., Virginia brought Richard Jones Senior to the southern branch of the Elizabeth River in 1638. Richard Jones and Mary Sprattly had a son Richard Jr listed in his will dated 28 Nov 1682 and probated 20 Jan 1683. Richard received his father’s sealing ring. This meant that the family had a coat of arms and this seal was used on the bottom of all documents. Richard was given a land grant at the head of the Elizabeth River 28 April 1665. He deserted it and this land was given to William Wilson in 1672. He also received a land patent 15 Dec 1646 on Knotts Island. A Michael Jones received land early on Knotts Island too probably a brother but I have no proof of that fact. Richard Jones Jr (although the Jr was not used in but one record the father’s will) married Rachael Cornelius a woman who also received a land grant on Knotts Island. I’m not sure why she received a patent unless her father had applied for it for her. I believe her father was Lloyd Cornelius who lived at the head of the Elizabeth River. Maybe he gave her one of of his patents he got for bringing people into the colony. I do know that Lloyd Cornelius brought Richard Jones (Jr) into the colony as he received land Nov 1646 for bringing him. Rachael’s land grant in 1682 was right next to Richard Jones land given on the same date on Knotts Island. Richard Jones will was dated 13 May 1716 and probated 4 July 1720 in Princess Anne County. We believe that the family came from Wales but that hasn’t been proven. Richard and Rachael had eight children, 2 sons Cornelius and Richard, and 6 daughters. Cornelius appears to be the eldest and heired the land as was customary as he was the eldest child. Richard may have relocated in the Pasquotank area as the names in that area are the same as the ones Cornelius’ used.
Cornelius married Elizabeth Taylor a daughter of Thomas Taylor and Esther. We know Elizabeth’s brothers and sisters, and who they married from her father’s will. Cornelius Jones and Rachael were the progenitors for the Beasley family, the Malbone family, the White family, the Whaley family and the Davis family. I don’t know anything about son William and son Cornelius but I believe that if we had documentation we would find them in eastern North Carolina. Cornelius was executor of his father’s will in 1750. Henry Beasley Ansell states, in his History of Knotts Island, that all the Jones on Knotts Island were kin to each other and were the sons of David Jones. Well David Jones was born in 1785 and his grandfather was Taylor Jones and grandmother was Sarah Bonney.
Sarah Bonney was the daughter of John Bonney and Sarah from the lower end of Princess Anne County. So now we have the Bonney family on Knotts Island around 1750.