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Ancestors of Arthur Dwight "Buck" Lackey--Beckham Family...


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#6 William M. BECKHAM and Rebecca DOUB

William M. BECKHAM was born April 15, 1813 in Iredell County, North Carolina and was the son of Lemuel Beckham.[1] William married Rebecca DOUB in Stokes County on September 26th, 1839.[2] Rebecca was born February 7, 1812 in the part of Stokes County that later became Forsyth County. [3] She was the daughter of Jacob and Susannah DOUB.[4] William and Rebecca set up house in the portion of Iredell County that later became Alexander County. Ten months after they married, on July 1st, 1840, their first daughter, Pantha, (wife of R.C. LACKEY) was born.[6] The couple had two more children, Jacob L (1843)* and Helen Elizabeth (1845).[6] Rebecca died February 24, 1845, possibly from complications with Elizabeth’s birth. Needing another mother for his three small children, William married his wife’s younger sister Susannah, also called Susan, on August 4, 1847.[7] They were also married in Stokes County and Daniel Doub, the women’s brother, served as bondsman for both marriages. Susannah and William had a child William A.C., born in 1851.[8] All of the Beckham children attended school and at least Pantha attended the female seminary in Jonesboro.[9]

William was not only a farmer but also a merchant. The manuscripts collection at Duke University includes an account book for William. The dates of the book are 1836 to 1867 meaning that the mercantile dealings were carried on after William’s death. The account book includes accounts for many names common in Alexander County such as Doub, Bogle and Matheson. Many of the accounts in the book are for school supplies.[10]

On the 1850 census, a 37 year-old William was working as a farmer on his farm, which was valued at 700 dollars. On the census with his family was William’s sister Pantha M. Beckham. She was the namesake for William’s first daughter Pantha and to differentiate between the two, the younger Pantha was called Panthey.[11] Pantha M. may have come to live with William to help care for his children after his first wife’s death. She remained unmarried and lived with William’s family for the rest of her life.

William was a slave-owner and is listed on the 1850 census as owning two slaves, a 25-year-old female and a 7-year-old male.[12] William had acquired these slaves within the last ten years, as there were no slaves listed on the 1840 census. There is no record of what happened to these slaves when William died just a few years later.

William died at around the age of 40 sometime between August 1850 when he was listed on the census and December 1854 the first date mentioned in his estate record.[13] He and Susannah had been married for only about 3-7 years. Susannah was left to care for the couple’s four young children. William did not leave a will to provide for his widow and minor children suggesting that his death was due to sudden illness or accident. In the settlement of William’s estate his father Lemuel BECKHAM was appointed guardian of the minor children’s property.[14] At this time, when a child’s father was dead, even if the mother was still living, a guardian would be appointed to oversee the minor child’s personal property until the child reached the age of twenty-one.[15] At William’s death, the children’s grandfather Lemuel became guardian of their finances, but the children still lived with their mother at the family home. The settlement of William’s estate created records in both Iredell and Alexander counties. Lemuel Beckham, as guardian of William’s children, started proceedings against the company Feimster and Feimster for a debt owed to William.[16]

In 1860, Susannah was the head of the household but with no occupation listed on the census. Her real estate was valued at 500 dollars and her personal estate was valued at 470 dollars. Panthey, Jacob (working as a farm laborer), Helen Elizabeth and William C. were still living at home. A forty-five-year-old Pantha M. was still living with the family.[17]

On August 15, 1862, at the age of 19, Jacob enlisted in the military to fight in the Civil War. Jacob was a member of the “Watauga Minute Men” of 37th Regiment Infantry, Company E. He was wounded in action at or near Reams’ Station, Virginia on or about August 25, 1864. He was reported absent wounded through October 1864.[18] Jacob does not appear on the 1870 census or any census thereafter suggesting that he may have died of his wounds. Also, Jacob had been named as an heir in his grandfather Lemuel’s will, written in 1861. When the will was probated in 1867, Jacob was not among the devisees of the estate.

In 1870, Susannah was the head of household with real estate valued at 600 dollars and personal estate valued at 250 dollars. Her 18-year-old son William C. was still at home and her sister-in-law Pantha M. was living with them. Pantha M. was listed on the census as having no occupation. Also in the household were Susannah’s daughter Elizabeth, her husband Thomas Fielding Murdah and their four-year-old son N.F. Murdah. Thomas was a farm laborer and Elizabeth was working as a domestic servant. This census places the family as living in Gwaltney’s Township in Alexander County.[19]

In 1880, Susannah, who still had not remarried, was living with her son William, his wife Lillie, their daughter Bertha and a boarder James Query. They were still in Gwaltney’s Township in Alexander County. Pantha M. was living with Thomas and Elizabeth Murdah, her niece, in Sharpe’s Township in Alexander County.[20] In 1900, Pantha M. was still living with Thomas and Elizabeth. She died on march 4, 1902 at the age of 86.[21]

Susannah Beckham died on February 1, 1885 and was buried at Rocky Springs United Methodist Church Cemetery in Taylorsville, NC.[22] Susannah was born on March 12, 1822 making her 62 years old when she died.


*(This son is listed on the 1850 census as Jacob L., on the 1860 census as J.L., he was apparently in the Civil War and was listed as Lemon J. and is in his grandfather’s will as Lemuel W. Beckham. Research of the Census Records suggests that this is all the same man.)

Footnotes for William and Rebecca

  • Iredell, Alexander, Stokes and Forsyth Counties, NC
  • 1812-1885

#11 Lemuel BECKHAM and Nancy

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Will of Lemuel Beckham, Alexander County, North Carolina, C.003.80001, Book A, Page 19, North Carolina State Archives. Proven in court during the March Term 1867.
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Lemuel BECKHAM was born around 1789.[1] His birthplace is unknown but he may have been from the Warren/Granville County area.[*] Lemuel moved away from his family and by 1810 he was living in Iredell County with his wife.[2] It is unknown if Lemuel moved to Iredell County to marry or if he married before moving to the area. No documents have been found that give the name of Lemuel’s wife. He is however buried beside a woman named Nancy Beckham who is of the right age to be his wife and it is most likely that she is his wife. According to the gravestone, Nancy was born in 1781.[3]

Lemuel and his wife married before 1809 [4] and had at least five children: boy (<1810), William M. (1813), F. Helen (~1815), Pantha M. (1816) and Mira (~1820).[5] The male child enumerated on the 1810 census likely died young, as he is not listed on the 1820 census.[6] The couple may have had another child born between Pantha and Mira that did not survive. Helen married W. L. Davis and Mira married Alfred Carson.[7] William married the DOUB sisters, Rebecca and Susannah. Pantha never married and lived with her brother William. Pantha may have moved in with William to help care for his three young children after his first wife Rebecca died around 1845. William remarried to Rebecca’s sister Susannah and then he died a few years later. Pantha continued to live with Susannah and later with William’s daughter Elizabeth Beckham Murdah until her death in 1902. [8]

William died intestate and in the estate settlement his father Lemuel was appointed guardian of the minor children’s property.[9] At this time, when a child’s father was dead, even if the mother was still living, a guardian would be appointed to oversee the minor child’s personal property until the child reached the age of twenty-one.[10] At William’s death, the children’s grandfather Lemuel became guardian of their finances, but the children still lived with their mother at the family home.

Lemuel was a slave owner and is listed on the 1830 slave census as having one female slave aged 10-24. On the 1840 census he is again listed as owning a female slave aged 10-24.[11] In 1850, Lemuel has a female slave aged 25 and in 1860 he has a female slave aged 35. The age of the female salve in 1830 does not match with the age in the later censuses. Either Lemuel sold the first female slave and acquired another or it is more likely that he kept the same slave woman for this whole time and that the age was misreported in the 1830 census. The woman is not mentioned in Lemuel’s will, written in 1861 at the beginning of the Civil War. Nothing is known of what happened to the woman when slavery ended at the end of the Civil War in 1865.

Nancy Beckham died June 19, 1848 and is buried in the Beckham family Cemetery.[12] After his wife’s death, Lemuel lived with his widowed daughter Helen Davis and her three children.[13] Lemuel died March 10, 1866 at the age of 79 or 80.[14]

Lemuel’s will, written July 1861 and probated in March 1867, provided that his property be sold and “equally divided between my four grandchildren Lemuel W. Beckham[**], Wm. A.C. Beckham (heirs of Wm. M. Beckham Dec’d) and Lemuel M. Davis and Wm W. Davis (heirs of W.L. Davis Dec’d.).”[15] In the case of death of any of the four grandchildren, the estate was to be divided between the remaining grandchildren. Lemuel appointed his son-in-law Alfred Carson as his executor. In 1867, Lemuel’s estate was divided between two of his grandchildren, W.A.C. Beckham and L.M. Davis. Lemuel’s grandson Jacob L. (Lemuel) appears to have died of wounds that he received during the Civil War. It is possible that grandson Wm. W. Davis also died in the War. Grandson Lemuel Davis also served for the Confederacy but he did not die because he deserted to the enemy.[16]

[*] This assumption is based on the fact that in 1810, Lemuel is the only Beckham in Iredell County and every other Beckham in North Carolina is living in Warren County.

[**] This Lemuel M. Beckham heir of Wm M. Beckham appears to be William’s son Jacob L. Beckham. There is also a Lemon J. Beckham that served in the Civil War. Research in the census records suggests that this is all the same man.)

Footnotes for Lemuel and Nancy

  • Iredell County and Alexander County, NC
  • 1781-1866


The parents of Lemuel BECKHAM are not known. In 1790 and in 1800, every Beckham in North Carolina was living in Warren County. There are also Beckham’s from this time period in South Carolina, Virginia and Kentucky. Lemuel first appears as head of household on census records in 1810 in Iredell County at about age 23. The only other Beckham in Iredell County is John Beckham. This John Beckham is a generation older than Lemuel and has ten other people in his household. Every other Beckham in North Carolina was living in Warren County with one in Orange County. The Beckham men who were head of household in Warren County from this time are: Benjamin, Jesse, Phillip, Simon, Solomon, Stephen, Zachariah and William.[1]

It is possible that Lemuel is the son of John and that Lemuel moved with his father and siblings to Iredell County between 1800 and 1810. It is also probable that Lemuel and John are from the Warren County Beckham’s. Warren County was formed when Bute County was abolished in 1779. Bute County was formed in 1764 from Granville County. There was a John Beckham married to an Elizabeth Henderson in Granville County on August 12, 1761, but this is of the generation to be Lemuel’s grandfather.[2] Lemuel was born in ~1787 making his father born around the 1760’s and his grandfather born around the 1730’s.

A book, Genealogy of the Beckham Family in Virginia by James Madison Beckham, written in 1910, suggests that William Beckham is the progenitor of the Beckham Family in Virginia, the Carolinas and Georgia. This William Beckham emigrated from England in 1701 and settled in Orange County, Virginia. He was married to a Randolph woman.[3]

Footnotes for Beckham

  • Warren County and Iredell County, NC
  • ~1760-1830

Contributor: HilaryPerez
Created: November 20, 2007 · Modified: December 26, 2007

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