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The Beebe Family in Northamptonshire

Submitted by Alan D Henry, of Michigan, USA

Four generations of the family are shown to correct a mistake made in the early 1900s, in a genealogy published by Clarence Beebe. Clarence had thought that Alexander Beeby was the direct ancestor of the North American Beebes. This has now been proven incorrect, though many are probably not aware of this fact. By including four generations, the error can be demonstrated, by showing that Alexander was the Great Uncle, and not the Grandfather, of John Beeby, who died on the way to America in 1650.

First Generation

1. Thomas Beebe b. EST 1535, England, m. Unknown. Thomas (called Thomas Bebe) lived in Great Addington, Northamptonshire, England and is mentioned in records in 1551, 1559 and 1561. On 19 May 1551 he is cited in a list of 11 names in a Manor Court Roll as a Manorial tenant and serving on a Manorial Jury. On 10 May 1559 he witnessed the will of Alexander Bolney of Great Addington. And on 21 Jul 1561 he witnessed the will of Agnes Bate of Great Addington. While no proof has been found that he is the father of Alexander, John and Mary, he certainly appears to be the most likely candidate.


2.     i      Alexander Beeby b. ABT 1555.

3.     ii      John Beeby Sr. b. ABT 1560.

        iii      Mary Beeby m. Thomas Foscutt, d. BEF 1610. Mary died 1610. She had two daughters and a son. She died Easterday, 1610 . In her will (which was of the type given verbally) the Memorandum states "that on Easterday last in Anno Dom 1610 immediately after morninge prayer Mary Ffoscutt of great addingtion in the diocese of P'boro widowe being sicke in body yet of good memory beinge & demanded how she would bestowe her goods made ansere to this effect. I have a sonne and two daughtors and I would have that that I have equally divided amongst them . . . " Crossed out in the will were several names including "Elizabeth Bibbie wife of Alexdr Bibie." Foscutt wills later in the century mention Beeby relatives. Thomas: Thomas described himself as a husbandman of Great Addington in his will 2 Nov 1609. He also mentioned his wife Mary and his brothers-in-law John and Alexander Beeby.

Second Generation

2. Alexander Beeby b. ABT 1555, England, occ. Shoemaker, m. 1578, in Stoke Doyle, Northamptonshire, England, Elizabeth Hull, d. 1633/4, England. Alexander died 1623, Gr. Addington, Northamptonshire,England. Alexander was witness to a land purchase in Gt. Addington in1608 and became a landowner there in 1610. He also purchased land there in 1610 with his son John. This land passed through the family until at least 1672. He was a witness to the will of his brother John in 1622. Alexander's will was dated 20 Feb 1623/4 and proved Apr 1624. It read: Unto James my second son that piece of meade with the appurtenances which I had and purchased to mee and my heirs of Richard Currier, clerke to him and his heirs after the death of Elizabeth my wife. To all my grandchildren 2 shill 6d apiece. to my wife Elizabeth and John my eldest son all my croppe and other goods as well real as personal, to be equally divided. The inventory amounted to L5.2.4. No documents have been found that gave the actual date of birth of any of his children. In the marriage register, Alexander is called "Saunder Beebye." This line, for at least the next few generations, spelled their name "Beeby" although there are some variations recorded.

Elizabeth: Her will was written 13 Mar 1633 and proved 17 Apr 1634. It mentions four married daughters and their husbands, John and his sons and a granddaughter Ann Love. Inventory, valued at L18.18. 2., taken by Thomas Cox, Peter Cranke and her son John Beeby.


          i      Joan Beeby b. ABT 1580, m. 1612, in Old Weston, Cambridgeshire, England, Richard Reynolds. Her children are mentioned in her brother James' will in 1631.

          ii      Anne Beeby b. ABT 1583, m. John Hans. Her children are mentioned in her brother James' will in 1631 and she and her husband and their two daughters are mentioned in her mother's will in 1633.

          iii     Elizabeth Beeby      b. ABT 1586, m. Peter Cranke, d. 1653. Elizabeth died AFT 1653. Like her other sisters, she and her immediate family members are mentioned in brother James' will and also in her mother's will. She was alive in 1653 when her husbands will was proved. Peter: Peter's will was proved in 1653. He is mentioned in his mother-in-law's will in 1633.

          iv      Alice Beeby b. ABT 1594, m. Samuel Stratton. Had children.

4.        v      John Beeby b. ABT 1590/91.

          vi      James Beeby b. ABT 1596, d. 29 Aug 1631. No children. His will dated 21 Aug 1631 reads: all my messuages, lands, etc. to John Bebye, my natural brother and his heirs. I will that my sister Sarah shall have her dwelling in some of my messuages during her life the children of my sister Sarah, L20 apiece at their ages of 21. Children of sisters, Joan, Eliza, Anne and Alice, L20 apiece at 21, to my servant John, 5 shillings; to Edward Morton, ten shillings. The will was proved 14 Sept 1631. His older brother was sole executor. An Inquisitor Post Mortem was held at Northampton 22 Nov 1632. It states that he died 29 Aug 1631, that he held lands in Great Addington, that his heir was his brother John who was age 40+ at the time of his death.

          vii      Sara Beeby b. ABT 1598. She was alive but unmarried in 1631, 1633 and 1638.

3. John Beeby Sr. b. ABT 1560, Gr. Addington, Northamptonshire,England, m. Unknown. John died 1622. John "the elder" purchased land in Gr. Addington in 1614. He wrote his will in 1622 and it was proved 5 Mar 1622. Will mentions 6 "kin." His nephew John Beeby (described as the testator's brother's son) named as Co-supervisor.


            i      James Beeby. Called eldest son of John Beeby in records in 1614 and also in his father's will in 1622. In his father's will he was given responsibility to bring up his youngest sister Margery.

5.        ii      John Beeby Jr. b. ABT 1600.

           iii      Thomas Beeby. In 1622, he was under age 21.

           iv      Elizabeth Beeby.

            v      Ann Beeby m. 1630, in Broughton, Northamptonshire, England, John Harris. In 1622, she was under age 21.

           vi      Margery Beeby. She was called youngest daughter in her father's will in 1622.

Third Generation

4. John Beeby b. ABT 1590/91, Gr Addington, Northamptonshire, England, occ. Shoemaker, m. 1623, in Podington, Bedfordshire, England, Alice Stratton, d. BEF 1672. John died 1 Aug 1638, Gr Addington, Northamptonshire, England. His birth date is based on the statement at his brother's Inquisitor Post Mortem that he was age 40+ in Nov 1632. He purchased land in Great Addington in 1610 with his father and named co-supervisor of his Uncle John's will in 1622. He is called eldest son in his father's will. John was born and died in Great Addington, Northamptons, England. His will is dated 30 July 1638 and he is described as John Beby of Great Addington, Yeoman. It reads: To John Beby, my second son, messuage or tenement wherein my father lived. James Beby, my third son; William Beby my forth son; sister Sara; son Alexander; James my brother deceased; All properties to be used by wife Alice to raise children under age 21. Wife Alice sole executrix. Friends, Mr. Cox (he was rector of the parish) and Mr. Bletso, overseers. It was proved 11 Sept 1638. A document filed in London covers an Inquisitor Post Mortem, held in Kettering (a town close to Great Addington) 6 Sep 1639 which describes his lands in Great Addington and mentions his heir as Alex Beeby, age 13 years, 8 months and 10 days at the time of John's death. John was a yeoman which in English society is generally meant to be a free landowner of a rank lower that gentry. A descendant tells that a note in the Great Addington Parish register (now lost)said that "in 1638 at harvest time, which was an extreme hot time, many people then at work in the fields at Addington fell sick and some d'yd." Alice: On 18 Nov 1626, her mother is buried in Podington, Beds and 3 Jun 1627 her father, John Stratton, yeoman, wrote his will. It includes a statement "to John Bebie his wife a black ____". In 1650, she is shown as the wife of Henry Hemington on a Gr. Addington deed. (He was of Great Addington 1647-68 and of Sudborough 1671). She evidently died before 1672 because a Henry Hemington is recorded as marrying an Elizabeth Beal in that year.


6.         i      Alexander Beeby b. 23 Nov 1624.

7.        ii      John Beeby b. 1626/7.

          iii      James Beeby b. 1627/8, d. BEF 1671. Called third son in father's will in 1638.

          iv      William Beeby b. 1630/31, m. 1656, Isabella Samnar?. William died AFT 1671. Called fourth son in his father's will. He was also mentioned in his brother Alex's will. It is believed that they had a son named William.

5. John Beeby Jr. b. ABT 1600, Broughton, Northamptonshire, England, m. 1627, in Broughton, Northamptonshire, England, Rebecca Ladd, d. BEF 1650, England. John died 18 May 1650. He was called second son in his father's will in 1622. In an Indenture (162/361) on 17/11/Charles 5th year (1631) John Bebye of Broughton (and his wife Rebecca) sold land in Great Addington to his elder brother James of Islip, both referred to as sons of John Bebye, deceased. John died 18 May 1650 while on his way to America. He left five sons and two daughters. He left England in April or May 1650 and was accompanied by his five children. Two sons, John and Samuel, preceded him to America and his daughter Hannah and wife Rebecca probably died before he started. His will (below) was written and signed on shipboard on the day he died, at which time his eldest son was twenty-two and his youngest child eight. He appointed William Lewis and John Cole executors of his will. The immigrants reached their destination in the latter days of May 1650 and it is probable that the ship reached a port in the neighborhood of Cape Ann, MA. for it is recorded the Rev. Mr. Blinman administered to the spiritual interests of this Colony and that he, with a party including the Beebes, had moved to New London, CT by March 1651, where they were prominent in the early settlement of that place.

WILL OF JOHN BEEBY, 18 MAY 1650. It being agreabl to Civill and religious Custome as required by God upon the occation of his hand upon the sonnes of men as a forerunner of death unto them therefore to sett theyr house in order; wherefore I John Beeby, Husbandman, late of Broughton in the County of Northampton, being by Gods good hand bought on a voyadge towards New Engl'd to sea and there smitten by the good hand of God, so as that my expectation is for my chaynge, yet though mercy as yet in perfect memory and understanding; doe hereby (my just and dewe debts being fully and dewely discharged); give and bequeathe unto my seven children, to say John Beeby, Thomas Beeby, Samuel; Nathaniell, Jeames, Rebecca and Mary Beeby all and every such moneyes or goods of what spetia or kynde somever as all the proper estate belonging unto me the above sayde John Beeby, to be equally divided between the sayd John, Thomas, Samuel, Nathaniell, Jeames, Rebecca and Mary Beeby in equall parts and portions, Further I the sayde John Beebe doe will that my faure elder children to say; John, Thomas, Samuel and Rebecca shall have that part of the sayde monnies and goods belonging unto the three younger to say, Nathaniel Jeames and Mary, in their hands as wel as theyr owne proportions, and that the sayde John Thomas Samuell and Rebecca shall take care for the provition of the three younger till that they the sayde Nathaneill Jeames and Mary be of adge, at wh tyme they are to have theyr proportions payde in unto them by my sayde sonnes & daughter John Thomas Samuel and Rebecca Bebe, whom I appoint as execurors of this my last will and in case that any of the three of my younger childdren shall dye before they come at adge that then theyr proportion of estate so dyeing to be equally divided amongst all the survivors; Further I John Beeby doe will and desyor that loving friends Mr. William Lewis, and John Cole; be overseers of this my will; and that all my sayde children be advised and counselled by my sayde overseers for ther future desposal whether upon chaynge of theyr condition by marriage or otherwyse for the good of my sayde children: Lastly I will that it be understod that my daughters be at full adge for receyving theyr proportion of estate at ye adge of eighteen yearses; As a testimony that this is my last will and testamt I have this eighteenth day of May one thousand sixe hundred and fifty sett to my hand and seale. John Beeby, Witness, William Partridge, John Partridge.

The above was copied from the Book "The Beebe Family of Broughton, England" by Clarence Beebe, 1915. It is believed to be as nearly as possible verbatim.

Rebecca: She was of Broughton, Northamptonshire,England and was the sister of Samuel and Rev. Nathaniel Ladd of Broughton. In the will of Samuel Ladd, dated 23 Sep 1634 "To sister Rebecca Beebe, 5 pounds. To her son Samuel, 5 pounds. To each of her other children, viz.: to John, Thomas, and Rebecca, 10 shillings, being 1 pound, 10 shillings in all."


  8.        i      John Beebe III. bp. 4 Nov 1628.

  9.       ii      Rebecca Beebe bp. 11 Aug 1630.

10.       iii     Thomas Beebe bp. 23 Jun 1633.

11.       iv      Samuel Beebe Sr. bp. 23 Jun 1633.

             v      Nathaniel Beebe bp. 23 Jan 1635, Broughton, Northamptonshire, England, d. 17 Dec 1724, Stonington, New London, CT. Nathaniel settled in Stonington, CT. His land was absorbed in the large estates of his neighbors the Denisons. In the will of William Denison (1715) he disposes of the Beeby land, but adds "I order my executors to take a special care of Mr Nathaniel Beeby during his life and give him a Christian burial at his death." His gravestone is near the Denisons and states that he died December 17th 1724, aged 93. There is no record that he ever married or had children.

             vi      Mary Beebe bp. 18 Mar 1637, Broughton, Northamptonshire, England. It is said she was unmarried and of New London, CT on 30 Sep 1662.

            vii      Hannah Beebe bp. 23 Jun 1640, Broughton, Northamptonshire, England, d. BEF 1650. She is believed to have died before the date of her father's will since she is not mentioned.

12.       viii      James Beebe Sr. b. ABT 1641.

Fourth Generation

6. Alexander Beeby b. 23 Nov 1624, m. Elizabeth Noke, b. ABT 1630, d. ABT 1688. Alexander died 1671. He was called heir (age 13 years, 8 months) in his father's Post Mortem in 1639, a land owner in 1647. Alexander Beeby, of Great Addington, Yeoman, wrote his will 24 Jun 1671 and died in that year. At time of death he had 4 children plus an unborn child which were mentioned in his will as well as a mention of his father-in-law, Henry Hemington Elizabeth: She is mentioned as "with child" in her husband's will. She wrote her will 18 Apr 1683 and it was proved in 1688. Co-Overseer of will is her "loving brother John Beeby" who also is witness to the will.


                 i      John Beeby b. 1647.

                ii      Alexander Beeby b. ABT 1649.

                iii      Thomas Beeby b. 1652.

                iv      Elizabeth Beeby b. 1655.

7. John Beeby b. 1626/7, m. 7 Apr 1666, in Hargrave, Northamptonshire, England, Susanna Sanderson, b. 1630, bd. 1724. John died 1693, bd. 2 Mar 1693, Gr. Addington, Northamptonshire,England. Called second son in his father's will in 1638. In 1671, he is mentioned in his brother Alex's will. He was witness 20 Mar 1647 to Great Addington land transfers to/from Henry Hemington, his father-in-law and 27 Jun 1672, he and wife Susanna sold land he had inherited from his father in 1638. His will was written 22 Jan 1693 and proved 28 Apr 1694. He died in 1693 and was buried 3 Mar 1693 leaving a wife and 4 children. Will states that John Beeby of Great Addington, husbandman, wrote the will, his wife and executrix (Susanna) retained properties during her lifetime. Eldest son John (under 21) gets estate, land, house and farm animals. Son Lawrence (under 21) Co-executor, his house & Spinney and 3 acres in Great Addington fields. Daughters Jane and Elizabeth (both under 21) receive 40 pounds each. The will is witnessed by John Beeby, Lawrence Sanderson; land holders John Beeby; William Beeby. Susanna: She was "of Great Addington"at time of marriage. Witnessed land record of her husband in 1672. She was executor of her husband's will in 1693/4 and called a widow in a 1698 record. She was the daughter of Lawrence Sanderson whose will, 28 Mar 1678, mentions his daughter Susanna, the wife of John Beeby.


                 i      Jane Beeby b. ABT 1672, m. 1698, William Pettit. William: His 1737/8 Will mentions his sister-in-law Eleanor Beeby.

                 ii      Elizabeth Beeby b. 1676, m. 1703, Thomas Abbot.

                 iii      John Beeby b. AFT 1671, occ. Miller, m. Eleanor _____. Called eldest son in his father's will. Birth date uncertain but after 1671. Probably had children. His will written 1730 where he was a Miller of Great Addington. Eleanor: Will written 1770 and proved 1774.

                 iv      Lawrence Beeby b. ABT 1676, m. 1709, in Bedford, England, Mary Broughton, bp. 1709, d.1768, Gr Addington, Northamptonshire, England. Lawrence died 1763. Lived in Great Addington, Northamptonshire, England. He had a will. Mary: Adult Baptism.

8. John Beebe III. bp. 4 Nov 1628, Broughton, Northamptonshire, England, occ. Farmer Soldier, m. 1659, in Stonington, New London, CT, Abigail Yorke, b. 1638, d. 7 Jan 1720/21. John died 14 Apr 1708, New London, New London, CT. In the summer of 1676, Ensign John Beebe on New London, with Captain George Denison, was with a company which was raised in New London County for the Indian War. There are records of several land purchases in 1651 and 1652 by John. In 1707, he deeded 31 acres to his son Benjamin. This deed was recorded 28 April 1714 but he was probably dead at that time. He was called a "Leather Dresser" in a deed dated 1660. In 1675, he was appointed Ensign by the general court. During King Philip's War in June 1676, he went on several expeditions against the Indians to Rhode Island, Taunton and beyond Westfield, MA. on the way to Albany. On one of these expeditions, the company ascended the Connecticut River to Northampton, where they joined Major Talcot with supplies of which the army was in urgent need. In 1690, he was commissioned a lieutenant.

Clarence Beebe in "John Beebe of Broughton," 1921, says his death was "about April 1714." Abigail: Daughter of James and Joannah (____) Yorke Sr. of Stonington, CT. There is some question concerning the birthdate since, according to the Hempstead Diary, she is said to have been buried 7 Jan 1720 at age 86/7. Clarence Beebe in his 1921 book shows her death as Mar 1725 but this appears to be about the date Mary, Samuel Beebe's wife, died. Clarence also called her "Old Goodie Beebe" which was really the "pet" name of Mary (Keeney) Beebe.

9. Rebecca Beebe bp. 11 Aug 1630, Broughton, Northamptonshire, England, m. 2 Jan 1651, in Hartford, Hartford, CT, John Rusco, b. ABT 1623, England, d. 1702, Norwalk, Fairfield, CT. John: Son of William and Rebecca Ruscoe. He was one of the 14 original proprietors of Norwalk, CT. He is named in his fathers Will 5 Aug 1680 and was left 5 shillings. According to New York Settlers from New England, 1901, p 379, his father died in 1682 at Jamaica, Long Island. Inventory of John's estate taken 20 Nov 1702.

10. Thomas Beebe bp. 23 Jun 1633, Broughton, Northamptonshire, England, occ. Ship-master in CT, m. BEF 1658, Millicent Addis. Thomas died 1699, New London, New London, CT. Thomas was made a freeman of the Colony in 1666 and was of a committee of seven to fortify New London against King Philip in 1675. His homestead descended to his son Thomas, by whom it was conveyed in the latter years of his life, to his nephew, William Holt. Millicent: Millicent m. (1) William Southmead, and by him had two sons; William and John Southmead. She m. (2) William Ash of Gloucester, MA and (3) Thomas Beebe of New London, CT.

11. Samuel Beebe Sr. bp. 23 Jun 1633, Broughton, Northamptonshire, England, m. 1660, in New London, New London, CT, Mary Keeney, b. ABT 1639, d. 9 May 1725, New London, New London, CT, bd. 10 May 1725. Samuel died 1712, Plum Island, Suffolk, NY. Samuel was a twin brother of Thomas and baptized with him at Broughton, England, 23 June 1633. He came to New England in 1649 with his brother John. They lived briefly in Glouchester, MA but then removed to New London, CT where land was granted him December 2nd 1651 as well as several times afterwards. In 1708 he testified that he and his brother made the fence to Mr Winthrop's ox pasture "sixty years since." This expression is understood to mean about sixty years as he could not have been in New London earlier than the summer of 1650. A deed recorded in New London, and dated 8 May 1716 from Mary Beebe, then resident of Colchester, and relict of Samuel Beebe, late of New London, deceased, and conveyed to Samuel Fox of New London, for a valuable sum of money, land in New London, "originally granted to William Keeney." He probably moved to Plum Island and died there early in 1712 as administration was granted on his estate, 6 April 1712, to his widow, Mary and his son Samuel of Southold, Long Island. The Genealogy by Clarence Beebe names a first wife, Agnes Keeney, which is believed to be in error. Search does not reveal any such person other than Mary Keeney's mother, the wife of William Keeney. It appears that Clarence Beebe merely repeated the incorrect information provided by Frances M. Caulkins who earlier wrote the History of New London. New London Probate Record (A/620), rejected will of Samuel Beebe of New London, dated 10 Nov 1702, mentions wife Mary (executor), sons Samuel, William, Nathaniel, Jonathan and Thomas Beebe; daughters Agnes, Susanna and Mercy. His daughter Mary was not mentioned although Mary dec'd was mentioned in the distribution of her father's estate. Mary: Daughter of William and Agnes (Duckett?) Keeney. She was called "Old Goodie Beebe" in Hempsteads Diary. More recent researchers have incorrectly applied this "pet" name to Abigail Yorke.

12. James Beebe Sr. b. ABT 1641, Broughton, Northamptonshire, England, m. (1) 24 Oct 1667, in Hadley, Hampshire, MA, Mary Boltwood, b. ABT 1646, Hartford, Hartford, CT, d. 19 Aug 1676, Hadley, Hampshire, MA, m. (2) 19 Dec 1679, in Norwalk, Fairfield, CT, Sarah Benedict, b. ABT 1657, m. (3) AFT 1704, Rebecca (Beardsley) Curtis, d. 13 Feb 1738/9, Woodbury, Litchfield, CT. James died 22 Apr 1728, Danbury, Fairfield, CT. James was probably baptized at Broughton, England in the year 1641. He was undoubtedly the youngest of the Beebe brothers and probably accompanied his father to New England in 1650 when but 8 years of age. Not many years later he is found at Hadley, MA where he remained for more than 25 years. He was apprenticed by William Lewis, overseer of his father's Will to Thomas Stanley, of Hartford and Hadley. Stanley in his Will bequeathed five pounds "unto James Beebe my servant to be paid unto him a'ft he hath p'formed that tyme of service whe was promised by William Lewis, that he is to be with me until he is 20 and 5 years old." In 1679 he was a resident of Stratford, CT but soon removed to Norwalk and thence to Danbury. The first permanent settlement of Danbury was made in 1685 by James and seven other families. Here he was appointed to sundry offices, being a Commissioner in 1691, a Lieutenant in 1696, a Justice of the Peace for many years from 1698, a Deputy to the General Assembly in 1710, and Captain of the Train Band from 1716. He married first at Hadley, 24 October 1668, Mary, daughter of Robert and Mary (Gernor) Boltwood. She was the mother of his five older children and died 19 August 1676. He married second, at Norwalk, CT, 19 Dec 1679, Sarah, daughter of Thomas and Mary (Bridgeman) Benedict. He married third, after 1704, Rebecca (Beardsley) Curtis, daughter of William and Mary (Harvey) Beardsley. He died at Danbury, CT 22 April 1728 at the age of 87 as recorded on his tombstone. This stone was seen by Rev. Thomas Robbins and referred to in a century sermon in 1801.

Most of the information for the the first four generations in England is based on research by Steve Walker of Desford, England from documents on file in Northampton, Leicester, Warwick and London, England.

Alan Henry can be contacted by e-mail at alanhenry[at]buckeye-express[dot]com.