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Hudson-Mohawk Genealogical and Family Memoirs:

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[This information is from Vol. II, pp. 596-598 of Hudson-Mohawk Genealogical and Family Memoirs, edited by Cuyler Reynolds (New York: Lewis Historical Publishing Company, 1911). It is in the Reference collection of the Schenectady County Public Library at R 929.1 R45. Some of the formatting of the original, especially in lists of descendants, may have been altered slightly for ease of reading.]

The name Beebe is one of great antiquity, being found in various forms of spelling, as far back as Bebi, an Egyptian King of the second Dynasty, 3000 years B. C. In Roman history Quintius Baebius figures 534 A. D. The tradition in the family of French origin is very plausible. Richard and William de Boebe were of the Royal Guard of William the Conqueror and passed over to England with him and were granted manors in Warwickshire where the family lived up to the close of the Commonwealth. At East Farndon, England, John Beby was pastor of the Church of St. John Baptist, prior to the year 1411. One branch of the English family has the right and titles to a coat-of-arms: a blue shield with golden chevron and three gold bees. Crest: A golden beehive (indicative of industry, vigilance and persistence of purpose). Motto: Suo Defendo. The church register of St. Andrews, in the village of Broughton, Northamptonshire, England, dating from 1560, contains the names of John Beebe and his children who emigrated to America about the year 1650. John Beebe is the American ancestor, although he never saw the shores of this country, dying on shipboard. His three sons, John, Samuel and James, landed in Boston, worked their way westward, were prominent in the early settlement of Connecticut, and from there branched out in all directions. In New York they settled in Columbia county about 1760, and from there came to Albany county. They are of frequent mention in the annals of the early wars of the colonies. John Beebe with his men marched through the wilderness to the relief of Major Talcott, during King Philip's war. They were among the minute-men of 1776, and in the armies of the revolution as privates and officers. They fought from Bunker Hill to Yorktown and James Beebe was an original member of the Society of the Cincinnati. The pension rolls of the revolution contain a number of names of the family. It is spelled Bebe, Beby, Beeby and Beebe.

(I) John Beebe, the emigrant of 1650, died on shipboard and left a will in which mention is made of his children, and of the fact that he came from Broughton, Northamptonshire, England. Neither his wife Rebecca, nor daughter Hannah are mentioned in the will which was written on shipboard. The inference is that they were dead. The children mentioned are Thomas, Nathaniel, James, Rebecca and Mary. Two sons of John Beebe had preceded him to America, Samuel, see forward, and John (2). John (2), the eldest child, was then twenty-two years of age, and Mary, the youngest, thirteen. The sons all became very prominent in colonial Connecticut and were widely known as the Beebe Brothers. Rebecca married, but no mention can be found of the marriage of Mary.

(II) Samuel, son of John and Rebecca Beebe, was baptized in Broughton, England, June 23, 1633. He was a twin of Thomas Beebe and their baptisms are recorded on the same date. He arrived in New England in 1650, and settled at New London, Connecticut, where land was granted him December 2, 1651, and several times thereafter. In 1708 he testified that he and his brother made the fence surrounding Mr. Winthrop's ox pasture "sixty years ago." He removed to Plum Island and died there early in 1712, letters of administration being granted, April 6, 1712, to his widow Mary. He married (first) Agnes, daughter of William Keeney, and (second) Mary, her sister. Children: Samuel (2), William, Agnes, Nathaniel, Ann, Jonathan, Mary and Thomas.

(III) Thomas, youngest son of Samuel and Mary (Keeney) Beebe, was born about 1682. The earmark of his cattle was recorded at New London, Connecticut, August 5, 1712, "A croppe and half croppe on the left ear, which was his father Samuel's ear mark." September 2, 1714, he bought land in Colchester, which he sold in 1720. In 1725 he was of Haddam, Connecticut. He married Anna Hobson, at New London, December 17, 1707. Children: Edward, Agnes and Peter.

(IV) Edward, eldest son of Thomas and Anna (Hobson) Beebe, was born about 1708. He married Hannah Pratt, and had children: Edward, John, Thomas T., see forward; Hannah, Samuel and Samuel (2).

(V) Ensign Thomas T., son of Edward and Hannah (Pratt) Beebe, was born February 7, 1743, died February 24, 1792. He was a ship carpenter and on leaving Connecticut came to Albany county, New York, where he was engaged in farming. He was a brave soldier of the Revolution, serving as ensign in the Sixth and Seventh Connecticut regiments. He fought at the battle of Bunker Hill, and in the thick of the fight secured a fine musket that dropped from the grasp of a mortally wounded English soldier. He used the gun during the battle, as long as he had ammunition. This gun is now in the possession of a descendant, Thomas T. Beebe, of Albany, who also has a bugle used in the battle and a sabre used by Ensign Thomas. He married Olive Hall, born March 24, 1743, died February 1, 1828, in Columbia county, New York, daughter of Captain Hall. Children: Hannah, Thomas William, Gilbert, Mary, Betsey, John, Joseph, Abijah, Sarah, Huldah, William Samuel, and Joshua Hall.

(VI) Thomas William, son of Ensign Thomas T. and Olive (Hall) Beebe, was born in Albany county, New York, at or near Voorheesville, October 7, 1769, died June 18, 1848. After his marriage he settled in Guilderland, Albany county, and devoted himself to agriculture. He married, January 24, 1793, Helen S. Van Patten, of Dutch parentage, born August 10, 1775, died April 14, 1869. Thomas W. and wife are buried at Voorheesville, Albany county, New York. Children:

  1. Thomas T., born July 13, 1794, died April 22, 1876; married (first) Philey A. Wood, (second) Maria (Van Zant) Beebe. Children by first marriage only.
  2. Nicholas, born March 29, 1796, died April 21, 1879; married Betsey Passage, born in 1808, died September 12, 1873. They had issue.
  3. Elizabeth, born January 9, 1798; married ———— Passage; six children.
  4. Sarah, born September 9, 1800, died January 19, 1896; married Zachariah Smith, who still survives her (1910).
  5. Margaret, born February 6, 1803, died June 29, 1849; married Benjamin Van Norman and had issue.
  6. Peter, August 2, 1805, died March 13, 1890; married Abigail Hand.
  7. John T., see forward.
  8. William.
  9. Helen Susanne.
  10. John Hall.
  11. Henry Thomas, living in 1910, at Omaha, Nebraska.
  12. Jacob.
  13. Huldah.

(VII) John T., son of Thomas W. and Helen S. (Van Patten) Beebe, was born in the town of Guilderland, Albany county, New York, August 28, 1807, died April 21, 1886. Practically his whole life was spent in Albany county. Early in life he learned the trade of finisher of silk hats, but soon after returned to his father's farm in Guilderland. Later he learned the carpenter's trade. He was industrious and a man much respected. In early life he was a Democrat but after the civil war he joined the Republican party. He married, in Knox, Albany county, Mary Ann Chase, born December 1, 1807, daughter of Job and Lois (Toll) Chase, of prominent Connecticut ancestry. After his marriage he settled in town of Knox and lived there until his death. Children:

  1. Huldah, born in Albany county, New York, married (first) Jacob I. Messick, (second) Samuel Gray; no living issue, a son Samuel Gray (2) dying at the age of twenty-two years.
  2. Lois, deceased, married Elisha Gray of Altamont, New York. They had Mary, Augusta, and Albert Gray, all residents of New York City.
  3. William Henry, see forward.
  4. Mary, died in 1908; married John E. Hellenbeck, who survives her, living in Albany. Children:
    1. William, a well known business man of Albany; married Elizabeth Schwericker, and has a son Robert Hellenbeck, and a married daughter, Mrs. Vedder, of Schenectady, New York.
    2. Charles, deceased.
    3. Frank.
    4. Sarah, deceased, married Edward Conroy.
    5. Jennie.
  5. Sarah, died at the age of fourteen years.

(VIII) William Henry, third child of John T. and Mary A. (Chase) Beebe, was born on his father's farm in the town of Knox, New York, November 6, 1832. He was given limited opportunity to acquire an education, but was early placed at work in the fields and pastures looking after the sheep and cattle with which the farm was stocked; later he was taught the carpenter's trade by his father. He was possessed of a restless ambition to go out in the world and seek his fortune and in 1856, broke away from home ties and went to Chicago. His knowledge of mechanics stood him in good turn and he secured employment in an establishment making milling machinery. He acquired a good mechanical knowledge in the different departments, but was obliged to resign his position on account of failing health. He learned photography, then in its earlier stages of development, and with his usual aptitude soon became a skillful artist. In a few years he had accumulated considerable capital. He returned to his home in Albany county, married, and later settled in the city of Albany, where he invested heavily in south end real estate. These investments have made Mr. Beebe a very wealthy man. He made extensive improvements and erected many homes. The growth of the city has made his property very valuable and from it he derives a large income. His career of successful endeavor has been marked with no failures. His keen perception and wise judgment have guided him aright, while his untiring energy has pushed to successful issue the plans suggested by his active brain. By no lucky turn of Fortune's wheel have his possessions been acquired, but by hard work, constant application and wise foresight. The term a "self made man" is hackneyed and often misapplied but there are no better words to apply to Mr. Beebe. Starting life with little education, he has acquired a remarkable fund of general information; is a fluent and interesting talker and a clear headed, sagacious man of business; conducts a large estate successfully and is recognized as a capable man of affairs whose integrity is as unquestioned as is his financial responsibility. When these results are known to have been attained without capital or influential friends in the beginning the superior quality of the man must be admitted. For many years he was the leader of his party in his home ward but repeatedly and persistently refused office for himself. He was originally a Democrat, but is now a supporter of the Republican party. He is a member of Blue Lodge, Free and Accepted Masons, of Albany. He married, July 3, 1859, in Knox, New York, Eugenia A. Champion, born in Berne, Albany county, New York, daughter of Ezra and Margaret (Bartley) Champion, prominent residents of the town. Mr. and Mrs. William H. Beebe have passed the fiftieth anniversary of their wedding day and have spent their useful lives in the most perfect marital happiness. Of congenial minds and similar tastes they are enjoying an ideal old age, he, now at the age of seventy-eight and she, seventy-two years (1910). Children:

  1. Ida, born September 3, 1865, died aged thirteen months, thirteen days.
  2. Anna B., born August 28, 1870, died September, 1899; married Alfred Batcher, who was accidentally killed in 1908 by injuries received from a vicious horse; children:
    1. Hamilton, died in infancy;
    2. Earl, born September 8, 1892, attended the public schools of Albany and now attending Albany Business College; has resided with his grandparents since six years of age;
    3. Florence, died aged five years; she resided for two years after her mother's death with her grandparents.
  3. Carrie and
  4. Clara, twins, born April 3, 1875, both died in infancy.
  5. John T., born November 14, 1878, died July 15, 1879.

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