An American Family History

Richard Beard

“Remember, remember always, that all of us, and you and I especially, are descended from immigrants and revolutionists."
― Franklin D. Roosevelt
Anne Arundel County, Maryland
Early Quakers were persecuted. In the Massachusetts Bay colony, Friends were banished on pain of death.
Understand the Puritans better:
The first European settlements in Maryland were made in 1634 when English settlers created a permanent colony.
Maryland was established with religious freedom for Catholics. The colonial economy was based on tobacco cultivated by Africans who had been enslaved.
All Hallows Church (The Brick Church), Anne Arundel County, Maryland records date back to 1682. It was an Anglican church. The building was constructed about 1710. The cemetery surrounds the church.

Richard Beard was born in January, 1626 in Sussex County, England. He was the son of Richard Beard (1604-1661) and Ann Walker (1608-1662). In a 1668 deed, he was described as a boatwright and in another as a gentleman.

He married Rachel Robins in 1649.

They moved to Anne Arundel County, Maryland in 1650 from Virginia. They came with her sister, Elizabeth, and brother-in-law, William Burgess. They were part of a group of non-conformist or Puritans who left Virginia with William Stone.

Ruth Beard was born about 1650.

Rachel Beard Stimpson Proctor Kilburn Freeborn was born about 1650.

In January, 1650 he patented Poplar Neck on the south side of South River. It was west of Londontone. It was originally was a part of his brother-in-law, William Burgess', property and in 1739 was the location of an insurrection by enslaved people.

In August, 1650 he had Beard's Dock surveyed. Beard's Dock was 250 acres on the South River in Middle Neck Hundred.

Richard Beard, Jr. was born about 1651.

John Beard was born about 1653.

Rebecca Beard Nicholson was born about 1657.

Richard Beard became a Quaker in 1656/57. His conversion was described in a letter from Robert Clarkson to Elizabeth Harris, “From Severon ye 14th of ye 11th month 16(5)7.”

. . . was in a miraculouse way convinced in ye fore pt of the sumer, by a clap of thunder he being at worke in ye wood, and one neare w/ him in a rainy wether, and at that instant it thundered much as is usuall in ye summertyme in soe much that itt wrought a feare in him, and put him to the risk of his condition, and it did apeare to him to bee, unsafe, hee seeing nothing to trust to, theire being soe many opinions that hee did nott know wch to chuse hee then being in feare not knowing st would become of him in that condition;

desired that ye Lord would manifest to him, concerning the way wch was knowne amongst us whether it was the true way of good or not yet it mought be maide knowne to him by thunder, and at that same instant theire came a clap of thunder wch was verry greate, in soe much that it broake a tree very neeare them and strooke him that was with him to ye ground, and himselfe could scarce recover from faleing and a porefull answer came to him at the same Instant, that that which hee had inquired, of was ye true way of god and forthwith he declayred it abroad and was convinced thereby wherein I hope he abides.

In 1657, Quaker Meetings were held at Richard Beard’s house.

In 1659 he had Broome surveyed. It was 220 acres on the west side of Broad Creek and he had Brampton surveyed. It was 100 acres.

In 1660 he was summoned to serve on the grand jury for the Provincial court and was fined for refusing to swear the required oath. He signed a petition to exempt Quakers from swearing oaths.

In January, 1661 he patented Beard's Habitation which was 1,200 acres on the South River, adjoining West Puddington her mother, Jane Cornish Robins Puddington's home.

Richard represented Anne Arundel County in the Lower House of the Assembly in 1662-1664.

In September, 1663 he sold 200 acres of  Poplar Neck to John Mott.

In 1663 he patented 1,200 acres of Beard's Habitation.

In 1666 he sold Brampton to John McCubbin. In September, 1666 he was granted John's Cabin Ridge which was 30 acres on North side of Flat Creek.

John's Cabin Ridge was on the north side of Flat Creek in Anne Arundel County, Maryland.
1666 - Granted to Richard Beard
1668 - Sold to James Sanders
1705 - Part inherited by Mary Jones Beddenfield
1715 - Part mortgaged by William Jones, Jr. and James Sanders to James Carroll, who sold the mortgage to Charles Cheney.
1740 - Inherited by Elizabeth Beddenfield Ricketts

In August, 1668 he sold John's Cabin Ridge to James Sanders. Rachel released her dower right. This tract contained 150 acres in the Calvert County Rent Rolls.

On November 12, 1670 he sold the 200 acre Broome to Colonel Henry Ridgely.

In 1674 he petitioned the General Assembly of Maryland not to require taking oaths.

Richard died about 1681 when he was 49 years old. He was buried at All Hallows Church in Anne Arundel County, Maryland.

In his will he directed that his wife, Rachel, would be the executrix and have the home plantation during her life.

Richard and John inherited the home plantation and all lands except those left to his daughters.

Ruth and her sons inherited part of Timberneck and Richard's share if he died without children.

Rebecca and her sons inherited part of Indian Range and John's inheritance if he died without heirs.

Rachel Clarke and her sons inherited only if one of her siblings died.

His brother-in-law, William Burgess, and his sons were overseers.

In the early 1700s, their grandson, Richard Clark, terrorized Annapolis.

In 1674, George Puddington, 20 shillings each to Richard's children. George was Rachel Robin Beard's mother's second husband.
Anne Arundel County, Maryland was established in 1650.

Planter is an archaic term for a settler. Plantation was a method of colonization where settlers were "planted" abroad. A plantation is also the kind of large farm that was the economical basis of many American Colonies and owners of these farms were also called planters.

A land patent is an exclusive land grant made by the government. The certificate that grants the land rights is also called first-title deed and final certificate. In the United States, all land can be traced back to the original land patent.

A Dower is a provision for a wife's support should her husband die before her. Her dower right was the use of ⅓ of her husband's estate. The dower was settled on the bride at the time of the wedding. A drowry was the property a bride brought to her marriage.

Personal property can be called personalty (personality), goods, chattels, articles, or movable property. It includes both animate or inanimate property.
The first European settlements in Maryland were made in 1634 when English settlers created a permanent colony.

Rent rolls were lists of landowners showing whether they had paid their annual quit-rents to the Crown. A quick-rent was a feudal remnant and was paid by a freeholder in lieu of services that might otherwise have been required.




Anne Arundel County Circuit Court

Brampton, 100 Acres;
Certificate Developer/Owner: Beard, Richard
1659 Patent Record 4, p. 263 0 0 MSA S 1581-674

Broome, 220 Acres;
Certificate Developer/Owner: Beard, Richard
1659 Patent Record 4, p. 262 0 0 MSA S 1581-730

Beards Habitation 1260 Acres;
PatentDeveloper/Owner: Beard, Richard
1663 Patent Record 5, p. 590 0 0 MSA S 1581-523

Beards Dock, 250 Acres;
Certificate Developer/Owner: Beard, Richard
1663 Patent Record AB and H, p. 296 0 0 MSA S 1581-532
surveyed in 1650

Poplar Neck, 200 Acres;
Certificate Developer/Owner: Beard, Richard
1663 Patent Record AB and H, p. 267 0 0 MSA S 1581-3821

Indian Range, 250 Acres; Certificate
Developer/Owner: Franklin, Robert and Richard Beard 1665 Patent Record 8, p. 402 0 0 MSA S 1581-2575

John's Cabbin Ridge, 30 Acres;
Certificate Developer/Owner: Beard, Richard
1666 Patent Record 9, p. 152 0 0 MSA S 1581-2659

Hesters Habitation, 118 Acres;
Certificate Developer/Owner: Beard, Hester
1678 Patent Record 20, p. 187 0 0 MSA S 1581-2263


from Ancestral Records and Portraits, Vol. I, page 247.

Richard Beard, of South River, Maryland, Anne Arundel County, came up from Virginia with his brother-in-law, Edward [sic-should be William] Burgess. He took up Beard's Habitation on Beard's Creek and built a mill, which also bore his name.

He was a member of the Provincial Assembly of Maryland, 1662 and 1663. His death occurred in 1675.

He married Rachel, the daughter of Edward Robins of Northampton, Virginia. Their daughter, Ruth married John Gaither II.


from Seventeenth Century Colonial Ancestors, NSCD, Consolidated Edition, p. 21:
Beard, Richard (1620-75) Va.-Md.; m. Rachel Robbins. Assemblyman.


from Quakers in the Founding of Anne Arundel County, Maryland, J. Reaney Kelly.

Richard Beard, ..., was son-in-law of Edward Robbins of Virginia.

At the time Beard was settled on South River having been one of the first to obtain a certificate of survey for land in that area. On January 6, 1650, he surveyed Poplar Neck, comprising 200 acres situated 'on the south side of South River ...

In 1657 Quaker Meetings, held at Richard Beard's house on South River,...

Beard died in 1681 leaving a substantial estate to his wife, Rachel, and to his sons and daughters. A son, Richard Beard, Jr., made the first map of Annapolis.


from The Founders of Anne Arundel and Howard Counties, Maryland, J. D. Warfield,

1663-1664 Officers of Anne Arundel County Delegates...Richard Beard...

In his will of 1675, he named his sons Richard, (the deputy-surveyor, who made a map of Annapolis), and John Beard. Daughters Ruth, Rebecca (Nicholson), and daughter Rachel Clark.


from Archives of Maryland, April 1666 - June 1676, William Hand Browne, p. 355-6.

Petition of Quakers read to Members of the House requesting they not be required to swear


from Genealogies of Virginia Families, from William and Mary College Quarterly Historical Magazine, p. 240.

He was for many years a Justice of the Peace, and was a Member of the Maryland House of Burgesses on April 1, 1662, September 15, 1663, October 23, 1665, April 10, 1666, April 3, 1667, and thus for ten years more...Died...leaving about five children.


from The Maryland Calendar of Wills, Jane Baldwin, p. 99.

Beard, Richard, A. A. Co., 24th July, 1675; 10th Aug., 1681.
To wife Rachel, execx., home plantation during life.
To sons Richard and John and hrs., sd plantation at death of wife afsd , and all other lands except those mentioned below:
To dau. Ruth and her sons, part of Timber Neck and sd Richard's share in event of his death without issue.
To dau. Rebecca and her sons, part of Indian Range;
also son John's portion in event of his death without issue.
To dau. Rachel Clarke and her sons, all lands above mentioned in event of death of other child., viz. Richard, John, Ruth, and Rebecca, without issue.
Overseers: Brother-in-law Wm. Burgess, and sons afsd of testator....

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©Roberta Tuller 2020
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