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First Generation


1. Eli BEDEE1,2 was born about 1699.3 It is currently unknown if he was born in France or on the Isle of Jersey.

He was admitted to the Kingston Church on 14 March 1742 in Kingston, Rockingham, New Hampshire.

He died on 8 May 1789 at the age of 90 in Kingston, Rockingham, New Hampshire.4 Eli was buried on 1 June 1789 in Kingston, Rockingham, New Hampshire.

He was also known as Elie BEDEE.


Family tradition says that Eli was born on the Isle of Jersey, Channel Islands, west coast of France. However, a very thorough search of all the Parish Records on the Isle of Jersey has been conducted and no family with this, or similar, surname was found.

From "The History of Carroll County":

Eli Beede was a Frenchman of the Isle of Jersey, who, in 1713, at the age of fourteen, came to Boston and in a few months went to Hampton, where he served a regular apprentice with a farmer. In 1720 he removed to East Kingston, then Kingston, married and settle there, becoming a member of Rev. Mr. Secombe's church. This Eli Beede was the ancestor of all the families of that name in New Hampshire.

The following was recorded by Thomas Beede, the grandson of Eli:

My father, whose name was Thomas was the son of Eli Beede, a Frenchman from the Island of Jersey. He ie Eli Beede was the first & only one of the name, who ever came to this country. All therefore in the United States, who bear his name, are his descendants. I have no record of the time when the said Eli Beede came to this country; but from calculation I think it must have been about A.D. 1705. He was then 12 years old. His motive in coming was wholly to gratify his curiosity in seeing America concerning which he had heard many stories. His mother, being a widow, having lost her husband at sea, was very unwilling to trust her son, being but twelve 14 years of age, to the watery element; but the continued entreaties of young Eli at length prevailed. An opportunity which his mother thought favorable occurred. A ship was about to sail for Boston in New England, the Captain of which was thought suitable to take charge of the lad; being his uncle is his father’s brother his mother therefore reluctantly yielded to the importunity of her young son & confided him to the care of the said captain, in expectation of seeing him safely return in the course of a few months. But, alas, when she parted with her son, she parted with him forever. Not being accustomed to sailing, he was so extremely sea sick during the whole of his outward bound passage, that he could not be prevailed upon to return. His fear was, that he should not live to reach his native shore, were he to make the attempt. Therefore rather than expose himself again to the dangers of the sea, & especially to such distressing sea sickness, as he had endured in his passage he chose to be left in a strange land, without either friends or money, among a people whose language he did not understand, for he then neither spoke nor understood any language but the French. In his unhappy condition all his Captain could do for him was to provide a suitable place for his residence, which he did in the town of Boston. He did not stay long however in this place; but was put to a man by the name of Shaw, in the town of Hampton N.H. where he was bred[?] to agriculture. And, having served his master till he was twenty one years of age, he settled on a farm in Kingston, N.H. where he married to a person by the name of Sleeper, by whom he had four sons and two daughters; each of which, except one daughter became the parent of a numerous family & lived to old age.
The said Eli Beede, though considerably tinctured with the ease & pleasantry of French manners, was naturally possessed of a morose temper, & was stern in his family. He was, however, considered to be an honest man, a good neighbor, & a christian. He had but little opportunity to acquire an education, was merely taught to read the Bible & to write and cipher so as to keep his necessary accounts. Yet with this limited education, by industry, prudence, and careful management he acquired a large estate in the town of Kingston where he settled, which he lived to enjoy until he was ninety one years of age. For many years he was subject to infirmities but by strict temperance in meat, drink and exercise he was able to be abroad, & his mental faculties remaining sound, he continued to take the oversight and management of his affairs until about three months after before his death; when he became feeble, & gradually declined by the natural decay of age & died 1782 Aged 91 when he expired without any particular disorder or distress In his religious sentiments toward the latter part of his life I believe he rather favoured the notions of the Friends, but I believe he never joined their society over any other he belonged to a[?] congregational church in Kingston Seasonal[?] Pantr[?] having more regard to practical piety, than to any of the peculiarities, which distinguish the various sects of Christians.
I was present at his funeral, which was attended by a large assembly, & a sermon was preached by the Rev. Dr. Shepard of Brentwood on the doctrine of the resurrection, as taught by St. Paul in the 15 Chap of 1 Cor. which sermon was well received by all who heard it, except the Friends, who were much displeased, as their views of the resurrection from the dead differ materially from those of most other orders of Christians. His remains were conducted from his dwelling house in the east parish of Kingston to the plain[?] in the west parish of said town, where they were deposited in a burying place near the Rev. [?] Thayer’s meeting house; & his grave has been left according to the custom of the Friends without any mark or monument to distinguish it from any other. This custom has obtained among this order of Christians on account of their sentiment with regard to the resurrection. They believe that the body itself does not rise, that the resurrection takes place when the spirit ascends to God, who gave it; & as the scripture hath said, Dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return; so they think that the bodily part should be left to moulder in the grave without any monument to distinguish one parcel of dust from another.
There is one circumstance in the story of this man which is very singular. He never corresponded with his mother nor ever heard from her, or any of his family or friends from the time he sailed from his native Island until the day of his death.

The following was read at the 150th Anniversary of the settlement of Sandwich, N. H., Aug. 22, 1917, by Emme Beede Gulliver the third great granddaughter of Eli.

Once upon a time, in the days when History and Tradition seem to have met, there lived on the Isle of Jersey, a boy. He was a French Huguenot, and his name was Eli. His last name was Beede, but he spelled it Bede. He was filled with a great desire to see more of the world than the little island could show him, and so, in 1713, when he was fourteen years old, he hid himself away in the hold of a sailing vessel and came to America. In due time the little ship sailed, and in due time he was discovered and brought before the captain. When the captain, who was prepared to be very stern and severe, saw the boy, he relented and set about to find a task by which he should earn his food. He saw that his grimy fingers were delicate and had be trained to work "the most refined." He had among the articles for the colonial trade, large boxes of stockings knit by English dames. These stockings had become moth-eaten, and the young Eli soon proved that he could mend them to be as good as new. So he paid his passage, and landed safely—tradition says in Boston and tradition says in Portsmouth. He loved the country, and immediately set out to find employment on a farm. He went to Hampton, apprenticed himself to a farmer, and lived with this same farmer until he was 21. Tradition says that his indenture paid whatever remained of his passage money. He had gained a knowledge of farming and decided to go to Kingston, then East Kingston. There he went to work to make a living, and make a living he did.

The current [2008] thinking is that Eli was born Elie de Bedee and that he came from the family of that name of Brittany, and that he is possibly descended from Jean de Bedee (1370-1424 Saint-Brieuc, France).

On 11 Jan 2008, the following information was published by researcher Paul Gervais:

I recall that some time ago Mark Beedy pointed out that according to Thomas Bedee, his father spoke "Norman French." This had the potential to confuse us as we looked around Brittany for Eli's origins. I found the following information on the web:

"Norman is spoken in mainland Normandy in France where it has no official status, but is classed as a regional language.

In the Channel Islands, the Norman language has developed separately, but not in isolation, to form what are recognised as Jerriais (in Jersey), Dgernesiais or Guernsey French (in Guernsey) and Sercquiais (or Sarkese, in Sark). Jerriais and Dgernesiais are recognised as regional languages by the British and Irish governments within the framework of the British-Irish Council.

Sercquiais is in fact a descendant of the 16th century Jèrriais used by the original colonists from Jersey who settled the then uninhabited island."

In that Elie de Bedee was born and grew up to the age of 12? in Jersey, the French spoken around him was the language he learned, in spite of the fact that his father had come from Anjou. In school he would have leaned this Jersey Norman French as described above. He was not, however, of Norman descent.

Other events occurring in 1699 include:
01/14/1699 - Massachusetts holds day of fasting for wrongly persecuting "witches"
07/06/1699 - Pirate Capt William Kidd is captured in Boston
12/20/1699 - Peter the Great ordered Russian New Year changed-Sept 1 to Jan 1

Eli BEDEE and Mehitable SLEEPER were married in 1720 in Kingston, Rockingham, New Hampshire.3,4

Mehitable SLEEPER1, daughter of Aaron SLEEPER and Elizabeth SHAW, was born on 25 April 1701 in Kingston, Rockingham, New Hampshire.5,6 She was the first girl born in Kingston, NH.

She appeared in the census in 1790 in Kingston, Rockingham, New Hampshire. She was probably one of the 3 females in son Hezekiah's household.

She died about 1793 at the age of 92 in Kingston, Rockingham, New Hampshire.

Eli BEDEE-3979 and Mehitable SLEEPER-3964 had the following children:

+2

i.

Hezekiah BEEDE-4077.

+3

ii.

Judge Daniel BEEDE Esq.-4080.

+4

iii.

Jonathan I. BEEDE-5409.

+5

iv.

Thomas BEEDE-5286.

+6

v.

Johannah BEEDE-5644.

+7

vi.

Elizabeth BEEDE-5643.
Last Updated: 12 March 2013