The initial source that triggered my efforts was a small, privately
printed, pamphlet on the Negus family, my paternal ancestors.
I obtained this copy through my cousin, Barbara Gervang, living
in Novato, California. This document was written by Rev. Ira
E. Nolte, of Minneapolis, Minnesota. "The Negus Family Ancestry
Through Terrell - Wing - Coppock Lines." It is undated,
but it was published circa 1950. It lists ancestral lines back
to King Egbert of England, 802 A.D., including such names as Plantaganet,
De Clare, Fitz Alan, Marney, Muscegros, Beauchamp, Bassett, Bohun,
Quincy, Berkeley, Lygon, and many others.
Later I obtained Brother's Keeper, an IBM-compatible computer
program which facilitates the systematic compilation of genealogical
From this point I started a serious study of available information
in public libraries, university libraries, The Church of Jesus
Christ of Latter-day Saints Family History Library, and other
sources, using the names of the various ancestors in the Negus
Later I obtained records on the Beers family from my maternal
aunt, Harriet Beers Slater, through her daughter, my cousin, Pat
Barrett, of Bakersfield, California.
Mary Louise Regan , of Palatine, Illinois, has written four volumes
on the descendants of Anthony Beers, the first Beers settler in
America. This has been a vast depository for all the Beers descendants
in the United States. This information is the main resource for
this volume of the Genealogy of Homer Beers James. In the spring
of 1993 I visited Mary Louise Regan at her home. She has devoted
most of her adult life to the study of the Beers genealogy. Her
husband, a professional printer, produced the four volume set.
By March 1993 I had accumulated information into a 225-page narrative
document, but due to a massive "crash" of the 210-megabyte
hard drive on my computer, I lost every bit of what I had done
due to an unknown virus which wiped out the entire hard drive.
The only record of this genealogy that survived was an earlier
"hard copy" of about 75 pages of material as of January
21, 1993. Thus it was necessary to again research the documents
all over a second time; a huge task, representing over 400 hours
of time just on the word processor, all of which was lost, in
addition to reentering all the material from the "hard copy."
The record was essentially restored by June 3, 1993, after many
hundreds of hours of reconstruction. Additions have been made
continually since then.
Any errors or omissions are my responsibility, but I invite anyone
with additional or correct information to contact me at any time.
Homer Beers James
1636 Jamestown Place
Pittsburgh, PA 15235
June 19, 1995
The following information is found an article by Rev. Evelyn Bartow,
"The English Ancestry of the Beers Family," in the New
York Genealogical and Biographical Record, Vol. 13, No. 2, April
"The Beers' family seem to have been seated originally
at a place called Bere's, or Byer's Court, Parish of Westcliffe,
co. Kent, England. William de Bere, of Bere's Court, was bailiff
of Dover, in the 2nd and 4th year of King Edward I. Nicholas
de Bere held the manor of Bere's Court in the 20th year of King
Henry III. Soon after the family disappeared from the place,
and it passed into the possession of the family of Toke, who remained
there for some generations.
Of this same family was Roger Byer, or Bere, who died in the
reign of Queen Mary. His son, John Bere, or Beer (Hasted's History
of Kent, Vol. II. Berry's Gen. Kent), who purchased, in 1542,
of Thomas Horsman, the famous Horsman Place, "a mansion of
some note," in Dartford. By his will, dated 1572, John Beer
founded four alsmhouses in Dartford, and devised his mansion,
called Horsman's, to his eldest son, Henry. An altar-tomb erected
to him in Dartford Church bears his arms. Edward Beer, his grandson,
died unmarried in 1627, bequesting Horsman Place, Kent, to John
Twistleton, of Drax.
I. Martin Bere, or Beere (Berry's Gen. Kent. Herald's
Visitations, procured by the late Rev. Henry Beers Sherman), of
the same family as the preceding, was a notary public, and secretary
of the diocese of Rochester, in 1486. He married a daughter
of Thomas Nissell, of Wrotham, gentleman, and Alice, his wife,
by whom he had a son, John.
II. John Bere, of Rochester, son of Martin, married
Faith Raydon, daughter of John Raydon, Esq., by whom he
had a son, James, and a daughter, Mary, who married William Tilghman,
of Shodland, co. Kent, who died August 27, 1541.
III. James Bere, son of John and Faith Bere, lived
in the city of Rochester, and married Dorothy Kingswood,
daughter of John Kingswood, Gentleman, by whom he had two sons,
James and John, who both settled at Gravesend, co. Kent. The
elder son, James Bere, of Gravesend, was master of a ship under
Sir Martin Frobisher, in 1577, had five sons and five daughters,
and died in 1609. On the south wall of the Gravesend Church,
on a mural tablet of Black and white marble, are effigies of a
man and wife and five sons and five daughters, also a coat of
arms. The inscription is on two compartments. On the right is
On the other is the following:
After much weary sayling, Worthy Bere
Arrived this quiet port, and harbers here.
As skillfully in honestie he brought
His humaine vessell home, as he was thought
Equal with any that by Card or Starr
Took out and brought again his Barke from farr.
So let him rest in quiet till he hear
The trumpet sound, when all must rise with Bere,
And for his fame and honest memorie,
This is his frail and brief eternity.
The church was burned in 1727, but the above is preserved in
a manuscript collection of Kentish epitaths of 1724, in the Library
of the British Museum.
IV. John Bere, (from investigations made in England,
and communicated from the late Rev. Henry Beers Sherman, of Esopus,
N.Y.), of Gravesend, second son of James and Dorothy Bere, was
one of the jurors. He married Mary Shelby, daughter of
Robert Shelby, Esq., of Yorkshire, by whom he had five children,
i. Samuel Bere, of Gravesend, married Joan Miller.
ii. Mary Bere, married Peter Bally.
iii. James Bere, of whom presently.
iv. John Bere, of Oakenham, co. Berks, married Elizabeth Warburton, of Cheshire, and had John, William, Edward, and Sidney.
v. Richard Bere, born 1607, emigrated from Gravesend to New
England, in 1635, with his orphan nephews, Anthony and James.
Richard settled in Watertown, MA., where he remained; was Representative
to the General Court for thirteen years, and captain of the military
forces. He died September 4, 1675. His descendants are chiefly
in Massachusetts and very few. (Note: There is extensive
documentation on Richard Bere.)
V. James Bere, of Gravesend, second son of John and
Mary Bere, was a mariner, and not living in 1635. His widow,
Hester, died in 1635, when his two sons, Anthony and James,
accompanied their uncle, Richard, to New England. James was some
time of Watertown, MA.; removed to Fairfield, CT., where thirteen
parcels of land are recorded to "James Beere" from 1659
to 1684. He died in Fairfield in 1694, where, and at Stratford,
descendants are still found. The number of his descendants, mostly
in Connecticut, is comparatively small, among whom is the late
Hon. Seth P. Beers, of Litchfierld, CT. The name occurs variously
in the early records, both in Massachusetts and Connecticut, as
Bere, Beere, Beare, and Beeres. It finally became Beers, and
continues thus. Note: This James Beers is reported by Regan
(Beers Family Newsletter Issue # 50, July 1994) as the father
of Martha Beers, who married Joseph Bulkeley. This Joseph Bulkeley
was a descendant of King Edward I., through his daughter, Joan
and thence to Margaret de Clare, who married Piers de Gaveston.
This lineage leads to the paternal side of the James Family.
See Volume I. and II. of the James Family Genealogy. The granddaughter
of Joseph Bulkeley, Olive Bulkeley, married James Beers, also
a grandson of this James Beers. Seven generations later, Louisa
Emerson (1813-1900) married Charles Ridgeway Beers, a descendant
of John Beers. These lineages reportedly lead to Calvin Coolidge
and George Bush, who Presidents of the United States.
VI. Anthony Bere, came from Gravesend, in 1635, to
Watertown, MA.; removed to Roxbury, and ultimately to Fairfield,
CT., where a tract of land is recorded to "Anthony Beere"
in 1607, which he sold in 1669. He was a mariner, as his father
before him, and was lost at sea in 1676. By Eliza, his
wife, he left Samuel, Ephraim, John, Hester, Sarah, and
Barnabas. This Barnabas, born at Roxbury, MA., September 6, 1658,
married, April 4, 1688, Elizabeth Wilcoxson, and died in 1714.
Josiah Beers, his son, born at Stratford, CT., August 8, 1693,
married May 10, 1717, Elizabeth Ufford, and was father of Nathan
Beers, of New Haven, CT."
The following is taken from Regan, "The Descendants of Anthony
Beers of Fairfield, CT., Vol. 2, Through His Son, John,"
Anthony Beers may have been born in Gravesend, co. Kent, England
in the 1620's, and he was quite probably brother to James Beers,
also a settler of Fairfield, CT. It is entirely possible that
they were sons of James and Hester Beers of Gravesend and nephews
of Richard Beers, an early settler of Watertown, MA. A Richard
Beers left Gravesend on the ship "William and John"
on September 2, 1635, then aged 28 years. (N.E.H.G.R., v.14, p.
There is no record that gives any reliable clue to the birthdate
of Anthony Beers. The date of about 1627 was probably assigned
simply on the basis of the birth of his first recorded child in
1647. In fact, very little is known of this man who was the progenitor
of most people in the United States today who bear the family
name of Beers. He was in this country at least as early as 1644.
This is documented by the probate inventory of Thomas King of
Watertown, MA, who died December 3, 1644, which listed a debt
of one pound at Boston to Anthony Beares (N.E.H.G.R., v.8,
p. 561; Bond's "Watertown," pg. 326.) He
had children born in Watertown from 1647 through 1657. He was
a member of the Watertown military unit called "the train
band" in 1652 under Capt. Hugh Mason, at which time he also
took the oath of fidelity. He was admitted as a freeman there
on May 6, 1657. In 1658 he was a resident of Roxbury, MA, but
moved soon to Fairfield, CT, possibly as early as 1659, but no
later than 1661. The town of Fairfield granted him a homelot
in 1667 which then passed to Richard Hubbell, who sold it to Samuel
Wakemen in 1669, then described as one acre more or less. The
bible record of his grandson Josiah notes that he came to Fairfield
with several children and was soon drowned about the year 1676.
The inventory of his estate, dated May 14, 1679, showed only
We commence the genealogical record of the Beers Family as follows:
According to Regan, the descendants of Anthony Beers far outnumber
those of all the other Beers emigrants combined.
What is known of Samuel Beers and Sarah Sherman
Beers today is derived from land records and vital records of
the period. Whether Samuel had an occupation other than that
of farmer is not known, nor is the cause of his death at the early
age of 45. He left a comparatively young widow with the challenge
of nine children to raise, ranging in age from infancy to the
mid-teens, and she appears to have done a remarkable job. All
nine children lived to marry and have children of their own; in
fact, they produced 80 grandchildren for Samuel and Sarah. They
were comfortably well off in terms of land, and the children appear
to have maintained close family ties, as evidenced by their property
dealings among each other and the intermarriage of many of their
Listed below in abbreviated form are some
of the records that contribute to our knowledge of this family.
On June 18, 1712 Samuel Sherman of Stratford
granted to his son-in-law Samuel Beers of Stratford, "for
divers good causes and considerations and 30 pounds," 50
acres of land "at a place called Newtown on the west side
of Stratford River" and also 50 more adjoining acres "unto
him and his wife Sarah my daughter as a part of her Portion unto
her and her heirs and assigns forever." The land was described
as being "in one piece in the old farm at Newtown as it is
butted and bounded on the North on the land of Daniel Sherman
of said Stratford and South on the land of Benjamin Sherman and
on the East and West on Common Land." This document was
signed by Samuel Sherman in the presence of James Judson and Benjamin
Sherman and was recorded December 17, 1715.
Johnson's "Newtown," page 215, gives
the following list of the taxable property of "widdo Sarah
Beers" as taken from the Newtown tax lists of 1739. The
author notes in connection with this tax levy that a house and
3 acres (the home lot) was always valued at 3 pounds, no matter
what kind of a house it was; that men or women owning real estate
were all assessed a poll tax of 18 pounds; and that sheep were
widdo Sarah Beers, her list L sh d
3 acres house lot 3 0 0
13 acres good pasture 5 14 0
10 acres improved land 5 0 0
4 acres boggy medow 1 0 0
7 acres good medow 2 25 0
8 acres brush pasture 0 16 0
4 oxen, 5 cows 31 0 0
4 two year olds 8 0 0
3 one year olds 3 0 0
4 horses, 6 swine 18 0 0
For her trade 10 0 0
142 16 0
There are many land records that relate to
the division of the property of Samuel Beers among his children.
The four daughters gave up to their brothers any claim they might
have on their father's estate at various times and in exchange
for varying amounts of money. The larger amounts given to Hannah
and Abigail undoubtedly include their marriage portions, and the
smaller amounts to the other three daughters indicate that their
dowries had been previously paid.
In 1740 Moses Stilson, Jr. and Mary Stilson,
his wife, quit claimed to her five brothers in exchange for 25
pounds. At the same time Abner and Hannah Hard received 150 pounds
for their portion. On April 5, 1745 Joseph Tomlinson and his
wife Sarah of the Township of Derby, Oxford Parish, New Haven
County relinquished their rights in her father's estate in exchange
for 16 pounds received of her brother Samuel Beers of Newtown.
Abigail Beers gave up her rights on January
1, 1746-47 in exchange for 170 pounds received from her five brothers.
Starting on page 243 in Book 5 of the Newtown
Land Records there is a very lengthy document dated May 11, 1745
and entitled "Partition Deed", in which the five sons
- John, Samuel, Daniel, and Abraham, all of Newtown, and Nathan
of Norwalk - agree to a distribution among themselves of their
father's lands. Regan states that it would be difficult to present
this information accurately in its entirety as its deals with
many pieces of land described in many peculiar ways. She concludes
that John received the double portion which was his due as the
Sarah Beers deeded to her sons Samuel and
Daniel 50 acres of a farm known as the "old farm" which
had come to her father, Samuel Sherman. This deed was dated May
Almost exactly a year later, on May 8, 1750,
all nine children and the husbands of the four daughters signed
a document which read in part, "We whose names are hereafter
mentioned, having considerable of estate falling unto us by heirship
from our Honoured Mother Sarah Beers, late of Newtown.....deceased."
It was an agreement that each would accept his allotted portion
of her land without further claim against each other.
As stated above, Samuel and Sarah Beers had nine children as follows:
"An inventory of the estate of Sarah Beers (the wife of
Nathan Beers Junr late of Norwalk) who had joyned the Enemy and
his estate has been confiscated to this state appraised by us
the subscribers being sworn for that purpose and is as follows
1/2 of a dwelling house at Saugatuck 30-0-0
One quarter pt. of an old barn 2-0-0
3-1/2 a. land on the Westerly side of the homelot
Norwalk April 17, 1784
Tho Belden apprsr"
Another scrap of paper in this file contains the following:
"Note: Zopher Nash, Nathan Bears, Jr., Elewazer Taylor,
Israel Hoyt, Samuel Nash, John Pickett, John White - all of Norwalk
Another fragmentary paper reads:
"Sarah Bears allowed May 3, 1784
half a dwelling house at Saugatuck of the Estate of Sarah
Bears sold to Nathan Bears Junr for L 9-18-0."
How long he was gone, where he went, or how he was reconciled
with the new government is not known. He is not listed as a head
of family in the 1790 census, but he may have been one of the
members of his father's household. However, as seen by the several
pieces of property which he left to various relatives in his 1822
will, calling himself then of Norwalk, he did return. His will,
dated October 3, 1822, left property to three of his many nephews,
the children of a fourth, and the children of one of his sisters.
He had the following eight children by his second wife, Ann (Hard)
The children of Samuel Beers and Rebecca Baxter are as follows:
The children of Samuel Beers and Ann Smith Peck are as follows:
Most of the above children of Nathan Beers and Sarah Perrey were
buried in the Talcott Cemetery in Lanesborough, MA.
Samuel Perry Beers, according to Harriet Eugenia Beers Slater,
lived with his aunts most of his life. He married in December
1888 (2) Harriet (Hattie) Maria Blood,
born November 7, 1862, died in Long Beach, CA in March 11, 1939,
younger sister of Louise Adelaide Blood, and
younger daughter of Henry Clark Blood, of Sturbridge, MA, and
Ann Elizabeth Marry. Samuel and Harriet moved to California
about 1890 and homesteaded 160 acres of land near Maricopa, CA,
south of Bakersfield. From the second marriage they had the following
After Samuel Perry Beers, Senior, died, Harriet continued to run
the isolated homestead with the three small children, but the
situation was so desperate that she had to place the two younger
children, Helen and Samuel, in an orphanage for several years.
She died many years after suffering a massive stroke that completely
incapacitated her until the time of her death (blind, mute, and
paralyzed) March 11, 1939 in Long Beach, California.
Charlie Negus James, Sr., was born February
11, 1898 in Springdale, Cedar County, Iowa. He died January 15,
1964 in Glendale, California. Charlie enlisted in the Army Air
Service on April 10, 1917, before the draft was issued for overseas
duty. He was sent to the Central Flying School near London, England
for three months of instruction and then entered the U.S. Air
Service in France, and he continued in that service until the
Armistice in November 11, 1918. He returned to South Pasadena,
CA and was later stationed at the U.S. Flying School at March
Field, in Riverside, CA as a flying instructor. He later was
in the California National Guard and spent some time flying in
the U.S. Fire Patrol over the mountains from Pasadena to Santa
Barbara, CA. On April 17, 1926, the United States government
established air mail service in Southern California and Charlie
N. James was the first pilot hired in that service and piloted
the first plane which carried air mail from Salt Lake City, UT
to Los Angeles, CA. At the time he was nicknamed Jimmie (Jimmy)
James and was always known by that name in the aircraft industry.
He flew regular air mail and passenger schedules, from Los Angeles,
CA. to Salt Lake City, UT. from 1926 to 1934. In 1934 he was
made Vice-President, Operations, for Western Air Express, later
Western Airlines, and still later in the 1980's merged into Delta
Airlines. In his last ten years of work, he was the Director
of Security for Bendix West Coast in Burbank, CA.
Charlie Negus James and his wife, Helen had
the following children:
There were two sons by the first marriage as follows:
By the second marriage Charlie and Rozanne have one daughter:
Charlie lived with Dana DeNault and her daughter,
Pilar, in Carlsbad, CA. for several years, but in 1994 he alone
moved to Sanford, FL, near his daughter, Susanne, and her family.
Charlie N. James, Sr. married on November
14, 1936, (2) Bernice (Lamb) Thomas, widow of Tommy Thomas, President
of Pacific Airmotive Corp., a company that performed major overhauls
on commercial aircraft in the Southern California area. Tommy
Thomas had been killed in an airplane crash about 1935. Bernice,
from a previous marriage to Lloyd Calvin Thompson, of Houston,
TX, had a son, Teddy, who upon the divorce of this marriage went
with his father, while the daughter, Sallye, stayed with her mother.
These two children never saw one another through their lifetime
after the separation. Sallye, after the death of her mother,
tried to contact her brother, but learned that he had died in
the meantime. Sallye was adopted by Charlie N. James, and Bernice
adopted Homer, Genevieve, and Charlie, Jr. Sallye married Newton
Seay, born August 5, 1923, in Eveleth, Minnesota, son of Joseph
Jackson Seay, of Calico Rock, Arkansas. They had three children
Randall was born July 24, 1949 in Lima, OH.
He grew up there and in Seattle, WA. He graduated from Antioch
College in 1972 with a BA in Philosophy with a minor in Art.
While attending the University of Leeds in
England, as a part of his undergraduate work, he met his wife,
Ann McCrow, who was also attending Leeds. She and her family
had lived in many different parts of the world, before coming
to Leeds (Rio De Janiero, Mexico City, Portugal, Evansville, IN.,
Randall presently is the Production and Laboratory
Manager of Light Impressions, Inc., a company that makes commercial
holograms. Randall has many holograms which he created in his
home laser laboratory on display in galleries and museums all
over the world. In April 1995, Light Impressions dissolved and
their status at this time is unknown. Randall is attempting to
acquire the laboratory assets in order to continue the business
of producing hologram masters for the previous customers of Light
Ann taught school in Dijon, France and worked
for the University of California, Berkeley, Press. She had a
number of volunteer positions with the Santa Cruz Public Schools.
At present she is a full-time employee of the Santa Cruz Schools.
They lived in the San Francisco for several
years, but moved to Santa Cruz, CA. Both Randall and Ann are
very active in the Unitarian Church of Santa Cruz, CA., where
he was the Board President and she was in charge of Religious
Education and other positions as well. They have two sons as
Julie graduated from Washington University
of St. Louis, MO and from the National School for Naturopathic
Medicine in Portland, OR. She has held a number of church positions,
such as office manager and director of religious education. She
expects to start her naturopathic medical practice in the Deerfield
area. At present she is one of the office managers of the church.
Gary and Julie, have two children as follows:
He is in practice with his wife, Mary Poore,
who also graduated from the National School of Naturopathic Medicine.
They jointly run a naturopathic clinic in Flagstaff, AR.
Mark and Mary and their girls are avid outdoors
people, and Mark continues to run in marathons and triathalons.
They have three daughters as follows:
Mark also has an older daughter, Juniper Painton, born about 1980, in Salem,
OR, prior to his present family.
Galen is a director with KDKA-TV in Pittsburgh.
He produced a children's program on Saturday morning for several
years. He is currently directing the morning news programs.
Galen has several children by two previous marriages, and is a
grandfather, three times in 1993.
Janet and Galen have two children as follows: