I love this idea of writing about our ancestors who wore their beards with pride. Before the 20th Century, most men, especially older ones wore a beard. Trends have come and gone but this is one I really like because I think a beard made these men stand out. I am going to feature just a few of my favorite ones.
James Monroe Hughes
The first one is my paternal Great Grandfather, James Monroe Hughes. He was born in 1829, in Parrotsville, Cocke County, Tennessee. He moved to Benton County, Missouri along with his family when he was just 2 years old. He was a farmer who also fought in the Civil War. He married Martha Ann Ogan when he was 17, and she was 18. They had 7 sons, and 4 daughters. They homesteaded 120 acres of land in the county, grew crops and James was a horse breeder. He lived a very hard life and he looked much older than he was.
Thomas Hayes III
Second is my paternal 3rd Great Uncle, Thomas Hayes III. He was born in Burke County, North Carolina in 1821. After moving to Tennessee he married Elizabeth Jane Ogan (no relation to James Hughes’ wife) in 1843. They had 13 children, 10 sons, and 3 daughters. He moved to Missouri in 1867 and then the family moved to Oklahoma in 1901. In his obituary it states that “everyone called him Uncle Tom and said he was a kindly old fellow.” His daughter commented that “ he was one of the best men that ever lived and that is high testimony, for in the home is a man’s true nature shown and to the home must we therefore go for the true estimate of him.” He died in 1912, at the age of 91.
The Freedle Brothers
L-R: Willis, George & Baptist
Third is my maternal 2nd Cousin 3 times removed, Baptist Freedle. He was born in 1838, in Tennessee. In 1845, his family moved to Missouri and started farming. He married Martha Divine in 1860, and they moved to Pemberton, Dade County, Missouri where Baptist was appointed the Postmaster for that area. They had 9 children, 4 sons, and 5 daughters. He joined the Union Army during the Civil War, which caused a lot of problems with his neighbors. Upon returning home, he returned to his job as postmaster. He lived peacefully in the town until he died in 1920.
James Meridy Bowers
Last but not least, is my maternal 3rd Cousin 2 times removed, James Meridy Bowers. He was born in 1859 in Glassy, Greenville County, South Carolina. At the age of 20 he married Kindness Elizabeth Howard. They had 13 children, 7 sons and 5 daughters. James had worked on a farm all his life so he bought a small plot of land to farm tobacco which was back-breaking work. He had married into a moon shining family, and he soon found that making “shine” was easier than plowing. He sold his farm on the outskirts of town and moved his growing family to the Blue Ridge Mountains, both to live closer to his wife’s family and to continue with his new endeavor. Here they lived until he died in 1933 at the age of 73
I am a professional genealogist, writer, photographer, wife, mother, and grandma. I have two books available on Amazon.com: Your Family History: Doing It Right the First Time and Planning Your Genealogy Research Trip. You can also connect with me via Facebook or Twitter..