In my continuing quest to find a link between my third great-grandfather Jesse J. Bean and the John Bean family that settled in East Alabama in the 1830’s, I stumbled across an additional tidbit of information that again raises the suspicion of Native American heritage existing in this family.
The photo below is of the Mitchell home place in Clay County, Alabama and it was taken around 1900. The woman sitting is Martha Ann Lucinda Bean – a daughter of Walter Bean, granddaughter to John Bean. Martha was born in Henry County, Georgia in either 1832 or 1833. This interesting tidbit reveals that although John Bean was already in Randolph County in 1833 (as evidenced by his election as Coroner), his son Walter and family was still in Georgia.
During my research, I have run across posts made by descendants of Martha in which they relate family stories about Martha and Walter. In one, Walter was referred to as a Native American who made handmade furniture (wooden with woven wicker seats). A couple of times a year he would “go over the mountain” to Anniston, Alabama to sell the fruits of his labor. This makes sense in that the area that Walter and his family were living is just over Mt Cheaha from Anniston.
In this same post by Mark K. Edmondson, he recalled that Martha lived to a ripe old age and often recounted her vivid memories of the Indian removals of the 1830’s. She was very bitter about it because many of her friends and family were taken away on the Trail of Tears. Jesse would have been a contemporary of Martha, as well as most likely a first cousin. I wonder if Jesse’s parents were part of the family forced out during the removals? Most likely, Martha knew the answer to this and my many other questions. Alas, she died in 1924 and I have been unable to establish a connection to any of her descendants in Clay County or elsewhere.
-cover photo courtesy of Hiking the Appalachians and Beyond