My father could only trace his history back to his grandfather before he passed on in 2003. Combining research from his brother, my uncle Don and his wife Ramona, along with the Internet I have come across some fascinating history. Here is part of it.
One of my great,great,great,great,great grandfathers was Daniel Davidson,(b: 1752, Big Moccasin Creek, Augusta County, Virginia; d: abt 1832, Clay County, Kentucky) served in several Virginia militia units during the American Revolutionary War with the ranks of Private and later Ensign.
On January 1777, Daniel Davidson enlisted as a private in the Revolutionary War. He served in the Charles Porterfield Co., 11th VA Regiment, commanded by Col. Daniel Morgan, from 21 January to 1 May 1777. He re-enlisted in the rifle detachment June through December 1777 and re-enlisted again in the same detachment January 1778 through July 1779. He also served as an Ensign in the Continental Army at Kings Mountain.
This means I could join the National Society of the Sons of the American Revolution if I wanted to. Big surprise!
My father's last name of Morgan only become that in the mid 1800's. My great, great grandfather was born James M Bales in 1831 to a Quaker family that first came to America in or around 1675. One researcher states that John Beals, yeoman, arrived aboard the ship Griffin in 1675 and settled first in Fenwick's Colony, New Jersey. James M. Bales came from 7 generations of Quakers and seems to have left the faith to join the Army serving in the Mexican War in California.
He may have changed his name to Morgan due to an outstanding warrant in Indiana but we don't know for certain. One of his niece's sons was Max Baer, heavyweight champion of the world, film actor and father of Max Baer, Jr who played Jethro on the Beverly Hillbillies television show.
• John H. Beals (III) 1717-1796 , PA. TO NORTH CAROLINA
John was born in Chester County on February 17, 1717. He married Margaret Esther Hunt in Chester County, Pennsylvania. The marriage is record in the minutes of the Nottingham Meeting as having taken place on November 13, 1738.
Margaret Hunt was the daughter of William Hunt and Mary Woolman Hunt. She was born in 1719 in Chester County, Pennsylvania.
They moved to northern Virginia and were members of the Hopewell meeting until April 14, 1758 when they were granted certificates to move to Rowan County, North Carolina and join the New Garden Monthly Meeting that had been established there. They were received there on May 27, 1758. They settled on a 300 acre farm near Pole Cat Creek in what was then Rowan County. They lived on that farm all their lives. The land originally was in Rowan, then as new counties were formed, it was part of Guilford County when it was formed in 1770.
Margaret Beals died on the farm on April 11, 1796 and John died there the following week on April 17, 1796 at age eighty.
• John was born in Chester Co.,Pa. and married Mararet Esther Hunt at the Nottingham Meeting in Chester Co.,Pa. They moved to nothern Virginia and were members of the Hopewell meeting. John purchased 165 acres for six pounds from his brother-in-law,John Mills. He remained at least eleven years before he sold the same tract on Nov. 5,1754 for five shillings to a fellow friend,Benjamin Thornburg. John sold at a considerble loss,but it might have been because of rumors of the Indian War that did begin in 1755,impelled him to wish to move his family farther south and join his brothers and sisters in North Carolina. They were granted certicates to move to Rowen County,North Carolina and join the New Garden Monthly Meeting that had been established there. They were received there on 5th mo. 27,1758. They settled on a 300 acre farm near Pole Cat Creek in what was then Rowen County. They lived on that farm all their lives. The land originally was in Rowen,then as new counties were formed,it was part of Guilford County when it was formed in 1770. Once at New Garden,John like the rest of the Hunts and Beals and their kin,became active in Quakers affairs,serving on committies and attending quarterly and yearly meetings. The log cabin that John built late in 1750's was still standing and being used as a shed as late as the 1940's. A photograph of it is in the Friends Historical College in Greensboro,N.C. John and Margaret spent their last years in the home of their daughter,Hannah Beals Hockett. John had apparently distributed his property among his children before his death,since he left no will or settlement. John Beals gave this remarkable account to a friend shortly before his death in 1796:
Recovering from a fit of sickness, a weak John Beals desired that his family retire for the evening sooner than was usual. The door to his room suddenly opened and a person, clothed in white raiment, drew to his bedside and bade him to arise and follow him. They went out of the room together and ascended up through the air. John was brought to heaven by his guide and was placed before the great being who was seated on a bright throne of glory. The divine being looked upon him and asked how he came to be there. He replied that a person in white raiment had come to him and brought him to this glorious place. The divine being told the guide to take John and show him the glory of the saints. What John saw caused his heart to be overcome with joy and he desired to remain there forever. He was informed that he must go back again to the world and remain for two and a half days. If he spent his time in faithfulness, he should return and have his inheritance among the saints forever. John then asked the guide to take him where he might have a fragrant smell. He was taken to a place where a door opened and released the most delightful odor he had ever experienced. He was soon filled with the odor and then was brought back by his guide to his chamber and the bed where he lay. The fragrant smell remained in his nostrils for many days. He recovered very quickly from his sickness and believed that what he had seen would soon be fulfilled. Margaret Beals, his wife, died on the farm on April 11,1796. John died there the following week on April 17,1796, at age eighty. What a great story!