Saturday, 14 May 2011

Sepia Saturday - Alfred Beard

 Alfred Beard
28th December 1851
Salford, Manchester, England
Mother Hannah Downes b.1818
Father Solomon Beard 1809-1859

Baptised 15th April 1855

14th May 1871 Emigrated to America
Lived in Napoleon, Ohio and Danville, Illinois
Alfred emigrated to be with his mother and five brothers, leaving a sister at home.
Alfred and two brothers established the Beard Electric Company in Napoleon, Ohio.
There's a family rumour he set up the electrics of the Buffalo Bill Tour.
In 1883 he patented a pipe-vise, I have all the original documents for this.

31st August 1881 Married Mary Hannah Wakerley
Newspaper article reports that the bride was attired in purple velvet trimmed with anchor satin and they left on the 12 o'clock train for Canada for their honeymoon.

Three children 
Ada May 1883

3rd November 1890 Became a naturalised citizen of the United States

6th September 1891 Died of Dropsey
After he died his wife Mary Hannah returned to England with her children, hence why I'm English and not American.

Photo of the funeral flowers

Funeral Notice

Alfred Beard is my Great Great Grandfather, I have a lot of his documents, probably the most of any family member from original baptism certificates, bibles and funeral cards. 
One day I would like to visit Ohio and Illinois to see where my family ended up.


  1. Well, my post will go with the bride's purple velvet! LOL !

  2. He died really young. I didn't know what dropsey was until I looked it up.

  3. I hope you make your trip to Ohio one day, and I like the sound of a purple velvet dress :-) Jo

  4. So very sad to see him attain citizenship then die.

  5. He was really quite handsome!

  6. Good-looking chap. Sad that he died young leaving a young family.

  7. I've always liked purple velvet, especially for wedding garb.

  8. My family, too, made several abortive attempts to settle in North America in the 19th and early 20th Centuries, which is why my grandfather was born in Chicago not Derby, but they ended up back in England each time. My Dad was more successful, which is why I wasn't born in England, don't live there, and never really knew my extended family (even grandparents). Having the photographs and ephemera is an important part of our personal background, I think, and using them to piece together a story has proved as fascinating for me as it appears to be for you. Thanks for sharing the images.

  9. So sad to lose a parent that young. A great collection you have of the family. I am impressed. My mom was married in black velvet in Dec of 1935.

  10. A great piece of family history, illustrating perfectly that family history is just as interesting even if it isn't your family.

  11. Both Alfred and his father lived such abbreviated lives. Alfred seems to have done so much in such a short time though. If only he had lived to be 80 or 90.

  12. Great pictures. You are lucky to have so much ephemera from your ancestors. I notice the same photograph is shown with the funeral flowers. That's quite a tie he's wearing too!

  13. He accomplished so much for a man who died so young! It's wonderful that you have so many of his papers. I wonder if you could find ads in the Napoleon newspapers for his company. Would be interesting.