Monday, June 16, 2014


 Fellow geneablogger Amy Johnson Crow of No Story Too Small has issued the
52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks Challenge. Basically, we have to post something every
week on a different ancestor, whether a story, picture, or research problem. For
this prompt I've tried to concentrate on ancestors I haven't researched as much
as I have others in my family tree. For this post, I'm writing about my 9x great
grandfather Gamaliel Beaman.

Gamaliel is one of those ancestors whose name I am not sure how to pronounce.
For me, it's a tongue twister. Leaving that aside I decided to see what Google
Books might have about him, and once again discovered William Richard Cutter
had written about one of my ancestors:

"Gamaliel Beaman, the immigrant ancestor, was born in England, in 1623, and
came to America when he was twelve years old, in the ship "Elizabeth and Ann."
At first he lived with relatives in Dorchester, Massachusetts, and became a proprietor
there in 1649. In 1658 he was one of the incorporators of Lancaster, Massachusetts,
and on May 23, 1659, settled there. On May 31, 1659, he signed the covenant there
as one of the fifty-five original proprietors of the town, and he received Lot 38. He
owned more than two hundred and sixty-six acres of land there. In 1676 the settlers
at Lancaster were obliged to leave their homes because of King Philip's war. The
Indians burnt the town, including the church, and the place was not built up again
until 1680. Gamaliel Beaman returned to Dorchester, and his losses had been so great
that he was unable to pay even his taxes. His new house in Dorchester was situated
on the east slope of Bolton Hills, near a place called the Cold Spring. He died at Dorchester, March 23, 1678.

He married, about 1648, Sarah, daughter of William Clark. She was admitted to the
Dorchester church, February 1, 1656, and was dismissed to Lancaster, May 24, 1668.
Children, the first four baptized together, June 14, 1657: John, mentioned below;
Gamaliel, born 1653; Thomas, 1654; Mary, 1656; Sarah, born at Dorchester, January
19, 1658; Noah, April 3, 1660; Thankful, April 18, 1663; Mehitable, May 26, 1667."

-pp1186-1187  New England Families, Genealogical and Memorial: A Record of the Achievements of Her People in the Making of Commonwealths and the Founding of a Nation, Volume 3 (Google eBook) Lewis Historical Publishing Company, New York,
New York  1914

Because Gamaliel removed back to Dorchester and never returned after the end of
the war, there is not much information about him. It's possible there might have
been some records lost for him when the town was burned. His sons, however, did
return to Lancaster, and one, John Beaman, is my 8x great grandfather.


Celia Lewis said...

Like my ancestor, Zerubbabel, yours has a tongue-twister of a name. However, I believe it's pronounced GA-m'lee. Some people think each letter is pronounced, but not very likely at all. So there you are, Bill, one possibility.

Diane B said...

wow, that clearly explains the origins of the name of Alden Gamaliel Beaman, author of two series of genealogy reference books produced in the 1980's and 90's - Rhode Island Vital Records (New Series), and The Rhode Island Genealogical Register. Thanks, Bill.

Scrapbook Poodles said...

Gamaliel is also my ancestor - my family traces our line through a Loyalist and back to Gamaliel. I am Canadian. Would love to chat further.