Biography of

John Beard


Died 1661-1665, Strabane, County Tyrone, Ireland

Settled near Strabanstown with James Hamilton, Earl of Abercorn, at the Plantation of Ulster.  Both John, the father and James, the son, were "smiths".


Children Born
Andrew Baird Strabane, Tyrone, Ireland
James Baird Strabane, Tyrone, Ireland


Ref: Baird and Beard Families by Fermine Baird Catchings : Settled near Strabanstown with James Hamilton, Earl of Abercorn, at the Plantation of Ulster.  Both John, the father and James, the son, were "smiths".

John Baird, the ancestor of the Baird family of Strabane, County Tyrone, and the grandfather of John Baird, of Christiania Hundred, evidently settled at nor near Strabanetown with James Hamilton, Earl of Abercorn, at the Plantation of Ulster, or soon afterward.   About the time of his death, which occurred between 1661 and 1665, his name appears on an undated Hearth Money Roll, for one hearth in Strabane.  On the same roll are the names of John Beard for a hearth in Tatnepoil, in Leckpatrick parish, and John Berd of Gortevy, in Donaghedy parish.  In 1666, the name of John Baird, Beard, or Berd is not found on the Roll for any of these places.  An answer made in 1676, to an Exchequer Bill of Andrew Baird, son and heir, and claiming to be executor of John Baird, of Strabane, smith deceased dated January 26, 1675, admits that Andrew Baird is the eldest son of John Baird, but denies that he is executor and asserts that James Baird is "the executor of John Baird, who is in the possession of the tenement named in the Bill.".

Thus we learn that John Baird, of Strabane, had issue, among others, two sons, Andrew and James.

James Baird, the second son of John Baird, smith of Strabane, acquired a number of his father's houses and outlets at Strabane, including the smithy.  Like his father he was a smith.  His deeds were lost in the occupation of the country by the army of King James II, 1688-89, and his claim for the houses and land, filed in 1703, was allowed.  A memorial registered in the Registry of Deeds office, Dublin, shows that after his death his forge and dwelling in Strabane, two parcels of land situated above and near the Holy Well, near the town, and the Kirriduffe town land, Termonamagan parish, County Tyrone, was sold to George Machey or McGhea.  His will was dated May 30, 1719.  he married and had issue: John, William, James, Sydney, Rebecca, and Jane, married ____ Winkham.   

John Baird, or Beard, son of James Baird, smith, of Strabane, emigrated to America soon after his father's death and settled in Christiania Hundred, New Castle County, Del.  By deeds of lease and release, dated July 4 and 5 , 1728, his wife, Rebecca Beard, and his eldest son, Robert Beard, conveyed the house on which his father, James Beard, lived in Strabane, with the forge, to George Machey, near Strabane town, and Kirriduffe town land in the Manor of Hastings.   The deeds were executed by Rebecca and Robert Beard for themselves and for John Beard under a letter of attorney, dated February 24, 1728. The Manor of Hastings contained the town of Castlederg.  At the time the above deeds were executed, John Beard was evidently alone in Christiania Hundred, his wife and son Robert being in Ireland.  It is believed that he settled in Chester County, Pa., as a John Beard was a taxable in New Londonderry township, 1729-44.

With this satisfactory account of the antecedents of John Baird, of Christiania Hundred, it is greatly to be regretted that we have lost trace of his relations in Ireland and of his posterity in America.  Beyond the legal proceedings in which he became involved and the fact that he paid Hearth money in Strabane, in 166 we have no knowledge of Andrew Baird, John's uncle Andrew Baird or Beard may have been the father of Moses Beard, who was an elder of the Presbyterian Church at Lifford, County Donegal, opposite Strabane, and was a delegate to the General Synod of Ulster, with his pastor, John Ball, in 1724.   Of John Baird's brothers and sisters and their posterity, we only know that his brother James followed in the occupation of their father and grandfather -- that of a blacksmith in Strabane -- and that by his wife Elizabeth he had an only child, Elizabeth Baird, who was married to Arthur Carroll or McCarroll.  Even the fate of John Baird's son, Robert, who was with his mother in Ireland in 1729, was left to possible oblivion.

(Ed. Note - We connect the great-grandson of John Baird, listed here, as the same person as Thomas Beard who settled in Augusta County, Virginia, in 1747).