Davidson and Farrier Family Histories

This is a site for us to upload family histories and pictures of our Davidson and Farrier family ancestors. I have not written most of the histories, although I have put together the timelines. The histories have been gathered from various sources, so I can't vouch for the accuracy of their information.

If you recognize any of these people and have information to add or correct, please post a comment, including your email address if you wish, so we can be in touch. I would love to connect with other descendants of these family members.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Moses Yale Beach, 1800-1868

•    Born:  15 January 1800 at Wallingford, New Haven, Connecticut
•    Died:  19 July 1868 at Wallingford, New Haven, Connecticut
•    Parents:  Moses Sperry Beach and Lucretia Yale
•    Spouse:  Nancy Day (md. 19 November 1819 in West Springfield, Hampden, Massachusetts)
•    Children:  Drusilla Brewster Beach, Moses Sperry Beach, Henry Day Beach, Alfred Ely Beach, Joseph Perkins Beach, Eveline Sheppard Beach, Mary Ely Beach, William Yale Beach


     "The life of Mr. Beach, well known as the late proprietor of the New-York Sun, the pioneer of the penny press, while it presents no remark able variety of changes or incidents, is attractive as tracing the steps of a determined man — one who never faltered in the darkest hour of adversity.

     "The ancestors of Mr. Beach were among the first settlers, whose axes made the woods resound on the spot where the beautiful village of Wallingford now stands. The place received its name from one of their number. In the space of a few short years their village could boast of many wealthy and opulent families. Moses Beach, his Great-Grand- father, lived to a good old age, as did his Grandfather, of the same name, ranking among the most wealthy and respectable men in the settlement, both owning and occupying, in succession, the same farm, and when the wilderness had given place to the thriving village, they each in turn answered the call of nature, resigning their possessions to Moses Sperry Beach. He married Lucretia Yale, (as has been stated in its proper place,) a descendant of Thomas Yale, Esq., who came to Wallingford, A. D., 1670, and who was a brother of Elihu Yale, Esq., Governor of the Hon. East India Company, of London. Of this couple Moses Yale Beach was an only son. When about four months old he was left with out the care of a mother by the hand of death, and as his father's business called him much from home, he was confided to the attentions of a step-mother. As soon as his age would permit he was taught to do little "chores," and at the age of ten years he had the larger ones on his hands, also. At that time he took charge of nearly all the out-door work, including the care of horses and cattle, besides going nearly two miles to school daily; from four o'clock in the morning until eleven in the evening he was generally up and doing, and yet found leisure to exercise his mechanical ingenuity in the manufacture of playthings for himself and others, and for trade with his school-mates.

     "At a suitable age he was, at his own solicitation, bound an apprentice to a Mr. Dewey, a cabinet maker, at Hartford, Conn. His industry ex cited the attention of his master who was a close man, but who finally made a bargain with him by which he was allowed two cents per hour for extra work. Mr. Beach says he never felt happier at success in any thing than when that bargain was completed. Early and late he worked, and the pennies began to accumulate; finally he made a bargain for his time after he should arrive at the age of eighteen years, ' for which he was to pay the sum of §400. This arrangement gave him new life, and when the time came around he had saved between $100 and $200 more than enough to pay for his freedom, with which sum he commenced life.

     "He removed to Northampton, Mass., where after working awhile as a journeyman, he entered into co-partnership with a young man by the name of Loveland. Their work was much celebrated, in testimony of which they received the first premium of the Franklin Institute, the sum of five dollars. While thus employed, under a fair sky, he married Nancy Day, daughter of Thomas and Mary Day, of West Springfield, a direct descendant of the Puritans, of the Brewster family.

     "His smooth sailing was soon interrupted by a storm, and after a long and obstinate resistance he was compelled to yield to its violence. Separating from his partner, he removed to Springfield, and after repeated endeavors he established himself in a fair business, and with his first means built him a convenient residence. His spirits and ingenuity re turned, and it was not long before his mind was almost entirely engaged in the construction of a "Gunpowder Engine" for propelling balloons. In this he was partially successful, but ascertaining from his model that the weight of an engine of the requisite proportions would be insurmountable, and finding that his business was suffering from want of his care and attention, he abandoned the project, but too late. Again he found himself in deep water, but finally, matching his strength against the current, he succeeded in obtaining a new stand. Once more he plied his ingenuity, and this time produced a Rag Cutting Machine, an article since adopted in every paper mill throughout the country. The saving of labor by its use is enormous, but, like other inventors generally, he failed to derive benefit from it. A person in whose confidence he had relied made use of the ideas he suggested to combat his originality as soon as it was presented, the result of which was beneficial to neither party. He however removed to Saugerties, Ulster County, New York, where he became interested in an extensive paper mill. The rag cutter and a new drying machine were introduced, and for several years their business was very successful. He here invested some in real estate, and erected a beautiful residence, devoting his time exclusively to the interests of the concern. Six years thus passed away, but the seventh brought changes and adversity; the whole of his property, both real and personal, was sold to meet the demands of the creditors of the mill.

    " In 1835 he removed to New York, where he shortly after bought the interest of Mr. Wisner in the New York Sun, on a credit of $5,200. In this he was attended with unexpected success, and paying off Mr. Wisner in the course of the next year following, he bargained with his then partner, Benjamin H. Day, for the remaining half interest, for the sum of $19,500. The first six months after he became the entire owner of the Sun, it proved not so profitable as he had calculated, and he offered all the property he then possessed to have the contract given up, but not being able to effect this, he pushed ahead, and the tide turned. The Transcript, his principal competitor, gave up the field, and before two years had passed the last dollar due for the establishment was paid and he was once more in the ascendant. Since 1838 his course has been steadily upward. His ability and and [sic] enterprize [sic] in the management of his newspaper have been proverbial, and as a consequence have excited the envy of some, but notwithstanding this, there are very few, if any, who have known him personally that do not value him highly as a friend. Notwithstanding his many and severe losses he is reputed a very wealthy man, and having retired from business in New York, and erected a splendid mansion in Wallingford, his native town, he will doubtless spend his remaining years in that place."

from Yale, Elihu.  The Yale Family, or the descendants of David Yale with genealogical notices of each family.  (New Haven : Storer & Stone, Printers, 1850), p. 191-194.

* * *
15 January 1800
Born at Wallingford, New Haven, Connecticut  [1]

24 May 1800
Age:  3 months
Death of mother, Lucretia Yale  [2]

Age 14
Apprenticed to a cabinetmaker in Hartford, Connecticut  [3]

Age 18
Purchases his freedom and goes into the cabinet business on his own at Northampton, Massachusetts [3]

19 November 1819
Age 19
Marries Nancy Day at West Springfield, Hampden, Massachusetts  [4]

1820 November 20 or 22
Age 20
Daughter Drusilla Brewster Beach born at Northampton, Hampden, Massachusetts [5,6]

1822 October 5
Age 22
Son Moses Sperry Beach born at Springfield, Hampden, Massachusetts  [5, 6]

1824 August 8
Age 24
Son Henry Day Beach born at Springfield, Hampden, Massachusetts [5, 6, 7]

Age 26
Death of father, Moses Sperry Beach  [8]

1826 September 1
Age 26
Son Alfred Ely Beach born at Springfield, Hampden, Massachusetts  [9]

1828 July 17
Age 28
Son Joseph Perkins Beach born at Springfield, Hampden, Massachusetts [5, 6]

1830 July 27
Age 30
Daughter Eveline Sheppard Beach born at Saugerties, Ulster, New York [5, 6]

1830 August 18
Age 30
Death of daughter Eveline, less than one month old [5, 6]

1832 November 13
Age 32
Daughter Mary Ely Beach born at Saugerties, Ulster, New York [5, 6]

1834 August 1
Age 34
Death of daughter Mary, age 18 months [5, 6]

Age 35
Moves to New York City to work as production manager of the New York Sun [3]

1836 January 7
Age 36
Son William Yale Beach born at New York, Orange, New York  [10]

Age 38
Buys the New York Sun from his brother-in-law, Benjamin Day [11, 12]

Age 42
Publishes Wealth and Wealthy Citizens of New York City : comprising an alphabetical arrangement of persons estimated to be worth $100,000 and upwards with the sums appended to each name, being useful to banks, merchants, and others.  (New York : Published at the Sun Office).  Later he adds biographical information to the work, under the title Wealth and Biography of the Wealthy Citizens of New York City...  This work goes on to be issued in at least twelve editions.

1846 May
Age 46
Offers to share news from the United States war with Mexico with rival newspapers.  The resulting agreement forms the basis for cooperative news gathering that eventually evolves into the Associated Press.  [13]

1847 January
Age 47
Travels to Veracruz, Mexico, from Cuba to act as secret agent of the US government to try to negotiate peace treaty to allow construction of inter-oceanic canal or rail across Tehuantepec.  He is arrested twice and forced to flee, his mission a failure.  [3, 14]

Age 48
Turns the New York Sun over to his sons Moses Sperry Beach and Alfred Ely Beach [11, 12]

1850 July 31
Age 50
Living in Wallingford, New Haven, Connecticut with 2nd wife, Julia, and children William Y. (age 14) and Julia (age 4).  [15]

Moses Yale Beach House, 86 North Main Street, Wallingford, New Haven County, CTPhotocopy of measured drawing (original drawing in the possession of Beinecke Rare Books Library, Yale University) Henry Austin, architect, 1850 SOUTHEAST (FRONT) ELEVATION - 

According to the Library of Congress, "the Beach House was the most luxurious house of its time in Wallingford and probably one of the largest town houses designed by Henry Austin."
Age 57
Retires from business [3]

1868 July 19
Age 68
Dies at Wallingford, New Haven, Connecticut  [16]

Gravemarker at Center Street Cemetery in Wallingford, New Haven, Connecticut
* * *
Wikipedia has an article on Moses here.

Encylopedia.com has an article about Moses here.

In 2005, Brewster Yale Beach, a great-great-grandson of Moses' provided documents to the Associated Press which showed that his ancestor had helped found it two years earlier than had been known before.  You can read about that here.

You can read an abstract of an article about Moses' activities as a secret agent in Mexico here.  The first three paragraphs are especially applicable.

Before he died, Moses gave some land to the town of Wallingford, Connecticut, on condition that it be used only for educational purposes.  Through the years, various school have been built there, but tragedy has frequently struck.  Currently, an elementary school stands on the property, but it is claimed to be haunted.   You can read a bit about it here.

You can read Moses Y. Beach's obituary in the New York Times here.  It will open a pdf file; scroll down a bit to see his obituary.

Infoplease has an article about Moses, too.


[1]  "Connecticut, Deaths and Burials, 1772-1934," index, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/F7KM-9JT : accessed 13 Feb 2013), Moses Y. Beach, 19 Jul 1868; citing reference 101, FHL microfilm 3367.

[2]  "Connecticut, Deaths and Burials, 1772-1934," index, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/F7KM-9JG : accessed 14 Feb 2013), Lucretta Beach, 24 May 1800; citing reference 101, FHL microfilm 3367.

[3]  “Obituary – Moses Y. Beach,” The New York Times, July 21, 1868.

[4]  "Massachusetts, Marriages, 1695-1910," index, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/FCD6-GMT : accessed 14 Feb 2013), Moses Y. Beach and Nancy Day, 23 Nov 1819; citing reference , FHL microfilm 0496944 IT 5.

[5]  Jones, Emma C. Brewster, Brewster Genealogy, 1566-1907… (New York: The Grafton Press, Genealogical Publishers, 1908), Vol.2, part 1, p. 732-733.

[6]  Heman Ely. Records of the descendants of Nathaniel Ely, the emigrant… (Cleveland, Ohio: Short &Forman, Printers and Stationers, 1885), 205-206.

[7]  "New York Deaths and Burials, 1795-1952," index, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/F695-N3Y : accessed 10 Jan 2013), Henry D. Beach, 1824; citing reference Pg 25, FHL microfilm 1671687.

[8]  "Connecticut, Deaths and Burials, 1772-1934," index, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/F7KM-9JL : accessed 02 Feb 2013), Moses S. Beach, 16 Sep 1826; citing reference 101, FHL microfilm 3367.

[9]  Ancestry.com. Connecticut, Deaths and Burials Index, 1650-1934 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2011. Original data:
"Connecticut Deaths and Burials, 1772–1934." Index. FamilySearch, Salt Lake City, Utah, 2009, 2010. Index entries derived from digital copies of original and compiled records.

[10]  Ancestry.com. Connecticut, Deaths and Burials Index, 1650-1934 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2011. Original data:
"Connecticut Deaths and Burials, 1772–1934." Index. FamilySearch, Salt Lake City, Utah, 2009, 2010. Index entries derived from digital copies of original and compiled records.

[11]  Entry for Beach, Moses Yale at http://www.infoplease.com/ce6/people/A0806582.html, citing The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2007, Columbia University Press. Viewed online.

[12]  James D. Hart and and Phillip W. Leininger. "New York Sun." The Oxford Companion to American Literature. 1995. Retrieved February 29, 2012 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/doc/1O123-NewYorkSun.html

[13]  Pyle, Richard.  “Moses Yale Beach and the Origins of the AP,” http://www.ap.org/cleartime/index.html.  Viewed online February 2012.

[14]  Suarerz, Ana R., “’The Precious, the Priceless Right of Way Across the Isthmus of Tehuantepec’ (1846-1849.” Journal of Popular Culture, September 22, 2001.  Viewed at http://www.accessmylibrary.com/article-1G1-84721199/precious-priceless-right-way.html
Viewed online February 2012.

[15]  "United States Census, 1850," index and images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/M68P-1GT : accessed 14 Feb 2013), Moses Y Beach in household of Moses Y Beach, Wallingford, New Haven, Connecticut, United States; citing dwelling 425, family 501, NARA microfilm publication M432, roll 46.

[16]  "Connecticut, Deaths and Burials, 1772-1934," index, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/F7KM-9JT : accessed 13 Feb 2013), Moses Y. Beach, 19 Jul 1868; citing reference 101, FHL microfilm 3367.