The Beal family of Abington, the head of which was the late George A. Beal, Esq., who for years was one of the leading men of the town, prominent in business and public affairs and useful and substantial in citizenship, is one of long and honorable standing in this section of the Commonwealth and is a branch of the earlier Weymouth family, where early appeared the immigrant settler. By the marriage of the late Mr. Beal into the Reed family, his posterity is doubly descended from the Puritan stock of the early Colonial period of Massachusetts. There follows in chronological order from the immigrant settler, John Beal, the genealogy of the particular Abington family of Beals alluded to.
John Beal or Beale came in the ship “Diligence,” from the parish of Hingham, County of Norfolk, England, to Hingham, in the Massachusetts Bay Colony, in 1635, and on the 18th of December, 1638, received a grant of land of six acres on what is now South street, at or near the corner of Hersey street. He was accompanied by his wife, five sons, three daughters and two servants. He was made a freeman in 1639, and in 1649 and 1659 he was chosen to represent the town at the General Court of the Colony. By occupation he was a shoemaker. His first wife, Nazareth Hobart, who was the mother of his children, was a daughter of Edmund and Margaret (Dewey) Hobart. She was born in England about 1600, and died in Hingham, Sept. 23, 1658. He married (second) March 10, 1659, Mrs. Mary Jacob, widow of Nicholas Jacob. She died in Hingham in May, 1681. Mr. Beal died June 15, 1681, aged one hundred years. The children of John and Nazareth, all save the two youngest born in England, were:
Jeremiah Beal, born in 1631, in England, as stated, came to America with the family, they settling at Hingham. On Nov. 18, 1652, he married Sarah, born in England, daughter of William Ripley. He was known as Lieutenant Beal, and resided on Bachelor (Main) street, near the meetinghouse of the First Parish, but late in life on East (near Hull) street. He was constable in 1672; selectman in 1671, 1673 and 1684; representative in 1691, 1692 and 1701. He was a blacksmith by occupation. He died Aug. 10, 1716, aged eighty-five years; his wife died June 20, 1715. Their children were:
Jeremiah Beal (2), born May 13, 1655, in Hingham, Mass., married May 22, 1677, Hannah, baptized in Hingham Sept. 30, 1658, daughter of Andrew and Tryphena Lane. Like his father he was a blacksmith by occupation, and a prominent public man in the town, being selectman in 1690, 1692 and 1696. He resided on the paternal homestead on Main street. He died April 21, 1703, and his wife passed away Sept. 19, 1719. Their children were:
Jeremiah Beal (3), born May 2, 1678, in Hingham, Mass., married Jan. 2, 1700-01, Esther Farrow, daughter of John and Mary (Hilliard) Farrow. She was born in Hingham June 28, 1675. Mr. Beal and his family removed from Hingham to Weymouth, where the parents died, Mr. Beal Aug. 10, 1716, and Mrs. Beal Jan. 21, 1760. Their children were:
- Bethia, born Jan. 28, 1701-02
- Mary, April 23, 1703
- Joel, March 21, 1704-05
- Jeremiah, Dec. 25, 1706
- William, Oct. 26, 1708
- Isaac, Oct. 9, 1711
Jeremiah Beal (4), born Dec. 25, 1706, in Hingham, married Nov. 18, 1729, at Weymouth, Mass., Mary Colson, born Oct. 7, 1708, daughter of John and Susanna (Lincoln) Colson. The children born in Weymouth, Mass., to Jeremiah and Mary were:
- Abijah (Aug. 17, 1730)
- Benjamin (Dec. 9, 1731)
After the birth of the last named child Mr. Beal removed to the town of Abington, Mass., and settled on the farm which in comparatively recent years was known as the William Blaisdell place, where were born children as follows:
- Chloe, Feb. 2, 1739; Levi, in 1741
- Priscilla, in 1746 (who married Capt. Abraham Shaw, of East Abington, and they are the ancestors of a large number of the Shaw name in East Abington)
Mr. Beal died in 1752; his widow remained on the homestead until 1780 or 1781, when she died at the age of about seventy-two years.
Benjamin Beal, son of Jeremiah and Mary, born in Weymouth, Mass., Dec. 9, 1731, went with his father to Abington on the latter’s removal to that town. He married Feb. 18, 1753, Mary Porter, of Weymouth, who was born Sept. 25, 1734, daughter of Richard and Ruth (Whitman) Porter, the latter being a daughter of Deacon Samuel Whitman, who lived to be about one hundred years of age and died about 1778. Benjamin Beal was a farmer, was a lieutenant in the militia, and collector for the Province under the Colonial government. He lived and died in Abington, Mass. His children were:
- Chloe, born Dec. 3, 1753, died young
- Mary, born Oct. 11, 1755, married Ebenezer K. Hunt, and died Feb. 14, 1835, leaving a large posterity in Abington
- Benjamin, born Oct. 30, 1757, married Mary Noyes, of Abington, and removed to Turner, Maine, where his descendants are numerous
- Chloe (2), born Oct. 8, 1759, died Jan. 1, 1848, unmarried
- Samuel was born Oct. 8, 1761
- Ruth, born Sept. 14, 1763, married Noah Hersey, of Abington, and moved to Minot, Maine
- Priscilla, born Feb. 14, 1766, died unmarried
- Zelotes was born Feb. 23, 1768
- Lydia, born Feb. 13, 1770, married David Trufant, of Weymouth
- Sarah, born Nov. 11, 1772, married Nathaniel Terrill
- Nathaniel, born Feb. 11, 1775, married Tamar Hobart, of Abington
- Mehetabel, born May 1, 1777, married Abner Holbrook, of Weymouth
The father died Aug. 30, 1805, in Abington. His widow died Jan. 3, 1806.
Zelotes Beal, son of Benjamin and Mary (Porter) Beal, born Feb. 23, 1768, in Abington, Mass., married March 2, 1797, Sarah Burrell. He lived and died in Abington, leaving a large posterity. The children of Zelotes and Sarah (Burrell) Beal were:
- Nelson, born Aug. 14, 1797, married Selina H. Nash
- Benjamin was born Sept. 9, 1799
- Ruth, born April 4, 1801, married Jacob Lovell and lived in East Abington
- Zelotes, born March 19, 1803, married Anna N. Bicknell
- John A., born March 9, 1805, married Anna C. Shaw
- Sarah was born in September, 1806
- Micah P., born Nov. 18, 1808, married Charlotte Bicknell
- Gridley, born Dec. 11, 1811, married Clarissa Hunt
- Samuel C, born May 22, 1813, married Sally Thompson
Benjamin Beal, son of Zelotes and Sarah (Burrell) Beal, born Sept. 9, 1799, in Abington, Mass., married in October, 1827; Dorothy B. Nash, and one child, George A., born Dec. 21, 1830, survived the mother, who died April 15, 1838. Mr. Beal was a boot and shoe maker, a lifelong resident of Abington, where he and his wife were esteemed and respected. Mrs. Beal died at the early age of thirty-three years. Mr. Beal lived to the age of eighty-eight, dying in the year 1888.
George Augustus Beal, son of Benjamin and Dorothy B. (Nash) Beal, was born in Abington, Dec. 21, 1830, and always lived within a few hundred feet of his birthplace. He received a good education, graduating from a private institution known as the Abington Union Academy, then the highest institution of learning in the town. At the age of eighteen he entered the office of William H. Dunbar, a leading boot and shoe manufacturer of that day, and a man who was considered one of the ablest business men of southeastern Massachusetts, and who quickly discerned the character and capacity of Mr. Beal in this early stage of his career, and placed upon him responsibilities which usually come to men of forty years of age and upward.
In 1857 Mr. Beal engaged in the boot and shoe business, and later was in company many years with Joshua L. Nash, at the old King house, under the name of Nash & Beal. In 1884 the firm went out of business and he was thereafter engaged as the treasurer of the Abington Savings Bank, entering upon the duties of that position in July, 1884, and holding it until his death, seeing the bank grow steadily during that time. Mr. Beal was also a trustee and was clerk of the same institution, a director for several years of the Abington National Bank, a director of the Abington Mutual Fire 1 Insurance Company, one of the Abington public library trustees and treasurer for more than thirty years of that body, vice president of the State Savings Banks Treasurers’ Association, and held many other offices of trust. He had been one of the board of selectmen ten years, town clerk ten years, town treasurer twenty-seven years, one of the board of water commissioners from the time the work was installed and secretary of both the board and the joint boards of Abington and Rockland up to the time of his death. He was an associate member of the Grand Army post, in which he was much interested, and was the first man in the town to advocate in public a memorial to the soldiers and sailors, and at the same time pledge himself to $100 toward a fund for that purpose. He was a member of the different Masonic institutions in town, lodge, chapter, council and commandery, and of the Lodge of Perfection in Boston, of which he was a life member, and was treasurer of several of them for years up to the time of his death. He was also a member of the First Congregational Church, the Board of Trade, and other organizations of the town. Mr. Beal was greatly interested in town affairs and often was a speaker at town meetings. He was as well known as any other person in this vicinity and it was often remarked that he was a man without an enemy.
On Dec. 9, 1852, Mr. Beal was married to Helen M. Reed, daughter of Lucius and Lydia (Shaw) Reed, of Abington, Mass. She died Jan. 30, 1861, leaving one child, Herbert A. Beal. He married (second) Dec. 27, 1863, Lucretia A. Reed, who died Feb. 2, 1885, leaving children:
- George C.
- Charles A.
On Sept. 4, 1886, Mr. Beal married (third) Florence L. Reed, his three wives being sisters.
Mr. Beal died March 17, 1909, at his home in Abington, Mass., aged seventy-eight years, two months, twenty-six days. His funeral was held at the Congregational Church on the following Sunday afternoon, and no similar service in the town was ever more largely attended, the great gathering of friends testifying to the respect and esteem in which he was held by his fellow citizens and by those who had served with him in the many public offices he had held in life, and in the business and fraternal organizations with which he was connected. Many public and bank officials from out of town were among those present. The commandery, council, chapter and John Cutler Lodge of Masons were all represented by large delegations, as was also the Abington Board of Trade.
The services were conducted by Rev. Thomas J. Lewis, the pastor of the church, assisted by Rev. R. W. Haskins, of Reading, Mass., a former pastor for several years. Both pronounced eulogies on the life of the departed friend, referring to his unblemished reputation as husband, father, citizen and church member, and particularly to his honored service as town official for more than forty years, Mr. Beal having held more offices of trust than were ever given to any other citizen of the town. Moreover, although he had served in so many positions of trust, he had never sought an office of any kind, his honors coming entirely without solicitation, and the people accomplishing his election without any effort on his part. His honorable record as treasurer of the Abington Savings Bank, a position he held for nearly twenty-five years, was referred to particularly, as well as his services with many other institutions, in all of which he was called for counsel and never without giving of the best there was in him. The interment was in Mount Vernon cemetery. The casket was fairly buried and surrounded with the beautiful floral tributes sent from organizations and friends.
Herbert Augustus Beal, son of George A. and Helen M. (Reed) Beal, w.as born in Abington, Mass., Oct. 31, 1853. He was educated in the public schools of Abington (graduating from the Abington high school in 1869) and at Bryant & Stratton’s Commercial College, Boston. He resides in Abington and is at present mail agent on the rural free delivery in that town. He is also local news correspondent for the Brockton Enterprise. He married Oct. 16, 1878, Alice D. Richmond. They have two daughters, Helen Reed, born March 13, 1885, and Mira Dean, born June 25, 1887.
George Clifton Beal, son of George A. and Lucretia A. (Reed) Beal, was born in Abington, Mass., Oct. 10, 1866. He was educated in the public schools of Abington and at Adams Academy, Quincy, Mass. He was a young man of fine character and ability and had before him a most promising future, when his career was cut short by death May 8, 1888. He had a large circle of friends, both young and old, and his loss was deeply felt by the community in which he lived.
Charles Alston Beal, son of George A. and Lucretia A. (Reed) Beal, was born in Abington, Mass., May 16, 1871. In 1888 he graduated from the Abington high school and in 1892 from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Boston, having completed the thorough electrical course. He married, Nov. 26, 1896, Izzie I. Smith, a native of Pembroke, Maine. They have one daughter, Dorothy, born Sept. 9, 1898. They reside at the present time in Montclair, 1st. J. He is connected with the General Electric Company of New York as superintendent of their various incandescent lamp works.
- Descendants of Lucius Reed, of Abington, Massachusetts
Lucius Reed, of Abington, Mass., was a descendant of (I) William Reade, who came to this country in the vessel “Assurance de Lo” in 1635, fifteen years after the arrival of the “Mayflower,” and settled in Weymouth, Mass. The line is through his son William Reed, who married Esther Thompson, of Middleboro, whose mother was Mary Cooke, daughter of Francis Cooke, who landed in 1620, from the “Mayflower.”
- Ancestry of Jared Shaw of East Abington, Massachusetts
The Shaw family with which the Beal and Reed families are allied by marriage, was founded in this country by Abraham Shaw, who came to America before 1636.