AUTHOR SUNDAY – The Bountiful Bearden’s… A family’s journey in the American South

The Bountiful Bearden’s… A family’s journey in the American South


Shannon Hollon

Our first Bearden in America was Jacob Bearden b.1660 in England and came as an indentured servant to work the tobacco plantations of Virginia.

In 1744 his son Francis Bearden b.1690 was hung in Williamsburg Va. for the theft of 350lbs of tobacco, he was serving as the constable during this incident after his hanging the family packed up and moved south.

Hanging at Williamsburg Gallows (Google)Hanging at Williamsburg Va. gallows

Family tree

Francis grandson Richard Bearden b.1760 served in the Revolutionary war and received a pension as a soldier and wagoner dying in 1861 at 101 in Dawson County Ga.

Richards son William “Pappy” Bearden b.1794 populated the State of Alabama with Bearden’s hence the nickname “Pappy” married 3 times he sired 13 children( we lost count after 13).

Bearden on carSidney Bearden far right with two of his brothers;Raymond & Hubert

3 generations later my grandfather Sidney Bearden(Big Daddy)was born 1918 in Montevallo Alabama the eldest of 6 brothers, raised attending a one room school house, “taking off a year in the 3rd grade to help his daddy make a crop”, graduated from Montevallo high school and worked his way through Business college as a farm hand.After the start of World War II he volunteered for the US Army Air Force and served as a 15th AF nose turret gunner on a B-24 Liberator flying 35 combat bombing missions including the Ploiesti Romania raid(Operation Tidal Wave). After the war he worked as a lead man at Hercules Powder plant in Bessemer for 33 years and served as clerk/treasurer of his local church for over 40 years, and has always been considered an above average fisherman,gardner and squirrel hunter.

pilot BeardenSidney Bearden b. 1918

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  1. Shelley DeAnna Bearden and Michael Bearden…thought one of you or your family maybe interested 🙂

  2. I would love to learn more

  3. My gg-grandmother was Elizabeth Jane Bearden (1841-1945). Does anyone have information on her or her parents?

  4. I, too, have been researching the Beardens..Wm “Pappy” Bearden was my husbands gg-grandfather. Would like to know more if you wish to share. send to [email protected]. Thanks

    1. Bearden Kin
      Sending what I have your way

  5. I am researching the Beardens. My connection is at Francis Bearden and goes through his son John Bearden. Would love to share information with anybody on either side.

    1. Bearden Kin
      Send me your email and I will be happy to send you the information I have

      1. Shannon,
        Researching Bearden as we descend from Richard.
        Please share info if you don’t mind sir.
        Thanks very much,
        Scott White

        1. You can reach Shannon through this link. http://wjchs.com/#sthash.CLod7q0W.dpuf He works with West Jefferson Historical Association.

      2. My father was Elmer Aaron Bearden, the son of W. Jackson Bearden.
        I greatful you are willing to share your info.

      3. Can any Bearden please send me any info on any kin I may have? The only Beardens I know is imediate family. Was always told we had family in north GA. Some in Carolina and Alabama. My father was Charles Raymond Bearden , his father Paul James Bearden b. 1919 Macon Ga. His father Brown Cleveland Bearden not sure when born. This is all I have ☹️ If anyone could send me something I would be very grateful. Hope we are kin. That would make my day!! Thanks C.L. Bearden

  6. What might have been Sidney’s relation to Ned Bearden who owned a large dairy farm near Montevallo & was an elder in Central Church of Christ in Birmingham for a number of years?

    1. Don’t recognize Ned… Sidney’s brothers were Raymond,Hubert,Adron,Clay,Lewis,Nolan

      1. Hi Shannon, I saw your Bearden family piece you did May 2019. I have many generations of Beardens I’m related to going back to Jacob Bearden (8th Great Grandfather) who was the first over from England. I also have a lot of other family closely related….Smith, Tanner, Holcomb, Coleman that all came in though VA in early early to mid 1600’s. If you have anything else you can share or anything on the other surnames please let me know. Thank you!!

      2. Thought I would comment on “Ned” Bearden from Montevallo (dairy farmer) just in case no one else had yet replied. Ned was Joel Elwyn Bearden 1909-2000. He was born in Birmingham and died in Shelby County, Alabama. His father was was Joel Byars Bearden Sr. Joel Byars was a son of Christopher Columbus Bearden, who was my great-grandfather. Both Joel Byars and Joel Elwyn had a son named after themselves. The family started out in the dairy business but has since gotten away from that and entered the beef market. They have also gone into the boarding and training of horses and providing riding trails. This family has a history of being productive citizens and of being civic minded, as well as being involved in religious training.

  7. Richard Bearden was my 5th gr grandfather! I am descended through his son Ancil Or Ancel Bearden and his daughter Sarah Jane Bearden. Thanks for posting!

  8. I’m curious if there is a relation to Arron Bearden 1899 to 1985 Scottsboro alabama my maternal grandfather my mother was Susie Emma line Bearden

  9. I am trying to find out if any of this line of Beardens are the come from Richard or Arthur. Both of them married Whitfield’s from Chelesa area and are my relatives. Richard married Margaret Whitfield 1827-1870 and Arthur married Rebecca Whitfield 1821-1853. These two ladies are my great-greatgraddaddy George Washington Whitfield’s sisters.

    1. In reply to your post, my great grandmother was rebecca whitfield. I would love to connect and share information.

  10. Auburn Heath Bearden father Jack Vance Bearden jr.

  11. Cathy Hill Bearden share this with Matt.

  12. Tamara Owens Bearden

  13. Leave the apostrophe off of “Bearden’s” when the word is plural and not possessive.

  14. I have read this before, but didn’t put it in my tree because I can’t prove it….Richard was mine for sure, we have the early wills…mine came from GA before Alabama…they were in Franklin County, AR before 1888.

  15. Interesting. Have only been able to get to my Great Great Grandfather. Guess where? Dawson County, GA.

  16. My mother is a Bearden from Vincent, Alabama in Shelby County,
    Her dad was John Marion Bearden, gather John McClannahan Bearden, my grandfather had many brothers and sisters all in the area of Vincent, Harpersville, Sterrett in Shelby County. The gggrandfather came from Georgia.

  17. try this site [email protected]

  18. I am a descendant of Barnie Bunn Bearden, J. D. Bearden, William C. Bearden of Whitfield County, Ga. I find it difficult to find out who was William C. Bearden’s father and back. Just wondered if you could help me. I get stuck with the William and Willoughby and Wyley names. I would appreciate any info you can share. I see the info on Richard Bearden and some of the same names in other trees show him as an ancestor.

  19. Richard was my 6th great grandfather, the father of Willoughby (1803-1848).

  20. From my research Richard of Dawson County was NOT William “Pappy” Bearden’s (my fifth great-grandfather) father. Richard of Dawson County did have a son William but he lived in Dawson County, Georgia which is why Richard & Sarah moved there from Tennessee (per “The Heritage of William Melton Bearden” PDF file).


  21. My grandfather was John Elford Bearden, his father was John H. Bearden married to Violet Turner Bearden…total roadblock above John H. –he lived in Pickens County , South Carolina but some of them were in Georgia …Some of his descendants think Willougby was his dad, others think William Bucky was….ANYONE who could help I would be so happy!

  22. Hello, My name is Becky and i am researching my 4th great grandmother. Mary Bearden Coker c. 1815-c.1893. I am not 100% certain on those dates. She married Johnathan Coker on May 8th 1838 in Knoxville, Knox County Tennessee. I have no information as too who her parents are. There is an 1850 Knox Co. Tn Census with Jonathan and Mary and children and also living nearby a woman named Nancy Bearden born age 66 ,1784 in North Carolina, a Charles Bearden 39 born in 1811 NC, a Rufus Bearden 4 Tn, Sarah Bearden 2 Tn, an Elizabeth Bearden 23 Tn. I am hoping you can help me figure out who Mary Bearden Coker’s parents are. I believe these are relatives of hers and Nancy may be her mother. Thank you very much for any information you dont mind sharing.

  23. Just as an FYI, when I click the link to access the site, another site asking me to confirm that I’m not a bot appears. Your link may be corrupted. If I open another tab and type the name of the site into the address line, I have no issues.