Ninian Beall died between 15 January 1717, when his Will was written, and 28 Feburary 1717, when his Will was probated.http://wc.rootsweb.ancestry.com/cgi-bin/igm.cgi?op=GET&db=edaf0448&id=I02646
Original Spelling of the Beal surname in Scotland was Bell and so was used in early Maryland Records. Good examples of this are to be found on page 35 of Early Maryland Settlers (Gust Skordas):
Bell, Ninian Liber 11, Folio 195, (of Calvert Co., Planter, Service 1667. This entry probably refers to completion of a second voluntary two year indenture to Richard Hall for which he received land.
Bell, Thomas Liber WC2, Folio 16. Immigrated 1679
Members of the Beall family, that is, Ninnian, Thomas, Alexander, James and Robert , were natives of Saint Andrew's Parish, Fifeshire, Scotland, where their births or baptisms are registered in Parish Records. After immigration/transportation an "a" was inserted (reason unknown) and after the first generation Beall was consistently used.
Also the naming of their Maryland Plantations reflects their Scottish heritage.
Ninian (Bell) Beall was born in Largo, Fifeshire, Scotland across the Firth of Forth from Edinburgh. For a young man who landed in the Maryland Colony as a military prisoner condemned to indentured servitude, Ninian did very well for himself. In 1650 he was a Cornet in the Scottish Army under General Leslie championing the cause of Prince Charles, the future King Charles II of England against Oliver Cromwell and his Round Heads. He was captured on 3 September 1650 at the Battle of Dunbar. He served as a prisoner either in "Barbados" or Ireland - which is not known. According to when is servitude was completed he arrived in Maryland circa 185
When he shuffled down the gangplank at St. Mary's, Ninian was bid in by a Planter, whose name is not known. Later he was acquired by Richard Hall, a Calvert County Planter and Burgess. Hall was a Quaker to whom Ninian would later refer to as the "Kindly Quaker" used him as a carpenter. About 1657 Ninian completed his term of servitude and was a free man.
In the same year Ninian gained his freedom, Oliver Cromwell died. In 1660 The English recalled Prince Charles from exile and Crowned him as King Charles II, the very man for whom he had fought and been condemed to servitude. Doors that had been shut to him suddenly were open. He was welcome in Manor Houses and could date daughters of wealthy. His indenture, if refered to at all, was termed to as "honorable servitude".
Ninian joined the Militia, where his military expeience and qualities of leadership quickly earned him promotion. As a youth on the coast of Scotland he had acquired skills in sailing. He was to join the select crew, and become 1st Lieutenant on Lord Baltimore's Yacht of War, Loyall Charles. He also studied surveying and became a surveyor. He was a handsome six-footer, with sandy colored hair, wide set blue-gray eyes and a "spare but muscular build". In 1664 he courted and married 16 year old Ruth Moore, daughter of a St, Marys Lawyer and Planter. His first wife Elizabeth Gordon in Scotland had died. He had his two sons in Scotland, who were teenagers by this time, join him in Maryland shortly after his marriage to Ruth.
Being a Surveyor, with the fee for making a survey from one third to a half of the land involved Ninian rapidly added to the 50 acres he had aquired after the completion of his servitude. Within three years he was describing himself as a "Planter". He acquired the 300 acre "Bacon Hall" plantation, 3 miles southeast of Upper Marlboro, which was his home for nearly the rest of his life. In 1668 he acquired "Batchelors Choice" so named in spite of his comparetavely. He stadily added such plantatios as "Largo", "Beall's Adventure", "Friendship", Beall's Enclosure", Collington Branch" and "Beall's Point". To this accumulation of land he added a Grist/Flour Mill and a Pig Iron Foundry.
Ninian was also rising in the Militia. In 1676 he was a Lieutenant ib the militia unit of his neighbor, Major Thomas Truman, said to be an ancestor of President Harry Truman. In 1689 he became a Major himself. In 1694 he was promoted to Colonel and Commander of the Maryland Militia. He retired from the Militia in 1699 at age 73 at which time a grateful assembly gave him an award of 500 acres of land and the price of "three good, serviceable Negro slaves".
As a member of the Maryland Assembly he was the leader of a bloc protesting the autocratic pretentions of Charles Calvert, the Third Lord Baltimore, and demanding for Marylanders the same guarentees of liberty as were enjoyed in England. Lord Baltimore countered by claiming the right to call the Assembly "in any manner or way I shall think fit". He tried to further restrict the already limited ballot and claimed the sole right to initiate legislation. To assembly session he summoned only the delegates he pleased. Popular measures enacted over his veto, he simply did not put into effect. In 1680, John Coode, a pperrinel insurgent, led an unsuccesful revolt against his His Lordship. In 1689 he saw a better opportunity when the Protestant Majority overthrew King James II, an avowed Catholic and replaced him with the Protestant King William and Queen Mary.
When the Govenor's Council delayed recognition of the new King and Queen, Coode, supported by Ninian Beall, Nehemiah Blackinston and others organized a Posse of 700 men, forced the surrender of the Proprietary Officials and took over the Colonial Government. The Baltimores
permanetly lost the power to govern, but retained their Charter Right to make land grants in return for nominal quitrents.
Ninian who actively encouraged Scots to immigrate to the Maryland colony used the renamed Loyall Charles to ferry new arrivals to the Potomac River Valley. There was already a "New Scotland" down river from Georgetown. He helped people twomother settlements, one near Hyattsville and another inland from the Great Falls of the Patomac.
Lord Baltimore was selling the rich deep Maryland soil for 200 hundred pounds of tobacco per one hundred acres, the equivalent of about four cents per acre. Ninian, whose affars were prospering, had no trouble in acquiring new grants of land. In 1702 he sought and was the following year was granted 795 acres of choice land in what is now Georgetown. The tract had gained his notice years before when he ran upon it while trailing Indians up the Potomac.
Probably because the high bluff above the Potomac and te deep ravine of Rock Creek reminded him of his native Scotland he named the new Plantation "Rock of Dumbarton" after a castle crowned promontary on the River Clyde below Glasgow.
In 1703 he was granted a 225 acre tract which he called "Beall's Levels". This tract is familiar to all Lawyers verifying titles in downtown Washinton, DC. It includes the present day Pennsylvania Avenue with several blocks on each side from 4th Street to the Treasury Building. Past the Treasury Building the boundry turned south to include the most of the White House grounds, the White House site except the northeast corner, the Ellipse and now prestigious area which used to be known as "Foggy Bottoms". He never cared much for this property and after a succession of tobacco crops had exhausted it's fertility, it was sold and the proceeds invested in cheaper and better land north of the Federal District.
The "Rock of Dumbarton" was a different matter, Although Ninian never lived there, except for camping, he considered it the crown jewel of his domain. The grant started with a tree on the bank of the Potomac near the mouth of Rock Creek. It was termed the "begining tree", with no indication whether it was an Oak, Gum, Hickory or what not. He willed this plantation to his son George.
When George died in 1780 and it became necessary to resurvey the property, the "Corner Tree" was gone and so was its stump.The problem was solved by third party testimony given by and oldtimer before a special commission. A transcript of this testimony can be seen at the Georgetown Branch Public Library.
Simon Nichols, age 52, testified that 19 or 20 years earlier he had "then and there been shown by Luke Bernard, Sr., this stump of a tree three or four feet high and the said Luke Bernard, Snr. stated that he was shown it when a tree by John Powell for the corner or begining tree of a tract of land called the "Rock of Dumbarton"." This flimsy testimony provided the key for marking off hundreds of the most expensive residential lots in the Western Hemisphere.
In 1751 a booster group, including some members of the Beall family, petitioned the Maryland Assembly to incorporate Georgetown and create a 60 acre subdivision, half of which would be carved out of the "Rock of Dumbarton'. Over George Beall's heated protest, the Act of Incorporation was approved. The 60 acres were divided into 80 lots whose area, after allowing for streets and alleys, was roughly 6/10 of an acre. The lots were sold for $18 each. In todays money the same lot would go for $100,000. The sale of lots and subdivisions in this area was a sustaining income for Ninian's descendents through most of the 19th Century.
Thomas Beall, George's son and Ninian"s grandson wanted the Capital built on Georgetown Heights, but when the Federal District planner, Charles L'Enfant insisted that the streets be laid out like spokes of a wheel, with the Capital as the hub, Georgetown was ruled out. It had to content itself with being the Capital's most charming and prestigious residental district.
Ninian was not buried in Georgetown, as was once thought, but at "Bacon Hall", ten miles accross the line in Prince Georges County. It has long since disappeared and its site, along with the burial plot, has been los
A large bronze plaque is installed on a large oval rock, symbolic of the "Rock of Dumbarton", on Front of Saint John's Episcopal Church in Georgetown, 3240 O Street NW, with the following inscripton:
Colonel Ninian Beall, born Scotland, 1625, died Maryland 1717, patentee of the "Rock of Dumbarton"; Member of the House of Burgesses; Commander in Chief of the Provencial Forces of Maryland. In grateful recognition of his services "upon all Incursions and Disturbances of Neighboring Indians" the Maryland Assembly of 1699 passed an "Act of Graditude". This memorial errected by the society of Colonial Wars in the District of Columbia, 1910.
His name is also inscribed on a monument with 16 other Early Maryland Settlers whose grants embraced the Federal Diustrict. The monument is located on the Ellipse south of the White House.
Will of Ninian Beall, Prince Georges County, Maryland
Written: 15 Jan 1717 Probate: 28 Feb 1717
To son George and heirs 480 acres "Rock of Dumbarton" on Rock Creek and personalty.
To son Charles and heirs 1000 acres "Dunn Back" on Wattes Creek and personalty.
To granddaughter Mary Beall and heirs (d/o son Ninian, deceased) after payment of legacies, 1/2 of personal estate, also part of Bacon Hall lying on South side of road to "Mt. Calvert" to have her share at marriage.
To grandson Samuel Beal, executor and heirs Water ill on Collington Branch and remaining part of "Bacon Hall", providing that at 21 years he makes over to aforesaid a tract of land called "Sams Begining" on South side od road to "Mt. Calvert". Shoulde he be of age to convey land aforesaid, then the entire tract of "Bacon Hall"is bequeath to said granddaughter Mary Beall.
To son-in-law Andrew Hambelton, personalty.
To son-in-law Joseph Belt and heirs 245 acres "Good Luck", he to allow heirs of testor 4000 pounds tobacco.
Two grandchildren (children) of deceased son Ninian, to be cared for and educated.
Testor directs that a tract of 400 acres "The Recovery" the freshes of Patuxent River, ar head of Weston Branch, and adjacent land bequeathed to Joseph Belt, be sold for payment of debts.
Sons Charles, Joseph Belt and George to aid executor until he arrives at age 21.
Test: John Busey, Rebecca Getward, Edward Willet.
(CW IV.135;Wills,14.504;PG Wills 1.92)
Colonel Ninian Beall, Prince Georges County: 82 pds 0 shillings,7 pence. Appraisal William Scott, Benjamin Berry (I&A 1.445)
Colonel Ninian Beall, Prince Georges County: Account 82 pds 0 sh 7 p; 331 pds, 10 sh. 18 Jan 1719 distributed to Administrator. Administrator Charles Beall (A 2.491)
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