Beckmon family of Moundville

The Beckmon family was early among Moundville residents. Beckmon Cemetery is a deserted cemetery located 3 miles west and one mile south of Moundville. It is a real challenge to find. In summer, 2004, Lindell Haverstic and I visited it and photographed what graves we could see. The cemetery is fenced but is totally overgrown with blackberry vines, weeds, brush etc. As one finds information about this family, there are more instances where the name is spelled Beckman than there is Beckmon. But there is no doubt what the grave markers say.

Above is a view from outside Beckmon Cemetery. You can see how overgrown it is. The fence is near the tree and if you look carefully, you can see a steel post to the right.

R. E. Beckmon was honored on his ninetieth birthday at his home 3 ½ miles southwest of Moundville on Friday, November 15, 1907. Mr. Beckmon had been a member of the Primitive Baptist Church for 57 years. His wife, Minerva, had died in 1877 and was buried nearby in Beckmon Cemetery.

Pioneer Moundville resident, Robert Ervill Beckmon, age 92, died on April 8, 1910. He had been born in Wayne County, Kentucky, November 15, 1817. The family had been members of the Primitive Baptist Church and moved to Vernon County in 1873. They joined the Pleasant Ridge Primitive Baptist Church in 1878. The funeral was held at his home with burial in Beckmon Cemetery.


Wanda Northrop lists Robert and Minerva's children as Rachel, Dinah, Elizabeth Jane, Roena Ellen and Nancy Angeline.

Wanda also says that Minerva Kemp was the daughter of Burl Kemp and Nancy Foster. Robert and Minerva's marriage date was 2 November 1836 in Morgan County, Illinois

The family shows up in the 1850 Illinois census. Robert is referred to Irvin Beckman and the first four daughters, Rachael, Diana, Elizabeth and Roena are listed.

The 1870 census shows the Beckmon family living near Winchester, Illinois:

  • Robert Beckmon, age 52, born Kentucky
  • Minerva Beckmon, age 55, born Tennessee
  • Rachael Beckmon, age 30, born Illinois
  • Diana Beckmon, age 22, born Illinois
  • Rowena Beckmon, age 22, born Illinois
  • Nancy Beckmon, age 25, born Illinois
  • Nancy Grissom, age 2, born Illinois (who does this baby belong to?)
  • John Cook, age 26, born Missouri, Farm laborer

The 1880 Census for Harrison Township showed the widower Beckmon with two single daughters living with him:

  • Robert Beckmon, age 62, born in Kentucky
  • Ellen Beckmon, age 33, born Illinois
  • Nancy Beckmon, age 25, born Illinois

The 1900 Census for Harrison Township lists the Beckmon family:

  • R. E. Beckmon, age 82, born November 1817 in Kentucky
  • Rouena Beckmon, age 53, born March 1847 in Illinois - single
  • Nancy A. Beckmon, age 45, born September 1854 in Illinois - single

To the left is the obituary fro Robert E. Beckmon from the May 11, 1910, Nevada Daily Mail. This obituary establishes the maiden name of Mrs. Beckman - Minerva Kemp.

To the right is an obituary from the August 10, 1932, Bronaugh Journal for Roena Ellen Beckman. You will note that it tells that she was a daughter of Robert Ervill and Minerva Kemp Beckman. You will also note that the obituary says she was buried at the family burial ground. Her's is a grave that we have not found in Beckmon Cemetery.

Thanks to Nancy and JaWan Thompson for providing these two scans of the grave markers of Robert and Minerva Beckmon. These scans were made in March 2005.

The Thompson's were smarter than I was when they visited the cemetery during the non-snake and tick season.

Note that the obituary tells that O. P. was buried beside his three sons. That would be James, David and John.

Oliver P. Beckman married Margaret Ann Kemp on 22 December 1847 in Scott County, Illinois

By 1860, O. P. was married to Mary Brake (probably before 1854 since son John was 16 in 1854).

O. P. and wife Mary (age 37) appear in the 1860 census in Linn County, MO, post office - Laclede with children, David, age 11; William, 10; John H., 5; Nancy, 4; Hulda, 1.

The 1870 census for San Juan, Monterrey County, California shows the family moved a lot:

  • O. P. Beckman, age 44, born Tennessee
  • Mary Beckman, age 37, born Illinois
  • David Beckman, age 21, born Illinois
  • William Beckman, age 20, born Illinois
  • John Beckman, age 16, born Illinois
  • Nancy Beckman, age 12, born Illinois
  • Huldah Beckman, age 11, born Missouri
  • Sarah Beckman, age 4, born Idaho Territory
  • James Beckman, age 1, born Idaho Territory
  • H. Beckman, age 39, born Illinois - this is probably Hardin Beckmon, see below)

The 1880 census for Deerfield Township,Vernon County, MO lists James with his parents and siblings:

  • H. Beckman, age 53, born Tennessee (why is he referred to as H. Beckman?)
  • Mary Beckman, age 48, born Illinois
  • Nancy Beckman, age 23, born Illinois
  • Huldah Beckman, age 20, born Missouri
  • Sarah Beckman, age 14, born Idaho Territory
  • James Beckman, age 10, born Idaho Territory
  • Carrie Beckman, age 7, born California

James appears in the 1900 census living in Nevada, MO as a boarder in the household of James C. Ferguson. It tells he was born in August 1869 in Idaho and that both of his parents were born in Missouri. (see his grave marker below left)

To the right is the obituary for Mary Beckmon from the July 23, 1908 Nevada Daily Mail. Mrs. Beckmon was buried beside her husband in Welborn Cemetery. Oliver P. Beckmon had died February 11, 1907.

Below is the grave marker for James. M. Beckmon, son of O. P. and Mary Beckmon. Welborn Cemetery, Moundville.

The grave marker in the old Beckmon Cemetery to the right is for Hardin Beckmon, 1831 - 1909 and Roena Kemp, 1817 - 1896. This stone is interesting in that it appears that the letter "O" dim in both places. My guess is that the stone originally had a different letter and it was corrected.

The 1880 Moundville township census lists the following:

  • Burl or Burrell Kemp, age 44, farmer, born in Illinois
  • Roena Kemp, age 64, mother, born in Kentucky
  • S. E. Kemp, age 30, daughter, born in Illinois
  • Sarah J. Beckman, age 51, aunt, born in Illinois
  • Hardin Beckman, age 49, uncle, born in Illinois

Wanda Northrop says that Roena was a Beckman and married to Emanuel Kemp. The S. E. is Sarah Evelyn daughter of Emanuel and Roena Beckman Kemp.

The Emanuel Kemp family shows up in the 1860 census for Linn County MO near Linneus - the same vicinity where the Robert Beckmon family lived in 1850. Hardin Beckman and Sarah Beckmon lived with them.

We can assume that Hardin Beckmon and Roena Kemp, on this stone, must have been brother and sister since Hardin was Burl Kemp's uncle. It appears that Hardin Beckmon never married.

After working on revisions for this family page, I posed some questions. I have received some answers, shown below.

Question 1: How were Robert, Hardin & O.P. Beckmon related? Lorraine Hess answered:

  • They were brothers, sons of David Beckman and Rachel Eads.
  • David Beckman Birth: BET. 1780 - 1790 in VA Death: 6 Sep 1855 in Scott Co, IL
  • Rachel Eads Birth: 31 Aug 1792 in Charlotte, Meckenburg Co, NC Death: BEF. 1852 in Scott Co, IL
  • David & Rachel's children were:
  • 1. Roena BECKMAN b: 26 SEP 1815 Wayne Co, KY d: 23 JUN 1896 Pulaski Co, MO Burial: Vernon Co, MO
  • m: Emanual Kemp 9 Dec 1832 Scott Co, IL
  • 2. H. BECKMAN b: 1827 probably Scott Co, IL d: after 1880
  • H Beckman went to Idaho and Calif with Emanuel and Roena Kemp. 2 children born in Idaho and one born in Calif. They all moved back to IL when Emanuel died. I find them in Deerfield, Vernon Co, MO in the l880 Census
  • 3. Sarah Jane BECKMAN b: 1827 in Scott Co, IL d: Est. 1828-1921 Lake Arthur, Chaves Co, NM
  • Bu: Lake Arthur, Chaves Co, NM
  • 4. Oliver P. BECKMAN b: 1829 d: 30 Dec 1925 Oak Park, Cook Co, IL
  • m: Margaret Kemp 22 Dec 1847 Scott Co, IL b: 1830-IL, m: Mary Brake 30 Oct 1853 in Brown County, IL
  • 5. Wadkins Hardin BECKMAN b: 10 JAN 1831 d:6 FEB 1909 in Nevada, Vernon Co, MO m: Mary Elizabeth Smith 31 Aug 1851 Scott Co, IL
  • 6. Robert E. BECKMAN b: 15 NOV 1817 Wayne Co, KY d: 8 Apr 1910 bu: Beckmon Cemetery, Moundville
  • Robert Beckman in Vernon Co, MO l880 and l900 census, m:Minerva Kemp 15 Nov 1836 Scott Co, IL
  • 7. Charles E. BECKMAN b: 1823 in TN m: Minerva Beard 15 Sep 1843 Scott Co, IL
  • 8. Jacob H. BECKMAN b: 1822 in TN m: Sarah Smith 18 Dec 1844 Scott Co, IL

Question 2: Why was O.P. Beckmon referred to as H. Beckmon in a census (error I suppose)? Lorraine Hess answered:

  • Error. There were many errors made by census takers in the 1800s.

Question 3: Did Margaret (Kemp) Beckman die before the 1850 census?:

  • Gary Pace suggests that Margaret was still living in 1850. It appears that he has found Oliver Beckman & Margaret Kemp misspelled in the 1850 Scott Co., IL census under the surname "Beckford":
    • Beckford, Oliver P. 24 M Tennessee
    • Beckford, Margaret 19 M Illinois (this would be first wife Margaret Kemp)
    • Beckford, Daniel 2 M Illinois
    • Beckford, William C. 4 M Illinois
      • Gary also believes that William C.'s age is supposed to be 4 months, not 4 years, considering that all children are supposed to be listed oldest to youngest, and 4 months matches with other sources.
  • Lorraine Hess found that the Illinois Statewide Marriage Index shows O. Beckman married Mary Brake 30 Oct 1853 in Brown County, IL, so it appears that Margaret died after 1850 but before 1853.
  • Lyndon's note: The new Vernon County Cemetery directory lists burials for Carolyn Rowena Beckmon 1872 - 1947, who had parents, Oliver Perry Beckman and Mary Brake. Also it lists a burial for Nancy Jane Beckmon, 1853 - 1939, parents, Oliver Beckman and Mary Brake. The 4 year gap between sons William and John might indicate a new marriage (or the death of a child).

There are many questions that we can ask about all of the interrelationships among these families.

  • Were Minerva and Margaret (Mary) Kemp sisters - they were wives of the two Beckmons.
  • There are stones at Welborn Cemetery for Dave and John Beckmon with no dates. Are they buried there or just mentioned with their brother, James M.

The obituary to the left is for Carolyn "Carrie" Beckman. It is from the December 29, 1947, issue, Nevada Daily Mail. It lists her as a daugher of Perry and Mary Beckman. Perry Beckman was commonly called O. P. Beckman and the initials stood for Oliver Perry. O. P. Beckman died in 1907. His wife, Mary Brake Beckman died in 1908 according to the county cemetery guide. They are also buried at Welborn Cemetery.

Contact us if you know more about this family.

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This genealogy page was designed and is maintained by Lyndon Irwin