James is my first cousin five times removed and I decided to write about him because his father was a nurseryman/ market gardener like mine. James and his family also emigrated to the USA in the mid-19th century.
James was the eldest son of William Bean (1773-1864) and Ann Wetherill’s (1790-1875) five children. They had married on 31 October 1816 in Acklam parish church and settled in nearby Leavening; both places are in what was the North Riding of Yorkshire. The following outline descendant chart shows their immediate family:
William and Ann continued to live in Leavening; in the 1841 census William was recorded as a nurseryman. Lewis’ topographical directory of 1848 described Leavening as follows:
Two of William and Ann’s children moved away from Yorkshire. Their eldest daughter Jane (1817-1887) had moved to York by 1840, when she married her first husband George Gray (born 1815). By 1871 she was living in Chorlton cum Hardy, Lancashire with her second husband, James Cameron (1813-1882), who was described as a “survivor of the Charge of the Light Brigade”, and a private in the 13th Light Dragoons, on his Find A Grave record.
James was their second child to leave Leavening. He married Harriet Harvey (1821-1876) in St Botolph’s Church, Bishopgate, London on 11 April 1847, when James was described as being from Featherstone in Yorkshire. Their first child Mary was born in Featherstone in 1848. By 1851 James was a gardener at Stockeld Hall, near Spofforth, in the West Riding of Yorkshire.
James, Harriet and children Mary, Elizabeth, William and Charlotte, left Liverpool on the ship Mariner and arrived in Boston on 12 May 1854. James’ naturalization certificate recorded his arrival date as 13 May 1854; perhaps the date they actually left the ship. On the passenger list James described himself as a gardener. Initially the family were found in the 1855 Massachusetts State Census in Roxbury, near Boston, where James was a gardener. The family had moved to Medford, Massachusetts by 1859. Medford was described in a local history as follows:
James and Harriet had nine children before she died on 29 March 1876. The following chart shows their family, as well as James’ second wife Anna Kinsley Allan (1828-1905), who he married on 20 November 1878.
The book of the history of Medford also provided information on what James did when he settled there. The following extract describes how he set up in business as a florist which, he then passed onto his second son, George Henry Bean (1854-1922):
After he passed the business onto his son George, James became a coal dealer. It was recorded as his occupation on his death record, when he died on 19 June 1899. It seems that his daughter Charlotte (born 1852) continued in the business for some time after his death.
I am interested in knowing more about James and his descendants. Do contact me if you have any further information which you are willing to share with me.
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Lewis, Samuel ed. (1848) A Topological Directory of England. London: Lewis. https://www.british-history.ac.uk/topographical-dict/england : accessed February 2022.
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Spofforth. https://www.genuki.org.uk/big/eng/YKS/WRY/Spofforth : accessed February 2022.
UK and Ireland, Find A Grave Index, 1300s to Current. https://www.ancestry.co.uk/ : accessed February 2022.
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Usher, James. (1886) History of the Town of Medford, Middlesex County, Massachusetts. Boston: Rand, Avery and Co. https://archive.org/ : accessed February 2022.