Bell - Beall - Padgett of Wilkinson, Muscogee, Upson GA
Rhoda "Roadey" PADGETT and Alpheus BEALL
While it's believed that Alpheus BEALL Sr (1796 NC - 1848 GA) had no "legitimate" children, apparently he did have two sons that were legitimised by adoption in 1843. Rhoda "Roadey" PADGETT b. ca 1795 Rowan later Surry NC was likely his wife by tradition or common-law, and the mother of his eight children. She is believed to be the fifth of 12 children of Rhoda FELTON (ca 1750 NC - 1850 GA) and Abraham PADGETT Jr (aka Abram PAGGET and other variants) (ca 1760 NC - bef Aug 1843 Dawson GA).
On the 1820 Wilkinson GA census Alpheus BEALL and ?bro age 18-25, and ?son age 16-18 are living next door to Rhoda "Roadey PADGETT age 18-25, along with likely their son William Hiram PADGETT (later William H. BELL) age 10-15 and Elisha Harvey PADGETT (later Elijah H. BELL) age 0-10. There is also an elderly couple +45 living with them, who may be Rhoda's grandparents. The rest of the PADGETT family are in Hall GA in 1820, newly created in Cherokee Territory.
On the 1830 Wilkinson GA census are found Alpheus as Alphas (sic), as well as Charles C., Daniel, Frederick, and Phereby BEALL, and Rhoda PADGETT. The three oldest sons of Rhoda PADGETT and Alpheus Sr BEALL are in Muscogee GA, E. H. (Elijah H.) BEALL and two brothers age 20-29 in their own household.
By 1840 Alpheus BEALL / BEAL age 40-50 has moved to Upson GA with apparently three of their children, two daughters [one of them likely Anne C. BEALL b EST 1816 who married Swepson TAYLOR 20 Jul 1848], and a son [likely Alpheus BEALL Jr b ca 1822]. Rhoda PADGETT / PADGETappears to have rejoined her birth family in Lumpkin GA (created 1832 from ?Hall / Cherokee Territory), where she appears on the census as daughter age 30-40 in the Abraham PADGET household.
1840 Muscogee GA
Although most of the children were using the BEALL / BELL family name already as their surname, two of the sons were formally adopted by Alpheus BEALL Sr "their reputed father" in 1843 so "that they be legitimatized and known as the legitimate children of Alpheus Beall of Upson County ... and entitled to all the privileges which they would have been had they been born in lawful wedlock". In addition to the adoption was a legal change of name for both:
William Hiram PADGETT of Muscogee GA changed to William Hiram BEALL
Elisha Harvey PADGETT of Muscogee GA changed to Elisha Harvey BEALL
[Reference: Names Changed Legally in Georgia 1800-1856, Date of Acts 23 Dec 1843, 1843 Vol. 1 page176, sequential number 223]
NB: Elisha is an old or alternate way of spelling or pronouncing Elijah, just as BELL is an alternate of BEALL. Subsequent generations appeared to have preferred the dropped A, making the surname BELL rather than BEALL.
Although Elijah only appears as Elijah H. in records and on his gravestone, some have believed the "H." is for "Hamilton" - although there is no evidence of that - other than as a name given to subsequent BELL family members. It could be however, that Elijah himself used the name in preference to Harvey at some point in his life.
In 1849, three of the sons of the four who had been known as the "BELL orphans", for whom 40 acres ofland was drawn in the 1827 lottery, sold the land in Floyd GA; William and his brothers James and Elijah signed a deed for the land in Harris GA. The four "orphans" were later rumoured to be the sons of a brother of Alpheus, William BEALL and his wife Elizabeth GRAY who ?died in 1820, but evidence or documentation has never been found that they were ever in GA or had four or five children left orphaned.
The youngest "orphan" (likely son of Alpheus Sr as well) Andrew Josiah BEALL was made a ward of Aaron TILMAN of Jackson GA ca 1821 - at the age of five or six - until he was age 21 with the requirement he "be taught to read and arithmetic". Andrew, who was born 13 April 1815 and died aft 9 Mar 1888 Chambers AL, married 17 Jan 1837 Upson GA to Lurana DELOACH daughter of Leasy JOHNSON and Joseph DELOACH / DELOGES. It appears ca 1854 he migrated with his family from Upson GA to Chambers AL.
Children of Rhoda "Roadey" PADGETT and Alpheus BEALL Sr
These are apparently their children:
1. (daughter) ?PADGETT b. ca 1808 GA
2. William Hiram PADGETT aka William H. BEALL / BELL b. ca 1810 Wilkinson GA
m. 1 Jan 1833 Elizabeth LAWSON
3. Elisha Harvey PADGETT aka Elijah H. BEALL / BELL b. 21 Jun 1812 Wilkinson GA d. 10 Aug 1875 Waterford, Holly Springs, Marshall MS
m. Columbia GA 11 Jun 1840 Martha E. MILES b. 1823 GA d. Columbia GA buried Douglas GA
4. James G. (?Gray) BELL b. ca 1813 GA d. bef 1870
m. Chambers AL 25 Nov 1838 Missory H. VENTERS
5. (daughter) ?BEALL / BELL b. EST 1814 Wilkinson GA
6. Andrew Josiah BEALL b. 13 Apr 1815 GA d. aft 9 Mar 1888 Chambers AL
m. Upton GA 17 Jan 1837 Lurana DELOACH
7. Anne C. BEALL / BEAL b. EST 1816 Wilkinson GA migrated by 1840 Itawamba MS
m. 20 Jul 1848 Swepson TAYLOR b. ca 1796
8. Alpheus BEALL Jr b. ca 1822 Wilkinson GA
m. Epsie C ... b. ca 1826 GA
-- researched & compiled 20 Mar 2014 by a descendant (g.g.grandchild) of Elijah H. BELL (1812 GA - 1875 MS)