My Genealogy Hound

Below is a family biography included in Book of Biographies: Biographical Sketches of Leading Citizens, Cortland County, New York published by Biographical Publishing Company in 1898.  These biographies are valuable for genealogy research in discovering missing ancestors or filling in the details of a family tree. Family biographies often include far more information than can be found in a census record or obituary.  Details will vary with each biography but will often include the date and place of birth, parent names including mothers' maiden name, name of wife including maiden name, her parents' names, name of children (including spouses if married), former places of residence, occupation details, military service, church and social organization affiliations, and more.  There are often ancestry details included that cannot be found in any other type of genealogical record.

* * * *

FRANCIS MARION BEARDSLEY, is the leading dry goods merchant of the village of Marathon, was born in the town of Lansing, Tompkins County, N. Y., June 4, 1849, and is a son of John Nelson and Catherine (Wagner) Beardsley.

The Beardsley family is essentially English, and in the land across the sea they trace their ancestry as far back as William the Conqueror and the Domesday Book. William Beardsley, the progenitor of the family in the United States, came from England to the Massachusetts Bay Colony in 1635, and four years later settled down permanently in what is now Stratford, Conn. About the time of the Revolutionary War, some of his descendants, of whom there were many, scattered in various directions, many moving to the then West, and as pioneers braving the dangers and perils of the unbroken forest, and the open prairie, carrying with them industry, economy, culture and religion.

Our subject’s great-grandfather was John Nelson Beardsley, and his great-grandmother’s maiden name was Jerusha Beach. His grandfather was David Beardsley, who married a Miss Lydia Rogers.

John Nelson Beardsley, the father of Francis Marion, was born in Hartford, Conn., July 22, 1811, and died at Lansing, N. Y., September 28, 1865. He labored at the trade of a stone-mason all his life. He was known as a devoted partisan of the Democratic party. One of his brothers, Roswell Beardsley, is the oldest postmaster in point of continuous service in the United States, having been appointed postmaster July 14, 1828, by John McLean, Postmaster General, serving at the present time. The father of our subject married Catherine Wagner, March 23, 1834, and their union was blessed with the birth of nine boys and three girls. David G., the eldest, born December 16, 1834, resides in Guthrie, Guthrie County, Iowa, where he is engaged in the pursuits of agriculture. He served in the late Civil War for a period of four years, and was wounded at the battle of the Wilderness; he held the rank of sergeant. Francisco, the second son, was born August 20, 1836, and died January 1, 1843. Melinda, born August 27, 1838, is the wife of J. L. Gillett, who is farming in Cortland County, near the village of Cortland. Charles O., born March 3, 1840, lives in Oklahoma, and is a contractor by occupation. He enlisted in the 51st Reg. N. Y. Vol. Inf., and throughout the war was the head butcher in General Burnside’s Division. Dana, born June n, 1842, resides in Genoa, Cayuga County, N. Y., where he is pursuing the trade of a carpenter. Sarah and Eliza were twins, and were born September 24, 1844; Sarah is the wife of Josiah Pratt, and Eliza is the wife of James Willis, who served through the late war in defense of the Union. Pearley E., born January 5, 1847, lives in Millbank, South Dakota, where he is following the occupation of an agriculturist. Our subject, Francis Marion, was the next of the children in order of birth. John N., born November 26, 1852, is a blacksmith at Five Corners, Cayuga County, this state. Warren, born August 25, 1855, is a carpenter of Venice, Cayuga County. Doc, the youngest son, resides in Cortland County.

Francis Marion Beardsley was educated in Cortland State Normal School, taking the classical course, and graduating in 1876. For one year he was principal of the union graded school at Tully, and was principal for the same length of time of Horseheads Academy, Chemung County. He then served five years as the principal of School No. 5, of Elmira, N. Y., having twenty-five teachers and 1,000 pupils under his supervision and direction. From 1882 to 1889 he traveled as a salesman for the large dry goods houses of D. McCarty & Co. of Syracuse, and Burke, Fitzsimmons, Hone & Co. of Rochester. In 1889 he came to Marathon, and embarked in his present dry goods business. Experience as a traveling salesman has fitted him to be a superior judge of the values of fabrics, with the result that his establishment contains one of the best assorted lines of dry goods and notions in the county. Courteous and obliging to his customers, and ready to accommodate them to the greatest extent in his power, he holds a large patronage, and is meeting with the most abundant success.

Our subject’s wife, whom he married December 26, 1876, was before her union with him known as Georgia A. Hayford, a daughter of Myron W. Hayford of Tully, Onondaga County, this state. Their children are: Glenn L., born September 7, 1879; Myron W., born February 26, 1881; Clinton Romainse, October 3, 1882; and Leda May, February 27, 1883. Mr. Beardsley has always been a Republican of the strongest convictions, and ever since coming to Marathon has served continuously as a county committeeman. He is prominent in the councils of his party, serving on the executive committee, and as delegate to county and state conventions, and chairman of congressional conventions. He is a member of Lodge No. 167, I. O. O. F., and has been a consistent and valued member of the Baptist Church for the past twenty-seven years, working willingly in behalf of Christ and the Church, and ever giving liberally of his means. He has always sided with the best class of citizens, who desire to see the laws enforced in all particulars, and is a man that leaves the impress of his personality for good on everything with which he is associated.

* * * *

This family biography is one of numerous biographies included in Book of Biographies: Biographical Sketches of Leading Citizens, Cortland County, New York published in 1898. 

View additional Cortland County, New York family biographies here: Cortland County, New York Biographies

View a map of 1897 Cortland County, New York here: Cortland County, New York Map

Use the links at the top right of this page to search or browse thousands of other family biographies.