John Beecroft
(1800-1880)
Mary
Robert Kay
(Abt 1815-)
Isabella Dickinson
(Abt 1817-)
William Robinson Beecroft Sr.
(1844-1888)
Elizabeth Isabella Kay
(1846-1916)
William Beecroft Jr.
(1874-1954)

 

Family Links

Spouses/Children:
1. Mary Ann Kay

2. Gertrude M. Shoemaker
3. Sarah A. Frank

William Beecroft Jr. 3 4 5 6

  • Born: 4 Oct 1874, Stockton, Luzerne, PA 4 7 8
  • Marriage (1): Mary Ann Kay
  • Marriage (2): Gertrude M. Shoemaker on 15 Mar 1898 in , Schuylkill, PA 1
  • Marriage (3): Sarah A. Frank on 15 Dec 1946 in Shenandoah, Schuylkill, PA 2
  • Died: 14 Jun 1954, West Mahanoy Twp., Schuylkill, PA at age 79 5 9 10
  • Buried: 17 Jun 1954, Shenandoah Heights: Odd Fellows Cemetery, Schuylkill, PA 5 9

   Another name for William was Lynn Beecroft.7

  General Notes:

Some mystery surrounds William Beecroft and daughter Emma Jane Beecroft born 1899. The facts do not seem to support the family story told in the 1970's to genealogist Bruce Franklin Beacher that "Emma's father died young, she was raised by her grandmother when mother remarried. Her father was Lynn Beecroft. His parents were from England, his father a boatmaker who died and wife ran a boarding house to support family."

We cannot find facts to support this story, nor a Lynn Beecroft; instead facts suggest Emma's father was William Beecroft and he fathered her while he was married to Gertrude Shoemaker, but Emma's mother may be William's cousin Mary Kay. Here are the facts that suggest this possibility.

Emma Jane's marriage record on 18 Jan 1916 clearly states her parents were William Beecroft, born in Pennsylvania, and Mary nee Kay, born in England, both deceased when she married. Although she reports her age as 21 on the sworn marriage application, in truth she was 16 at the time and would have required parental consent to marriage. The actual application is online here: https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1-9882-7651-14?cc=1589502&wc=M9HG-NF3:1001702698

Emma was born June 1899, so her father William would have died after September 1898 to conceive her. In the 1900 census, infant Emma Jane is not found with her parents, but living with her grandmother, the widow Bella Beecroft born in Nov 1844 in England.

What is mysterious is Emma's father William, supposedly dead, marries again in 1946 to a Sarah Drumheiller and that marriage record identifies William's parents as William Beecroft and Isabella nee Kay and his birth year as 1874. We know this William is Emma's father because in the 1880 census, we find William born in 1874 living with parents William Beecroft Sr., age 37, and wife Elizabeth, age 34, both born in England. Their son Henry, age 4 in 1880, appears again in 1900 census with the widow Bella as Harry age 24, confirming Elizabeth is Bella. Further confirmation is the marriage record 28 Dec 1867 in Houghton le Spring, Durham, England between William Beecroft and Elizabeth Isabella Kay. (Her 1910 census indicates they immigrated to the United States in 1871.)

The conclusion is the William marrying in 1946 is the son of Elizabeth Isabella Kay Beecroft, the grandmother who raised Emma Jane Beecroft. That William is proven to have married first a Gertrude M. Shoemaker on 15 Mar 1898 in Shenandoah, Schuylkill County. William and Gertrude has a son William born 11 Jan 1899, and William and family is recorded in the 1900 census in Shenandoah. Therefore, William cannot have both Emma born June 1899 and William born Jan 1899 by the same wife, supporting the notion that William and a Mary Kay sired Emma, not William and Gertrude.

So who is the Mary Kay that Emma states as her mother on Emma's marriage application? The only possibility found to date is William Beecroft's cousin, Mary Ann Kay, born Nov 1879, who lived as his neighbor in the 1880 census when they were children. In 1880 Mary Kay's father, George Kay, age 39, and wife Hannah, 34, were immediate neighbors to Elizabeth Isabella Kay Beecroft, so William Beecroft and Mary Kay grew up together. If they had a child as teenagers, they could not by law marry since they were blood related. This is a plausable explanation of why infant Emma is living with her grandmother Isabella rather than with any parents in 1900, and why young Emma might be told by her grandma that her father and mother were dead.

Of course, there is a possibility that Emma's mother Mary Kay was not the next-door cousin, but we cannot find anyone else to date. Please contact Jonathan Beacher, jonathan@searchtrees.com if you can help solve this mystery.

  Noted events in his life were:

1. He appeared on the census in 1880 in Beaver Meadows, Carbon, PA. 4 The 1880 census recorded William Becroft, 37, miner, with wife Elizabeth, 34; and daughter Elizabeth, 11, all three born in England, plus these children born in Pennsylvania: son R. J., 7; William, 6; Henry, 4; daughter M.A., 2; and daughter Jane, 2 months old (born in April 1880).

Next door is Elizabeth's brother, George Kay, laborer, 37, with his wife Hannah, 34; Alfred,6; Jane, 5; Elizabeth, 3; and daughter M. Anne, 7 months born Nov. 1879. All were born in England.

2. He appeared on the census in 1900 in Shenandoah, Schuylkill, PA. 11 The 1900 census recorded renting at 438 W. Juneberry Avenue: William Beecroft, laborer coal mines, 27, living with wife Gertrude, 23; and son William, 1. All were born in Pennsylvania, as were Gertrude's parents. William's parents were born in England. William and Gertrude were married for 2 years and birthed 1 child.

3. Residence: 437 W. Coal, Shenandoah, PA on 12 Sep 1918 in Shenandoah, Schuylkill, PA. 8

4. Residence: 105 Schuylkill Avenue, Shenandoah, PA on 12 Dec 1946 in Shenandoah, Schuylkill, PA. 2

5. Cause of Death: carcinoma right lung, 14 Jun 1954, Shenandoah Heights, Schuylkill County, PA. 5

6. Residence: 105 Schuylkill Ave., Shenandoah Heights, PA on 14 Jun 1954 in Shenandoah Heights, Schuylkill County, PA. 5


William married Mary Ann Kay, daughter of George Kay and Hannah Miller. (Mary Ann Kay was born in Nov 1879 in Houghton le Spring, , DUR, ENG 12.)


William next married Gertrude M. Shoemaker on 15 Mar 1898 in , Schuylkill, PA.1 (Gertrude M. Shoemaker was born on 1 Jun 1878 in Shenandoah, Schuylkill, PA,1 13 died on 12 Apr 1940 in Pottsville, Schuylkill, PA 6 13 14 15 and was buried on 17 Apr 1940 in Shenandoah Heights: Odd Fellows Cemetery, Schuylkill, PA 6 13.)


William next married Sarah A. Frank on 15 Dec 1946 in Shenandoah, Schuylkill, PA.2 (Sarah A. Frank was born about 1882 in Shenandoah, Schuylkill, PA 2.)


Sources


1 FamilySearch.org, Pennsylvania, County Marriages, 1885 - 1950, https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/KMC5-TSJ William Beecroft and Gertrude Shoemaker, 15 Mar 1898; citing , Schuylkill, Pennsylvania, United States, ; FHL microfilm 2131181.

2 1870 United States Census, Year: 1870; Census Place: Delaware, Delaware, Ohio; Roll: M593_1196; Page: 303B; Image: 205; Family History Library Film: 552695.

3 FamilySearch.org, Pennsylvania, County Marriages, 1885 - 1950, https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/KMCB-N7S William Beecroft in entry for Alfred Beacher and Emma Beecroft, 1916.

4 1880 United States Census, Year: 1880; Census Place: Beaver Meadow Mines, Carbon, Pennsylvania; Roll: 1107; Family History Film: 1255107; Page: 246A; Enumeration District: 110; Image: 0490.

5 Ancestry.com, Pennsylvania, Death Certificates, 1906-1963 (Original data: Pennsylvania (State). Death certificates, 1906–1963. Series 11.90 (1,905 cartons). Records of the Pennsylvania Department of Health, Record Group 11. Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.), Certificate 54007. William Beecroft. Parents not listed.

6 Ancestry.com, Pennsylvania, Death Certificates, 1906-1963 (Original data: Pennsylvania (State). Death certificates, 1906–1963. Series 11.90 (1,905 cartons). Records of the Pennsylvania Department of Health, Record Group 11. Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.), Certificate 42566. Mrs. Gertrude Beecroft. Father Vashti Shoemaker. Mother Jane ___. Spouse william Beecroft Jr.

7 Genealogy Research conducted by Bruce Franklin Beacher Ph.D. (1919-2004).

8 United States World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918, https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/K6KG-66S William Beecroft, 1917-1918; citing Schuylkill County no 1, Pennsylvania, United States, NARA microfilm publication M1509.

9 Billion Graves (http://www.BillionGraves.com), http://billiongraves.com/pages/record/WILLIAMBEECROFT/2801341.

10 Pennsylvania Department of Health, Pennsylvania, Death Indices (Pennsylvania Division of Vital Records, New Castle, PA, 16103. Online at http://www.portal.state.pa.us/portal/server.pt/community/public_records/20686 .), 1954, page 102, Beecroft William, W Mahanoy T, 6-14-1954, death certificate 54007.

11 1900 United States Census, https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/M347-8N1 Gertrude Beecroft in household of William Beecroft, Shenandoah borough Ward 4, Schuylkill, Pennsylvania, United States; citing sheet , family 103.

12 FamilySearch.org, England and Wales, Birth Registration Index, 1837-2008, https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/2XF5-R8G Mary Ann Kay, 1879.

13 Billion Graves (http://www.BillionGraves.com), http://billiongraves.com/pages/record/GERTRUDEMBEECROFT/2801342.

14 FamilySearch.org, Pennsylvania, County Marriages, 1885 - 1950, https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/KMZZ-97X previous wife's death in entry for marriage of William Beecroft and Sarah A Drumheller, 15 Dec 1946; citing , Schuylkill, Pennsylvania, United States, ; FHL microfilm 2134213.

15 Pennsylvania Department of Health, Pennsylvania, Death Indices (Pennsylvania Division of Vital Records, New Castle, PA, 16103. Online at http://www.portal.state.pa.us/portal/server.pt/community/public_records/20686 .), 1940, page 99, Gertrude Beecroff, Pottsville, 4-12-40, death certificate 42566.



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