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William Beams of the Choctaw Nation

William Beams was born in the 1760s, place unknown. He was living in the Choctaw Nation, Mississippi before 1800. He is said to have had 4 children by his first wife, a Choctaw. He then had 8 children by his mulatto slave Nelly. By 1823 William had moved to Pope county, Illinois where in September 1823 he filed deeds of emancipation for his 13 children and grandchildren by Nelly. The original group emancipated was: Abraham, Lotty, Rhody, Suckey, Thomas, Emily, Gilbert, Martin [son of Nancy], Hetty, Cunningham, Nelly, Nancy, and Sam. William Beams died about 1831 presumably in Pope county, Illinois. In the Fall of 1832 the Beams family migrated from Mississippi to the Choctaw Nation Territory in Oklahoma settling near Fort Towson.

The mulatto children of William Beams became the center of legal disputes and turmoil regarding their status as "free" Blacks and the application of slave laws in the Indian Territory. They were hounded and persued by fraudulent claims and slave hunters for 20+ years after their emancipation. The earliest claims were made by their Choctaw 1/2 siblings, the children of William Beams and his Choctaw wife.    [More] updated July 7, 2002.

Descendants of William Beams and ______ (Choctaw)

  • Jesse Beams

  • Bettie/Betsy Beams

      She had 3 children.
    • Ann Beams. She married Thomas Simms by 1842.
    • ?
    • ?

  • William Beams, Jr. (??). He evidently died 1821-22.

    • Elsie Beams (?). She married Ezekiel Robuck


Descendants of Nelly (mulatto) and her previous owner


  • Abraham "Beams". Abraham was born around 1807. He was shot and died March 27, 1840 near Ft. Towson, Oklahoma.


Descendants of Williams Beams and Nelly (mulatto)

  • Lotty Beams.

    • had children by 1832
    • Silas Beams. He was born after 1823.


  • Rhoda "Rhody" Beams.

    • had children by 1832
    • Ellen Beams. She was born after 1823. She died c.1857.


  • Nancy Beams.

    • Martin Beams. Martin was born 1813/16. He married Violett Johnson. Martin died in the late 1840s or early 1850s. Martin is mentioned as "Cherokee citizen". They had:
      • Lena Beams(c.1847). She married William Peters.
    • Mary Beams. Mary was born 1830s. She married Ben Broadnax and Siah Barnett. She died Feb. 9, 1916 near Bryant, Okmulgee co., OK.
    • William Beams.


  • Mitchell Beams. Mitchell was born 1807/1814. He married Amy Barnett. He married Becky _____. He married Tooka. He married Parthenia Taylor. He died May 18, 1892 and was buried Doyle cem., Muskogee co., OK.

    • Jacob Beams(by Becky). He was born c. 1850-53. He died after 1900.
    • Sally Beams(by Amy). She was born c. 1856. She married William Grayson. She died Feb. 21, 1920 and was buried Agency cem., Muskogee co., OK.
    • Louisa Beams(by Tooka). She was born c. 1852. She married Joe Hutton.


  • Vicey Beams. She was born c. 1798.
    • David Beams(c.1820)
    • Solomon Beams(c.1820)
    • Harris Beams(c.1822)
    • Isom Beams(c.1826)


  • Hetty Beams. She was born c. 1802.
    • Polly Beams(c.1820)
    • Jensey Beams(c.1821)
    • Molly Beams(c.1825)
    • William Beams(c.1826)
    • Wilson Beams(c.1829)
    • Moses Beams(c1820)
    • Romulus Beams(c.1830)


  • Gilbert Beams.
    • 2 males born before 1806.
    • 2 males born 1806-1821.
    • 4 males born 1821-31
    • 1 female born before 1806.
    • 2 females born 1806-21.
    • 4 females born 1821-31.



Unclear family groupings:

    James Beams and Amy Beams had:
  • Emily Beams
  • Malsay Beams
  • Lucy Beams
  • Calvin Beams(c.1848) He married Eliza ____ and had:
    • Calvin S. Beams(c.1888)
    • Julius J. Beams(c.1877)
    • Arthur G. Beams(c.1885)
  • David Beams
  • Josiah(c.1851)
  • William Beams(c.1864)
  • Charles Beams
  • Sampson Beams

    Gilbert Beams and Iney Beams had:
  • Simon Beams (c.1843)

    Gilbert Beams and Annie Beams had:
  • Eliza Beams (c.1861)

    Thomas Beams and Lucinda had:
  • Sampson Beams (c.1864)

    Isom Beams
  • William Beams(before 1855).
  • David Beams(before 1855).

    Doctor Beams and (Polly?) had:
  • Rebecca Beams(before 1855)
  • Delilah Beams(before 1855)
  • Menovia? Beams(before 1855)
  • Sampson beams(before 1855)

    William Beams and ____
  • Sophy Beams(before 1855)