"Better to write something now than everything never."
- Sir Iain Moncreiffe
In the late 1950's, Van Zandt Beall of Fort Worth gave to his niece, my
wife Lucile Beall McLean, his small file of correspondence on, and pencil
sketches of, his Beall family tree. Among his correspondents was Nancy Harrison
Beall Williams of El Paso, who earlier had taken an interest in Beall genealogy.
Conclusions of the two cousins, although lacking documentary proof, were
substantially correct, except for one ancestral generation based upon published
sources subsequently refuted.
Sir Iain Moncreiffe's maxim, prompted by unfinished and unpublished material
wasted with death and time, plus extinct names among my wife's and my families
that could be identified by our generation or "never," led to my genealogical
research and this book.
From the 1640's in Scotland to 1914 in Fort Worth, Texas, only two wills
were found executed by male members of this Beall line, those in 1742 and
1744 in Maryland. Property was otherwise disposed of by gift to children
as a custom, or by necessity, as this Beall family was ever at the forefront
of the western movement in advance of local document recording offices. That,
added to the typical loss of records over the years by fire or lack of care,
required proof of descent by secondary, often circumstantial evidence, producing
a vast number of references and a text too detailed and technical. For that
and the inevitable errors and omissions, I apologize.
Wm. Hunter McLean
Fort Worth, Texas