LUCIUS BEEBE OF WAKEFIELD & SYLENDA MORRIS BEEBE, HIS WIFE, by Louise Beebe Wilder, The Bnickerbarker Press, New York, 1930. DAR Library, page 5.
In the year 1650, upon a day in spring, John Beebe, a yoeman, or husbandman of Broughton, set forth with his family upon a journey to the New World. John was past middle life and as subsequent events proved, not in the best of health, and had apparently left an established position in the community of Broughton to embark upon this uncertain enterprise.
That he was a yoeman is substantiated by his won statement in his will made later on ship-board. And a yoeman, according to the Standard Dictionary, was a freeholder, next under the rank of gentleman. "Anciently, a man who had free land of 40 shillings yearly, being thereby qualified to vote, served on juries, etc. Apparently they were men of some education who cultivated their own land and served their king in many capacities. A phrase has crept into the language - yoeman service - meaning concentrated hard work, effectual service.
The name of John of Broughton's wife was Rebecca Ladd, and it is believed that from these two most of the Beebes in America are descended. The children of John and Rebecca (Ladd) Beebe, as registered in the church of St. Andrew, in Broughton.
The little group of persons who sailed that long ago spring day in 1650 numbered six. John Beebe and five of his children, Thomas, Nathaniel, James, Rebecca and Mary. Since in his will made later at sea John mentions neither his wife nor his daughter Hannah, it is presumed that they had died some time before the voyage was undertaken. Two of his sons, John who was twenty-two, and Samuel, who was but seventeen, had apparently preceded their father in this journey to the new land.
But John Beebe did not live to found a new home in the new land. He died at sea, possibly upon the same day as that on which his will was made, May 18, 1650. This will is on file in the Probate Court of Hartford, Conn., in the second volume of the records.
THE LAST WILL AND TESTAMENT OF JOHN BEEBE
Deceased the 18 day of May 1650.
SOME ANCESTORS AND DESCENDANTS OF ALEXANDER BEEBE, compiled by Adah Beebe Seger, from research of the Beebe family, Clarence Beebe Genealogy, to the generation of Alexander and Sarah Bowker Beebe, and from data furnished by Mrs. Florence Whelan, Tecumseh, Michigan; Miss Elizabeth Simpson, Mexico, New York and members of the various families. Found in the Groton Library, Groton, New London Co., Connecticut.