Bethea Family

Genealogy Website

This is a history of the descendents of an Englishman who crossed the Atlantic Ocean from Great Britain to Virginia about 1700. The Bethea family expanded and grew over the last three hundred years.

The Bethea Family in North America

1700 - 2000

7th Generation DESCENDANT


(b. 1836- d. 1917)

From near Woodberry, Calhoun County, Arkansas



The lifetime of this man spans several wars which involved
the United States of America, including The Mexican War, The War Between the States, The Spanish American War, and The Great World War One. T.P Bethea
was a soldier in the Civil War, fought over the slavery issue.
In memoriam to the fallen soldiers of these wars, Theodore O'Hara
authored a moving piece of literature called "Bivouac of the Dead." We
reproduce this thoughtful work to recall a time and place not so long ago.



Tristram Pinkney and Rebecca Vise Bethea
Spring, 1905

Tristram Pinkney Bethea Son of Tristram and Sarah Todd Bethea6 was born Sept. 30, 1836 and lived 81 years. His life spanned the time of the Confederate War and World War I. He died April 13, 1917 and is buried at the Hampton cemetery near Woodberry, Calhoun County, Arkansas. He had one sister Rebecca7, and two brothers, Cade Bethea7, and Dixon Pierce Bethea7. He was married to  Rebecca Vise and they had thirteen children.

  Click Here to See Picture & List of Childern  
  Click Here to See Family Bible's Birth Page  
  Click Here to See Family Bible's Marriage Page  

His father Tristram Bethea6 lived in  Marion Coutry, SC. By  the time of the US Census of 1850, they were living in Meriwether County, GA. Tristram Pinkney continued west.

                          <See Westward Map>


1985 Tristram Pinkney Bethea Family Reunion

 2014 Hampton, AR Graveyard Reenactment

Family Portrait in Spring, 1905 


Family Portrait in Spring, 1905 
Tristram Pinkney, Rebecca Vise, Children, and Grandchildren
at Woodberry, Arkansas

* Click Here to See Family Bible Children Births Page.

* Click Here to See Family Bible Children Marriages Page.


8th Generation Children

CHARLES HENRY BETHEA, born Sept. 30, 1867 and lived 30 years. He died November 27, 1897, and is buried at Hampton, Ar. He was married to Georgia Robinson and had eight children: Carl Bethea, Fred Henry Bethea, William Jenning Bryan Bethea, Blanche (Bethea) Hopkins b. Mar. 13,1899. A 2nd marriage had three children:  Jack Clay, Frank Clay and Kathryn Clay (Browing). Charles was the engineer on narrow gauge logging trains for sawmills near Buckner, AR.

EMMA ANN BETHEA, born December 15, 1868 and lived to be seventy four years old and died on October 14, 1943, married Jack Laws and had two sons, Pete Laws and Jack Laws.

ALICE ELIZABETH BETHEA, born March 18, 1870 and died at eight years of age on December 2, 1878 of yellow fever.

JOHN THOMAS BETHEA, born October 27, 1871. He lived to be 27 years old and died September 19, 1898. Married, 1 son.

MONROE MARION BETHEA, born March 31, 1873 and married to Lou Ella Johnson at age of nineteen (1892). He died after 1941. At least two sons were Troy Bethea born about 1897 and Rastus Bethea born about 1917.

GEORGE A. BETHEA, born Sept. 21, 1874 and lived 24 years. He died October 9, 1898, married with three step-children.

HEPSEY REBECCA BETHEA, born Sept 17, 1876, lived to be fifty seven years old and died on October 14, 1943. She married Frank Bird, had two children and subsequently they moved out West.

COLUMBUS LEE BETHEA, born Sept. 4, 1877. Married to Maggie Whittington.  Died April 4, 1911 at age of thirty-three. One male child, Clarence LaMarr Bethea9, born Sept. 22, 1911, after the passing of Columbus Lee.

JAMES ALVIN BETHEA, (twin) born Aug 16, 1879 at Pine Bluff, AR, and he lived to be three years old, died 1882.

WILLIAM CALVIN BETHEA, (twin) born Aug. 16, 1879 at Pine Bluff, AR. and he lived to be seventy-six years of age, married to Annie Parker and died Aug 26, 1955. They had several children including: Doyle Bethea born 1909. Powell Bethea, Allen Bethea, William Bethea, Calvin Bethea, F.H. Bethea, Christine Bethea, Lois Bethea, Dolly Ruth Bethea. He served in military during World War II.

GINNIE MARTHA BETHEA (SMITH), born August 28, 1881 and lived to be seventy-one years old. She married Earl Quincy Smith and died December 31, 1952. They had five children (2 sets of twins) and one surviving son, S. Carlton Smith born in 1904.

ALBERT SAMUEL BETHEA, born August 28, 1884, and lived to be sixty-seven years of age. Married to Amanda Elizabeth Ellis and they had several children including Willard Bethea, Gordie Lee Bethea Elliot married Ed Elliot, Ivy Bethea, Rebecca Bethea, T.P. Bethea, Wilson Bethea. He died Sept. 9, 1951 at Woodbury, Arkansas having been a salesman and farmer at Woodbury.

DOLLIE DEBORAH BETHEA (BENSON), born December 7, 1886 and she lived to be eighty-five years old and died 1971. She was married to Noah Benson, a farmer and  Calhoun County politician. They had five children: Beatrice Benson Johnson, Myrle Benson Blann (twin), Earle Benson, (twin), Mervin Benson Morris, Arvil Thomas Benson.


"English" John Bethea1 -> "Virginia" John Bethea2 ->  "Sweat Swamp" William Bethea->"Devil John" Bethea 4 -> William Bethea5 -> Tristram Bethea 6 -> Tristram Pinkney Bethea7

1st John "English John" Bethea  b. about 1684


2nd John "Virginia John" Bethea   b. about 1704 d. 1779


3rd  William "Sweat Swamp" Bethea  b. 1726,  d. about  1784


4th Bethea, John  "Devil John" (b. Oct. 1752) m. Mary Henegan (4th)  

5th Bethea, William  (b. 7-23-1775) m. Olivia Pearce , Sarah Hargrove  (5th)

6th Bethea, Tristram (b. Dec. 3 , 1802) m. Nancy McLaurin, Sarah Todd (6th)




TRISTRAM PINKNEY BETHEA  (b. March 14, 1836- d. April 13, 1917) m. Rebecca Vise (b. Nov. 9, 1836 , d. April 17, 1917)


Reunion held on Saturday, June 11, 2011
Arkansas Branch  (Descendants of 7th Generation Tristram & Rebecca Bethea)


SHORT REPORT on Arkansas Branch Reunion  2003 . There was balmy weather and 80 degrees temperature in the Calhoun County, AR. woodland country. The fresh air is invigorating and the night skies have so many more stars than in the larger cities.    We had excellent attendance by about forty people, and the families came from several places in Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas and Tennessee, and one of  Dollie Bethea Benson grandchildren came all the way from Baltimore, Maryland. We met at noon for a lunch on   the  homestead farm, where the Betheas settled around 1870. The original settlers had reached the Woodberry, AR community, which even had a college in those days,  by way of Warren, Ark., (where brother Dixon Pierce Bethea settled) to the Northeast .  The two Bethea Brothers families remained close and exchanged visits on holidays in those days of the late 1800s - early 1900s. They traveled by wagon and on horseback before the days of automobiles and modern roads. Sawmills were the big industry of that time, and private railroads were built into the forests. Charlie Bethea, the eldest of the T.P. Bethea children, was a conductor of one of these logging railroads at Buckner, AR. and his Sisters and Brothers went to visit Aunt Georgia and Uncle Charley, at at least one Sister (Ginnie Bethea Smith) met her future husband on such an outing to Buckner. Lee Bethea, another of the children of T.P. and Rebecca worked as a logger moving the big timber downriver to landings where the logs were put on railroad logcars and transported to the sawmills.

Due to the cooperation and efforts of the group of Grandchildren (Generation 9) of T. P. and Rebecca Bethea (Generation 7 in America), the old 38 acre  homestead has been preserved as a parkland, where a stone monument is inscribed with the names of the thirteen children raised on this homestead.  A modern building was built and dedicated to the memory of the original Bethea settlers, whose parents had left South Carolina after the time of the Louisiana Purchase in 1803. Tristram Bethea (Generation 6 was born in 1802) and after his second marriage the young family left Dillon County, South Carolina in search of their own land and opportunity. The Tristram Bethea family had reached just South of Atlanta, Ga. (Meriwether, Georgia)  by the time Trust Bethea  was born in 1836. Traveling together with their parents, they made it to Clarke County, Mississippi when their father died of a stroke. The Civil War broke out and they became Soldiers of the South. Dixon Pierce Bethea and Tristram (Trust) P. Bethea were mustered out of the Army at the close of the War Between the States and traveled across the Mississippi River in search of their own land and opportunity. It was at the time of the yellow fever epidemic, when Memphis to the North was devastated and many travelers perished along the way.  Finally, after about 50 years of travel, these Betheas settled four miles to the West of  Hampton, Arkansas, (the local county seat of government) , on the late  1860's newly homesteaded  land  at Woodberry, Calhoun County, Arkansas.

From the original  13 children of T.P. and Rebecca Bethea, there were descendants  present  of  six families of the original Bethea children including  Charlie Bethea, William (Bill) Bethea,  Monroe Bethea,  Sam Bethea, Dollie Bethea Benson and  Virginia (Ginnie)  Bethea Smith. Food and fun were bountiful and the gathering lasted from noon till about two thirty PM when everyone headed back home.  A good  time was had by all!

The next annual gathering of the Arkansas Bethea descendants will be the first Saturday in May 03, 2008, so please plan to attend and bring any old photographs and stories. The contact person is Myrle (Benson) Blann in El Dorado, Arkansas  (870)  863-7576.

Also remember that the National Bethea Reunion will be held in  June, 2008 at Old Dothan Bethea Church, close to Dillon and Latta, South Carolina, an event to attend - if at all possible - for any Bethea descendant! The dinner on the grounds is catered and there is a modest charge for the lunch, back in the country of the Pee Dee Rivers, where our families participated in Colonial America, settling near the James River, Virginia Colony; then becoming landowners in North Carolina, then on to South Carolina and on to everywhere else!




Map of Tristram Bethea6's branch movement west starting in Marion Coutry, SC. By  the time of the US Census of 1850, they were living in Meriwether County, GA. Tristram's son Tristram Pinkney7 continued west to Arkansas. 


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Copyright  2010 by T. P. Bethea, Jr., Monroe, Louisiana
This is an electronic book publication - all rights reserved.