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"Mama says the Beardsleys follow her around like dogs, but they don’t. They follow her like tame wolves."

"I thought Ian said it wasn’t possible to tame wolves."

"It isn’t," she said tersely.


Josiah and Keziah Beardsley, or Jo and Kezzie, are identical twin brothers who were indentured to Aaron and Fanny Beardsley. They are skilled hunters, and a bit feral, owing to fending for themselves in the backcountry for most of their lives.

Personal HistoryEdit

Jo and Kezzie were orphaned young, around age two or three, during their family's passage from Europe to the colonies. Without any relatives to pay the family's debt for the voyage, the ship's captain sold the twins, to be indentured for thirty years against the debt. A man named Aaron Beardsley bought their indenture and brought them to his homestead as servants. Around age five, Keziah suffered an injury that caused a pronounced deafness.

Events of the NovelsEdit

The Fiery CrossEdit

In late October 1770, at the Gathering at Mount Helicon, Jamie Fraser asks Josiah to become his tenant—Jo is fourteen and therefore would not be called to join the militia, and has excellent hunting skills. Jo accepts Jamie's offer and promises to come to the Ridge in the winter, but first has some business to take care of. Jamie and Claire later learn that Jo has a twin brother, Kezzie, who still lives with Aaron Beardsley, and Jo wants to get him out of there.

When Jo and his twin brother Kezzie arrive at the Ridge, Claire performs tonsillectomies on them—they are her first patients to be given her homemade penicillin.

A Breath of Snow and AshesEdit

In November 1774, Lizzie Wemyss reveals that she is pregnant, and the father of her child is one of the twins, but neither she nor they know which one. After Jamie Fraser handfasts Lizzie to Kezzie, she and the twins secretly go to Roger and ask him to marry Lizzie to Jo. Their son Rodney is born on April 19, 1775.

An Echo in the BoneEdit

In March 1777, Lizzie gives birth to Jo or Kezzie's second child, a girl.

Written in My Own Heart's BloodEdit

Upon Claire's return to the Ridge in spring 1779, she learns that in her absence Lizzie had another son, and is pregnant with the Beardsleys' fourth child.

PersonalityEdit

Pointing+hand+vintage+image+graphicsfairy1 Note: This section is a stub. You can help Outlander Wiki by expanding it.

Physical AppearanceEdit

They are nearly identical—small and lithe, with thick dark hair, distinguished only by Kezzie’s deafness and the round scar on Jo’s thumb. However, after Jamie makes Kezzie handfast to Lizzie, Jo gives the same mark to Kezzie so no one can easily tell who is who.

RelationshipsEdit

Lizzie WemyssEdit

When Josiah and Keziah Beardsley first came to Fraser's Ridge, Lizzie Wemyss took the twins under her wing. She cut their hair, made sure they cleaned up, and started to teach them to read and write. The pair became devoted to her; Roger MacKenzie likened them to "tame wolves,"[2] noting how they followed her around and wished to protect her. Following her broken engagement to Manfred McGillivray, the twins were ready and willing to hunt him down and kill him on Lizzie's behalf.

One day, Lizzie suffered a rather debilitating attack of malarial fever while Claire was away, and they tended to her. As she came out of the attack she woke to find that, for the purpose of trying to regulate her temperature, she was naked in bed with Josiah. The two ended up having sex. The relationship continued, and she and Josiah would find various times and places to be intimate. She didn't immediately realize that it wasn't always Jo that was sleeping with her; on one occasion, however, she called out to Jo and registered, by his lack of response, that it was his deaf identical twin, Kezzie.

Lizzie could not choose between them, finding them to be like one soul split into two bodies. In November 1774, she had to admit to her pregnancy as she had begun to show. Her father, Joseph, and Jamie were both scandalized to learn that neither she nor the twins were sure which of the twins was the father. Claire attempted to console her, and Lizzie confessed that she had been with both boys; though she had not known initially, it just seemed natural that they would share her, as they shared everything else.

After drawing straws to determine who would wed her, Jamie handfasted Lizzie to Kezzie. While Jamie wasn't looking, Jo marked his twin's hand with a brand just like the one on his own, so they could no longer be distinguished that way. That same night, the trio visited Roger MacKenzie and asked him to marry Jo to Lizzie.

Lizzie and the twins welcomed a healthy baby boy, Rodney Beardsley, in April 1775. The child became something of an olive branch between their family and Lizzie's father, who had not spoken to Lizzie after the whole affair played out the way it did. Their lifestyle was still considered taboo, but the official word in the backcountry was that Lizzie was married to Kezzie, and it was not uncommon for a married couple to live with one or the other's sibling. Jamie merely advised the family to use their discretion, and not to flaunt their unusual dynamic in front of Joseph.

Since their dual marriages and the birth of their first son, they have welcomed a daughter in 1777, and another son in 1778. When the Frasers return to the Ridge in 1779, Lizzie is expecting her fourth child.


NameEdit

  • Josiah means "Yaweh supports" in Hebrew.[3]
  • Keziah is from the Hebrew name קְצִיעָה (Qetzi'ah) meaning "cassia, cinnamon", from the name of the spice tree.[4]
  • Beardsley is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and is a locational name from some minor, unrecorded or now "lost" place, believed to have been situated in Nottinghamshire or Leicestershire where the name is most popular.[5]

TriviaEdit

  • While identical, the twins can be distinguished by Kezzie's pronounced deafness.

ReferencesEdit

  1. Age as of the end of Written in My Own Heart's Blood.
  2. A Breath of Snow and Ashes, chapter 6
  3. Behind the Name: Josiah - accessed 02 June 2016
  4. Behind the Name: Keziah - accessed 02 June 2016
  5. Surname Database: Beardsley - accessed 02 June 2016

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