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Bell

The Bell Family in
North Tynedale, Northumberland, England

And their descendant branches in
England, Canada, New Zealand and South Africa

Discuss this family with fellow researchers at:
 RYK BROWN'S GENEALOGY DISCUSSION FORUM

Contents

Click on any of the following to be taken to that section or page.

Contents of this page

  1. Introduction
  2. The Origin Of The Surname Bell
  3. North Tynedale, Northumberland
    1. Greystead, Northumberland
    2. Bellingham, Northumberland and the Legend of the Lang Pack
    3. Hadrians Wall
  4. Bell Family Report
    1. Jacob Bell & Ann Rutter
    2. John Bell & Frances Stobbard
    3. Rev. Luke Bell & Annie Dawson
    4. Frances Bell and Job Tasker
  5. Links
  6. Fellow Researchers
  7. Index & Personal Information Pages (GEDCOM)
  8. Legend
  9. Contact

Links to other related pages on this web site

  1. My Main Page
  2. My Index and Online Database
  3. About Our Family History
  4. Dawson Family in West Allendale, Northumberland, England

  5. Tasker Family in East Tilbury, Kent County, Ontario, Canada

  6. Sharpe Family in Kent County, Ontario, Canada

Introduction


Northumberland

Welcome to the Bell family page of my family history website.  This page covers the family of my wife's grandmother, Linda Winifred Tasker's mother, Frances Bell.  The Bell family were rural farm hands from Northumberland, England where their ancestry can be traced back to the 18th century. A family legend claims that the Bells were illegitimately descended from British royalty, but this information has since been lost.

Please Note: This page is intended only as a narrative historical overview of this family.  There is additional detailed information available for almost ever person presented on this page.  To avoid the unnecessary work of double-entering such things as vital statistics, the additional information can be found in the accompanying GEDCOM database.  Please make sure you click on the INDEX button at the bottom of the page so you don't miss out on potentially valuable additional information.

Acknowledgments

The research presented on this page is not mine alone.  It contains information submitted by all the Fellow Researchers listed below.  I am indebted to them for their generous contributions.  This page is intended as a place for researchers to freely and cooperatively share our research with each other.  It would be too cumbersome a task to reference each piece of data as to which researcher it has come from.  The information shown on this page should be understood as a product of ALL of the Fellow Researchers.  I am merely the editor and not the sole author. - Ryk

If you are just arriving at this page for the first time then you may wish to start here.

The Origin Of The Surname "Bell"

The name Bell could be an occupational surname coming from an early ancestor who was either a maker of bells or a player of bells. It could also be a characteristic surname for an early ancestor who had a "bell-like" personal characteristic -- perhaps someone whose voice was "as clear as a bell", or someone who "sang like a bell", or perhaps even someone whose head was shaped like a bell. It may also be derived from the French word "Belle" meaning "beautiful", referring to a particularly attractive ancestor. All these possible origins for the surname Bell probably account for why it is such a common name.  The surname probably originates not from one of these sources, but more likely from all of them.  It is for this reason that one can be certain that the name Bell has multiple origins and not all Bells are related.

Click here to learn more about surnames.

North Tynedale, Northumberland

The North Tyne River runs through northwest Northumberland north of Hadrian's Wall.  The towns of Bellingham and Wark-on-Tyne feature prominently in our family's past as well as smaller villages such as Greystead and Houxty Bankhead.

Greystead, Northumberland


North Tynedale including: Bellingham, Wark, Greystead, Falstone, Hetherington, Birtley, Thockrington and Chollterton.
www.multimap.com

Greystead parish lies in west Northumberland not far from the Scottish border. It stretches from the valley of the River North Tyne across high moorland to the county boundary with Cumbria. Today, most of the parish is planted with trees, being part of the border forests of Wark and Kielder. The name Greystead probably refers to a farm known as Grievesteads in the 17th century.

The parish was settled in medieval times but there is little evidence for actual villages. The manor of Chirdon is recorded in the 13th century but nothing is known about a settlement there. A few other villages have been suggested at Hott, Dally and Snabdaugh but there is even less evidence for these. The most common signs of human habitation are the many shielings dotted around the parish. They lie by small streams or take shelter beneath crags and lie in some of the most remote places in the county, such as at Paddaburn Crags and Woolfe Kennel Cave. Shepherds looking after sheep on high pasture probably lived in them in the summer months. A number of small farms have also been found by streams and were probably more permanent settlements.

In medieval and early post-medieval times the border between England and Scotland was very unsettled, with battles, skirmishes and raids taking place on both sides. Greystead lies very close to the Scottish border and would have been in the thick of the action. There was obviously a need for some defences because Dally Castle was built in the 13th century and extended in the 14th century. Later, as feuds between border families (known as Border Reivers) continued it was necessary for those who could afford it to build special defended farms that we now call bastles. The remains of two such buildings stand at Snabdaugh and Stokoe Crags, but there are also other references to buildings that no longer exist at Chirdon, Birks and The Bower. In the 16th century The Bower was the home of one Hector Charlton said to be one of the greatest thieves in the region.

As the Borders became a more settled and peaceful area in post-medieval times it was a fairly prosperous time for this region of England. Elsewhere in the 17th and 18th centuries, people started to invest more in their surroundings and new farming methods were introduced, but here the high and remote moorlands may have changed very little. Some small farms did spring up, such as at Noble Shields and Muckle Samuel's Crags, and others expanded around older defensive buildings such as Snabdaugh bastle. Part of the parish belonged to the Earl of Derwentwater whose lands were confiscated for his part in the 1715 Jacobite Rebellion and were then held by the Commissioners of Greenwich Hospital. They built the Church of St Luke in Greystead in 1817. Dallycastle Mill was also built about this time because of the increase in farming demanded by the wars between England and France, but was only used for 40 years. Few industrial activities seem to have sprung up here at this time other than lime burning to improve the land, with lime kilns by the Chirdon Burn. One of the most recent monuments to have been built in the parish was the Lord Robinson Memorial in 1953. He was chairman of the Forestry Commission whose impact on the appearance of this part of Northumberland has been considerable. (From Keys to the Past - Greystead)

Bellingham, Northumberland and the Legend of the Lang Pack
http://www.thenortheast.fsnet.co.uk/NorthTynedale.htm

The church at Bellingham is dedicated to St Cuthbert and is said to have been one of the places where St Cuthbert's body was brought to following the Viking raids on Lindisfarne in the ninth century A.D.

In the churchyard of St Cuthbert's is a long stone which marks a grave closely associated with a well known piece of North Tynedale folklore; `the Legend of the Lang Pack'.

Lee Hall, Northumberland, England

The story is set around Lee Hall on the banks of the North Tyne to the south of Bellingham, near to where the River Rede joins the North Tyne at Redesmouth. The hall was historically the home of the Ridley family who left their country residence each winter to reside in London. In the winter of 1723 the house was left in the care of three servants, who looked after the hall under strict instructions not to allow any guest or lodger into the house.

One afternoon that winter, a peddler called at the hall carrying with him an unusually long package and asked if he could have shelter for the night. Remembering their master's orders the servants refused the peddler, but when he asked if he could leave the package, while he sought shelter elsewhere, permission was granted.

As the night grew dark one of the servants, a young maid called Alice, became increasingly suspicious of the peddler's long pack which had been left in the kitchen of the house. While lighting a candle the maid swore she saw the package move.

She quickly alerted the other two servants one called Richard and the other, a younger man called Edward. The older man scorned young Alice's suspicion, but young Edward not wishing to take any chances fetched his gun (which he called Copenhagen), and shot at the lang pack. To his astonishment a cry was heard and blood began to ooze from the mysterious package.

When the Lang pack was opened, the body of a dead man was found inside wearing a silver whistle around his neck. It soon became apparent that the man had been brought to the hall as part of a plot. The plan was obvious, this man was going to break free from his package and open the door for fellow accomplices to burgle the household.

The servants realizing that they were likely to be visited by the rest of the gang that night, summoned help from the neighbourhood and many locals came to Lee Hall, bringing with them their guns ready to see off the gang.

Later that night the gang arrived and were given the signal on the whistle, but were astonished to be greeted with gunshot from the servants and locals waiting at the hall. Four of the gang immediately fell dead from their horses, the rest quickly fled.

At daylight the following morning the bodies of the four dead men had mysteriously disappeared and the Lee Hall servants were only left with the body of the unfortunate man from the Lang Pack. The rest of the gang were never caught and the identity of the man from the Lang pack remained a mystery for all time. The body was finally buried at Bellingham churchyard, where it is said to lie beneath the long stone cut in the shape of a peddler's pack.

Hadrian's Wall

Our Bell ancestors grew up within just a few miles of Hadrian's Wall.  Hadrian's Wall is an impressive archaeological remnant, nearly 2000 years old, from the time when England (then known as Britannia) was a province of the Roman Empire. The Wall was built by order of the Roman Emperor Hadrian, around AD 122. For six years professional soldiers built a wall 80 Roman miles long (about 120kms), from Wallsend-on-Tyne in the east to Bowness-on-Solway in the west. Hadrian wanted to mark the northern boundary of his Empire and to protect the "civilized" Empire from the Celtic "barbarians" to the north.

Hetherington Farm

Hetherington Farm LogoHetherington Farm Homepage Image #Hetherington Farm Homepage Image #
http://www.tiscover.co.uk/hetherington-farm

Wark

From Keys to the Past

In medieval times Wark was the head of the Lordship of Tynedale and was part of Scotland in the 13th century. People lived in small villages and hamlets at Hetherington, Shitlington, Gofton and Wark. In the summer months, when animals were grazed on higher pasture, shepherds lived in small buildings called shielings, and the remains of some of these structures survive as earthworks in the more remote parts of the parish, such as Blacka Burn and Watergate Sike. Those who could afford it built more substantial places in which to defend themselves and their property, for example the tower house at Wark village. There is also a possibility that there was a motte castle at Wark although this remains unproven. The remains of a medieval deer park are still present in place-name evidence with Park End Farm recalling the limits of this old park. Landownership and routes across the mosses were marked by wayside crosses. Comynís Cross is named after a local chieftan who is said to have visited the legendary King Arthur at Sewingshields Castle.

In the 16th and 17th centuries the eruption of feuds between local border families meant that this part of the country was a wild and lawless place with raids made against people and property. These raiders were known as Border reivers and the only protection was through the building of strong defended farmhouses called bastles. At least seven were built in Wark parish. Those at Horneystead, Mortley and Hesley Hirst survive only as ruins but others were converted into less defensive buildings when the threat of reivers disappeared in the 18th century.

Bell Family Report

Unknown BELL - The following three households (Jacob, George and Isaac) represent the only BELL families in Wark in 1841, strongly suggesting they are sibling branches.

  1. Jacob BELL, b 1767, see below
  2. "John" BELL, abt 1780
    1. George BELL, b. ABT 1811, Warden near Hexham or Wark, Northumberland, England.  In 1841 he is residing on the Hetherington farmstead in Warksburn, Wark, Northumberland -- the same farm as the family of Thomas Usher, presumably his father-in-law.  They are two farms away from Jacob Bell (1807, son of Jacob Bell and Ann Rutter, below), and only a few farms away from Jacob Bell and Ann Rutter.  George Bell married 5 JUN 1830 in Wark on Tyne, Northumberland, England to Margaret USHER.  She was born ABT 1810 in Heatherington, Warksburn, Wark on Tyne, Northumberland, England, presumably as the daughter of Thomas Usher of Hetherington.  George d 1841-1851.  Widow Margaret and family residing 1851 in Bridge House, Shitlington Low, Northumberland.  George and Margaret had the following children:
      1. George BELL, bap. 20 OCT 1822 in Wark on Tyne (mother: Ann), believed to have died bef 1841.
      2. Has Children John Usher BELL b: ABT 28 JAN 1830 in Wark on Tyne, Northumberland, England.  John was the illegitimate son of Margaret Usher, six months before his parents were married.  As John seems to have inherited it is presumed that his birth was later legitimated.  He was the employer and landlord of many members of this family.  John Usher Bell was a farmer of 450 acres at Lee Hall, Leemailing near Bellingham, Northumberland, England. Lee Hall is the location of the "Lang Pack Tragedy" noted above -- where a burglar who tried to break into Lee Hall by hiding in a peddler's sack. When the sack moved one of the servants of the house fired his gun into the back killing the would be burglar. His unidentified body is buried in the yard of St. Cuthbert's Church, Bellingham.  In 1881 John Usher Bell had an "indoor farm servant" working for him, named Abraham Dawson, born 1863 in Allendale, Northumberland. Abraham Dawson is found elsewhere in this database as the brother-in-law of Rev. Luke Bell, shown below.  John married on 19 MAR 1853 in Wark on Tyne, Northumberland, England to Esther THOMPSON b: 1831 in Wark on Tyne, Northumberland, England.  They had the following children:
        1. Has No Children Mary BELL b: ABT 20 NOV 1853 in Bellingham, Northumberland, England
        2. Has No Children Maggie BELL b: 1865 in St. John-Lee, Acomb, Northumberland, England
      3. Elizabeth BELL, b. ABT 19 FEB 1832 in Warksburn, Wark on Tyne, Northumberland, England. not with family in 1851
      4. Thomas BELL, b. ABT 6 JUL 1834 in Warksburn, Wark on Tyne, Northumberland, England, w family 1851
      5. Mark BELL, bap. 27 MAR 1836 in Wark on Tyne, Northumberland, England, d bef 1841
      6. Luke BELL, b. ABT 1836 in Warksburn, Wark on Tyne, Northumberland, England. w family 1851
      7. Jane BELL, b. ABT 30 JAN 1838 in Warksburn, Wark on Tyne, Northumberland, England. w family 1851
      8. George BELL, b. ABT 22 MAR 1840 in Warksburn, Wark on Tyne, Northumberland, England. w family 1851
      9. William BELL, b. ABT 27 MAR 1842 in Wark on Tyne, Northumberland, England. w family 1851
      10. Mary BELL, b ABT 12 OCT 1844 in Wark on Tyne, Northumberland, England. w family 1851
      11. Michael BELL, b. ABT 26 JUL 1846 in Wark on Tyne, Northumberland, England. w family 1851
      12. Margaret BELL, b. ABT 23 APR 1848 in Wark on Tyne, Northumberland, England. w family 1851
      13. Frances BELL, b. ABT 29 MAY 1849 in Wark on Tyne, Northumberland, England. w family 1851
  3. Isaac BELL, b. ABT 1786, 1841, age 55, residing in Billerley, Shithington Law Quarter, Wark, Northumberland, England, agricultural labourer.  Married Margaret/Mary, age 50.  not in 1851.  They had the following children:
    1. John BELL, b. ABT 1821 in Wark, Northumberland, England (residing with parents in 1841, w/widowed mother in 1851 in Haltwhistle, Northumberland, place of birth for all given as Haltwhistle in 1851)
    2. Margaret BELL, b. ABT 1826 in Wark, Northumberland, England (ditto)
    3. Robert BELL, b. ABT 1827 in Wark, Northumberland, England (ditto).

 

Matthew BELL, b. 1791 in Stamfordham, Northumberland, m 28 NOV 1818 in Wark on Tyne to Ann Charleton -- not found in 1841, 1851 in Bishopwearmouth, Durham, occ mason.  Wife, Ann, b 1789 in Wark

  1. John Charlton BELL, 24 OCT 1819 in Wark on Tyne, not found 1851
  2. Ann BELL, 19 MAR 1821 in Wark on Tyne.  In 1851 she is residing in Bishopwearmouth, Durham, working as a servant for John W. ORD.
  3. George BELL, ABT 1823 in Wark on Tyne.  res 1851 bishopwearmouth, Durham, occ house joiner. m Alice b1822 Great Ayckliffe, Durham
    1. John George BELL, b. 1848 in Bishopwearmouth, Durham
    2. Alice BELL, b. 1851 in Bishopwearmouth, Durham
  4. Jane BELL, 11 JAN 1829 in Wark on Tyne, not found 1851
  5. Matthew BELL, 20 FEB 1831 in Wark on Tyne, w/parents in 1851
  6. Hannah BELL, 15 JAN 1834 in Wark on Tyne, not found 1851
  7. Charlton BELL, 2 JUN 1835 in Wark on Tyne, not found 1851

Ruins of Mortley bastle, Wark. Photo by Peter Ryder.
Mortley Cottage,

Jacob Bell of Mortley & Ann Rutter

The earliest verifiable ancestor of our Bell family is Jacob Bell who was born in 1767 in Halton, Northumberland, England.  His exact birth record has not been identified.  Jacob Bell married on 28 APR 1800 in St. John-Lee, Acomb, Northumberland, England to Ann Rutter.  She was born about 1780 presumably in Northumberland, England but her exact birth has not yet been identified either.  Jacob was a farmer at Moralee in Warksburn, Northumberland.  In 1841 Jacob and Ann have their son Luke residing with them, along with the following unidentified: Margaret Bell age age 15 and Ann Bell age 1.  They seem too young to be children and are more likely grandchildren by an unidentified child.  Jacob is recorded as being "from Corbridge" on his marriage record.  Jacob and Ann had the following children:

  1. Has No Children Margaret BELL b: ABT 17 AUG 1800 in Thockrington, Northumberland, England.  Nothing more is known of her.
  2. Has Children Michael BELL in Wood Cottage, Lee Hall b: 14 JUL 1802 in Birtley, Northumberland, England.  Michael married on 4 JAN 1826 in Bellingham, Northumberland, England to Mary WILKINSON b: ABT 1800 in Northumberland, England.  They had the following children:
    1. Has No Children Jacob BELL b: ABT 27 AUG 1826 in Wark On Tyne, Northumberland, England
    2. Has No Children Ann BELL b: ABT 25 MAY 1828 in Wark On Tyne, Northumberland, England
    3. Has No Children Elizabeth BELL b: ABT 11 APR 1830 in Wark On Tyne, Northumberland, England
    4. Has No Children Mary BELL b: ABT 19 AUG 1832 in Wark On Tyne, Northumberland, England
    5. Has No Children Hannah BELL b: 1835 in Bellingham, North Tyndale, Northumberland, England
    6. Has No Children Michael BELL b: ABT 18 MAR 1838 in Bellingham, Northumberland, England
    7. Has No Children Frances BELL b: ABT 18 OCT 1840 in Bellingham, Northumberland, England
    8. Has No Children Margaret BELL b: ABT 9 MAR 1845 in Bellingham, Northumberland, England
    9. Has No Children Sarah BELL b: ABT 12 DEC 1847 in Bellingham, Northumberland, England
    10. Has No Children Jane BELL b: ABT 1 MAY 1853 in Bellingham, Northumberland, England
  3. Has Children Joseph BELL b: 5 MAY 1804 in Birtley, Northumberland, England.  Joseph married Jane WALLACE b: 22 MAR 1810 in Otterburn, Northumberland, England.  Not found in 1851.  They had the following children:
    1. Has No Children John BELL b: 29 AUG 1831 in Elsdon near Otterburn, Northumberland, England.  He did not marry and had no children.
    2. Has No Children Sarah BELL b: ABT 24 MAR 1833 in Wark on Tyne, Northumberland, England.  It is believed that Sarah never married.  In 1881 at age 47 she was residing with her widowed mother.
    3. Has Children Jacob BELL b: ABT 25 DEC 1834 in Greystead, Northumberland, England.  Jacob worked as a gardener and domestic servant.  He married in 1859 in Hexham, Northumberland, England to Isabella HEDLEY b: ABT 3 AUG 1834 in Birtley, Northumberland, England.  They had the following children:
      1. Has No Children Jane Ann BELL b: ABT 3 FEB 1861 in Birtley, Northumberland, England
      2. Has No Children Joseph Hedley BELL b: ABT 12 APR 1863 in Chollerton, Northumberland, England
      3. Has No Children James John BELL b: ABT 23 DEC 1866 in Wark on Tyne, Northumberland, England
      4. Has No Children Thomas John BELL b: ABT 15 APR 1869 in Wark on Tyne, Northumberland, England
      5. Has No Children Jacob BELL b: ABT 18 JUN 1871 in Wark on Tyne, Northumberland, England
      6. Has No Children Gabriel BELL b: 1874 in Humshaugh, Northumberland, England
      7. Has No Children Margaret Isabella BELL b: ABT 3 APR 1877 in Humshaugh, Northumberland, England
    4. Has Children Peter BELL b: ABT 14 AUG 1836 in Wark on Tyne, Northumberland, England.  Peter Bell married on 11 NOV 1862 in Hexham, Northumberland, England Jane SISTERSON b: 15 NOV 1833 in Falstone, Northumberland, England.  They had the following children:
      1. Has No Children Margaret BELL b: ABT 23 AUG 1863 in Wark on Tyne, Northumberland, England.  She married late in 1931 in Durham, England to Henry HOUSEMAN b: ABT 1865 in England.  They had no children.
      2. Has No Children Jane BELL b: ABT 23 JUL 1865 in Wark on Tyne, Northumberland, England.  Jane never married and died in 1900.
      3. Has Children John BELL b: ABT 15 SEP 1867 in Wark on Tyne, Northumberland, England.  He married on 10 APR 1901 in Pittington, Durham, England to Janet DOULL b: 23 OCT 1875 in Brampton, Cumberland, England.  They had the following children:
        1. Has No Children Dorothy Jane BELL b: 28 APR 1902 in Elemore Lodge, Pittington, Durham, England
        2. Has No Children Margaret Joan BELL b: 29 AUG 1904 in Elemore Lodge, Pittington, Durham, England
        3. Has No Children Peterene Mary BELL b: 30 MAY 1909 in Elemore Lodge, Pittington, Durham, England
      4. Has Children Isabella BELL b: ABT 12 DEC 1869 in Wark on Tyne, Northumberland, England.  She married John HOUSEMAN b: ABT 1870 in England.  They had the following children:
        1. Has No Children Henry HOUSEMAN b: ABT 1898
        2. Has No Children Robert HOUSEMAN b: 1899
      5. Has Children Matthew BELL b: 1872 in Wark on Tyne, Northumberland, England.  Matthew Bell worked as a domestic gardener.  He married BET JUL AND SEP 1892 in Bedford, Bedfordshire, England to Ellen Maria SOUTHAM b: 1872 in Elston, Bedford, England.  They had the following children:
        1. Has No Children Elsie BELL b: 1893 in Ashby, Northampton, England
        2. Has No Children Dorothy BELL b: 1895 in Hyde, Bedford, England
        3. Has No Children Winifred BELL b: 1898 in Penn, Wolverhampton, Stafford, England
        4. Has No Children Irene BELL b: AFT 1901 in Penn, Wolverhampton, Stafford, England
      6. Has No Children Sarah BELL b: 1874 in Wark on Tyne, Northumberland, England.  She never married and died in 1904.
    5. Has No Children Ann BELL b: ABT 8 MAY 1838 in Wark on Tyne, Northumberland, England
    6. Has Children Joseph BELL b: ABT 26 APR 1840 in Wark on Tyne, Northumberland, England.  He married on 23 FEB 1867 in Bellingham, Northumberland, England to Ursula RIDDLE b: 1840 in Bellingham, Northumberland, England.  This branch is being researched by Karin Main (nee Bell). Joseph and Ursula Bell had the following children:
      1. Has Children John BELL b: ABT 11 AUG 1867 in Bellingham, Northumberland, England.  John Bell married on 25 APR 1896 in Marley Hill Church, Marley Hill, Durham, England to Ann Alice RAYNER b: 1870 in White le Head, Durham, England.  They had the following child:
        1. Has Children Joseph Alfred Rayner BELL b: JUN 1901 in Marley Hill, Durham, England.  He married on 1921 in Newcastle on Tyne, Northumberland, England to Sarah HUGALL b: 1900 in Newcastle, Northumberland, England.  They had the following children:
          1. Has Children Edwin Hugall BELL b: 5 JUL 1922 in Newcastle, Northumberland, England.  He married Lorna May DUNN whose information is private.  Their descendants information is also not published for privacy reasons.
          2. Has No Children John BELL b: ABT 1920 in Newcastle, Northumberland, England
          3. Has No Children Dennis Rayner BELL b: Private
      2. Has No Children Jane BELL b: ABT 6 JUN 1869 in Bellingham, Northumberland, England
      3. Has Children Edward James BELL b: 1871 in Hexham, Northumberland, England.  This branch is being researched by John Bell and Lillian Bell.  Edward Bell had the following children:

        1. Has No Children Son BELL b: ABT 1900 in England
        2. Has Children Vincent BELL b: ABT 1905 in Haydon Bridge/Bardon Mill, Northumberland, England.  He married Mary BELL b: ABT 1905 in Blaydon-on-Tyne, Durham, England and had descendants whose information is withheld for privacy reasons.
      4. Has No Children Margaret BELL b: ABT 24 JUL 1872 in Hexham, Northumberland, England
      5. Has No Children Joseph BELL b: ABT 8 FEB 1874 in Blaydon, Northumberland, England
      6. Has No Children Jacob BELL b: 1876 in Blaydon, Northumberland, England
      7. Has No Children William BELL b: ABT 11 AUG 1878 in Blaydon, Northumberland, England
    7. Has No Children Isabella BELL b: ABT 13 MAR 1842 in Wark on Tyne, Northumberland, England
    8. Has No Children James BELL b: ABT 14 SEP 1845 in Wark on Tyne, Northumberland, England
    9. Has No Children Luke BELL b: ABT 9 AUG 1846 in Wark on Tyne, Northumberland, England
    10. Has No Children Jane BELL b: ABT 24 DEC 1848 in Wark on Tyne, Northumberland, England
    11. Has No Children Margaret BELL b: ABT 13 APR 1851 in Wark on Tyne, Northumberland, England
    12. Has No Children Margaret BELL b: ABT 28 AUG 1853 in Wark on Tyne, Northumberland, England
    13. Has No Children Michael BELL b: ABT 29 AUG 1858 in Wark on Tyne, Northumberland, England
  4. Has No Children Hannah BELL b: 1 APR 1806 in Birtley, Northumberland, England
  5. Has Children Jacob BELL of Ravenshuegh-Mortley b: 13 OCT 1807 in Birtley, Northumberland, England.  He married on 17 JAN 1835 in Chollerton, Northumberland, England to Elizabeth LITTLE b: 25 SEP 1812 in Falstone, Northumberland, England.  In 1851 the family can be found living at 30 Ravenshuegh, Warksburn, Wark on Tyne, Northumberland.  Jacob is a farmer of 65 acres.  Jacob's widowed father is visiting at the time.  They had the following children:
    1. Has No Children Ann BELL b: ABT 28 MAR 1835 in Chollerton, Northumberland, England
    2. Has No Children Luke BELL b: ABT 6 NOV 1836 in Wark On Tyne, Northumberland, England
    3. Has No Children Adam BELL b: ABT 11 FEB 1838 in Wark On Tyne, Northumberland, England
    4. Has No Children Eleanor BELL b: 18 JAN 1840 in Kirkfield, Northumberland, England
    5. Has No Children Luke BELL b: 24 AUG 1841 in Ravensheugh, Northumberland, England
    6. Has No Children Jane BELL b: 21 JUL 1843 in Ravensheugh, Northumberland, England
  6. Has Children Luke BELL b: 15 JUN 1810 in Greystead, Northumberland, England.  Luke worked as a shepherd.  His wife is unknown.  He had the following family:
    1. Has No Children Dorothy BELL b: 1847 in Warden, Northumberland, England.  She was unmarried by 1881 and working as a housekeeper.
  7. Has Children John BELL b: 4 JAN 1812 in Greystead near Bellingham, Northumberland, England.  He married Frances Stobbard.  Their story continues below.

John Bell & Frances Stobbard

John Bell was born 4 JAN 1812 in Greystead near Bellingham, Northumberland, England. .  Census records show his occupation as "animal husband".  He married on 8 JUN 1839 in Wark On Tyne, Northumberland, England to Frances Stobbard.  She was born 11 JAN 1815 in Hexham, Northumberland, England as the daughter of Matthew Stobart and Elizabeth Armstrong.  John Bell and Frances Stobbard had the following children:

  1. Has Children Matthew Michael BELL b: 1840 in Warden, Northumberland, England.  Matthew had two daughters, Mary and Hannah. According to IGI records they had two different mothers: Mary and Margaret.  In the 1861 census, Matthew is found living at Plashetts Farm, Northumberland, with the Dagg family, who have a daughter named Mary who is the same age as Matthew.  It is suggested that she is an obvious candidate to be the mother of his first daughter. It appears that Matthew then had a second daughter, Hannah, by a mother named Margaret in 1862.  Matthew is buried with a Margaret DAGG.  It is not clear whether Mary Dagg and Margaret Dagg represent transcription errors for the same person, or whether Matthew married firstly to Mary DAGG and secondly to her sister Margaret DAGG.  Matthew died in 1867, and in 1871 the two daughters are living with Matthew's parents. 

    Matthew Bell was involved firstly with a woman named Mary, believed to be Mary DAGG, by whom he had the following daughter:

    1. Has No Children Mary BELL b: ABT 16 JUN 1861 in Falstone, Wark on Tyne, Northumberland, England.  She kept a journal of family records that were passed down through her aunt Ann Purvis' (nee Bell) family.  One of the entries records the visit of Emma Jean Dalgleish (nee Bell, daughter of Luke Bell, below) from Canada back to Northumberland in the 1920s. She also worked for her aunt Ann Purvis as a domestic servant.

    Matthew Bell was involved secondly with Margaret DAGG, possibly the sister of his first partner.  They had the following daughter:

    1. Has No Children Hannah BELL b: ABT 26 OCT 1862 in Wark on Tyne, Northumberland, England.  She married John "Jack" THOMPSON.  They had the following daughters.  In 1901 these daughters were living under the care of their aunt Mary Bell.  Presumably their mother had died.  They resided at Plashetts farm, the former Dagg family residence.
      1. Hannah THOMPSON
      2. daughter THOMPSON
      3. daughter THOMPSON
  2. Has Children Ann BELL b: 1842 in Ovingham or Welton, Northumberland, England.  She married on 21 APR 1862 in All Saints, Newcastle Upon Tyne, Northumberland, England to John Robert PURVIS b: 1839 in Pegswood or Bothal, Northumberland, England.  John worked as an innkeeper in the towns of Wark and Wall.  Many of his daughters worked for him as barmaids.  They had the following children.  This branch is being researched by Ingrid Grieve.
    1. Has No Children Frances PURVIS b: ABT 27 DEC 1863 in Newcastle Upon Tyne, Northumberland, England.  She died as a child.
    2. Has No Children Eleanor Bell PURVIS b: ABT 8 JUL 1866 in Newcastle Upon Tyne, Northumberland, England She died as a child.
    3. Has No Children John Bell PURVIS b: ABT 10 SEP 1867 in Newcastle Upon Tyne, Northumberland, England.  He died as a child, prior to the birth of his same-named brother.

    4. Has Children Isabella PURVIS b: ABT 27 SEP 1868 in Newcastle Upon Tyne, Northumberland, England.  She married William NIXON b: 1872 in Wall, Northumberland, England.  They had the following children:
      1. Has No Children Annie J. NIXON b: 1897 in Newcastle Upon Tyne, Northumberland, England
      2. Has No Children Hannah M. G. NIXON b: 1899 in Newcastle Upon Tyne, Northumberland, England
    5. Has No Children Mary Eleanor PURVIS b: ABT 7 AUG 1869 in Newcastle Upon Tyne, Northumberland, England
    6. Has No Children Margaret PURVIS b: ABT 18 MAY 1870 in Newcastle Upon Tyne, Northumberland, England
    7. Has No Children Ann Eleanor PURVIS b: ABT 12 JAN 1873 in Newcastle Upon Tyne, Northumberland, England
    8. John Bell Purvis

      Has No Children John Bell PURVIS b: ABT 18 OCT 1874 in Wark on Tyne, Northumberland, England.    His descendants later immigrated to Canada.  His photo is shown at right.
    9. Has No Children James PURVIS b: 1877 in Wark on Tyne, Northumberland, England
    10. Has No Children Mary Jane PURVIS b: 1879 in Wark on Tyne, Northumberland, England
    11. Has No Children Matthew PURVIS b: 1881 in Wark on Tyne, Northumberland, England
    12. Has No Children Fanny PURVIS b: 1883 in Wark on Tyne, Northumberland, England
  3. Has No Children Margaret BELL b: 1844 in Bellingham, Northumberland, England
  4. Has No Children Jacob BELL b: ABT 8 FEB 1846 in Bellingham, Northumberland, England.  It is believed that he never married.  In 1861 he was working in Simonburn, Northumberland, as domestic servant along with a woman named Jane Dodd, b:1844 in Simonburn.  An older Jane Dodd is found living with the Purvis family in 1891, shown as a 79 year old widow.  It is not known if there is a connection between these two Jane Dodds.
  5. Has Children John BELL b: ABT 30 JUL 1848 in Houxtey Bankhead, Wark on Tyne, Northumberland, England.  He married in 1872 in Whitehaven, Cumberland, England to Sarah, whose maiden name is unknown.  Sarah was born in 1851 in Whitehaven, Cumberland, England.  They had the following children:
    1. Has No Children Frank H. BELL b: 1877 in Whitehaven, Cumberland, England
    2. Has No Children Florence L. BELL b: 1879 in Whitehaven, Cumberland, England
  6. Has No Children Hannah BELL b: ABT 16 FEB 1851 in Bellingham, Northumberland, England.  She presumably died as a child prior to the birth of her same-named younger sister.
  7. Has Children Rev. Luke BELL b: ABT 23 APR 1854, probably in Wark On Tyne, Northumberland.  1881 census records indicate that Luke Bell was born in Malton, Yorkshire, England, however his baptism was in Wark on Tyne, Northumberland.  The same census shows him born in 1843, eleven years before his baptism, however he does not appear in the 1851 census with this family.  It is suggested that the 1881 census should not be trusted.  Luke Bell's story continues immediately below.
  8. Has Children Mary Jane BELL b: ABT 29 MAY 1856 in Wark On Tyne, Northumberland, England.  She married on 24 FEB 1877 in Register Office, Newcastle on Tyne, Northumberland, England to George COULSON b: ABT 4 FEB 1855 in Gunnerton, Northumberland, England.  They remained in Northumberland, although their later descendants eventually moved to New Zealand.  Their descendants are also presented on Stan & Lynne Coulson's Page.  They had the following children:
    1. Has Children Edward COULSON b: 4 AUG 1877 in East Woodburn, Northumberland, England.  He married on 19 MAY 1900 in Holy Trinity Church, Cambo, Northumberland, England to Laura ROGERSON b: 26 MAR 1879 in Close House, Wallington, Northumberland, England.  They had the following children and later moved to South Africa.
      1. Has Children George Robert Rogerson COULSON b: 22 APR 1901 in Sandybraes, Capheaton, Northumberland, England.  He married on 6 DEC 1926 in St James, Benwell, Newcastle Upon Tyne, Northumberland, England to Margaret DALTON b: ABT 1900 in Northumberland, England(?).  They had the following children
        1. Has Children Stanley COULSON b: Private
        2. Has No Children Ronald COULSON b: Private
        3. Has No Children Living COULSON
      2. Has No Children Winnifred Ann COULSON b: 27 SEP 1902 in Sandybraes, Capheaton, Northumberland, England
      3. Has No Children Edward Robson COULSON b: 7 FEB 1906 in Stamfordham, Northumberland, England
    2. Has No Children John COULSON b: ABT 29 JUL 1879 in Correnside, Northumberland, England
    3. Has No Children Frances COULSON b: ABT 30 OCT 1881 in Correnside, Northumberland, England
    4. Has No Children Thomas COULSON b: ABT 26 AUG 1883 in Kirkwhelpington, Northumberland, England
    5. Has No Children Mary Ann COULSON b: ABT 29 MAR 1885 in Kirkwhelpington, Northumberland, England
    6. Has No Children George COULSON b: ABT 5 JUN 1887 in Kirkwhelpington, Northumberland, England
    7. Has No Children Margaret Jane COULSON b: 1889 in Kirkwhelpington, Northumberland, England
    8. Has No Children Francis Joseph COULSON b: JAN 1891 in Kirkwhelpington, Northumberland, England
    9. Has No Children Millicent Elizabeth COULSON b: 1896 in Capheaton, Northumberland, England
  9. Has No Children Hannah BELL b: ABT 29 DEC 1861 in Leemailing, Northumberland, England (and bap in Wark on Tyne)

Rev. Luke Bell & Annie Dawson

Reverend Luke Bell was born abt. 23 APR 1854 in Bellingham or Wark on Tyne, Northumberland.   He married on 13 NOV 1876 in Chollerton, Northumberland, England to Annie DAWSON. She was born Abt. 1854 on the farm of Whiteley Shield, West Allandale, Northumberland, England, as the daughter of Joseph Dawson and Elizabeth Hetherington.  Annie's family is described on the Dawson Family Page.  Luke and Annie had the following children:

  1. Has Children Frances BELL b: 1878 in Wark on Tyne, Northumberland, England. Frances immigrated to Merlin, Kent County, Ontario sometime after the death of her father between 1901-1905.  She married about 1905 in Merlin Methodist Church to Job TASKER.  Their story continues below.
  2.     Elizabeth A. BELL, b: Dec 1880 in Wark on Tyne, Northumberland, England.  Elizabeth died in Bellingham, Northumberland, England at age 14.
  3. Has No Children Emma Jane "Jean" BELL b: AFT 1881 in Houxley Bankhead, Wark On Tyne, Northumberland, England.  She immigrated to Canada with her sister Frances, where she married in March 1914 in Chatham, Kent County, Ontario to Frank DALGLEISH.  Frank and Jean had no children.


Rev. Luke Bell


Jean, Frances and Annie Bell
(L-R)

Luke Bell came from a long line of shepherds and farm hands.  He initially began his life in the same way as an agricultural labourer living in Houxty Bankhead, Northumberland.  1881 Census records also show him as a Methodist preacher and he was also a musician.  It is believed that he played the organ as a book of his church organ music still survives.  As there is a Methodist chapel at Whiteley Shield, it seems likely that Luke may have been preaching there and that is how he may have met Annie Dawson.  Annie's uncle also worked at the farm of Lee Hall, which is adjacent to Houxty Bankhead.  In 1891 Luke and family are still found in Houxty Bankhead, but then Luke was working as an insurance agent.  In 1901 Luke, Annie, and Jean are found living in Fearby, Yorkshire where Luke was working as a road surveyor.

According to Frances' daughter, Win, Frances and Jean were raised in "Seattle", Yorkshire. A postcard survives showing a photograph of their house upon which it is written "Seattle".  However no such place can be found on current maps, so it is assumed that Seattle must be somewhere within the parish of Fearby.

Frances Bell and Job Tasker

Luke and Annie's daughter, Frances Bell, was an extremely adventurous and free-spirited girl. She longed to move to the "new world" of North America, but her father was strongly opposed to emigrating. When Luke died sometime after 1901, there was nothing to keep Frances back. She convinced her younger sister Jean to accompany her to Canada where they followed Annie Dawson's brother Thomas and ended up in the Merlin area of Tilbury Township, Kent County, Ontario. A letter from Frances to her mother refers to staying with her uncle already living in Kent County, but the uncle is not identified, though it could be Thomas Dawson.  It's in this same letter that Frances tells her mother "by the way, I got married".

Frances married ABT 1905 in Tilbury East Township, Kent County, Ontario to Job TASKER of Merlin, Kent County. Job was born 3 JAN 1857 in Tilbury East, Kent County, Ontario.  His family story is told on the Tasker Family Page. Some years later Frances' mother, Annie, also came to Canada to be with her daughters.

A Royal Ancestry?

Frances Bell claimed that the Bell family could trace their ancestry to an illegitimate child of one of the Stewart kings and she had a family tree which showed the connection. Unfortunately her children were not interested in this history and it was disposed of after her death. (Pausing for the collective gasps of genealogists the world over).  All knowledge of the alleged royal connection for the Bell family died with Frances.  Although many people like to allege a royal ancestry, in this case there is a shred of plausibility to her claim.  Frances Stobbard (shown above) was a grandmother of Frances Bell.  The surname Stobbard is an Anglicized corruption of the Scots Gaelic surname Stiubhaird, which is Gaelic for Stewart.  However the Stobbard family cannot at this time be traced to any Stewart king.  And I believe you have to go a ways back to find a Stewart king who still spoke Gaelic.

For the later descendants of this family please continue with the Tasker Family Page.

Links

Description Location
Stan & Lynn Coulson's Bell Page from New Zealand http://homepages.paradise.net.nz/stancoul/surnames.html
Whiteley Shield farmhouse today http://www.castleuk.net/castle_lists_north/87/whiteleybastle.htm
North Pennine Area Research Aids http://www.northpennineancestors.co.uk/
   

Fellow Researchers

People researching this family include the following.  If you wish your name added to the fellow researchers' list, please contact me.

Email From Researching

Ryk Brown

Hamilton, Ontario, Canada all branches of this family
Karin Main (nee Bell) South Australia, Australia all branches of this family
Stan & Lynne Coulson Wellington, New Zealand all branches of this family
Ingrid Grieve Waterloo, Ontario, Canada all branches of this family
John Bell Blaydon, Durham, England all branches of this family
Lillian Bell Blaydon, Durham, England all branches of this family

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  3. Where it precedes a year only, such as "ABT 1855", then it means that there is no information on the person's birth date at all and an educated guess has been made that he/she was probably born sometime around 1855.

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This page was last updated on June 15, 2009

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