Saturday, June 22, 2013

Surname Saturday ~ BELL of Charlestown, Massachusetts

BELL


Abraham Bell, a Charlestown "waterman",
was reported to have drowned in 1662 in at least one source I found.


Abraham Bell is an ancestor with a fleetingly short story.  There are only small clues to his life in the early New England records.  In James Savage’s Genealogical Dictionary of the First Settlers of New England there is this fleeting entry:

“BELL, ABRAHAM, New Haven 1639, rem a. 1647 to Charlestown, d. early in 1663. Admin. Of his est.  £154.. 1. 1. was giv. to his w. Catharine, who. D. 29 Aug. 1692, aged 68.  I see no ch. But Isaac, bapt. At C. 12 Oct. 1662.”

I found a reference on page 9 of of The Bell Family in America by William M. Clemons, New York, 1913 available online at archive.org:

Abraham Bell, waterman, was in New Haven
in 1643 and came to Charlestown in 1647. He
married Katharine Waffe, widow, who died
August 29, 1692, aged sixty-nine. It appears
by the town records that he was cast away
31 Dec, found 4th [Jan.], buried 7th [1662-3].''
His children were: Hannah married Samuel
Bignall, 1669; Mary, born about December 25,
1653, married John Hands; Abraham, died Janu-
ary 16, 1656-7 ; Abraham, born November 17, 1657 ;
Dorothy married Samuel Cutler, 1681 ; Isaac, born
October 10, 1661, or 1662.

There was also a reference to Abraham Bell in The Cutler Memorial and Genealogical History by Nahum Cutler, Greenfield, Massachusetts: Press of E. A. Hall & Co., 1889, pages 512 and 513, in the sections about the Samuel Cutler who married Abraham’s daughter, Dorothy Bell.  Using all these clues I was able to find vital records, land records, and the inventory of his estate in documents from New Haven, Connecticut and Charlestown, Massachusetts. From this I could piece together a story about my 9th great grandfather, Abraham Bell.  There is no evidence he was related to Francis Bell, the early settler at New Haven, who died on 8 January 1690 in Stamford, Connecticut.  I never found the town records that told the story of his drowning in 1662/3 mentioned in the Bell compiled genealogy.

Genealogy:

Generation 1:  Abraham Bell, died about 31 December 1662 in Charlestown, Massachusetts, married to Katherine Bullfinch, widow of John Waffe.  She was born about 1624 and died in 1692 in Charlestown, Massachusetts. Six children.

Generation 2: Mary Bell, born 25 December 1653 in Charlestown, married about 1677 to John Hands, son of Mark Hands and Mary Shattuck.

Generation 3: Katherine Hands m. Jonathan Kettell
Generation 4: Katherine Kettell m. Caleb Rand
Generation 5: Caleb Rand m. Mary Mayhew
Generation 6: Mary Rand m. Asahel Bill
Generation 7: Ingraham Ebenezer Bill m. Isabella Lyons
Generation 8: Caleb Rand Bill m. Ann Margaret Bollman
Generation 9: Isabella Lyons Bill m. Albert Munroe Wilkinson
Generation 10: Donald Munroe Wilkinson m. Bertha Louise Roberts (my grandparents)

For more information on Abraham Bell:

The Bell Family in America by William M. Clemons, New York, 1913 available online at archive.org
Genealogical Dictionary of the First Settlers of New England, by James Savage

The Cutler Memorial and Genealogical History by Nahum Cutler, Greenfield, Massachusetts: Press of E. A. Hall & Co., 1889, pages 512 and 513

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Copyright 2013, Heather Wilkinson Rojo

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