Heathcock Genealogy Database - Person Sheet
Heathcock Genealogy Database - Person Sheet
NameThomas Bell , 5G Grandfather
Birthca 1715
Death1763, Edgecombe Co NC Age: 48
FatherGeorge Bell Jr. (ca1667-1752)
Spouses
1Martha (Unknown) , 5G Grandmother
ChildrenThomas
 Caroline (1748-)
 Courtney (ca1745-ca1810)
Notes for Thomas Bell
The evidence that Thomas Bell was son of George Bell Jr. is weak. The only evidence of which I am aware is that Thomas Bell was a witness to the will of George Bell Jr.,” made his will in Edgecombe Co VA December 21, 1751, probated in February, 1752. In this will, George Bell Jr. named sons Arthur, George and William, daughter Elizabeth Ffloyd, granddaughter Mary Bell. The executors were Francis Ffloyd and Arthur Bell. Witnesses were William Pertis, Thomas Bell and Thomas Ffloyd.473

The fact that George mentioned three sons explicitly may signal that they were younger, possibly still at home, and that Thomas Bell was an older son who was already independent.

In their book, “Sir Robert Bell and His Early Virginia Colony Descendants, etc.,”472 James Elton Bell and Frances Jean Bell state:

“A Thomas Bell appears in the early records of Edgecomb Co NC. As will be shown, he was undoubtedly identical with the Thomas Bell who appears in early Surry Co VA records. His close relationship with descendants of George Bell, Sr., and his wife Joyce Bell, indicates that Thomas Bell was a grandson of George Bell, Sr. The parents of Thomas Bell are unknown. He might have been a son of George Bell, Jr., who apparently married a daughter of Alexander Webster.”

Thomas Bell made his will in Edgecombe Co NC (just across the line from Virginia):472

"Thomas Bell made his will on January 8, 1761 and it was probated in July 1763. He made his wife Martha executor and gave her the use of the plantation and residue of the estate during her life or widowhood. Witnesses were John (X) Griffin and Catharine (C) Carver. His will listed his children as Caroline, Priscilla and Brittain. He also gave to Brittain reversion in the 221 acre plantaton on which he lived. Thomas Bell also left 5 shillings to his grandson Jacob Saul Bell, son of Katherine Bell in Virginia. No other children are listed. Jacob Saul Bell, son of Thomas Bell, Jr. and Katherine Bell, was born in Isle of Wight Co VA on April 13, 1773" [NB. This is an error, see following.]

Another source gives a transcription of the will that differs in one important aspect--Courtney is listed as a daughter of Thomas, not a granddaughter:474

"THOMAS BELL 8 June 1761 July Ct 1763
To Jacob Saul Bell (sone of Kathrine Bell in Virginia) - five shillings. Son Brittain Bell - plantation where I now live, containing 221 acres, to be his at the death of his mother. Wife Martha - use of the plantation where I now live for her lifetime as well as the rest of my estate for her lifetime or widowhood, but at her marriage she shall have an equal share with my children, namely Cortne, Caroline, Prissilla and my son Brittain.

Ex. wife
Wit. John (X) Griffin, Catharine (C) Carver"

Clayton Heathcock Jr. examined an original copy of the will on 26 January 2011 and verified that the will does list four children, Cortne, Caroline, Prissilla and Britain, as well as Jacob Saul Bell, son of Katherine Bell in Virginia.

Thomas Bell, wife Martha, and children Caroline, Priscilla, Britton and Catherine appears in the Edgecombe Co NC Vital Records, 1720-1880, a compilation of records originally derived from a book entitled “Early Families of Edgecombe County, North Carolina, Its Past and Present,” published by the Tarboro Society for Genealogy and Biography in 1881.451

Note by Clayton Heathcock, 16 December 2019: A memorial in Find A Grave475 gives detailed data for Thomas Brittain Bell and his wife, asserted to be Martha Latham. Unfortunately, no sources for the detailed data are provided and the submitter does not accept communications.476. Therefore, at this point the birth and death dates provided by this source for Thomas Bell and his asserted wife Martha Latham are considered speculative.
Notes for Martha (Spouse 1)
Martha’s family name is not known. In fact, all that is known of her is that she is named in the will of Thomas Bell.

Note by Clayton Heathcock, 16 December 2019: A memorial in Find A Grave475 gives detailed data for Thomas Brittain Bell and his wife, asserted to be Martha Latham. Unfortunately, no sources for the detailed data are provided and the submitter does not accept communications.476. Therefore, at this point the birth and death dates provided by this source for Thomas Bell and his asserted wife Martha Latham are considered speculative.
Last Modified 16 Dec 2019Created 19 Nov 2021 using Reunion for Macintosh
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