Suggestion: Add parents for Lt Francis Bell

+3 votes
252 views
I suggest adding John Bell and Alice Birket as father and mother of Lt Francis Bell.  Please review the Biography comments under Birth and Parents for additional information.
WikiTree profile: Francis Bell
in Genealogy Help by William Catambay G2G6 Mach 2 (22.2k points)
retagged by Dorothy Barry
Here's the ID for John Bell: Bell-21888
I have several problems with this.

Had Francis been born before the marriage of John & Alice: The baptism would probably say something that would let you know that, so not the son of Alice.

As for son of John in Yorkshire. One baptism record is just not enough to go on. We don't know Francis was from Yorkshire. There is no proof that Francis son of John ever came to New England. There needs to be more.

There are "oodles" of indexed Francis Bells born in England in the right time frame. How do you decide one over the other.
The baptism record only shows John, it does not show the mother.  That does not exclude Alice as the mother.
That's pretty typical of baptism records. But maybe John was married to someone else, had Francis, unknown wife died and he immediately married Alice. Or it's two Johns - one had Francis, one m. Alice. In my opinion Alice is out.

And... the proof that this is the correct Francis still doesn't exist.
With a Christening in 1611 and marriage in 1612, I think it far more likely that one of those years is off by 1, or even a marriage "after the fact", than your suggestion that he was married to someone else, and after their son was born, he divorced her and married Alice.   It is more reasonable that Alice is the mother than not.  Please use as much scrutiny on your own arguments as you do on others.

As far as their child being the Lt Francis Bell in question, I believe that it's likely, but certainly not proven.
FamilySearch is very misleading.  When they say York, England, they mean Yorkshire.

Yorkshire is 100 miles across and has a similar population to Scotland.

The baptism was in Thirsk, in the Vale of York.  The wedding was in Dent, which is now in Cumbria.  It's over the watershed and hardly accessible from the Yorkshire side.

Without specific evidence there's no likelihood that Francis's father was the same John Bell who married Alice Birket.

3 Answers

+3 votes
I don't see any reason to think that the New England immigrant who appeared in Stamford, Connecticut in 1640 was the same person who was baptized on 1 November 1611 in Thirsk, York, England.  It takes much more than a name-is-the-same argument to prove the English origins of a Great Migration colonist.  As Anne points out, there were many Bell families throughout England and you can’t just find the baptism of a Francis and assume it is the same person.

For that matter, there is no reason think that John, son of John Bell baptized 1 November 1611 in Thirsk was the son of John Bell and Alice Birket who were not married until 19 July 1612 in Dent, York, England.  The natural presumption and over whelming likelihood is that these are two different John Bells.
by Joe Cochoit G2G6 Pilot (224k points)
+4 votes

I am putting this as a separate answer as this is a separate issue to discuss.

What is the evidence for his supposed wife Rebecca Elizabeth (Ebbonne) Bell formerly Wyandanch?  This seems to be some weird internet fantasy.  The chances that an Indian “Princess” was the daughter of a chief from Long Island, New York, known for his dealings with Dutch in New Amsterdam, who married a staunch puritan in Stamford Connecticut are again near zero.  There would have to be good evidence of this and from what I can tell so far there isn’t any.

Her name was Rebecca Unknown.  They were married about 1640 (estimate based on first child being born in 1641).  Rebecca (Unknown) Bell died 17 May 1684 in Stamford, Connecticut.

by Joe Cochoit G2G6 Pilot (224k points)
Thanks Joe, I'd noticed that rather interesting wife, but had not gotten around to addressing her yet.
Yes, thank you, Joe; that is what I've been trying to figure out. It's quite an identification to make – complete with a few preceding generations of Montauks – with no substantiation, nor even a hint of where or how the notion originated. Meanwhile (notwithstanding it was published in 1899), according the the Commemorative Biographical Record of Fairfield County, Connecticut, Francis Bell and his wife, Rebecca, came from England to Massachusetts in 1630, and their son Jonathan was the "first white child" born in Stamford. I'd like to know where this idea that Rebecca was a Montauk woman came from.
+2 votes
What is the proof that Francis of Stamford, England, is the same person as the Francis of Stamford, Connecticut? Is he named in his parents' probate records? Is there a land document in England that links the two people named Francis? Is there a church record in CT that names his hometown or a church record that gives him a recommendation from his home parish? Did he have a will that named people outside of his immediate family? How did he come to Wethersfield? Who did he come with? What do you know about his earlier steps?

Similarity of dates isn't proof. There needs to be more. Far more.
by Bobbie Hall G2G6 Pilot (206k points)

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