Robert Bell (1736-1816)

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From the Draper MSC Collection, See Reference for Source details

Maj. Robt. Bell was born in Penn – at 12 years of age his father moved to Amherst County, Virginia. – subsequently to Caswell, & in '71 to Guilford County, North Carolina. When he, Maj. B., was about 34 years old. At the age of 28, he had married Miss Catherine Walker, by whom he had 3 sons & 3 daughters; married a second time in Guilford County in Dec. '74 to Miss Mary Boyd, by whom he had 10 sons & 3 daughters – 19 children in all, of whom 11 were living in 1841. When the Revolution broke out, he commanded a company and served throughout the war – went with his company on Gen. Rutherford's campaign in '76 against the Cherokees – there was no fighting, for the S.C. troops had met and defeated the Indians previous to Rutherford's joining them – however, the North Carolina troops burnt some Indian towns, destroyed corn – Maj. Bell fought at the battle of Eutaw Springs under Gen. Pickens – at the close of which, he was placed in command of the guard that conveyed the prisoners 22 miles to a place of security. They had marched 6 miles before engaging – making 28 miles march that day, beside the engagement. Gen. Greene in consideration of Bell's good services promoted him to a Majority in the regular service. Major Bell was in a private capacity at the siege of Ninety-Six; & was often out against the Tories. He was temporarily absent from the army after a supply of corn, or he would have taken part at Guilford battle.

In 1785 Majr. Bell emigrated to Sumner county in the Cumberland Country – since Tennessee. In the fall of '92 there were **rted at Maj. Bell's a dozen families, & when getting logs to stockade the place, 40 Indians were lurking about but did not attack the fort. Maj. Bell was much of a military man – was a professor of religion from a young man. In '98 or '99 removed from Sumner County to Mill Creek in Davidson: He died of the cold plague in January, 1816, in his 80th year, while at John Edmondson's, in the neighborhood of the Hermitage: was born in Dec. 1736. His son Nathaniel sickened with the cold plague, a terrible malignant disease, while at Edmondson's, & Maj. Bell & one of his daughters went to minister to him – he recovered , but the aged father & daughter were seized by the fearful malady & died – Edmondson also died, & there were 4 corpses in the house at the same time.

Nashville, TN


DOB: December 1736 Draper MSC Series S, v. 31: Notebook H; pp. 321-323
POB: PA Draper MSC Series S, v. 31: Notebook H; pp. 321-323
DOD: January 1816 Draper MSC Series S, v. 31: Notebook H; pp. 321-323
POD: at John Edmonson's, near the Hermitage (Davidson Co, TN?) Draper MSC Series S, v. 31: Notebook H; pp. 321-323
Spouse 1: Catherine Walker (c1739-c1772) probably Hetty Walker daughter of John Walker III and Ann Houston
DOM: 1764 based on Robert's age of 28 at marriage, per Draper MSC Series S, v. 31: Notebook H; Catherine had 3 sons and 3 daughters by Robert Bell per the Draper MSC interview with Roberts son Rev. Robert Bell. Assuming a birth interval of 2 years, and that Catherine died in 1772, we get an approximate DOM of 1762. Either estimate is consistent with Catherine being Hetty Walker daughter of John III of the Wigton Walker line, per White 1902.pp. 321-323. Overall, the 1764 DOM seems to be the best supported.
POM: Caswell Co, NC Then Orange Co., based on assumption that Catherine is "Hetty" per White 1902, and that her parents were on Moon Creek in modern Caswell Co, c1756-c1770).
Spouse 2: Mary Boyd Draper MSC Series S, v. 31: Notebook H; pp. 321-323
DOM: December 1774 Draper MSC Series S, v. 31: Notebook H; pp. 321-323
POM: Guilford Co, NC Draper MSC Series S, v. 31: Notebook H; pp. 321-323

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