Thursday, November 17, 2011

The Parentage of Presiding Elder, the Rev. Jacob S. Bell

Rev. Jacob S. Bell's death certificate had recorded his parents' names as Ander Bell* and Orlas Fisher*. The informant had been his second wife, Frances M. Bell. Unable to locate any records for an Ander Bell nor Orlas Fisher, I tried other avenues. . . .

In order to prove the parentage of Jacob S. Bell, I searched the 1880 Census for Jacob Bell. I located him (20) in the household of C. F. James (35), a farmer in Morehead, Carteret, NC. Also living in household was Frank Pigott (25), a servant. They were all single black men.

In 1870 I found him (10) in the household of Violet Bell (40). His siblings were George W. (17), Hubard (14), Charles (8), and James (4). I could find no record of marriage for Violet; however, when looking for information on Jacob's siblings, I located the Freedman's Bank Records for his brother, George Washington Bell.
Freedman's Bank Records, 1865-1871.
The record list George Washington's family as:
Father: Charles Bell
Mother: Violet Bell
Brothers and Sisters: Hubbard, Jacob and Charles
According to the record, George Washington Bell was born in Hull SwampCarteret County, NC, and was employed as a laborer for the railroad.

Since I could find no record of a household for Charles Bell in 1860, I believe that his family were enslaved at that time; so, I began looking for clues for white Bell families in Carteret County who owned slaves.

There were 190 Bells in Carteret County in 1860. . . so I decided to go directly to the 1860 U.S. Federal Census Slave Schedules. There were 178 slaves held by Bell families in Carteret County that year. Slaves were indexed first by descending ages. Five were recorded as one year old. The enumeration took place in June 1, 1860 and Jacob was born on April 2nd. He would be 2 months old.

Jaby W. Bell owned two slaves age one, but they were both females.
Josiah F. Bell owned one slave age one. . . also a female.
M. R. Bell also owned one female slave age one.

That leaves only one, a slave owned by W. B. Bell, a male age 1. The household was enumerated on the 26th day of June, 1860. He owned a total of 15 slaves. If Jacob's mother, Violet, were living in this household, she would be 30 years old. The female slaves in this household were ages 41 (2), 22 and 14.

Supposing that Jacob was not enumerated because he was less than one year old, I decided to look for his mother in another household as a female slave, age 30. Only three existed in the county, found in the following households: Rufus Bell, W. F. Bell, and Polly Bell Minn. Since I could not find the marriage bond for Charles Bell and Violet, and because death certificates were not issued prior to 1914, I am unable to locate a record for Charles based on age, since he is presumed dead before 1870.

In the 1870 Census the household of Jane Bell (w) was enumerated immediately following Violet's.
In the 1900 Census there were two white Bell households next to Jacob & Annie's:
William S. Bell, Sr. (71): Harriet (sister, 69), Charlotte (sister, 67), and
Thomas C. Bell (41): Lena (wife).
Perhaps an enumeration for these Bells existed in 1860. It turned out that W.S. Bell was a farm inspector in the household of Hannah Oglesby, and lived there with his wife Louisa and son Thomas, and owned real estate valued at $200 and personal property valued at $200.

In 1850, William Bell was found in his father's household along with his sisters, Harriet and Charlotte. Amariah Bell (34) lived with his wife, Ann (41), and their seven children: Nelson (23), William (21), Eliza (20), Harriette (17), Charlotte (15), Naomi (5), and Mary H. (0); and presumably his mother, Ann Bell (57).
However, Amariah Bell did NOT own slaves.

Perhaps I may never discover who the white masters of Charles and Violet Bell and their children were. . . .

1 comment:

  1. Perhaps you may not know, perhaps you may. You never know. Anyway, I know you will keep looking.