Lieutenant Francis Bell

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Lieutenant Francis Bell, whose ancestry is unknown (or not traced here), was born say 1610.1 He died at Stamford, Connecticut, 8 January 1690.2,3,4

Francis married Rebecca (---), whose ancestry is unknown (or not traced here), say 1640.3,2,5

Lieutenant Francis Bell was one of the first settlers of Stamford (then called Ripowam), being awarded seven acres in the first distribution of land, in the spring of 1641, and where his son Jonathan was born in September.

He prominent early in the town's settlement, being chosen, along with Matthew Mitchell, "to lay out house-lots, order the manner of assigning them, and rectify whatever is amiss." On 27 October 1641, he and Andrew Ward were elected to represent the town at the General Court, their title being "Honorable members from Rippowam," and they were also entrusted the ordering of town affairs. Based on these responsiblities, it would seem he would have to be at least 30 years of age or thereabouts, not in keeping with the History of Stamford which states he came to Stamford "while still quite young."

In 1643 he was commissioned Lieutenant by the General Court and charged to form a military company in the town. The next year he was delegated "to journey to Boston, to find one Rev. John Bishop, and persuade him to minister unto the people so that they might not be scattered."

In 1653 he was again chosen a representative to the General Court, and again for seven more years.6

Lieutenant Francis Bell left a will dated 24 May 1689, [3m 24 1689] and proved 11 March 1689/90

I Francis Bell of Stamford, being now in competent state of bodily health & having the use of my understanding, having committed my soule to the Lord & my body (who is dead) to [---] Concerning my outward estate (by this my Last will & testament) I thus dispose of it

1 I bequeath to my son Jonathan Bell all that of my estate, that is not here otherwise disposed of as shall be expressed viz

2 I will & bequeath to my grandson Jonathan Bell Jun, the house his father now lives in & half my home lot, the side next to John Slawson. Also five acres of meadow in two parcels - viz Three acres in or by the way to Shiphan, next to the meadow of John Holly senr & two acres in Rocky Neck, with four acres of upland, lying at Shiphan on the west side of the thirteen acers [---] & seven acres of upland in the North [side] on the west side of the Mill river. Also my Negro servant (if his life continues) after the death of his father, & what I have given here to my said grandchild Jonth Bell he is to have the full enjoyment thereof after my decease, but if he decease before his father, I will to the father what I have given to the son.

3 Also I give to my Daughter Mary Hoit, fourteen pounds more to what I have given her already.

4 I give to my grandchild Hannah Bell (now Bets) twenty pounds who having received nine pouds thirteen shillings of it already, there remains ten pounds seven shilling to go unto here. Also I give her the least of the two iron pots as part of what remains

5 To Rebecca Bell my grandchild, whom I have brought up, I will and bequeath the sum of fifty pounds, & as part of this her portion from me, I will she should have (acc[ording torn] to apprizal the biggest of the two [---] iron pots, & what remains of the pewter about the house (her sister having had her share) Also I will to Rebecca the Car[pet - torn] belonging to the table in the middle roome & the table to, if she match in [--- torn] but the carpet however. Also the whitewood chest and all in it except my [---] linen, & all as [---]

6 Also I give to my Daughter Tuttles four sons viz Jonathan, Simon, William, &Nat[han torn] twenty shillings a piece

Lastly, I will & appoint my son Jonth Bell Executor of this my will, as to gathering in all debts due to me, so likewise to pay all just demands, where any that is owing by me. Also to pay & performe the several Legacies herein exprest. What I have give to my Daughter Mary, & my grandchild Hannah, is to be paid within three years after my decease & the other legacies upon my decease.

That this my Last will & Testament I have hereunto subscribed my name
---s---
Francis Bell

And do so declare to these whose Names are underwritten who [---] to be witnesses to the truth here of
Of such whose names are written at my request on the outside here of after after sealing up. This 3m 24 1689

Witness hereunto is
John Bishop

[Reverse side of the paper]
That the within written subscribed with mine own hand is my last will & Testament I declare to these my friends whos names are under written as witnesses of the same
---s---
Abraham Ambler
Georg Slawson

The inventory totaled £317 12s.7

Family

Rebecca (---) d. 7 May 1684
Children
  • Jonathan Bell3,2 b. Sep 1641, d. 11 Mar 1699
  • Rebecca Bell2,3 b. Aug 1643, d. 2 May 1676
  • Mary Bell+2,8 b. May 1646, d. aft. 1692

Citations

  1. [S1330] Estimated from assigned responsibilities shortly after arrival at Stamford (1641).
  2. [S388] John Valentine Hecker, "Genealogy of the Bell Family," The New York Genealogical and Biographical Record 28 (July 1897): 153-155, further cited as Hecker, "Bell Family."
  3. [S5] Donald Lines Jacobus, History and Genealogy of the Families of Old Fairfield, two vols. (New Haven, Connecticut: Tuttle, Morehouse & Taylor, 1930-1932), 59-60, further cited as Jacobus, Families of Old Fairfield.
  4. [S1184] Lucius B. Barbour and Lorraine Cook White (editor), The Barbour Collection of Connecticut Town Vital Records, 55 vols. (Baltimore, Maryland: Genealogical Publishing, 1994-2002), 42:14-18, further cited as Barbour and White, Barbour Collection.
  5. [S1872] Clarence Almon Torrey, New England Marriages Prior to 1700, 3 vols. (Boston, Massachusetts: New England Historic Genealogical Society, 2011), 126, further cited as Torrey, New England Marriages (2011).
  6. [S388] Hecker, "Bell Family," 153.
  7. [S1032] Connecticut, Probate Files Collection, Early to 1880, Family History Library, Salt Lake City, Utah, further cited as Connecticut Probate Files.
  8. [S5] Jacobus, Families of Old Fairfield, 59-60, 293-299.