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Thomas Bell

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Thomas Bell

Posted: 7 Mar 2013 3:18PM GMT
Classification: Query
I am looking for any information on Thomas (possibly William Thomas) Bell b. btw 1781-1790 in either South Carolina or Kentucky. At some point he settled in the area of Noah’s Fork of the Duck River which was located in what became Rutherford co. TN in 1803, Bedford co. in 1807, and then eventually Coffee Co. TN in 1836.

He is on the 1830 Bedford County census as head of household with 7 males and 7 females. I am trying to connect him to the individuals below and prove that they are all one family unit. I found him on the 1836 Coffee County tax list with no white polls so age matches up. He is listed on the 1840 Coffee County census with 3 males and 4 females. According to Goodspeed’s History of Tennessee, Coffee County Thomas Bell was one of the early settlers of Coffee County’s 3rd district which was originally part of Bedford County. He no longer appears on the 1850 census for Coffee County but there are a number of interesting names enumerated in his former place in District 3.

1. Family #349 William Nivens and Jane “Jennie” (Bell) Nivens b. 1816 in Tennessee. They married in 1834 and also appear in the 1840 Coffee County census. They owned property on Noah’s Fork near the Thomas Bell estate. The reference I came across stated that some of the land may have been inherited by William’s wife Jane who’s father’s name was Thomas and that William also purchased some of it that her brother John had inherited. There is a John Bell listed on the 1840 Coffee county census that would have been the right age to be one of Thomas Bell’s sons from the 1830 Bedford county census. Jane Bell Nivens also falls into the right age category. William and Jane eventually sold their property and moved their family to Green, Lawrence County, Missouri about 1853. They both died in Missouri but several of their children eventually settled in Alvord, Wise county, Texas.
2. Family #352 James Baker and Mercy (Bell) Baker b. 1813 in Tennessee. Mercy Bell Baker falls into the right age category to be one of Thomas Bell’s daughters from the 1830 Bedford Co. census. These are my ggg-grandparents. They were married in 1838 and were living in Dekalb county Alabama in 1840. By 1843 they are in Coffee County. They eventually moved to Green, Lawrence county, Missouri around 1853 then on to Alvord, Wise county, Texas.
3. Family #354 Thomas Bell (also William Thomas) b. 1825 Tennessee and Sarah (Crosslin) Bell. I have seen a lot of conflicting information about date of death for Thomas Bell and who his father was but according to an entry I found in the Coffee County, Tennessee County Court Loose Records he passed away in 1851.
4. Family #355 James L. Bell b. 1830 Tennessee and Elizabeth Bell b. 1788 Virginia. Both their ages fit to be the youngest child and widow of Thomas Bell from the 1830 Bedford Co. Census. By the 1860 Coffee Co. census there are no longer any Bells living in District 3 so I am unsure what happened to them.
5. Family #357 Josiah Bell b. 1818 Tennessee and Margaret (Hart) Bell. Josiah and Margaret were married in 1845. Josiah Bell falls into the correct age group to be one of the sons of Thomas Bell on the 1830 Bedford Co. census and possibly living with his brother John on the 1840 Coffee Co. census. Josiah and Margaret eventually moved their family to Green, Lawrence, Missouri around 1853 and then eventually on to Grayson Co. Texas. I also came across a reference to a Hart wagon train from the Bedford/Coffee county area that left for Greene co. Missouri in the fall of 1852 so perhaps this is how they all ended up in Missouri. Greene and Lawrence are neighboring counties in Missouri.

Many of the children of these individuals share names such as William, Thomas, James, John, Jane, and Elizabeth. Mercy Bell Baker named one of her sons David Joshiah as well as naming her youngest son William Lafayette. The Lafayette is shared with James Lafayette Bell, youngest son of the younger Thomas.

As of yet, I have been unable to find any information online regarding wills, deeds, probate records etc that would tie these people together.

Any information on any of these individuals or family lines would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks, Amber

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