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Shadrach Bell of Portsmouth, and later New Castle, NH (1600's)

Journal by YankeeRoots

There is some confusion that needs to be cleared up! Many researchers have incorrectly linked this family with the family of someone of the same name in Virginia. My many-times great grandfathers are named Shadrach Bell. The first of them was born sometime between 1640-1650 (probably), place undocumented, but by 1683 was living in Cape Elizabeth, Maine. The probable date of his death is 1722 or 1723. His son Shadrach, was born in July, 1685. Many more generations of Bells would name their sons Shadrach (also spelled Shadrech, Shadrack, Shadreck, etc...) The Bell family of New Castle/Portsmouth is fairly well documented, and to the best of my knowlege, there is no readily available documentary evidence to support they lived anywhere other coastal New England. Many researchers have posted this Shadrach in their online family trees (including on Ancestry.com), alongside their Virginia ancestors. If you are researching these 2 Bell families, use caution, because it appears there is a lot of blind supposition out there, which, of course, leads to inaccurate resarch. This is not to say that there is definitively no link between these two families, but I have put literally thousands of hours of research into my family tree and have found nothing to indicate the Bells of New Hampshire and the Bells of Virginia are directly linked. I am trying to keep an open mind, as there was sea trade between the two colonies, and the Bell family of New Hampshire had many mariners in its ranks. Also, it is possible that an earlier Bell emigrant may have been the originator of both families. Even so, until some definitive proof is presented, I believe it is a mistake to link the two.

Surnames: BELL
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by YankeeRoots Profile | Research | Contact | Subscribe | Block this user
on 2010-05-21 15:25:47

YankeeRoots has been a Family Tree Circles member since May 2010. is researching the following names: MORDANTT, LIBBY, MORDAUNT and 25 other(s).

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Comments

by Scott_J on 2010-05-21 15:29:42

Great reminder to always use caution and healthy skepticism when making any connection.

By the way, I think Shadrach is one of the coolest historical names that is all but extinct now.

by YankeeRoots on 2010-05-21 16:29:28

Yes, Scott, very cool,very Biblical, but also very confusing for researchers, as descendants of these Bells have been pulling their hair out for years trying to figure out which Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego is which, as all of those names were used generation after generation. That meant in the same small town where they lived, at any given time there could be 3 or 4 people of the exact same name! Aaahhrg...!

Anyway, thanks for the comment!
YR

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