BELL James

Male 1824 - 1881  (56 years)


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  • Name BELL James 
    Born 7 Nov 1824 
    Christened 7 Nov 1824  East Farleigh, Kent, England Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Gender Male 
    Died 27 Mar 1881  Armidale, NSW, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location  [1
    Buried 29 Mar 1881  Armidale, NSW, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location  [2
    Person ID I498  The Tree of Him
    Last Modified 7 Apr 2014 

    Father Living 
    Family ID F3911  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family DAWSON Rachel,   b. 1 Apr 1835,   d. 7 Aug 1907, Hillgrove, NSW, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 72 years) 
    Married 1 Mar 1852  Saint Peter's C Of E, Armidale Find all individuals with events at this location  [3
    Children 
     1. BELL Female,   b. 1853, Dunwell, Hunter River, NSW, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 1853, Dunwell, Hunter River, NSW, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 0 years)
     2. BELL James Thomas,   b. 7 Mar 1854, Sparkes Creek, Scone Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 5 Feb 1941, Armidale, NSW, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 86 years)
     3. BELL Mercy Beatrice,   b. 9 Feb 1856, Sparke’s Creek, Scone Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 22 Mar 1937, Guyra, NSW, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 81 years)
     4. BELL Reuben,   b. 25 Jan 1858, Scone, NSW, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 23 Apr 1933, Armidale, NSW, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 75 years)
     5. BELL Rachel,   b. 21 May 1860, Blaydon, Saumarez Ponds, NSW, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 21 Apr 1866, Saumarez Ponds, NSW, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 5 years)
     6. BELL Robin,   b. 30 Jun 1862, Blaydon, Saumarez Ponds, NSW, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 23 Sep 1919, Armidale, NSW, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 57 years)
     7. BELL George,   b. 30 Aug 1864, Blaydon, Saumarez Ponds, NSW, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 16 Mar 1931  (Age 66 years)
     8. BELL Jane Frances,   b. 11 Apr 1867, Blaydon, Saumarez Ponds, NSW, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 1 May 1940  (Age 73 years)
     9. BELL Elizabeth (Bessie) Rachel,   b. 19 Jul 1869, Blaydon, Saumarez Ponds, NSW, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 26 Aug 1951, Armidale, NSW, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 82 years)
     10. BELL Ruth,   b. 16 Aug 1871, Blaydon, Saumarez Ponds, NSW, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 1955, Rockdale, NSW, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 83 years)
     11. BELL Jethro,   b. 28 May 1874, Blaydon, Saumarez Ponds, NSW, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 29 Mar 1944, Guyra, NSW, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 69 years)
     12. BELL Rachel,   b. 1877,   d. 1879, Armidale, NSW, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 2 years)
    Last Modified 7 Apr 2014 
    Family ID F329  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Event Map
    Link to Google MapsChristened - 7 Nov 1824 - East Farleigh, Kent, England Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsDied - 27 Mar 1881 - Armidale, NSW, Australia Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsBuried - 29 Mar 1881 - Armidale, NSW, Australia Link to Google Earth
     = Link to Google Earth 
    Pin Legend  : Address       : Location       : City/Town       : County/Shire       : State/Province       : Country       : Not Set

  • Notes 
    • James Bell was a coachman for Judge Docker in the Upper Hunter, based at Scone and became coachman to Captain Dumaresq of Tilbuster, married Rachel Dawson of Muswellbrook in St Peter's Armidale on the 1st March, 1852.
      First three children were born at Scone. On the 26th June, 1859 James bought 79 acres of land at Saumzrez Ponds and later 320 acres which he named 'Blaydon' where 7 children were born.
      James has a headstone.

      James Bell was baptised 7 November 1824, the ninth child of Robin and mercy Bell (formerly Cheeseman nee Cox), at the parish church at East Farleigh, Kent, England. In 1838 when 14 years of age he emigrated to Australia with his parents and other members of the family aboard the Woodbridge. the family settled on the Hunter River where they were emplyed by John Dow of Arden Hall. Later the family mmoved to Thornthwaite and Dunwell.
      European settlement in the New England distric of NSW began in 1832 when H C Sempell, brother-in-law to Joh Dow, occupied his run at Walcha. Sempell had managed McQueen’s property in the Hunter Valley and many of the early settlers in the New England District already had land in the Hunter Valley or had gained ‘colonial experience’ there.
      Sheep were more profitable than cattle in the New England and so shepherds were needed to care for the flocks. Hunte Valley dquatters took many of their assigned convicts and bounty emigrant workers to the New England area.
      Saumarez Station was taken up in 1834 by Henry Dumaresq and was originally nearly 100 000 acres stretching from the Rocky Ribver in the south to Dumaresq Creek in the north. John Dumaresq had Tilbuster Station to the north and Peter McIntyre took up Guyra in 1836.
      In 1839 Land Commissioner MacDonald arrived on the New England and set up his residence at what is now Armidale.
      James Bell is believed to have been working as a stockman as a young man at Dunwell and it is very likely he met the Dawson family of Middlebrook soon after their arrival in Australia.
      Thomas Dawson had married Elizabeth (Betsy) hare at Old Warden, Bedfordshire, England in 1820. They had a large family; Ellis Hare 1822, Benjamin Thomas 1823, Thomas 1925, Joseph 1827, Rebecca 1832, Ruth 1834, Rachel 1835, Robert hare 1837, Ralph Ingram 1839 and Reuben 1841. thomas and Betsy Dawson and their family except Joseph, emigrated to Australia on board the Equestrian arriving Sydney 16 July 1848. Joseph and family arrived on board the Araminta on 29 Jul 1854. (Thomas Dawson also brought out hsi nephew Frederick Hare and family on the Sultana in 1856). the Dawson family settled on Middlebrook on the Hunter River where Rachel Dawson met James Bell. The Dawson family moved to the New England in the early 1850’s wher ethye worked as shepherds at Booralong and Kangaroo Hills stations.
      It is believed James Bell may have also moved to the New England working for the MacIntyre family of Waterloo and Guyra Stations He married Rachel Dawson by banns on 1 March 1852 at St Peter’s Armidale. They returned to Dunwell on the Hunter River soon after. The first child, a daughter was born in 1853 but died soon after birth. The second child, a son James Thomas was born at Dunwell on 8 March 1854. James and Rachel remained at Dunwell for a number of years where family traditions had it James was in charge of Joseph Docker’s horses.
      In 1857 Henry Arding Thomas purchased Saumarez Station from the Dumaresqs. He was well known and respected for his liberal views and fai mindedness towards small farmers. It was at Saumarez Ponds that one of the first land sales of small blocks of land were sold in 1859. James Bell purchased Allotment 98 of 72 acres at 1 pound an acre paying 7 pounds 4 shillings deposit on 29th June.
      The Bell family moved from Dunwell soon after and the second daughter was born at Saumarez Ponds on 21st May 1860. Sadly Rachel died of whooping cough on 21st April 1866 just before her sixth birthday and is buried in Armidale Cemetery. James and Rachel farmed at Saumarez Ponds for many years and most of their children were born there. In the late 1860’ James took up a conditional purchase of 320 acres a short distance away. This property was known as Blagdo and is believed to have been an out-station of Saumarez Station. This was worked in conjunction with the home property with the help of the sons. A pisa house was built there and the ruins can be seen even today with partical walls still standing.
      James Bell died on the 27 March 1881 and was buried in the Armidale Cemetery. A headstone stands above his grave. The properties were worked by sons George and Jethro for a while but were later sold. Rachel then moved to Hilgrove near Armidale where other members of the Dawson family had settled. In 1883 she married James Reuben Dunlop. He died after a few years and she then remarried James Ferris on 5 December 1892. Rachel died at Hillgrove on 7 August 1907 and the family buried her beside her fist husband James Bell in the Armidale Cemetery but no headstone was erected. [4]

  • Sources 
    1. [S6] NSW BDM’S, 1881 9839.

    2. [S9] St Peter’s Church of England Parish Registers, Armidale, No 168, Roll 4.

    3. [S9] St Peter’s Church of England Parish Registers, Armidale, No 96, .

    4. [S47] Nola Mackey, (McPhee Print, Grafton, 1990), p.119-120.