Catherine Barclay

Priscilla’s mother was Catherine Barclay (1727-1784). She was cheerful and a Friend in spirit. According to her son Jonathan she ‘endeavoured to cultivate religious principles in her numerous family’.

[Memoirs of Jonathan Bell] in Some family records of Daniel Bell of Tottenham and of Katherine Barclay his wife, and some of their descendants, collected and edited by Lady Chapman, n.d.

Published in: on June 6, 2009 at 5:46 am  Comments (13)  

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  1. Do you know if there are any copies of the Memoirs of Jonathan Bell outside New Zealand? I would VERY much like to see this.

    • The copy I examined is held in the Alexander Turnbull Library which is a Research Library in the National Library of NZ

      Although this is held in their published collections it is more like a manuscript. From memory a typescript – but not the original. The two items, the memoirs and the journal excerpts, have been bound together. The source of the title is unclear.

      I would imagine the memoirs and excerpts are held elsewhere but possibly in mss collections and not necessarily bound together.

      The Library of the Religious Society of Friends in London may be a possibility.

      The Oxford Dictionary of National Biography entry by Ann B. Shteir has as a source J. Bell, ‘Memoirs of the Bell Family’ 1851 in a private collection.

  2. Thank you for your response. I have been looking for this for some time as I have seen a reference to it several times. WorldCat lists the Turnbull Library as the only place (in their system) that has it. Can you recall if the “memoirs” contain much family genealogical information? There were several Jonathan Bells, and I have not been able to absolutely figure out who was who. There are some published trees that give Jonathan’s grandfather as Alexander. Others say the family originated in Ireland. And then there is the Jonathan Bell from Hundith Hill, near Cockermouth, Cumberland. The Jonathan Bell that I am interested in lived in Tottenham parish (London)and married Maria Vaux in 1794. His father was Daniel Bell who was connected with the Quakers. Jonathan died in 1855.

    The Library of the Religious Friends in London does not seem to have the ‘manuscript’. I fear that it could be categorized as a manuscript rather than a book, and that is why it doesn’t seem to show up in any catalogs that I have searched. An email friend recently spent the day at that library as he is researching the Hundith Hill Bells, and he could not find any memoirs written by Jonathan Bell.

    I am hoping to be more certain as to where the family line goes prior to Daniel. I am in California and getting to New Zealand is not possible right now.

    I am enjoying your blog and look forward to more. Are you connected to this family?

    Thanks again.

    • Jonathan’s memoirs are a combination of reminiscences and genealogical information. My interest in this material was from the perspective of Priscilla and her writings. However, I’m fairly sure he mentioned Maria Vaux being his wife and he spoke very kindly of her.

      I suggest you contact the Turnbull Library directly as they provide a research service and may be able to assist.

      • Daniel Bell who married Catherine Barclay (1727-84). Catherine’s 4th great grandmother was lst cousin to the parents of Lord Darnley, (Matthew Stuart and Lady Margaret Douglas). Darnley, of course, married Mary Queen of Scots..

  3. I have contacted the library, and I am waiting to hear from them. Thank you again for the continuing information.

  4. This is a message for Kathleen Mathews – Kathleen, are you by any chance related to Fanny Mathews, my great x3 grandmother. If so, I have a very nice miniature of Fanny and some other Bells that are unidentified. Fanny Mathews and Edward Bell’s son, Edward William Wilbraham Bell is my great x2 grandfather, and his daughter Dolores Nina Madeleine Bell is my great grandmother. Her daughter Nina Dorothea Brenda Reeve is my granmother, and her daughter Sheila June Gybbon-Monypenny my mother. Would love to hear your connection.

    Best wishes, Tim Ford

  5. This is a message for Tim Ford. My great x3 grandfather and grandmother were an Isaac and Elizabeth Ramsey, who I believe were the great grandparents of Dolores Nina Madeline Bell. My branch of the Ramsey family, George Frederick Ramsey with wife and child, came to South Australia in 1849. I understand that George Frederick Ramsey’s niece, Emma Aston Ramsey, married Edward William Wilbraham Bell and went to New Zealand in 1850, thence to Sydney, New South Wales around 1851. I know that Edward William Wilbraham Bell died in Sydney in 1854, and that Emma Bell and some of their children (including Dolores Nina Madeline Bell) returned to England around 1855. I would be interested to know more about them, and to know whether you know anything of the Ramsey ancestors.

    Kind regards, Margaret Emery

  6. The will of Jonathan Bell (1654-1721) of Hundith Hill, Embleton and Cockermouth Castle, is held at the Lancashire Records Office, Preston, UK.

  7. Jonathan Bell Memoirs – the original

    To all interested parties, I seem to have spent much of the past year requesting favors about the family tree and have benefited tremendously from peoples’ exceptional generosity. I was therefore extremely surprised when my Mother told me she thought she might have the original “memoirs!” I have the journal next to me now. It is beginning to fall apart, but I’ve located a good bindery that will repair it using the original boards. Before I do that, I am slowly scanning in the original. It was started from both sides with one being diary entries from July 1848 to May 1853 – a lot of material that I haven’t begun to examine yet. From the other end are the memoirs started in 1851. After the “memoirs” as given in the Turnbull library microfilm is written “and now for a more painful duty!” He then goes on to describe his sons, his wife’s (Maria Vaux) family and then continues for several more pages until the last entry in march 1855 (year of his death). All of these additional pages appear to discuss aspect of his family and relations, but will take some translating – which is going to take me considerable time.

    I will of course be happy to share any new information about the family that comes out of this research.

    Best wishes, Tim Ford

  8. This is quite extraordinary about the Bell family. i have just been asked by a french acquaintance, General Bertrand Paris, if i can find out more on the Bell family! He is a descendant of Mary Adele Bell, daughter of Edward M Bell and Fanny Matthews. What he would like, if possible is to find out the ancestors of Fanny Matthews and Edward. He knows that Edward’s father was Jonathan Bell, of Hornsey, and Maria Vaux. He has quite an extensive pedigree for Vaux

  9. Thank-you for such an interesting read, I have just entered Edward W.W .Bells details into the Australian Cemeteries Index database and wished to confirm his spouse. Thanks again for your information.
    Regards Wayne Hill

    • Hi Wayne,

      Edward W.W. Bell’s wife was Emma Aston Ramsey, b. 4 Feb 1828, d.~Oct 1903. married Edward on 21 Mar 1848 in St James Westminster. She was my Great x2 Grandmother.

      Regards, Tim Ford

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