The Descendants of John Jackson Bell and Mary Nimmon


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The Descendants of John Jackson Bell and Mary Nimmon (Milton, PEI)

In the early 1800's John Bell and his wife Mary (Nimmon) Bell came to the Island. Oral history from various family members indicate that they came from Ireland and 1881 census records list John , as being born in Ireland and states that his mother was also born in Ireland. At the time of this writing, it appears that the name Nimmon may have been the maiden name of Mary as the name Nimmon and in particular Mary Nimmon continues through the "Frizzle" family for several generations. There is a letter from Nellie Bell Goar (daughter of John Jackson Bell and Catharine Mackinnon) that states that "John Bell came from County Durn(sp.?), on the border (Scotland/Ireland), and was from pure Scotch descendant." Historically the majority of Bell's originated in Dumphrieshire, Scotland. Various researches indicate that Bell origin is Scottish and that a group of Scots settled in Ireland in early 1700's. There they raised their families and intermarried with other Scotts and the Irish. However, those that were raised there spoke with an Irish brogue. Family members who knew John Bell knew that his accent was Irish and that would explain the confusion, since there is oral history from some family members that John Bell and his wife were Scots.

John Bell and Mary (Nimmon) Bell had children:

a. John Bell m. Mary Tinney

b. Mary Nimmon Bell m. Thomas Frizzle

c. Margaret Bell m. William Hewet

d. Jane Bell m. John Donovan

e. Thomas Bell

Marriage records for John Bell and Mary Nimmon Bell, License book 6, pgs. 234/235 list John Bell, Bachelor, Mary Tinney, Spinster, with John Frizzle as bondsman, 4/ll/l864.

Reference re children: Will of John Bell dated 1864, PEI Registry of Wills.) Burial locations: John Bell and Mary Nimmon Bell - unknown.

John Bell and Mary Nimmon Bell purchased land in Lot 32 before 1863 (per l863 Lake atlas). It lies along the Malpique Road in the Milton/Brookfield District. They were neighbors of the Frizzle and Tinney families. Their son, John Jackson Bell (II) married Mary Tinney, and their daughter Mary Nimmon Bell, married Thomas Frizzle. (See Tinney and Frizzle). The land was left to John Bell spouse of Mary Tinney.

John Jackson Bell raised his family on the land and eventually, after his wife's death, sold a portion of the farm to Charles Proud. (Russell Proud son of Charles lives in that family home at this time). John Bell retained a small section of approximately one acre and continued to live in a small house next to the Malpique Road with two of his sons, William Fizzle Bell and Samuel Nelson Bell (Mary Bell, (John Bellís wife, died 2/12/1908). Those sons continued to care for their father until his death 8/4/1925. After his death, his sons, William and Samuel Nelson continued to reside in the smaller home.

The home was located between Springvale School and the MacKinnon (Bell) farm on Malpique Road and his grandchildren, the children of John Jackson Bell and Catharine Anne MacKinnon Bell, would stop buy to visit on their way home from school on a daily basis.

John Jackson Bell m. Mary Tinney and they had children:

a. John Jackson Bell m. Catharine Anne MacKinnon

b. Thomas Cameron Bell m. Amelia Terrill

c. William Frizzle Bell, never married

d. Samuel Nelson Bell, never married

e. Sarah Jane Bell m. Joseph MacDuff

Burial locations: John Bell and Mary Tinney Bell, buried Brookfield Church Cemetery, Section "A", plot #26. Also in same plot are William and Samuel, their sons. Thomas Bell and wife, Amelia are buried in Brookfield in plot #101.

John Jackson Bell m. Catharine Ann MacKinnon, and they had children:

a. Daniel Nelson Bell m. Edna Jenkins

b. Isabel Mildred Bell m. George Dockendorff

c. Sarah Lillian Bell m. Arthur Warn

d. Nellie Florence Bell m. William Goar

e. Bessie Evelyn Bell m. James Clarence Warn

f. John Clarence MacKinnon Bell m. Jean Burke

g. Anna Catharine Bell, died in infancy

h. Louis Jackson Bell, died in infancy

i. Mary Lois Bell m. William Gallop

Burial locations: John Jackson Bell and wife Catharine MacKinnon Bell, Brookfield Cemetery, Section "A", Plot #25. Also buried in #25, are Anna Catherine, and Louis Jackson. They lived on the farm originally owned by Donald MacKinnon and wife Catharine Ross MacKinnon. It was eventually left to John Jackson Bell and Catharine MacKinnon Bell. It is no longer in the family. (See MacDonald/MacKinnon history re this farm).

William Frizzle Bell was a railroad man and would travel by train from Milton to his assigned location and come home on the weekends. William never married, nor did it appear that he had a romance in his youth. It is believed that he had a severe curvature of the spine resulting in what, at the time was called a "hunchback". William died 12/27/1931 intestate and his Estate was claimed by Nelson, his brother, Thomas his other brother, and Sadie MacDuff, his married sister. (Administration dated 9/l9/l932, PEI Registry of Wills.) He is buried with his father and brother.

Samuel Nelson Bell, was a salesman for Horne Motors in Charlottetown as well as a music company right next door. He played the piano, organ and "fiddle". If he was selling cars and someone would want to buy an instrument, they would go next door and get him to come and demonstrate the instrument for a potential buyer. He was known in the area for his music and played at local country dances. Sometimes, his niece Mary Lois Bell, (at 5 yrs. old) would accompany him on the piano while he played the fiddle. He was one of the musicians who played at the wedding reception of Lucy Maude Montgomery, author of Anne of Green Gables. Nelson was one of the first people in the Milton area to have a car, however, he did not know how to drive it, nor could his brother Will, nor his father. They would have to wait until their nephew Daniel Nelson Bell, would drive the car for them. He would take the train from Milton to Charlottetown to get to work. He was known to be a "sharp-dresser" and even when assisting a neighbor in some "chore", he was the height of fashion. The neighbors always recognized him by his walk before they saw his face as he has a characteristic "strut" that was recognizable from afar. He never married, although it was rumored that he had one deep love of his life but it was discouraged by his mother and they did not marry. The lady married another and Nelson remained a bachelor until his death. Nelson continued to live in the family home until his death 7/l6/1949, when he fell down a flight of stairs while carrying an oil lamp. The floor around him caught on fire and, although the only area damaged was the area around him, he appeared to have died from smoke inhalation. Apparently the fire was extinguished before it spread through the home. He left his property by Will to his brother Thomas and sister, Sadie (Sarah MacDuff). (Will dated 6/21/1932. PEI Registry of Wills. Due to one of the predeceased heirs (Thomas) those shares passed to the descendants of John Jackson Bell and Catharine Ann MacKinnon Bell. (Sadie, Dan, Nellie, Bessie, Clarence, Mary Lois.) His executors were family members, George W. McLeod and Charles Carson.

The Bell Family of Milton, Prince Edward Island, Canada


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