Catherine Ferris Shelby (Bell) (1748 - 1802)

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Death: Died in New Madrid, New Madrid County, Missouri, United States
Managed by: Lila Buck Volner
Last Updated:
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Immediate Family

About Catherine Ferris Shelby (Bell)

David Shelby's second wife was Catherine Bell, the widow of James Farris. She died 07 May 1802 in New Madrid, Missouri.

(Report of the Appraisers, translated-CKS) "Following the above mentioned instructions, we went from the town of New Madrid to the dwelling where the widowed Mrs. Shelby died, distant from the town about a league and a half (4 3/4 miles) with the gentlemen appraisers, assisting witnesses and Mr Richard Jones Waters, creditor, and having arrived there we met Mr James Ferris, being in the same house, who told us that he was the son of the first marriage of the deceaseed widow Shelby, whose name had been Catherine Bell and was formerly the widow of Mr James Ferris by whom she had three living children, the first boy named John, aged in the neighborhood of thirty, and the second named Humphrey, aged twenty-seven, both in the United States of America, and the third, James Ferris, aged twenty-five and living here in New Madrid. Also, she was secondly the widow of Mr David Shelby, by whom she had three children, the first named Rees, aged about eighteen, the second called Elie, aged around fifteen, and the third, a daughter named Mary, aged ten, and besides these Shelby had by his first marriage with Elizabeth Bala two living children, who are James Shelby, aged twenty-nine and dwelling in the state of Pennsylvania in the United States of America, and Elizabeth Shelby, aged about twenty-four and now wife of James Burns, living in the Bois Brule district of New Bourbon of the province of Louisiana and having requested the said Mr James Ferris to show us the property of the estate of the deceased widow."

In 1795, David Shelby migrated to New Madrid District of Spanish, Louisianna (Now SE Missouri)

For more information, see Davis's profile. An excerpt from those documents states: "it would seem that by 1799 the lady had become blind or paralyzed."

Vol. IV, No. 764, -see David's will - Deed of sale by "Catherine bell Vve duft David Shelby---------16 Janyr 1799." Signed "Cathene Bel." - This signature is run diagonally down the page, the last letter being overlapped with scrawls, evidently an attempt to make the final letter of Bell. On subsequent documents Catherine usually makes only her mark. Since her earlier writing is vigourous and plain and she spells the name fully and correctly, it would seem that by 1799 the lady had become blind or paralyzed. It was and still is the Spanish custom for matrons to use their maiden names along with their married ones, hence our ability in this case to learn what Catherine's maiden name had been. -CKS

Vol. IV, No 810, A deed in French dated 16 Aug. 1799, and signed, "Catherine (x) Bell, widow Shelby.

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Catherine Ferris Shelby (Bell)'s Timeline

1748
1748
1773
February 3, 1773
Age 25
Fayette, Pennsylvania
1784
1784
Age 36
Greene, Greene County, Pennsylvania, USA
1787
1787
Age 39
Greene County, Pennsylvania
1792
1792
Age 44
Greene County, Pennsylvania
1802
May 7, 1802
Age 54
New Madrid, New Madrid County, Missouri, United States
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