Thomas Bell, Captain (c.1605 - 1684)

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About Thomas Bell, Captain

Biographical Summary:

Captain Thomas Bell, born about 1605, according to his testimony, April, 1681, that he was then aged about 75; he was first at Boston or Cambridge; accompanied Hooker to Hartford in 1636; served in the Pequot War, 1637. He became familiar with the Indian habits and language, and was therefore peculiarly useful to the early settlers. He was an original proprietor, and in 1640 his home lot was on the south side of the road from George Steele's to the South Meadow, his lot being bounded North by that road, East by Richard Lyman's land, outh by Stephen Post, West by Philip Davis, or Ward's lot. He was master of a vessel at Curacoa, 1647-8; juror, Hartford, 1648-9; Winthrop calls him "a godly and discreet man." He received, with others, grants of land from the General Court, at Nihantecutt, in 1650, and in March, 1651-2, the Court granted to him, and the rest of the five soldiers of Capt. Mason, 200 acres of upland, which lay northward, and adjoining to the remainder of the land before laid out to them. He was appointed Lieutenant, of a company raised in 1653, by order of the Commissioners of the United Colonies, to fight the Dutch. In May, 1662, he was appointed one of the Grand Jurors of the colony; chosen List and Rate Maker, 1668; Townsman, 1663. He was in command of the fort at Saybrook, when Sir Edmund Andros attempted to gain the place for his master, the Duke of York, in 1675. The bravery and wisdom which he displayed in his resistance to Andros greatly endeared Capt. Bell to the people of the colony as a gallant and intrepid officer, he and his wife, Susanna, were original members of the South Church, February 12, 1670. His wife died 1680, aged 70. He died 1684; will dated April 19; inventory October 24, £1,248. 11.

Children:

i. Thomas, born 1646, married (1) August 29, 1669, Esther, daughter of John Cowles, of Farmington; (2) Jan. 13, 1692, Mary, or Hannah, Lewis; deacon Farmington church; died 1708.

ii. Jonathan, baptized March 25, 1649; married March 19, 1684-5, Sarah, daughter of Rev. John Whiting, of Hartford; was a brave soldier in the French and Indian wars. Was also engaged in trade, owning a number of vessels. Captain of the troop of Hartford County, He and his wife were admitted to the South Church, February 3, 1694-5. He died August 17, 1702. Major Jonathan had a son, Dr. Jonathan, one of the first highly educated physicians in Hartford, and his son, Judge Jonathan, was a distinguished lawyer, and held many responsible offices; died 1783.

iii. David, baptized February 9, 1650-1; Settled at Saybrook; married December 27, 1677, Hannah, daughter of Robert Chapman, of Saybrook.

iv. Joseph, Hartford, married (1) April 11, 1671, Sarah Manning, of Cambridge; (2) Hannah, daughter of Michael Humphreys, of Windsor; died March 22, 1711-12. His widow married (2) Joseph Collier. His grandson, Caleb Bull, was the father of nine sons, who lived to mature age, and were all prominent citizens of Hartford. These sons were — Caleb, Samuel, William ("Beau Bill"), James, a prominent merchant here; Frederick, who also kept a tavern here; Hezekiah, removed to Ohio; George, a merchant; Michael a merchant, father of John W. Bull; Thomas,

v. Ruth, married October 15, 1669, Andrew Bordman, of Cambridge, vi. Susanna, married Thomas Bunce, Jr., of Hartford,

vii. Abigail, married Buck. David Bull, grandson of Deacon Thomas, of Farmington, was the landlord of the famous tavern "the Bunch of Grapes."

SOURCE: James Hammond Trumbull, editor, The memorial history of Hartford County, Connecticut, 1633-1884, Volume 1 (Boston, Massachusetts: Edward L. Osgood, 1886), pages 231-232. Retrieved: 3 May 2011 from Google Books

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Thomas Bell, Captain's Timeline

1605
1605
1684
1684
Age 79