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Robert Bell

Birthplace: County Tyrone, UK
Death: 1765 (55-64)
Romney, WV, United States
Immediate Family:

Son of Fry Bell and NN Bell
Husband of Agnes Fleming
Father of Margaret Bell; Margaret Fry Shawhan; Jean Reno; William Smith Bell; John Bell and 9 others
Brother of James Bell

Managed by: Gwyneth McNeil
Last Updated:
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Immediate Family

About Robert Bell

Children:Margaret Fry (1742-1795) James (1740-1836) John (1743-1833) Robert (1736-1826) David (ca1755-) Samuel (1742->1820) Charles (1748-) Joseph William (-1816) Jane "Jean" (1746-)


     Joseph BELL 
         1738 – 1830
     Samuel BELL 
         1742 – 1820
     Margaret Fry BELL 
         1742 – 1830
     John BELL 
         1743 – 1833
     Robert BELL 
          – 1826
     William BELL 
         1746 – 1816
     Jane "Jean" BELL 
         1746 – 
     Charles BELL 
         1748 – 
     James BELL 
         1750 – 1836
     David BELL

W. J. Winstein of Academy Street(city/state/date?) furnished the following interesting story of the early settlers in the Chartiers Valley. The paper was presented to Mr. Winstein by descendants of Robert Bell, Sr., and for a number of years was stored away in an old trunk, where it was recently found. The Bells were the first settlers in the Chartiers Valley, staking out a claim in what is now known as Rosslyn, in 1768. Many descendants of the original settlers are still living in this vicinity. The paper follows:

Robert Bell, Sr., of Tyrone, Ireland, and wife, of Edinburgh, Scotland, located four miles from Romney, Va., on the south branch of the Potomic river, in the seventeenth century. Mr. Bell had many narrow escapes from the Indians of that forest. In company with two other young men, named Vaughan and Scisson, one day Robert Bell was in search of strayed horses, when the party was surprised by an Indian ambushcade on a branch of __augherty Run, Va. Vaughan was killed, a savage threw his tomahawk at Bell and wounded him. Scisson turned on his horse and fled. After the fight Mr. Bell was able to get on his horse, but he only went a short distance when he fell off. Mr. Bell's horse arrived home before Scisson did and a party at once was formed to search for Bell. The party met Scisson at the Ohio river and he related what had happened to Mr. Bell. They supposed he was dead and returned to their homes. Within a week later they found Bell at Ft. Pitt, his wounds dressed by Dr. Knight, who figured conspicuously at the burning of Crawford. Mr. Bell served in the expedition of 1754, during the French and Indian War, and was among the number who accompanied General George Washington on his first trip on the Ka_awha. General Washington made a note in one of his diaries of those who accompanied him in his canoe.

"Mr. and Mrs. Bell had eight sons and two daughters. James Bell, Sr., the oldest, was born in 1751. When he was a small lad of ten years, his father went to Patterson Fort for a wagon load of wood. James and his brother went along, their father wanted them to gather wood while he was hauling some home. The two boys were busy gathering wood when the Indians attacked them. They caught James but his brother ran and the Indians shot at him and he fell under a log, the Indians thinking he was dead; he was not hurt, however, and later went home and told that James was captured. The Indians took James to Indiana and kept him there till he was returned by treaty. When his father went after him he took two horses that James might ride home. When they met, James got on the horse but had ridden only a short distance when he saw a woman and some children who were also set free. James dismounted, letting the woman ride.

"When he arrived home it was at night. His mother, hearing the wooden latch lift with a string, called: Is that you, James?' and his father answered, yes. It was a joyful meeting. James had many stories to relate of his capture. Among them, was that when the Indians took him the Ohio river they made a canoe and put him in it and they had nothing to eat save what they called cush meat.' He always claimed they crossed into Pennsylvania and came through Chartiers Valley, near Chartier's Creek. He told how they would have two lines of Indians and would make him run between the lines. And of an old Indian squaw who would be angry if they struck him, but he was a fast runner and did not get struck often. They pulled all his hair out of the top of his head and put rings in his ears. After he had been with them awhile the Indians got very friendly with him and when he left the old Indian squaw cried.

"In 1765 his father, Robert Bell, Sr., came from Virginia to Western Pennsylvania. On returning as he was nearing home in Virginia, after inspecting the land he intended to settle on in Pennsylvania, he was thrown from his horse and killed.

"In October, 1768, John and James Bell, Sr., came to Chartiers Valley, to what is now Carnegie. The first night was spent in Chartiers Township, now east Carnegie, and the second day they crossed Chartiers Creek, to what now is Rosslyn. The second night they slept under a sycamore tree near the Fording. When they awoke in the morning, James was alarmed at the noise of Indians ringing bells to see if there were any horses in the neighborhood. The Indians did not disturb the first settlers, and waded the creek at the rocks near the Fording and continued on with their noise. The two Bell men, after marking their respective claims, returned to their homes in Virginia. In the following spring, 1769, they brought their mother and their families. The mother remained with John Bell at East Carnegie, until she died. James Bell, Sr., had marked for his claim at Rosslyn, some 400 acres and 151 perches. He built his first log cabin near the present old Bell homestead, formerly owned by Mrs. Morrow, a granddaughter of James Bell, Sr. Mr. Bell, Sr., erected a family altar in his new cabin.

"The Indians were quite numerous. His wife, Mrs. Mary Bell, (nee Newkirk), would hang blankets around the wood fire place, then she would sit and mould the bullets, while James Bell, Sr., would shoot out of a small window, whenever the horses would come running from the spring near the oak tree. Many an Indian rested in its shade. They knew to look and get ready for the red man. James Bell, Sr., always carried his gun on his shoulder to church.

"In 1772, James Bell, Sr., built a stone house. In that house he used to relate his stories of his captivity by the Indians to his grandchildren. One day he and his youngest son, James Bell, Jr., was in Pittsburgh. They met some friendly Indians and some he knew. They presented James Bell, Sr., with a bead belt and a small trunk. The bead belt is in the possession of one of his son's descendants in Virginia. The small trunk is in the possession of one of James Bell, Sr.'s daughter's descendants and is well preserved. James Bell, Sr., died December 5th, 1836, and was buried in Chartiers cemetery. The first burial plot was where the present Lead Works is located on the little knoll in Rosslyn."

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Robert Bell's Timeline

County Tyrone, UK
Lancaster, Lancaster, Pennsylvania, United States
Belfast, County Antrim, UK
of, , , Tennessee, USA
July 12, 1746
Romney, Hampshire, West Virginia, United States
Age 60
Romney, WV, United States