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Francis Bell (c. 1798 Saxony - 1866 Ausable, Clinton, N.Y.)
User Rank: Beginner
Joined: 8/9/2010
Posts: 11

Created By:Jennifer
Francis Bell is a brick wall for me and may always be.  He was in Clinton County, New York by 1826 when he had a letter in the Plattsburgh Post Office.  I believe he married Susan Pray about 1828.  He was a farmer and shoemaker.  The 1850 census says he was born in Holland, the 1860 says he was born in Saxony.  I think he might be from East Frisia which was part of Lower Saxony but became part of the Kingdom of Holland.  I don't know what his surname was at birth--it may have been a patronymic name, or Bell could be from Van Bell or German Bohle or a translation of Glock.  How can I learn more about his origins?
User Rank: Beginner
Joined: 8/2/2013
Posts: 2

Created By:Laura Nuenke
I would try immigration/emigration records and passenger lists. The name changes can be very tricky. Many times they were changed based on phonetics but sometimes the immigrant just chose an Anglican name. Dutch is surprising similar to English so I think a phonetic misspelling would be very likely but would not make that the rule. Of course, I do not know if what they spoke in Frisian lands was closer to Dutch or German or a little bit of both.

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