James Bell, of Cathey's River
Facts and Events
James Bell was one of the Early Settlers of Augusta County, Virginia
Not to be confused with:
- James Bell "of South River" (est. 1712/15-1792)
- James Bell "of Middle River" (est. 1730-1795)
- James Bell "of Long Glade" (abt. 1733-1783)
Early Land Acquisition in Augusta County, VA
James Bell's land (Beverley Manor SE, 400 acres, 1740 (shown as 1747 on Hildebrand Map)) as shown on the map meticulously drawn by J.R. Hildebrand, cartographer. This map is copyrighted©, used by permission of John Hildebrand, son of J.R. Hildebrand, April, 2009. (Note: based upon records in Chalkley's (listed below), this tract was surveyed for James Bell, but he may have died prior to completing the patent, and the land was in the possession of Andrew Cowan in 1749).
Early Land Survey in Augusta County:
- Feby 4, 1744/5 - James Bell, 223 acres on a branch of Cathey's River. [Orange County Virginia Deed Book 10, Dorman, pg. 54].
- Feby 5, 1744/5 - James Bell, 300 acres on McClure's Run branch. [Orange County Virginia Deed Book 10, Dorman, pg. 54].
Acquisition of Land as listed in Chalkley's:
- Page 258.--Patent to James Bell, deceased, 1st December, 1740. (Note: the location of this land was not listed, it is likely the "other" 400-acre tract sold to either Thomas Armstrong or James Kirk, listed in the dispositions below)
- James Bell acquired a patent of 400 acres "on Buffalo Lick Branch of Cathey's River", on 1 December, 1740, as listed below in "dispositions". Since this transaction took place before 1745 (when deeds started to be recorded in Augusta County), the records of this acquisition are most likely in Orange County, VA (the predecessor county of Augusta).
Disposition of Land from Chalkley's:
- Page 263.--21st May, 1747. James Bell to Thomas Armstrong, £20 current money Virginia; 400 acres on a branch of Cathey's River called Jennings Branch. Teste: Andrew Cowen, James Bell, Jr.; Thos. Rutlidge Acknowledged, 21st May, 1747. Rachel releases dower.
- Page 196.-- 17th May, 1749. James Bell and Rachel to James Kirk, 400 acres Catheys River; Jennings Branch. Teste: Andrew Boyd, Alexander Crafford. Delivered Ro. Armstrong 5th March, 1753. (Note: this appears to be the same tract as above, unless James Bell had acquired another tract on Jenning's Branch).
- Page 267.--18th March, 1760. Wm. and James Bell and Sarah ( ), wife of James, to William Magill, £85, 400 acres on Buffalo Lick Branch of Cathey's River granted to James Bell, deceased, of Augusta, by patent, 1st December, 1740, and bequeathed to said Wm. and James. Teste: James Callison, Samuel Wallace. Delivered: Wm. McGill, 30th November, 1768. (Note: this land was sold by William and James Bell, the sons of this James Bell. James Bell had died 9 years earlier.)
- Page 214.--9th December, 1767. William Bell and Rachel to Rev. Charles Cummins, £120, 164 acres, part of 400 acres patented to James Bell, deceased, father of said William, on a branch of Middle River of Shanando near the North Mountain, Samuel Craig's corner. Teste: Samuel Craig, James Bell, Henry Cresswell, James Bell. Delivered: Cumings, December, 1768.
Possible Brother in Augusta County
James Bell is listed in the Muster List below with Thomas Bell, who MAY be a possible sibling to James. Additional research is necessary to prove any relationship. Since there do not appear to be any records of Thomas Bell acquiring land in Beverley Manor, but he is listed on the "Muster List" alongside James, it is probable that he was living on one of James Bell's patents in Beverley Manor.
Will of James Bell
- Will of James Bell of the Parish and County of Augusta. Sick and weak but of perfect memory.
- To wife Rachel Bell all household goods and implements belonging to the plantation work and my two working horses. She shall have the use of the plantation whereon I now live to support my children, until my son William Bell arrive at the age of 21 years, at which time I leave said plantation to him and his heirs.
- To my son James Bell, 400 acres on a spring branch of Jeninces [?] Branch, and one tract on a spring run a branch of Cathys River and near joyning to the plantation whereon I live.
- Whereas I have bargained and sold to my cousin Andrew Foster one tract on a spring branch of said Catheys River commonly known as McClures Run, it is my will that said Foster have the said land, he paying to my executors the just sum of ?43 being the sum conditioned for; but if said Foster does not insist for said land, I give it to my son James Bell, he paying thereout unto his sisters hereafter mentioned ye sum of ?20 so soon as he shall arrive at the age of 23 years. But if said Foster hold said land, I will that my said son James Bell have thereout the sum of ?23. All my stock of horse and cow to be sold to the best advantage, and one-fifth part thereof, with all my hogs and sheep, to my wife Rachel Bell.
- To my four daughters Margret Bell, Elizabeth Bell, Marey Ann Bell, and Jean Bell, the other four-fifths part of my stock, with all the just and solvent debts due to me, to be equally divided and paid to them as they come of age.
- To my nephews William Bell and James Bell, the land whereon they now dwell, commonly known as Smiths Spring.
- If either of my two sons die in their non-age, then one-third part of his estate shall go to his brother and the other two-thirds to be equally divided between his mother and his sisters.
- To my said son Will. Bell, one natural pawing [?] bay mare aged three years old next spring.
- To my said son Jas. Bell, one natural pawing [?] mare aged two years next spring.
- Executors: wife Rachel Bell and nephew James Bell.
- Executed 27 February 1747/8.
- [signed] James Bell.
- Witnesses: Alexander Craford, Robt. Renik [? - looks like "Renix" in the probate statement], Samuel Bell.
- Probated 28 May 1752, presented by both executors and proved by all witnesses. Securities with executors: John Archer, Thomas Armstrong; bond for ?500.
- Page 324.--27th February, 1748-9. James Bell's will--Wife, Rachel; son, William (infant); son, James, under 23, 400 acres on Jenning's Branch, and one plantation on a branch of Cathey's River near testator's home place, where he lives; cousin, Andrew Foster, testator has sold him a tract on a spring branch of Cathey's River, called McClure's Run; daughters, Margaret, Elizabeth, Mary Ann and Jean Bell; nephews, William and James Bell, tract on which they dwell known by name of Smith's Spring. Executors, wife Rachel and nephew James. Teste: Alexander Crawford, Robert Renick, Saml. Bell. Proved, 28th May, 1751, by all witnesses, and executors qualified, with sureties John Archer and Thos. Armstrong.
- Page 367.--27th August, 1751. James Bell's appraisement, by John Archer, Wm. McPheeters, Samuel Wallace.
- Page 385.--28th August, 1751. John Moore's bond as guardian of Margaret Bell, orphan of James Bell; appointed.
- Page 433.--18th June, 1752. James Bell's further appraisement. Due by James Kirk, Andrew Foster, James Callison, Thomas Armstrong, Daniel McNaire, Andrew Kinkade, Charles Clendennin.
- Page 102.--24th March, 1755. James Bell's estate, settlement by James Bell, Rachel Bell. To Wm. McAghan. To money ordered to be paid to James Bell, son of decedent, in lieu of the land willed to him by his father. Cash in hands of Andrew Kinkade.
- Vol. 1 - MAY 17, 1758. (146) James Bell, aged 17, orphan of James Bell, decd., chose John Moore his guardian. Robert Frazier's mark recorded. Mary Ann Bell, aged 14, orphan of James Bell, chose Rachel Bell guardian. (Note: the James Bell "aged 17" in this record appears to conflict with James Bell "under 23" (but still old enough to receive land in his father's will), more research may be necessary).
- Page 240.--17th May, 1758. John Moore's bond (with Joseph Kennedy, Andrew Steel) as guardian (chosen) to James Bell, orphan of James Bell.
- Page 241.--17th May, 1758. Rachel Bell's bond (with Jas. Sayers, Jno. Henderson) as guardian (chosen) to Mary Anne Bell, orphan of James Bell.
- Page 242.--17th May, 1758. Saml. Craig's bond (with Jno. Young, Alex. Blair) as guardian (appointed) to Jane Bell, orphan of James Bell.
Records of James Bell in Augusta County, VA
From Chalkley’s Augusta County Records:(unless otherwise listed) (likely this James Bell)
- Pages 155-58. 23-24 July 1740. William Beverley, Esqr., of Essex County to James Moody of Orange County. Lease and release; for ₤15.6. - current money. 510 acres... corner to James Bell... (signed) W. Beverley. Wit: Gibbons Jennings, John Pickens, John Lewis. 24 July 1740. Acknowledged by William Beverley, Gent. [Relinquishment of dower as above, Beverley to Page]. [Orange County Virginia Deed Book 4, Dorman, pg. 44]. (Note: this record indicates James Bell had possibly acquired the tract shown adjoining James Moody as early as July 1740, even though the Hildebrand Map shows a date of "1747").
- Vol. 2 - LIST OF MUSTERS IN AUGUSTA COUNTY, 1742: Capt. John Christian's List: John Christian, Captain; William Christian, Lieutenant; Fran Betty, Ensign; Jhn. Holms, Josep Read, Finley McClewr, George Camble, George Caldwell, Wm. Caldwell, Alex. Thompson, Jas. Caldwell, Isaac McCulough, Jas. Armstrong, Wm. Armstrong, Thos. Henderson, Wm. Henderson, Rob Conigham, Wm. Conigham, Thos. Black, Wm. Johnston, Joh Davison, And. Cowin, Jas. Moody, Jas. Willson, Niol. Leeper, Jno. Turk, Wm. Adams, David Mitchel, Rob. Ramsey, George Breakinsed, John Mitchel, Jas. Fulton, John Fulton, John Brownlee, Chas. Camble, Jas. Camble, Will Camble, Jno. Buchanan, Nathan McClewer, Jas. Robinson, Antho Black, Will Long, Thos. Bell, Jas. Bell, Jno. Black, Wm. Robinson, Thos. Shields, And. McCord, Thos. Beans, Arth. Hamilton, And. Scott, John Maxwell, Pat. Barney, Alex. Brackinsedg, Rob. Brackinsedg, James Brackinsedg, _____ McCoulough, Jas. Miler, Rob. McClenachan, Jno. Doacke, Sam Doacke, Patt Hayes, And. Boyd, Jas. Black, Alex. Fordice, David Steel, Moses Thompson, John Thompson, And. Russell, Rand McDonel, Hug Martine, Joh Robinson, Jas. Beans, Rob. Alexander, Ths. Lewis.
- Page 1.--Robert Willson, in Shanadore in Virginia, will dated 3d November, 1745. Wife, Jane; estate except such as is nominated of the hole head to son John. Son, John; daughter, Jannet Holmes, 20 shillings; daughter, Catrin Bell, 20 shillings; nephew (?), Robert Holmes; daughters, Elizabeth, Jane, Frances. Executors, Wm. Long and James Alexander. Teste: Jno. Patterson, Gabriel Holmes, James Bell. Proved, 11th February, 1745, by John Patterson. Proved, 16th April, 1745, by Gabriel Holmes.
- Vol. 1 - December 9, 1745. - Page (1) County Court formed--First Justices: James Patton, John Buchanan, Peter Scholl, Robert Campbell, Robert Poage, Thomas Lewis, Robert Cunningham, Richard Woods, Robert Craven, Adam Dickinson, John Anderson, John Lewis, George Robinson, James Bell, John Brown, John Pickens, Hugh Thomson, John Finla, John Christian, James Kerr, Andrew Pickens.
- Vol. 1 - JULY 16, 1746. - (68) New Court--Commission dated 13 June, 1746: James Patton, George Robinson, Robert Cunningham, James Montgomery, Wm. Jameson, Saml. Gay, John Lewis, Peter Scholl, John Wilson, Silas Hart, Richard Burton, Wm. Thompson, John Buchanan, James Bell, Thomas Lewis, Henry Downs, John Christian.
- Vol. 1 - August 20, 1746 - (73) John Brown to be overseer of same road from King's to C. H. with following tithables: Hugh Spears, John McKenney, Thomas Peary, John Bartley, Patrick Martin, James Phillips, James Bell, George Vance, James Montgomery, Thomas Kill Patrick, John Spears, Saml. Wallace, Wm. McClintock, John Davis.
- Vol. 1 - August 20, 1746 - (74) Cap. Daniel McAnaire to be overseer of above road with following tithables: Samuel Wallis, Alexr. Crawford, John Elliott, David Trimble, John Hogshead, Alexr. Gardner, Sampson Archer, Alexr. Gibson, Robt. Davis, Thomas Gardner, Walter Trimble, John Sixby, David Stuart, Ro. Renix, Francis Gardner, John Trimble, Thomas Beard, Ro. Gilkason, John Archer, James Bell, James Mills, James Dyer, Charles Clendening, Wm. Hogshead, Ro. Ralstone, John Moffet, Saml. Lusk, James Phillips, Danl. Brealey, Mathew Edmonston, James Trimble, John Ferguson, Wm. Anderson, John Spears, John McKenney, Wm. Brady, Ro. Armstrong, James Miller.
- Vol. 1 - FEBRUARY 20, 1746/7. - (167) John Rutledge and James Bell produced deeds from Thomas Galesby, but Henry Downs claimed that he was Galesby's security for £50, and Court refused to record deeds.
- Page 67.--19th November, 1747. Robert Brakenridge qualifies guardian of Lettice Brakenridge, orphan of Alex. Brakenridge, with surety James Bell. Lettice chose her guardian.
- Page 458.--27th February, 1749. Same to William Currey, 360 acres Beverley Manor. Corner tract first surveyed for James Bell, now in possession of Andrew Cowin. Corner William Nutt. Tract surveyed for Adam Thompson, now belonging to Robert McClenachan. Corner Samuel McCorkall's land. Corner to James Moody; Cowin's line. Teste: Arthur Hamilton, John Linn, George Anderson.
- Page 246.--21st April, 1749. William Beverley to James Patton and other justices, John Lewis, John Buchanan, George Robinson, Peter Scholl, James Bell, Robert Campbell, Robert Cunningham, John Wilson, Thomas Lewis, James Mountgomerv, Silas Hart. Henry Downs, William Jameson, Rich. Burton, John Christian, Samuel Gay, William Thompson. Courthouse. 25 acres.
- Page 214.--2d December, 1749. John Christian's bond as administrator of John Davison, with sureties James Bell, Robert McClenachan.
- Page 340.--23d May, 1751. John Francis and Mary, to John Hogshead, 217 acres on Anderson's Branch of Cathey's River; corner Wm. Anderson. Teste: James Bell, John Anderson, Jno. Rutledge. Delivered to Gordon Hogshead, 23d August, 1802.
- Page 444.--23d November, 1770. Reverend Charles Cummins and Mille, his wife, of Washington County, to Robert Cummins, of Augusta, part of 400 acres patented to James Bell, deceased, father to the said William Bell, of whom said Charles purchased on Middle River near the North Mountain.
- Page 192.----17th August, 1774. Charles Philips to John Crawford, on Buffelo Lick Branch, a branch of Cathey's River, part of tract patented to James Bell. deceased, 1st December, 1740, and devised to William and James Bell by will of James Bell. Delivered: Hugh Brown, August, 1779.
- Page 79.--25th April, 1777. Charles Phillips to Alexander Simpson Delivered to William Clendennin, October, 1779, on Buffalow Lick Branch of Cathey's River, part of tract conveyed to Charles by William Magill, 1st March, 1769, patented to James Bell, deceased, 1st December, 1740, conveyed by William and James Bell to Magill, 18th March, 1760. Teste: John Phillip.
Dispute with Benjamin Borden
- Judgements at Rules, 1751, Vol 1 Judgements, pg. 305. - Bell vs. Borden's executor.--James Bell (one entry for himself and one for John Mulholland, his servant) prior to 1738, and on February 21, 1738, Alex. Breckinridge, George, James, Robert and Adam Breckenridge, John Moore, Quantin Moore, George Henderson, Thomas Armstrong, John Bell, John Walters, William McCanless, Robert Poage, Seth Poage, Daniel McAnaire and John Grove entered each 100 acres with Benjamin Borden, but got no deed. Suit by James Bell to get deed. Benjamin Borden, Jr., charges in answer that James Bell caused a servant wench of his to be dressed in man's clothes and made an entry in her name as a man, and also caused another woman, the wife of William McKenless, to appear in her proper person on a different part of land as the wife of another settler and thereby obtained another entry.
- MAY, 1753. - Bell's executor vs. Benjamin Borden.--Copy of bond of Benjamin Borden to Alexander Breckinridge, George, James, Robert and Adam Breckinridge, John Moore, Quantin Moore, George Henderson, James Bell, Thomas Armstrong, John Mulholan, John Bell, John Walters, William McCanless, Robert Poage, Seth Poage, Daniel McAneer, John Gwinn. Condition, that if Benjamin Borden will give each 100 acres where they have already chosen and entered with John McDowell, and shall build and improve on said 100 acres by 1st April next. Witnessed by John McDowell. Dated 21st February, 1738-9.