I need help from someone with an analytical mind and research abilities to go over what I’ve written to see if my thoughts are coherent and possibly on the right track. Also to suggest other ways or methods to find the information I’m seeking.
For years I’ve searched for information on my ggg grandfather, Eleazer Bell, who died 07 Feb 1821 in MS. On the 1820 Amite Co. MS census, it indicates his birth state to be Virginia and that of his wife, Mary Causey to be SC.
The first record I found of him being in Effingham Co., GA is his marriage to Mary Causey on 27 Jan 1805. Her death record shows her to be 69 or 70 when she died on12 Oct 1857. From that I estimate she was born Oct 1787/88. That means she was 16 or 17 at time of her marriage to Eleazer Bell in Jan 1805. On the marriage record he is referred to as “esq” and “mariner”. To me that means “lawyer” and a person who “works on or sails ships”. Another source showed him to be a “Justice of the Quorum” in MS in 1817. (I’d assume that sort of confirms a law or legal background??)
The marriage of Eleazer Bell and Mary Causey is recorded in "The Anals of Georgia", p. 24; "Bell, Eleazer Esq., mariner, married Mary Causey 27 Jan 1805, Effingham Co., Georgia."
I have a list of the 5 children of Eleazer, the first one being Jesse Bell, b. 30 Dec 1801. Mary Causey would have only been 13 or 14 at that time, plus it is a full 3 years before her marriage to Eleazer in 1805.
This makes me believe Eleazer had been married previously and that his first wife died after birth of son Jesse, (30 Dec 1801), but before marriage to Mary Causey (Jan 1805). My speculation is that his first wife died after childbirth and he married Mary Causey to have a wife to help raise his son.)
Some place I found a ref which stated Eleazer was b. 1771.(Stupid me, I had just started genealogy and I didn’t record the source). If 1771 is his birth year, he would have been about 51 at time of his death in 1821. (Not unreasonable ?)
I then found records of his involvement in land transactions in 1796 in Effingham Co. (Question: Would he have had to be 21 years old?). There is also a Jesse Bell, JP, whose name appears on some of the land transactions. (I am thinking this Jesse Bell is either his father or an older brother). Eleazer also served as a JP in Dec 1804 in Effingham Co.
Eleazer and Jesse Bell have consecutive numbers (486/487) in the Georgia Land Lottery of 1805. I can’t tell if either had a winning number or not. (I don’t know how to determine that)
In 1785 the state of Georgia recognized two foreign nations within its borders, namely the Cherokee Nation and the Creek Nation. In order to pass from Georgia, into or through these nations, American citizens were required to obtain a passport. Prospective travelers applied to the Governor for these passports using recommendations from their neighbors to verify their character. Once the Governor approved the request, he had the passport drawn up.
In the book, "Passports Issued by Governors of Georgia" 1810-1820, on page 63, there is a reference as follows: "Page 97-- Monday 26th March 1810 -- ON APPLICATION That passports be prepared for the following persons to travel through the Creek Nation of Indians, to wit -- one for Mr. Eleazer Beall with his wife three children and six negroes -- one for Dr. Jesse Bell with his wife five children and five negroes -- one for Paul Toosing with a little boy and two negroes and one for John Mock with his wife two children, his sister-in-law and her two children, all from the county of Effingham in this state -- which were severally presented and signed". This same reference is found in "Passports of Southeastern Pioneers 1770-1823".
It is too coincidental that Jesse and Eleazer had all these things in common for them not to be related, but I have yet to determine how. They apparently left Georgia rather quickly as Eleazer is found later that same year on the 1810 census of Amite Co., MS.
I have been told that Jesse Bell may have settled in West Feliciana Parish, LA, but I have not been able to confirm that information. In one of the land transactions it gives Jesse’s wife’s name as Ann.
Since Jesse and Eleazer apparently lived adjacent to each other (according to one land transaction) in Effingham Co., GA, one might assume they wouldn’t settle too far apart. West Feliciana Parish, LA is on the northern part of LA, very close to the bottom of MS, and not too far from Amite Co. (Notice above Eleazer had 3 children and Dr. Jesse Bell had 5 children when they obtained “Passports” from the Gov.).
I haven’t a clue as to what part of VA Eleazer might have originated, nor any inkling of his parent’s names (unless the Dr. Jesse Bell and wife Ann were his parents). I’ve done helter skelter searches of various Virginia Records, Effingham Co., GA Records, according to what was available and what I could stumble upon online, but have had no success. (I’m not very good at researching online and really resent paid genealogy sources such as Ancestry.com).
I even considered the Scot naming tradition, (first son after paternal grandfather, which would fit if Dr. Jesse Bell is the father) and first daughter (Ann Eliza) after the maternal grandmother (I have no clue there).
I need some serious help! Will someone please analyze what information I have and correct my thoughts, if necessary, and offer me any suggestions as to what resources might be available to me to help locate this individual or his family?
My budget is limited, my abilities poor, my health bad, my age too much, BUT, I will be forever in your debt.
J. C. Bell - Slidell, LA - (former Texan)
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