Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Entry in Charlotte's autograph book by Papa, on occasion of her brother Marshall's death, I think, Charlotte Bell of Rockbridge County, Virginia

Somewhat battered autograph book belonging to Charlotte, who I believe is Charlotte Bell of Rockbridge County, Virginia, featuring a poignant entry by her father upon the death of his son Marshall in March of 1891.

From researching the 1880 Census of Walkers Creek, Virginia, I discovered a Bell family with parents Joseph and Margaret and children Hugh M., Carrie, Charlotte, Sadie and Jannette Belle.  This autograph book contains a page that mentions Carrie, Charlotte and Janet; see below.

Also, Charlotte's brother is identified as Hugh M., which could be Hugh Marshall Bell.   I haven't been able to find anything to validate this speculation, but I did find that his grandfather was John Marshall Bell, which was a bit encouraging.

If the Charlotte who owned this autograph book was indeed Charlotte Bell of Walkers Creek, Virginia, this is what I found online, hopefully correct:

Charlotte Bell was born about 1872 in Virginia, the daughter of Joseph and Margaret Bell.  Her paternal grandparents were John Marshall Bell and his wife Charlotte (Crawford) Bell.  I haven't yet determined the parents of Charlotte Bell's mother Margaret.

I believe this Bell family was descended from the "Stone Church Bells".  Ruth (Bell) Graham, the late wife of Reverend Billy Graham also descends from this family.

In future posts, I'll describe the few autographs in the book.  Some of them feature added information, such as "married" or "dead".  A page signed by William T. Lipscomb, C&O, has this added entry: "Scratch him off, he is married now".

If you have corrections, additions or insights regarding the information presented above, please leave a comment in the comments box or contact me directly.

Thanks for stopping by!

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