Monday, May 23, 2016

Bell, James Colquhoun, arrives on the Ferdinande Dec 1872

Unexpected and useful nuggets of information arise while browsing local newspapers. Even a tiny snippet such as the one below fills a gap in the Bell family history.

Natal Mercury 12 Dec 1872

The Ferdinande – 'James Colquhoun, son of Mrs Bell, widow of the late Port Captain Bell arrived in the Ferdinande. He is, we believe, anxious to get employment here, so that he may be with his family.

Engraving of the Entrance to Port Natal, showing a ship
entering the channel, the Bluff at right with Signal Station,
and the Point, left.

James may not have been successful in getting employment in Natal. Whatever the case, he fetches up in England a couple of years later, marrying Sarah Clark at St Mary Stratford, Bow in September 1874. Sarah had been born in Blackfriars London ca 1851. By 1891 James and his large family were living in South Shields where he worked as a Marine Enameller (painting done on ships)..

Confusingly, there were three James Colquhoun Bells: (1) Capt. William Bell’s 5th child and 2nd son, born in the Cape in 1847, (2) James Colquhoun Bell jnr born 1880 in Aldgate to James C and his wife Sarah Bell and (3) James Colquhoun Bell b 1890, son of William Caithness Bell.

'The Six Gems':
six of James Colquhoun Bell's children

Gordon Brown, descendant of James Colquhoun Bell

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