Earliest Known Bell Ancestor: was buried at Newton le Willows, Northants. in 1758. A Book of Psalmody deposited at Northmptonshire Record Office gives his age at death as 81, hence the estimated birth date of 1677. A pedigree chart also deposited at the NRO shows that Amos married Mary Bright (or Brightman) at Weekley, Northants in 1705. However the Weekley BTs start at 1709 and the early PRs are in poor condition and we have not yet been able to locate an original record at Weekley. However a look-up in the Northants Marriages index found the marriage in 1705 at Warkton, the bride's name being given as Brightman.
Descent is via Amos Bell (b.1710 Cransley, Northants, m. Mary Hames 1739 Stoke Albany, Northants), Amos Bell (b. 1741, Geddington, Northants, m. Susannah Jones 1769, Newton le Willows, Northants), Alexander Bell (b. 1776 Newton le Willows, m. Ann Wignell 1805 in Great Oakley, Northants), Amos Bell (baptised 1809 Great Oakley, m. Eleanor Mary Burton 1849 Great Oakley), Amos Alexander Bell (b. 1857 Great Easton, m. Emma Stanger 1882 Seaton, Rutland), to my maternal grandmother, Minnie May Bell (b. 1883 Great Easton, d.1938 Gainsborough). See Bell Pedigree for more details.
General Information The Bells were substantial farmers at Newton le Willows for many years and a descendant has deposited a number of fascinating documents and an extensive family tree at the Northamptonshire Record Office. Their fortunes seem to have declined (for my branch at least!), shortly after leaving Northamptonshire. Amos Bell (1809) is described as Yeoman (1851), Farmer and grazier (1861), Landowner (1871). His will leaves a substantial amount of property to Amos Alexander, who died aged 32, still described as a gentleman, but his will make no mention of land or property.
Next Steps It seems unlikely that the Bell line can be taken back any further, but there is ample opportunity to find out more about the family in Newton le Willows. It should also be possible to find out more about the ancestry of Susannah Jones.