Nova Scotia Runaway to Massachusetts
Looking for info on Charles Croucher BELL born abt July 28, 1868 in England. Believe he moved to Digby, Nova Scotia area when about three (3) years of age, and at about age 16 ran away to the USA, and ended up in Rockland, Massachusetts, dying there on April 20, 1954. He married Alice M. PRATT,(b: July 12, 1875) date unknown. Would like to find his birthplace and parents info.
Yours is the typical challenge, to discover "WHO ARE THE PARENTS?" As you've probably noticed, BELL is a fairly common surname, and the current FreeBMD (Birth, Marriage, Death in the UK) database at Ancestry returns over 11,000 entries for Charles Bell. At a time like this, we wish middle names played a more important role in that database.
TO ACCOMPLISH YOUR TASK, we go from the known to the unknown. At this point you've got to:
-- Obtain a copy of his death certificate.
-- Look for obituary in the local newspaper.
-- Study his complete probate file, and will if he had one.
-- Make a thorough search of the marriage entries in Rockland, Massachusetts. Hopefully the indication of birth place will be found there. If you are really lucky, it may list parents.
-- Check each US Federal Census for clues, including information about date of naturalization.
1930 US FEDERAL CENSUS: Charles C. Bell age 61 born in Canada speaking English and wife Alice age 54, born in Massachusetts. His age at first marriage 23, hers 16. [From this we can deduce that they were married circa 1892.] His parents are listed as born in Canada and hers are listed as born in Massachusetts. He is a laborer in a fireworks factory. He is listed as arriving in this country in 1884, and he is an alien as indicated by the "Al" in the "whether naturalized" column. It is indicated that he is not a veteran. Ancestry.com image source: Year: 1930; Census Place: Hanson, Plymouth, Massachusetts; Roll: 940; Page: 5B; Enumeration District: 624.
1920 US FEDERAL CENSUS: Charles C. Belle age 51 head of household alien arrived in 1884 born in Nova Scotia, parents born in Nova Scotia works as a hostler the fireworks industry; wife Alice M age 43 born in Massachusetts; son Alfred : age 18 born in Massachusetts working in the shoe industry; daughter Dorothy M age 10 born in Massachusetts. Ancestry.com image Source: Year: 1920; Census Place: Hanson, Plymouth, Massachusetts; Roll: T625_726; Page: 13A; Enumeration District: 110; Image: 783.
1900 US FEDERAL CENSUS: Charles C. Bell head of household, born July 1868 age 31 married 7 years born Nova Scotia, parents born Nova Scotia works, arrived in country 1888, number of years in the US 12, an alien working as a teamster unemployed 0 months during the past year. Renting a farm, #172 on the agricultural listing; wife Alice M age 24 born July 1875 in Massachusetts, parents born in Massachusetts, five births with 4 living children; son Charles R. born Dec 1892 age 7, born in Massachusetts, ; son William born Aug 1894 age 5 born in Massachusetts, daughter Cora M born Sept 1896 age 3 born in Massachusetts; daughter Alton F born Sept 1899, age 9/12 born in Massachusetts. Ancestry.com image source: Year: 1900; Census Place: Hanson, Plymouth, Massachusetts; Roll: T623 674; Page: 11A; Enumeration District: 1125.
-- Not found WWI Draft Registration database - Ancestry.com
ALSO CONSIDER LOOKING FOR RECORDS IN:
-- Digby, Nova Scotia. http://www.townofdigby.ns.ca/main.html
-- Canada GenWeb http://www.rootsweb.com/~canwgw/
TO EDUCATE YOURSELF ABOUT GENEALOGICAL RESEARCH IN
See the Family History Library research guides at:
http://www.familysearch.org/Eng/Search/RG/frameset_rhelps.asp - most specifically:
-- Massachusetts Research Outline
-- Canada Research Outline
-- Nova Scotia Research Outline
Hopefully you get the gist. Just gather everything together. There is much work to do, and
THIS is the year to do it!
Happy family tree climbing!
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