AfriGeneas Free Persons of Color Forum
Graham Bell family of Petersburg, VA
I am reconstructing some families for a history of the first generation of free people of color in Petersburg, one of which is that of Graham Bell. Bell and his wife Mary, whom he purchased in 1789 and freed in 1792, had nine children: Graham Bell, who figures in a petition to the General Assembly in 1805 filed by his father Graham Bell; Peyton Bell who married Sarah Vaughan in 1810; Kidder Bell who married first Betsy Bibby in 1813 and second Adele McCredie in Chesterfield in 1822; Beverly Bell; Archibald Bell, who married Elizabeth Bee Bowler of Richmond; Fanny M. Byrd Bell who married Thos Brewster of Richmond in 1812; Polly/Mary Bell who married Wm Bee Bowler of Richmond in 1813; Peg/Margaret Bell who married Miller Bee Bowler of Richmond in 1822; and Caroline Bell who apparently died unmarried on 1 June 1826. The three Bowler's from Richmond were all siblings, children of Richard Bowler, a white tavern owner, and Mary Bee, a free woman of color. Many of the Bell children move to Richmond/Manchester. Graham Bell Sr died 4 May 1817 in Petersburg, his wife Mary died 3 June 1826. I would appreciate any information about this generation of the Bells. Thank you.