Author Topic: Robert Bell & Mary Hetherington  (Read 173 times)

Offline chrisrob200

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Robert Bell & Mary Hetherington
« on: Wednesday 15 May 19 10:45 BST (UK) »
Good Evening

I am researching the Hetherington of my family and found that Mary Hetherington b.1892 gave birth to twins Mollie Bell Hetherington & Muriel Bell Hetherington April 1920 in Gateshead, Durham. No father was recorded on the birth certificates and unfortunately Mary died in childbirth.

Mary was not married and apparently became pregnant whilst working as a live in Domestic Servant in Haydon Bridge, Northumberland. It is not known who she was working for.

Mary was last known to be in Gateshead, Durham in 1916 (she was also there in 1911) so presumably she was in Haydon Bridge between 1916 and late 1919. 1916 records show Mary was then a Domestic Nurse so I am unsure why she would then work as a Domestic Servant.

According to family lore the father of the twins is Robert Bell. Family lore also has it that Mary included the 2nd name of Bell with the intention of making a paternity suit which never happened.

Robert Bell was apparently from a well respected family who were well known in the local chapel.

There seems to be a number of Bell's in the Haydon Bridge area however I do not have a lead on Robert.

Any guidance will be very much appreciated.

Regards

Chris


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Offline chrisrob200

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Re: Robert Bell & Mary Hetherington
« Reply #1 on: Wednesday 15 May 19 11:10 BST (UK) »
Some information I forgot to add.

Mollie Bell Hetherington died in 2007 and shortly before her death she remarked that she had some letters to and from Haydon Bridge. As nobody would be interested in them she burnt them. The letters cannot be from her mother Mary as she had passed away so presumably they were from her father or a member of his family.

To add a bit more intrigue Mollie married Norman Bell in 1947 in Gateshead, Durham but this line of Bell's came from Staffordshire and there is no seen connection with Haydon Bridge.

Chris

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Offline Milliepede

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Re: Robert Bell & Mary Hetherington
« Reply #2 on: Wednesday 15 May 19 11:47 BST (UK) »
Just a thought but if Mary died giving birth who would have named them?
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Offline avm228

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Re: Robert Bell & Mary Hetherington
« Reply #3 on: Wednesday 15 May 19 12:01 BST (UK) »
They were born not in April I think but on 18 June 1920, according to later records?  But you say you have the birth certificates.

Did Mary die on the same day, or soon afterwards?  Who registered the births?  It looks as though they may have been brought up by a Jane Hetherington - perhaps Mary’s mother?
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Offline Ayashi

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Re: Robert Bell & Mary Hetherington
« Reply #4 on: Wednesday 15 May 19 13:20 BST (UK) »
This is one area where DNA may be useful- I have an illegitimate ancestor where speculation gave us candidates- from her middle name, my 3rd great grandmother apparently got pregnant by her sister-in-law's brother. DNA confirmed the link to that family several times over, although we may never know which brother did the deed.

If you believe you know which Robert BELL did it, or have other BELL candidates in that area, DNA may link you to that family and add weight to the family story. If it doesn't, it might be that no descendants have DNA tested yet so you might have to ask around to see if people have or not.

Offline aghadowey

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Re: Robert Bell & Mary Hetherington
« Reply #5 on: Wednesday 15 May 19 20:23 BST (UK) »
Quote
1916 records show Mary was then a Domestic Nurse so I am unsure why she would then work as a Domestic Servant.
She might have been a nursemaid or doing nursing in a household rather than being a trained nurse.
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Offline chrisrob200

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Re: Robert Bell & Mary Hetherington
« Reply #6 on: Thursday 16 May 19 01:20 BST (UK) »
Hi

Thank you all for your advices.

You are right the twins were born 18/6/1920, I had a seniors moment.

I do not know if Mary died in childbirth or shortly after and there is a death record for a Mary Hetherington in 1/4 Apr. May,Jun Gateshead 1920. I have today ordered the death cert. As to the naming of the children I can only assume it was by Mary's mother Jane Hetherington or perhaps Mary had made her naming intentions clear prior to birth. The births took place in Jane's house and yes they were brought up by Jane. The births were registered by Jane.

I have no lead of Robert Bell or any other Bell's in Haydon Bridge but the idea of DNA testing is a good one and may be useful in the future if more info can be found.

The advise of a Nursemaid is interesting. I have never heard of them and will look into it.

Thank you again.

Regards

Chris

Offline candrjm

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Re: Robert Bell & Mary Hetherington
« Reply #7 on: Thursday 16 May 19 10:59 BST (UK) »
There is this Robert Bell in 1911 census:

https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:XWMP-YRY