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 David Clayton Bell, Sr

Photo added by Pete Gossecc

David Clayton Bell, Sr

  • Birth 30 Jan 1875 Bryan County, Georgia, USA
  • Death 2 Jul 1924 Savannah, Chatham County, Georgia, USA
  • Burial Fort Stewart, Bryan County, Georgia, USA
  • Plot Plot 7
  • Memorial ID 5129527

David Clayton Bell, Sr. was born January 30, 1875 in Bryan County, Georgia. The son of James Daniel Bell and Mary Caroline Hendrix Bell, David Clayton Bell, Sr. had seven siblings. Clayton married Edna Josephine Downs Bell on July 16, 1896 in Clyde, Bryan County, and they had eleven children: Marvin Barnard Bell, Birdie Mae Bell Roberts, Ruby Robena Bell McClelland, James Roy Bell, Robert Travis Bell, Lester Wiley Bell, Willie Oscar Bell, Lois Netherae Bell Peyton, Mary Caroline Irene Bell Smith, Edna Josephine Bell Deal, and David Clayton Bell, Jr. His World War I draft card, filled out in September of 1918, lists him as a farmer with grey eyes and black hair and of medium height. Clayton worked at a sawmill and later ran a general store and post office. He died of pernicious anemia July 2, 1924 in a hospital in Savannah, Chatham County, Georgia at age 49. His sons donated blood in an effort to save him through transfusions, but this was before full knowledge of blood types and before blood banks. Clayton is buried in Little Creek Cemetery in Bryan County. Family tradition says he asked to be buried only three, not six, feet down. There is a family mystery about what happened to photos of Clayton. I hope one of his descendants will add his photo to this site. Clayton's ancestry was English, Welsh, and--through the Bell surname--Native American (Lumbee).

An important point about American Indian (Native American) DNA ancestry should be made. Anthropologist Mary Helms created the term “colonial Indian tribes” in the 1960s to refer to societies which originated as recognizable entities only as a direct result of colonial policies. Colonial tribes are often a racially mixed people that over time became identified more with their Indian ancestry rather than their African or white ancestry. These groups are culturally Indian while ultimately having little, if any, Indian DNA. Colonial tribes include groups as diverse as the Miskito Indians of eastern Nicaragua (whom Helms studied); various Amazon tribes in Brazil; the Lumbee Indians of North Carolina; the Black Seminoles of Oklahoma, Mexico, and the Bahamas; and many others. The term colonial tribe attempts to get at the idea that someone can be culturally something (American Indian, for example) without being biologically something. So, it should not be surprising that someone with, for example, a Lumbee Indian ancestor would not necessarily test as having significant American Indian DNA.

Thanks so much to Nevada McClelland Bell and Bell and Downs family researchers for much of this information. Any errors, however, are mine alone. Please go to the "edit" link on this site with any corrections or additions.

Family Members


"Meet us in heaven where all is love."

  • Created by: Sharlotte Neely Donnelly
  • Added: 30 Dec 2000
  • Find A Grave Memorial 5129527
  • Sharlotte Neely Donnelly
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for David Clayton Bell, Sr (30 Jan 1875–2 Jul 1924), Find A Grave Memorial no. 5129527, citing Little Creek Cemetery, Fort Stewart, Bryan County, Georgia, USA ; Maintained by Sharlotte Neely Donnelly (contributor 19199118) .