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Posted April 15, 2013
Being an amateur to the field of genealogy, I purchased this book with a mote of trepidation. James and Frances Bell's prior book, Sir Robert Bell and His Early Virginia Colony Descendants, while highly informative and very detailed, was not a tome for the faint of heart. The sheer volume of information was almost overwhelming. Their latest creation, Bell Roots, is a much more digestible effort.
Anyone interested in Bell Genealogy will find this book fascinating. This effort takes the reader back to England and Scotland (among other places), where the Bell clan originated. Detailed maps of the region make it easy for the reader to reference the geography as information is gleaned from the pages, a much appreciated feature.
The authors also include chapters on Coats of Arms and Crests of the Bell family. Being a person prone to visual stimulus, I found this section of particular delight. Understanding the history of these symbols helped me piece together a mental image of my forebearers.
The section I most appreciated was called Merry Passages and Jests, a chapter that compiles actual correspondence of Bell forefathers. Both informative and witty, this section puts a human face onto the many, many, many people who made the Bell gene pool what it is today. It helped me to humanize the charts and numbers that can sometimes overwhelm the field of genealogy.
James and Frances Bell have once again completed meticulous research to complete another volume to add to your Bell history library. The t's have been crossed and the i's have been dotted on this book. I can wholeheartedly recommend this Bell resource to anyone interested in the Bell history