We are very grateful for all the information and material supplied by the present day families.

Other family pages will appear as we gather new information

If you have any memories, anecdotes or photos please let us know and we may be able to use them to update the site - contact details at the bottom of this page.

Jeremiah Bell was the nephew of Rebecca Bell who married intothe Ayton family.

Ayton & Bell marriages
Ayton & Bell marriages

I can provide some information on a John Barwick, born (or possibly Christened) at Oulton on Feb 12, 1881.
The information that I have indicates his parents were Thomas Barwick and Elizabeth Riseborough and that his full name was John Albert Barwick. This information is inconsistent with that on your website. However, I am confidant that he was from Itteringham as he left the area with my Grandfather, Jeremiah Bell in about 1905 and went to Canada. A Fred Fowle may have went with them but later returned to England.
I have seen a headstone for a Mr and Mrs Barwick in the Cemetery on the far side of the Itteringham Churchyard and I was informed that it marks the site of John's parents.
If the information is of interest to anyone please contact me and I can provide further details.

Bill Thompson, Calgary, Canada - 28th January 2009

Mary Ann Bell c.1920
Mary Ann Bell c.1920

There is a bit of sadness in the story since my Grandfather's father died about the time of his departure leaving his mother with 11 children. According to the information given me she remained in the Village until her death in 1933. A photo was found in my Grandfather's belongings and is believed to be of his Mother Mary Ann Brett. Another photo was given us and was taken about 1983. It is of a building and was said to contain the residences of the Bell , Barwick and Fowle families.

Bill Thompson, Calgary, Canada - 29th January 2009

Orchard Farm c.1983
Orchard Farm c.1983

A major source of my information was Molly Walker. Molly was the daughter of Philip Ayton and Gladys Bell. She married a Clergyman and he served in a parish for a period before they returned to the Norwich area. Unfortunately both passed away within the past few years. She was a cousin of George (Sheila) Bell.

I believe this is the same Molly Bell that to which reference is made in the website (Shops Section). It is not likely that she knew her grandfather since he died before she was born but nevertheless she knew the area well. In a letter from her in 1980 she wrote I was born and lived in Itteringham until I was eight years old and we saw more of her (grandmother Bell) than other of her grandchildren as they lived further afield and of course living only a few villages away fifty years ago and without motor transport was as good as living in a foreign port. My mother when a child stayed with an aunt in Itteringham and quite near where my father lived as a child. They all attended the Wesleyan_Reform_Chapel and my mother played with the girl members of the Bell family and so she knew them before marrying my father. . This leads me to conclude that it is the same Molly Bell.

With regard to your descendents of Jeremiah Bell, I can add a bit more information. In your second generation an eleventh child existed. Her name was Ruth and she was born after 1901 but presumably before 1904. She died at age 21. Two others, Sarah and Fred, did not reach adulthood. Of the rest Rebecca married and lived in Heydon for the rest of her life, James lived in Trimingham, Phillip eventually moved to a farm in the Yarmouth area and George worked on the Blickling Hall Estate. Children and grandchildren of these four no doubt exist and some probably reside in the general area surrounding Itteringham. I do not know much about the other three. My grandfather, as you know, came to Canada.

In your first generation, there were actually two Ayton-Bell marriages. In addition to the Thomas and Rebecca match up, Mary married James Ayton in 1868. I have attached a copy of records from the Itteringham Parish Register documenting the two marriages. I have also attached a copy of an Extract from the Norwich Union Methodist Quarterly Magazine. It provides a bit of insight into Thomas and Mary's activities.

Of the remaining first generation Bell children, Phoebe married a Frostick. Walter lived at Saxlington-Nethergate for at least a period of time where, according to White's Norfolk, he let out threshing machines. I know nothing of John. There also was a seventh child, Louisa, of which I also know nothing other than she is listed as a witness at the above two marriages.

I have attached three charts. The first is a Pedigree chart for my grandfather. The second is his Ancestor chart, and the third is a Descendancy chart for John Bell (1730). I cannot claim that any of these are accurate but they would provide a starting point for discussion for other investigators. Also there are several families such as Crask, Buck, Wayte, Ulph and others that seem to have a long history in the area and to which others might be able to add detail. Hopefully, at some point I can put all this information on a website but haven't reached that point yet.

I have had correspondence with Jonathan Neville and a William Vaughan-Lewis on the subject. Jonathan referred me to Garry Barwick concerning the Barwick family. Presumably you share a common interest and are in touch with one another. For that reason I am copying them on this message so that we are all on the same wavelength. Prior to visiting the website I was aware of an Ayton-Bell link but not a Barwick-Bell link. It is now clear that the families are intertwined.

For those interested in the history of John Albert Barwick he married a girl from southern Alberta after he reached Canada. They had one daughter before he joined the Canadian Expeditionary Force during WWI. It is unknown where he served but it is possible that he may have visited his birthplace if he served in Europe. After returning he took out a homestead in Central Alberta and they had two more daughters. John and his wife are of course now dead as are the three daughters.
Letter from Bill Thompson, Calgary, Canada to Ian Bedford - 2nd February 2009

If you have any memories, anecdotes or photos please let us know and we may be able to use them to update the site. By all means telephone 07836 675369 or

Copyright © Jonathan Neville 2009
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