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Searching for the New Zealand "Bell's"

Not all of Hugh Bell's offspring remained in Ayrshire at least two family members emigrated to Auckland, New Zealand.

Currently I am searching for the “missing” New Zealand Bells, some time after World War 1 William Mc Carroll Bell and his married sister Agnes Robertson Howatt left the Ayrshire mining village of Dreghorn for Auckland, New Zealand.

William certainly kept in touch with his older brother John (my grandfather) until John’s death in 1972, this correspondence continued until my Grandmother Madge’s death in 1981, when contact with this branch of the family was lost.

It’s most unlikely that either William or Agnes survive but their offspring surely do. I understand that William had a large family and when Agnes and her husband James Howatt left Scotland they already had one son.

This is the only picture which I have of this branch of this family, taken I would guess around 1955. The handwritten caption on the rear reads, "Jean (sister), Morell, Ann and Bill, at a picnic in Auckland. Taken about eight years ago".

Details of the photographers studio, also printed on the rear

"BATCHELOR'S CANDID STUDIO. 18 Wellesley St., Auckland N.Z."

I have found no "Howatt's" in New Zealand, though there are a few "Howett's"  around the Auckland area, Bell's on the other hand are prolific. If you have "surfed in" and recognise any part of this family please contact me:      


Grahame J Taylor, December 2002