Bell - Armstrong Connections
  Foxton Connections    Bell-Armstrong Connections


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This ongoing research originated in my desire to know the connections that existed within and between the Bell and Armstrong families who migrated to Australia from the 1820's onwards, and lived mainly in the Geelong area of Victoria, but also in Tasmania and New South Wales.

The research of the Bell and Armstrong families in Australia reveals a close interrelationship that existed not only where they settled in their new country, but also an interweaving of several clans in Scotland. The close relationships that developed through historic connections, geographical proximity and intermarriages should not have been so surprising.  

It was the Scottish immigrants who generally commanded the commercial and pastoral activities in Victoria throughout the 1800's. This website seeks to demonstrate the family, religious and political connections that contributed to their success in Australia.

Surnames        Family surnames include Bell, Armstrong, Thomson, Beattie, Calvert, Howatson, Chirnside, Leslie, Rogerson, Russell, Horton, Irvine, Johnstone and Carlisle. Some recur through generations, both in Scotland and Australia. Some are coincidental and unrelated, but the frequency of the various connections between Bell, Armstrong, and Thomson (in Scotland and Australia) and Sutherland (in Australia) families is often striking.

First names    Family first names including Alexander, William, John, James, George, Lewis and Robert, Elizabeth, Mary, Jean, Anne, Margaretta, Letitia and Euphemia (Effie) are indicative of the times, but also lend to strong family connections.

History in Dumfriesshire    The families lived in the Annan area of Dumfriesshire, on the Solway Firth. Annan was a market town for the rich farming land of the area. It was also a port and shipbuilding area, and a major point for emigration.

The Bell Crest - Click for a larger image
The Armstrong Crest - Click for a larger image
The Stewarts The Sutherlands The Johnstones The Thom(p)sons
The Stewarts The Sutherlands The Johnstones The Thom(p)sons


Prepared by Stephanie Kihlstrom in Dec. 2002.  Last upgrade 4 April 2015


I am indebted to several families including the Black, Bell, and Horton families  for their assistance with this research. Thank you also to the Sandral and Morphett families for allowing me to visit their properties.  My thanks to Helen Reid for her invaluable assistance with the Carstairs family research, and to Chris Barr for her assistance with the John Calvert Bell family research. Margaret Anne Gilbert has provided much information on the Scottish Bells. Keith Calvert and Dorothy Moore have provided information on links between the Calvert and Bell families. Charlotte Oriel Maunsell has provided information about Captain John Bell's family.


Family members and other readers will undoubtedly know more on specific topics, and as this is an ongoing project, I would welcome any comments, corrections or additions.    Email me.