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Twenty eight generations of

The Arden Family

and the historical context

by James Frederick Bell

The Arden family is one of only three families of England that can trace their ancestry back to before the Norman Conquest of 1066, so its story spans more than a thousand years of English history.

One branch of the Ardens emigrated to Australia, and during the Second World War, one of those, Jill Cooper Arden, then went to the Unites States of America, where she married an American, James Frederick Bell, known as Jim.

Jim Bell then investigated the family over the years and by 1968 had produced a draught book, that he circulated for comment.  When reading this, do remember that this was reseached before the days of the InterNet - in fact, before word processors, even !   Whem the work was in its "final draught" stage, Jim sent a copy to Gerald Armson, a cousin in England with whom he had corresponded.

My father, Gervas Clay had done a great deal of "Family History research" into his antecedents, and as his father's mother was an Arden, the Arden Tree was of great interest.  During his researches, he, too, had corresponded with Gerald Armson, his cousin also.

Gerald then kindly sent to Gervas and to Gervas's brother Ralph a copy each of Jim's draught, which Gervas then annotated with comments and corrections.  This copy passed to me.

As far as is known, Jim Bell did not actually publish this splendid work, and he has now died.

In the belief that it would be tragic for all his work to go to waste, and to honour his  memory, that book is now preserved on this WebSite, which was created on 9th March, 2018.  The book has been scanned, and will now be transcribed and placed here as searchable, copyable text, as it is done, chapter by chapter.  For progress / state of play, please click here.

Jim Bell's work appears in black type; where I have made additions or corrections of facts, these wiill appear in mauve.  Where ncessary, I have corrected spelling mistakes, etc., but these are not marked.

The book was scanned, and transcribed by OmniPage OCR software, so there ARE errors. Comments / corrections / additions would be very welcome - just click here.

The Banner across the top of this WebSite has the Arden crest on the right - this is a wild boar, on a "Cap of Maintenance"; for Jim Bell's erudite and interesting discussion, see here..

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