Colonel Ninian Beall (Bell) - 1625-1717
The Beall family in the U.S.A. is almost entirely descended from Ninan
Beall and/or other members of his family whom he later convinced to
emigrate to the Colonies. It is said that his name was in fact spelled
"Bell" before this, until he was asked to change the spelling to the older
spelling, which is still pronounced "Bell" by those who remember.
Ninian was one over 5000 Highlanders captured by Cromwell in the Battle of
Dunbar in 1650. Only 1,400 of Cromwell's prisoners survied a forced march
into England and subsequent year-long imprisonment in Durham Cathedral,
and of these, about 150 were then shipped across the sea to Barbados to
work as slaves on the Dutch sugar plantations. I believe that it is these
men to whom "Scotland The Brave" refers in the second stanza: "Far off in
sunlit places, sad are the Scottish faces, longing to feel the kiss of
sweet Scottish rain. Where tropic skies are beaming, love sets the heart
a-dreaming, longing and dreaming for the homeland again."
Many of the Barbadosed Scots, including Ninian Beall, eventually made
their way to Maryland and other colonies. Colonel Beall was never allowed
to return to Scotland, but he obtained many honors through his service in
the Colonies and went on to build a new family, as well as to bring much
of his old family to Maryland to live with him.
Please see my web site for more stories about Ninian Beall, including a
wonderful document written by the Daughters of the American Revolution.