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    • #10712

      Alvin in Louisiana writes:

      I’m looking for information on a J. Regester & Sons bell I purchased. The bell is 10” in diameter at the skirt and the internal depth is 7”. It appears to be brass and weighs approx. seventeen pounds. As you will see in the pictures the only markings I’ve found are the manufacturer, “J. Regester & Sons Baltimore” and a number twenty on the opposite side of the crown, the serial number I presume. I may find more if I clean it but I’m not sure if I want to at this time. I would like to know a little history on it and information to help return it to original design. I believe the internal hardware has been replaced. The hanger seems to be a galvanized eye bolt. Any information you can find will be greatly appreciated. Thanks, Alvin

      If you can help, please post a response. If you need help posting, please contact me at Please be sure to reference this post as from “Alvin in Louisiana” if you are going to send information to me. Thanks


      This inquiry was originally sent to the ABA’s Internet Coordinator. Responses are opinions of individuals based on their personal research and knowledge.

    • #13360
      Neil Goeppinger

      Other names this firm operated under included J. Register’s Sons Co (a 32 1/2″ bell reads Baltimore Bell Foundry, J. Register’s
      Sons Co, Balt. MD, 1899), and later Register & Webb, also in Baltimore. These people were realted to the McShanes and this firm was likely the forerunner of the McShane Bell Foundry Company of Baltimore.

      J. Register and Sons was located at 53 North Holliday Street in 1881, and at Holliday & Saratoga in 1889 (that may be the same location). They operated under this name at least from 1881 to 1889. Sources of information for this firm are Zell’s U. S. Business Directories for 1881 and 1889. — Neil Goeppinger

    • #13361
      Neil Goeppinger

      I forgot to mention that I have an almost identically sized bell, except the lettering on top is not in block lettering on a raised area. It is in script. — Neil

    • #13362

      I am a direct desendent of the Regester bell family. I believe J Regester was my gr gr gr granfather. I know thwere are Regester bells in chrches and firehalls in baltimore and yourk (pa) counties. The maritime museum on Tillman Is. has numerous ship bells made by the Regester bell foundry. Some of the manned naviagtional lights along the Chesapeake also had Regester bells. I am trying to learn more about this company too. I am also interested in any leads where I may be able to buy any Regester Bells

      Thank you

      Bob Regester (half the world is still misspelling this name 150 years later!)

    • #13363

      I am also a descendent of J. Regester. I am interested in any information about the company.

      Carolyn Harding

    • #13364

      My father-in-Law bought a Regester & Webb Bell about 20-25 years ago at an estate sale. it is approximately a 10 in bell. I was looking to find out a time period for it I am figuring around the 1890’s or very early 1900’s would fit the bill but i am unaware of when Webb actually was brought into the company. Does anyone have any information on this time period? Also could someone help me come up with a value of this. It was on an orchard for the workers to come in for dinner. I also know of another one in my area that they still use during the fall.
      Thanks so much

    • #13365

      I am looking for information on the lineage of Joshua Regester’s (of J. Regester & Sons Bell Foundry) wife, Hester/Harriet Jones. I will be glad to share any research I have on the Jones family.

      John Buchanan

    • #13366

      The following document (From my McVey family history) has some minor info for posts #4,#5 & #7 above concerning the J. Regester & Sons foundry and Joshua’s wife Hester Jones.

      by Charles Arthur McVey (1928-2001)
      Jan 1998


      One of “those Freinds lately come into the Province of Maryland to dwell”, Robert Redchester, was visited by members of the Meeting House at the head Tradehavencreek, who reported that the new arrival (a webster) was “neer wanting provsions”.
      After this report to the monthly meeting on the 20th day of 12th month 1687, the Quakers took care of Redchester’s needs. This opening is taken from Mrs Evelyn Jackson Tubbs Metzler’s summary of the Eastern Shore Registers/Regesters. This is also on microfilm of the original minutes Tred Haven Monthly Meeting 1676-1746, Society of Freinds. This Quaker date is 20 Feb 1687.
      It appears Redchester’s wife died shortly before the trans-Atlantic trip or she died on the voyage to America. It is believed an older son, David remained near the Philadelphia area. This PA branch still calls themselves “Re-JESTERS”.
      Most Reg-i-ester information is from Kenneth Carroll’s book “Quaker Records of the Eastern Shore”. Mrs Metzler also cleared up the Register-Broadway/Bradway marriage about 1738
      In 1698 this same Robert Register marries Mary Booker, widow of Thomas.

      Children of Robert Register: He d early 1700’s.

      1 ) Robert Register Jr md Sarah Neale 1704 d @1740. She was d/o Francis and Ann Neale. They lived in Talbot Co MD.
      2 ) William Register md Sarah Booker 1700 d in DE 1729
      3 ) Ann Register md Thomas Runnels 1690 Talbot Co MD
      4 ) John Register md Sarah ? DE d 1734

      Children of Robert Regester Jr and Sarah Neale

      A ) John Regester b 5 1709 d 1758.
      1 ) md Anglican 14 Dec 1738 Sarah Broadway/Bradway. She d in 1740 after b of son Samuel in 1739.
      a ) Samuel md Ann (Kemp) Wilson widow of William Wilson. In 1778 Samuel was disowned by Quakers for supporting Rebel military. Samuel d 1791. Samuel Register was named for Samuel Broadway, father of John Register’s first wife.
      2 ) John Regester md Q 1742 Sarah Cowgill d/o John Cowgill and Lydia Clayton of Kent Co DE. Sarah Cowgill Regester d 1771.
      B ) Mary Regester b ? Q records list md and children – not birth
      C ) Francis Regester b ? Q records list md and children – not birth
      D ) Jeremiah Register line of Mrs Metzler in DE

      Children of John Regester and Sarah Cowgill (Cowgill is pronounced as Co-gill) the “w” is silent.

      1 ) John Register Jr b 23 9 1743 d 1802. John Jr and Esther Wilson Regester were Loyalists and John Jr has entries in Q records for being fined for not aiding rebel military forces. The family forfeited a number of cows in lieu of money. John Jr also refused to hire a Substitue to perform military duty for him as did his half brother Samuel. The Regesters as noted under The McVey Section were strongly anti-slavery people at this time and they were also very neutral in the Revolutionary War.
      A ) md Q Esther Wilson d/o William Wilson and Rachel ? Wilson. Esther b 7 Feb 1749. Two wks later her mother, Rachel Wilson d Esther Wilson Register d in 1794.
      B ) md in 1798 Jane Smith Offley, widow of Daniel. John Jr and Jane moved to Kent Co DE where John Register Jr
      2 ) Lydia b 10 5 1746
      3 ) Robert b 15 2 1749 d 1784
      4 ) Joshua b 12 10 1750
      5 ) David b 17 1 1752 d 1802
      6 ) Sarah b 27 1 1754

      Children of John Register Jr and Esther Wilson

      1 ) Rachel b 20 1 1767 md Joseph Nock She d 5 1 1826
      2 ) Sarah b 8 1 1769
      a ) md Wm Edmondson
      b ) md Daniel Wright
      3 ) John III 11 10 1775 NFI probably to NC where he had son William and grandsons Benjamin and Abraham
      4 ) Lydia 10 6 1772 md Wm Emerson d 16 7 1815
      5 ) Samuel 30 10 1777 md Jane Rogers (1804) to Baltimore 1814. He joined a Fells Pt meeting house. Owned considerable amount of property around present day Johns Hopkins Hospital.
      A Regester St is in the neighborhood. It is said when 3 nephews came to Baltimore about 1832, they at first stayed with him. More on them later.
      6 ) Wilson 21 9 1779 md Mary Gafford @1809. According to old MD records he had a tannery around Church Hill Kent Co MD. Wilson and Mary Gafford d in early 1820’s in a cholorea epidemic leaving 3 orphan sons.
      7 ) Robert b 16 11 1782 md Lydia Stout. Lived in DE.
      8 ) William b 3 5 1785 d 15 4 1792
      9 ) Joshua b 23 3 1789 md Ann Little. Lived Queen Anne’s Co MD. Seems as though the 3 orphaned sons of Wilson and Mary Regester lived with this uncle who treated the 3 boys harshly according to family stories.
      10) Joseph b 18 5 1791 d 21 2 1793.

      The writer has come across records of a Wilson Regester that had enlisted in the Union Army and was appointed a Lt shortly afterwards. He died at the Crater outside Petersburg about 1863. He no doubt was a grandson of Wilson Regester.

      Children of Wilson Register and Mary Gafford

      1 ) Joshua b 20 Sep 1816 d 31 Jul 1906 md 2 Jun 1840 Hester Jones b 10 Sep 1817 in Wales. She d 3 Jul 1900. d/o Daniel and Maragret ? Jones. Joshua joined Madison Square Methodist (South) in Baltimore.
      2 ) Samuel b 25 Apr 1818. Methodist convert in Baltimore in 1837. He became a lay preacher 1838 Methodist Church South. Samuel md Frances Gray in 1862 at Salem VA. Samuel was head of Univ of MD until 1873.
      He d 1881. Much information was uncovered on him at the Methodist Mueseum in Baltimore.
      3 ) Robert b @1820 Came to Baltimore with his 2 brothers about 1832-1835. It has been told in family stories Robert married Catholic and was connected with the boat building business in eastern Baltimore Co (White
      Marsh). His descendants have a bottling company and a florist business in the Baltimore area.

      Children of Joshua Regester and Hester Jones:

      1 ) Margaret Ann b 27 Mar 1841 d 14 Dec 1891 md a Morrison
      2 ) Samuel Wilson b 25 Mar 1842 d @1890
      3 ) Robert Asbury b 15 Jan 1851 md 24 Oct 1872 Virginia Carter d/o Joshua Carter and Elen Treadwell Carter d/o Stephen Teadwell and Elen Sherman Teadwell. Joshua Carter s/o William Carter and Rebecca Carter,
      all of Baltimore Co MD.
      4 ) Henry Slicer b 17 Oct 1852
      5 ) Mary Hester II b 23 Nov 1854 d 24 Jul 1856
      6 ) George Winter b 18 Jan 1657 d 12 Mar 1858

      Joshua Regester at this time owned in Baltimore the J Regester & Sons Bell Foundry which now was manufacturing bells for churches and other instituions throughout the USA and Canada. At the present time a Regester bell can be found at the Maritime Musuem in St Michael’s MD. It seems the Baltimore City Hall has a cast iron dome made by the Regester firm. Also at this time Joshua Regester dropped the “i” from the family name and replaced it with an “e”. His brother Robert followed suit but brother Samuel retained the Eastern Shore spelling of Register.

      children of Robert Asbury and Virginia Carter Regester

      1) Robert Lindsay Regester b 10 Sep 1873
      2) Harry Frank Regester b 27 Aug 1875 d Oct 1964 md 15 Oct 1901 Rosa Lee Thomas b 18 May 1880 d 2 Mar 1955 d/o James Sewell Thomas and Mary Hyde Sauner d Oct 1964. James Sewell Thomas was Baltimore
      City Register for Thirty-five years. He was grandson of Sterling Thomas and Elizabeth Pentz. Sterling Thomas fought at the Battle of North Point in the War of 1812.
      a )Robert Thomas Regester md 19 Oct 1925 Dorothy Emory Chargrin d/o Walter Emory Chargrin and Blanche Chandlee. Blanche Chandlee d/o John Brown Chandlee Rising Sun Cecil County and Mary Elizabeth
      Hodgkins of DE. Robert Thomas Regester was Columbus OH chief design engineer. He was an expert water and sanitary engineer. By 1939 he returned to Baltimore and established an excellent private
      consulting enginering firm. He is credited with solving drainage problems on the OH, IND and NJ turnpikes. In addition many water and drainage problems at WWII military bases were solved by his firm. His
      firm also solved water problems of Cumberland and Elkton MD and the engineering of Baltimores Bay Bridge. His firm was also instrumental in bringing about the resignation of VP Agnew.
      3) Joshua Wilson Regester b 29 Jun 1877 d @1900.

      Children of Robert Thomas Regester and Dorothy Emory Chargrin:

      1 ) Robert Thomas Regester Jr
      2 ) Anne Elizabeth Regester
      3 ) Dorothy Rosalee Regester md Charles Arthur McVey
      4 ) Richard Carter Regester

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