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Below is a family biography included in Portrait and Biographical Record of Seneca and Schuyler Counties, New York published by Chapman Publishing Co., in 1895.  These biographies are valuable for genealogy research in discovering missing ancestors or filling in the details of a family tree. Family biographies often include far more information than can be found in a census record or obituary.  Details will vary with each biography but will often include the date and place of birth, parent names including mothers' maiden name, name of wife including maiden name, her parents' names, name of children (including spouses if married), former places of residence, occupation details, military service, church and social organization affiliations, and more.  There are often ancestry details included that cannot be found in any other type of genealogical record.

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ISAAC BELLES is one of the prominent farmers and stock-raisers in Seneca County, and is noted for the extensive knowledge he possesses in his line. His estate, which is located three and one-half miles from Waterloo, in the town of Fayette, is well cultivated in every particular. It is devoted mainly to raising stock, and a specialty is also made of feeding sheep for the city markets.

The family name was changed from Bellesfelt to Belles about 1760, just ten years after Barnet Bellesfelt, the great-grandfather of our subject, and his wife came to America from Holland. To them was born a son, John, August 20, 1755, who died January 28, 1829. He married Elizabeth Holcombe, whose birth occurred October 14, 1758, and to them were born ten children, Barnet, Charlotte, Mary, Eleanor, Samuel, Rebecca, Phebe, Uriel, Isaac and John. The eighth of this family, Uriel, was born October 22, 1829, and departed this life September 7, 1863. He married Miss Catherine Van Ormer, and to them was granted a family of four children.

Our subject is a native of New Jersey, having been born in Hunterdon County, December 24, 1824. His parents continued to reside in New Jersey until Isaac reached his tenth year, when they came with their household to this state, taking up their abode in the locality where our subject is now living. Here Uriel Belles purchased one hundred and forty-four acres of land, the greater portion of which was in its primitive wildness. As the years passed by his farm grew to be well cultivated, and the greater part of it is now owned by our subject.

The parental family included four children, of whom Isaac was the youngest but one. Amos H., the first-born, lived to be seventy-five years of age. He was a Methodist minister, and at the time of his decease was living in Newark, N. J., where he left a family. Catherine M., the widow of Frederick Schott, is living in South Waterloo. Uriel D., a resident of Waterloo, is married and has a family of two children.

Uriel Belles affiliated with the Democratic party, but was not an office-seeker. He was a prominent member of the Methodist Episcopal Church, and aided very materially in establishing the first church of this denomination in his community. For some time he served as Trustee, and was always a regular attendant at the church services.

The subject of this sketch grew to manhood on the old place, which he helped to clear, and in the mean time attended the winter term of the district school. Upon attaining his majority he began working the homestead on shares, meeting with success in this chosen line of work. November 13, 1847, he was married to Miss Harriet P. Ruggles, then a resident of the town of Fayette, but who was born in New York City, where she was educated. Her parents were Albert and Rachel (Tilt) Ruggles, natives of New York City.

To our subject and his estimable wife there were born five children, of whom the eldest son, Isaac Newton, departed this life when forty-two years of age. He was a graduate of the Waterloo Union School, and followed the vocation of a teacher through life. Emma I. is at home. Ella M., who was married to Charles E. Zartman, makes her home in Waterloo, and has one child, Mabel. Mary E. became the wife of Dr. Frank H. Moyer, and lives in Moscow, Livingston County, this state. Ida C. is at home.

Mr. Belles takes a great interest in public affairs, and his position in politics is with the Democratic party. He cast his first Presidential vote in 1848, when Van Buren was the successful candidate. He has been Assessor of his town for four years, and filled the office of Supervisor for several terms, being Chairman of the Board for one year. The Methodist Episcopal Church finds in him one of its most worthy members. He became identified with this denomination when a lad of sixteen years, and has ever since been one of its stanchest supporters. For many years he led the choir and has been both Trustee and Steward. He aided in the organization of the first Grange in his community, of which he was made Master.

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This family biography is one of the numerous biographies included in Portrait and Biographical Record of Seneca and Schuyler Counties, New York published in 1895. 

View additional Seneca County, New York family biographies here: Seneca County, New York Biographies

View a map of 1897 Seneca County, New York here: Seneca County, New York Map

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