Originating in Scotland (Milkbank in Dumfriesshire, near Lockerbie in the Scottish Lowlands) two prominent families - the Irvings and the Bells married around 1742 (exact date unknown). In 1744 Mary Irving and Thomas Bell had a son, William; and the tree started growing it's branches. History shows that Mary Irving wanted to marry Thomas Bell - but there was a problem in that she had all the wealth, and of course more sheep! In those days the wife always gave up her maiden name upon marriage, but Mary wouldn't allow that, since she had all the sheep! A compromise was created with the hyphenated Family Name of Bell-Irving. Thus a new Scottish clan was created with all descendants related to each other.