Leonard Myers, grandfather of Bert Bell and great grandfather of Upton Bell, was born in Attleboro (now Langhorne), Bucks County, PA, on November 13, 1827. He went on to serve six terms in the House of Representatives from 1863 to 1875.
From the times of William the Conqueror, Uptons came from Normandy to Southern England. There are hints that some Upton were in Royal service as early as Edward III and VI, and Henry IV and VI. Uptons from Upton Castle and Trelaske manor House in Cornwall, Puslinch House and Lupton House in Devon and Stenbury Manor on the Isle of Wight had connections to royal Courts. In one account, Elizabeth Upton successfully pleaded with Elizabeth I to save the life of her Husband, Lord Edward Cromwell. Brother and sister Thomas and Anis Upton of Trelaske house, were agents of Lord Thomas Cromwell. There are direct relations to Capt. Thomas Boleyn of Dublin, (1630/40-1712) and his wife Jane Graves, their daughter Mary Boleyn and Col. Thomas Whitney, granddaughter Anna (Boleyn) Whitney and Rev. Ambrose Upton, Lady Anne (Boleyn) Newcomen + Sir Robert Newcomen 4th Baronet.
Irish Uptons were at Antrim, Dublin, Co. Tipperary at Olde Bailey Farm House, Ardaugh, Glenstar, Ashgrove, Bruree and Rossmore Houses, usually with other Boleyn descendant families: Fetherston, Ruxton, Shelton, Boylan, Bullen. As early as 1600's, Uptons traveled to Caribbean Islands, America, Brazil and later, the Pacific.
William Cleary Upton was Upton Bell's great grandfather on his mother's side. Born in 1845, William was a local leader during the rising of 1867 and was briefly arrested before escaping to America. He returned to Ireland a few years later, where he married Mary Barrett in 1871 and built a house in Ardagh village. In Ireland he remained a rural labour activist, helping found the Ardagh Labour League and Munster Labour League. He was part of a delegation to London to lobby the Chief Secretary of Ireland. He later wrote the social agitation book 'Uncle Pat's Cabin'. He emigrated to America in the 1880s (though his census record says 1870) where he lived until his death in 1925.