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Unknown; circumstantial evidence suggests that she may have died before III 3001 (see note 2 to the text)
Originally a Goodchild; married into the Gamgee family
Hobbiton in the Westfarthing (at least after her marriage)


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  • Updated 1 December 2015
  • This entry is complete

Bell Goodchild

The mother of Sam Gamgee

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The wife of Hamfast Gamgee and mother of Samwise of the Company of the Ring. We know almost nothing about her apart from her bare existence, though her husband Hamfast appears to have been a widower at the time his son Samwise departed from the Shire in III 3019. The lack of any direct mention of Bell at all, even at Bilbo's Farewell Party eighteen years earlier, suggests that she died rather young for a Hobbit2.



The name 'Bell' appears to be an abbreviation, but if so Bell's full name remains a mystery. Given the Hobbits' common practice of giving flower names to their girls, it is perhaps short for 'Bluebell' or something similar. She may even have been named for Bilbo's mother Belladonna, who would have died at about the time that Bell was born.


The evidence here is rather circumstantial. We're told that Hamfast and Samwise lived together in Bagshot Row at the time of the Party ('Both father and son ... lived on the Hill itself, in Number 3 Bagshot Row' - The Fellowship of the Ring I 1). The wording here seems to imply that they were the only occupants of Number 3, but certainly does not state that as a categorical fact. In any event, we can be sure that Bell lived at least until the year III 2983 (1383 by the Shire-reckoning) when her youngest daughter Marigold was born.

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