Bellefield Avenue

From Pittsburgh Streets
See also Blessing Street, which was originally part of Bellefield Avenue.
Bellefield Avenue
Neighborhood North Oakland
Origin of name Bellefield, the farm of Neville B. Craig

Bellefield was the farm of Neville B. Craig (1787–1863; see Neville Street), which was later divided into lots, forming this portion of North Oakland.[1][2][3][4][5] Craig married Jane Ann Fulton, and their first child was named Isabel Wilson Craig.[6][2] Many sources say that Craig named his farm Bellefield in honor of Isabel, though her name is variously spelled Isabelle, Isabella, or just Belle, and she is sometimes mistakenly identified as Craig's wife.[1][7][3][4]

But the name had already been given to the land before Craig purchased it. The Warrantee Atlas of Allegheny County, which shows the original land warrants and patents, includes a parcel of land named "Belle Field" in the location of today's North Oakland. It contained 154 acres, plus a six-percent allowance for roads, according to the survey made on June 20, 1769. It was patented to Catharine Thompson on January 2, 1788.[8][9] And, in fact, the name is even older than this. James D. Van Trump writes, "There was a tradition that Bellefield was named in honor of one of Craig's daughters, Isabella, but the name was used as early as August 4, 1762, by Major Edward Ward in a letter to Colonel Henry Bouquet, headed Bellefield."[8]


  1. 1.0 1.1 Margaret Carlin. "How our streets got their names." Pittsburgh Press, Feb. 6, 1966, Pittsburgh's Family Magazine, p. 10. 149098376. [view source]carlin
  2. 2.0 2.1 John W. Jordan, ed. Colonial and Revolutionary Families of Pennsylvania: Genealogical and personal memoirs, vol. 2, pp. 1165–1166. Lewis Publishing Co., New York and Chicago, 1911. Google Books pq8yAQAAMAAJ; HathiTrust 011529041; Internet Archive colonialrevoluti02jord, colonialrevolutiv2jord. [view source]jordan-colonial-2
  3. 3.0 3.1 Annie Clark Miller. Early Land Marks and Names of Old Pittsburgh: An address delivered before the Pittsburgh Chapter Daughters of the American Revolution at Carnegie Institute, Nov. 30, 1923, p. 52. Pittsburgh Chapter Daughters of the American Revolution, 1924. Historic Pittsburgh 00awn8211m; Internet Archive earlylandmarksna00mill. [view source]miller
  4. 4.0 4.1 Bob Regan. The Names of Pittsburgh: How the city, neighborhoods, streets, parks and more got their names, pp. 46, 64, 157. The Local History Company, Pittsburgh, 2009, ISBN 978-0-9770429-7-5. [view source]regan
  5. James D. Van Trump. Life and Architecture in Pittsburgh, 2nd ed., p. 100. Pittsburgh History & Landmarks Foundation, Pittsburgh, 1985, ISBN 0-916670-10-4. [view source]van-trump
  6. William Henry Egle. Pennsylvania Genealogies: Chiefly Scotch-Irish and German, pp. 552–553. Harrisburg Publishing Co., Harrisburg, 1896. Google Books d7_akH9VO_cC; HathiTrust 100328946, 100770592; Internet Archive cu31924028856900. [view source]egle
  7. Clifford C. Ham. Marilyn P. Ham, ed. Historic Oakland: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania: Articles from The Oakland Newspaper: 1989–1995, p. 15. Oakland Planning and Development Corporation, Pittsburgh, 2007. [view source]ham
  8. 8.0 8.1 James D. Van Trump. "The Church of the Ascension, Pittsburgh: A brief chronicle of its seventy-five years." Western Pennsylvania Historical Magazine, vol. 48, no. 1, Jan. 1965, pp. 1–18. [view source]church-ascension
  9. Pennsylvania Department of Internal Affairs. Warrantee Atlas of Allegheny County, Pennsylvania: Constructed from the records on file in the Department of Internal Affairs, and surveys made on the ground during 1909, 1910, 1912 under the direction of Henry Houck. 1914. [view source]warrantee