Charlotte Isabella Waddell, of an impoverished although formerly prominent Hillsborough, NC family, enrolled at the Burwell School in the spring session of 1856 that was disrupted tragically by Frances Armistead Burwell 's death and funeral .
Charlotte Isabella Waddell, whose nickname was Bella, was descended from prominent families on both her maternal and paternal sides. She was the great-granddaughter of Francis Nash. Her father, Colonel Haynes Waddell, was apparently known to be a spendthrift and the family's existence was thus bleak and narrow. Her mother, Mary Fleming, appears to be the "Mrs. Wadill" who did sewing fairly cheaply and regularly for Burwell School girls, charging only $1.00 for a summer muslin dress.
On January 19, 1856, M. A. Burwell wrote to her daughter, then studying in New York:
"I forgot to tell you that Bella Waddell is coming to school to us this session. I do feel for them - poor Mrs. Waddell has seen so much trouble. Bella you know is a remarkably intelligent girl."
Bella married her mother's cousin, George William Mallett Hooper. Many of their seven children were given old Hooper and Mallet Family names: Elizabeth Fleming Hooper, Emma Thurston Hooper, Charlotte Isabella Hooper, Charles Mallett Hooper, Caroline Mallett Hooper, Juliet De Berniere Hooper, and George Beatty Hooper .
Charlotte was called Bella.