All of the Isbell descendants who spelled their name Isabell and lived around Sylacauga, Talladega County, since at least the 1920s or '30s are descendants of Ezekiel Isbell of Shelby Co., Alabama, who was born about 1804.Some of them kept the Isbell spelling (as their ancestors since at least the 14th century), while some began spelling it Isabell.They are descendants of the English or Scots-English Isbells, not the French Isabelles who came to America directly from France.
Ezekiel was born circa 1804-6 in Kentucky or Tennessee, although some say he was born in Georgia.His wife was named Frances, and they had a large family. I am told that Ezekiel was the son of Zachariah Isbell who died in Shelby County, Al.Some say that this Zachariah was a son of Jason Isbell. There are two versions of Jason's parentage:Either Capt. Godfrey Isbell b. 1750 (son of Henry Isbell Jr.) who lived in GA., KY., TN., & then Madison Co., AL.; or Godfrey's uncle (my ancestor) Zachariah Isbell b. 1722, who was one of the 13 commissioners who founded the state of Tennessee.So we would be approximately sixth or seventh cousins, either way.James Isbell, founder of the Isbell National Bank at Talladega, would be a second cousin of Zachariah born 1790 and once-removed from Ezekiel (if he is Zachariah's son).Or if Ezekiel was Godfrey's son, he would be a second cousin of James, whose father Thomas was the son of James Isbell b. 1720.One of James' sons founded the Isbell College at Talladega.The bank has changed its name but the bank building built in 1848 is still standing on the Talladega courthouse square.
Other Sylacauga Isbells were direct descendants of Zachariah Isbell born 1722 and Zachariah Jr., but you don't descend from this branch.My parents knew a lot of your relatives around there, particularly the Carlton Isbell family.
I would suggest you use the search features of this forum and especially the Isbell forum at Genforum, looking for "Sylacauga," "Ezekiel," "Shelby" and other key words, and you will learn a lot about your family.Then look for "Website" or "Web site" or "webpage," etc., and check out some of those (and there are many).Marian Brown may have some information that will help you at her site.W.J. Isbell Jr. and Sarah Coon have a lot of information on Ezekiel's family and may be able to provide answers.My information on Ezekiel's branch is more limited, but I could give you the earlier generations if I had your grandfather's birthdate and (more importantly) any of his brothers' and sisters' names.