Timothy Bell was Tinker and Oilcan's grandfather. He died of an illness five years before Tinker was transformed into a full elf. His birth name was Timothy Dufae, but he assumed the name Timothy Bell when he was under witness protection.
Timothy Bell was the descendant of Unbounded Brilliance, a Stone Clan Domana elf who was stranded on Earth after the natural gates between Elfhome and Earth were purposely collapsed. He had two children, Leonardo DaVinci Dufae who was Tinker's father and Ada Lovelace Dufae who was Oilcan's mother.
The Dufae family maintained a Codex which was essentially a manual about magic and family history, preserving the family knowledge of elves. His son, Leonardo DaVinci Dufae, designed the gate that would transport Pittsburg to Elfhome. However Leonardo was killed in Oakland, a neighborhood in Pittsburg, before the gate was built. That same night he was killed, Leonardo's office was burglarized and someone attempted to kidnap Timothy Dufae. In concern for his safety, Timothy was placed in witness protection, had his name changed, and moved out of Pittsburg. When the Chinese started building the gate, he left protective custody to live in hiding for about five years. Shortly before the first Startup, he changed his name to Timothy Bell and returned to live in Pittsburg; this made him a prior resident at the time of the first Startup.
A few years later he had his granddaughter created artificially though his son's cryogenically stored sperm and the donated ovum from Esme Skenske. The surrogate mother gave birth in Pittsburg on Elfhome, ensuring that Tinker was a natural born resident. When Oilcan's father killed Bell's daughter, Ada, and was subsequently incarcerated, Bell assumed legal guardianship of his other grandchild, Oilcan. He raised both children in Pittsburg in a four story hotel on Neville Island. In their home schooled education, Bell emphasized science and mathematics but neglected all arts, history, and humanities. Bell remained deeply distrustful of government.
Although he celebrated Christmas gift exchange, he declared himself to be atheist or agnostic, depending on this mood. He did not encourage religion in Tinker or Oilcan.
He was meticulously organized and never discarded anything that could be useful. He insisted in teaching organization, planning, and project management to his grandchildren.