Scotch Ancestory of Nichol Family


Story by Philip George Parsons, written about 1970



Concerning the Nichol family, we have the following from 'The Genealogy of the Nichol family, published at Wheeling, West Virginia in 1922:

"At the time when the Papal powers ruled almost all the nations of Europe, seven brothers by the name of Nichol, fleeing from persecution brought on by reason of their religious beliefs, bid farewell to their native Scottish hills and took refuge in County Derry, in the northern part of Ireland. A grandson of one of these brother, named John, who was the son of John and Martha (Love) Nichol, is the ancestor of our Nichol families in America.

"John Nichol, born in County Derry, Ireland in 1764; in 1784 married Ann, daughter of William and Margaret Canada Wooburn who were Scotch-Irish Presbyterians. Emigrated with his wife and four children in 1789 to America. After a stormy voyage of several weeks, arrived with a very slender purse and a few household goods. Settled in Cumberland County, Pennsylvania. Being a weaver by trade he had his loom with him an soon had plenty of weaving to do and made a good living.

"After a few years, removed to Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania and from thence about 1800 to Colerain township, Belmont County, Ohio, with his wife and nine children. Purchased a section of land from the Government. In a valley on the banks of Wheeling Creek, surrounded by high hills, covered with timber, and filled with coal; on a good country road, which later was made a National Turnpike in the days of Henry Clay, and in 1915- 16 was paved with brick. The 'old stone tavern' which later became the home of the family, is situated on this road four miles west of Bridgeport, Ohio. The larger part of it was erected in 1804 or 1805, and was completed in 1812. It is now somewhat antiquated in appearance, but is still occupied as a dwelling house (1922). During Mr. Nichol's lifetime the building was conducted as a public house, where man and beast were well cared for.

"Mr. Nichol was a man of jovial disposition, generous and hospitable. He was a good manager and a prosperous farmer, and with his thrifty wife, soon increased in worldly goods. The couple were blessed with fifteen children of whom twelve grew to maturity, and there was a goodly competence for each one of his or her marriage. Nine of them were married and settled in homes of their own within a half day's ride of each other. They reared large families and lived on friendly terms with each other. It has been said there were never any quarrels among them. As evidence of this fact, they have joined in seven big reunions. (A Nichol Reunion is held every five years at St. Clairsville, Ohio.)

"Mrs. Nichol was a small woman, with kindly face, or strong faith, a lover of truth; mild and gentle, even tempered, but firm. The children were sent to the township schools; and at home were drilled in the Catechism. The mother was of a long- lived race and had an uncle who lived to be 108 years old. She had the privilege and joy of seeing all her children and many of her grandchildren received into the church; some branch of the Presbyterian faith. Although there was a bar in the old house (as in all public houses at that time) every member of the family was strictly temperate and it is believed that the same may be said of their descendants.

"Mr. Nichol died May 12, 1829, aged 65 years. Following the death of her husband Mrs. Nichol made her home with her son, Matthew Nichol. She passed away April 5, 1857 aged 93 years. Interment of both is Union Cemetery at St. Clairsville.


Note: Added by Ray Parsons. In 1988, after my Dad had written this story, an excellent book, by David Faris of Philadelphia, was published entitled, "The Descendants of John Nichol of Colerain Township, Belmont County, Ohio" published by Gateway Press, Inc. Baltimore. Any person interested in the Nichol family should seek out a copy of this excellent book. Hardback, 500 pages listing descendants through 7 generation!!!.

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