Tag Archives: Jewell Family

Thomas Balch Library – Loudoun County, Virginia

Ritchey and I have spent the last two weeks in the most wonderful places on earth – Loudoun County, Virginia, and the beach!  The first week was on the Outer Banks of North Carolina.  While Ritchey walked the beaches every morning – usually for 2-3 hours – I entered family information into my Family Tree Maker.  Over the years I have been very diligent at searching through court records, church records, cemeteries, libraries, etc., but haven’t been quite as good about putting the information into FTM.  Very difficult to access when you don’t know where something is!

And not only have I been adding my family’s data.  FTM 2011 allows you to add unrelated individuals.  So I have been building families using baptismal records, marriage records and census records.  My hope is that when you email me with a question, especially about Washington/Nelson/Marion counties in Kentucky, I will be able to bring up that particular family in my FTM and give you all the data you need!

While in Loudoun County we researched at the Thomas Balch Library – a library specifically for genealogy and historical research!  I was in heaven!  Tuesday the library is open from 10:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.  We were there before they opened, to take pictures of the library.  And, except for a brief lunch, were there until they closed!

There are four large research rooms in the library, filled with books from top to bottom!  The librarians were so very helpful and extremely knowledgeable!  My first interest were the Loudoun County records – Ritchey went to the Massachusetts records to search for his Jewell family – and found them!  While the majority of records are Virginia, that is by no means all!  We barely scratched the surface in our two days there!  If you would like to visit their website click here.

On our second day of research, after visiting the library, we went to the archives at the Loudoun County Court House.  Copies of the original wills – not the will written in the will book by the clerk! – are available – and in color.  While there I had copies of my great-great’s wills made – Benjamin Mason and William Moran, Sr.  How thrilling it was to see their signature!

As I have mentioned before, there is nothing like going to the original records for your research.  Not only is the information correct, since you’re getting it from the horse’s mouth so to speak, but it is much more exciting than sitting at a computer trying to find information!  Good luck with your research!

Today In Genealogy History – August 16, 2011

Ebenezer Jewell was born 220 years ago – August 16, 1791 – in Coos County, New Hampshire.  Ebenezer was the son of John Jewell and Hannah Quimby.  He married Patience Quimby November 12, 1812, in Grafton County, New Hampshire.  They moved to Maine shortly after their marriage.  Ebenezer and Patience had four children:  Enoch, Thomas, Mary and Ebenezer.  Ebenezer died May 14, 1819, just before the birth of his last child in June of that year.

Today In Genealogy History – August 13, 2011

Molly Jewell was born 262 years ago – August 13, 1749 – in Essex County, Masssachusetts.  Molly was the daughter of John Jewell and Hannah Lancaster, who were married February 19, 1734.  John Jewell’s great-grandfather, Thomas Jewell, was from Surrey, England.

Marriage License for Charles H. Ritchey and Lucinda A. Jewell

Note by Phyllis Brown:  This is one of the prettiest marriage licenses I’ve seen.  Not only is it decorative with a nice drawing of a bride and groom, but the handwriting is so perfect it looks like type.

Lucinda was married to William Comeford on August 9, 1867.  They had one child, Miranda Amanda Comeford.  When Miranda was a baby, William kept saying he was going to place her in a convent.  Lucinda would not hear to it.  This led to a bitter division between the couple – William drank and they separated.  Lucinda and baby Miranda went to live with her parents, Thomas and Zillah Jewell.  This is why the marriage certificate for Charles Henry and Lucinda Amanda lists her as a “Comeford” instead of a “Jewell”.

The terrible blizzard mentioned is known as the Children’s Blizzard.  By morning on Friday, January 13, 1888, more than one hundred children lay dead on the Dakota-Nebraska prairie.  Read David Laskin’s book of the same name – a fascinating read.

Charles Henry Ritchey and Lucinda Amanda Jewell are my Ritchey’s great-grandparents.   The following information was told by James Eben Ritchey, a great-uncle to my husband.


Tall, auburn-haired Charles Henry won the hand of beautiful Lucinda Amanda Jewell.  Others courted, but it was the six-foot tall, blue-eyed Charles Henry who “had a jewell to keep his house in order”.

Charles Henry, son of Charles Ritchey and Amanda McKee, was born at Rushville, Schuyler County, Illinois, on April 14, 1848.  When Charles Henry was only three years of age, he lost his mother after the birth of her fourth child, Jacob.  Six weeks later his father remarried.  The new step-mother, Martha, cared for three small children – William McKee, James Sylvester and Charles Henry.

Charles Henry Ritchey and Lucinda A. Jewell were married February 4, 1875, at Rushville, Illinois.  Three children were born at Rushville – Charles Thomas, Mary Emma and James Eben.  When James was but a babe, his parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles traveled by covered wagon to Corydon, Iowa.  While in Corydon, Elmer Cross was born.

When James was about four, the entire party journeyed westward to Fillmore County, Nebraska.  They brought a large herd of cattle with them.  Charles Henry’s father-in-law, Thomas W. Jewell, and his uncle, Enoch Jewell, had gone ahead to look for land.  The Jewells bought one hundred sixty acres of land near Strang, Nebraska).  On the Thomas Jewell farm there was a white, four room house.  On Charles and Lucinda’s farm there was a sod house.  They lived in the sod house about a year; then Charles Henry built an L-shaped house on the “Cobb” place about one-fourth mile from the “soddie”.

Since many settlers were coming to Fillmore County, it was difficult to keep a place.  Another move, about a year later, found them one and one-half miles east of the county “Poor Farm”.  Their home was on the south side of the road.  While living on the “Butler” place, the family experienced the severe blizzard of January 12, 1888.  The blizzard blew off the top of the barn.  Luckily the children were not in school the day of that awful blizzard.

In 1890, Charles Henry moved his family to Geneva, Nebraska.  Here Edith, Maude, Arthur and Frank were born.  Frank was born during a very bad blizzard on February 8, 1891.  Maude lived to be nine years of age and passed away with diphtheria.  While very small, Edith died of whooping cough.  Little Arthur, never well, also died of whooping cough in 1890.  The deaths of those small children were so hard for the family to bear.  The three little ones were buried in the Geneva Cemetery.

The older children, Charles, Mary, James and Elmer attended school at the “Ward School” in the west part of Geneva.  Charles Henry hauled bricks at the brickyard.  James herded cows for another farmer; in exchange for his work, James was allowed to pasture the Ritchey cattle on his employer’s farm.

The Ritchey’s next move was on Highway 81 (one mile east and one-half mile south of Geneva.)  Because there was no windmill on that place they moved in 1898 to a place that had a windmill and a brick house.

In 1894 and 1895 there was a severe drought further west.  Settlers in Perkins county had “starved out” and were returning east.  The destitute travelers “borrowed” the oats and corn of the Fillmore farmers in order to feed their horses and cattle.  The travelers also dug up the potatoes grown by Charles Henry and his family.  That fall Charles Henry and son Charles went to Missouri to shuck corn.  When they returned from Missouri they brought bushels of apples which were made into apple butter.

Charles Henry and Lucinda continued to farm on rented land near Geneva, but Charles Henry yearned to own a farm of his own.  After the four older children were married, Charles and Lucinda had a sale.  They moved to Custer County where they bought a farm in March 1909.  Charles Henry and his youngest son, Frank, continued to farm, but Charles Henry was not well.  Cancer of the stomach and liver claimed his life on October 25, 1912.

Today Charles Henry and Lucinda, Lucinda’s parents, Thomas W. and Zillah Jewell, and the three little ones lie in the tree shaded cemetery in Geneva, Nebraska.

All his life Charles Henry struggled with the elements while turning the prairie sod into farmland.  At his side was the Jewell he had courted and won – Lucinda.

Zillah Ward Jewell

Note by Phyllis Brown:  This is a story handed down in the Ritchey family.  The copy I have is written in a beautiful penmanship.  Zillah is my husband’s great-great-grandmother.  The sheepshower leaves that are mentioned in the story are probably sheep sorrel.  Evidently they have a lemony taste – perhaps that is why they were used in a pie!

One of the beautiful quilts still in our family is the “Ocean Wave” quilt pieced by Zillah. Friends and neighbors kept her supplied with small scraps of material;
therefore her patterns were small and very beautiful.  Zillah piece quilts as though it was a salaried position.  She would get up early and work until late on her quilts.

Dark-eyed Zillah was born in Indiana in 1823; her father was Aaron Ward who was born in New Hampshire. On October 7, 1846, Zillah was married to Thomas W. Jewell.  Their nine children were born in Illinois.  In 1881 they moved to Corydon, Iowa.  A year later they traveled on to Fillmore County, Nebraska.  The trip was made in a covered wagon.  Horses and cattle were driven by the men.  (It was on this trip that grandson James Eben Ritchey learned to swear, having been encouraged by the men to do so.).

Zillah was a very busy mother and grandmother.  One beautiful June day, Zillah called her children from play and asked if they would like to have a pie for dinner.  When they replied, “Yes,” Zillah tied sunbonnets on Julie and Lucinda; all wore long sleeved dresses and shirts; the boys wore straw hats because no one wanted to be tanned.  Soon they were off to the meadow to gather sheepshower leaves to make a pie.  In fact, they often made pies of sheepshower leaves.

Zillah and her family also picked ground cherries in the fall to use for jam.  The ground cherries grew mainly in the cornfields.

One day the children were playing outside; Zillah was busy inside.  Suddenly the stillness in the house was completely broken by the rush of the children into the house.  Eagerly, Tom, the oldest, exclaimed, “Ayma ewa evoka a ookyca?” (Pig Latin for “May we have a cookie?”  Of course Zillah couldn’t understand their
strange chatter, but the children thought it was great fun.

Her grandchildren, too, liked to gather around to talk and play with her.  Her small grandsons liked to play tricks on her.  One trick was to hide her pipe, which they might keep for some time before giving it back to her.  She could become quite disgusted with them when they teased her, but she was a wonderfully kind and loving grandmother.

Many women smoked pipes at that time and Zillah and daughter Lucinda, too, had become “addicted”.  One day their supply of tobacco was completely gone and they waited at home for the men to return from town.  The men were
extremely late returning; the women had been without tobacco all day.  By evening, Lucinda decided to quit smoking.  She said, “If I can go without
tobacco for one day, then I can continue to do without.”

Zillah was a devoted reader of the Bible.  In her later years she would arise early on a Sunday, get all dressed up, and then sit by the window reading her Bible.

In her later years, Zillah suffered from cancer of the eye.  It is recorded that the cancer was caused by ill-fitting glasses.  She died at the home of her daughter, Lucinda Ritchey, in Stanton Township, Fillmore County, Nebraska.  She is buried in the Geneva, Nebraska, cemetery by her husband who had died twelve years earlier.

(Oral history as told by Zillah’s grandson, James Eben Ritchey, and recorded by her granddaughter, Mildred Beryl Ritchey, Talkington, Nebraska.)