November 2008, Edition 43 Jerrems Family Newsletter
Providing a Sense of Continuity Across Generations Gone Before
Dear Donald,
As is our tradition, we try to release the November and December editions early so you can share it around the holiday table. Otherwise, we release on the last Thursday of the month.


Remembering Anna S. Jerrems
Ray Jerrems with Research by Sandra Walcyk   Sarah Jane Kirkwood (Sadie)
The Group Photo. Sandra Walcyk, from the Jerrems Wappenham line, has provided research into the Jerrems family; her research has been featured several times this year. Above is a wonderful photograph which Sandra has recently located.

The people (all in their "Sunday best") are, from left to right: Anna S. Jerrems Kirkwood (Sandra's great grandmother), her daughter Sarah Jane (Sadie) Kirkwood (Sandra's great aunt), her daughter Mary Catherine Kirkwood (Sandra's grandmother), and husband William Henry Kirkwood I (Sandra's great grandfather).

The estimated date of the photo is 1905 and it would have been taken in Utica, New York State.

Anna's origins. Anna came from what we have dubbed the "Wappenham" line of the Jerrems families. Her father Joseph Jerrams/Jerrems was born in Wappenham, Northamptonshire, in 1814 and migrated to the US with his wife Sarah in the 1840's. Sandra, with the help of Ray Lloyd, has traced that family back to Joseph and Mary Jerroms, Joseph having been born in 1690. This is, incidentally, several decades earlier than we have traced the Gainsborough line.

Anna's vital statistics. Anna was born on 6 March 1859, married William Henry Kirkwood on 30 June 1880, and died on 13 January 1929, all these events taking place in Utica. Her areas of residence were Clinton, New Hartford & Utica, NY and her occupations (as shown on Censuses etc) were "Domestic Servant" when she was single and "Homemaker" after she was married.

Regarding Anna's husband William, he was born on 10 Apr, 1859 and died on 5 June 1945 (all in Utica). His occupations were: Laborer, Coachman, Storehouse Keeper, and Shipping Clerk.

Anna's children. Anna and William's children were Julia, William Henry II, Anna Sylvia, Ella Noreen, Sarah Jane (Sadie) (The photo above is a later photo of Sarah.), Emma Louise, and the youngest was Sandra's grandmother Mary Catherine (also in the photo). A total of 6 daughters and one son (a new record for the Jerrems families as regards the ratio of girls to boys).

Moving to modern days, Anna S. Jerrems Kirkwood has at least 53 living descendants, including her great granddaughter, Sandra. Also, many other living relatives are descended from Anna's sister Sarah C. Jerrems Breisch, including another JJ Reader, Sarah Papageorge, who is Anna's 2nd great grandniece.

An episode in Anna's childhood. We have a charming story about Anna when she was a small girl, but first I need to give you some background information to give you the context of the story.

Sadly, Anna was orphaned in Utica at the age of six after her mother died from TB. She was taken in by Oren and Nancy Root, who lived in the nearby town of Clinton. Oren was a professor, and later one son became a professor also. The other son (Elihu Root) later became one of the most brilliant administrators in American history. Starting off as a prominent lawyer in New York City he was appointed a Secretary of State, was elected to the US Senate and was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.

Theirs was clearly an elite family in the Clinton community.

Oren and Nancy Root lived a conservative upper middle class existence in a comfortable house set amongst sheep paddocks which over a period of years they developed into showpiece gardens. Anna the little working class girl grew up until her early teens in this peaceful setting, while her foster father taught at nearby Hamilton College and her foster mother organised the household and entertained friends.

It was against this backdrop that one day we find Anna, as a little girl. In her garden explorations she had found a nest of baby mice, so she proudly gathered them up in her apron and took them into the drawing room to show Mrs Root, who was entertaining lady friends. One can imagine the friends' consternation at this sight! Old cartoons showing prim panic-stricken ladies standing on chairs, holding up their long skirts and shrieking "A mouse" immediately come to mind.

Sandra has a lot more information about her ancestors which will appear in later Journals, with more photos. Meanwhile we leave you with the photo and an outline of Anna's early life as part of our "Remember Me" series.
Remember Me - The Silver Cup
Ray Jerrems, Internet Sleuth  
Do you remember me? I am a silver cup presented to William George Jerrems l by his children to celebrate his 60th birthday. I am about 6 inches tall and I was manufactured by...well I can't remember.

I don't blame you for not remembering me, because the Jerrems Journal staff only heard of me a few months ago.

The following is an outline of William's life, supplied by Ray Jerrems. I tried to write an article myself, but Ray said he would write it instead because he said that as a writer I am definitely a "mug". So here is Ray's version.

Who was William George Jerrems l?

William was one of the children of "Big Bill" Jerrems and Elizabeth Jerrems (nee Jepson) and was born in Gainsborough (England) on 3rd June 1843. In the late 1850s he travelled by sailing ship to Melbourne (Australia) with his mother and siblings to join his father Thomas and his oldest brother Thomas. William married Mary Nicoll in Victoria and later they settled in Sydney where they had four children (William George born 1869, Hellen born 1870, Arthur born 1872, and Alexander born 1874).

In 1875 the family left Australia for ever, going by sailing ship across the Pacific Ocean to San Francisco and then by train most probably to New York. In New York (and later in Pennsylvania) William would have worked for his father-in-law Alexander Nicoll, who had built up a chain of tailoring stores called "Nicoll the Tailor".

The family may then have moved to England for about 4 years, where Mae (born 1879) and Annie Letitia (born 1882) were born. The family then moved back to the US, setting up house in Chicago, where Donald was born in 1885. At about this time William's father-in-law Alexander Nicoll decided to retire, and closed over half of his 52 stores. In 1886 he sold his New York and Eastern branch stores to his son Donald Nicoll and his Chicago and other Western branch stores to his son-in-law William.

The stores were very successful and the family lived comfortably in Chicago. They travelled overseas frequently and, when they were not travelling, spent the summer holidays at fashionable locations. William, Mary and their older children were prominent in Chicago society, and William was a member of some of the big Chicago Clubs. Three of the boys (Arthur, Alexander and Donald) studied at University; however William George ll left school quite early and settled into managing one of the major Chicago stores by the time he was 21.

What is inscribed on the cup?

The names of William's children, in order of birth, are on one side of the cup. On the other side of the cup are the names of one of his grand children (William George lll) and one of his great grandchildren (William George lV). Obviously these were added later.

Where was it presented, and who was present at the time?

The cup would no doubt have been presented to William in Chicago, either at a function at his current home in 4917 Greenwood Avenue, Chicago or at one of his Clubs.

There would have been a large contingent of relatives present. In addition to William's wife Mary and the seven children referred to above (Annie would have recently returned after graduating from the Ogontz School for Young Ladies, and may have invited her husband-to-be, Mark Healy) the current spouses of the married children (Genevieve, wife of William George ll, Mary, wife of Arthur, and another Mary, wife of Alexander) would have attended. Two of the three grandchildren born at that stage (Marabel and Arthur Jnr) would have been too young to attend the actual function, but William George ll's daughter Marjorie (almost 5 years old) would have been old enough if the function was held at the family home. William's father-in-law Alexander and Alexander's son Donald (and Donald's family) would have come down from New York.

What happened to William George Jerrems l?

Sadly, William passed away about two years later on 4th or 5th May 1905. It is not clear where he died. His obituary says he died at his house at Greenwood Avenue, Chicago, but another source says he died at Lick Springs, Indiana. His wife Mary outlived him by a considerable period, dying with a considerable estate in 1928.

Is it a cup or a jug?

When you look at the photos it is difficult to decide whether it is a cup or a jug. With three handles there was plenty to grab onto. It is chubbier than the usual "cup" so perhaps we could call it a jug.

Where is the Cup now?

William George V (known universally as Jerry V) has the cup. He lives in Idaho.
More Remember Us
  Wanted: Memorable Pictures of Jerrems People and Artifacts
Our December issue will continue to show items of interest. We welcome your contributions.

And Ray and I are working on a Jerrems Family Quiz. So start to study the back issues.

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