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March 2009 Jerrems Family Newsletter
Looking Forward to Looking Back
Dear Donald,
This month I was surprised to receive the following email from our third-party email service, Constant Contact .

Aw shucks, it speaks for itself.

Dear Donald,

You're using permission-based email marketing to help drive your business. You've communicated regularly with your customers and members. And they're clearly interested in hearing from you! You've maintained sound permission-based email marketing and list management best practices.

All of these indicate to us that you made excellent use of Constant Contact last year. And we noticed!

That's why we are proud to designate you as a 2008 Constant Contact All Star! You're part of a special group of our customers that we want to thank for setting a great example for other email marketers. Congratulations!

Thank you again for using Constant Contact, and we hope you'll continue to serve as a great example to others in 2009.

Best wishes,

Gail Goodman
Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer
............................
Constant Contact stock is listed on the NASDAQ.

Letter to Donald and Ray
From Vincent Healy  
Here is an email I received recently, from Vincent Healy, one of my fellow great great grandchildren of Alexander Nicoll . It refers to the photo of Alexander, Annie (Vincent's grandmother) and Donald (my grandfather) in the January Journal.

Dear Donald and Ray,

I remember my Grandmother, Ann, showing this photograph of her grandfather to my brother, Mark, and to me when we were both very young.

During many conversations with her, she'd add gravitas to pronouncements anticipated to be significant to my future by saying: "when you're old and have a L-O-N-G white beard..."

When she said this (which was quite often) always, it brought to mind your photo of Alexander Nicholl in the February Journal"!

I know very little about Alexander Nicholl, and very much look forward to reading what you've found out about him.

Two of Ann's stories do--if dimly--come back to me.

Both relate to his apparently being one of those Englishmen who loved exploration.

1) He visited Yosemite immediately following its discovery.
And, 2) While on Madagascar, he became friendly with its ruler.

Unfortunately, a time came when the king wanted Nicholl to remain as a guest on his island indefinitely. According to Ann, this put a strain on her grandfather's side of the friendship. However, a discreet midnight departure eventually ameliorated this friction.

Also, Donald and Ray, your fascinating account of the Huguenot origins of the name Jerrems left me with a question: could there be a branch on the Jerrems family tree connected to Winston Churchill's mother, Jenny Jerome?

In closing, I want to let you know of my gratitude for having discovered many EXCITING insights from reading your Jerrems Family Newsletter.

Sincerely,

Vince Healy
Nicoll the Tailor, The Real Deal
Ray Jerrems, Internet Sleuth   Introduction
For some years I have been collecting information about Nicoll the Tailor, the trading name adopted by Alexander Nicoll/Nicholl. There have been a number of articles in the Journal about Nicoll the Tailor. Readers will recall that Alexander's daughter Mary married William George Jerrems, one of the Jerrems family who migrated to Melbourne from Gainsborough in the 1850s. Most of our United States Jerrems readers relate back to Alexander through William and Mary. Alexander is our Editor Donald's great great grandfather.

Previously, despite obtaining lots of information about Nicoll the Tailor, I was only able to obtain a sprinkling of information about Alexander himself. Because his daughter called herself Mary Nicholl Jerrems after she married William I assumed that Alexander's correct surname was Nicholl, a quite popular Scottish name which I found to be difficult to research because of that popularity.

It is now clear to me that although I had found some references to him under the name "Nicholl" (possibly attributable to errors by people transcribing handwritten documents) he must have used the name Nicoll.

Here is a newspaper article which tells us a lot more about Alexander. It was published in the St Louis Republic newspaper in Missouri on November 10, 1895, and I located it by courtesy of the website genealogybank.com.
The Newspaper Article - BURIED IN GREENWOOD
The Body of Alexander Nicoll, the Tailor, Brought Over From London

The body of Alexander Nicoll, who was for a number of years one of New York's most prominent business men, and who died in London on September 25, was placed in Greenwood cemetery on Sunday November 3.

Mr Nicoll's fatal illness resulted from a cold which he contracted while in Scotland early in September. He was born in London on June 1, 1821 and in 1859 he came to New York, with a capital of only $300, and opened a tailor shop at 143 Bowery. The basis of his rapid and complete success was the introduction of low priced custom tailoring. For six years he had no imitator. Within that time he opened six branch stores in different parts of the city, and enlarged his store in the Bowery until it occupied half a block. After establishing his New York stores he opened many out-of-town branches, and by the fall of 1879 he had 52 stores distributed throughout all the States in the Union.

In ???? he decided to retire from the business and began closing his branches. His Chicago and other Western stores he sold to his son- in-law, WG Jerrems of Chicago and his son, Donald Nicoll, became the proprietor of the New York and Eastern branches. Donald Nicoll is now conducting the two New York stores, one at 147 Bowery and the other at 171 Broadway.

Mr Nicoll was always quick to adopt every new invention in machinery that could be used in his business. He was the first business man in New York to use electricity for illuminating purposes, and was one of the first to use the telephone. He was a thorough believer in advertising, and often spent as much as $100,000 a year for this purpose. He was warmly admired and beloved by all his employees. After his retirement from business in 1885 he went around the world twice, and crossed the Atlantic 40 times, travelling all the time merely for pleasure. He was in excellent health until his last illness.

Socially he was of a retiring disposition, but he was remarkably well informed on many subjects. He was a member of St George's Society and the Reform Club."

 
Alexander the Family Man
The newspaper article only mentions one son. In fact Alexander's wife was named Mary and they had eight children (including Mary and Donald), according to a handwritten family tree prepared by Chick Keller's mother (nee Sydney Jerrems) as a schoolgirl.

Alexander the Business Man.
The "Nicoll the Tailor" business was certainly a major enterprise. Indicative of this is the figure of $100,000 spent annually on advertising. The current day equivalent of this could be in the vicinity of ten million dollars.

Through trade cards (I currently have copies of 82 such cards) and other sources I have located about 45 stores in Washington DC and 20 States. The States were California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Washington, and Wisconsin.

Also, Alexander had a mail order system where customers outside the cities which had stores could be sent instructions on how to measure themselves, complete with a tape measure. Men's suits were then made up according to the measurements. I have located newspaper advertisements for this in States as far afield as North and South Dakota.

Greenwood Cemetery
According to Wikipedia Green-Wood Cemetery was founded in 1838 as a rural cemetery in Kings County, New York, now in Brooklyn. It was a popular tourist attraction in the 1850s and was the place most famous New Yorkers who died during the second half of the nineteenth century were buried.

It is still an operating cemetery with approximately 600,000 graves spread out over 478 acres (1.9 km˛). If you are in the area pop in and pass on our regards to Alexander.

Conclusion The newspaper article provides a lot more information on the previously elusive Alexander Nicoll. Now that I know his correct name I might be more successful in my research.
Old Ray the Family Ghost Strikes Again
Donald Jerrems   We Never Know Where He will Show Up
There he is in the background; his smiling face is just above Obama's right hand.

Being a ghost means he can just float around to any ceremony without credentials.

We understand the Jerrems Guardian Angel, Angie, was also in Washington DC. She is supposed to prevent these intrusions embarrassing to our family name.
 

Contact Information

email: zonny@att.net

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