|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.
|Ray Jerrems, Internet Sleuth||
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
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.
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.
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.
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