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Richardsons of Ohio, West Virginia, and All Points Beyond

Nicholas Symes Richardson

Nicholas Symes Richardson was born August 10, 1811 in Scotland, eldest son of George W. Richardson and Sophie Jane Symes.

George Richardson arrived in New York on August 29, 1823 on the ship Brok He brought with him his son Nicholas and his son George Jr.

Nicholas's mother Sophie and the rest of the family came to Stirling, Meigs County, Ohio to join George Richardson, who was a merchant and a member of the Glasgow Ohio Company. The Glasgow Ohio Company had bought Ohio Company lands from Nahum Ward and George and his Scottish compatriots worked hard to establishing the town of Stirling. Eventually their venture fell prey to death, disease and financial problems. By 1840 George Richardson had moved his family to Wheeling, West Virginia, all that is, except Nicholas.

In 1836 Nicholas married Hannah Lauck, the daughter of Dr. Phillip and Ruth Grover Lauck. Hannah was from a pioneer family with roots in the Lebanon Township portion of Meigs County, and counted among her relatives the Laucks, Amsdens, and Grovers. see wills. Nicholas and Hannah remained in Meigs county to farm long after George Richardson had moved the rest of his family upriver to Wheeling, West Virginia. Between 1841 and 1851 seven deeds recorded Nicholas's participation in buying and selling local parcels of land, most often between extended family members. In 1854, a local newspaper published made mention of a road petition notice that referenced Nicholas Richardson's land on the Portland road in Lebanon township.

Nicholas and Hannah had many children, all born in Ohio except James, who was born Wheeling. In the Lauck cemetery in Meigs County, Ohio a gravestone was erected for the twins Ezra G. and Samuel G., born 1841, died 1845.

The children that were born and recorded on later census returns were
  • George W., 1838-unknown
  • Ezra Grover, February 21, 1843 - February 3, 1923
  • Reuben T., February 22, 1844 - June 27, 1924
  • Emanuel S., 1845-unknown
  • Ruth J., 1848 - unknown
  • Isaac, March 12, 1850 - July 20, 1930
  • Samuel, 1851-March 20, 1890
  • James, February 22, 1858 - June 17, 1937
  • Nicholas moved his large family to Wheeling, a move possibly prompted by the death of his father George in Wheeling in 1854. In Wheeling he was a steamboat captain, an occupation shared by his brother Joseph , and brother-in-law Stephen Tracy, all of Wheeling. In later years, Nicholas was listed as a blacksmith.

    In 1860 Nicholas was involved in the sale of a steamboat called the "Sunny South", though what his role was in the building or operating of the steamboat is not stated in the legal document.

    In a January, 1864 Captain Nicholas Richardson announced his candidacy for city Sergeant and oblige in a Wheeling newspaper. When Hannah died September 12, 1865 the Richardson family was living on Wheeling Island.

    In March of 1866 Nicholas married a widow named Sarah Maria Simpson of Wheeling. Sarah had a son John by her previous husband. In 1870 the Richardson's were living in Wheeling with Sarah's son John, and Nicholas's sons Samuel and James. Nicholas was a grocer.

    In September of 1875 an article appeared in the local Wheeling newspaper that stated: "A stock of groceries belonging to Nicholas Richardson of East Wheeling was sold at auction by officer henry in front of the court house yesterday afternoon. The sale was ordered by the Municipal Court at the insistence of joe Speidel, who sued to recover a debt."

    It was about this time that Nicholas moved his household to Beverly, Washington County, Ohio. According to a Washington County, Ohio history book Nicholas's son James joined his father in Beverly in 1875, where Nicholas had already established his blacksmith shop, and in the 1880 census was listed as a blacksmith.

    The only references to Nicholas I have found to date for the last decade of his life were two local notices in a New Martinsville, West Virginia newspaper in the fall of 1878. Nicholas's son Reuben T. Richardson, a prominent business man and long time resident of that town was called to his father's bedside. Nicholas evidently was very ill and the family expected the worst. As it turned out, Nicholas lived until 1886.