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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. His mother may have been Sophia Jane Symes, but she would only have been 16 when he was born.

Nicholas was with his father, George Richardson, and younger brother George Jr., when they arrived in New York on the ship Brok on August 29, 1823. Nicholas's mother and siblings joined the family the following year at Stirling, Meigs County, Ohio. George Richardson was a merchant and a member of the Glasgow Ohio Company which bought Ohio Company lands from Nahum Ward. George and his Scottish compatriots worked hard on establishing the town of Stirling but eventually their venture fell prey to death, disease and finanial problems. By 1840 George Richardson had moved his family to Wheeling, West Virginia, all that is, except Nicholas.

Nicholas married Hannah Lauck in 1836 in Meigs County. 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. A local newspaper published in 1854 noted a road petition notice that mentioned Nicholas Richardson's land on the Portland road in Lebanon township.

Nicholas and Hannah had at least 8 Richardson Tree children, the last, James was born in 1858 in West Virginia. In the Lauck cemetery in Meigs County, Ohio a gravestone was erected for twins Ezra G. and Samuel G., born 1841, died 1845. Nicholas moved his large family to Wheeling, a move possibly prompted by the death of his father George in Wheeling in 1854. Nicholas turned from farming to steamboat captain, an occupation shared by his brother Joseph , and brother-in-law Stephen Tracy, all of Wheeling. Nicholas was also in later years, 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 of the steamboat is not stated in the legal document. In a January, 1864 Wheeling newspaper Captain Nicholas Richardson announced his candidacy for city Sergeant and oblige. Sometime before Hannah's death in 1865, the couple moved over to Wheeling Island. Hannah died September 12, 1865.

Nicholas married a widow Sarah Maria SIMPSON March 1866 in Wheeling. Sarah had a son John, and in 1870 the Richardson's were still living in Wheeling with Sarah's son, and Nicholas's sons Samuel and James. Nicholas was a grocer. Sometime in the next few years this household moved 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.

In the 1880 census, Nicholas was listed as a blacksmith.

The only reference 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 the town was called to his father's bedside. Nicholas evidently was very ill and the family expected the worst. Nicholas lived however, and died in 1886.