Select Jewell Miscellany
accounts over the years:
- Judhael de Totnes
- Joseph Jewell and the Wreck of the General Grant
- Jewells in the 1881 Census
- Early Jewells in America
- A Jewell Orphan in Virginia
- Jewell in Upstate New York
- Elmira Jewell, Pioneer Woman
Judhael de Totnes
Totnes from Brittany was a prominent supporter of William the Conqueror. His recording in the Domesday Book suggests
that Judhael took the title “de Totnes” when he was granted authority
region in Devon. After Baldwin the
sheriff, Judhael was the largest landowner in Devon and Totnes was the
from Totnes in 1087 and that the barony was granted to another. However, he secured the barony of Barnstaple
sometime between 1095 and 1100. As such, he witnessed a charter
of Henry 1 in
1123. But he was dead by 1130. At
time his son Alfred appears as if he was paying relief on his father’s lands.
Joseph Jewell and the Wreck of the General
On May 6, 1866 the American clipper General
Grant left Melbourne bound for
England via Cape Horn. On board were 83
passengers and crew, and a cargo of wool, hides, wood,
ounces of gold.
After ten days at
sea the ship was wrecked on the west coast of the Auckland islands. Thinking it unwise to abandon ship in
darkness the captain waited until morning before launching the
longboats. By this time the swell was high
hazardous backwashes. Only two partially
loaded boats were able to clear the wreck and all but 13 men and one
There were no living inhabitants on the island and the survivors were
there for 18 months before they were rescued by a passing whaler. Two
of these survivors were Joseph Harvey Jewell from Clovelly in Devon and
wife Mary Ann.
The couple returned to
Australia. Joseph wrote to his
father Captain John Jewell back in Clovelly of his experience: “Such a night of terror I think was never
experienced by human beings.” His wife
Ann was quite successful in her lecture tours, traveling round giving
their shipwreck and survival. She
dressed up in her sealskin outfit to add impact to her story.
Jewells in the
Early Jewells in America
1860 book The Jewell Register traced
the descendants of Thomas Jewell who came to New England in 1635 and
Braintree. The book had the following
things to say about other early Jewells.
lists contain over eighteen
hundred Jewells and there may be as many more that we cannot trace to
progenitor. George Jewell was at Saco in Maine in 1637 and Samuel
at Boston in
1655. They may have been brethren or
kinsmen of Thomas. Nathaniel in Boston in 1694 and George sen. of
Elizabethtown, New Jersey, were brothers, and probably related to the
find some Jewells in Maine, some in New Hampshire (which descend from
along the Hudson river, in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and in the South
which have Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Harmonand Robert to their fathers. Some are the children of Richard Jewell who
from Devon in 1774.“
A Jewell Orphan in Virginia
story is that Thomas’s father was killed as he returned from Norfolk
where he had gone to collect some money from property there. He was said to have stopped at the home of
his brother John, who kept a tavern, and to have said that it was time
getting home as he was paying for his dinner with the last of his money. He was then shot and killed as he was nearly
home. The murderer was never
discovered. Thomas’s mother did not live
The young Thomas was bound
out when he was around 14 years old to John McFarling by a Loudoun
order in 1779.
Jewell in Upstate New York
a hamlet on the north shore of Oneida Lake in Oneida county, New
present it consists of a church, a cemetery, and year-round and summer
residences. In the past it was a thriving community with a store,
boat-building and lumber industries.
The first settler was said to have been
Eliphalet Jewell from Connecticut, a soldier in the Revolutionary War,
owned land there in 1814 and soon installed a gristmill.
Eliphalet died in
1826. Another Jewell, Silas a distant
cousin, also lived there for a while.
The place was known as West Vienna until 1921 when the name was
to Jewell in honor of the Jewell family.
Elmira Jewell, Pioneer Woman
Harrison Jewell from New Hampshire married Elmira Sawyer in Iowa. They had two children, Viola and
Clarence. Then in 1860 Harrison
disappeared. Family lore has him going
West during the Gold Rush. Or was there
Elmira became Granny Jewell to her family. Both
her children subsequently married, but
both then died. It was Granny Jewell who
came to look after the various grandchildren.
She remained active into her nineties, quilting and crocheting
At the Central City home of her granddaughter Julia in 1930, at the
age of ninety six, Elmira’s long life came to an end.
Her five grandchildren and countless great
and great-great grandchildren survived her.
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