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Gurwell Family

Our Gurwell family begins with Jacob Gurwell, who was born around 1760 in Scotland.  He immigrated to America while still a young man or boy and found a home in Delaware.  It is unknown who his wife was, but his son William was born in Delaware in 1780.  Jacob and his family moved to Pennsylvania prior to 1785, eventually making their way to Mercer County (now a part of Lawrence County) on the western side of the state.  Supposedly, he served in the Revolutionary War under George Washington, but I have yet to see any records that support this claim.  He appears in a history of Mercer County as a local Methodist preacher and early pioneer of the area in the 1790s.  A William Gurwell also appears in this history as a member of the "southern class" of the district, along with his wife.  William would not marry his wife Rachel until around 1803, and she being from Westmoreland County brings some doubt that this is the same William (possibly a brother?).  We do know that the first two children of William and Rachel were born in Pennsylvania, and that the family moved to Holmes County Ohio sometime between 1812 and 1820.

The Gurwell's would prosper in Holmes County for many years and would be the final resting place of William in 1867 and his son Nathan three years before.   While the greater part of William's children would remain in Ohio, his second son David R moved west in the late 1840s and settled in Van Buren County, Iowa.  Van Buren County, along with Jefferson County directly to the north, would be the migration point of many families from Holmes County, Ohio.  Two of Nathan's children would move west following the death of their father; Belinda to Nebraska, and Cyrus to Montgomery County, Missouri.  Cyrus Gurwell's family would remain in the Wellsville, Missouri area through the turn of the century.  During the years preceding 1910, they slowly began to spread and seek lands and fortunes of their own. 

Cyrus' second son, Jonas Alexander, would marry and father three children in Missouri, but following the death of his wife, he moved to Jefferson County, Iowa where he would remarry and live out his days.  His oldest daughter, Orpha, would also move to Jefferson County, though she lived with her aunt rather than her father.  She would go on to marry William Earl Wallace, mother three children (a son William died in infancy), and die at a young age, just as her mother had. 

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