17 April 2014

Jacob L. Gurwell (1786 - abt. 1860)

The following is reproduced with permission from the "Gurwell Group" newsletter, Vol. 1, No. 4, (December, 1996) writer and editor Shirley Boyd --
Of the three young Gurwells, William, James and Jacob L., the least is known about Jacob L.  
Jacob L. Gurwell did not remain long in one spot.  First mention is in Mercer County, PA from where he served in the War of 1812. 
Jacob L. enlisted for the period of October 1, 1812 to April 2, 1813  in the Pennsylvania Militia and served as a private in Captain Matthew Dawson's Company of (PA) Militia, 5th Battalion (Nelson's) Infantry.They joined General Crook's brigade and marched through Ohio to operate with General William Henry Harrison against the British at Ft. Meigs.  He served two months and receive $13.32 for his service.  Jacob L. was discharged December 10, at Mansfield, Ohio (Richland County) which was "210 miles from home."  One Company Muster Roll shows 285 miles from home (19 days).  His allowance for clothing was $3.98.2 
In October 1817, he married Mrs. Elenor Da(o)rland in Perry Township, Wayne County, Ohio, by Daniel Hutchison, J.P.3   
The 1820 census of Berlin Township, Coshocton County, Ohio (became Holmes County in 1826) shows that there was one male 26-45, two females under 10 and one female 16-26 in Jacob's household. 
On May 1, 1821 he purchased "Lot No. five of the fourth quarter of the tenth Township & the Sixth range of the tract...lying in the State of Ohio."4 However, in November of the same year he sold the land to Jacob Frye.  Jacob L.'s wife was listed as Aley.5   
On April 25, 1822 he purchased land in Liberty Township, Crawford County, Ohio.  (Sale was the from Delaware County, Ohio land office.  The deed was signed by President James Monroe.)6 
By 1823 he had moved to Crawford County, Ohio.  A history of Crawford County records that "in 1823 in Liberty Township, Crawford County, the Northwest corner of Jacob L. Gurwell's farm was the first burying ground in that area so it is believed that one of the first to die belonged to Jacob L.  The graveyard no longer exists."7  Jacob L. is on the 1826 personal property tax list in Liberty Township.  "Prior to 1830 Jacob L. and David Hawk started a tannery northeast of Annapolis in Liberty Township."In 1832 and '33 Jacob L. was on the tax list in Liberty Township for lands and house.  In 1834 he bought land in Chatfield Township, Crawford County. 
The 1830 census of Crawford County, Liberty Township lists the following in Jacob L.'s household:  one male under 5, one male 40-50 (Jacob), one female under 5, one female 5-10, two females 10-15 and one female (20-30) (Aley).
While living in Crawford County, Jacob bought and sold many tracts of land. The last land transaction in Crawford County was in 1836 when he sold land to Isaac Starns.  He signed the land record and Aley made her mark. 
Jacob L. next appears in the 1850 Holt County, Missouri census.  He is 64 and lists his birthplace as Pennsylvania.  In his household are Emma, 26, born in Ohio, James, 16, born in Ohio, Amanda, 11, born in Illinois and William, 3, born in Missouri.  From this we can infer that he lived in Illinois after he left Ohio, that Aley died sometime after the birth of William (assuming that she was William's mother). 
FOOTNOTES: 1-Military Records from the National Archives; 2-Ibid.; 3-Wayne County, Ohio Marriage Records. 1812-1829.; 4-Holmes County, Ohio Deed Book Vol. 15, p. 19, Holmes County Court House, Millersburg, Ohio. (Poor copy.); 5-Holmes County, Ohio Transcript Deed Record 11,  p. 173, Court House,  Millersburg, Ohio.; 6-Crawford County, Ohio, Recorder's Office, Bucyrus, Ohio Deed Book 4,  p. 108-109.; 7-1881 History of Crawford County, Ohio8-Ibid. p. 576 

Jacob Laban Gurwell is my 3x-great-grandfather on my mother's paternal (Gibson) side.

If you have anything to add on the Gurwell family history both Shirley and I would like to hear from you.  She can be emailed at shirboy[at]aol.com.

Copyright © 2014 by Kevin W. Walker

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