Richard Nuzum 1734-1822


Dublin Huguenots

Birth: Nov. 22, 1734
County Wexford, Ireland
Death: Jul. 22, 1822
Marion County
West Virginia, USA

RICHARD NUZUM (Thomas) was born in Co. Wexford, Ireland 22 November 1734 possibly near Dublin; died at Colfax, Marion Co., Virginia 22 July 1822; buried there [Joseph Dickinson Bible].

Richard removed to Nether Providence, Delaware Co., Pennsylvania from Ireland with his parents in 1752.

Richard married at Delaware, Delaware Co., Pennsylvania in 1760 Hannah WORRALL (Quaker Yearly Meeting Records, Philadelphia).



WORRALL, PETER. Ridley. July 10, 1767. August 5, 1767. To brother Thomas best velvet breeches. To cousin Phebe wife of Wm. Worrall silver shoe buckles. To brothers Joshua and Benjamin remainder of wearing apparel. All remainder of estate to brothers Jonathan and Thomas and sisters Hannah Nuzum and Esther Worrall, except walnut chest to Saml., son of Richard Crosby. Executors: Cousin Wm. Worrall and brother Thomas. Wit: Richard Crosby, Elisha Worrall.

Richard did not become a Quaker until after marriage for his wife, Hannah WORRALL, was disowned “for marrying one of another society.” Later, Richard and all his family, except his son Thomas and family, who were Episcopalians, became Quakers by request; his wife Hannah being reinstated after being out of Meeting for fifteen years. Monthly Meetings attended by the Nuzums were at Exeter, Chester, and Robeson; the family transferring back and forth for reasons not apparent to us today [Charles E. Haggerty, The Nuzum Family History Revised, David G. Nuzum, Publisher, Keyser, West Virginia, p. xxiii, 1983].

Episcopal Church

Episcopal Church

From Almead’s History of Delaware County (Pennsylvania): Richard NUZUM’s marriage to Hannah WORRALL united him with two great Quaker families (Taylor and Worrall), which had received their lands directly from William Penn’s proprietors. Bayard TAYLOR was a descendant of this Taylor family. Hannah’s father, who died while a comparatively young man, had gone to Europe to study medicine, and had graduated and come home, and settled in Upper Providence, Delaware County, Pennsylvania.

With the exception of his daughter Elizabeth, all Richard’s children were dismissed (some several times) for acting not according to discipline or for marrying one of another society. Also, John was dismissed for becoming a member of a company of militia just after the Revolution. For many years Quaker marriages were not legal, and the children were not considered to be legitimate, which condition was later remedied. But due to this, it is little wonder that the young people chose to be married out of Meeting, by a minister, so as to have a legal marriage and so legitimate children. This would be especially true of the Nuzums, being new in Quaker ways, and with their independent ideas [Charles E. Haggerty, The Nuzum Family History Revised, David G. Nuzum, Publisher, Keyser, West Virginia, p. xxiii, 1983].

The remainder of this discussion comes from the Nuzum Family History, Revised, pages 3-4.

Richard and Hannah NUZUM lived in Nether Providence, where most, if not all, their children were born.

Revolutionary War militia soldier.

Revolutionary War militia soldier.

Richard was not a Quaker when married, for first we have it that Hannah was complained of for marrying a person of another society. Then, 25 September 1761, acknowledgement received from Hannah, wife of Richard NUZUM, and she is disowned. Then we have, in Chester Monthly Meeting in 1776 Hannah, formerly WORRAL, daughter of John, late of Middletown, deceased, wishes to condemn marrying out of unity to this meeting. Letter from Robeson Monthly Meeting as to her good conduct; then January 27, 1777 she is granted a certificate to Exeter Monthly Meeting. At Exeter Monthly Meeting on April 30, 1777, Hannah is reinstated on certificate from the Chester Monthly Meeting, dated February 24, 1777.

At this time, Richard finally becomes a Quaker; for 25 September 1777 at Exeter Monthly Meeting, Richard NUZUM, wife and children, John, Elizabeth, James, Hannah, William, George, and Sarah, all received into membership on request. Richard is mentioned in his father’s will, dated 7 April 1789. But soon the family moved their membership to Chester, Pennsylvania; 28 June 1790, Richard, wife Hannah, and children Sarah and Phoebe received on certificate from Robeson Monthly Meeting, dated 25 May 1790. Richard became an important person among the Quakers, and 30 May 1791 was appointed overseer at Chester; that being equivalent to deacon, etc., in other churches. He kept this position until 30 April 1798, and then in April 1799 was appointed to the committee to care for black people.

1803 Western Pennsylvania Rivers

When Richard sold his farm and removed to Virginia, Redstone, now Brownsville, Pennsylvania, was the site of the Monthly Meeting; so on 29 September 1800 Richard and wife Hannah granted certificate to Redstone Monthly Meeting; then at Redstone, 6 March 1801, Richard NEWZUM received on certificate from Chester Monthly Meeting.

Discrepancies in dates will be noted in some of the Quaker information, errors of some sort, which do not destroy the main facts. [The Redstone Monthly Meeting at that time covered West Virginia, Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois.]

Richard and his family were enumerated at Delaware Co., Pennsylvania in 1800 [1800 U.S. Census, Delaware Co., Pennsylvania, p. 459, 10201-02001-00].

Tygart Valley River

Tygart Valley River

About 1800, Richard fearing lack of fuel because of deforestation due to the rapid growth in population in eastern Pennsylvania, sent several of his sons to Virginia to select a well-forested section on which they might settle. At that time anthracite coal, black stone, was used for paving. It was some time later before it was found to be a fuel. These sons selected a site on the Tygart’s Valley River, near what is now Hammond, Marion Co., West Virginia, through which ran several runs and creeks, and covered with good timber of many kinds. Richard obtained a grant for 1000 acres of this virgin forest land, about 1 ¼ square miles.

When Monongalia County was formed it included the northern counties of what is now West Virginia stretching across to the Ohio River. Later Harrison County was formed from Monongalia and it stretched to the river. Marion and Taylor Counties were formed from parts of Harrison and Monongalia counties. The Pricketts and Morgans settled in this region, dates being variously stated as being from 1766 to 1774. So when Richard Nuzum and family arrived in 1802, this was certainly an unsettled country. They had decided to move from the east due to deforestation and fear for lack of fuel, anthracite being yet unknown. No doubt, stories of hunters and trappers concerning the beautiful hills covered with dense forests would be the answer to the needs of this pioneer family. The sons Richard sent here to investigate the stories evidently confirmed them.

Marion County

Marion County

Now, picture for yourself the Nuzum family leaving the best civilization of that time, and coming into the wilderness. Here, they must clear away the forest so as to plant their crops; must build mills to grind their grain for food; and make the various spinning and weaving machines in order to make their clothing. So the family built the first gristmill on the Tygart’s Valley River in 1802-1803, the settlement being called Nuzum’s Mills. Due to postal requirements this name was later changed to Hammond. A short distance up the river on the B.&O. Railroad was the settlement called Texas, and its name was changed to Colfax.

Between 1800 and 1815 the Hartleys, Watsons, and the Vincents arrived in this region.

By deed dated 1 May 1802, Richard NUZUM and wife, of Tygart’s Valley, Monongalia Co., Virginia, transferred ownership of their farm at Nether Providence, near Philadelphia, Pennsylvania for $1,498. Richard paid taxes in Monongalia Co., Virginia in 1801-1802 and 1804-1805 [Monongalia County, (West) Virginia: Records of the District, Superior, and County Courts, Vol. 1: 1776-1799, compiled by Melba Pender Zinn, Heritage Books, Inc.; Monongalia County, (West) Virginia: Records of the District, Superior, and County Courts, Vol. 2: 1800-1803, compiled by Melba Pender Zinn, Heritage Books, Inc.].

WV Counties

WV Counties

Apparently, with the exception of his daughter Elizabeth, who had married Joseph DICKINSON and settled in Harrison Co. thirty miles away, all of Richard’s children with their families removed to Monongalia Co., Virginia (now Marion Co., West Virginia) with him. However, a year or so later, his son Thomas and Thomas’s family returned to Philadelphia.

Richard conveyed several acres of his grant for use as a graveyard, with the understanding that no one should ever be refused burial in it. Later a church building was erected on this site, and is used at this time (1950) by the Dunkards. Many of the NUZUMS of the early generations were buried in this graveyard.

Colfax Cemetery

Somehow, the method is not certain for I have found no will, Richard conveyed to each grandson named Richard 50 acres of the original 1000 acre grant. By 1950 there were only about 27 acres of the original 1000 acre grant remaining in possession of the NUZUMS.

Richard continued to draw the 60 guineas a year on the lease in Ireland until the War of 1812 shut it off. In 1815 Gardiner LEONARD, an Irish son-in-law, went to Ireland to try to renew rentals; but upon his return he reported that the contract had expired by limitation, according to the law of Great Britain, which report was accepted.

Richard and his family were enumerated at the East District, Monongalia Co., Virginia in 1820 [1820 U.S. Census, East District, Mono. Co., Virginia, p. 78].

Nuzum Cemetery

Nuzum Cemetery

Family links:
Thomas Nuzum (1706 – 1791)

Hannah Worrall Nuzum (1736 – 1791)*

John Nuzum (1761 – 1844)*
Elizabeth Nuzum Dickinson (1763 – 1860)*
Thomas Nuzum (1765 – 1843)*
James Nuzum (1767 – ____)*
George Nuzum (1774 – 1867)*
Sara Nuzum Leonard (1777 – 1851)*

*Calculated relationship

Colfax Cemetery
Marion County
West Virginia, USA

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2 Responses to Richard Nuzum 1734-1822

  1. kimberly sue nuzum says:

    looking for are family of Thomas nuzum and Richard nuzum.
    im am Kimberly sue nuzummy dad is paul d nuzum

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