The Nichol Clan Places of Interest
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To forget one's ancestors is to be a brook without a source, a tree without a root. - Ancient Chinese Proverb

Ahoghill & Gracehill, Co. Antrim, Northern Ireland

Hugh Nicholl was born in 1799 or 1800 presumably at Ahoghill, County Antrim, Northern Ireland. Ahoghill is about 3 miles from Ballymena which was the linen center of the world at that time. The Nicholl's were originally of Scottish ancestry. They were engaged in the production of linen, but it has not been established whether they grew flax and processed it into linen or were engaged only in the manufacture of linen. In the marriage certificate of his daughter, Sarah Jane (Family # 11) on 15 Oct 1849, Hugh is shown as a weaver.

Mary Ann (McKay) Nicholl lived in Gracehill, which is located between Ballymena and Ahoghill. Her parents were Robert McKay from Argyle, Scotland and Jane (Kilpatrick) McKay from Braid, Scotland. They conducted a bleachery in Graceland. The McKays were Moravian in religion and took a leading part in Church matters.

In 1987 Pearl Nichol Thomas (1332) and her nephew, Howard Nichol (13331), traveled through the Ahoghill/Gracehill area. The photos below show some of the highlights of their visit.
Ahoghill Presbyterian Church

The information concerning the birth and marriage details of the Nicholl family is recorded in the Registers of the First Presbyterian Church, Ahoghill, County Antrim, Northern Ireland. The name in each case was recorded with two "l's." The three sons dropped one "l' after emigrating to America.
Inside Presbyterian Church

Pearl and Howard inside the Presbyterian church in Ahoghill. Ahoghill was originally named "Magharahoghill", which means "Plane of the Yaw" (whatever that is).
Gracehill Moravian Church

The Gracehill settlement was begun in 1759. Gracehill is regarded as the "Mother Church" in Ireland as it is the only full scale Moravian settlement built in the country. It consists of a centrally located church surrounded by dwellings for the church members and all the necessary complements of a self-contained and self-supporting community.
Inside Moravian Church

Pearl inside the Moravian Church at Gracehill.

D. K. McKee Gift Shop
In 1987 this gift shop was right across the street from the Presbyterian Church in Ahoghill. Pearl is flanked in the picture by Mr. McKee and his daughter.
Thatched Roof House
Howard beside a typical thatched-roof house in Northern Ireland.

An interesting Web Site about your Irish Nichol Roots can be viewed by Clicking Here.

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Bottineau County, North Dakota

In 1885 Robert and Hugh II moved their families to Bottineau County, Dakota Territory. For the first year they lived in teepee-like structures made of poles while they built log houses on their homesteaded land. They prospered through honest, hard work. By 1903 Hugh was able to build a large two-story home like the ones he had admired in Washington County. He also built a large, well-equipt barn. Both of these structures are shown below. Unfortunately, two weeks after Maria moved into her new house she passed away. The chair on the porch in the picture on the left was placed there in Maria's honor.
The poem below, honoring Bottineau Count pioneers, was written by Flora Cameron Burr a good friend of the Nichol family. It was attached to Hugh Nichol's Obituary in the June 28, 1938 edition of the Bottineau Courant.

Passing from us, our Pioneers
Yes, passing one by one
Who knew the scent of the
first turned sod
In the early morning hours
with God
They left their work well done

The love and the hope of our Pioneers
Questions each generation
The growth that grew where the
wild rose grew
Is it yet as stable; yet as true
Well-fitted for State and Nation?

Say you will keep the faith with them
You who are after living
On the prarie lands that the
sunrise knew
When the soil was young and the
hand was true
Truly theirs was the giving.

The prosperity of Bottineau County might have peaked around 1915. The article below, which appeared in the 26 Nov. 1915 edition of the Souris Messenger, shows the prosperity and the competitiveness of that era’s Souris and Bottineau citizens, “We’re #1!”.

Souris Wealthest in U. S.

Has $88.67 Per Capita More Than Bottineau

Bottineau lays claim to having been able to wrest from Decorah. Iowa and Prescott Arizona, the proud title of being the wealthiest city in the U. S. Naturally we were pleased, but upon looking into the matter a bit, we were obliged to come to the conclusion that Bottineau belongs to the Bush league class when it comes to the question of wealth as shown by the bank deposits. We give this week the statements of our two banks, which will be of interest to our readers. By these statements, duly certified to by the respective banks, we find the following amount of deposits in Souris banks:
State Bank of Souris          $162,629.03
Mouse River Valley Bank        113,468.59
             Total Deposits    276,097.62
Souris has a population of 335, which gives her an average deposit of $824.17, which leaves Bottineau away back in the woods. The following figures will show a comparitive wealth based on Average Deposit per Capita:
Prescott, Ariz.		$566.83
Decorah, Ia.             689.00
Bottineau, N. D.         735.50
Souris, N. D.            824.17  

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