Descendants of Wheeling’s first families still call Friendly City home


For over two centuries, generations of families have been born, raised and buried in the City of Wheeling.

This reality started with some of the first families to settle here, including the Nichols family.

Some of their descendants still call the Friendly City home.

“The Nichols family, that we’re related to and descended from, were here in 1775. Before that we were in Maryland, but we know that our common ancestor, John Nichols, was here by 1775 because he was appointed a constable for Ohio Count,” said Jay Frey, descendant of the Nichols family.

Old documents show that during the 18th century, Wheeling’s population was pretty scattered.

That meansmany descendants can actually trace their lineage back to more than one of the first families.

“Abram McColloch was Sam McColloch’s, the one who jumped over the hill, that was his brother. He started our side of the family,” said Bob McColloch, descendant of the Nichols and McCulloch families.

Over the years, many have moved out of the area.

Others have moved back, knowing they carry the history of the city in their blood.

“I left Wheeling twice. I spent nine years in California and three years in West Africa, but I’ve always come home. This is home. Wheeling is a magical place to be,” said Susan Hogan, descendant of the Nichols family.

“We’re talking 250 years where virtually every founding family is still represented here by descendants. I don’t think that’s something you find in every other city,” added David Allinder, publisher of In Wheeling Magazine.

Other first families featured in the new edition include the Wetzel family, the McMechens, the Browns, the Carters, the Bells and the Caldwells.

To find out more, click here.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.


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