Jewell Suitcase Family Part 1

Find Part 2 here : Jewell Suitcase Family Part 2 Blog

When we went away to Devizes 10 days ago we stopped off at a Car Boot sale on route and had a great find a large tatty Suitcase full of Old Photographs, couldn’t believe my luck. We packed them away in several carrier bags until we got back home and here are my findings so far about the family they belonged to.
I started off by sorting the photographs by age mostly, and some are in frames, then I sorted by size and place taken where I could, and have ended up with lots that were taken in the West Country, Plymouth, Camborne, Charlestown but mostly Helston, and found some of the photographs were taken in the United States, mainly Michigan, and tying together the snippets of information on the back and putting names to faces and working out the family relationships.

Theresa is back middle with her 2 brothers and 3 sisters before she went US maybe 1908

  I have found that they are of the Jewell Family and particularly of Theresa Warren Jewell, one of 7 children, who emigrated to America in 1908 and there she became a US citizen, with I think a cousin, name was Florence Warren so her Mums side of the family, they were both Servants.  Theresa was born in 1882 in Helston, Cornwall to a Mary (Warren) and Jacob Jewell, their 3rd child, after she went to America she married on the 25th November 1909 in Painesdale, Houghton, Michigan a Joseph Spurr who was ten years her senior. See picture below.

Theresa and Joseph Wedding Pic 1909 US

 He is rather interesting as he also was born in Cornwall and went over to America in 1896 following his Sister Alice and her Husband Richard Hocking who had been there over ten years, he boarded with them, his brothers James, John and William also followed in later years. Joseph Spurr was a Tin Miner in Cornwall and went to work in a Copper Mine in America the same as his brother in law Richard, I am assuming he helped him get the job. In the 1900 US Census Joseph and his brother William are both boarding with their sister and family in Adams Township, Michigan.
Although Theresa and Joseph both were born fairly close together in Cornwall, I have no idea if they knew each other before America, Josephs family was a large one, he was one of 12 children, so it is quite probable that the families did know of each other they were living less than ten miles away and the deciding factor for me is that both the Fathers and Sons of the families seem to be Tin Miners, so would have met through work.
I have found Joseph and Theresa in the 1910 US census, living in Adams township, Michigan. Then I found Theresa on her own with 3 daughters and sadly a widow in the US 1920 census, I have found the records for Joseph and he died of Pulmonary Tuberculosis on 12th September 1919, but a nice bit of info I also found was that after he was diagnosed with TB in 1912 he made a trip home to England to see his family in 1913 as I have him returning to New York on his own on the 13th August 1913.

This is Joseph,Theresa and daughters Muriel,Audrey and Olive the smallest,abt 1917

 I discovered Theresa remarried on August 23 1920 to a Bertie Williams, less than a year after Joseph had died, she needed a husband and provider with 3 daughters to care for and on the 1930 US census, they all have the surname Williams and also there is another daughter Rosamund who is the same age as Olive 14, so as it says on their marriage record that they were both married before, Rosamund must have been Bertie’s child from his first wife. So good result all round. There are lots of pictures of the girls and then their children in later life, so they obviously kept in touch regularly sending photos back to Cornwall and I expect the reverse aswell.

See Below

Pictures..Top left is 1944 Theresa & Bert outside their home in Detroit.
Top right is some of their Grandchildren, Sharon,Marlene,Sandra,Joanne,Judy and Alfred.
and bottom pic is Olive, Audrey and Rosamund in the Snow in Michigan.

Theresa actually died in 1956 in Detroit, Michigan.
I don’t know if any of Theresa’s family ever went to America to stay or emigrate, but I have found her returning back to England in 1938, sadly her Mum Mary had died in 1926. I wonder if she came back before then at all?
The 1911 UK census had Mary as Head living with one of her daughters and two sons and grandchildren and a boarder. It states that she had 10 children of which only five survive, her husband Jacob died in 1910.
There is so much information that I came across I could keep going tracing this family tree for ages, but I am satisfied that I have at least been able to identify them and put quite a few of the names I have found to the faces on the photographs.
I have found some Family Trees on Ancestry that have some of the family on, so I might make contact to see if these Photos could be returned where they belong.

Till next time then………………………………………………….. 

Update 1.. Looking carefully at the photos again I have just noticed that Theresa in the first photo with her brothers and sisters is wearing a wedding ring !! I missed that…so now I need to look at records as it seems that she must have made a trip home, way before 1938, maybe when Joseph died or did she come back with Joseph in 1913…need to do some more research! I will update if I find any more info…… 
Update 2
a)Saturday 6th July.. I have found Joseph Spurr gravestone and sadly on his gravestone it names another daughter Ruby Spurr born 1913 died 1916. 
b)The top photograph is left to right Hedley Jewell..Theresa Jewell/Spurr Gordon Jewell.
Mary Warren/Jewell (Their MUM) in centre.
Beatrice or Ada Jewell on left front and Cerita Jewell on the right.
3)Williams update…

I have found this photograph in one bundle of a Bertie Williams marrying Julia Jane in Painesdale, Houghton, Michigan on 17th December 1914, they were both born in England..This is the Wedding picture, now then it turns out that Julia’s maiden name is Warren and her mother is Mary Warren/Jewell’s sister…so you see the connection.
So now we know that when Theresa married Bertie Williams in 1920, she was marrying her cousin’s husband. Bertie was 26 in 1914 but Julia was 40, so I am wondering if maybe did she die in childbirth when she had Rosamund?


  1. How interesting, thanks for letting me know😊 All the photos from the Jewell family are now returned to one of Gordon's grandsons and his family down in Cornwall..see my blog titled updates.. So they are back where they belong. Please feel free to copy any of my photos on this blog for your own records, you should be able to right click and save on photo…


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s