Blackwell Genealogy

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The Twichell / Twitchell Generations

Page 1    Page 2    Royal Twichell    Twichell Memoirs
Royal Twichell

The Holy Bible - Supplied to the Pioneers by Royal Twichell via horseback






Royal Twichell,
Royal Twichell,was a missionary for the Congregational Church.  He traveled alone the hills of New York State, and then across the prairies of Minnesota.  He continued his work up to the time of his death in Nebraska.  His story is one of conviction, hard work and an unshakeable faith.. 


The Coon Rapids Historical Commission is an advisory board to City Council in matters relating to the preservation of buildings and lands of historical significance.  Upon reviewing their website, the following was noted.... Note item 14.

First resident clergyman - "Rev. Royal Twitchell, who held services in the old trading post where  he lived in 1852"
"Note the Spelling of Royal's last name."  This spelling (with the middle T) is not their correct spelling; this is a common error that occurred years later when the information was recorded.  This spelling followed them over the years.  Actual Spelling is Twichell, that has been dated back to the 16th Century.

Royal Twichell
b. 20 Nov 1801  New Salem, Franklin, MA.
Chr. 14 Feb 1802  Athol, Worcester, MA.
d.  2 Apr 1882  Arborville, NB.
He was the eldest son of Lemuel Twichell and Esther Seaver. 
Married:  1 May 1825
Ruth Field  (First Wife to Royal Twichell)
b.  26 Jan 1808  MA.
d. abt 1845  Osian, NY.
She was the daughter of Solomon Field and Ruth Porter found in the 1830 Census of Concord, Erie Co., NY.
History of the Field name and the descendants of Ruth Twichell go back to the year 1030.  At that time, the Field name was then De La Feld. Over the years, it became Field.
See History

Royal remarried after the death of Ruth Field
Married abt 1845

(2) Almena Mary Nourse
b.  1810  VT
d.  unknown (after 1882 as she was present at Royal's funeral)
Time has shown that Ruth was correct in her suggestion to her husband Royal that Almena be the one to care for her Children.  This request of Royal was made by Ruth when she was on her death bed.  As it turned out, it was the right decision.  Almena was a dedicated and loyal Mother to her step children and remained with Royal to the end of his days in Nebraska.

1830 Concord Census
Surnames under  F   
Click Here     Shows Solomon Field of Erie, Concord
Surnames under  T   
Click Here     Shows Royal and Samuel Twichell of Erie, Concord

Note:  Two other Twichells are noted in Arborville.  I have no information on them. 
They are - C. B. Twichell and  G. B. Twichell -
It is certain that they are related, but no information is available.


Details of 1830 Census Concord, Erie Co., NY
Enumeration - 1000100000000-1000100000000
Dwight <5, Royal 20-30,
Dau.<5,   Ruth 20-30

Dwight appeared on the 1850 Census in Grow, Cattaraugus, NY
He appeared on the 1860 Censes in Crow, Anoka, MN
Twichell, Royal       58    MA    Congregational Clergyman
Twichell, Almena    50    VT
Twichell, Clarinda   18    NY    Congregational Clergyman
Coggins, Frank      73    ME    Farm Laborer

(2) Almena Mary Nouse '  (Second wife to Royal Twichell) Stepmother of Lois Twichell - Blackwell
b. 1810 VT
d. aft 1882
(IGI) show her as wife of Royal Twichell (Missionary)   She was born in Vermont but her parents are both from MA. originally.  Also, a daughter is listed as Lily A. Twichell  b. 1859 in WI.    It shows her father as being born in MA and Mother in VT.  (Source)  Census  Town 12, York, Nebraska.
(REB) I have no information that a daughter was born to Royal and Almena.  I started to think that it may have been the daughter of Dwight, but the Census lists the Father from MA. as Royal was, and the Mother from VT. as Almena was.  Therefore, I have to assume this is correct information and Royal and Almena did have a daughter.  No information is available on her.  I had originally thought that it may have been one of the daughters of Humphrey, but from this link, you can see that there are different named children.  - Click Here 
Children of Royal
Children of Royal Twichell and Ruth Field (1)

Children of Royal Twichell and Ruth Field (1)  (1) Dwight Twichell  (1) Lemuel Houghton Twichell (Humphry)  (1) Elmira Relief Twichell b.  d. Mar. 1849 (On a Friday) Typhoid - Three weeks after Emily. Buried on the Sunday.  (1) Almeda Twichell b. abt 1832  (1) Emily Twichell b. abt 1835  d. Feb. 1849 (On a Monday)  Typhoid  (1) Royal Emmons Twichell b. d. Hudson, Allegany Co., NY  Age 4  (1) Lois Twichell b, Hudson, Allegany Co., NY 
Children of Royal Twichell and Almena Nourse
Children of Royal Twichell and Almena Nourse  (2) Unknown Died near birth

Almena was known to Ruth Field as they were friends when the Twichell family lived in another part of New York.  Her and Ruth seemed like they were close as Ruth urged Royal to arrange for Almena to have the care of the children.   Almena was also a School Teacher some 18 years before her marriage.  Almena Twichell was present at the funeral of Royal Twichell in 1882 in Arborville, NB.  She was loyal and dedicated to  the family to the end.  It seems that Ruth was correct in her belief in Almena.

Information provided by Jessica Stewart who is one of the people who maintains the 108 Mile Museum in BC.
Almena was a spinster and when she was very young, her father gave her a bunch of wool for her to prepare something for her trousseau.  As she never married until her union with Royal Twichell after the death of Ruth in 1844, Almena made a beautiful blue quilt from the material her father gave her.  That quilt is on display in the McNeil (Laura Blackwell) Home on the site of the 108 Mile Museum in British Columbia (Now Heritage Property)


(REB) Royal is the eldest son of Lemuel Twichell and Esther Seaver.  He grew to become a prominent and respected figure in the Congregational Church and he worked hard towards his cause all of his life.  His travels in following his faith have seen he and his family in New York and Minnesota in small communities or alone on the open prairies.  Because of these travels and his work in the communities of which he lived, he is mentioned with great honour in the various writings on historical fact that are found on the internet today.  From the works of Lois Twichell (daughter) in her loving memoirs, we get an opportunity to understand the life of this man and what drove him throughout his time on this earth.  He was not unique to mankind but he was certainly one of a few that brought respect to every life he touched.  He was not looking for greatness, but he found it in the hearts of other men.  He was like gold, but he did not glitter.  It is my hope that this page can portray his life as he truly lived it.


Physical Description of Royal Twichell
"...He was very pail in complexion with light sandy hair and light blue eyes.
He was about 5' 10" tall, well proportioned and very straight.
He was a good horseback rider as well as a great walker..." (LCB)


- Rev. Royal Twichell -
First minister at the First Congregational Church of the Caneadea
July 10, 1842      Note the incorrect spelling of Twichell

First Congregational Church - July 10, 1842
Click to Enlarge
      Photo 176

Webmasters Note:  I found that the members of the Congregational Church that was started by Royal Twichell, hold an annual event.  Among other things, a play is put on in which two players play the part of Royal Twichell and wife Almena, the founders of the Church.  There life is portrayed for all the members to see the struggle that they went through in those early days of Minnesota. 

- Ruth Field - Twichell -
Ruth Twichell died in Osian, NY in 1844.  We believe she died of Typhoid.
She was a wonderful person according to the memoirs of Lois Twichell who has also offered us a physical description of her.

Physical Description of Ruth Field
"... she was of a gentle and obliging disposition, mild and quiet in manner.
She was small, about 5' tall with dark brown hair that was parted a little to one side over a rather low broad forehead.
Her eyes were dark blue and her complexion was fair".  (LCB)

- View a map of Erie Co., NY in the mid 1840s -   Click Here

Possible burial site of Ruth Field Twichell - Osian, NY
Believed to be the Cemetery that contains the grave site of Ruth Field
Click to Enlarge
Photo 177


The trip to Minnesota from New York.
Upon leaving NY, the Twichell family, through Chicago, eventually arrived in Galena on the Mississippi.  It was here that they caught the Steamer "Nominee" for departure to St. Paul Minnesota.  They departed very early on a Tuesday morning and arrived in St. Paul on Oct. 16th 1852 at 4PM.

Steamer - Nonimee    Captain Orron Smith
     Photo 178                Photo 179
The only photo ever taken of the Steamer - Nominee (178)
 Captain and Co-Owner - Capt. Orron Smith (179)


- Historical fact of Royal Twichell -
The Death of Royal Twichell in Arborville, NB.
From a review written by a close friend, Rev. C.S. Harrison. (photo)

Rev. C.S. Harrison - Friend of Royal Twichell
"It was like burying a Father"
Spoken by close friend of Royal Twichell
Photo 180

(REB) "Rev. C.S. Harrison was a close friend of Rev. Royal Twichell.  Rev. Harrison was a profile individual in the Congregational Church and as such, he was asked by the Land Commissioner of the Burlington & Missouri Railroad, to take charge of a Colony.  Rev. Harrison came out to look the ground over.  The result was further development of the church in this area.  Rev. Harrison gave the first sermon here in November of 1871 in a rough land office building.  The few homes in the area were made of sod.  The following is in his own words."

(CSH) "One of the inducements offered a colony was that an academy should be built.  For this purpose forty acres of land were donated, and in those early days, when the locust invasion was the worst, a fine building went up as a glorious hope in the midst of despair.  On account of it's proximity to Crete it was thought best not to open the Academy.  It was used for our Church.  About this time, the Methodists located their College at York, and we freely gave them the use of the building.  It was eventually sold at half the cost, and the proceeds went into the church building.  I think in the year 1873 I organized the church at Arborville with six members, in the parlor of Deacon Twichell, the son of a faithful pioneer missionary, the Rev. Royal Twichell, who did heroic work in Minnesota.  The old man was a Father to me, when sick and discouraged, I went to that new state in 1857. (Minnesota)   I attended his funeral in Arborville (Neb).  It was like burying a Father."  
View online source
- Click Here and see #156

(REB) In the memoirs of Lois Twichell, she tells of her journey from her home in Canada with her young daughter Emily.  The trip was to visit her father, Rev. Royal Twichell.  She also mentioned in her writings, that Dwight Twichell, her brother and eldest son of Royal lived nearby.  At this time I can only assume that Dwight was the Deacon Twichell that he referred to in his writings. Also, in her memoirs, Lois mentions those who were present at her fathers funeral.  To show the story of her arrival and the roll played my Rev. Harrison and the situation of Dwight Twichell, I shall reprint a small portion of the Lois Twichell Memoirs...
Note:  Lois has just arrived by train from York, NB. and on the train she met the wife of Dwight Twichell.  Nobody knew of Lois's arrival from Canada and she was unaware of the condition of here father's health.

The words of Lois Twichell (LCB)
(LCB) ""................I arrived in Bradshaw (Nebraska) at 4pm on April 1st, 1882.  There was no stage to Arbourville, the country place where my parents and brother Dwight lived.  He (Dwight) carried the mail once a week from Bradshaw on Fridays, and if I had got into town on time, I would have had a ride home with brother and his wife, who also came on the same train as I did from York, where she had been visiting with her sister.  But they did not know I was coming as I had not advised them.  I finally found a chance to ride in a farmer's rig who lived about two miles from my father's place but, as we did not leave Bradshaw till 10:00 it was nearly midnight when we arrived at his place. (The residence of the Farmer)  The young lady there told me that if I would stay with them she would take me over in the morning.  I and my little girl (Emily) were very tired so I gladly accepted their hospitality.  In the morning, the mother told me she had been over to the drug store in the village of Arborville and the day before and heard them saying in the store that my father was very ill.  This was unexpected as he was very well when my mother last wrote.  After breakfast, the young lady took me home in the wagon.  As we neared and it seemed to me the stir about the place was unusual for Sunday morning. (April 3 1882)

    The man on horseback met us, then turned back and followed us to the house.  As we got out of the wagon he asked me if I were Mr. Twichell's daughter from Canada.  I told him I was and he asked if I was prepared for bad news.  Then he told me that my father had died last night.  We entered the house where my mother and brother and his wife were but they did not know me.  Nineteen years had made a greater change in me then in they.  The young lady had introduced me as Mrs. Blackburn, not having rightly understood my name, so I did not enlighten them.  I had a sister Emily who had died and my little girl was named Emily for her.  Thinking mother would understand I said, "This is Emily".  Still she did not catch the idea of who I was.  My heart was full .  Then I said, "won't any of you know me"?, and then I burst into tears.  Then they understood and I was clasped in fond embraces.

    The man on horseback, who had met me and told me the news, saw my trunk in the wagon and thought I must be the daughter from Canada. I was very tired after my journey and, after a silent look at the form of my father, who could no longer speak to me; I went to bed and slept.  I had been traveling four days and had slept but a few hours before.  The  funeral was arrange for Monday.  Mr. Harrison, who had been in Colorado, had returned the day before.  He was a minister and valued friend and as soon as word was sent to him, he came down to preach the funeral sermon.  It was a large funeral for a country place.  My parents had lived there seven years (1875 - 1882) and were acquainted with all.  Mr. Harrison was well known also as a Congregational Minister when he lived there as a young man.  He had come there, broken in health, and made his home at our place when traveling for the Bible Society in that part of the land. (See **)  It seemed providential that he had arrived from Colorado and I from Canada about the same day and he was the one above all others that we wished to have with us on this sad occasion when my father was laid to rest in the little cemetery of Arborville. 

    There was present at the funeral my eldest brother Dwight and his wife and daughter, the daughter's husband and his little girl and a girl who had lived with my parents and had come with them from Minnesota and had since married in York.  Her husband was also there.  Myself and Emily and my widowed mother completed the number.  My father had been 80 years old on the previous November 1st. (1881)

(REB) ** Note:  The location of Rev. Harrison at the time he lived with Royal could easily be construed as being in Nebraska but from the reference made by himself in his own writings he indicates the year of 1857.  Royal was in Minnesota at that time and had not entered Nebraska until 1875.  Also, when Lois mentions "He lived with us", Lois never lived in Nebraska.  Therefore, it is obvious Rev. Harrison spent that time in the home of Royal Twichell in Minnesota.  Lois would have been 16 years old at the time.

Comment:  We are searching for a photographs of any of the Twichell Family and other Families in this website.  If you can help, Contact Us


St. Paul Presbyterian Church and Almida Twitchell -
In 1856 Edward D. Neil wrote a book for the people within the Congregational Church on how they should conduct their lives. 
The Last Page of the book shows the officers and Communicants of the St. Paul Church. 
Note Listing of  - Almeda Twitchell     This is the daughter or Royal Twichell and Esther Seaver. 
Royal preached at this church from 1842 to 1846.

Jan 1, 1856 Officers & Communicants - St. Paul Church
Click to Enlarge
     Photo 181


History of Wright County Minnesota,
Pages 819-825, 830, 831, 834, 835, 838-839

There are three Congregational churches in Wright County.  Located at Monticello, Clearwater and Hasty.

First Congregational Church of Clearwater.  April 20, 1859, a few people, by previous arrangement, met in Clearwater for the purpose of forming a Congregational Church.  Rev. Charles Secoun, of St. Anthony, was chosen moderator, and L. B. Holman, scribe.  Letters of dismissal and recommendations from evangelical churches were presented by the following persons: Abel Kent, Mrs. Abel Kent, Nahum Walker, Mrs. Mary A. Gibbs, Lyman B. Holman, Mrs. Lyman B. Holman.  These letters were read and accepted by vote.

Articles of faith and covenant were adopted and after a few remarks the moderator extended the right had of fellowship and declared the church regularly organized under the name of The First Congregational Church of Clearwater, Minn.  IN the fall of 1859 and winter of 1860, Rev. Royal Twichell, of Anoka, Minn., preached occasionally, and by him was the plan formed of building a church.  The lot upon which the church stands was donated by Frank Morrison, then a resident of this place.  The posts upon which the foundation were laid were given by the aged Luther Laughton.  The timber for the foundation was given by W. W. Webster.  Before the summer was gone the building was enclosed and temporary seats installed and services held.  Before the building of the church meetings were held in a hall over the store occupied by Gibbs & Whitney, which had been fitted up for school and religious services.  On May 1, 1861, the church was formally dedicated.  The dedication sermon was preached by Rev. A. K. Packard, of Anoka; text, James 1:18.

In the fall of 1862, the Indians became troublesome and families were forced to leave their homes, especially those who were on the frontier.

As Clearwater was located on the bank of the Mississippi it was considered a safe place by those beyond the "Big Woods."  But even here the Indian scouts came.  It was deemed advisable to fortify some place in case of an attack.  As the church was the largest and, from its location, most desirable. A plank fortification was raised as high as the eaves with loop holes.  Many families from beyond the village and Corinna here found a lodging place.  Provisions were gathered and thing made ready, but no attack came.  For months the fortifications remained.  Church services were held regularly and to one not understanding the reason would have caused a smile to see the people going in one by one through the small opening left for the entrance.

In 1863 the project of securing a bell was set on foot and after some time a bell was bought of McNeely Bell Foundry for $450.  This bell is still heard every Sunday as well as through the week.  Rev. William Crawford, from Anoka College, was the first pastor.  He was called April, 1861, and severed his connection May 11, 1862.  Rev. W. B. Dada came as pastor November 2, 1862, remaining five years.   May 2, 1868, Rev. J. D. G. Stearns became pastor and labored for eight years.  November 2, 1876, Rev. Nelson Clark became pastor and served for one year. May 5,1878, Rev. P. S. Smith was called and remained until July 11, 1881.  August 11, 1881, Rev. O. P. Champlin was called and remained two years.  May 1, 1884, Rev. G. W. Sargent was called and served until 1890. 
Since then the following reverend gentlemen have served: 
U. G. Rich, June, 1890-1891
Sidney Stone, September, 1891, September 1892
E. A. Woods, October, 1892,-1893
E. E. Day (student), June, 1894, for three months
G. E. Middleton, September, 1894, for six months
J. L. Jones, June 1895-1898
E. E. Day (student), June 1898, for three months
A. E. Barnes, October 1898, May 1900
R. Watt, August, 1901, September 1902
A. Davies, September, 1902 June, 1904
C. M. Stevens, October , 1904, October, 1905
Horatio C. Payne, January, 1906, August, 1907
Paul Winter, October, 1908, October 1914
George M. Griffiths, January, 1915, to the present time. 

A parsonage was purchased June 26, 1879.   (By Mrs. C. M. Finch, Church Clerk.)


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Beware of the man who does not talk, and the dog that does not bark.

                                                                                   - Cheyenne