Thomas Nixon was born May 7, 1736, in Framingham, Massachusetts, the son of Mary Sever and Christopher Nixon. He served as an ensign in the French and Indian War and a colonel in the 6th Massachusetts Regiment in the Revolutionary War. In 1756, he married Bethiah Stearns (1735-1823); they had five children, including Thomas, Jr., (1762-) and Hannah (b. 1772). Before his death in 1800, Thomas, Sr., purchased land from the Ohio Land Company, which passed to his descendants, including Thomas, Jr., and Hannah and John Nichols.
Thomas Nixon, Jr., was a fifer in his father's regiment during the Revolution and a farmer in Framingham, Massachusetts. He married Lydia Hagar (d. 1822) in the 1790s, and they had four children: Warren (1793-1872), Otis (1796-1877), Sukey (1797-1828), and Reny (1799-1824). Otis and Warren migrated to the family land in Morgan Township, Ohio, in 1818, where they cleared the terrain and began farming, but faced many difficulties. In the 1820s, the brothers returned to the east coast; Warren stayed permanently in Framingham, Massachusetts, and Otis lived for seven years in New York before going back to Ohio, this time to Watertown Township, where he resided from 1834 until his death in 1877.
In 1818, while still in Massachusetts, Warren married Salome Rice. They had six children: Myra (1819-1841), Laurella (b. 1820), Olenia (b. 1822), Selina (b.1825), Marcella (b. 1827), Camillus (1830-1837), and Marcellus (b. 1833). In the same year, Otis married Margaret Swain, with whom he had nine children, including George H. Nixon (b. 1828). In the 1840s, Marcella attended Mount Holyoke Female Seminary and studied under its founder, Mary Lyon. Selina received her education from Charlestown Female Seminary in Boston.