Rewriting the Biography: Edward SIMS in the U.S. Federal Census

Rewriting the Biography is an ongoing theme for the rough draft notes of a new/updated biography of my 5th great-grandfather James SIMS (1754-1845) of Nicholas County.

My head has been spinning with the family I’m presently working on. I’ve run into mistaken identities and misattributed information. I ended up splitting a person into two and attaching different events to each individual. It has taken time to do the correction and figure out how to present all of this as can be seen by the delay in this installment.

I had a hard time keeping my focus on Edward SIMS. A large part of this is due to my not being 100% convinced he was a son of my 5th great-grandfather James SIMS. Years ago I spent weeks researching the descendants of Edward SIMS and his wife Hannah Mary ROBINSON. I followed them and their descendants out west to Missouri and Kansas and even as far as California.

It Always Comes Back to the Partition Suit

James SIMS was the only child of Jeremiah SIMS and Agatha NALLE and, therefore, he did not have nephews or nieces. He did, however, have 15 to 16 children with two wives. After his death in late 1845, a partition suit was brought before the court in 1848. [The original record is not available to me. I cannot be certain the transcription includes the names of all of his children.]

The 1848 partition suit which names James’ children (and grandchildren if the parent was deceased) does not include Edward SIMS although he was still living and in the area. The omission of his name in the document was the reason he was not considered a son of James SIMS at the time I wrote the original biography of James SIMS.

Was he a son of James SIMS or, as he could not be a nephew, a cousin? Two of James’ mother Agatha NALLE’s sisters married SIMS men, sons of Thomas SIMS and Rebecca PETTY. Neither as far as I know, had known sons named Edward. [Family tradition which has not been substantiated: James’ first wife Phoebe was his cousin. Some say a SIMS, others say a NALLE. Was Edward related to Phoebe? Should I even be asking these questions publicly, where others may misconstrue them? To make things clear, to date, no record has been found giving the first wife of James SIMS a surname or family connection to him.]

James’ father Jeremiah, in his 1768 will, referred to an Edward SIMS as his “beloved friend.” Did James SIMS name one of his sons Edward after his father’s friend? Was it only be a coincidence that Edward SIMS (1785-1852) married Hannah ROBINSON in Champaign County, Ohio, in 1805, the same county James’ oldest son Jeremiah moved to about 1804? And was it a coincidence that Edward lived in Greenbrier (a part which would later become Fayette County) while owning land in Nicholas County at the same time as James SIMS?

Circumstantial evidence is evidence that relies on an inference to connect it to a conclusion of fact—like a fingerprint at the scene of a crime. By contrast, direct evidence supports the truth of an assertion directly—i.e., without the need for any additional evidence or inference.

If Edward SIMS was not a son of James SIMS, who was he? Why did he live so close to James SIMS during the same time period?

Edward SIMS, a Candidate for Sonship?

Edward SIMS married Hannah Mary ROBINSON in August 1805 in Urbana, Champaign County. He may have gone to Ohio with (his brother) Jeremiah SIMS (son of James) in 1804 or followed him there. Or did Jeremiah follow him there? Edward was eight years younger than Jeremiah and would have been only 19 years old in 1804.

In August 1806, a year after their marriage, Edward and Hannah may have lived for a short time in Tennessee where their first daughter was born per the 1870 and 1880 census. They were back in Kanawha County in western Virginia by October 1808 when Edward was the administrator of the estate of John FOWLER, a son-in-law of James SIMS.

In 1806 and 1809 Edward was not listed on the Personal Property Tax Lists of Kanawha County per annotations in 1810 Kanawha County, (W)Va Census, compiled by David A. Turner and Sigfus Olafson and published by Kanawha Valley Genealogical Society, Inc. in 1991.

The 1810 U.S. Federal Census

In 1810 Edward and Hannah were in Kanawha County in the Charleston district. Also in the household was a second man in the same age range as Edward. Two daughters had been born by this time.

1810 U.S. Federal Census for Kanawha County, Virginia. Sheet 142, line 6, Edward Sims

1810 U.S. Federal Census 1
Kanawha County, (West) Virginia
Charleston
Sheet 142, Line 6
Name: Edward Sims
Free White Persons – Males – 16 thru 25: 2 (Edward and unknown)
Free White Persons – Females – Under 10: 2 (Rebecca and Miriam)
Free White Persons – Females – 16 thru 25: 1 (Hannah)
Number of Household Members Under 16: 2
Number of Household Members: 5

The 1820 U.S. Federal Census

Edward SIMS was found in Greenbrier County in 1820. In his household were his wife Hannah, five daughters and two sons. One of the daughters is unknown.

1820 U.S. Federal Census for Lewisburg, Greenbrier County, Virginia, page 193, line 18, Edward Sims

1820 U.S. Federal Census 2
Greenbrier County, (West) Virginia
Lewisburg
Page 193, Line 18
Enumeration Date: August 7, 1820
Name: Edward Sims
Free White Persons – Males – Under 10: 2 (Hale and Charles)
Free White Persons – Males – 26 thru 44: 1 (Edward)
Free White Persons – Females – Under 10: 3 (Polly, unknown, and Helen)
Free White Persons – Females – 10 thru 15: 2 (Rebecca and Miriam)
Free White Persons – Females – 26 thru 44: 1 (Hannah)
Number of Persons – Engaged in Manufactures: 1
Free White Persons – Under 16: 7
Free White Persons – Over 25: 2
Total Free White Persons: 9
Total All Persons – White, Slaves, Colored, Other: 9

The 1830 U.S. Federal Census

Edward was still living in Greenbrier County with his wife Hannah in 1830. They had three more daughters born into the family during the decade. Five daughters and two sons are found in the listing. The daughter in the 15 thru 19 range is likely Miriam who becomes a mother in 1832 but doesn’t marry until about 1845. This means the unknown girl who was with the family in 1820 in the under 10 category is now missing.

However, if Miriam had left home and was elsewhere, could the daughter in the 15 thru 19 range be the unknown daughter? I will come back to who she may be at the end of this post.

1830 U.S. Federal Census of Greenbrier County, Virginia, page 201, line 23, Edward Simms

1830 U.S. Federal Census3
Greenbrier County, (West) Virginia
Enumeration Date: 1 June 1830
Name: Edward Simms
Free White Persons – Males – 10 thru 14: 1 (Charles)
Free White Persons – Males – 15 thru 19: 1 (Hale)
Free White Persons – Males – 40 thru 49: 1 (Edward)
Free White Persons – Females – 5 thru 9: 3 (Helen, Aletha, Jane)
Free White Persons – Females – 10 thru 14: 1 (Mary E. “Polly”)
Free White Persons – Females – 15 thru 19: 1 (Miriam OR unknown)
Free White Persons – Females – 40 thru 49: 1 (Hannah)
Free White Persons – Under 20: 7
Free White Persons – 20 thru 49: 2
Total Free White Persons: 9
Total – All Persons (Free White, Slaves, Free Colored): 9

Rebecca SIMS and William M. GILKERSON

Edward and Hannah’s oldest daughter Rebecca married William M. GILKERSON in 1827 and had a daughter Jane who was about a year old.

1830 U.S. Federal Census of Greenbrier County, Virginia, page 177, line 9, William Gilkerson

1830 U.S. Federal Census4
Greenbrier County, (West) Virginia
Lewisburg
Sheet A & B, Line
Enumeration Date: 1 June 1830
Name: William Gilkerson
Free White Persons – Males – 20 thru 29: 1 (William)
Free White Persons – Females – Under 5: 1 (Jane)
Free White Persons – Females – 20 thru 29: 1 (Rebecca)
Free White Persons – Under 20: 1
Free White Persons – 20 thru 49: 2
Total Free White Persons: 3
Total – All Persons (Free White, Slaves, Free Colored): 3

The 1840 U.S. Federal Census

In 1840 Edward and Hannah were both in their mid-fifties and hadn’t had any more children in the previous decade. Their daughter Miriam had a son out of wedlock, William SIMS, in 1832. He is likely the young boy listed in the family group. Miriam does not seem to be living at home with her parents. Her three youngest sisters and her two brothers were in the household. The unknown girl found with the family in 1820 and possibly 1830 is no longer in the family.

Fayette County was formed in 1831 from Kanawha, Nicholas, Greenbrier and Logan Counties. The part of Greenbrier in which Edward lived in 1820 and 1830 was probably a part of the county which was ceded to Fayette County. Edward and his son-in-law William GILKERSON are found living next to each other.

1840 U.S. Federal Census, Fayette County, Virginia, page 158, line 29, Edward Sims and William Gilkerson

1840 U.S. Federal Census5
Fayette County, (West) Virginia
Sheet 158, Line 29
Enumeration Date: 1 June 1840
Name: Edward Sims
Free White Persons – Males – 5 thru 9: 1 (William Sims, son of Miriam)
Free White Persons – Males – 20 thru 29: 2 (Charles & Hale)
Free White Persons – Males – 50 thru 59: 1 (Edward)
Free White Persons – Females – 10 thru 14: 2 (Jane & Helen)
Free White Persons – Females – 15 thru 19: 1 (Aletha)
Free White Persons – Females – 50 thru 59: 1 (Hannah)
Persons Employed in Agriculture: 1
Persons Employed in Learned Professional Engineers: 1
Free White Persons – Under 20: 4
Free White Persons – 20 thru 49: 2
Total Free White Persons: 8
Total All Persons – Free White, Free Colored, Slaves: 8

Rebecca SIMS and William GILKERSON

Rebecca and William’s family grew by three sons and a daughter.

1840 U.S. Federal Census, Fayette County, Virginia, page 158, line 29, Edward Sims and William Gilkerson

1840 U.S. Federal Census6
Fayette County, (West) Virginia
Sheet 158, Line 30
Enumeration Date: 1 June 1840
Name: William Gilkerson
Free White Persons – Males – Under 5: 1 (Josiah age 4)
Free White Persons – Males – 5 thru 9: 2 (Isaac age 9-10 & Edward age 8)
Free White Persons – Males – 30 thru 39: 1 (William)
Free White Persons – Females – 5 thru 9: 1 (Rebecca age 2)
Free White Persons – Females – 15 thru 19: 1 (Jane age 10-11)
Free White Persons – Females – 30 thru 39: 1 (Rebecca)
Persons Employed in Agriculture: 1
No. White Persons over 20 Who Cannot Read and Write: 1
Free White Persons – Under 20: 5
Free White Persons – 20 thru 49: 2
Total Free White Persons: 7
Total All Persons – Free White, Free Colored, Slaves: 7

Mary E. “Polly” SIMS and Abraham Seay McGUFFIN

Edward’s daughter Mary married Abraham Seay McGUFFIN in 1835 and had two sons by 1840.

1840 U.S. Federal Census of Fayette County, Virginia for Abraham S. McGuffin household

1840 U.S. Federal Census7
Fayette County, (West) Virginia
Sheet 144, Line 7
Enumeration Date: 1 June 1840
Name: Abraham S McGuffin
Free White Persons – Males – Under 5: 2 (William and Preston)
Free White Persons – Males – 30 thru 39: 1 (Abraham)
Free White Persons – Females – Under 5: 1 (Sarah)
Free White Persons – Females – 20 thru 29: 1 (Mary)
Persons Employed in Manufacture and Trade: 1
Free White Persons – Under 20: 3
Free White Persons – 20 thru 49: 2
Total Free White Persons: 5
Total All Persons – Free White, Free Colored, Slaves: 5

The 1850 U.S. Federal Census

Edward SIMS and his wife Hannah Mary ROBINSON were enumerated twice in the 1850 census. They were found in the household of their oldest child Rebecca and her husband William GILKERSON (also seen as GILKINSON and GILKESON).

1850 U.S. Federal Census of Fayette County, Virginia for William Gilkerson household with Edward Sims

1850 U.S. Federal Census8
Fayette County, (West) Virginia
The 14th District 359B-360A
Enumerated the 17th day of August 1850
Sheet 359B lines 38-42 and 360A lines 1-7, HH #381-381
William Gilkinson 48 M Farmer $1000 Virginia
Rebecca Gilkinson 44 F Virginia
Jane Gilkinson 21 F Virginia
Isaac Gilkinson 19 M Laborer Virginia attended school
Edward Gilkinson 18 M Laborer Virginia attended school
Josias Gilkinson 14 M Virginia
Rebecca Gilkinson 12 F Virginia
Wm. Gilkinson 10 M Virginia
Charles W. Gilkinson 3 M Virginia
Edward Sims 64 M Farmer $500 Virginia (father-in-law)
Hannah Sims 63 F Virginia (mother-in-law)
Letha Sims 26 F Virginia (sister-in-law)
Note: Column with the place of birth was not filled in indicating all persons were born in Virginia.

They were also seen with their youngest daughter Jane who married Lilburn SIMS, son of John SIMS, a known son of James SIMS. (see listing further below)

Most of Edward and Hannah’s children had gone to live in Cass County, Missouri, before the 1850 census leaving only the members of the two households in which Edward was found still in (West) Virginia.

Miriam SIMS and James Right SUDDARTH

Miriam married James Right SUDDARTH sometime before 1845. He was a widower and brought two children into the marriage. Miriam and James had two sons born in Virginia in 1845 and 1847 placing their move to Cass County, Missouri after 1847 and before 1850. If they left (West) Virginia at the same time as Miriam’s son William SIMS then their departure was 19 March 1849.

1850 U.S. Federal Census of Cass County, Missouri for James R. Suddarth household

1850 U.S. Federal Census9
Cass County, Missouri
Sixteenth District
Enumerated the 21st day of October 1850
Sheet 111A, lines 20-25, HH #719-724
James R. Suddarth 45 M Tenant $800 Virginia
Myriam Suddarth 42 F Virginia
Margaret Suddarth 18 F Virginia (dau from his first marriage)
James M. Suddarth 17 M Farmer Virginia (son from his first marriage)
Benjamin R. Suddarth 4 M Virginia
Andrew J. Suddarth 3 M Virginia

Hale SIMS and Mary MORRIS

Edward’s son Hale SIMS married Mary MORRIS on 12 November 1844 in Nicholas County. He likely died before 1850 as his widow and children were found with her parents.

1850 U.S. Federal Census of Nicholas County, Virginia for William Morris household with Mary Sims and daughters.

1850 U.S. Federal Census10
Nicholas County, (West) Virginia
Enumerated on 27 August 1850 by D. Oliver Kelly Ass’t Marshal
Sheet 372B lines 38-42 and 373A lines 1-8, HH #433-433
Morris, William, Es. 63 M W Farmer $3,000 Virginia
Morris, Ann 50 F W Kentucky
Morris, Benjamin 26 M W Farmer Virginia
Morris, William 21 M W Farmer $200 Virginia
Morris, Levi 18 M W Farmer Virginia
Morris, Harraman 16 F W Farmer Virginia
Morris, James 13 M W Virginia
Morris, Frances 12 F W Virginia
Morris, Angaline 8 F W Virginia
Morris, Ann 5 F W Virginia
Sims, Mary 27 F W Virginia
Sims, Virginia 3 (sic, 5) F W Virginia
Sims, Eunis 3 F W Virginia
Note: no mark was made on the census sheet indicating the Sims girls were twins.

Mary E. “Polly” SIMS and Abraham S. McGUFFIN

Mary and her husband Abraham moved to Cass County, Missouri, following the birth of their daughter Rebecca born about 1849. It is possible they made the move with the SUDDARTHs and the MARTINs.

1850 U.S. Federal Census of Cass County, Missouri for Abraham S. McGuffin household

1850 U.S. Federal Census11
Cass County, Missouri
Sixteenth District
Sheet 114B, lines 6-14, HH #770-775
Abraham S. McGuffin 43 M Farmer Virginia
Polly McGuffin 36 F Virginia
Sarah McGuffin 14 F Virginia
Wm. McGuffin 13 M Virginia attended school
Preston McGuffin 12 M Virginia attended school
John McGuffin 9 M Virginia attended school
Charles McGuffin 5 M Virginia attended school
Robert McGuffin 3 M Virginia
Rebecca McGuffin 1 F Virginia

Charles SIMS and Mary Ann BRISCOE

This is likely NEW information for researchers who have studied the Edward SIMS family. There was some confusion as to the identity of Charles SIMS. After spending days on end reviewing all of the information, I have come to the conclusion that Charles W. SIMS who married Mary GIGER in 1834 in Fayette County was NOT Edward’s son. I believe he is a grandson of James SIMS through one of these three sons: William, Martin, or John (with Martin being the most likely candidate when reviewing the pre-1850 census).

Edward’s son Charles went west before 1843. The first mention of him was found on 13 February 1843 in Van Buren County, Missouri. The county was organized in 1835 and renamed Cass County in 1849. Charles married Mary Ann BRISCOE in 1844. He was a prominent lawyer and served as a Representative for Van Buren, later Cass County, in 1848, 1850, and 1852. He may have been the magnet which brought most of the Edward SIMS family to Cass County, Missouri.

1850 U.S. Federal Census of Cass County, Missouri for Charles Sims household

1850 U.S. Federal Census12
Cass County, Missouri
Sixteenth District
Sheet 123B, Lines 32-33, HH #903-912
Charles Sims 31 M Attny $6000 Virginia
Maryan Sims 21 F Missouri

Helen SIMS and William MARTIN

Helen and her husband William moved to Cass County, Missouri, about 1849 likely at the same time as the SUDDARTHs and the McGUFFINs. The census listing is strange in that Helen is listed first, followed by the children, and finally her husband William.

1850 U.S. Federal Census of Cass County, Missouri for Helen Martin household

1850 U.S. Federal Census13
Cass County, Missouri
Sixteenth District
Enumerated the 21st day of October 1850
Sheet 111B, lines 4-10, HH #723-728
Helen Martin 30 F Virginia
Edna Martin 8 F Virginia
Hannah M. Martin 6 F Virginia
Mildred Martin 4 F Virginia
Charles E. Martin 2 M Virginia
Wm. H. Martin 8/12 M Missouri
Wm. Martin 32 M Farmer Virginia

Jane SIMS and Lilburn SIMS

Jane SIMS married Lilburn SIMS in 1842. She and her husband were likely planning their move to Cass County, Missouri, at the time of the 1850 census when her parents, Edward and Hannah, as well as her sister Aletha, were enumerated in the Lilburn SIMS household. Lilburn was previously married and had a son William H. SIMS who was living with his grandparents, John and Mildred SIMS, in 1850, in the adjacent household.

1850 U.S. Federal Census14
Kanawha County, (West) Virginia
Sheet 22A, lines 116-18
HH #279-283
John Sims 63 M Farmer Virginia
Mildred Sims 60 F Virginia
William H. Sims 11 M attended school Virginia
HH #280-284
Lilburn Sims 35 M Farmer Virginia
Jane Sims 25 F Virginia
Charles W. Sims 1 M Virginia
Edward Sims 64 M Virginia
Hannah Sims 60 F
Aletha Sims 27 F

The Years Before the 1860 U.S. Federal Census

Edward SIMS, his wife Hannah, their daughter Aletha, and their youngest daughter Jane and her family followed the SUDDARTH, MARTIN, and McGUFFIN families out west to Cass County, Missouri, after the 1850 census. Edward died on 31 March 1852 and was buried in Harrisonville, Cass County. His wife Hannah died 11 October 1858 in Freeman, Cass County. They are not buried in the same cemetery. Their daughter Letha died three months after her mother on 20 January 1859 and is buried in the Freeman Cemetery likely near her mother. Their grave markers are similar.

The Years After the Deaths of Edward and Hannah

Rebecca remained in Fayette County, West Virginia, where she died in 1894.

Miriam moved to Pottawatomie County, Kansas from Cass County, Missouri, before 1865 and died there in 1897.

Hale who died before 1850 left a widow and two daughters. The widow remarried. In 1870 the youngest daughter was found in Pottawatomie County, Kansas, with Virginia SMITH, a 52-year-old widow from Virginia.

Mary moved to Miami County, Kansas from Cass County, Missouri, before 1865. She died between 1880 and 1885 as her widower was found in the 1885 Kansas state census with their son Preston.

Charles moved to Lykens County, Kansas, before 1860. The name of the county would change to Miami County in 1861. Charles was seen with his wife in the household of his sister Mary and Abraham McGUFFIN in 1865 in Miami County. Charles and his wife divorced in 1870. This was discovered when claims to his estate were made after his death in 1875. They did not have children. He remarried and had two children who lived with his sister Helen after his death.

Helen moved to Miami County, Kansas, in 1860 when it was still known as Lykens County, and died there in 1889.

Jane was seen in Miami County, Kansas, in 1865 but by 1876 she was back in Cass County, Missouri, were her husband Lilburn died, leaving a will in which she was mention, in 1887. When she died is not known.

The unknown daughter seen in the 1820 and possibly in the 1830 census may have survived, married, moved west about the same time as the rest of Edward’s children. I am looking into Virginia SMITH with whom Hale’s daughter Eunice was living in 1870. I traced her back to Cass County in 1860 and 1850 where she is seen with her husband Enoch M. SMITH and children. Husband, wife, and all of the children except for the two youngest (born abt. 1848 and 1855) were born in Virginia dating their move to Cass County at between 1846-1848. In 1860 they lived 7 households away from Lilburn SIMS and his sister Miriam SUDDARTH (who lived next door to each other). An Enoch M. V. SMITH was found in Fayette County, (West) Virginia, in 1840. One of the SMITH sons went to Yolo County, California, where William SIMS, son of Miriam, settled. A record of marriage in (West) Virginia around 1839 has not been found. Two sons lived after 1900 and may have death records which include their mother’s maiden name. No family trees on Ancestry have a maiden name for Virginia or parents for husband Enoch M. SMITH.

I am more convinced than ever that Edward SIMS was likely not a son of James SIMS. I will, however, do follow-up posts on his children as several interesting biographical sketches were found which tie them to each other. The entanglements of the Edward SIMS families with the James SIMS families, hopefully, will be untangled by the time I finish this census study.

As I final note and question,  wouldn’t Edward SIMS, whose son Charles was a prominent lawyer, have become involved in the partition suit if he was a son of James SIMS?

© 2018, copyright Cathy Meder-Dempsey. All rights reserved.

Rewriting the Biography: Edward Sims in the U.S. Federal Census

  1. 1810 U.S. Federal Census, (index and images), Ancestry, citing Third Census of the United States, 1810 population schedule, National Archives and Records Administration, Washington D.C. NARA microfilm publication M252, 71 rolls, FHL 0181429, roll 69, image 395, Virginia, Kanawha, Charleston, page 119, sheet 142, line 6, Edward Sims (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 20 February 2018). 
  2. 1820 U.S. Federal Census, (index and images), Ancestry, citing Fourth Census of the United States, 1820 population schedule, National Archives and Records Administration, Washington D.C., NARA microfilm publication M33, 142 rolls, NARA Roll M33_132, Image 169, Virginia, Greenbrier, Lewisburg, page 193, line 18, Edward Sims. (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 21 February 2018). 
  3. 1830 U.S. Federal Census, (index and images), <i>Ancestry</i>, citing Fifth Census of the United States, 1830 population schedule, National Archives and Records Administration, Washington D.C. NARA microfilm publication M19, 201 rolls, FHL Film 0029669, NARA Roll M19_190, Virginia, Greenbrier, image 61+62 of 80, page 201A+B, line 23, Edward Simms. (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 3 March 2018). 
  4. Ibid., Virginia, Greenbrier, image 19+20 of 22, page 177A+B, line 9, William Gilkerson. (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 3 March 2018). 
  5. 1840 U.S. Federal Census, (index and images), <i>Ancestry</i>, citing Sixth Census of the United States, 1840 population schedule, National Archives and Records Administration, Washington D.C., NARA microfilm publication M704, 580 rolls, FHL Film 0029685, NARA Roll M704_555, Virginia, Fayette, page 158A, line 29, Edward Sims. ‎(http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 5 March 2018). 
  6. Ibid., NARA Roll M704_555, Virginia, Fayette, page 158A, line 30, William Gilkerson. ‎(http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 5 March 2018). 
  7. Ibid., NARA Roll M704_555, Virginia, Fayette, image 11&12 of 54, sheet 144, line 7, Abraham S. McGuffin household. ‎(http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 16 May 2018). 
  8. 1850 U.S. Federal Census, (index and images), <i>Ancestry</i>, citing Seventh Census of the United States, 1850 population schedule, National Archives and Records Administration,Washington D.C., NARA microfilm publication M432, 1009 rolls, Roll: M432_943, image 324+325, Virginia, Fayette County, District 14, image 60+61 of 91, sheet 359B lines 38-42 and 360A lines 1-7, HH #381-381, William Gilkinson household. (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 16 May 2018). 
  9. Ibid., Roll: M432_395, image 228; Missouri, Cass, District 16, image 105 of 135, sheet 111A, lines 20-25, HH #719-724 , James Suddarth household. “.” (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 16 May 2018). 
  10. Ibid., Roll: M432_963, image 307+308, Virginia, Nicholas County, Western District, image 66+67 of 93, sheet 372B lines 38-42 and 373A lines 1-8, HH #433-433, William Morris household. (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 16 May 2018). 
  11. Ibid., Roll: M432_395, image 235; Missouri, Cass, District 16, image 112 of 135, sheet 114B, lines 6-14, HH #770-775, Abraham S. McGuffin household. (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 17 May 2018). 
  12. Ibid., Roll: M432_395, image 253; Missouri, Cass, District 16, image 130 of 135, sheet 123B, lines 32-33, HH #903-912, Charles Sims household. (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 16 May 2018). 
  13. Ibid., Roll: M432_395, image 229; Missouri, Cass, District 16, image 106 of 135, sheet 111B, lines 4-10, HH #723-728, Helen Sims household. (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 16 May 2018). 
  14. Ibid., Roll: M432_954, image49, Virginia, Kanawha County, District 29, image 23 of 271, sheet 22A, lines 19-24, HH #280-284, Lilburn Sims household. (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 16 May 2018). 
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Slave Name Roll Project: RELEASING: An Unnamed Black Woman

A Black Woman valued at $150 was found on a list of appraised property belonging to Isaac Jenkins (deceased) of Fayette County, Virginia (now West Virginia) on 7 November 1845. She was the most valuable “item” on the list of property. The estate was appraised by John P. Huddleston, Job Huddleston, and Mason Coleman. [See line 8 in the listing below.]

“West Virginia Will Books, 1756-1971,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:9392-C9S4-W3?cc=1909099&wc=Q816-MG7%3A179689901%2C179689902 : 11 October 2017), Fayette > Will book, v. 001 1832-1866 > image 71 of 292; county courthouses, West Virginia.

A Sale Bill of the Isaac Jenkins Estate was filed in the January Court 1847. The enslaved woman did not appear on this bill.

“West Virginia Will Books, 1756-1971,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:9392-C9S4-W3?cc=1909099&wc=Q816-MG7%3A179689901%2C179689902 : 11 October 2017), Fayette > Will book, v. 001 1832-1866 > image 71 of 292; county courthouses, West Virginia.

On 28 October 1848 in Fayette County, John W. Dempsey, Mason Coleman, and Edin Nugent were nominated and appointed by the County Court as appraisers of the personal and real estate of Nancy Jenkins, deceased. They presented a list which included one Negro woman valued at $100. [See line 8 in the list.]

“West Virginia Will Books, 1756-1971,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:9392-C9S7-KY?cc=1909099&wc=Q816-MG7%3A179689901%2C179689902 : 11 October 2017), Fayette > Will book, v. 001 1832-1866 > image 103 of 292; county courthouses, West Virginia.

The appraisers returned the list on 28 October 1848 and it was admitted to be recorded on the 3 February 1852.

“West Virginia Will Books, 1756-1971,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:9392-C9SW-DG?cc=1909099&wc=Q816-MG7%3A179689901%2C179689902 : 11 October 2017), Fayette > Will book, v. 001 1832-1866 > image 104 of 292; county courthouses, West Virginia.

A list of property sold 17 November 1848 belonging to the Estate of the late Nancy Jenkins, deceased, was presented and admitted to be recorded on 3 February 1852. The administrator of the estate was F. A. Settle.

The last line of the sale bill includes one black woman bought by Mary Lewis for $131.

“West Virginia Will Books, 1756-1971,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:9392-C9SW-DG?cc=1909099&wc=Q816-MG7%3A179689901%2C179689902 : 11 October 2017), Fayette > Will book, v. 001 1832-1866 > image 104 of 292; county courthouses, West Virginia.

Nancy Jenkins née Martin was the widow of Isaac Jenkins. They had no living children when Isaac died. Their daughter Margaret had married Carey Harrison Boatright in 1825 and predeceased them in 1828. She left one daughter, Minerva Frances Boatright born in 1826. Minerva married Francis Asbury Settle in 1842. Therefore the administrator of Nancy Jenkins’ estate, F. A. Settle, was the husband of her only grandchild.

Isaac’s father John Jenkins died 30 July 1831 and the appraisement and inventory of his estate was the first entry in the Will Book of the newly formed county of Fayette. He did not have slaves listed.

In 1840 Isaac and Nancy were found on the census of Fayette County with two black persons in their household. One was a free Colored female under the age of 10 and the other was a female slave age 24 thru 35. This woman is most likely the enslaved woman found in the estates of both Isaac and Nancy Jenkins. Was the young girl who was listed as a free person the daughter of this unnamed woman? Why would a child be listed as free?

There was only one Mary Lewis in Fayette County in 1850. She was a 15-year-old girl and unlikely the person who bought the unnamed woman. Perhaps Mary Lewis was from one of the neighboring counties of Kanawha, Nicholas, or Greenbrier.

There were two Lewis men in Fayette County in 1850 who owned slaves: William and Samuel. William who owned three slaves did not have a wife in 1850. Samuel’s wife’s name was Frances and he owned eight slaves.

Although this enslaved woman did not have a name, I felt the records should be shared in case someone is looking for her.

True's statementFollowing my three-part series on the slaves of my 5th great grandfather James Sims during Black History Month in February 2015 I made a commitment to write a post on a monthly basis until I’ve RELEASED all of the names of slaves owned by my ancestors or owned by persons I’ve researched who were relatives or neighbors of my ancestors.

These posts are part of the Slave Name Roll Project (About the Project) administered by Schalene Jennings Dagutis who also blogs at Tangled Roots and Trees.

© 2018, copyright Cathy Meder-Dempsey. All rights reserved.

Slave Name Roll Project: RELEASING An Unnamed Black Woman

Rewriting the Biography: Elizabeth SIMS in the U.S. Federal Census

Rewriting the Biography is an ongoing theme for the rough draft notes of a new/updated biography of my 5th great-grandfather James SIMS (1754-1845) of Nicholas County.

Warning: This analysis of the census records of the family of Elizabeth SIMS is a bit on the long side.

Elizabeth SIMS (1782-1845), the oldest daughter of James SIMS and his first wife Phebe, was the mother of a dozen children. Eleven of these married and had a total of 86 children (possibly 88 as two are still under investigation). A lot of behind the scenes research was done and is ongoing for Elizabeth’s family group.

In the partition suit filed in the Circuit Supreme Court of Law and Chancery for Nicholas County, George H. Lee, Judge, seeking to have the court provide for the sale of the 125-acre farm near Beech Glen which was left by James SIMS when he died, the names of nine of Elizabeth’s children were given.

…also the children of Elizabeth Johnson, dec’d, formerly Elizabeth Sims: to-wit, John Johnson, Wm. Johnson, Harrison Johnson, James Johnson, James Settle and Rachel his wife; William H(?)ale [sic, Kelly] and Amy his wife, John Backhouse and Phoebe his wife; ______Montgomery and Elizabeth his wife; Sarah Hyphy, John Kincaid and Mary his wife…

I don’t have a digital copy of the original partition suit. This is an excerpt received by email from a typewritten letter with the transcription of the record which may have been a copy entered into a court ledger. Three or four instances when an error could have slipped in or an addition made by a well-meaning person. I am trying to track down the original.

Missing in this list were two daughters, Barbara and Susannah. Elizabeth’s youngest daughter Susannah predeceased her, possibly the reason for the omission.

As an aside, Sarah Hyphy is likely a transcription error and should be Sarah HUGHES, daughter of Margaret SIMS and Matthew HUGHES. Margaret was deceased and her children were named in the partition suit. I have since found another original document which includes Sarah HUGHES, a minor. This will be shared in a later post.

Let’s get on with the census analysis for the households of Elizabeth SIMS, her husband, and their children.

The 1800 U.S. Federal Census

Elizabeth SIMS married John JOHNSON, son of Amy NELSON and William JOHNSON Sr., in 1802. Her husband John was found on the 1802 Kanawha County Tax List, a substitute for the 1800 census.1 He was the one white male over 16 years of age on the list. As wives were not listed on these tax lists, we cannot tell if John and Elizabeth were married at the time the tax list was prepared.

The pre-1850 U.S. Federal Census Records

As only the head of household’s name is found on the pre-1850 census records, we can only assume Elizabeth SIMS was the woman found in the household of John JOHNSON in 1810, 1820, 1830, and 1840. She bore him eleven known children (and one unknown) in twenty years between 1803 and 1823 and therefore must be the older female found in his pre-1850 census records.

The 1810 U.S. Federal Census

By 1810 Elizabeth had given birth to two sons and three daughters per the tick marks on the census. In order of birth, these children were Phebe, James, Amy, John, and an unknown girl.

I find it interesting that the first two children were named after Elizabeth’s parents, James SIMS and Phebe (whose maiden name is unknown). The second daughter was named after John’s mother Amy NELSON. The second son carried the same name as his father. The third daughter reflected in this listing remains unknown.

1810 U.S. Federal Census – John JOHNSON, seen as JOHNSTON

1810 U.S. Federal Census 2
Kanawha County, (West) Virginia
Kanawha
Sheet 207A, Line 21
Name: John Johnston
Free White Persons – Males – Under 10: 2 (James & John Brown)
Free White Persons – Males – 26 thru 44: 1 (John)
Free White Persons – Females – Under 10: 3 (Phebe, Amy & unknown)
Free White Persons – Females – 16 thru 25: 1 (Elizabeth)
Number of Household Members Under 16: 5
Number of Household Members Over 25: 1
Number of Household Members: 7

The 1820 U.S. Federal Census

By 1820 the Johnson family was found in the newly formed county of Nicholas. They did not move, the county lines changed. Elizabeth, the wife of John JOHNSON and oldest daughter of James SIMS, had ten children when the 1820 census was taken. She had given birth to two more sons and four daughters during the 1810s. The unknown daughter from 1810 had likely died before this census. John and Elizabeth named their children born in the 1810s by order of birth: William, Rachel, Mary, Barbara, Elizabeth, and Harrison. Elizabeth’s husband John was engaged in agriculture. Their oldest sons, who were 10 thru 15 years of age, were not included in the count of working persons, likely considered too young to work.

1820 U.S. Federal Census – John JOHNSON

1820 U.S. Federal Census 3
Nicholas County, (West) Virginia
Page No. 204A, Sheet 152, Line 30
Enumeration Date: August 7, 1820
Name: John Johnson
Free White Persons – Males – Under 10: 2 (William & Harrison)
Free White Persons – Males – 10 thru 15: 2 (James & John Brown)
Free White Persons – Males – 26 thru 44: 1 (John)
Free White Persons – Females – Under 10: 4 (Rachel, Mary, Barbara, Elizabeth)
Free White Persons – Females – 10 thru 15: 2 (Phebe & Amy)
Free White Persons – Females – 26 thru 44: 1 (Elizabeth)
Number of Persons – Engaged in Agriculture: 1
Free White Persons – Under 16: 10
Free White Persons – Over 25: 2
Total Free White Persons: 12
Total All Persons – White, Slaves, Colored, Other: 12

The 1830 U.S. Federal Census

Elizabeth gave birth to her 11th and 12th child during the 1820s. Her husband John was 53 years old and Elizabeth was 48 in 1830. They had four daughters and two sons living at home. Five of their children had married during the last decade. John and Elizabeth were living in a part of Kanawha County which would become Fayette County in 1831. [Land deeds need to be checked to determine if there was an overlap in the neighboring county of Nicholas.]

1830 U.S. Federal Census – John JOHNSON Sr.

1830 U.S. Federal Census4
Kanawha County, (West) Virginia
Sheets 198A & 198B, line 23
Enumeration Date: 1 June 1830
Name: John Johnston
Free White Persons – Males – 10 thru 14: 1 (Harrison)
Free White Persons – Males – 15 thru 19: 1 (William)
Free White Persons – Males – 50 thru 59: 1 (John Brown)
Free White Persons – Females – Under 5: 1 (Susannah)
Free White Persons – Females – 10 thru 14: 1 (Elizabeth)
Free White Persons – Females – 15 thru 19: 2 (Mary, Barbara)
Free White Persons – Females – 40 thru 49: 1 (Elizabeth)
Free White Persons – Under 20: 6
Free White Persons – 20 thru 49: 1
Total Free White Persons: 8
Total – All Persons (Free White, Slaves, Free Colored): 8

Phebe JOHNSON and John BACKHOUSE

Elizabeth and John’s oldest daughter Phebe, named after her maternal grandmother, had married John BACKHOUSE in 1822. They were the parents of five children born during their first eight years of marriage. The identity of one of the three sons under age 5 is unknown and he is no longer seen with the family in 1840 as will be seen further below in this post.

1830 U.S. Federal Census – John BACKHOUSE

1830 U. S. Federal Census5
Nicholas County, (West) Virginia
Sheets 172A & 172B, Line 18
Name: John Backhouse
Free White Persons – Males – Under 5: 3 (Josiah, John & unknown)
Free White Persons – Males – 20 thru 29: 1 (John)
Free White Persons – Females – Under 5: 1 (Elizabeth)
Free White Persons – Females – 5 thru 9: 1 (Polly)
Free White Persons – Females – 20 thru 29: 1 (Phebe)
Free White Persons – Under 20: 5
Free White Persons – 20 thru 49: 2
Total Free White Persons: 7
Total – All Persons (Free White, Slaves, Free Colored): 7

James JOHNSON and Mary Elizabeth MURPHY

James, the oldest son of Elizabeth and John married Mary Elizabeth “Betsey” MURPHY in 1829 and had not yet had children when the 1830 census was enumerated.

1830 U.S. Federal Census – James JOHNSON

1830 U.S. Federal Census6
Kanawha County, (West) Virginia
Sheets 198A & 198B, Line 11
Enumeration Date: 1 June 1830
Name: James Johnston
Free White Persons – Males – 20 thru 29: 1 (James)
Free White Persons – Females – 20 thru 29: 1 (Mary Elizabeth)
Free White Persons – 20 thru 49: 2
Total Free White Persons: 2
Total – All Persons (Free White, Slaves, Free Colored): 2

Amy JOHNSON and William KELLY

John and Elizabeth’s daughter Amy married William KELLY in 1826. They had a pair of twins, Anderson and Jackson. The fact that they were twins is not reflected in the 1830 or 1840 census but will be seen in the 1850 census.

1830 U.S. Federal Census – William KELLY

1830 U.S. Federal Census7
Kanawha County, (West) Virginia
Sheets 199A & 199B, Line 10
Enumeration Date: 1 June 1830
Name: William Kelly
Free White Persons – Males – Under 5: 2 (Anderson and Jackson)
Free White Persons – Males – 20 thru 29: 1 (William)
Free White Persons – Females – 20 thru 29: 1 (Amy)
Free White Persons – Under 20: 1
Free White Persons – 20 thru 49: 2
Total Free White Persons: 3
Total – All Persons (Free White, Slaves, Free Colored): 3

John JOHNSON Jr. And Mary Ann Pennell SETTLE

The fourth child John Jr. married Mary Ann Pennell SETTLE in 1829. John’s wife was pregnant with their first child when the census was taken in 1830. Of course, this cannot be deducted from the census but the child would be born in September of 1830.

1830 U.S. Federal Census – John JOHNSON Jr.

1830 U.S. Federal Census8
Kanawha County, (West) Virginia
Sheets 198A & 198B, Line 22
Name: John Johnston
Free White Persons – Males – 20 thru 29: 1 (John)
Free White Persons – Females – 15 thru 19: 1 (Mary Ann)
Free White Persons – Under 20: 1
Free White Persons – 20 thru 49: 1
Total Free White Persons: 2
Total – All Persons (Free White, Slaves, Free Colored): 2

Rachel JOHNSON and James SETTLE

Rachel, the sixth living child of Elizabeth and John, married James SETTLE in 1829. They were married less than six months when the census was taken and did not have children. James was the brother of Mary Ann Pennell SETTLE, wife of Rachel’s brother John JOHNSON Jr.

1830 U.S. Federal Census – James SETTLE, seen as SETLES

1830 U.S. Federal Census9
Kanawha County, (West) Virginia
Sheets 213A & 213B, Line 24
Enumeration Date: 1 June 1830
Name: James Setles
Free White Persons – Males – 20 thru 29: 1 (James)
Free White Persons – Females – 15 thru 19: 1 (Rachel)
Free White Persons – Under 20: 1
Free White Persons – 20 thru 49: 1
Total Free White Persons: 2
Total – All Persons (Free White, Slaves, Free Colored): 2

The 1840 U.S. Federal Census

By 1840 Elizabeth and John had only two children living at home. There was a young male under the age of 5 years of age in the household. Could he have been a grandson? It is very unlikely he was a late child as Elizabeth would have been between 48 and 52 years old when he was born.

Elizabeth’s husband John and their youngest son Harrison were engaged in agriculture as 2 persons were marked. Also in the occupation columns was the heading for a learned professional engineer. This category was marked with 1 indicating one of the men in the household had likely been schooled in the profession. Harrison, the only male old enough to work, was later only seen as a farmer.

1840 U.S. Federal Census – John JOHNSON Sr.

1840 U.S. Federal Census10
Fayette County, (West) Virginia
Sheet No. 146A+B, Line 13
Name: John Johnson
Free White Persons – Males – Under 5: 1 (poss. a grandson)
Free White Persons – Males – 20 thru 29: 1 (Harrison)
Free White Persons – Males – 60 thru 69: 1 (John)
Free White Persons – Females – 20 thru 29: 1 (Elizabeth)
Free White Persons – Females – 50 thru 59: 1 (Elizabeth)
Persons Employed in Agriculture: 2
Persons Employed in Learned Professional Engineers: 1
Free White Persons – Under 20: 1
Free White Persons – 20 thru 49: 2
Total Free White Persons: 5
Total All Persons – Free White, Free Colored, Slaves: 5

Phebe JOHNSON and John BACKHOUSE

Phebe and her husband John BACKHOUSE had five sons (a sixth son born between 1826-1830 must have died before 1840) and four daughters by the time the 1840 census was taken. John and likely the two older sons, Josiah and John, were engaged in agriculture.

Originally I had dates of birth for most of the children of Phebe and John BACKHOUSE in my database. They fit well with the pre-1850 census listing. However, the 1850 census did not match. I have since removed all dates except one as they were unsourced.

In comparing of the ages of each child in the later census listings I found large discrepancies. Most of the children were aging faster than they should. Although the 1900 census with the month and year of birth cannot be considered reliable I have added these to my database for the children who were living in 1900. They were, however, not very helpful in the long run.

In the analysis for the 1840 census for this family group, the names in parenthesis are the original order I had from the dates of birth. The names in brackets are the order they were found on the 1850 census (seen below in the section for the 1850 census). The son John was born 14 September 1828 per his death record and gravemarker. This would make him 11-12 years old at the time of the 1840 census however the comparison with the 1850 shows he was only 9. Another discrepancy is the age range for Phebe. She was 37 at the time but in the 20 thru 29 range.

1840 U.S. Federal Census – John BACKHOUSE

1840 U. S. Federal Census11
Nicholas County, (West) Virginia
Sheet 9, line 18
Name: John Backhouse
Free White Persons – Males – Under 5: 1 (James) [William 0]
Free White Persons – Males – 5 thru 9: 2 (Jonathan & William) [James 4 & Jonathan 6]
Free White Persons – Males – 10 thru 14: 2 (Josiah & John) [John 9 & Josiah 11]
Free White Persons – Males – 30 thru 39: 1 (John) [John 39]
Free White Persons – Females – 5 thru 9: 2 (Nancy & Hannah) [Nancy 2 & Hannah 3]
Free White Persons – Females – 10 thru 14: 1 (Elizabeth) [Elizabeth 10]
Free White Persons – Females – 15 thru 19: 1 (Polly) [Polly 13]
Free White Persons – Females – 20 thru 29: 1 (Phebe) [Phebe 38]
Persons Employed in Agriculture: 3
Free White Persons – Under 20: 9
Free White Persons – 20 thru 49: 2
Total Free White Persons: 11
Total All Persons – Free White, Free Colored, Slaves: 11

James JOHNSON and Mary Elizabeth MURPHY

James and his wife Mary were newlyweds without children in 1830. A decade later they had three sons and four daughters. One of the daughters under the age of 5 is unknown. James supported his family by farming.

1840 U.S. Federal Census – James JOHNSON

1840 U.S. Federal Census12
Fayette County, (West) Virginia
Sheet 146, line 1
Name: James Johnson
Free White Persons – Males – Under 5: 2 (David, Henry)
Free White Persons – Males – 5 thru 9: 1 (Hiram)
Free White Persons – Males – 30 thru 39: 1 (James)
Free White Persons – Females – Under 5: 2 (Amy, unknown)
Free White Persons – Females – 5 thru 9: 2 (Mariah, Phebe)
Free White Persons – Females – 30 thru 39: 1 (Mary)
Persons Employed in Agriculture: 1
Free White Persons – Under 20: 7
Free White Persons – 20 thru 49: 2
Total Free White Persons: 9
Total All Persons – Free White, Free Colored, Slaves: 9

Amy JOHNSON and William KELLY

Amy and William’s family grew by only by two between 1831-1835. No children appear to have been born in the second half of the 1830s. William and their twin sons were engaged in farming.

1840 U.S. Federal Census – James KELLY

1840 U.S. Federal Census13
Fayette County, (West) Virginia
Sheet 145, line 30 (images 13&14 of 54)
Name: William Kelly
Free White Persons – Males – 5 thru 9: 1 (John)
Free White Persons – Males – 10 thru 14: 2 (Anderson and Jackson)
Free White Persons – Males – 30 thru 39: 1 (William)
Free White Persons – Females – 5 thru 9: 1 (Mary Elizabeth)
Free White Persons – Females – 40 thru 49: 1 (Amy)
Persons Employed in Agriculture: 3
Free White Persons – Under 20: 4
Free White Persons – 20 thru 49: 2
Total Free White Persons: 6
Total All Persons – Free White, Free Colored, Slaves: 6
Note: Enumerator must have marked the wrong column for the age of the wife in this household.

John JOHNSON Jr. and Mary Ann Pennell SETTLE

John and Mary Ann would have only daughters! During the 1830s five daughters were born at intervals of about two years. John supported his family by farming.

1840 U.S. Federal Census – John JOHNSON Jr.

1840 U.S. Federal Census14
Fayette County, (West) Virginia
Sheet 146, line 14
Name: John Johnson Jr.
Free White Persons – Males – 30 thru 39: 1 (John)
Free White Persons – Females – Under 5: 3 (Elizabeth, Malvine, Amanda)
Free White Persons – Females – 5 thru 9: 2 (Virginia & Nancy)
Free White Persons – Females – 30 thru 39: 1 (Mary Ann)
Persons Employed in Agriculture: 1
Free White Persons – Under 20: 5
Free White Persons – 20 thru 49: 2
Total Free White Persons: 7
Total All Persons – Free White, Free Colored, Slaves: 7

William JOHNSON and Virginia SETTLE

William and Virginia were married in 1835 and the ages of the children born by the time the census was taken fit into the 1836-1840 time period. They had first a daughter and then two sons. William was farming at this time.

William was seen as a junior on the census as his uncle, my 4th great-grandfather William JOHNSON also lived in Fayette County.

1840 U.S. Federal Census – William JOHNSON Jr.

1840 U.S. Federal Census15
Fayette County, (West) Virginia
Sheet 146, line 11
Name: William Johnson Jr.
Free White Persons – Males – Under 5: 2 (James & Miles)
Free White Persons – Males – 20 thru 29: 1 (William B.)
Free White Persons – Females – Under 5: 1 (Octava)
Free White Persons – Females – 20 thru 29: 1 (Virginia)
Persons Employed in Agriculture: 1
Free White Persons – Under 20: 3
Free White Persons – 20 thru 49: 2
Total Free White Persons: 5
Total All Persons – Free White, Free Colored, Slaves: 5

Rachel JOHNSON and James SETTLE

Rachel and James had five sons during the 1830s. Rachel’s husband James was engaged in agriculture. One of the youngest males could be a son who died before 1850.

Another possibility would be that their son William whose age varies in each census (1850 age 8; 1860 age 20; 1880 age 39) may have been born in late 1840 or early 1841 and included in the count. Per Ancestry, “All questions asked were supposed to refer to that date (1st of June). The count was due within nine months, but the due date was extended by law to allow completion within eighteen months.”

1840 U.S. Federal Census – James SETTLE, seen here as SUTTLE

1840 U.S. Federal Census16
Fayette County, (West) Virginia
Page 145, line 28
Name: James Suttle
Free White Persons – Males – Under 5: 3 (John, Alfred, William or unknown)
Free White Persons – Males – 5 thru 9: 2 (Henry, Abner)
Free White Persons – Males – 30 thru 39: 1 (James)
Free White Persons – Females – 20 thru 29: 1 (Rachel)
Persons Employed in Agriculture: 1
Free White Persons – Under 20: 5
Free White Persons – 20 thru 49: 2
Total Free White Persons: 7
Total All Persons – Free White, Free Colored, Slaves: 7

Mary JOHNSON and John KINCAID

Mary and John likely married before 1835 and their first three children born between 1835-1840 are reflected in the census. John was a farmer.

1840 U.S. Federal Census – John KINCAID

1840 U.S. Federal Census17
Fayette County, (West) Virginia
Page 146, line 7
Name: John Kincaid
Free White Persons – Males – Under 5: 1 (Mark)
Free White Persons – Males – 20 thru 29: 1 (John)
Free White Persons – Females – Under 5: 2 (Catherine and Emeretta)
Free White Persons – Females – 20 thru 29: 1 (Mary)
Persons Employed in Agriculture: 1
Free White Persons – Under 20: 3
Free White Persons – 20 thru 49: 2
Total Free White Persons: 5
Total All Persons – Free White, Free Colored, Slaves: 5

Barbara JOHNSON and Jesse JARRETT

Barbara is the only child of Elizabeth SIMS and John JOHNSON to not live in close vicinity of her parents and siblings. Her older sister Phebe lived in Nicholas County but this was just a stone’s throw away from the rest of the JOHNSONs.

Barbara married Jesse JARRETT before 1835. They had a daughter and two sons by 1840. Both Barbara and Jesse could not read & write. (This column was blank for her siblings.) They were likely both working the farm they lived on as two persons were employed in agriculture.

1840 U.S. Federal Census – Jesse JARRETT, seen here as JAROTT

1840 U.S. Federal Census18
Kanawha County, (West) Virginia
Page 16, line
Name: Jesse Jarott
Free White Persons – Males – Under 5: 2 (Harrison and Bentley)
Free White Persons – Males – 40 thru 49: 1 (Jesse)
Free White Persons – Females – Under 5: 1 (Mary Elizabeth)
Free White Persons – Females – 20 thru 29: 1 Barbara
Persons Employed in Agriculture: 2
No. White Persons over 20 Who Cannot Read and Write: 2
Free White Persons – Under 20: 3
Free White Persons – 20 thru 49: 2
Total Free White Persons: 5
Total All Persons – Free White, Free Colored, Slaves: 5

Susannah JOHNSON and Thomas CURRY

Susannah was the youngest child of Elizabeth and John. She married Thomas CURRY, a farmer, in 1839 at the age of 17. They did not yet have children.

1840 U.S. Federal Census – Thomas CURRY

1840 U.S. Federal Census19
Fayette County, (West) Virginia
Sheet 145, line 24
Name: Thomas Curry
Free White Persons – Males – 20 thru 29: 1 (Thomas)
Free White Persons – Females – 15 thru 19: 1 (Susannah)
Persons Employed in Agriculture: 1
Free White Persons – Under 20: 1
Free White Persons – 20 thru 49: 1
Total Free White Persons: 2
Total All Persons – Free White, Free Colored, Slaves: 2

The 1850 U.S. Federal Census

Elizabeth SIMS would not live to be enumerated in the 1850 census. She died in 1845.

Elizabeth’s widower, John married Mary “Polly” CHILDRESS, widow of Benjamin “Benijah” WINDSOR in 1846. John married his sister-in-law’s sister-in-law and his nephew’s mother-in-law. [Polly and Benijah were the parents of Elizabeth “Betsy” WINDSOR who married Jonathan SIMS (son of William SIMS and Elisabeth WINDSOR) in 1836. Elisabeth, the wife of William, was the sister of Benijah.] See: The Windsor Connection

As will be seen below, all of Elizabeth’s children were married by 1850. All grandchildren were single and living with their parents except for two. Three of her sons were living next door to their father as can be seen on this page of the census.

1850 U.S. Federal Census – in order of household: Harrison JOHNSON, William JOHNSON, John JOHNSON, and John JOHNSON Jr.

John JOHNSON, the Widower of Elizabeth SIMS

Elizabeth’s widower was still a farmer in 1850 and had real estate valued at $150. In his household were his second wife Mary and a young widow with a child who likely were connected to the head of household’s wife.

1850 U.S. Federal Census – John JOHNSON Sr.

1850 U.S. Federal Census20
Fayette County, (West) Virginia
The 14th District
Enumerated on the 28th day of August, 1850. T. B. Hamilton, Ass’t Marshal.
Sheet 366A, lines 21-24, HH #470-470
John Johnson 72 M farmer $150
Mary Johnson 62 F Virginia married within the year
Catherine Farlin 30 F widow Virginia
Mary E. McFarlin 5 F Virginia
Note: An Ancestry user added an annotation that Farlin should be McFarlin

Phebe SIMS and John BACKHOUSE

In the 1850 census, we see all of the children of Phebe and John between the ages of 23 and 10 years. The ages below were used to calculate their ages in 1840 and in brackets above in the section on the 1840 census. All of Phebe and John’s children survived from 1840 to 1850. The head of household, John was a farmer as well as his sons Josiah, John, and Jonathan. John owned real estate valued at $300.

In 1870 the spelling of the surname BACKHOUSE would change for many to BACKUS.

1850 U.S. Federal Census – John BACKHOUSE

1850 U.S. Federal Census21
Nicholas County, (West) Virginia
The 43rd District
Enumerated on 26 August 1850 by D. Oliver Kelly Ass’t Marshal
Sheet 371A, Line 25-35, HH #406-406
John Backhouse 48 M W Farmer $300 Pennsylvania
Pheby Backhouse 47 F W Virginia
Polly Backhouse 23 F W Virginia
Josiah Backhouse 21 M W Farmer Virginia
Elizabeth Backhouse 20 F W Virginia
John Backhouse 19 M W Farmer Virginia
Johnathan Backhouse 16 M W Farmer Virginia
James Backhouse 14 M W Virginia
Hannah Backhouse 13 F W Virginia
Nancy Backhouse 12 F W Virginia
William Backhouse 10 M W Virginia

James JOHNSON and Mary Elizabeth MURPHY

James and Mary, if you only consider the ages of the children seen below, had three more children in the 1840s. A daughter Elizabeth and a set of twins, William and Jane. James was a farmer without any real estate. [Note for further research: Elizabeth, age 8 – is it possible she was a bit older and the daughter seen in 1840 in the under 5 age category? She has not been located in later census records.]

1850 U.S. Federal Census – James JOHNSON (with his sister Rachel next door)

1850 U.S. Federal Census22
Fayette County, (West) Virginia
The 14th District
Enumerated on the 26th day of August, 1850. T. B. Hamilton, Ass’t Marshal.
Sheet 365A, Lines 12-22, HH #449-449
James Johnson 45 M W Farmer Virginia
Mary Johnson 44 F W Virginia cannot read & write
Mariah Johnson 19 F W Virginia
Phobe Johnson 18 F W Virginia
Hiram Johnson 17 M W Virginia
David Johnson 16 M W Virginia
Henry Johnson 12 M W Virginia
Amy Johnson 10 F W Virginia
Elizabeth Johnson 8 F W Virginia
Wm Johnson 6 M W Virginia
Jane Johnson 6 M W Virginia
Note: A bracket between names and age indicate Wm and Jane were twins.

Amy JOHNSON and William KELLY

Amy, like her brother James above, had twins who were marked on the 1850 census. They were her firstborn. During the 1840s Amy and William had two more daughters. William was a farmer and owned land worth $650.

1850 U.S. Federal Census – Wm KELLY

1850 U.S. Federal Census23
Fayette County, (West) Virginia
The 14th District
Enumerated on the 27th day of August, 1850. T. B. Hamilton, Ass’t Marshal.
Sheet 365B, Lines 13-21, HH #457-457
Wm Kelly 42 M farmer $650 Virginia
Amy Kelly 43 F Virginia cannot read & write
Jackson Kelly 21 M Laborer Virginia
Anderson Kelly 21 M Laborer Virginia
John Kelly 16 M Laborer Virginia
Mary E. Kelly 14 F Virginia
Manerva Kelly 11 F Virginia
Jamima Kelly 6 F Virginia
Alviry Jane Kelly 2 F Virginia
Note: A bracket between names and age indicate Jackson and Anderson were twins.

John Brown JOHNSON and Mary Ann Pennell SETTLE

John and Mary Ann had four more daughters during the 1840s. Two more daughters would be born in 1852 and 1853 bringing the total children, all daughters, to eleven. Nine would marry and have children. Their youngest would die at the age of nearly 2 years and 4 months. Their third daughter, Elizabeth never married and died at the age of 27.

Their oldest daughter Virginia married in 1848 – the first grandchild of Elizabeth SIMS to marry. The second oldest daughter, Nancy Right, was missed in the enumeration and added as “Mary” between lines 26 and 27. John was a farmer and owned land worth $500.

1850 U.S. Federal Census – John JOHNSON Jr.

1850 U.S. Federal Census24
Fayette County, (West) Virginia
The 14th District
Enumerated on the 28th day of August, 1850. T. B. Hamilton, Ass’t Marshal.
Sheet 366B, Lines 25-33, HH #471-471
John Johnson 42 M W farmer $500 Virginia
Mary Johnson 41 F W Virginia
Mary (sic) Johnson 18 F W Virginia
Elizabeth Johnson 15 F W Virginia
Malvina Johnson 14 F W Virginia
Amanda Johnson 11 F W Virginia
Miram Johnson 7 F W Virginia
Lucinda Johnson 10 F W Virginia
Sarah A. Johnson 4 F W Virginia
Martha C. Johnson 11/12 F W Virginia

William JOHNSON and Virginia SETTLE

William and Virginia also had three more daughters during the 1840s. Two more sons would be born in 1852 and 1853 bringing the total children to eight. William owned land worth $500 and farmed.

1850 U.S. Federal Census – Wm JOHNSON

1850 U.S. Federal Census25
Fayette County, (West) Virginia
The 14th District
Enumerated on the 28th day of August, 1850. T. B. Hamilton, Ass’t Marshal.
Sheet 366B, Lines 13-20, HH #469-469
Wm. Johnson 39 M Farmer $500 Virginia
Virginia Johnson 31 M Virginia
Octava Johnson 13 F Virginia
James A. Johnson 11 M Virginia
Miles Johnson 10 M Virginia
Electean Johnson 8 F Virginia
Manerva Johnson 5 F Virginia
Sarah J. Johnson 2 F Virginia
Note: Electa’s name is hard to decipher on this census image and looks like Electean or Electeau.

Rachel JOHNSON and Enoch LIGHT

Rachel’s husband James SETTLE died before 1845. Rachel remarried about 1847. Her husband, Enoch LIGHT, a widower, came from Indiana about 1847. His deceased wife was Mary “Polly” KELLY, a sister of William KELLY who married Amy JOHNSON, Rachel’s sister. Enoch and his first wife had likely married in Kanawha County prior to the 1820 census. By 1830 they had moved to Indiana.

In 1850 Enoch and Rachel had two children of their own, a son and a daughter. Also in their household were Rachel’s five sons from her first marriage. A daughter and a son would be born after 1850. Their daughter Rhoda would die of inflammation of the bowels in 1855. Both Enoch and Rachel could not read and write. Enoch was a farmer and did not own land in 1850. According to L. Neil Darlington who wrote a booklet entitled, A Record of the Early Settlement of Lower Loup Creek (which was later published in the Fayette Tribune in 1933), Rachel and Enoch were living on the James Settle fork of Mulberry. They then lived in the present Summerlee region for a few years, coming back to Loup Creek where he bought land in 1858.

1850 U.S. Federal Census – Enoch LIGHT, next door to his brother-in-law James JOHNSON

1850 U.S. Federal Census26
Fayette County, (West) Virginia
The 14th District, Sheet No. 365A
Enumerated on the 26th day of August, 1850. T. B. Hamilton, Ass’t Marshal.
Sheet 365A, Lines 23-31, HH #450-450
Enoch Light 50 M Farmer Virginia cannot read & write
Rachel Light 36 F Virginia cannot read & write
Henry Suttle 18 M Farmer Virginia
Abner Suttle 17 M Farmer Virginia
John J. Suttle 14 M Virginia
Alfred Suttle 10 M Virginia
Wm. A. Suttle 8 M Virginia
Morris H. Light 2 M Virginia
Rhoda Light 11/12 F Virginia

Mary JOHNSON and John KINCAID

During the 1840s Mary and John had five children. Three more would be born in the 1850s bringing the total number of children up to eleven. John was a farmer and owned land valued at $1000. He would later become a Methodist minister.

1850 U.S. Federal Census – John KINCAID

1850 U.S. Federal Census27
Fayette County, (West) Virginia
The 14th District
Enumerated on the 27th day of August, 1850. H.B.- Hamilton, Ass’t Marshal.
Sheet 366A, Lines 30-39, HH #466-466
John Kincaid 39 M Farmer $1000 Virginia
Mary Kincaid 35 F Virginia cannot read & write
Catherine Kincaid 15 F Virginia
Emeretta Kincaid 13 F Virginia
Mark Kincaid 11 M Virginia
Jane Kincaid 9 F Virginia
Morris Kincaid 7 M Virginia
Susan Kincaid 5 F Virginia
Reed Kincaid 3 M Virginia
Jincy Kincaid 3/12 F Virginia

Barbara JOHNSON and Jesse JARRETT

Barbara and Jesse who were living in Kanawha County on land valued at $600 had three sons and a daughter during the 1840s. Their oldest daughter Mary Elizabeth married St. Clair ABBOTT in November 1849 at the age of 14, the second grandchild of Elizabeth SIMS to marry. The young couple was living with her parents. About 1851 Jesse and Barbara would name a son after their son-in-law. Three more sons would be born during the 1850s. The last two would be twins. They had a total of eleven children.

1850 U.S. Federal Census – Jessee JARRETT

1850 U.S. Federal Census28
Kanawha County, (West) Virginia
District No. 29
Enumerated on the 6th day of September 1850 by A.P. Fry, Ass’t Marshal.
Sheet 67A, Lines 27-36, HH #996-1000
Jessee Jarrett 45 M Farmer $600 Virginia cannot read & write
Barbara Jarrett 35 F Virginia cannot read & write
Harrison Jarrett 12 M Virginia
Bentley Jarrett 10 M Virginia
John Jarrett 7 M Virginia
Lewis Jarrett 6 M Virginia
Irvin Jarrett 5 M Virginia
Martha Jarrett 4 F Virginia
St. Clair Abbott 24 M Laborer Virginia cannot read & write
Mary Abbott 14 F Virginia

Elizabeth JOHNSON and Michael MONTGOMERY

Elizabeth married Michael MONTGOMERY in 1841. He brought a son John into the marriage. During the 1840s, Elizabeth gave birth to three daughters. Her fourth daughter Willie Ellen born in 1855 would be listed as a male William E. on the 1860 census. By 1870 the error was fixed when she was enumerated as Willie E., a female.

1850 U.S. Federal Census – M. MONTGOMERY

1850 U.S. Federal Census29
Fayette County, (West) Virginia
The 14th District
Enumerated the 12th day of August by J.B. Hamilton
Sheet 353A, Lines 37-42, HH#306-306
M. Montgomery 36 M Farmer $50 Virginia
E. Montgomery 32 F Virginia
John Montgomery 13 M Virginia
E. Montgomery 8 F Virginia
Nancy Montgomery 4 F Virginia
Ann M. Montgomery 1 F Virginia
Note: John age 13 may be a child from a previous relationship as Michael and Elizabeth married in 1841.

Harrison JOHNSON and Adeline JARRETT

John and Elizabeth’s youngest son Harrison married Adeline JARRETT soon after the 1840 census. Adeline’s parentage is unknown to me. Was she related to Jesse JARRETT who married Harrison’s sister Barbara?

By 1850 they had five children, three daughters and two sons. Three more sons and two daughters would be born to them by July 1860. Harrison farmed but did not own property in 1850.

1850 U.S. Federal Census – Harrison JOHNSON

1850 U.S. Federal Census30
Fayette County (West) Virginia
Enumerated on the 27th day of August, 1850. H.B.- Hamilton, Ass’t Marshal.
Sheet 366B, Lines 6-12, HH #468-468
Harrison Johnson 29 M Farmer Virginia cannot read & write
Adline Johnson 30 F Virginia cannot read & write
Mary Johnson 8 F Virginia
Clark Johnson 6 M Virginia
Jackson Johnson 5 M Virginia
Caroline Johnson 4 F Virginia
Amalethe Johnson 1 F Virginia

Susannah JOHNSON and Thomas CURRY

Susannah and Thomas both died in the typhoid epidemic in 1846.31 Their son William was raised by his paternal uncle William CURRY.

The uncle’s 1850 census listing includes two other CURRY children, Martha and Washington. Were they Uncle William’s children or could they have been siblings of young William? His parents had married in 1839 and the children would fit in the time frame.

The uncle William CURRY and married Margaret LIKENS on 28 November 1824 in Kanawha County. In 1840 they had a young male 10 thru 15 in the household. One person was counted as deaf and dumb. This would most likely be Margaret who was marked deaf and dumb in 1850.

1850 U.S. Federal Census – William CURRY

1850 U.S. Federal Census32
Fayette County, (West) Virginia
Enumerated on the 15th day of August, 1850. H.B.- Hamilton, Ass’t Marshal.
Sheet 354A, Lines 29-34, HH #316-316
Wm Curry 48 Farmer $2000 Virginia
Margaret Curry 40 Virginia cannot read & write Deaf & Dumb
Martha Curry 10 Virginia
Washington Curry 7 Virginia
Wm Curry 3 Virginia
Margt. Lykins 8 F Virginia

After the 1850 U.S. Federal Census

Elizabeth SIMS died in 1845 however, as her widower was still living, I continued with the 1850 census for John JOHNSON and their children. The census listings of her children after 1850 will not be analyzed at this time.

During the April Term 1854 in Fayette County, Rev. John JOHNSON was released from the payment of taxes upon himself and one tithable.33 He was not found in the 1860 census.

His second wife, Mary CHILDRESS (widow of WINDSOR) was in Gallipolis, Gallia County, Ohio with her daughter from her first marriage, Emeretta BROWN née WINDSOR and her family. A comparison with the 1850 listing convinced me that this is the correct person. The young Mary E. McFARLIN seen with John JOHNSON and his wife Mary in 1850 is in the 1860 household. Was Mary JOHNSON only visiting with her daughter? Or was she widowed and moved to Ohio to live with her daughter?

1860 U.S. Federal Census – James BROWN household with Mary JOHNSON

1860 U.S. Federal Census34
Gallia County, Ohio
Gallipolis Township
Enumerated on the 25th day of July 1860. W. R. Morgan Ass’t Marshal.
Page No. 179, Lines 37-40, and Page No. 180, Lines 1-5
HH #1178-1151
James Brown 39 M W Blacksmith $2000 $200 Ohio
Emeretta Brown 31 F W Virginia
Alvin Brown 13 M W Virginia attended school within the year
Mary Brown 10 F W Ohio attended school within the year
William Brown 8 M W attended school within the year
James Brown 4 M W Ohio
Mary McFarland 16 F W Virginia
Mary Johnston 68 F W Virginia
Frank Chapder 17 M W Blacksmith Apprentice Ohio

In 1870 Mary JOHNSON was 82 years old and still with her daughter Emeretta’s family in Gallipolis Township. No death record was found for her in Gallia County. Further research showed Mary McFARLAND (also seen as McFARLIN) was Mary’s granddaughter. The widowed Catherine seen with her in 1850 was her daughter and mother of Mary. Catherine and Mary were also enumerated in the BROWN household in 1850. Catherine remarried late in 1850 and moved to Iowa.

John JOHNSON’s grave marker has his year of death as 1861. However, finding his second wife Mary living in Gallipolis in 1860 (unfortunately before marital status was included on the census) and his missing 1860 census listing makes me wonder if he may have died before the 1860 census.

Next up is Edward SIMS (1785-1852) who may or may not have been a son of James SIMS (1754-1845) and his wife Phebe.

© 2018, copyright Cathy Meder-Dempsey. All rights reserved.

GENEALOGY: Census analysis for family group!!

  1. 1790 / 1800 Virginia Tax List Censuses (Binns Genealogy, original records from Library of Virgina, Richmond, Virginia or Family History Library, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Salt Lake City, Utah), Kanawha, 1802 Personal Tax List, page 12, line 18, John Johnson. (http://www.binnsgenealogy.com/VirginiaTaxListCensuses/Kanawha/1802Personal/12.jpg : accessed 23 April 2018). 
  2. 1810 U.S. Federal Census, (index and images), Ancestry, citing Third Census of the United States, 1810 population schedule, National Archives and Records Administration, Washington D.C. NARA microfilm publication M252, 71 rolls, FHL 0181429, roll 69, image 405, Virginia, Kanawha, Kanawha, page 129, sheet 207A, line 21, John Johnston (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 6 February 2018). 
  3. 1820 U.S. Federal Census, (index and images), Ancestry, citing Fourth Census of the United States, 1820 population schedule, National Archives and Records Administration, Washington D.C., NARA microfilm publication M33, 142 rolls, NARA Roll M33_130, image 388, Virginia, Nicholas, page 204B, line 30, John Johnson. (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 21 February 2018). 
  4. 1830 U.S. Federal Census, (index and images), <i>Ancestry</i>, citing Fifth Census of the United States, 1830 population schedule, National Archives and Records Administration, Washington D.C. NARA microfilm publication M19, 201 rolls, FHL Film 0029670, NARA Roll M19_191, Virginia, Kanawha, image 37+38 of 84, page 198A+B, line 23, John Johnston. (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 3 March 2018). 
  5. 1830 U.S. Federal Census, (index and images), <i>Ancestry</i>, citing Fifth Census of the United States, 1830 population schedule, National Archives and Records Administration, Washington D.C. NARA microfilm publication M19, 201 rolls, FHL Film 0029677, NARA Roll M19_198, Virginia, Nicholas, image 1+2 of 42, page 172A+B, line 18, John Backhouse. (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 3 March 2018). 
  6. 1830 U.S. Federal Census, (index and images), <i>Ancestry</i>, citing Fifth Census of the United States, 1830 population schedule, National Archives and Records Administration, Washington D.C. NARA microfilm publication M19, 201 rolls, FHL Film 0029670, NARA Roll M19_191, Virginia, Kanawha, image 37+38 of 84, page 198A+B, line 11, James Johnston. (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 3 March 2018). 
  7. 1830 U.S. Federal Census, (index and images), <i>Ancestry</i>, citing Fifth Census of the United States, 1830 population schedule, National Archives and Records Administration, Washington D.C. NARA microfilm publication M19, 201 rolls, FHL Film 0029670, NARA Roll M19_191, Virginia, Kanawha, image 39+40 of 84, page 199A+B, line 10, William Kelly. (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 3 March 2018). 
  8. 1830 U.S. Federal Census, (index and images), <i>Ancestry</i>, citing Fifth Census of the United States, 1830 population schedule, National Archives and Records Administration, Washington D.C. NARA microfilm publication M19, 201 rolls, FHL Film 0029670, NARA Roll M19_191, Virginia, Kanawha, image 37+38 of 84, page 198A+B, line 22, John Johnston. (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 3 March 2018). 
  9. 1830 U.S. Federal Census, (index and images), <i>Ancestry</i>, citing Fifth Census of the United States, 1830 population schedule, National Archives and Records Administration, Washington D.C. NARA microfilm publication M19, 201 rolls, FHL Film 0029670, NARA Roll M19_191, Virginia, Kanawha, image 67+68 of 84, page 213A+B, line 24, James Setles. (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 3 March 2018). 
  10. 1840 U.S. Federal Census, (index and images), <i>Ancestry</i>, citing Sixth Census of the United States, 1840 population schedule, National Archives and Records Administration, Washington D.C., NARA microfilm publication M704, 580 rolls, FHL Film 0029690, NARA Roll M704_, Virginia, Fayette, No township, image 15&16 of 54, sheet 146, line 13, John Johnson household. ‎(http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 26 April 2018). 
  11. 1840 U.S. Federal Census, (index and images), <i>Ancestry</i>, citing Sixth Census of the United States, 1840 population schedule, National Archives and Records Administration, Washington D.C., NARA microfilm publication M704, 580 rolls, FHL Film 0029690, NARA Roll M704_, Virginia, Nicholas, image 24&25 of 37, page 9, line 18, John Backhouse. ‎(http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 5 March 2018). 
  12. 1840 U.S. Federal Census, (index and images), <i>Ancestry</i>, citing Sixth Census of the United States, 1840 population schedule, National Archives and Records Administration, Washington D.C., NARA microfilm publication M704, 580 rolls, FHL Film 0029690, NARA Roll M704_, Virginia, Fayette, image 15&16 of 54, sheet 146, line 11, James Johnson household. ‎(http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 26 April 2018). 
  13. 1840 U.S. Federal Census, (index and images), <i>Ancestry</i>, citing Sixth Census of the United States, 1840 population schedule, National Archives and Records Administration, Washington D.C., NARA microfilm publication M704, 580 rolls, FHL Film 0029690, NARA Roll M704_, Virginia, Fayette, image 13&14 of 54, sheet 145, line 30, William Kelly household. ‎(http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 29 January 2016). 
  14. 1840 U.S. Federal Census, (index and images), <i>Ancestry</i>, citing Sixth Census of the United States, 1840 population schedule, National Archives and Records Administration, Washington D.C., NARA microfilm publication M704, 580 rolls, FHL Film 0029690, NARA Roll M704_, Virginia, Fayette, No township, image 15&16 of 54, sheet 146, line 14, John Johnson Jr. household. ‎(http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 26 April 2018). 
  15. 1840 U.S. Federal Census, (index and images), <i>Ancestry</i>, citing Sixth Census of the United States, 1840 population schedule, National Archives and Records Administration, Washington D.C., NARA microfilm publication M704, 580 rolls, FHL Film 0029690, NARA Roll M704_, Virginia, Fayette, image 15&16 of 54, sheet 146, line 11, William Johnson Jr. household. ‎(http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 26 April 2018). 
  16. 1840 U.S. Federal Census, (index and images), <i>Ancestry</i>, citing Sixth Census of the United States, 1840 population schedule, National Archives and Records Administration, Washington D.C., NARA microfilm publication M704, 580 rolls, FHL Film 0029690, NARA Roll M704_, Virginia, Fayette, image 13&14 of 54, sheet 145, line 28, James Suttle household. ‎(http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 29 January 2016). 
  17. 1840 U.S. Federal Census, (index and images), <i>Ancestry</i>, citing Sixth Census of the United States, 1840 population schedule, National Archives and Records Administration, Washington D.C., NARA microfilm publication M704, 580 rolls, FHL Film 0029690, NARA Roll M704_, Virginia, Fayette, image 15&16 of 54, sheet 146, line 7, John Kincaid household. ‎(http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 26 April 2018). 
  18. 1840 U.S. Federal Census, (index and images), <i>Ancestry</i>, citing Sixth Census of the United States, 1840 population schedule, National Archives and Records Administration, Washington D.C., NARA microfilm publication M704, 580 rolls, FHL Film 0029689, NARA Roll M704_566, Virginia, Kanawha, image 36+37 of 129, sheet 16, line 5, Jesse Jarett household. ‎(http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 26 April 2018). 
  19. 1840 U.S. Federal Census, (index and images), <i>Ancestry</i>, citing Sixth Census of the United States, 1840 population schedule, National Archives and Records Administration, Washington D.C., NARA microfilm publication M704, 580 rolls, FHL Film 0029685, NARA Roll M704_555, Virginia, Fayette, image 13&14 of 54, sheet 145, line 24, Thomas Curry household. ‎(http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 29 January 2016). 
  20. 1850 U.S. Federal Census, (index and images), <i>Ancestry</i>, citing Seventh Census of the United States, 1850 population schedule, National Archives and Records Administration,Washington D.C., NARA microfilm publication M432, 1009 rolls, Roll M432_943 image 338, Virginia, Fayette County, District 14, image 74 of 91, sheet 366B, lines 21-24, HH #470-470, John Johnson. (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 26 April 2018). 
  21. 1850 U.S. Federal Census, (index and images), <i>Ancestry</i>, citing Seventh Census of the United States, 1850 population schedule, National Archives and Records Administration,Washington D.C., NARA microfilm publication M432, 1009 rolls, Roll M432_963 image 303, Virginia, Nicholas County, Western District, image 62 of 93, sheet 370B, lines 25-35, HH#406-406 John Backhouse. (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 27 April 2018). 
  22. 1850 U.S. Federal Census, (index and images), <i>Ancestry</i>, citing Seventh Census of the United States, 1850 population schedule, National Archives and Records Administration,Washington D.C., NARA microfilm publication M432, 1009 rolls, Roll M432_943 image 335, Virginia, Fayette County, District 14, image 71 of 91, sheet 365A, lines 12-22, HH #449-449, James Johnson. (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 29 April 2018). 
  23. 1850 U.S. Federal Census, (index and images), <i>Ancestry</i>, citing Seventh Census of the United States, 1850 population schedule, National Archives and Records Administration,Washington D.C., NARA microfilm publication M432, 1009 rolls, Roll M432_943 image 336, Virginia, Fayette County, District 14, image 72 of 91, sheet 365B, lines 13-21, HH #457-457, Wm Kelly. (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 29 April 2018). 
  24. 1850 U.S. Federal Census, (index and images), <i>Ancestry</i>, citing Seventh Census of the United States, 1850 population schedule, National Archives and Records Administration,Washington D.C., NARA microfilm publication M432, 1009 rolls, Roll M432_943 image 338, Virginia, Fayette County, District 14, image 74 of 91, sheet 366B, lines 25-33, HH #471-471 John Johnson. (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 29 April 2018). 
  25. 1850 U.S. Federal Census, (index and images), <i>Ancestry</i>, citing Seventh Census of the United States, 1850 population schedule, National Archives and Records Administration,Washington D.C., NARA microfilm publication M432, 1009 rolls, Roll M432_943 image 338, Virginia, Fayette County, District 14, image 74 of 91, sheet 366B, lines 13-20, HH #469-469 Wm Johnson. (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 29 April 2018). 
  26. 1850 U.S. Federal Census, (index and images), <i>Ancestry</i>, citing Seventh Census of the United States, 1850 population schedule, National Archives and Records Administration,Washington D.C., NARA microfilm publication M432, 1009 rolls, Roll M432_943 image 335, Virginia, Fayette County, District 14, image 71 of 91, sheet 365A, lines 23-31, HH #450-450 Enoch Light. (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 29 April 2018). 
  27. 1850 U.S. Federal Census, (index and images), <i>Ancestry</i>, citing Seventh Census of the United States, 1850 population schedule, National Archives and Records Administration,Washington D.C., NARA microfilm publication M432, 1009 rolls, Roll M432_943 image 337, Virginia, Fayette County, District 14, image 73 of 91, sheet 366A, lines 30-39, HH #466-466 John Kincaid. (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 29 April 2018). 
  28. 1850 U.S. Federal Census, (index and images), <i>Ancestry</i>, citing Seventh Census of the United States, 1850 population schedule, National Archives and Records Administration,Washington D.C., NARA microfilm publication M432, 1009 rolls, Roll M432_954, image 137, Virginia, Kanawha County, District 29, image 111 of 271, sheet 67A, lines 27-36, HH #996-1000 Jesse Jarrett. (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 29 April 2018). 
  29. 1850 U.S. Federal Census, (index and images), <i>Ancestry</i>, citing Seventh Census of the United States, 1850 population schedule, National Archives and Records Administration,Washington D.C., NARA microfilm publication M432, 1009 rolls, Roll M432_943 image 311, Virginia, Fayette County, District 14, image 47 of 91, sheet 353A, Sheet 353A, lines 37-42, HH #306-306 M. Montgomery. (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 29 April 2018). 
  30. 1850 U.S. Federal Census, (index and images), <i>Ancestry</i>, citing Seventh Census of the United States, 1850 population schedule, National Archives and Records Administration,Washington D.C., NARA microfilm publication M432, 1009 rolls, Roll M432_943 image 338, Virginia, Fayette County, District 14, image 74 of 91, sheet 366B, lines 6-12, HH #468-468 Harrison Johnson. (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 29 April 2018). 
  31. Hardesty, Henry H. Hardesty’s Historical and Geographical Encyclopedia. New York: H. H. Hardesty and Company, 1884. Rpt. in West Virginia Heritage encyclopedia. Ed. Jim Comstock. Richwood: Comstock. 1974; online http://ftp.rootsweb.com/pub/usgenweb/wv/wv-footsteps/1999/v99-15.txt%5D&#160;
  32. 1850 U.S. Federal Census, (index and images), <i>Ancestry</i>, citing Seventh Census of the United States, 1850 population schedule, National Archives and Records Administration,Washington D.C., NARA microfilm publication M432, 1009 rolls, Roll M432_943 image 313, Virginia, Fayette County, District 14, image 49 of 91, sheet 354A, lines 29-34, HH #416-416 Wm Curry. (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 29 April 2018). 
  33. J. T. Peters and H. B. Carden, History of Fayette County, West Virginia, published 1926, Jarrett Printing Co., Charleston, West Virginia, pg. 190. 
  34. 1860 U.S. Federal Census, (index and images), <i>Ancestry</i>, citing Eighth Census of the United States, 1860 population schedule, National Archives and Records Administration, Washington D.C., NARA microfilm publication M653, 1,438 rolls, Roll: M653_966, page 485, Ohio, Gallia County, Gallipolis Township, page 179, lines 7-40 and page 180 lines 1-5, HH #1178-1151, James Brown. (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 30 April 2018). 

Rewriting the Biography: The James SIMS Tract of Land – SOLD!

On Monday, I finally found the land deed for the sale of the James SIMS property in Nicholas County, West Virginia. The land he bought from John JONES in 1800 on Little Elk Creek in what was then Kanawha County.

If another researcher has found it before me then it has been a well-kept secret.

The transcription of the partition suit filed in 1848 seeking to have the court provide for the sale of the 125-acre farm was helpful in naming the children of James SIMS.1 It was found among Virginia Bondurant Johnson’s application papers for membership in the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR).

It is not a transcription of the entire proceedings of the chancery case. It has errors. For example:

…James Sims, the father of your orators and oratresses departed this life on the ___day of ___1836 intestate and leaving no widow…

James did not die in 1836. I have since found records proving he died after 12 August 1845 and before 10 March 1846. See my post: Rewriting the Biography: When Did James Sims Die?

The Keys to Open the Door in this Brick Wall

FamilySearch is adding new collections at a faster rate. I’m always checking the catalog to find new material to search through. Nicholas County Order Books for Chancery and Law are online. Unfortunately, Law orders volumes 1-5 (pre-1871) are missing at the courthouse and not in the FamilySearch collection.

There is a general index to law and chancery records for plaintiffs and for defendants for the years 1818-1944. An index can be found in the front or back of each order book. It must be noted that some entries in the order books were indexed under the name of the instrument (Admr., Bill of Sale, Inventory, Bond, etc.) instead of the surname making it difficult to use the index. So as to not miss anything I skimmed through the entries in the order books searching for familiar names during specific time periods.

I found entries which appear to concern the proceedings in the partition suit from 1851 to 1855. If the suit was filed in 1848 why am I not finding entries for 1848-1850? I was not expecting to find records from 1853 to 1855 as, at the end of the transcript of the partition suit, this line was included:

The matter was finally settled in the spring term of court 1853. It sold for $183 and the costs approximated $160, thus leaving about $22.50 to be distributed.

I saved the entries, noting the page number and the FamilySearch link to the image, and will be adding the source citations to my database. I compared the page numbers of the entries I found to the page numbers in the index of the book and of the general index – they match. I did not find any entries which were not in the index.

From the entries, I discovered who the grantor and the grantee were as well as the year the sale of the land owned by the deceased James SIMS was finally recorded.

On the first read-through the entries, I became aware that there must have been a bit of wheeling and dealing going on. Interesting! Now I would love to get my hands on the entire chancery case.

With the names of the grantor and grantee, I was able to locate the deed transferring the land to the new owner on the Nicholas County, West Virginia County Clerk’s website.

I couldn’t keep this wonderful find to myself but I won’t be sharing the records today. I believe I’ve left enough clues. It’s up to you to try and solve this if you want to see the records before I get around to writing about them in depth.

© 2018, copyright Cathy Meder-Dempsey. All rights reserved.

WOW!! James SIMS Land Tract SOLD!!

  1. Eve Hughes, e-mail dated 13 June 2001. This information was passed to her by another researcher. I am still trying to find the original record from which this transcription was taken. 

Rewriting the Biography: Martin SIMS in the U.S. Federal Census

Rewriting the Biography is an ongoing theme for the rough draft notes of a new/updated biography of my 5th great-grandfather James SIMS (1754-1845) of Nicholas County.

Martin SIMS (abt. 1781-aft. 1853) was the third son of James SIMS and his first wife Phebe. He was the father of six known children, possibly 2-3 more (unknown) children, and at least 34 grandchildren.

The 1790 U.S. Federal Census

In 1790 when the first census was taken, Martin was living with his father James SIMS whose census records were discussed in Rewriting the Biography: James SIMS in the U.S. Federal Census in Bath County, Virginia. They would move to Kanawha County before 1800.

The 1800 U.S. Federal Census

Martin SIMS had married Susannah JOHNSON, daughter of William JOHNSON and Amy NELSON, in 1800 in Greenbrier County which bordered on Kanawha County at the time. The marriage bond for Martin SIMS and Susanna JOHNSON dated 28 March 1800 is on file with the Historical Society of Greenbrier County. There is also a permission slip dated 24 March 1800 signed by Susanna’s father William JOHNSON.1

As he was found on the 1802 tax list of Kanawha County he would have been 21 in 1802, i.e. born about 1781 or earlier.2

The 1810 U.S. Federal Census

In 1810 Martin and Susanna had three children, sons Nelson and John and daughter Sarah.

1810 U.S. Federal Census – Martin SIMS in Kanawha County, Virginia

1810 U.S. Federal Census 3
Kanawha County, (West) Virginia
Kanawha
Sheet 207A, Line 24
Name: Martin Simms
Free White Persons – Males – Under 10: 2 (Nelson & John)
Free White Persons – Males – 26 thru 44: 1 (Martin)
Free White Persons – Females – Under 10: 1 (Sarah)
Free White Persons – Females – 16 thru 25: 1 (Susannah)
Number of Household Members Under 16: 3
Number of Household Members Over 25: 1
Number of Household Members: 5

The 1820 U.S. Federal Census

The part of Kanawha County in which Martin lived became Nicholas County in 1818. He likely lived on the same land as his brother William. They were deeded 135 acres on the Gauley River in 1816 and were paying tax on the land in Nicholas County at the time of the census. The tract was the other half of an original tract of 260 acres which was not deeded by John JONES to James SIMS in 1800. [Land records will be discussed at another time.]

In Martin’s household were his wife, four known sons, an unknown son, and an unknown daughter. Also seen in the age range of his wife Susannah is another young woman. This may be Elizabeth JOHNSON, sister of Susannah, who was not yet married. Martin and another person, likely his oldest son Nelson, were engaged in manufacturing.

1820 U.S. Federal Census – Martin SIMS in Nicholas County, Virginia

1820 U.S. Federal Census 4
Nicholas County, (West) Virginia
Page No. 204A, Sheet 152, Line 18
Enumeration Date: August 7, 1820
Name: Martin Sims
Free White Persons – Males – Under 10: 3 (unknown, James J., and Lewis)
Free White Persons – Males – 10 thru 15: 1 (John)
Free White Persons – Males – 16 thru 25: 1 (Nelson)
Free White Persons – Males – 26 thru 44: 1 (Martin)
Free White Persons – Females – Under 10: 1 (unknown daughter)
Free White Persons – Females – 10 thru 15: 1 (Sarah)
Free White Persons – Females – 26 thru 44: 2 (Susannah and unknown)
Number of Persons – Engaged in Manufactures: 2
Free White Persons – Under 16: 6
Free White Persons – Over 25: 3
Total Free White Persons: 10
Total All Persons – White, Slaves, Colored, Other: 10

The 1830 U.S. Federal Census

Martin SIMS and his wife Susannah JOHNSON had five sons and a daughter in the 1830 census. The ages of the sons in later census year vary a great deal. However, when comparing to the 1830 and 1840 census it would appear that the unknown son seen in 1820 is likely now in the 15 thru 19 age group. Anderson was the only child born in the 1820s. Lewis, who is seen here as 5 thru 9 (1840 in 15 thru 19), may have been born very late in the 1810s or in 1820 before the census. The unknown daughter born between 1810-1820 is no longer in the household.

1830 U.S. Federal Census – Martin SIMS (bottom) in Nicholas County, Virginia

1830 U.S. Federal Census5
Nicholas County, (West) Virginia
Enumeration Date: 1 June 1830
Name: Martin Sims
Free White Persons – Males – Under 5: 1 (Anderson)
Free White Persons – Males – 5 thru 9: 1 (Lewis)
Free White Persons – Males – 15 thru 19: 2 (James J. & unknown b. 1811-1815)
Free White Persons – Males – 20 thru 29: 1 (John 20-25)
Free White Persons – Males – 40 thru 49: 1 (Martin)
Free White Persons – Females – 20 thru 29: 1 (Sarah 20-25)
Free White Persons – Females – 40 thru 49: 1 (Susannah)
Free White Persons – Under 20: 4
Free White Persons – 20 thru 49: 4
Total Free White Persons: 8
Total – All Persons (Free White, Slaves, Free Colored): 8

Nelson SIMS and Nancy JONES

Martin and Susannah’s oldest son Nelson had married Nancy JONES in 1828. Before the census, they had one son they named Martin.

1830 U.S. Federal Census – Nelson SIMS (top) in Nicholas County, Virginia

1830 U.S. Federal Census6
Nicholas County, (West) Virginia
Enumeration Date: 1 June 1830
Name: Nelson Sims
Free White Persons – Males – Under 5: 1 (Martin)
Free White Persons – Males – 20 thru 29: 1 (Nelson)
Free White Persons – Females – 15 thru 19: 1 (Nancy)
Free White Persons – Under 20: 2
Free White Persons – 20 thru 49: 1
Total Free White Persons: 3
Total – All Persons (Free White, Slaves, Free Colored): 3

The 1840 U.S. Federal Census

Martin’s wife Susannah died before 6 June 1840. Her widower Martin married Margaret HUGHES on this date.

The official enumeration day of the 1840 census was 1 June 1840. All questions asked were supposed to refer to that date. The count was due within nine months, but the due date was extended by law to allow completion within eighteen months. ~ Ancestry.com

Margaret appears to have been counted in the household even though the marriage took place after the official enumeration date. Martin’s daughter Sarah was not yet married but she had a daughter Mary J. born about 1839 (she was 17 in 1856 when she married) who may be in the grandfather’s household. The possibility that Margaret HUGHES brought a child into the marriage or that she and Martin had a child should also be considered. The unknown male seen in 1820 and 1830 is not in the household. Was he deceased or had he married and moved to other parts? Without a name or a document listing the names of the children of Martin, it is probably impossible to trace this person.

All of the males in the household were engaged in agriculture. There was one female slave age 36 thru 54 counted. None of the adults in the household could read or write.

1840 U.S. Federal Census – Martin SIMS in Nicholas County, Virginia

1840 U.S. Federal Census7
Nicholas County, (West) Virginia
Sheet 10, Line 5
Enumeration Date: 1 June 1840
Name: Martin Sims
Free White Persons – Males – 10 thru 14: 1 (Anderson)
Free White Persons – Males – 15 thru 19: 1 (Lewis)
Free White Persons – Males – 20 thru 29: 1 (John)
Free White Persons – Males – 50 thru 59: 1 (Martin)
Free White Persons – Females – Under 5: 1 (Mary J. Sprinkle, daughter of Sarah)
Free White Persons – Females – 20 thru 29: 1 (Sarah)
Free White Persons – Females – 30 thru 39: 1 (Margaret, md. June 1840)
Slaves – Females – 36 thru 54: 1
Persons Employed in Agriculture: 4
No. White Persons over 20 Who Cannot Read and Write: 4
Free White Persons – Under 20: 3
Free White Persons – 20 thru 49: 3
Total Free White Persons: 7
Total Slaves: 1
Total All Persons – Free White, Free Colored, Slaves: 8

Nelson SIMS

Martin’s son Nelson’s family had grown to include a son Thomas and daughters Sarah Jane and Virginia. Nelson was engaged in agriculture and he did not have any slaves.

1840 U.S. Federal Census – Nelson SIMS in Fayette County, Virginia

1840 U.S. Federal Census8
Fayette County, (West) Virginia
Sheet 147, Line 30
Enumeration Date: 1 June 1840
Name: Nelson Sims
Free White Persons – Males – 5 thru 9: 1 (Thomas)
Free White Persons – Males – 10 thru 14: 1 (Martin)
Free White Persons – Males – 30 thru 39: 1 (Nelson)
Free White Persons – Females – Under 5: 1 (Virginia)
Free White Persons – Females – 5 thru 9: 1 (Sarah Jane)
Free White Persons – Females – 20 thru 29: 1 (Nancy)
Persons Employed in Agriculture: 1
Free White Persons – Under 20: 4
Free White Persons – 20 thru 49: 2
Total Free White Persons: 6
Total All Persons – Free White, Free Colored, Slaves: 6

There was a second census listing for a man named Nelson SIMS in 1840 in Kanawha County. His age is too young to be a match for Nelson seen above. Several tick marks were X-ed out. There were 4 persons in the household: a man and a woman aged 20 thru 29 and one girl and one boy under 5. Three persons were engaged in agriculture, most likely not correct as there was only one male over 20 in the household.

1840 U.S. Federal Census – Nelson SIMS in Kanawha County, Virginia

1840 U.S. Federal Census9
Kanawha County, (West Virginia)
Page 60, Line 29
Enumeration Date: 1 June 1840
Name: Nelson Sims
Free White Persons – Males – Under 5: 1
Free White Persons – Males – 20 thru 29: 1
Free White Persons – Females – Under 5: 1
Free White Persons – Females – 5 thru 9: 1 marked out with an X (looks like *)
Free White Persons – Females – 15 thru 19: 1 marked out with an X (looks like *)
Free White Persons – Females – 20 thru 29: 1
Free White Persons – Females – 30 thru 39: 1 marked out with an X (looks like *)
Persons Employed in Agriculture: 3
Free White Persons – Under 20: 2
Free White Persons – 20 thru 49: 2
Total Free White Persons: 4
Total All Persons – Free White, Free Colored, Slaves: 4

James J. SIMS and Elizabeth DARLINGTON

Martin’s son James J. SIMS married Elizabeth DARLINGTON in 1832. By the time the census was taken they had three daughters under 5 years of age. James J. was engaged in agriculture.

1840 U.S. Federal Census – James J. SIMS in Fayette County, Virginia

1840 U.S. Federal Census10
Fayette County, (West) Virginia
Sheet 147, Line 3
Enumeration Date: 1 June 1840
Name: James Sims
Free White Persons – Males – 20 thru 29: 1 (James J. Sims)
Free White Persons – Females – Under 5: 3 (Nancy, Mary J., Amanda)
Free White Persons – Females – 20 thru 29: 1 (Elizabeth)
Persons Employed in Agriculture: 1
No. White Persons over 20 Who Cannot Read and Write: 1
Free White Persons – Under 20: 3
Free White Persons – 20 thru 49: 2
Total Free White Persons: 5
Total All Persons – Free White, Free Colored, Slaves: 5

The 1850 U.S. Federal Census

1850 U.S. Federal Census – Nelson, James, Martin, and Lewis SIMS in Fayette County, Virginia

In 1850 we see Martin SIMS and all of his children except for his youngest son Anderson on the same page of the census. One household after the other suggesting they lived on the same land or very close to each other. Only Martin has the value of real estate listed which likely means his sons were living on his property. On the census page, they are listed in this order: Nelson, James, Martin, and Lewis but are discussed below by age.

Note: In households #171-171 to #174-174 are Martin’s brother William and his son Edward and Martin and William’s half-brothers George W. and Charles. William and Charles own land. The land owned by the SIMS family was originally in Nicholas County but with the formation of Fayette County, a large part was on the Fayette side of the Gauley River.

Martin SIMS

Martin was 60 years old and a farmer. He owned real estate valued at $1000. In his household was his daughter Sarah, seen here as Sally, with her two daughters Mary and Hannah. Sarah had married George W. Sprinkle in 1840.  No trace has been found of her husband.

Also in the household was Martin’s second oldest son John who had not yet married. Missing is Martin’s second wife Margaret.

1850 U.S. Federal Census11
Fayette County, (West) Virginia
14th District
Enumerated on the 2nd day of August 1850
Sheet 343B, Lines 22-26, HH #177-177
Martin Sims 60 M Farmer $1000 cannot read & write
Sally Sprinker (sic) 40 F cannot read & write
Mary Sprinker (sic)  8 F
Hannah Sprinker (sic) 7 M
John Sims 40 M Laborer cannot read & write

Margaret was seen in the 30 thru 39 years group in the 1840 census listing. She would be 40 thru 49 years in 1850 if still living. On 19 November 1849 Martin and his wife Margaret sold two tracts of land to Fenton MORRIS. This establishes her being alive without a year of the 1850 census. She was not found on the Mortality Schedule in 1850.

1850 U.S. Federal Census – Margaret SIMS in the KINCAID household in Fayette County, Virginia

Four households away from Martin SIMS (a McNutt and an O’Dell family are listed in between) were Francis KINCAID and his wife Ann HUGHES. In their household was Margaret SIMS age 49. Was she Martin’s wife? Why was she with the KINCAID couple? Ann was Margaret’s younger sister. Ann’s husband Francis would die before March 1852 after making his will in April 1851. Was Margaret helping out at her sister’s or was she separated from Martin?

1850 U.S. Federal Census12
Fayette County, (West) Virginia
The 14th District
Enumerated on the 2nd day of August 1850
Sheets 343B+344A, Lines 42 and 1-2, HH #181-181
Francis Kincaid 41 M Farmer Virginia
Ann Kincaid 40 F Virginia cannot read & write
Margaret Sims 49 F Virginia cannot read & write

Nelson SIMS

Nelson and his wife Nancy had three more daughters in the 1840s. Nelson was working as a farmer but not on his own land as he did not own real estate. His sons were laborers.

1850 U.S. Federal Census13
Fayette County, (West) Virginia
The 14th District
Enumerated on the 2nd day of August 1850
Sheet 343B, Lines 5-13, HH #175-175
Nelson Sims 40 M Farmer cannot read or write
Nancy Sims 30 (sic) F cannot read or write
Martin Sims 20 M Laborer
Thomas Sims 17 M Laborer
Sarah Jane Sims 15 F
Virginia Sims 12 F
Nancy A. Sims 9 F (sic, Margaret in later years)
Jinnetta Sims 7 F
Unice A. Sims 2 F

James J. SIMS

James J. SIMS and his wife Elizabeth had three more children in the 1840s. Charles, William A., and Manerva. Daughter Amanda is seen here as 9. I counted her in the 1840 census as, later in 1860, she was enumerated as being 20 years old, i.e. born 1840. James is working as a farmer but like his brother Nelson, he did not own property.

1850 U. S. Federal Census14
Fayette County, (West) Virginia
The 14th District
Enumerated on the 2nd day of August 1850
Sheet 343B, Lines 14-21, HH #176-176
James Sims 36 M Farmer Virginia
Elizabeth Sims 36 F Virginia
Nancy Sims 14 F Virginia
Mary J. Sims 12 F Virginia
Amanda Sims 9 F Virginia
Charles Sims 8 M Virginia
William A. Sims 4 M Virginia
Manerva Sims 1 F Virginia

Lewis SIMS and Caroline J. TUCKER

Lewis SIMS married Caroline J. TUCKER on 16 June 1849. They had an unnamed child born in May 1850 (1-month-old at the time of census enumerated as of 1 June 1850). The gender of the child is blank but looks like ditto marks close to the lower line indicating female. However, Lewis and Caroline’s oldest known child was a boy who died of croup in 1857. His age at death (which may not be correct) place his birth in January 1849 before his parents’ marriage.

Lewis worked as a farmer and did not have real estate.

1850 U.S. Federal Census15
Fayette County, (West) Virginia
The 14th District
Enumerated on the 2nd day of August 1850
Sheet 343B, Lines27-29, HH #178-178
Lewis Sims 29 M Farmer Virginia
C. J. Sims 23 F Virginia
__ Sims 1/12 ” (not named) Virginia

 Anderson SIMS and Elizabeth UNDERWOOD

Anderson SIMS is the only child of Martin and Susannah not living in Fayette County in 1850. Anderson married Elizabeth UNDERWOOD on 11 March 1850 in Nicholas County where they lived at the time of the census. The column for married within the census year was not checked.

Was Elizabeth a widow and did she bring three children into the marriage? Why are they enumerated as SIMS in 1850? No trace of Ann after 1850 and none of the boys James and John after 1860 was found.

Anderson was a farmer and did not own real estate.

1850 U.S. Federal Census – Anderson SIMS in Nicholas County, Virginia

1850 U.S. Federal Census16
Nicholas County, (West) Virginia
The 43rd District (Western crossed out)
Sheet 382A, Lines 19-23, HH #548-548
Anderson Sims 26 M Farmer Virginia
Elizabeth Sims 35 F Virginia
Ann Sims 12 F Virginia
James Sims 8 M Virginia
John Sims 6 F Virginia

The 1860 U.S. Federal Census

Martin and his second wife Margaret have not been found in the 1860 census. No record of death was found for either of them.

“Martin V. Sims, son of the pioneer James Sims, owned about 200 acres of land extending from Rich Creek to a point on the opposite side of the river from Swiss. Nelson, James, Anderson and Lewis Sims, sons of Martin Sims, inherited this tract of land but afterwards disposed of same and moved elsewhere.”17

The information quoted from a history of Fayette County published in 1926 does not indicate when Martin SIMS died. An entry two paragraphs prior to this one concerning his father James SIMS is exaggerated. Can this statement be taken seriously?

The Fayette County will book for the years 1832-1866, as well as the Nicholas County will book for the years 1820-1899, were checked for a possible will, inventory, appraisement and/or sale bill of personal property which would help to narrow down the possible death of Martin SIMS. Nothing was found.

Land deeds of Nicholas County were consulted. In 1849 Martin and his wife Margaret sold 190 acres to Fenton MORRIS. In 1850 Martin was seen with real estate valued at $1000. This land must have been entirely in Fayette County as there is no record in Nicholas for a tract of land sold by the sons of Martin as noted above. Land records for Fayette County are not online.

On the  1860 census, Nelson SIMS was found in Nicholas County, James J. SIMS was still in Fayette County, and Lewis SIMS was in Kanawha County. Anderson SIMS, who was already in Nicholas County in 1850, was still there in 1860. John SIMS, who was not mentioned in the above statement, has not been definitely found (1860 and 1870 census records found are inconsistent). Daughter Sarah SPRINKLE, not mentioned above, was in Nicholas County.

The statement appears to have a notion of truth about the sons moving elsewhere after they disposed of the land. As the children were not living in Fayette County, with the exception of James J., I believe Martin must have died in the 1850s and before the 1860 census.

© 2018, copyright Cathy Meder-Dempsey. All rights reserved.

U.S. Federal Census Analysis for Martin SIMS

  1. Larry Heffner, email dated 10 August 2004 in reply to a request for information on marriage papers of Martin Sims and Susanna Johnson in the archives of the Greenbrier Historical Society. 
  2. 1790 / 1800 Virginia Tax List Censuses (Binns Genealogy, original records from Library of Virgina, Richmond, Virginia or Family History Library, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Salt Lake City, Utah), Kanawha, Personal Tax List, page 21, line 1. Martin Sims.(http://www.binnsgenealogy.com/VirginiaTaxListCensuses/Kanawha/1802Personal/21.jpg : accessed 13 March 2018). 
  3. 1810 U.S. Federal Census, (index and images), Ancestry, citing Third Census of the United States, 1810 population schedule, National Archives and Records Administration, Washington D.C. NARA microfilm publication M252, 71 rolls, FHL 0181429, roll 69, image 405, Virginia, Kanawha, Kanawha, page 129, sheet 207A, line 24, Martin Simms (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 6 February 2018). 
  4. 1820 U.S. Federal Census, (index and images), Ancestry, citing Fourth Census of the United States, 1820 population schedule, National Archives and Records Administration, Washington D.C., NARA microfilm publication M33, 142 rolls, NARA Roll M33_130, image 388, Virginia, Nicholas, page 204A, line 18, Martin Sims. (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 21 February 2018). 
  5. 1830 U.S. Federal Census, (index and images), <i>Ancestry</i>, citing Fifth Census of the United States, 1830 population schedule, National Archives and Records Administration, Washington D.C. NARA microfilm publication M19, 201 rolls, FHL Film: 0029677, NARA Rol M19_198, Nicholas, Virginia, image 35+36 of 42, page 189A+B, line 16, Martin Sims. (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 3 March 2018). 
  6. Ibid., Nicholas, Virginia, image 35+36 of 42, page 189A+B, line 15, Nelson Sims. (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 3 March 2018). 
  7. 1840 U.S. Federal Census, (index and images), <i>Ancestry</i>, citing Sixth Census of the United States, 1840 population schedule, National Archives and Records Administration, Washington D.C., NARA microfilm publication M704, 580 rolls, FHL Film 0029690, NARA Roll M704_571, Virginia, Nicholas, image 26+27 of 67, page 10A+B, line 5, Martin Sims. ‎(http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 5 March 2018). 
  8. Ibid., FHL Film 0029689, NARA Roll M704_566, Virginia, Kanawha page 60A+B, line 29, Nelson Sims. ‎(http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 5 March 2018). 
  9. Ibid., FHL Film 0029689, NARA Roll M704_566, Virginia, Kanawha page 60A+B, line 29, Nelson Sims. ‎(http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 5 March 2018). 
  10. Ibid., FHL Film 0029685, NARA Roll M704_555, Virginia, Fayette page 147A, line 3, James Sims. ‎(http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 5 March 2018). 
  11. 1850 U.S. Federal Census, (index and images), <i>Ancestry</i>, citing Seventh Census of the United States, 1850 population schedule, National Archives and Records Administration,Washington D.C., NARA microfilm publication M432, 1009 rolls, Roll M432_943 image 292, Virginia, Fayette County, Western District, image 28 of 91, page 343B, lines 22-26, HH#177-177 Martin Sims. (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 21 April 2018). 
  12. Ibid., Virginia, Fayette County, Western District, image 28+29 of 91, page 343B and 344A, lines 42 and 1-2, HH#1817-181 Francis Kincaid. (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 21 April 2018). 
  13. Ibid., Virginia, Fayette County, Western District, image 28 of 91, page 343B, lines 5-13, HH#175-175 Nelson Sims. (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 21 April 2018). 
  14. Ibid., lines 14-21, HH#176-176 James Sims. (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 21 April 2018). 
  15. Ibid., lines 27-29, HH#178-178 Lewis Sims. (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 21 April 2018). 
  16. 1850 Census, Virginia, Nicholas County, Western District, image 85 of 93, sheet 382A, lines 19-23, HH#548-548 Anderson Sims. “.” (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 21 April 2018). 
  17. J.T. Peters and H.B. Carden, History of Fayette County, West Virginia, copyright Fayette County Historical Society, Inc., 1926, printed by Jarrett Printing Company, Charleston, West Virginia, p. 610 

Rewriting the Biography: The Windsor Connection

Rewriting the Biography is an ongoing theme for the rough draft notes of a new/updated biography of my 5th great-grandfather James SIMS (1754-1845) of Nicholas County.

In my last post Rewriting the Biography: William SIMS Sr. in the U.S. Federal Census, I left a doubt I had concerning the wife of William SIMS Sr.:

William married Elizabeth WINDSOR around 1805 or earlier. No record of the marriage has been found nor any record confirming her maiden name.

I questioned her maiden name being WINDSOR as I have not found a marriage record nor did I have any records which include her maiden name. Also, the fact that her son Jonathan married Elizabeth WINDSOR, daughter of Benjamin “Benijah” WINDSOR and Mary “Polly” CHILDRESS, had me wondering if there may be a case of mistaken identity.

I did not expect to find the answer in the near future. Over the years my group of SIMS researchers has gotten smaller. Several members are now deceased while others are not as actively working on their genealogies. We’ve kept in touch but in recent years little new information has been exchanged.

In 2002 David Fridley, one of my original SIMS researchers, was the first person to read my draft of the biography of James SIMS and made a dozen or so comments, mostly editorial, which were very helpful. He also encouraged me to share it by offering to post it on his website. I admire David and his influence has made me a better genealogist. He is amazingly meticulous about citing his sources and re-evaluating information in his family tree.

In 2014 during my first year blogging, David wrote to me following my post 52 Ancestors: #36 William JOHNSON Jr. 1793-1845 about a correction he felt I should know about:

At the time you were posting this, I was trying to tie some Phillips lines together, and one in question was a woman who had married Charles C. Windsor (b. c. 1830), son of Charles and Elizabeth Windsor. I hadn’t worked on the early Fayette Co. Johnsons in quite some time, but I decided to flesh out the census information on Charles C.’s early years, since I had in my database that Elizabeth (or as I had it “Mary Elizabeth ‘Polly’ Childress Windsor”) was the second wife of John Brown Johnson. I found, though, that Charles and Elizabeth (Childress) Windsor appeared in the Fayette Co. censuses up through 1860, so I was a bit confused as to how she could have been John Brown Johnson’s second wife. I have a number of other Windsors intermarried into the Sims, Johnsons, Blakes, Treadways, etc., so I spent a bit of time trying to figure out their relationships so I might determine where this discrepancy over John Brown Johnson’s second wife came from.

What I found was that my information was wrong: Charles Windsor married Elizabeth Childress, while his brother Benjamin Windsor married Mary ‘Polly’ Childress, sister of Elizabeth. Benjamin died in 1829 in Kanawha Co. (probate material available) and it was his widow who remarried to John Brown Johnson. Although I can’t find her or John in 1860, she is listed as Mary Johnson, age 82, b. VA, with her daughter Emeretta Windsor Brown in Gallipolis, Gallia Co, OH in 1870.

I’d filed away this email without following up on the correction. David had also included two attachments to support his corrections. One was a post by James Windsor to the Windsor Family Genealogy Forum on the old Genealogy.com website. James Windsor’s information helped David correct the errors he (we) had concerning Polly WINDSOR who had married John Brown JOHNSON after the death of his wife Elizabeth SIMS, a daughter of James SIMS. Mr. Windsor also noted in his post that William “Billy the Gunsmith” SIMS married Elizabeth WINDSOR, daughter of Jonathan and Mary WINDSOR. Benjamin, Elizabeth, and Charles were all children of Jonathan WINDSOR, born 1750 in Charles County, Maryland, and died after 1837 in Kanawha County.

The second attachment was even more interesting. David wrote:

I’m also attaching a transcript of Jonathan’s Revolutionary War application, which has some interesting items as well, including mention of “William Sims, the Son in Law of Windsor,” establishing that Elizabeth was his daughter. It also notes that James Sims was familiar with him and his service in the Revolution.

How could I have overlooked inputting this important information into my genealogy database? How did I happen to find it so quickly after writing my last post?

Amy Cohen of Brotmanblog: A Family Journey gets the credit for my checking David’s emails. She has the most interesting questions when commenting on my posts. I wanted to mention David Fridley in my reply to her and went into his email folder to be sure I remembered all my dates correctly. That’s when I found his email with the subject line: Windsor-Sims-Johnson.

As the information concerning William SIMS being the son-in-law of Jonathan WINDSOR was found in a transcript of the pension file, I wanted to confirm this by finding the original record.

On Ancestry, I found the entire Revolutionary War Pension Application File for Jonathan WINDSOR (Service Number R.11703).1 Forty-two images for a pension which in the end was rejected. His claim was not allowed as he did not render six months military service in a regularly organized corps as was required by the pension laws.

Even though the pension was rejected the file holds the answer to the parentage of William SIMS Sr.’s wife Elizabeth WINDSOR.

Jonathan WINDSOR’s pension application begins as follows:

On this eighteenth day of February 1834 personally appeared before me William Sims a justice of the peace in and for the county of Nicholas in the state of Virginia and as such a member of the County Court of Nicholas which is a court of record, Jonathan Winsor aged eighty four years on the 8 day of October next who being first duly sworn according to Law doth on his oath make the following declaration in order to obtain the benefit of the act of Congress passed June 7th 1832.

The declaration continues with his service during the war, his birth date and place, and how he came to live in Nicholas County. He gave character witnesses:

He is known to James Sims and Isaac Collins of his neighbourhood, there being no clergyman of his neighbourhood who can testify to his character for veracity and their general belief of his services as a soldier of the revolution.

Jonathan WINDSOR’s statement and signature are followed by my 5th great-grandfather James SIMS and Isaac COLLINS’ sworn statement:

We James Sims and Isaac Collins residing in the neighbourhood of the aforesaid Jonathan Windsor hereby certify that we are well acquainted with the said Jonathan Windson who has subscribed and sworn to the above declaration that we believe him to be about eighty four years of age that he is reputed and believed in the neighbourhood where he resides to have been a soldier of the revolution and that we concur in that opinion. Sworn to and subscribed the day & year aforesaid.
James Sims    Isaac Collins

Also in the file is this statement concerning Jonathan WINDSOR’s son-in-law William SIMS:

I called at the Home of William Sims, the Son in Law of Windsor – haveing understood that the Windsor was to be found there. Windsor however was from home distant 40 or 50 miles and not expected to return soon – Sims informed me that he had frequently heard his father in Law Windsor detail his services as a soldier. the detail in substance was that during the war of the Revolution he was forted at different forts in Greenbrier county – at the several forts at which he was stationed the inhabitants cult their families land – the people of the Forts excludeing himself were clearing lands & cultivateing corn and would beat off the Indians when assailed by them which attacks of Indians were frequent. Sims never heard his father in Law say he was in regular service or under any regular officer — the neighbourhood opinion so far as I could collect it is decidedly against Windsor –
W. G Singleton
Jany 15, 1835 

The WINDSOR Connection

James SIMS and Jonathan WINDSOR knew each other. Their children, William SIMS and Elizabeth WINDSOR married. Jonathan also had a son Benjamin who was the father of the younger Elizabeth WINDSOR. Elizabeth, daughter of Benjamin, and Jonathan, son of Elizabeth, were first cousins and married on 30 December 1832 in Kanawha County.

It is interesting to note that on the same day Jonathan WINDSOR came before William SIMS, Justice of the Peace, to make his declaration for his Revolutionary War pension, my 5th great-grandfather James SIMS did the same. Jonathan WINDSOR testified on James’ behalf along with Isaac COLLINS.

© 2018, copyright Cathy Meder-Dempsey. All rights reserved.

The Many WINDSOR Connections in the SIMS Family

  1. “U.S. Revolutionary War Pension and Bounty-Land Warrant Application Files, 1800-1900,” (index and images), <i>Ancestry.com</i>, citing original data: Records of the Dept. of Veterans Affairs, Record Group 15. National Archives, Washington, D.C. (NARA microfilm publication M804, 2,670 rolls), Roll 2614, images 220 thru 262. Jonathan Windsor, pension file number R.11703. (Ancestry.com : accessed 17 April 2018). 

Rewriting the Biography: William SIMS Sr. in the U.S. Federal Census

Rewriting the Biography is an ongoing theme for the rough draft notes of a new/updated biography of my 5th great-grandfather James SIMS (1754-1845) of Nicholas County.

William SIMS Sr. (1780-1854) was the second son of James SIMS and his first wife Phebe. He was the father of seven children and thirty-one grandchildren.

The 1790 U.S. Federal Census

In 1790 when the first census was taken, William was living with his father James SIMS whose census records were discussed in Rewriting the Biography: James SIMS in the U.S. Federal Census.

The 1800 U.S. Federal Census

This census is lost for Virginia. As a substitute, the 1802 Tax List for Kanawha County is being used. James SIMS’ second son William was found on the 1802 Tax List with one male over 16 years of age and one horse.1

1802 Kanawha County Tax List

William was 21 years of age or older as he was the person named on the list. Depending on the date the tax list was made up he would have been about 22 years of age in 1802 which matches the 6 November 1780 date of birth read on his grave marker in the Old Simms Cemetery in Beech Glen.2

The 1810 U.S. Federal Census

William married Elizabeth WINDSOR around 1805 or earlier. No record of the marriage has been found nor any record confirming her maiden name.3

Update (18 April 2018)Rewriting the Biography: The Windsor Connection

By 1810 William and Elizabeth had a daughter Nancy (b. abt. 1805) and two sons, William Jr. (b. 2 Feb 1807) and Jeremiah (b. abt. 1809, 1850 age 41).

Also living in their household was a young female age 10 thru 15. This young lady may have been William’s sister Nancy Ann, my 4th great-grandmother. James SIMS’ youngest daughter Nancy Ann was born about 1793 shortly before her mother’s death. She was not found with her father and step-mother in 1810. If the female in William’s household was Nancy Ann, her age would have placed her in the same group as her sister-in-law Elizabeth (16 thru 25) instead of the 10 thru 15 group.

1810 U.S. Federal Census – William Sims

1810 U.S. Federal Census 4
Kanawha County, (West) Virginia
Kanawha
Sheet 207A, Line 25
Simms, William
Free White Persons – Males – Under 10: 2 (William Jr. and Jeremiah)
Free White Persons – Males – 26 thru 44: 1 (William)
Free White Persons – Females – Under 10: 1 (Nancy)
Free White Persons – Females – 10 thru 15: 1 (poss. sister Nancy Ann SIMS)
Free White Persons – Females – 16 thru 25: 1 (Elizabeth)
Number of Household Members Under 16: 4
Number of Household Members Over 25: 1
Number of Household Members: 6

The 1820 U.S. Federal Census

William would have been 40 years old at the time of the 1820 census. His wife Elizabeth was nearly 3 1/2 years younger. They had six children at the time. Also in the household was a young man 16 thru 25 years old. Could this be William’s half-brother James Jr. who was missing in his father James’ household? Two persons in the household were engaged in manufacturing. William, as well as his brother Martin who had his own household, were well-known rifle makers. James Jr. may have been apprenticing with his older half-brother William.

This census listing helped to narrow the time of their marriage and births of their oldest children. While in 1810 the children were under 10 years old, this listing showed the three children born before 1810 were 10 thru 15 in 1820, i.e. born between 1805-1810. The marriage would have taken place 1805 or earlier.

1820 U.S. Federal Census – William Sims

1820 U.S. Federal Census 5
Nicholas County, (West) Virginia
Page No. 204A, Sheet 152, Line 17
Enumeration Date: 7 August 1820
Name: William Sims
Free White Persons – Males – Under 10: 2 (Jonathan & Edward)
Free White Persons – Males – 10 thru 15: 2 (William Jr. & Jeremiah)
Free White Persons – Males – 16 thru 25: 1 (poss. brother James)
Free White Persons – Males – 26 thru 44: 1 (William)
Free White Persons – Females – Under 10: 1 (Miriam)
Free White Persons – Females – 10 thru 15: 1 (Nancy)
Free White Persons – Females – 26 thru 44: 1 (Elizabeth)
Number of Persons – Engaged in Manufactures: 2
Free White Persons – Under 16: 6
Free White Persons – Over 25: 2
Total Free White Persons: 9
Total All Persons – White, Slaves, Colored, Other: 9

The 1830 U.S. Federal Census

William SIMS and his wife Elizabeth

William and his wife Elizabeth had their last child shortly after the 1820 census -a daughter who shows up on the 1830 census as being 10 thru 14. She was likely born in 1820 following the census. With this child, the family grew by one to nine. There were three sons and two daughters at home and two had married within the decade and had their own households.

1830 U.S. Federal Census – William Sims and William Sims Jr.

1830 U.S. Federal Census6
Nicholas County, (West) Virginia
Sheets 189A & 189B, Line 13
Enumeration Date: 1 June 1830
Name: William Sims
Free White Persons – Males – 10 thru 14: 1 (Edward)
Free White Persons – Males – 15 thru 19: 1 (Jonathan)
Free White Persons – Males – 20 thru 29: 1 (Jeremiah)
Free White Persons – Males – 50 thru 59: 1 (William)
Free White Persons – Females – 10 thru 14: 1 (unknown, poss. b. 1820)
Free White Persons – Females – 15 thru 19: 1 (Miriam)
Free White Persons – Females – 40 thru 49: 1 (Elizabeth)
Free White Persons – Under 20: 4
Free White Persons – 20 thru 49: 2
Total Free White Persons: 7
Total – All Persons (Free White, Slaves, Free Colored): 7

Nancy SIMS and James Graham NEIL

William and Elizabeth’s oldest daughter Nancy was found in the 1830 census in the household of James G. NEIL. Nancy married James Graham NEIL in 1825 and gave birth to two sons before the census. They were William and Elizabeth’s first grandchildren. Also in the household was a male in the same age group as James.

1830 U.S. Federal Census7
Nicholas County, (West) Virginia
Sheets 186A & 186B, Line 9
Enumeration Date: 1 June 1830
Name: James G. Neil
Free White Persons – Males – Under 5: 2 (Randolph and Benjamin)
Free White Persons – Males – 20 thru 29: 2 (James and unknown)
Free White Persons – Females – 20 thru 29: 1 (Nancy)
Slaves – Males – 10 thru 23: 1 (unknown)
Free White Persons – Under 20: 2
Free White Persons – 20 thru 49: 3
Total Free White Persons: 5
Total Slaves: 1
Total – All Persons (Free White, Slaves, Free Colored): 6

William SIMS Jr. And Elizabeth DORSEY

William and Elizabeth’s oldest son William Jr. married Elizabeth DORSEY on 30 May 1830. This was two days before the enumeration date of the census – William Jr. was found with his young bride. They were the only two persons in the household.

1830 U.S. Federal Census8
Nicholas County, (West) Virginia
Sheet 189A & 189B, Line 12
Enumeration Date: 1 June 1830
Name: William Sims Junior
Free White Persons – Males – 20 thru 29: 1 (William Jr.)
Free White Persons – Females – 20 thru 29: 1 (Elizabeth)
Free White Persons – 20 thru 49: 2
Total Free White Persons: 2
Total – All Persons (Free White, Slaves, Free Colored): 2

The 1840 U.S. Federal Census

William SIMS and his wife Elizabeth

William Sr. was listed in the 60 thru 69 age group in 1840 but would not turn 60 until later in the year. His wife Elizabeth was 56. They had two sons living at home, Jeremiah and Edward. Only two persons were engaged in agriculture. Why not three as there were three men in the household? The 1850 census would hold the answer.

1840 U.S. Federal Census – William Sims

1840 U.S. Federal Census9
Nicholas County, (West) Virginia
Sheet 10, Line 4
Enumeration Date: 1 June 1840
Name: William Sims Sr.
Free White Persons – Males – 20 thru 29: 1 (Edward)
Free White Persons – Males – 30 thru 39: 1 (Jeremiah)
Free White Persons – Males – 60 thru 69: 1 (William)
Free White Persons – Females – 50 thru 59: 1 (Elizabeth)
Persons Employed in Agriculture: 2
Persons Employed in Manufacture and Trade: 1
Free White Persons – 20 thru 49: 2
Total Free White Persons: 4
Total All Persons – Free White, Free Colored, Slaves: 4

Nancy SIMS and James G. NEIL

William and Elizabeth’s oldest daughter Nancy was found in her husband James G. NEIL’s household. They were now the parents of seven children. James was engaged in agriculture, likely with his two oldest sons.

Nancy and James named their first daughter Elizabeth Jane, likely after both grandmothers, Elizabeth SIMS and Jane NEIL. Their third son was named after his paternal grandfather Samuel NEIL. When would they name a son after his maternal grandfather?

1840 U.S. Federal Census10
Nicholas County, (West) Virginia
Sheet 5, line 8
Name: James G. Neil (page 4A&B, image 08-09)
Free White Persons – Males – Under 5: 1 (Samuel)
Free White Persons – Males – 10 thru 14: 2 (Benjamin and Randolph)
Free White Persons – Males – 30 thru 39: 1 (James G. Neil)
Free White Persons – Females – Under 5: 1 (Vicella)
Free White Persons – Females – 5 thru 9: 3 (Elizabeth, Miriam, & Betty)
Free White Persons – Females – 30 thru 39: 1 (Nancy Sims Neil)
Persons Employed in Agriculture: 3
Free White Persons – Under 20: 7
Free White Persons – 20 thru 49: 2
Total Free White Persons: 9
Total All Persons – Free White, Free Colored, Slaves: 9

William SIMS Jr. and Elizabeth DORSEY

William Jr. and his wife Elizabeth (I wonder how they kept all these women named Elizabeth apart) had been quite busy in the children department. Five children were born in six years. William farmed to feed his family of nine and did not have any other help. He did not move from Nicholas to Fayette County following the 1830 census. With the creation of Fayette County in February 1831, from parts of Greenbrier, Kanawha, Nicholas, and Logan counties, the land he lived on became part of the new county.

1840 U.S. Federal Census11
Fayette County, (West) Virginia
Sheet 147, Line 7
Enumeration Date: 1 June 1840
Name: William Sims
Free White Persons – Males – Under 5: 1 (William)
Free White Persons – Males – 5 thru 9: 2 (Miletus & John)
Free White Persons – Males – 10 thru 14: 1 (Franklin)
Free White Persons – Males – 30 thru 39: 1 (William)
Free White Persons – Females – 5 thru 9: 1 (Nancy)
Free White Persons – Females – 30 thru 39: 1 (Elizabeth)
Persons Employed in Agriculture: 1
Free White Persons – Under 20: 5
Free White Persons – 20 thru 49: 2
Total Free White Persons: 7
Total All Persons – Free White, Free Colored, Slaves: 7

Jonathan SIMS and Elizabeth WINDSOR

William and Elizabeth’s third oldest son Jonathan married Elizabeth “Betsy” WINDSOR on 30 December 1832 in Kanawha County. Jonathan and Elizabeth had two sons and a daughter by the time the census was taken in 1840. The enumerator likely made a mistake in the column for males 30 thru 39 and placed an X over the 1 making it look like an * asterisk. The same mistake may not have been caught for the two females in the household. Jonathan’s wife Elizabeth was only 26 but found in the 30 thru 39 age group and daughter Emeline was 6 and in the 10 thru 14 group. The fact that three persons were employed in agriculture may also be an error as there were only two adults in the household.

Jonathan and Elizabeth lived in Kanawha County, likely near Betsy’s family who owned land in the county. Betsy was the daughter of Benjamin “Benijah” WINDSOR and Mary “Polly” CHILDRESS.

1840 U.S. Federal Census12
Kanawha County, (West) Virginia
Sheet 16, Line 30
Enumeration Date: 1 June 1840
Name: Jonathan Sims
Free White Persons – Males – Under 5: 2 (Newton and Thomas)
Free White Persons – Males – 20 thru 29: 1 (Jonathan)
Free White Persons – Females – 10 thru 14: 1 (Emeline 6)
Free White Persons – Females – 30 thru 39: 1 (Elizabeth 26)
Persons Employed in Agriculture: 3
Free White Persons – Under 20: 3
Free White Persons – 20 thru 49: 2
Total Free White Persons: 5
Total All Persons – Free White, Free Colored, Slaves: 5

Miriam SIMS and Andrew NEIL

William and Elizabeth’s second oldest daughter Miriam married Andrew NEIL, a younger brother of James G. NEIL, on 8 October 1833 and was seen in his household with two daughters and two sons. Andrew was engaged in agriculture. Miriam and Andrew named their children after the grandparents, William and Elizabeth SIMS and Samuel and Jane NEIL.

1840 U.S. Federal Census13
Nicholas County, (West) Virginia
Sheet 6 & 7, Line 5
Name: Andrew Neil
Free White Persons – Males – Under 5: 1 (Samuel)
Free White Persons – Males – 5 thru 9: 1 (William)
Free White Persons – Males – 20 thru 29: 1 (Andrew)
Free White Persons – Females – Under 5: 2 (Elizabeth and Jane)
Free White Persons – Females – 20 thru 29: 1 (Miriam)
Persons Employed in Agriculture: 1
Free White Persons – Under 20: 4
Free White Persons – 20 thru 49: 2
Total Free White Persons: 6
Total All Persons – Free White, Free Colored, Slaves: 6

An Unnamed Daughter

William and Elizabeth also had a daughter born likely in 1820 after the census and seen with them in the 1830 census. By 1840 she was no longer with her parents. It is possible this child did not survive. In November 2001 marriages of Sims and Simms persons in Nicholas County were checked and no possible match for this woman was found.14

The 1850 U.S. Federal Census

William SIMS and his wife Elizabeth

William, listed as a gunsmith on the 1850 census, was 70 and his wife Elizabeth was 67. In their household was their son Jeremiah who was 41 years old and did not have an occupation. He owned land valued at $400 while his father’s was worth $1500. Was Jeremiah in some way infirm and unable to work? Is this the reason only 2 of the 3 men in the William SIMS household in 1840 were working?

1850 U.S. Federal Census – William Sims

1850 U.S. Federal Census15
Nicholas County, (West) Virginia
The 43rd District (Western marked out)
Enumerated 12 August 1850 by D. O. Kelley Ass’t Marshal
Sheet No. 360A, Lines 33-35, HH #272-272
William Sims 70 M Gunsmith 1500 Virginia
Elizabeth Sims 67 F Virginia
Jeremiah Sims 41 M None 400 Virginia

Nancy SIMS and James G. NEIL

William’s oldest daughter Nancy was with her husband James G. Neil at the time of the 1850 census. At least this is what I thought considering the 1850 census listing where James is seen with a wife named Nancy. At first glance, I did not question the gap between the youngest and second youngest child.

However, a record from 1846 found in the Order Books of Nicholas County may indicate Nancy died before 9 April 1846. The document will be shared and discussed in a separate post. If I am interpreting it correctly, Nancy in the 1850 census is a new wife and mother of the youngest child. No record of marriage was found for James G. NEIL around 1846-1849. It must be noted there are gaps in the marriage records from the 1830s to 1860s and death records are only available starting in 1853 for Nicholas County.

Earlier in this post, I mentioned that James and Nancy had named Samuel, their third son, after the paternal grandfather. In the 1850 census listing, we see a son named William, likely named after the maternal grandfather.

1850 U.S. Federal Census16
Nicholas County, (West) Virginia
The 43rd District (Western marked out)
Enumerated on 2 Sept 1850 by D. Oliver Kelly Ass’t Marshal
Sheet 374B, Lines 32-42, HH# 457-457
James G. Neil 47 M W Farmer $4000 Virginia
Nancy Neil 44 F W Virginia
Benjamin Neil 22 M W Farmer $100 Virginia
Elizabeth Neil 20 F W Virginia
Miram Neil 18 F W Virginia
Betty Neil 16 F W Virginia
Vizilla Neil 14 F W Virginia
Samuel Neil 10 M W Virginia
William Neil 9 M W Virginia
Sarah Neil 7 F W Virginia
Mary Neil 1 F W Virginia

William SIMS Jr. and Elizabeth DORSEY

William Jr. and Elizabeth had one more child after the 1840 census. By 1850 the family had grown to include two adults and six children. William’s land which he farmed was valued at $500.

1850 U.S. Federal Census17
Fayette County, (West) Virginia
The 14th District
Enumerated on the 1st day of August 1850 by J. B. Hamilton
Sheet 343A, lines 24-31, HH # 171-171
Wm. Sims 43 M Farmer $500 Virginia
Elizabeth Sims 48 F Virginia
F. P. Sims 19 M Laborer Virginia
Miletus Sims 18 M Laborer Virginia
John Sims 17 M Laborer Virginia
Nancy Sims 15 F Virginia
Wm. Sims 13 M Virginia
Emeretta Sims 8 F Virginia

Jonathan SIMS and Elizabeth WINDSOR

Jonathan and Betsy’s family grew to include four more children. Jonathan was a blacksmith and owned land valued at $200. Their youngest child on the 1850 census was listed as Tiny, she would later be found as Caroline J. Two of their daughters, Mary and Virginia, were enumerated as deaf and dumb.

1850 U.S. Federal Census18
Nicholas County, (West) Virginia
The 43rd District (Western marked out)
Sheet No. 371A, Lines 31-40, HH #413-413
Jonathan Sims 37 M W Blacksmith $200 Virginia
Elizabeth Sims 36 F W Virginia
Emeline Sims 15 F W Virginia
Newton Sims 13 M W Virginia
Thomas Sims 11 M W Virginia
Mary Sims 9 F W Virginia deaf & dumb
Virginia Sims 7 F W Virginia deaf & dumb
William Sims 3 M W Virginia
Tiny Sims 2 F W Virginia
Alexander Johnston 34 M W Mail Carrier Virginia

Miriam SIMS and Andrew NEIL

Miriam SIMS died sometime following the 1840 census. Her widower Andrew NEIL married Elizabeth HAMRICK about 1842. Andrew died in June 1850 leaving a widow with two sets of twins. The widow had the twins as well as three of Miriam’s children in her household in 1850. Miriam’s youngest daughter Jane may have died between the 1840 and 1850 census.

1850 Mortality Schedule19
Nicholas County, (West) Virginia
Name: Neil, Andrew, male, born in Virginia, died at the age of 39 in June 1850 of consumption; occupation farmer; ID #MRT197_243597

Correction: Letters of Administration and Appraisement of the estate of Andrew NEIL were ordered in July 1849, therefore, his death was in June 1849 and not 1850.

1850 U.S. Federal Census20
Nicholas County, (West) Virginia
The Western District (District 43)
Enumerated by me, on the 15th day of August 1850. D. Oliver Kelly, Ass’t Marshal
Sheet 362A, Lines 31-40, HH #297-297
Elizabeth Neil F 33 $1000 Virginia
William Neil M 15 Farmer Virginia
Samuel Neil M 14 Virginia
Elizabeth Neil F 12 Virginia
James Neil M 7 Virginia
Nancy Neil F 7 Virginia
Robert Neil M 5 Virginia
Gilson Neil M 5 Virginia
Morris Hamrick M 27 M Farmer $50
Sarah Hamrick 18 F Virginia

Edward SIMS and Rhoda COCHRAN

William and Elizabeth’s youngest son Edward, also known as Ned, lived next door to his older brother William Jr. in 1850. Edward SIMS married Rhoda COCHRAN in 1847. Edward was almost twice as old as Rhoda. By 1850 she had given him two children, a son David J. and a daughter Mary Jane.

1850 U.S. Federal Census21
Fayette County, (West) Virginia
The 43rd District (Western marked out)
Enumerated on the 15th day of August 1850 by J. B. Hamilton
Sheet 343A, Lines 24-31, HH #172
Edward Sims 33 M Farmer Virginia
Rhoda Sims 17 F Virginia
David Sims 1 M Virginia
Mary J. Sims 1/12 F Virginia

The years after the 1850 U.S. Federal Census

The years following the 1850 census brought much change to the family constellation.

Elizabeth died on 20 April 1852 and William on 15 October 1854. Their son Jeremiah, released from the payment of county and parish levies in August 1853, died before 1860. Their youngest son Edward died around July 1855 in the home of his wife’s sister Fannie COCHRAN and brother-in-law Alexander WAUGH in a part of Nicholas County which would become Clay County in 1858.

Three more grandchildren were born after the 1850 census: Andrew Dixon SIMS and Sarah F. (Fannie) SIMS, both children of Edward, and Henderson P. SIMS, son of Jonathan.

The only living children of William and Elizabeth were their sons William Jr. who lived to be 80 years old, dying in 1887, and Jonathan who died in 1889 at the age of 77 years.

The next child of James and Phebe SIMS was Martin who will be discussed in the next post.

© 2018, copyright Cathy Meder-Dempsey. All rights reserved.

U.S. Federal Census Analysis for William SIMS

  1. 1790 / 1800 Virginia Tax List Censuses (Binns Genealogy, original records from Library of Virginia, Richmond, Virginia or Family History Library, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Salt Lake City, Utah), Kanawha, Personal Tax List, page 21, line 11, William Sims (http://www.binnsgenealogy.com/VirginiaTaxListCensuses/Kanawha/1802Personal/21.jpg : accessed 13 March 2018). 
  2. Paul Guttman (1949-2006), a member of my Sims research group in 2001-2002 who worked with me when I wrote the original biography of James SIMS (1754-1845), was in contact with cousins who lived in the Beech Glen area in 2001. The Old Simms Cemetery (aka Sims Family Cemetery on Find A Grave) was visited on a rainy day and a list of the Sims/Simms markers was sent in an email to Paul on 25 June 2001. No photographs of the markers were taken. 
  3. William and Elizabeth’s son Jonathan married a lady named Elizabeth WINDSOR. This makes me question the maiden name of Elizabeth who married Williams SIMS. Further research is needed to prove/disprove her maiden name. Update (18 April 2018)Rewriting the Biography: The Windsor Connection 
  4. 1810 U.S. Federal Census, (index and images), Ancestry, citing Third Census of the United States, 1810 population schedule, National Archives and Records Administration, Washington D.C. NARA microfilm publication M252, 71 rolls, FHL 0181429, roll 69, image 405, Virginia, Kanawha, Kanawha, page 129, sheet 207A, line 25, William Simms (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 6 February 2018). 
  5. 1820 U.S. Federal Census, (index and images), Ancestry, citing Fourth Census of the United States, 1820 population schedule, National Archives and Records Administration, Washington D.C., NARA microfilm publication M33, 142 rolls, NARA Roll M33_130, image 388, Virginia, Nicholas, page 204A, line 17, William Sims. (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 14 April 2018). 
  6. 1830 U.S. Federal Census, (index and images), Ancestry, citing Fifth Census of the United States, 1830 population schedule, National Archives and Records Administration, Washington D.C. NARA microfilm publication M19, 201 rolls, FHL Film: 0029677, NARA Rol M19_198, Virginia, Nicholas, image 35+36 of 42, page 189A+B, line 13, William Sims Sr. (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 3 March 2018). 
  7. Ibid., Virginia, Nicholas, image 29+30 of 42, page 186A+B, line 9, James G. Neil. (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 3 March 2018). 
  8. Ibid., Virginia, Nicholas, image 35+36 of 42, page 189, line 14, William Sims Jr. (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 3 March 2018). 
  9. 1840 U.S. Federal Census, (index and images), Ancestry, citing Sixth Census of the United States, 1840 population schedule, National Archives and Records Administration, Washington D.C., NARA microfilm publication M704, 580 rolls, FHL Film 0029690, NARA Roll M704_571, Virginia, Nicholas, image 26+27 of 67, page 10, line 4, William Sims Sr. ‎(http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 5 March 2018). 
  10. Ibid., Virginia, Nicholas, No township, image 16&17 of 37, page 5, line 8, James G. Neil household. ‎(http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 15 April 2018). 
  11. Ibid., Virginia, Fayette, page 147, line 7, William Sims. ‎(http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 5 March 2018). 
  12. Ibid., Virginia, Kanawha, page 16, line 30, Jonathan Sims. ‎(http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 5 March 2018). 
  13. Ibid., Virginia, Nicholas, No township, image 20&21 of 37, page 7, line 5, Andrew Neil household. ‎(http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 15 April 2018). 
  14. Neva Jane Stout Bryant, (abstracted and compiled by), SIMMS/SIMS Marriages, Nicholas County, West Virginia 1817-1933, (abstracted from James S. & Evelyn E. Blake, Early Nicholas County (West) Virginia Marriage Bonds (& Records) 1818-1864; Wes Cochran, Nicholas Co WV Marriages 1817-1903; Wes Cochran, Nicholas Co. WV Marriages 1903-1933). 
  15. 1850 U.S. Federal Census, (index and images), Ancestry, citing Seventh Census of the United States, 1850 population schedule, National Archives and Records Administration,Washington D.C., NARA microfilm publication M432, 1009 rolls, Roll M432_963, Virginia, Nicholas County, District 43, sheet 360A, lines 33-35, HH #272-272, William Sims household. (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 14 April 2018). 
  16. Ibid., Virginia, Nicholas County, District 43, sheet 374B, lines 32-42, HH #457-457, James G. Neil household. (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 14 April 2018). 
  17. Ibid., Roll M432_943, Virginia, Fayette County, District 14, image 27 of 91, sheet 343A, lines 24-31, HH # 171-171, Wm. Sims household. (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 14 April 2018). 
  18. Ibid., Roll M432_963, Virginia, Nicholas County, Western District, image 63 of 93, sheet 371A, lines 31-40, HH #413-413, Jonathan Sims household. (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 14 April 2018). 
  19. U.S. Federal Census Mortality Schedules Index, Ancestry, Jackson, Ron V., Accelerated Indexing Systems, comp.. AIS Mortality Schedules Index. Compiled and digitized by Mr. Jackson and AIS from microfilmed schedules of the U.S. Federal Decennial Census, territorial/state censuses, and/or census substitutes. 
  20. 1850 U.S. Federal Census, Roll M432_963, Virginia, Nicholas County, Western District, image 45 of 93, sheet 362A, lines 31-40, HH #297-297, Elizabeth Neil household. (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 14 April 2018). 
  21. Ibid., Roll M432_943, Virginia, Fayette County, District 14, image 27 of 91, sheet 343A, lines 24-31, HH # 171-171, Wm. Sims household. (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 14 April 2018). 

How I Got My MISSING AncestryDNA Circles Back

My AncestryDNA Circles went missing in mid-January. By mid-February, I was no longer being patient waiting for them to return. I sent a message to Ancestry through their Facebook page and received this in reply:

Thanks for reaching out, Cathy. Unfortunately we are experiencing a delay in Shared Ancestor Hints and DNA Circles populating currently. It is taking several weeks for hints and circles to calculate, but we are working on fixing that so it happens much faster. We are very sorry for the inconvenience in the meantime! While we are working on a fix, please let us know if anything changes on your end or you come across any other issues!

Why did my AncestryDNA Circles go missing?

I know it takes a while for Shared Ancestor Hints and DNA Circles to appear when you link a tree to your AncestryDNA test. There are many different reasons why they don’t show up or why they disappear. In my case, I knew they should be there and they simply weren’t. Personally, I thought a delay in Shared Ancestor Hints and DNA Circles populating was caused by users who changed their trees too often. How much data can Ancestry handle?

I’ve had two different trees attached to the test I manage since June 2016. The first was for only direct ancestors. The second was my full tree and I had linked it in November 2017 in hopes of hearing from more matches.
Between Christmas and the New Year while doing location comparisons I noticed an anomaly.  People born in Luxembourg were showing up in Utah and a Maryland born person was in Bermuda. My Susanna FEILEN, born in Germany, was showing up in Louisiana. This sent up a red flag as I don’t have any ancestors born in Utah, Lousiana, or Bermuda.

This is how Susanna FEILEN’s birth location is in my tree on Ancestry.

The places were entered correctly in my tree however on the DNA page they were not the place they should be.

This is how Susanna’s birthplace was seen in my tree on the AncestryDNA page.

This meant matches were seeing incorrect information in my tree. How could matches take me seriously when there was such a mess showing in the tree linked to the DNA test I manage? Half of our ancestors were born in Europe and many of these were showing up as born in the USA. I suspect (in my opinion) Ancestry was using some kind of location identifier which converted places when the tree was linked to the DNA test.

Hoping it was only a glitch on the AncestryDNA site, I waited a few weeks for it to fix itself. That didn’t happen and in mid-January, I decided to go back to the original tree with only direct ancestors. This fixed the location problem.

While my Shared Ancestors Hints remained the same, my DNA Circles, previously between 28-30, disappeared. I knew by linking a new tree I would reset Shared Ancestor Hints and DNA Circles. It would take a few days for things to get back to normal. I waited and waited.

A month after I linked the tree I still did not have DNA Circles. That’s when I reached out to Ancestry the first time and was told about the delay.

Three weeks later the DNA Circles were still missing and I wrote several more messages to Ancestry. Shared Ancestor Hints were still growing and the missing Circles were taking far too long, in my opinion, to populate. I suspected my tree was just stuck in some kind of never-never-land and asked if perhaps by linking it again the problem might be solved.

We’re very sorry for the delay Cathy. We do not advise to unlink and relink your tree since this will remove any shared ancestor hints and it may take time to populate them again (if they are following all the requirements).

At this point, I was not a happy Ancestry client. I knew other people were complaining and I let Ancestry know my dissatisfaction. I was given a free month’s subscription to be taken when I wish. This is appreciated but I would much rather have my Circles back.

Our developers are aware of issues with the DNA circles and are working to get them out of beta. Until such time, there will be irregularities with their behavior. We apologize for this and ask for your patience and understanding.

What I did to get my missing DNA Circles back

Earlier this month I went through each of my Shared Ancestor Hints and added the information to the Notes available for matches. I added SAH and the information about the relationship and the ancestor. I also included an emoji leaf 🍃. At the same time, I also added emojis for paternal 🤵 and maternal 👰 matches.

My patience had run out. I was preparing to do what Ancestry said I should not do.

I finished adding notes to all of the 412 matches with Shared Ancestry Hints on Thursday evening. Then I went into Settings and clicked on the X to unlink the tree. I waited 3 seconds and linked the same tree again.

Over the weekend I did not have time to check on AncestryDNA. On Monday morning I found 23 DNA Circles!

My re-linking the same tree triggered the change I was hoping for. My DNA Circles are back after nearly three months and my Shared Ancestor Hints did not disappear. Nine new ones came in over the weekend when they normally just trickle in one at a time.

Please take note that Ancestry does not recommend unlinking and linking your tree again. I took the chance and it worked. Perhaps Ancestry got the problem fixed at the same time I risked losing my Shared Ancestor Hints in favor of the DNA Circles.

Now I am going to go in and tag all of the matches who are in the Circles and make a note of the people who are in the Circles but don’t share DNA with the test I manage. Just in case they disappear again.

© 2018, copyright Cathy Meder-Dempsey. All rights reserved.

Rewriting the Biography: Jeremiah SIMS in the U.S. Federal Census

Rewriting the Biography is an ongoing theme for the rough draft notes of a new/updated biography of my 5th great-grandfather James SIMS (1754-1845) of Nicholas County.

In my last post in this series, I analyzed the census records of James SIMS (1754-1845). I will now continue with his children beginning with his oldest son from his first marriage to Phebe (maiden name unknown). Jeremiah SIMS (1777-1824) did not move to Kanawha County, Virginia, with his father, stepmother, and siblings prior to 1800. He remained in Bath County, Virginia, where he married Sarah MILHOLLIN on 26 November 1800.

1800 U.S. Federal Census

As was mentioned in the previous post the 1800 census schedules for Virginia were lost. There are no online tax lists for Bath County for the time period around 1800.

The 1810 U.S. Federal Census

Jeremiah moved to Ohio around 1804. An 1810 census listing for Jeremiah is unavailable as all of Ohio except Washington County were lost. I was able to use the Virginia tax lists to substitute for the missing Virginia census of 1790 and 1800 for Jeremiah’s father James. Are similar records available for Ohio to substitute for the 1810 census?

I found in the FamilySearch catalog the book Ohio 1810 tax duplicate arranged in a state-wide alphabetical list of names of taxpayers : with an index of names of original entries compiled by Gerald M. Petty and published in 1976. It is available at the Family History Library and on microfilm but not online.

I also located the Tax records of Ohio, 1801-1814 and Duplicate tax records : 1816-1838 for Champaign County, Ohio in the FamilySearch catalog. More time and research is needed to find Jeremiah SIMS on the tax lists. I was unable to locate him on my first perusable of the tax records of Champaign for the years around 1810.

Could it be the land Jeremiah owned in Clark County, Ohio, after the county was formed on 26 December 1817, was not part of Champaign County? I checked the formation map for Ohio counties and found that Clark County was formed for the most part from Champaign County in the north, a small part of Greene County in the south, and a small part of Madison County in the east. German Township where Jeremiah’s land lay is located in the northern part of Clark County, bordering on Champaign County.

The 1820 U.S. Federal Census

Jeremiah was found on Duplicate tax record : 1818-1838 in Clark County for the years 1818 and later. Although these records will be useful later when his land holdings are studied, they will not be discussed at this time as a listing was found for Jeremiah SIMS in the 1820 census.

Jeremiah was the head of a household in German Township of Clark County. He was 43 years old and engaged in manufacturing. David Fridley, a member of my Sims group of researchers who helped with the original biography years ago, wrote, “given his family history, he was likely a gunsmith or blacksmith as his father and brothers were.”

Jeremiah appears to have had six children at home, five males and one female. One of the older males has not been identified. His wife Sarah was also 43 years old.

1820 U.S. Federal Census, Ohio, Clark, German Township, Jeremiah Sims

1820 U.S. Federal Census 1
Clark County, Ohio
Green, German Township
Page 18, Line 41
Enumeration Date: August 7, 1820
Name: Jeremiah Sims
Free White Persons – Males – Under 10: 2 (James Sanford & Jeremiah)
Free White Persons – Males – 10 thru 15: 1 (William)
Free White Persons – Males – 16 thru 25: 2 (Thomas & unknown)
Free White Persons – Males – 26 thru 44: 1 (Jeremiah)
Free White Persons – Females – 10 thru 15: 1 (Phebe)
Free White Persons – Females – 26 thru 44: 1 (Sarah)
Free Colored Persons: 2 + 1
Number of Persons – Engaged in Manufactures: 1
Free White Persons – Under 16: 4
Free White Persons – Over 25: 2
Total Free White Persons: 8
Total Slaves: 3
Total All Persons – White, Slaves, Colored, Other: 11

Also in the household were three free colored persons. Ohio abolished slavery when the state was formed in 1803, therefore, they had to have been free persons and not slaves. This was discussed in my post: Slave Name Roll Project: RELEASING: Mary, Isaac, Charles, and John.

The 1830 U.S. Federal Census

Jeremiah died in 1824. He was only 46 years old. In 1830, his widow Sarah had in her household their daughter Phebe (named after Jeremiah’s mother), son James (named after Jeremiah’s father), and son Jeremiah (named after his father or great-grandfather).

1830 U.S. Federal Census, Ohio, Clark County, Sarah Simms and William Sims on page 147 (right)
1830 U.S. Federal Census, Ohio, Clark County, Sarah Simms and William Sims on page 147 (left)

1830 U.S. Federal Census 2
Clark County, Ohio
German Township
Sheets 147A & 147B, Line 1
Enumeration Date: 1 June 1830
Name: Sarah Simms
Free White Persons – Males – 15 thru 19: 2 (James Sandford & Jeremiah)
Free White Persons – Females – 20 thru 29: 1 (Phebe)
Free White Persons – Females – 50 thru 59: 1 (Sarah)
Free White Persons – Under 20: 2
Free White Persons – 20 thru 49: 1
Total Free White Persons: 4
Total – All Persons (Free White, Slaves, Free Colored): 4

Not with Sarah was the oldest son Thomas who was named after Sarah’s father, Thomas MILHOLLIN. He was not found in the 1830 census. He married Sarah DONOVAN in 1822 and had at least three children by 1830.

Jeremiah and Sarah’s second son William, perhaps named after Jeremiah’s oldest brother, was married and living with his young wife Eliza DONOVAN in Clark County. Eliza was likely a sister of Sarah DONOVAN who married William’s brother Thomas. The 1830 census was in alphabetical order and not by order of visit by the enumerator. It is probable that William and his young wife were living close to his mother Sarah or even with her and his siblings.

1830 U.S. Federal Census 3
Clark County, Ohio
German Township
Sheet 147A & 147B, Line 2
Enumeration Date: 1 June 1830
Name: William Sims
Free White Persons – Males – 20 thru 29: 1 (William)
Free White Persons – Females – 15 thru 19: 1 (Eliza)
Free White Persons – Under 20: 1
Free White Persons – 20 thru 49: 1
Total Free White Persons: 2
Total – All Persons (Free White, Slaves, Free Colored): 2

Several months after the 1830 census was enumerated some deadly sickness fell upon the SIMS family in Clark County. William died on 22 September 1830 followed by his sister Phebe eight days later. William had been married barely thirteen months. A little over a month later, his youngest brother Jeremiah died on 5 November 1830. The mother Sarah was left with only two sons, James who was still at home a few months earlier and Thomas who was not found in the 1830 census.

Jeremiah’s widow Sarah died on 6 November 1838 in German Township in Clark County. Her son James had married Jane Perry SIDES in 1832.

By 1840 the only two living sons of Jeremiah SIMS had gone separate ways. Thomas was living with his family in Greenup County, Kentucky, and James was with his family in Logan County, Ohio. James, a farmer, would remain in Logan County until his death in 1887. His older brother Thomas, a physician, moved his family to Platte County, Missouri before 1850 and then to Daviess County, Missouri before 1860.

The next child of James and Phebe SIMS was William who will be discussed in the next post.

© 2018, copyright Cathy Meder-Dempsey. All rights reserved.

U.S. Federal Census Analysis for Jeremiah SIMS

  1. 1820 U.S. Federal Census, (index and images), Ancestry, citing Fourth Census of the United States, 1820 population schedule, National Archives and Records Administration, Washington D.C., NARA microfilm publication M33, 142 rolls, NARA Roll M33_88, image: 33, page 18, Ohio, Clark, Green, German, image 3 of 3, line 41, Jeremiah Sims (ancestry.com : accessed 21 February 2018). 
  2. 1830 U.S. Federal Census, (index and images), <i>Ancestry</i>, citing Fifth Census of the United States, 1830 population schedule, National Archives and Records Administration, Washington D.C. NARA microfilm publication M19, 201 rolls, FHL Film 0337939, NARA Roll M19_128, Ohio, Clark, German, image 3+4 of 18, page 147A+B, line 1, Sarah Simms. (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 3 March 2018). 
  3. Ibid., line 2, William Sims. (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 3 March 2018). 

Back to Blogging after a Hiatus

Posts on Opening Doors in Brick Walls were suspended during the second half of March and the first week of April.

The groom having fun with his bride in 1978

Genealogy research and blogging took a back seat while my husband and I celebrated our 40th wedding anniversary. We flew off to Majorca for eleven days of “just the two of us” time. No genealogy and no bikes.

and in 2018.

In 2018 the bride was wearing white and the tradition “something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue” was also kept. My tiny bit older husband wore a new hat he borrowed from one of the souvenirs shops while I wore a blue scarf with my white windbreaker. He’s still as much fun as he was on our wedding day. Surprisingly, our re-enactment of the 1978 photo took on the first shot.

My photographer/husband, drilled in taking pictures of doors and anything useful for my blog, had a great time with his camera. We visited all corners of the beautiful island and came home with over 1200 photos.

La Seu, the Cathedral of Santa Maria of Palma, viewed through a sculpture by Enrique Brogilla.
Tapas at C’an Martina Restaurante in Porto Petro
Windmills in the countryside.
Calla Millor beach.
Indoor market in Felanitx.
Cap de Formentor

Back home, I had to get caught up with emails and genealogy society business before getting back to researching and blogging. Since I was already on a break I extended it a bit.

I took time to focus on getting Genome Mate Pro (GMP) updated with matches and chromosome data from AncestryDNA, FTDNA, and GEDmatch. Becky Mason Walker, the developer of GMP, added MyHeritage as a source for DNA segments in the latest version but will not be supporting templates for import as she does not use MyHeritage at this time. There are others who are working on templates to do all-in-one imports from the site but as MyHeritage is still adding tools I thought it best to take it slowly. I used Eric Siemmoto’s template (in the files of the GMP FB group) to import MyHeritage chromosome data one match at a time for my top 150 matches.

Having had time to get a bit more familiar with the complex software, I am learning how to better use Genome Mate Pro. I had several very enlighting moments while reviewing matches as there are so many different ways to sort the data. They don’t tell you to watch the videos and read the user guide for nothing!

And now I can get back to opening doors in brick walls.

© 2018, copyright Cathy Meder-Dempsey. All rights reserved.