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.


  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). 
Advertisements