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: 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 

SOLVED – The Mystery of James C. Crouse Sr.’s Grave Marker

Nearly four years ago Ellen Claytor found James C. CROUSE Sr. (1920-1944) in my online GEDCOM at RootsWeb WorldConnect. Her son had bought a house and found a flat marble marker for James in his garage. Why was the marker in her son’s garage and what could they do to get it back where it belonged?

I wrote my first post on The Mystery of James C. Crouse Sr.’s Grave Marker on 4 May 2014 followed by Part 2 only a few days later.

The first post included a biography of James C. CROUSE Sr. who began his military service at Camp Blanding in Florida and then went to Europe where he served in England, France, Belgium, and Germany. He died serving his country. Four years later his body was returned to West Virginia and buried in Huse Memorial Cemetery in Fayetteville. His father S. J. Crouse applied for a flat marble marker for the unmarked grave.

The marker found in the garage by J. Claytor.

I found James’ granddaughter Marian Crouse Walraven on Facebook. She was shocked to learn her grandfather’s marker had been found in someone’s garage as she knew there was a marker on his grave.

Was the original marker delivered to the wrong cemetery? Was the family contacted? Did they request a new marker when the one they applied for didn’t show up at the cemetery of burial? Was the home the marker was found in previously owned by a member of the Crouse family?

The 424th Combat Infantry Regiment of the 106th Infantry Division landed in France on 5 December 1944. They crossed into Belgium on 10 December 1944 and were stationed at Winterspelt (Germany). On 16 December 1944, the German Army unleashed its Ardennes Counteroffensive (The Battle of the Bulge). After Action Reports show that the 424th was in Belgium on 18 December 1944. KIA or DOW, whichever is correct, one could place him in Belgium and the other in Germany. His military records may shed light on this question.

James’ story spans two continents; my part in the story also spans two continents. What are the chances a mother in Ohio would contact a genealogist in Luxembourg — one of the countries the Battle of the Bulge took place in?

The follow-up a few days later was expected as I had a few people checking things out for me. Anita McClung and Sandra Humphries Raedel, research buddies and members of the Facebook group Fayette County West Virginia Genealogy, were the first to help confirm the burial location. Fayetteville Huse Memorial Park and Mausoleum has a Facebook page and at the time did photo requests of markers.

I sent a private message to the admin of the page requesting a photo of the marker of James CROUSE Sr., block 1, lot 38, grave 4 (the Notes section of their page had a list of burials with location). A few days later I received a message from Sonya of the Huse FB page, I have placed the picture of the marker along with monument and other markers associated with your request under ‘Various pics requested’. Hope it helps.

Sonya told me, Most of the time when a family changes a marker, then they will take the original marker home. Very few say throw it away.”

Markers found in garage (left) and at Huse Memorial Park (right)

After seeing both markers we speculated the marker found in the garage was most likely the one which had been on the grave of James C. CROUSE Sr. from 1949 until the burial of his son in 1997. But the question remained – how did the marker end up in the garage?

On February 8, 2018, I received a message on my Facebook page Opening Doors in Brick Walls from Bill Wise of Oak Hill, West Virginia. He wanted me to give him a call in regards to the marker of James CROUSE. Due to the time difference and my making our traditional Berliner and Verwurelter that day, Bill got back to me with a longer message instead of waiting for me to call.

Long story short. James Crouse [Jr., the son of James CROUSE Sr.] was married to my aunt Eugenia. Her sister Vickie Jane Wise/Wade is my mother. The garage that the marker was found in was their parents’ house. William Ralph and Lucy Lee Wise. The house was left of my mother upon their death. And upon my parents’ deaths…Vicki and Larry Wade…the house was left to me and I sold very soon after that. Believe it was 2013.

When my cousin Jim passed away in 1997 he wanted to be buried with his father James. There was a new stone with both of their names on it put in place of the original. My dad worked for the town of Fayetteville which dug the graves and maintained the cemetery. He brought the stone home. Where it sat in the garage all this time. When I sold the property I had to get out fairly quickly. To be honest with you I had not thought about that stone until I was researching my uncle last night and saw your story. In my haste to get out, I probably left more than just that on the property. So not really what you would call a mystery but it was an interesting read.

Marian, the granddaughter of James Crouse Sr., is Bill’s 1C1R and he wanted to know if he and I were also related. Marian and I are 6C1R – and that five times. Bill is not related to me through any of Marian’s and my common ancestors. I did a quick check of his Wise line and we do not appear to be related.

I’m glad Bill found my blog while researching his uncle James CROUSE. Even more, I am so excited he took the time to get in touch with me and tell me the story of why the marker was found in the garage of the new homeowner. I contacted both Marian and Jaymie to let them know the new development and they read the draft of this post before it was published.

James CROUSE’s body was returned to US soil four years after he was killed. It also took four years to learn why the marker from his grave was stored in a garage. Case SOLVED. Isn’t blogging the best?

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

Slave Name Roll Project: RELEASING: Davie

Releasing the name of a man named Davie.

In 1837 John Sparr wrote his Last Will and Testament leaving his “Black man Davie” to his wife Mary. After the death of the wife of John Sparr, Davie was to have the liberty of choosing “his master”. 1

The Last Will and Testament of John Sparr Dcd
I John Sparr of the County of Fayette and State of Virginia Do make this my Last Will and Testament in Manner and form following that is to say
1st I give and bequeath unto my beloved wife Mary my Black Man Davie Togeather with one cow two head of sheep our feather bed bedstead and bedding p. & and During the Term of her natural life and at her decease To be Equally divided between my two daughters Elizabeth Koontz and Katharine Cart and the said black man Davie is to have liberty to choose his master at the Decease of my Wife and shall be valued by two disinterested men & His said master so chosen shall pay one half of such valuation to Elizabeth Koontz and the other half to Katharine Cart & if the person so chosen shall fail or refuse so t odo then the said Slave shall have liverty to choose untill he shall get one that that (sic) will Perform and the person so performing shall be the sole prorpietor of him the said Slave forever.
I also give and bequeath unto my wife fifteen Bushels Wheate Thirty bushels corn and all the Ruffness on the farm.
2nd I give and bequeath on Jacob Cart my son’s old mare.
3rd I desire that immediately after my Decease that all the remaining part of my estate of Every Description be sold and out of the money arising Thereform all my just debts and funeral expenses be paid after which payment I desire that the Remaining part of my Estate not theretofore disposed of be fivided among my children herein named As follows tow wit Samuel five Dollars George five Dollars Susan five Dollars Polly five Dollars then the remainder Whatever it maybe to be divided between my two Daughters Elizabeth Koontz & Katharine Cart giving Elizabeth Twenty dollars more than Katharine

And Lastly I do hereby Constitute and appoint my two sons in law Jacob Koontz and Jacob Cart Executors of This my Last will and Testament hereby revoking all Others or former Wills or Testaments by me heretofore made In Witness Witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand and seal this 24th day of November 1836.
John Sparr (his mark) Seal

Signed Sealed published and
Declared as and for the Last
Will and Testament of the said
John Sparr in the presents of
us who have hereunto set our
names as Witnesses in his presents

and at his request
W Carnafix
Henry Crist

Fayette County Court January Term 1837
The Last Will and Testament of John Sparr Deceased was presented in open court proven by the oaths of William Carnafix & Henry Crist the subscribing witnesses thereto and is ordered to be recorded.
Test
H Hill CFC (Clerk Fayette County)

In 1830 John Sparr and his son George were in Nicholas County. Fayette County would be formed in 1831. John Sparr and his wife were in their seventies and did not have a slave listed on the 1830 census. In 1840 Samuel Sparr, likely the son mentioned in the will, was found in Fayette County and had one male slave aged 55 to 99 years in his household. The sons-in-law, Jacob Koontz and Jacob Carte, did not have any slaves in 1840. None of the surnames seen here were found on the 1850 and 1860 slave schedules.

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.


  1.  “West Virginia Will Books, 1756-1971,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:9392-C9SW-F3?cc=1909099&wc=Q816-MG7%3A179689901%2C179689902 : 11 October 2017), Fayette > Will book, v. 001 1832-1866 > image 43 of 292; county courthouses, West Virginia. 

Slave Name Roll Project: RELEASING: Violate, Evoline, and Samuel

In Slave Name Roll Project: RELEASING: Henry, a Slave in Nicholas County, (West) Virginia, the slaveholder of the enslaved Henry was John S. Roberts. Further research turned up connections to others who owned slaved. John Shelton Roberts was the son of Alexander Roberts and Sarah Shepherd of Nelson County, Virginia. He married Adeline B. Landcraft, daughter of Nathaniel Landcraft and Sarah B. Hardin, on 6 September 1829 in Nelson County. John and Adeline very likely came to the Fayette/Nicholas counties area with Adeline’s parents. By 1830 John was living in Nicholas County where he (male 20 thru 29) was seen on the census with his wife (female 20 thru 29) and two young slaves under 10 years of age. When he died the appraisement of his estate included only the enslaved Henry. Was it possible the other slave belonged to his widow Adeline B. Landcraft? Did she receive the enslaved person in their 1830 household from her parents?

Nathaniel Landcraft was seen in Nelson County, Virginia, with the following household in 1820:

1820 United States Federal Census

Name: Nathaniel Landcraft
Home in 1820 (City, County, State): Buckingham, Nelson, Virginia
Enumeration Date: August 7, 1820
Free White Persons – Males – 10 thru 15: 2
Free White Persons – Males – 16 thru 25: 1
Free White Persons – Males – 45 and over: 1
Free White Persons – Females – Under 10: 1
Free White Persons – Females – 10 thru 15: 2
Free White Persons – Females – 26 thru 44: 1
Slaves – Males – Under 14: 2
Slaves – Males – 14 thru 25: 2
Slaves – Females – Under 14: 4
Slaves – Females – 14 thru 25: 1
Slaves – Females – 26 thru 44: 2
Number of Persons – Engaged in Agriculture: 3
Number of Persons – Engaged in Manufactures: 2
Free White Persons – Under 16: 5
Free White Persons – Over 25: 2
Total Free White Persons: 8
Total Slaves: 11
Total All Persons – White, Slaves, Colored, Other: 19

Source: 1820 U S Census; Census Place: Buckingham, Nelson, Virginia; Page: 196; NARA Roll: M33_130; Image: 374; Ancestry.com

In 1830 Nathaniel Landcraft was found in Summersville, Nicholas County, (West) Virginia, where his daughter Adeline and son-in-law John S. Roberts were also living. The image is very light, however, I was able to confirm the entry is for Nathaniel Landcraft and not Sanderson as indexed below.

1830 United States Federal Census

Name: Nathaniel Sanderson
[Nathaniel Snderapt] 
Home in 1830 (City, County, State): Summersville, Nicholas, Virginia
Free White Persons – Males – 15 thru 19: 1
Free White Persons – Males – 20 thru 29: 3
Free White Persons – Males – 50 thru 59: 1
Free White Persons – Females – 15 thru 19: 1
Free White Persons – Females – 50 thru 59: 1
Slaves – Males – Under 10: 4
Slaves – Males – 24 thru 35: 1
Slaves – Females – Under 10: 2
Slaves – Females – 24 thru 35: 2
Free White Persons – Under 20: 2
Free White Persons – 20 thru 49: 3
Total Free White Persons: 7
Total Slaves: 9
Total – All Persons (Free White, Slaves, Free Colored): 16

Source: 1830; Census Place: Summersville, Nicholas, Virginia; Series: M19; Roll: 198; Page: 193; Family History Library Film: 0029677; Ancestry.com

As can be seen in the census listings above, Landcraft had 11 slaves in his household in 1820 and 9 (6 of whom were born after 1820) in 1830. At the time of his death, the appraisement of his estate included only three enslaved persons: Violate, Evoline and Samuel.

1835 Appraisement of the Estate of Nathaniel Landcraft

 

“West Virginia Will Books, 1756-1971,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:9392-C9SQ-64?cc=1909099&wc=Q816-MG7%3A179689901%2C179689902 : accessed 30 July 2017), Fayette > Will book, v. 001 1832-1866 > image 28 of 292; county courthouses, West Virginia.

We the undersigned (after first duly sworn)
have proceeded to appraise in Current money the
person (sic) estate and Negro Belonging to the Estate
of Nathaniel Landcraft decd as followeth, to wit.

One Negro Woman named Violate $375
One    Do    Girle          ”     Evoline 150
One    Do    Boy            ”      Samuel 125
One Cupboard & Furniture 35
One Safe & furniture 10
One Sideboard & Table 5
One Clock 10
One Bed & furniture 30
Two Beds, Bedsteads & furniture 60
One Trunk, Chist & Bedstead 4
One Looking Glass 2
Two Waiters 1.50
Nine Chairs 4.50
One Tea Kittle and Irons & Shovels & Tongs 3
Kitchen furniture 15
Books 2.50
TOTAL $832.50

Given under our hand this 2nd day
of January 1855_
. . . . . . . . . . . .T.B. Hamilton
. . . . . . . . . . . .P. Keenan             Appraisers
. . . . . . . . . . . .Wm. Morris

Fayette County Court Clerks Office Jany Term 1835
The Appraisement Bill of the Estate of Nathaniel Land-
craft decd was Recd and ordered to be recorded_
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Test
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Hiram Hill CK

End of transcription

About the time Nathaniel Landcraft died, his daughter Adeline, widow of John S. Roberts, married the Baptist minister Edwin W. Woodson. They made their home in Monroe County, (West) Virginia. In 1840 Woodson had two slaves in his household, a male and a female, both were 10 thru 23 years old. Could either of them be one of the slaves mentioned in the Landcraft appraisement?

In 1850 E W Woodson owned one female slave age 20. In 1860 Adeline Woodson owned one female slave age 30. Who was this female slave? Did Rev. Woodson die before 1860? Did he leave a will, inventory, or appraisement mentioning the slave enumerated under his name in 1850?

To be continued in next month’s post….

bestwishescathy1

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.

© 2017, copyright Cathy Meder-Dempsey. All rights reserved.

Slave Name Roll Project: RELEASING: William, Mary, and Orange

Earlier this month I discovered a wonderful batch of pre-Civil War records for the counties in the western Virginia which would become West Virginia in 1863. FamilySearch’s collections of digital images have been growing at an amazing speed in recent years. Every now and then I will do fairly simple searches for birth, marriage, and/or death records in Fayette County, West Virginia, for the surname DEMPSEY. This surname is in two branches of my family tree. I am always looking for new information to possibly connect the two lines or to fill in some blanks in either line.

I was not disappointed when something new showed up in a search for births in Fayette County, (West) Virginia. The hit indicated a son born to my 3rd great-grand uncle Wilson M. DEMPSEY. A son I did not have in my database. When I opened up the details of the search results, I found the birth record was not for a son but for a slave.

“West Virginia Births and Christenings, 1853-1928,” database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:X5PK-X25 : 12 December 2014), William Dempsey, 11 Feb 1857; citing Meadow Fork, Fayette, Virginia, reference ; FHL microfilm 34,485.

From experience, I know when FamilySearch shows a record is not available (see camera icon with the notation in the above image) this actually means there is no image attached to the indexed material. However, the film may be available online and browse-only. I checked their catalog for the FHL microfilm number given and found Vital statistics, 1853-1860 of West Virginia, microreproduction of original manuscripts at the Virginia State Library, Richmond, Virginia, for West Virginia counties.

I spend hours working with the browse-only records at FamilySearch. Being experienced made it easy for me to find the image to the record indexed above. This post deals with the content of the record, not how I found it. If you are interested, please ask, and I will explain how in a comment to this post.

Vital statistics, 1853-1860 of West Virginia; Film # 007499353; Calhoun – Hampshire counties; image 120 of 554. (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QSQ-G9Z5-FZV3?i=119&cat=308753 : accessed 10 June 2017)

The birth of William, a son of Mary, was recorded in the birth register of Fayette County. He was born at Meadow Fork on 11 February 1857. The column for the name of the father is titled: Father’s Name in full if Child be free and born in wedlock, or Name of Owner if Child born a Slave. Wilson M. Dempsey’s name is in this column as well as the column for the informant. In the column, Relationship of Informant, he is noted as Owner.

I took a bit of time to browse through the entire batch of registers for Fayette County and found another entry with Wilson M. Dempsey as the informant. This one did not turn up in my original search which made me wonder if the entire collection has been indexed. Different search criteria turned up this indexed record in the Virginia Births and Christenings, 1584-1917.

“Virginia Births and Christenings, 1584-1917,” database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:VRR7-K1C : 5 December 2014), Orange Dempsy, Jun 1855; citing Loop, Fayette, VA, reference ; FHL microfilm 34,485.

This indexed record shows “Orange Dempsy” was a child of “Wilson Dempsy” and “Mary.” A closer look at the actual entry in the register shows Orange was a slave.

Vital statistics, 1853-1860 of West Virginia; Film # 007499353; Calhoun – Hampshire counties; image 112 of 554. (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-89Z5-F8FM?i=111&cat=308753 : accessed 29 June 2017)

On this entry, the child Orange was born in June 1855 on the Loop in Fayette County. He was a slave owned by Wilson Dempsey. The mother’s name was Mary. The occupation of the father is blank and his residence is listed as Amherst. Another child born as a slave of another slaveholder on the same page has blanks for the occupation and residence of the father. It’s possible Amherst refers to the residence of the father of Orange, indicating the enslaved family was separated due to Wilson Dempsey’s recent move to Fayette County. Or, Wilson Dempsey had not yet moved his family and may have taken his slave(s) there to prepare for his move.

In 1840 Wilson Dempsey was recently married to Evalina Carolyn Rhodes, a daughter of Reuben Rhodes and Tabitha Rowsie of Amherst County, Virginia. In the 1840 census of the same county, Wilson was seen with his bride and two slaves, one male 10 thru 23 and one female under 10 years. In 1850 Wilson was listed as an overseer in the Eastern District of Amherst. His wife had died in the 1840s and he’d remarried. His second wife’s maiden name is not known. The 1850 slave schedule does not have a listing for him and it is unknown for whom he was working as an overseer.

Before finding the above records, we knew Wilson moved to Fayette County in western Virginia in the 1850s. The records place him in the county in 1855, either setting up his household or permanently settled.

In 1860 the slave schedule of Fayette County includes the following enslaved black persons for Wilson M. Dempsey:

  • one male age 35 (possibly the male seen in 1840?)
  • one female age 30 (possibly Mary)
  • one female age 22 (or, possibly Mary)
  • one female age 12
  • one female age 8
  • two females age 7
  • one male age 3 (possibly William)
  • one male age 1

I have known since I first began researching my 3rd great-grandfather Seaton Y. Dempsey that his brother Wilson had slaves as well as their father William Dempsey of Amherst. However, the only indication of their keeping enslaved persons had been the 1810 census for William (3 slaves), the 1840 census for Wilson (2 slaves), and the 1860 census for Wilson (9 slaves). The birth records found this month help to name at least three of the enslaved people: Orange, William, and their mother Mary.

bestwishescathy1

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 which can be found on Schalene Jennings Dagutis’ blog Tangled Roots and Trees

© 2017, copyright Cathy Meder-Dempsey. All rights reserved.

Slave Name Roll Project: RELEASING: Henry, a Slave in Nicholas County, (West) Virginia

John S. Roberts of Nicholas County, Virginia (present-day West Virginia) owned one negro boy named Henry as seen in the appraisal of his estate recorded during the March 1832 term of Nicholas County court.

John S. Roberts – 1832 Appraisement Bill

“West Virginia Will Books, 1756-1971,” database with images, FamilySearch (http://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1-18231-22608-67?cc=1909099 : accessed 20 January 2016), Nicholas > Will book, v. 001 1820-1899 > image 48 of 158; page 68 ; county courthouses, West Virginia.

Nicholas County to wit
In pursuance of the within order of Nicholas County Court We Robert Kelly, Robert Hamilton and William D. Cottle after having been duly sworn proceeded to appraise the Estate of John S. Roberts dec’d and make the following return.
One Cow $8.00
Two bed & furniture at $25 each $50
One folding leaf table $5.00
One dressing table $3.00
One shot gum $10.00
One cupboard furniture knives etc. $6.00
One negro boy named Henry $250.00
One set of bed steads $1.00
One ditto ditto $2.00
A pile of corn in the ears $2.50
4 Bushels of potatoes at 25 cts $1.00
One barrel and boxes $0.50
Half a Doz chairs $3.00

“West Virginia Will Books, 1756-1971,” database with images, FamilySearch (http://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1-18231-22608-67?cc=1909099 : accessed 20 January 2016), Nicholas > Will book, v. 001 1820-1899 > image 48 of 158; page 69 ; county courthouses, West Virginia.

One big wheel $2.00
One weeding hoe $0.50
One pot and hooks $2.00
Two skillets and lids $2.50
One oven and lid $2.25
One tin kettle $2.00
. . . . . . (total) $343.25
all which is respectfully submitted by ous (sic)
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . R. Kelly
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . R. Hamilton
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Wm. D. Cottle
At a court held for Nicholas County March Term 1832 This appraisement bill of the estate of John S. Roberts was returned duly certified by the appraisers and ordered to be recorded.
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Teste
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Saml Price C??

Who Was John S. Roberts?

John Shelton Roberts was the son of Alexander Roberts and Sarah Shepherd of Nelson County, Virginia. He married Adeline B. Landcraft, daughter of Nathaniel Landcraft and Sarah B. Hardin, on 6 September 1829 in Nelson County. They very likely came to the Fayette/Nicholas counties area with Adeline’s parents. By 1830 John was living in Nicholas County where he (male 20 thru 29) was seen on the census with his wife (female 20 thru 29) and two young slaves under 10 years of age. Following his death, his widow remarried.

How Did John S. Roberts Become A Slaveholder?

A quick check turned up the names of more slaves as both John’s and Adeline’s parents were slaveholders, as was Rev. Edwin Washington Woodson who married Adeline after John’s death. The names will be shared in several Slave Name Roll Project posts to come.

bestwishescathy1

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 which can be found on Schalene Jennings Dagutis’ blog Tangled Roots and Trees

© 2017, copyright Cathy Meder-Dempsey. All rights reserved.

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In Memory of Sgt. Warren Earl Zickafoose (1922-1945) of Fayette County, West Virginia

Warren Earl ZICKAFOOSE was born 24 February 1922 in Nallen, Fayette County, West Virginia, to Joseph Elmer ZICKAFOOSE and Eva Myrtle HEDRICK. He was the fourth of eight children.

Warren Earl ZICKAFOOSE; World War II Young American Patriots, 1941-1945; Ancestry.com : accessed 28 April 2017

After graduating from Nuttall High School, Warren was an employee of Ford, Bacon, and Davis in Dunbar. On 7 March 1942, he married Pauline Alice RAMSEY, daughter of Jarrett Theodore RAMSEY and Louie Ann CAVENDISH, in Russell, Greenup County, Kentucky.

On 29 December 1942 he entered the U.S. Army and received his training at Camp Hood, Texas; Camp Carson, Colorado; Camp Gruber, Oklahoma; Camp Livingston, Louisiana; and had desert training in California.

Three weeks after he entered the U.S. Army his wife Pauline gave birth to a baby girl.

Sgt. ZICKAFOOSE was attached to Company C of the 811th Tank Destroyer Battalion and was sent to Europe in August 1944 arriving at Cherbourg, France, on 15 September 1944.

Damaged Sherman tank in the museum at The Mardasson Memorial in Bastogne, Belgium.

The battalion moved to Luxembourg in November and participated in the Battle of the Bulge in December. Sgt. ZICKAFOOSE received the Purple Heart Medal for wounds received in action in December 1944.

Into January 1945 the 811th was widely scattered as it was attached to many divisions. In February and March, they supported operations against the Siegfriedstellung (Siegfried Line).

In late March the 811th Tank Destroyer Battalion 811th Tank Destroyer Battalion advanced to the Rhine River crossing it on 30 March.

Every day of World War II, a 3 1/4 by 7-inch Morning Report was issued. These are the events recorded for the first few day of April 1945.

1 April 1945:
Station: WH 2384 Melgerhausen Germany
Organization: C 811th TD Bn (Battalion) FA (Field Artillery) TD (Tank Destroyer)
No change (in personnel)
Record of Events: Left WH Schwarzenborn, Germany enroute to Wh 2384 Melgerhause, Germany. Arrived destination.
4 officers were present for duty.
118 enlisted men were present for duty and 6 were absent.
Clem J. HUX WOJG USA (Warrant Office Junior Grade)

2 April 1945:
Station: WH 2290 Grexhagen, Germany (Guxhagen)
Organization: C 811th TD Bn FA TD
No change (in personnel)
Record of Events: Left WH 2384 Melgerhausen, Germany enroute to WH 2290 Grexhagen Guxhagen, Germany. Arrived destination.
4 officers were present for duty.
118 enlisted men were present for duty and 6 were absent.
Clem J. HUX WOJG USA

3 April 1945:
Station: WH 2290 Guxhagen, Germany
Organization: C 811th TD Bn FA TD
Three men were absent from duty due to sickness: Tec 5 Howard C. Kerns (SN 35692008); Tec 4 Thomas J. Donnelly (SN 32288320), and Pfc Johnny P. Garcia (SN 39286737). All were transferred to Evac Hospital. The first two were non-battle casualties in the line of duty. The third was non-battle casualty, not in the line of duty [acute alcholism (sic)].
4 officers were present for duty.
115 enlisted men were present for duty and 6 were absent.
Clem J. HUX WOJG USA

In early April the 811th Tank Destroyer Battalion supported the 80th Infantry Division when Kassel was captured. Sgt. Warren Earl ZICKAFOOSE was killed in action on 3 April 1945 only a day before Kassel was captured.

4 April 1945:
Station: WH 2699 Crumbach, Germany
Organization: C 811th TD Bn FA TD
Cpl Ernest A. Corrado (SN 35765502) was reduced to Pvt per Special CMO # 1 Headquarters 811th Tank Destroyer effective 31 March 1945.
Record of Events: Left WH 2290 Guxhagen, Germany enroute to WH 2699 Crumbach, Germany. Arrived destination. Distance traveled 6 miles.
4 officers were present for duty.
115 enlisted men were present for duty and 6 were absent.
Clem J. HUX WOJG USA

5 April 1945:
Station: WH 2699 Crumbach, Germany
Organization: C 811th TD Bn FA TD
Pfc Harold W. McNatt (SN 3941540) was promoted to Cpl effective 5 April 1945. Pvt Finis Craft (SN 35426452) was promoted to Tec 5 effective 5 April 1945. Pvt. Thomas J. Heitzman (SN 67134753) change in duty effective 5 April 1945. Pvt. Robert L. Sansbury (SN 35817099) change in duty effective 5 April 1945.
Pvt. Carl W. Rhoades (SN 35240303) and Tec 5 Robert L. Tidwell, both enlisted men, were lightly wounded in action, battle casualties in line of duty on 3 April 1945. The 305th Medical Battalion transferred him to Evac Hospital. He was dropped from assignment effective 27 March 1945.
Pvt. Alex M. Sandler (SN 39422544) was Lightly Injured in Action, battle casualty in line of duty on 3 April 1945. The 305th Med Bn transferred him to Evac Hospital. He was dropped from assignment effective 27 March 1945.
Sgt. Warren E. Zickafoose (SN 35645379) was Killed in Action, battle casualty in line of duty on 3 April 1945.
Record of Events: All casualties occurred in Germany.
4 officers were present for duty.
111 enlisted men were present for duty and 6 were absent.
Clem J. HUX WOJG USA

Mrs. Pauline ZICKAFOOSE was informed by the war department of the death of her husband, Sgt. ZICKAFOOSE in May 1945. She remarried two years later.

Sunday Register (Raleigh Register, Beckley, West Virginia); May 13, 1945 (Ancestry.com)

Sgt. ZICKAFOOSE’s body was returned to American soil in 1948. He was buried in End of the Trail Cemetery in Clintonville on Sunday, 19 December 1948. The service was held by Rev. M. J. Painter and Rev. John Bragg. Military rites were conducted by the Ansted American Legion Post at the grave.

His father applied for a military marker in a month later, on 18 January 1949.

(Ancestry.com : accessed 28 April 2017)
(Ancestry.com : accessed 28 April 2017)

Sgt. Warren Earl ZICKAFOOSE’s name is engraved on the West Virginia Veterans Memorial. As well as the Purple Heart Medal, he received three Battle Stars, a Silver Star (posthumous), and the Presidential Unit Citation.

UPDATE (31 May 2017): More information from the MilitaryTimes Hall of Valor about the Silver Star Medal Sgt. Warren Earl ZICKAFOOSE received posthumously.

Silver Star medal
SILVER STAR Medal

General Orders: Headquarters, 80th Infantry Division, General Orders No. 131 (May 20, 1945)
Action Date: April 4, 1945 (sic, April 3, 1945)
Battalion: 811th Tank Destroyer Battalion
Division: 80th Infantry Division

The President of the United States of America, authorized by Act of Congress July 9, 1918, takes pride in presenting the Silver Star (Posthumously) to Sergeant Warren E. Zickafoose (ASN: 35645379), United States Army, for gallantry in action while serving with the 811th Tank Destroyer Battalion, 80th Infantry Division in connection with military operations against an enemy of the United States on 4 April 1945 in Germany. On that date, while supporting infantry troops in holding Vollmarshausen, Germany, Sergeant Zickafoose, a gun commander of a tank destroyer, observed four enemy tanks approaching the town. Realizing that he was outnumbered he nevertheless elected to move into a firing position to prevent the enemy from overrunning the infantry. By taking up an advantageous position he repelled the attack, although his destroyer received a direct hit which mortally wounded him. The courage, aggressive leadership, and supreme devotion to duty as displayed by Sergeant Zickafoose was in keeping with the highest traditions of military service and reflects great credit upon himself, his unit, and the United States Army.

Warren Earl ZICKAFOOSE was my 4th cousins 2 times removed through our common ancestor, James SIMS (1754-1845) and my 5th cousins 1 time removed through our common ancestors, (the same) James SIMS and his first wife Phebe. His daughter, who is still living, is my aunt by marriage and her four sons are my first cousins.

© 2017, copyright Cathy Meder-Dempsey. All rights reserved.