Walking the Land Back to the Original Grant

A few weeks ago I shared The 1806 Administrator Bond for the Estate of William Johnson Sr. (1755-1805) and followed it up with last week’s post Time to Pull up Stakes and Move on about the land William and Amy sold in 1798 in Greenbrier County before moving to Kanawha County in what is now West Virginia.

William JOHNSON Sr. (1755-1805) and Amy NELSON (1757-1837) were my 5th great-grandparents. From the wording of the two land deeds, they were a part of an original 150 acres land grant. These are the steps I took to show the land they sold was the same land granted to William in 1796.

Plotting the Tracts

Early this year I tried my hand at abstracting call lines from a deed and plotting the tract. I found the tract on a present-day map and wrote about the tools I used in I Found the Coolest Site to Use for Land Records in West Virginia.

As I had been successful with my CLONCH ancestor’s land, I tried the same tactic with William and Amy’s two land tracts. I used the following tools:

Pole to Foot Converter

Tract Plotter

Johnston to Tennis, 62 acres on Lick Run

As I had already transcribed the deeds all I needed to do was to abstract the call lines and convert the poles to feet for the Tract Plotter. For the Johnston to Tennis land deed:

Begining at a Double white oak and chesnut corner to the old survey & thence through the survey south Eighty three Degrees East one Hundred & twenty pole
Call Line: S83E 120 poles (1980 ft)

to an aposite Corner of the old survey & Flathers & with old line North Thirty six Degrees west one Hundred and sixty eight pole 
Call line: N36W 168 poles (2772 ft)

to four Locusts and soth (sic) Seventy Degrees wet forty four Pole
Call line: S70W 44 poles (726 ft)

to two white oaks & South thirteen Degrees East one Hundred and fourteen pole to the Begining
Call line: S13E 114 poles (1881 ft)

As can be seen below the call lines for the Johnston to Tennis tract calculate to 59.6 acres while 62 acres were seen in the deed.

Tract Plotter

Johnston to Kounts, 88 acres on Lick Run

The same was done for the Johnston to Kounts land deed:

Beginning at a black Oake & White Oake Corner to Kouns and with South thirty Eight Degrees East forty pole 
Call line: S38E 40 poles (660 ft)

to two white oaks and North fifty two Degrees East one Hundred and Eighty two pole
Call line: N52E 182 poles (3003 ft)

to Red Oak & two white oaks Corner to Keenan and the old Survey, thence through the Survey with Tineses line North Eighty three Degrees West one Hundred and twenty pole 
Call line: N83W 120 poles (1980 ft)

to the apasite Corner of old Survey and c? to Tennis on a Double White Oak and Chesnutt Oake on a Ridge and with old line South thirty two Degrees West Sixty six pole 
Call line: S32W 66 poles (1089 ft)

to Chesnutt Oake and black Oake and South Seventy Degrees West Ninety pole
Call line: S70W 90 poles (1485 ft)

to two white oaks and South ten degrees west fifty pole
Call line:  S10W 50 poles (825 ft)

to two White Oak Corner to Kounses own and with North Sixty Degree East Ninety one pole to the Beginning
Call line: N60E 91 poles (1501.5 ft)

The Johnston to Kounts tract calculates to 81.13 acres while 88 acres seen in the deed.

Tract Plotter (annotated with Evernote)

Merging the two tracts

After plotting the tracts I combined the two. The call lines N83W 1980 ft (Kounts) and S83E 1980 ft (Tennis) are the common boundary mentioned in the deeds. To combine them I used PicMonkey. The Tennis tract was reduced in size to match the scale of the Kounts tract.

Tract Plotter

The original 150 acres land grant

I looked at the original land grant of 150 acres only after I’d plotted the two land tracts side by side. I transcribed the description of the land, plotted the call lines, and came up with the same boundaries seen in the image (above) where the two were attached to each other.

…lying and being in the County of Greenbrier on the waters of Indian Creck a branch of New River and adjoining the Land of Patrick Kenan, Edward Fleathers and Samuel Black and bounded as followeth to wit. Beginning at a black and white oak, corner to Kenan and with the same South thirty eight degrees East forty poles two white oaks North fifty two degrees East one hundred and eighty two poles to a red oak and two white oaks on Fleathers’s line and leaving the same, North thirty six degrees West one hundred and sixty eight poles to four Locusts, South seventy degrees West forty four poles to two white oaks, South thirteen degrees East one hundred & fourteen poles to a double white and Chesnut oak, on the top of a hill thence South thirty two degrees West sixty six poles to a Chesnut and black oak, South seventy degrees West ninety poles to two white oaks, South ten degrees West fifty poles to two white oaks corner to Kenan thence North sixty degrees East ninety one poles to the beginning…

Call lines:
S38E 40 poles (660 ft)
N52E 182 poles (3003 ft)
N36W 168 poles (2772 ft
S70W 44 poles (726 ft)
S13E 114 poles (1881 ft)
S32W 66 poles (1089 ft)
S70W 90 poles (1485 ft)
S10W 50 poles (825 ft)
N60E 91 poles (1501.5 ft)

Tract Plotter

Where was the land grant found?

Years ago I discovered The Library of Virginia‘s collection Virginia Land Office Patents and Grants/Northern Neck Grants and Surveys. A search turned up a land grant in Greenbrier County for one William JOHNSTON described as 150 acres on the waters of Indian Creek a branch of New River and adjoining the lands of Patrick Kenan (sic), Edward Heathers (sic), & c.

At the time I knew Patrick KEENAN was a neighbor as my 6th cousin David Fridley had found the records of sale for two tracts of land totaling 150 acres and extracted only the short description of the land. It appeared to be a match but without the 1798 records which I transcribed in my previous post, I couldn’t be 100% certain.

Now with all three deeds “in hand,” I was able to compare and prove the 150 acres granted to William JOHNSON on 10 May 1796 is the same land he sold in two parcels in June 1798 to TENNIS and KOUNTS.

Questions remain

William JOHNSON used the Land Office Treasure Warrant number 12841 issued 2 July 1782 to obtain the grant of 150 acres in 1796.

On the Kentucky.gov Portal, they have a searchable database that includes all Virginia Treasury Warrants. I searched for the warrant number William used and found it was in the name of Edward KENON for 1470 acres.

Why would William JOHNSON use a treasury warrant issued to Edward KENON (KEENAN)?

The Library of Virginia has an interesting guide states, “At any time in the grant process after the treasury warrant was purchased, the purchaser could assign (sell) the right to part or all of the land described in the warrant.”

Apparently, Edward KEENAN assigned or sold the right to 150 acres of the original 1470 acres he purchased to William JOHNSON. Could there be a story behind this? Why did William JOHNSON sell the land only two years after he received the grant?

A complete transcription of the 1796 land grant to William JOHNSON will be share in a later post. Next week I’ll be making an announcement…

© 2019, copyright Cathy Meder-Dempsey. All rights reserved.

Time to Pull up Stakes and Move on

William JOHNSON Sr. (1755-1805) and Amy NELSON (1757-1837) were my fifth great-grandparents. I wrote about their son William JOHNSON Jr. (1793-1845) and his wife Nancy Ann SIMS (abt. 1793-1860s) in 2014 during my first year blogging.

I’m reviewing William and Amy’s records and looking into opening some doors which have remained closed mainly due to my not having access to Virginia records from their period. Instead of starting with the earliest records, I’m going to move back into time.

A few weeks ago I wrote about The 1806 Administrator Bond for the Estate of William Johnson Sr. (1755-1805). An inventory of his estate has yet to be found. With the Administrator Bond, we learned William died before 9 April 1806 and likely during the winter of 1805. I have not found a primary or secondary source confirming he died 22 December 1805.1

In the General Index to Deeds of Kanawha County William JOHNSON Sr. wasn’t listed as a grantor nor as a grantee. He was not found on the land tax records of the county. Apparently, he did not acquire land during the seven years he lived in Kanawha County.

David Fridley, my double 6th cousin through William JOHNSON Sr. and Amy NELSON and through James SIMS and his first wife Phebe _____, has been supportive when it comes to researching our common ancestors over the years. We e-met in the days when mailing lists were active on Rootsweb and still keep up via email and Facebook.

David once mentioned two land records he’d abstracted from the deed books of Greenbrier County. He hadn’t noted the book or page number at the time. The deeds indicated William JOHNSON and his wife Amy deeded a total of 150 acres on Lick Run on 25 and 26 June 1798. As this was the last mention of them in Greenbrier County we believe they must have left for Kanawha County around 1798.

At the end of July, I located the deeds David found many years ago while checking into new collections on FamilySearch. The first thing I did was to send David the citations.

Johnston to Tennis, 62 acres on Lick Run

William JOHNSTON and Amy his wife sold 62 acres on Lick Run to William TENNIS as seen in the following deed.2

This Indenture made this 25 Day of June one Thousand seven Hundred and Ninety eight Between WIlliam Johnston and Amy his wife of the one Part and William Tennis of the other Each of the county of Greenbrier & State of Virginia Witnesseth that the said William Johnston and Amey his wife for & in consideration of the some (sic) of Five Shillings Current money of sd [said] State to them in hand Paid on or before the seling and delivering of their presents the Receipt whereof the Dead (sic) Hereby acknowledged have Bargained & sold & by these presents doe Bargain & sell unto the sd William Tennis and his heirs or assigns a certain tract or Percil of Land Containing sixty two acres it being part of a survey of one Hundred & fifty acres Granted to the sd Johnston by paten, lying & being in the county of Greenbrier on the Waters of lick run where sd Tennis now lives & is Bounded as followeth (to wit) Begining at a Double white oak and chesnut corner to the old survey & thence through the survey south Eighty three Degrees East one Hundred & twenty pole to an aposite Corner of the old survey & Flathers & with old line North Thirty six Degrees west one Hundred and sixty eight pole to four Locusts and soth (sic) Seventy Degrees wet forty four Pole to two white oaks & South thirteen Degrees East one Hundred and fourteen pole to the Begining with its appertainances to the sd William Tennis and his Heirs to the sole yeo? & behoof of the sd William Tennis his heirs or assigns forever and the sd William Johnston & Amy his wife for themselves and their Heirs Doth covenant with the said William Tennis and his heirs the said tract or parcel of land from themselves and their heirs to the said William Tennis and his Heirs or assigns against all and every person or persons whatsoever will warrent and will forever Defend in Witness Whereof we have hereunto set our Hands and seals the Day and the year above Written. 

Signed seald & Delivered
In the Presents off………………………..Williams (his mark) Jonston Seal
Edward Keenan
John Johnston………………………………Emey (her mark) Jonston Seal
Michael Kounts

At a Court held for Greenbrier County June the 26th 1798
This Deed from William Johnston to Wm Tennis was prest in Court & provd by the Oaths of Edward Keenan John Johnston & Michl Kounts and ordered to Record.
………………………………………Teste
………………………………………John Stuart C.G.C. (Clerk Greenbrier County)

Johnston to Kounts, 88 acres on Lick Run

William JOHNSTON and his wife Amy sold 88 acres on Lick Run to Michael KOUNTS as seen in the following deed.[^3]

This Indenture maid this Twenty ___ day of June one Thousand Seven Hundred and Ninety Eight between William Johnston and Eamy his wife of the one part and Michael Kouns of the other Each of the County of Greenbrier and State of Virginia Witnesseth that the said William Johnston and Eamy his Wife for and in consideration of the sum of one Dollar current Money of said State to them in hand paid on or before the Sealing and delivering of these presents the receit whereof the do hereby Acknowledge have bargained and sold and by these presents doe bargain and Sell unto the said Michael Kouns and his Heirs and Assigns a Certain Tract or parcell of Land containing Eighty eight Acres & being the Land sd Johnston now lives on Lying and being in the County of Greenbrier on the Lick Run Joining the Land of Edward Keenan Isaac Palton and Kounces own Land Bough of Keenan & being the S.W. End of said Survey of 150 Acres and is bounded as followeth (to Wit) Beginning at a black Oake & White Oake Corner to Kouns and with South thirty Eight Degrees East forty pole to two white oaks and North fifty two Degrees East one Hundred and Eighty two pole to Red Oak & two white oaks Corner to Keenan and the old Survey, thence through the Survey with Tineses line North Eighty three Degrees West one Hundred and twenty pole to the apasite Corner of old Survey and c? to Tennis on a Double White Oak and Chesnutt Oake on a Ridge and with old line South thirty two Degrees West Sixty six pole to Chesnutt Oake and black Oake and South Seventy Degrees West Ninety pole to two white oaks and South ten degrees west fifty pole to two White Oak Corner to Kounses own and with North Sixty Degree East Ninety one pole to the Beginning with all the appertainances thereunto belonging to the said Michael Kounts and his Heirs and Assignes to the sole use and behoof of the said Michael Kounts and his Heirs and Assignes forever and the said William Johnston and Eamy his Wife for themselves and their Heirs doth Covenant with the said Michael Kouns and his Heirs the said Tract or Parcil of Land from themselves and their Heirs to the said Michael Kouns and his Heirs, against all and every Person or Persons whatsoever will Warrant and will forever defend in Witness whereof we have hereunto set our Hands and Seals the Day and year above Written
Signd, Seald & Acknowledgd
in the Presents off……………………………William (his mark) Jonston Seal
Edward Keenan
John Johnson………………………………….Eamey (her mark) Jonston Seal
Wm Tennis

At a Court held for Greenbrier County June the 26th 1798
This Deed from William Johnston to Michael Kounts was presented in Court and proved by the Oaths of Edwd Keenan John Johnston and William Tennis and the same is order to Record
………………………….Teste
…………………………..John Stuart

Interesting thoughts from David

When I contacted David with the citations he wrote, “Thanks so much for following up with these citations! There’s an awful lot of data I have still from my days decades ago of visiting courthouses that need adequate citation today, and I’m thankful for the increasing amount of digitized records on FamilySearch.

He further wrote, “It’s also useful to revisit the original documents, since there’s more to be learned from a current perspective, for example noticing that “Eamey E. Jonston” included a middle initial, which I don’t think I’ve seen before.

I hadn’t noticed the use of the middle initial. When I transcribed the deeds I saw where David thought a middle initial was used. However, I believe it is a scribble and meant to be her mark.

Here are close-ups of the “signatures” on the recorded deeds. I don’t think these are their actual signatures.

“Signatures” on Johnston to Tennis deed (top) and Johnston to Kounts deed (bottom)

Taking a closer look at the names, on the bottom image, it is clearly noted these are their marks. William appears to have signed with an x. The mark copied into the book by the clerk for the second deed (bottom) looks similar to the E in the first name Eamey and likely why David thought she was using a middle initial. I believe Amy’s mark is two close or consecutive circles. It must be noted that Amy’s name was spelled Amey, Eamy, and Eamey in the records above.

David also considered the price paid for the land and sent me a map with the location of the land. He wrote:

I also looked at the neighbors and grantees to see if there might be a family relationship given the very low price William sold his land for, but I’m not finding any right away. The price is a relative pittance compared to what land in the Shenandoah Valley was going for at the same time, but then, this was fairly remote, and I doubt William had any quantity of good bottom land that would make it more valuable. I’m attaching a map I created showing Lick Run in context of Monroe Co. with an inset showing the specific topography of Lick Run. It is a branch of Indian Creek, so the bottom land was only down by the creek. (There is another Lick Run in the SW portion of the county that emptied into Hans Creek, but looking at the other records of Tennis/Keenan/Counts-Koontz, it is apparent it is the Indian Creek one.)
William Tennis resold this land sometime after 1800 and headed to Adams Co., OH (bordering KY on the Ohio River). A list of his transactions (including the one with William) is compiled at https://www.ancestry.com/boards/localities.northam.usa.states.westvirginia.counties.monroe/439/mb.ashx. In this list are a number of land transactions from 26 June 1798 that involved William Tennis and Edward Keenan, some of which were also witnessed by John Johnson (doesn’t appear as Johnston), and one by a Thos Johnson. I wonder if either is related.

Map courtesy of David Fridley.

David refers to the land being in Monroe County. He is correct in terms of present-day geography. When William and Amy sold it in 1798 it was in the part of Greenbrier which would become Monroe County the following year.

Time to Pull up Stakes and Move on

With the sale of the land in Greenbrier County in 1798, the family of William JOHNSON and Amy NELSON were getting ready for their northwest move to Kanawha County where William died in 1805.
Next week will take us further back when I discuss how William JOHNSON came into the 150 acres he and his wife sold in 1798.

© 2019, copyright Cathy Meder-Dempsey. All rights reserved.


  1. Greenbrier County (West Virginia) County Clerk, “Deeds (Greenbrier County, West Virginia), 1780-1901” (non-indexed images), FamilySearch (Microfilm of original records at the Greenbrier County Courthouse in Lewisburg, West Virginia), Film 593545, DGS #7765144, Deeds, v. 2 1798-1803, images 37 of 380 (page 52). Johnston to Tennis deed for 62 acres (25 June 1798, entered 26 June 1798). (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3Q9M-CSM7-V4RY?i=36&cat=98577 : accessed 31 July 2019). 
  2. Greenbrier County (West Virginia) County Clerk, “Deeds (Greenbrier County, West Virginia), 1780-1901” (non-indexed images), FamilySearch (Microfilm of original records at the Greenbrier County Courthouse in Lewisburg, West Virginia), Film 593545, DGS #7765144, Deeds, v. 2 1798-1803, image 80 of 380 (page 145). Johnston to Kounts deed for 88 acres (__ June 1798, entered 26 June 1798)(https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3Q9M-CSM7-V45L?i=79&cat=98577 : accessed 31 July 2019). 

The 1806 Administrator Bond for the Estate of William Johnson Sr. (1755-1805)

Over the years I’ve received several inquiries for help from women wanting to join the Daughters of the American Revolution. Many want to prove lineal, bloodline descent from my fifth great-grandfather William JOHNSON Sr. (1755-1805), a Revolutionary soldier, who died in Kanawha County, (West) Virginia.

I have few records for William JOHNSON Sr. which were created during his lifetime or immediately following his death. While checking into new records available online at FamilySearch, I found a record which has not been alluded to in compilations or family trees I’ve viewed.

Did William JOHNSON Sr. (1755-1805) leave a will?

I recently found the Administrator’s Bond for the estate of the late William JOHNSTON (sic).1 His son John applied for the bond which is dated 9 April 1806 a little over three months after 22 December 1805, the date of death many researchers show for William in their family tree.

1806 Administrator Bond for the Estate of William JOHNSON

The Administrator’s Bond for the estate of William JOHNSTON, p. 122

Know all men by these Presents that we John Johnston Henry Morris & Charles Woodey King are held and firmly bound unto David Ruffner William Morris Henry Brown & Fleming Cotts Gentlemen Justices now setting for the County Kanawha. In the penal sum of one Thousand dollars to be paid to them or their Successors and for the payment we bind ourselves our heirs Executors or Administrators Jointly & severaly by these presents sealed with our seals and dated this 9th day of April 1806.
The Condition of the above Obligation is such that whereas the Said John Johnston hath Obtained letters of Administration of the Estate of William Johnston Dec out of the County cour (sic) of Kanawha. Now if the said John Johnston Administrator of the goods chattels & credits of the said Deceased do make a True and perfect Inventory of all & singular the Goods Chattels & credits of the Said Deceased which have or shall come into the hands, Possession or Knowledge of him the said John Johnston as in the hands or Possession of any other person or persons for the said John Johnston and the same so made do exhibit unto the County Court of Kanawha when he shall be Thereunto required

The Administrator’s Bond for the estate of William JOHNSTON, p. 123

by the said court and such goods chattels & credits do well and Truly Adminestor according to Law, and further do make a Just and True Account of his actings and doings therein when thereto required by the said Court and all the rest of the said Goods and Chattels & credits which shall be found remaining upon the account of the said Administrator the same being first Examined and allowed by the Justices of the said court for the Time shall Deliver and pay unto such persons respectively az are entitled to the same by Law; and if it shall hereafter appear that any last Will and Testament was made by the Deceased and the same be Proved in Court and the Executor Obtain a Certificate of the Probit thereof and the Said John Johnston do in such case being required render and deliver up his letters of administration then this obligation to be void else to remain in Force and Virtue.
Acknowledged in Open Court……………………..John Johnston Seal
Teste…………………………………………………………….Henry S. Morris (his mark) Seal
A Donnally Ckl…………………………………………….Chs. W. King Seal

The bond was acknowledged in Open Court however no date was given. The entries before and after the bond were entered during Kanawha County April Court 1806. The bond itself was dated 9 April 1806.

William JOHNSON did not leave a will

The wording of the bond indicates William JOHNSON did not leave a will. This is unfortunate as a will might have included the names of his children. A document desperately sought after by descendants who are trying to prove descent from this Revolutionary War veteran.

John JOHNSON’s obtaining letters of administration of the estate of “William JOHNSTON” is suggestive of a relationship but not proof John was his son.

The consensus is William JOHNSON Sr. died on 22 December 1805. An early source with this date is Ross B. Johnston’s articles on West Virginians in the Revolution2 written between 1939-1947. Per the front matter in the republished work, “the sources of this material are notes from the files of the Pension Office at Washington, from the pension applications in West Virginia counties, and from the minute books of the older West Virginia counties, copied by W. P. A. workers on the project sponsored by the West Virginia Commission on Historic and Scenic Markers; from notes of the Daughters of the American Revolution, Sons of the American Revolution, Sons of the Revolution, and other patriotic societies; and from a large miscellaneous group of published and private sources.

I placed a query to the Fayette County West Virginia Genealogy group on Facebook asking for help with a reliable source for the date of death. Lucy Light Slaich who applied and was accepted to the DAR in 2010 through William JOHNSON did not need to prove his date of death. She indicated Mr. Johnston’s article on William JOHNSON in the 1998 reprint, was originally published in the April 1943 issue of the West Virginia History journal. The compilation which was used by prior applicants is no longer accepted by DAR.

Not satisfied, I continued to sift through information which has been collected over the years and found a 1911 publication which gives the dates of death for William JOHNSON and his wife Amy NELSON.3 Laidley in his compilation of representative citizens of the city of Charleston and Kanawha County wrote an article on Julian M. JOHNSON (1847-1932), a great-grandson of William JOHNSON through his son William JOHNSON Jr. This is the earliest source, although not primary, I have for the dates of death of William and Amy.

Did the estate generate other records?

While the administrator bond was found in the “Record of deeds, 1790-1946” collection, I turned to the “Court record book, 1803-1880” collection in search of entries about William JOHNSON’s estate in Kanawha County.

As William supposedly died on 22 December 1805, I checked entries in 1805 and 1806. The court was held on the 12th and 13th of November 1805; 11th day of February 1806; 11th day of March 1806; 8th, 9th, 10th, and 11th day of April 1806; 13th of May; and 10th day of June. Little business was taken care of during the winter months. By April business had picked up and the court was held four days instead of the usual one or two days. It was in April when John JOHNSON made a motion to obtain an administrator bond for the estate of his father.4

Motion granted for administration

County Court record book entry for 9 April 1806
County Court record book entry for 9 April 1806

On the motion of John Johnston who made oath and together with Henry Morris, Charles W. King his securities entered into & acknowledged their bond in the penalty of $1000 conditioned as the law directs certificate of administration of the estate of William Johnston dec’d granted him in due form.

Appraisal of personal property ordered

Immediately after the bond of administration motion was granted another entry was made referencing the estate of William JOHNSON. (see image above)

Ordered that Edward Rion, Edward Hughs, James Sims & John Campbell (or any three of them) being first sworn before a Justice of the Peace for said do appraize the Personal property of the said William Johnston decd and return appraisement to the next court.

From entries during the year in the court orders as well as in the land books (which include personal property tax lists of the period), I was able to determine Edward RION should be Edward RYAN.

Interesting was the mention of James SIMS as one of the four men who were ordered to appraise the personal property of the deceased William JOHNSON. James and William were neighbors. Three of the JOHNSON children married three of the SIMS children:  Susannah JOHNSON  and Martin SIMS in 1800, John JOHNSON and Elizabeth SIMS in 1802, and William JOHNSON Jr. and Nancy Ann SIMS in 1814. I was not expecting to find a record for James SIMS who like William JOHNSON was my 5th great-grandfather.

Further searches in the collections available for viewing online on FamilySearch did not turn up the appraisement of the estate.

Finding the bond documents William JOHNSON died before 9 April 1806 and likely during the winter of 1805. Is it possible there is a family Bible in the home of one of his descendants which would prove the dates given in Laidley’s 1911 article?

I have a few more records for William JOHNSON and Amy NELSON which I’ll be sharing. Recent discoveries which I have not had time to evaluate. It would be nice if other descendants would join in on the fun and share records they’ve uncovered. Together we can do a better job researching these ancestors.

© 2019, copyright Cathy Meder-Dempsey. All rights reserved.


  1. Kanawha County (West Virginia) County Clerk, “Record of deeds, 1790-1946” (non-indexed images), FamilySearch (Microfilm of original records at the Kanawha County courthouse, Charleston, West Virginia.), Film # 008152450, Deed books v. C-D 1805-1817, Deed Book C, page 122-123, image 69 of 582. 9 April 1806 Administrator’s Bond for John Johnson for the estate of William Johnson.(https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3Q9M-CSKV-KSNR-L?i=68&cat=56556 : accessed 26 April 2018). 
  2. Ross B. Johnston, compiler, West Virginians in the American Revolution (Baltimore, MD: Clearfield Publishing Co, 1998 (originally published in the West Virginia Archives and History’s journal West Virginia History from October 1939 to October 1947 as West Virginians in the Revolution)), p. 151. (https://books.google.lu/books/about/West_Virginians_in_the_American_Revoluti.html?id=_mg1bCpc1KAC&redir_esc=y : accessed 8 September 2019) 
  3.  William Sydney Laidley (1839-1917), History of Charleston and Kanawha County, West Virginia and Representative Citizens (Richmond-Arnold Publishing, Chicago, Illinois, 1911), page 979. “William Johnson, Sr. died on Gauley December 22, 1805. His wife lived until December 23, 1837.” Article on Julian M. Johnson, great-grandson of William Johnson and his wife Amy. (https://archive.org/details/historyofcharles00laid/page/978 : accessed 8 Oct 2015). 
  4. Kanawha County (West Virginia) County Clerk, “Court record book, 1803-1880” (non-indexed images), FamilySearch (Microfilm of original records at the Kanawha County courthouse, Charleston, West Virginia.), Film #521643, DGS #8613717, Record book v. 3 1803-1819, image 178+179 of 857. Administrator Bond and Order to Appraise estate of William Johnson, dec’d. (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3Q9M-C34Z-SSJ3-N?i=177&cat=295049 : accessed 8 October 2015). 

Rewriting the Biography: George Washington “Wash” 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.

George Washington SIMS was the youngest of James SIMS’ sixteen children, the baby of the family he had with his second wife Elizabeth COTTON. George, also known as Wash, was born about 1821 in Nicholas County.

The 1830 U.S. Federal Census

By 1830 his four oldest full siblings were married and living on their own. He was living at home with a sister Jane who would marry the following year and two brothers, Charles and Dryden. Also in the household were five slaves. Isaac SIMS (ca. 1793-1875) who would be manumitted by George’s father James in 1836 was likely the male age 24 thru 35.

1830 U.S. Federal Census of Nicholas County, Virginia, for James SIMS

1830 U.S. Federal Census 1
Nicholas County, (West) Virginia
Enumeration Date: 1 June 1830
Name: James Sims
Free White Persons – Males – 5 thru 9: 1 (George W.)
Free White Persons – Males – 15 thru 19: 2 (Dryden and Charles)
Free White Persons – Males – 70 thru 79: 1 (James)
Free White Persons – Females – 15 thru 19: 1 (Jane)
Free White Persons – Females – 40 thru 49: 1 (Elizabeth)
Slaves – Males – 10 thru 23: 1
Slaves – Males – 24 thru 35: 1 (Isaac?)
Slaves – Females – 10 thru 23: 2
Slaves – Females – 24 thru 35: 1
Free White Persons – Under 20: 4
Free White Persons – 20 thru 49: 1
Total Free White Persons: 6
Total Slaves: 5
Total – All Persons (Free White, Slaves, Free Colored): 11

The 1840 U.S. Federal Census

George was about 19 years old when the 1840 census was enumerated. As the youngest of James’ children, he may have still been living at home. His parents had taken in two children, likely their deceased daughter Sarah’s children.

1840 U.S. Federal Census of Nicholas County, Virginia for James SIMS

1840 U.S. Federal Census2
Nicholas County, Virginia
Enumeration Date: 1 June 1840
Name: James Sims Sr.
Free White Persons – Males – Under 5: 1 (poss. Charles, son of Sarah)
Free White Persons – Males – 10 thru 14: 1 (poss. James, son of Sarah)
Free White Persons – Males – 15 thru 19: 1 (George W.)
Free White Persons – Males – 80 thru 89: 1 (James)
Free White Persons – Females – 50 thru 59: 1 (Elizabeth)
Slaves – Males – 10 thru 23: 1 (unknown)
Persons Employed in Agriculture: 4
Free White Persons – Under 20: 3
Total Free White Persons: 5
Total Slaves: 1
Total All Persons – Free White, Free Colored, Slaves: 6

Another possible location for George at the time of the census was the household of his brother Charles who was just across the county line in Fayette County. As James SIMS’ property spanned both Nicholas and Fayette at that time, Charles was probably living on his father’s land. Being young and unmarried George could have been helping both his aged father and his brother Charles who was also unmarried.

1840 U.S. Federal Census of Fayette County, Virginia for Charles SIMS

1840 U.S. Federal Census3
Fayette County, Virginia
Sheet 147, Line 6
Enumeration Date: 1 June 1840
Name: Charles Sims
Free White Persons – Males – 20 thru 29: 2 (Charles and George?)
Slaves – Males – Under 10: 1
Slaves – Females – 10 thru 23: 1
Persons Employed in Agriculture: 1
Free White Persons – 20 thru 49: 2
Total Free White Persons: 2
Total Slaves: 2
Total All Persons – Free White, Free Colored, Slaves: 4

The 1850 U.S. Federal Census

On 28 November 1845 George W. SIMS applied for a bond to marry Margaret J. DORSEY in Nicholas County. He went the bond with James DORSEY Jr. who made oath the bride was of age.4

Although they married in Nicholas County, their residence was in Fayette County in 1850 when they had two children, a son George W. and a daughter Edna P. M., in the home.

There are several discrepancies on the census sheet. Margaret is seen as Mary J., their oldest child George W. is incorrectly listed as 29 years old, and no occupation or value of real estate owned was given.

George’s immediate neighbors were his brother Charles, several of his nephews (sons of his half-brothers William and Martin), and his half-brother Martin.

1850 U.S. Federal Census of Fayette County, Virginia for the George W. SIMS household

1850 U.S. Federal Census5
Fayette County, Virginia
The 14th District
Enumerated by me on the 1st day of August, 1850. T. B. Hamilton, Ass’t Marshal.
Sheet No. 343A, Lines 36-39, HH #173-173
George W. Sims 29 M Virginia
Mary (sic) J. Sims 29 F Virginia
G. W. Sims 29 (sic, 3) M Virginia
Edny P. M. Sims 1 F Virginia

The 1860 U.S. Federal Census

During the 1850s Margaret had another four or five children. Victoria (9) and Elizabeth (7) are seen in the household. An unnamed male child was born on 3 September 1855 and likely died before 1860 as he is not reflected in this listing. Another son John L. N. was born about December 1856 and died on 13 April 1858. A one-year-old female is seen without a name, only ditto marks on the sheet. The census was enumerated on August 4, two weeks after a daughter named Margaret Jane was born. Maggie, as she would be known, was born on 22 July 1860. Is she the unnamed child in the 1860 census? Or did the enumerator follow directions to not include any children born after June 1? Or was there another unnamed female child born about 1859?

George who was farming had no real estate of value and his personal estate was valued at $200.

1860 U.S. Federal Census of Fayette County, Virginia for the Washington SIMS household

1860 U.S. Federal Census6
Fayette County, Virginia
District No. 1
Enumerated by me on the 4th day of August, 1860. P. Morton, Ass’t Marshal.
Gauley Bridge Post Office, Sheet No. 290
Page No. 108, Lines 20-26, HH #800-734
Washington Sims 38 M Farmer $0 $200 Virginia
Margaret Sims 40 F Virginia
George W. Sims 13 M Virginia
Edna Sims 11 F Virginia
Victoria Sims 9 F Virginia
Elizabeth Sims 7 F Virginia
” (ditto) ” (ditto) 1 F Virginia

The 1870 U.S. Federal Census

George’s wife Margaret died between 22 July 1860 (after Maggie’s birth) and 29 January 1863 when George married Mary Jane JOHNSON in Nicholas County. He was the only child of James SIMS to have his parents’ names mentioned on a marriage record although the maiden name of his mother was not included, only James & Elizabeth. The names of the parents of Mary Jane who was 23 were not stated on the marriage record.7

George R. Penick, Jr. wrote in his compilation on James SIMS and his descendants that George Washington SIMS’ second wife, Mary Jane JOHNSON, was a sister to the brothers John and William JOHNSON who married George’s half-sisters Elizabeth and Nancy Ann SIMS. This cannot be correct as Mary Jane was born between 1840-1843 which was long after the 1805 death of William JOHNSON Sr., father of these men. Neither John nor William could be the father of Mary Jane as their daughters are accounted for. John’s son Harrison had a daughter Mary b. ca. 1842 and William’s son Joseph Nelson had a daughter Mary A. b. ca. 1841. Marriages have been found for both of these girls and they are listed with their families in 1860. John and William had a brother James who died in 1834 but none of his sons’ daughters are matches. I do not see the possibility of Mary Jane being closely related to John and William JOHNSON. There were other Johnson families in the Kanawha-Nicholas-Fayette area as well as in Greenbrier which bordered on Fayette.

The candidate remaining was Mary J. JOHNSON age 18 in the household of Elizabeth McVEY (maiden name KOONTZ) in the Mountain Cove district of Fayette County in 1860. Further research would be necessary to prove or disprove this as well as to find her parents.

By 1870 Mary Jane had given birth to three children. The youngest, only one month old, was mistakenly noted as a female. In 1880 the child would be seen as William T. age 10 and, later in 1900, his month and year of birth would be May 1870 which fell within the census year, i.e. he would be the “female” child on the 1870 census. Only three of George’s children from his first marriage were still at home: Victoria, Elizabeth, and Margaret. His two oldest children George W. and Edna P. M. have not been found in 1870 or any later census. No marriage or death records have been found and I suspect they may have died in the 1860s.

The family was now in Nicholas County. George was farming and his real estate was valued at $600 and his personal property at $450. Living next door was Isaac SIMS, the first black man to own property in Nicholas County. The tract he owned bordered on the land originally owned by James SIMS.

1870 U.S. Federal Census of Nicholas County, West Virginia for the George W. SIMS household

1870 U.S. Federal Census8
Nicholas County, West Virginia
Jefferson Township, Page No. 1
Enumerated by me on the 22nd day of July, 1870. Patrick D. Horan, Ass’t Marshal.
Nicholas Court House Post Office
Sheet No. 163A, Lines 5-12, HH #2-2
Sims, George W. 49 M W Farmer $600 $450 West Virginia male US citizen over 21 yo
Sims, Mary J. 27 F W West Virginia
Sims, Victoria 18 F W At Home West Virginia
Sims, Elizabeth H. 15 F W At Home West Virginia attended school
Sims, Margaret J. 9 F W West Virginia
Sims, Ulysses G. 6 M W West Virginia
Sims, Minna 4 F W West Virginia
Sims, Not named 1/12 F W West Virginia
Sheet No. 163A, Line 13, HH #3-3
Sims, Isaac 72 M Mulatto Farmer $500 $400 cannot read & write West Virginia male US citizen over 21 yo
Note: Isaac Sims, the freed slave of James Sims, father of George W. Sims.

The 1880 U.S. Federal Census

During the 1870s George’s three daughters from his first marriage were married. Victoria Veazy SIMS married William Henry SUMMERS soon after the 1870 census and they had four children by 1880. Margaret Jane SIMS married John Wesley MARTIN on 9 January 1878. They had one daughter and were living with his parents in 1880. Elizabeth Honor SIMS married William Henry MARTIN on 19 April 1878 and they were the parents of a son and daughter by 1880. The MARTIN men were not brothers and I have not done research on the line to determine if or how they may have been related.

Mary Jane and George had four more children by 1880. Irvin Evermont, Joseph Wyatt, Cora Anna, and Oleona G. who was also known as Ola. They were still in the Jefferson district of Nicholas County where George was farming.

1880 U.S. Federal Census of Fayette County, West Virginia for the George W. SIMS household

1880 U.S. Federal Census9
Nicholas County, West Virginia
Jefferson Township
Enumeration District No. 105
Enumerated by me on the 10th day of June, 1880. W. M. Walker, enumerator.
Page No. 11, Sheet No. 101C, Lines 8-16, HH #79-79
Sims, George W. W M 59 married Farmer WV VA VA
Sims, Mary J. W F 40 wife married Keeping house WV WV VA
Sims, Ulyssius S. W M 15 son single Works on farm attended school WV WV WV
Sims, Minnie M. W F 12 daughter single At home attended school cannot write WV WV WV
Sims, William T. W M 10 son single attended school cannot write WV WV WV
Sims, Irvin E. W M 8 son single attended school WV WV WV
Sims, Joseph W. W M 6 son single WV WV WV
Sims, Anna W F 3 daughter single WV WV WV
Sims, Oleona W F 2 daughter single WV WV WV

The Widow in the 1900 and 1910 U.S. Federal Census

When the 1900 census was enumerated, Mary J. SIMMS was seen as widowed. George had died between 1880 and 1900. No records have been found to more precisely date his death. Mary Jane was now living in the town of Ansted in the Mountain Cove district of Fayette County, the same area a younger Mary J. JOHNSON had been found in 1860 in the McVEY household. Mary Jane was 65 years old, about 5 to 6 years older than seen earlier. She had in her household her youngest son Joseph Wyatt a coal miner who had been out of work for three months during the year.

1900 U.S. Federal Census of Fayette County, West Virginia for the Mary J. SIMMS household

1900 U.S. Federal Census10
Fayette County, West Virginia
Mountain Cove District, Ansted
Enumeration District No. 17
Enumerated by me on the 1 day of June 1900. Geo M. Koontz, enumerator.
Sheet No. 1A, Lines 44-45, HH #7-7
Simms, Mary J. head W F May 1835 65 widowed mother of 7, 7 living WV WV WV can read cannot write speaks English rents house
Simms, Joseph son W M Oct 1875 24 single WV VA WV coal miner unemployed 3 months in 1899 can read & write speaks English

Mary Jane was still in Ansted in 1910 but now alone and living off her own income. Her age was now 69 and agrees with earlier census listings. As in 1900, the seven children she had were still living. Mary Jane was not found in the 1920 census and it is assumed she died between 1910 and 1920. No record of death has been found.

1910 U.S. Federal Census of Fayette County, West Virginia for Mary J. SIMS

1910 U.S. Federal Census11
Fayette County, West Virginia
Mountain Cove District, Precinct 1, Ansted Town
Enumeration District No. 19
Enumerated by me on the 10th day of May, 1910. Wm. T. Hamilton
Sheet No. 28A, Line 9, HH #500-505
Sims, Mary J. head F W 69 widowed mother of 7, 7 living WV WV VA speaks English own income can read & write rents house

George’s Children from 1900 to 1961

Only three of the children George had with his first wife Margaret Jane DORSEY were found to have survived to adulthood, marry, and have children. If his two oldest children George W. and Edna P. M. moved to other parts, married, and had descendants, I would be happy to hear about them.

Victoria Veazy SIMS (1852-1928) had five more children after 1880 bringing the total children to nine. In 1900 she had eight children living as one of her children had died at the age of 2 years in 1894. By 1910 the number of living children went down by one as her oldest child died in 1905. She lost her husband in 1927 and died the following year in Huntington, Cabell County, West Virginia.

Elizabeth Honor SIMS (1853-bef. 1920) had four more children after 1880 bringing the total children to six. Her oldest child died before 1900. She likely died between 1910 and 1920 as her husband was listed as widowed on the 1920 census. He died in 1933 in Montgomery (Fayette County) where he had been living.

Margaret Jane “Maggie” SIMS (1860-1949) had four more daughters after 1880 bringing the total to five daughters born to her and her husband John Wesley MARTIN. He died between 1891-1899. Maggie then married Patrick BEIRNE on 4 January 1900 in Montgomery, Fayette County. The marriage was recorded in Kanawha County. Patrick was from Northern Ireland and Catholic. The SIMS family members attended the Methodist Episcopal church and were not Catholic. Maggie and Patrick were found in Fayette County in 1900 (after much searching!) with two of his children from his first marriage and her four youngest daughters. The couple was incorrectly listed as having been married 29 years and Maggie’s age was seen as 59 instead of 40. Maggie’s daughters were listed with their step-father’s surname which was indexed as Burns. In 1904 Maggie had a son Meredith James BEIRNE. By 1910 Maggie and Patrick were both listed as having been married 10 years and second marriages for both of them. The three oldest living MARTIN daughters (Nancy born in 1880 may have died before 1900) married in 1904-1906. Patrick died in 1914. Maggie lived in Charleston with her daughter Virgie Lee’s family in 1920 and 1940 and with her daughter Edith’s family in 1930. She died in 1949 in Charleston (Kanawha County).

All of the seven children George had with Mary Jane JOHNSON survived into adulthood.

Anthony Ulysses Grant SIMS (1865-1931) was found under this name in the 1900 through 1930 census. He used the alias James G. SYMMES when he enlisted the U.S. Army on 11 June 1888 in Ohio. He was a real estate agent at the time and 23 years old. He had blue eyes, light hair, fair complexion, and was 5 foot 8 inches tall. He served with Company A & K of the 7th Calvary. He was discharged 10 June 1893 at Fort Sheridan, Illinois. He re-enlisted on 11 June 1893 and was discharged on 10 May 1895. He apparently had a medical background as in 1900 he was an attendant at the Illinois Northern Hospital for the Insane in Kane County, Illinois; an attendant at the U.S. Marine Hospital in Chicago in 1910; and an orderly at the same in 1920. In 1927 he applied for a pension under his alias for his service during the Indian wars. In 1930 he was lodging at a hotel in Chicago and working as a guard at the U.S.V. Bureau. In 1931 he was back in West Virginia living with his sister Cora Anna who was the informant on his death record. She gave his occupation as a chemist. The 1931 death certificate included his alias which led to the military and pension records. He was never married per George R. Penick Jr. (compiler of a family history) and, although seen as single on his death record and most census records, he was listed as widowed in 1920.

Minna M. SIMS (1866-1934) married Frank E. FELTON and likely never had children. She has not been found in 1900, 1910, 1920, and 1930 census but was listed in the city directory of Huntington (Cabell County, West Virginia) in 1932 (widow Carsile) and 1934 (widow F. E.), living at the same address as her sister Cora Anna. It was this sister who was the informant on her death record in 1934. According to Penick, Minnie may have married or lived in Pennsylvania.

William T. SIMS (1870-aft. Apr 1940) married Virginia YOUNG in 1895 in Fayette County where William lived from 1900 to 1940. Jennie, as she was also known, gave him four daughters and a son. She died before 1920. Two of the girls have not been located in 1920 or later and may have also died in the 1910s. The other two daughters married but died in 1922 and 1925. The son died in an automobile accident at the age of 18 in 1927. In 1930 William was found with his sister-in-law Ethel CLAYPOOL, widow of his brother Irvin, and by himself in 1940. His death record has not been located.

Irvin Evermont SIMS (1872-1929) married Ethel CLAYPOOL in 1899. They were the parents of one daughter Lillian Eleanor (1899-1993) who never married or had children. Irvin and Ethel lived in Fayette County where Irvin died in 1929. In 1940 Ethel and her daughter were living in Charleston where Ethel died in 1961.

Joseph Wyatt SIMMS (1874-1942) was living with his mother Mary Jane JOHNSON in 1900. In 1905 he married Rosa MULLINS with whom he had a son in 1908. The marriage did not last. Rosa and their son were living with her parents in 1910. She married two more times. Joseph Wyatt was not found in 1910, 1920, or 1930. His son who never married died in 1938 at the age of 30. In 1940 Joseph was living in Nicholas County with the family of his double cousin (1C1R and 1C2R) Homer Holt SIMMS. Joseph died in 1942 in Huntington (Cabell County) of injuries sustained when he, a pedestrian, was hit by an automobile. Once again Cora Anna was the informant on the death certificate of a sibling.

Cora Anna SIMS (1876-1951) married Hugh T. PRIBBLE in 1900 in Fayette County. They were the parents of three children. They lived in Fayette County in 1900 and 1910. By 1920 they had moved to Huntington. The marriage ended in divorce and Cora Anna was found with her two single sons and her married daughter in 1930. In 1940 Cora Anna was the head of household. Her daughter and her second husband, as well as the daughter’s son from her first marriage, were living with her. Cora Anna died in 1951 at the same address in Huntington as she had been living since 1930. She had been the informant on three of her six siblings’ death certificates which would suggest a close connection to them.

Oleona G. “Ola” SIMS (1878-1961) married Weston Edward STEVENS in 1902 in Fayetteville. They were the parents of eight children, one of whom died at the age of nearly 1 1/2 years. They lived in the Falls district of Fayette County in 1910, 1920, 1930, and 1940. Weston died the end of 1940. Ola was living in Huntington in 1961 when she died.

This post concludes the census study of the children of James SIMS (1754-1845). The census research has been a great amount of work since the first post in March. I’ll be taking a break from this project for a few months. I have no fixed plans or schedule for upcoming posts but hope to bring a bit of variety to the blog.

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

Rewriting the Biography: George Washington

  1. 1830 U.S. Federal Census, (index and images), Ancestry, citing Fifth Census of the United States, 1830 population schedule, National Archives and Records Administration, Washington D.C. NARA microfilm publication M19, 201 rolls, FHL Film: 0029677, NARA Rol M19_198, Nicholas, Virginia, image 35+36 of 42, page 189A+B, line 17, James Sims. (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 3 March 2018). 
  2. 1840 U.S. Federal Census, (index and images), Ancestry, citing Sixth Census of the United States, 1840 population schedule, National Archives and Records Administration, Washington D.C., NARA microfilm publication M704, 580 rolls, FHL Film 0029690, NARA Roll M704_571, Virginia, Nicholas, image 26+27 of 67, page 10, line 8, James Sims. ‎(http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 5 March 2018). 
  3. Ibid., FHL Film 0029685, NARA Roll M704_555, Virginia, Fayette page 147A+B, line 6, Charles Sims. ‎(http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 5 March 2018). 
  4. Neva Jane Stout Bryant, (abstracted and compiled by), SIMMS/SIMS Marriages, Nicholas County, West Virginia 1817-1933, (abstracted from James S. & Evelyn E., Early Nicholas County (West) Virginia Marriage Bonds (& Records) 1818-1864; Cochran, Nicholas Co WV Marriages 1817-1903; Cochran, Nicholas Co. WV Marriages 1903-1933). George W. Sims, applied for a bond to marry Margaret J. Dorsey, 11-28-1845 in Nicholas Co. (W)VA. George W. Sims and James Dorsey Jr. went the bond. James Dorsey made oath that the bride was of age. 
  5. 1850 U.S. Federal Census, (index and images), Ancestry, citing Seventh Census of the United States, 1850 population schedule, National Archives and Records Administration,Washington D.C., NARA microfilm publication M432, 1009 rolls, Roll: M432_943; Images: 291; Virginia, Fayette, District 14, image 27 of 91, Sheet No. 343A, Lines 36-39, HH #173-173, George W. Sims household. “.” (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 15 April 2018). 
  6. 1860 U.S. Federal Census, (index and images), Ancestry, 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_1344; FHL Film: 805344; West Virginia, Fayette County, District 1; image 2 of 26, Sheet No. 290, Page No. 108, Lines 20-26, HH #800-734, Washington Sims household. (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 3 July 2018). 
  7. Abstracts of marriage records by Neva Bryant. Simms, Washington, Widow, 39, b. Nicholas, res. Fayette, s/o James & Elizabeth to Johnson, Mary Jane, 23, Fayette, parents not stated — 29 Jan 1863. 
  8. 1870 U.S. Federal Census, (index and images), Ancestry, citing Ninth Census of the United States, 1870 population schedule, National Archives and Records Administration,Washington D.C., NARA microfilm publication T132, 13 rolls, Roll: M593_1695; FHL Film: 553194; West Virginia, Nicholas, Jefferson, image 1 of 17, Page No. 1, Sheet No. 163A, Lines 5-12, HH #2-2, George W. Sims household. (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed accessed 29 April 2018). 
  9. 1880 U.S. Federal Census, (index and images), Ancestry, citing Tenth Census of the United States, 1880 population schedule, National Archives and Records Administration, Washington D.C., NARA microfilm publication T9, 1,454 rolls, Roll: 1410; West Virginia, Nicholas County, Jefferson, image 11 of 17, Enumeration District No. 105, Page No. 11, Sheet No. 101C, Lines 8-16, HH #79-79, George W. Sims household. (https://www.ancestry.com : accessed 20 December 2016). 
  10. 1900 U.S. Federal Census, (index and images), Ancestry, citing Twelfth Census of the United States, 1900 population schedule, National Archives and Records Administration,Washington D.C., NARA microfilm publication T623, 1854 rolls, FHL microfilm: 1241758; West Virginia, Fayette County, Mountain Cove, image 1 of 50, Enumeration District No. 17, Sheet No. 1A, Lines 44-45, HH #7-7, Mary J. Simms household. (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 3 September 2018). 
  11.  1910 U.S. Federal Census, (index and images), Ancestry, citing Thirteenth Census of the United States, 1910 population schedule, National Archives and Records Administration, Washington, D.C., NARA microfilm publication T624, 1,178 rolls, Roll: T624_1680; FHL microfilm: 1375693; West Virginia, Fayette, Mountain Cove, image 53 of 53, Enumeration District No. 19, Sheet No. 28A, Line 9, HH #500-505 Mary J. Sims household. (https://www.ancestry.com : accessed 3 September 2018). 

Rewriting the Biography: Sarah 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.

Sarah SIMS was the third child of James SIMS and his second wife Elizabeth COTTON. The order of birth cannot be proven as noted in my previous post on her sister Margaret.

The 1810 U.S. Federal Census

Sarah’s year of birth is not known and I estimate it at between 1804-1806 due to the fact that she married in 1825. In 1810 she fit into the under 10 years of age category placing her birth at between 1801-1810. She was found in her father’s household with her mother and siblings James, Margaret, and Mildred as well as five slaves.

1810 U.S. Federal Census of Kanawha County, Virginia including the entry for James Simms (top line)

1810 U.S. Federal Census 1
Kanawha County, (West) Virginia
Kanawha
Sheet 207A, Line 23
Name: James Simms
Free White Persons – Males – Under 10: 1 (James Jr.)
Free White Persons – Males – 45 and over: 1 (James)
Free White Persons – Females – Under 10: 3 (Margaret, Sarah, and Mildred)
Free White Persons – Females – 26 thru 44: 1 (Elizabeth)
Numbers of Slaves: 5 (Isaac, Black Jude, Black Fanny, Robert, and unknown)
Number of Household Members Under 16: 4
Number of Household Members Over 25: 2
Number of Household Members: 11

The 1820 U.S. Federal Census

As mentioned in the previous post for Margaret SIMS, the two oldest daughters’ of James SIMS from his second marriage to Elizabeth COTTON did not live long enough to be included on the 1850 census which would give a more accurate estimate for their births. Also discussed in the previous post was the possible unreliability of the 1820 census due to its appearance. Light and dark writing suggest it was worked over after the original information was gathered. By 1820 the household of James SIMS had grown to include four daughters and two sons. Sarah’s oldest brother was not living at home. There were more slaves in the household than family members.

1820 U.S. Federal Census of Nicholas County, Virginia for James Sims (highlighted)

1820 U.S. Federal Census 2
Nicholas County, (West) Virginia
Page No. 204A, Sheet 152, Line 19
Enumeration Date: 7 August 1820
Name: James Sims
Free White Persons – Males – Under 10: 2 (Dryden and Charles)
Free White Persons – Males – 45 and over: 1 (James)
Free White Persons – Females – Under 10: 2 (Mildred and Jane)
Free White Persons – Females – 10 thru 15: 2 (Margaret and Sarah)
Free White Persons – Females – 26 thru 44: 1 (Elizabeth)
Slaves – Males – Under 14: 2
Slaves – Males – 14 thru 25: 2 (Isaac and Robert)
Slaves – Females – Under 14: 3
Slaves – Females – 14 thru 25: 2 (Black Jude and Black Fanny)
Number of Persons – Engaged in Agriculture: 3
Free White Persons – Under 16: 6
Free White Persons – Over 25: 2
Total Free White Persons: 8
Total Slaves: 9
Total All Persons – White, Slaves, Colored, Other: 17

The 1830 U.S. Federal Census

Sarah gave birth to an illegitimate son Milton SIMS about 1824. The following year on 6 September 1825 she married Peyton FOSTER, a widower, in Nicholas County.

Peyton’s first wife Nancy JOHNSON, daughter of my 5th great-grandparents William JOHNSON and Amy NELSON, had given him two sons per the 1820 census. She may have also given birth to another son after the 1820 census and before her death. This is reflected in there being two males in the 5 thru 9 years age group in 1830. One of these was Sarah’s son Milton SIMS while the other could have been a son from Peyton’s previous marriage. The only known child of Peyton FOSTER and Nancy JOHNSON was Johnson FOSTER, whose given name was his mother’s maiden name. As an aside, Nancy was a sister of my 4th great-grandfather William JOHNSON Jr. who married Nancy Ann SIMS, Sarah’s half-sister.

Sarah and Peyton had a daughter Mariah born about 1828. There was also an unknown male in the household. We will get to him later.

1830 U.S. Federal Census of Nicholas County, Virginia for Peyton Foster

1830 U.S. Federal Census3
Nicholas County, (West) Virginia
Name: Peyton Foster
Free White Persons – Males – Under 5: 2 (marked out and not included in total)
Free White Persons – Males – 5 thru 9: 2 (Sarah’s son Milton and unknown)
Free White Persons – Males – 10 thru 14: 1 (son Johnson from Peyton’s first marriage)
Free White Persons – Males – 20 thru 29: 2 (marked out and not included in total)
Free White Persons – Males – 30 thru 39: 2 (Peyton Foster and unknown)
Free White Persons – Females – Under 5: 1 (Mariah)
Free White Persons – Females – 20 thru 29: 1 (Sarah)
Free White Persons – Under 20: 4
Free White Persons – 20 thru 49: 5
Total Free White Persons: 7
Total – All Persons (Free White, Slaves, Free Colored): 7
Note: There were two columns on the census which were marked out and not included in the total.

The 1840 U.S. Federal Census

No trace of Peyton FOSTER was found in the 1840 census. Was he deceased? Was Sarah living with her children in the household of another relative? I suspect both Peyton and Sarah were deceased by 1840. But can this be proven?

Peyton FOSTER did not leave a will in Nicholas or Fayette counties which might include the names of his children or which might infer his wife Sarah pre-deceased him. It is known that she died before 1848 when the partition suit was filed for James SIMS’ land and her children were named:

…also the children of Sarah Foster, formerly Sarah Sims, to-wit, Jordan Hickson and Mariah his wife; James Foster, Peyton Foster, Charles Foster, and Milton Sims, the last three but one are infants…

There are several factors which make finding the FOSTER children in 1840 difficult. The most obvious being the pre-1850 census did not include names of persons other than the head of household. Changing county border lines also cause a problem. Sarah lived in an area of Nicholas County which became Fayette County in 1831 and family was on both sides of the county line. The size of the family Sarah came from also makes it difficult to figure out who her children may have been living with in 1840.

Milton SIMS and Charles FOSTER

Milton SIMS was the one son who was no longer an infant in 1848. James, Peyton, and Charles were infants in 1848. From later census years it is known that James was born about 1830, Peyton about 1833, and Charles about 1837. There are three households in 1840 in which I believe Sarah’s three infant sons may be found. As I have already worked through the pre-1850 census listings for the SIMS families I have an idea of which families have people living in the household who did not fit into the family group.

Sarah’s father James SIMS was still living in 1840 and had two unknown young males in his home. It is likely they were the 3 years old Charles and one of the two older sons, Milton SIMS about 15 or James about 9. As the age range is 10 thru 14, I am leaning more to this being Milton.

1840 U.S. Federal Census of Nicholas County, Virginia for James Sims Sr. (highlighted)

1840 U.S. Federal Census4
Nicholas County, Virginia
Enumeration Date: 1 June 1840
Name: James Sims Sr.
Free White Persons – Males – Under 5: 1 (poss. Charles, son of Sarah)
Free White Persons – Males – 10 thru 14: 1 (poss. Milton or James, sons of Sarah)
Free White Persons – Males – 15 thru 19: 1 (George W.)
Free White Persons – Males – 80 thru 89: 1 (James)
Free White Persons – Females – 50 thru 59: 1 (Elizabeth)
Slaves – Males – 10 thru 23: 1 (unknown)
Persons Employed in Agriculture: 4
Free White Persons – Under 20: 3
Total Free White Persons: 5
Total Slaves: 1
Total All Persons – Free White, Free Colored, Slaves: 6

Peyton FOSTER

I suspect young Peyton who was about 7 was living with Cyrus WEDGE as he was with him in 1850 as will be seen below. Cyrus WEDGE is a piece of the puzzle which appears to fit due to his location and the persons in his 1850 household however how he fits into the story of the FOSTER and SIMS family is still a mystery.

1840 U.S. Federal Census of Fayette County, Virginia for Cyrus Wedge

1840 U.S. Federal Census5
Fayette County, (West) Virginia
Page 147, Line
Name: Cyrus Wedge
Free White Persons – Males – 5 thru 9: 1 (poss. Peyton, son of Sarah)
Free White Persons – Males – 50 thru 59: 1 (Cyrus)
Free White Persons – Females – 30 thru 39: 1 (Jane)
Persons Employed in Agriculture: 1
No. White Persons over 20 Who Cannot Read and Write: 1
Free White Persons – Under 20: 1
Free White Persons – 20 thru 49: 1
Total Free White Persons: 3
Total All Persons – Free White, Free Colored, Slaves: 3

Mariah and James FOSTER

Dryden SIMS, the 7th child of James SIMS and his second wife, had in his household in 1840 three children who did not fit into his known family group. Dryden will be discussed in a later post.

In order to follow my reasoning, the reader needs to know he married in 1837 and had only a son Alfred by 1840. As no other full siblings of Sarah had individuals in their household who would fit, I would like to deduce that the children in Dryden’s household may be Sarah’s son James about 9 and her daughter Mariah about 13.

This leaves a young girl 5 thru 9 in the Dryden SIMS household who could have been a child of Sarah but who would have died by 1848 as no other child is mentioned in the partition suit. These unknown persons in Dryden’s household were not seen with him in 1850.

1840 U.S. Federal Census of Nicholas County, Virginia for Dryden Sims

1840 U.S. Federal Census6
Nicholas County, (West) Virginia
Sheet 9, Line 30
Enumeration Date: 1 June 1840
Name: Dryden Sims
Free White Persons – Males – Under 5: 1 (Alfred)
Free White Persons – Males – 5 thru 9: 1 (not a son, could this be Sarah’s son James?)
Free White Persons – Males – 20 thru 29: 1 (Dryden)
Free White Persons – Females – 5 thru 9: 1 (not a daughter)
Free White Persons – Females – 10 thru 14: 1 (not a daughter, could this be Sarah’s daughter Mariah?)
Free White Persons – Females – 15 thru 19: 1 (Rebecca)
Persons Employed in Agriculture: 1
Free White Persons – Under 20: 5
Free White Persons – 20 thru 49: 1
Total Free White Persons: 6
Total All Persons – Free White, Free Colored, Slaves: 6

The 1850 U.S. Federal Census

All of Sarah’s five children were found in the 1850 census.

Mariah FOSTER

Mariah had married Jordan HUDSON in 1846. His name was incorrectly seen (or transcribed) as HICKSON in the partition suit. Jordan and Mariah went to Washington County, Indiana, sometime before the 1850 census. Three of Jordan’s siblings were with them in 1850. Jordan and Mariah did not have children at this time.

1850 U.S. Federal Census of Washington Township, Washington County, Indiana for Jordan Hudson household

1850 U.S. Federal Census7
Washington County, Indiana
Washington Township
Enumerated the 17th day of September 1850
Sheet No. 335A, Lines 5-9, HH #195-205
Jordan Hudson 28 male Farmer born in Virginia
Maria Hudson 22 female born in Virginia
Calvin B. Hudson 23 male Farmer born in Virginia
Creptha Hudson 21 female born in Virginia
Rebecca Hudson 12 female born in Virginia

Milton SIMS

Milton SIMS, Sarah’s son from a relationship prior to her marriage to Peyton FOSTER, had married Selina L. STEELE in 1847. They had a son Samuel B. born about 1849. His wife Selina may have brought a child into the marriage. Victoria STEELE age 9 was living with them. She was too young to be her sister (as will be seen in the section following the 1850 census) but could have been a daughter or niece.

1850 U.S. Federal Census of Fayette County, Virginia for Milton Sims, Cyrus Wedge with James and Peyton Foster, and Johnson Foster (half-brother)

1850 U.S. Federal Census8
Fayette County, Virginia
The 14th District
Enumerated on the 1st day of August 1850
Sheet No. 342A, Lines 25-28, HH #158-158
Milton Sims 26 M Farmer Virginia
S. L. Sims 31 F Virginia
Victoria Steele 9 F Virginia
Saml B. Sims 1 M Virginia

In the household following Milton’s, we find Cyrus WEDGE, the mystery man who was born in Vermont per the 1850 census or in Connecticut per the 1860 and 1870 census. Cyrus married Anna PETTIT in Kanawha County in 1824. Was he widowed by 1830 and was he the other adult male in the household of Peyton FOSTER in 1830? Cyrus married Jane HALEY in 1838 in Fayette County. The age range for the female in the 1840 census for Cyrus WEDGE (above) does not fit the age seen (below) for his wife Jane. The first name of the wife in 1850 matches the name on the 1838 marriage record. No other marriage has been found for him after 1840 and before 1850.

James and Peyton FOSTER

The FOSTER boys, James and Peyton, are in the WEDGE household in 1850 as well as a third child, Octavia YOUNG. Octavia would marry John HUGHES in 1860 and they would be living next door to the WEDGE couple in 1860. John was discovered to be the son of Matthew HUGHES and Margaret SIMS (Sarah’s sister) in my last post.

1850 U.S. Federal Census9 (See image above)
Fayette County, Virginia
The 14th District
Enumerated on the 1st day of August 1850
Sheet No. 342A, Lines 29-33, HH #159-159
Cyrus Wedge 60 M Farmer Vermont
Jane Wedge 66 F Ireland cannot read & write
James Foster 19 M Laborer Virginia
Peyton Foster 17 M Virginia
Octava Young 11 F Virginia

Johnson FOSTER (step-son)

Johnson FOSTER, Sarah’s step-son remained close to his half-brothers. He married Mary “Polly” HUGHES, daughter of Thomas HUGHES Jr. and Mary “Polly” SIMS (half-sister of Sarah) before 1844. He was found in the household following Cyrus WEDGE in 1850. Johnson would die in 1855 and his widow Mary would remain on the land along with the newlyweds Octavia YOUNG and John HUGHES in 1860.

1850 U.S. Federal Census10 (See image above)
The 14th District
Fayette County, Virginia
Enumerated on the 1st day of August 1850
Sheet No. 342A, Lines 34-39, HH #160-160
Johnson Foster 33 M Farmer Virginia
Mary Foster 26 F Virginia cannot read & write
Thomas Foster 6 M Virginia
James Foster 5 M Virginia
Johnson Foster 2 M Virginia
Mary E. Foster 2/12 F Virginia

Charles FOSTER

The youngest son of Sarah SIMS and Peyton FOSTER, Charles was living with his uncle Charles SIMS. He was the 6th child of James SIMS and his second wife and will be discussed in a later post.

1850 U.S. Federal Census of Fayette County, Virginia for Charles Sims household including Charles Foster

1850 U.S. Federal Census11
Fayette County, Virginia
The 14th District
Sheets 343A+B, Lines 40-42 and 1-4, HH #174-174
Charles Sims 37 M Farmer $500 Virginia
Manerva J. Sims 26 F Virginia
Mary J. Sims 7 F Virginia
E. K. Sims 5 F Virginia
E. L. Sims 3 F Virginia
Lydia Sims 1/12 F Virginia
Charles Foster 13 M Virginia

After The 1850 U.S. Federal Census

Milton SIMS and his wife Selina L. STEELE had three more sons by 1860. Victoria STEELE was still in the household. Milton was widowed after the 1870 census and remarried in 1876 to Mary Salinas WOOD, a daughter of my 3rd great-grandparents Elijah WOOD and Rachel HONAKER. She was widowed twice and had McGRAW and ARBAUGH children. Milton died after the 1880 census and did not have children with his second wife who wrote her last will and testament in 1897. It was recorded in 1901 following her death.

Mariah FOSTER returned with her husband Jordan HUDSON to Fayette County soon after the 1850 census. They had two children born in 1851 and 1854 before Jordan died, likely between 1854-1857. Mariah, seen as widowed in the marriage register, then married her first cousin Alfred Hansford SIMS, son of Dryden SIMS and Rebecca BAYS, on 5 January 1858 in Fayette. They had seven children by 1874 before Alfred disappeared. Mariah was listed as widowed in 1880, missed in 1900 and 1910, and found with her youngest daughter in 1920. She was enumerated as widowed and 95 years old in 1920. A death record has not been found. What happened to her second husband A. H. SIMS? The answer will have to wait until Dryden SIMS’ census records are analyzed.

James FOSTER married a young lady named Eliza Jane before 1853. They had four sons in the 1850s and three daughters in the 1860s. James and Eliza Jane likely died by 1880 when the children were found spread around in different households. Birth, marriage, and deaths records of the children were searched for any record with the maiden name of Eliza Jane. Only one death record was found with the name of the mother, Eliza Jane SEAL. This is a very unusual surname for the area. It’s possible she was Eliza Jane STEELE, seen in 1850 age 14 with the family of Selina L. STEELE. In 1965 Alexander Napoleon Rippetoe STEELE (91 years old at the time), recounted to Allen STEELE and Kitty Steele BARRERA that his father Jeffrey Oliver STEELE Jr. was the youngest child of Jeffrey Oliver STEELE Sr., father of Selina. Jeffrey Jr. was 18 on the 1850 census. Could this mean Victoria was a grandchild of one of the older STEELE children?

Peyton FOSTER married Margaret HARRAH, daughter of Daniel HARRAH and Rachel Ann SMITH, in 1855. Their entry in the marriage register of Fayette County has her maiden name spelled O’HARROW. They had five known children. They named one son Cyrus, after Cyrus WEDGE and a daughter Rachel Ann after Margaret’s mother. Margaret died before 1880 and Peyton was last seen in 1900 in Kanawha County with his son Cyrus’ family.

Charles FOSTER married Antonietta E. COPELAND on 25 December 1857 in Fayette County. They had five known children born between 1859 and 1872. Charles died sometime after 1872 and before 1877. His widow remarried on 27 December 1877 to William KINCAID. By 1880 she was seen as widowed. Antonietta lived with her youngest daughter Mary Ann in 1920 and died in August that year at the age of 83.

Remaining to be analyzed are the census listings of two daughters and three sons of James SIMS and Elizabeth COTTON. All five lived at least until the 1880 census which will make them a bit easier and more interesting to study, research, and write about. Next up is Mildred “Milly” SIMS, the wife of Joel Dixon SETTLE Jr.

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

Rewriting the Biography: Sarah 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 405, Virginia, Kanawha, Kanawha, page 129, sheet 207A, line 23, James Simms (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 6 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_130, image 388, Virginia, Nicholas, page 204A, line 19, James Sims. (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 21 February 2018). 
  3. 1830 U.S. Federal Census, (index and images), Ancestry, citing Fifth Census of the United States, 1830 population schedule, National Archives and Records Administration, Washington D.C. NARA microfilm publication M19, 201 rolls, FHL Film 0029677, NARA Roll M19_198, Virginia, Nicholas, image 11+12 of 42, page 177A+B, line 24, Peyton Foster. (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 3 March 2018). 
  4. 1840 U.S. Federal Census, (index and images), Ancestry, citing Sixth Census of the United States, 1840 population schedule, National Archives and Records Administration, Washington D.C., NARA microfilm publication M704, 580 rolls, FHL Film 0029690, NARA Roll M704_571, Virginia, Nicholas, image 26+27 of 67, page 10, line 8, James Sims. ‎(http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 5 March 2018). 
  5. Ibid., NARA microfilm publication M704, 580 rolls, FHL Film 0029685, NARA Roll M704_555, Virginia, Fayette, images 17+18 of 54, page 147A+B, line 22, Cyrus Wedge. ‎(http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 5 March 2018). 
  6. Ibid., NARA microfilm publication M704, 580 rolls, FHL Film 0029690, NARA Roll M704_571, Virginia, Nicholas, image 24+25 of 67, page 9, line 30, Dryden Sims. ‎(http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 5 March 2018). 
  7. 1850 U.S. Federal Census, (index and images), Ancestry, citing Seventh Census of the United States, 1850 population schedule, National Archives and Records Administration,Washington D.C., NARA microfilm publication M432, 1009 rolls, Roll: M432_179; Images: 498; Indiana, Wahington, Washington, image 31 of 52, Sheet No. 335A, Lines 5-9, HH #195-205, Jordan Hudson household. (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 8 July 2018). 
  8. Ibid., NARA microfilm publication M432, 1009 rolls, Roll: M432_943; Image: 289; Virginia, Fayette, District 14, image 25 of 91, Sheet No. 342A, Lines 25-28, HH #158-158, Milton Sims household. “.” (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 11 July 2018). 
  9. Ibid., Lines 29-33, HH #159-159, Cyrus Wedge. (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 3 July 2018). 
  10. Ibid., Lines 34-39, HH #160-160, Johnson Foster household. (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 11 July 2018). 
  11. 1850 U.S. Cesnsus, Virginia, Fayette, District 14, image 27+28 of 91, Sheets 343A+B, Lines 40-42 and 1-4, HH #174-174, Charles Sims household. (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 3 July 2018). 

Rewriting the Biography: Nancy Ann 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.

Nancy Ann SIMS, my ancestress, was the youngest child of James SIMS and his first wife Phebe. She was born shortly before her mother’s tragic death in Bath County, Virginia. Nancy Ann was not yet married in 1810. She was not with her father James and his second wife Elizabeth COTTON and her half-siblings. As she was 17 years and not with her father and step-mother, it is probable she was living with one of her full siblings.

The 1810 U.S. Federal Census

Nancy Ann’s brother William SIMS, the oldest of her siblings in the area, married Elizabeth WINDSOR before 1806. By 1810 they had two sons, William Jr. and Jeremiah, and a daughter Nancy. Also living in their household was a young female age 10 thru 15. This young lady may have been Nancy Ann who was born abt. 1793. If she was Nancy Ann then she should have been included in the same age bracket as her sister-in-law Elizabeth.

1810 U.S. Federal Census of Kanawha County, Virginia for William SIMMS

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

The census listings of all of her full siblings have been analyzed and William’s household is the only one she could have been living in. At this time only her father James owned land and his married sons William and Martin likely lived on this land or in the homeplace as they were enumerated one after the other. Nancy Ann’s future mother-in-law Amy NELSON, widow of William JOHNSON, also was a neighbor. Hence, it is my belief Nancy Ann was in the neighborhood and most likely with her older brother William.

The 1820 U.S. Federal Census

Nancy Ann SIMS married William JOHNSON, the son of William JOHNSON Sr. and Amy NELSON, in 1814. This was not the first marriage joining the SIMS and JOHNSON families. William’s sister Susannah was the wife of Martin SIMS and his brother John was the husband of Elizabeth SIMS.

Nancy Ann and William were the parents of three children by 1820: a son Nelson, a daughter Huldah (my 3rd great-grandmother) and a son Alexander. William was engaged in agriculture.

Also in the household were two young men aged 10 thru 15 years. Who were they? In 1810 when William was not yet married he was probably living with his mother Amy. At the time she had two young boys in her household under the age of 10. Were these the same boys? If they were then they would have been under 6 years old in 1810. Amy had been widowed in 1805 and family tradition does not mention any children born so late in the marriage. Could they have been grandchildren?

1820 U.S. Federal Census of Nicholas County, Virginia for William JOHNSON

1820 U.S. Federal Census 2
Nicholas County, (West) Virginia
Page No. 204B, Sheet 152, Line 31
Enumeration Date: August 7, 1820
Name: William Johnson
Free White Persons – Males – Under 10: 2 (Nelson and Alexander)
Free White Persons – Males – 10 thru 15: 2 (William’s nephews?)
Free White Persons – Males – 16 thru 25: 1 (William)
Free White Persons – Females – Under 10: 1 (Huldah)
Free White Persons – Females – 16 thru 25: 1 (Nancy Ann b. bet. 1794-1804)
Number of Persons – Engaged in Agriculture: 1
Free White Persons – Under 16: 5
Total Free White Persons: 7
Total All Persons – White, Slaves, Colored, Other: 7

The 1830 U.S. Federal Census

Nancy Ann gave birth to Mary, John B., Amy, and Lewis during the 1820s. Her mother-in-law Amy lived with the family in 1830 and is the older woman seen in the household. From the writings of Laura Kincaid Blake (1875-1965), we know Amy lived among her children and her last days were at the home of her son William.

Nancy and William’s son John B. was born at the mouth of Rich Creek on Gauley in 1823. Some time after this and before the 1830 census the JOHNSON family moved to a place on Loop Creek (Loup Creek) in the area of what is known as Robson in present-day Fayette County, West Virginia. This is the reason they were found in Kanawha County in 1830. Fayette County would not be formed until 1831.

1830 U.S. Federal Census of Kanawha County, Virginia for William JOHNSTON (sic)

1830 U.S. Federal Census3
Kanawha County, (West) Virginia
Sheet 198A & 198B, Line 8
Enumeration Date: 1 June 1830
Name: William Johnston
Free White Persons – Males – Under 5: 2 (Lewis b. 1828, John Brown b. 1823)
Free White Persons – Males – 5 thru 9: 1 (Alexander b. 1819)
Free White Persons – Males – 10 thru 14: 1 (Nelson b. ca. 1815)
Free White Persons – Males – 30 thru 39: 1 (William Jr. b. 1793)
Free White Persons – Females – Under 5: 1 (Amy b. 1825)
Free White Persons – Females – 5 thru 9: 1 (Mary b. 1820)
Free White Persons – Females – 10 thru 14: 1 (Huldah b. ca. 1818)
Free White Persons – Females – 30 thru 39: 1 (Nancy Ann Sims Johnson b. bet. 1791-1800)
Free White Persons – Females – 70 thru 79: 1 (Amy Nelson Johnson b. 1757)
Free White Persons – Under 20: 7
Free White Persons – 20 thru 49: 2
Total Free White Persons: 10
Total – All Persons (Free White, Slaves, Free Colored): 10

The 1840 U.S. Federal Census

Nancy Ann and William had four more children in the 1830s. A daughter Elizabeth was born about 1830, died at the age of 3 years, and was buried in the Nichols Cemetery on Loop Creek per the writings of Laura Blake. The three other children were William Hunter, Nancy, and Morris Houston.

Nancy Ann was incorrectly enumerated in the 30 thru 39 years range. Having married in 1814 it would be very unlikely she was born in 1801-1810.

Nancy Ann’s husband William and Alexander, the oldest son living at home, were employed in agriculture. Only one person over 20 years of age could not read and write. Later census listings would not indicate Alexander, Huldah, or Nancy could not read or write. If these can be trusted, then William may have been the person who was illiterate. This surprises me as his older brother John was a Methodist minister.

Two of William and Nancy Ann’s children had married before 1840 and had their own households.

1840 U.S. Federal Census of Fayette County, Virginia for William JOHNSON

1840 U.S. Federal Census4
Fayette County, Virginia
Page 145, Sheet 2A & 2B
Name: William Johnson
Free White Persons – Males – Under 5: 2 (William Hunter and Morris Houston)
Free White Persons – Males – 5 thru 9: 1 (Lewis)
Free White Persons – Males – 15 thru 19: 1 (John Brown)
Free White Persons – Males – 20 thru 29: 1 (Alexander)
Free White Persons – Males – 40 thru 49: 1 (William)
Free White Persons – Females – Under 5: 1 (Nancy)
Free White Persons – Females – 15 thru 19: 1 (Amy)
Free White Persons – Females – 20 thru 29: 1 (Huldah)
Free White Persons – Females – 30 thru 39: 1 (Nancy Ann; should be listed as 40 thru 49 yo)
Persons Employed in Agriculture: 2
No. White Persons over 20 Who Cannot Read and Write: 1
Free White Persons – Under 20: 6
Free White Persons – 20 thru 49: 4
Total Free White Persons: 10
Total All Persons – Free White, Free Colored, Slaves: 10

Nelson JOHNSON and Elizabeth HUGHES

Nancy Ann’s oldest son was the first of her children to marry. Nelson married his first cousin Elizabeth HUGHES, daughter of Thomas HUGHES Jr. and Mary “Polly” SIMS, in 1837. Their first child Irvin Nelson was born early in the 1840 census year and was enumerated with them. Nelson was engaged in agriculture. His wife Elizabeth is the person who could not read and write as will also be seen later in the 1850 census.

1840 U.S. Federal Census of Fayette County, Virginia for Nelson JOHNSON

1840 U.S. Federal Census5
Fayette County, (West) Virginia
Page 147, Sheet No. 4A & 4B
Name: Nelson Johnson
Free White Persons – Males – Under 5: 1 (Irvin)
Free White Persons – Males – 20 thru 29: 1 (Nelson)
Free White Persons – Females – 15 thru 19: 1 (Elizabeth)
Persons Employed in Agriculture: 1
No. White Persons over 20 Who Cannot Read and Write: 1
Free White Persons – Under 20: 2
Free White Persons – 20 thru 49: 1
Total Free White Persons: 3
Total All Persons – Free White, Free Colored, Slaves: 3

Mary JOHNSON and David Alexander MILLER

Nancy Ann’s second oldest daughter was the first of the girls to marry. Mary married David Alexander MILLER in December 1839. Mary was expecting her first child on 1 June 1840 when the census was enumerated. The child would be born in January 1841. David, a farmer, was incorrectly counted in the 30 thru 39 range. He was only about 18 years old as will be seen in later census years.

1840 U.S. Federal Census of Fayette County, Virginia for David MILLER

1840 U.S. Federal Census6
Fayette County, Virginia
Page 146, Sheet No. 3A & 3B
Name: David Miller
Free White Persons – Males – 30 thru 39: 1 (David)
Free White Persons – Females – 15 thru 19: 1 (Mary)
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

Laura Blake in her writings on the family stated, “William and Nancy died around 1845 during a typhoid fever epidemic. Afterward, most of his family went to Kanawha County to an area called the Grapevine, near Charleston.”

Nancy Ann was living in 1848 when the partition suit was filed for the sale of the land of her father James SIMS. This alone refutes her death taking place during the typhoid fever epidemic in 1845. Sons Morris Houston and Lewis both died in August 1845 and were followed by their father William JOHNSON in December 1845.

Which family members were found in the 1850 census and who was missing? Can the second part of Laura’s statement concerning the removal of the family to Kanawha be correct? As will be seen below, Nelson went to Missouri. Huldah and Alexander were in Fayette County. Mary, John, and Amy were in Kanawha County. Nancy Ann and her children William Hunter and Nancy have not been found in the 1850 census.

Nelson JOHNSON and Elizabeth HUGHES

Nelson and his wife Elizabeth were found in Madison County, Missouri. Four daughters had been born to them before they moved to Missouri. The youngest was two years old indicating the move was made around 1849. Nelson was a cabinet maker and his two oldest children attended school. Elizabeth could not read and write.

1850 U.S. Federal Census of Madison County, Missouri for Nelson JOHNSON household.

1850 U.S. Federal Census7
Madison County, Missouri
54th District
Enumerated on 26 September 1850
Sheet 241A, Lines 16-23, HH #462-462
Nelson Johnson 35 M Cabinet Maker $30 Virginia
Elizabeth Johnson 33 F Virginia cannot read & write
Irvine L. Johnson 11 M Virginia attended school within year
Mary J. Johnson 9 F Virginia attended school within year
Nancy J. Johnson 7 F Virginia
Unus E. Johnson 5 F Virginia
Virginia A. Johnson 2 F Virginia
Monroe Marrow 25 M Carpenter Virginia

Huldah JOHNSON and Robert INGRAM

Huldah married Robert INGRAM about 1841. The marriage record has not been found. They had three sons by 1850. Robert was a farmer and owned land with his brother Matthew who lived next door with their mother and two of their sisters.

1850 U.S. Federal Census of Fayette County, Virginia for Robert INGRAM and his mother Margaret INGRAM

1850 U.S. Federal Census8
Fayette County, Virginia
Enumerated on 27 August 1850
Sheet No. 365B, Lines 41-42 and Sheet 366A, Lines 1-3, HH #461-461
Robert Ingram 31 M Farmer $100 Virginia
Huldah Ingram 32 F Virginia
Vincent Ingram 9 M Virginia
Irvin L. Ingram 4 M Virginia
Wm. P. Ingram 2 M Virginia

Alexander JOHNSON and Isabella HUGHES

Alexander and Isabella HUGHES, whose parentage is unknown to me, were married before 1850. Alexander was living in Fayette County six households away from his sister Huldah. He was a farmer. Alexander and Isabella were the parents of a four months old daughter.

1850 U.S. Federal Census of Fayette County, Virginia for Alexander Johnson

1850 U.S. Federal Census9
Fayette County, (West) Virginia
Sheet 365B, Lines 7-9, HH #455-455
Alexander Johnson 30 M farmer $150 Virginia
Isabella Johnson 23 F Virginia
Lucinda Johnson 4/12 F Virginia

Mary JOHNSON and David Alexander MILLER

Mary and David who were newlyweds at the time of the 1840 census had two daughters and two sons by the time the 1850 census was enumerated. They were found in Kanawha County. David could not read and write.

1850 U.S. Federal Census of Kanawha County, Virginia for David MILLER household

1850 U.S. Federal Census10
Kanawha County, Virginia
District No. 29
Enumeration by me on the 13th day of November 1850. Andrew P. Fry, Ass’t Marshal.
Sheet 125A, Lines 12-17, HH #1790-1835
David Miller 28 M Laborer Virginia cannot read or write
Mary Miller 29 F Virginia
Vienna Miller 9 F Virginia
William R. Miller 7 M Virginia
James A. Miller 5 M Virginia
Mary W. J. Miller 3 F Virginia

John JOHNSON and Mary Ann SETTLE

John married Mary Ann SETTLE in 1846 in Fayette County. Their son Julian, seen here as a female named Julia, was born in what is today Clifton in Kanawha County placing their move to Kanawha at soon after their marriage. John was a laborer.

1850 U.S. Federal Census of Kanawha County, Virginia for John JOHNSON household

1850 U.S. Federal Census11
Kanawha County, (West) Virginia
Enumerated the 7th day of September 1850
Page 68A, Lines 34-36, HH #1013-1017
John Johnson 23 M W laborer Virginia
Mary 22 F W Virginia
Julia 3 F W Virginia (sic, son Julian)

Amy JOHNSON and Charles McClung HUFFMAN

Amy married Charles McClung HUFFMAN in 1849. They are listed in Kanawha as having married within the census year which would be from 1 June 1849 to 1 June 1850. As they have a one-month-old son I have given them the benefit of the doubt and estimated their marriage as having taken place in the first half of the census year. Charles was a farmer in 1850.

1850 U.S. Federal Census of Kanawha County, Virginia for Charles M. HUFFMAN household

1850 U.S. Federal Census12
Kanawha County, Virginia
Sheet 84B, Lines 29-31, HH# 1239-1256
Charles Huffman 23 M Farmer Virginia married within the year cannot read & write
Amy 23 F Virginia married within the year
Franklin W. 1/12 M Virginia

The 1860 U.S. Federal Census

Nancy Ann who was missing in 1850 along with her son William and daughter Nancy reappeared in the census in 1860. They were found in the Sissonville area where Grapevine, the place mentioned by Laura Blake, lies.

Nancy Ann SIMS, the widow of William JOHNSON Jr., was living with her youngest son William in 1860. Her relationship to the head of household is not noted in the listing however her age is correct for her being born about 1793-1794 just before her mother died. Her son William had married Louisa Lavinia SAMUELS in 1856. She was 17 years old at the time of the marriage and by 1860 had given William a daughter and a son.

Next door to William is his brother Alexander. Two households separate Alexander from his sister Amy.

1860 U.S. Federal Census of Kanawha County, Virginia for Charles HUFFMAN, Alexander JOHNSON, and William JOHNSON with Nancy Ann SIMS

1860 U.S. Federal Census13
Kanawha County, Virginia
Sissonville Post Office
Page No. 113, Lines 21-25, HH #788-788
William Johnson 28 M Farmer $0 $250 Virginia
Louisa L. Johnson 20 F Virginia over 20 yo who cannot read & write
Mary G. Johnson 2 F Virginia
James N. Johnson 1 M Virginia
Nancy Johnson 66 F Virginia

Nelson JOHNSON (dec’d) and Elizabeth HUGHES

Nancy’s oldest son Nelson died about 1855. He had returned to the Kanawha area from Missouri by September 1854 when he was the informant for the death of his daughter Joanna, a twin who had been born in Missouri in 1851. Joanna’s twin sister Josephine died in November 1856. Another daughter Virginia died in January 1857 leaving Nelson’s widow Elizabeth with four children living at home.

1860 U.S. Federal Census of Kanawha County, Virginia for Elizabeth JOHNSON household

1860 U.S. Federal Census14
Kanawha County, Virginia
Enumerated by me on the 16th day of June, 1860. Wm C Blain, Ass’t Marshal
Upper Falls Coal Post Office
Page 44, lines 9-13, HH #302-302
Elizabeth Johnson 42 F $0 $150 Virginia
Warren 20 M Laborer Virginia
Mary A.  18 F Virginia
Nancy J. 15 F Virginia
Venus E. 13 F Virginia

Huldah JOHNSON and Robert INGRAM

Huldah was the mother of six children by 1860 when the family was enumerated as INGRUM instead of INGRAM. Her husband Robert was still farming the land he’d patented with his brother Matthew in 1843. Robert bought out Matthew’s share in the land when he moved to Sissonville in 1852.

Also in the household of Robert and Huldah was Amanda BLAKE, daughter of John BLAKE and Malinda JOHNSON, with her son John. It is unknown if or how Malinda JOHNSON and Huldah were related.

1860 U.S. Federal Census of Fayette County, Virginia for Robert INGRUM (sic) household

1860 U.S. Federal Census15
Fayette County, Virginia
District No. 1
Enumerated the 20th day of June 1860, P. Morton, Ass’t Marshall
Gauley Bridge Post Office
Page No. 25, Sheet No. 335, lines 12-21, HH #183-161
Robert Ingrum 41 M Farmer $1000 $200 Virginia
Huldah Ingrum 42 F Virginia
Vincent Ingrum 19 M Farm Laborer Virginia
Ervin L. Ingrum 14 M Virginia
William P. Ingrum 12 M Virginia
Amy Ingrum 8 F Virginia
Nancy M. Ingrum 7 F Virginia
Mary E. Ingrum 3 F Virginia
Amanda Blake 20 F day laborer Virginia
John A. Blake 1 M illegitimate Virginia

Alexander JOHNSON and Isabella HUGHES

Alexander and Isabella’s oldest child Lucinda lived to see three siblings born. She died in 1859. Alexander, a farmer, had moved to the Sissonville area by 1852. (see image of census page with Alexander above under Nancy Ann and her son William)

1860 U.S. Federal Census16
Kanawha County, Virginia
Sissonville District
Page No. 113, lines 16-20 HH #787-787
Alexander Johnson 39 M Farmer $0 $150 Virginia
Isabella 33 F Virginia
Harland P. 7 M Virginia
Andrew D. 2 M Virginia
Vianna C. 2/12 F Virginia

Mary JOHNSON and David Alexander MILLER

Mary and David had lost their oldest son before the 1860 census. Five children had been born since the 1850 census was enumerated. Their oldest daughter Vienna was incorrectly listed as Susannah. David was still working as a farmer. In this listing, both David and Mary were marked as not being able to read and write.

1860 U.S. Federal Census of Kanawha County, Virginia for David MILLER household

1860 U.S. Federal Census17
Kanawha County, Virginia
Enumerated by me on the 10th day of July 1860. Wm. C. Blaine, Ass’t Marshal.
Sissonville Post Office
Page No. 118, lines 30-39, HH #826-826
David Miller 38 M Farmer $200 $150 Virginia cannot read & write
Mary Miller 37 F Virginia cannot read & write
Susannah Miller 19 Virginia
James A. Miller 15 Virginia attended school within year
Margaret W. Miller 13 Virginia attended school within year
Ann P. Miller 9 Virginia attended school within year
Silas M. Miller 7 Virginia
Irvin W. Miller 5 Virginia
Mary E. Miller 4 Virginia
Joseph H. Miller 10/12 Virginia

John JOHNSON and Mary Ann SETTLE

John and Mary Ann had two daughters born in the 1850s however they both died before the 1860 census. Elizabeth Clifton JOHNSON was born in 1851 and died in 1858. Mary Susan JOHNSON was born in 1852 and died in 1853. Julian remained an only child. John was working as a carpenter. Elizabeth Elkins, the young lady in their household may have been live-in help.

1860 U.S. Federal Census of Kanawha County, Virginia for John B. JOHNSON household

1860 U.S. Federal Census18
Kanawha County, Virginia
Enumerated the day of August 1850 by William C. Blaine
Cannelton
Page 319, lines 16-19, HH #2190-2190
John B. Johnson 36 M Carpenter $1000 $400 Virginia
Mary A. Johnson 37 F Virginia
Julian M. Johnson 13 M Virginia
Elizabeth Elkins 22 F Virginia

Amy JOHNSON and Charles McClung HUFFMAN

Amy and Charles’ family increased by three with the births of their daughter Margaret and sons Perry and Charles Jr. Charles was working as a farmer. (see image of census page with the HUFFMAN household above under Nancy Ann and her son William)

1860 U.S. Federal Census19
Kanawha County, Virginia
Sissonville District
Page No. 113, lines 3-8, HH #784-784
Charles Huffman 34 M Farmer $1000 $1500 Virginia
Amy 34 F Virginia
Franklin W. 9 M Virginia attended school
Margaret K. 8 F Virginia
Perry 5 M Virginia
Charles M. 2 M Virginia

Nancy JOHNSON and William B. MARTIN

Nancy, the youngest of Nancy Ann and William’s children, married William B. MARTIN in 1853. Nancy gave birth to three daughters during their first seven years of marriage. William was a farmer.

1860 U.S. Federal Census of Kanawha County, Virginia for William B. MARTIN household

1860 U.S. Federal Census20
Kanawha County, Virginia
Sissonville
Page 105, lines 36-40, HH #735-735
William B. Martin 28 M Farmer $400 $200 Virginia
Nancy 24 F Virginia
Clarissa A. 6 F Virginia
Nancy C. 3 F Virginia
Isarbinda 5/12 F Virginia

After the 1860 U.S. Federal Census

Nelson’s widow Elizabeth who had lost her three youngest children and was left with four children in 1860 had seen the three oldest marry during the decade. In 1870 only her youngest Eunice was still living at home but not for long as she died in the fall. Elizabeth was with her oldest son in 1880 and with her youngest living daughter in 1900. She died before 1910.

Huldah and her husband Robert INGRAM had their four youngest children living at home in 1870. Richard Edward was born in March 1862. Their oldest son Vincent died between 1862-1870. Their son Irvin Lewis, my second great-grandfather, married in 1867 and their son William Preston married in 1869. Both had their own households in 1870 however my ancestor Irvin managed with his wife and children to not be enumerated. By 1880 two daughters had married: Nancy Margaret in 1872 and Mary Elizabeth in 1874. Amy, the oldest daughter, and Richard, the youngest son, were still at home. Richard married in 1883. Huldah died sometime between 1880 and 1900. Amy married in 1895 at the age of 43 and remained childless. Huldah’s widower Robert boarded with a Hamilton family in 1900 and according to family tradition he died about 1902 at the home of his cousin Preston KINCAID.

Alexander and his wife Isabella had three more children during the 1860s. They lost two sons before 1870 when they had their four living children, two daughters and two sons, in their household. Both daughters married in 1879 but, although in their husbands’ households, they were also listed with their parents in 1880 with their maiden names. Alexander and Louisa’s oldest son Harlin married in 1881. Alexander died in 1887. His youngest son Alexander married in 1889 and the following year his widow Louisa remarried. She was widowed again in 1899 and not found in the 1900 census. It is not known when she may have died.

Mary and David Alexander MILLER’s three oldest children married in 1864. By 1870 their five youngest were still at home but the oldest, a daughter would marry before the end of the year. David died in 1871 and Mary was left with three sons and a daughter. The daughter would marry in 1876, the two youngest sons in 1879, and the oldest in 1880. Mary lived with her son Irvin who had married his first cousin Louisa J. JOHNSON, daughter of Alexander, in 1880. Mary died in 1898.

John and his wife Mary Ann had in their household in 1870 their son Julian, his wife, and their two children. They had married in 1867. Julian, the only living child, still made his home with his parents in 1880. His family had grown by six children born before the 1880 census was enumerated. However the two oldest children born before the 1870 census died in 1873 and 1872. One last child was born in 1882. Mary Ann died in 1896 and John in 1902.

Amy gave her husband Charles McClung HUFFMANN five more sons in the 1860s. By 1870 they had eight sons and a daughter, all living at home. By 1880 the six youngest sons were still at home. In 1900 Amy and Charles, married 50 years, were on their own with only a servant helping in the household. Amy died in 1904 and her widower Charles in 1913. This family group has not been researched by me and I have very little information on their children and descendants.

William and his wife has six more children by 1870 and three more by 1880. Louisa died of heart disease at the age of 44 years in 1884. William died 6 January 1899. Thirteen children were attributed to them by persons who contributed to the publication, Sissonville A Time To Remember. The death records of two of these children, both males, were found. The names and the ages given does not correspond with any of the sons found in the census. Smith who died on 29 April 1885 at the age of 18 years (born abt. 1867) and John B. who died on 6 March 1871 at the age of 11 years and 6 months (b. abt. Sept 1868) were not with the family in 1870.

Nancy gave birth to four children during the decade and only one of them survived to the 1870 census. Her oldest was only 15 years old when she married in January before the census. Nancy, her husband William B. MARTIN, their three unmarried daughters and their married daughter and her husband were in the 1870 household. Three sons and a daughter were born in the 1870s and none of the older girls married. Seven of the eight children lived at home in 1880. The two youngest children died in 1881, a son and a daughter. By the end of the year the second oldest daughter was married. Two daughters and two sons were still unmarried. The girls married in 1885 and 1888 and the boys in 1892 and 1895. Nancy and Martin’s children were all married by 1900 when they were found together along with a granddaughter named Effie B. MARTIN age 12 years. As the sons had only been married 8 and 5 years, the daughters were looked into. Effie was their granddaughter through their daughter Mary S. and her husband John F. FISHER. In 1910 Nancy and Martin were last seen together in the census. Nancy died in 1915 and her widower was living with their oldest daughter in 1920. His death record has not been located.

All of the living children of Nancy Ann SIMS and William JOHNSON were located in the 1870 census. She was not found with any of them and I assume she died between 1860 and 1870 when she was 66 to 76 years old. Previous conjecture had been that she died during the 1840s, likely at the same time as her husband. However, with the 1848 partition suit and her being found in the 1860 census with her youngest son and his family, this family lore was rejected. Several family trees show her death as taking place in April 1870 in Fayette County per the 1870 Mortality Schedule of Fayette County. This death record is that of Nancy KELLY, widow of Israel JOHNSON. My ancestress’ death likely took place during the 1860s, a decade in which many records were misplaced or destroyed due to the Civil War. And as more records become available online at FamilySearch, I will continue to search for any and all documentation which will help to pinpoint her time of death.

This is the last post for the census work of the children of James SIMS and his first wife Phebe. Before continuing with the children from his second marriage, I would like to share in my next post the tragic story of the demise of Phebe SIMS.

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

Rewriting the Biography: Nancy Ann 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 405, Virginia, Kanawha, Kanawha, page 129, sheet 207A, line 25, William Simms (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 6 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_130, image 388, Virginia, Nicholas, page 204B, line 31, William Johnson. (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 21 February 2018). 
  3. 1830 U.S. Federal Census, (index and images), Ancestry, citing Fifth Census of the United States, 1830 population schedule, National Archives and Records Administration, Washington D.C. NARA microfilm publication M19, 201 rolls, FHL Film 0029670, NARA Roll M19_191, Virginia, Kanawha, image 37+38 of 84, page 198A+B, line 7, William Johnston. (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 3 March 2018). 
  4. 1840 U.S. Federal Census, (index and images), Ancestry, citing Sixth Census of the United States, 1840 population schedule, National Archives and Records Administration, Washington D.C., NARA microfilm publication M704, 580 rolls, FHL Film 0029685, NARA Roll M704_555, Virginia, Fayette, image 13&14 of 54, sheet 145, line 23, William Johnson Sr. household. ‎(http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 5 June 2018). 
  5. Ibid., Virginia, Fayette, image 17 & 18 of 54, sheet 147, line 30, Nelson Johnson household. ‎(http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 11 June 2018). 
  6. Ibid., Virginia, Fayette, image 15 & 16 of 54, sheet 146, line 2, David Miller household. ‎(http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 11 June 2018). 
  7. 1850 U.S. Federal Census, (index and images), Ancestry, citing Seventh Census of the United States, 1850 population schedule, National Archives and Records Administration,Washington D.C., NARA microfilm publication M432, 1009 rolls, Roll: M432_405; image 491; Missouri, Madison, image 89 of 124, sheet 241A, lines 16-23, HH #462-462, Nelson Johnson household. (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 11 June 2018). 
  8. Ibid., Roll: M432_943; image 336 and 337; Virginia, Fayette, District 14, image 72 and 73 of 91, Sheet 365B lines 41-42 and Sheet 366A lines 1-3, HH #461-461, Robert Ingram household. (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 11 June 2018). 
  9. Ibid., Virginia, Fayette, District 14, image 72 of 91, Sheet 365B, Lines 7-9, HH #455-455, Alexander Johnson household. (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 11 June 2018). 
  10. Ibid., Virginia, Kanawha, District 29, image image 227 of 271, sheet 125A, lines 12-17, HH #1790-1835, David Miller household. (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 11 June 2018). 
  11. Ibid., Virginia, Kanawha, District 29, image 113 of 271, sheet 68A, lines 34-36, HH #1013-1017, John Johnson household. (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 11 June 2018). 
  12. Ibid., Virginia, Kanawha, District 29, image 146 of 271, sheet 84B, lines 29-31, HH #1239-1254, Charles Huffman household. (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 11 June 2018). 
  13. 1860 U.S. Federal Census, (index and images), Ancestry, 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_1356; Page: 113; FHL Film 805356; Virginia, Kanawha, image 114 of 54, page 321, lines 21-25, HH #788-788, William Johnson household. (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 5 June 2018). 
  14. Ibid., Roll: M653_1356; FHL Film: 805356; Virginia, Kanawha, image 45 of 321, page 44, lines 9-13, HH #302-302, Elizabeth Johnson household. (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 13 June 2018). 
  15. Ibid., Roll: M653_1344; FHL Film: 805344; Virginia, Fayette, District 1, image 23 of 26, page 25, sheet 335, lines 12-21, HH #183-161, Robert Ingrum household. (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 13 June 2018). 
  16. Ibid., M653_1356; Page: 113; FHL Film: 805356; Virginia, Kanawha, image 114 of 321, page 113, lines 16-20, HH #787-787, Alexander Johnson household. (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 13 June 2018). 
  17. Ibid., Roll: M653_1356; Page: 118; Family History Library Film: 805356; Virginia, Kanawha, image 120 of 321, page 118, lines 30-39, HH #826-826, David Miller household. (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 13 June 2018). 
  18. Ibid., Roll: M653_1356; FHL Film: 805356; Virginia, Kanawha, image 290 of 321, page 319, lines 16-19, HH #2190-2190, John B. Johnson household. (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 13 June 2018). 
  19. Ibid., Roll: M653_1356; FHL Film: 805356; Virginia, Kanawha, image 114 of 321, page 113, lines 3-8, HH #784-784, Charles Huffman household. (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 13 June 2018). 
  20. Ibid., Roll: M653_1356; Family History Library Film: 805356; Virginia, Kanawha, image 106 of 321, page 105, lines 3–40, HH #735-735, WIlliam B. Martin household. (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 13 June 2018). 

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 Letty, Cyrus, and Nelson

RELEASING: One old Negro woman, 1 Negro woman named Letty, one Negro boy named Cyrus, one Negro boy named Nelson, and a child born to Letty.
In Nicholas County, (West) Virginia, William Bell died before 10 August 1825. He did not leave a will. An appraisement and inventory of his estate were ordered on 10 August 1825 and a list was made on 24 August 1825 by four commissioners.
“West Virginia Will Books, 1756-1971,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:9392-4L57-N?cc=1909099&wc=Q8B7-1PJ%3A179686001%2C179686002 : 22 June 2016), Nicholas > image 23 of 158; county courthouses, West Virginia.
“West Virginia Will Books, 1756-1971,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:9392-4L56-X?cc=1909099&wc=Q8B7-1PJ%3A179686001%2C179686002 : 22 June 2016), Nicholas > image 24 of 158; county courthouses, West Virginia.

On the second page of the inventory and appraisement are four slaves who were held by William Bell.

1 old Negro woman valued at nothing from old age
1 Negro woman aged 30 named Letty valued at 250
1 Negro boy named Syrus 150
1 Negro boy named Nelson. Deformed (value blank)

The estate sale took place on 17 November 1825.

“West Virginia Will Books, 1756-1971,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:9392-4L56-X?cc=1909099&wc=Q8B7-1PJ%3A179686001%2C179686002 : 22 June 2016), Nicholas > image 24 of 158; county courthouses, West Virginia.

The enslaved people of William Bell were not sold at the estate sale and the estate was not settled until 1833.

“West Virginia Will Books, 1756-1971,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:9392-4L59-V?cc=1909099&wc=Q8B7-1PJ%3A179686001%2C179686002 : 22 June 2016), Nicholas > image 51 of 158; county courthouses, West Virginia.
“West Virginia Will Books, 1756-1971,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:9392-4L5R-F?cc=1909099&wc=Q8B7-1PJ%3A179686001%2C179686002 : 22 June 2016), Nicholas > image 52 of 158; county courthouses, West Virginia.

On the second page of the 1833 settlement of the estate two slaves named in the inventory, Letty and Cyrus, were found.

By the sale of Letty and her child under a Trust deed 100.-
By sale of Cyrus under Trust deed 100.-

I checked the 1820 census and found William Bell was over 45 years old, with a woman who was also over 45 years old (wife), and seven other persons (2 females under 10, 1 female 10 thru 15, and 4 females 16 thru 25. Slaves in the household were: 2 males under 14, 1 male 14 thru 25, and 1 female 14 thru 25 (Letty).

By 1830, after William Bell had died, there were 2 females 15 thru 19 and 3 females 20 thru 29 in the household of Mary Bell who was 60 thru 69. I assumed Mary was the wife of William Bell. Further research shows this to be the correct household. In her household were five slaves: 2 males under 10 (Cyrus age 9), 1 male 10 thru 23, 1 female 24 thru 35 (Letty), and 1 female 55 thru 99 (old unnamed woman).

In 1840 Mary Bell was found in the newly formed Braxton County. She had 2 females 30 thru 39 in her household and she was seen as 60 thru 69. She still owned slaves: 2 males under 10, 1 male 10 thru 23 (Cyrus age 19), 1 males 36 thru 54, 1 female 10 thru 23, and 1 female 24 thru 35 (Letty).

In 1842 Elizabeth Bell, a daughter of William Bell, married William Hutchison. He was previously married and had children. In 1850 the Hutchison household included Jane T. Bell age 53, Hutchison’s wife Elizabeth age 50, and his children from the first marriage. On the slave schedule, William Hutchison and Jane Bell are listed one after the other. Jane Bell appears to have Cyrus age 33 and Letty age 52 as well as another male age 54, likely the male seen in her mother’s household in 1840.

Ancestry.com. 1850 U.S. Federal Census – Slave Schedules > Virginia > Braxton

In 1860 Jane Bell was still living in the household of her brother-in-law William and her sister Elizabeth. Although there was an entry for William Hutchison, there was no entry for Jane Bell on the 1860 Slave Schedule. The possible names of the slaves of William Hutchison will be shared in a later post.

Ancestry.com. 1860 U.S. Federal Census – Slave Schedules > Virginia > Braxton > page 1 of 2

In 1866 Hannah J. Hutchison was the informant on the death of her step-mother Elizabeth on 28 February, for Jane T. Bell on 21 March, and for her father William on 16 May.

The last will and testament of Jane T. Bell was located in Braxton County, West Virginia. She mentions Letty and Cyrus.

“West Virginia Will Books, 1756-1971,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:9392-HY21-J?cc=1909099&wc=Q8BW-MZJ%3A179688701%2C179750901 : 21 June 2016), Braxton > Will book, v. 003 1862-1879 > image 52 of 215; county courthouses, West Virginia.

                                               Jane T. Bell’s Will
I, Jane T. Bell of Braxton County, Virginia being of sound mind do make this my last will & testatment. First. I give and bequeath unto my two slaves Letty and Cyrus their freedom if they will accept of it according to the laws of Virginia. And if the said slaves do no make choice of Emancipation my will and desire is that they may have the right to make choice of their masters. 2nd. I give and bequeath unto my sister Elizabeth Hutchison all the real and personal property of every kind that I may have at the time of my decease & all money or bonds that is due me at that time except the two above named slaves. Signed and sealed this first day of November 1858.
In the presence of                                                            Jane T. Bell *Seal*
Nathan Hutchison                                                                 her + mark
Felix Hutchison
Braxton County SS.
Recorders Office October 9th 1866. A writing purporting to be the last will and testament of Jane T. Bell decd was this day proven before the undersigned Recorder of Braxton County by the oaths of Nathan Hutchison & Felix Hutchison the subscribing witnesses thereto who declared on oath that the testator acknowledged this will in their presence and that each of said witnesses subscribed the said will in the presence of the testator. And thereupon the said will is admitted to record.
                                                                Teste. M. H. Morrison Recorder

By 1870, Cyrus and Letty were free persons and using the Bell surname. Although not free at the time Jane wrote her will, they became free people with the Emancipation Proclamation in 1863 and the Thirteenth Amendment in 1865 when slavery was abolished. In 1870 Cyrus was seen with Sarah E. 34 and children Eliza A. 15, Mary J. 12, Margaret E. 6, and Cora 2. Also in his household were John Alexander age 68 and Letty B. Bell age 70.

Year: 1870; Census Place: Clay, Braxton, West Virginia; Roll: M593_1685; Page: 400A; Image: 140850; Family History Library Film: 553184 (Ancestry.com : accesssed 26 March 2017)

Letty‘s 1876 death record shows she died at the age of 84 years 4 months in October 1876. Her parents were unknown and she was born in Augusta County, Virginia. She was a farmer and died of old age. Cyrus Bell was the informant and his relationship is seen as son of the deceased.

By 1880 the family of Cyrus Bell had increased by four with the births of William 1871, Ruskia 1874, Julia 1877, and Alison 1880. Sarah and Cyrus were not legally married until 11 May 1877. Sarah died 6 October 1887. Marriages were found for several daughters, three married men with the surname Johnson. I was not able to find them in 1900 or later. No death record was found for Cyrus who died after the 1900 census.

After finishing this post, I did a quick search for Letty and Cyrus to see if I had overlooked any kind of information already on the internet. I found a page with information on Braxton County African Americans in the Census and African Americans in the Braxton County 1880 Census.

I began this post, intending to share only the transcription of the documents with the names of the slaves. However, I could not leave it there. The genealogist wanted to follow the people. And because I did, I learned Letty was Cyrus’ mother. And this in turn makes me wonder if the older woman mentioned in the inventory and appraisement may have been Letty’s mother.

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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