Rewriting the Biography: The Livelihood of James SIMS (1754-1845)

After working on the census records of James SIMS and his sixteen children I’m taking a break from researching this family. But before we put them to bed for a while, I would like to share information from a post I wrote in 2015 as a guest blogger on Mark Smith’s blog Hampshire County Long Rifles. 

When Mark requested permission to re-post the biography of James SIMS I’d written in 2002 on his blog, I came up with a different idea. I suggested writing a shorter piece on James SIMS and his sons’ work as gunsmiths. It was a wonderful opportunity to focus on an aspect of my ancestor’s life which I knew little about. The original post can be found here: James Sims (1754-1845), Gunsmith of Nicholas County

The Livelihood of James SIMS (1754-1845)

Several articles written between 1883 and 1983 tell of my 5th great-grandfather James SIMS being a gunsmith and blacksmith, however, I would like to begin with an interesting document found which gives another source of income.

The Kanawha Wilderness

Jeff Prechtel Art & Illustration – used with permission.

In the early days when James SIMS lived in the wilderness of western Virginia, the county court of Kanawha offered a bounty for scalps of wolves. On 8 June 1802, James SIMS and his son William SIMS were seen on a list of men who received $2.50 for each wolf-scalp presented.1 These payments were part of the routine work of the Kanawha County court as seen in the record book of the period.

Record Book of Kanawha County, Virginia

There is no mention of how the wolves were killed – by using pits or snares or by gun or other methods. However, Mrs. Ruberta Malva “Bertie” SIMMS WICKER (1871-1971), a daughter of Miletus SIMMS (1832-1927), wrote a three-page letter to Rev. Shirley DONNELLY in 1969, which included the following:2

His (Miletus’) grandfather, William Sims, was a fine gunsmith and lived at the mouth of Little Elk, now Swiss, W. Va. There the family built a log cabin that was two stories high. It had a little ladder arrangement in one corner, where they could climb up to shoot at the wolves which prowled through there at that time. I remember the house very well as I am now 97 years old.

James SIMS gives a new rifle gun to a substitute

Jeff Prechtel Art & Illustration – used with permission.

In 1835 James SIMS was 80 years old. He sent this statement (letter of reply) to the Pension Bureau following questions of the authenticity of his claim of being a veteran of the Revolution. James states he gave a new rifle gun and $500 in continental money to one William NOLL whom he hired as a substitute, most likely about 1775 as James was born in 1754 and was about twenty or twenty-one at the time.

Was NOLL the name he meant to give in the statement? Could the substitute have been a NALL or NALLE?  Perhaps his uncle William NALLE or a NALLE cousin? Was the new rifle given to the substitute one of the first James manufactured as a young man?3

MRIN02312 James Sims RW 27 croppedJames Sims Pensioner Servd 9 mo. Receives $30 pension. I the undersigned James Sims in pursuance of the requisites of the Secretary of the War gives the following narrative of my services as a Soldier in the War of the Revolution & statement of my age to-wit. I am in my 79th year of age. I am a native of Culpepper County & lived in that county during the War of the Revolution. In my nieneteenth or twentieth year of age (I cant tell in what year) I was drafted for 3 mo. & marched from Cupepper Country under Capt. John Tutt (don’t recollect the names of his subaltern officers) Capt Tutts company was attached to a Regt commanded by Col Jno. Slaughter which went from Culpepper. The Regt. Marched to Norfolk. Can’t recollect the names of any towns through which we marched on going to Norfolk. We were discharged at Norfolk in time to get home before the three months expired. In less than one year after the preceding term, (I cant tell in what year) I was drafted again for 3 mo. And hired a substitute whose name was William Noll (?) gave him $500 in continental money and a new rifle gun. In the year in which Cornwallis was captured at Yorktown I was drafted again for 3 mo. Set out from Culpepper under a Capt. whose name I have forgotten. We were preparing to set out on the march for nearly one week, when the news of Cornwallis’ defeat was received & we were ordered to return home & done so, having been in service this latter term about one week – I was a Sergeant & they ended my services — Saml Price wrote my Declaration to whom I gave this same narrative of my service. That I now give. I agreed to give him $20 if he brought me my money In witness of all which I hereto subscribe my name. Jany 10, 1835
His
James      X      Sims
Mark

The original Revolutionary War application papers were sent to W. G. Singleton, U.S. District Attorney, at Winchester, Virginia, on 13 March 1835. Upon examination of his claim by the U.S. District Attorney, James SIMS’ name was dropped from the pension rolls on 21 March 1835 as it was shown he did not render the alleged service.

Although James SIMS’ service during the Revolutionary War was not accepted as proof for a pension, the Daughters of the American Revolution have accepted his “providing supplies” and approved him as a Revolutionary War patriot. Were the supplies he provided arms of his own making?

Memoirs of Col. Campbell

Col. Edward Campbell, the son of John Campbell and Nancy Hughes, was born in 1800 and acquired the basics of an education from his parents. Shortly after the formation of Nicholas County in 1818, he was appointed justice of the peace and traveled throughout the county performing legal services for many of the outlying settlers who found it inconvenient if not impossible to make the long trip into Summersville. Campbell possessed an extraordinary memory for names and facts about the earliest inhabitants of Nicholas County, and some sixty years following his days as a traveling justice, he wrote down his reminiscences of the early settlers and the way in which they lived. Campbell’s memoirs have always been held in high esteem by historians, and where validation is possible he has seldom been found in error in any of his remarks. They were published in the Chronicle in 1883.4

As James SIMS had died only 35 years before Col. Campbell’s memoirs were published, one can imagine they had known each other well enough for the Colonel to write the following without embellishing.5

Going up Gauley River to the mouth of Little Elk, which empties into the river two miles above the ford, we come to the settlement made by J. Windsor. James Sims also made a small improvement at this place. He came from Jackson’s River in Bath County, Virginia. He was a gunsmith and blacksmith, and did but little farming. He had a large family of children, both male and female. Mr. Sims also brought the first darkies that were ever seen in these parts. He had two sons that were also gunsmiths and made the best of rifle guns. As these guns were much in demand with the increasing settlers they did a lucrative business. They both married young, and settled near their father and did some farming in addition to their work on guns. James lived to see his family settled here and elsewhere. His sons, William and Martin, remained here until they were old men and died leaving large families. James Sims was said to be 90 years old when he died.

An old plug horse and a muzzle-loading rifle

In 1926 J.T. Peters and H.B. Carden, authors of History of Fayette County, West Virginia, wrote that William SIMS, one of the older sons of James SIMS, was a gunsmith of wide fame. They also related a story likely heard from James’ great-grandson Miletus SIMS who was living at the time.6

James Sims, great-grandfather of Miletus Sims (who is now living at Swiss and is 94 years of age), came from Culpepper county, Virginia, in 1795, and bought a 600-acre tract of land from Morris and Jones for which he paid on (sic, one) old plug horse and a muzzle-loading rifle. This tract of land was partly in Nicholas and partly in Fayette county.

No court record of the above transaction has been found. The only land James acquired and retained until his death was the 123 acres of land on Gauley conveyed to him by John JONES for the sum of five shilling on 8 April 1800.7

1800 Land Deed John and Frances Jones to James Sims

Descendants who owned Sims guns

After Indians were driven away from the Kanawha valley about 1794, gunsmiths and hunters were still in demand in this region because of the abundance of wolves, bears and other wild beasts.

Among the gunsmiths and hunters of the period were James Sims of Gauley river and his son, William. 

And so begins newspaper reporter William H. Maginnis’ article written for The Charleston Gazette in 1947.8 Several descendants of James SIMS who owned rifles were interviewed by the reporter.

No known gun made by James had preserved according to Maginnis although several made by his son William, who learned the trade and took over the business from his father, were known to exist and were owned by the following descendants. [Note: Near the turn of the twentieth century several lines down from James SIMS began using SIMMS, with a double M, instead of SIMS for their surname.]

Agnes Eugenia “Jean” SIMMS (1897-1965), the 2nd great-granddaughter of James through his son Charles and the 3rd great-granddaughter of James through his son William, is seen here holding a rifle and a toothpuller made by her ancestor William.

Newspaperarchive.com : accessed 15 February 2006

Mayme Hazel SIMMS (1897-1984), a great-granddaughter of James through his son Charles, got her gun from her father Aaron Floyd SIMMS (1862-1940).

Cecil Ray SIMMS (1897-1979) also owned a Sims gun. Like Mrs. WHITE he was descended twice from James SIMS, a great-grandson through son Charles and a 3rd great-grandson through son William.

The Hughes family on Bell Creek near Swiss also owned one of these family treasures. James SIMS had two daughters who married HUGHES men but only the male descendants of Peggy who married Matthew HUGHES remained in the Swiss area.

Jeff Prechtel Art & Illustration – used with permission.

Mr. Maginnis thought it probable that James SIMS, a native of Culpeper County, may have learned the blacksmith and gunsmith trades before 1780 in Falmouth or Fredericksburg, both in Stafford County, Virginia. Fredericksburg was a center of the iron industry in colonial times.

The reporter also spoke with Eugene Norton SIMMS (1864-?) before his death. Eugene’s father Miletus SIMS (1831-1927), who was about 14 years old when his great-grandfather James SIMS died, described him as “a physical giant, fair of complexion, a great hunter and woodsman and inclined to thrift. He built the best house on Gauley in those days – two story, hewn oak logs and a massive chimney.” 

Sims rifle compared to Honaker and Carper rifles

Rev. Clarence Shirley Donnelly (1895-1982) wrote a well-known column in the Beckley Post-Herald titled “Yesterday and Today.” Several of his columns mentioned James SIMS, his descendants, and his enslaved people.  One of these compared the SIMS rifle with several other fine rifles produced by well-known gunmakers in the area.

His rifles became noted and won an enviable reputation. Some years ago, one of these guns was shown to me but they now have all but disappeared from local circles. The Simms rifle ranked with the fine rifles produced in Raleigh County by James A. Honaker, J. B. Honaker, Joseph Carper, and Samuel Carper, as well as the Henderson rifles of Summers County and the Miller rifles of Monroe County.

Rev. Donnelly wrote of Nicolas County being the early stomping ground of the SIMS family and that James brought enslaved persons and the tools of his blacksmith and gunsmith trades with him when he came with his large family to the area before the county was formed from Kanawha County.9

A plug horse and a flintlock rifle

Lela Wolfe Prewitt who compiled genealogy information on the SIMS families of Culpeper County, Virginia, included an interesting family tradition in her work. It tells of James SIMS, learning of the illness of his dear cousin Frances SIMS, wife of Joshua MORRIS, going to Kanawha Valley about 1796.10

Following her death (Phebe), James Sims married Nancy (sic, Elizabeth) Cotton. Soon after this marriage, he went to Kanawha Valley to visit a cousin and also visited the Henry Morris home on Peter’s Creek. Henry tried to persuade him to buy near him, but James being a great hunter, said, “No, this section is too thickly settled.” So Henry took him on a hunting expedition down Peter’s Creek, out across the Little Elk Mountain and started down Little Elk Creek where they found signs of bear, deer and wild turkey. James Sims then said, “Henry, if I can buy land on this creek, I’ll be your neighbor soon.” The land belonged to John Jones who lived at what is now Pratt. He had married a Morris and had purchased thousands of acres of land. He at once went to see Mr. Jones and they soon agreed on a price for 500 acres on Little Elk Creek: a plug horse and a flint lock rifle. As soon as he could make arrangements, he moved his family there.”

Frances SIMS was the daughter of Thomas SIMS Jr. and Mary NALLE. The statement of Frances and James being cousins should not be misconstrued as they were not cousins through their paternal SIMS side. Frances and James were first cousins through their maternal lines – Mary NALLE being a sister of James’ mother Agatha NALLE. After proper analysis, this part of the story appears believable.

However, once again the old plug horse and rifle are seen as part of the land deal.  Since the 1926 telling, the acreage has decreased from 600 to 500 acres in this version but is still four times the amount of land seen on the 1800 deed. Did the story originate in 1800 when James bought the land? Did he offer a horse and rifle instead of hard cash for the land he bought from JONES? Or did Melitus SIMS elaborate on stories told by his father William Jr. or his grandfather William Sr.?

Others who mentioned rifle making

In the late 1970s, George R. Penick Jr. noted that James SIMS moved to Bath County, Virginia, about 1787 where he engaged in rifle making.11

In 1983 James P. Whisker, author of several books on gunsmiths, wrote he had never seen a Sims rifle but heard of them through Rev. Donnelly’s writings.12

Mountain rifle made by William SIMS

Rose Mary Sims Rudy related the following to me in 2002 about a gun known to be in the possession of a descendant in 1993.

I used to correspond with a “relative” who has since died (1998). He sent me this photograph of the “Mountain Rifle that William (Billy Gunsmith) Sims made.” It was in his possession at the time the photo was made in 1993. We talked just before he died and he was giving it to his son!! He was responsible for securing a grave marker for our ancestor James – the date was assumed to be 1838. In correspondence he stated “his great uncle Eugene Simms reported that James was still drawing his RW pension when he died.” He says that the Mountain Rifle has been in the family for many years passed to him by his grandfather and father. William Sims is written on the barrel. His father once told him of a wild hog chasing him up a tree and his brother coming to his rescue with this gun.

1993 photo courtesy of Rose Mary Sims Rudy

Once again a story passed down in the family is in error. James SIMS was not drawing a pension for military service during the Revolutionary War. However much the stories differ from the records found, the rifle theme seems to be consistent from as early as 1883 when Col. Campbell wrote:

He was a gunsmith and blacksmith, and did but little farming.

Occupations on the census

Col. Campbell was a witness from the time James SIMS and his son William SIMS lived while the other persons who wrote about them were not and relied on information passed on to them.

Another source which comes to mind which includes occupations would be the census.

1850 U.S. Federal Census of Nicholas County, Virginia for William Sims, a gunsmith

William SIMS Sr. lived long enough to be enumerated on the 1850 census where his occupation was listed as Gun Smith.13 Previously in 1820 and 1840 when professions were included on the census, he was seen as engaging in manufacturing. His brother Martin SIMS supposedly set up a gun and blacksmith shop with him in Summersville. I have not found the source of this statement or been able to confirm it. In 1820 Martin was seen as engaging in manufacturing on the census while in 1840 and 1850 his employment was farming. Their father James probably turned the business over to William, and perhaps Martin, by 1820 as James was seen employed in agriculture in 1820 and 1840.

Tools of trade in an inventory?

What other documentation would possibly prove the occupations of my 5th great-grandfather James SIMS? An inventory of his estate might include the tools of his trade.

In the Order Book 1844-1871 of Nicholas County, I found entries concerning the appraisers of the estate of the deceased James SIMS as well as an entry made when the appraisement and bill of sale of his estate were presented to the court and ordered to be recorded. Where were they recorded? They were not found in Will Book 1. The book is incomplete. There is a gap between the terms of April 1844 and November 1865 with only one entry for October 1856. Two decades of records which should have been recorded in the will book are missing.

I questioned other researchers familiar with Nicholas County earlier this year. One person who had visited the courthouse said at least two will books are missing and the clerks are unsure of what happened to these books.

James SIMS earned his living as a blacksmith, gunsmith, and farmer as seen in the records, the memoirs of a witness from his time period, and the stories passed down through the family. He also supplemented his income by collecting a bounty for a wolf-scalp. Was this the only time he collected a bounty? Being a great hunter, he likely also secured the necessities of life by hunting game and selling hides.

Regarding the artwork featured in this post

After I wrote the original post for Mark Smith in 2015, he gifted me the original sketches he had commissioned from his artist friend Jeff Prechtel to illustrate the article. Written permission was obtained earlier this year from Jeff Prechtel to use the images of the original sketches.

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

Rewriting the Biography: The Livelihood of James SIMS (1754-1845)

  1.  Kanawha County, West Virginia, County Court Record Book, 1788-1803 (images), FamilySearch (Salt Lake City, Utah : Filmed by the Genealogical Society of Utah, 1967), FHL Film 530753, DGS 8218841, image 218 of 291, p 395. 1802 James Sims and William Sims on wolf-scalp bounty list. (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3Q9M-CSG6-X9SZ-Q?i=217&cat=55519 : accessed 13 September 2018). 
  2. Rev. Shirley Donnelly, “Yesterday And Today – Hinton Woman, 97, Writes Well, Spells,” Beckley Post-Herald, Thursday, 9 January 1969, p 4. 
  3.  U.S. Revolutionary War Pension and Bounty-Land Warrant Application Files, 1800-1900 (index and images), Ancestry (Original data: Records of the Department of Veterans Affairs, Record Group 15. NARA microfilm publication M804, 2,670 rolls. National Archives, Washington, D.C.), image 243 of 1164. Pension Application File SR19464 for James Sims. (www.ancestry.com : accessed 7 October 2011). 
  4. Edward Campbell, “Early Settlers of Nicholas County, Virginia,” Nicholas County, (West) Virginia Records of the Pioneers 1818-1860, Upper Glade, West Virginia, Webster County Historical Society, Inc., 1985., p 54. 
  5. Ibid., p 63. 
  6. J.T. Peters and H.B. Carden, History of Fayette County, published by the Fayette County Historical Society, Inc., 1926, p 610. 
  7.  Kanawha County (West Virginia), County Clerk, Record of deeds, 1790-1946 (images), FamilySearch, (126 microfilm reels of original records at the Kanawha County courthouse, Charleston, West Virginia), Deed books, v. A-B 1790-1804, image 206 of 468, Deed Book A, p 91. 1800 Land Deed John and Frances Jones to James Sims. (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3Q9M-CSG6-FSQG-6?i=205&cat=56556 : accessed 6 February 2018). 
  8. William H. Maginnis, “Guns Made by Pioneer on Gauley River, Mute Testimonials of Settlers’ Lives” (The Charleston Gazette, Sunday, 10 August 1947 p. 20). (Newspaperarchive.com : accessed 15 February 2006). 
  9. Rev. Shirley Donnelly, “Nicholas County Had Fine Gunsmith, Too,” Beckley Post Herald, 24 September 1965, page 4. 
  10. Lela Wolfe Prewitt, “James Sims of Culpeper, Fayette & Nicholas Cos., (West) Virginia,” Ancestors & Descendants of Thomas Sims of Culpeper County, Virgina Edmund Butler of Virginia and Kentucky with Allied Families & Other Culpeper Data, compiled and published by Lela Wolfe Prewitt, Fairfield, Iowa, 1972, p. 156. 
  11. George R. Penick Jr., comp., The Penick Papers (a Sims family compilation) (compiled in 1978-1980). 
  12. James P. Whisker, Gunsmiths of West Virginia, 1983, page 105. 
  13.  1850 U.S. Federal Census, (index and images), Ancestry, citing Seventh Census of the United States, 1850 population schedule, National Archives and Records Administration,Washington D.C., NARA microfilm publication M432, 1009 rolls, Roll M432_963, Virginia, Nicholas County, District 43, sheet 360A, lines 33-35, HH #272-272, William Sims household. (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 14 April 2018). 
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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: Dryden 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.

James SIMS was the father of sixteen known children. Eight of them were born during his marriage to his first wife Phebe. Following her tragic death the winter of 1793/1794 he married Elizabeth COTTON in 1796. With Elizabeth he also had eight children. The second youngest was their son Dryden who was born about 1818, the year Nicholas County was formed from Kanawha County.

The 1820 U.S. Federal Census

In 1820 Dryden was in the household of his father James SIMS. At the time he was James’ youngest child. However he may not have been the youngest person in the household as there were also nine enslaved persons with five of these being in the under 14 years category.

1820 U.S. Federal Census of Nicholas County, Virginia, for James SIMS

1820 U.S. Federal Census 1
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 (Jane and Sarah)
Free White Persons – Females – 10 thru 15: 2 (Margaret and Mildred)
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

In 1830 Dryden was about twelve years old and should have been enumerated in the 10 thru 14 years category. The census, however, shows his age was 15 thru 19 years. A younger brother had been born during the 1820s and Dryden was no longer the youngest.

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

1830 U.S. Federal Census 2
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 46-49)
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

Dryden SIMS married Rebecca BAYS, daughter of Thomas BAYS and Nancy Ann LINEGAR. Rebecca was born in Giles County, Virginia, on 28 November 1819. The marriage took place in Fayette County on 18 October 1837.3 Records of birth and marriage have not been found to confirm these dates. Rebecca may have been born in a part of Giles County which became Fayette County.  A part of Giles went to Logan when the county was formed in 1824 and a part of Logan became Fayette County in 1831. Thomas BAYS was enumerated in Logan in 1830 and in Fayette from 1840 until 1860.

Dryden and Rebecca had one son born following their marriage and before the 1840 census. Dryden had several other children in his household. As all of the census listings of the children of his father James SIMS have been worked through, I have made this assumption concerning these extra children. Two of the orphaned children of Dryden’s sister Sarah may have been taken in by him and his wife, namely Mariah FOSTER and James FOSTER who did not fit in any other SIMS household.

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

1840 U.S. Federal Census4
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, may 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, may 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

During the 1840s Dryden and Rebecca had four more sons. Dryden was a farmer but did not own land. In his household was a single man named Paschal HENDRICK (ca. 1816-1883) who owned land. Were Dryden and his family living on and working his land?

Next door to Dryden was his nephew Jonathan SIMS, son of his half-brother William, and in the next household was his sister Jane SIMS, wife of Joseph DARLINGTON.

1850 U.S. Federal Census of Nicholas County, Virginia, for Dryden SIMS

1850 U.S. Federal Census5
Nicholas County, Virginia
The 43rd District
Sheet No. 371A, Line 23-29, HH #412-412
Dryden Sims 32 M W Farmer Virginia
Rebecca Sims 30 F W Virginia
Alfred Sims 11 M W Virginia
William Sims 8 M W Virginia
Andrew Sims 6 M W Virginia
Alexander Sims 3 M W Virginia
Thos Sims 8/12 M W Virginia
Pascal Hendrick 34 M W Farmer $400 Virginia

The 1860 U.S. Federal Census

Dryden and Rebecca lost their son Thomas born in 1849 during the 1850s. Two daughters and a son were born by the time the 1860 census was taken. The son was only two months and listed as Lenard M., the same name as the head of the next household, Lenard MORRIS. The name of the child appears to be incorrect as will be seen in later census listings. Dryden was still farming and had land valued at $300.

1860 U.S. Federal Census of Nicholas County, Virginia, for Dryden SIMS household

1860 U.S. Federal Census6
Nicholas County, Virginia
Nicholas District, Nicholas Court House
Sheet No. 1004, Page No. 86, Lines 14-21, HH #770-578
Dryden Sims 42 M W Farmer $300 $400 Virginia
Rebecca Sims 42 F W wife Virginia
William J. Sims 17 M W farmer Virginia
Andrew J. Sims 15 M W farmer Virginia
John Alexander Sims 12 M W Virginia
Mary J. Sims 10 F W Virginia
Nancy E. Sims 6 F W Virginia
Lenard M. Sims 2/12 M W Virginia

Dryden and Rebecca’s oldest son Alfred Hansford SIMS had married his first cousin Mariah FOSTER in January 1858. Mariah, who likely grew up with Alfred, had married Jordan HUDSON in 1846, lived in Missouri for a short time before returning to the Fayette/Nicholas counties area where two children were born before Jordan’s death. Alfred and Mariah’s first child Alfonso Graves was born very close to the date of marriage as his age was given as 63 years when he died in September 1920. He was with Alfred, Mariah, and her two HUDSON children in Nicholas County in 1860.

The 1870 U.S. Federal Census

The 1860s brought much change to the family of Dryden SIMS.

The second son William Henry Harrison SIMS married Sabina Hester McCARTY about 1861. The groom was seen in most records as William H. H. however records have been found with the middle names Henry and Harrison which led to the conclusion that he was named after William Henry Harrison (1773-1841) the ninth President of the United States who served the shortest tenure in presidential history to date. The couple had four children by 1870 and was living in Kanawha County.

The third son Andrew Jackson “Jack” SIMS married Virginia A. Sintilla MORRIS in 1865. She was the daughter of Lenard MORRIS, a neighbor in 1860, and seen as Cynthia on that census listing. They had one son and were living next door to William H. H.

The oldest daughter Mary Jane SIMS married Charles Marvin MORRIS in 1866. They had a son and daughter and were living a couple of households away from her oldest brother Alfred. Her husband Charles was the first cousin of Jack’s wife.

The oldest son Alfred Hansford SIMS‘ family had increased to six children. They were living in Nicholas County close to his sister Mary Jane.

Dryden and Rebecca had moved to St. Clair County, Missouri, with their remaining unmarried children before the 1870 census. John Alexander, their fourth son was at home with no occupation listed even though he was 22 years old. Nancy Elizabeth was fourteen and did not attend school unlike her brother Thomas Newton who was attending. Thomas would be the child seen as Lenard M. in the 1860 census obviously named after his deceased brother Thomas who shared the name with their maternal grandfather. Thomas was born 11 April 1860 per his grave marker – a match for the two-month-old son on the 1860 census.

1870 U.S. Federal Census for St. Clair County, Missouri for Dryden SIMS household

1870 U. S. Federal Census7
St. Clair County, Missouri
Chalk Line District
Sheet No. 430B, Page No. 15, Lines, 19-23, HH #101-98
Sims, Dryden 51 M W Farmer Virginia US citizen over 21 yo
Sims, Rebecca 51 F W Keeping house Virginia
Sims, Alexander 22 M W At home Virginia US citizen over 21 yo
Sims, Nancy E. 14 F W Virginia
Sims, Thomas N. 9 M W Virginia attended school within the year (cannot read & write appears to have been struck out)

The 1880 U.S. Federal Census

Rebecca SIMMS was found in the household of Andrew Jackson KING as the widowed mother-in-law. Andrew had married Dryden’s daughter Nancy Elizabeth about 1878. Dryden SIMS apparently died prior to the enumeration of the 1880 census.

1880 U.S. Federal Census of St. Clair County, Missouri, for A.J. KING household

1880 U.S. Federal Census8
St. Clair County, Missouri
Monegan Township
Supervisor’s District No. 6
Enumeration District No. 229
Enumerated on the 30th day of June 1880 by Charles W. Nesbit
Sheet No. 317C, Page No. 23, Lines 24-28, HH #204-212
King, A. J. W M 21 married Laborer MO TN MO
King, Nancy E. W F 21 wife married Keeping house WV VA VA
King, Mary J. W M 8/12 October daughter MO MO WV
Simms, Rebecca W F 60 mother-in-law widowed WV VA VA
Cook, Joel W M 45 single Justice of Peace disabled IL TN TN
Note: Column for disabled includes: maimed, crippled, bedridden, or otherwise disabled.

Dryden’s oldest son Alfred Hansford died before 1880 if we are to believe the census listing of his wife Mariah who was living in Fayette County with their four youngest children and listed as widowed.

William H. H. was now the father of seven and still living close to his brother Andrew Jackson in Elk District of Kanawha County. Jack was the father of four. Mary Jane was living in Jefferson District of Nicholas County and the mother of five children.

John Alexander who at the age of 22 was without occupation in 1870 likely died in Roscoe, St. Clair County, Missouri on 1 March 1873. Likely because a cemetery listing for the Roscoe Cemetery shows John A. SIMS son of D. and R. died 1 March 1873 at the age of 4 years. I suspect the grave marker may have been difficult to read and the age should be 24 years. The Find A Grave memorial does not include a photo of the marker and birth is listed on the memorial is 27 May 1868. I cannot access the original RootsWeb page which had the cemetery reading for John Sims in the Roscoe Cemetery and cannot trust the unsourced Find A Grave information.

The youngest of Dryden’s children, Thomas Newton SIMS was not located in the 1880 census. Per descendants of this line, he married Margaret Ann BOUDINIER on 15 March 1878 in Appleton City in St. Clair County, Missouri. No known children were born to this couple before the 1880 census.

The Years After the 1880 Census

In The Matter of Dryden SIMMS Estate, J. W. WHEELER named Thomas SIMS and Lizzie KING (daughter of Dryden) as the heirs on 12 May 1881, a full year after the 1880 census in which his wife was listed as a widow. WHEELER was appointed the administrator of the estate as Dryden had not left a will.  There was no mention of the children who had remained in West Virginia when Dryden removed to Missouri in the late 1860s.9

John W. WHEELER was unable to find any property of any character whatever belonging to the estate and it was ordered that he be discharged of his duties on Friday, August 18th, 1882.10

Alfred Hansford SIMS, who appeared to be deceased at the time of the 1880 census turned up in Buchanan County, Virginia when he married Marinda Magdaline VANCE on 1 August 1898. Alfred was 59 and Rinda was 17. They had one son George William SIMS (1899-1942). In June 1901 during the flood on the Dismal River near Whitewood, Virginia, Rinda who was pregnant with her second child went out to grab clothes from the line when a falling tree hit and killed her and her baby. After the Dismal River flood Alfred moved from Buchanan County to Paynesville on top of Bradshaw Mountain in the Sandy River District of McDowell County, West Virginia. He died soon after and was buried in Vance Cemetery at Paynesville. His son was raised by the VANCE grandparents, Alexander and Betty Harmon Vance.11

William H. H. SIMS continued to live in Kanawha County with his wife Sabina with whom he had seven children.

William Henry Harrison SIMS and Sabena Hester McCARTY ca. 1890. Courtesy of Ronald W. HURLEY, 28 January 2002.

This photo of William and Sabena needs to be dated more precisely. Circa 1890 is the year Ron gave when he shared the picture with me over sixteen years ago.

William Henry Harrison SIMS abt. 1920. Courtesy of Ronald W. Hurley, 9 February 2002.

All of William and Sabena’s children married and only one did not have children. After Sabina’s death in 1911, William was found living with his granddaughter Minnie Rebecca VANDAL and her husband John H. ORD in 1920 in Clendenin, Mason County, West Virginia. He died in Kanawha City in 1921 at the age of 78.

Andrew Jackson SIMS, father of four, was widowed in 1887 and remarried twice more. First in 1888 to Celia BROWN. She gave him a son who died in 1890 at the age of 1 year. Celia died the following year. About a year later he married Mary Savannah KEITH who gave him four more children. The two oldest died the same day at the age of 4 and 6 in 1899. Jack died in 1915 at the age of 70 in Clay County where he had lived since his second marriage.

Mary Jane SIMS and Charles Marvin MORRIS were the parents of seven children, six living. Mary Jane was likely divorced from Charles before 1886 when she was seen marrying Ebenezer MILAM. Charles Marvin MORRIS died 31 March 1889; his death was reported by his step-mother Rhoda DARLINGTON, widow of William B. MORRIS and daughter of Dryden’s sister Jane SIMS. Mary Jane had four children with her second husband before being widowed in 1906. In 1910 she married her first husband’s first cousin Hillary Jones MORRIS, a son of Lenard MORRIS mentioned earlier. The marriage did not last as Hillary was seen marrying again in 1918 with his marital status being divorced. Mary Jane went back to using MILAM, her second husband’s surname. She died in 1936 shortly before her 85th birthday in Charleston, Kanawha County.

Nancy Elizabeth SIMS had ten children, eight of whom were living in 1900. Nancy died before the 1910 census, likely between 1904-1906. Her husband Andrew Jackson KING was found in the 1910 census but not in 1920 or 1930. He died in 1936 in Roscoe, St. Clair County, Missouri per his death record.

Between 1880 and 1894 Thomas Newton SIMS and his wife had seven children, one of whom died as a baby. Per a handwritten obituary found on a descendant’s tree, he was the father of ten, six were living when he died on 3 March 1896. The three children who pre-deceased him are unknown at this time. Also surviving him was one sister per the obituary. The person who wrote it did not know he had four siblings still living in West Virginia. Thomas’ death was likely attributed to blood poisoning he developed when he cut his leg with an ax while chopping wood according to his granddaughter Georgiana Rae EVERHART (1908-2005). The obit claims he had been in poor health for two years. Thomas’ widow moved to Henry County, Missouri before 1900, remarried about 1905, moved to St. Louis County, Missouri by 1910, and died there in 1927.

A nice collection of photographs of William H. H. SIMS and his family were shared with me by Ron HURLEY. I have only shared two of these in this post as the rest were not identified at the time. I plan on sharing the photos in a future post.

The last installment will be for George Washington “Wash” SIMS, the youngest child of James SIMS and his second wife.

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

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

  1. 1820 U.S. Federal Census, (index and images), Ancestry, citing Fourth Census of the United States, 1820 population schedule, National Archives and Records Administration, Washington D.C., NARA microfilm publication M33, 142 rolls, NARA Roll M33_130, image 388, Virginia, Nicholas, page 204A, line 19, James Sims. (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 21 February 2018). 
  2. 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). 
  3. R.C. and Beverly Bays Steele, Descendants of Thomas Bays (1798-1886), page 3. (https://books.google.lu/books/about/The_Descendants_of_Thomas_Bays_1798_1886.html?id=PYUxAAAAMAAJ&redir_esc=y : accessed 27 August 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, imagea 24 + 25 of 67, page 9, line 30, Dryden Sims. ‎(http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 5 March 2018). 
  5. 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: 304; Virginia, Nicholas County, Western District; image 63 of 93; Sheet No. 371A, lines 23-30, HH #412-412, Dryden 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_1365; FHL Film: 805365; West Virginia, Nicholas County, Nicholas District; image 80 of 118, Sheet No. 1004, Page No. 86, Lines 14-21, HH #770-578, Dryden Sims household. (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 20 August 2018). 
  7. 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_807; FHL Film: 552306; Missouri, St. Clair County, Chalk Level, image 15 of 22; Sheet No. 430B, Lines 19-23, HH #101-98, Dryden Sims household. “.” (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 20 August 2018). 
  8. 1880 U.S. Federal Census, (index and images), <i>Ancestry</i>, 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: 714; Missouri, St. Clair County, Monegan; image 23 of 27; ED No. 229, Sheet No. 317C, Page No. 23, LInes 24-28, HH #204-212, A. J. King household. (https://www.ancestry.com : accessed 20 August 2018). 
  9. “Missouri Probate Records, 1750-1998,” images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-L9LM-36NZ?cc=2399107&wc=QZ9D-HPN%3A1328143201%2C1328162674 : accessed 25 August 2018), St Clair > Administrator bonds, letters, settlements, 1867-1890, vol A5 > image 184 of 327 > right page > 1881 Dryden Sims administrator bond; Missouri State Archives, Jefferson City. 
  10. “Missouri Probate Records, 1750-1998,” images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-99LM-3P6Z?cc=2399107&wc=QZ9D-7FH%3A1328143201%2C1328145386 : accessed 25 August 2018), St Clair > Probates, 1878-1888, vol D-E > image 209 of 684 > right page, 4th entry > 1882 Dryden Sims final settlement; Missouri State Archives, Jefferson City. 
  11.  Quintin Dale Vance, Wanda Rizpah Green, Edna M. Horne, David Vance and family, published 1985, page 35. Quoted by one of the authors, Wanda Green (1937-2006) in an email received 2 December 2002. 

Rewriting the Biography: Jane L. 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.

The fifth child, fourth and youngest daughter of James SIMS and Elizabeth COTTON was born after the 1810 census, likely between 1810 and 1813. Jane SIMS was enumerated in 1820 age under 10, 1830 age 15-19, 1840 age 20-29, 1850 age 40, 1860 age 47, 1870 age 56, and 1880 age 67.

Her census analysis has not been easy. She lived long enough to be enumerated on the first census with relationships – the 1880 census. But how I wish the three before, from 1850 to 1870, also had the relationship to the head of household included.

The 1820 U.S. Federal Census

Jane was born in Kanawha County before the creation of Nicholas County in 1818. In 1820 she was the baby girl of the family but had two younger brothers.

1820 U.S. Federal Census of Nicholas County, Virginia for James SIMS

1820 U.S. Federal Census 1
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, Charles)
Free White Persons – Males – 45 and over: 1 (James)
Free White Persons – Females – Under 10: 2 (Jane & Sarah)
Free White Persons – Females – 10 thru 15: 2 (Margaret, Mildred)
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

In 1830 Jane was a young lady just under 20 and the only daughter still living in the household of James SIMS. She now had three younger brothers. Along with her parents and brothers, there were five slaves in the household, four less than a decade earlier.

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

1830 U.S. Federal Census 2
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 & 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 46-49)
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

Jane SIMS married Joseph DARLINGTON, son of Benjamin DARLINGTON and Mary “Polly” JOHNSON on 25 August 1831. They were married by Rev. John JOHNSON. Her mother-in-law was the sister of her half-siblings’ spouses: Rev. John JOHNSON (md. Elizabeth SIMS), Susannah JOHNSON (md. Martin SIMS), and William JOHNSON (md. Nancy Ann SIMS).

The 1840 census was enumerated by visit and not in alphabetical order. Jane and Joseph were living next door to her father James. There were two men in the household who were engaged in agriculture, her husband Joseph and an unknown man who was also in the 20 thru 29 years old age range. Since their marriage in 1831, Jane had given birth to five children: three daughters and two sons.

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

1840 U.S. Federal Census3
Nicholas County, Virginia
Name: Joseph Darlington
Free White Persons – Males – Under 5: 1 (James)
Free White Persons – Males – 5 thru 9: 1 (Benjamin)
Free White Persons – Males – 20 thru 29: 2 (Joseph & ?)
Free White Persons – Females – Under 5: 1 (Rhoda)
Free White Persons – Females – 5 thru 9: 2 (Mary, Elizabeth)
Free White Persons – Females – 20 thru 29: 1 (Jane)
Persons Employed in Agriculture: 2
Free White Persons – Under 20: 5
Free White Persons – 20 thru 49: 3
Total Free White Persons: 8
Total All Persons – Free White, Free Colored, Slaves: 8

The 1850 U.S. Federal Census

In 1850 we find the family living next door to Jane’s half-nephew Jonathan SIMS (son of her half-brother William) and her brother Dryden SIMS. Dryden was involved in the settlement of his father James’ estate which could mean that he and his sister Jane were actually living on the land which was part of the estate of James SIMS.

A naming pattern was seen when the names of the children were found in the 1850 census. Jane and Joseph had named their first four children after their parents:

  • Elizabeth after her maternal grandmother
  • Mary after her paternal grandmother
  • Benjamin after his paternal grandfather
  • James after his maternal grandmother.

These children were followed by Rhoda Ann, Lorenzo Dow, Catherine, Houstin, and David. The last two would be missing in the next census. Joseph was a farmer and his two older sons, Benjamin 14 and James 12, likely helped on the farm and were not listed with occupations.

1850 U.S. Federal Census of Nicholas County, Virginia for the Joseph DARLINGTON household

1850 U.S. Federal Census4
Nicholas County, Virginia
The 43rd District
Enumerated on 26 August 1850 by D. Oliver Kelly Ass’t Marshal
Sheet No. 371A (line 41-42) & 371B (line 1-9), HH #414-414
Darlington, Joseph 38 M W Farmer Virginia
Darlington, Jane 40 F W Virginia
Darlington, Elizabeth 18 F W Virginia
Darlington, Mary 16 F W Virginia
Darlington, Benjamin 14 M W Virginia
Darlington, James 12 M W Virginia
Darlington, Roda 10 F W Virginia
Darlington, Lorenzo 9 M W Virginia
Darlington, Catharine 7 F W Virginia
Darlington, Houstin 5 M W Virginia
Darlington, David 1 M W Virginia

The 1860 U.S. Federal Census

In 1857 two of Jane and Joseph’s children married. Their oldest daughter Elizabeth married George PETTIT in January and their second son James F. married Mary Frances WHALEN in March. The PETTIT family was living near Dryden SIMS in 1860 while James and his family were likely missed.

Jane and Joseph were living near other SIMS families as well as Isaac SIMS, the enslaved man James SIMS had emancipated. Isaac owned land which bordered on the land of previously owned by James SIMS. There were, however, unoccupied households on both sides of the DARLINGTON family in 1860. This sets the household apart from the rest of the persons enumerated on the page. But perhaps this is not of great importance as the enumerator, as seen on other pages of the census, appears to have kept track of all unoccupied dwellings he visited in the area.

The members of the household in 1860 caused a lot of head scratching. Elizabeth and James, as mentioned, were married and no longer at home. Joseph and Jane were seen with eight children between the ages of 21 and 9. Rhoda, Lorenzo, and Catherine were carried over from 1850 to 1860 aging 10 years.

Missing on the 1860 census were Mary, Benjamin, Houstin, and David. New on the 1860 census were Rowdy M. age 21, Andrew D. age 15, Sarah A. age 13, Martha M. age 11, and Susan J. age 9? Are their ages correct? Why weren’t the first four found on the 1850 census? Could Andrew D. be the son David age 1 in 1850? If so, were the ages of the girls also off by up to four years? Was Jane the mother of these three girls or were they children taken in by the family? Sarah and Martha were not found in 1850 with the Darlington surname. The three girls were not found in 1870 nor in the register of marriages for Nicholas or surrounding counties.

And what of Rowdy M.? Was he supposed to be Benjamin? Rhoda Ann also went by Rhodie. Could there have been a mix-up in the name for the young man and Rhoda/Rhodie’s name was listed twice?

1860 U.S. Federal Census of Nicholas County, Virginia for the Joseph DARLINGTON household

1860 U.S. Federal Census5
Nicholas County, Virginia
Nicholas Court House
Page No. 100, Sheet No. 1018, Lines 28-37, HH #919-683
Darlington, Joseph 45 M Farmer $1100 $300 Virginia
Darlington, Jane L. 47 F Wife Virginia
Darlington, Rowdy M. 21 M Laborer Virginia
Darlington, Roda Ann 20 F Domestic Virginia
Darlington, Lorenzo 19 M Farmer Virginia
Darlington, Catherine 18 F Domestic Virginia
Darlington, Andrew D. 15 M LaborerVirginia
Darlington, Sarah A. 13 F Virginia
Darlington, Martha M. 11 F Virginia
Darlington, Susan J. 9 F Virginia

The 1870 U.S. Federal Census

The 1870 census would not solve the questions caused by the 1860 census. Jane and Joseph’s oldest daughter Elizabeth must have died as her PETTIT children were found living with their DARLINGTON grandparents. George PETTIT, the father of the children, was in the previous household. Jane and Joseph’s son James also died in the 1860s, possibly in 1865 as his youngest child, a daughter was born in December 1865 and named Edith James. His widow and children were living with her mother in Fayette County. Lorenzo Dow married Jane “Jennie” NEAL in 1863 and was living in Kanawha County.

Only two children were living at home, Rosa and Dixon. Rosa is likely an error and should be Rhoda. She would be married with one child by 1880. Dixon age 15 would have been 5 in 1860 but there was no child this young in the family at the time. Would the 1880 census clear this up?

As in 1860, Joseph owned real estate, however, no record has as yet been found to document this.

1870 U.S. Federal Census of Nicholas County, West Virginia for the Joseph DARLINGTON household

1870 U.S. Federal Census6
Nicholas County, West Virginia
Jefferson Township
Page No. 8, Sheet No. 166B, Lines 8-14, HH #53-53
Darlington, Joseph 57 M W Farmer $700 $500 West Virginia male US Cit. over 21yo
Darlington, Jane 56 F W West Virginia
Darlington, Rosa 30 F W At home West Virginia
Darlington, Dixon 15 M W Farm Laborer West Virginia
Pettit, William 12 M W At home West Virginia cannot read & write
Pettit, Jane 11 F W At home West Virginia cannot read & write
Pettit, Elizabeth 10 F W At home West Virginia cannot read & write

The 1880 U.S. Federal Census

Jane was the informant for the death of her husband Joseph when he died on 1 February 1875. In 1880 Jane was living with her daughter Rhoda who had married the widower William B. MORRIS and was enumerated as his mother-in-law. Jane was three years younger than her son-in-law William. Rhoda and William had a daughter Valena Victoria born on 5 June 1876.

Also in the household was Joseph A. D. DARLINGTON age 25 and whose relationship to the head of household was brother-in-law. Is this the same young man as Dixon 1870 age 15 and Andrew D. 1860 age 15? Should the age in 1860 have been 5? Was he the youngest son of Jane and Joseph as the relationship to William Morris would suggest? Did he begin to use the first name Joseph after the death of his father?

1880 U.S. Federal Census of Nicholas County, West Virginia for the William B. MORRIS household with Jane (Sims) DARLINGTON

1880 U.S. Federal Census7
Nicholas County, West Virginia
Jefferson Township
Enumeration District No. 105
Page No. 6, Sheet No. 98B, Lines 2-7, HH #39-39
Morris, William B. W M 70 married Physician WV WV WV
Morris, Rhoda W F 41 wife married Keeping house WV WV WV
Morris, Sarah J. W F 24 daughter single WV WV WV
Morris, Velena V. W F 3 daughter single cannot read & write WV WV WV
Darlington, Jane W F 67 Mother-in-law widowed cannot read & write WV WV WV
Darlington, Joseph A. D. W M 25 Brother-in-law single Works on farm WV WV WV

After the 1880 U.S. Federal Census

Jane SIMS, the widow of Joseph DARLINGTON, was not found in the 1900 census. She likely died after the 1880 census in a time period in which death records are sparse for Nicholas County. Where were her children?

Elizabeth had died between 1860-1870 leaving three known children and a widower. I had not been able to trace any of the children until I found a birth record for Elizabeth’s son William L. The date of birth matches that found on a death certificate for a man by the same name who died in 1942. An error was made by the son who declared his death, giving the informant’s mother’s name instead mother of the deceased. The name of the father was not known. The 1889 marriage record of William L. PETTITT and Maria SMITH included the names of his parents: George and Elizabeth. Elizabeth’s son had moved to the southern part of West Virginia, living in Mercer and Mingo counties.

Traces of Mary, Benjamin, Houstin, and David were lost after 1850. I had also lost Catherine after the 1860 census. With the recent find of Elizabeth’s son William, I searched for him in the Ancestry user trees and found a tree for him which includes his aunt Catherine. She married Rev. Anderson Marion NEAL in 1864 or earlier and they had ten children, eight living in 1900 per the census. A quick perusal of delayed birth records and death records for her children show their mother was a DARLINGTON with the middle name Jane, born in Swiss, Nicholas County. Swiss is the town in which James SIMS’ original land tract was located. Records for her family will have to be added to my database as this was found only hours before I was to publish this post.

James’ widow Mary Frances WHALEN died 13 December 1904 per records kept by descendants of this line. She lived Fayette County. The death records of three of the four children who lived to adulthood prove their parents were James DARLINGTON and Mary WHALEN. The death record (index only) of the fourth child who died in Chicago in 1908 does not include the names of his parents who were from West Virginia.

Rhoda who married William B. MORRIS before 5 June 1876 was widowed 5 May 1886 and reported his death. She was not found in the 1900 census. By 1910 she was living in the household of John S. DARLINGTON who had married her only child Valena. Rhoda died in 1915 at the age of 78 in Jefferson district of Nicholas County.

Lorenzo Dow lived in Jefferson, Nicholas County until his death caused by liver and kidney trouble in 1905 at the age of 64. He was the father of nine, four of whom died in infancy while the other five lived long lives dying in their 60s and 70s. His son John S. who married his sister’s daughter Valena lived to be 81 dying in 1952.

No trace of Joseph Andrew Dixon DARLINGTON was found after his marriage in 1882 in Kanawha County to his first cousin Mary F. SIMS (1857-1887), daughter of Charles SIMS and Minerva J. SUMMERS.

In the next installment Charles Fulton SIMS (1815-1891), the third youngest son of James SIMS and his second wife Elizabeth COTTON will be featured. Charles was the father of Mary F. SIMS mentioned in the previous paragraph. Perhaps while working on his census analysis I will pick up a trace of his son-in-law and nephew Joseph A. D. DARLINGTON.

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

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

  1. 1820 U.S. Federal Census, (index and images), Ancestry, citing Fourth Census of the United States, 1820 population schedule, National Archives and Records Administration, Washington D.C., NARA microfilm publication M33, 142 rolls, NARA Roll M33_130, image 388, Virginia, Nicholas, page 204A, line 19, James Sims. (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 21 February 2018). 
  2. 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). 
  3. 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 37, Sheet 10A+B, Line 9, Joseph Darlington. ‎(http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 5 March 2018). 
  4. 1850 U.S. Federal Census, (index and images), Ancestry, citing Seventh Census of the United States, 1850 population schedule, National Archives and Records Administration,Washington D.C., NARA microfilm publication M432, 1009 rolls, Roll: M432_963; Images: 304-305; Virginia, Nicholas County, Western District, images 63+64 of 93, Sheet No. 371A (line 41-42) & 371B (line 1-9), HH #414-414, Joseph Darlington household. (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 1 August 2018). 
  5. 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_1365; FHL Film: 805365; West Virginia, Nicholas County, Nicholas, image 94 of 118, Page No. 100, Sheet No. 1018, Lines 28-37, HH #919-683, Joseph Darlington household. (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 1 August 2018). 
  6. 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 8 of 17, Page No. 8, Sheet No. 166B, Lines 8-14, HH #53-53, Joseph Darlington household. (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 29 April 2018). 
  7. 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, Jefferson, image 6 of 17, Enumeration District No. 105, Page No. 6, Sheet No. 98B, Lines 2-7, HH #39-39, William B. Morris household. (https://www.ancestry.com : accessed 1 August 2018). 

Rewriting the Biography: Mildred “Milly” 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.

Mildred “Milly” SIMS was the 4th child and 3rd daughter of James SIMS and his second wife Elizabeth COTTON. Milly, as she was seen in the 1850 to 1880 census, was born about 1807.

The 1810 U.S. Federal Census

At the time of the 1810 census, she was about three years old and the youngest of the three females under the age of 10 in the household of her father James SIMS in Kanawha County.

1810 U.S. Federal Census of Kanawha County, Virginia for James SIMMS (top line) and his two oldest sons living in the state and county.

1810 U.S. Federal Census 1
Kanawha County, 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, Mildred)
Free White Persons – Females – 26 thru 44: 1 (Elizabeth)
Numbers of Slaves: 5 (Isaac, Black Jude, Black Fanny, Robert, and ?)
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

By 1820 Milly was thirteen years old and fitted into the 10 thru 15 years category on the census sheet. She was still living at home with her father James, mother Elizabeth, two brothers, three sisters, and nine slaves. The land James SIMS had bought in 1800 in Kanawha County was now part of Nicholas County which had been formed in 1818.

1820 U.S. Federal Census of Nicholas County, Virginia for James SIMS

1820 U.S. Federal Census 2
Nicholas County, Virginia
Page No. 204A, Sheet 152, Line 19
Enumeration Date: 7 August 1820
Name: James Sims
Free White Persons – Males – Under 10: 2 (Dryden, Charles)
Free White Persons – Males – 45 and over: 1 (James)
Free White Persons – Females – Under 10: 2 (Jane & Sarah)
Free White Persons – Females – 10 thru 15: 2 (Margaret, Mildred)
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

On 12 November 1826, Milly SIMS and Joel SETTLE were married by John CAMPBELL. By 1830 the couple had two daughters under the age of 5. They likely lived on land owned by Joel’s father Abner SETTLE. Abner had added to James KELLY’s “improvement by making entries above and below it in 1823. The survey which followed in 1825 mentioned his fields and affirmed his ownership of the Kelly lands which, with the new additions, amounted to more than a hundred acres. One field in the mouth of Right Hand Fork was long known as Joel’s Field, named for Joel Settle, the settler’s son.3

1830 U.S. Federal Census of Fayette County, Virginia for Joel SETTLE (the image was very faint and exposure had to be adjusted).

1830 U.S. Federal Census4
Nicholas County, Virginia
Sheet 188, line 23
Enumeration Date: 1 June 1830
Name: Joel Settle
Free White Persons – Males – 20 thru 29: 1 (Joel)
Free White Persons – Females – Under 5: 2 (Mary Ann Elizabeth and Nancy)
Free White Persons – Females – 20 thru 29: 1 (Milly)
Free White Persons – Under 20: 2
Free White Persons – 20 thru 49: 2
Total Free White Persons: 4
Total – All Persons (Free White, Slaves, Free Colored): 4

The 1840 U.S. Federal Census

By 1840 Milly’s family had grown. There were three daughters and two sons now in the household.  One of the daughters who was seen with Milly and Joel in 1830 was likely Nancy R. who was born about 1830 – soon enough to be included in the 1830 census count but too late in the year to be considered as a 10-year-old in 1840.

The area of Nicholas County in which the family lived became part of Fayette County in 1831.

1840 U.S. Federal Census of Fayette County, Virginia for Joel SUTTLE

1840 U.S. Federal Census5
Fayette County, Virginia
Page 146, Line 4
Name: Joel Suttle
Free White Persons – Males – Under 5: 2 (Abner and Campbell)
Free White Persons – Males – 30 thru 39: 1 (Joel)
Free White Persons – Females – 5 thru 9: 2 (Nancy and Araminta Jane)
Free White Persons – Females – 10 thru 14: 1 (Mary Ann Elizabeth)
Free White Persons – Females – 30 thru 39: 1 (Milly)
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

The 1850 U.S. Federal Census

By 1850 Milly had given birth to eight children who were still living. Seven were living at home. Her oldest daughter Mary Ann Elizabeth had married Henry ARTHUR about 1846 and was living with him and their son several households away.

1850 U.S. Federal Census of Fayette County, Virginia for Joel SUTTLE household

1850 U.S. Federal Census6
Fayette County, Virginia
The 14th District
Sheet No. 366A, Lines 8-16, HH #463-463
Joel Suttle 44 M Farmer Virginia
Milly Suttle 44 F Virginia cannot read & write
Nancy R. Suttle 20 F Virginia cannot read & write
Jane Suttle 18 F Virginia
Abner Suttle 12 M Virginia
Campbell Suttle 11 M Virginia
Jas. Wesley Suttle 8 M Virginia
Francis A. Suttle 4 M Virginia
Joel D. Suttle 1 M Virginia

The 1860 U.S. Federal Census

Milly gave birth to one more child, a daughter, a couple of years after the 1850 census. She was the last of nine children.

In 1856 Joel bought fifty-two acres of bottom land in the small valley of a stream that came to be called Joel’s Branch but later was known as Taylor Branch, a left-hand branch of Jenkins Fork of Loop Creek.

Joel and Milly had five children still living at home. Abner was living with his wife and his brother Campbell next door and in the next household was their oldest daughter with her husband Henry ARTHUR. Only their daughter Nancy was away from the family. She had married William TINCHER of Greenbrier and was living with him and their two sons in a stable in that county.

1860 U.S. Federal Census of Fayette County, Virginia for Joel SETTLE, Abner SETTLE, and Henry ARTHUR households

1860 U.S. Federal Census7
Fayette County, Virginia
District 1, Fayetteville Post Office
Sheet No. 338, Page No. 28, HH #204-181
Joel Settle 53 M farmer $200 $100 Virginia cannot read & write
Milly Settle 52 F Virginia cannot read & write
Jane Settle 26 F Farm laborer Virginia cannot read & write
James Settle 18 M Farm laborer Virginia attended school
Berry Settle 15 M Farm laborer Virginia attended school
Dixon Settle 10 M Virginia attended school
Rebecca Settle 7 F Virginia attended school
Ellen Atkerson 18 F servant Virginia
Note: The column for literacy was for people over 20 years of age.

The 1870 U.S. Federal Census

Joel and his son Campbell cleared adjoining farms in the head of Open Fork, a small right-hand tributary to Loop Creek, a branch of Kanawha River in Fayette County, following the Civil War.

By 1870 only the two youngest children of Joel and Milly were living at home. Araminta Jane had married William Madison PRINCE soon after the 1860 census and was the mother of five. Abner had married Locky Jane PRINCE just before the 1860 census. Campbell Washington married Anna Elizabeth TAYLOR in 1864.  James Wesley married Mary Melvina BLAKE In 1866. Francis Asbury married Lucinda TREADWAY in 1867.

Mary Ann Elizabeth and her husband Henry ARTHUR were still living near her parents in household  #7. Nancy and her husband William TINCHER were in Greenbrier County.

1870 U.S. Federal Census of Fayette County, West Virginia for Joel SETTLE household

1870 U.S. Federal Census8
Fayette County, West Virginia
Falls of Kanawha Township
Gauley Bridge Post Office
Sheet No. 95B, Page No. 2, Lines 4-7, HH #8-8
Settle, Joel 63 M W farmer $150 $130 Virginia cannot read & write male US Cit. over 21 yo
Settle, Millie 63 F W housekeeper Virginia
Settle, Joel D. 20 M W farm laborer Virginia
Settle, Rebecca 18 F W housekeeper Virginia

The 1880 U.S. Federal Census

Joel and his son Campbell were the first settlers on Open Fork along with Joel’s son-in-law Henry ARTHUR but did not remain there. They moved away after Joel sold his improvement. This would be Joel and Milly’s last move as they ended their days at a place known as Millie’s Bottom or Milly Place opposite McVey Hollow.

Only the youngest daughter of Joel and Milly was still unmarried and living at home in 1880. Their youngest son Joel Dixon married Charlotte Marsh DARLINGTON in 1874. Their son James Wesley’s wife had died about 1871. He married Clarissa KILLINGSWORTH, a widow, in 1874. The marriage did not last long, perhaps ending with the death of Clarissa as James was listed as widowed when he married Martha Jane McKinney, a single lady, in 1875. James had three children from his first marriage. His oldest son has not been located but his daughter was in his household and his youngest son Charles Asbury was found with the SETTLE grandparents Joel and Milly in 1880.

1880 U.S. Federal Census of Fayette County, West Virginia for Joel SETTLE household

1880 U.S. Federal Census9
Fayette County, West Virginia
Fayetteville District
Enumeration District No. 27
Page No. 10, Sheet No. 17B, Lines 18-21, HH #64
Settle, Joel W M 73 married Farmer VA VA VA
Settle, Milly W F 73 wife married Keeping House WV VA VA
Settle, Rebeckey W F 26 daughter single At Home WV VA WV
Settle, Charley A. W M 10 grandson single WV WV WV

After the 1880 U.S. Federal Census

Milly’s husband Joel died in June 1881 and Milly followed in May 1882. They are said to be buried in Moseley Cemetery, Loop Creek in Fayette County but no stones mark their graves.

Milly had seen all of her children married and starting families of their own. Her son Campbell was widowed at the same time his father Joel died. He then married Mary Margaret FOSTER in March 1882. Milly and Joel’s youngest daughter Becky married Henry S. MITCHELL in April 1882, only a month before Milly’s death.

In the next installment James SIMS’ youngest daughter from his second marriage, Jane L. SIMS will be featured.

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

Rewriting the Biography: Mildred

  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.   L. Neil Darlington, Cabins of the Loop and Environs of the Southern Half of Fayette County Virginia (Now West Virginia), 1988, McClain Printing Company, Parsons, West Virginia, pgs. 246-247. 
  4. 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 Fim 0029677, NARA Roll M19_198, Virginia, Nicholas, images 33+34 of 42, page 188, line 23, Joel Settle. (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 3 March 2018). 
  5. 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 15 of 54, page 146A+B, line 4, Joel Suttle. ‎(http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 26 April 2018). 
  6. 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; Image: 289; Virginia, Fayette, District 14, image 73 of 91, Sheet No. 366A, Lines 8-16, HH #463-463, Joel Suttle household. (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 11 June 2018). 
  7. 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; Page: 290; FHL Film: 805344; Virginia, Fayette, District 1, image 26 of 26, Sheet No. 338, Page No. 28, Lines 1-8, HH #204-181, Joel Settle household. (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 17 July 2018). 
  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_1686; History Library Film: 553185; West Virginia, Fayette, Falls of Kanawha, image 2 of 36, Page No. 2, Sheet No. 95B, Lines 4-7, HH #8-8, Joel Settle household. (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 21 July 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: 1402; West Virginia, Fayette, Fayetteville, image 10 of 46, Enumeration District No. 27, Page No. 10, Sheet No. 17B, Lines 18-21, HH #64, Joel Settle household. “.” (https://www.ancestry.com : accessed 17 July 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: Margaret 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.

Margaret, also known as Peggy, was the second daughter of James SIMS and his second wife Elizabeth COTTON. She was with her parents at the time of the 1810 and 1820 census. The family was in Kanawha in 1810 and Nicholas in 1820. They did not move – the county lines changed in 1818 with the formation of Nicholas County.

The 1810 U.S. Federal Census

In 1810 Margaret fell into the under 10 years of age range with two of her sisters, Sarah and Milly. This wide range puts her possible year of birth at between 1801-1810.

1810 U.S. Federal Census of Kanawha County, Virginia, for James Simms

1810 U.S. Federal Census1
Kanawha County, 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

In 1820 Margaret fell into the 10 thru 15 years of age range with Sarah. This narrows the range of her possible year of birth from between 1801-1810 to between 1805-1810. I question this as only two daughters were 10 or older while in 1810 there were three daughters under 10 (including Milly).

Margaret and Sarah would not live long enough to be included on an 1850 or later census listing with more exact ages. I have always listed Margaret who married first as older than Sarah but this is only an assumption on my part. The four daughters of James SIMS were born after his oldest son James Jr. (b. abt. 1801) and before the three youngest sons (b.  abt. 1815, 1818, and 1821) were born. Of the four daughters, we know Milly was born about 1807 and Jane about 1810 (after the 1810 census) per census 1850 and later. This leaves the time period from 1802 to 1806 for the births of the two oldest daughters, Margaret and Sarah.

Can the 1820 census be considered accurate? It appears to have been prepared by one person, light writing, with corrections or additions added in darker writing. Was there a mix-up in the columns?

1820 U.S. Federal Census2
Nicholas County, 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

Margaret SIMS and Matthew HUGHES were married on 21 November 1822 in Nicholas County, Virginia, by Isaac REYNOLDS. Per the 1820 census, she would have been between 12 and 17 years of age when she married. Could the age range in 1820 be incorrect? The range in 1830 is much larger placing her age at 20 thru 29, i.e. married between 12 and 21 years of age. By 1830 Margaret had given birth to a son and three daughters.

1830 U.S. Federal Census of Nicholas County, Virginia for Matthew Hughes

1830 U.S. Federal Census3
Nicholas County,  Virginia
Sheets 181A and 181B, line
Enumeration Date: 1 June 1830
Name: Matthew Hughes
Free White Persons – Males – 5 thru 9: 1 (unknown, died bet. 1840-1848)
Free White Persons – Males – 30 thru 39: 1 (Matthew)
Free White Persons – Females – Under 5: 2 (Susan & unknown, died bef. 1848)
Free White Persons – Females – 5 thru 9: 1 (unknown, died bet. 1830-1840)
Free White Persons – Females – 20 thru 29: 1 (Margaret)
Free White Persons – Under 20: 4
Free White Persons – 20 thru 49: 2
Total Free White Persons: 6
Total – All Persons (Free White, Slaves, Free Colored): 6

The 1840 U.S. Federal Census

Margaret and Matthew had a total of eight children by 1840. The census listing shows only seven were living in 1840. Margaret, as well as her oldest daughter, had died before the census. Matthew and the oldest son were engaged in agriculture. Part of the county of Nicholas became Fayette County in 1831 and it was in this new county that we find the widowed Matthew with his children.

1840 U.S. Federal Census of Fayette County, Virginia for Matthew Hughes with his brothers Francis and Robert as well as his brother-in-law Francis Kincaid.

1840 U.S. Federal Census4
Fayette County, Virginia
Sheet 147A+B, Line 15
Enumeration Date: 1 June 1840
Name: Mathew Hughes
Free White Persons – Males – 5 thru 9: 2 (Robert & John)
Free White Persons – Males – 15 thru 19: 1 (unknown, died bet. 1840-1848)
Free White Persons – Males – 40 thru 49: 1 (Matthew)
Free White Persons – Females – Under 5: 1 (Sarah)
Free White Persons – Females – 5 thru 9: 2 (Ann & unknown, died bef. 1848)
Free White Persons – Females – 10 thru 14: 1 (Susan)
Persons Employed in Agriculture: 2
Free White Persons – Under 20: 7
Free White Persons – 20 thru 49: 1
Total Free White Persons: 8
Total All Persons – Free White, Free Colored, Slaves: 8
Note: Matthew is listed between his brother Francis T. and his father Robert Sr.

Three of the eight children of Margaret SIMS and her husband Matthew HUGHES remain unknown and died before 1848. They are only reflected in the 1830 and 1840 census listings as numbers in columns.

In 1848 the partition suit for James SIMS lists “the children of Margaret Hughes, formerly Margaret Sims, to-wit, Matthew Kincaid and Susan his wife; Ann Hughes, Robert Hughes, John Hughes, the last three are infants.

Missing in the above is Sarah HUGHES, the youngest daughter of Matthew HUGHES and Margaret SIMS. In the partition suit, Sarah HYPHY is listed in the section for Elizabeth SIMS’ children. I have always thought HYPHY could be a transcription error for HUGHES and wondered if the person transcribing the record may have lost track of the line he/she was working on. I still have not found the original record to confirm this. However, I found a record created during the August 1851 chancery term in the order books which names the infants under the age of 21 years involved in the suit. I plan to write about this at a later date.

The 1850 U.S. Federal Census

Matthew HUGHES did not remarry. He was in Nicholas County with three of the four children who were not of age: Ann, Robert, and John. Sarah, the youngest born between 1835-1840 was living in August 1851 and mentioned in the above document but she has yet to be found in the census, marriage or death records. Robert was listed as dumb on the census. Matthew and his younger son John were farming.

Matthew is the first person listed in the household but he did not own land. Also in the household was Isaac SIMS, the only free black person in the county. Isaac had been a slave of James SIMS and was manumitted in 1836. Isaac had acquired 17 1/2 acres in Nicholas County in 1837 and on this census listing the land was valued at $87. This could mean Matthew and his children were living with Isaac and not the other way around.

1850 U.S. Federal Census of Nicholas County, Virginia for Matthew Hughes household

1850 U.S. Federal Census5
Nicholas County, (West) Virginia
The Western District
Enumerated on 26 August 1850 by D. Oliver Kelly Ass’t Marshal
Sheet No. 370B, Lines 36-40, HH #407-407
Mathew Hughes 54 M W Farmer Virginia
Anna Hughes 17 F W Virginia
Robert Hughes 16 M W None Virginia Dumb
John Hughes 15 M W Farmer Virginia
Isaac Sims (Free) 56 M B Farmer $87 Virginia

The oldest living child of Matthew and Margaret was their daughter Susan. She married Mathew KINCAID before the partition suit in 1848. Although a marriage record has not been found, the partition suit clearly states Susan was the wife of Mathew KINCAID.

1850 U.S. Federal Census of Nicholas County, Virginia for Mathew Kincaid household

1850 U.S. Federal Census6
Nicholas County, Virginia
The Western District
Enumerated on 26 August 1850 by D. Oliver Kelly Ass’t Marshal
Sheet No. 370B, Lines 23-24, HH #405-405
Mathew Kincaid 51 M W Farmer Virginia
Susanna Kincaid 24 F W Virginia

The 1860 U.S. Federal Census

By 1860 the households of Matthew HUGHES and Mathew KINCAID were next door to each other. Matthew’s daughter Ann was living at home. There was a Martha HUGHES in the household who may have been a relative living with the father and daughter. Seven other women on the same census page were identified as wife while Martha is seen as domestic. None of the three in the household could read and write.

1860 U.S. Federal Census of Nicholas County, Virginia for Mathew Kincaid and Matthew Hughes households

1860 U.S. Federal Census7
Nicholas County, West Virginia
District of Nicholas
Page No. 96, Lines 35-37, HH #873-650
Matthew Hughes 65 M Old Virginia cannot read and write
Martha Hughes 40 F Domestic Virginia cannot read and write
Ann Hughes 26 F Domestic Virginia cannot read and write
Note: unknown who Martha was??

Mathew KINCAID and Susan HUGHES had been married over a dozen years by 1860 and did not have children. Mathew was a farmer and owned land. Neither Susan nor Mathew could read and write.

1860 U.S. Federal Census8
Nicholas County, West Virginia
District of Nicholas
Nicholas Court House
Page No. 96, Sheet 1015, Lines 33-34, HH #872-649
Mathew Kincaid 57 M Farmer $200 $300 Virginia cannot read & write
Susanna Kincaid 37 F wife Virginia cannot read & write

Robert HUGHES married Nancy SIMS on 28 March 1858 in Nicholas County. They were first cousins once removed. Nancy was the granddaughter of Martin SIMS, half-brother of Robert’s mother Margaret SIMS. According to the county birth register, Robert and Nancy had a son George Washington HUGHES born on 8 January 1858. Unfortunately, no census record was found for Robert in 1860 and his wife Nancy was enumerated in her father’s household with her maiden name and without the young son.

This is new information. I had previously attached John W. Hughes who married Minerva A. O’Dell in 1873 as the son of Matthew HUGHES and Margaret SIMS. While analyzing the census and comparing records, I found an 1860 marriage record for John HUGHES and Octavia YOUNG which names the parents of the groom as Matthew and Peggy HUGHES. Further analysis of the census had me pruning the branch in the family tree. Pruning is unlinking but keeping all the names and research – just in case!

John HUGHES married Octavia YOUNG on 12 May 1860 in Fayette County.    John and Octavia were found with the widowed Mary FOSTER and her children. John and Mary were half first cousins as Mary was the daughter of Mary “Polly” SIMS and Thomas HUGHES Jr. They were also first cousins once removed through their HUGHES side. John and Octavia’s ages were not recorded correctly (33 and 23). Only a month earlier when they married their ages were seen as 23 and 21.

As the widowed Mary FOSTER was the person in the household with land it is more likely that John and Octavia were living with the FOSTER family and John was not the head of household.

1860 U.S. Federal Census of Fayette County, Virginia for John Hughes (seen as Hews) household

1860 U.S. Federal Census9
Fayette County, Virginia
District No. 1
Page No. 106, Lines 27-35, HH #788-722
John Hews 33 M farm laborer $0 $25 Virginia
Octava Hews 23 F Virginia
Mary Foster 37 F widow farmer $500 $50 Virginia cannot read & write
Thomas Foster 16 M Farm Laborer Virginia attended school
James P. Foster 15 M Farm Laborer Virginia attended school
Nelson J. Foster 12 M Virginia attended school
Mary E. Foster 10 F Virginia
Nannie J. Foster 8 F Virginia
Rebecca J. Foster 6 F Virginia

The 1870 U.S. Federal Census

By 1870 Matthew had moved across the county line (again) to Fayette County and was living in the household of his sister Ann, the widow of Francis T. KINCAID. Three other persons were in the household. Their connection to either Matthew or his sister is unknown. Living next door was Matthew and Ann’s brother Francis Tincher HUGHES.

1870 U.S. Federal Census of Fayette County, West Virginia for Ann Kincaid with her brother Matthew Hughes

1870 U.S. Federal Census10
Fayette County, West Virginia
Falls of Kanawha Township
Page No. 18, Sheet No. 103B, Lines 30-34, HH #120-116
Kincaid, Ann 60 F W housekeeper $0 $40 Virginia
Hugs, M. 74 M W Farm Laborer Virginia cannot read & write male cit. over 21 yo
Nicholas, F. 24 M W Farmer $0 $288 Virginia male cit. over 21 yo
Nicholas, Mary 63 F W housekeeper Virginia
Nicholas, Charles 6 M W West Virginia
(Note: Ann and Matthew are brother and sister and are living next door to brother Francis T. Hughes. The last three persons’ surname may not be Nicholas!)

Susan HUGHES and her husband Mathew KINCAID had Susan’s sister Ann living with them in 1870. There was another young HUGHES girl with them who I have not been able to identify or follow up on. The ages of both Susan and Ann are off but this is a recurring problem for them throughout the census. Susan was: 1850 age 24, 1860 age 37, 1870 age 35, 1880 age 62. Ann was: 1850 age 17, 1860 age 26, 1870 age 28, 1880 age 54. If their ages were off, could the age of the young Mary A. HUGHES also be wrong? Was she possibly Ann’s daughter? All persons in the household could not read and write.

1870 U.S. Federal Census of Nicholas County, West Virginia, for Mathew Kincaid household

1870 U.S. Federal Census11
Nicholas County, West Virginia
Jefferson Township
Nicholas Courthouse
Page No. 4, Sheet No. 164B, Lines 31-34, HH #28-28
Kincaid, Mathew 70 M W Farmer $400 $500 Virginia cannot write US cit. over 21 yo
Kincaid, Susan 35 F W Virginia cannot read & write
Hughes, Anna 28 F Virginia cannot read & write
Hughes, Mary A. 12 F Virginia cannot read & write

Robert HUGHES was widowed in 1866 after his wife Nancy SIMS gave him three children. In 1870 his sons George and John M., from his first marriage, are in his household. Missing is daughter Rebecca J. who died in 1867 at the age of 3 years. Robert remarried nearly a year and a half after he was widowed to Elizabeth Rachel “Lizzie” DEMPSEY on 8 April 1868 in Fayette County. Robert, my first cousin 5 times removed, married my great-grandaunt Lizzie, making him my great-granduncle (by marriage).

Robert and Lizzie had their first child, a son William F., likely named after his maternal grandfather William A. W. DEMPSEY (my 2nd great-grandfather) in 1869. Robert, Lizzie, and George could not read and write. Robert did not own land and worked as a farm laborer. Robert was living next door to James J. SIMS, his deceased first wife’s father.

1870 U.S. Federal Census of Fayette County, West Virginia, for Robert Hughes with his father-in-law James J. Sims living next door

1870 U. S. Federal Census12
Fayette County, West Virginia
Falls of Kanawha Township
Martin Hill, Assistant Marshall, enumerator.
Page No. 33, Sheet No. 111A, Lines 16-20, HH #220-215
Robert Hughes 35 M W farm laborer $0 $180 Virginia Virginia cannot read & write male US citizen over 21
Lizzie Hughes 23 F W housekeeper Virginia cannot read & write
George Hughes 13 M W Virginia cannot read & write (son from 1st marriage)
John M. Hughes 6 M W West Virginia (son from 1st marriage)
Willie Hughes 1 M W West Virginia

By 1870 John, like his brother Robert, did not own land and worked as a farm laborer. He’d started a family with Octavia very soon after the 1860 census and it had grown to include three daughters and a son.

1870 U.S. Federal Census of Nicholas County, West Virginia for John Hughes household

1870 U.S. Federal Census13
Nicholas County, West Virginia
Jefferson Township, Nicholas Courthouse
Page No. 5, Sheet 165A, Lines 8-13, HH #32-32
John Hughes 30 M W Farm laborer $0 $350 West Virginia
Octavia Hughes 28 F W West Virginia
Susan Hughes 10 F W West Virginia
Sarah Hughes 11 F W West Virginia
Franklin Hughes 6 M W West Virginia
Rebecca Hughes 2 F W West Virginia

The 1880 U.S. Federal Census

Matthew HUGHES died after the 1870 and before the 1880 census. His children Susan, Ann, and John were practically next door to each other in households 18, 19, and 21. Robert was found on the previous page in household 15. Next door to Susan was her uncle Charles SIMS, a younger brother of her mother Margaret.

Susan was widowed during the 1870s and lived by herself.

1880 U.S. Federal Census of Fayette County, West Virginia, for John, Ann, and Susan HUGHES

1880 U.S. Federal Census14
Fayette County, West Virginia
Falls District
Enumerated the 10th day of June 1880
Page 4, Sheet 2D, Line 23, HH #21-21
Kincaid, Susan W F 62 self widowed Keeping house cannot read & write WV WV WV

Ann had waited to marry, perhaps until after her father’s death. In 1872 [no date was given in the county register of marriages] she married the widowed William LOYD. The entry is lacking in information. The ages of the bride and groom are not given nor are the names of their parents. Ann was correctly noted as single. Without the 1880 census listing showing the HUGHES siblings living so close together, I would not have been able to attribute this marriage to Ann. [John L. FOSTER may be John Miletus “Lettie” FOSTER, a 1C1R of Ann HUGHES. I need to look into this.]

1880 U.S. Federal Census15
Fayette County, West Virginia
Falls District
Enumerated the 10th day of June 1880
Page No. 4, Sheet 2D, Lines 16-18, HH #19-19
Loyd, William W M 70 self married Farmer VA VA VA
Loyd, Ann G. W F 54 wife married Keeping house WV WV WV
Foster, John L. W M 21 laborer single Laborer WV WV WV

Robert HUGHES was seen as Robin in the 1880 census. His second family had grown to include two daughters and another son. Robert, Lizzie [seen here as Rachael E.], and William F. could not read and write. Robert was a farmer. I have not been able to trace his two sons from his first marriage after the 1870 census.

1880 U.S. Federal Census of Fayette County, West Virginia, for Robert (Robin) Hughes household

1880 U.S. Federal Census16
Fayette County, West Virginia
Falls District
Enumerated the 9th day of June 1880
Page No. 3, Sheet No. 2C, Lines 5-10, HH #15-15
Hughes, Robin W M 41 self married Farmer cannot read & write WV VA VA
Hughes, Rachael E. W F 31 wife married Keeping House cannot read & write WV VA WV
Hughes, William F. W M 11 son single cannot read & write WV WV WV
Hughes, Sarah M. W F 8 daughter single WV WV WV
Hughes, Nancy W F 5 daughter single WV WV WV
Hughes, James E. W M 1 son single WV WV WV

John HUGHES and his wife Octavia had three more sons in the 1870s. John was working as a laborer and all persons in the household 10 and older could not read and write.

1880 U.S. Federal Census17
Fayette County, West Virginia
Falls District
Enumerated the 10th day of June 1880
Page No. 4, Sheet 2D, Lines 7-15, HH #18-18
John Hughs W M 40 self married Laborer cannot read & write WV WV WV
Octavia Hughs W F 38 wife married Keeping house cannot write WV WV WV
Susanna Hughs W F 18 daughter single At home cannot read & write WV WV WV
Sarah M. Hughs W F 16 daughter single At home cannot read & write WV WV WV
George F. Hughs W M 13 son single At home disabled cannot read & write WV WV WV
Rebecca J. Hughs W F 10 daughter single cannot read & write WV WV WV
William J. Hughs W M 9 son single WV WV WV
John T. Hughs W M 3 son single WV WV WV
George W. Hughs W M 8/12 July son single WV WV WV

Normally I would have stopped the census analysis after the death of Margaret SIMS. I would have stopped with the 1850 census and only mentioned where the children were found in later years. However the new information found while I was working on this census analysis included the major correction regarding Margaret’s son John as well as the discovery of her youngest child Sarah. Robert was found on the 1890 Veteran’s schedule; John may have died in 1895 (but this could also be the other John); and no trace as been found of Susan and Ann after 1880.

The census listings of Sarah SIMS, another one of James’ daughters who was deceased at the time of the partition suit, will be discussed in the next instalment.

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

Rewriting the Biography: Margaret 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 19+20 of 42, page 181A+B, line 17, Matthew Hughes. (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, images 17+18 of 54, page 147A+B, line 15, Mathew Hughes. ‎(http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 5 March 2018). 
  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_963, image: 303; Virginia, Nicholas, image 62 of 93, Sheet No. 370B, lines 36-40, HH #407-407, Mathew Hughes household. (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 28 April 2018). 
  6. Ibid., lines 23-24, HH #405-405, Mathew Kincaid household. (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 28 April 2018). 
  7. 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_1365, page 1014, FHL Film: 805365; Virginia, Nicholas, District of Nicholas, image 90 of 118, Page No. 96, lines 35-37, HH #873-650, Matthew Hughes household. (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 29 June 2018). 
  8. Ibid., Virginia, Nicholas, District of Nicholas, image 90 of 118, Page No. 96, lines 33-34, HH #872-649, Mathew Kincaid household. (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 29 June 2018). 
  9. Ibid., Roll: M653_1344; Page: 298; FHL Film: 805344; Virginia, Fayette, District 1, image 10 of 26, page no. 106, lines 27-35, HH #788-722, John Hews household. (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 3 July 2018). 
  10. 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_1686; FHL Film: 553185; West Virginia, Fayette, Falls of Kanawha, page 103B, lines 30-34, HH #120-116, Ann Kincaid household. (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 1 July 2018). 
  11. Ibid., Roll: M593_1695; Page: 164B; FHL Film: 553194; West Virginia, Nicholas, Jefferson, image 4 of 17, page 4, sheet no. 164B, lines 31-34, HH #28-28, Mathew Kincaid household. (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 1 July 2018). 
  12. Ibid., Roll: M593_1686; Page: 111A; FHL Film: 553185; West Virginia, Fayette, Falls of Kanawha, image 33 of 36, Page No. 33, Sheet No. 111A, Lines 16-20, HH #220-215, Robert Hughes household. (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 3 July 2018). 
  13. Ibid., Roll: M593_1695; FHL Film: 553194; West Virginia, Nicholas, Jefferson, image 5 of 17, Sheet 165A; lines 8-13, HH #32-32, John Hughes household. (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 29 April 2018). 
  14. 1880 U.S. Federal Census, (index and images), FamilySearch, 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, West Virginia, Fayette, Falls, ED 27, image 4 of 24, page 4, sheet 2D, lines 23, HH #22-22, Susan Kincaid household. (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:33S7-9YBF-94Y1?cc=1417683&wc=QZ2W-5DS%3A1589415848%2C1589394995%2C1589403370%2C1589394804 : accessed 3 July 2018). 
  15. Ibid., West Virginia, Fayette, Falls, ED 27, image 4 of 24, page 4, sheet 2D, lines16-18, HH #19-19, William Loyd household. (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:33S7-9YBF-94Y1?cc=1417683&wc=QZ2W-5DS%3A1589415848%2C1589394995%2C1589403370%2C1589394804 : accessed 3 July 2018). 
  16. Ibid., West Virginia, Fayette, Falls, ED 27, image 3 of 24, page 3, sheet 2C, lines 5-10, HH #15-15, Robin Hughes household. (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:33S7-9YBF-9HML?cc=1417683&wc=QZ2W-5DS%3A1589415848%2C1589394995%2C1589403370%2C1589394804 : accessed 3 July 2018). 
  17. Ibid., West Virginia, Fayette, Falls, ED 27, image 4 of 24, page 4, sheet 2D, lines 7-15, HH #18-18, John Hughs household. (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:33S7-9YBF-94Y1?cc=1417683&wc=QZ2W-5DS%3A1589415848%2C1589394995%2C1589403370%2C1589394804 : accessed 3 July 2018). 

Rewriting the Biography: James SIMS Jr. 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.

James SIMS and his second wife Elizabeth COTTON’s first known child was a son, James, born about 1801. James and Elizabeth were married in Bath County, Virginia, in October 1796 and moved to Kanawha County by 1800. This was where young James was born.

The 1810 U.S. Federal Census

James SIMS Jr. was the young boy under the age of 10 with his parents in 1810. He had by this time three younger sisters as seen in the analysis of his father James SIMS’ census records.

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

1810 U.S. Federal Census 1
Kanawha County, 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, Mildred)
Free White Persons – Females – 26 thru 44: 1 (Elizabeth)
Numbers of Slaves: 5 (Isaac, Black Jude, Black Fanny, Robert, and ?)
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

By 1820 James was no longer showing up in the census with his parents. His half-brother William, the second oldest son of James Sr., was married with six children at the time of the 1820 census. Also in the household was a young man 16 thru 25 years old. Could this be James Jr.?

Two persons in the William SIMS household were engaged in manufactures. William may have been apprenticing his young half-brother James. William, as well as his brother Martin, were well-known rifle makers.

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

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

The 1830 U.S. Federal Census

James SIMS Jr. married Elizabeth STANLEY in Kanawha County, Virginia, on 26 August 1821. By 1 June 1830, they had two daughters and a son. Their first child, Susan, if born after the date of marriage, should be seen here in the 5 thru 9 years range. Her age would continue to fluctuate in 1840 through 1860. James’ occupation was not indicated on this census listing.

1830 U.S. Federal Census of Kanawha County, Virginia for James Sims Jr.

1830 U.S. Federal Census3
Kanawha County, Virginia
Sheet 213A&B Line 17
Enumeration Date: 1 June 1830
Name: James Sims
Free White Persons – Males – Under 5: 1 (James Wesley age 4)
Free White Persons – Males – 20 thru 29: 1 (James age 29)
Free White Persons – Females – Under 5: 1 (Seneth age 1)
Free White Persons – Females – 10 thru 14: 1 (Susan 1850 age 23, 1860 age 40)
Free White Persons – Females – 20 thru 29: 1 (Elizabeth)
Free White Persons – Under 20: 3
Free White Persons – 20 thru 49: 2
Total Free White Persons: 5
Total – All Persons (Free White, Slaves, Free Colored): 5

The 1840 U.S. Federal Census

By 1840 the family of James and Elizabeth grew by two daughters and two sons. According to this listing, everyone in the family was engaged in farming except for two persons. They could only be the two youngest children who were under 5 years old. In the 30 thru 39 years range with James is a second male who remains unknown.

1840 U.S. Federal Census of Kanawha County, Virginia for Jas. Sims

1840 U.S. Federal Census4
Kanawha County, Virginia
Sheet 51A&B, Line 13
Enumeration Date: 1 June 1840
Name: James Sims
Free White Persons – Males – Under 5: 1 (John)
Free White Persons – Males – 5 thru 9: 2 (William and James)
Free White Persons – Males – 30 thru 39: 2 (James and unknown)
Free White Persons – Females – Under 5: 1 (Nancy)
Free White Persons – Females – 5 thru 9: 2 (Rachel and Seneth)
Free White Persons – Females – 15 thru 19: 1 (Susan)
Free White Persons – Females – 30 thru 39: 1 (Elizabeth)
Persons Employed in Agriculture: 8
Free White Persons – Under 20: 7
Free White Persons – 20 thru 49: 3
Total Free White Persons: 10
Total All Persons – Free White, Free Colored, Slaves: 10
Note: Annotated ages are from the 1850 census.

The 1850 U.S. Federal Census

In 1850 we finally see the names of the children of James and Elizabeth on the census sheet. Two more sons were born during the 1840s bringing the total children to nine. Only eight of these were living at home. The missing child was their oldest son James Wesley SIMS who married in October 1848.

James and Elizabeth’s daughter Nancy was enumerated as being deaf in 1850. This fact would later be useful in finding the 1860 census listing.

1850 U.S. Federal Census of Kanawha County, Virginia for James Sims household (part 1)
1850 U.S. Federal Census of Kanawha County, Virginia for James Sims household (part 2)

1850 U.S. Federal Census5
Kanawha County, Virginia
District No. 29
Enumerated by me, on the 25th day of June 1850, A.P. Fry Ass’t Marshall
Sheet 102A, Lines 39-42, Sheet 102B, Lines 1-6, HH #1476-1510
James Sims 49 M Farmer Virginia cannot read & write
Elizabeth Sims 47 F Virginia
Seneth Sims 21 F Virginia
Rachael Sims 18 F Virginia
Susan Sims 23 F Virginia
William H. Sims 16 M Laborer Virginia
Nancy Sims 12 F Virginia deaf
John E. Sims 10 M Virginia attended school within the year
Charles Sims 7 M Virginia attended school within the year
Daniel S. Sims 2 M Virginia

As mentioned above, James Wesley SIMS married in 1848 and was seen with his wife Sarah Jane HALL and their first child, a daughter Elizabeth. They lived next door to Sarah Jane’s parents and siblings and a little more than a dozen households away from James’ parents. James W. was working as a laborer and could not read and write.

1850 U.S. Federal Census of Kanawha County, Virginia for James W. Sims household

1850 U.S. Federal Census6
Kanawha County, Virginia
District No. 29
Enumerated by me, on the 24th day of June, 1850, A.P. Fry Ass’t Marhall
Sheet 101A, Lines 39-41, HH #1462-1495
James W. Sims 23 M Laborer Virginia cannot read & write
Sarah J. Sims 18 F Virginia
Elizabeth Sims 9/12 F Virginia

The 1860 U.S. Federal Census

James SIMS and his family moved to Texas during the 1850s according to family tradition leaving only son James Wesley SIMS in (West) Virginia. This would mean the eight children seen in the 1850 census went to Texas with James and Elizabeth. Texas is a huge state. If the story is true, where in Texas did they settle?

Four of the children were found in two households in Colorado County, Texas. Nancy Jane, the youngest daughter who was seen as deaf in 1850, married John A. PIERCE in Colorado County in 1857. She was listed in 1860 as deaf & dumb. Next door are her brother John E., seen as Everete, her oldest sister Susan, and her brother Charles W.

1860 U.S. Federal Census of Colorado County, Texas for John A. Pierce and Everete Sims households

1860 U.S. Federal Census7, 8
Colorado County, Texas
Columbus Post Office
Enumerated by me on the 9th day of July, 1860. George W. Breeding, Ass’t Marshall.
Sheet No. 146B, Lines 31-33, HH #412-391
John A. Pierce 32 M Gunright $1000 $450 Tennessee
Nancy Pierce 21 F Virginia deaf & dumb
Charles Pierce 10/12 Texas
Sheet No. 146B, Lines 34-36, HH #413-392
Everete Sims 20 M Farmer Virginia
Susan Sims 40 F Virginia
Charles Sims 19 M Virginia

Another SIMS marriage had taken place in Colorado County in 1852 placing the move from Kanawha to Texas at between 1850-1852. Rachel E. SIMS married James W. ALLEN on 11 September 1852. By 1860 they were living in Houston County, Texas, and had three children.

1860 U.S. Federal Census of Houston County, Texas for the James W. Allen household

1860 U.S. Federal Census9
Houston County, Texas
Elkhart Post Office
Page No. 135, Lines 15-19, HH #960-886
James W. Allen 31 M Brickmason $250 $0 Tennessee
R. E. Allen 28 F Housewife Virginia
James W. Allen 7 M Texas
Mary Allen 3 F Texas
Julia Allen 1 F Texas

Three of the children of James SIMS Jr. were not located in 1860 or later census years: Seneth, William H. and Daniel S. Did they marry? Do they have descendants?

Where were James SIMS Jr. and his wife?

Where were James SIMS Jr. and his wife Elizabeth STANLEY? From the two marriages found in Colorado County, it can be assumed the family was in the county as early as 11 September 1852 when Rachel married. Unfortunately, the marriage records of both girls do not include the names of the parents or if they were living.

1860 Mortality Schedule of Colorado County, Texas (top of page)
1860 Mortality Schedule of Colorado County, Texas (bottom of page)

1860 U.S. Federal Census10
Colorado County, Texas
Schedule 3: Persons Who Died During the Year Ending June 1, 1860
Page 5, Line 32
Elizabeth Sims (59, female, widowed, born in Virginia, died in May of “rising in the head” after an illness of six months)

On Schedule 3, also known as the mortality schedule, of the 1860 census for Colorado County a widowed Elizabeth SIMS age 59 and born in Virginia was found. She died in May of “rising in the head” after an illness of six months. The dreadful “rising in the head” is also known as an ear abscess.11

As the children were found in this county it is possible this woman was James SIMS’ wife Elizabeth STANLEY. Her age is off by two years compared to the 1850 census but Virginia as her place of birth is correct. James SIMS likely died before her as she was listed as a widow.

The names found in Colorado County in 1860 match the names found in the SIMS family in 1850. Four of the children were found living together and/or next door. The daughter Nancy was seen as deaf in 1850 and deaf and dumb in 1860. Nancy and Rachel married in Colorado County.  Is this conclusive evidence that these SIMS in Texas were the James SIMS family formerly of Kanawha County in old Virginia?

The only child to remain in western Virginia was the oldest son James Wesley SIMS. In 1850 he had a daughter Elizabeth, likely named after his mother. She was no longer with the family in 1860. Although no record of death has been found in Kanawha or Putnam, it is assumed she died between 1850-1860. Two sons were born to Sarah Jane during the decade prior to the 1860 census. William James was born while they were living in Kanawha and Thomas was born in Buffalo in Putnam County where the family settled in the mid-1850s. James Wesley was working as a laborer at this time.

1860 U.S. Federal Census of Putnam County, Virginia for the J. W. Sims household

1860 U.S. Federal census12
Putnam County, (West) Virginia
Buffalo Post Office (790)
Enumerated the 5th day of July 1860, W. E. Herndon, Ass’t Marshal
HH #630-553
J. W. Sims 33 M Laborer Virginia
S. Sims 29 F Virginia
W. J. Sims 7 M Virginia
T. Sims 2 M Virginia

The 1870 U.S. Federal Census

James SIMS and his wife Elizabeth STANLEY died in Texas before the enumeration of the 1860 census. Three of their children have, up to now, not been located in 1860 or later: Seneth, William H., and Charles W.

Susan and her brothers, John Everete and Charles W., who had been living together in 1860 have not been found in the 1870 census or later. Charles W. SIMS was one of the 517 Colorado County men who were identified as Confederate soldiers.

Simms, Charles W. (private) age 19 in 1860; enrolled in Company A, 5th Texas Cavalry, on August 17, 1861 at Columbus; discharged for medical reasons, about October 1861; enlisted in Company F, 35th Texas Cavalry, on April 10, 1862; left with illness, April 24, 1863; returned to company; arrested by civil authorities in Brazoria County, May 1864; hospitalized in Tyler, October 15, 1864.13

Nancy Jane SIMS likely died following the birth of a daughter seen as Sallie age 2 in 1870 or in the period between the birth and the 1870 census. No death record has been found for Nancy Jane. She left a widower, two sons, and a daughter.

The only child of James and Elizabeth known to be living in Texas in 1870 was their daughter Rachel E. (SIMS) PIERCE. She was widowed and living in Nacogdoches County, Texas. Rachel was a challenge to research and without the help of one of her descendants, it may have never been known she was married 3 (proven) or 4 times and died in 1918 in Waelder, Gonzales County, Texas.

James Wesley SIMS who remained in old Virginia was a riverboat pilot who ferried soldiers and supplies from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, to Charlestown, Virginia, during the Civil War. Supplies were stored in Gallipolis, Ohio, just across from Putnam County were he lived.

A daughter Caroline had been born soon after the 1860 census. In 1864 his second son Thomas died of scarlet fever. After the war, James W. moved his family across the Ohio River to Gallia County, Ohio. Another daughter Melinda, named after the maternal grandmother, was born just before the 1870 census in Gallia. James and Sarah Jane would remain in the county until his death in 1897. The three living children married in Gallia County: James William in 1875, Caroline in 1879, and Melinda, who was known as Linnie, in 1896. James W.’s widow Sarah Jane lived with her youngest daughter until her death in 1910 in Coshocton County, Ohio.

Like Jeremiah, the oldest son of James SIMS (1754-1845), James Jr., the oldest son from James’ second marriage, left the family he grew up with. Jeremiah moved to Ohio while James moved to Texas. None of their descendants remained in the area the elder James SIMS chose for his family when he moved to the Kanawha area (later Nicholas County) at the turn of the 19th century.

Coming next, Margaret SIMS. She was my 4th great-grandaunt and the mother of my great-granduncle. How could that be?

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

Rewriting the Biography: James SIMS Jr. 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 17, William 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 0029670, NARA Roll M19_191, Virginia, Kanawha, image 67+68 of 84, page 213A+B, line 17, James Sims. (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 0029689, NARA Roll M704_566, Virginia, Kanawha, page 51A+B, line 13, James Sims. ‎(http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 5 March 2018). 
  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_954; image 207; Virginia, Kanawha, image 181 of 271, sheet 102A, lines 39-42, sheet 102B, lines 1-6, HH #1476-1510, James Sims household. (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 21 June 2018). 
  6.  Ibid., Virginia, Kanawha, image 179 of 271, sheet 101A, lines 39-41, HH #1462-1495, James W. Sims household. (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 28 June 2018). 
  7.  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_1291; FHL Film: 805291; Texas, Colorado, image 58 of 102, page 146, lines 31-33, HH #412-391, John Pierce household. (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 21 June 2018). 
  8.  Ibid., Roll: M653_1291; FHL Film: 805291; Texas, Colorado, image 58 of 102, page 146, lines 34-36, HH #413-392, Everete Sims household. (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 21 June 2018). 
  9.  Ibid., Roll: M653_1297; FHL Film: 805297; Texas, Houston, Beat 12, image 9 of 9, page 276, lines 15-19, HH #960-886, James W. Allen household. (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 21 June 2018). 
  10.  Mortality schedules of Texas (1850, 1860, 1870, 1880); mortality schedules of Utah (1870), (database with images), FamilySearch, Mortality schedules, 1850; 1860, Anderson County – Titus County (continued) (NARA Series T1134, Roll 54), Film 1421044, DGS 4206503, image 344 of 717, Texas, Colorado, page 5, line 32, Elizabeth Sims. (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:S3HT-XXX3-WZ8?cat=343874 : accessed 27 June 2018). 
  11. Francis Marion Walters, The principles of health control, Revised edition, Boston: D.C. Heath & Co. (1920), pg. 329. (https://archive.org/stream/cu31924003704388#page/n343/mode/2up/search/rising+in+the+head : accessed 29 June 2018) 
  12.  1860 Census, Roll: M653_1373; FHL Film: 805373; Page: 790; Virginia, Putnam, Buffalo, image 2 of 8, page no. 86, lines 2-5, HH #630-553, J. W. Sims household. (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 29 June 2018). 
  13.  Bill Stein, Dorothy Albrecht, Ernest Mae Seaholm, and Tracey Wegenhoft (compilers), Colorado County Confederate Soldiers, Nesbitt Memorial Library, Columbus, Texas; Originally appeared in Nesbitt Memorial Library Journal, vol. 7, no. 2, pp. 111-142; (http://www.columbustexaslibrary.net/local-history-and-genealogy-material/military-history/colorado-county-confederate-soldiers.html : accessed 28 June 2018) 

Rewriting the Biography: The Tragic Death of Phebe Sims

hebe was up earlier than usual to finish the daily chores before packing up half of the meal she’d prepared the night before. Barely forty years old and mother of eight children she wondered how she found the time to do all the things she needed to do during a day.

Sons William, just thirteen, and Martin, twelve, were already outside helping their father James. Elizabeth, eleven, was keeping the younger ones busy and would be caring for them while Phebe was away. Edward and John, eight and six, had been sent out, each with a bucket, to get water. Their mother knew as soon as she was gone they would slip out to the barn to play or to pester their father to let them help with the outside chores. They didn’t like to be cooped up in the house with their older sister and the babies.

Elizabeth could be trusted to keep Polly, three, out of mischief. Since the new baby’s birth, she was no longer the youngest and missed the attention she was used to getting.

Phebe sat in the rocking chair James had made her with the baby in her arms. She freed her breast from her bodice to feed Nancy Ann. While the baby suckled, her mother’s gaze took in the largest room of the tiny cabin. All seemed in order and as soon as Nancy Ann was finished she would be able to get on her way. After settling the baby in her crib, she wrapped a small triangular shawl around her shoulders and neck, tucking the ends into the low neckline of her bodice.

From a peg on the wall, she took her thick woolen hooded cloak. Her oldest child Jeremiah, sixteen, took it from her and draped it over her shoulders as she grabbed her riding gloves from the sideboard. Jeremiah was accompanying her on her visit to her neighbor and friend who was laid up with the same illness which had plagued the children of the family.

It was still early when they left the Sims cabin. Phebe’s horse carried her as well as the package with the stew for the family of her sick friend. Herbs she thought her friend would probably be running low on since the children had taken sick were bundled up in handkerchiefs and stashed away in the pockets hidden under her skirt.

Phebe and Jeremiah had decided to take the longer route crossing Jackson’s River at it’s narrowest and more shallow point. In the early morning hours, the lofty hills on both sides of the waterway were hidden by a rising mist.

As they approached the small cabin Phebe saw a man was busy hanging out the wash. Although the day promised to be sunny she knew the wash would be frozen stiff by the time he took it down later in the day. Her friend must not be doing well if her husband was doing the woman’s chores. Young Jeremiah would help the man with the barnyard chores while Phebe took care of the rest of the household tasks.

A fire was burning in the fireplace and the main room of the cabin was cozily warm. Loud noises were coming from the young ones being shushed by their sick mother.

Hours later Phebe reflected on the day as she once again wrapped the warm woolen cape around her old work dress of home-spun flax fiber and wool. Her skirt was full-flowing. She was glad to no longer have to wear hoops and had made the skirt with gathers around the waist instead of a bustle in the back. This made it much easier to ride horseback. She usually wore a wide sash around her waist but with all the work having to be done she’d worn an apron which covered the bodice and skirt. She’d lost much weight since the birth of Nancy Ann and the once tight long sleeves hung loosely to her wrists. She needed to take in the seams she’d let out during her pregnancy.

Jeremiah had fed and watered their horses in readiness for the ride home. Days were short and there had been more to do than expected. But her friend was on the mend and the rambunctious children didn’t appear sickly. Hopefully, their mother was the last of the household to be laid up. Phebe knew she would not have to come back to help and prayed her friend’s husband was immune to the illness. Men were never easy patients.

Phebe and Jeremiah mounted their horses. It was growing colder and both she and her son wanted to get home quickly. Nancy Ann would be fussing as she did not like to be fed by Elizabeth, enjoying the closeness to her mother in the evening hours.

Jeremiah slowly guided his horse into the river looking back to see his mother waiting on the bank. They were careful when fording the river. When her son was in the middle Phebe prodded her horse to enter the water. She walked it slowly and had barely reached the middle when the horse reared. Phebe held tight to the reins. The horse plunged forward kicking up its hind legs throwing Phebe into the icy water. Jeremiah had just arrived at the other bank and upon hearing the ruckus looked back. He saw his mother being pulled down under water by her heavy clothing. By the time he reached her, she had drowned.

John Dean, Sheriff of Bath County, called jurors to assist him in determining the cause of death of Phebe Sims. The twelve jurors were well-known in the county, several even being neighbors of the Sims family. William McClintic, although not known at the time, was the grandfather of Jeremiah’s future wife.

Sheriff Dean, who was also the coroner, met with the jurors in Widow Lewis’ two-roomed house on Wednesday, 22 January 1794. The seventy-two years old sheriff was grateful for the forethought of the court to have a warm room for the inquest proceedings. Bath County being young did not yet have a courthouse. During the first summer after formation of the county in December 1790 court proceedings were held under the large shade tree at the home of Margaret Lewis, the widow of Capt. John Lewis. Later in the year, they voted to pay Mrs. Lewis seven pounds for the use of her two-roomed house.1

John Dean and the jurors viewed the dead body of Phebe Sims. The jurors were charged to inquire on the part of the Commonwealth as to the manner in which she had come to her death. Obviously, they were satisfied with the when, where, how, and after what manner the death occurred as related to them by the only witness, her son Jeremiah. After hearing his testimony, the jurors delivered their conclusion concerning the cause of death to the coroner. “Phebe was accidently drowned occasioned by the horse whereon she rode rearing and plunging and throwing her into the water.

The above narrative is my depiction of my 5th great-grandmother Phebe’s last day. The coroner’s inquest took place in Bath County and I have taken the liberty to assume it may have been in the two-roomed house of Margaret Lewis.

The Coroner’s Inquisition

Closeup of the writing on the cover of the coroner’s inquisition report from Bath County, Virginia (photocopy of original)

Phebe Simms
Inquisition Taken
the 22nd of January
1794 Before John
Dean Gent. Coroner

Photocopy of original coroner’s inquisition from Bath County, Virginia, obtained before August 1995 through a professional genealogy researcher by Rose Mary Sims Rudy.

Bath County to wit

Inquisition indented taken at [place omitted] in the County aforesaid on the twenty second day of January in the year One thousand seven hundred and ninety four before me John Dean a Gentleman and of the Coroners of the Commonwealth for the County aforesaid upon view of the body of Phebe Sims late of said County then and there lying dead; and upon the Oathes of Robert Armstrong Jr., William Morris, John Scott, John Bird, Andrew Baurland, Thomas Barber, James Armstrong, Robert McClintic, William McClintic, John Somwalt, Paul Harpole and Adam Kimberlan, good and lawful men of the County aforesaid, who being Jurors and charged to inquire on the part of the Commonwealth, when where how and after what manner the said Phebe Sims came to her death, do say upon their Oathes, that the said Phebe was accidently drowned occasioned by the horse whereon she rode Rearing and plunging and throwing her into the water.

The witness whereof as well the aforesaid Coroner as the Jurors aforesaid
have in this Inquisition put their Seals on the day and year aforesaid
and at the place aforesaid.

 John Dean [sheriff and coroner]

[Jurors]
Robt. Armstrong

William Morris
John Scott
John Bird
Andr. Baurland
Thomas Barber
Jas. Armstrong
Robert McClintic
William McClintic
Johannes Zumqualt
Paul Harpole
Adam Kimberlan

A Son Accused

But the story would not end here. A few months later John SCOTT, one of the jurors who signed the coroner’s report, accused the sixteen years old Jeremiah of causing the death of his mother.

Photocopy of original record

A scrap of paper with Jeremiah written in the upper right corner includes the following written by James SIMS to Col. Charles CAMERON:

Sir Please to Issue a Writ vs John Scott for saying my son was the Dam son of a Bitch that Drowned his Mother
[signed] Jas Sims
[to] Col C. Cameron

James defended his son and requested damages of one hundred pounds. Charles CAMERON issued an order for the sheriff to bring in John SCOTT on the second Tuesday of May in 1794 to hear the charges.

Photocopy of original record

Cover sheet:
Issued for Saying that Jeremiah Simms was the Damd Son of a Bitch that Drowned his Mother

Photocopy of original record

Inside:
The Commonwealth of Virginia, to the Sheriff of Bath County, Virginia:
You are hereby commanded to take John Scott
if he be found within your bailiwick, and him safely keep so that you have his body before the justices of our court, of our said county, at the court-house on the Second Tuesday in May next to answer Jeremiah Simms by James Simms his father and next friend of a plea of Trespass on the Case Damage one Hundred pounds.
and have then there this writ, witness CHARLES CAMERON, clerk of our said court, at the court-house, the 16th day of April 1794 in the 18th year of the Commonwealth.
Signed: Chas Cameron

It is not known if James SIMS or his son Jeremiah ever received damages from John SCOTT.

The case in Judgment – Simms vs Scott was located in a file of old law cases for 1795 by Constance Corley Metheney, a professional genealogist. Mrs. Metheney sent photocopies of the original records to Rose Mary Sims Rudy in August 1995. She had previously found the coroner’s report for Rose Mary and wrote, “This does verify that the wife of James Simms had drowned and in this case it seems that John Scott had accused the son, Jeremiah Simms.”

The Years After Phebe’s Death

James, who was left with eight children aged between 16 and a few months, waited over two years to marry again. His young bride, Elizabeth COTTON, was likely only about 15 when they married in October 1796. She did not bear him a child who lived until around 1801, five years after they married. Was she too young or did she miscarry or lose babies before giving James eight children? Or did James leave his children from his first marriage in her care for a longer period of time while he went to Kanawha County to look into purchasing land and readying for the move to the area in 1800?

In the next installment, I will analyze the census records found for James SIMS Jr., the oldest child of James SIMS and his second wife Elizabeth COTTON.

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.

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


  1. Morton, Oren F. Annals of Bath County. Staunton, Va., The McClure co., inc, 1917. (https://archive.org/stream/annalsofbathcoun00mort#page/108/mode/2up/search/lewis : accessed 13 June 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).