RELEASING: Matt, Egg, Judge (Jude), Jinny, Jack, Rachel Mose, Mary, George, Franky (Frank), and Wilson
The names listed above were found in the Appraisement Bill of the Estate of James Robinson of Nicholas County, (West) Virginia as well as in his Last Will and Testament.
The estate was appraised on the 23rd day of November 1831 by Samuel Price, Samuel McClung, and R. Kelly.
Included in the appraisement (below) were:
Wilson a negro man $450.- Frank a negro girl $300 (sic, Franky per will below) Mary a negro girl $50
The personal property of James Robinson was sold on the 24th and 25th of November 1831. The Bill of Sale was presented to the court held for Nicholas County January Term 1832. No slaves were sold.
The Last Will and Testament was presented and proven during the March Term 1832 and April Term 1832.
James Robinson Will
I James Robinson of the County of Nicholas do hereby make my last will and testament in manner and form following that is to say. 1st I desire the perishable part of my estate be immediately sold after my decease and out of the monies arising therefrom all my just debts and funeral expenses be paid. Should the perishable part of my property prove insufficient for the above purpose then I desire that my executors hereafter names may sell my land that lies between the land of James Reed and David McCay’s survey of five hundred acres on Glade Crick and out the monies arising from the sale of said part of three hundred acres pay and satisfy such of my just debts as remain unpaid out of the sale of the perishable part of my estate. 2dly After the payment of my debts and funeral expenses, I give to my wife Elizabeth Robinson one third part of my estate both real and personal which is to include four negroes to wit my negro man Matt & two black women Egg & Judge her youngest child & Jinny for and during her natural life and after her decease I give the three first mentioned negroes Matt, Egg and Jude to my children herein after mentioned to wit Cynthia Callison, Rebecca Hamilton, Peggy Perkins, Miriam L. Robinson, Agness Robinson and Elizabeth Robinson the three negro’s above mentioned to be sold and the proceeds of their sales to be equally divided among my sid children daughters above named to be enjoyed by them forever. And the last mentioned negro woman Jinny after the decease of my wife Elizabeth Robinson may go to any of my heirs that she the said Jinny may choose to live with. 3dly Whereas I have conveyed to my son John H. Robinson three several parts of land and one negro boy named Jack which is more than his equal part of my estate with my other heirs I therefore or give give no part of my other estate either real or personal to him the said John H. Robinson more than the
three tracts of land & the negro boy Jack before mentioned which I conveyed by deed of gift to him but will the residue of my estate to my other heirs in manner following that is to say. 4thly I give to my daughter Cynthia Callison wife of Isaac Callison the part of land whereon the said Isaac Callison now lives containing two hundred acres and all the property & stock which I before gave her for her share of my estate. 5thly I give to my daughter Rebecca Hamilton wife of John McKee Hamilton one negro girl named Rachel. 6thly I give to my daughter Miriam L. Robinson one negro boy named Mose. 7thly I give to my daughter Peggy Perkins wife of David Perkins one negro girl calld Mary. 8thly I give to my daughter Agness Robinson one negro boy called George. 9thly I give my youngest daughter Robinson one negro girl calld Franky. 10thly I desire that my yellow boy Wilson be hired out and and the hire of said Wilson to be applied by my executors to the benefit of my wife Elizabeth Robinson & my youngest daughter Elizabeth. 11thly I desire that all the rest of my estate both real and personal of what nature and kind so were it may be not herein before particularly disposed of may be equally divided between my six daughters Rebecca, Miriam L., Peggy, Agness & Elizabeth (sic, only 5 names) herein before named which I I (sic) give to them their heirs & forever. And lastly I do hereby constitute and appoint my friends John Boggs and Thomas Callaghan Executors to this my last will and testament hereby revoking all other wills and testaments heretofore made. In witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand and affixed my seal this twenty fifth day of February in the year one thousand eight hundred and twenty eight signed sealed and delivered as and for the last will of the above named James Robinson in presence of us
E. R. Hutchison James Robinson *Seal* Samuel Hutchison At a court held for Nicholas County March Term 1832 The execution of this the last will and testament of James Robinson deceased was duly proved by the oath of E. R. Hutchison a subscribing witness thereto and at the April Term of said Court 1832 it was duly proven by the oath of Saml Hutchison the other subscribing witness thereto and ordered to be recorded accordingly. Teste Saml Price *Seal*
Notes for further research
The will was written in 1828, James Robinson died 9 October 1831. In 1830 the census included 3 slaves while in 1820 4 were listed:
1830 U.S. Federal Census
Slaves -Males – 24 thru 35: 1 (Wilson)
Slaves – Females – Under 10: 1 (Mary)
Slaves – Females – 10 thru 23: 1 (Franky)
The appraisement and sale of the estate of the widow Elizabeth Robinson were noted in the same Will Book on pages 73 and 74. No slave names were found.
In 1840 John H. Robinson (Jack) had two slaves, a female under 10 and a female 36 thru 54; Isaac Callison, husband of Cynthia Robinson who received no slave, had no slaves; John Hamilton, husband of Rebecca Robinson (Rachel), had one male slave 10 thru 23; Margaret Perkins, possibly Peggy Robinson (Mary), had no slaves; Miriam (Mose) and Agnes (George) married Rader men who did not have slaves in 1840.
52 Ancestors: #37 Nancy Ann SIMS abt. 1793-bet. 1860-1870
My fourth great-grandmother Nancy Ann SIMS (1793-1860s) was the youngest child of James SIMS (1754-1840) and his first wife Phebe (1755-1794). Their marriage record, which would show Phebe’s maiden name, has not been found. Old family lore, which has not been substantiated, tells of James marrying his cousin. This has led many on a wild goose chase as they only considered that she may have been a SIMS. It is believed that they married before 1777 in Culpeper County, Virginia, as this is where James was known to have been living.
On the 18th day of February 1834 James SIMS personally appeared before the Justice of the Peace of Nicholas County (who happened to be his son William) and gave oath and made his declaration to obtain the benefit of the Act of Congress passed 7 June 1832 for service rendered during the Revolutionary War. In the statement he told of his living in Culpeper County in June 1777 when he was drafted.
James SIMS and his wife Phebe had seven children before their youngest, Nancy Ann was born about 1793 in Bath County, Virginia.
Sib 1: Jeremiah SIMS (1777-1824) born 24 May 1777 in Culpeper County, Virginia
Sib 2: William SIMS (1780-1854) born 6 November 1780 in Culpeper County, Virginia
Sib 3: Elizabeth SIMS (1782-1845) born 1782 in Culpeper County, Virginia
Sib 4: Martin SIMS (1783-1853) born about 1783 in Virginia
Sib 5: Edward “Ned” SIMS (1785-1852) born 7 June 1785 in Virginia
Sib 6: John SIMS (1787-1869) born 15 May 1787 in Virginia
Sib 7: Mary “Polly” SIMS (1788-1824) born between 1788-1792 in Virginia
On 17 December 1779 James and Phebe sold 118 acres of land in Bromfield parish, in the Great Fork of the Rappahannock river in Culpeper County, Virginia. The land had been acquired 30 October 1762 by Jeremiah SIMS and left to his only child James. It is not known if James and Phebe left Culpeper immediately for the area which would become Bath County, in 1790, where their youngest was born, or if they lived in different locations between 1780 and 1793.
Baby Nancy’s Mother Phebe Dies in a Tragic Accident
Nancy’s mother Phebe died shortly before 22 January 1794 in Clifton Forge, Bath County, Virginia. Nancy, who was seen as 66 years old in the 1860 census, was born in 1794 or earlier. It is more likely that she was born in 1793 and not during the early part of January 1794. Family tradition is that James’ wife was coming home from caring for a sick friend, fell from her horse, and drowned in the Jackson River. I cannot imagine the mother of a newly born baby leaving home to visit a sick friend. The story of the drowning has been verified with the coroner’s inquest report dated 22 January 1794, which includes the following statement: “Phebe was accidently drowned occasioned by the horse whereon she rode rearing and plunging and throwing her into the water.” There is no mention of who was travelling with Phebe when this happened.
Transcript of the Coroner’s Inquest
Phebe Simms Inquisition Taken the 22nd of January 1794 Before John Dean Gent. Coroner
Bath County to wit
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Inquisition indented taken [illegible] [illegible] 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 Robt. Armstrong . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . William Morris . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . John Scott . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . John Bird . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Andr. Baurland . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Thomas Barber . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Jas. Armstrong . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Robert McClintic . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . William McClintic . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Johannes Zumqualt . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Paul Harpole . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Adam Kimberlan
Nancy’s Brother Jeremiah is Accused of Causing Phebe’s Death
This was not the last that would be heard of Phebe’s death. Her oldest son Jeremiah SIMS was accused by John SCOTT of causing his mother’s death. His father James defended him and brought suit against Scott demanding damages of 100 pounds.
Sir Please to Issue a Writ vs John Scott for saying my son was the Dam son of a Bitch that Drowned his Mother Col. C. Cameron Jas. Sims
A Stepmother for Nancy Ann
James SIMS married Elizabeth COTTON on 25 October 1796 in Bath County, Virginia. During the first 4 or 5 years of their marriage they did not have any known children. James was making plans to move to Kanawha County where in 1800 he bought land “lying & being in the County of Kanawha Containing one hundred & twenty three acres on Gauley River above the Ferry.” This would later be the location of Swiss, Nicholas County, West Virginia, where all of the children of the second marriage were born.
Half-Sib 1: James SIMS (1801-1860) born about 1801 in Kanawha County
Half-Sib 2: Margaret SIMS (1801-1840) born between 1801-1804 in Kanawha County
Half-Sib 3: Sarah SIMS (1804-1837) born between 1804-1806 in Kanawha County
Half-Sib 4: Mildred “Milly” SIMS (1806-1882) born about 1806 in Kanawha County
Half-Sib 5: Jane L. SIMS (1810-1880) born about 1810 in Kanawha County
Half-Sib 6: Charles Fulton SIMS (1815-1891) born 13 August 1815 Kanawha County
Half-Sib 7: Dryden SIMS (1818-1880) born about 1818 Kanawha County
Half-Sib 8: George Wasington “Wash” SIMS (1821-1880) born about 1821 in Nicholas County
Nancy’s Siblings Marry Within Eight Years of Each Other
When Nancy’s father James and her stepmother Elizabeth were beginning to have children, her older siblings were marrying:
Martin SIMS married Susannah JOHNSON (1784-1840) on 28 March 1800 in Greenbrier County, (West) Virginia
Jeremiah SIMS married Sarah MILHOLLEN (1777-1838) on 26 November 1800 in Bath County, Virginia. Jeremiah had not made the move with the rest of the family and would later move to Ohio.
Elizabeth SIMS married John Brown JOHNSON (1777-1861) on 2 June 1802 in Kanawha County, (West) Virginia
Edward “Ned” SIMS married Hannah Mary ROBINSON (1786-1858) on 8 August 1805 in Urbana, Champaign County, Ohio
William SIMS married Elizabeth WINDSOR (1784-1852) before 1806 in Kanawha County, (West) Virginia [William Sims was the son-in-law of Jonathan Windsor]
Mary “Polly” SIMS married John FOWLER ( -1808) on 28 February 1808 in Kanawha County, (West) Virginia. She was widowed during the year and then married Thomas HUGHES (1778-1853) on 25 August 1809 in Kanawha County, (West) Virginia
By the time that the enumerator came around visiting the families all of Nancy siblings except for John were married. Her father James did not have a young lady of her age in his household. I’ve studied all of her siblings’ census listings and only her brother William, the oldest of James’ children living in the area, had a female of the correct age group.
1810 U.S. Federal Census
Kanawha County, (West) Virginia
Free White Persons – Males – Under 10: 2 (sons, William Jr. and Jeremiah)
Free White Persons – Males – 26 thru 44 : 1 (William)
Free White Persons – Females – Under 10: 1 (daughter Nancy)
Free White Persons – Females – 10 thru 15: 1 (sister Nancy Ann)
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
Nancy’s absence her in father’s household lead earlier researchers to assume that she married in 1810. This was not the case. Before she would marry it was her brother John’s turn. John SIMS and Mildred HUNTER (1790-1850) were married by Edw. R. HUGHES on 13 April 1811 in Kanawha County, (West) Virginia.
Nancy Marries at about 21 Years of Age
Close to the end of the War of 1812 (18 Jun 1812-24 Dec 1814) Nancy Ann SIMS married William JOHNSON Jr. in Kanawha County, (West) Virginia, on 15 October 1814. They soon started a family and by 1839 had eleven children:
Nelson JOHNSON (1815-1855) born about 1815
Huldah JOHNSON (1817-1880) born about 1817
Alexander JOHNSON (1819-1887) born 10 June 1819
Mary JOHNSON (1820-1898) born 20 August 1820
John Brown JOHNSON (1823-1902) born 23 December 1823
Amy JOHNSON (1825-1904) born 4 November 1825
Lewis JOHNSON (1828-1845) born 6 March 1828. He died 31 August 1845 of typhoid fever.
Elizabeth JOHNSON (1829-1833) born about 1829. She died at the age of 4 years of flux.
William Hunter JOHNSON (1832-1899) born 27 July 1832
Nancy JOHNSON (1835-1915) born August 1835
Morris Houston JOHNSON (1839-1845) born 21 January 1839. He died 11 August 1845 of typhoid fever.
In 1824, Nancy lost two of her siblings. Her oldest brother Jeremiah, who had gone to Ohio soon after his marriage, died on 12 January 1824 in German Township, Clark County, Ohio, and was buried in Callison Cemetery in that township. Her youngest sister Polly, who had married Thomas HUGHES, died leaving 4 young children. It is very likely that she died in childbirth as her youngest was born about the time that she died.
After the birth in August 1835 of their tenth child Nancy, named after her mother, William and Nancy’s children began to marry. At the time they had only nine living children as four year old Elizabeth had died of flux a about 1833.
Ch 1: Nelson JOHNSON married Elizabeth HUGHES (1817-1900) on 14 September 1837 in Fayette County, (West) Virginia
Mary JOHNSON married David Alexander MILLER (1820-1871) on 13 December 1839 in Fayette County, (West) Virginia
Another marriage that took place around this time was that of Nancy’s brother Martin who was recently widowed. Martin SIMS married Margaret “Peggy” HUGHES (1801- ) on 6 June 1840 in Fayette County, (West) Virginia
Typhoid Fever Epidemic in 1845
Nancy’s sister Elizabeth, wife of John Brown JOHNSON, died 1 June 1845 in Fayette County, (West) Virginia and was buried in Johnson Cemetery in Kincaid. Their father James SIMS died between 1840-1848 in Swiss, Nicholas County, (West) Virginia.
A typhoid fever epidemic is said to have been raging in 1845. This infectious, often fatal, febrile disease caused by the typhoid bacillus which is usually introduced with food or drink came to plague the JOHNSON family. The disease usually seen in the summer months, characterized by intestinal inflammation and ulceration, quickly took two of Nancy’s youngest boys. Morris Houston died on 11 August and Lewis followed him 20 days later on 31 August.
Nancy’s husband William JOHNSON died 18 December 1845 in Loup Creek, Fayette County, (West) Virginia and was buried in Nichols Cemetery on Loop Creek, also seen as Nichols Hollow Cemetery, Robson.
Following these deaths the family moved on and there were several more marriages:
John Brown JOHNSON married Mary Ann SETTLE (1821-1896) on 14 July 1846 in Fayette County, (West) Virginia
Amy JOHNSON married Charles McClung HUFFMAN (1826-1913) in 1849 in Kanawha County, (West) Virginia
Alexander JOHNSON married Isabella HUGHES (1827- ) before 1850. He was living in Fayette County at the time of the 1850 census with his wife Isabella and their daughter Lucinda.
Nancy Moves to Sissonville with her Single Children
The 1850 census was enumerated as of 1 June 1850. Nancy, her son William Hunter and her daughter Nancy were missed on this census. Family tradition is that they moved about 1849 from Nancy’s farm in Fayette County to Grapevine in Kanawha County after the death of Nancy’s husband and their father. Nancy’s oldest son Nelson, a cabinet maker, had moved to Madison County, Missouri, before the 1850 census but would return to Kanawha County where he died in 1855.
Once Nancy was settled in Kanawha County the last of her children married:
Nancy JOHNSON married William B. MARTIN (1831-1920) on 7 September 1853 in Kanawha County, (West) Virginia
William Hunter JOHNSON married Louisa Lavinia SAMUELS (1839-1884) on 26 October 1856 in Sissonville, Kanawha County, (West) Virginia
Nancy’s brother John SIMS, whose wife had died after the 1850 census was enumerated, married(2) Elizabeth NEAL, a widow, (1794-1861) in Sept/Oct 1850 in Kanawha County, (West) Virginia.
In the years that followed Nancy lost three more of her siblings: Edward “Ned” SIMS died 31 March 1852 in Cass County, Missouri and was buried in Orient Cemetery in Harrisonville; Martin SIMS died after 1853; and William SIMS died on 15 October 1854 in Nicholas County, (West) Virginia. Only Nancy and her brother John remained.
Nancy lived with her youngest living son, William Hunter JOHNSON, and was seen in his household in 1860. Next door was her son Alexander and a few households away was her daugher Amy HUFFMAN.
By 1870 we no longer find Nancy Ann SIMS with any of her children and it has been said that she died in the 1860s in the Poca District, Kanawha County, West Virginia. She may have predeceased her last living sibling, John SIMS who died 15 October 1869 in Kanawha County, West Virginia.
Nancy Ann (SIMS) JOHNSON was survived by her children Huldah INGRAM (died between 1880-1900); Alexander JOHNSON (died 8 Apr 1887 in Sissonville); Mary MILLER (died 4 Mar 1898 in Legg District, Kanawha County); William Hunter JOHNSON (died 6 January 1899 in Sissonville); John Brown JOHNSON (died 30 Jul 1902 in Clifton, Kanawha County); Amy HUFFMAN (died 28 Feb 1904 in Sycamore, Clay County); and Nancy MARTIN (died 1 December 1915 in Sissonville). She was also survived by five of her eight half-siblings: Milly SETTLE, Jane DARLINGTON, Charles Fulton SIMS, Dryden SIMS, and Wash SIMS.
 Culpeper County, Virginia, Land Records, Deed Book H, 1775 – 1778, pages 475-477
 Culpeper County, Virginia, Land Records, Deed Book D, 1762 – 1765 c, pages 547-550 (digital copies of photocopies)
 Larry Heffner, email dated 10 August 2004 in reply for request of information on marriage papers of Martin Sims and Susanna Johnson in the archives of the Greenbrier Historical Society
 Eliza Warwick Wise, Bath County Marriage Bonds and Ministers Returns 1791-1853, (Bath County Historical Society, Inc. 1978)
 Sissonville A Time to Remember, The Sissonville Historical Awareness Committee of The Sissonville Village Association, 1988, pg. 108 (http://www.rootsweb.com/~wvkanawh/Sissonville/index.html)