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Descendants of John Simmons

Generation No. 3

4. JOHN3 SIMMONS (ADAM2, JOHN1) was born November 13, 1771 in York County, PA, and died December 1846 in Orange County, IN. He married (1) HANNAH MCGREW 1793 in Newcastle, Henry County, KY. He married (2) MARY WILLIAMS 1820. He married (3) ELIZABETH MCGREW JACKSON July 16, 1846 in Dubois County, IN.

Notes for J
3. JOHN SIMMONS (Adam-2)

      John Simmons was born in York County, Pennsylvania, November 13, 1771. He emigrated with his parents to Westmoreland County, Pa., about 1766, but preceded his family into Kentucky as an Indian fighter, circa 1789. John was married "near New Castle in Henry County, Kentucky, in 1793" (J.B. Simmons) to Hannah McGrew, who was born October 10, 1774 and who died in Washington County, Indiana, November 13, 1818. (Mitchell, p. 22.) See McGrew Family chapter. Henry County was part of Shelby County until 1798.

      John and Hannah Simmons evidently did not live in Henry County long. A John Simmons is listed on the tax lists of Fleming County, Kentucky, dated August 16, 1800. A son, Benjamin, gave his birthplace as "near Cincinnati, Ohio", and John Simmons, Jr., was born, according to census records, in Ohio in 1795. So the family must have moved back and forth across the border during this period.

      In the fall of 1815 the family moved to Washington County, Indiana, and three years later Hannah died. Washington County was sparsely settled at this time. "Corn was an essential crop for existence. For survival one needed a handful of corn, a gun, and an axe... The important industry there was making whetstones." [Dillard.] Residents of Washington and Orange Counties had to haul their crops to either Louisville or to New Albany to market them, a long and hazardous journey. (Stevens.)       [Note: WGS remembers that his father Glenn E. Simmons, grandson of William D. Simmons of Orange County, Indiana was very interested in and knowledgeable about whetstones. I believe it was something passed down to him from his father.9/90.]
      On the Washington County, Indiana, 1820 Census, the following information is given about John Simmons. He had 1 son under 10 yrs. of age (Leonard); 1 son between ages 10-16 (James); 1 son between ages 16-18 (Moses); 2 males between ages 16-25 (Benjamin and probably a hired man, as sons Adam and John are listed separately on census).

Daughters: 2 under 10 (Hannah and Elizabeth) and 2 between ages 10-15 (Margaret and Eleanor). He had not married again when this census was taken.

When Hannah Simmons died, John was left with seven children under thirteen years of age. In late 1820 or early 1821 John married Mary Williams. They had six children. On the 1830 census of Washington County (Indiana) John is listed with 1 boy under 5 yrs. (Edward); 2 boys between 5-10 yrs. (William and Alexander); 1 boy between 10-15 (Leonard); 1 male between 20-30 (probably James); he himself is listed as between 50-60 years of age. Girls include 1 under 5 (Nancy ?); 1 between 5-10 yrs.; 2 between 10-15 (one would be Hannah); 1 between 15-20 (Elizabeth). Mary was born between 1790-1800. Because of the girls that cannot be accounted for, one is led to believe that Mary Williams was a widow with at least two small daughters.

      Land records show that "John Simmons" bought tracts of land in Washington County on the following dates: Mary 4, 1817, June 3, 1820, and October 28, 1822. These tracts were probably bought by John; if his son John were the purchaser, the records would probably have read "Jr."

      John's older children received scanty education, possibly because of the lack of schools in Kentucky and Indiana. His daughters seem to have received little if any schooling.

At some point, probably in the early 1820's, John had moved his family to Dubois County, [Indiana WGS 9/90] to a farm on Davis Creek. They lived there until the fall of 1838, when they moved to a farm four miles southwest of French Lick, Indiana, in Orange County.[Probably the site of D.W.'s farm and Henry Franklin's farm next door to it next to Cane Creek Church. WGS9/90]

      Mary Williams Simmons died, date unknown, and John Simmons then married her widowed sister, Elizabeth Jackson, on July 16, 1846 in Dubois County. (Davidson, p. 11.) Mary and her sister Elizabeth may have been McGrew sisters, since Mary named her first child Alexander McGrew. They may have been either sisters or cousins of Hannah. Elizabeth was born in Kentucky either in 1790 or in 1800. (census of 1850 and 1860 give a ten-year difference in her age.)

      John Simmons died a few month after his third marriage, in December, 1846, leaving no will.

      Edward W. Moore, acting as administrator, filed probate papers on March 17, 1849. Heirs listed were: William and Eleanor Marley, William and Margaret Cathcart, Leonard Simmons, William Simmons, John Simmons, Elizabeth Bailey, James and Hannah May, William Simmons, Jr., Leonard Simmons, Jr., Jesse and Mary Archer, Sally Jane Simmons, Julia Ann Simmons, James Simmons, Elizabeth Simmons, and Alexander Simmons. The preceding all lived in either Washington, Orange, or Dubois Counties of Indiana. Other heirs listed, living outside of Indiana, were Moses Simmons, Benjamin Simmons, and Adam Simmons. These three did not appear for the hearing, nor did John, William, Leonard, and Alexander. Julianne, Sally Jane, Leonard, Jr., William, Jr., and James Simmons were attested as minors, and John Baker, a "discreet and Disinterested Person" was appointed guardian.
      During the settlement of the estate, Elizabeth (Simmons) Bailey had married Larkin Compton "since the commencement of this suit." John, Moses, Adam, and Benjamin Simmons files receipts with the court. (Elizabeth, received one-third of the estate.

      Elizabeth Jackson Simmons was living with her daughter and son-in-law, Lorenia and Leonard Simmons, in 1850. (Leonard-21.)

      Before John Simmons was married, he had served in the Kentucky volunteer forces fighting the Indians. John-120, a great grandson, wrote that he was involved in many battles with the Indians, circa 1788 or 1789 until 1791. He said that the last battle John Simmons fought was the Battle of St. Clairs's Defeat, near Fort Jefferson, Ky., in 1791. In this particular battle, fought November 4, 1791, 1400 men of the Kentucky forces were killed, along with 86 officers, including Col. William Oldham. Oldham County was named after him. Gen. Arthur St. Clair was the commander-in-chief of the Army of the Northwest. The men involved in this battle were both regular and militia.

      Fort Jefferson, situated on "the banks of the Wabash, south of the headwaters of St. Mary of the Maumee" was established by order of Gov. Patrick Henry of Virginia January 2, 1778, and again by an order of the new governor, Thomas Jefferson, dated June 28, 1778, and repeated in January and April of 1780. The purpose was to secure these lands for Virginia and the United States. Gen. George Rogers Clark brought 200 soldiers there and established the fort in July, 1780. The fighting with the Indians, members of the Chickasaw and Choctaw tribes, spanned the next twelve to fifteen years. In April, 1793, Gen. Anthony Wayne called for volunteers, but "Kentucky, having lost confidence in the regular troops after Hamman's and St. Clair's defeats, refused to volunteer." (Collins, Vol I and II.)

      Daniel Boone was appointed Lt. Col. of Fayette County, where John Simmons' family was living in 1792. Thomas Marshall, father of the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, was appointed surveyor. (Collins, Vol I, pp. 20-3;Vol II, pp. 39, 54, 668.)

Notes for H

Children of J
13. i.   ADAM4 SIMMONS, b. April 28, 1794, KY; d. 1863, IA or IL.
14. ii.   JOHN SIMMONS, b. December 22, 1795, OH; d. 1857, Linn County, IA.
15. iii.   MARY SIMMONS, b. October 13, 1797, KY; d. October 07, 1878.
16. iv.   BENJAMIN SIMMONS, b. November 13, 1799, near Cincinnati, OH or KY; d. September 22, 1875, OR.
  v.   MARGARET SIMMONS, b. April 04, 1802, KY; d. 1803.
17. vi.   MOSES SIMMONS, b. March 06, 1804.
18. vii.   ELEANOR SIMMONS, b. November 30, 1805, KY.
19. viii.   MARGARET SIMMONS, b. October 28, 1807.
20. ix.   ELIZABETH SIMMONS, b. February 02, 1811, KY.
  x.   REBECCA SIMMONS, b. February 10, 1813; d. May 02, 1818.
21. xi.   LEONARD HATTON SIMMONS, b. June 19, 1815, KY; d. 1856, Boone County, MO.
22. xii.   HANNAH SIMMONS, b. March 14, 1818, Washington County, IN.
23. xiii.   JAMES SIMMONS, b. July 30, 1809; d. July 27, 1838, Fountain County, IN.
Alexander McGrew Simmons, child of John and his second wife Mary Williams, was born June 18, 1822. He married Martha Ann Leffler on February 6, 1845. (Wilson, p. 179, Vol. V.) According to J.B. Simmons, they had no children. After thirty years of marriage, they separated and Alexander moved to Bates County, Missouri, on January 20, 1879. They lived in French Lick. Martha Ann was born in 1824.

24. xv.   WILLIAM D. SIMMONS, b. June 12, 1824; d. Bef. 1880.
  xvi.   EDWARD B. SIMMONS, b. August 23, 1826; d. 1827.
  xvii.   NANCY ANN SIMMONS, b. January 1828; d. November 1828.
Cause of Death: Choked to death on cold potatoes

25. xviii.   SARAH JANE SIMMONS, b. July 09, 1832.
26. xix.   JULIA ANN SIMMONS, b. July 09, 1832.

5. LEONARD3 SIMMONS (ADAM2, JOHN1) was born December 16, 1773 in York County, PA, and died April 27, 1835 in Clermont County, OH. He married ELIZABETH POLLARD August 05, 1798 in Mason County, KY, daughter of BENJAMIN POLLARD and NANCY STEVENS.

Notes for L
Leonard Simmons, second son of Adam and Mary Hatton Simmons, was born in York County, Pa., December 16, 1773. The following account was written by his son, James Burke Simmons:

      "Leonard Simmons, Sr. was what might be called one of the noblest works of God, an honest man, in height he was about six feet, strongly built, black hair and dark eyes and rather dark complexioned.
      "When his father Adam moved from Westmoreland County, Pa., to Kentucky, Leonard was left to settle up his father's business: then he came to Kentucky. There August 5, 1798, he married Elizabeth Pollard and settled on a farm owned by Moses Dimmit(FN-Dimmit, Derrit probably same name. Correct spelling is Dimmitt. (Rockey.)), about three miles south-east of Limestone, now Maysville, in Mason County, Kentucky."

      Elizabeth Pollard, born November 25, 1780, on Hooper's Island in Dorchester County on the Eastern Shore of Maryland, was the daughter of Benjamin and Nancy (Stevens) Pollard. Benjamin Pollard, son of William Pollard, was born June 20, 1753, on Hoopers Island, and inherited that estate from his father. Around 1790 he and his wife emigrated to Kentucky. At Pittsburgh, Pa., they obtained a flatboat to bring their families down the Ohio River. At times the Indians tried to decoy them into landing; when this did not work, the Indians fired on their party, killing one man. They finally landed at Limestone (now Maysville, Ky.) and took refuge in Derrits Station or Fort for several years. The men took turns standing guard, while others worked raising crops. In a few years the Indians had been driven back and they were able to live outside the fort. Benjamin Pollard's house of hewed logs was the first Methodist preaching place in that neighborhood. He died of tuberculosis August 6, 1808. He was buried in the graveyard at Mt. Pleasant Methodist Church in Mason County. Elizabeth had dark red hair, black eyes, and fair complexion.

      Around 1803 Leonard, Benjamin Pollard, and the Rev. John Pollard, Elizabeth's older brother, bought Pellems Station, 150 acres on the north fork of Lickin River. Leonard sold his portion to John Pollard and bought 100 acres in Clermont County, Ohio. "In 1811 Father took a man by the name of Cartwright over from Maysville to Ohio, and gave him a lease for five years to clear and fence 15 acres. In the spring of 1812 Father took Pollard and Wesley (two of his sons) over to Ohio and built a cabin, set out an orchard and raised a crop, then came back over to Kentucky and moved the family, goods, and stock over to Ohio. We arrived at our new home August 9, 1812. In a few years Father bought one hundred thirty-three and a third more acres that lay alongside the first hundred acres. In the morning of April 27, 1835, he called Mother and the children present to his bedside and gave them his dying charge and requested us all to meet him in Heaven. And at fifteen minutes after two P.M. his happy spirit took its flight from earth to Heaven where we hope to meet him in the Great By and By." (J.B. Simmons, written March 20, 1880.) His wife Elizabeth died September 12, 1855.

Children of L
27. i.   POLLARD4 SIMMONS, b. May 02, 1799, Mason County, KY; d. February 14, 1864.
28. ii.   WESLEY SIMMONS, b. December 15, 1800, Mason County, KY; d. January 05, 1881.
29. iii.   JAMES BURKE SIMMONS, b. March 24, 1803, Mason County, KY; d. April 12, 1883, Shelbyville, IL.
  iv.   WILLIS SIMMONS, b. March 01, 1805, Mason County, KY; d. October 08, 1824.
Willis Simmons, born March 1, 1805, in Mason County, Kentucky was tall with black hair and eyes, and was considered the handsomest of the Simmons boys. His brother James Burke wrote, "He went South with me on a flatboat in the early spring of 1824 as far as Natchez, Mississippi. There it was thought best that Willis return home to help put in the crop. He took passage on the fine steamer Paragon whose Captain was A. Miller. The boat had over six hundred passengers and was so crowded that Willis and others had to sleep out on the yard (deck.) He took cold which resulted in quick consumption and he died at his father's home October 8, 1824. His fiancee, Miss Betsy Mitchell, was deeply affected and came and stayed with him until his death."

      (J.B. Simmons: Clermont Co. Cem., Vol. III.)

  v.   JULIA ANN SIMMONS, b. April 15, 1807, Mason County, KY; d. October 25, 1870; m. SAMUEL BETTLE.
Julia Ann Simmons was born April 15, 1807 (Sep 20, 1806, (Williams, p. 34)) in Mason County, Ky., and married Samuel Bettle, who had a large farm in Clermont County, Ohio. Julia was "of good height, fair complexion, very affectionate, of good judgement, but had a stoppage in her speech which often embarrassed her." (J.B. Simmons) Her husband Samuel in later life became subject to periods of despondency. He died July 21, 1865. Julia Ann died Oct 25, 1870. See Frances Bettle-92 for Bettle genealogy.

  vi.   SAMUEL SANFORD SIMMONS, b. May 26, 1809, Mason County, KY; d. August 08, 1877; m. NANCY ANNO, Orangeburg, Mason County, KY.
Samuel Simmons, called "Sanford" by the family, was born on May 26, 1809, in Mason County, Ky. He married his first cousin, Nancy Anno, in Orangeburg of Mason County. Nancy was the daughter of Rebecca (Pollard) and William Anno. Samuel's brother James wrote that Sanford was different from the other brothers. He would rather work than go to school. He was "a warm friend of strong prejudices, and the only member of the family that was a Democrat. Sanford received more from his father than any of the other children. Sanford died August 8, 1877, and his wife died the following year, September 12, 1878. Samuel owned a farm in Clermont County.

  vii.   LEONARD MILTON SIMMONS, b. January 07, 1812, Mason County, KY; d. December 31, 1835.
Milton Simmons was born January 7, 1812, in Mason County, Ky. He was of medium height, with dark red hair and black eyes. He had a good business education, and when he was twenty years old, he went to clerk for the Messrs. Donalson & Co., the largest store in New Richmond in Clermont County, Ohio.

      The following is quoted from James B. Simmons, his older brother: "November 11, 1835, Milton married Judge Robert Haines' daughter Lucinda, and in six weeks after died, being sick only 2-3 days.

      "Milton had bought a fine residence of Rev. George C. Light who had moved to Hannibal, Missouri. He had collected several hundred dollars to make the second payment on his house. He was out on
business and did not get in until after night. Lucinda said some friends had been in and they had a chicken pie for dinner and she had saved some for him, of which he ate and soon became violently sick. Next day he sent for me. I found him almost helpless. Sent immediately for old Dr. Johnson, who seemed at a loss to know what was the matter with him. He grew worse and died early next morning. We think his death was in that chicken pie. Also think a former rival had something to do with it, as circumstances afterward proved.

      "By request I administrated the estate. No money was found. They (that is, she and her people) denied all knowledge of any. The appraisers gave her a liberal year's support. I bought her interest in the estate for the legal heirs and we never after acknowledged her as a relative."

      His obituary was published in the Western Christian Advocate.

  viii.   JOHN ADAM SIMMONS, b. March 05, 1814, Mason County, KY; d. January 16, 1879.
Adam John William Simmons was born March 5, 1814, in Clermont County, Ohio. He went by the name of John A. Simmons. He was rather heavy-set, below medium height, with black hair and dark eyes. He served the Methodist Church as class leader, steward, and trustee for many years. He also taught school one or two years, and served the township as trustee several years. He was elected first lieutenant of the First Cavalry Company, 2nd Regiment, 3rd Brigade, 8th Division of the Ohio Militia. He was soon promoted to captain and held this rank until the Ohio Legislature repealed the law requiring military parade in time of peace.

      John A. Simmons married Florella Jane Donham, daughter of Colonel Jonathan S. Donham, on December 24, 1844.
      The genealogy of Florella Jane Donham is one of particular interest. The Donhams were of Spanish origin, their original family name being Don Singleton. During the sixteenth century an ancestor of Florella had become an active Liberal, or Rebel, in Spain, and he was arrested and banished. After he served his term of banishment, he escaped to Scotland where he assumed the name of Don Ham, which was quickly corrupted to Donham.

      The Donham family emigrated to New Jersey. Then a son, William moved to North Alabama, and another son, Nathaniel, went to Pennsylvania. Nathaniel married twice; his second wife was Miss Jennings. He was engaged for years in transporting groceries and store goods across the mountains to the pioneers in the frontier settlements. He purchased his supplies in Philadelphia and Baltimore, and shipped them via pack horses . Around 1784 Nathaniel emigrated West and by 1800 was in Clermont County, Ohio.

      Col. Jonathan Singleton Donham was a son of Nathaniel Donham. Jonathan married Hiley Ross, who died without having any children. Jonathan then married Elizabeth Ayers of New Jersey on April 19, 1818. They had eleven children, one of whom was Florella. Jonathan was a colonel in the War of 1812, and was present at the siege of Ft. Meigs, now Fremont, Ohio. During the war, he was made a General of the militia. Colonel Donham was renowned for his fine farmland and his trading in livestock. He bred blooded horses, cattle, and hogs.

      John A. Simmons owned a large farm in Laurel, and also owned a store there. He died in Laurel, Clermont County, on January 16, 1879, of typhoid. "In spite of the severe cold weather, funeral attendance was very large." (Obituary.) His widow later married James H. Gates, widower of Mary Elvina Simmons. (Mary-37) Florella, born April 20, 1824, died March 17, 1894.

  ix.   NANCY REBECCA SIMMONS, b. September 04, 1816, Mason County, KY; d. April 30, 1894.
Nancy Rebecca Simmons was born September 4, 1816, and was the oldest daughter at home when her father died April 27, 1835. In 1837 Nancy married Samuel Buchanan, who was born November 15, 1803. "Nancy was slight, of fine figure." with a fair complexion, dark red hair and keen black eyes. (J.B. Simmons.) She and Samuel had ten children, six of them living in 1882.

      Alexander Buchanan emigrated from Glasgow, Scotland, in 1764. He was a first cousin of the father of Pres. James Buchanan. He died in 1802. His son Alexander, Jr., was a spy at Limestone (Maysville), Ky. He was present at the Treaty of Greenville, but died in 1820 of an injury. He had eleven children, one of who was Samuel. Samuel D. Buchanan died May 3, 1886; Nancy died April 30, 1894.

  x.   ELIZABETH L. SIMMONS, b. September 09, 1819, Mason County, KY.
Elizabeth Louisa Simmons was born September 9, 1819, in Clermont County, Ohio. She was of medium height, had auburn hair, very bright and sparkling eyes, and made a fine appearance. (J.B. Simmons).

      She married William Dixon Buchanan on April 12, 1837. He was born May 12, 1815, in Clermont County, and was a cousin of Samuel, Nancy's husband. He caught cold and died October 12, 1867. William and Elizabeth had eight children.       An interesting footnote to the Buchanan genealogy is that a relative, Thomas Buchanan, came to Clermont County from Belfort, Stirlingshire, Scotland, in 1849. He was a Republican, but he voted for James Buchanan for President.
      (Williams;Rockey;Clermont Co. Cem. Vol III; J.B. Simmons.)     

  xi.   BENJAMIN H. SIMMONS, b. September 20, 1821, Mason County, KY; d. September 10, 1823.
  xii.   MARY ELVINA SIMMONS, b. April 17, 1824, Mason County, KY; d. November 30, 1886; m. JAMES HARVEY GATES.
Elvina Simmons was born April 17, 1824. She had red hair, blue eyes, fair skin, and was a little taller than her sisters. She married on October 25, 1849, James Harvey Gates. James Harvey Gates was born September 30, 1826, in Clermont County, and was the son of James Henry Gates and his wife Margaret (McMichael) Gates. Margaret was born in Londonderry, County Tyrone, North Ireland, in 1783, and was brought to Mason County, Kentucky, when she was six years old in 1789. She lived in the fort there several years because of the danger of Indians in that area. James Henry Gates was born in 1790 in Chesterfield County, Virginia, and fought in the War of 1812. He died in 1856.

      James Harvey Gates owned a large farm of two hundred acres in Clermont County. Elvina died November 30, 1886.

James Gates married Florella Simmons (see John A. -34.) He died in the 1900's.

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