Individual Page


Family
Marriage: Children:
  1. Nancy Sims: Birth: ABT 1806 in Kanawha County (now Nicholas County), (West) Virginia. Death: Bet 1860-1870 in Nicholas County, West Virginia

  2. William Sims: Birth: 2 FEB 1807 in Kanawha County, (West) Virginia. Death: 28 NOV 1887 in Fayette County, West Virginia

  3. Jeremiah "Jerry" Sims: Birth: ABT 1809 in (West) Virginia.

  4. Jonathan Sims: Birth: 16 JAN 1812 in (West) Virginia. Death: 5 SEP 1889 in Fayette County, West Virginia

  5. Miriam Sims: Birth: Bet 1810-1815 in (West) Virginia. Death: BEF 1842 in (West) Virginia

  6. Edward "Ned" Sims: Birth: ABT 1817 in (West) Virginia. Death: ABT JUL 1855 in Nicholas County (present-day Clay County), (West) Virginia

  7. [--?--] Sims: Birth: Bet 1815-1820 in (West) Virginia.


Sources
1. Title:   Peggy Nichols
Publication:   e-mail dated June 25, 2001 to Paul Guttman
2. Title:   The Penick Papers (a Sims family compilation)
Page:   Dates taken from grave markers.
Author:   Penick, George R. Jr., comp.
Publication:   compiled in 1978-1980

Notes
a. Note:   1809 Tax List Kanawha County, (West) Virginia (before Nicholas County was formed) William Simms
  1810 U.S. Federal Census Kanawha County, (West) Virginia Kanawha 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 Sims md. James G. Neil?? or could this be the Virginia, md William Morris??) Free White Persons - Females - 10 thru 15: 1 (poss. William's 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 (in file)
  1820 U.S. Federal Census Nicholas County, (West) Virginia No Twp Listed Enumerated by Hedgman Triplett 26 December 1820 Page No. 204B Line #74 Sims, William 2 males under 10 yo (Edward & Jonathan) 2 male 10 & under 16 yo (Jeremiah) 1 male 16 & under 26 yo (William Jr.) 1 male 26 & under 45 yo (William) 1 female 0 & under 10 yo (I believe that this is Miriam Sims who married Andrew Neil) 1 female 10 & under 16 yo (I believe that this is Nancy Sims who married James G. Neil) 1 females 26 & under 45 yo (Elizabeth) [Source: Bryant, Neva Jane Stout. USGenWeb Archives. 1820 Federal Census Nicholas County, Virginia. 25 July 2001. Note: transcription has not been proofread. Online <ftp://ftp.rootsweb.com/pub/usgenweb/wv/nicholas/census/1820.txt> 3 October 2001] (check image)
  1820 Wm Sims & wf Elizabeth, Martin Sims & wf Susannah of Nicholas Co sold to Thos. Hugh for S150 Part of survey of 70 A. orig- granted to Wm Morris on Gauly R. on S.E. side . . corner of an Island . . near Gauly R. 15 July 1820. (Nich DB 1-112)
  1821 August 22 Sims, William. grantee. Location: Nicholas County. Description: 70 acres on the So. side of Gauley river, adjoining the lands sd. Sims now lives on. Source: Land Office Grants No. 70, 1820-1821, p. 331 (Reel 136).
  1821 August 22 Sims, William. grantee. Location: Nicholas County. Description: 45 acres on Gauley River, beg.g &c. north side of sd. river, corner to Willm Sims and Martin Sims. Source: Land Office Grants No. 70, 1820-1821, p. 332 (Reel 136).
  Bought personal property and possibly a piece of land from an estate sale: https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1-18231-21647-64?cc=1909099&wc=M6DN-5MS:179686001,179686002
  1829 Nich co Va DB 2-185 4 July 1829: One Thomas Hughes & wf Nancy of Nich co Va conveyed to Wm Sims for $150 land on S side of Gauly River, part of 70 A. survey made for Wm Morris on that side of river up to Wm Sims - about 50 A.
  1830 U.S. Federal Census Nicholas County, (West) Virginia Sims, William 1 male 10 & under 15 (Edward) 1 male 15 & under 20 yo (Jonathan) 1 male 20 & under 30 yo (Jeremiah) 1 male 50 & under 60 yo (William) 1 female 10 & under 15 yo (missing in 1820; possible born in 1820 ) 1 female 15 & under 20 yo (I believe that this is Miriam Sims who married Andrew Neil) 1 female 40 & under 50 yo (Elizabeth) Source: Bryant, Neva Jane Stout. USGenWeb Archives. 1830 Federal Census Nicholas County, Virginia. 25 July 2001/October 2001. Online <ftp://ftp.rootsweb.com/pub/usgenweb/wv/nicholas/census/1830c.txt> 13 November 2001 (check image)
  He had an account with Mr. Landcraft (store owner): https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1-18271-57695-21?cc=1909099&wc=M6DN-5NG:179689901,179689902
  1832 November 1 Sims, William, Sr. grantee. Location: Nicholas County. Description: 60 acres on the S. of Gauley River. Source: Land Office Grants No. 81, 1832-1833, p. 121 (Reel 147).
  1838 November 30 Sims, Wm. grantee. (may be father or son - need to be checked and transcribed) Location: Nicholas County. Description: 100 acres on N. side of Gauley river. Source: Land Office Grants No. 90, 1838-1840, p. 113 (Reel 156).
  1840 U.S. Federal Census Nicholas County, (West) Virginia William Sims Sr. 1 male 20 & under 30 yo (Edward) 1 male 30 & under 40 yo (Jeremiah) 1 male 60 & under 70 yo (William) 1 female 50 & under 60 yo (Elizabeth) Total of 4 persons in household Number of persons in each family employed in: Agriculture 2, Manufactures and trades 1 Source: Fridley, David. (check image)
  1850 U.S. Federal Census Nicholas County, (West) Virginia # 360A Line 33-35 43rd District Sims William 70 Va Sims Elizabeth 67 Va Sims Jerimiah 41 Va (check image)
  1853 William and his brother Martin set up a gun and blacksmith shop in Summersville, Nicholas County, (West) Virginia.
  "William Sims, son of James Sims (and grandfather of Miletus Sims), lived below Beech Glen in the property now owned by Christopher Lloyd. William Sims was a gunsmith of wide fame." [Source: J.T. Peters and H.B. Carden, "History of Fayette County", published by the Fayette County Historical Society, Inc., 1926, pg. 610]
  Death Record Name: William Sims Sex: Male Death Date: Oct 1854 Death Place: Nicholas County, West Virginia Age at Death: 74y Name of parents: --- Birth Place: Allegheny, Virginia Occupation: gun smith Informant: son (in file)
  The above is a transcript, likely from this death register page: https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-89Z5-FZYK?i=244&cat=308753
  ***** Publication: Charleston Gazette (Charleston, West Virginia) Published: Sunday, August 10, 1947 Page 20 Headline: Guns Made by Pioneer on Gauley River Mute Testimonials of Settlers Lives By William H. Maginnis 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. Several guns made by William Sims are still in existence. One is owned by Mrs. Jean S. White of 2021 1/2 Quarrier St., and another by Cecil Ray Simms of 16 Delaware Ave., who is connected with The Gazette's circulation department; one by Miss Mamie Sims of Swiss, who got it from her father, Floyd Sims, son of Charles, who was a half-brother of William, the gunsmith. Still another is owned by the Hughes family on Bell creek near Swiss. William Sims (sometimes spelled Simms), according to family records, learned his trade from his father, James Sims, who settled at the site of Swiss, Nicholas county, then part of Kanawha county, about 1795. James, after teaching William the gunsmith's trade, evidently turned the business over to his son, because no gun made by James has been preserved. Wolf Bounties Paid James and his son, William, were active hunters after the turn of the century, is proved by the minute book of the Kanawha county court in the office of Circuit Clerk M.H. Hix. Bounties for Wolf-Scalps Paying bounties for scalps of wolves of the four-legged variety was routine work for the court at that time, as indicated by frequent lists of men to whom $2.50 was paid for each wolf-scalp they presented. At the top of one such list recorded June 8, 1802, are the names of James Sims and William Sims, father and son. James Sims, a court record states, was a native of Culpeper County, Va. Just where he learned his trade is not certain. but it was probably at a neighboring town, either Falmouth, Stafford county or Fredericksburg, which was a center of the iron industry in colonial times. Nathaniel Chapman was interested in iron works in Stafford county in the 1750's and James Hunter in a plant at Fredericksburg during the Revolution. A gun gactory was established by the general Assembly in Fredericksburg in 1775 and was supervised by George Washington's brother-in-law, Colonel Fielding Lewis, and Major Charles Dicks. Wanted Elbow Room James Sims according to family tradition visited the Kanawha Valley about 1795 but didn't like it because there were to many people here - about 60 families between Kanawha Falls and Point Pleasant. So he went up Gauley river and found bear tracks and turkey tracks and decided that was the place for him. There is a tradition that James Sims swapped a old plug horse and a muzzle loading rifle for 600 acres of land. No court record of the transaction has been found but in the Kanawha county's clerk office is a record of a deed conveying 123 acres on land in Gauley to him from John Jones, also of Culpeper county. Jones married Frances daughter of William Morris, first Settler of Kanawha county. Her brother Joshua had married Frances Sims, a cousin of James. Church on Home Site The late Eugene Simms (who added an extra "m" to his name) of Washington D.C., had said his father who knew the original James Sims very well, described him as "a physical giant, fair of complexion, a great hunter and woodsman and inclined to thrift. He built the best house in Gauley in those days, two story hewn oak logs and a massive chimney." The Simms Memorial church financed by the family stands on the same ground in Swiss. Mrs. White said she is descended from William Sims, the gunsmith through his son, William jr.; grandson Franklin P., and great grand-son, the late Judge Meredith Simms, Mrs White's father who also added another "m" to his name, and for whom Simms St., Charleston, is named. Two granddaughters of James Sims and nieces of William, the gunsmith, are still living: Mrs. John Samuel Sims of Swiss and Mrs. Mary Jane Beirne of St. Albans, who say James had 18 children, but they do not remember all their names. A chancery case record in Nicholas county courthouse at Summersville gives the names of 16 children. The other two children probably died prior to the case. Although Indians had passed from the Kanawha scene by 1802, parents did not yet have moving pictures for entertainment. In a family like that of James Sims 18 husky children provided the amusement and prowling bears and howling wolves for excitement. Caption under photo: Mrs. Jean S. White, 2621 ½ Quarrier St., is shown holding a gun made more than a century ago by her great great grandfather, William Sims, sr., of Swiss, Nicholas county. A tooth-puller he made is also shown. (Gazette Photo) (in file) [Original source of this article may be: Maginnis, William H. "The Simms Family In Kanawha County - Part I", West Virginia History: A Quarterly Magazine, Volume VIII, April 1947, Number 3, pages 283-304; published by State Department of Archives and History, Charleston, West Virginia]


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