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Seeking Joseph SIMONS CT>NY 1762-1840

Journal by Dave_DC

For reasons a little different than the usual, a couple research partners and I have been trying for about a year now to find the origins of Revolutionary War soldier Joseph SIMONS. Based on testimony given during his application for a pension, we believe he was born Jun 1761 - Mar 1762. And since he enlisted from Colebrook, Litchfield Co., CT, he was probably born there or nearby. He died 14 Mar 1840 in NY, probably Broome, Delaware or Chenango Co., and is probably buried in what was the Bixby cemetery (now destroyed but fortunately his epitaph recorded beforehand). From his pension file, it's clear he had a first wife who was not mentioned by name, but unknown if he had any children with her. This marriage would have taken place sometime 1780-1814. He married as his second wife Susan _?_ (MOULTON) about 1815. Their children, all born in NY, were Lott C. (ca 1816), James F. (1818) and Elijah "Eli" L. (ca 1819), and probably Benjamin (May 1823) and Joseph (1825). They tended to settle in the Delaware Co. area of New York and the Sayre/Waverly area of PA. Of course, some of the later generations moved westward. But no one seems to know who Joseph's parents were.

Now, Joseph SIMONS is not my ancestor. But early in 2010 I was contacted by a person with the surname SIMONDS, who is a descendant of Joseph SIMONS. I also spell my surname SIMONDS. And it turns out that purely by accident we both did Y-DNA testing with Ancestry.com, and amazingly, we are a 100% perfect match on 46 markers. Ancestry says our most recent common ancestor is one generation away, i.e., we are brothers. But we're not; we are (I think) just one of those 1/100 or 1/1000 exceptional cases of two men whose Y-DNA makes them appear more closely related than they actually are. I do believe we are related, however, and that may be key in helping my research partners (one of whom is the guy who took the Y-DNA test at Ancestry) break through this brick wall of Joseph SIMONS' origins.

I have subsequently retested with ftDNA (Y-DNA67). The results compared fine with Ancestry's results, on all markers that could be compared. My partners have not retested yet, but at least one of them may in the near future.

I think I have a pretty good paper trail of my own SIMONDS/SIMONS ancestry, as follows:

William SIMONS, b c1659 ?Salem MA?, d 1738 Enfield CT, m Sarah HADLOCK
John SIMONS, b 24 Jan 1694/5 Enfield CT, m Sarah GEER
Paul SIMONS, b 11 Sep 1729 Enfield CT, m Mary ISHAM
Paul Geer SIMONS, b 18 Feb 1762 Willington CT, m Pamela OLCOTT
Rodney SIMONS, b 6 Dec 1794 East Hartford CT, m (1) ?Mary? SMITH
William F SIMONS, b 28 Sep 1822 Canada, m Helen M KENYON
George SIMONDS, b 26 Jun 1856 Theresa,Jefferson,NY, m Florence SPRAGUE
Floyd SIMONDS, b 15 Aug 1888 Theresa,Jefferson,NY, m Lucina HAGAN
Roderick K. SIMONDS,(living) m Ethel BRETSCH,(living)
David R. SIMONDS, b 1950

William SIMONS of Enfield, CT had 5 sons. One of them, James, married as his first wife Dorcas FOSTER, and they had at least 9 children. Among those children are a James, an Eli, and two more named Hezekiah and William. In Colebrook records, we find references to men named Eli SIMONS, Hezekiah SIMONS and William SIMONS. They were in the right place at the right time pretty much to have been Joseph's father, but no records have been found linking these men to him, or to old William SIMONS of Enfield, CT for that matter.

Of course, this is not the only possibility. There are more Joseph SIMONS around than you might imagine, some of them contemporary with "our" Joseph, and even living in the same areas. Apart from the possibility that we might be barking up the wrong tree, one of my research partners thinks something "irregular" may have gone on between our two lines, causing our nearest common ancestor to be much closer than William of Enfield, CT. Or that there may have been an undocumented adoption, with the same effect.

I am truly baffled, but for the present time, am sticking to my theory that William SIMONS of Enfield, CT is our common ancestor, and all we have to do is connect Joseph the Revolutionary War soldier to William through probably two generations ... although it's proving much easier said than done.

I'll be putting my case before the experts of the NEHGS in a couple of weeks, when I attend their annual research tour in Salt Lake City. I hope they can help. But I eagerly welcome comments or suggestions from anyone who reads this, and of course if you happen to know the origins of Joseph Simons, Revolutionary soldier from Colebrook, CT, well then you just might become my favorite person ever!

Dave Simonds

by Dave_DC Profile | Research | Contact | Subscribe | Block this user
on 2010-10-15 03:59:02

Dave_DC , from Jefferson County, NY originally, and currently lives in Washington DC., has been a Family Tree Circles member since Oct 2010. is researching the following names: SIMONS, CARIS, ROGERS and 19 other(s).

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Comments

by gasimons on 2013-05-24 15:01:28

David, I am researching my ancestor, Alpha Simons, whom was born in 1793 (probably in CT) and died in Chenango County, NY in 1837. I believe him to be the same Alpha Simons who enlisted in Colebrook in 1814, but have not been able to make a firm connection.

What were the results of your meeting with the NEHGS?

Gary Simons

by Dave_DC on 2013-05-31 20:19:56

Gary --

The experts from NEHGS helped me to find the will of Eli SIMONS of Sandisfield, Bershire, MA, which turns out to be just 10 or so miles north of Colebrook, CT. In his will Eli named "James SIMONS of New York State" as a legatee, though he left him only a tiny sum, as he did several of James' siblings, apparently angry with them over some issue, and made substantial bequests only to three of his children, Sylvanus, Eli (Jr) and Dorcas. There was no legatee named Alpha. Likewise the NEHGS genealogists helped me find the will of Eli's father, James. This will proved the father - son relationship between Eli and James. Again, no one named Alpha was named in the will of James Simons. So my research partners' line turned out to be James(4) Eli(3) James(2) William(1), while my line remains Paul Geer(4) Paul(3) John(2) William(1). Sorry I cannot be of any real help with your Alpha Simons. I don't have anyone by that name in my database either.

by Dave_DC on 2013-05-31 21:04:21

CORRECTION:

My response above should say: "Eli named JOSEPH Simons of the State of New York" as a legatee". Likewise it should be "several of JOSEPH's siblings..." and "my research partner's line turned out to be JOSEPH(4) Eli(3) James(2) William (1)...."

Sorry for this mental slip-up. And sorry that the correction still does not help with the search for the parents of Alpha Simons.

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