From the files of Stephen M. Lawson
The Sims Family in America
The principal source for the SIMS family is The Pariss
Sims Family and Related Families 1765-1965, by Almon J. Sims
(Knoxville, TN, 1965), along with the earlier 1948
Edition. It is supplemented by information gleaned from the
pages of The Wayne County Historiam - The Journal of The Wayne
County Historical Society (Collinwood, TN, 1988 to present),
and Wayne County, Tennessee 1817-1995 History and Families,
by The Wayne County Historical Society (Paducah, KY, 1995). Additional
information has been contributed by a number of SIMS cousins.
The extensive family outlines shared by Betty (Turman) Sandell
in the early 1980s is the foundation on which this line was constructed.
The Brothers Sims
This branch of the SIMS family is of Scot-Irish-Presbyterian
origins in the Ulster Settlement of Northern Ireland sponsored
by James I of England (1607-1611). The matriarch of the family,
who was possibly of the PARRISH family, was widowed by 1765 after
having many children. Evidence suggests that the older sons emigrated
to America prior to 1765, settling first in PA, but soon relocating
to Culpeper and Henry Cos., VA. The younger sons emgigrated to
America about 1765 with their mother. The names of the SIMS daughters
has not been determined, and the names of the SIMS sons is uncertain,
but probably included the following, and possibly others. Further
information on descendants of some of the brothers of Pariss
SIMS is available.
- Thomas - To America prior to 1765.
- William - To America prior to 1765. Married Martha. Undocumented
sources report that Martha was surnamed RICE or RYAN. Children:
William married Amelia RUSSELL; and John.
- John - To America prior to 1765. Son: James married.
- James - d. 1793. To America prior to 1765. A resident of
Patrick and Hawkins Cos., TN, he married Elizabeth PARISH. Children:
Parish married Grizel; William; James; Molly married Benjamin
MURRELL; Charlotte married Simon FOY; a daughter married John
MAPLES; Rev. Martin; Mary; and John.
- Abraham - b. about 1748. He arrived in America about 1765
with his mother and brothers Pariss and Robert, and was a Revolutionary
War soldier. Abraham, who was called an 'older brother' of Pariss,
married Mary BRIGGS. (Note: One source indicates that a Zachariah
SIMS married a Mary L. BRIGGS.) Children of Abraham and Mary:
John; Rev. Matthew married; and Robert married Mary ADAMS.
- Pariss - b. about 1750, Belfast, Northern
Ireland; d. about 1833, Giles Co., TN; bur. English Cemetery
- Robert - b. about 1752. Robert, who arrived in America about
1765 with his mother and brothers Abraham and Pariss, was a Revolutionary
War soldier. He resided in VA, MD and IN. Son: Robert married.
Pariss and Keziah (Royster) Sims
Pariss SIMS - b. about 1750, Belfast, Northern Ireland;
d. about 1833, Giles Co., TN; bur. English
Cemetery Campbellsville, Giles Co., TN [photo].
Older brothers of Pariss came to America
prior to 1765, and first settled in PA but soon removing to Culpepper
and Henry Cos., VA. Pariss, who arrived in America about 1765
with his mother and brothers Abraham and Robert, was a Revolutionary
War soldier (NSSAR National Number 127981). Family tradition maintains
that he served eight years, was one of Gen. Washington's 'Life
Guards', and was with Washington at Valley Forge and at the Crossing
of the Delaware. After the Rev. War, Pariss settled in Granville
Co., NC where he married in 1782, and moved to Salisbury District,
near Salem (now Winston-Salem), NC. The family migrated to the
middle fork of Lynn Creek, Giles Co., TN in 1807. (Various sources
provide the name Pariss Henry SIMS, but without further justification
for using the middle name.)
Keziah ROYSTER - b. about 1760-1770, possibly in Granville
Co., NC; d. about 1833, Giles Co., TN; bur. English
Cemetery, Campbellsville, Giles Co., TN. Documentary evidence
of Keziah's surname, other than family letters and tradition,
is desired. A monument
for Pariss and Keziah, erected in May 1974, reads: In Memory of
Pariss Sims of Ireland and North Carolina, Revolutionary War Soldier
and Pioneer Settler in Giles County - 1750-1833; and his Beloved
Wife, Keziah Royster Sims, 1762-1833.
Children of Pariss and Keziah Sims
- Robert - b. May 14, 1783, Salisbury
District, near Salem (now Winston-Salem), NC; d. Mar. 21, 1842,
Hutton Hollow, Wayne Co., TN; bur. Brown Cemetery, Wayne Co.,
- Sally - b. 1784, Salisbury District, NC. Married Dec. 10,
1809, William RUTLEDGE of Giles Co., TN, then removed to IN.
- Patsy - b. about 1786, Salisbury District, NC. Unmarried.
- Abraham - b. about 1788, Salisbury District, NC; d. about
1834, Muscle Shoals, AL; bur. Macon Co., TN. He died in a cave-in
while working on a Government Canal. Married Mar. 13, 1816, Sumner
Co., TN, Nancy KEENE. Children: Paris Lindsey married first Margaret
TURNBO, and second Margaret McGLAMERY; Francis Marion 'Frank'
married Mary; and Edmond married.
- Mathew - b. Apr. 4, 1790, Salisbury District, NC; d. 1859,
Lawrence Co., MO. Another source gives his birth as Jul. 4, 1790.
Mathew, a Minister, settled near Florence, AL, and moved to Fayette
Co., TN about 1826. He married Lucy (d. Jun 1859, Greene Co.,
MO), but may have had his first two children by a former marriage.
The names of most children have been shared by a descendant of
Matilda (SIMS) ZUSKY (married surname also found as ZIRSCHKY
AND SUSSKY). Children: Cynthia married John OGLE; Jemima; Matilda
married first Daniel ZUSKY, second Jeremiah HAMBY, third Willis
CLAYTON, and fourth James T. GILLASPY; James married Elizabeth
DODSON/DONSON; Dr. John married Miss McCULLOUGH; Emeline; Sally;
Martha married Erastus WHITE; William married Julia COOK.
- Martin Edward - b. about 1792, Salisbury District, NC; d.
about 1875, Bedford Co., TN. Married Charlotte BRYANS, daughter
of Edward BRYEANS/BRYANS. Deed Book NN, page 187 of Bedford
Co., TN has an entry dated Mar. 15, 1843 which includes: "Martin
Sims and his wife Charlotte formerly Charlotte Bryeans one part
and Jabus Nowlin and his wife Mary L. formerly Mary L. Bryeans
other part, all of Bedford Co., TN. The above parties at the
demise of Edward Bryeans, late of Bedford Co., became possessed
as tenants in common as the heirs &c of Edward Bryean....
William J. Bryeans as the other and only remaining legatee."
The children of Martin and Charlotte were probably all born in
Bedford Co., TN. Children: John; Sally married William H. GRIFFIN;
William J.; Mathew H. married Mary B. GUEST; Isabel; Edward;
Martin William 'M. W.' (or Martin Edward 'Mart') married second Sarah IRVING; James; and
Mary E. C.
- John - b. about 1794, Salisbury District, NC. Married Miss
ALLEN and settled near Fulton, Itawamba Co., MS. Children: Reuben
married twice; James; and William Allen.
- William - b. about 1800, Salisbury District, NC. Married
Miss CARROLL of Williamson Co., TN about 1827 and moved to Itawamba
Co., MS about 1856. Children of William SIMS: Sarah J. married
William WALTON; Mary Deborah married Lang WALTON; Amanda C. married
William ROGERS; Melissa never married; Washington L. married
twice; William J. married Mary Ann MOBLEY; John A. died in the
Civil War; and Elizabeth married John SHEFFIELD.
- Judith - b. 1803, Salisbury District, NC; d. 1855, Giles
Co., TN; bur. English Cemetery, Campbellsville, Giles Co., TN.
Married about 1830 Joseph BROWNLOW of Giles Co., TN, son of James
BROWNLOW, and possibly a near relative of Gov. W. G. 'Parson'
BROWNLOW of TN (1865-1869). Joseph and two of their children
are also buried in English Cemetery. Children include: Robert
Robert and Frances Howard (Merritt) Sims
Robert SIMS - b. May 14, 1783, near Salem (now Winston-Salem),
Salisbury District, NC; d. Mar. 21, 1842, Hutton Hollow, Wayne
Co., TN; bur. Brown Cemetery, Wayne Co., TN. Brown Cemetery is
on a knoll on the east side of the Hutton Hollow, about a mile
from Hardin's Creek and two miles from Philadelphia Baptist Church.
The son of Pariss SIMS and Keziah ROYSTER,
Robert was in Stokes Co., NC at the time of the 1790
and 1800 censuses, and
left NC Nov. 1, 1819 for Giles Co., TN, settling in the vicinity
of Lynnville; moved from Giles Co. to Wayne Co. in 1834, settling
on the John LAWSON place on Bear Creek, branch of Weatherford
fork of Indian Creek; having trouble with a neighbor over a dog
getting in the milk in the spring house he sold out and moved
to Hardin's Creek where he died. Deed records of Wayne Co. show
that the Bear Creek property, 55 acres in District 7 Range 10
Section 3, was purchased by Robert SIMS from Harrison CHRISTIAN
on Feb. 4, 1837 for $360. Robert sold the property to his son
Matthew J. SIMS on Jun. 10, 1837 for $600, and Matthew deeded
the land on Jun. 29, 1839 to James A. LAWSON for the same amount.
He appears in the 1840 census
of Wayne Co., TN. The 1860 and 1870 Agriculture Schedules of Wayne
County, TN includes the farms of three children and seven grandchildren
of Robert Sims and Frances Howard Merritt. Married Feb. 14, 1813, NC.
Frances Howard MERRITT - b. Mar. 7, 1797, NC; d. Nov.
28, 1871, Wayne Co., TN; bur. Sims graveyard, Wayne Co., TN. Sims
graveyard is on a hill on the Shields SIMS farm, on Fall Branch
(south of the confluence of Downing Drive with waterfall). An
orphan of English descent, Frances was also known as 'Franky'.
After the death of her husband, she moved to the Bud SCOTT farm
on Indian Creek, thence to the J. D. COPELAND place on the head
of the creek, where she died. Franky appears in the 1850
census of Wayne Co., TN, as F. H. SIMS, age 55, with children
George W., A. M., and Martha, and in the 1860
and 1870 censuses of
Wayne Co., TN, in households with unmarried children Abraham Martin
SIMS and Martha A. SIMS.
Sketch by Abraham Martin Sims, son of Robert
Father and mother were poor. Their wealth was their children.
Mother lived to see all her children grown and what was wealth
to her, all had a clean record. Father had a fair common school
education, mother had no school advantage.
We were raised in the country, had the benefits of a loghouse
school about three months in the year. We grew what we ate, wore
clothes made at home. Generally our shoes were made at home,
leather tanned in a trough.
My grand-father [Pariss] and mother are buried in Giles County,
Tenn. I never saw but one uncle of grand-father's family [Martin].
There had been two of my nephews medical doctors, one brother
studied law [Robert W.] and one nephew studied law and was a
politician [Congressman T. W. Sims].
Father, Robert Sims, was born May 14, 1783 - Died March 24,
1842. Married Frances H. Merritt, born March 1797 - Died Nov.
28, 1871. They were married Feb. 16, 1813 <sic>. Both were
born in North Carolina, where they married and where three of
their children were born. They migrated to Giles County, Tennessee,
and lived there until seven children were born when they moved
to Wayne County, about 1833 and settled on Bear Creek. Bought
a place owned by John Lawson, deceased. Having trouble in the
courts sold and bought on Hardin's Creek in what is known as
the Hutton Hollow, where he died March 24, 1842 and is buried
on a side of the hill overlooking the raod just below the old
Brown place in what is known as the Brown graveyard.
Mother bought on this Creek a farm known as the Bud Scott
place which joined the Frank Parker farm near the old Indian
Creek Baptist Church. She sold this and bought the J. D. Copeland
place on Dry Creek where she died in 1871. I owned that place
for a time.
Children of Robert and Franky Sims
- Sarah M. 'Sallye' - b.
Jan. 9, 1814, Stokes Co., NC; d. Apr. 27, 1885, Muscogee, Creek
Nation, Indian Territory. Married C.
- Matthew Joseph - b. Jun. 9, 1816, Salem,
NC; d. Jan. 16, 1890, Wayne Co., TN; bur. Sims graveyard. [Sketch from
Goodspeed] A farmer, school teacher, merchant in Waynesboro after
the Civil War, and Circuit Court Clerk of Wayne County 1865-1875.
Operated a tannery on the Green River. Matthew purchased 55 acres
on Bear Creek from his father on Jun. 10, 1837, and deeded the
same to James A. LAWSON on Jun. 29, 1839. Married Mar. 21, 1837
Dorothy Turley GREESON (b. Jan. 15, 1817; d. Aug. 9, 1896; bur.
Sims graveyard), daughter of Henry GREESON and Betsy COOK, German
emigrants to Bedford Co., TN, thence to Wayne County. The farms of Matthew and five of his children appear in the 1860 and 1870 Agriculture Schedules of Wayne
County. Children: Hartwell
Ebenezer John Shields [Sketch
from Goodspeed] married Edith Melinda Caroline YOUNGBLOOD; Elizabeth
married first William G. YOUNGBLOOD, and second Jim MCWILLIAMS;
Matthew Joseph married Lydia Hannah J. YOUNGBLOOD; Robert Henry
from Goodspeed] married Jemima Catharine COPELAND [photos];
Zachary Taylor married Sarah W. 'Sally' PHILLIPS; Sam Winfield
Scott married first Mary HORTON, and second Alice BREWER; Dorothy
A. 'Sis' married John TURMAN (great granddaughter Ruth SHACKLETT
RUDY became a DAR member); Sarah Mahulda C. 'Hulda' married Josiah
'Joe' YOUNGBLOOD; Malinda T. 'Cricket' married first Frank HELTON,
and second Mr. PULLEY; and perhaps Nancy E.
- Robert William - b. Jul. 8, 1819, NC; d. Dec. 10, 1905, Crockett
Co., TN. Practiced law and farmed. Married first Dec. 10, 1843
Margaret Jane GREEN (four children), second about 1853 Nannie
MITCHELL (two children), and third Sarah KING (three children).
Children of Robert and Margaret: Virginia married Capt. William
BIRDSONG; Dr. John Emmett; Lambertine 'Teen' married first Margaret
Elizabeth KEY, and second Sally GIBSON; and Margaret Jane married
William Jackson THOMPSON. Children of Robert and Harriet: Bascom;
and Leona. Children of Robert and Sarah: Henry Kent married first
Dora TAYLOR, and second Cora B. NANCE; Develemon 'Belle' married
John C. COX; and another child.
- Abby Caroline - b. Jul. 3, 1822, Giles Co., TN; d. Aug. 14,
1886. Married Nov. 6, 1842 Joseph SUTHERLAND (b. Mar. 4, 1815,
Lincoln Co., TN; d. Jun. 19, 1907, Benton Co., MO). They resided
at Warsaw, MO. Children: Dr. William Walter married Annie Naomi
Adelade NELSON; Martha 'Matt' Ann; Irene; Margaret; James Franklin
married (granddaughter Mrs. Virginia SWEENEY is DAR member);
and Marcus 'Mark' married.
- Frances Jane - b. Mar. 2, 1825, Giles Co., TN; d. Mar. 28,
1851; bur. King graveyard. Unmarried.
- Margaret 'Peggy' Ann - b. Oct.
19, 1827, Giles Co., TN; d. Jan. 29, 1901, Wayne Co., TN. [Sketch
from Goodspeed] Married Aug. 22, 1846 John William YOUNGBLOOD
(b. Mar. 7, 1819, Wayne Co., TN; d. Dec. 6, 1874, West Plains,
Howell Co., MO), son of William YOUNGBLOOD and Edith REED. Their
son Matthew was manager of the mercantile business of J. &
H. Youngblood at Clifton, TN, which was established in Sep. 1885.
Children: Louisa Caroline m. William J. HORTON; Mary Jane married
Anderson LEE, a nephew of Gen. Robert E. LEE; James A. 'Jim';
Josiah 'Joe' m. Sarah Mahulda C. 'Hulda' SIMS, daughter of Matthew
Joseph SIMS and Dorothy Turley GREESON; Matthew 'Matt'; Lydia
T. 'Lizzie'; and Frances M.
- George Washington - b. Feb. 22, 1831, Giles Co., TN; d. Apr.
9, 1894, Mineral Wells, TX. One of first photographers in Wayne
Co., TN. Married first Jul. 6, 1851 Sarah Jane WHITSON (b. 1820)
and had children: Congressman Thetus Willrette SIMS married Nannie
KITTRELL; Mary; and Alma. George married again and had additional
children: Wesley; Asilie; Albert; and Victor.
- Abraham Martin 'Uncle Mart' - b. Jun.
13, 1834, Wayne Co., TN; d. Sep 29, 1913, Wayne Co., TN; bur.
Sims graveyard. [Sketch
from Goodspeed] Served as a private in the Tenth Tenn. Infantry
in 1863. Abraham's farm is included in the 1860 Agriculture Schedule of Wayne
County. Practiced law, farmed, and established the Sims, TN
post office. He and his family were members of the Missionary
Baptist Church. Married Sep. 26, 1875 Hannah STOOKSBERRY (b.
Apr. 17, 1851; d. May 7, 1929; bur. Sims graveyard), daughter
of Robert STOOKSBERRY and Jane SHARP. Children: Judge Joseph
married Ora E. KING; Robert Martin married first Naomi SUDDUTH,
and second Edith ROSS; Mary O.; Arthur died young; Zella Belle
married Jasper T. BROMLEY; and Frances Jane.
- Martha A. - b. Mar. 11, 1839, Wayne Co., TN; d. Aug. 17,
1914, Lawrence Co., TN; bur. Sims graveyard, Wayne Co., TN. Unmarried.