Simms Genealogy Page

Simms Genealogy Page
(and the Bealls, too)

My Simms Family

Go to the Bealls
Go to the Horrocks

My branch of the Simms appears to be somewhat singular insofar as we didn't migrate to the South or Midwest in the 18th or 19th century. And while I can't find the firm evidence, I'm now convinced of my family's link to Marmaduke Semmes/Semme of St. George's, Charles County, MD through his third son John. Marmaduke arrived in MD from England sometime in the mid-1600's and settled on a plantation he called St. George's.

Son John, born in Charles County, MD about 1672, had a son named Cleburn Semmes who died 1750 in Frederick County, MD. Cleburn had sons Clebburn, Thomas, Richard, Ignatius and John of two or three wives. I believe we're related to one of them, and have ruled out all of them but Richard. My genealogy partner, Virginia Simms Holmes, delivered a hand drawn image of a Richard Simms dated 1704. It had been passed down through the family to her.

My brother kindly submitted his DNA to the FamilyDNA project. He was one of the first. I compared it to a known Marmaduke descendant and he was one tick off. I lost hope then, but Im not quite sure I should be totally downhearted or still see a glimmer of hope. It stopped me then, for sure. And I have little interest in pursuing any more reasearch. My brother was the last of the line and hes gone now.

My claim to a relationship to Marmaduke is questionable because every Marmaduke researcher has come up short for the descendants of John. You need only look at the printed Semmes resources to see that John gets little attention for lack of documentation. However, my GGGG Grandfather Claiborne Richard Simms was born in Cleburn Semmes's neighborhood of Washington/Frederick County, MD according to oral history. The librarians I've consulted have said that it's likely the rumor is truth because of the specificity of the locale, Conegocheague or Ringgold Manor...which no longer exitsts. Actually, the Manor was used as a reference point for a fairly large area in Washington County in the times predating the 1776 incorporation of Hagerstown.

I suspect Claiborne joined his in-laws, the Bealls, in their migration west to Virginia. Apparently, there was a short trip to Kentucky as well. I've heard that times were tough in KY--adults and children dying in the wilderness that was Kentucky at that time---and consequently, the Simms clan went back to civilization in WV. My understanding is that Claiborne lived and travelled with the Bealls, Carters and other MD families. Another story from the Beall side of the family is that the migrating families came up against KY settlers who claimed "tomahawk rights" to the land the Bealls had purchased and they were unable to secure their legal right to their land.

I'm fairly certain of the Semmes/Simms migration path, but my documented genealogy starts with Short Creek, WV (Ohio County near Wheeling) where my GGGG Grandfather, Claiborne Simms, traded his farm for land in East Liverpool, OH c. 1823-1826. I have now discovered that he actually bought the land upon which the town of East Liverpool was founded. It has been reported to be a sorry town indeed in those days and Claiborne had a hard time finding buyers for his land in the early years.

East Liverpool is located on the Ohio River in the tri-state area of OH, PA and WV (44 miles from Wheeling or Pittsburgh) and became a prosperous center of commerce at the turn of the century. Its primary industry was ceramics or pottery ware. My Simms' were involved in farming and pottery. From there, Simms' migrated east, west and south. There still are numerous Simms' in East Liverpool area.

If you're related and have a genealogy program, give me a holler and I'll send my latest GEDCOM for you to upload. Sorry, don't have enough space to post now.

I've been searching for many a year now and have paid for searches for the names Marmaduke, Cleborn (or any variation) and Ignatius via the MD State Archives to no avail.

For those of you who want to link up with Charles Simms, close friend of George Washington, this is as close as I can get....

Prince William co Va DB 2-124: Elijah Simms of Pr Wm Co conveyed to Sheriff of Culpeper co Va all "my rt & estate in fee law & equity to a certain tract of land respecting which a controversy was had & compromise effected in Co Ct Pr Wm Co & all my rts. to purchase money. Under act for relief of Insolvent debtors. I being about to take oath as an insolvent debtor being in execution at the suit of Benjm Botts - convey to Sheriff of Pr Wm Co all land, etc. (Signed) Elijah (X) Simms 7 Dec 1802 Deed to Sheriffs of Culpeper & Pr Wm cos Elizabeth Simms made the accounting of sales 17 Feb 1804 in the settlement of the estate of her husband Elijah Simms (1-42). Morgan Sims, Richard Sims & Margot Sims were among purchasers at Estate sale of a James Simms dec'd 4 May 1778 in Pr Wm county--one Jane Simms decd (will pr May 1782 in same co) with son Charles & dau Mary Purcell .(G-3 & G-161) .... from Albert Simms' research, see my GEDCOM page.

Now I've never seen the first name Morgan (my great-grandfather's name) in all my years of Simms/Sims gathering. Prince William Co. is right across the water from MD. And maybe this throws a big old monkey wrench in the works. Who are all these folks? And they've gotta be related to us. Guess the real question is who is James?

The Beall Family

I've also done some extensive research on the Beall family and you may retrieve my latest GEDCOM (

If you're a beginning or seasoned Beall researcher, Jackson H. Day has created a Beall database which can be an invaluable tool. Jack's work on the Bealls is eminently laudable and his database is carefully constructed. If you're researching the MD Bealls, you should contact Jack. Send him a note with your line of descent from a Beall ancestor, and once he provides you with a mailing address, you can mail him a floppy disk and SASE onto which he will copy the files. The file is in Wordperfect 5.1 for DOS.. If you are a Beall researcher interested in contributing to Jack's endeavor, please contact him at

I've created a searchable database of Sims names and have decided to add the Bealls I've gathered as well. Search my Beall database.

The Horrocks Family

My Grandmother was Clara Prudence Horrocks b. 1883 in Philadelphia. Researching the Horrocks family has been a challenge because of the scarcity of the surname in the US and few family records. I've followed the family back to Lancashire, England and in doing so, met Nigel Horrocks who's researching his family as well. Nigel lives in Surrey, England, has contributed greatly to my research and is now a great friend. We're hoping a link between our families can be proved. Suffice it to say that each of us has roots in Bolton, Lancashire where the Horrocks' were involved in the manufacture of textiles. As a matter of fact, there was a time in the history of the British empire when Horrocks' muslin was legal tender in Australia. If you are a Horrocks, I'd love to hear from you. Nigel's Home Page and email.

The Sims, et al. Gedcom Project
The Family Tree and Genealogy Project for all researchers of the names Sims, Simms, Syms, Symms, Symes, Symmes, Sim, Simm, Sime, Simmes, Syme, Symme, Sym, Symm, Sems, Semms, Semes, Semmes, Symns, Symmns, et al.