Friday, May 6, 2016

A twist of fate

An ongoing saga.  You can catch up by reading:
Wish me luck!
Update to “Wish me luck!”
Super fun graphic of 3 yDNA lines

In the early days of the Mississippi Territory there were three groups of Simmons’.  There was a group in Natchez, a group in Marion/Pike Counties, and a group in Perry County.  The group in Natchez was there a lot earlier than the other two groups, long before the Mississippi Territory was even formed.  I have never been able to find a real connection to this group.

The group in Marion/Pike is a lot closer in distance to my group in Perry County and they arrived in about the same time period, after the Mississippi Territory was officially opened for settlement. I always suspected that there was a link between these two groups somewhere.  I just found a very unexpected link.

If you have been following my saga about the Simmons’ and their yDNA you will know that one of my matches traces back to Jones County, Georgia

I just found this…

Jones County

We the undersiners recommend John Matthews, Willis Simmons & John Bond as good honest upright citizens and that they wish to obtain a Passport from this County and State to the Mississippie Territory as they are about to remove to.

October the 6th 1809
Harrison Cabaness Capt.
Green Mullins
Sion Thrower
denton daniel
Drury Reese - J. P.
H. Harson J. I. C.
Nathan Peeples
Wm Ratcliff Capt.
Richard Ratcliff Capt
Cuthberth Reese
Melton Amos
John Hogg
Hardy Bullock
Elijah Bailey
Wilkins Jackson J. P.
George Cabaniss
Stephen Kirk
Aniel Huggin
Ephraim Cox
Moses Cox
Asa Cox

Recommendation in favor of John Mathews, Willis Simmons, and Jake Bond of Jones County. Order taken 11 October 1809.1

Well, well, well, I know who Willis Simmons is.  Willis is one of the Marion/Pike County bunch.  I already have him in my database because I knew he had to be connected.  The census records have him born in Georgia about 1784 which means he came to the Mississippi Territory when he was about 25 years old.  I pick him up on tax records starting in 1810.

This gives me a tangible connection between the Marion/Pike County bunch and my family over in Perry County because I have a DNA match to the Simmons’ in Jones County, Georgia where Willis came from.  I will now need to try and back Willis up in time so see if I can link him into the Jones County, Georgia group.

1 Georgia Department of Archives and History, Passports Issued by Governors of Georgia, 1785-1809  (Arlington, VA: National Genealogical Society, 1959),  28. 


Copyright © 2016 Michèle Simmons Lewis


  1. Lady luck has smiled on you!

  2. Willis is a common name among the Simmons. I have Willis Richard Simmons, b. 5 March 1821 in Pike County Mississippi that married into my Brock line. His wife was Martha Jane Brock daughter of James L. Brock and Elizabeth Purvis.

  3. "My" Willis is older than your Willis. I am sure they are related though, son or grandson maybe?

  4. Greetings...
    Willis born in 1784 is the father of Willis Richard Simmons and yes, Willis R was born in Mississippi. Willis and Jane (Goslin) Simmons traveled to Mississippi from Jones County, Ga in about 1809 (date of passport is October 9, 1809) so most of us descendants believe he made it there just before the 1810 census was taken.
    We have never made a connection between the "Silver Creek" Simmons (Willis and Jane) and the "Bala Chitto" Simmons (Richard Simmons), though the families became connected later in the family lines.
    My sister writes a blog at There are a few articles about our Simmons families if you wish to read through them. There is also a book published by our great aunt, Edna Simmons Campbell which might be useful to your research. HOWEVER, my sisters and I are currently working to correct some of the mistakes .... especially those about Jane Goslin. You might also wish to check out WikiTree and the Simmons profiles and family trees there.
    If you wish to chat... my email is
    Would love to hear from you.... and I would love to hear from Charlie!! Brock... how cool!
    Teresa Fortenberry