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…
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.
Drury Reese - J. P.
H. Harson J. I. C.
Wm Ratcliff Capt.
Richard Ratcliff Capt
Wilkins Jackson J. P.
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