Sunday, December 9, 2012


Public Service Announcement: I will be out of town this week. I will not be posting again until Monday, December 17, 2012. I will have very limited internet so if you send me an email you might not get a response until I get back. I will tell Mickey you said hello :)

Margaret asks:
"I am still not clear on how you record theories that you haven't proven."

I record my musings/theories in my notes. In Legacy Family tree you have a section for general notes (this is where I write a short biography on the person) and research notes (that is where I put my current thoughts and theories). The best way to show you is to copy and paste examples straight out of my file. These aren't the best examples since I had to chose very short theories because of space constraints. Most of my theories are several pages long (and those would be called case studies). Please forgive any spelling, grammar, punctuation, etc. errors. The notes section is for my private use so I don't really proofread it all that well. When it comes time to write it up in a case study I promise you it looks better:

This is in my notes on Ellenor Lee (1769-1801), wife of James Simmons, Sr of South Carolina and the Mississippi Territory.

Researcher [name removed] has Ellenor Lee's parents as Zachariah Lee and Lucy Farmer who are already linked in my file. Researcher [name removed] has no real evidence to back it up but if this were true it would make sense because Zachariah was from the Robeson Co area of NC. Many families in my file did migrate from that area of NC to the Perry Co area of MS and this is a documented migration route [Patricia Edwards, a researcher in CA made this connection and wrote, Robeson Co, NC Connections with Marion Co, MS, May 1987, Robeson County Register] She found connections between the two areas via deed records and there have been more deeds found since the time of this article. The NC State Archives has been unable to locate a will or intestate records for Zachariah.

Here is one out of James Simmons' notes. This one has already been disproven and I just realized I hadn't updated it so I will do that.

Another theory that researcher [name removed] has been working on with some Harrell researchers: "Selah Harrell was married to Silas Simmons in SC. She was the widow of a Mr. Nettles. Mr. Nettles had two boys from a previous marriage, Joseph and James. Mr. Nettles died and Selah married Silas Simmons taking her two stepsons with her. There is speculation that the two boys took the last name of Simmons. If this is true, it would stand to reason that James Nettles might have become James Simmons and named his first son Silas after his stepfather. There are wills in St. John's Parish, Charleston Co, SC for this older Silas Simmons and for Selah's father Jacob Harrell, naming Selah as a Simmons [Silas' will signed 27 Feb 1787; Jacob's will signed 22 Jan 1787]"

Here is one from John J. Simmons (1831-1881)

Family Lore: Sarah Garraway's parents were opposed to their daughter marrying John J. Simmons because the Simmons' were non slave-holding people. Non slave-holding people were called "hill people" by slave holders. As a compromise, the Garraway family gave their daughter a slave to do her housework. This is supported by the 1860 census where John gave the value of his real estate as $50 but the value of his personal property as $1655 which would have included the value of any slaves in the household, however, John is not listed as a slave owner in the 1860 slave schedule. Sarah's father Solomon Garraway is listed in the 1860 slave schedule with 8 slaves. His personal estate is valued at $13,000. Unfortunately, there are no Perry County deeds from this time period because the courthouse burned in 1877.

Here is one from James Elexander Simmons (1870-1937)

J. E. Simmons was listed as the person that buried George Washington Hartfield in the Grantham Cemetery on 20 May 1924. J. E. is most certainly James Elexander Simmons. He went by J. E. on many documents. The Grantham cemetery was his family cemetery and he was also a deacon in the local church (Burnt Bridge Baptist Church).

Here is the original note I wrote on Jesse Lee, Sr. of Robeson County, NC (1735-abt 1810]. What is interesting about this note is that I ended up writing a case study and the case study is 12 pages long in Microsoft Word. I forgot to delete the note which is good because you can see how a short theory can turn into a full blown case study. I need to do some reformatting of the case study and then I will make it available for you to read. I am trying to prove that Stephen Lee was the son of Jesse Lee though Stephen was not named in Jesse's will.

In Jesse's will he only named a couple of his children and his grandchildren but he had given his daughter Obedience Sterling a particular slave that upon her death interest in that slave would revert to all of his children. Obedience subsequently dies and Jesse's remaining children deed the slave to Obedience's husband, William Sterling. On this deed is a full list of Jesse's sons and the husband's of Jesse's daughters that were still living. The one unidentified person on the list is Beedey Hester.

Jacob Pope [husband of Jesse's daughter Sarah]
Benjamin Lee [son]
Joseph Lee [son]
Stephen Lee [son]
Jesse Lee [son]
Willis Loe [husband of Jesse's daughter Keziah]
Benjamin Lee [grandson?]
John Drinkwater [grandson, son of Daniel Drinkwater and Jesse's daughter Penelope Lee]
Joshua Herring [husband of daughter]
John Barnes [husband of daughter]
Beedy Hester [unknown]

I use the notes section to write down my thoughts and theories. As I get more information, I start forming my case study which is a formal presentation of the evidence.

Copyright © 2012 Michele Simmons Lewis

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