The Smiton Simmons Family

The birthplace of Smiton (or Smyton) Simmons (1768-1865) is a bit unclear. Censuses indicate he was born in the USA, and Trees-by-Dan lists Poughkeepsie, New York as his birthplace. On the other hand, “Pioneer Life on the Bay of Quinte” suggests that he emigrated from England with his parents and brother James just before the American Revolution. In any case, the family settled in Schoharie Co., NY, where Smiton married Sarah White (1777-1852) in 1798. The first two of their children were born there. Smiton, Sarah, and the two children moved to Picton, Prince Edward County in 1803, where they lived on the “Judge Fisher Farm”. The following year, they purchased 300 acres in Cramahe Township. Two hundred of these consisted of Concession 3, Lot 35, between what is now Orchard and Telegraph Roads on the western edge of the Township. It seems likely that the other hundred acres were in adjacent Haldimand Township. Simmons appeared in Cramahe censuses from 1806 to 1861. He served as a 1st Class Mechanic detailed to Kingston in the War of 1812, where it was his job to construct sleighs, wagons, ox yokes, axe helves, etc. for the Canadian troops. For his services, he received 200 acres in Murray Township.

“Pioneer Life on the Bay of Quinte” states that Smiton Simmons “was a man of great force of character and took a prominent part in affairs of the day”. Also, Trees-by-Dan relates a story that “Samuel Waite and Smyton Simmons came together from Albany near Poughkeepsie in Lower New York State. They came by covered wagon bringing some equipment, and crossed at Cape Vincent just before the War of 1812 started. It is said that some trouble was experienced in crossing the boundary line. Both were big men and well built. It is said that Samuel struck and knocked down the Canadian Customs man, and the party drove on.”

There is also some indication of Sarah’s personality in her obituary, published in the Christian Guardian newspaper in 1852:

Died, in the Township of Cramahe, July 24th, 1852, Mrs. Sarah Simmons, in the 74th year of her age. She was born in Duchess County, State of New York, and with her now bereaved and sorrowing partner, was among the first Settlers in this part of the Province, having arrived here in the year 1798, enduring many of the hardships and privations incident to new settlements, especially at that early period. About 8 years after her arrival in this country, through the instrumentality of the pioneers of Methodism in Canada, who found a home at her dwelling, she became convinced of her fallen and sinful condition; but it was in the silent and lonely woods, in company with a female friend, recently converted herself, whilst calling upon God in earnest prayer and supplications, that she obtained the pardon of her sins, and the spirit of adoption, whereby she could say Abba, Father. For the remainder of her life, which extended through the long period of nearly half a century, she was faithful to God, and to the Methodist Church with which she united herself, exemplifying the graces and virtues of true piety. She was a woman of faith and prayer, seldom or never shunning the cross at public prayer meetings, remarkable for her industrious habits, which she retained to her last illness, which was brief and severe, accomplishing its work in nine or ten days. She died in peace, and in the hope of the gospel. Besides her afflicted companion, who has been blind for some years, and who is now in his 84th year, she has left five surviving children, all, I believe, professors of religion; forty grand children, and eleven great-grand children. A funeral discourse, based upon Job v. 26: “Thou shalt come to thy grave in a full age,” &c., &c., was delivered to a large assembly.

Apart from portraying Sarah Simmons’ religious nature, this passage yields a couple of other interesting bits of information. First, it suggests that the Simmons family arrived in 1798, not 1803-4 as suggested by all the other references to be found (which, admittedly, probably all reference each other, so how many independent references they represent is not known). Second, it indicates that Smiton Simmons had been blind “for some years” prior to 1852.

Was there a tie-in between the Simmons family and the Methodist Church, other than the simple fact that they were Methodists? This tie-in suggested itself when a reference was found to Sarah Simmons possibly being a descendent of John Wesley (1703-1791) himself. However, John Wesley married a well-to-do widow named Mary Vazeille (1705-1781) in 1751, and they really didn’t get along. They had no children. Also, John Wesley had no siblings, cousins, nieces, or nephews who married anyone named White. Nor did John Wesley’s step- daughter marry a White. However, Wesley’s maternal grandmother’s maiden name was White and perhaps Sarah was a descendant of that side of the family. Hard to confirm through any pertinent genealogies. The only child of Wesley’s great-grandparents was his grandmother. If there were other children and they provided the connection to Sarah, she couldn’t have been closer to John Wesley than second cousin, some unknown number of times removed. Alternatively, part of the marital difficulty between John and Mary Wesley was that Mary was insanely jealous of her husband. If this jealousy had any basis in fact, John Wesley might have had an illegitimate offspring who led, genealogically, to Sarah Simmons. The final possibility, and unfortunately the most likely, is that Sarah Simmons wasn’t related to John Wesley at all.

Smiton and Sarah Simmons both died on their farm in Cramahe Township. There is a bit of a quandary about their children. Most genealogies list eight. Stephen (1799-1863) and Elizabeth (“Polly”; 1800-1853) were born in Schoharie County, New York. John Reed (1803-1884) was born in Prince Edward County, Ontario. Maria (1806-1879), James (1807-1876), Sarah Ann (1809-1858), Mary (1816-1888), and Harriet W. (1817-1900) were born after the family moved to Cramahe. However, a memoir by John R. Simmons’ son Ezra F. Simmons (1850-1929) stated that there were only seven children, and he listed all of the above except Maria. Since he was writing about his aunts and uncles, one would think he would know. Added to this, if you look at the family member counts for Smiton Simmons in early Cramahe censuses (see table below), there is consistently one too few girls up until 1816 (when Mary was born), if one includes Maria. Finally, it seems a little odd, though certainly not impossible, that anyone would have one daughter named Maria and another named Mary. All in all, I think Maria’s inclusion is a mistake. A few genealogies that list her as a daughter of Smiton and Sarah Simmons list her husband as John Weaver, but the vast majority of genealogies that list Maria Simmons, wife of John Weaver, list her parents as unknown. I think Maria Simmons Weaver (1806-1879) was probably not a member of our Simmons family. The children of Smiton and Sarah Simmons are discussed more fully on page 3, below.

A table follows listing the family member counts for Smiton Simmons in early Cramahe censuses. As before, asterisks denote discrepancies between the counts and known family members. Parentheses around ages indicate that the family member in question was married after that date. Square brackets indicate someone who wasn’t yet married, but for whom there is evidence of an alternative residence.

     SmitonSarahStephenJohnJamesSarahMaryHarriet 
180713*1*139308740
180911314132109630
18131132453614131074
18151130*4738161512960
18162222483917161310710
18173*222*494018171411821
18183*223504119(18)1512932
18192223514220(19)16131043
18201123524321(20)17141154
18213113534422(21)18151265
182231135445(23)(22)19161376
1823311*35546(24)(23)20171487
182522025748(26)(25)[22]1916109
1839122*1*7162(40)(39)[36](33)(30)(24)23
18403*22*2*7263(41)(40)[37](34)(31)(25)24

In 1807 there were two extra women and one missing boy. Who the two women might have been is unknown. If it wasn’t an error in census taking, the absence of a boy might have been because either Stephen or John was living elsewhere at the time or because John’s birthdate as listed here is incorrect and he was actually born after 1807. This latter possibility seems unlikely because the birthdate available for John is quite exact: 4/7/1803, not just a vague year. On the other hand, his birthplace is noted as Picton, but he was supposedly named after John Reed of Colborne. If he had been born slightly later, he would have been born in Cramahe Township and this story would make more sense. Or, since there is no John Reed in Cramahe records, maybe he actually lived in Picton. Of course he is not to be found in Prince Edward County either.

There are two missing girls in 1815. There is no explanation for this.

There is an extra man in 1817 and 1818. Elizabeth married John Dudley about this time, and since Elizabeth must remain in this list to make the count for adult females work, the extra man was probably Dudley. If true, Elizabeth and John Dudley had moved away by 1819.

There is an extra boy in 1823. Again, a mystery. There were also extra children in 1839 and 1840, and an extra man in 1840. Smiton and Sarah were in their 70’s and 60’s at the time, so these children were likely their grandchildren. Impossible to be sure. Was the extra man in 1840 the father of the extra children? If so, where was his wife?

The Children of Smiton and Sarah Simmons:

  1. Stephen Simmons (1799-1863) was four years old when his family moved to Cramahe. He served as a teamster during the War of 1812. Note that he was only 13 years old when the War started and 16 when it ended. Although he died and was buried in Colborne, no census or land ownership records for him in the township (or anywhere else for that matter) can be found. He married Mary (“Polly”) Wait (1803-1885) in 1822 and had nine children: Angeline (1824-1894), Levi (1825-1901), Harriet (1827-1916), Daniel Lewis (1830-1915), Anna (1834-1913), Mary Estella (1837-?), Sarah (ca. 1841-?), Rachel (ca. 1842-1845), and George (1843-1847). Although there is no official reference to him there, his children all appear to have been born in Northumberland County, and at least three of them (Levi, Angeline, and Daniel) in Haldimand Township. It is likely that he took over running his father’s farm on the Cramahe/Haldimand border, but lived on the Haldimand part of the property. Stephen and Mary’s children are discussed more fully on page 6.
  2. Elizabeth (“Polly”) Simmons (1800-1853) married John Dudley (1799-1880) a Haldimand Township farmer, in about 1817. They had seven children: Stephen G. (1819-1894), Matilda (1822-1914), Eliza (ca. 1825-?), Mary (ca. 1825-?), Sarah Ann (ca. 1825-1877), Philander S. (1828-1899), and John Guilford (1835-1914).
  3. John Reed Simmons (1803-1884), a farmer, was named after John Reed of Colborne, who gave him a sheep. This sheep and its offspring eventually netted John $300 by the time he was 21. His father granted him 200 acres in Murray Township at this time and the $300 stocked his farm. John Reed Simmons was a Liberal as far as politics were concerned. He married Margaret (“Peggy”) Frasier (1812-1876) in Murray Township in 1829. John and Peggy continued to live in Murray Township for the rest of their lives. They had ten children: Andrew White (1831-1921), Charles Munn (1833-1913), William Alexander (1834-1913), Melissa Jane (1838-1907), John G. (1840-1847), Minerva Ann (1841-1886), Catherine Alzina (1844-1898), Stephen Almond (1847-1914), Ezra Fuller (1850-1929; referred to above), and Marian Theresa (1854-1907). John Simmons’ death record says that he died of “gravel”, which is an old term for kidney stones. On the other hand, one genealogy says that he “died from overwork while clearing ground to grow potatoes and turnips”. In either case, a bit of John Simmons’ personality can be gleaned from his obituary:

    John R. Simmons, of the Township of Murray , in the eighty-second year of his age, on the morning of May the 11th, after a painful illness, sweetly fell asleep in Jesus.
     
    Forty-seven years ago Bro. Simmons knelt in penitence with his penitent wife at the foot of the Cross, seeking the Saviour’s smile, and both received assurances of God’s forgiveness and love. They recognized Rev. W.E. Norman as having been instrumental in leading them to Jesus. Without delay they united with the M.E. Church, of which they continued active and esteemed members until the Master called them to the pure bliss of the Church above, his wife preceding him in glorious triumph November 20th, 1876.
     
    The same year Bro. Simmons united with the Church he was made a class leader. In this capacity, and also as steward, trustee and in other responsible positions, he served the Church of his choice, and to which he was warmly attached, in a most efficient and acceptable manner.
     
    His was one of the homes where the weary itinerant always found a hearty welcome. For nearly half a century the C.C. Advocate was a weekly visitor to his home. Bro. Simmons was one of the few whose religious enjoyment, influence and usefulness did not seem to suffer from material prosperity. Though possessing a considerable amount of this world’s wealth, he was rich in faith, and when the Master called him he exultingly bade adieu to earth that he might possess and enjoy the more enduring treasure he had laid up in heaven. He leaves nine children (all settled in life) to mourn the departure of a loving father.
     
    The large attendance at his funeral bore testimony to the high esteem in which he was held in the community where he had resided for so long a time. Another is numbered with the righteous dead, another has entered the rest of heaven.

     
    Anyone who has suffered from kidney stones will concur that the “painful illness” reference lends credence to that being the cause of Simmons’ passing.
     
    John R. Simmons’ son Andrew lived in Colborne for a time and was the proprietor of the Temperance House Hotel in the 1870’s. He was a farmer in Murray Township in 1861 and 1881. He married Mary Osterhout (1832-1889) in Murray Township in 1853 and had two children: Emma Alberta (1857-1881) and John Uriah (1860-1923). Both were living with him in Colborne in 1871. Mary died in 1889 of “congestion of the stomach”. Andrew married twice more, once to Nancy Clarke (1832-1904) in 1890, and after her death to Eliza Jane Babcock (1836-1910) in 1904. Andrew survived all three wives, dying in Frankford in 1921. His daughter Emma married Frederick Calvin Spencer (1849-1913) in Murray Township in 1877. There is no reference to children. His son John became a physician and married Laura Elizabeth Arnott (1868-1934) in 1886. They had four children: Mary Annette Emma (1889-1953), John Ralph (1893-1943), Ross Allen (1897-1900), and Grant Arnott (1900-1953).
     
    John Uriah Simmons lived in Frankford for the rest of his life, dying in 1923 of a brain embolism following an accident involving a horse.

  4. James Simmons (1807-1876) like his brother John was a farmer, spent his life in Murray Township, and married a Frasier girl, in this case Mary Frasier (1808-1893), whom he married in 1827. Mary was the elder sister of Margaret (“Peggy”) Frasier, who married John. James and Mary had six children: James Monroe (1828-1908), Jeremiah Merriman (1828-1907), Sarah Ann (1832-1862), Mary L. (1833-1841), Benson Day (1843-1902), and Margaret (1844-1844). James and Jeremiah were twins. None of these children were ever residents of Cramahe. Here is James Simmons’ obituary from the Canada Christian Advocate:

    James Simmons, the subject of this brief memoir, was born in Cramahe in 1807. He was converted to God under the labors of the Rev. John Bailey, of precious memory, over 30 years ago. Married by Rev. Mr. Wyne to Miss M. Frazer, in 1829 [sic]; settled shortly after marriage in Murray, convenient to Frankford, where he lived until called to his home above. His domestic life was not as happy as he could desire, but it is pleasing to know that all these difficulties were adjusted before his death. For a short time before his death he came to live with his eldest son, Jeremiah, who, with his amiable wife, did all that lay in their power to make his last days comfortable, and minister to his happiness.
     
    He departed this life in triumph on the 11th day of July, 1876, and on the 13th his obsequies were attended by a very large concourse of people, who manifested their esteem for the departed by their tears, while the writer addressed the from Isaiah xxxiii, 17. F. M. Finn.

  5. Sarah Ann Simmons (1809-1858) married Josiah Osgood Strong (1800-1832) in 1826. A discussion of Strong and his family appears in the write-up of the Strong family. Josiah Strong was Ozem Strong’s younger brother. He died in 1832. In 1840 Sarah remarried, this time to Colborne schoolteacher Eben Pratt (ca. 1810-?). There is no information about what happened to Sarah and Eben after that except that “Pioneer Life on the Bay of Quinte” says Sarah eventually settled in the United States.
  6. Mary Simmons (1816-1888) married Alvin Dudley (1805-1860) in 1834. Mary’s sister Elizabeth had married John Dudley some years before. John and Alvin were brothers. Unlike his brother, who was a resident of Haldimand Township, Alvin and family lived in Cramahe. Alvin was listed as a farmer in the 1842 census and as a brick maker in 1851. Alvin and Mary had eight children, all born in Cramahe Township: Marian Bradford (1836-1914), Albert White (1838-1903, big in the apple trade later on), Sarah Anne (1840-1923), Matilda E. (1843-1933), Webster (1843-?), Lizetta (1848-1926), Mahala (1853-1900), and Frank Dow (1861-1939).

    Alvin Dudley purchased Reid Lot 192 from Reuben Scott in 1851 and sold it to Charles Kinney in 1855. Lot 192 is on the northwest side of Parliament Street between King Street and Scott Street, just north of where Parliament curves northeastward.

  7. Harriet W. Simmons (1817-1900) married farmer John E. Thompson (1820-1910) in 1842 and had seven children: Lisetta L. (1843-1915), Mary Louisa (1848-1935), Harriet M. (1850-1927), John (1852-?), Robert (1854-?), Helen (1856-1927), and Sarah Elizabeth (1859-1956). The birthplaces for these children paint a rather confusing picture of where the family lived. Of the references that provide more specific information than a generic “Canada” or “Ontario”, Haldimand Township is mentioned for Lisetta (1843), Colborne for Mary Louisa (1848) and Helen (1856), and Millbrook for Sarah (1859). Also, the most confusing is John (1852), who is cited as having been born in Cornwall, England. Censuses show the Thompsons living in Haldimand Township in 1861, Cavan in 1871, and Omaha, Nebraska after 1880. They appear in no Cramahe censuses. It rather looks like they lived in Haldimand Township until sometime in the 1860’s then moved to Cavan, and finally to Nebraska in 1880. The births that conflict with this were John, born in England in 1856 and Sarah, born in Milbrook in 1859. Although certainly possible, the England record seems a tad unlikely. The Milbrook record is certainly more likely, especially in view of the proximity of Milbrook to Cavan, where the Thompsons would eventually live for a time. The family is not in the 1851 census. John E. Thompson was an Englishman by birth—did they in fact live in England for a while in the 1850’s? Still seems pretty unlikely. John, Harriet, their youngest daughter Sarah, and their niece Matilda E. Dudley moved to Omaha, Nebraska in 1880, where John was employed as a night watchman and Sarah as a schoolteacher. John and Harriet lived in Omaha for the rest of their lives.

Children of Stephen and Mary (“Polly”) Simmons

  1. Angeline Simmons (1824-1894) married Haldimand farmer Simeon Liberty Scripture (1815-1877) in 1847 and had four children: Rachel Maria (1848-1887), Jeremiah Chauncey (1851-1937), Stephen Henry (1853-1915), and Florence D. (1858-?). After Simeon’s death, Angeline moved back to Colborne with her children and with Rachel’s husband William Peck (ca. 1849-?), whom Rachel had married in 1873. In 1881, Jeremiah Scripture and William Peck were employed as machinists and Rachel Scripture Peck as a clerk. Rachel died in 1887 and William Peck married her sister Florence in 1889. It is unknown where Angeline was in 1891, but she died in Toronto in 1894.
  2. Levi Simmons (1825-1901) was a farmer, born in Haldimand Township, who appeared in all Cramahe censuses from 1851 through 1891. He married Rebecca Becker (1827-1901; “Pioneer life on the Bay of Quinte” gives her last name as Morrow) in 1847 and had four children: Oscar Addison (1850-1918), Ella Armethe (1858-1932), Theresa Alberta (1860-1944), and Jennie L. (1870-1956). Rebecca died of heart failure on 21 Feb 1901, and her husband one week later on 1 March of the same cause. Levi and Rebecca Simmons’ children are discussed more fully on page 9, below.
  3. Harriet M. Simmons (1827-1916) married farmer Lester D. Parsons (1822-1891) in 1850. There is no reference to Lester having lived in Cramahe except that “Pioneer Life on the Bay of Quinte” suggests they settled in Colborne. However, the first census record found for Lester and Harriet is the 1865 census for Sweden, Monroe County, New York. By 1870 they were living in Corry, Erie County, Pennsylvania, where Lester was employed as a manufacturer. In the 1880 census for Corry, he was listed as a wood turner and Harriet was listed as a fancy goods dealer. Lester and Harriet had two children referenced: Mattie (?-?) and Nellie L. (1856-1951). Nellie’s birthplace was listed in censuses as “Canada”, but whether this was Cramahe or elsewhere in Canada there is no way of knowing. Neither she nor her father appear in any Cramahe censuses. nothing further can be found about Mattie, not even birth and death dates.
  4. Daniel Lewis Simmons (1830-1915) was listed in various sources as a wood and lumber dealer (1870), a fruit dealer/exporter (1881- 1911), and a farmer (1901, 1911). He married Eliza Ann Webb (1830-1914) in 1860. After she died of heart failure following a paralytic stroke, he remarried in 1915 to Nancy Eleanor Sanderson (nee Greenway, 1846-1933), the widow of George Sanderson (1834-1914). This is the George Sanderson who was the owner of the Fannin property and later of 8 North Street (designated property). When they were married, Daniel was 85 and Nancy was 69. Daniel and Eliza Simmons had a single daughter, Lena Estella (1861-1869), who died when she was eight years old. Some time prior to 1881 they adopted Annie Eliza Bader (1870-1926), thereafter known as Annie Eliza Simmons. There are no details about this adoption, nor any information about Annie’s parents. Annie died in 1926, and at least as of 1921 had not married.
     
    As an aside, there is a reference to Daniel and Eliza Simmons being instrumental in purchasing an organ for the Methodist Church in 1910. They initiated the committee to search for an organ, paid for the organ ($2000, twice the minister’s salary at the time) and paid the first year’s salary for an organist and organ blower. Daniel Lewis Simmons died in 1915 of “hemiplegia” (partial paralysis: a stroke?).
     
    Daniel Lewis Simmons was involved in more Colborne area land transactions than any of his relatives, and probably more than anyone else among the Methodists studied recently, times ten. They are as follows:
     
    DatePurchased PropertiesPurchased fromSoldSold To
    1857Part of Reid Lot 180John Purdy1920Simeon D.

     
    Notice that there are Grover Lots that were apparently still owned by Simmons when he died and no records of their sale have been found. Perhaps they passed into the hands of his widow, Nancy. Nancy also bought Reid Lot 52 from Isabella Scripture in 1919.
     
    Not included in the above table are numerous sales by Daniel Simmons in 1910 of small parts of many of his Colborne properties for a right-of-way for the Canadian Northern Ontario Railroad.
     
    This table would be better portrayed as an animation on a computer program. No one can be expected to know where these Reid and Grover lots lie.
     
    Annie Eliza (Bader) Simmons purchased all of the lands Daniel Simmons had willed to the Hospital for Sick Children shortly after the Hospital received them. I think this was some sort of mechanism for donating money to the Hospital while avoiding taxes or something of that sort. Difficult to know how the inheritance laws worked in 1915 (or how they work now for that matter…). Annie turned these properties over to Frederick W. Jones (her “cousin’s” husband) in 1919 and he returned them to her in 1921. Annie had previously purchased part of Reid Lot 164 on the north side of King Street in downtown Colborne in 1897 and sold it to Robert J. Coyle in 1901.
  5. Anna Simmons (1834-1913) married Charles Hicks Parsons (1829-1904). It is tempting to think that Charles Parsons and Lester Parsons, who married Anna’s sister Harriet (see above), were related (brothers?), but there is no direct evidence of this. The reference available puts the date of Charles and Anna’s marriage at ca. 1846, although that would make Anna only 12 at the time. Charles Parsons was from New York State and there is no evidence of him ever living in Cramahe, although he might have done so between censuses. There is no record of where the marriage took place either. However, Charles and Anna were living in California by 1870, when their daughter (and the only child uncovered) Jessie Parsons (1870-?) was born. Charles, Anna, and Jessie were listed in the Inyo County, California census for 1880 and Charles and Anna in the same census for 1900. Charles was listed in voter registrations for Tuolumne County, California in 1867 and for Inyo County, California from 1873 through 1896. I have also seen him listed as City Marshall for Aurora, Nevada in 1870 so safe to assume Anna was living in these places as well. Aurora was a booming gold and silver mining town in the 1860’s but was already in decline by 1870. It is now a ghost town. Charles Parsons is listed as farmer or rancher in various references. Both Charles and Anna are buried in Bishop, Inyo County, California. There is no further information about Jessie.
  6. Mary Estella Simmons (1837-?) married Robert C. O’Hara (1829-1874) of Bowmanville in 1864 and moved with him to that town. They had two children: Mary (?-?) and Lillian Ada (1866-?). After Robert died in 1874, Mary Estella and Lillian moved back to Colborne where they were living with Mary Estella’s mother Mary in 1881. Lillian O’Hara received Reid Lots 273 and 276 (along Division Street south of Creek Street) from her uncle Daniel Lewis Simmons’ estate in 1919. No documentation for this purchase have yet been found, and Lillian wasn’t listed in either the 1911 or 1921 censuses, so perhaps she resided elsewhere. Neither is there any other information about Mary Estella’s other daughter Mary; since she was not present in the 1881 Colborne census with her mother and sister, it is entirely possible that she had died as a child. These ladies disappear completely after the 1881 census.
  7. Sarah Simmons (1841-?) appeared in a list of students at a school in Colborne in 1861 and there was a “Sarah T. Simmons” from Canada living with our Sarah’s sister Harriet in Corry, Erie County Pennsylvania in the 1870 census.
  8. Rachel Simmons (ca. 1842-1845) died at about the age of three.
  9. George Simmons (1843-1847) died at about the age of four.

Children of Levi and Rebecca Simmons:

  1. Oscar Addison Simmons (1850-1918) was a farmer who lived his entire life in Cramahe. He married Mary Elizabeth Phillips (1854-1895), generally known as “Minnie”, in 1881 and had a single child: Mabel Beatrice (1885-1901). Minnie died of consumption in 1895, and in 1897 Oscar married Mary Dency Irena Taylor (1854-1930). Oscar and his second wife had no children. In 1901 Mabel died of spinal meningitis at the age of 16. Oscar died of a stroke in 1918 and his second wife Mary of heart failure in 1930.
     
    Mary Dency Irena Simmons purchased part of Reid Lot 172 from Amy E. Rutherford in 1906 and sold it to Melissa Eakins in 1909. Oscar purchased Reid Lot 170 and the adjoining part of Reid Lot 174 from his uncle Daniel L. Simmons in 1908 and transferred it to his wife in 1911. Their residence in 1911 was listed as 172 King Street (meaning Reid Lot 172). This is odd because he had previously sold that property, but still owned the property two doors to the east at 170 King Street. All of these properties are on the north side of King Street, between the Seaton House (Lot 168) and Elgin Street. Oscar Simmons also purchased Grover Lots 15-19, 28, and 29 from his uncle in 1910. He sold them to Harriet Stanton in 1916. He purchased Grover Lots 30-32 from Jessie M. Dudley in 1912. The Grover lots made up the western half of Lot 30, Concession 2, between Elgin and Kensington Streets.
  2. Theresa Alberta Simmons (1854-1944) was married in 1878 to blacksmith Albert Alonzo Ingersoll (1849-1900) who was born in Castleton but was a resident of Thornbury, Grey County when he married Theresa. The couple returned to Thornbury, where they lived until Albert died in 1900. At that point, Theresa returned to Cramahe, and was recorded there in the 1901 census. She was not in the 1911 census, but by 1921 she was back in Thornbury. In 1923 she married Hector William McTavish (1855-1931) in Toronto. He died in 1931. She died in Thornbury in 1932. There is no record of children.
  3. Ella Armenthe Simmons (1855-1932) married farmer and feed mill operator Frederick William Jones (1860-1934) in 1894. They had one son: Theo Harold (1898-1959). Ella died of chronic myocarditis in Castleton in 1932.
     
    For whatever reason the properties indirectly inherited by Ella’s adopted cousin Annie (Bader) Simmons from Annie’s adopted father Daniel Simmons (see above) passed into the hands of Fred Jones in 1919, then back to Eliza in 1921.
  4. Jennie L. Simmons (1870-1956) married soap manufacturer William Levi Bailey (1865-1920) in 1891 and had two children: Bruce Lionel (1891-1975) and Pauline (1894-1894). Pauline died of “cholera infantum” as a baby.
     
    William L. Bailey inherited part of Reid Lot 230, on the southeast corner of King Street and Victoria Street from his father Levi C. Bailey in 1904. This is where he, Jennie, and Bruce were living in 1911.

There was also an Eliza Simmons (b. ca. 1841) living with Levi Simmons and his family in 1861. This was not one of his children, partly because he would have been only 16 when she was born and partly because of the order in which the household members were listed in the census: Levi, his wife, his three children, then two people named Austin and Mary Baker, who one assumes were hired help, then Eliza Simmons. She was designated in the census as a family member, but this doesn’t necessarily mean she was a child of the family. Levi had a number of nieces and/or cousins of the appropriate age, but none named Eliza. So there are three possibilities: one of his nieces or cousins was nicknamed Eliza; Eliza was a more distant relation; or, highly unlikely, Levi sewed his wild oats early and Eliza was his illegitimate daughter. But that is pure speculation.

Other Cramahe Simmons

Simmons is a fairly common name, so there were a few others by that name through the history of Cramahe who were not, it appears, related to our Simmons Family:

  1. There was an Aaron Simmons resident in Cramahe from at least 1816 through 1821. There is no evidence that he was related to Smiton Simmons.
  2. Jacob Simmons and Samuel Simmons were recorded in the 1840 and 1842 Cramahe censuses, respectively. These were two sons of Peter John Simmons (1779-?) of Lennox County. Although Peter (who for some reason is listed as John N. Simmons in “Pioneer Life on the Bay of Quinte”) was born in Poughkeepsie, New York, which is also a suggested birthplace for Smiton Simmons (see above), but they apparently were not related. Smiton’s father was named James Simmons and Peter’s father was Johan Henrich Simmons. And there is nothing further about Jacob. There was a long-time resident of Kingston named Jacob Simmons (1809-1891), it isn’t evident that this was the same man. As far as I can tell, Samuel was a resident of Sidney, Hastings County for his entire life. I am skeptical that he ever lived in Cramahe, although he clearly owned property there. However, if this is incorrect, his wife, Sophia McCarthy (1810-1902, married in 1832), and children William Smith (1833-?), Mary Jane (1835-1906), John N. (1837-1884), and Mary E. (1842-1910) would have been residents as well.
  3. Timothy Simmons (?-?) was included in the 1840 and 1842 Cramahe censuses. There are a couple of Timothy Simmons’ of the right era in Upper Canada, but they can’t be tied to Cramahe with any certainty.
  4. There was a 13 year old girl named Sarah Simmons living with the family of James Carr in Cramahe in 1861. It is possible that this was the daughter of Stephen Simmons, although she is a bit young. Censuses were notorious for inaccurate ages, but listing a 20 year old as 13 seems unlikely. If she wasn’t Stephen’s daughter, hard to tell who she was, although Alexander Simmons, discussed in the next paragraph, had a sister named Sarah Jane, born in 1848.
  5. Alexander Simmons (1853-1908) and Catherine Head (ca. 1858-?) were married in Cramahe in 1874. It appears that both were residents of Murray Township, and there is no evidence of their ever living in Cramahe. Of course, if they arrived and left the township between two censuses, this would not be surprising. But on their marriage record they are both listed as residents of Murray Township.
  6. Frederick Simmons (1863-?), originally from Wisconsin, immigrated to Canada from Rochester, New York in 1897 and was working as a mechanic when he married Nettie Spafford (1873-?) that same year in Percy Township. In 1911 they were living in Warkworth and in 1921 in Cramahe Township. Their daughter was Hulda Maud Simmons (1904-?), who married Armson Randall Weeks (1902-?) in 1923. There was also a 13 year old Fred Simmons, born in the USA, living with Levi Welton and family in Cramahe in 1881. It is possible this is the same Fred Simmons, but could easily have been someone else.
  7. Daisy Rebecca Simmons (1893-1971) emigrated from England in 1907 and was working as a domestic with the C. W. Crandall family in 1911. She married a railroad station agent from Muskoka by the name of Charles Roy Baguley (1895-1961) in 1915.
  8. A stillborn girl was buried in Salem Cemetery in 1920. Her parents were Herbert Wilson Simmons (?-?) and Mary Baker (?-?) who were residents of Brighton at the time. Herbert was from Quebec and Mary from England, but there is no further information.
  9. George Simmons (ca. 1889-?), a farmer from Quebec, and his wife, whose name looks like “Mee” or “Wee” in the census, were living in Cramahe in 1921.