Contributed by Rhoda Taylor Fone
The following is an attempt to "set the record straight" concerning our ancestor, John Simpson
"Scotsman" of Aquia Creek, Stafford Co. VA. I have worked very closely
for a number of years with Mary Gregg and Erick Montgomery and our information
is based strictly on extant records. When speculation or theory is involved, it is so stated as such.
SIMPSON FAMILY - STAFFORD/FAIRFAX COS., VA
I. JOHN SIMPSON (SCOTSMAN). There are some genealogies that state our John
Simpson was born before 1645 in Scotland and although probable, no proof has
been found in the records to substantiate this. There is a deposition given by
a John Simpson dated Feb. 8, 1687/8 that states his age as 40, but there is no
proof that this was John Simpson, Scotsman. (Stafford County, Virginia Deed
& Will Abstracts 1686-1689, by Ruth & Sam Sparacio (Staff. Co., VA Rec.
Bk.-Deeds, Wills, Inventories, etc. from 8 Sept. 1686-7 Jan. 1689/90, Deed Bk.
D-Part I, pp.79a-80).) There were several John Simpsons in early Stafford
County but we can usually identify our John by the use of the terms "John
Simpson, Scotsman" and/or "John Simpson of Aquia." A deed in
Stafford Co., VA dated April 11, 1705 shows his wife's name as Mary when she
relinquished her right of dower. (Deed and Will Abstracts of Stafford County, Virginia,
1699-1709, by Ruth & Sam Sparacio (Staff. Co., VA Rec. Bk. 1699-1709, pp.
From a deposition that his son John Simpson, Jr. gave in
1748, it appears pretty certain that John Simpson, Sr. was at one time a
servant to George Brent. The deposition of John Simpson, Jr. states as follows:
FROM: SIMPSON CONNECTIONS by Robt. H. & Twilah M. (Seefeld) McFarland: From
a deposition given by John Simpson, Jr. in 1748:
"John Simpson of Stafford Co., Planter, aged
about 69 years...deposeth & saith that he hath been informed...that he was
born within 10 miles of Woodstock in the County aforsd & while he was a
child this Depont's father & mother removed to live on the sd plantation of
Woodstock & continued there until he was about 15 or 16 years of age when
he removed about a mile from thence & continued there till he came of full
age & married & hath lived ever since until this time within 20 miles
of the said plantation. That this depont perfectly well remembers Geo. Brent,
Gent., dec'd, who lived at Woodstock when this deponents father & mother
removed there...That this depont always understood & was informed by his
father, in Particular WHO SERVED HIS TIME WITH THE FIRST NAMED GEO. BRENT that
the sd. Geo. was born in England & came from thence to Va."
Until recently it was assumed that John
Simpson only had four sons and two daughters - (1) John Simpson, Jr., (2)
Thomas Simpson (3) George Simpson (4) Richard Simpson (5) Ann Simpson and (6)
Elizabeth Simpson (who d. young). New information from Stafford Co. Court
Orders 1680 has surfaced that indicates he may have had two other daughters.
PLEASE NOTE that it has not been determined if this 1680 John Simpson of Aquia
was actually the same as John Simpson "Scotsman" of Aquia. It
certainly seems likely but without further documentation we cannot be certain.
The following abstracts are from Stafford County, Virginia, Deed & Will Book Abstracts, 1809-1810, by Ruth &
Sam Sparacio; this book also contains portions of Stafford County Court Records 1680.
(Stafford Co., VA Court Orders 1680, p. 24(45) Know All Men by these presents
that I Jno: Simpson of Acquia in Stafford County in Virga: for and in
consideration of ye natural love good will & affection which I have and
beareth towards my daughter, Jane Simpson, doe hereby fully freely and
absolutely give unto her forever one three yeare old Heifer of a blacke pyed
collor cropt on each ear and in each ear a hole; To have and to hold ye said
heifer with all her increase male and female unto ye said Jane Simpson for ever
with warranty from mee my Executors and Administrators against ye claime or
claimes of any person whatsoever; Witness whereof I have hereunto sett my hand & seal 16th Xbr. 1680.
/s/ Jno: Simpson
Test Robt: Frankland
I Thomas Maull of Acquia in Stafford County in Virga: in consideration of ye
good will and affection which I have to and for Mary Simpson, Daughter of Jno:
Simpson, of ye county aforesaid, doe freely and voluntarily give unto ye said
Mary Simpson for ever one two yeare old Heifer being blacke with a white tayle
and a white belly marked cropt and two slitts on ye left ear and a swallow
forke and a hole on the right with all her increase; To have and to hold ye
said heifer with all her encrease for ever unto ye said Mary Simpson and ye
said Thomas Maull doe hereby warrt: ye said Heifer and increase unto ye said
Mary against ye claime of me my Exors. or Admors. Or any othr: person
whatsoever; Witnesse my hand this 16th December 1680.
/s/ Thomas Maul
Test: Robt: Frankland
Jno: Simpson giveth for his mrke: a cropp & two slitts on ye left ear and a
flower de luce and hole on ye right. Recordatr: 16th Xbr: 1680.
Jane Simpson, Daughter of ye said Jno: Simpson giveth for her mrke. Cropp and
two slitts on ye left ear & an overkeele on ye right. Recordatr:
Much discussion and speculation has followed the discovery of
this 1680 John Simpson of "Acquia." We do know that John Simpson,
Scotsman, was at one time indentured to George Brent. If this 1680 John Simpson
was the "Scotsman" then the indenture was surely before 1680. We also
have the statement of John Simpson, Jr. in 1748 that his father and mother
"removed to live on the sd. plantation of Woodstock" (Brent's
plantation) which leaves some unanswered questions as well. Did John the Scot
serve out his indenture earlier and then moved back to Woodstock to work for
George Brent? Unfortunately we seem to have exhausted all of the Stafford County
records without solving these puzzles.
The identity of four sons and one daughter can be proved by
the following records.
(1) Will of Henry Thompson. In this will, Henry Thompson leaves legacies to
many people, including "John Simpson in Aquia Creek Scotsman."
Although some researchers assume that Henry Thompson and John Simpson were
related, there is nothing in the records to indicate this. The claim that the
Scotsman's wife was a daughter of Henry Thompson is totally unsubstantiated and
appears to be based solely upon the mention of John Simpson and his three
eldest sons in Henry Thompson's will. However, Thompson left property and
possessions to many others in his will, did not mention any relationships, and
no relationship to any of the legatees has been found in the records. PLEASE
NOTE: the 300 acres left to John the Scot's sons was NOT on Aquia Creek but
located on Powell's Run in the area that later became Prince William Co., VA.
Thompson's will reads as follows:
(From: Prince William County, Virginia Land Causes Abstracts 1789-1790, by Ruth
& Sam Sparacio)
Will of Henry Thompson:
In the name of God Amen I Henry Thompson of Stafford County Gent. being sick of
Body but of sound and perfect memory lawd and praise be to Almighty God do make
and constitute ordain and appoint and nominate this my last will and Testament
in manner and form following:.... First of all my worldly Estate be it whatever
may be found I hereby constitute nominate and appoint my Trusty Friend John
Waugh clerk my whole and sole executor to this my last will and Testament. Imps
I devise will and bequeath three hundred acres of land lying and being upon
Pohick creek to be equally divided between Richard and Alexander Waugh sons of
John Waugh abovesaid to them and their heirs forever. Also I give devise and
bequeath that Plantation and tract of Land at Cockpit point to Ann Waugh
Daughter of John Waugh abovesaid and the heirs of her body begot and for want
of such to Richard and Alexander Waugh abovesaid and to the heirs of their
bodies., I also give will and bequeath that tract and dividend of land lying on
Powells Run containing about three hundred acres unto the three eldest sons now
living of John Simpson in Aquia Creek Scotsman to them and their heirs forever.
I will and bequeath two Rings, a mourning Ring with the posie "prepared be
to follow me," and the oath with the posie "My Love to you shall
endless be" these two aforesaid I devise and give to Elizabeth wife to
John Waugh abovesaid. Likewise I give bequeath to Mary Williams now residing
upon this plantation my Horse Turk with Bridle and saddle and 2000 lb. of good
Tobacco to be instantly and conveniently paid her after my decease. I give and
will to Henry Mann son of James Mann two young Heiffers two years old. Item I
give to Mr. Robert Collis one barron cow and what sows I now have pasturing
upon this plantation. Item: I give to Mr. Collis one cow mare and one stear of
three years old running at Edwards Hoomes, plantation next spring. Item: I give
to Will Sturcey my Gun and small chest. Items: I give Will and bequeath to the
Church at Stafford church ten pounds sterling to be by the minister and church
Wardens laid out in plate for the blessed sacrament and other necessarys for
the service of God and ornament of the abovesaid church at the head of Potomack
creek. Item I give and bequeath to Thomas Kemp what Tobacco he is indebted to
me and one pot and one frying pan. Item: I give and bequeath to Patrick Hume my
horse named Tobey branded DM. Item I give and bequeath to John Goury one Beaver
Hat one light coloured stuff mans coat and one pair of Plush mans breeches.
Item I give unto John Simpson Scotchman abovesaid one broad cloth coat dark
coloured one pair of pize Breeches. Item I give to Thomas Ellzey Junior one
half of my books and the other half I give to the wife of Mr. Robert Collis.
Item: I give to William ( ) one Serge Coat one pair of Leather Drawers one pair
of shoes one pair of stockings and seven yards of blue linen. I further give to
John Simpson abovesaid one Horse named spite Branded with the figure 4 upon the
shoulder. Item I give will and bequeath to Joseph Hinson one semitor with a
black hilts. Item I give and bequeath to Thomas Ellzey Senr. one case of
Pistols and Holsters and semiter with a plate hilt and belt belonging to it
with plate Buckles. Item I give and will to Capt. George Mason my cane with a
silver head. Item: I will and desire that one large seal Ring of twenty
shillings price be delivered to Joseph the son of John Waugh abovesaid. Item: I
give to Richard Martin one mare which I bought of James Gallaway branded with
three brands. In witness of this my last will and testament I have hereunto set
my hand and seal this 23rd of October 1691.
/s/ Hen: Thompson
Signed sealed in Presence of us
Soon thereafter we find the following document:
"Tomlinson to Simpson. Know all men by these presents that Whereas Hugh
Tomlinson having made sale to Mr. Henry Thompson for three hundred acres of
Land in the within Bill of Sale and having by the last will and testament of
the said Henry Tompson given and bequeathed the said three hundred acres of
Land unto the three eldest sons of John Simpson of Aquia. Therefore I the said
Hugh Tomlinson do by these presents ratify confirm and make over the within
mentioned 300 acres of land to the aforesaid three eldest sons of John Simpson
and their Heirs according to the true intent and meaning of the last will and
Testatment of Henry Thompson abovesaid. In witness whereof I have hereunto set
my hand and seal this 12th day of 9ber 1692.
/s/ Hugh Tomlinson.
Many years later there was a lawsuit in Prince William County involving this
three hundred acres and two depositions taken in connection with this suit are
very important in identifying these sons of John Simpson, Scotsman. The first
is the deposition of Ann Gist, a daughter of John Simpson:
Ann Gist's depositon was taken at the home of her SON, John
Gist. The information in Tyler's Quarterly, Vol. 21, No. 1, pp. 60-61
mistakenly stated that John Gist was her husband.
Deposition of Ann Gist, age about 80 years or thereabouts, taken 23 May 1769,
Loudoun Co., VA:
"She sayeth that John Simpson
of Stafford County who died about twelve years ago was eldest son of John
Simpson who was a Scotsman and Father to this deponent. That the next two
eldest Brothers of John Simpson and Sons of John Simpson Scotsman died about 50
years ago (as well as she remembers) and that she understood that Henry
Thompson by his last will and Testament bequeathed 300 acres of land on Powells
Creek then in Stafford County to the three eldest sons of the said John Simpson
Scotsman. That the Brothers and Joint Legatees with the first mentioned John
Simpson died without claiming any part of the Bequest and that the surviving
Brother John Simpson by Deed gave the said 300 acres to James Halley, the
The other important deposition is that of Catherine (Jeffries) Halley. This
deposition is important as it proves that Richard Simpson was a younger son of
John Simpson (Scotsman), and that John Simpson, Jr. was married to Catherine
(Jeffries) Halley's mother--Silent (Bryant), the widow Jeffries. (Note: the
information in Overwharton Parish Register that John, Jr. m. Silent Johnson is
wrong. There are records to prove that her maiden name was Bryant and that she
was widow of Thomas Jeffries when she married John Simpson, Jr.)
From: Prince William County, Virginia Land Causes, 1789-1793, by Ruth & Sam
Deposition of Catherine Halley "of lawful age" taken in Fairfax
County, Virginia 7 August 1790:
She says that she well remembers
that John Simpson did intermarry with this Deponent's Mother and that she lived
with him for many years, during which time she frequently heard the said John
Simpson say that he had two brothers, one by the name of Thomas, the other
George, and that they were both dead and Richard Simpson was the youngest
brother and the only one then living.
SIMPSON FAMILY -
STAFFORD/FAIRFAX COS., VA.
Known Children of John Simpson, Scotsman:
1. John Simpson, Jr., b. Ca. 1680, Stafford Co., VA; d. Ca. 1756,
Stafford Co. Married (1) Mary [unknown]???. [Note: it is generally believed
John, Jr. had a first wife named Mary but we are still uncertain about this.]
Married (2) Silent (Bryant) Jeffries, widow of Thomas Jeffries. It appears John
Simpson, Jr. had no children but in his very short will he does name Alexander
Simpson and it is possible he could have been his son.
From: Stafford County, Virginia Will Abstracts, 1748-1767, by Ruth & Sam
Will of John Simpson, Jr.
Staff.Co. WB (Liber O), pp. 321-22: In Name of God Amen I John Simpson of
Stafford County being sick but of perfect mind .. Do make this my last will
& Testament that is to say first I recommend my Soul into hands of God ..
Body to be buried in decent manner. Imp I will give and bequeath to Ann
Sudderth dau. Of Benjn. Sudderth one feather bed & furniture & one
young pacing horse of one years old. Imp I give to Alexander Simpson two Coats
& my riding Saddle. Imps I give to my beloved wife Silent Simpson all the
remaining part of my Personal Estate .. And Lastly I appoint my beloved Wife
Silent Simpson my whole & sole Executrix .. 20th May 1756.
/s/ John (his mark) Simpson
Daniel Chambers, Eliza X Jacobs,
Catha. Jeffries (her mark)
At Court held for Stafford County 10th August 1756 Last Will presented into
Court .. Proved admitted to record .. Certificate granted for obtaining
P. 322 In Obedience Order of County Court of Stafford to us the Subscribers
10th August 1755 being first sworn on holy Evangelists before Mott Doniphan
Gentl. One of his Majestys Justices of Peace .. Have proceeded to appraise
& Inventory Estate of John Simpson deced in current money .. Items listed
and valued .. Total 51:8:6 lbs.
Wm. Grigsby Senr John Grigsby Senr
At Court held for Stafford County 14th Sept 1756 Inventory admitted to record.
[NOTE: Ann Sudderth was granddaughter of Silent (Bryant) Jeffries Simpson from
Silent's first marriage to Thomas Jeffries.]
2. Thomas Simpson, b. Ca. 1683, Stafford Co., VA. There are at least
three Thomas Simpsons as possible candidates for the son of John Simpson
(Scotsman). The most popular choice has usually been the Thomas Simpson,
carpenter, who d. in Prince William Co., VA in 1734. This Thomas had a wife
Jane and a large family of children. (More on this later.)
3. George Simpson, b. Ca. 1685, Stafford Co., VA.
4. Ann Simpson, b. Ca. 1689, d. after 1769. Married Joseph Gist/Guess.
(It has been incorrectly stated that she married John Gist/Guess but there are
records in Stafford Co. that prove her husband was Joseph Gist/Guess. As
mentioned earlier, they did have a son John.)
5. Richard Simpson, b. Ca. 1692, Stafford Co., VA. PLEASE NOTE: there is
absolutely nothing in the records to show he had a middle name of
"Withers." He married Sarah (unknown), the widow Barker. (We have
been unable to find the name of Sarah's first husband, Mr. Barker, but her will
mentions her son William Barker.) Richard died ca. 1762 in Fairfax Co., leaving
a will as follows:
Fairfax County, Virginia, Will Book B-1, pp. 347-349. Last Will and Testament
of Ritchard Simpson.
(Some abstracts show his name as
Pritchard and others as Ritchard. This transcription is by Erick Montgomery
from a photocopy of the recorded will.)
In the name of God amen I Ritchard Simpson being at this time sick and week but
in sound mind & perfect memory makes the following disposals of my worldly
estate with which God has blessed me after my Just Debts & funeral Expenses
Item I give and bequeath unto George Simpson the Land I now live on it being
part of two tracks to him & his haiors for ever. Item I give and bequeath
unto Moses Simpson two hundred and fore acres of Land lying on the south run of
Pohick that I purchased of Sam Tollburd to him & his haiors for ever
I further will and bequeath the use of my slaves (to wit) Jack, bes, James,
Boson, Cate, Frank, Sezer, Tom, Hagor, Rbesare [?], Jack, Moll, Ben & Nan
to my beloved wife Sary for & during hur natural life and after hur
decease, I will the said Slaves
Item I give and bequeath unto George Simpson two Negroes Jack and Bess, to him
and his haiors.
Item I give and bequeath unto Ritchard Simpson two Slaves Seser & Tom.
Item I give and bequeath unto Moses Simpson two Slaves Ben & Nan to him and
his heirs for ever.
Item I give and bequeath unto my Daughter Elizabeth Halley two slaves Rbesare
& Hagar to hur and hur forever.
Item I give and bequeath unto Sary Windser two Slaves Boson and Cate.
Item I give and bequeath unto Mary Canterbury two Slaves Jack and moll to hur
and hur haiors for ever and in default of such haiors then I will the said
Slaves to Elizabeth Halley & Sary Windser to be equally divided between
Item I give unto my grand Daughter Caron Happack one Negroe James. Item I give
unto my grandson George Windser one Negroe Frank. Item I give and bequeath unto
Ritchard Simpson two fether beds and furniture the choice of five my further
desire is that the rest of my Estate personall shoud be equally divided between
my wife & six children and this I declare and publish to be my last will
and Testament revoking and disanulling all former and other Wills &
Testaments by me heretofore made and I do make plain constitute and appoint my
two sons George Simpson and Moses Simpson Executors of this my last will and
Signed with my hand and sealed with my hand & seal with my seale this 19th
September in the year of our Lord 1761 in the presants of us
/s/ Ritchard (R-his mark) Simpson
James Halley Junr
At a Court held for the County of Fairfax 21st Decr. 1762
This Will was proved by the oath of James Halley Junr. and John Windsor two of
the Witnesses and at a Court Continues and held for the said County the 22d of
the same Instant This Will was presented in Court by George Simpson and Moses
Simpson Executors herein named who made oath thereto and the same being further
proved by the oath of Frances Halley another Witness is ordered to be recorded
and the Executors having performed what the Law requires Certificate is granted
then for obtaining a probate thereof in due form.
Teste P Wagoner Ct Clerk
(Fx. WB C, pp. 33-34 - Fairfax County Virginia Wills Abstracts, 1767-1783, by
Ruth & Sam Saparcio.) Estate of Richard Simpson, decd. To Mr. Edward Payne
for Levys & Taxes; Thomas Windsor, Thomas Windsor, Junr., James Halley,
Eliza Reed for attendance at funeral; Mr. George Johnston; Thomas Poor for
Taylors work; Sarah Simpson's part of the estate deld her; To George Simpson,
James Halley; Samuel Canterbury, Thomas Windsor, Moses Simpson, Richard
Simpson, each 36.3.0 lbs; 11 negroes delivered all devisees; (1763) John
Grahams rent; (1765) Moses Simpson, Geo. Simpson, John Grimes; David Miller;
Joseph Yeatman, John Alderson; Chs. Cornish; William Barker, William
Williamson, Wm. Connelly. Account totalled Tobacco 888 and 872.11.9 lbs.
At a court held .. 20th June 1768 .. George
Simpson, one of the executors of Richard Simpson, decd., exhibited this account
.. Is allowed and ordered to be recorded.
WILL OF SARAH SIMPSON (Fairfax County VA Will Book B 1752-1767, pp.
418-419) May 1764 Proved 10 August 1766
(from copy of original handwritten
In the name of God, Amen, I Sarah Simpson widow of the County of Fairfax,
Colony of Virginia, being weak of body but of sound mind and memory calling to
mind the uncertainty of this mortal life that is appointed to all once to die,
do make this my last will and Testament in manner and form following.
Imprimis I give and bequeath my Soul to God and my Body to the earth to be
buried in decent Christian like manner, according to the discretion of my
executors hereafter mentioned and doubting but humbly hoping for a joyful
Resurrection to eternal life through the merits and intercession of Jesus
Christ my Savior and for the portion of worldly goods it hath pleased God to
endow me with I will ordain that all debts and funeral charges should be paid
Item: I give and bequeath unto my well beloved
son Moses Simpson one gold Ring posed? thus "when this you see, Remember
me" and if my son Moses dies without heir for it to fall to my
Grand-daughter Sarah Simpson, the Daughter of George Simpson.
Item: I give and bequeath unto my Grand-daughter
Sarah Halley, the wife of William Wilkison one gold ring with the two first
letters of her name engraven on it.
Item: I give and bequeath unto my Grand-daughter
Sarah Windsor one gold ring with the two first letters of her name engraven on
Item: I give and bequeath unto my Grand-daughter
Sarah Simpson, the Daughter of Richard Simpson, one gold ring with her name
engraven at large on it.
Item: I give and bequeath unto my three daughters
all my wearing apparriel to be equally divided allowing Elizabeth Halley first
Item: I give and bequeth unto my Son George
Simpson one shilling sterling.
Item: I give and bequeth unto my Sons .. Richard
Simpson and Moses Simpson one shilling each.
Item: I give and bequeath unto my well Beloved
Son, William Barker all and every part of my estate except the legacies above
mentioned. Lastly I do constitute, and ordain, and appoint WILLIAM BARKER
Executor of this my last will and Testament, hereby renouncing all other and
former wills by me made. Witness my and and seal this day of May in the year of
our Lord one thousand seven and sixty-four.
/s/ Sarah (S-her mark) Simpson
Signed, sealed in the published presence off us
Benjamin (B-his mark) Suddath
Contributed by Erick Montgomery
As a follow up to Rhoda's excellent
information on our ancestor, John Simpson, the Scotsman of Aquia, Stafford
County, Virginia, I am submitting this additional information on his son,
Thomas. I must acknowledge the collaborative effort of Mary Gregg and Rhoda
Fone who have assisted me in properly and accurately interpreting the
information that follows. I should also acknowledge Helen Meeks and the late
Tom Meeks, who generously obtained copies of some of the courthouse documents
cited below, and shared them with me.
We know that John the Scot had a son named Thomas from the deposition of Anne
Gist, daughter of John Simpson, the Scotsman, as cited in Rhoda's information.
That is collaborated by the deposition of Catherine Halley, also cited by
Ann Gist stated in her 1769 deposition that "the next two eldest Brothers of
John Simpson and Sons of John Simpson Scotsman died about 50 years ago (as well
as she remembers)." This suggests that both Thomas and George Simpson died
around 1719, although Ann admitted that it was a rough estimate. (Ref: Prince
William County, Virginia Land Causes, 1789-1793:40-41)
Catherine Halley made her deposition regarding the Simpsons in 1790, stating
"she frequently heard the said John Simpson say that he had two brothers, one
by the name of Thomas, the other George, and that they were both dead and
Richard Simpson was the youngest brother and the only one then living." From
this authoritative statement, we can infer that both Thomas and George Simpson
were dead before 1740, when Catherine's mother, the widow Silent Jeffries
married John Simpson, Jr., son of the Scotsman. Since Catherine Halley lived in
the household of John Simpson "for many years," and did not remember either
Thomas or George Simpson, brothers of her step-father, it seems certain that
they both must have died in the 1730s or before. (Ref: Prince William County,
Virginia Land Causes, 1789-1793:87-88, transcribed by Ruth and Sam Sparacio).
From the above, there seems to be no argument that John Simpson, the Scotsman
had a son named Thomas, and that he died sometime before 1740. His birth
certainly occurred after about 1680, the approximate year of birth of John
Simpson, Jr., the eldest son, and before 1691, the year that Henry Thompson
wrote his will and left property to "the three eldest sons now living of John
Simpson in Aquia Creek Scotsman." But which Thomas Simpson was our subject? The
extant records of Stafford and Prince William Counties suggest that there were
at least two candidates. One died before 1733 and the other died in 1734 or
1735. Either one of these could be the one, or he could have been neither of
them. Evidence for the two that left information will follow.
The first Thomas Simpson in the area died before 16 August 1733, as proven in
the following record:
(Prince William Co., Va. DB ?B:98-100) Aug. 16,
1733. Wm. Hogan of Pr. Wm. & Elizabeth his wife to Mary Griffin of same,
widdow, for 20 pds. current money, 409 acs. on the upper side of Piney Branch
falling into Popes Head Run being one of the branches of Occoquan...granted to
Walter Griffin dec'd., who by his last will devised it to Thos. Simpson for
life who now being dead, the same reverts to Elizabeth as only sister &
heir of sd. Walter ...deeds of lease & release.
Wits: Geo: Mason, Jas. Gib /s/ Wm.
(W.H.) Hogan, Eliz. (E) Hogan
Acknowledged Aug. 17, 1733
Unfortunately, the will of Walter Griffin does not survive, and nothing else is
known of this Thomas Simpson. As can be seen from the above, this gives no hint
of his age, but his relative obscurity might suggest that he was young when he
died. Even the date of his death cannot be determined, except that he must have
been living at the time Walter Griffin wrote his will. Since it is missing, we
don't know when that was, but we can say that Walter was living as late as 21
October 1728 when he received the following patent of land, which is the same
parcel cites in the Hogan deed above:
(NN Pat Bk B:156) Oct. 21, 1728. Walter Griffen of Stafford Co., 409 acs. in
Stafford on Piney Br. of Pope's Head Run of Occaquan.
Thus, we can say that the Thomas Simpson associated with the Griffins died
after 21 October 1728, since this is the same tract that Walter Griffin willed
to him for life; and this Thomas Simpson died before 16 August 1733, since
William and Elizabeth Hogan stated that he was deceased at that time.
Whether Thomas Simpson was related to Walter Griffin is not stated, but seems
possible. He apparently made another bequest in his now missing will to James
Halley, who later stated that he was a nephew of Walter Griffin. The
association with John Simpson, the Scotsman's family should be noted here, in
that James Halley (1707-1792) married in the early 1730s to Elizabeth Simpson
(1717-1785), daughter of Richard Simpson and granddaughter of John Simpson, the
Scotsman. It should also be noted that Walter Griffin was actually a Junior,
and a son of Walter Griffin, Sr., of Stafford County, Virginia who married the
widow of Thomas Baxter, Sr. This link will become more apparent when we discuss
the second Thomas Simpson, below. Mary, the widow of Walter Griffin, Jr.,
remarried to Lewis Ellzey. They Ellzeys would remain associates of the
descendants of John Simpson, the Scotsman, in Fairfax County, Virginia for many
Most Simpson genealogists have assumed that the other Thomas Simpson, known as
"Carpenter," was the son of John Simpson, the Scotsman, primarily because the
above mentioned Thomas Simpson was either unknown to them, or close enough examination
had not been given to the precise dates involved with him. Perhaps it has been
assumed that the two Thomas Simpsons were one and the same person. This,
however, cannot be the case when closely comparing the extant records.
This Thomas Simpson , was granted 423 acres of land on both sides of Sandy Run
in what was then Stafford County, Virginia on 6 June 1717 (Northern Neck Grants
5:141). Parts of this land would remain in possession of his direct descendants
well into the 19th Century, providing clear evidence of their lineage in some
of the latter deeds. This tract fell into Prince William County when it was
created in 1730/31 and subsequently into Fairfax County in 1742, about seven
years after Thomas' death, as shown below.
At some point before his death, Thomas Simpson "Carpenter" came into possession
of another parcel of 250 acres, located on Occoquan Bay. It was part of an old
patent of Thomas Baxter, Sr., which had been regranted to Thomas Baxter, Jr. on
14 December 1703. (Northern Neck Grants 3:6). Thomas Simpson's 250 acres was
only a portion of Thomas Baxter's total grant of 1,907 acres. It has been
suggested that Thomas Simpson "Carpenter" may have married a daughter of Thomas
Baxter, and that he was likely the builder of the oldest extant house in
Fairfax County located on the same tract and later known as "Belmont
Plantation." (See Moxham, Belmont Plantation on the Occoquan, pp. 4-5).
Although there does seem to be circumstantial evidence because of this parcel
of land, and the fact that Thomas Simpson "Carpenter" named one of his sons
Baxter Simpson, no documentation has surfaced to prove that such a marriage
actually occurred. Thomas Simpson "Carpenter" sold this 250 acre tract on 28
May 1734 to Catesby Cocke, Esq. (Prince William County, Virginia Deeds B:284).
Thomas Simpson "Carpenter" wrote his will on 13 October
1734, and was dead by 19 February 1735. (Prince William County, Virginia Wills
C, 1734-1744:16-17). A transcript follows:
In the name of God Amen the thirteenth day of October in the year of our Lord
1734 I Thomas Simson of Prince William County Carpenter being very sick &
weak of body but Perfect in mind and memory thanks be to Almighty God for it
and calling to mind the mortality of my Body and knowing that it is appointed for
all men once to die I due make and ordain this my last Will and Testament, that
is to say Principally and first of all I give and recomend my soul into the
hands of Allmighty God that gave it and for my Body I recomend to the Earth to
be buried in a Christian like and decent manner at the descretion of my
Executor nothing doubting but at the Generall resurrection I shall receive the
same again by the mighty Power of God as touching such worly Estate where with
it has pleased God to bless me with in this life I give desire and dispose of
the same in the following manner and form.
Item I give and bequeath unto my oldest son William Simson one hundred and
twenty three acres of Land where he is now living on both sides of Sande run.
Item I give and bequeath unto my son Baxter Simson two hundred acres of Land
lying on both sides of Sande Run and adjoining to the to the Land aforesaid of
my son William Simson on the uper side one breeding mare my bullet gun one bed
bolster one rug and two blankets one Iron Pot six Plates and six spoons.
Item I give and bequeath to my son Thomas Simson three hundred and Eighty Six
Acres of Land lying on the South side of Chapawamsik Creek likewise one
breeding mare one feather bed boulster rug and two blankets one Iron Pot six
plates and six spoons.
Item I give and bequeath unto my loving Daughter Mary Woodard one hundred Acres
of Land where she is now seated and lying on the North side of Sande run to her
and the heirs of her Body forever.
Item I give and bequeath unto my Daughter Ann Simson after her mother in Laws
deceas one cow and calf one feather bed boulster rug and two blankets.
Item I give and bequeath unto my beloved Grand Children the son and Daughter of
Mary Woodward Thomas Woodard and Ann Woodard one you a peace.
Item I give and bequeath unto my ever loving wife Jane Simson all my Plantation
and liberty of one hundred Acres of Land where I now live her life and after
her deceas to fall to my son Baxter I also give her the Privileg of the whole
track for Timber for the use of the Plantation I also leave my wife all my
movable Estate except the legecies herein before mentioned and leave my Wife
whole and sole Executor of this my last Will and Testament and further I leave
my three Children Baxter Simson and Thomas Simson to be brought up till they
come to the age of Eighteen Years and likewise my Daughter Ann till she come of
age by my wife Jane Simson I further leave my Daughter Ann to Mary Woodard in
case her mother dies before she comes of age I further give unto my wife two
negros During her life and after her decease for to be equally divided among my
children and I due hereby utterly disallow revoke and disanol all and every
other former Testaments Wills and Legecies bequests and Executors by me in any
ways before this time named Willed and bequeathed & ratifying and
confirming this and no other to be my last Will and Testament in witness
Whereof I have hereunto set my hand and seale the day and year above written
sind sealed and Delivered in The Presence of us
I desire my movable Estate may be invetored
and returned and not aprased His
Thomas T Simson (SEAL)
Tho.s ford Mark
Mary + Evans
At a Court held for Prince William County the Nineteenth Day of February 1734
This Will was presented into Court by Jane Simson executor therein named who
made oath thereto and being proved by the oaths of Thomas Ford and John
Robertson two of the witnesses thereto it is admitted to record and on the
motion of the said Jane and her performing what is usual in such cases
certificate is granted her for obtaining a probate thereof in due form
Test Catesby Cocke Cl.
(Thomas Simson's Mark looked like a large T with a backwards S superimposed
upon its leg).
Something can be assumed about this Thomas Simpson's age by the relationships
stated in his will. First, he was a grandfather. Assuming that his daughter was
at least 15 years of age when she married, and that she was at least 18 years
old by the time she had her second child, she should have been born no later
than 1716, and possibly before since she was already a widow. This pushes
Thomas Simpson "Carpenter's" date of birth back into the 1690s, if not before.
He therefore remains a possible candidate as the son of John Simpson, the Scotsman.
Just as the first discussed Thomas Simpson had obvious ties to the Baxter
Family, so did Thomas Simpson, "Carpenter." As shown above, he once owned part
of a Baxter land patent, and he named a son Baxter. The descendants of Thomas
Simpson, "Carpenter" were close associates and neighbors of Richard Simpson,
the Scotsman's youngest son, for several generations, and even intermarried in
several instances. When Thomas Simpson, Jr. died in about 1740, his elder
brother William Simpson was appointed administrator with Richard Simpson
serving as William's bondsman. (Prince William County, Virginia Wills C,
1734-1744, p. 269)
The first discussed Thomas Simpson left no evidence regarding his age that has
surfaced so far. Unless evidence can be found that he was born after 1791, he
also cannot be ruled out as a son of John Simpson, the Scotsman. It is
sincerely hoped that additional documentation will come to light that will help
to determine which Thomas is a son of the Scotsman, whether it be one of these
two men, or another one still not identified.
One or Two John Simpsons, Potomac River?
Posted by: Ronald E. Hagen
Date: September 27, 1998
One of the enquiries below on Gilbert Simpson raises the question of whether
the Gilbert Simpsons (father and son) of mid-1700 Fairfax County, Virginia are
related to John the Scot Simpson of late seventeenth century Stafford County,
Virginia. John the Scot left several children who moved to the same parts of
Fairfax County. The elder Gilbert was born around 1699, probably in Charles
County, Maryland. The Maryland will of John Young describes this Gilbert as the
youngest son of John Simpson. The John Simpson of Charles County does not
appear before 1699 (and perhaps later) and was dead by 1709 (based on estate
inventories). John the Scot Simpson had his last identified child in the early
to mid 1690s and is usually attributed with dying either in the late 1690s or
early 1700s though the date is usually accompanied by a question mark. I do not
know if this is the date he disappeared from Virginia. The location of Gilbert
and John Simpson in Charles County is associated with an older Thomas Simpson.
There appears to have been at least one yet earlier generation of Simpsons in
Maryland and Virginia. The question that arises then is are there one or two
John Simpsons. A clear death date for John the Scot might eliminate an
immediate Maryland Simpson/Gilbert Simpson connection. Thomas Simpson of
Maryland was a Scottish Catholic. What was John the Scots religion?
Posted by: Mary Gregg
Date: September 27, 1998
Hello, Ron - Re the two John Simpsons. It seems to me that John Simpson,
Scotsman, was alive as late as 1709. Although there were two or more John
Simpsons in Stafford County in the 1680s, by the late 1690s, there seems to
have been only one - John Simpson, Scotsman, of Aquia - Until such time as his
son became an adult - Apparently that occurred not later than 1705. There is a
deed in Stafford Co., DB Z:266-267, dated April 11, 1705, from John Simpson,
Senr. (his wife, Mary, acknowledged, too) to Peter Melby. John is selling 217
acres he was granted on July 26, 1795. Since he was terming himself "Senr."
I figure it was to distinguish him from a younger John Simpson - probably his
son of that name.
Then, in April 1709 (Stafford Co. Record Book 1699 -1709, p. 471) the
appraisers of Evan Jones' estate were Lawrence Suddath and John Simpson, Junr.
Since in 1709 there still seems to have been a need to use the term
"Junr." John, Sr. may still have been alive. This is the last record
I've been able to find that indicates he is living. No clue as to when he died,
but it seems definitely to have been after April of 1705, and more than likely,
after April of 1709.
Another point - re Gilbert's being the "youngest son of John
Simpson." In a deposition taken in a law suit in 1790, Catherine HALLEY
stated that John Simpson
[We know that this was John, son of John the Scot. mg] intermarried with her
mother, and that she (Catherine) frequently heard the said John Simpson say
that he had two brothers, Thomas and George, "and they were both dead and
Richard Simpson was the youngest Brother and the only one living. . ."
[Catherine was speaking of a time when she was young - long before she made the
deposition.] She said she could remember seeing Richard Simpson but did not
recall ever having seen Thomas or George.
We know that Catherine's stepfather, John Simpson, Jr., died in Stafford County
in 1756, and his brother, Richard Simpson, died in Fairfax in late 1761 or -
more likely - in 1762.
No one that I know of knows what religion John the Scot was, and we don't
actually KNOW that he was born in Scotland, but it seems unlikely that he would
have been identified as "John Simpson,Scotsman" had he been born
anywhere other than Scotland.
Posted by: Scott Simpson
Date: September 29, 1998
We know that Catherine's stepfather, John Simpson, Jr., died in Stafford County
in 1756, and his brother, Richard Simpson, died in Fairfax in late 1761 or more
likely - in 1762.Do you know whether this John Simpson, Jr., is the same John
Simpson who married Elizabeth Naylor in King George County, Va., in 1735? My
ancestor John Simpson, who died in Culpeper Co. in 1776, mentioned his wife
Elizabeth in his will, and I've been trying to prove that my John is the same
one who married Elizabeth Naylor. But if you know that the John who died in
Stafford Co. in 1756 is the one who married her, I can rule that out.
Note this John died with wife named Elizabeth, so he could not have been our
Posted by: Nelson Harris
Date: December 30, 1998
Scott - I appreciate your difficulty regarding the John Simpson situation. You
may wish to check an article in Tyler's Quarterly , Volume 21, No.1, p. 61
(July 1939) as it contains some John Simpson family data. I descend from John,
Jr.'s brother, Thomas Simpson. Happy to share more data with you - Nelson