Simpson History



John "Scotsman" Simpson

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.


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. 266-267).)

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
Robert Collis
John Gourdy
Mary Williams.

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 present Defendant."

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 Sparacio:
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.


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 Sparacio:

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 probate.

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.
         Alexander Doniphan
        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 are paid.
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 them.
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 Testament.
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
Frances Halley
John Winser     

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 court document).

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 Viz.

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 it.

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 choice.

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
Thos. Ford
William King     
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 Rhoda.

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
     W. Watson
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 decades.

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
John Robertson
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 John,Jr.

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 Harris


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