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Biographies

John Simons

Our earliest known ancestor in the Simons line is John Simons who was born in 1715 in Virginia. He married Patience Dew in Virginia before moving south to Charleston, South Carolina in about 1766.  She was born in Virginia, and died in 1781 in South Carolina.

In the mid 18th century, Charleston was a bustling trade center and the wealthiest and largest city south of Philadelphia. By 1770, just prior to the Revolutionary War, it was the fourth largest port in the colonies, after Boston, New York, and Philadelphia, with a population of approximately 11,000.  Rice and indigo were cultivated by gentleman planters in the surrounding coastal low-country and merchants exported their good via an extremely profitable shipping industry. Charleston was the cultural and economic center of the South.

It is not surprising, then, that Charleston became a focal point in the ensuing Revolution. In protest of the Tea Act of 1773, which embodied the concept of "taxation without representation," Charlestonians confiscated tea and stored it in the Exchange and Custom House. Representatives from all over the colony came to the Exchange in 1774 to elect delegates to the Continental Congress, the group responsible for drafting the Declaration of Independence; and South Carolina declared its independence from the crown on the steps of the Exchange. Soon, the church steeples of Charleston, especially St. Michael's, became targets for British war ships. A siege on the city in 1776 was successfully defended by William Moultrie from Sullivan's Island, but by 1780 Charleston came under British control for two and a half years.

When Charleston fell, all of the officers and known loyal supporters of the Rebel Army were rounded up.  Many were placed in prisoner-of-war camps in the surrounding countryside but others found themselves on prison ships that the British had anchored in Charleston harbor.  Conditions on the ships were deplorable.  Rations were short and having no fruit or fresh vegetables, scurvy was a common affliction of the prisoners. Yellow fever, smallpox and dysentery were also common. Many prisoners died on board these ships.  Among those who died was John Simons.  According to his grandson, John Joseph Simons, ďMy Honored Grand Father, John Simons, between the age of 60 and 70 years, in the time of the Revolution was taken a prisoner by the Tory at his house and carried into the garrison of Charleston, South Carolina and died aboard a British Prisoner ship in October 1780."

Patience Dew survived her husband by only a few months, dying of smallpox in 1781.

Children of John Simons and Patience Dew were:

1.  Jesse Simons was born 02 Jan 1740 in Virginia and died in 1786 on the Pee Dee River in Britton's Neck, South Carolina.  Like his brothers, John and Shadrach, he was a member of Marionís Brigade.

2.  Peninah Simons was born 16 Feb 1748 in Virginia.  She married William Worrell.

3.  Priscilla Simons was born 18 Oct 1751 in Virginia.

4.  John Simons was born 05 Aug 1753 in Virginia and died 08 Sep 1781 after being wounded in the Battle of Eutaw Spring near Charleston, South Carolina.  At the time of his death, he was either a Captain or Lieutenant serving in Marionís Brigade.  The Battle of Eutaw Spring was the last major battle in South Carolina during the Revolution and it completely broke the British hold in the South.  More importantly, it denied needed aid for the British troops to the North. Only six weeks later Cornwallis succumbed to Washington at Yorktown, and American Independence was assured.

5.  Arthur Simons, born 23 Apr 1756 in Virginia; died Feb 1790.  He was married twice but left no children.

6.  Shadrack Simons was born 03 Feb 1758 in Virginia and died 24 Feb 1802 in Georgetown, South Carolina.  He married first Mary Beleine on 30 Dec 1783.  She died in childbirth the following year on 07 Dec 1784. He then married Elizabeth Ann Britton on 12 Jul 1785 in Rock Point, Georgetown District, South Carolina.  She was born Feb 1753 in South Carolina, and died 24 Feb 1802 also in South Carolina. 

7.  Averilla Simons was born 03 Sep 1761 in Virginia and died in 1781.

8.  Isaac Simons died in 1786 near the Pee Dee River, Britton's Neck, North Carolina.  He had married twice and left five children.

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Peter Beckenbach (1836 - 1878)

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John Simons (1715 - 1780)

Shadrach Simons (1758 - 1801)

John Joseph Simons (1793 - ca 1858)

Henry James Simons (1818 - ca 1870)

John James Simons (1842 - 1969)

James Elmo Simons (1870 - 1935)

Madelene Shelby Simons (1913 - 1985)

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Peter Joseph Dufe (1784 - 1846)

Peter Duffy (1815 - 1883)

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William Peake (ca 1800 - ca 1832)

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James Bradley (1720 - 1788)

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James Alexander Bradley (1768 - 1839)

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John Coachman (1700 - 1750)

James Coachman (1732 - 1789)

Joseph Coachman (1761 - 1814)

Mary Lynch Coachman (1792 - ca 1857)

 

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