This page explores what little information I've been able to discover about Patrick Sim (d. 1740) and his daughter, Christian (d. 1762). It includes some work-in-progress on two mysteries that surround Patrick. I am hopeful that readers may be able to help me fill in some of the missing information about their lives and immediate families. If you have documentation, I would be very grateful if you would e mail me at .
The first mystery is the family of Dr. Patrick1 Sim. With the help of Barbara Sikora on the staff at the historic "Darnall's Chance" House Museum in Upper Marlboro, Prince George's County, Maryland, (the home of Lettice Lee Wardrop Thomson Sim), we've pieced together an hypothesis regarding some of the relatives of the immigrant Patrick Sim. An important piece of the puzzle is Isabell Sim of Perth, Scotland, who in 1754 asked her "trusty friend Joseph Sim" to be her attorney in regard to her late brother William Sim's estate in Maryland. In it she named one WilliamA Sim, baker and magistrate of Perth, as her father and Ann Sim as her deceased "womanly sister". She mentioned another Dr. William Sym - note the spelling, consistently and carefully made on two original documents. Isabell and her sister Ann Sim had formerly granted power of attorney to this man and in the present document Isabell rejected him and only Joseph Sim was to have her power of attorney. This is the obituary for Isabel's deceased brother William Sim:
Wednesday, February 6, 1751 Maryland Gazette ". . . Monday Night, last, Died in Prince George's County, near Nottingam, much regretted by all who knew him, Mr. William Sim, Merchant, who has left a very good Character. His Death is supposed to have been occasioned . . . ."
(unfortunately, the continuation of this account is missing in Barbara Sikora's records)
Five years later in a document dated 12 December 1754 (alluded to above), Joseph Sim had the following Power of Attorney:
. . . I Isabell Sim only lawfull Daughter & Child Now in life of the deceased William Sim Baker and some time one of the Magistrates of the Borough of Perth in North Brittain, and Sisterly woman of William Sim of the Town of __________ [editor: left blank] in Maryland in America Merchant or Planter deceased have made ordained constituted and appointed and by these Presents do make and in my place of stead put and Constitute my Trusty Friend Mr Joseph Sim Merchant or planter in the Town of _________[editor: left blank] in Maryland aforesaid in America to be my true certain and lawfull Attorney for me . . . [to do all the legal work to collect debts] payable or belonging unto my Brother the Said William Sim deceased by any ways or means whatsoever in any manner of way And if need be to call to account and to bring to a reckoning, and to adjust and settle Accompts with all or any person or persons whatsoever concerned in the premises and particularly with Messrs. William Sym Physician, Surgeon Merchant or planter in the said the Town of _________[left blank] In the Country of Maryland aforesaid and Charles Graham of _______[left blank] in the said Country Merchant and planter . . . And I do Hereby recall and revoke all former Letters of Attorney granted by me and my said Sister and particularly that granted by us to the said Messrs. William Sym & Charles Graham declaring hereby the said Joseph Sim and his substitutes my only true & Lawfull Attorney . . . .
Patrick was not named in any of these documents because he had died in 1740. The abstract of Patrick Sim's inventory and valuation was approved 28 March 1741 by Thomas GANTT (whose first wife was Priscilla BROOKE, Patrick's wife's half-sister) and William SIM, representing next of kin. If the spelling is accurate, then this would be the William who died in 1751, brother of Isabell. It would suggest that Isabell and William were siblings or perhaps first cousins of Patrick.
Obviously Isabell knew Joseph Sim and trusted him (calling him her "Trusty Friend"); unfortunately she does not call him "cousin" ("nephew" was not in common usage at that time). Yet Isabell and her sister Ann (deceased by 1754) had previously (in 1751) known and presumably trusted William SYM, physician, and Charles GRAHAM to be their attorneys. Why after three years, did Isabell change her mind? Had they done something to cause her distrust? A possibility is that Joseph Sim did not become 21 years of age until 1754, so that he could not serve as attorney any earlier. If that is the case, he would have been born in ca. 1733.
Another bit of evidence is Effie Gwynn BOWIE's abstract of Mary (Brooke) Sim's will of February 16, 1758, that says she left "to brother Joseph Walter Sim, set of china". This is just wrong. While the microfilm on line is a poor image, it clearly says, "I give & bequeath unto my Son Joseph Walter Sim one negro man named Nat one Negro woman named . . . ." Bowie has confused the will of Mary and her daughter Christian (Sim) Lee Smith. So this will cannot be used to prove that Patrick and Joseph were brothers. [Note: sometimes it really pays to check the original document if possible.]
The next piece of evidence is the deed selling "Sim's Delight" in 1799 that describes it as "being that part of the tract conveyed to Joseph Sim by his grandfather, Colonel Joseph Sim by deed bearing date May 10, 1779". The line seems to be: Dr. Patrick (d. 1740) had an only son Joseph and two daughters. Joseph had two wives and 4 children: Col. Patrick, Mary, Thomas, and Anthony. Anthony had 6 minor children when he died in 1806, including one named Joseph. Col. Patrick also had a son Joseph.
Barbara Sikora then suggested that William Sim, Baker and Magistrate of Perth, fathered at least four children: William, Ann, Isabell and Patrick who married Mary BROOKE and had three children: Christian, Barbara and Isabel's "trusty friend" Joseph. The line might then be:
William Sim, baker and magistrate of Perth
Dr. Patrick Sim, immigrant, (d. 1745) built Sim's Delight (m. Mary Brooke)
Col. Joseph (Walter) Sim, (d. 1793 in Frederick, MD) merchant/statesman
Patrick Sim (m. Mary Carroll 1777)
Joseph Sim (sold Sim's Delight 1799 to Benj. Oden)
Alternatively, Patrick could be the son of WilliamA's brother, making Patrick a first cousin of William, Ann, and Isabell. Can a reader help?
The second mystery is how and when did Patrick Sim get to Maryland? According to Effie Gwynn Bowie in Across the Years in Prince George’s County Dr. Patrick Sim fled from Scotland where it was said he was implicated in the Rebellion of 1715. "Kilcairn" was given as the name of his Scottish estate. He settled in Prince George’s County, Maryland. Dr. Patrick Sim1 definitely ended in Maryland from Scotland. Although there are pretty complete records of emigration from that country, the only record I have found is of a Patrick Syme transported 7 December 1665 from Leith to Barbados. But this seems too early for our man. An entry in the LDS International Genealogical Index gives an approximate birth year of 1680 for Patrick, in Kilgairn, Scotland. However it has no documentation, and of the 40 entries for men named Patrick Sim (with various spellings) between 1640 and 1700, this Patrick is the only one from Kilgairn. The rest are mostly from Perth, West Lothian, Banff, Aberdeen, Fife, and Edinborough.
None of this negates the theory that Patrick was involved in the 1715 uprising and fled Scotland. But it does cast serious doubt on him being from Kilgairn.
There is agreement that Dr. Patrick Sim was born in Scotland and emigrated to Maryland. There is also agreement that Patrick married Mary Brooke, daughter of Thomas Brooke (ca. 1659 -1730/1). Patrick’s father-in-law was an important man both politically and economically, and his story is given in the Biographical Dictionary of the Maryland Legislature, 1635-1789. However, to emphasize the elusive nature of the Sim line, Effie Gwynn Bowie writes that Mary was the daughter of Thomas Brooke and his first wife, the unknown Ann (__). I've been unable to document Mary's date of birth or marriage, although the web page for Maryland's National Register Properties claims it was 1718. Bowie holds that Mary was married about 1729, the year in which Thomas Brooke deeded to her “Grove Landing”, near Upper Marlborough. Barbara Sikora informs me that the fifty acre “Grove Landing” was a wedding gift. Eleven seems awfully young to be getting married.
In 1735 Patrick built “Sim’s Delight”, on the south shore of the Patuxent, up on high land, back from the river. It has been described as “one of the finer specimens of provincial building.” In 1940 it was owned by Lt-Col. Marcel KEENE of New York and Maryland, who worked to restore it.
Thomas BROOKE bequeathed one and a half acres of land in Nottingham to Patrick (the rest of the land there, called “Prospect”, going to other sons-in-law and sons of Thomas Brooke). However, as the estate was heavily in debt, it is unlikely that Patrick actually received title to the land.
Patrick Sim is frustratingly elusive. Among the few traces he left are financial dealings. He was a creditor (either lent money or they owed him for professional services) of two Prince George’s Countians, Richard BEAVAN and Mrs. Margaret SPRIGG. Debt was not merely a problem for those without resources. There were no banks. Especially with the seasonal and unpredictable nature of the tobacco economy, people at all economic levels of society lent and borrowed money. Beavan’s estate was inventoried in 1739 at over £445. Sprigg’s in 1740 for £175. Two years later Mary Sim was a creditor to Ann WRIGHT/WHITE, whose estate was valued at almost £250.
Patrick died 24 October 1740 in Prince George’s County. His estate was inventoried soon after, valued at £1,692.9.1. On 28 March 1741 the inventory and valuation was approved by his major creditors, Daniel CARROLL and John HEPBURN, and by Thomas GANTT and William SIM representing his next of kin. Mary Sim was named executrix. Thomas GANTT (d. 1765) married as his first wife Priscilla BROOKE, half sister of Mary (Brooke) Sim. William Sim was obviously related to Patrick.
Mary signed her will on 16 February 1758 with her mark, and she apparently died that year. She left things to grandchildren Thomas Sim Lee, Patrick Sim, and Sarah Brooke Lee; to daughters Barbara Smith and Christian Smith; and to son Joseph Walter Smith. She specified that her grandson Thomas Sim Lee should have the armchair that Mary had bought from the estate of Thomas HODGKIN, 6 leather chairs, and the house in Marlboro to be in the possession of his mother Christian Smith after Mary's death.
Children of Patrick and Mary (Brooke) Sim:
Christian Sim2, the daughter of Dr. Patrick Sim and his wife Mary (Brooke), died in 1762. She married her first cousin Thomas LEE, the son of the politically prominent Philip Lee (ca. 1681-1744) and his wife Sarah BROOKE, widow of William DENT (ca. 1660-1704). Thomas died in 1749.
Christian married for the second time Walter SMITH, the eldest son of Richard and Elinor (Addison) Smith. Walter helped raise his step-son, Thomas. He and Christian also had a daughter, named for his mother, Eleanor (Addison) Smith.
Walter died early in 1755. Christian survived him by seven years. She signed her will 12 February 1762, and it was proved 24 March. Her will reads, in part:
I, Christian Smith, Widow of Walter Smith . . . I give to my Son Thomas Sim Lee my Mulatto Boy Charles and his Choice of two Negro Boys the Sons of my Negro Wench Called Bett Fifty pounds Sterling my large Church Bible a large Silver Spoon and half a Dozen Small Ditto and a Colt of two Years Old Item I Give and bequeath to my Daughter Sarah Brooke Lee my Negro fellow Cesar Negro Bett and her other Child a Silver Tea Pott and my little New Dish two cows and two Mares My Negro Wench Sibb and she to keep and maintain her during her life and that a plantation be Rented for the said Slaves to Work on and Working Tools and Uttensils for the said plantation and Negroes I Likewise Give to my said Daughter all my Wearing apparel She to Dispose of the same as she thinks proper half a Dozen Silver Tea spoons and Tongs & pocket piece of Gold and two Ditto of Silver Item I Give to Mrs. Elizabeth Contee wife of Theodore Contee my Tea Chest and best set of china Item I Give and bequeath unto my Brother in Law Clement Smith my large China bowl and case of Bottles Item I Give to my Sister in Law Mrs Catherine Sim a Large China Dish a Glass Salvor and two Volumes of Herveys Meditations Item I Give to Lucy Notelar a Feather Bed with an Oznabrigg Tick Two pair of Sheets Four Black Leather Chairs a White Oak Table and a Cow and Calf Item I Give to my Sister Barbara Smith half a Dozen Deep China Plates and a Suit of mourning Item I Give to my ffriend Mrs Ann Holliday the Volumes of Youngs Night Thoughts and my Single China mugg. Item I Give to Mrs. Sarah Chitton my Plate Baskett and plates a Suit of Mourning and that all Debts Between us be cancelled and Void Item I Give to my Loving Brother Joseph Walter Sim a Set of China Muggs Item I Give and bequeath all the remaining part of my Estate of what nature or kind soever to my Daughter Eleanor Addison Smith and that to be sold by my Executor hereafter mentioned Except my two Negroe Carpenters which are to bound or[?] the Care and management of my said Executor and it is my Will that my said Daughter be brought up under the care of Mrs Theodore Contee Lastly I Do nominate and appoint my Loving Brother Joseph Sim Executor of this my last will and Testament . . . twelfth Day of February . . .
The executor was Christian's brother, Joseph Sim. The will follows a familiar woman’s pattern of leaving things to her female friends and relatives. Ann HOLLYDAY may have had a connection to Margery Hollyday (d. 1764), the daughter of Thomas (ca. 1661-1702/3), widow of Levin COVINGTON (d. 1725), and the second wife of Thomas GANTT. His first wife had been Mary's half sister Priscilla BROOKE. Theodore CONTEE (b. 1736), who was to care for Christian’s minor daughter, Eleanor Addision Smith, was Mary's nephew, the son of Alexander and Jane (Brooke) Contee (Mary's sister). Theodore was an attorney-at-law, married to Elizabeth SMITH of Calvert County.
Children of Thomas and Christian (Sim) Lee:
Child of Walter and Christian (Sim) Lee Smith:
If you have additions or corrections to this web page, I would be delighted to hear from you. Contact me via e mail at .
See some other colonial Maryland families that
link one way or another with these Sims:
Addison, Bale, Brooke, Browne, Dent, Dorsey, Ely, Hall, Hatton, Holliday, Howard, Isaac, Molton, Norwood, Owings, Randall, Ridgely, Smith, Stone, Tasker. Warfield. and Wilkinson.
A hard-bound book including these families with a great deal of historical context is being prepared. It is hoped it may be published in 2013.
Go to the index of Other Lines that are included in this website (not all of them have been posted yet).
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