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Nicotiana tabacumSim Nicotiana tabacum

compiled and copyright by MJP Grundy, 2002
Nicotiana tabacum, from Chambers's Encyclopædia: A Dictionary of Universal Knowledge for the People
(Phila.: J. B. Lippincott Company, 1885), 9:462.

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 .

Potential Ancestor

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 . . . .[1]

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.[2] 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".[3] 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".[4] 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.[5] 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.[6] 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.

Immigrant Generation

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.[7] 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.[8] Barbara Sikora informs me that the fifty acre “Grove Landing” was a wedding gift.[9] 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.[10]

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.[11]

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.[12]

Patrick died 24 October 1740 in Prince George’s County.[13] 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.[14] 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.[15]

Children of Patrick and Mary (Brooke) Sim:[16]

  1. Joseph Sim2, aka Joseph Walter Sim, b. in Prince George’s Co., the only son; m(1) by 1754 Catherine MURDOCK (d. Friday, 29 Mar. 1771) second daughter of William Murdock (ca. 1710-1769) and Ann (ADDISON). Catherine’s father served in the Maryland legislature; her maternal grandfather was Thomas Addison (1679-1727). Catherine’s obituary in 1771 said Joseph was “of Prince George’s Co.” Joseph m(2) ca. 1775 as her third husband, Lettice LEE (d. 3 Apr. 1776), daughter of Philip Lee (ca. 1681-1744) who served in the Md. legislature. She was the sister of Joseph’s sister Christian's first husband, Thomas Lee. Lettice had married first James WARDROP (d. 1760) and their home, “Darnall’s Chance” is now a house museum decorated as of the estate inventory in 1760. Lettice m(2) Dr. Adam THOMSON (d. 1767), creator of the “American method” of smallpox innoculation. By Nov. 1779 Joseph res. on “Addison’s Choice” in Frederick Co.; he was there in the 1790 census, enumerated with two free white males over the age of 16, one under 16, and a free white female. Joseph reached the rank of Major in the militia.[17] Joseph served as executor for his sister Christian’s will, and he and his wife Catherine were bequeathed china, dishes, and other things.

  2. Barbara Sim, m. Dr. Clement SMITH, Jr. (1718-1792). Clement was the son of Walter Smith Jr. who was the brother of Richard Smith, the father of Walter who m. Christian Sim. Barbara was remembered in her sister Christian’s will. Barbara and Clement had 10 children: Patrick Sim Smith (174_-1792); Dr. Walter Smith of Georgetown (d. 29 Aug. 1796; m. Esther BELT); Richard Smith (d. 14 Mar. 1787; m. Mary CHEW); Lt. Col. Alexander Lawson Smith (1754-1802); Dr. Clement Smith, Jr.; Dr. Joseph Sim Smith (d. 6 Sept. 1822 at Taneytown); John Addison Smith (sea captain, d. unmar.); Mary Sim Smith; Susanna Smith; Rachel Smith.[18]

  3. Christian Sim; d. 1762; m (1) Thomas LEE (d. 1749), the son of Philip Lee and brother of Lettice Lee who was the second wife of Christian’s brother Joseph; m (2) Walter SMITH, the first cousin of her sister Barbara’s husband Clement Smith. See below.

Second Known Generation

Christian Sim2, the daughter of Dr. Patrick Sim and his wife Mary (Brooke), died in 1762.[19] 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.[20]

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.[21]

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:

  1. Thomas Sim Lee3, b. 29 Oct. 1745 in Prince George's Co.; d. 19 Oct. 1819 at Needwood; m. 27 Oct. 1771Mellwood Park, photo from Bowie, opp. p. 521 at Mellwood Park, Prince George's Co., Mary DIGGS or DIGGES (1745-21/1/1805) only child of Ignatius (d. 1785) and his wife Elizabeth Parnham CRAYCROFT. Mary was the step-daughter of Mary Carroll (b. 1733), grand daughter of William Digges and Elinor (Brooke). The photo, from Bowie’s Across the Years in Prince George’s County, opp. p. 521, shows Mellwood Park, home of William Digges (d. 1740), his son Ignatius Digges, and his daughter Mary; Ignatius bequeathed it to Mary’s son, Ignatius Digges Lee.
    Thomas Sim Lee spent 2 years in Bath, Eng. 1769-70. Thomas was raised Anglican, but converted to Roman Catholicism. Some historians claim his conversion was upon his marriage; but it appears to have been in 1788. This would lend support to the reference that he signed a pre-nuptial agreement with his father-in-law, Ignatius Digges, to raise their children Catholic and allow any slaves of his wife to worship as Catholics. Thomas had St. Mary’s Church in Petersville, Frederick Co., constructed; there is now a memorial tablet on a wall honoring him. Thomas was clerk of the county court 1757-76, and Governor of Maryland 1779-83, 1792-94; delegate to Congress 1783-84; in 1798 was elected both to the US Senate and as Governor of Maryland, but declined both honors. Thomas and Mary had 6 sons and 2 daughters.[23]

  2. Sara[h] Brooke Lee, mentioned in her mother’s and grandmother’s wills.

Child of Walter and Christian (Sim) Lee Smith:

  1. Eleanor Addison Smith, b. 1752; d. 8 July 1798; m. ca. 1778 John Robert HOLLIDAY of Epsom, Baltimore County, Md.[24]

To continue the story of this family, go to the Smith and Holliday pages.

Nicotiana tabacum

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:
AddisonBaleBrookeBrowneDentDorseyEly,   HallHattonHollidayHowardIsaacMoltonNorwoodOwingsRandallRidgelySmithStoneTaskerWarfield.  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).

Go to the Paxson home page.

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This page was posted 2/8/2004, and updated most recently on 7m/28/2013.


The full bibliographical citation is given the first time a source is mentioned, but is not repeated each time that source is cited. Scroll up til you find the first mention and there you will find the complete citation.

  1. My thanks to Barbara Sikora for finding the document and transcribing it. I've condensed it.

  2. Skinner, vol. 24-28:50, citing Lib. 26, fol. 41. My thanks to Barbara Sikora for this citation, and for finding it in the first place.

  3. Effie Gwynn Bowie, Across the Years in Prince George’s County (Richmond VA: Garrett & Massie, Inc., reprinted by Genealogical Publishing Co., 1975), citing Annapolis Lib. 30, fol. 475. The actual will is viewable through MSA, te1, at, accessed 7/27/2013.

  4. Bowie, Across the Years in Prince George’s County, 766, citing J.R.M 7.328, and C.C. 2. 617 Land Office, Marlboro.

  5. Effie Gwynn Bowie, Across the Years in Prince George’s County (Richmond VA: Garrett & Massie, Inc., reprinted by Genealogical Publishing Co., 1975), 298. I am indebted to Harold D. Smith for bringing this to my attention, and for supplying copies of the pages that were missing from the volume I obtained on interlibrary loan.

  6. David Dobson, The Original Scots Colonists of Early America, 1612-1783 (Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Company, Inc. 1989), 325, citing ETR 104.

  7. Edward C. Papenfuse, Alan F. Day, David W. Jordan, and Gregory A. Stiverson, A Biographical Dictionary of the Maryland Legislature, 1635-1789 (Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1979) 2 vols., 2:736.

  8. Bowie, Across the Years in Prince George’s County, 84.

  9. Barbara Sikora, e mail 1m/10/2005.

  10. Bowie, Across the Years in Prince George’s County, 766, citing J.R.M. 7.328, CC 2.617 Land Office, Marlboro, and J.R.M. 3, 260 Land Office, Marlboro; Paul Wilstach, Tidewater Maryland (New York: Tudor Publishing Co., 1945), 297.

  11. Bowie, Across the Years in Prince George’s County, 83.

  12. Skinner, Abstracts of the Inventories of the Prerogative Court of Maryland, vol. 24-28 (1738-1744):10, 27, 72. The exact amounts were 3445.10.11, 175.3.6, and 248.1.6.

  13. George Norbury MacKenzie, Colonial Families of the United States of America: in which is given the history, genealogy and armorial bearings of colonial families who settled in the American colonies from the time of the settlement of Jamestown, 13th May, 1607, to the Battle of Lexington, 19th April, 1775, 6 vols. (Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc., 1996; originally pub. 1912), 1:43. Bowie, Across the Years in Prince George’s County, 300, gives his date of death as 24 Oct. 1745, with the inventory returned in 1741. Clearly a typographical error.

  14. Skinner, Abstracts of the Inventories of the Prerogative Court of Maryland, vol. 24-28 (1738-1744):50, citing Lib. 26, fol. 41. The Abstract reports the administration mentions Dr. John Hamilton and Charles Stuart, but does not say anything more.

  15. Bowie, Across the Years in Prince George’s County, 300, citing Annapolis Lib. 30, fol. 475.

  16. Papenfuse, et al, A Biographical Dictionary of the Maryland Legislature, 2:736.

  17. Bowie, Across the Years in Prince George’s County, 298 gives an obviously incorrect birth date of 27 Nov. 1793 for Joseph. The obit. says Catherine was "in her 86th year”. Robert Barnes, comp., Marriages and Deaths from the Maryland Gazette, 1727-1839 (Balt.: Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc., 1973), 167. The date of the newspaper was 5 Dec. 1771. Alternatively, Biog. Dic. of Md. Legis., 2:736 would have Catherine younger, suggesting she was b. ca. 1735, which makes more sense if her father was b. ca. 1710. For more on Philip Lee see Biog. Dic. of Md. Legis, 2:526-27. For William Murdock, see Biog. Dic. of Md. Legis., 2:606-7.

  18. Bowie, Across the Years in Prince George’s County, 298, 300.

  19. Johnston, “Smith Family”, 2:382.

  20. Papenfuse, et al, A Biographical Dictionary of the Maryland Legislature.

  21. Johnston, “Smith Family”, 2:382.

  22. Maryland State Archives, book 31, Liber D.D.1, fol. 686-87 at and -0743, accessed 7/27/2013.

  23. Papenfuse, et al, A Biographical Dictionary of the Maryland Legislature, 2:529-30; Md. Gen, 2:382; Johnston, “Smith Family”, 2:382; Bowie, Across the Years in Prince George’s County, 524-25. Barbara Sikora, of Darnall’s Chance House Museum in Upper Marlboro, Prince George’s County, informed me of a letter from the Rev. John Carroll to Charles Plowden, 1 June 1792, in which Carroll refers to Thomas Sim Lee’s conversion "four years ago". E mail 1m/5/2004. Barbara also located the document in which Thomas Sim Lee promised his soon-to-be father-in-law that he would raise the children Catholic. It is in the Outerbridge Horsey collection of Horsey, Lee and Carroll family papers at the Maryland Historical Society. E mail 1m/10/2005. I am grateful for this documentation.

  24. Robert Barnes, comp., Maryland Marriages, 1634-1777 (Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc., 1976), 164, citing All Hallows Parish rec., Prince George's Co.

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If you have additions or corrections to this web page, I would be delighted to hear from you. Contact me via e mail to .

Nicotiana tabacum