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Simpson - working notes

These are the author's working notes on the Simpson families of Harlan, Knox, Bell and other counties of Southeastern Kentucky.

Upon close scrutiny of the Bell, Knox & Harlan County records, it would appear that the primary settlement of Simpsons was in Harlan County. Some (few) moved to Knox County, and some of those married into Bell Countians or were "adopted" as Bell Countians when that section of Knox County became the new county of Bell in 1867.
There are few records of Simpson in Knox County "up to" the census of 1850.

The author's affiliation with "Simpson" results from the marriage of Homer Alford of Bell Co KY and Nancy Rachel Simpson of Knox Co KY on Feb 10 1921 (m. in Claiborne Co TN).

Homer Alford (1902-1971) & Nancy Simpson (1906-1934).

Nancy was the daughter of Brice Simpson and Octavia Goodin. Brice's parents were Dionysius Simpson & Nancy Mills of Knox County KY. Dionysius was the son of John Simpson, who was born in Harlan County and resided in Knox County at his death. Nancy Mills was the daughter of Nasby Mills of Knox County and Elizabeth Baker.
In the 1870 Knox Co census (pg 99): Nasby Mills 59 b. NC & Elizabeth Mills 49 b. Ky with children.

Many of the author's connections to present-day Simpsons intersect in Harlan and Knox counties - many through John Simpson (above mentioned).

As recorded in the Knox County Kinfolk (KCK) issue 1980 under deaths 1911-1942:
Dionicious Simpson 1843- Oct 27 1912, father: John Simpson, mother: unnamed
Known as "Nish". (Dionysius' wife, Nancy, had died the previous month- same source- Nancy Simpson May 5 1850 - Sep 6 1912). She died of gangrene of rt foot. Her death record includes the names of her mother & father (above listed).

The Knox Co KY death records as recorded in KCK Jan 1981 lists the following deaths:
John Simpson d. Jan __ 1878 age 70 married; b. Harlan Co KY resided Knox Co at death. Father & mother unnamed. This John Simpson was b. around (circa) 1808, and it is thought that he is the mentioned father of "Nish" Simpson, who was born in 1843.
A point to be reckoned is the place of birth of above John Simpson (probably not Ky c1808).
Also in this same publication is the death of Amanda Simpson age 9 died Jun 22 1874- parents William & Margaret Simpson (not researched for connection).

The following are scattered working notes to be co-ordinated when more research of the censuses etc is undertaken.
The 1850 Census Index lists the following Simpsons (heads of household) in SE Kentucky:
Harlan Co - Abraham (036 reference), Isaac (033), John (035), Leonard (036), Sally (034) and Samuel (036). Six families.
There was an Andy Simpson family in Clay Co Ky (113).
Some Simpson heads of household were also in Wayne County throughout the 1800-1850 censuses (their connection to Harlan not proven or disproven, Wayne being about 5 counties to the west of Harlan, yet still in SE KY).

In the 1840 census index was found:
Harlan heads of household: Andrew, Sally, Hannah, John and Samuel Simpson (5 families).
Is this the same Andy Simpson found in Clay Co (above) in 1850?
Some Simpsons in Wayne Co and two families of Abraham Simpson in Gallatin County in Northern Ky on the Ohio River (mentioned because Abraham was a common Harlan Co given name, but no connection at present).

In the 1830 census index of Harlan Co were two Simpson families:Sally (117) and Samuel (117) Simpson. It is noted the Sally who was found above in 1840 and 1850 Harlan Co as separate enumeration. Also noted is Samuel found in 1840 & 1850 in Harlan Co.
In 1820 Samuel Simpson (118) was the only one (Simpson head) enumerated in Harlan Ky.
In the 1810 census index no Simpsons were found in Harlan Co, indicating that might have been before they moved into the area (between 1810-20). But, Simpsons were in Wayne Co in 1810. As a matter of record, in the 1801 tax records of Wayne Co KY were found 7 Simpson families taxable. A later connection may be made between these two counties.

Of note, source: KCK Vol 3 1979, the 1890 reconstructed census (the original is forever lost) shows these two Simpsons from Knox Co who served in the Civil War:
William Simpson "U S Soldier Indian Creek"
Donicious Simpson (illness "catarra") Flat Lick - these would "fit" as sons of John Simpson (see John's census).

The KCK Jan 1985 shows a partial listing of Knox Co Veterans, including Calloway Simpson Pvt served 1863-4 and Isaac Simpson Pvt served 1863-64 - both of 49th Ky Inf.

The KCK Jan 2001 Knox Co taxes for 1856 lists a M.F. Simpson.

The following assortment of records will connect at some point:
(KCK Apr 1993): Harlan Co - Jeff Bingham b. 1832 d. 1865 married Elizabeth Howard, daughter of Wm R Howard and wife Julia. Jeff and Elizabeth Bingham's children (incomplete) includes Varilla Bingham (b. Oct 14 1864 and died Jan 18 1956). She married Abraham Simpson Aug 18 1880.
In the 1870 census, Elizabeth (Howard) Bingham was shown as head of household age 28 with children William Bingham 14, "Debby" Jane 12, Mary 9, "Virilla" 6, and "Idress" 2. These are Thomas Jefferson Bingham's widow and children.
There is some question about the last child age 2 since Jeff had died 5 years prior to this record.
In Jun of 1866 C.J. Calloway was appointed guardian of Thomas Jefferson Bingham's children: namely William, Debbie, Mary, and Varilla. The deceased father (1865) had appeared before his marriage to Elizabeth in the 1850 census in the household of Robert Howard (Jeff m. a "Howard"). Jeff Bingham shown as age 18 (born c 1832) and born in KY, son of William & Sarah Bingham.
The above name "Calloway" may be why some Simpsons called children "Calloway Simpson".

In the 1870 census of Knox Co Ky (pg 112): Samuel Bingham 52, Mary Bingham 52, "Lamane" 15, Telitha 12, Mariah 9, JACOB SIMPSON 14. It is noted that this family was two houses removed from that of John Simpson age 60 (follows).

The KCK Jul 1992 lists two Simpsons, Preston (pg 10) and Abraham (pg 11), the latter who married Varilla Bingham.
The KCK Oct 1995 lists a marriage of Aaron Simpson and Mary Brock on Feb 6 1902.
The KCK issue Jan 1998 lists a marriage between Lillian Black (b.1917) and Water Henry Simpson (b. 1906).
An undated issue of "Mountain Heritage" of Knox Co includes a Richard Simpson who served in Arthur's Co of the War of 1812 (Mar & Apr).

An inquiry in the KCK Oct 1997 issue mentions Milton Simpson Sr who married (1879) Sabra Saylor with their known children being Milton Jr who married Suzie Caldwell, Nancy Simpson who married Jim Blanton, Dru or Drucilla who married ____ Brock, Lucy Simpson (1889-1969) who married John Caldwell, and Oscar Simpson.
Can't put it together (yet), but an Oscar Simpson is buried in Daniel's Cem of Harlan Co (Oct 14 1903 - Oct 2 1961), son of Milton Simpson and Snobie Brock. This should be the correct "Oscar" above, but the mother's name does not cooperate with the marriage known and shown above.

In the "Harlan Mountain Roots" issue Summer 1988 is a Harlan marriage in 1859:
Ephraim Simpson age 17 marries Rebecca Jackson age 17. Also, same source,
Calloway Simpson age 19 marries Julia A Blanton age 18.

In the list of Harlan Co births for few select years are included:
_____ 1859 - Jordan Simpson whose father is John Simpson
May 4 1861 - Leonard Simpson whose parents are John Simpson and Janie Saylor.
Apr 2 1861 - John C Simpson whose parents were Leonard Simpson and Susan Caldwell.
The above proves at least two "Leonard Simpsons" at least a generation apart, one being a parent and one being born in the same year.

A totally unconnected record being put to memory for later reference is this:
In 1782 Wythe Co VA a James Simpson Jr bought 182 acres of land from Daniel and Mary Taylor (source: KCK isue Apr 1994).

Making sense of some Knox Co KY marriage, census, birth, death, and other records.

General Index of Marriage Records (male) Knox Co 1800-1935

BK J-123 AARON SIMPSON marrried Feb 7 1902 to MARY BROCK.
Aaron was 22 years old, a first marriage; farming; residing in Knox Co, born in Leslie Co KY; His father was Robert Simpson born in Leslie Co, and mother was Martha Simpson born in Leslie Co; Aaron made "his mark".
Mary Brock resided in Knox Co, 23 years old; 2nd marriage; born Leslie Co; Father Elijah Brock and mother Sarah Brock (Sarah b. in Leslie Co). One record listed her name as "Deborah", which is unlikely.
{note: Leslie Co does adjoin Harlan County Ky, so these persons could have been of the Harlan Co clan of Simpsons}

The following record should reflect a son of Aaron and Mary Simpson.
BK20-89 JAMES SIMPSON married Feb 9 1931 NINA SLAGLE, both residing at Draper, Ky. James was 40, divorced; born in "Lougen" Co TN (Louden?); Occupation: moulder; Father: A L Simpson, mother: Mary Simpson.
Nina was 38 single, born in Laurel Co Ky; father: Charley Slagle, mother: Sina Slagle.

BK A-3 ALLEN SIMPSON married Jun 8 1916 AMANDA BROUGHTON, both residents of Knox Co. Marriage record incomplete in courthouse. It is impled that Amanda died young, and thus:
BK A7-9 ALLEN SIMPSON married Apr 23 1919 AMERICA BAKER, he residing at Mills (Knox Co) Ky and she at Blanche (Knox Co Ky).
Allen was a farmer, age 22, a widower; born Knox Co; Father: W.J. Simpson; mother: Mary Simpson.
America was 21, a 1st marriage; born Bell Co Ky; Father John Baker, mother not named.
One of Allen & America's children:
(from: some Knox County births 1911-1942)
William Isaac Simpson b. Jun 2 1923, father Allen Simpson age 26 b. Knox Co; mother "Mericky" Baker age 23 b. "Erose"(?) Ky, she the mother of 2, 2 living. Dr Carter Roark.

The following Allen Simpson is different from that one above. The following (about 8 years older than the other "Allen") is the son of Harlan and Sarah Messer Simpson, while that Allen above was the son of W. J. and Mary Simpson.
BK A3-161 ALLEN SIMPSON married Apr 21 1916 KITTY GAMBREL, both residents of Mills (Knox Co) Ky.
Allen was 27 years old & born in Knox Co; His father was Harl Simpson and mother Sarah Simpson.
Kitty was 18 years old, a 1st marriage; Her parents gave written consent; Father: Gordon Gambrel; mother: Rachel Gambrel.

The latter Allen Simpson's father

BK H-255 HARLAN SIMPSON married Sep 4 1887 SARAH MESSER.
Harlan was 22, a first marriage; Farming; The marriage record is incomplete as to parents, etc - see the 1870 Knox Co census for enlightenment (follows). Sarah was 14, and both were residents of Knox Co.
Witnesses were James F Mills & William Patterson.
Bondsmen were the groom & T J Mills.
The license spelled the grooms name "Harlin".

1870 Knox Co KY Census

#90-2-2
William Simpson 34 (impled birth c 1836)
Margaret Simpson 32 (implied birth c 1838)
John Simpson 12
Harlan Simpson 7
Mary J Simpson 5
Daniel Simpson 1
All person above were Ky-born as well as their fathers & mothers.

Following is Harlan Simpson's census for 1900 Knox Co Ky.
#268-268
Harlan Simpson b. Mar 1872 age 28 (see note below re- age) marr. 13 years.
Sarah Simpson b. May 1874 age 26 marr. 13 years mother of 5 & 5 living
Allen (son) b. Aug 1888 age 12
Daniel (son) b. Jun 1889 age 10 (see note)
Maggie (dau) b. Sep 1891 age 8
Floyd (son) b. Jan 1895 age 5
Luisa (dau) b. May 1899 age 1
To coordinate with the previous 1870 census and to justify Sarah's being marr. 13 years with a son age 12, and Sarah being but 26, it is suggested that Harlan should be 38, and b. 1862 not '72. Son Daniel's birth is likely 1890, not '89.

The following is William and Margaret Simpson's 1900 census of Knox Co, the parents of Harlan Simpson as reflected above in the 1870 census.
#440-443
William Simpson b. Jun 1835 age 64 m. 38 years
Margaret Simpson b. Sep 1843 age 56 m. 38 years, mother of 11 children, 5 living in 1900.
(see accompanying note on "years married!")
Frank (son) b. Nov 1883 age 16
Harriett (dau) b. Jun 1887 age 12
Annie LOE (Lowe?) granddaughter b. Jul 1893 age 6
All persons above Ky-born and their parents likewise.
William & Margaret had been married almost 43 years, not 38 as stated. Sometimes they just didn't know!
From "Pioneer Families of Eastern and Southeastern Kentucky" - Harlan County Ky marriages 1856-1863
WILLIAM SIMPSON married MARGARET "GAMBRILL" (Gambrel) Jul 15 1857.

Harlan Simpson's son Daniel married Lilly Brown (date unknown).

Knox Co Ky births 1911-42

Sally May Simpson b. Aug 24 1927; father: Dan Simpson 36 b. Knox Co; mother: Lilly Brown 35 b. Knox Co, mother of 6 & 4 living at this date (1927). Lucinda Smith, midwife.

Marriage BK A5-206
BRADLEY SIMPSON married May 29 1915 LUTITIA BRUMMETT, both residents of Crane's Nest (Knox Co).
Bradley was 22, a 1st marriage; b.in Harlan Co; Farming; Father: Mitchell Simpson; Mother: Mary Simpson.
"Letitia" was 19, a 1st marriage; b. Harlan Co; Father: Will Brummett: Mother: Rebecca Brummett.
Two of Bradley and Letitias' children from the birth records of Knox County 1911-42:
Mitchell Simpson b. Dec 22 1923 (father: Bradley Simpson 26 b. Ky & mother: "Lutisha" 23 b. Ky, mother of 4 & 3 living). Midwife: Sarah Smallwood
Mealey Simpson b. Jan 5 1922 (father: Bradley Simpson 26 b. Ky; mother: "Luticia Brumitt" 20 b. Ky (mother of 4 & 3 living). Sarah Smallwood, midwife.

Analyses of the 1850 & 1860 Harlan Co Ky Censuses

1850 Harlan Co Census

#374-374
SAMUEL SIMPSON 50 b.Ky
Sally Simpson 36 b. Ky
John Simpson 13 b. Ky
Martha Simpson 10 b.Ky
Charles C Simpson 9 b. Ky
Ephraim Simpson 7 b. Ky
Samuel Simpson 4 b. Ky
Matilda Simpson 1 b. Ky

1860 Harlan Co Census

#556-556
SAMUEL SIMPSON 67 b. Va (note variance from 1850 to 1860 in age and place of birth - common)
Sarah Simpson 43 b. TN (Sarah=Sally always)
Samuel Jr 13 b. Ky
Matilda 11 b. Ky
Hiram 9 b. Ky
Jesse 7 b. Ky (male)
Ewell (?) 5 b. Ky
James K 2 b. Ky
Deborah 4 mo b. Ky

John, Charles C, Martha & Ephraim are no longer in Samuel's household in 1860 (coming of age).

1860 Harlan Census

#558-558
JOHN SIMPSON 23 b. Ky
Dicy Simpson 24 b. TN
Matilda Simpson 4 b. Ky
Caroline Simpson 3 b. Ky
Samuel Simpson 1 b. Ky
JESSE TAYLOR 6 b. Ky
Jesse could be a child from a previous marriage for Dicy. There are other explanations.

1860 Harlan Census

#563-563
CALLOWAY SIMPSON 20 b. Ky
Julia Simpson 17 b. Ky
This Person is Charles "Calloway" Simpson.

1860 Harlan Census

#397-397
EPHRAIM SIMPSON 17 b. Ky
Rebecca Simpson 19 b. Ky
Julia Simpson 2 mo b. Ky

Another elder Simpson 1850 Harlan Census

#367-367
JOHN SIMPSON 40 B. Va
Martha Simpson 37 b. NC
William Simpson 15 b. Ky
Jhn K Simpson 12 b. Ky
Franklin Simpson 10 b. Ky
Elizabeth Simpson 8 b. Ky
Dionicius Simpson 6 b. Ky (male)
Martha Simpson 4 b. Ky
"Manseff"?? (female) Simpson 1wk b. Ky
Nancy Simpson 5 mo b. Ky

Same family 1860 Harlan Census

#206-206
JOHN SIMPSON 55 Ky
Martha Simpson 45 Ky
Elizabeth Simpson 15 Ky
Illegible ("mashac"??) male 14 b. Ky
Nancy Simpson 12 b. Ky
Martha Simpson 9 b. Ky
James Simpson 6 b. Ky
Jacob Simpson 4 b. Ky
unnamed male Simpson 1 b. Ky
SEE EARLIER RECORD within Knox County discussion mentioning JORDAN SIMPSON who was born in Harlan County in 1859 to John Simpson, making him 1 year old in 1860. Last child above (unnamed) is Jordan.
Male age 14 is Dionysius from 1850 census. Missing from John's census of 1860 (& present in 1850) were John K, Franklin, and William Simpson.

Living near his father John in the 1860 (#199 vs #206) Harlan Census:
#199-199
WILLIAM SIMPSON 25 b. Ky
Margaret Simpson 24 b. Ky
John Simpson 2 b. Ky
Note first child named for William's father.

Another elder Simpson from the 1850 Harlan Census

#371-371
ABRAHAM SIMPSON 50 Va
Delila Simpson 50 Va
Chrisman Simpson 23 Ky (male)
Louisa Simpson 19 Ky
Delila Simpson 17 Ky
Alice Simpson 16 Ky
Mary Simpson 8 Ky

Abraham's 1860 Census (Harlan)

#506-506
ABRAHAM SIMPSON 60 Va
Delila Simpson 60 Va
John Simpson 3 Ky

Abraham's male child missing in 1860 (from 1850 census) is Chrisman Simpson.

1860 Harlan Census

#562-562
CHRISMAN SIMPSON 33 Ky
Sarah Simpson 33 Tn
Susan Simpson 8 Ky
Mary Simpson 3 Ky
Elihu Simpson 1 Ky

1850 Harlan Census

#373-373
LEONARD SIMPSON 22 Ky
Margarett Simpson 22 Ky
Samuel Simpson 1 Ky

1860 Harlan Census

#560-560
LEONARD SIMPSON 30 Ky
Margaret Simpson 31 Ky
Samuel Simpson 10 Ky
William Simpson 8 Ky
Agga Simpson 6 Ky (female)
Hiram Simpson 4 Ky
Jacob Simpson 1 Ky

Leonard lived next door to Samuel Simpson in 1850, and named his first-born Samuel. It will be proven that Leonard is a son of Samuel Simpson.

1850 Harlan Census

#335-335
ISAAC SIMPSON 27 b. Ky
Mary Simpson 27 Ky
Hester I Simpson 8 b. Ky
Mila Ann (Millie Ann?) Simpson 5 b. Ky
Sarah C Simpson 3 b. Ky
Andrew M Simpson 1 b. Ky

In the 1850 Harlan Census is found a widow (?) who would "fit" as the mother of the elder Simpsons listed herein of Harlan County:, i.e., Abraham, Samuel and John.

1850 Harlan Census

#372-372
HANNAH SIMPSON 69 b. Va (implies birth c1781)

Presently unconnected Simpsons from the 1850 Census.

#343-343
AARON BROCK 64 b. Va
SALLY SIMPSON 37 b. Va
AARON N BROCK 17 b. Va
"ANA" BROCK 13 b. Va (female)

and next door...

#344-344
SALLY SIMPSON 22 b. Va
Susan Simpson 4 b. Va
Fereba Simpson 2 b. Va

Looks like new arrivals from Virginia.

In the 1860 Harlan County Census are the following yet unaccounted Simpsons.

#73-73
PRESTON SIMPSON 33 Ky
James Simpson 10 Tn
John Simpson 9 Ky
William Simpson 9 Ky
Preston Simpson 5 Ky
NOTE: Two sons each 9 years old. If info is correct, note that James was born in Tn c1850 and John in Ky c1851 - telling us when they likely arrived in Ky.

1860 Harlan Census

#529-529
SARAH SIMPSON 26 Ky
Jhn Simpson 3 Ky
Wilson Simpson 4 mo Ky

Harlan County 1860 #276-276
FIELDING GREEN 48 Ky
Easter Green 46 Ky
Hiram Green 21 b. IN
LETITIA SIMPSON 30 b. Tn Domestic Laborer
WILLIAM SIMPSON 8 B. Ky

Harlan County 1860 #472-472:
JEFFERSON BINGHAM 25 Ky
Elizabeth Bingham 23 Ky
William Bingham 5 Ky
Deborah Bingham 3 Ky
Mary Bingham 1 Ky
See earlier mention of "Bingham" who married Simpson.

The early and tentative conclusion on the Simpsons of Harlan County is that Hannah Simpson (born around 1781) of the 1850 Census was the mother of at least three sons of Harlan County; i.e., Abraham, Samuel and John Simpson (all b. in VA c1800-1810 before their arrival in Kentucky). Father of these three and husband of Hannah yet unknown.

END OF HARLAN CENSUS 1850/60

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