The Simpsons of early Anne Arundel Co., MD
Oct., 2009 – Donald R. Simpson
Oct., 2009 – Donald R. Simpson
Several Simpson families appear in the early records of Maryland, one of which is the family of Thomas & Elizabeth (Pierpoint) Simpson of All Hallows Parish in Anne Arundel County. Before detailing this family & their descendants, some background information on Maryland records is appropriate.
The Colony of Maryland was authorized in 1632 by royal grant and the first settlers arrived from England in 1634. The first settlers locating at the southern tip of the Colony were English Catholics escaping restrictions on their religion in England at that time. In 1649 the Maryland government passed the Act of Toleration which insured toleration of all forms of Christianity. As a consequence, many non-conformist Protestants came in central Maryland, especially from less tolerant Virginia Colony. Most of those settled in Anne Arundel County and on the eastern shore.
The Calvert family had held the Proprietorship of the Colony since the original royal grant but in 1689 the English government withdrew that proprietorship and instituted a royal government. As part of the new system, the Church of England was made the official religion and the Colony was divided into parishes of that church. Together with the establishment of those parishes was the requirement that births and marriages be recorded in the local parish of that established church. In most cases those records begin between 1690 & 1695 and though not all have been preserved, most have. In addition to recording current vital records, in some cases earlier births were recorded when some parents had all their children included in a family listing. This, together with the excellent county and colony records, has greatly aided genealogical research there. A fire in the Anne Arundel County Courthouse in 1704 caused the loss of many of the early county records including the deed books prior to 1699. However, some deeds were reconstructed & rerecorded and those are available on microfilm.
The parish register for All Hallows Parish is preserved from the beginning and contains many records of this family. The parish church still exists and is often referred to locally as the “Old Brick Church.” It is located on Solomon Island Road south of Annapolis at the junction with Brick Church Road. The extensive churchyard includes many of the early burials of the parish but the earliest legible tombstones date only to the latter half of the eighteenth century. In the fall of 2006 while on a research trip to Annapolis for a client, I was able to drive to All Hallows Church & see some of the early tombstones. I did not find any legible stones for any of the Simpsons but did not have time for a thorough search.
One of the rent rolls lists “Thomas Sympson” as in possession of a small tract of land called Jacobs Point which was located south of the South River near the head of Jacobs Creek [now called Beards Creek]. If this was their home tract then they were living within a couple of miles to the northwest of the parish church, perhaps near present State Highway 214 and on Beards Point Road. On Google Earth this is near 38 ° 55' 58" N, 76 ° 35' 55" W, while the church is at 38 54' 38" N, 76 34' 51" W.
There are multiple listings of this family in Family Files on the website, Ancestry.com, but in most cases those contain serious errors. In the book, Colonial Families of Anne Arundel County, Maryland, by Robert Barnes on pages 230 & 231, is given a brief listing and is based on sound documentation, thus avoiding the errors of the listings in Family Files. However, Barnes does not attempt to carry the account beyond listing Thomas & Elizabeth and their children. In the following treatment I have attempted to add some data and correct some of the common errors.
1. Thomas & Elizabeth (Pierpoint) Simpson.
No marriage record is known for Thomas & Elizabeth but it probably occurred before the beginning of the parish register of All Hallows Parish. Thomas’ burial is recorded in the register as 14 May, 1709. After his death, Elizabeth was married 2nd to Francis Day on 16 Nov., 1710.
Entries in All Hallows Parish Register for this family are spelled with several variations of the surname. They include the following:
Thomas Stimson & Elizabeth parents of:
John Stimson, son, b. 11 Feb., 1687;
Amos Stimson, son, b. 9 Dec., 1690;
Richard Stimson, son, b. 28 Feb., 1692;
Rachell Stimson, dau., b. 27 March, 1697
Francis Stimson, son of Richard Stimson & Rebecca, bapt. 1 March, 1721/2.
John Simson, son of Thomas & Elizabeth buried 30 April, 1700.
Francis Pierpoint, baptized 8 July, 1700.
Elizabeth Simson, wife of Thomas, baptized 8 July, 1700
Amos Simson, of Thomas & Elizabeth, baptized 08 July, 1700.
Richard Simson, of Thomas & Elizabeth, baptized 08 July, 1700.
Rachel Simson, of Thomas & Elizabeth, baptized 08 July, 1700.
Mary Simson, of Thomas & Elizabeth, born 26 Dec., 1700, & bapt. 26 July, 1702.
Thomas Simson and Elizabeth parents of Sarah Simson daughter, born 12 March, 1703,and bapt. 5 June, 1704.
John son of Thomas and Elizabeth Simson, b. 21 Dec., 1707, bapt. 08 Aug., 1708.
Thomas Simson buried 14 May., 1709.
Francis Day and Elizabeth Simson married 16 Nov., 1710.
Francis Stimson, son of Richard Stimson and Rebecca, bapt., 1 March, 1721/2.
[The baptism of Richard & Rebecca’s son, Francis Simpson, was recorded twice.]
[NOTE: Francis Pierpoint was a brother of Elizabeth (Pierpoint) Simpson and his and Elizabeth’s were apparently adult baptisms. They, being from a Quaker family, had probably not had infant baptism in the Anglican church. For a discussion of the Pierpoint family see near the end of this article.]
The Testamentary Proceedings of the Prerogative Court of Maryland show that on 8 Aug., 1709, Elisabeth Simpson posted bond as administratrix of Thomas Simpson, deceased, with surety by James Lewis & Amos Pierpoint. The same under date of 5 Aug., 1710, shows that the accounts of Elisabeth Simpson, administratrix of Thomas Simpson were exhibited in the Court. [Abstracts of the Testamentary Proceedings of the Prerogative Court of Maryland, vol. XI, p. 181, & vol. XIII, p.51, by V. L. Skinner, Jr.]
Anne Arundel County Deed Book PK, p. 414, as abstracted in Abstracts of Land Records, Anne Arundel County, Maryland, vol. III, edited by Rosemary B. Dodd, Patricia M. Bausell, has “Eliz. Simpson, widow, and Amos Pairpoint, Anne Arundel Co., planter, are firmly bound to Amos Simpson, Richd. Simpson, Rachell Simpson, Mary Simpson, Sarah Simpson, and John Simpson, orphans of Thomas Simpson, late of Anne Arundel Co., deceased, in sum of £38.08.03. Dated 15 Aug., 1711. The condition is that they are to receive payment when they come of age respectively. Signed Eliz. (X) Simpson, Amos Pearpoint. Witnessed by Char. Kilburn, John Teak.” There may be an error in dating this record and perhaps should be 15 Aug., 1710, since in Nov., 1710, Elizabeth was married to Francis Day.
2. The Children.
A. John Simpson [1st], b. 11 Feb., 1687/8; buried 30 April, 1700.
B. Amos Simpson, b. 09 Dec., 1690; d. about 1748; married 1st 24 April, 1716, at All Hallows Parish, Elizabeth Duval; married 2nd by 1725, Levina Reynolds, daughter of Thomas & Elizabeth Reynolds.
The record mentioned above listing the orphan children of Thomas & Elizabeth Simpson indicates that at the time of that record (15 Aug., 1710?) Amos was still not “of age,” i.e. still not 21 years old. This would suggest that he was born after 1688 at the earliest, and possibly no earlier than 1690 if that record was actually made in Aug.,1711. If born in 1690 he would have been about 25 when married to his first wife.
Some authors have claimed that Amos’ first wife, Elizabeth Duval, was the Elizabeth (Jones) Duval, widow of John Duval. [see for instance Donna Valley Russell’s “First Families of Anne Arundel County, Maryland, 1649 - 1658, vol 2: The Headrights,” where on page 42 she states that John Duvall, the son of Maureen Duvall, was married to Elizabeth Jones, daughter of William Jones of South River, and that Elizabeth married second on 24 April, 1716, Amos Simpson. In the same work on page 83, Donna states that William Jones sold on 17 August, 1689, to “John and [daughter] Elizabeth Duvall a tract of land between South and Severn Rivers.”] If John Duval & Elizabeth Jones were already married by 1689, then Elizabeth must have been at least 18 years old (born ca. 1661) and may have been older. She would have been at least 55 years old when married to Amos Simpson and it seems unlikely she could have been the same Elizabeth Duval who married Amos Simpson. However, lacking any evidence of Elizabeth’s age the Elizabeth Duval who married Amos Simpson remains an uncertainty.
Among the deed records of Anne Arundel County there is one dated 02 April, 1725, & recorded 13 May, 1725, from Thomas E. Reynolds & wife, Eliza Reynolds, of Anne Arundel County to “our loving son-in-law Amos Simpson and loving daughter Levina Simpson” of the said county. This was for a two hundred & ten acre tract called “Amoses Choice,” taken out of an eight hundred thirty acre tract called “Food Plenty.”
In Abstracts of the Inventories of the Prerogative Court, Libers 37 - 47, 1748 -1751, by V. L. Skinner, Jr., on page 24 is listed an inventory for the Estate of Amos Symson of Anne Arundel County, made Dec. 17, 1748, & filed with the Court, Dec., 19, 1748, by the Administrator, Amos Simpson [Jr.], and mentioning Thomas Sympson, Charles Sympson, Lydia Stringer, & D. Dulany attorney for Mr. William Hunt. Mr. Hunt was a merchant in the local Village of Londontown on the South River.
C. Richard Simpson, b. 28 Feb., 1692/3; d. 1762, Anne Arundel Co., MD; & was married to Rebecca, probably ca. 1715. There is some reason to think that Rebecca was the Rebecca Gaither, b. 24 May, 1695, Anne Arundel Co., daughter of John & Ruth Gaither, however that is not yet proven. I do not yet find any marriage record for Richard though his death is recorded in All Hallows Parish Register.
Richard & Rebecca had several children some of whom later moved to Frederick County, Maryland and lived in the eastern part of that county near Libertytown.
D. Rachel Simpson, b. 27 March, 1696.
E. Mary Simpson, b. 26 Dec., 1700, chr. 05 Jan., 1702; married 08 Nov., 1723, to John Pierce.
F. Sarah Simpson, b. 12 March, 1703, chr. 05 June, 1704; married probably ca. 1722 to Gilbert Pattison.
G. John Simpson, b. 21 Dec., 1707, chr. 08 Aug., 1708; All Hallows Parish Register has the following: “John Sympson and Isabelle Rawlings, married 11 Nov., 1730.”
The records of St Margaret’s, the parish church of Westminster Parish, Anne Arundel County, has the following: “ John Stimpson and Elizabeth Raulings, married 11 Nov., 1730.” Also at St. Margarets were recorded the following. “ John Stimpson and Elizabeth, parents of; John Stimson, son, b. 11 June, 1732; Elizabeth Stimpson, daughter, b. 11 Nov., 1734; Elianer Stimpson, daughter, b. 5 April, 1736; Francis Stimpson, son, b. 25 Nov., 1742; Sarah Stimpson, daughter, b. 2 Nov., 1745; Thomas Stimpson, son, b. 20 Feb., 1739. Thomas Stimpson (of John and Elizabeth) d. 8 Jan., 1745. John Stimpson, d. 12 March, 1752.
[Elizabeth was born 30 Sept., 1713, the daughter of John & Eleanor (Ridgely) Rawlings of Anne Arundel Co.]
The Pierpoint Family.
Proof that Elizabeth (Pierpoint) Simpson was a daughter of Henry & Elizabeth Pierpoint is found in the will of her brother, Jabez Pierpoint, of Baltimore County. Jabez made his will on Oct. 1, 1720, and it was probated 24 April, 1721. In it he mentioned his sisters including “Eliza Dea, Mary Davis & Sarah Warfield.” After the death of Thomas Simpson, his widow, Elizabeth (Pierpoint) Simpson, was married in 1710 to Francis Day. Added evidence is seen in the records of Thomas Simpson’s estate in which Amos Pierpoint was one of the sureties for Elizabeth’s bond of administration. Also as stated above, Elizabeth Simpson, widow, and Amos Pierpoint, planter, gave bond to guarantee payment to the children when they would come of age.
Henry Pierpoint & wife, Elizabeth, with five children, arrived in Maryland in 1685, probably from Isle of Wight County, Virginia. A listing of the children of Henry & Elizabeth Pierpoint is given in Robert Barnes’ “Baltimore County Families,” p. 507, & is based on a chart in the Maryland Historical Society compiled by a Mr. Stickney. They were: Amos, d. 1718 s.p.; Jabez, d. 1721 s.p.; Moses; Elizabeth, m. 1st Thomas Simson & 2nd Francis Day; Hannah, b. by 1655; Charles, b. c. 1680; Francis, d. s.p. having m. Elizabeth Mitchell; Mary, m. Thomas Davis; Sarah, m. Alexander Warfield.