Sunday, May 2, 2010

Simpsons of Gibson County, Indiana

Descendants of Some of the Simpsons of Gibson County, Indiana
April, 2010 by Donald R. Simpson

During the 1980's while I was working to trace the branches of our “Haw River Simpsons” I was given much valuable information on one of those branches by other researchers who were working on the Simpsons of early day Gibson County, Indiana. However, at that time the censuses of 1900 and later had not yet been released to the public and with other limitations of that time (no personal computers and no internet genealogy sites to access) only so much could then be accomplished. Researchers and descendants of those Simpsons have since then been able to add considerably to that earlier knowledge. I have also been able recently to add still more new information on the Gibson County Simpsons and their descendants. The following is not a treatment of all that clan, they are now much too numerous to treat in one article, but is an attempt to list all known descendants of one of Peter’s grandsons, namely William Simpson, son of John & Parthenia (Waters) Simpson.

1. The Establishment of this line in Gibson County, Indiana.
While there were other Simpson families in early Gibson County, they are not known to have been related to the family of Peter R. Simpson. Peter & his children were mostly resident in Montgomery Township west of the small town of Owensville while the unrelated Simpsons were for the most part in other parts of the county. One exception to that statement should be noted. Peter’s brother, Richard Simpson, died in Todd County, Kentucky, in 1838,[Todd County, KY, Court Orders E, p. 431: Administration on the Estate of Richard Simpson, deceased, granted to Urban E. Kennedy] and sometime prior to 1840 Richard’s widow and five children moved to Gibson County, Indiana, and settled near Peter’s family. Those were related but not descended from Peter R. Simpson of Gibson County.
1a. Peter R. son of Richard & Selah Simpson.

Peter Ryan Simpson, son of Richard & Selah Simpson of Guilford Co., NC, was probably born about 1768 and died sometime between the censuses of 1840 & 1850. No record has ever been found that mentions his wife’s name and she is still a complete unknown. He was probably married about 1788 in North Carolina but no marriage record is known. No will nor any other probate record is known for him and the listing of his children is mostly based on circumstantial (though convincing) evidence. Peter lived in northern Guilford County until about 1806 when he moved to Christian County, Kentucky. At the February term, 1806, of the Guilford County Court, Peter R. Simpson was one of the fifteen men appointed at that term as constables of the county. [Guilford County, NC, Court Minutes 2, p. 371.]On 15 November of that same year, the Sheriff of Guilford County, at the direction of the County Court, sold the land of Peter R. Simpson to pay debts owed by Peter.[Guilford County Deed Book 9, p. 123.] It is likely that Peter was already in Christian County, Kentucky, by that time.

In Tartt’s History of Gibson County it is stated that “Peter Simpson moved into this county from Kentucky with a wife and seven children in 1812. [Tartt, James T., “History of Gibson County, Indiana,” publ. 1884, p. 63.]One of the sons, Richard, became a well known citizen.” I wrote a short discussion of Peter & his family which was published by Nona in “The Simpson Clan” vol. 1, issue 8, pp. 28 & 29.[Williams, Wenonah, publisher, “The Simpson Clan,” vol. 1, issue 8, pp. 28 & 29.] This was combined with a discussion of Peter’s cousin, also named Peter Ryan Simpson (b. ca. 1772, NC, d. May, 1850, Cannon Co., TN) and gave details that help to distinguish the two.

1b. John and Parthenia (Waters) Simpson.
It appears that Peter’s oldest known child was the John Simpson who was born 09 Jan., 1789, in North Carolina (probably in Guilford County). John was married in Gibson Co., IN, 03 June, 1815, to Parthenia Waters (b. June, 1795, NC, d. 31 Jan., 1883, Gibson Co., IN). He died in Gibson Co. 04 Feb., 1875. [Maumee Cemetery [online listing of cemetery records at ].He and wife, Parthenia are buried in Maumee Cemetery in Montgomery Township, Gibson County [Google Earth,  latitude 38.2785, longitude -87.7540]. They were parents of at least eight known children. This discussion treats only one of their children, their son William Simpson and his descendants. Perhaps other of their children can be treated later.

2. William & Martha Jane (Fitzgerald) Simpson.
Much of the data on this family and their descendants has been posted in pedigree files on “” and while many of the pedigrees posted on Ancestry are replete with error a few have remarkably good data. When those files appear reliable their data has been used below. One such with much very useful data on this family & descendants as posted there is cited repeatedly below.[ Family Tree file on titled “Sexton, Basil, Roller, Walden and Related Families, owner tfsexton. Cited hereafter as TFS.] When possible I have checked the data on that file against original records and found most to be accurate. However, in some cases I have not been able to do so due to lack of available records here at Salt Lake City or on the Internet. Thus some of the data presented below should be considered tentative and where possible still needs to be confirmed. In the following account I have indicated, to the extent that time allows, the source of the data.

William and Martha lived much of their lives in either Posey or Gibson County, Indiana, but for a few years were in Dickinson County, Kansas. Their marriage record in Posey County is as follows: “this certifies that I joined in marriage as husband and wife William Simpson and Martha Jane Fitzgeral, on the 21st 1852, George P. Cavanah.” [Posey County, Indiana, Marriage Book 3, p. 351.] Although the month was omitted it is clear from the preceding and following marriages that it was in the month of October. George P. Cavenaugh was a Baptist Minister who at the 1850 census was living in Black Township of Posey County.

Martha Jane’s family were residents of Robb Township in Posey County. Their family name is sometimes written as Fitzgerrel as is the case of the family cemetery located in Robb Township [Google Earth, lat. 38.199575, lon. -87.801302] about one fifth mile from the southwest corner of Gibson County.

Martha was listed on the 1850 census of Posey County as Patsy J. Fitzgerald, age 19, in the household of James & Elizabeth (Ray) Fitzgerald and was apparently one of their daughters. The 1860 census lists her as Martha J. Simpson, age 30. The Family Trees file states she was buried in the Fitzgeral Cemetery and gives her birth as 04 May 1830, and death as 21 March, 1907. [TFS]This presumably is from tombstone data which I have not seen.

That source also says that William was buried in the Fitzgeral Cemetery and gives his birth was 21 May 1824, and death as 23 Jan., 1895. [Gibson County, Indiana, Probate Order Book 12, pp. 502 - 504.] William left a will which was written 11 May, 1892, in Dickinson County, Kansas, and was probably probated both in Dickinson County and in Gibson County, Indiana, due to his having devised to his heirs his lands owned in both places. I have not seen the probate in Dickinson County but the one in Gibson County was on 02 March, 1895. I do not know whether his death occurred in Gibson Co., or in Dickinson Co., Kansas. In his will he describes two tracts of land in Dickinson County that are located in Flora Township to the west of Manchester, Kansas. The two tracts of 80 acres each were adjoining and located in the southeast quarter of section 30 [Google Earth, lat. 39.063105, long. -97.35750]. The north half of the southeast quarter he devised to the children of his deceased son, James D. Simpson, and the south half to his son, Martin Luther Simpson. His land in Gibson Co., Indiana, which consisted of three tracts totaling 343 acres he also devised to son, Martin Luther Simpson. [These three tracts in T 3, R 12, sections 7, 8 & 17 are shown on the page for Montgomery Township in “An Atlas of Gibson and Pike Counties, Indiana,” by B. N. Griffing, published at Philadelphia, 1881.]

These three tracts in T 3, R 12, sections 7, 8 & 17 are shown on the page for Montgomery Township in “An Atlas of Gibson and Pike Counties, Indiana,” by B. N. Griffing, published at Philadelphia, 1881.]

William and Martha are on the censuses of 1860 & 1880 in Montgomery Twp. of Gibson County. I have not found them on the 1870 census though presumably they were in the same location. At the 1900 census William’s widow, Martha J. Simpson, was living in Gibson Co., Indiana, with the family of their son, Martin L. Simpson, and the entry for her indicated she was the mother of five children of whom only one was living. Of those five children only three are known, and they were the following.

a) John S. Simpson, b. ca 1854, d. 08 Nov 1869. He is known only from  the 1860 census (listed in their household as age 6) and from the Family trees file which gives his date of death and is presumed to be from a cemetery record though I have not seen such.[1860 IN, Gibson Co., Montgomery Twp., sheet 821, which gives his age as 6; also TFS which gives his death date.]

b) Martin Luther Simpson, b. 21 May, 1858, Gibson Co., Indiana; d. 18 Aug., 1921, Phoenix, Maricopa Co., Arizona. His family is discussed below.

c) James D. Simpson, b. 16 April, 1866, Gibson Co.; d. 1892, Dickinson Co., Kansas. His family is discussed below.

3. Martin Luther and Martha Jane (Jordan) Simpson.
The death certificate for Martin gives his dates of birth & death as 21 May, 1858, and 18 Aug., 1921. That for Martha gives birth on10 July, 1863, & death on13 July, 1942. Both died in Maricopa County, Arizona, he in Phoenix and she in Chandler. Images of their death certificates are available online from the State of Arizona. According to the death certificates they are both buried in Greenwood Cemetery in central Phoenix [Google Earth, lat. 33.455772, long. -112.112045].

At the 1900 census this family was in Montgomery Township of Gibson Co., Indiana, but from the birthplaces of their children it appears they had lived for a few years in Kansas. Their oldest child was born in Aug., 1883, in Indiana, and the fifth child was born Nov., 1893, in Indiana, but between them were three children all born in Kansas. It is likely they were in Dickinson County where Martin’s parents were living at that time. At the 1910 census they were still in Gibson County but by the 1920 census Martin & Martha were living in Phoenix, Arizona, and with them was their oldest son, William Simpson, a school teacher. At the 1930 census, William & wife, Ella, were still living in Phoenix.

The known children of Martin Luther Simpson & wife, Martha Jane (Jordan) Simpson were as follows.
a) William Simpson, b. Aug., 1883, IN; married Ella Daugherty. [xiv. Birth from the1900 census; wife’s maiden name from TFS.]

b) Mary E. Simpson, b. Nov., 1885, KS; md. 02 Sept., 1902, William Knowles. [xv. Birth from the 1900 census; husband’s name from TFS.]

c) Harriet S. Simpson, b. April, 1888, KS; d. about 1940: md. Roy A. Cooper. [xvi. Birth from the 1900 census; death and husband’s name from TFS.]

d) Margaret Mae Simpson, b. 26 Aug., 1890, KS; d. 08 June, 1984, Chandler, Maricopa Co., AZ; buried Greenwood Cemetery, Phoenix, AZ; md 24 Nov., 1920, Thomas O. Moore. [xvii. Birth, death & burial place from photo of tombstone of Margaret Mae Moore posted online at in Greenwood Cemetery listing of photos. Place of death & name of husband from TFS.]

e) Jessie I. Simpson, b. 27 Nov., 1893, Gibson Co., IN; md. 28 Nov., 1918,  Ezbon E. Cooper; d. Sept., 1984, Anderson Co., TX. [All data from TFS.]

f) James L. Simpson, b. 22 April, 1896, Gibson Co., IN; md. 1st abt 1916, Grace A. Larson, md. 2nd Norma Carson; d. 28 Sept., 1958. [Ditto]

g) Martha Jane Simpson, b. 03 May, 1899, Gibson Co., IN; md. 1st. Evert J. Smallridge, md. 2nd Claude Jones; d. Oct. 1984, Palestine, Anderson Co., TX.[Ditto]

h) Ruth Lillian Simpson, b. 28 Dec., 1902, Gibson Co., IN; md. George Thomas Stewart; d. 30 Jan., 2002, Phoenix, Maricopa Co., AZ. [Ditto]

i) Robert Edward Simpson, b. 10 March, 1906, Gibson Co., IN; d. 03 Feb., 1961. [Ditto]

4. James D. & Lillie May (Sheets) Simpson.
James D. Simpson appeared on the 1880 census in his parents’ household as age 15. Since his parents’ family was missed by the 1870 census that 1880 is the only one that recorded him. His father, William, in his will written on 11 May, 1892, mentions the children of his deceased son, James D. Simpson, so James’ death occurred before that date. The source in Family Trees gives his death as 1898 but that is in error. [TFS; this is one of the few instances of error in this data set.]

That source does appear to be correct about his wife. It lists her as Lillie May Sheets, b. 16 April, 1866, Marshall Co., IN; d. 11 Nov., 1957, Salina, Saline County, Kansas. [TFS]  Lillie was a daughter of John C. and Corintha H. (Winans) Sheets. Some of Lillie’s brothers were also residents of Dickinson Co., KS. [The 1900 census shows her father, John C. Sheets, living with the family of his son, William Sheets, in Flora Township, Dickinson Co., KS. Family data on the Sheets family in in Family Trees file titled “McClellan Family Tree,” and in a file on One World Trees in [submitter not given].]

James D. Simpson & Lillie M. Sheets were probably married about 1890 in Kansas but I have not seen the marriage record. In the 1900 census Lillie’s husband is listed as Marion Simpson. Gibson County marriage records show that Marion E. Simpson was married 09 March, 1900, to Lilly Simpson. Marion was a son of Alfred & Rebecca (Martin) Simpson of Gibson Co., and grandson of Richard & Elizabeth (Harmon) Simpson. Marion, Lilly & Lillie’s two sons by her first husband, James D. Simpson, were listed on the 1900 census in Gibson Co., IN, living in the household of Martin L. & Martha J. (Jordan) Simpson, and all listed as cousins of Martin L. even though the boys were actually nephews.

By the time their son, Everett Simpson, was born in 1901, Marion & Lillian had moved back to Dickinson Co., KS, where they remained most of the rest of their lives. They were buried in White Cloud Cemetery in Flora Township, Dickinson County [Google Earth, lat. 39.074583, long. -97.353248]. Their tombstones have “Lillie M. Sheets Simpson, b. April 16, 1866, d. Nov. 11, 1957, and Marion E. Simpson, b. March, 1869, no death date.[ For the records of White Cloud Cemetery see this website (hereafter as WCC). [ ].]

The sons of James D. and  Lillie May (Sheets) Simpson were as follows.
a) John S. Simpson, b. 13 Jan., 1891, Kansas; md. April, 1920, Minnie M.; d. 06 April, 1973, Salina, Kansas. [Birth, death and place of burial from WCC. Place of birth from the 1900 & later censuses. Place of death and marriage data from TFS.] The birth & death of Minnie M. Simpson, John’s wife, is given on her tombstone as b. 17 Aug., 1897, d. 16 Nov., 1975. [WCC] Both John and; Minnie are buried in White Cloud Cemetery. At the 1930 census John and Minnie were living in Salina, Kansas, and with them was their daughter, Shirley J. Simpson, age 3 years & eleven twelfths.

b) James D. Simpson, b. Sept., 1893, KS; md. 1st Pearl Sangster [FT], md. 2nd Marie Stone [FT]; d. 25 Feb., 1932; buried in White Cloud Cemetery. [Date and state of birth from 1900 census. Date of death from WCC which does not give date of birth. Wives names from TFS.] Marie was the widow Stone when she married James and her maiden name is not known to me. At the 1930 census James and; Marie with Marie’s daughter by her previous marriage, Gertrude Stone, were living in Albuquerque, New Mexico, where he was listed as a switchman on the railroad.

While Marion E. Simpson was not a descendant of John & Parthenia (Waters) Simpson, he was a descendant of Peter R. Simpson as follows. Marion was son of Alfred Simpson who was son of Richard Simpson who was son of Peter R. Simpson of Gibson Co., IN. Because of Marion’s association with the descendants of William & Martha J. (Fitzgerald) Simpson it seems appropriate to list his family here.

Marion E. and Lillie May (Sheets) Simpson, had one known child, a son born in Kansas after they had moved there from Indiana.

c) Everett M. Simpson, b. 20 March,1901, Kansas; md. Laura Miller, 22 March, 1924, Jackson Co., MO; d. 01 June, 1968, Los Angeles Co., CA. [Based on data in Family Trees files titled “Beaman/Bauermeister Family Tree,” & “Lawrence/Tripp Family Tree.”] Everett is shown on the 1910 census as age 8, & on the 1920 census as age 18. At the 1930 census he & wife, Laura, were in Jackson County, Missouri, near Kansas City. Some Family Trees listings say that he died in Long Beach in Los Angeles County.

Some Additions & Corrections to Simpsons of Gibson County, Indiana
 May, 2010 by Donald R. Simpson

 As indicated in the original article, some of the data presented there was tentative and subject to possible correction. Here are a few additions of new data with some corrections of data presented in that original article. The numbers below correspond with those of the original article.

 2. William & Martha Jane (Fitzgerald) Simpson.
At the 1900 census Martha Jane indicates she was the mother of five children of whom only one was then living. At the time of writing that only three of the five were known to me. The other two are listed in the record of Fitzgerald Cemetery [see Posey County Cemetery Records, 1814 - 1979, by Carroll O. Cox, Evansville, Indiana, 1979] which has the listing for William & Martha and three of their children buried there. Those are: John S., son, d. Nov. 8, 1861, aged 15 years, 7 months, 23 days;  Mary E., daughter, d. Dec. 26 1866, aged 1 month, 26 days; & Esther A., daughter, d. Aug., 27, 1856, aged 11 months, 8 days. Given this data the listing of the five children would be the following.

a) John A. Simpson, b. 16 March, 1854; d. 08 Nov., 1869; buried Fitzgerald Cemetery, Robb Township, Posey County, Indiana.

b) Esther A. Simpson, b. 19 Sept., 1855; d. 27 Aug., 1856; bur. Fitzgerald Cemetery.

c) Martin Luther Simpson, b. 21 May, 1858; d. 18 Aug., 1921, Phoenix, Maricopa County, Arizona; bur. Greenwood Cemetery, Phoenix, Arizona; married 09 Nov., 1882, Gibson Co., Indiana, Martha Jane Jordan. The Arizona death certificate lists cause of death as “pulmonary T B.” The Arizona death certificate for his wife, Martha, gives her birthdate as 10 July, 1863, & death as 17 July, 1942, due to “Myocardial Insufficiency.”

d) James D. Simpson, b. 16 April, 1864 or 1865; d. about 1892, Dickinson Co., KS. The source in Family Trees that listed his birth as 16 April, 1866 also listed the death as “before1898” without giving source for either dates. Since his father’s will, written 11 May, 1892, stated he was already deceased, he must have died prior to that date. Also, since his sister, Mary, was born 31 Oct., 1866, it seems unlikely he could have been born the preceding April so it is more likely he was born in1864 or 1865. The day & month may be from some family record but I have not seen that source.

e) Mary E. Simpson, b. 31 Oct., 1866; d. 26 Dec., 1866; bur. Fitzgerald Cemetery.
 3. Martin Luther & Martha Jane (Jordan) Simpson.
A photograph of this couple has been posted in the Family Trees file on belonging to “ambercharmed81."

3a. William Simpson, born 05 Aug., 1883; married in Vandenburgh County, Indiana, 05 Sept., 1906 to Ella Daugherty, born 17 Jan., 1887, daughter of James Franklin & Rhoda A. (Stone) Daugherty. The dates of birth of Wiliam & Ella and the date & place of their marriage as well as names of parents of both groom & bride are in the marriage record and are found on Family Search, Indiana Marriages 1780 - 1992. This can be accessed through then look under Record Search. I have still not found when nor where William & Ella died. They were living in Phoenix, Arizona at the 1930 census and may have remained there the rest of their lives. No children are known to me for this couple.

3c. Harriet S. Simpson, married probably about 1913 to Roy A. Cooper, son of Samuel Albert & Eliza Jane (Culbertson) Cooper. Roy & Harriet were listed on the 1920 census living in Caldwell County or Parish, Louisiana. Their household included two sons, Roy A. Cooper, Jr., age 4, & James R. Cooper, age 3. Louisiana death records as listed on Family Search Labs (see link above) include one for Roy A. Cooper, Jr. who died 05 Sept., 1930, in Oakdale, Allen County, Louisiana. It lists his parents as Roy A. Cooper, Sr., & Hattie Simpson. Hattie (Simpson) Cooper died 13 Oct., 1931, Monroe, Quachita County, Louisiana, according to Louisiana Death Records on Family Search Labs (see link above). That record lists her father as Martin L. Simpson. The same source gives the death of Roy Alvada Cooper as 24 April, 1944, Baton Rouge, East Baton Rouge County, Louisiana; father listed as S. A. Cooper; Roy’s spouse listed as Ruth Harrel. It appears that Roy was remarried after the death of Harriet.

3e. Jessie Irene Simpson, born 27 Nov., 1893; d. 25 Sept., 1984, Elkhart, Anderson Co., TX; md. 24 Nov., 1917, Butler Co., MO, to Ezbon E. Cooper. The Arizona death certificate for Ezbon lists his birth as 20 March, 1893, Dexter Co., MO; death 16 July, 1932, Chandler, Maricopa Co., AZ; burial in Greenwood Cemetery, Phoenix; cause of death was perforated duodenal ulcer. It also listed his parents as Samuel A. & Eliza Jane (Culberson) Cooper and the informant was Jessie Cooper of Chandler, Arizona. At the 1930 census Ezbon & Jessie were living Chandler on North California Street.

Another Gibson County Simpson in Dickinson County, Kansas

At the 1900 census the census of Flora Township, Dickinson County, Kansas, listed William F. [or T ?] & Sarah E. (Bruce) Simpson with their son, James H. Simpson, all born in Indiana and ages 50, 47 & 26. William’s occupation was listed as station foreman and James’ as section hand. They were not listed there at the 1910 census however they appear to be the William Simpson on the 1909 land ownership atlas of Flora Township holding the south half of the southeast quarter of section 30. That was the 80 acre tract that was devised in 1892 by William Simpson (son of John & Parthenia Simpson) to his son Martin Luther Simpson. William F. Simpson was a nephew of that earlier William Simpson & was a son of James Monroe & Cicely (Gooch) Simpson of Gibson County, Indiana.

At the 1910 census William, Sarah [there listed as Elizabeth] & James H. were living in Junction City, Geary County, Kansas. At the 1920 census, Sarah, then a widow, and her son, James H., were still in Junction City, but I have not found record of them thereafter.