The Gee Family of Union County, South
To THE MEMORY OF MY FATHERPREFACE
The following pages represent the results of several years' accumulations of the author with regard to the genealogy of the paternal side of his family. As he could, from time to time, find a few moments of leisure, he has devoted it to the careful search for authentic materials from published sources, courthouse documents and family records. Simply to allow these materials to remain within the covers of his notebooks would have been unjust to the entire family connection. During the year 1935 he published a volume on the maternal line, The Gist Family of South Carolina and Its Maryland Antecedents. Just as that study contained considerable material on the paternal side, so the present study gives further data on the maternal side, principally because the author's father and mother were distantly related through the Buford and the Sims lines.
While the following pages are mainly of interest to the family connection and are written mainly for them, such a study should have a wider appeal. It is becoming more and more recognized that family studies form the foundation for a true interpretation of many important phases of our national history. The part of Piedmont South Carolina in which the Gee family treated in the following pages lived was settled in large measure by migrants from Virginia. Practically every line which combined to the making of the present Gee family under consideration originally derived from Virginia, principally immediately after the Revolutionary War. As a grandson of Virginia, as well as a great-great-grandson, etc., the task of tracing these lines of descent has been facilitated and made more interesting by virtue of the fact that the author has for the past twelve or more years been a citizen of the Old Dominion. Moreover, what has been found true for the Gee family in its Virginia origins is largely typical of the great majority of the families living today in Union County, South Carolina, and several of the immediately surrounding counties. Both in its ante-bellum life and to a considerable extent in that existing today, the culture patterns of the area are those derived from the State which was the Mother of a large part of its worthy, early settlers.
WILSON GEE University, Virginia June 18, 1935
THE GEE FAMILY OF UNION COUNTY SOUTH CAROLINA
BY WILSON GEE
Charles Wareing Bardsley in his A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames (Oxford University Press, Henry Frowde, London, 1901), page 341, says with regard to the surname Gee:
"Gee.-Local, 'of Gee,' now Gee Cross, a prosperous village in the parish of Stockport. That all of our Gees hail from this spot admits of no doubt. The local registers teem with them. A glance at the index to Earwaker's East Cheshire will show that they had early spread themselves out into the surrounding country. The surname has ramified strongly." There are records of Gees in this place as early as 1494.
James B. Johnston, The Place Names of England and Wales (John Murray, London, 1915), page 273, states:
"Gee Cross (Stockport). An ancient cross was erected here by the Gee family."
The following is quoted from Henry Barber's British Family Names (Elliott Stock, London, Paternoster Row, 1894), page 130:
"Gee: French, Ghys; German, Gey; Dutch, Gee; personal name."
Mark Antony Lower, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of the Family Names of the United Kingdom (John Russell Smith, London, 1860), page 126, furnishes the following information:
"Gee. The Celtic Mac Gee, sans Mac."
Under Mac, on pages 204-207, the same authority lists "Seven Hundred Specimens of Celtic Aristocracy, or Almack's Extraordinary' as derived from the first list collected by Lord Stair, among which is the name Gee, to which the prefix Mac has been added by many derived from the Gee.
Indexes and guides to English genealogies give references to the Gee family as resident in Yorkshire and Sussex, Leicester and Suffolk, while Burke's1 Commoners of Great Britain (Volume II, page 254) refers to the Gees as "one of the most ancient families in Yorkshire."2 Several of this name in England were distinguished as educators and clergymen, and a number of them were knighted. Bancroft's history of the United States is authority for the statement that the book3 written by Sir Joshua Gee, published in 1729, was a chief reliance of the royal family for justification of its policy toward the colonies. Sir William Gee was a member of the Second Virginia Company in 1620.4
Landon C. Bell in his volumes on Lunenburg County, Virginia, notes that the Gee family was quite numerous and fairly broadly distributed in Virginia in the Colonial days. "Thus Henry Gee was living in Henrico in 1704; Charles Gee in Prince George in the same year; Gilbert Gee in Prince George in 1738; and Robert Gee, Jr., was living in Brunswick County in 1776. Henry Gee of Sussex was a notable member of the Gee family. He was a member from that county of the Virginia Conventions of 1775 and 1776 (Colonial Register, 203), the latter one of the most notable assemblages in the history of government, in the annals of the world, for it was the convention which adopted the first written constitution for the government of a free people ever adopted. He was later a Colonel in the Revolution."5
Clayton Torrence, one of the most competent contemporary Virginia genealogists, states that "no attempt has been made, so far as is now known, to connect up the Gees in Virginia with the parent stock in England; nor has any relationship so far been discovered through records searched between Charles Gee (died 1709), of Surry County, ancestor of the family here under consideration" and any of the several Gees mentioned in the early records of Virginia before 1660, the probable birth date of this Charles Gee.6
CHARLES GEE OF SURRY COUNTY
Charles Gee7 was born probably as early as 1660, and the earliest records available show him to have been living in Surry County, Virginia. Surry County Records, Book 4, page 375, show that on August 30. 1707, Charles Gee of Surry County conveyed for the sum of 15 sterling to Timothy Reading of the same county 125 acres in Surry County on the north side of Joseph's Swamp and adjoining John Young, Thomas Busby and Edward Teatum. The inventory and appraisement of the estate of Charles Gee, deceased, was presented in court and recorded in Surry County, July 5, 1709. Hannah Gee, evidently his widow, was administratrix. John Cooke, William Cooke and William Heath, the appraisers, set the value of the personal estate at 20,652 pounds of tobacco, and 3 Indian slaves additional were appraised at 10,400 pounds of tobacco. (Ibid., Book 4, page 114.) Charles Gee and his wife, Hannah Gee, were evidently the parents of the following sons: (1) James Gee, (2) Charles Gee, and (3) Henry Gee. Whether there were other children the records examined do not show.
CHARLES GEE OF SUSSEX COUNTY
Charles Gee, son of Charles Gee and his wife, Hannah Gee, was born circa 1696. He lived in that part of Surry County which in the year 1754 became Sussex County, where he died in the year 1768. The following patents for land were issued to this Charles Gee: June 22, 1722, for 425 acres in Surry County on the south side main Blackwater Swamp beginning at an ash on Warrick Swamp and adjoining Thomas Tomlinson and Thomas Taylor; July 12, 1750, for 400 acres on branches of Crooked Creek in Lunenburg County, adjoining Cocke, Booker, Edloe and Ragsdale; August 16, 1756, for 800 acres on branches of Crooked Creek, Lunenburg County, 400 acres thereof having been granted said Charles Gee by patent July 12, 1750, and 400 acres never before granted. (Patent Book No. 11, page 140; Patent Book No. 29, page 268; Patent Book No. 34, page 113.)
Charles Gee (1696-1768) married Bridget, surname unknown (died September 10, 1748), and had issue:
(1) James Gee (died 1802), of Lunenburg County; (2) Charles Gee, who probably settled in Mecklenburg County; (3) Henry Gee, of Lunenburg County; (4) Nevil Gee, of Lunenburg County; (5) Benjamin Gee (born September 10, 1739), of Lunenburg County; (6) John Gee (born January 20, 1742) who went to South Carolina, where he died prior to March, 1799, without issue; (7) William Gee, of Brunswick County; (8) Jesse Gee (born January 9, 1746), of Lunenburg County; (9) Penelope Gee married Heath; (10) Elizabeth Gee married Bonner.
The following is an abstract of the will of Charles Gee of Sussex County:
Charles Gee., of Sussex County, will dated January 4. 1768; probated August 19, 1768; son Benjamin Gee the plantation he (Benjamin) now lives on in Lunenburg County with 264 acres thereto belonging; son Jesse Gee, the plantation I now live on with 425 acres thereto belonging; stock of cattle to be equally divided between my sons John and Jesse Gee; all my negroes to be sold by my executors, together with residue of estate of what kind or quality soever and money arising from sale thereof to be equally divided among my children, viz.: James Gee, Charles Gee, William Gee, Henry Gee Benjamin Gee, John Gee, Nevil Gee, Jesse Gee, Elizabeth Bonner and Penelope Heath; estate not to be appraised; executors, sons Benjamin Gee and Henry Gee. Witnesses: Richard Carter, Joseph Boisseau, Benjamin Rives. (Sussex County records, Will Book "B," page 168.)8
NEVIL GEE OF LUNENBURG COUNTY
Nevil Gee, son of Charles and Bridget Gee of Sussex County, settled in Lunenburg County, Virginia. It is not known who this Nevil Gee married. The following is an abstract of his will:
Neavil Gee, of Lunenburg County, will dated June 19, 1804; probated July 12, 1804; daughter Nancy Bowers, 2 negroes; "to my daughter Nanny's daughter Patsy Jefferson"; son Jesse Gee, property of mine in his possession or he has had since he lived in Kentucky and $1,000.00; son Jones Gee; daughter Amey Andrews; daughter-in-law Catherine Gee and her four daughters, Letty, Elizabeth, Dolly and Nancy; son George Gee; son Lucas Gee; son Neavel Gee; son James Gee, of Kentucky; son Reuben Gee; granddaughter Elizabeth S. Andrews, daughter of Drury Andrews; executors sons Jones Gee and Lucas Gee.9 (Lunenburg County records, Will Book No. 6, page 88.)
Referring to this digest of the will of Nevil Gee, Miss Maud Gee, of Kenbridge, Virginia, a highly reliable authority on the Gee family of Lunenburg County, Virginia-by far the best now living (1935) - writes the author of this article under date of March 5, 1932: "In this synopsis I notice there is no mention of Nevil's son Charles. The Charles Gee line is the only one of the descendants of Nevil Gee in the data dictated to me by my aunt Sarah Emily Gee, granddaughter of Benjamin Gee, Nevil Gee's brother. There were a great many Gees in this county by the name of Charles. This one of Nevil Gee I, because of a gunpowder explosion in Revolutionary service that blackened his face was called Charles 'Powder-face'. . . . Charles 'Powder-face' spent his entire life in this county-I might say in this neighborhood, and some of his descendants are now living in and near Kenbridge."
CHARLES "POWDER-FACE" GEE OF LUNENBURG COUNTY
The marriage of this Charles Gee, son of Nevil Gee and his wife, is to be found in the marriage records10 of Lunenburg County. On March 12, 1787, he married Sally Wilson, the surety being Jesse Gee, very likely his uncle. The fact that Charles was married some 17 years before his father's will was made on June 19, 1804, would account for the fact that he was omitted in it; for as Miss Maud Gee writes "presumably, he had already received his portion of his father's estate."
According to data in the possession of Miss Maud Gee, the following were children of Charles Gee and his wife, Sally Wilson Gee: (1) Wilson Gee; (2) Everard Gee; (3) Charles Gee; (4) James Gee; (5) Minerva Gee; and (6) Judith Gee.
WILSON GEE OF LUNENBURG COUNTY
The Brunswick County, Virginia, Register of Marriages, Volume I, page 74, records the following marriage:
The Lunenburg County Deed Book, No. 24, 1816-1819, page 38, records the following deed of gift:
Gee to Gee, Deed of Gift
This Indenture made this fourteenth day of March in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred sixteen Between Charles Gee, Senior, of the County of Lunenburg of the one part and Willson Gee of said County of the other part Witnesseth, that the said Charles Gee for the Love and affection he bears to the sd. Willson Gee his son, and moreover for and in consideration of the Just sum of one dollar current money of Virginia to him in hand paid by the said Willson Gree the receipt whereof the said Charles Gee doth hereby acknowledge satisfied, contented and paid; hath given, granted, and by these presents doth give, grant alienate release and confirm unto the said Willson Gee his heirs and assigns forever one hundred acres of land to be laid off of the said Charles Gee's tract that he lives on the east side of Booker's Road adjoining the Land of Lucas Gee for the dividing line, to run due west with all and singular the priviledges and appurtenances thereto belonging or in any wise appertaining thereto to have and to hold the above said Land and premises with all the appurtenances thereto him the said Willson Gee his heirs and assigns forever, against him the said Charles Gee shall and will warrant, and by these presents forever defends. In Witness whereof he the said Charles Gee hath hereunto set his hands and seal the day and year above written.
CHARLES GEE. Seal.
In Lunenburg County Court 14th March 1816.
The within written Deed of Gift was presented in Court and acknowledged which was Ordered to be Recorded.
Teste WM. H. TAYLOR.
From the Lunenburg County, Deed Book No. 23, 1812-1815, page 40, is quoted the following deed of gift:
Turbyfill to Gee, Deed of Gift
Know all men by these presents that I, William Turbyfill of the County of Lunenburg for and in Consideration of the natural good will and affection which I have and bear for Wilson Gee who intermarried with Rebecca Turbyfill widow of my son John deceased and for the further consideration of the sum of One dollar to me in hand paid by the said Wilson Gee the receipt whereof is hereby acknowledged at or before the sealing and delivery of these presents have given and granted and by these presents do give and grant unto the said Wilson Gee his heirs Executors administrators and assigns a negro Peter now in the possession of the said Wilson Gee and wife the remainder of which after the death of the wife of said Wilson Gee passes to me the said Turbyfill. To have and to hold the said negro Peter unto him the said Wilson Gee his heirs Executors and administrators and against the claim or claims of all and every person or persons whatever shall and will warrant and forever defend by these presents. In Witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand and seal this 20th day of January one thousand eight hundred and thirteen.
WILLIAM TURBYFILL. Seal.
Test R. VAUGHAN
At a Court held for Lunenburg County the 11th day of February 1813 This deed of gift was acknowledged by William Turbyfill a party thereto and ordered to be recorded.
Teste WILLIAM TAYLOR.
From the 2nd volume of abstracts of Lunenburg County Wills, the following is cited:
Will of, Turbyfill, John Dated Feb. 24, 1807. Probated Dee. 10, 1807.
Will book no. 6, p. 203.
Wife... Rebeckah Turbyfill.
Father... William Turbyfill.
Executors... William Turbyfill and Charley Gee.
Witnesses: James Brown, Willson Gee, Francis Smith.
The following deed from the Brunswick County, Virginia, records throws much interesting further light on this Wilson Gee and his wife. From Deed Book, Brunswick County, No. 25, page 54, the following is quoted:
Gee and Wife to Gee
THIS INDENTURE made and entered into this 26th day of May 1820, Between Wilson Gee and Rebecca his wife of the County of Lunenburg and State of Virginia of the one part and John Gee of Brunswick County and same State of the other part, Witnesseth that the said Wilson Gee and Wife in Consideration of the sum of Sixty dollars to them in hand paid (the receipt whereof is hereby acknowledged) hath granted bargained and sold and by these presents doth grant bargain sell and convey to the said John Gee, his heirs Executors Administrators and assigns forever, all their right title and interest of in and to all the lands and premises that were conveyed by the last will and Testament of William Gee the Elder dec'd to his son James Gee, which said Will and Testament of William Gee the Elder, dec'd to his son James Gee, which said Will and Testament is of record in the County Court of Brunswick reference being thereto had, will more fully appear, which said land is in his separate tracts, the one containing by estimation two hundred and twenty acres lying on the Meherrin river at the place called Gee's bridge, the other tract supposed to Contain one hundred acres lying on Gee's road about one mile South of said bridge and Joining the lands of Lucy Malone and others which said right and Interest held by the said Wilson Gee and wife and hereby Conveyed is one fifth of one tenth part, the said Rebecca Gee being one of the five Joint heirs of Parthenia Parham dec'd who was one of the ten Joint, heirs of the said James Gee above mentioned who is also now dec'd. To have and to hold the aforesaid Interest hereby conveyed to him the said John Gee his heirs and assigns forever and the said Wilson Gee and Rebecca his wife for themselves their heirs Executors and Administrators do hereby warrant and defend the rights and title of the aforesaid claim and Interest in the above recited land and premises to him the said John Gee his heirs Executors Administrators and assigns forever, against the claim and demand of all persons whatsoever. In witness whereof the said Wilson Gee and Rebecca his wife have hereunto affixed their hands and seals this day and year aforesaid.
Witness WILSON GEE, Seal
REBECCA P. GEE. Seal. Lunenburg County, Va. Etc.
We Robert Chappell and David S. Garland Justices of the peace in the County aforesaid in the State of Virginia do hereby certify that Wilson Gee and Rebecca his wife parties to a certain deed bearing date on the 28th day of May 1820 and hereto annexed personally appeared before us in our County aforesaid and acknowledged the same to be their act and deed and desired us to certify the same acknowledgement to the clerk of the County Court of Brunswick in order that the said deed may be recorded, Given under our hands this 5th of June 1820.
ROBERT CHAPPELL. Seal DAVID S. GARLAND. Seal.
The Brunswick County, Register of Marriages, Vol. I, page 142, gives the following information:
The records searched do not indicate whom this Lewis Parham married. However, the Surry County, Virginia, records (See Wills and Deeds, Surry County, Virginia, 1715-1730, Part 2) contain the will of Ephraim Parham, father of Lewis Parham, and husband of Frances Parham, whose maiden name does not appear to be a matter of record. This Ephraim Parham, Senior, of Surry County, made his will on April 7, 1726 and it was probated June 15, 1726.
Order Book No. 13, Brunswick County, Virginia, 1773-1800, page 340, states: "William Collier Captain, Zebulon Lewis first Lieutenant, Ephraim Parham Second Lieutenant and Peter Hawthorn Ensign are recommended to his excellency the Governor as officers for a Company of the Militia in this County according to Law." This action was "At a Court held for Brunswick County at the Courthouse on Monday March 27, 1780."
Auditor'e Account Book, 1782, No. XI, page 25 (Virginia State Library), contains the following reference: "May 21, 1782. So. Expedition. Warrant to Lieutenant Ephraim Parham for his service in the Militia of this State acting to the Southward, as per specie certificate. 14 11s. 4d."
Deed Book No. 28, Brunswick County, Virginia, 1828, page 18, shows Peterson G. Parham of the County of Wilkinson and State of Mississippi, to have been a brother of Rebecca Parham Gee, wife of Wilson Gee. This Peterson G. Parham seems to have been the father of Nancy M. Parham who married Joseph Hampton Hamilton in 1807 in Union County, South Carolina. She met Joseph Hamilton and married him while her father and family were on their way west, but had stopped for a while on account of a fever which he had contracted while visiting relatives in that region of South Carolina.
These records show that Wilson Gee I married Rebecca Turbyfill, widow
of John Turbyfill, in Brunswick County, on December 22, 1808. They also
reveal that this Rebecca Turbyfill's maiden name was Rebecca Parham, and
that she was daughter of Ephraim Parham and his wife, Parthenia Gee
Parham, of Brunswick County, who were married on November 23,
A list of Revolutionary Patriots of Brunswick County, Virginia, in the courthouse at Lawrenceville, Virginia, compiled (from records in the State Library, Richmond, Virginia) by Rosa Thornton Lane of the Colonel Charles Lynch Chapter, Daughters of the American Revolution, includes William Gee, father of Parthenia Gee, the wife of Ephraim Parham, as one of the "patriots who rendered services during the Revolution, under the 'Commissioners of Provisions Law,' to Lafayette, Baron von Steuben. General Nelson, General Greene, General Washington and others. They gave not only supplies for the continental troops, but transported the sick, provisions and guns."
Confirmation of the accuracy of this listing for the said William Gee is to be found in Brunswick County Order Book, No. 13, 1773-1780, pages 444 and 455, where specific services of transporting troops, furnishing beef and supplying a gun are recorded as rendered by him.
Lewis Parham, father of Ephraim Parham, is also included in this list of patriots to be found in the courthouse at Lawrenceville, Virginia, with the same general record of service as cited for William Gee.
WILSON PARHAM GEE OF LUNENBURG COUNTY, VIRGINIA AND UNION COUNTY, SOUTH CAROLINA
Reuben Thompson Gee, of Carlisle, South Carolina, father of the author of this article, a year or two before his death on October 7, 1922, dictated the following notes:
"Two brothers, Peterson P. Gee and Wilson Parham Gee, came from Lunenburg County, Virginia, to South Carolina, and both settled in Union County, South Carolina, seven or eight miles north of the town of Union.
"Peterson P. Gee married twice. His first wife's name we do not know. There were two daughters by this first marriage. They were Ann and Mary. After the death of his first wife, he married a widow, Mrs. Murrell, who at the time had two children, William and Martha.
"Wilson Parham Gee also married twice. His first wife was a Miss Williams of Virginia, and they had one son, Peterson Williams Gee, who came south with his father after the death of his mother. Peterson died just before the War at about the age of fifteen or sixteen years. After a time, Wilson Parham Gee married Miss Drucilla Elizabeth Gilliam, and three children were born to this union: Reuben Thompson Gee, Mary Ann Rebecca Frances Gee, and James Munro Gee.
"Reuben T. Gee married Miss Gertrude Gist, and they have eight children: Mary Wilson Gee, Nathaniel Gist Gee, Robert Ernest Gee, Gertrude Gee, Reuben Thompson Gee, Jr., Paul McDaniel Gee, Wilson Parham Gee, and Drucilla Elizabeth Gee.
"Mary Ann Rebecca Frances Gee married Milton McSwain Humphries and they had five children: William S. Humphries, Drucilla Humphries, Reuben W. Humphries. Pearl Humphries, and Mary Humphries.
"James Munro Gee married Miss Bessie Farrar and has two children: Clough Farrar Gee and James Gilliam Gee."
The Census of 1850 lists Wilson Gee in Union County, South Carolina, aged 33 years, born in Virginia, which would place his birth about the year 1816/17. Peterson Gee, his son who accompanied him from Virginia to South Carolina, is recorded in the same census as 8 years of age. which would indicate that his birth was in 1841/42.
Landon C. Bell's Old Free State, Volume II, page 458, records the following marriage:
"1846-47(?) *Wilson P. Gee and Ann W. Rainey."
" *Dates of marriages not given. Return not dated but returned to the court February 8, 1847."
Also, footnotes state the carelessness of one Daniel Petty in making records of marriages performed by him, as exampled by the statement, "The above is a true list of marriages celebrated by me (to the best of my recollection) since my last return."
Thus this would seem unquestionably to be the record of the marriage of Wilson Parham Gee in Virginia before coming to South Carolina, and his wife may have been Ann W(illiams) Rainey, single or widowed, or even Ann Williams. The marriage must have taken place about 1840/41.
Searches made in the Lunenburg, Brunswick, Mecklenburg and Halifax County courthouses by the author of this article in 1934 do not reveal a will of the Wilson Gee I who married Rebecca Parham Turbyfill, widow of John Turbyfill. However, the presumptive evidence is quite strong that Wilson Parham Gee of Lunenburg County, Virginia, and Union County, South Carolina, was the son of this marriage. The fact that Rebecca Parham Gee, wife of Wilson Gee I, had a brother named Peterson G. Parham and that the Wilson Parham Gee of Virginia and South Carolina, also, had a brother Peterson P. Gee is additional presumptive evidence that Wilson Parham Gee and Peterson P. Gee were children of this marriage.
Wilson Parham Gee, in or about the year 1843, married Drucilla Elizabeth Gilliam of Santuc township, Union County, South Carolina. He died in 1852, when approximately 36 years of age, instead of "aged about 52 years," as the author's great uncle, Dr. R. S. Gilliam, carelessly had inscribed on his tombstone. The records in Union County Courthouse, South Carolina, show that Wilson P. Gee, died in August, 1852, that he left no will, and that Dr. R. S. Gilliam administered on the estate, the personal property in which was estimated to be worth about $4,000.
Drucilla Elizabeth Gilliam (born October 3, 1822; died April 23, 1892) was the daughter of Reuben Gilliam of Newberry District, South Carolina, (born circa 1793; died July 27, 1858) and Mary Coleman Sims. This Mary Coleman Sims was the daughter of Patrick Henry Sims of Newberry District, South Carolina, and his wife, Lucy Beaufort Sims. Lucy Beaufort was descended from the Beaufort (Beauford and Buford) family of Virginia.12 Reuben Gilliam was the son of Dr. Jacob Gilliam and Nancy Sims, an aunt of Patrick Henry Sims. The tradition is that this Gilliam family is derived from one of the branches of the Gilliams of Virginia.
Wilson Parham Gee and his wife, Drucilla Elizabeth Gilliam Gee, had issue:
1. Reuben Thompson Gee, born September 1, 1844; died October 7, 1922.
2. Mary Ann Rebecca Frances Gee, born ; died
3. James Monroe Gee, born March 22, 1852; died December 19, 1928.
REUBEN THOMPSON GEE OF UNION COUNTY, SOUTH CAROLINA
Reuben Thompson Gee,13 first son of Wilson Parham Gee and his wife, Drucilla Elizabeth Gilliam Gee, was born September 1, 1844 and died October 7, 1922. On February 4, 1873, Reuben Thompson Gee married Gertrude Gist14 (born July 20, 1852; died December 16, 1928). Reuben Thompson Gee and his wife, Gertrude Gist Gee, were distant cousins through the Sims family. James Sims, son of Matthew Sims and his wife, Mary Pears Sims, both of Somerset, England, and the upper James River section of Virginia, was the father of Patrick Henry Sims, the great-grandfather of Reuben Thompson Gee. Elizabeth Sanders Sims was his mother. This James Sims was a brother of Captain Charles Sims of the American Revolution, in turn the great-great-grandfather of Gertrude Gist. This descent of Gertrude Gist was as follows:
1. Reuben Thompson Gee (1844-1922) m. 1873 Gertrude Gist (1852-1928).
2. Nathaniel Gist (1820-1864) m. 1847 Mary McDaniel (1827-1884).
3. Robert McDaniel (1797-1834) m. Elizabeth Sims (1804-1855).
4. William Sims (1765-1853) m. 1786 Elizabeth Shelton13 (1767-1833).
5. Charles Sims (1737-1827) m. 1764 Sybella (Isabella) Bowles (1740-1818).
Charles Sims (1737-1827) raised a company, 1777, in Albemarle County, Virginia. He was born in Somerset, England; died in Union County, S. C.
Isabella Bowles Sims (1740-1818) nursed the wounded soldiers and was later driven from her home by Tories. She was born in Virginia; died in Marion County, S. C. (See D. A. R. Lineage Book, Vols. 66, 93, 119 and 122, lineage records 65698, 92950, 118005, and 121518, respectively.)
With regard to the Sims family of Union County, South Carolina, one of the most widely connected in that section, Miss Sarah Adeline Sims of Grindal Shoals, Union County, several years ago (1894) prepared from family records the following notes for R. M. Sims of California, telling him about the family:
MATTHEW SIMS, OP JAMES RIVER, VIRGINIA
Matthew Sims was the ancestor of all the Sims in Union County, and has many descendants in Newberry and Laurens counties. He came to Virginia early in the Eighteenth Century from Somerset, England, and settled on the James River, either in Henrico or Gooch-land counties. He was known as "James River Mat" to distinguish him from a nephew of the same name, who lived near Danville, Va., called "Roanoke Mat." The wife of Matthew of James River was Mary Pears: I suppose from England. They had seven sons and four daughters.
The sons were Charles, Reuben, David, James and John and two more who remained in Virginia when the family moved to Carolina after the war. I cannot recall the names of these two, but Patrick, Reuben (Cousin Horse) and Nathan were the sons of one of them. Matthew Sims came to Carolina after the close of the Revolutionary War, settled on Tinker Creek, a tributary of the Tyger River, lived to an advanced age and was killed by the fall of a limb from a burning tree, as he stopped to light his pipe in passing through new ground. I had a description of his death from an old servant, who was ploughing in the field at the time, in fact much of the family history came to me from these old servants, two of whom belonged to my grandfather, were raised by Mat Sims, at his death came to Charles and from him to William, Charles' only son, and then to my father. One lived until after the surrender.
The name of Sims is old Saxon, which means Shell' or Cornice. Our family belonged to the English Squirearchy: "Gent" was written after their names. I have seen it on old papers "Charles Sims, Gent." They were always of independent means, neither very rich or very poor. They did not belong to the Yeomanry nor were they of the titled aristocracy and have always borne the character distinguished for truthfulness, honesty and uprightness. I once asked my grandfather to tell me what sort of man his grandfather Mat was. He looked me gravely in the face and said, :"'A very good man; I never heard aught against him. Had there been anything I surely would have heard it."
Capt. Charles Sims was perhaps the oldest son of Mat Sims and his wife Mary Pears. He came to Carolina from Albemarle, Va. in 1774 or '75 and was engaged in surveying. He came as a pioneer for the family. When the war was declared with England he returned to Virginia and raised a company, was mustered into service at Albemarle C. H. and has his commission from Patrick Henry, dated 1777. He was sent back to Carolina to engage in partisan warfare, then raging along this part of the country. His home was on Tinker Creek, in the neighborhood of the Jollys, McJunkens, Thomases and other Whig families. I think Charles must have been the oldest of the family as he had a married daughter at that time, Nancy, Mrs. McDonald, now called McDaniel. From her oldest daughter, Mrs. Sally Sims Gist, the widow of Col. Joseph Gist of Pinckney, I learned much of the early history of this county and particularly the Sims Family. She was born just at the commencement of the Revolutionary War, and died at the beginning of the Confederate War.
The wife of Capt. Charles was Sybella, daughter of John Knight Bowles of Hanover, Va. She was a woman of high courage, of firm, true principles, suffered all the distress and privations incident to the time. The marauding Tories robbed them of everything they could carry off, servants, stock, clothes and bedding. The only horse they had left was an old mare called "Knotty Head," from an immense swelling on the side of her head. The old lady must mount "Knotty" with her bundle of medicines and bandages, with her young son, Billy, to trot behind to switch Knotty's legs, when she heard of an engagement with the enemy, and be on hand to administer to the wounded and dying. Finally the Tories burnt the house, and they were left without shelter, goods or clothing in the bitter winter weather. In some way Capt. Sims managed to convey them to Virginia under the escort of Lieutenant Ellis Fowler, as far as "Roanoke Mats," where they were received with the warmest sympathy, fed and clothed, and afterward sent on to the James River. Mrs. Sybbie Sims was very successful in her ministrations. I have a curious old document, copied with her own hand for her daughter, Mrs. Shelton. A receipt for making "green salve" by the application of which she performed some wonderful cures. One old Hughes was run thru the body by a British sword at the Battle of Cowpens. The sword passed entirely thru his body, and Hughes grasped the blade, when the British soldier, touched by his bravery said, "let go, my good fellow, I will draw it out as easily as I can." He placed his knee on Hughes and drew the blade out. Mrs. Sibbie Sims doctored Hughes with some of her famous salve, and he recovered and lived to quite an old age. Some time after this Charles was taken prisoner with another Whig, by the name of Johnson. The Tory leader condemned them both to be hanged. Johnson v/as already executed and Capt. Charles Sims was standing with the rope around his neck and the cap over his head when he heard the galloping of a horse and a voice ring out, "Who have you got there?" The answer was "Charles Sims." "Take him down and wait until I return." In a short time the soldier returned with a pardon on parole. Charles went directly back to Virginia, took up arms and served to the end of the war. The British officer who rescued him was a Capt. George of the British Army, an old schoolmate and friend. He said that the instant Capt. George spoke he recognized his voice. After the close of the war Charles returned to Carolina, settled in a place on Broad River, about five or six miles below Lockhart Shoals. He built a comfortable old Virginia farm house and added to his acres from year to year, until he owned a large acreage of fine land. He settled all his children well. His only son, William, was in stature a medium size man; as the English would say, "well set up" devoted adherent to the Church of England; had seats under the oaks at the old place, where, on Sundays, his negroes assembled to be catechised and hear the reading of the church service. Some years after the war the Methodist preachers penetrated the backwoods of Carolina, holding their revival meetings, and preaching with much success. One after another of Charles' old kin left the church and went over to the Methodists, down in the Cane Creek settlement, where most of his clan lived. At last the news came that Barnard Glenn, his favorite cousin, had gone over, the staunch old churchman was utterly exasperated, and said, "Tut, tut, did I ever think that 'Narney' would be such a damn fool as to join the Methodists." But a more trying ordeal was still in store for Capt. Charles. Sibbie, his devoted wife, on a visit to the settlement was induced to attend a meeting and she too became a converted Methodist. Mrs. Sibbie was firm and stood to her colors, but the Captain was unrelenting, looking upon the new sect as witches and impostors, and could not be induced to accompany his wife to the meeting; but Mrs. Sibbie was fertile in resources, and wouldn't be balked. Having no little negro boy of suitable age to attend her, she made a boy's suit for her maid, and when she chose to attend a meeting, her maid donned the boy's suit, and Mrs. Sibbie mounted the old mare with her page behind her, and trotted off quite independently.
Charles Sims lived to ninety or more years, retained his eyesight to the last, killed a fine buck at a distance of a hundred yards not six months before his death, and died with every tooth perfectly sound in his head. He was of the most temperate habits in everything; took his drams a-day-a-morning tonic and a noonday drink, and had Broad River flowed with the best of liquor, nothing could have induced him to take another. "I have never seen my father disguised in liquor in my life," said his son, "but once, when the survivors of the Revolution met at Union C. H., and he was with many of his old comrades, then I thought his tongue ran a little free." After the war he held the place of tobacco inspector for the state for years, and would spend six months of the year in Charleston. In that way he kept up his church connection. He enjoyed to the last all the sports of the frontiersman, and lies buried by his wife and daughter in a graveyard at his old home, a God's acre bequeathed by him as a last resting place to his descendants.
Reuben Sims was one of the oldest sons of Matthew Sims, who came with
him after the war and settled on Tyger River. Had several sons and two
daughters. One son, John Sims, went to Mississippi long years ago. I have
seen some old letters from him to grandfather. Of the others I don't know
but supposed they all drifted West. His daughter, Mirny, Mrs. Jack Thomas,
left several children, two only of her children, Reuben Thomas, Santuck,
and David of Spartanburg, are living. Susannah, Mrs. Garland Meng, was a
near neighbor and dear friend of mine for many years. She died about four
years ago. Her eldest daughter, Sallie, is the wife of S. W. T. Lanham. of
Weatherford. Texas. My grandfather often said to me in speaking: of his
uncle Reuben, "He was one of the best men I ever knew, guided in all of
his conduct by a strict sense of right and duty." David Sims, I think must
have been the youngest of the sons of Mat. I have heard the old folks say
that David was intellectually superior to all of his father's family.
After the death of his wife, and when his children had all married and
left him, his habits became bad, he drank to excess. I cannot recall the
name of his wife, I suppose she was a Virginian. I once saw
his daughter, Mrs. Nancy Reed, wife of Joseph Reed. They came here once
before I was quite grown, Le see my grandfather, were in from Mississippi,
on a visit to her daughter, Mrs. Witherspoon of Yorkville. I remember well
how much the old relative enjoyed meeting and talking over the past, and
pretty and sweet looking old lady cousin Nancy was, with such gentle and
kindly manners. Like all the old Sims, I think she was very fair with blue
eyes. That was the original Sims type. I also remember your aunt Mirny,
Mrs. Maybin, another warmhearted and affectionate old lady, very much
beloved by her relatives. Your father, Dr. James M. Sims, was here with
your mother, in their early married days on a visit to my father. I have
heard my mother speak of it and tell what a beautiful woman your mother
was. Of your father, I have always heard him spoken of in the highest
terms of regard and esteem by my father. I can recall my father's
expression one day long ago, speaking to an old friend, Col. F. H. Elmore,
who had known your father well, "Dr. James Sims is one of the most
thorough gentlemen I have ever known in my life." There was a strong
family affection among the old Sims. From Uncles John and James there must
have been a number of descendants. There was a Col. Reuben, a man very
highly thought of. I don't know whose son he was. There was a John F. and
a John S., a young Mat and a Charles, a first cousin of my grandfather,
who married a Miss Sallie Shelton, daughter of old David Shelton, and a
sister of my grandmother Sims. Patrick, Reuben (Cousin Horse) and Nathan
were brothers, grandsons of old Mat, and the sons of one of the two
remained in Virginia, Patrick, Patrick's wife was a daughter of Col.
Beaufort, I think Nathan's wife was a Miss Saunders, but I am not sure.
Old Mat Sims' Bible with all the family record was once, I am told, in the
possession of Nathan Sims. Of Cousin Horse I am glad to be able to say a
word in his behalf. My father told me that in that man was the wreck and
ruin of the most noble nature. When a young man in Virginia he was highly
respected but an unfortunate love affair wrecked his life. I don't know
what the woman did, but she ruined the life of a good man. In after years
when he was an old man, by the death of a relative in Virginia, he could
have succeeded to a very handsome property, but he steadily refused to
assert his claim, said "no, he had thrown away his life and could not
trust himself, that those who would heir the estate were young and would
be benefited and he hoped would make good use of it."
THE WILL OF ARTHUR MCDANIEL
THE WILL OF THOMAS MCDANIEL (BROTHER OF ARTHUR
The next mention of Thomas McDaniel, son of Arthur McDaniel, in the
records of Albemarle County, Virginia, is as follows:
Illinois Papers, D. 22 and 159:
WILL OF THOMAS MCDONALD (MCDANIEL)
MARY GEE HUMPHRIES
JAMES MONROE GEE
1 The standard authority on the heraldry of English families. Sir
Bernard Burke's, The General Armory of England. Scotland, Ireland and
Wales (Harrison and Sons, 59, Pall Mall. 1884), pages 392-93, thus
describes the Gee coat of arms:
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