SYMES-VA-1726

William (Symes) Sims
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Birth:  abt 1640, New Kent County, England
Death:  1726, Virginia

William came from England to Virginia in the mid-1700's.  He
had four sons by his first wife who died in 1687. They lived
first in James City County and then in New Kent County, Va.,
where William was a Planter. That William of New Kent county
had seven sons is proved in a lawsuit in Louisa county,
Virginia in 1745-46, where the three eldest sons of William
Sims and a son of the fourth son who was deceased (i.e.
John, Matthew, Edward and John, the son of George) sued the
youngest brother James for the "offspring" of a Negro slave
CATE.  CATE's offspring were named in the lawsuit as JENNY,
TOM, FANNEYand ANTHONY.

Although William's will has never been found, part of it was
quoted in the court documents of the lawsuit and is
summarized below.  In his will dated 18 December 1710,
William Senior left his slave CATE to his three youngest
sons, William, Robert and James, "when they come of age,"
and left CATE's offspring to his four eldest sons.

Unfortunately, there is nothing in the court records to
indicate how this lawsuit was decided, but James certainly
kept CATE since she was mentioned in his will (York County,
Va WB 22:243) when he died in 1774.  She must have been a
very old woman when she died and a beloved slave by both
William Senior and James.

There is no evidence of the death date of William Sims,
Senior, but the death of William SYMES was recorded in the
Parish records as 17 February 1725.  It is generally assumed
that his is the same William SIMS as the one in the lawsuit,
although it was very unusual in those days for a man to
write his will fourteen years before he died but it was
possible.  He added a codicil to his will (date not given in
the court record) that named his son William as executor. 
William was a minor in 1710 when the will was written, so
the codicil was obviously written some years later after
William came of age.  Info about the lawsuit is published in
the "Notes on the Sims of Hanover-Louisa Counties Virginia,"
1981, by Paul H. Arnot, a professional genealogist. Info
provided by Claire Furth.

Contributed by:  "Freda and Ted Noble" tnoble@mcn.org