St Clair Cemetery, Mt Lebanon, Allegheny Co, PA

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Monday, May 18, 2009

Monday Madness: Oh, Sammy, Where Have You Gone?

Finding information on Samuel Simmons is like looking for the place where the alien ship picked him up in Pittsburgh.

For many a year, all I had to go in my quest for Samuel was the mention of him in a history book in Pittsburgh. I searched high and low in Pittsburgh to find....nothing.

Several years ago, a very kind gent responded to one of my inquiries with some information. See this post from 2006 for some of the background. And, the rest as they say, is history.

Except for Samuel. Samuel was born c. 1788 in New York to John Simmons the younger and Mary Nelson. At least the DAR says her name was Nelson. To date, there has been no proof uncovered. One professional group has even suggested her name was Provost of NJ. Once again, there is no proof and no overwhelming circumstantial evidence.

Samuel is mentioned in the 1794 will of his grandfather, John Simmons the Elder, as receiving some land in Chenango County, NY. Samuel and his wife sell this land while living in St. Clair, Allegheny, PA in 1814. How did they get there? Why did they get there?

Samuel is found in the War of 1812 when he mustered in on September 14, 1812, to an infantry company under the command of Captain James Turbett from St. Clair Twp. He is discharged as a Sergeant in December 1812.

There is a last legal mention of Samuel in 1816 when he sold more Chenango County, NY land.

Poof! He's gone. The 1820 census shows his wife as head of household with the three children and an older female. I'm guessing it is her mother who lives with them. The 1830 census shows the wife as head of household with the three children.

I know names of two of his children. One is William who married and remained in St. Clair for the duration of his life. He is buried at St. Clair Cemetery on Scott Rd.

One of the other names I know is that of Maria as we have a sampler completed by her in 1825.

To date, there has been no other sightings of Maria or her unknown name sister. What happened to Samuel? I suspect he died in Pittsburgh before 1820 but have yet to find him. There is no evidence in the Orphans' Court Records and there was no will.

Oh, Sammy, where are you?

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