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Home: Surnames: Simonds Family Genealogy Forum

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Re: generation gap from Woburn
Posted by: Matthew Simonds Date: February 27, 2001 at 19:06:38
In Reply to: Re: generation gap from Woburn by Clayton Simonds of 584

Here is what I have on the above mentioned Simonds linen:

Benjamin2 Simonds (William1), was born at Woburn, Middlesex County, Massachusetts, 18 March 1654, the son of William and Judith (Phippen Hayward) Simonds. He died at Woburn, 21 September 1726. He married first, Rebecca Heywood, born at Concord, 13 May 1660, daughter of John and Rebecca (Atkinson) Heywood of Concord. She was mentioned in her father’s will (Middlesex Co. Probate File 10, 961), and should not be confused with the Rebecca Simonds who was mentioned in the will of John2 Tidd. That Rebecca was not a daughter of John2 Tidd and possible wife of Benjamin2 Simonds, but rather John Tidd’s granddaughter, the daughter of Joseph and Mary (Tidd) Simonds. Benjamin Simonds married 2nd at Lynn, Mass., intentions dated 26 September 1713, Mrs. Susanna (Farrar) Newhall. Born at Lynn, 26 March 1659, she was the daughter of Thomas and Elizabeth (_____) Farrar of Lynn, and widow of Joseph (Thomas2-1) Newhall who had died January 29-30, 1705/6 in a snow storm while returning from Boston where he was a member of the General Court (See Roberta Stokes Smith, “Rebecca Heywood, First Wife of Benjamin2 Simonds of Woburn,” New England Historical and Genealogical Register 148 [1994]: 239).
       Like his brother Joseph, Benjamin Simonds served in King Phillip’s War. On October 19, 1675, “Benjamin Simmons” was credited £3 6s. 8d.with service under Major Simon Willard. From the end of September and succeeding months, Major Willard was engaged in ordering the defenses of the frontier towns in Middlesex County. Garrisons were maintained at Lancaster, Chelmsford, Groton, and Dunstable, and the county was kept in a “posture of war.” On 25 January, 1675/6, he was credited £2, 8s. at the garrison at Groton. In the assignment of wages from Woburn on 24 August 1676, he was credited for £2, 12s.
In his younger years, Benjamin Simonds was accused of a serious crime. In 1676, he was indicted before the Court of Assistants for raping Elizabeth Pierce, the daughter of Robert Pierce near his father’s house which was being used as a garrison during King Philip’s War. The jury found him guilty not of rape, but of attempted rape. In December 1676, the case was referred to the Middlesex County Court under the charge of “wanton dallying with Elizabeth Pierce tending to uncleanness.” Benjamin chose a jury trial during which two jurors were objected to. Elizabeth Pierce testified that she had told him to “lett mee alone for it will bee both sin and a shame to you and me as long as we live.” Her father, Robert Pierce, also testified to the lax moral behavior in the Simonds’s garrison house to which he had been ordered, “it being Appoynted a fortified house…In the garrison or fortified house of the Widdo Simons was soe much disorder and rudeness…and uncivill carriages as in particular of Benjamin Simons and Mary Tids being laide on a bed together… Benjamin Simons and Mary Tids [did] dance together…Mary Tids [did] sit in the lap of Benjamin Simons and smoke tobaco and these things they did freely practise.” Robert Pierce then went “to the next garison which was goodman bakers, which being somewhat more straitened then at ye other place.” Despite this testimony, it appears that evidence, now lost, must have been presented that Elizabeth Pierce was not the unwilling victim that she and her father claimed. She, along with Benjamin Simonds, was fined two pounds (on this case see Middlesex County Court File 82; Roger Thompson, Sex in Middlesex: Popular Mores in a Massachusetts County, 1649-1699. [Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press, 1986], 80, 149; Edward F. Johnson, Woburn Records of Births, Deaths, and Marriages, From 1640 to 1873, Vol. 3: Marriages, 251)
Despite his youthful troubles, Benjamin Simonds went on to become a respected resident of Woburn. He was elected with Thomas Kendall a tithingman “for ye West End of sd Towne” of Woburn on 2 May 1692. As such, it was his duty along with the other eleven tithingmen “to have the oversight of their neighbours, and see that they keepe good orders in their houses.” They were called “tithingmen” or “tenth men” because they were committed to look after ten families including their own by encouring them to worship and by suppressing profanity, the breaking of the Sabbath, intemperance, idleness, and other acts of immorality.
Benjamin2 Simonds died at Woburn, 21 September 1726, and, as was the custom at that time, the town purchased wine to drink at his funeral. According to the Town Records (3: 68), “Mr. Jacob Fowl & Mr. Thos Reed: Bot of Seth Sweetser” in Charlestown on 22 September 1726 “7 gallons Sweet wine, at 6:6d” for a total of £2:5:6 “For ye funeral of Mr Symons Deceasd.”
Children, all born at Woburn:
i. William, b. 14 Feb. 1678/9.
ii. Benjamin, b. 14 Jan. 1680/81.
iii. Joseph, b. 1 March 1683.
iv. John, b. 22 March 1685.
v. Rebecca, b. 6 June 1687.
vi. Daniel, b. 21 Feb. 1689/90.
vii. Jacob, b. 26 May 1692.
viii. Judith, b. 5 Oct. 1695; d. at Woburn, 10 Jan. 1766; m. in Woburn, 2 July 1717, Deacon Samuel3 Eames, b. at Woburn, 8 Sept. 1692, d. at Woburn, 20 Jan. 1775, son of Samuel2 (Robert1) and Mary Eames.
ix. Huldah, b. 25 Oct. 1700; d. at Woburn, 28 May 1768; m. at Woburn, 29 Jan. 1722/3, Nathan2 Wyman.


William3 Simonds (Benjamin2, William1) was born at Woburn, Middlesex County, Mass., 14 February 1678/9, and died at Bedford, Mass., 13 September 1755. He was married, firstly, at Concord, Mass., by Justice Minottt, 26 December 1704, to Elizabeth Wilson, born at Billerica 20 April 1683 and died 5 September 1712, daughter of John2 (John1) and Johanna Wilson of Billerica. He married, secondly, at Billerica, Mass., Sarah Baldwin, born at Billerica, 28 December 1690, daughter of John2 (John1) and Sarah (Heywood) Baldwin.
       Children, all born at Billerica, Mass.:
i. Elizabeth, b. 26 Nov. 1705; d. in Uxbridge, Mass., 5 Dec. 1787; m. at Bedford, Mass., 21 Feb. 1733/4, Lieut. David Draper, who d. at Uxbridge, 5 Dec. 1787.
ii. William, b. 4 Nov. 1707.
iii. Rebecca, b. 30 April 1710; m. firstly at Billerica, 19 Sept. 1734, Thomas Danforth, born 17 March 1685-6, d. 17 Mar. 1685-6, son of Jonathan2 (Jonathan1) and Rebecca Danforth. She m. secondly as his second wife at Billerica, 29 Nov. 1739, Josiah Brown, b. at Billerica, 19 Apr. 1695, son of George2 Brown (William1) of Boston and Billerica.
iv. Joseph, b. 17 July 1712; d. at Billerica, 10 April 1728.
v. Benjamin, b. 11 Feb. 1720/21; m. at Bedford, Mass., 11 June 1744, Sarah Wilson.
vi. Sarah, b. 25 March 1724; m. at Bedford, 24 May 1750, Benjamin Stratton. Child, born at Lexington (surname Stratton): Sarah, b. 24 Aug. 1752; d. at Bedford, 14 Jan. 1754.
vii. Judith, b. 12 March 1726/7.


William4 Simonds (William3, Benjamin2, William1) was born at Billerica, Mass., 4 November 1707, and died at Shirley, Mass., 18 April 1758 (Middlesex Administration, 20473). He married Mary _____, who remarried the year of his death, 19 December 1758, Samuel Larrabee of Shirley, and died at Shirley, 1 December 1786. He was a selectman for Shirley the first two years after its incorporation.(On William Simonds of Shirely and some of his descendants, see Ethel Stanwood Bolton, Shirley Uplands and Intervales: Annals of a Border Town of Old Middlesex, with Some Genealogical Sketches [Boston: George Emery Littlefield, 1914]: 355-356.
       Children: (see the guardianship records for the children of William Simonds of Shirley, Middlesex Co. Probate files 20475, 20476, 20477, 20478).
       i. Abigail, bapt. at Groton, 14 July 1737; m. 27 April 1757, Ebenezer Going.
       ii. William, b. 1739; m. (1) 11 March 1760, Abigail Larrabee of Lunenburg; m. (2) 21 March 1765, Sarah Wilson of Shirley.
       iii. John, b. about 1741.
       iv. David, b. about 1743.
       v. Joseph, b. at Shirley, Mass., 30 Jan. 1746.
       vi. Rebecca, b. about 1748.
       vii. Elijah, b. about 1749.
       viii. Mary, b. about 1754; m. (1) intentions at Shirley, 12 Nov. 1774, John Jupp of Shirely; m. (2) as his 2nd wife, intentions, 23 April 1785, Nathan3 Smith (Ephraim2, Robert1) of Shirley. Nathan Smith came with his first wife Rebecca and 3 of his children to Shirley about 1750. His first wife Rebecca d. at Shirley, 12 Feb. 1784, and he died at Shirley between 1792 and 1800.


John5 Simonds (William4, William3, Benjamin2, William1) was born about 1741. He married, first, 19 October 1761, Susanna Butterfield of Pepperell.
       Children, baptised at Groton (Leominster VRs):
       i. Susanna, bp. 11 Dec. 1763.
       ii. Joseph, bp. 20 July 1766.

Joseph5 Symonds (William4, William3, Benjamin2, William1) was born at Shirley, Mass., 30 January 1746, and died at Hancock, New Hampshire, 15 October 1820. He married, 10 October 1770, Mittie Cummings who died at Hancock, 7 January 1827, daughter of Lieut. John Cummings of Groton.
       i. Capt. Joseph6, b. at Groton, Mass., 25 Sept. 1771.
       ii. Mittie, b. at Groton, 23 March 1774, m. Peter Fox.
       iii. Dea. Asa, b. at Groton, 5 April 1776.
       iv. Melia, b. at New Ipswich, 24 Oct. 1778.
       v. Charles, b, at Hancock, N.H., 23 March 1785.
       vi. Lucy, b. at Hancock, 21 May 1791; d. about 1850; m. James Wason and resided at Hudson.

Elijah5 Simonds (William4-3, Benjamin2, William1) born about 1749. He married about 1772, Abigail ______. He lived in Gardner, Mass., and removed to Peru, Vermont in 1802. (See his guardianship records in Middlesex Co. in 1785)
       Children, all born at Gardner, Mass.:
       i. Elizabeth, b. 7 April 1774; d. 29 June 1776.
       ii. Elijah, b. 28 Jan. 1777; d. 10 Sept. 1777.
       iii. Elijah, b. 14 Nov. 1778; m. Persis ____, who died in Gardner, Mass., 24 Feb. 1817. He removed to Massachusetts.
       iv. Jonathan, b. 9 Dec. 1780; removed to Richmond.
       v. Ezekiel, b. 25 Feb. 1783; teacher of music; went to New Orleans.
       vi. David, b. 4 March 1786.
       vii. Abigail, b. 11 July 1788; d. 5 Aug. 1791.
       viii. Asa, b. 7 Nov. 1790.
       ix. Abigail, b. 5 Aug. 1793; d. unmarried in New York; she was a school teacher.
       x. Lucy, b. 11 Nov. 1797, bpt. 4 Feb. 1798; m. _____Gray; lived in Dorset, removed to Illinois.


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