Sunday, April 13, 2014

The Simpsons Part III: Mid-Century and Beyond

My last post included the Simpson family in the 1850 census, after the 1848 death of patriarch, Nathaniel, or Nathan Simpson.

To recap: in Center Township we find Sarah Simpson living with her younger children and son Nelson next door. The older sons of Nathan Simpson and his unknown (perhaps named Delilah) first wife, living with particular distance from each other, John and wife Sarah, William and wife Anna, Isaac and wife Lucy. Judith, the widow of their brother Thomas, had married Benjamin Cagle and her three children with Thomas Simpson had married, John B Simpson, Jarutha Simpson Rummage and husband Harris, Delilah Poplin and husband Daniel Poplin. Oldest daughter Elizabeth Simpson, who had married William A. Upchurch was also living nearby, and so was Milly Simspson Poplin, who had married David.

The progression from 1850 to 1880 for Sarah Simpson, widow of Nathan was:

1850                          1860                           1870                             1880
Sarah  52                   Sarah   65                    Sarah    68                    Sarah    75                        
Green W 26              Nancy   28                    Lilly  35                        William 17      
Margaret  22             Judy   25                       George  10                              
Judith  18                  Delilah  23                     William  3                      Nancy  45
Delilah  16                 Laura J   8                     Judith  40                      Laura  20  
Sarah  14                  Nathan A 6                    Terry 11 (Turzy)            Thomas  10
Winny 12                  Susan  2                                                              Mamie   2
                                 James 3 mo.                   Nancy  30                                                            
                                                                       Laura J 18                     Judy   45
                                                                       Nathan  14                    Turzy  18
                                                                       Sarah A 10 (Susan?)
                                                                       Thomas J 9 months

Several of the Simpson daughters married during the 1850's. It was not alway good luck for them. Nancy was missing off of the 1850 count for reasons unknown, but in 1850, the list of Nathan Simpsons unmarried daughters were Nancy, Margaret, Judy, Delilah or "Lily" as she was called, Sarah and Winny.

Margaret was the first of these to marry on April 22, 1851 to Davidson Poplin by Martin Shoffner, JP.

Sarah was next, marrying Thomas, Davidson's brother, on March 12, 1854 by A. J. Shankle, JP.

Wincy, or Winnie Simpson, the youngest daughter, was last, marrying Enoch M. Poplin, son of  Richard and Ann Poplin on December 13, 1855 by Martin Shoffner, JP.

Enoch and Winnie had 2 sons: Eprhaim M. Poplin b 1856 and Isaac born 1858. Enoch must have passed away prior to the 1860 census, or at least by 1870, as the family does not show up anywhere in 1860.

Ephraim married Sarah Coley, daughter of  Samuel Coley and Martha Eudy Coley on November 9, 1876.

Winnie is shown living with a young girl, Susan Hill in 1870, near William Simpson, her brother and again in 1880, living alone, but still near William Simpson, a miller.

Sarah Simpson Poplin and her husband Thomas, had one son, John W. Poplin, born September 18, 1955. Thomas was killed early during the Civil War, in 1862.

The Poplins that 4 of the Simpsons married were the sons of Jesse Poplin and Catherine Lowder Poplin. It is even likely that one or more of the wives, whose maiden names are unknown, of some of the older Simpson sons, could have been Poplins, or Mabrys.

August session of  Stanly County court 1845 had the following entry:

"Admin Debonis non of Jesse Poplin vs. Heirs at law of Jesse Poplin-petition to subject lands of Jesse Poplin decd to payment of Admin.'s debt. Service acknowledged August Term 1845.
Davidson Hearne, Clerk of Court, appointed guardian ad litum of Margaret Poplin, Nancy Poplin, Thomas Poplin and John Poplin who are infants. Case refered to Clerk, he to take account and report amount due Petitioner from his intestates estate and report to next term. 

The 1860 brought an explosion in the family, with double the entries.
William 50 Mechanic
Anna 40
Thomas 11
Priscy 9
Adam J  5
Evangeline 2
Rufus W. 1 month

John B Simpson, son of Thomas, had a wife and 5 children.
Green Wesley Simpson, son of Nathaniel and Sarah, had a wife and 6 children
Nelson had a wife and 5 children.

John Simpson aged 51 was living alone with his wife Sarah, age 50.
Next to him is listed their only son:
Thomas A. Simpson (Thomas Alexander) aged 29 a deputy sheriff
Mary 21 and Ida 2.

There was never any indication that John and Sarah ever had any other children besides the one son, Thomas Alexander. Even the 1840 census shows them with one male child under 5.

Isaac Simpson 47
Lucy 47
Thomas 19
Catherine 17
Margaret 15
Nathan 13
John W. 9
Mary J 1

The Civil War changed everything....

The sons and grandsons of Nathaniel Simpson enlisted. Some returned. Others did not.

John was too old to enlist. He passed away sometime unknown between 1860 and 1870 at any rate, as his widow, Sarah, is seen living with only son Thomas A. Simpson and family in1870. Thomas did enlist, however.

Oldest son, Thomas, was already deceased, but his only son, John Brantley Simpson, served and survived.
Name:John B Simpson
Residence:North Carolina
Age at enlistment:38
Rank at enlistment:Private
State Served:North Carolina
Survived the War?:Yes
Service Record:Promoted to Full 3rd Lieutenant on 13 May 1861.Enlisted in Company H, North Carolina 14th Infantry Regiment on 05 May 1861.Mustered out on 23 Apr 1862.
Sources:North Carolina Troops 1861-65, A Roster

Third eldest son, William Simpson enlisted, and was mustered out due to his age.

Name:William Simpson
Residence:Rowan County, North Carolina, North Carolina
Age at enlistment:51
Enlistment Date:24 Mar 1862
Rank at enlistment:Private
Enlistment Place:Rowan County, North Carolina
State Served:North Carolina
Survived the War?:Yes
Service Record:Enlisted in Company C, North Carolina 42nd Infantry Regiment on 01 Feb 1862.Mustered out on 30 Oct 1863.
Birth Date:abt 1811
Sources:North Carolina Troops 1861-65, A Roster

Fourth son Isaac was not as lucky as his brother and nephews, he enlisted but died in Virginia. 
Name:Isaac Simpson
Residence:Stanly County, North Carolina, North Carolina
Age at enlistment:47
Enlistment Date:7 Sep 1861
Rank at enlistment:Private
Enlistment Place:Stanly County, North Carolina
State Served:North Carolina
Survived the War?:No
Service Record:Enlisted in Company K, North Carolina 28th Infantry Regiment on 07 Sep 1861.Mustered out on 07 Jan 1863 at Richmond, VA.
Birth Date:abt 1814
Sources:North Carolina Troops 1861-65, A Roster
This list has him as mustering out on Jan. 7, 1863, which is also the date of death on his tombstone. 

Younger brother Nelson Simpson also did not survive. 
Name:Nelson Simpson
Residence:Stanly County, North Carolina
Enlistment Date:27 Mar 1862
Enlistment Place:Rowan County, North Carolina
Side Served:Confederacy
State Served:North Carolina
Service Record:Enlisted in Company C, 42nd Infantry Regiment North Carolina on 1 Feb 1862.
Enlisted as a Private on 27 March 1862 at the age of 42.
Died of disease Company C, 42nd Infantry Regiment North Carolina on 29 Sep 1864 at Stanly County, NC.
Youngest brother, Green Wesley Simpson, got the luck of the draw, however, and made it back home to care for and extend his large family. 
Name:Green Simpson
Regiment State/Origin:North Carolina
Regiment Name:5 North Carolina Infantry
Regiment Name Expanded:5th Regiment, North Carolina Infantry
Rank In:Private
Rank In Expanded:Private
Rank Out:Private
Rank Out Expanded:Private
Alternate Name:G. M./Simpson
Film Number:M230 roll 36
Son-in-laws also served. Husband of older daughter, Elizabeth, William A. Upchurch, served but relocated his family to Arkansas afterwards. 

Name:William A Upchurch
Enlistment Date:1863
Military Unit:Thirty-sixth Infantry, S-Y
ame:William AUpchurch
Regiment State/Origin:Arkansas
Regiment Name:36 Arkansas Infantry
Regiment Name Expanded:36th Regiment, Arkansas Infantry
Rank In:Private
Rank In Expanded:Private
Rank Out:Private
Rank Out Expanded:Private

David (Millie) and Davidson (Margaret) also made it back home while Thomas (Sarah) did not. There is no record of Enoch serving in the war, so he seems to have passed away beforehand.

The progression of the families of William and John, older brothers after the war was:

1850                                 1860                                   1870                 1880              
William  38                     William  50                         William  58           William  70
Anna  25                         Anna  40                            Anna  46              Anna  49 (Anna aged well hmm?)
Geo. W.  1                      Thomas 11                          Louisa  18             Whitson  20  
Thomas L.  0                   Priscy    9                          Whitson  10                                  
                                       Adam J  5
                                       Evangeline  2
                                       Rufus W  0

William and Susan Ann (or Susanna) Simpson lost several children early, it appears as only Thomas L. and Rufus Whitson grew up to leave records. George W., Adam J. and Evangeline all appear to have lived less than 10 years. Priscy and Louisa are assumed to be the same girl, due to the year of birth. She may have married, but no record in Stanly County exists and no one has yet to connect her with this family. Mrs. Simpson is always shown as "Anna" in the census records, but youngest son Rufus Whitson lists her name as Susan A. in his second marriage license, and he should know. He was, by then, also listed as "Esquire".

John always appears with his wife Sarah, until 1870. In 1880, Sarah is living in the house of their only son, Thomas, who moved his family to Salisbury.

The widowed daughter-in-laws, Sarah Ann Mabry Simpson, wife of Nelson,  and Lucy Dee Simpson, wife of Isaac, keep close to their mother-in-law, Sarah "Sallie" Simpson. Also always near by is Seth Mabry, in Center township. It appears they all remained near the Lawyer's spring area of the original settlement of the Simpson clan.

1850                           1860                           1870                       1880
Nelson   29                Nelson   39                  Anna 40                  Anna 50  (in the 1870 census, Anna
Anna  25                   Anna 30                        Sarah 20                 Mary 22  (appears as 'Alex', but it is
Sarah Ann 2              Sarah A 12                   Dock  19                 Elizabeth 19 (easy to tell it is Anna due
                                 Mary 7                         Mary  16                  John  16    (to the age, names of the  
                                 Paul F.  4                      Eliza  17                  Nathan 14  (children and their close  
                                 Israel  1 mo.                 John E. 12                                (proximity to matriarch Sarah)
                                                                     Nathan  8

1850                          1860                           1870                         1880        
Isaac 35                    Isaac  47                    Lucy  40                      Lucy 40   (Lucy and her daugheters
Lucy 35                     Lucy  47                    Catherine 23                Margaret 25  (like Susanna, also aged
Thomas 9                  Thomas 19                 Margaret 21                 Gennett  11   (well.)
Catherine 7                Catherine 17              Nathaniel 20          
Margaret A. 5           Margaret  15              John  18        
Nathan  3                  Nathan 13                  Mary J  12  
                                 John W  9
                                 Mary J 1

In the 1880 census, in Center township, you find William C. Thompson listed next to Seth Mabry. Both of them serve as "Landmarks" as to where the Simpsons lived, as they were steadfastly on their property and left family cemeteries to mark the general area.

Next to Seth Mabry is Anna Simpson, widow of Nelson, with her 4 youngest children, then Nathaniel's widow, matriarch Sarah with her grandson, William, and then Lucy, widow of Isaac, with her youngest son Whitson, then John, son of Isaac, with his wife Eliza (R. Solomon Simpson) and their 4 children, Thomas 7, Emma 3, Lucy T 2, and William S. 1. Also near by is Sarah's daughter and sister to Isaac and Nelson, Judy, with her daughter Turzy.

Green Wesley Simpson, the youngest son, was living with his mother in 1850 and married in 1851.

1860                             1870                              1880
G. W   38                     G W 50                          G W 58          
Margaret 28               Jane   35                            Margaret Jane 46
Caleb J M 9               Caleb  17                           Caleb J  27
Abner 3  7                  Jackson 15                        John W 24
Benj. J W  6               John 14                             Elizabeth  22           Abner E  25 was on his own as a
Rebecca 4                  Rebecca 12                       Malinda J 20           Mechanic in 1880.
Malinda 3                   Mary 11                            Wlm H  18  
W H D  8 mo.            William 9                            Henry 16
                                   Harry 8                             Edward 13
                                   Edward 6                          Jesse J 14
                                   Thomas 5                          Puett 12
                                                                            Mary C  9
                                                                            Whitson N 7

Green W. Simpson recorded his children and his siblings in his family bible. He mentioned the birth of 14 children, with only 2 dying as infants, and the other 12 all grew up. Quite an accomplishment in those days.

From G.W.'s Bible:

"Nathan Simpson died the 10th day of July 1848. It is supposed that he was in his 78th year of age. " 

Nelson J Simpson was borned May 21, 1820
Green W Simpson was borned January 1st day  1822
Margaret T. Simpson was borned June 8 1828
Nancy A. Simpson was borned  June 8, 1828
Judith Simpson was borned February 5, 1832
Delilah Simpson was borned April 11, 1834
Sarah Ann Simpson was borned June 13, 1836
Wincey Fields Simpson was borned May 1, 1839

As he did not list the older siblings, and because of the break in ages, it appears that he only listed his whole siblings, the children of Sarah. It is guessed that Sarah's name may have been Green. There are early records in adjacent and near counties of a Nathaniel Simpson who married a Sarah Knight and another of a marriage to a Sarah White. The one to Sarah White would have timed correctly for the birth of the Simpson second round. However, he probably was married in Montgomery county, where records were destroyed.

This covers the older children of Nathaniel Simpson. Their saga did not end there, however.


  1. Hi there! I realize this is an older post, but I stumble onto it when trying to research one of my ancestors - Sarah Simpson, second wife of Nathan Simpson. I take it that you and I must be distantly related. Nathan and Sarah are my great-great-great-grandparents (Green Wesley is my great-great-grandfather). Most of what I know about our family history I learned from my late aunt, Hazel Simpson Freeman of Anson County. She had been unable to find records on Sarah, though we have a family story that has been passed down that I've been trying to investigate. From what you have written, it sounds like the Montgomery County records have been destroyed, so I suppose we may never be able to learn more about Sarah.

    Anyway! It was fascinating to find what you've written here, and to see the pictures. Thank you for sharing!

    1. hi green wesley is my great grand-pa I see that we are relatied I am also investigating our family history can you email me at