Texas Archival Resources Online

TABLE OF CONTENTS


Collection Summary

Historical Note

Scope and Contents

Arrangement

Index Terms

Texas A&M University Kingsville, South Texas Archives

Simons Family Collection



Collection Summary

Creator Simons Family
Title Simons Family Collection
Dates: 1794-1867
Abstract: From England to Nova Scotia to New Orleans and eventually Texas the Simons family kept their history intact by correspondence, diaries, financial reports and ledgers. Their story began in 1794 when Captain Thomas Simons left Liverpool, England and headed for the new world. The family settled in Goliad County, Texas, fought in the Texas Revolution, Mexican-American War and the United States Civil War. They lived in a volatile place and time. Documenting many events and family histories this collection spans over 200 years history of South Texas.
Identification A1928-021; 1935-002; A1982-003; 2002-013
Collection URL http://archives.tamuk.edu/ead.php?xml=Simons%20EAD
Quantity: 1.5 linear feet
Location: STAD F-9-1 Box #1
Language: English

Historical Note

Captain Thomas Simons was born on May 26, 1794 in Durham England and decided by the age of twelve that he wanted to be a seaman. Eventually his father purchased a ship for him and he began sailing and trading between Liverpool, England and Halifax, Nova Scotia. In Nova Scotia he met and married Susan Thomas. They lived in her home community for twelve years before deciding to move to Brazil. While en route to Brazil the family stopped briefly in New Orleans, Louisiana where they met a cousin who told them about the colonization efforts in Texas. Captain Simons then decided to take his family to Texas and they settled in Texana, Texas. The Captain continued to work on the sea but also became a surveyor for the Republic of Texas and later a general merchant after he lost his ship. Captain Simons and his eldest son Joseph were very involved in the Texas Revolution and were granted land from the Republic in Goliad County so that the family ultimately relocated to that area. In 1844 Susan died and Captain Simons married Judith Ann Dibrell Hatcher. The new Mrs. Simons had been married to Nelson Hatcher, nephew of Archibald Hatcher, and father of Elizabeth Simons who would later marry Maurice Kavanaugh Simons, one of Captain Simons’ sons. The Simons family lived and worked in a tumultuous time and place. At least two of the sons, Maurice and Thomas, joined American troops under the command of General Zachary Taylor and another son, Joseph, was a prisoner in the Mier Expedition in 1843. Joseph, was lucky to escape execution by drawing a white bean, but still died in prison. Maurice was with General Taylor’s troops when he crossed the Rio Grande, and joined Samuel H. Walker’s company of Texas Rangers serving as a scout. He participated in the Battle of Palo Alto on May 8, 1846 and the Battle of Resaca de la Palma on May 9, 1846. In September 1847 he participated in the capture of Monterey. In February 1847 Maurice joined the company of Texas Rangers under the command of Ben McCulloch, was active in various battles and was close to death on several occasions. When the battles ended Maurice returned to his home in Texana and after recovering from his various injuries became a merchant until the Civil War broke out and he again became a soldier. But, while at home he was twice elected Jackson County Treasurer and in 1857 married Elizabeth. The young couple began their family and were prosperous in their business dealings. Still, when the war started Maurice volunteered and led Company K of the Second Texas Voluntary Infantry in to the Army of the Confederate States of America. As he went off to war he urged his bride to keep a journal about her experiences. He also kept a journal about his war experiences.

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Scope and Contents

The Simons Family Collection is small but contains many handwritten letters, ledgers, diaries and financial reports. During the United States Civil War Maurice Kavanaugh Simons fought for the Confederacy and kept records on the provisions for the army stationed in Texas. Enlistment rolls, Master rolls, petitions to Congress are a few of the documents in this collection. One hundred photographs dating back to the 1800s portray members of the Simons family.

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Arrangement

Series I: Correspondence is arranged in chronological order. Series II: Publications are arranged in chronological order. Series III: Tax Receipts and Statements are arranged in alphabetical then chronological order. Series IV: Statements and Cancelled Checks are arranged in alphabetical then chronological order. Series V: Ledgers are arranged in chronological order.

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Index Terms

Persons
Simons, Thomas, 1794-
Simons, Susan Thomas
Simons, Judith Ann Dibrell Hatcher
Simons, Maurice Kavanagh, 1824-1867
Simons, Joseph
Simons, Thomas Jr.
Taylor, Zachary, 1784-1850
Walker, Samuel Hamilton, 1817-1847
McCulloch, Benjamin, 1811-1862
Organizations
Confederate States of America
Texas Rangers
Mier Expedition, 1842
Mexican War, 1846-1848
Geographical Names
Durham (England)
Liverpool (England)
Halifax (Nova Scotia)
New Orleans, (La.)
Goliad County (Tex.)
Mexico -- History -- Revolution, 1910-1920
Texas -- History -- Revolution, 1835-1836
United States -- History -- Civil War, 1861-1865
United States -- History -- Mexican American War, 1846-1848
Rio Grand Valley (Tex.)
Texas -- Annexation
Subjects
Captains of ships
Surveyors
Merchants
Soldiers
Colonization
County government -- Texas, South
Mier Expedition, 1842
Mexican War, 1846-1848
Palo Alto, Battle of, Tex., 1846
Resaca de la Palma, Battle of, Tex., 1846

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