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Some of the information on the Sims family is taken from the book, "The Pariss Sims Family & Related Families 1765-1965" by Almon J. Sims. While this is a wonderful book and an invaluable resource, I take it with a grain of salt because the information on my grandmother in that book is not entirely accurate (he put that she died in 1955 instead of the correct 1958, and that her daughter was Ann when, in fact, she's Ida Ann).



Pariss Sims

died TN?





Keziah Royster

born c. 1765?





  1792-Matthew Sims











spouse's parents:

unconfirmed source puts her

as daughter of

Thomas Royster

maternal grandparents:


paternal grandparents:


maternal aunts & uncles:


paternal aunts & uncles:



I am storing notes here temporarily as I try to sort out Pariss Sims from Parish Sims.


According to Almon Sims in his book on the family, there was Pariss Sims, and there was Parish Sims. Pariss, supposedly, is an ancestor, a soldier in the revolutionary war, and husband of Keziah Royster, who settled around Lynn Creek TN, before losing his land there (hence the scattering of his children). No grave marker was known for him, and death dates for Pariss and wife Keziah were both estimated to be c. 1832-33. How Almon Sims came to know the name of Parriss' wife is not said.

        On the other hand, there was Parish Sims, son of James (Bartlett) Sims of Virginia and Elizabeth Parish. This one was married to Grizel, sometimes called Kessiah or Keziah (it was Almon Sims' opinion that she was Grizel Kessiah, which he said was a common family name in VA). While Pariss was settling around Lynn Creek in 1807 and then moving on, Parish settled at Elk Creek in 1807, then died, and his widow, mother Elizabeth, brothers James and William are the people signing the Elk River Petition (below). It is his widow, "Keziah Sims" who is among the evicted settlers listed on the 1809 Elk River Intruders list. Supposedly she went on to remarry Judge William Cocke and they moved to MS where she died in 1820.

        Almon Sims stated that "the old ones" in his family knew about the Simses of the Elk River settlement. He said there was a will for Parish Sims, destroyed by fire, that mentioned wife Grizel and brother William and Benjamin Murrell executor.



"History of Franklin, Giles, Lincoln and Moore Counties, Tennessee," Goodspeed Publishing Company, Nashville, 1886, pp. 749-766, scanned by Mrs. Sarah Smith for USGenWeb:

        The first permanent settlement in the county were made in about 1805, on Elk River, near the month of Richland Creek, and in the neighborhood, of the present towns of Elkton and Prospect, one of which lies above and the other below the mouth of said creek, by William Crowson, his four sons and son-in-law, Vincent, Thomas Whitson, Jordan Word, James Ford, James Wilkerson, Parish Sims, Thomas Dodd, John Reynolds, William Jenkins, Thomas Kyle, Thomas Easley Simon Ford, John Hunnicutt and John and William Price. When these pioneers came they found the county a vast cane-brake and forest, the cane being from twenty to twenty-five feet high. The settlers melted Body force, and cleared away the cane and built but bout. for each other, and the same kindness and courtesy Was extended to each new-comer for years thereafter. (Note: the transcription said "built but bout." I have no idea what that means.)


1809 Elk River Intruders included "Keziah Sims Wido." as well as Wm. Sim's, Eliza Sims, and James Sims.


The 1810 Elk River Intruders' Petition (also called the Simms Settlement Petition) was signed by Wm. Sims, James Sims (first two signatures) as well as Abraham Sims, Elizabeth Sims, Grizell Sims.


Regarding the Simms Settlement: Pres. Madison gave orders to expel squatters on Chickasaw Indian land in enforcement of the government's treaty with the indians. In April, 1809 Col. Return J. Meigs and 30 men with one or two officers traveled 170 miles from Hiwassee Garrison (in Roane County, TN) to Simms Settlement on the Elk River. On May 27, they evicted 93 squatters from Simms Settlement, and 166 overall. This are is at the border of TN and Alabama. McCallum's "History of Giles" says there were forays by the soldiers of Fort Hampton from 1809-1811 who "acted very rascally; cut down the corn with large butcher knives, threw down and burned fences and forced settlers back over the line." Goodspeeds History of Giles County says the soldiers of Fort Hampton "burned the settlers' houses, threw down their fences, and destroyed their corps, and succeeded in driving the people across the reservation line...After the soldiers returned to the fort, the settlers returned to their ruined homes, rebuilt their houses and fences, and planted their crops, only to be again driven out as soon as word was received at the fort of their presence on the forbidden territory." This happened 1809-1911 and was considered extremely unfair by the settlers (according to Goodspeed's Directory) "many of whom held grants for the disputed lands they occupied."


The One World Tree (no source listed) says Pariss Sims was born 1750 and died 1833, buried Campbellsville Cemetery, Giles County. Considering Keziah is listed as a widow in 1809, hmm. Note that there is a Paris Sims in the 1840 Giles County census, between 20-30 years old. Son? Nephew? There is also a Paris Sims on the Giles County TN 1812 tax list (and a John Sims, Robert Sims, two Will Sims and a William Sims).


The land abstracts of Giles County have Paris L. Sims's name on three transactions in 1844 (Giles County TN Land Abstracts contributed by Janell McCann to USGenNet)

        1: For Martin JONES, Entry -- made 1844, assignee of Elizabeth DALE, 173A in Rng. 2, Sec. 2, on waters of middle fork of Big Creek, C.D. 14, adj. Daniel JONES; HOUSTON; Samuel MORROW. Surv. date not given. John A. JOHNSON & Paris L. SIMMS, C.C.

        2: For John JONES, Entry --, 381 A in Rng. 2 & 3, Sec. 2, C.D. 14, adj. Richard H. ALLEN; Ben JOHNSON; Paris L. SIMS; Elijah JONES. Surv. James M. & Joseph FOGG; John FOSTER; Martin FOSTER; L. A. HURT; James M. JOHNSTON. 21 Aug 1846. William SHAKELFORD, John F. FOSTER & Elijah JONES, James M. FOGG, C.C.

        3: For Paris L. SIMMS, assignee of Alexander K. MORROW, Entry 372 made 10 Jan 1844, 200 A in Rng. 2, Sec. 2, C.D. 14, adj. Martin JONES; HOUSTON old line. Surv. date not given. Edmund SIMMS & John JOHNSON, C.C.

(other Sims names in the Giles County land abstracts include Wythe, David, Samuel, John and Walter)


1790 census has both a Pariss Sims in Stokes County NC (household with one male over 16, 2 males under 16, three females, no slaves) and a Keziah Sims in Beaufort County NC (household with no males over 16, one male under sixteen, three females and one slave).

Note that Keziah Sims of Beaufort County appears to be unable to be the Keziah Sims, widow, of the Elk River Intruders, as her will is in the Beaufort County Old Will Book p. 354 (sent for a copy) dated c.1799. Either she made a will before leaving, or she died.

1800 census has Parish Sims in Stokes County NC, Salisbury District, with 4 males under 10, one male 10-15, one male 16-25 and one male 26-44 as well as 2 females 10-15 and one female 16-25. No slaves.

Beaufort County is near the eastern lower edge of NC and Stokes County is way up at the northern edge, toward the west. Almost as far apart as you can get and still be in NC.