When I wrote, "There are various conjectures as to the parentage of the immigrant, John, which are spreading in online databases, but none are proven and are likely in error," I was not referring to you nor your forthcoming article. Rather I was referring to information appearing in databases such as the following:
Ancestral File at familysearch.org
World Tree at ancestry.com
World Family Tree at rootsweb.com
In these databases, John and Alice (Baguley) Simcock are most often shown as the parents of John the immigrant. Other listings show the parents as John and Elizabeth (Kinsey) Simcock or Jacob and Alice Simcock. None of these have been proven correct and should not be accepted without proof. It was my intention only to alert people that they should cautious about what they find in a database. There is too much inclination among the inexperienced to accept what is found in a database, especially if it is repeated several times. An error is still an error no matter how many times it is duplicated. No personal attack on you nor your research efforts was meant nor intended.
Only one listing out of dozens in the aforementioned databases give the parents as Arthur and Anne (Stockton) Simcock. Most people have not caught up with your conclusion and are still citing the same old invalid data. It seems that you have spent much time and effort gathering documentation in preparation of publication of your essay. I am looking forward to reading the article when it is in print. I have held off publishing my work on the descendants of John Simcock, the immigrant partly so that your article can be referenced in my book.
I have spent the past 8-10 years diligently searching out the descendants of John Simcock for my upcoming book. Some years ago, I considered trying to document his roots as well, but decided it would take too much time and resources away from my main goal. I have done just enough research to have skepticism about the possibility of establishing his parentage without doubt. I have discovered that in the past at least a half a dozen different sets of parents attributed to the immigrant, some dating back 50 years or so, all in error and a result of some researcher grabbing the first possibility that presented itself without investigating thoroughly. It seems that each new theory floated around as fact for some years until another supplanted it. With the Internet, data travels faster than ever before -- whether right or wrong and once it gets started, it is near impossible to stop.
The christening of John Simcock at Davenham 7 Feb 1630, son of Arthur, certainly fits nicely with the birth year as calculated from the age of 73 at death in 1703. However, I am concerned that this match is so compelling that other documentation is being selected and interpreted so as to support a this pre-determined conclusion, without searching thoroughly for other possibilities. Perhaps you already have additional documentation or discussion to resolve my concerns and will address them either here or in your forthcoming article. I would love for the matter to be finally resolved.
Ages at death are notoriously incorrect and can be off by a year or more. In my opinion, the registers and/or bishops transcripts of all parishes in the greater Davenham area would need to be searched to eliminate possibilities of any other John born about the same time period. As John was the most common given name then, nearly every family had one. Arthur had several brothers and male cousins who could have been the right age to father a son named John about 1630. It would also be necessary to search the marriages and deaths of Davenham and neighboring parishes for a sufficient period to eliminate all possibilities that John son of Arthur could have either married someone else or died.
Even then, some registers are not extant and it might not be possible to eliminate all other possibilities. For example, John Simcock and Alice Baguley are often cited as parents of John. Their children were christened at Middlewich (just south of Davenham and northeast of Acton) in the right time period. The child christened in 1630 was named William, not John, but apparently there is a gap in the parish records 1626-1629, during which they could easily have had a son named John whose birth would still correspond well enough with the age at death. It would certainly seem likely that John would name a son after himself. Unless a bishop’s transcript can be found, this may never be absolutely resolved.
Something else that bothers me is if John was the son of Arthur and Anne, why are none of his children or grandchildren named Arthur or Anne? It was common practice then to name children after their grandparents. There might be a reasonable explanation for it, but it is certainly not a factor in support of your conclusion.
I do think it is likely that the brother, John Simcock, mentioned in the 1650 will of George Simcock of Leftwich is "our immigrant." You have identified this George as son of Arthur. However, in the will, George refers to his siblings, Mary, John, Arthur, Benjamin and Katherine (oldest sister), but the Davenham registers record only Peter, John and Anne as children of Arthur -- no George, Mary, Arthur, Benjamin, nor Katherine. Only John matches, but virtually every family had a John. From other information in the will, it is clear that the George who left a will in 1650 was grandson of George, but not necessarily the son of Arthur?
You mentioned finding christenings for some of Arthur’s older children at Acton parish records. Some years ago, I did a cursory search in Acton Bishop’s Transcripts for Simcock christenings about 1630. I found only Catherina christened 17 Aug 1623 and Maria christened 17 Mar 1626/7, daughters of Anthony Simcock (not Arthur). It is possible that I misread these entries or missed some. I remember I was in a rush that day and maybe wasn’t as careful as I should have been. I noted that the entries for 1629-1630 were missing.
I think that more consideration should be given to “cousins John Simcock and George Simcock of Congleton” in the 1673 will of George Simcock of Middlewich. (It is not clear from the wording whether both John and George were of Congleton or just George.) The death of George was recorded in the Cheshire Meeting of Friends as having died 14th of 4th month (June) 1673. This would seem to indicate that George, the deceased, was a Quaker and therefore likely to be a close relative of “our immigrant.” Because “our John” immigrated with a George, the reference is particularly intriguing. Figuring out how this George, d. 1673, is related to the rest of the family may help identifying our John.
In my opinion, these cousins shouldn’t be eliminated as possibilities solely because of no known connection of “our John” to Congleton. “Our John” is known to have traveled widely as a minister for the Quaker church. For example, I have documentation that an Elizabeth Simcock signed a Quaker petition in Buckinghamshire in 1659. (This is probably the wife of our John and might be where they met and married and may be where the marriage and the births of their first children will be found recorded. They do not appear in the Cheshire records until 1660.) I also have evidence that a Quaker John Simcock (probably ours) was traveling in Ireland in 1676. He is also known to have done some preaching in Ridley in Nantwich parish (south of Middlewich, east of Acton) in 1676 . I know of no evidence of where “our John” was in 1673. He could have been temporarily in Congleton (where ever that is) as a minister. The Congleton John and the John mentioned in the 1650 Will could be the same person.
I thank you on behalf of all the descendants of John Simcock for all the time and effort that you have spent on this endeavor to prove his parentage. Perhaps this will finally, eventually put to rest all the errors that are circulating.
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