George Sims and Maria Hanna Brown

(George Sims – John W. Sims – Joseph Freeman Sims – Cameron Joseph Sims – James Hubert Sims)

**NOTE: Sims/Simms/Syms/Simes are often used interchangeably throughout the historical record. I’ve chosen to use Sims for the sake of simplicity.

George SIMS was born in Maryland c. 1790. He married Maria Hanna BROWN on 20 Jul 1816 at All Saints Anglican Church in Granville, Annapolis. [This information comes from proceedings of the Provincial Court of Nova Scotia (R. v. Smith, 2012 NSPC 84 (CanLII)), where a claimant’s ancestry was in question over Indigenous hunting rights.] Maria’s estimated DOB was 1790 in Nova Scotia.

**An interesting historical tidbit: All Saints Anglican Church stood in Granville for 200 years until it was disassembled and moved to Abita Springs in Louisiana, where it was reborn as a Baptist church. The rebuilders speculate that the wood from the structure is older and may have been salvaged from a French fort. Read more HERE **

In the wake of the American War of Independence, a wave of United Empire Loyalists came to Nova Scotia seeking refuge, and there were several thousand Black Loyalists among the newcomers. There were former slaves who had either bought their freedom or earned it through service to the British during the war, those born free, and those still in slavery or indentured service to white settlers. There was a community of Black Loyalists in Granville that grew throughout the 1800s, and a similar community developed nearby in Delap’s Cove. It’s likely that George may have come to Nova Scotia as part of this group.

According to the Provincial Court, the couple had twelve children, but I have only been able to find records for six:

  1. John W. SIMS* (1821-bef. 1910) m. Margaret Ann FRANCIS*
  2. Louisa SIMS (1824-1891) m. George JACKSON
  3. Amanella SIMS (1825-1880) m. STEVENS
  4. Arthurland SIMS (1831-1909) m. William PETERS
  5. Jacob Henry SIMS (1836- ) m. (1) Maria Bertha FOWLER (2) Cynthia (CUFF) JACKSON
  6. Johanna SIMS (1837-1907)
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James William Crooks (1825-1856) and Sophia Adeline Fanning (1821-)

(*James William Crooks – William Charles Crooks – Norman Chipman Crooks – Ada Constance Crooks)

James William CROOKS was born 26 Dec 1825 in Lunenburg, the son of William CROOKS and Margaret Ann ACKER. He was baptized on 3 Mar 1826 at the Dutch Reformed Church.  At some point circa 1842 (based on the DoB of their first child), James married Sophia Adeline FANNING, the daughter of Edward FANNING. Sophia was born 16 Aug 1821 and baptized 3 Mar 1822 at the Dutch Reformed Church in Lunenburg.

James died early circa 1856, when he was around 31 years old, leaving Sophia a widow with seven young children. In 1871, Sophia and some of her younger children were living in Isaac’s Harbour in the household of her oldest son James. In 1881, Sophia was living with her son John and her daughter Lydia, still in Isaac’s Harbour. And in 1891, Sophia was still living with John, now married with children, and her spinster daughter Lydia. Sophia likely died sometime before 1901, as she does not appear on the census for that year.

James and Sophia had seven children:

  1. James William CROOKS (1843 – bef. 1908) m. Elizabth BURKE
  2. Johanna CROOKS (1846-1915) m. (1) Henry WARRINGTON (2) Judson LUDDINGTON
  3. Sarah Jane CROOKS (1849-1931) m. (1) Duncan LATHAM (2) William Berton SILVER
  4. William Charles (Bill) CROOKS* (1849-1907) m. Ada Jane HULL
  5. Lydia CROOKS (1853-1929)
  6. John Herman CROOKS (1853-1920) m. Elizabeth Odessa LANGLEY
  7. Henry I. CROOKS (1857-1933) m. (1) Melissa FANNING (2) Effie BEESWANGER
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