So, it turns out that there were two Simmons families living in Novi township. One, the family of Abigail Simmons, widow of Gamaliel Simmons is from Massachusetts (some indication it was what is now Bristol) with a generation’s stopover in upper New York. The other, the family of Amy Beal Simmons, widow of Samuel Simmons, is from Newport, Rhode Island with a generation’s stopover in Upper New York. As far as I can tell, they’re no relation to each other.
I had thought that Luke Phillips’s wife, Patience Simmons was probably from the family of Gamaliel Simmons, since Luke says in census data that his family is from Connecticut (Bristol) AND that Simmons family has a whole branch of Phillipses in it. I thought maybe Luke and Patience were kissing cousins.
I hadn’t even really bothered to map out the Rhode Island Simmonses. And yet, last night I learned that Thurston Simmons paid for Patience’s grave. Even though he lived in Novi and she lived in Pontiac with her husband. And it turns out that Thurston had two sisters who were married who were already living in Michigan when he decided to settle in Michigan in earnest (he was brought to Michigan as a child, returned to New York, and then came back). Probably the kicker? Thurston (and thus Patience would have) has a sister named Almira. Patience has a daughter named Almira. Thurston (and probably Patience) has a brother named Charles. Patience has a son named Charles.
As certain as I can be, I am certain that these are Patience’s people. I’m only sad we don’t have any Thurston Phillipses. That would pretty much seal the deal.
This also fits my theory that the Phillipses struggled financially for parts (if not all) of their lives for generations. I mean, it looks like Luke Phillips had two wives after Patience and when he died? He got put next to her, in a grave paid for by her brother. When my grandpa was born in a house that had previously been used as a chicken coop, he should not have been surprised. It took a railroad job to move my branch of the family out of poverty. And we’re all still struggling to stay out of it.
But even though the other Simmonses are from the wrong Bristol, I still can’t quite let them go. Gamaliel’s grandmother was Lydia Phillips and she had a nephew named Luther. Luther doesn’t appear to have any sons named Luke, but you can bet I’m wondering if he, perchance, had a nephew by that name.