John and Elizabeth Simcock of England and Pennsylvania

John and Elizabeth Simcock

Woodward Home Page

We have been fortunate in hearing from Dawna Lund, a Simcock researcher, who helped us with this page.

John Simcock's parentage has not been proven, despite wide circulation that he was son of John & Alice Simcock. His wife's given name was Elizabeth but there is no primary evidence that she was Elizabeth Budd, daughter of Thomas & Joanna Budd.

  John Simcock
born abt 1630 Cheshire, England
died 1/27/1703 Chester Co, Pa
Elizabeth [Unknown]
born England
died aft 2/1703 Chester Co, Pa

  Married: Cheshire, England

Jacob Simcock born 1/6/1658 Cheshire County, England; married Alice Maris
John Simcock
Hannah Simcock born about 1660 Cheshire, England; married John Kingsman
Elizabeth Simcock born about 1661 Cheshire, England; married Ralph Fishbourne
Mary Simcock born about 1663 Cheshire, England; married John Cook
Lydia Simcock born about 1665 Cheshire, England
John Simcock born about 1668 Cheshire, England

Margaret Minshall wrote a testimony about John Simcock probably just after his death, which stated "I have known him near forty years...He was a great sufferer in Old England, for truth's sake, both by imprisonments and loss of goods." John Beffe's history of friends sufferings is quoted: "Once he was imprisoned a year and three months, for accompanying his wife to a steeple house, for a sign and testimony against their false ways and worships. His persecutors at different times, distrained from him to the amount of several hundred pounds sterling, for preaching; taking nineteen cattle at one time, and twelve at another, besides corn, cheese, and other goods; all of which he bore patiently."

John Simcock and sons John and Jacob arrived in Pennsylvania on the ship "The Friendship" on August 14, 1682.

John Simcock was influential in the migration of Quakers to Pennsylvania. He was a member of The Free Society of Traders, consisting of over three hundred members, who made a purchase of twenty thousand acres of land in Pennsylvania with the purpose of developing it. He and his son Jacob were very active in land transactions. On 15 March 1681 William Penn of Sussex England received 100 pounds of John Simcock of Ridley, husbandman, for the purchase of 5000 acres. A deed was recorded 12 Oct 1688. John Simcock knew Penn well; a commission from William Penn addressed to "loving friends" includes Simcock's name among half a dozen others. On 3&4 May 1862 John Simcock purchased an additional 2875 acres in "Hilltown." Some of Simcock's land can be seen on the 1683 Survey of Chester.

Chester County Court records dated 10th month 1688: John Syncocke made over a deed dated 6th day of ye 1st month 1687 for 230 acres of land lying in Thornbury unto Richard Woodward. Because Richard Woodward came from Acton Parish in Cheshire, where John Simcock once lived, there is a good chance that John Simcock was directly responsible for Richard Woodward's migration.

A list of land holders in 1693 shows John Simcock of Ridley taxed 12 shillings 6 pence, Jacob Simcock of Ridley taxed 3 shillings four pence, and Richard Woodworth of Thornbury taxed 2 shillings six pence. A George Simcock is also taxed and shown in land records but his connection to John is not known (perhaps a brother?).

In 1698 John Simcock brought his account to the county for building the courthouse and providing the land for it.

John Simcock prospered in his land transactions and was known as "gentleman". When he made his will 25 July 1702 he ordered that the remaining 1875 acres of the Hilltown tract be sold and divided between son Jacob and daughters Hannah & Elizabeth.

Abstract of will of John Simcock of Ridley (from Abstract of Wills and Administrations, Chester Co, Pa:
"To son Jacob my Plantation &c called Ridley. To wife not named 20 pounds per year during life. To son John 1000 acres of land at Hilltown. To child of John Cook & my dau Mary dec'd viz To 2 eldest boys Arthur & John 10 pounds each. To the lame boy Thomas 20 pounds & to each of the 3 girls Margret & Mary 20 pounds. Rem of land at Hilltown to be sold and money div between Jacob, Hannah & Elizabeth. To son in law Ralph Fishbourn the House and lott he now dwells on in Chester. Exrs wife Elizabeth and son Jacob. Letters to Jacob the wid. renouncing. Wits Walter Faucet Randall Vernon."

John Simcock's family also prospered. He appointed son-in-law Ralph Fishbourne his attorney in land transactions and when Ralph died in 1708 Ralph and Elizabeth Simcock Fishbourne's household was one of the finest in Chester County. The total value of Ralph's estate was 1672 pounds. There was much fine furniture and kitchen equipment in the house. There was a bolting house where flax was processed and a separate bake house. The estate inventory also included two bible's, six law books, a dictionary, and a journal of George Fox's, as well as other books. Pennsylvania was not a backwoods community!

Jacob Simcock married Alice Maris 1/15/1685 in Chester County (she was daughter of George and Alice Wellsmith Maris).

We feel that Alice Simcock, who figured so prominently in the life of Abraham Woodward almost had to be a descendant of Jacob & Alice Maris Simcock because of the name "Alice." So far, we have not been successful in locating Alice.

Jacob Simcock's son John married a prominent Quaker Minister Mary Waln and they had a daughter Alice Simcock, but she was too old to be our Alice, being born 1708/9. Our Alice could perhaps have been a granddaughter of John & Mary Waln Simcock. John & Mary had a son Jacob born about 1710 who would have been the right age to be Alice's parent but we have no information on his family.

Dawna Lund gives us another possibility: Jacob and Alice Maris Simcock had a son Benjamin married to Hannah Waln. They were probably parents of Samuel Simcock who married Sarah Trego in 1737 in Philadelphia, or again about the right age to be parent of Alice. We do not know Alice's date of birth but she was complained of at Goshen Monthly Meeting on 20th day 3rd month 1758 and a committee was appointed to prepare testimony against her for fornication. There are of course other possibilities among the descendants of Jacob and Alice Maris Simcock.