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Hudson-Mohawk Genealogical and Family Memoirs:

Index to All Families | Index to Families by County: Albany, Columbia, Fulton, Greene, Montgomery, Rensselaer, Saratoga, Schenectady, Schoharie, Warren, Washington

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[This information is from Vol. II, pp. 928-929 of Hudson-Mohawk Genealogical and Family Memoirs, edited by Cuyler Reynolds (New York: Lewis Historical Publishing Company, 1911). It is in the Reference collection of the Schenectady County Public Library at R 929.1 R45. Some of the formatting of the original, especially in lists of descendants, may have been altered slightly for ease of reading.]

The history of the Simkins family of Schenectady, New York, begins in America with John Simkins, of Ulster county, New York, believed to have been a son of the immigrant. John Simkins was born in Ulster county, New York. He grew up a farmer and became known as a breaker of fine horses. He married (first) ———— Scott, of England, who bore him a son who studied medicine and died on the eve of graduating M.D. She was also the mother of two daughters. John Simkins married (second) ———— Nelson, of Ulster county, who survived him and died in Berne, Albany county, New York. Children by second wife:

  1. Nelson, see forward.
  2. Aaron, born in Ulster county, New York, in 1792, died in Schoharie county at an old age; was of Albany and Schoharie counties; a farmer; married ———— Braman.
  3. Tibbeus, born in Ulster county, 1795; removed to Canada, where he died, leaving a family.

(II) Nelson, eldest son of John and ———— (Nelson) Simkins, was born in Ulster county, New York, September 19, 1791, died in the town of Middleburg, Schoharie county, York, October 18, 1872. He was a farmer and mechanic. He settled first in Albany county, town of Berne, where he lived until his youngest child was twenty-one days old, when he removed to Middleburg. He was a prosperous farmer. He married in the town of Berne, Albany county, Catherine Vincent, born there March 29, 1792, daughter of Joshua and Catherine (Miller) Vincent, the former a revolutionary soldier. Joshua and wife were members of the Baptist church of Berne, where they died. Children of Nelson and Catherine (Vincent) Simkins:

  1. Susanna, born July 5, 1812, died May 30, 1866, married Edward Palmer and had six children.
  2. Mary (Polly), March 26, 1814, died June 3, 1868; married Cyrus Thorp and had five children.
  3. Esther, December 30, 1815, died September 7, 1868; married Abraham Boom and had seven children.
  4. Anna, October 21, 1817, died January 5, 1858.
  5. Tibbeus, October 23, 1819, died 1890, unmarried.
  6. Artemisa, March 19, 1822, died June 11, 1885; married Cornelius Possom.
  7. Catherine, November 12, 1824, died March 7, 1844, unmarried.
  8. Lydia, November 29, 1826, now a widow, residing in Hawley, New York; she is the mother of four children.
  9. John, March 9, 1828; married Laura Borst, born March 17, 1833, died February 12, 1904, daughter of Philip and Mary (Kinney) Borst; they had thirteen children.
  10. Eunice, February 23, 1832, died October, 1908; married George Warner, who survives her, and is a retired farmer.
  11. Jane, April 7, 1834, died October 18, 1872; married John Borst.
  12. George, see forward.

(III) George, youngest child of Nelson and Catherine (Vincent) Simkins, was born in Berne, Albany county, April 8, 1837, died May 15, 1907. When he was three weeks old, his parents removed to Middleburg, Schoharie county, New York, where his after life was spent. He grew up on the farm at Cotton Hill, and was educated in the common schools. He was a carpenter by trade, and carried on a contracting and building business in connection with his farm. He was a prosperous man, and highly regarded in his community. He was a Democrat, and held many town and county offices. He married Anna Shufelt, born in Middleburg, in 1840, died in Schenectady, New York, April, 1893, daughter of Philip and Harriet (Chadden) Shufelt, natives of the Mohawk Valley who died in Middleburg very old. Children of George and Anna (Shufelt) Simkins:

  1. Austin, see forward.
  2. Catherine, married Professor John Bigsbey, of Middleburg, New York; children: Frank, Laura and Anna.
  3. Jane, married J. H. Gardner, of Charlton, Saratoga county, New York.
  4. Ophelia, married John Bunk; children: George, Orlena, Margaret, Gertrude, Laura, Catherine.
  5. Irving, now of Schenectady; married Harriet Colmer; children: Stephen, Mary, Harriet, Nelson and Irving, Jr.
  6. Susan, married Frank Pickard; children: Jennie, Robert and Catherine.
  7. Margaret, married Ernest Harris; children: Caroline, Ruth and Grace.
  8. Cora, married Lewis Putnam; children: George, Ella, Marion, Austin, Ina, Ethel.
  9. Nellie, married William Easton.
  10. George (2), unmarried.
  11. Albert, unmarried.

(IV) Austin, eldest son of George and Anna (Shufelt) Simkins, was born in the town of Middleburg, Schoharie county, New York, August 2, 1861. He was reared on a farm, educated in the district schools, learned the carpenter's trade and became an expert mechanic. He removed to Schenectady where he became a lumber dealer, conducting in connection with that business contracting and building. He later established a planing mill for the manufacture of sash, doors, blinds, mantels and all kinds of builders' lumber supplies. His business has grown to be a large one, employing constantly from fifty to seventy men. He is prominent in the Masonic orders, being affiliated with New Hope Lodge, Free and Accepted Masons, St. George's Chapter, Royal Arch Masons, St. George's Commandery, Knights Templar, Oriental Temple, Nobles of the Mystic Shrine, and the Order of the Eastern Star. He belongs to St. Paul's Lodge, Independent Order of Odd Fellows, and to the Daughters of Rebekah, of which his wife is also a member. He is a member of the Exempt Firemen's Association, having served five years in the Schenectady fire department, and has subsequently represented the association in the state firemen's convention.

Austin Simkins married, at Cotton Hill, Schoharie county, New York, Estella Westcott, born in New Salem, Albany county, New York, December 20, 1860, daughter of Samuel and Jane N. (Pangborn) Westcott, of Albany county, and granddaughter of Major Westcott, who served in the war of the revolution. Samuel Westcott, her father, was one of the gold seekers of California in 1849, and spent four years in California where he helped construct the great dam across the Yuba river. He returned to Schenectady county, where he died. His widow survives him, a resident of Schenectady, having children:

  1. Melvina, married George Passage;
  2. Lottie, married Fred Merchant;
  3. Estella, married Austin Simkins;
  4. Russell;
  5. Jennie, married David Ogsbury.

Children of Austin and Estella (Westcott) Simkins:

  1. Nettie, died at the age of twenty-one months;
  2. Spencer, died aged eleven years;
  3. Eugene, died aged twenty-two months;
  4. an infant, deceased.

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