Montgomery County Courthouse 1835

The courthouse where your  ancestors lived can unlock a variety of clues.  I have transcribed the notes below. I wish I knew the final outcome.

“The joint and severally answers of William Gardiner and Henrietta his wife to the bill of Ann William complainant.  These defendants answering for himself and herself and not one for the other answering say that Francis Simpson executed the deed of trust, mentioned in the complaintants bill to William Clarke for the purposes therein mentioned and they admit that the defendant William Gardiner purchased the land conveyed by a deed of trust, to Clarke and gave him single bills for the same as in the said bill is alleged and defendants admit that the said Clarke executed to this defendant Williams a bond of conveyance for the said land conditioned as in the said bill.

Your defendant admits that the complainant has become entitled to one of the single bills aforesaid and obtained judgement therein against the defendant Williams That another of said single bills was assigned by Williams blank to a certain Henry Jamison and that said Jamison obtained judgement thereon, and levied a fieri facias on a part of the lands aforesaid, then in posession of these defendants or instructed to do so and that the said Hobbs and Price have obtained posession  of a part of said lands for a sum much below their real value and Williams appointed to do the same because he was not able to help himself. These defendants further admit that the said William Gardiner did apply the bond of conveyance aforesaid to the said Gustavas Warfield without any valuable consideration or a merely nominal one and that the said Gustavas Warfield well knew the purchase money for the said land was not paid.  These defendants admit that said William has become insolvent and that William Price in said bill mentioned has been appointeed his Trustee and that William Clarke has not take the proper steps to execute the trust  esposed in him and theses defendants have nothing to oppose to the prayer of the complainants bill, but desire that the lands purchase by this defendant William may be sold. The several conditions of said Simpson satisfied out of the balance one from the _____Williams of said land and the surplus paid to the custody of this defendant William and if any remaining, that it be paid over to this case of the defendants Wife and child and these defendants admit that claim of the said plaintiff is due within a small amount but they are entitled to credit on the note remaining in Francis Simpson’s lands  an allowance for mistakes in calculating  the purchase money and other allowances which these defendants pray may be ascertained by the the ___and they as in duty ___will ever pray.

State of Maryland

Montgomery County, Maryland

On this the 7th day of November Anno Domini 1835.  Personally appeared before the subscriber a Justiceof the Peace in and for said county.  William Gardiner and Henrietta his wife and made oath on the Holy Evangely of Almighty by God, that the matter and things in the above answers stated are true as stated to the best of their knowledge and beliefs.”

Basil John Fletcher Simpson

Basil John Fletcher Simpson was the son of Francis Simpson and Catherine Gardiner. He was named after the first ancestor, Basil J.F. Simpson who emigrated from Edinburgh Scotland in the 1730’s.  He was born in 1830 in Unity, Montgomery County, Maryland. He and his family resided in the small village of New London, Maryland.  In 1858 he married Laura J. Nusbaum (1841-1914) and together they had 6 children – all but one reaching the age of maturity.  Basil J.F. as he was know,  was a pious and faithful servant of the Lord.  He was the superintendent and teacher of the Central United Methodist Church in New London.

Basil worked as a blacksmith, wheelwright and also a cabinet maker, building coffins during the civil war.  He passed away at a relatively early age in the comfort of his home. He is resting in peace at the Central Church Cemetery.  The following is a copy of his obituary which appered in the Frederick News on 18 FEB 1899.  It is interesting to note that all the newspapers state the year of his death and 1899, but his tombstone states he died in the year 1900. I would assume that the paper is correct as several of the family tombstones contain errors, mostly  misspellings.






Basil J. F. Simpson

Mr. Basil J. F. Simpson, whose death at New London was briefly mentionedSimpson House - New London, MD was aged 68 years, 11 months and 13 days. Death ensued from grip, the first atttack being about twelve years ago. Mr. Simpson was an honored citizen of New London for about forty years and a lifelong member of Central church, ofwhich he was a class leader for many years. His wife and four children survivehim. The children are Messrs.Ridgely, of near Frederick, Allen B., of Fort Seneca, Ohio, Mrs. John H. Albaugh, of Libertytown, and Mrs. Nelson Jones, of Montgomery county. The funeral took place last Saturday morning from, his late home, Rev.G. F. Farring officiating. Interment was made at Central chapel graveyard.

An interesting article appeared in the Frederick Examiner on 28 OCT 1858 that lends a little insight to the strong character and values that Basil possessed. It reads:

Attempted Murder

On the evening of Thursday, 7th inst., at New London, in New Market district, John H. Bevans, while laboring under an access of Mania a polu attempted to kill Mrs. P. Riggs, an aged lady, by cutting her throat.  It seems that Bevans, excited by drink to madness, had previously assailed several persons with a drawn knife, out they managed to escape to places of safety, and upon coming to the house of Mrs. Rigss, he broke open the door chased out the family, consisting of females, and catching the old lady in the street, threw her down attempted to pinion her her hands under his knee, made one cut across her throat and was in the act of repeating his murderous blow when, when he was struck in the head with a stone thrown by Mr. Basil Simpson.  He was immediately secured.  Mrs. Riggs’ wound was dressed by Dr. T.W. Simpson of Liberty; but at last accounts was in a very critical condition. Bevans we learn, has been placed in St. Joseph’s Hospital, Philadelphia.newlondon

To the right is an 1858 map of New London, MD.  You can see from the map and the Riggs, and the Bevans (Beavans) were neighbors.  Basil Simpson’s inlaws, the Nusbaum’s also live on the same street. On the 1850 census, Daniel Nusbaum, Basil’s father in-law listed his occupation as a wheelwright.  It is a natural assumption that Daniel taught Basil the same trade.



I was blind…but now I see.


Genealogical gems…we all know them when we find them and proudly display them in our family tree!  For years I have been researching our family.  I know the ancestors and descendants…that is the easy part, but what I cherish are the finds that actually tell you about the person.  Obituaries can be hit or miss, but boy did we hit the jackpot on this one!

From the New Market Journal – January 12, 1863

(Typed as it appeared) Obituary of Francis Simpson

Departed this life on December 25, 1862, in New London, Frederick County, Md., after a lingering illness FRANCIS SIMPSON, age seventy-one, nine months and eighteen days.

Brother Simpson, the son of Basil and Sarah Worthington Simpson, was born in Johnsville, Frederick County, MD.  He had the misfortune at an early age of seventeen years to lose his eye-sight.  His eyes naturally weak from childhood, were greatly injured as was supposed by efforts made when a school boy was made to gaze long at the sun, and though surgical relief was sought, ultimate total blindness was the result.  His father, removing to  Elkridge in the vicinity of Savage Factory, soon there after died, the subject of this brief memoir the possessor of a handsome patrimony.  But alas! with him the loss of sight was the precursor of the loss of worldly wealth, which was to him the greater misfortune, as a young and comparatively helpless family was thus left wholly to his own necessarily inefficient exertions, for support.

Thus the dishonesty of false friends and a severe attack of illness had the effect for several years to impair his mind.  He joined the Methodist Episcopal Church about the 30th year of his age.  His religious life was also, at times, chequered by occasional periods of coldness, despondency and gloom.  It is probable when wholly himself, he never entirely lost his confidence in the personally availing efficacy of the Redeemer’s blood.  Though often from blindness and other reasons, deprived of the privilege of going to the house of God, yet is is doubtless his desire to be a child of God.  He ever delighted in family worship, and signing the praises of God aloud was especially the solace and comfort of the last twelve months of his life.  His last words were, “my trust is in Jesus.”

His funeral was largely attended at Central Chapelcentral-church11, when a discourse was preached by the writer from the words:

“And I will bring the blind by the way that they knew not; I will lead them in paths that they have not know; I will make the darkness light before them, and crokoed things straight.  These things will I do unto them and not forsake them.”  (Isaiah, 42d chapter, 16th verse)

May all of his friends and family meet him in heaven. 

How is that for an obit!!  Rest in Peace Francis Simpson.