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Vol V File 1: The Genealogy of Genevieve Simmons James
Revision Date: January 6, 1996
The Genealogy of Genevieve Simmons James
The Ancestry of Genevieve Simmons
(Descending from the Penn Family and the Van Burkleo Family to Dora Mae Van Burkleo and Leonard Pierce Simmons and finally to Genevieve Simmons)
Compiled and Written by
Homer Beers James
1636 Jamestown Place
Pittsburgh, PA 15235
Copyright (c) Homer Beers James 1995
The initial material for this volume comes primarily from Bobbye
Miniard, a distant cousin of Genevieve Simmons James, from Bulverde,
TX, near San Antonio. She had contacted Greta Simmons Laakso
in 1991 for additional information on the family history. Later
information has been received from Tracy Lee Van Burkleo, Jr.
I use Brother's Keeper, an IBM-compatible computer program which
facilitates the systematic compilation of genealogical records.
From this point I started a serious study of available information
in public libraries, university libraries, The Church of Jesus
Christ of Latter-day Saints Family History Library, and other
sources, using the names of the various ancestors in the Negus
Another source of information is the late Christina Van Burkleo
Kenneaster, regarding members of the Van Burkleo family.
Based on the currently available information, this ancestral record
originates in England for its most distant time in the past (Pendleton
and Pettus lines,) about the end of the 15th Century. It is however,
quite logical to assume that the Van Burleos came from Holland.
Records in the IGI data base, maintained by the Mormons, show
a number of Van Burkleos in NJ and Maryland in the 1700's who
were associated with the Reformed Dutch Church. Further investigation
is warranted in this area.
Homer Beers James
1636 Jamestown Place
Pittsburgh, PA 15235
May 31, 1995
________ "Maher Collection from the
Missouri Historical Society (St. Louis)"
________ "History of Duncanville,
________ "Hairstons and Penns and
________ "Illinois State Genealogical
Quarterly", Vol 1, 9, and 10.
________ "International Genealogical
Index," The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints,
Pittsburgh (Greentree), PA.
________ "Penn Pals", Vol
1, Issue 3, pg. 3-4. (Bobbye Jo Miniard)
________ "Genealogies of Virginia
Families," Vol. IV., pp. 646-654.
________ "Some Prominent Virginia
Families," Vol II-IV, Chapter X., pp. 224-231.
________ Harleian, 1552, folios 241 and 246,
"Visitation of Norfolk, 1613.", Harleian Society,
Vol. 32, page 219.
Barker, Lucretia, "History of Cedar
Du Bellet, L., "Some Prominent Virginia
Families," Vol II-IV (issued oiriginally in 1907) (reprinted
Gray, Sydney Howard, "James Madison"
(1884) - Part of American Statesmen Series)
Hazel, Michael,"Putting Down Roots:
The Penns and Their Farmstead," Heritage News of the
Dallas County Heritage Society," Fall 1985, pp. 6-10. Michael
Hazel is the Curator of Education for the Dallas County Heritage
Hill, L. R. (Editor), "A History of
Greater Dallas and Vicinity", Vol II, Selected Biography
and Memoirs, Lewis Publishing Co., Chicago, Illinois (1909), pg.
Keannester, Christine, "Personal Collection
of Genealogical Information on the Van Burkleos and the Penns,"
(prepared about 1970).
Miniard, Bobbye Jo, "Personal Collection
of Genealogical Information on the Penns and Others,"
(prepared about 1991).
.1. Simmons Line
1. Unknown large family, needs research in
2. William Edwards Simmons., from West
Texas. At age 17 years, he married Sally Victoria Risdon, born May 23, 1877,
daughter of Hirian Risdon, and his
wife, Maggie Armstrong. They were
both from very large families, and both were orphans. She was
14 years old when she was married. He died circa 1957. She died
about the same time. They had the following children:
1. Mae Simmons, born November 2, 1895, married
2. Leonard Pierce Simmons, Sr, born August
26, 1896. See below.
3. Rose Simmons, born February 18, 1898,
married ________ Price.
4. Tennie Simmons, born November 11, 1901,
5. George Simmons, Sr., born May 24, 1904.
6. Robert Simmons, born September 10, 1906.
7. Clark Simmons, born August 14, 1912.
8. Mary Estelle Simmons, born in 1918, married
3. Leonard Pierce Simmons, born August
26, 1896 in Lebonen, Texas (West Texas), married on June 9, 1923,
in Brownsville, Texas, Dora Mae Van Burkleo, born
March 6, 1903, in Greer County, Oklahoma, daughter of Samuel Emmons
Van Burkleo, and his wife, Nancy Jane Penn, daughter of Robert
Gilmore Penn, born at Lebanon, St. Clair County, Illinois, October
3, 1835, and his wife, Elizabeth Susan Littrell, born in Barren
County, Kentucky, December 1, 1847. Dora died October 12, 1967,
in Harlingen, Texas, at the age of 64. See their lineages elsewhere.
Leonard Simmons migrated to the Lower Rio Grande Valley, because
of poor farming conditions in West Texas. He was a cotton sharecropper
for a number of years, worked for the WPA, during the Depression
in the early 1930's and eventually, through government loans,
became an independent farmer in Harlingen, Texas. He died of
lung cancer on September 25, 1952, at the age of 56, and was buried
in Harlingen, Texas. Leonard and Dora had the following children:
1. Samuel Edward (Sam Ed) Simmons, born
at home on the Rangerville Road in Harlingen, Texas, May 3, 1924.
He served in the U.S. Army during World War II. He died October
2, 1944, of kidney injuries, as a result of inadequate equipment
in a high school football game. He married Vera Miller, and they
have three children as follows:
1. Jimmy Merrill Simmons. He has been married
twice and has two adult children, who live in California. He
is an electronics engineer, living with his second wife in Campbell,
California. He at one time worked for Westinghouse in Baltimore.
Maryland, following graduation from the University of Kansas.
2. Twin girls, Sharon Simmons and Karen
Simmons. They became alienated from their family and their whereabouts
are unknown at this time. One has a daughter, and at one time
they both lived in Chicago, Illinois..
2. Nannye V. Simmons, born March 30, 1927,
in Harlingen, TX., died May 5, 1928.
3. Genevieve Simmons, born October 13, 1928,
in Valley Baptist Hospital, Harlingen, TX. See below.
4. Leonard Pierce (L. P.) Simmons, Jr.,
born July 27, 1930, in Valley Baptist Hospital, Harlingen, TX.
He married Dolores (Dodie) Barnes. They operate a large farming
complex in the Lower Rio Grande Valley, with their children and
their spouses. They have the following children:
1. Leonard Pierce Simmons, III., born June
22, 1951. He married Mary Beth Klug, of Ohio. Leonard manages
his own farm and is President of "801 Farms, Inc."
with his father, L. P. Simmons. He is a partner with his brother,
Sam Ed Simmons, in "Los Hermanos, Inc." and with
his brother-in-law, Thomas McLemore, in "L & T., Inc."
Leonard and Mary Beth have the following children:
1. Courtney Leigh Simmons, born December
2. Natalie Marie Simmons, born November
3. Audrey Elizabeth Simmons, born July 23,
2. Sandra (Sandy) Louise Simmons was born
September 15, 1953. She married (1) Jerry Williams, and (2) George
Brooks. Sandy is now single. She was living in Dallas, TX, but
currently resides near Atlanta, Georgia, with her children. She
is an office manager By the second marriage she has two children
4. Genevieve Simmons, born October 13, 1928,
married Homer Beers James,
son of Charlie Negus James, Sr. and
his wife, Helen Mae Beers. See details of the "Genealogy
of Homer Beers James, Volume I, II, III, and IV."
They have the following four children (three sons and one daughter),
born between July 1949 and August 1954:
1. Randall Pierce James, the eldest son, married Ann Elizabeth McCrow of England, daughter
of Reginald C. McCrow and his wife, Elizabeth Baush, of Philadelphia,
PA, with two brothers and one sister. Her parents and brothers,
Richard and Charles and their families, reside in England and
her sister, Leslie, who is married, lives in Toronto, Canada.
Randall was born July 24, 1949 in Lima, OH.
He grew up there and in Seattle, WA. He graduated from Antioch
College in 1972 with a BA in Philosophy with a minor in Art.
While attending the University of Leeds in England, as a part
of his undergraduate work, he met his wife, Ann McCrow, who was
also attending Leeds. She and her family had lived in many different
parts of the world, before coming to Leeds (Rio De Janiero, Mexico
City, Portugal, Evansville, IN., etc.). Randall was the Production
and Laboratory Manager of Light Impressions, Inc., a company that
makes commercial holograms. The company filed for Chapter 11
in 1995 and Randall is organizing a new company to take over the
efforts of Light Impressions. Randall has many holograms which
he created in his home laser laboratory on display in galleries
and museums all over the world. His first commercial work was
purchased for Mayor Beame of New York City, and now resides in
the Brooklyn Museum for Children. He has been in international
holography exhibitions in England and Japan. Until its demise,
he regularly had works in the National Museum of Holography in
New York City (Soho District).
Ann taught school in Dijon, France and worked
for the University of California Press in Berkeley, CA. She worked
as a volunteer with the Santa Cruz Public Schools for a number
of years and is now employed by the school district. .
They currently live in Santa Cruz, CA. Both
Randall and Ann are very active in the Unitarian Church of Santa
Cruz, CA., where he was the Board President and she was in charge
of Religious Education and other positions as well.
They have two sons as follows:
1. Nathan Samuel James, born January 25, 1981, in San
Francisco, CA. It is noteworthy that when his name was selected
there was no prior knowledge of the multitude of Nathans and Samuels
which exist in the Beers Line of his ancestry. He was honored
with a U. S. Savings Bond shortly after his birth from his great-uncle,
Samuel Beers, who erroneously thought he had been selected as
a namesake. He has spent the summers of 1994-95 in Italy with
a friend. He is currently involved with a student hot-metal musical
group as the vocalist.
2. Leo Alexander James, born May 5, 1984, in San Francisco,
CA. He has been very active in soccer, with his father a coach.
2. Gary Scott James, the 2nd son, married Julie Martin of Louisiana, Missouri, daughter
of Dr. Joseph Martin and his wife, Janet. Dr. Martin is now retired
from medical practice. Gary was born December 2, 1950 in Lima,
OH. He grew up there and in Seattle, WA and Pittsburgh, PA.
He has a BA in Psychology from Antioch College, an MSW from Washington
University in St. Louis, MO, and a Master of Theology from Starr
King School of Theology associated with the University of California,
Berkeley, CA. He interned at the First Unitarian Church of St.
Louis, MO. was then called as the minister of the North Hills
Fellowship in Cincinnati, Ohio, and currently is the minister
of Northern Hills Church in Deerfield, IL, a suburb of Chicago.
Julie graduated from Washington University
of St. Louis, MO and from the National School for Naturopathic
Medicine in Portland, OR. She has held a number of church positions,
such as office manager and director of religious education. She
expects to start her naturopathic medical practice in the Deerfield
Gary and Julie, have two children as follows:
1. Jennifer Lauren Martin James, born September 16, 1985,
in St. Louis, MO.
2. Joshua Kyle Martin James, born February 6, 1989,
in Cincinnati, OH.
3. Mark Simmons James, the 3rd son, married Mary Poore of Butte, Montana, daughter of
Robert Poore, Esq., a retired corporate lawyer and his wife, Pauline.
Mark was born November 22, 1951 in Lima, OH. He grew up in Lima,
OH, Seattle, WA, and Pittsburgh, PA. He graduated from Antioch
College with a BA in Outdoor Education and Botany. He also attended
Prescott College in Arizona, and Oregon State University. He
graduated from the National School of Naturopathic Medicine, Portland,
OR., where he spent some time as a clinical instructor.
Mark is in practice with his wife, Mary Poore,
who also graduated from the National School of Naturopathic Medicine.
They jointly run a comprehensive naturopathic clinic in Flagstaff,
Mark and Mary and their girls are avid outdoors
people, and Mark continues to run in marathons and triathalons.
They have three daughters as follows:
1. Cara Genevieve James, born October 10, 1985, in Portland,
2. Emily James,
born January 6, 1988, in Flagstaff, AR.
3. Lily Ann James,
born October 10, 1991, in Flagstaff, AR.
Mark also has an older daughter, Juniper Painton, born about 1980, in Salem,
OR, prior to his present family. She currently lives with her
mother in Portland, Oregon.
4. Janet Charlene James, the only daughter, married Galen Spielman of Larimore, North Dakota,
born October 12, 1937. She was born August 24, 1955 in Lima,
OH. She grew up in Lima, OH, Seattle, WA, and Pittsburgh, PA.
She graduated from Antioch College with a BA in Psychology, a
MSW from Case-Western University in Cleveland, OH, and an MBA
from the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Business.
She is a consultant in Business Administration, working with
clients in southwestern Pennsylvania. She was previously an Administrator
with the Western Pennsylvania High Technology Council and the
Enterprise Corp., both in Pittsburgh, PA.
Galen Spielman is a director with KDKA-TV,
the main station of Westinghouse Broadcast network, in Pittsburgh,
PA. He has been in the television industry for many years, following
service in the U. S. Army military intelligence in Korea, at the
end on the Korean War. Galen has adult children by two previous
marriages, and has several grandchildren through these previous
Janet and Galen have two children as follows: