Ancestors of Mandy Willard

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John SIMMONS (1599-1635)

and Mary MILLAM (1599-?)


John Simmons and Mary Millam married on 3 July 1620 in Ardingly, Sussex.  Mary’s name was recorded as Marie in the Parish Register and Elizabeth in the Bishop Transcripts!

John Symons may have been baptised on 4 March 1598/9 in Worth, Sussex, and have been the fourth child and second son of 5 360 Hugh Symons (c1567-1612) and 5 360 Elizabeth Streeter.  He was buried on 21 August 1635 in Ardingly and in the burial register he was described as a married man.  However, a pedigree at Family Search suggests that John was born about 1582 in Cuckfield, Sussex, the son of Thomas Simmons and Sarah.  (Worth borders Ardingly to the north, whereas Cuckfield borders Ardingly to the south.)  A Thomas Simons of Cuckfield left a will dated 3 February 1581 and proved on 26 April 1582 - I have yet to read this will, but shall endeavour to transcribe the will and include it within this site.

Mary Millam was baptised on 15 April 1599 in Ardingly.  She was the fifth child and fourth daughter of 5 246 Anthony Millam (c1570-1638) and 5 246 Joan Lucar (c1570-1605).  Her father was a Hammerman, therefore, he probably worked in the Wealden Iron Industry.  As Mary was only about 36 years old when her husband died and left with 5 children aged between 6 and 15, might she have remarried?  I can not find a second marriage for her in the Ardingly registers, nor can I find her burial after 1635 as Mary Simmons.  The Sussex marriage index records that a marriage licence was issued on 16 May 1636 by the Archdeaconry of Sussex to Richard Finch and Mary Symondes who were both of Ardingly.


John Simmons and Mary Millam had 5 known children:

  1. Elizabeth Simons was baptised on 2 September 1620 in Ardingly.  Her mother’s name was not recorded against her baptism entry.  Her burial and possible marriage were not recorded in the Ardingly registers.

  2. Thomas Simons was baptised on 3 March 1621/2 in Ardingly.  His mother’s name was not recorded against his baptism entry.   A Thomas Simmons was buried 17 January 1643/4 in Ardingly and was described as “belonging to the yronworks”.  Was the burial for this Thomas, or did he have an Uncle or cousins?  No possible marriage for Thomas can be found in the Ardingly registers.

  3. John Simmons was baptised on 25 July 1624 in Ardingly.  Only his father’s name was recorded against his baptism entry.  His burial and possible marriage were not recorded in the Ardingly registers.

  4. Hugh Symmons was baptised on 27 September 1626 in Ardingly.  He married twicec, firstly to Ann Newman (?-c1656) in 1655 and then to Susan Elliotte (1638-1722)  in 1659.  (They have their own page.)

  5. Mary Symons was baptised on 1 February 1628/9 in Ardingly.  Her burial and possible marriage were not recorded in the Ardingly registers.


There were no further Simmons baptisms in Ardingly until Mary in 1656, daughter of Hugh (my 8xggf).  And apart from the burial of Thomas (above) in 1644, there were no Simmons burials in Ardingly between 1635 and 1688.  The only marriage between 1620 and 1659 was that of Alexander Simmons and Joane Gallop in 1637.

In the neighbouring parish of Cuckfield, a John Simons married Elizabeth Allfrey on 26 December 1614.  I can not find any children from this marriage, nor a suitable burial dates for either John and Elizabeth.


The Ardingly Parish Registers commence in 1558.  The first Simmons bapstism in the parish was of Josephe on 20 August 1580 the son of John Simmons, a Hammerman.  Next came Thomas on 21 November 1580 son of Henry Simons.  Then no further Simmons baptisms until Elizabeth in 1620.

Joseph Simmons married 5 246 Margaret Lucar on 15 September 1605 in Ardingly.  Margaret may have been the neice of Joan Lucar and cousin of Mary Millam.


Parishes bordering Ardingly are, clockwise from the north:  Worth, West Hoathly, Lindfield, Cuckfield and Balcombe.  I have yet to check all these parishes for any events that might be connected to the family of John Simmons and Mary Millam.