Should the last name really be Weems as most researcher believe?

+5 votes
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In the 1820 Jackson County, GA census there are listed two George Wimms. In one of those households is a William Ward. Both of these Grandfathers are brick wall ancestors for me.

Most researchers I have communicated with over the past twenty some odd years believe that the actual spelling must be Weems. I am not sure I agree with this and here is why.

About 1765 we find a John Wimms listed in Orange County, NC. I have been searching for additional information on him without success.

Records indicate that Isabella Wimms Ward(Wimms-11) who is my Grandmother ancestor was born in South Carolina. She married John Ward in Jackson County, GA in 1819. I have a copy of the marriage bond along with census records that back this up. I also have the Family Bible Pages of their some William Ward who list his father, John Ward as being born May 12, 1795 in South Carolina. The family is last seen in Georgia in 1850 in Cobb County. Ibby shows up listed as Aby Ward with the children in Cullman County, Alabama in 1860 census records.

Now, having said all that I also find a George Wims listed in Blount County, Alabama by 1830. Keep in mind that Cullman County would be formed from parts of Blount County between 1830 and 1860. So, I am positive that this is Ibby's family who have moved on to AL from GA. I have located no grave for John or Ibby in Cullman County, AL. So, althought this proves by 1860 census that Ibby did in fact move to where her family was it doesn't prove that John Ward ever made it to AL and that he wasn't buried in Cobb County, GA.

Now my question is since the John Wimms existed in 1765 and keeping in mind that people were uneducated does anyone else find it strange that for almost 60 years this line was spelled Wimms? Should I go with the popular opinion that Wimms should actually be Weems? Or can someone help me determine the first time the Wimms name was used and where these folks came from?

I suspect that both the Wimms Family and the Ward Family left from the same area of South Carolina and came to GA together. It could be that John Ward was a bond servant to George Wimms or maybe they both claimed bounty land for Rev War service.

Anyone out there willing to wade in and help me and others resolve this problem?
WikiTree profile: George Wimms
in Genealogy Help by Gigi Tanksley G2G6 Mach 3 (32.3k points)
Looks like a good reason for a one-name study!
An old family Bible surfaced last month that belonged to George Weems daughter, Isabella who married my John Ward.

It also listed her siblings.

It was very exciting to see written proof of her parentage after a 25 year search, and to be able to bring into that the different branches of the family into our collective tree.

1 Answer

0 votes
If anybody tries a One Name Study on Wimms / Weems then they are also going to have to cope with Weens, Weins, Weymes, Weyms, Weans and Wemyss, to name but a few of the variants that my Weymes line managed to introduce in their records in the area around Bellingham, Northumberland and Hawick, Roxburghshire in the late 1600s and early 1700s.
by Lynda Crackett G2G6 Pilot (628k points)

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