Ancestors of Mandy Willard

Number of pages

in this site:


Please bear this in mind when you contact me, as I can not always remember what I've said where.  It would be really helpful if you could tell me the page title or URL you are contacting me about.


Links to other pages in this site or other websites are in BLUE or RED.


Family History is my hobby.  I am not a professional genealogist.


Thank you for taking the time to view my humble effort.  Also, a very BIG THANK YOU to all those who have kindly contributed information.


Please check the data for yourself against original sources.


Tip:  You may need to hit your F5 key to see any changes to the page since your last visit.




John SIMMONS (c1820-?)

and Ann BACK (1824-1847)


John Simmons and Ann Back were my 3x Great Grandparents.  (Click here to see their place in my pedigree chart.)  They did not marry, but met sometime before March 1843 and most probably in Brighton, Sussex.  They were the parents of my 2x Great Grandfather, John Simmons Back born in November 1843.

John Simmons's date and place of birth/baptism are unknown, to me.  Might he have been baptised on 21 January 1821 in Brighton, and have been the son of Stephen Simmons (1792-?) and Sarah Downs (1791-1823)?  The Simmons family were then living in Air Street, Brighton and Stephen was a bricklayer.  This is the only possible baptism recorded in an index of baptisms that took place at St. Nicholas between 1813 and 1837, but of course, John may have been baptised elsewhere.  In 1836 the Back family were also living in Air Street.  When the 1841 census was recorded John was a labourer living in Orange Row, Brighton along with his father, step mother and younger brother.  When the 1851 census was recorded he may have been an unmarried 32 year old labourer lodging in the home of 72 year old Sarah Goble at 8 Thomas Street in Brighton.  His name was then recorded as John Simmonds.  I have not found him in the 1861 English census.  I can not find anything that positively links the John baptised in 1821 as being the father of John Back born in 1843.  Nor do I know what became of 1821 John.

Ann Back was baptised on 1 August 1824 at St. Nicholas, Brighton, at which time her parents were living at Jerrards Court in Brighton and her father was a labourer.  (This was most probably Jarratts Court in King Street.)  She was the daughter of George Back (1797-?) and Ann Streeter (1797-1879).  Ann died aged 23 years on 22 May 1847 in Carlton Row, Brighton.  Her cause of death was phihitis.  Her death certificate recorded that she was a laundress and her death was registered by Ann Beck, who presumably was her mother, and was living in Carlton Row when the 1851 census was recorded.

In 1841 Ann was an 18 year servant in the home home Augustus Warneford, a chemist, at Richmond Place, Brighton. 

The 1841 census records there was a Simmons family living in Richmond Buildings, Brighton:  John Simmons a 52 year old watchman, Mary Simmons 50, Eliza Simmons 21, Alfred Simmons 16, Samuel Simmons 13, Matilda Simmons 8 and Emma Simmons 4.  Might they have had a son named John?


John Simmons and Ann Back had 1 known son:

  1. John Simmons Back was my 2x Great Grandfather.  He was born on 27 November 1843 at 6 Sion Gardens, Brighton and his birth was registerd as John Simmons.  He was baptised as John Simmons Back at St. Nicholas in Brighton on 22 September 1844, at which time he was said to have been the son of John and Ann Back of Dorset Court and his father was a labourer.  He married Jane Spicer in 1864.  (They have their own page.)


The 1841 census records that 15 year old John Simmonds, a brick labourer, was living in Jubilee Street, Brighton along with 55 year old Sarah Simmonds.  Neither were said to have been born in Sussex.

In 1841 there was also another 15 year old John Simmonds who was a patient and railway labourer in The Sussex County Hospital in Brighton.


1841 census - HO107/1121, folio 55, page 25

31 Richmond Place, Brighton, Sussex

Augustus Warneford, 25, Chemist, not born in Sussex

Catherine Warneford, 25, not born in Sussex

Catherine Warneford, 1, born in Sussex

John Williams, 18, Ap, not born in Sussex

Ann Back, 18, FS, born in Sussex



This page was last updated on 17 July 2009