updated October 2013

Simmonds Family

The connection between the Simmonds family and the D'Silva family is that William Osmund D'Silva married Florence Simmonds in Calcutta in 1920.

Sergeant William Simmonds

William was born in Bethnal Green, Middlesex, England in 1803 or 1804, he was a blacksmith before enlisting in the army of the Honourable East India Company in 1824 at the age of 20.

He sailed for India on the ship "Asia" on 24 March 1824, landing in Madras on 4 September 1824.

William then joined the 2nd European Regiment as a private in the infantry, by 1827 he was promoted to the rank of corporal and by 1830 he was a serjeant.

William had three daughters, Mary Ann, Caroline and Jane and one son, William, Jane died before reaching her first birthday. The mother of these children was Elizabeth Page, née Wheatley. Elizabeth is described as "I. Briton" (Anglo Indian) she married Gunner John Page in 1821 so may have been a widow. William and Elizabeth did not marry.

In 1835, the year he died, William was a serjeant in the E. Company of the Madras European Regiment.

William left a will which was found at the British Library along with several other army records. It was the Will that led to the discovery of his daughters Mary Ann and Caroline. Elizabeth Page is described in the will as William's "Particular Friend".

William died on 19 May 1835 two days after the date of his will and 6 months before the birth of his son William who was born on 4 Nov 1835.

Elizabeth also died in 1835, 8 days after the birth of William junior and the three chidren were placed in orphanages.


Last Will and Testament of Serjeant William Simmonds

In the name of God --- Amen

I William Simmonds of the E. Company Madras European regiment being of sound mind and understanding but weak in bodily health and knowing the uncertainty of all earthly things do make this my last will and testament.
1st. I bequeath my soul to almighty God who gave it to me in hopes of glorious --- through Jesus Christ our Saviour.
2nd. I bequeath all my worldly property viz: pay arrears of pay clothing or clothing money whatever to Elizabeth Page my particular friend and her two children Mary Anne and Caroline and that the whole proceeds thereof be entirely appropriated and given unto the said Elizabeth Page for her and these children already mentioned Mary Anne & Caroline in witness of which I affix my hand on the seventeenth day of May eighteen hundred and thirty five.
Wm Simmonds
Kamptee 17/5/1835

William Simmonds jnr.

William was born in 1835 in Nagpore (I think this will be Nagpur) 6 months after his father died and 8 days before his mother died, I think he was brought up in an orphanage and then typically, would have joined the Madras Native Army when he was 14.

William's occupation was Fifer MNI on his marriage record and Drummer 14th MNI on his son's Baptism record. "MNI" is an abbreviation for: "Madras Native Infantry".

According to his baptism record, William's parents were William Simmonds and Elizabeth Page. William's father's occupation was "Serjeant ME Regiment" and Elizabeth was described as "I.Briton".

William married Georgiana Adelaide Burnell in Bangalore in 1856, they had at least two sons.

Samuel Leonard Simmonds

Samuel was born in Bangalore on 15th September 1863, he married Ellen Charleston around 1899 and died in Agra on 28th June 1904 at the age of 40.

Samuel's parents were William and Georgeana Adelaide Simmonds, his father's occupation was "drummer 14th MNI", this information came from Samuel's birth record.

Samuel's first and middle names differ on the documents that I have seen, I believe that his family and friends knew him as Saul Leonard.

Samuel and Ellen had one daughter and three sons, at least two of these children were born in Calcutta. Their son, Conway Stanley was born in Neemuch in 1903.

According to the recollections of his family, either Samuel or his mother was Spanish and Samuel was a seaman. On the records that I have found, Samuel's occupation was given as 'Signaler Government Telegraph', it might be that Samuel left the sea after marrying Ellen.

Gravestone inscription from BACSA list for Agra cemetery
Loving Memory of
My dear Husband
Saul Leonard Simmonds
Tel Dept
Who died on the 28 June 1904
Aged 40 years 9 months 13 days
(5 line verse)
Erected by his loving wife

Ellen (Josephine) Charleston

Ellen was born in Calcutta in 1880, her parents were John Charleston (a Clerk at the High Court) and Mary Ann Elizabeth.

Ellen married Samuel Leonard Simmonds around 1899 and they had one daughter and three sons.

After her husband, Samuel died in 1904, Ellen remarried in 1909 to Henry Clarence Kelly. Ellen and Henry lived in Calcutta and had two sons.

According to the family, Ellen was a prison warder at some stage.

Ellen is thought to have died around 1942 in St. Catherine's home for the elderly in Kilddapure, Calcutta

According to her baptism record, Ellen's first name was just 'Ellen' but on the birth/baptism record of her son, Osmund Simmonds, her first names were 'Ellen Josephine'.

The records I have for Ellen are: her baptism record, birth/baptism records for Florence and Osmund, Samuel's death/burial record and the record of her marriage to Henry Kelly.

For some time I was led to believe that Ellen was born in Atherton, Lancashire. Further research has disproved this theory.

Florence Muriel Simmonds

Florence was born in 1900 in Calcutta, she married William Osmund D'Silva in 1920 in Calcutta.

Florence and William had three sons and two daughters, they lived in Calcutta and Bombay in India and then, after independence, in North London and Surrey in UK.

Florence died in 1991 in Surrey.

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