Looking for information on my great grandfather, Will Simon, b1875 in Montgomery, d1932 in Montgomery, his wife Hattie (Boston) Simon, b1885 in ???, d1944 in Montgomery, and his father, my GG grandfather, Wilhelm Simon born in Bavaria, Germany, but living in Montgomery, AL in 1875 - don't know his birth or death years. Here is what I know about them thus far.
Hattie (Boston) Simon
Hattie apparently was adopted at a very early age, maybe 2 or 3 at which time she moved to Montgomery, and she never really knew her real last name. She selected Boston as a last name for herself simply because she thought it was a cool name. The family oral history says that there was a fire at her home when she was really young where both parents died in the fire, but the 3? kids survived and were each taken in by a different family. There is family speculation that she was originally from either Boston or New York, but all of my research seems to indicate that it's just as likely that she was originally from Alabama and did not move that far after whatever event split up the family. We also believe that one of her brothers was Charles Marion b1879 in AL??, d1965 in Chicago which would suggest that Hattie's maiden name was likely Marion. There are
also some documents that show her brother Charles Marion as a JR, which would suggest that their father was named Charles Marion as well. Charles Marion, Hattie's brother, however did have a Charles Marion Jr son as well, so it's not clear if the Jr was just mislabeled when it was applied to Hattie's brother. Supposedly, there is also an older brother John Marion who apparently worked at a watch company in NY city and the watch company sent his belongings to Hattie when he died abt1937 in New York. Hattie was very fair skinned and would have likely been classified as a mulatto, but possibly might have been listed as white as well. All of the Simon children were either very fair skinned or reddish skinned and while Hattie's Simon's kids all identified as African American, many of them could have passed for white. What's the best way for me to try to get more information on Hattie Simon given her adopted status? My guess is as well if indeed it was different families taking different kids after a fire, there may or may not have been any legal papers associated with it.
Wilhelm Simon and Will Simon
Wilhelm Simon was a German Jew from Bavaria living in Montgomery and he was Will Simon's father. I don't know a birth year or death year for Wilhelm. Supposedly he owned the Alagar syrup company in Montgomery, but I can't find any connection between Wilhelm and the Alagar syrup company. Oral family history says that he owned slaves and fathered Will Simon with a 17 year old slave girl, Sephrona Jenkins, b1858 in Montgomery, d1875 in Montgomery who died giving
birth to Will. The oral history says that while Wilhelm's family did not accept Will Simon, Wilhelm always took care of Will Simon and gave him separate better quarters than the other blacks and that he taught him culinary skills which later allowed Will to open his own food stand/cafe and make a living. Sephrona Jenkins mother was Lydia (Bailey) Jenkins b, 1843 in Edisto Island, Charleston, SC, d ?? and it looks like Will lived with her for a short period, but later had separate living arrangements.
I would love to learn more about Hattie, Will, or Wilhelm Simon and would welcome any thoughts.