Sim Family of Scotland History


John Duncan Sim

John Duncan Sim was born July 5, 1903, in Newport News, Virginia.  The family was living there because shipyard workers followed the ships rather than working at the same place for life.  His parents were Duncan Monro Sim and Elizabeth Gormly.

He was originally named Duncan Monro Sim, Jr. but this was changed right after his birth.  All his life he was known as "Dick."

In 1910, Dick, his parents, their entire family were living with Grandfather Bernard Gormley at 2804 E. Norris St., Philadelphia.

In 1917, at the age of around 14 Dick joined the U.S. Army to serve during the First World War.  His mother came and got him because he was under aged and he returned home.  About a year later he rejoined the Army, again underage, but this time his mother left him there.  After basic training he was sent to France, but arrived there right as the war ended in 1919.  He was a prisoner guard and guarded German prisoners.

John Duncan with his mother
Elizabeth, probably around 1916

The United States Census records for 1920 show Dick, a soldier in the U.S. Army, stationed at Ft. Dix, New Jersey.  The records show his age to be 19, but he was only about 17.

In 1923, he married Regina Difenberger, who was born?, in Pennsylvania,  and they had one son:

William Duncan Sim, born June 9, 1924.

They divorced ?

Pop once told me that during the 1920s he drove a truck for some bootleggers.

In 1930, the Census records show the following:
Duncan, age 48, head of household, Shipfitter
Elizabeth, age 47, wife
Allen, age 22, son, Iron Worker, shipyard
John (Dick), age 26, Iron Worker, shipyard
William, age 5 (Dick's son)

In 193?, John married Helen Lawrie Fallows.  They had three children:

John Henry Sim, born July 16, 1935, in Philadelphia
Robert Howard Sim, born February 11, 1938, in Philadelphia
Jane Helen Sim, born August 5, 1939, in Philadelphia

Left to right:  Jack (sitting), father John,
Kayo the cat, Mom Helen, Bob and Jane
Probably around 1952

John worked as a shipfitter, mostly at the Philadelphia Naval Yard.  He retired from there after 30 years. 

Pop, probably around 1960

In 1965 John weighed 165 lbs. and was 5' 5" tall.  He had brown hair and blue eyes.

John and Helen divorced around 1965, but remarried later.

John died in 1979 in Mobile, Alabama, where he was living with his son William.  He was buried at the Ivy Hill Cemetery in Philadelphia.
Helen Died in 1990 at age 82, in Philadelphia.  She is also buried at Ivy Hill.


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