Frederick William Simonds (1819-1896)
The 2nd son of William May Simonds & Ellen Hearn was born in Hampstead, London and after studying languages and spending some time in Germany, he emigrated to New York aged just 22, where he landed on 24th November 1841.
On the journey across the Atlantic, he met Abraham Ogden [1743-1798] and through his sister Sarah, her husband Louis Philippe de Luze (1793-1877) and his family, then living at 54 Seventh Street, New York. The de Luze family are Huguenots, originally from Neuchatel in Switzerland. A branch of the family still live in Morges, close to the Lake of Geneva. One branch moved West to Bordeaux, where they are involved in the wine trade to this day.
Louis was an influential man and the Swiss Consul in New York from 1842 – 1873. When Frederick set himself up as a merchant, it is safe to assume that both Louis and the powerful Ogden family offered support. 5 years later in November 1846, Frederick married his daughter Sophie Elizabeth de Luze (1824-1910) in New York and they went on to have 11 children.
Despite the difficulties and dangers of transatlantic travel, he was a regular visitor to his family and grandchildren in the UK. He is on the right of this picture and Sophie probably on the left, taken during a shooting party in 1890 at the family home, then Red Rice, near Andover.
Here is a letter he wrote to his 5 grandchildren; ‘Sonnie [Eric], Gavin, Louise, Jack & Henry in the UK, some time in the 1890’s