The Simmons family resided in New York City. John, Sr. was a rotund tavern keeper. With the British occupation of the city, John evacuated his family for the duration of the war. Three of the family would see service during the conflict.
John Simmons, Sr. [1730 ENG - 1795 NY]: John enlisted in Cpt. Daniel Roe's Company, 2nd Regiment of NY Troops, a patriotic militia unit commanded by Col. James Clinton during the spring of 1776. The DAR also credits him with service in the Dutchess Co. Militia and the 5th and 6th NY Regiments under Col. William Humfrey.
William Simmons [1759 NY - 1825 OH]: William, John's eldest son, served in the 6th or 11th Pennsylvania. [Sources conflict over his regiment. SAR & DAR show the 6th; other sources the 11th. His grave application has him as a private in the 6th. Other biographical notes have him as a colonel in the Guards.] He transferred to the Commander-in-chief's Guard in March 1777. Pvt. Simmons was stationed in Orangetown, NY in 1780. On 21 Nov 1781, William took the Oath of Allegiance, probably after transferring as a clerk to the Comptroller's Office. He would later see government service under four Presidents and distinguish himself in alarming Washington DC of the British invasion in 1814.
John Simmons, Jr. [1761 NY - 1843 (W)VA]: John served under Cpt. Caleb Onderdonk [Hays' NY Militia Regiment] from 1778-80, guarding the western shore of the North Hudson River from British invasion. He later served under Cpt. Bowen in Col. Friedrick Wiesenthal's Regiment of New York Levies. [militia drafted into the regular army] The Levies were enlisted to protect NY's northern frontier.