John Simmons and wife, Mary Wingate Simmons were in the Lower Cape Fear area that would later become Brunswick County as early as 1733. On Moseley's map of that year, a Simmons Ferry is shown operating on the Shallotte River. By going to the Court Minutes of New Hanover County for that time period, we are able to identify the operators of that ferry as John and Mary Wingate Simmons. In the March 1737 notes, Mary Simmons petitioned the court to keep the ferry. Again in the September 1741 court minute notes, we learn that John Simmons was the ferry keeper.