"Chasing Ché"


You may have read the book, now meet the Author
( if you can catch up with him... )

Patrick - 4KB PATRICK SYMMES, a keen motorbike enthusiast and intrepid journalist who lives in New York, learnt that Argentinean Ernesto Guevara had once taken leave from Medicine School to take a motorcycle ride across the Andes Mountains from Argentina into southern Chile, making it all the way north to Perú and Bolivia. That trip took place in 1952, before Ernesto became known as Ché Guevara, the revolutionary who helped Fidel Castro in the occupation of Cuba. Our relative Patrick Symmes, always ready for adventure, shipped his own BMW R80 G/S bike to Buenos Aires in 1996 and traced very closely the route Ché Guevara had followed 44 years earlier. Upon his return to New York, Patrick Symmes wrote "Chasing Ché", a book which became compulsory reading as much for adventurous motorbike riders as for armchair lovers of exciting literature.

More recently, as Contributing Editor with "Harper's" and "Outside" magazines, Patrick Symmes has reported from Afghanistan, Mongolia, Cuba and various South American countries and has even traveled with Maoist insurgents in Nepal. For further information on his literary work, search for "Patrick Symmes" in Google.
Today Patrick Symmes is alive and well but seldom at his home in the State of New York where his ancestors have lived for three generations. We are indebted to Patrick's mother Jean Symmes, née Sinclair, for her kind permission to include this page in our Website and for telling us in August 2006 that:
"At the moment Patrick is in China, having just gone through a strenuous trip through Tibetan monasteries; he is traveling with an Irish photographer, Seamus Murphy, and it looks like he will get articles in England and in "Outside" Magazine in the US in addition to a book out of it".

JEAN SINCLAIR SYMMES is a devoted student of the life of Anne Hutchinson, fellow passenger of Reverend Zechariah Symmes on board "Griffin", the ship which conveyed them from England to the Massachusetts Bay Colony. Jean has written a poem on the subject "because," she says, "I felt someone in the family owed her an apology".

[ Click here to display her Poem ]

The ancestors of Patrick Symmes:

Gen.Ref.SymmesPlace of birthDate of birth
1[1] Zechariah Canterbury, England 5 Apr 1599
2[4] William Dunstable, England 10 Jan 1626
3[17] William Charlestown, MA 1678
4[54] Zechariah Charlestown, MA 1 Sep 1707
5[91] Samuel Woburn, MA 20 Oct 1746
6[164] John Winchester, MA 19 May 1786
7[299] William Bittle Winchester, MA 18 Jun 1822
8[555] William New York, NY 31 Jul 1851
9[ - ] William Bittle, Jr New York, NY 19 Jun 1877
10[ - ] David New York, NY 4 Sep 1929
b.23 JuI 1958
New Haven, CT
b.27 Dec 1959
New Haven, CT
b.12 JuI 1964
New Haven, CT

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Other close relatives of Patrick Symmes

Jean Sinclair Symmes has kindly emailed us data about her SYMMES family beyond the SYMMES MEMORIAL:

In the 9th Generation, her husband David Symmes' father William Bittle Symmes' law firm was Davis, Symmes & Schreiber with offices in New York and Washington. William Bittle Symmes graduated from Columbia University and Columbia Law School, was President of the Alumni Association in 1933-4 and a member of the Board of Governors, Trustee of Knickerbocker Hospital and its President in 1931-7. The family then lived in New York City and spent summers in Franconia, New Hampshire.

In the 10th Generation, her husband David Symmes graduated from Harvard and obtained a PhD in Neuropsychology from the University of Chicago, did postgraduate work at Yale and then taught at Yale Medical School until 1968 when he became a Laboratory Chief at the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development at Bethesda, Md, where he worked until shortly before his death in 1990.

From her data we gather that [555] William Symmes' wife was called Margareth, born December 1854, and their only son William Bittle Symmes Jr married Gladys Dwight Jones on 12 June 1912 and left the following descendants:

10 William Dwight16 Apr 1913 -
10 Dwight Arven16 May 1915 Catherine Burch
10 Barbara - -
10 David 4 Sep 1929 Jean Sinclair
11 William Dwight
Lowell Burch
Dwight Arven Jr.

In addition, Jean has told us about her own children that:

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Abridged List of "GRIFFIN" Passengers

Below is a portion of the List of Passengers who arrived in Boston from England on board "Griffin" on 18 September 1634, including Rev Symmes and Mrs Hutchinson. A complete list of passengers, believed to have been about 100, has not been found by the Webmaster who would be grateful for news of its existence.

Rev. JOHN LOTHROP from London    (settled in) Scituate
Mrs. Lothrop
Thomas Lothrop
Samuel Lothrop
Joseph Lothrop
John Lothrop
Benjamin Lothrop
Jane Lothrop
Barbara Lothrop

WILLIAM HUTCHINSON of Alford, county Lincoln    (settled in) Boston
Mrs. Anne Hutchinson
Edward Hutchinson
Faith Hutchinson
Bridget Hutchinson
William Hutchinson
Samuel Hutchinson
Anne Hutchinson
Mary Hutchinson
Susanna Hutchinson

Rev. ZACHARIAH SYMMES of Canterbury, county Kent    (settled in) Charlestown
Mrs. Sarah Symmes
William Symmes
Mary Symmes
Elizabeth Symmes
Huldah Symmes
Hannah Symmes
Rebecca Symmes

WILLIAM BARTHOLOMEW    (settled in) lpswich
Mrs. Mary Bartholomew

NATHANIEL HEATON of Alford, county Lincoln    (settled in) Boston
Mrs. Elizabeth Heaton
Samuel Heaton
Jabez Heaton
Leah Heaton
Mary Heaton

THOMAS LYNDE of Dunstable, county Bedford    (settled in) Charlestown
Mrs. Margaret Lynde
Thomas Lynde
Henry Lynde

WILLIAM HAINES of Dunstable, county Bedford    (settled in) Salem
RICHARD HAINES of Dunstable, county Bedford    (settled in) Salem

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