A common thread – Smiths of Kentucky

A while back, my autosomal analysis of the DNA segments that are shared between descendants of Isaac Smith, Sr. and Nancy Hendricks linked them to descendants of a John Madison Spurlock.

John Madison Spurlock was a son of a William Spurlock and an Elizabeth Smith.

We can find William “Spirlock” in the 1810 Knox County, KY census. Living next to him was a Henry Smith. According to research done by Barry Smith of Carmi, IL (a descendant of Isaac Smith, Sr.) this Henry Smith married an Elizabeth Ledford.

Fortunately for us, we can find Henry Smith’s Revolutionary War pension application online at RevWarApps.org (thanks Will Graves!).

I want to take a moment to really encourage you all to read through this record. It is absolutely amazing what Henry participated in, endured and survived. A spoiler: he was a member of regiments on BOTH SIDES during the RevWar, a result of his impressment into the British ranks.

Aside from Henry’s origin story, and his amazing accounts of his time in the service of our country, we amazingly find reference to a Col. Elisha Smith in Henry’s pension records. Whoa!

If we recall, KY militia Gen. William Smith had a son Col. Elisha Smith. Surely, with the DNA connection to this Knox Co, KY population, we can infer that the two Elisha Smiths are the same, yes?

Working on this assumption, we can infer that our Smith line has connections to Brunswick County, Virginia circa 1765, when Henry was born.

According to his pension app, Henry had two brothers: a John and George Smith. All three brothers enlisted on 13 Sept of 1776 or 1777 in Brunswick Co, VA in the company of  a Capt. Andrew Jeeter, their lieutenant was a Lt. William Wall.

I believe, given the DNA connection to the Spurlock family, and the presence of Col. Elisha Smith in Henry’s pension record, that Henry Smith, Gen. William Smith, and my Isaac Smith were all related and knew each other.

Henry Smith and Elizabeth Ledford were married 18 Aug 1792 in South Carolina and had 8 children: Omey, Robert, Stacey, Sally, Mary, William, John and Henry.

Ironically, I have had the PDF of Henry’s pension app on my laptop since 2016, but only because of Barry’s research have I been able to see the importance of it. Thanks Barry for your time and contributions!

A common thread – Smiths of Kentucky

MorelyDNA.com Y-SNP Predictor – A Smith’s best friend

Hello again!

This blog posting will be short and simple, but very useful.

In doing Smith DNA based research, we frequently find that we may autosomally match a Smith male, but we find that they do not have Y-DNA values to compare against. The gracious folks over at MorleyDNA.com have created a great site that will allow us to do a coarse comparison of the Y-DNA markers of our autosomal DNA matches. This will allow us to more easily identify Y-DNA lines that are good candidates for traditional Y-DNA testing (a 37 or 67 marker test at FamilyTreeDNA.com).

Please feel free to comment and ask questions and, as always, happy hunting!


MorelyDNA.com Y-SNP Predictor – A Smith’s best friend

Beginnings of consolidating Smith tree of Andrew Smith of Back Creek, Haw River, Orange County, North Carolina

This tree is a work in progress. I will correct it when I can with sources. Primarily, I’m hoping that publishing this will get the names into to the search engines. Please let me know if you find a mistake.

The earliest record I can find for my Smith line is the will of Robert Smith of St. Matthew’s Parish in Orange County, North Carolina.

Here is an abstract of it taken from “Abstracts of Wills Recorded in Orange County, North Carolina, 1752-1800”.

A-121 Will of ROBERT SMITH, of St. Mathew’s Parish.

Dated 20 June 1772, no probate date.

Wife: Mary       sons: John, Andrew, Robert

daus: Elizabeth, Mary, Isabel

Executors: Jospeh McCaffrity, and son William.

Witnesses: John Walker, Robert Chassen

I am also working from the analysis of Gerald W. Meade

I still feel there are multiple Andrew Smiths getting bundled together in this research. I feel yDNA may be able to sort them all out.

According to old Robert’s will, our Andrew Smith would have had:


William (will written 10 Jan 1820, proved Feb 1820)
m. Mary
– no children

– had a neice Sarah K. (Beard?) Maxwell (was a sister to Richard Beard)

John A. (died intestate without heirs, led to the “The Case of Andie Smith & Others vs. the Heirs of Robert Smith” [Where’d all of his family disappear to??])
– Robert Smith (was alive in 10 January 1820)
  – Ferze Smith
– John Smith
   – William Smith
– Robert Smith (executor of estate for his grand-uncle William, Andrew’s brother)
Robert (married Elizabeth C. McMunn)
– James M. Smith (married Lucy W. Harris in 1813)
    – Andrew H. Smith
    – James M. Smith
    – Elizabeth Smith married Elisha Wells
    – Hela B. Smith married David Brooks, lived in Arkansas
    – Harris J. Smith
    – Sarah J. Smith married Silas Monk, lived in Paulding Co, GA
    – Graham Smith
– Andrew Smith (married Mary Hole in Washington Co, IN)
   – John Matson Smith (married Laura Belle ?)
– Joseph Smith
– John Smith

– Ann Smith (married Daniel F Sherwood V) (d. in Washington Co, IN)



Mary (married James McMunn, lived on Back Creek next to our Andrew Smith)

Elizabeth (married Adam Beard in Sumner Co, TN in 1812)
  – David Beard

  – Sarah K. Beard married Logan Maxwell


Jane (married James Guthrie, lived in Sumner Co, TN, both said to have died before 1862)

Isabell (can find no info for her)


William Smith (will dated 4 Sept 1779, proved 4 Sept 1783) (possibly a brother of old Robert?)

  m. Mary ?
– Samuel
– Robert
– William
– Cunningham
– Jonathan
– Margret

– Ann

If you see anything that contradicts a secondary record, let me know.

Beginnings of consolidating Smith tree of Andrew Smith of Back Creek, Haw River, Orange County, North Carolina

New info on Stephen Smith of Blount County, Alabama

Looking through the Caswell Co, NC marriages, we find a Thomas Smith who married a Mildred Atkins  in Caswell Co, NC.

A witness to this union was a one Alexander Murphey, the likely husband of Jane Smith, sister of James Webb Smith.

The bondsman was a Francis Smith of Country Line Creek.

Thomas and Mildred had a daughter Lucy Smith who married Stephen Gallant Hankins.

Referencing back to the 1840 Blount Co, AL census, we can find Richard Hankins living “next door” to Stephen Smith.

Richard and Stephen Hankins were brothers, both sons of John Alvin Hankins.

New info on Stephen Smith of Blount County, Alabama

Captain Aaron Smith of Pendleton District, Anderson County, South Carolina

This post is a continuation of the previous one regarding Gilbert Shelton and the newly discovered Aaron Smith.

After doing some digging, we find that this Aaron Smith was likely a one Captain Aaron Smith (Jr.).

http://scgenweb.org/oconee/land.html (see towards the bottom, just before “Pickens and Anderson Distrcits – 1826-1868”).

To recap, we found our way to this Aaron Smith by tracing back the tree of the neighbor of Stephen Smith in the 1830 Blount Co, AL census, a Gilbert Shelton.

Gilbert was a son of Taliaferro Shelton, and he was a son of Lewis Shelton.

We have found another path to Aaron Smith, and I will share that with you here.

These notes are taken from an e-mail I sent to Mike Smith (Stephen Smith’s line) and Blake Smith (Bennett Smith’s line).

In the 1840 Fayette Co, AL census, we can find Stephen Smith “living” on page 50 of 76 (according to Ancestry.com’s records). We know this is your Stephen Smith because William Pennington is 7 “doors” down.

We see a nearby Richard Hawkins (or is it Hankins??) living two “doors” down from Stephen Smith. He is 30 to 40 years old in 1840, est. birth year of 1800 to 1810.

I believe this is his FindAGrave page.


A Hawkins (Hankins), Pennington, and Smith group.

Looking at page 43/76 in the same census record, we find another younger William Pennington and a large Hawkins (Hankins??) family, along with Benjamin Savage.

Stephen Hawkins

John M Hawkins
D. G. Hawkins (Jr.?)
John Hawkins
D.G. Hawkins (Sr.?)

Mary Hawkins

We can suggest that there may be a connection here. Richard Hankins father was a John Alvin Hankins.


Richard’s mother’s name was Dicey Oliver. Richard also had a brother Stephen Hankins. He was born in 1805.

I think we can say that the Stephen Hankins (I swear it’s written “Hawkins”) in the 1840 census living next to the younger William Pennington is the brother of the Richard Hankins who lived next to Stephen Smith.

Also, “D.G.” may actually be “D.C.” for David Crockett Hankins, a son of Stephen Hankins.

There is a Smith family associated with this Hankins group as we see a brother of Richard Hankins named “Joel Smith Hankins”.

Living between D.G. Hawkins, Sr. and a Solomon Hawkins is a near-by Samuel Smith. He is enumerated as having been born between 1810 and 1820 (20 to 30 years old). Let’s try to find out who this guy was.

I find a Samuel Smith who was born in 1815 in the 1860 Western Division, Fayette Co, AL census.


Notice he has a son Solomon Smith.

This Samuel Smith was married to Rebecca Osborn on 23 Oct 1838 in Hancock Co, GA.

They lived in E C River, Bibb County, Alabama in 1850
Living next to this Samuel Smith was an old John Smith from North Carolina. He was 58 in 1850, placing his birth year at around 1792. (I can find nothing about this guy).
Hold that thought.
Also on this same page as Samuel Smith is an Enoch Smith born about 1818, enumerated immediately before the old John Smith.

Enoch can be found in the 1840 Bibb County, AL census living next to an old Aaron Smith (70 to 80 years old in 1840, birth year about 1760 to 1770). Is this guy related to Captain Aaron Smith of Pendleton District, Anderson County, SC? (I thought I read Aaron Smith, Sr. died in the attack along the river and his son “Aaron Smith, Jr.” survived?)

There is also present in this 1840 census page a Jacob Smith.


So we can go from a neighbor of your Stephen Smith, a Richard Hankins, over to a younger William Pennington (who is likely related to the William Pennington who purchased land for Stephen Smith), living among a large Hawkins/Hankins family, to a Samuel Smith who was living next to an Enoch Smith who lived next to an Aaron Smith, and we can go to an Aaron Smith via Gilbert Shelton’s father, Taliaferro Shelton.

Case closed?

There still appears to be a plethora of information to correct regarding this Aaron Smith line as I find that Linda G. Cheek’s work has been used as a source in a number of places.

Interestingly, I ran across this posting today as well.


This is the work of Ann Guthrie, a descendant of my Andrew Smith of Back Creek on the Haw River in Orange Co, NC.

I find it less than a coincidence that she has researched both my Andrew Smith line and Capt. Aaron Smith’s line.

More to come as I figure it out. Thanks for reading!


Edit: And thanks to the reader who corrected me about the Hawkins/Hankins name. You gave me the nudge to take a second look at all of this again with great results!


Captain Aaron Smith of Pendleton District, Anderson County, South Carolina

When it rains, it pours.

As an attempt to interrupt my procrastination of doing my school work, I did some research today into the line of Stephen Smith who lived in 1837 Fayette and Blount Co, AL.

The earliest record we have of him in the 1830 Blount Co, AL census. Let’s take a look.

Stephen_Smith-1830-Blount Couty_AL

Living adjacent to Stephen Smith were:
Gilbert Shelton
James Samples
(John or Aaron?) Murphree – the first name is hard for me to make out.

Let’s explore who these guys were.

Gilbert Shelton was the son of a Taliaferro Shelton. Taliaferro Shelton was a son of Lewis Shelton. These folks can be found in the 1790’s Pendleton County, SC will and probate archives. Interestingly, there is a William Smith listed on the will of Lewis Shelton on 26 June 1794. There are also a Johneston Willborn and a William Martin mentioned.

Page containing the will of Lewis Shelton of Pendleton County, South Carolina.

Ok, this is interesting. Now let’s take a look at James Samples. James was likely a son of a William Samples. James married Dicey Roden in Blount Co, AL on 11 Apr 1830. Ok, this was somewhat fruitful. Let’s keep going.

Gilbert Shelton had a daughter named Mary Ann. She married a Levi Murphree. Let’s see what we can find about this guy. Levi appears to have been a Daniel Levi Murphree, a once sheriff of Blount County, Alabama, and it appears he met an early demise at the hands of the opponents of post-Civil War Reconstruction, suggested to be by the author, the nefarious KKK.

The following page, in my opinion, ties together the above Murphree, Shelton, and Samples families.

Burnett Family and Other Branches

It is my opinion then that since we can see a relationship between these folks who all lived close enough to be enumerated together, that there must surely be some connection to Stephen Smith.

Let’s keep digging, shall we?

Taking a look at the Shelton line again, we can see that they were also related to a Franklin family. I do not find it a coincidence that Stephen’s grandson was named Stephen Franklin Smith.

I found the following FindAGrave page that is very interesting.

Stephen Smith Burgess, Sr

What I find interesting about this man is that:
1) He lived in Blount Co, AL
2) His first and middle name are “Stephen Smith”
3) He married an “Elizabeth Shelton”

Ok, let’s jump back to the South Carolina records.

I’m using the “Record and Image Search” provided by the South Carolina Department of Archives and History“.

For the records that have his name spelled “Taliafero”, with one “r”…

Taliafero Shelton can be found purchasing 219 acres on a branch of the Tugaloo River in Pendleton County, Washington District, South Carolina on 18 Jan 1798. Mentioned in the transaction is:

James Jett
Robert Misscambell
Aaron Smith

Hmm… another Smith.

This is all I have on this for now… Surely something will turn up. My best guess right now is that the Nancy that Stephen Smith married was realted to the Sheltons of South Carolina… somehow.

When it rains, it pours.

Major Breakthrough

For the first time, we are close to connecting two Smith lines that have only been previously associated via yDNA testing. Yes!

Here are the details:

In 1876, on the estate records of Bennett Smith of McNairy Co, TN, we can find the names “J. F. Jopling” and “David M. King” (Jr.).

“J. F. Jopling” was a one James Francis (Frank) Jopling. David M. King, was likely related to a Nathaniel King, but we will discuss this group in a different posting when more details are available.

James Jopling was a son of a John Sutton Jopling. John was a son of Daniel Jopling. Daniel Jopling had a brother, William Jopling. William had a daughter Catherine Jopling who married a… Thomas Smith. Thomas and Catherine were wed in 1814 in Caswell County, North Carolina.

With me so far? Good.

William Jopling was descended from Ralph Jopling. The tester for Bennett’s yDNA line has multiple AncestryDNA matches who descend from Ralph Jopling. Additionally, William Jopling engaged in a land transaction with a Nathanial King. It gets better.

On the marriage record of Thomas Smith and Catherine Jopling were bondsman John Fitch and witness Alexander Murphey. John Fitch is the key to making this all make sense.

John Fitch was a son of Thomas Rosewell Fitch who married a “Sarah Elizabeth Bird”. I put her name in quotes because she appears to be referred to as both Sarah and Elizabeth depending on which family group you examine.


Sarah Bird was a daughter of James Bird who had a son Empson Bird. It is my belief that James Bird was a descendant of an older Thomas Bird who married a Sarah Empson, a daughter of a Charles Empson.

Here are the Bird records I have found:


James Bird
Richard Bird
Thomas Bird
Empson Bird

Ok, so I’ve lain out the Bennett Smith details: John Fitch on the marriage record of a Thomas Smith who married Catherine Jopling who was a first cousin of John Sutton Jopling who had a son James Francis Jopling who was on the estate record of Bennett Smith in 1876 McNairy Co, TN.

On to the Andrew Smith details.

To refresh, Andrew Smith was present for the 1809 marriage of his sons Isaac and Samuel Smith in Woodford Co, KY. Isaac later went on to live in an area known as Roundstone just outside of Mt. Vernon, Rockcastle Co, KY around 1810.

One of Isaac’s neighbors was a KY Militia General William Smith. He was a sheriff of Rockcastle Co, KY for quite some time and a member for some time in the early 1800’s of the KY state legislature, as was his son, Col. Elisha Smith.

Gen. Smith married Elizabeth Singleton in 1789 Lincoln Co, KY. Per Elisha, Elizabeth’s father was a Col. Richard Singleton who married Ann Whiteside.

Ann was a daughter of a William Whiteside whose brother James Whiteside was an immediate neighbor to… Andrew Smith and a Richard Bird.

I’m working on connecting all of the Bird individuals together in a tree. Many names repeat and it gets a bit confusing.

Additionally, Andrew Smith is strongly likely to be the son of a Robert Smith of St. Matthew’s Parish whose will was witnessed by a Joseph McCaffrity,  John Walker, and a Robert Chassen. John Walker is likely related to Aaron Walker who lived next to Andrew Smith. The Walkers and Birds intermarried. I’ll try to write down those details as well.

So there we have it, a paper trail connection between Bennett Smith of McNairy County, Tennessee and Isaac Smith of Salt Creek Township, Jackson County, Indiana.

Thanks for reading. This should lead to a whole new wave of research!

Chris Smith


Major Breakthrough

James Andrew Stephen Smith

One of our lesser explored Smith lines is that of James Andrew Stephen Smith. He can be found in the census records as “J A S Smith”, “Stephen Smith”, and “S Smith”. Fun.

Using some of the work done by Jennifer Gaulding Lowe, a descendant of our larger Smith group by way of her Andersons, we can establish some baselines about J A S Smith.


We see that J A S Smith was likely born in 1802 in South Carolina. He married Mary Gwin or Gwinn. The conclusion is, at this time, that his father was an Andrew J. Smith who married a Nancy Ann Ingram.

We know that in 1850 the Andrew Smith in question was 48 years old, his birthyear being 1802. This would make him 18 years old in 1820.

I was looking at the names in the 1840 Carroll Co, GA census and have come up with a few things.

First, it looks like Andrew Smith who married Nancy Ingram was in GA at least as early as 1832. This is based upon the birthplace and year of birth of his eldest daughter.

Next, I find Andrew in the Carroll County, Georgia tax records from 1842-1847.



image (2)
Names listed in above image are: George S. Sharp, Walter Stewart, Daniel Stilwell, Andrew Smith, Alexander Sewel, William H. Smith, Mahaley Smith, John Stilwell, Solomon Stashier



image (3)
Names listed in above image are: George S. Sharp, William H. Smith, Andrew Smith, Alexander Sewel, Green B. Sewell


image (4)
Names listed in above image are: George S. Sharp, John W. Stewart, Andrew Smith, Wilson Stallings(?), William H. Smith, Brooks Sparks, Hiram Sharp, Jr., John F. Stewart

For the purposes of the next part of this, we’ll only be looking at Andrew Smith, William H. Smith, Alexander Sewell, and Green B. Sewell.

[Side Notes, not immediately pertinent:

One other thing to note, I can find a reference, but only a vague one, to both Carroll Co, GA and Jeptha V. Smith’s folks in this story:


It appears that there was a William H. Smith who was descended from Jeptha V. Smith (y67 match), but unfortunately, these guys don’t appear to be the same. Wm Hugh Smith’s wife’s name was Lucy William Wortham.

For reference, here’s Jep’s descendant’s bio: (note Fayette Co, GA.)


From what I can find in the 1850 Carroll Co, GA census:

Wm H Smith (b. 1820)
– had wife Sarah
– Daughters:
– Harriet
– Selina Chandler (likely a neice)

There were two Selina Chandlers in the 1850 District 11, Carroll Co, GA census.

Now, here’s something interesting.

One of the Selina Chandlers was the daughter of an Oliver C. Chandler and a Mary Sewell.

Notice how, in the land records, that an Alexander Sewel and Green B. Sewel are next to Andrew Smith in each? (Green Berry Sewell and Alexander were father and son – https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Sewell-185)

Here’s another clue. Oliver C. Chandler was married twice.

1st marriage: Nancy Smith, 23 Dec 1840 in Carroll Co, GA
2nd marraige: Mary Sewell, 30 Nov 1842 in Carroll Co, GA

I wonder who this guy was, William H. Smith?

Update: It appears that William’s wife was a Sarah Sewell.

Assuming (using census data) Selina Chandler was born in 1846, and assuming her mother had been married for 6 years by then, we might be able to estimate that, if we assume an age of 20 for Nancy when she was married (Oliver was 22 in 1840), Nancy could have been born around 1820. This would make her a likely sibling of the William H. Smith we’re looking at.

Maybe this It appears that this William H. Smith was a son of Andrew Smith. This would be interesting because it would place Andrew Smith in SC in 1820 as this is where William H. Smith is said to have been born.

Last item… Mahaley or Malinda Smith

She’s present in the 1842 tax digest as Mahaley Smith next to William H. Smith and a John Stilwell. In the 1844 tax digest, she’s listed as Malinda Smith, again next to John Stilwell.

Curious who she was as well.
Update: See this blog post for a new possible connection between Andrew J. Smith who married Nancy Ingram and William J. Smith who married Sarah Ann Thurman.
James Andrew Stephen Smith

A detailed record of my Smiths of Salt Creek and Carmi, IL

Since subscribing to Newspapers.com recently, I have found an absolutely unexpected amount of information about my Smith ancestors that surely would have been lost to time had it not been recorded in those pages so long ago.


One of the major events in my Smith history was the migration from Salt Creek Township in Jackson County, Indiana to the area known as “Little Egypt” in southern Illinois. This is where my grandpa was born. I’ll try to trace the people and places back from Carmi, IL to Salt Creek on this page.

My grandpa’s father was Vernon S. Smith. He was married three times, twice torn from wives by their premature passing. Vernon was a school teacher during The Great Depression and taught in a one room schoolhouse. He had an Associates Degree. He later went on to champion the causes of better pay for teachers and to fight waste within the school system.

Here is Vernon’s obituary. A lot had happened before this time one can be certain of.


Here is an article I found that details Vernon’s birthday gathering at his home. My dad and uncle are mentioned.


One of the defining celebrations that Vernon regularly participated in was the Isaac Smith and Alvin Wheeler Family Reunions. I will try to find articles that chronicle these gatherings. I have seen two but I am unable to find them on my computer at the moment.

Vernon was the father of 5 sons, one who died very young and two whom went on to have productive and loving lives but no children. The other two, my grandpa and his brother, would find themselves dedicated to fighting in the USMC and US Army during their formative years.

Here is a story about Vernon B. Smith, my great-grand uncle.


Vernon S. Smith’s dad died when he was very young. Daniel Rice Smith was his name and he was killed by a train in Carmi, IL around 1889. Vernon would have only been about 3 years old.

Dan Smith Obit.PNG

I believe that this is a photo of Daniel R. Smith. It was found among the belongings of Isaac “Ike” S. Smith of Freetown, IN and has “Smith Carmi, IL” written on the back. Dan was born in 1859 the second youngest of his 7 brothers (8 of them total). There was James, Alvin, Isaac, William, Louis, Orral, Daniel, and Hiram.


This next newspaper article shows the marriage announcement of Daniel R. Smith and Nancy J. Acton. They were affectionately referred to as “Dan and Nancy”. The “Uncle Dick” the author refers to is Richard Acton, Nancy’s father. This article was likely authored by Robert M. Smith as he refers to Richard Acton in his book The Salt Creek Colony of Little Egypt the same way.

The “Ike” the following article refers to was Isaac S. Smith, one of Daniel’s older brothers.

image001 (1).png

This clipping records (towards the bottom) Dan’s attempt to travel to southern Illinois. Looks like the waters were high that time of year. The rivers in that area were known to flood and produce very fertile farmland.


This next article records Dan and Nancy’s return from their first trip to Danville.


This is a partial re-print of the above article in a newspaper that was published 50 years after Dan’s trip.


Dan’s father was the Rev. Samuel Rice Smith, Esq., if we are to believe the credentialing afforded Sam by the newspapers. Here is his obituary.


Another shorter notice:


As I wind this page up, I’ll be sure to point you to Samuel R. Smith’s father, Isaac Smith, Sr.

This page is only about some of The Salt Creekers.

Thanks for reading and I hope you enjoyed!


A detailed record of my Smiths of Salt Creek and Carmi, IL

Additional details of militia General William Smith of Rockcastle County, Kentucky

Looking back at the 1810 Rockcastle County, Kentucky censuses, we find my Isaac Smith, Sr. living among the Middletons and Singletons in the area that is presumably near Skaggs Creek or the Roundstone Fork of the Rockcastle River. Most interestingly, a “Colo Wm Smith” is a neighbor of my Isaac Smith. Let’s take a look at his life.

I’ve recently been able to subscribe to Newspapers.com, an amazing site brought to you by the same folks at Ancestry.com. Let’s dig into their archives and see what we can find.

The bulk of the newspaper articles I have found regarding William are from The Mount Vernon Signal. As far as I know, they still exist today.

I’ll start with what I know about General Smith and build upon that. My research trip to Kentucky yielded that he was from Glade Hollow Fort in Russell Co, VA. He was also a Sheriff of Rockcastle County, and one of his sons, a Thomas J. Smith, was a deputy sheriff. From the census records, I know that he had another son, a George W. Smith.

By most accounts, Gen. Smith is also related to the Fish family by way of a second wife, an Ann Burney Fish. I believe that many of these families were involved in the militias.

The earliest record I can find of Gen. Smith is his marriage record in Lincoln County, Kentucky to Elizabeth Singleton dated 20 Aug 1798. Later, land deeds link him to the area known as “the Roundstone Fork of the Rockcastle River” circa 1805.

The earliest newspaper article I can find on Newspapers.com is from 20 Dec 1901.


So in this article we can find that Gen. William Smith was a father-in-law to a James Terrill and also had a daughter named Annie.

The next article of material relevance is one from 25 Apr 1913.



Many solid statistics aside, we are presented with a rather intriguing fact: William Smith was a Rockcastle County Representative and Kentucky State Senator, as was one of his sons, Elisha Smith! Fantastic! My hopes are that we will be able to find more information about them because of their involvement in the legislature. We are also presented with some additional descendants of William’s. He was the great-grandfather of Alvah Maret and W. J. Newcomb and the 3rd great-grandfather of William H. Fish of the clothing house “Sign of the Fish”. Good stuff.

I was beginning to find the results for a query of “William Smith” in the Mt. Vernon Signal grow sparse and decided to look for the Thomas J. Smith whose name I have observed on the old land deeds. I found a great article written by a W. H. Williams, a late President of Citizens Bank. He too was interested in General Smith.

From 15 Apr 1921:


We are fortunate to have such an account from Mr. Williams. We see that Gen. Smith had a son William M. Smith who went off to Texas during The Civil War. Migration information like this can be a clue to someone’s brick wall. Nice.

There are additional articles on Newspapers.com pertaining to the family of Gen. Smith, but I will not record them here as they can quickly become numerous and time consuming to parse and digest. I believe I will create an additional page as I find new articles and source info for the General’s life and family.

Finally, I will include the contents of the archives of Rockcastle County Library. These words have been salvaged from what appears to be a malfunctioning URL linking to a blank PDF. I have used Google’s cache of the page.

From http://www.rockcastlelibrary.org/libraryarchives/mvsignal/1976/MVS19761230A07.pdf

Rockcastle Recollections
By John Lair

William Smilh was born March 21, 1778, in Russell County, Virginia. He was too young to take part in The Revolutionary War but after it’s close, when the Indians were still troublesome, he served as a spy along both the Clinch and the Kentucky rivers, settling in 1795 in what was later to be Rockcastle County. His grandson, Col. James Maret, Rockcastle County’s most active early historian, believed that in that year he built the substantial two-story log house in which he lived until his death in 1849. Since he would have been only 22 years of age in 1795 it hardly seems likely that he would have put up a house which would have been a mansion at that time.

Soon after coming to this location he married a daughter of Col. Richard Singleton who served as a major with American forces at the battle of King’s Mountain. They had two children, a son Col. Elisha Smith, and a daughter who married Col. James Terrill, one of the very early settlers in the area. Upon the death of his first wife. General Smith married Ann Fish, daughter of Thomas and Winaford Burney Fish, she having been born in Guilford County, North Carolina, in 1784, later being brought to Kentucky by her parents, in 1791.

There were born to William Smith and his second wife, 5 sons and 3 daughters; George W., Alfred, Elisha, James, Pendleton, Eliza, Glatha and Mary. George W. went to Columbus, Texas, became a lawyer and was a member of the Superior Court under Confederate occupancy. He died of-yellow fever in 1873. At the time of his death he owned 20,000 acres of range land, 10,000 cattle and property in several Texas cities. Alfred became a major during the Civil War and is buried beside his parents in Mt. Vernon’s Elmwood Cemetery. Elisha became a large landowner in the county and was a man of affairs. Nothing is now known concerning James. Pendleton, youngest son of William and Ann Fish Smith, is buried beside his parents. Eliza married George Maret and became the mother of James Maret, frequently mentioned throughout this book. Glatha married Mitchell Maret, brother of George Maret. Information on Mary, the third daughter, is not now available. Some confusion also exists concerning Elisha Smith. Some sources indicate that William Smith had two sons named Elisha, one by each of his two wives, while others show that there was only one Elisha and he was the son of William’s first wife, the Singleton. William Smith was commissioned captain of the first company raised in Rockcastle County for service in the War of 1812 and was the first to leave for the scene of action. This company was part of the Kentucky Battalion of Mounted Volunteers and took up their march on September 18, 1812. Serving under him were two of his brothers-in-law, Thomas and William Fish. Thomas Fish served as a sergeant of the company, while Wllliam Fish enlisted as a private bu tlater became a colonel. Smith, himself,was promoted to General, the first Rockcastle County native to attain that rank.

As a supplement to this most thorough biographical summaries, here is another article taken from the 25 Mar 1921 edition of The Mount Vernon Signal.


Mount_Vernon_Signal_Fri__Mar_25__1921_ (1)

I hope you enjoyed this trip through time back to the early 20th century Rockcastle County. Maybe one day I’ll find a descendant of Gen. Smith for yDNA testing. Fingers crossed!

Thanks for reading!


Additional details of militia General William Smith of Rockcastle County, Kentucky