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

Jeptha Vinen Smith – An incredibly important clue – Refinement of understanding of currently known matching Smith lines – updated: 5/26/2018

Back on August 7th, 2017, FamilyTreeDNA notified my Smith matches and me of a new 67/67 yDNA match! I never expected to find another unknown (to me) Smith line that matched this closely. We are all very excited about this discovery and I will attempt to provide the details and their significance here.

The match descends from a Thaddeous Smith. This “Thad” Smith is a descendant of Jeptha Vinen Smith [online genealogy info] who married Nancy Dickson. They were wed in 1824 in Fayette Co, GA. Nancy Dickson was a daughter of militia General David Dickson or Dixon (Captain in The Revolutionary War).

[ An interesting bit to note about Nancy Dickson: in her marriage records, her name is written multiple times as “Discon”.  ]

After doing some preliminary digging on Ancestry.com, I was amazed to find a two page hand written letter that was written by a granddaughter of Jeptha’s in Lineville, AL in the 1960’s. To quote the Ancestry.com user’s page: “Written by Eugie Dobson, daughter of Joseph and Nancy Adalee Smith Dobson. Relayed to her by her uncle Andrew [Jackson] Smith, the son of Jeptha and Nancy Smith.”

I will present here my best attempt at transcribing the contents of these two pages. They’re a wealth of info about the early origins of our Smiths in North Carolina.

Page 1

Jeptha V Smith Genealogy page 1
Page 1

[Page 1]
Genealogy of Jeptha V. Smith.-
Jeptha Vinen Smith, born in Hancock County
Ga., Dec 1795, died in Glendale Miss, Sept
25 1863, and is buried there. was a son of Wm Smith and
wife Mary Smith, his Bros and Sisters: Jno Browder,
born 1783, died 1868, married Caroline Kilgore,
James McDonald married Martha Bankston, settled
in Maury Co, Tenn., Elizabeth married Jos Wheeler.
Jemina married William Belcher.
Nancy [married] James Dickson.
Mary [married] Judge Jospeh Benton
Louise [married] Ransome Kitchens. Wm
Smith, a Revolutionary Soldier. [father of
Jeptha V Smith) was born about 1755, and died
at Smith Mills on red oak creek, in Merri-
weather Co, Ga. in 1830. Had one bro., Peter, and one
sister who married a Mr. Lambert, also a half
bros who went to Kentucky*, he (Wm Smith) was
a son of Nicholas Smith and his wife Polly
Smith. Nicholas Smith (father of Wm) was
born in Caswell Co, N.C. and was of English
descent. Polly Smith, mother of Wm was born in
Dublin Ireland, and her maiden name was Burke.
Mary Smith (Wife Wm and Mother of Jeptha V.) was
the daughter of Jno Powell and his wife Peggy Powell.
Mary Powell Smith’s bros., and sisters were James, Charles,
Judeth, Peggy, Nancy, and Martha. One sister married
Joseph McLane another Wm Seals. Jno Powell
(father of Mary Smith) was born in Caswell

*I personally believe that this Smith man who was a half-brother to William Smith, father of Jeptha Vinen Smith, was my Andrew Smith who can be found on the marriage record of Isaac Smith and Nancy Hendricks, and of Samuel Smith and Elizabeth Rice.

Page 2

Jeptha V Smith page 2
Page 2

[Page 2]
Co. N.C. and he was a son of John Powell (of VA who
was a cousin of Geo Washington, Peggy Powell
(mother of Mary Smith) was born in Doublin
Ireland, her maiden name was Peggy Mc-
Donald. Uncle Andrews story of Peggy
Powell. Peggy Powell, the wife of Jno Powell of
Caswell Co, N.C. and the mother of Mary Smith (who
was the mother of Jeptha V Smith) was born in
Dublin Ireland. her maiden name was Peggy
McDonald. she, with other school children girls
of Dublin were [invited ?] by a Captain of a large
ship. “to a ball to or g were of the ship.” [?] When
the party was underway the ship quietly sailed
away, pirates they proved to be, and the girls
were brought to America (Virginia seaport)
and sold as slaves. Peggy was bought by one
John Powell, who beft and reared her care-
fully. His son fell in love with her and
married her, and much to their surprise their
there were no parental objections.
John Powell, the father of Mary “Smith” and her bros.,
& sisters: James, Charles, John, Judith, Nancy, Peggy.
& Martha was the son of Jno Powell of Virginia
who was first coz of Geo Washington first
Pres. of U.S.

So here we have a narrative of migration from Caswell Co, NC to Hancock Co, GA and then later to Glendale Co, MS. I wish to point out that Caswell Co, NC is very close to Orange Co, NC (if not formed from a part of it).

Orange County was formed from Granville, Johnston, and Bladen Counties in 1752. Guilford, Chatham, and Wake were all formed from a large portion of Orange County in 1770. Caswell County was formed from the north half of what remained of Orange County in 1777.

Upon further investigation, we can find David Dickson/Dixon in the 1803, 1805, and 1806 Franklin County, GA tax lists (Thanks to Blake Smith for this find. Invaluable!)

[Additional find regarding Smiths of Jackson County, Georiga and militia General David Dickson/Dixon. I do not know if all of the Smiths listed here are related to Jeptha, but I believe the population deserves a study. I know that our yDNA linked Smith line of James A. Smith who married Elizabeth Winkler and Martha Ann Allen have close ties to Jackson Co, GA.]

1803 Franklin Co, GA Tax List

1803 Franklin County Georgia Tax List

1805 Franklin Co, GA Tax List

1805 Franklin County Georgia Tax List

1806 Franklin Co, GA Tax List

1806 Franklin County Georgia Tax List

Within these pages we may be afforded one more clue about the origins of this Smith line of Nicholas Smith who married Polly Burke. You will notice that in the 1803 Tax List Nicholas Smith is living on the boundary line of Nathan Smith.

I believe this information strongly points to the Smiths in these tax lists as belonging to the Nathan Smith Settlement.

I want to take a moment to personally thank SFC Charles E. Lewis, U.S. Army, Ret. for his absolutely outstanding research on the Nathan Smith Settlement.  Many thanks for both your time researching and your service to our Country!

I will be posting more about Jeptha V. Smith’s line as I hammer out the details. (Jeptha was related to a late Governor of Alabama and I want to thoroughly go through this info before I post anything.)

I also believe that our currently known Stephen Smith who settled in Alabama is likely descended from this Nathan Smith Settlement population. More research is required before this hypothesis can be proven, however.

For the time being, I will retract my conclusions about Nicholas Smith (m. Polly Burke) regarding the Nathan Smith Settlement. I have looked into the paper trail and because Owen Carpenter is present in the migrations, I believe that Nathan Smith of the settlement’s namesake is not related to my group’s Nicholas Smith.

That said, I believe I have found the Peter Smith in Caswell Co, NC among the family of a  Jeptha Rice.

Again, please verify all of this on your own. Thanks.

Thanks for reading!

Chris Smith

Jeptha Vinen Smith – An incredibly important clue – Refinement of understanding of currently known matching Smith lines – updated: 5/26/2018

Exploring the areas known as Roundstone Fork of The Rockcastle River and Skagg’s Creek in Kentucky c. 1800-1818

A link I have found that is worthy of starting this page can be found here:


I believe this was posted by a Pauline Smith Wing. I have confirmed that her Smith line is NOT of my line via yDNA comparison, but she does appear to have researched General William Smith and his kinsmen to some extent. I know that the Andrew Smith in Madison Co, KY is actually not one of my guys. He is the Andrew Smith who married Sarah Scrivner/Scribner. yDNA comparison shows this is not my line.

I feel more comfortable saying that my Andrew Smith was living in Lexington, Fayette Co, Kentucky in 1810. I believe this is the only Andrew Smith who is of the correct age in 1810 to be the father of my Isaac Smith, Sr. It’d be nice if someone could verify this for me.

Her findings that he and Elijah Smith were related is reassuring to me that I am not incorrect in making that assumption. I also find it interesting that she was able to connect William and Elijah to Knox Co, KY. (See the line of Amber Granville Smith [William Smith of NC m. Sarah Wells in Knox Co, KY in 1851]).

In my previous pages, I have been able to show how a General William Smith was likely related to my Isaac Smith, Sr. This William Smith can be found in the early (1790’s) Lincoln County, KY marriage records. His first wife was an Elizabeth Singleton. His second wife was Anne Burney Fish.

Further, we can find in the 1801 land records of General William Smith that he was affiliated with an Elijah Smith. I believe this to be the same Elijah Smith as the father of Aquilla Smith who was a neighbor to Samuel Rice Smith in Salt Creek Township, Jackson County, Indiana.

William Smith - 1801 Land Grant - Roundstone Fork
Surveyed for William Smith 200 Acres of land by virtue of a Lincoln County Court Certificate granted at the Decemeber term 1801 Situate lying (?) being in the County of Rockcastle (formerly Lincoln County) on the Roundstone fork of Rockcastle Beginning on the…



Names: John Hall, Hitty Hall, Samuel Wilson, William Smith, BOTH Elijah Smith and Elisha Smith Dates: August 22nd, 1818 …main Creek fifty poles above 200 poles to the south of the spring branch at a sugartree at the figure 1 thence N31E12? poles to a sugartree beech and linn at the figure 2 thence N59E21 19 po(le?) to three black gums at the figure 3 thence S32…

Additional details of land granted to General William Smith around Feb 24th, 1802.



I find it interesting that in this land record, we see in the margins William Smith is referred to as “General Smith”. It appears that this document was written December 19th, 1821. I believe William Smith was a Colonel in 1810. I do not know how he was promoted.

I have been able to find some very interesting pages that discuss this area near what is sometimes referred to as “Skegg’s Creek”. I believe “Skagg’s Creek” is also another name it was known by. Today there is a small church, Skagg’s Creek Baptist Church, that overlooks the rolling hills of Rockcastle Co, KY very near by Roundstone.

Skagg’s Creek United Baptist Church
This photo really doesn’t do the area justice. The view in all directions is rolling hills and farm land. It resembles Freetown, IN a bit, but the hills are possibly larger.


The following pages are of interest to my Smith research. I need to go through them more thoroughly for exact relevance.


This page pertains to the family of an “E.(lijah?) Smallwood” of Roundstone. The page author connects him to the Roundstone Creek area. (Gen. William Smith’s land was called “Roundstone Fork”)


One other item to note: this William Smallwood family appears to have a (possible?) connection to Hillsborough, Orange County, North Carolina. This is where I speculate that Andrew Smith was married in 1781.

This page may largely be duplicate information from above. I find this family group interesting because they are also connected to Knox Co, KY and we had a William Smith who was married there. He was the ancestor of Amber Granville Smith. William was from North Carolina.

While writing this page, I found a simple land grant search for the KY.gov website:


I can find references to a William Smith c. 1848 who was granted land on Roundstone Creek. I suspect this was a son or grandson of Gen. William Smith. I can not find any records for before 1850-ish.

The above “Branson Cook” pages are listed here only as a reference for myself. I find it interesting that there are Hendrickses and Smiths, Smallwoods marrying Smiths, references to Washington Co, VA, explicit references to Lebanon, Russell Co, VA (where General William Smith was said to have been from), and an Andrew Smith who married a Smallwood who was likely too young to be my Andrew Smith, father of Isaac Smith, Sr.

If I find anything else interesting, I’ll add it to this page.

Addition: Holbert McClure’s purchase of Buckner grant, 29 May 1833
Addition: Robert E. Bray Family :Information about Holbert MCCLURE

I find these two pages to be interesting because they show there was a Thomas J. Smith who was a Deputy Sheriff of Rockcastle County, KY. Further, I find it incredibly interesting that there is a Buckner family involved. I have been taxing my brain exploring the line of John Buckner Smith in South Carolina. I have also read that, according to George Poffinbarger, Aquilla Smith had a step-mother (?) who was a Buckner. I have yet to make any conclusive findings. There is more in these pages I have yet to understand. They could simply be a strict business transaction, or they could be family members selling land to each other. I’m not sure.

Thanks for reading!


Exploring the areas known as Roundstone Fork of The Rockcastle River and Skagg’s Creek in Kentucky c. 1800-1818

Countering “The Great Carrington Imposture”

Before I get to the heart of J H Round’s work, I wish to preface this writing.

Recently on Geni.com, I have been engaged in a discussion regarding the facts surrounding John Carrington alias Smyth who is said to have been buried in Rivenhall Churchyard in Essex in June of 1446. Contributions from everyone have been much appreciated.

I’ll start by listing my sources starting earliest to most recent:

William Dugdale – The Antiquities of Warwickshire, Illustrated
Philip Morant – History and Antiquities of Warwickshire
William Arthur Copinger –  History of the Records of the Smith-Carington Family
(derived from the archives of Mr. Robert Smith-Carington*,**)
John Horace RoundPeerage and Pedigree
Lionel M. Angus-Butterworth** – Old Cheshire Families and their Seats
Clarke and Hodgeson – Leicestershire Pedigrees and Royal Descents

* I wish to make it known that Mr. Robert Smith-Carington adopted the hyphenated surname himself. He seemed determined, even if impossible, to connect his Smith line to the Smiths of Rivenhall.

** I also wish to state that it is my opinion that the Smiths of Cropwell, Tithby, Nottinghamshire, ancestors of the Smiths of Smith Bank & Co. are not likely descended from the Smiths of Rivenhall. All of the above authors will inevitably have conflicting opinions of things.

My primary “adversary” in this story has been a one Erica Howton, a woman who curates the Geni.com profile for a number of individuals I find myself researching these day, and stands firm with J H Round on his opinion that the Smiths of Rivenhall were not descended from the Carringtons of Cheshire. Erica has been a very active contributor on Geni.com and is a curator for many of the profiles that pertain to the individuals who were associated with John Smyth, Esq. of Rivenhall, Essex. Amy Nordhal Cote has also been a valued contributor by proving research avenues that may not be immediately obvious to someone who is, for the first time, seriously researching John Carrington alias Smyth. Both individuals have demonstrated their skill in finding obscure information on the internet regarding our subjects of research.

(I may periodically update this page with new or corrected information, so this is a disclaimer.)

Ok, to the heart of the matter! Fortunately for me John Horace Round did me the favor of organizing his points of argument in his book. Due to the volume of his commentary, I must post my analysis in two parts. Here I begin with the first half of my criticism of “The Great Carrington Imposture” by John Horace Round.

I have organized this list according to the talking points Round set out at the beginning of his work.

Please bear with me. This is a lot of information. Some entries are simply facts, others commentary.


Brown, Jones, and Smith

  • Suggests for “Smith” lines there is no “hope” in proving a “noble” ancestry
  • Calls Smith a “distressing” name

The two John Smiths

  • Makes allusion to Smiths of Hill Hall and their suggested Plantagenet connection
  • Admits that the two Smith lines’ histories are irrelevant to each other’s as a matter of proving either lineage credible.
  • Suggests that John Smith of Hill Hall’s son, Sir Thomas Smith of Hill Hall (professor), fabricated a pedigree so that, after rising to the prominent position of Vice-Chancellor of Ely, he could inherit a coat of arms.
  • He also suggests that the suggested narrative of how John Shakespeare’s coat of arms was obtained has a bearing on Sir Thomas Smith of Hill Hall. (I have no information on William Shakespear’s coat of arms.)
  • He clearly is making assumptions about completely unrelated families and lineages based upon other completely unrelated families. Each line must be examined individually for any analysis of their lineages to be credible. He is comparing apples to oranges in my opinion.


Three Smith families claim to be ‘Caringtons’

  • Begins with an attack on the Smiths of Cressing Temple by saying “It was not, as a rule, the founder of the house who indulged in these fantasies: he knew from what he had risen, and other knew it too.”
  • This is incredibly smug of Round. I feel like it is him saying “You know you’re lying! Quit pretending!”
  • His references to “Barker” are marked with an air of skepticism. I believe he is suggesting that this officer issued arms to fabricated lineages frequently enough to make anything attached to his name incredible.

[Here I digress, but the subject matter is not completely uninteresting or irrelevant. I wish to show the credibility of the individual Round is so ready to criticize. ]

  • “Barker” appears to have been a Christopher Barker, son of William Barker of North Riding, Yorkshire. He started as a private officer of arms of Charles Brandon and was later made “Lisle pursuivant” in 1513, and “Suffolk Herald” in 1517. In 1522 he was made a royal officer of arms as “Richmond Herald” and later still was promoted to “Norroy King of Arms”. On 15 July of the same year, he was promoted to “Garter Principal King of Arms”. (from WikiPedia)
    • Please note that Round was never directly involved with The College of Arms in any capacity and independently published all of his works, some resulting in a “level of acrimony [that] was sufficiently high [enough] that the editor was forced to close correspondence on the subject.”
  • Barker’s evidence during the trial of Henry Howard, Earl of Surry was integral in the Earl being found guilty of a “charge of treasonably quartering the royal arms”.
  • The Howards had little regard for “new men” such as Cromwell and Seymour. His trail and subsequent execution were during the time of Henry VIII, a man paranoid about the possibility of Henry Howard usurping the throne. You see, Henry Howard was descended from kings on both sides of his tree. His mother from Edward III, his father Edward I.
  • Henry Howard was reared with the illegitimate son of Henry VIII, Henry FitzRoy (a man we later find was born at Blackmore Priory, a placed Henry VIII frequented to engage in extramarital affairs. Henry VIII referred to Blackmore Priory as “Jericho”, the same priory that became a possession of the Smiths of Blackmore, descendants of the Smiths of Rivenhall.
  • Not to digress further, but Henry FitzRoy was a son of a Elizabeth Blount, a daughter of a Sir John Blount and Catherine Pershall.
  • Is it not interesting we find a connection to “Jericho” and a Blount line in this narrative? [See the Smith, Croke, and English story]
  • Round is saying that the man who provided evidence for the execution of Henry Howard granted arms to the Smiths of Cressing Temple, a family who Round is claiming were “new men” and supposedly would not have been liked by Henry Howard. Does Barker intentionally kill an Earl and forge some pedigrees for some folks who came into new money? Not likely.
  • Round is trying to cast doubt on the credibility of the lineage of the Smiths of Rivenhall by pointing to a narrative involving a herald who helped to convict a (at least perceived) rival of Henry VIII (a much larger picture) and not the facts surrounding their Smyth lineage.
  • Smiths of Cressing Temple were related to Smiths of Saffron Walden
  • Sir Charles Smith is Lord Carrington in the year 1643.
  • Round wishes to suggest that since there is more than one family making a claim to a descent of the Smiths of Rivenhall that the Carrington/Smith lineage is fabricated.
  • A Mr. Richard Smith, a successful businessman, adopts the surname “Smith-Carington” in 1878.
  • Richard Smith was the original possessor of the archives later entrusted to Dr. Walter Arthur Copinger, LL.D., F.S.A., Professor of Law at Victoria University.
  • It can be shown, in agreement with Round, that the John Smith of Cropwell, Tithby in Nottingham is not descended from any Smith of Ashby-Folville, but an earlier John Smith of Cropwell, Tithby dying circa 1602.
  • This John Smith is the progenitor of the Smiths of Smith Bank & Co, the ancestors of the most modern incarnation of The Lords Carrington.
  • We must make sure we remember that Mr. Robert Smith”-Carington” not being descended from the Smiths of Nottingham, and they in turn not being descended from the Smiths of Rivenhall, does not itself discredit the suggested ancestry of the Smiths of Rivenhall.
  • He prefaces his next section by stating that he can prove the Smiths of Rivenhall are not descended from John Carrington of Cheshire. Then, after “proving” this, he will discredit the other artificially affiliated Smith lines with the Smiths of Rivenhall. Again, proof of a lack of a connection from (A) the Nottingham Smiths to (B) Mr. Robert Smith-Carington, and from (A)/(B) to (C) the Smiths of Rivenhall does not itself discredit the claim of descent of the Smiths of Rivenhall from the Carringtons of Chester.

The Conquest ancestor

  • Round first attempts to “disentangle” i) the (according to Round) “16th century fabrication” that is a personal account (by John Carrington alias Smith) of the ancestry of the Smiths of Rivenhall being descended from Sir Mychell of Carrington from ii) the descent of Hamo de Carington.
  • Round first states that, after an enquiry to The College of Arms, there is no recorded descent from “Sir Mychell” to the family of Mr. Robert Smith-Carinton. I will agree with this, but this does not discredit the existence of “Sir Mychell of Carington”. It simply shows that Mr. Robert Smith-Carington does not have strong evidence to lay a claim of descent from the Smiths of Rivenhall.
  • Further, an audacious claim made by Mr. H. H. Smith-Carington, that he is “the heir male of the senior line” is specious at best. We know this is not true.
  • Round then goes on to attack the existence of Hamo de Carington himself by saying “Not a scrap of evidence is produced to show that this Hamo de Carington ever existed in the flesh, and I do not hesitate to say that he is a fictitious personage.”
  • This claim can be solidly countered by the following evidence. After Round, a gentleman by the name of Lionel M. Angus-Butterworth authored a work on the Smith/Carrington pedigree. Regarding the matter of Hamo de Carington, he provided the following transcript of a record pertaining to Sir Jordan of Carington, a suggested grandson of Hamo of Carington.
  • Taken from Butterworth’s book: “Upon the death of Hamo the lordship of Carington passed to his son and heir Sir William de Carington, who was succeeded by his son Sir Jordan, [described as] “ fil Willielmi fil Hamonis de Carington.” This Sir Jordan was one of the Knights of Ranulph de Gernon, fourth Earl of Chester, and was present at the battle of Lincoln, the 2nd Frebuary, II4I, when King Stephen was taken prisoner.
  • This information will be easily verifiable. Further, Butterworth cites “an early ‘Armorial General de France’ deeds and other papers in the municipal archives of Rouen [in Normandy, France], and the publications of the ‘Société de l’Historie de Normandie’ ” as his source. This undoubtedly will prove to be credible.
  • Rounds claim of Hamo de Carington being a “ficticious personage” has been strongly countered.
  • Further, Round goes on to suggest that Hamon de Masci and Hamon de Carington are one in the same. This appears to be from an apparent lack of mention of Carington in the Domesday survey. An analysis of the relevant records show that “Carington” was indeed omitted from Domesday. However, the source for the lineage of Jordan de Carington shows that Hamo de Carington was not described as Hamo de Mascy (Hamon de Masci). Baron Hamon De Masci had his own heirs and is mentioned specifically as a variant of “Hamo de Massey” in these records. I cannot believe that one individual would be mentioned by two different names when describing lines of descent and matters of inheritance.
  • Round then goes on to (again) make a comparison between the lineage of Mr. Robert Smith-Carington (specifically the lineage of his mother, a Hanbury) and the identity of Hamo de Carington and Hamo de Massy. The suggestion is that since one line is contrived, the whole of the identity of Hamo de Carington is fabricated. This is not sound logic. Again, each lineage must be exclusively analyzed for credibility. A failure of genuineness on the part of one line does not constitute a strong case for fabrication of another.

The 16th century document

  • Round first sets out his vectors of attack. I) the Carington pedigree down to “John Carrington” and ii) the provenance of the origins of the Smith name as it came to be associated with a descendant of a Carrington of Cheshire.
  • Round describes when the Smith/Carrington pedigree was first recorded, in 1577.
  • Sir John Smith of [Little] Baddow in Essex brough to Cooke, Clarencieux of the College of Arms “two ancient writings”. One was provided by the aforementioned “John Smith of Baddow”, the other by “Henry Smith of Cressing Temple”. Henry’s heirs were “The Nevills of Holt”.
  • Here is what we are having described to us on page 47 of Round’s book: in 1602, Rouge Dragon, a herald, wrote that on 20 May 1577, Cooke, the then Clarencieux, recorded a lineage for the Smiths of Rivenhall, from two sources, one being provided by Henry Smith of Cressing Temple, the other by Sir John Smith of Little Baddow. Later, in 1870, found in the charter chest of The Nevills of Holt was one of these two original source documents used by Cooke in 1577. A Mr. Horwood appears to have been an employee of the “Historical MSS Commission” that rediscovered the record.
  • Dugdale is cited as saying that one of the original documents was at one time in the possession of a William Smith, Esq. of Cressing Temple [likely a descendant of Henry Smith of Cressing Temple] and was certified by Sir William Dethick, Knight Garter, the other was in the possession of Sir Charles Smith of Wooten and Ashbye in Warwickshire [likely a descendant of John Smith of Baddow]. Robert Cooke in 1577 certified these documents originally.
  • Round agrees that the two documents were “a homogeneous whole”, but insists on challenging the descent of the Smiths from the Carringtons. To restate this a different way, two documents, from two different but related families, agree on their descent from the Carringtons, but Round continues to challenge the claim.
  • On page 150, Round “trees out” the John Carrington alias Smith tree.
  • I wish to note that Round does not provide source quotations for his trees, but only cites the works that he has read the narratives from.
  • What Round is arguing here is weak. He claims that because the lineage that Rouge Dragon recorded differs from what Dr. Copinger recited in his book, the whole of the lineage is fabricated. I will state that this infuriates me as Round dismisses all logic from his argument.
  • Keep in mind, as these lineages have been studied, these trees have been changed from a chart of a pedigree into a narrative and back again. When working with very similar names of individuals who are related to each other, undoubtedly, from either strained eyes or an exhausted mind, transcription errors occur. Further, even in this 21st century, even with the introduction of computers, transcription errors in lineages exist.
  • Round fails to research himself the discrepancies between Copinger’s and Rouge Dragon’s pedigree charts. If there was a genuine interest in finding the truth of what Robert Cooke recorded in 1577, Round should have investigated. Then again, I am assuming Cooke’s record still exists. Why not go in search of the original documents as recorded by Cooke?
  • I will later address the matter of Round decrying the original and handwritten John Smyth of Rivenhall pedigree as fabricated.


All turns on it

  • In his attack against the incorrectly recorded trees, Round states “And on this document all depends: its opening words are the only evidence for Sir Michael’s very existence.”
  • To counter this, we find a record that an “Adam” or “Adae” of Carington existed. As the source document eludes me, I will refer to where I found the pertinent information, a Geni page that cites a Facebook group! (please don’t laugh…)
  • https://www.geni.com/people/Guillaume-de-la-Fert%C3%A9-Mac%C3%A9/6000000003827883045
  • This page states that there existed an “Adae de Carrington”, a one time lord of The Manor of Carrington. According to the narrative that Round is familiar with regarding Sir Mychell of Carington (findable elsewhere on the internet), “Adam” of Carrington sold “full half of the Parish of Sale, near Manchester”, lands that the Lordship of Carrington possessed, and funded Sir Michael of Carrington.
  • It can be shown through secondary records (transcriptions of primary records) that a Mychell of Carington, a son of Adae of Carington existed. See “The Visitation of Cheshire in the Year 1580”.
  • https://books.google.com/books?id=Q_wUAAAAQAAJ&pg=PA170&lpg=PA170&dq=Adae+of+Carington&source=bl&ots=96AQT9GxEZ&sig=BicrS5J6pwvU515wl69kWdfwS9E&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjF_rK6mMzRAhVBsVQKHbPkDT0Q6AEIJDAC#v=onepage&q=Adae%20of%20Carington&f=false
  • “Ego Hamon de Massy dedi Thoma …. Exclam’atem totu Bromi croftum. Testibus Wm de Venables, Hamon fratre suo, Alano de tatton, Rob’to de Massy, Adae de Carrington, Matheo de Massy, Joh’es de Massy”. (Sorry for lack of correct punctuation).
  • I will accept as a concession that it is possible Sir Michel existed at one time and possibly had his story embellished. Evidence is required to prove this however.
  • If you really want to, you can try to prove that this visitation record is inaccurate, but I highly doubt it is as we find just who we expect to be together, the family of Hamon de Massy and the Lords of the Manor of Carrington.

It is false

  • I think I overlapped my arguments for this section somewhere above and below this line.

Sir Michael, the Standard-bearer

  • Round states that at the funeral of John Smith, “knight”, in attendance was the then contemporary “Lord Carrington”, his brother.
  • Also at John Smith’s funeral, it was proclaimed that John Smith’s Carrington line was descended from Sir Michael of Carrington, the standard bearer.
  • This is according to The Somerset Herald.
  • On page 154, Round again claims that Sir Michael the standard bearer is a fabrication, an amalgam of personalities of heroic narratives. The relevant sources have been found to show that the dismissal of the existence of Sir Michael of Carrington and Hamo de Carington is illogical.
  • I would like to identify any other individuals who may have been “standard bearers” to Richard I. The Henry Tyes (Teutonicus) individual seems an interesting place to start.
  • I need to better archive my findings from credible internet sources that pertain to Sir Michael’s profile.

His mythical existence

  • Round on page 156 enters into his argumentation about the physical nature of an arguably unrealistic device that is claimed to have transported Richard I’s standard while on the battlefield.
  • I feel that Round’s use of this topic as an attempt to dismiss the existence of Sir Michael of Carrington is poor logic. The more relevant nature of the estate records and the like could have been explored, but Round digressed.
  • I will argue (as I may while I’m on the topic), in agreement with Round (and see my Geni.com posting under John Smith of Rivenhall) that Copinger is just simply wrong about the nature of the assigned equipment as it pertained to a “standard bearer”.
  • There were very large wooden structures that would have been affixed to ships, or even used in an encampment, but as a mobile standard bearer on horseback, engaged on the battlefield, a lance and flag would have been the equipment. It is foolish to think that a lone man would have pushed a large wheeled wooden device around an active battle field.
  • See “The Battle of the Standard”. It’s interesting.
  • The account of “a car surmounted by a tower as high as a minaret” comes from Bohadin (an Arabic historian).

His ‘costly’ crusade

  • Round criticizes the passage at the bottom of page 157.
  • Quoting Copinger: “Very little remained after two years to compensate for the loss of Sir Michael de Carington’s life, and the squandering of the proceeds of half the parish of Sale, except a report in the Archives of the Heralds, and an effigy …”
  • He states on page 158 “It should prove of the highest interest to historians the more so as Heralds’ College was not even founded till nearly three centuries after the date of the Crusade.”
  • I feel that here, Round is arguing with semantics. Copinger perhaps could be referring to a, contemporary (to Sir Michael) report that had thus been, much later, archived with the Heralds’ College.
  • Regarding the “debet duos solidos pro eodem”, I need to be careful here. Copinger states that two entries on “De Oblatis Roll” are brothers of Sir Michael: a Mathew and another unnamed sibling.
  • So what is “De Oblatis Roll”? Let’s explore what the word “Oblatis” means.
  • https://books.google.com/books?id=iepJAgAAQBAJ&pg=PT1003&lpg=PT1003&dq=root+of+oblatis+latin&source=bl&ots=cu3SJL4dXp&sig=_TvKaax6mOacIby1_8Jnn9K98_U&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwi-4ciqqszRAhWIr1QKHa6_Ab8Q6AEINDAF#v=onepage&q&f=false
  • “An oblate is a young child offered (oblatus) to a monastery or nunnery by his or her parents. In ecclesiastical Latin the term evokes the idea of a sacrificial gift.” I believe it is the origin of the word “obligation”.
  • The roll Round cites appears to be a list of people and how much money they either i) gave as an offering or ii) owe to the crown. The list’s name means either “Obligations” (monies due?) or “(The) Offerings”, or at least this is the best translation I can get from researching Latin on Google.
  • I used Google translate to, well, translate “Matheus of Karington debet duos solidos pro eodem.” Google says it means “Matheu of Karington should have two shillings for the same.” I don’t think this is correct.
  • After doing some refinement of this enquiry, I find that the sentence likely means something more along the lines of “Matheus de Karington owes (or should owe, or owes you) two shillings ‘for the same’.”
  • The word “debet” is derived from the root word “debeo” which means:
    • To have or keep from someone
    • To owe something, to be under obligation to and for something
    • To be bound. In duty, bound to do something; “I ought”, “I must”, “I should”.
  • I think it is possible the latin phrase means “Matheus of Karington is obligated to pay two shillings [for the same]”. Whether or not he paid it, I cannot tell. I do not find the word “debeo” or “debet” used to indicate that something was paid for, but rather, only in the sense that something is owed or due. I would like to see the rest of this “De Oblatis Roll”. I welcome a counter argument as I am no expert in Latin but have studied formal Spanish for a number of years.

His alleged relatives

  • The relatives of Sir Michael of Carrington are not immediately known to myself. Credible sources that are not derivative works are needed.


This is the end of my part one of my criticism of “The Great Carrington Imposture” by J H Round. I may even have to break it into three portions.


Countering “The Great Carrington Imposture”

Some other Smiths that I have left out of these pages. (but no longer!)

After reading through Andrew Smith’s blog “Blackmore Area Local History
A record of history & heritage: buildings, people & landscape in this corner of Essex” I saw an individual post a query regarding Customer Smythe, John Smyth, Esq. of Rivenhall, Essex, and Capt John Smith of Jamestown, VA fame. I thought I would take a moment to discuss Capt John Smith and his Smith lineage.

Firstly, no one in North America is likely descended from either Customer or Capt. John Smith. From the wills of Capt John Smith himself, we find that he had no children. I have seen a 19th century transcription of these documents at my local library and I believe I have photos of the pages, but I will have to dig for them in my digital archives. He bequeaths all of his possessions to the children of his brothers. He had two brothers (and possibly a sister I believe) and their lines stayed in England.

Next, Captain John Smith is well documented as having been born in Willoughby, Linconshire, England. His father was a George Smith and his mother an Alice Rickard. George’s father was a “Master John Smith” who appears to have lived in Louth around 1552. Here’s my source, and it appears very credible.

The above referenced document does appear to link a Nicholas Smyth of Theddlethorpe, a man who referred to himself as a first cousin of Captain John Smith, to a John Smyth of Epping, Essex. PLEASE note that the author makes no connection, (or even a suggestion of a connection, mind you), to John (Carrington) Smyth, Esq. of Rivenhall, Essex. There is definitely not a connection to Kent.

Finally, to further distance these two Smith lines, I wish to present a visitiation record I found on Google Books entitled “The Smyths of Theddlethorpe“. It describes these Smyth’s coat of arms thusly: “Sable, on a chevron engrailed, between six crosses pate’s fitche’e or, three fleurs-de-lis azure, each charged with a plate.” Even without showing you a picture of what this looks like, we can see that the description is completely different from any previously documented coat of arms I have detailed within my blog.

I hope you have found my blog page and the pages I linked to useful in differentiating Capt John Smith of Jamestown, VA fame from the Smith line of John (Carrington) Smyth, Esq. of Rivenhall and the line of Sir Thomas “Customer” Smythe of Westenhanger in Kent.

Thank you for reading.

Chris Smith

Some other Smiths that I have left out of these pages. (but no longer!)