Revolution or Revelation
It had been over 100 years, which is plenty of time to build, grow,
learn, establish, develop, and become comfortable with the idea. Since
When? What Idea? – I mean the notion, the need, the very underlying fiber
that binds a person, even without realizing it, to one another - the belief
that we are - Americans. Today, that title is still not very
welcome in the world abroad just as it was around the early 1700s for many
of the same reasons, such as Pride, Freedom, and Liberty, of which all in
this world seek and treasure, yet most cannot attain; Americans are shunned
as arrogant and even back then as “cowardly dogs” 1 for attaining and living
by such prizes. It seems that no matter how hard Americans try to take
care of their own or help others, there are those out there who are either
jealous or just plain spiteful; never stopping to study why or how the Americans
became the way we are, including some within the ranks.
The world was British, or at least that is what the British thought,
in the 18th Century. They had been the super power for over 100 years
and were always seeking to expand their possessions in profit and land, both
at home and abroad. Unfortunately, all the hard work the previous
monarchs had done was taken for granted by those monarchs who did not work
for their wealth and just became greedy. This greed caused Great
Brittan to spread its power and authority thin; thus, the British were
surviving on pure reputation in places. They just had too many irons
in the fire. And not only greed infected the country, but the instability
of those at the helm was quite evident. Between the years 1702 and
1760, the change of command came four times: Queen Anne, King George I,
King George II, and King George III. Each imposing a different view
of how to handle their affairs and getting worse with each one. Still,
the French and Spanish were both holding their own, exploring to expand their
wealth and power, and were gaining strength. Each were at odds with
the British as they fought to maintain their homeland and holdings through
out the world, especially in the New World, America.
America had been laid claim to by each of the factions: The English
had colonized the entire east coast reaching into the Appalachian Mountains.
The Spanish claimed central and western America as well as the Florida’s.
The French controlled the mouth of the Mississippi at New Orleans as well
as trade routes and land from the north around the great lakes.
The British were surrounded already and not to mention, they had trouble
amongst themselves. The Native Americans were not happy with their
apparent takeover as they were fighting back with raids and revolts, while
the colonists were beginning to feel a sense of independence. The
English colonist since 1606, over coming many obstacles, had basically
been left alone, as long as they were profitable. This “laissez faire”
attitude towards government had basically allowed or forced the colonists
to govern them selves; thus, creating a sense of unity and self-reliance.
“The American colonists in North America had enjoyed, for the most part,
a large amount of Autonomy in at least their daily lives prior to the French
and Indian War. The System of mercantilism that dominated British
economic policy affected with whom the colonists could trade and what they
were allowed to manufacture, but as long as they were prospering and profitable,
the motherland kept her hands off of most of the affairs. Governors
were appointed to head each province, but these titles were mainly honorary
in nature. The governors could have run their provinces if they chose,
but most never even set foot on American Soil and therefore it was left to
the Lt. Governor, a provincial, to carry out the duties. The colonial
assemblies also had large amounts of power and influence and were largely
the ruling bodies. This structure was to the contentment of the colonists
and while they respected England as the head of the Empire, they did not
look to her for guidance and direction. The problem with the colonists’
self sufficiency was that when England did step in…clashes erupted over ruling
rights and culture differences…. The colonists were accustomed to self-rule
and found it difficult to assume positions of inferiority to the British.
The Britons were highly prejudiced against the provincials (colonists) and
thought of them as backwards, ineffective, and entirely inferior….”2
The French soon became allies with the Native Americans, full knowing
the hatred they had for the British, and used them to begin attacking the
British. The Colonial Militia were called out to sequester these raiders.
Col. George Washington was given the task to suppress the natives.
He probably would have done so had it not been for the French intervention
which ended in the militia’s defeat. These heavy loses forced the
Americans to call upon their parent country for help in this manner.
Once the British troops arrived, they were met with almost contempt. Even
though, England was their life blood, the Americans had developed a sense
of national pride and resented the fact that they had to ask for help.
The British maintained the colonials as inferiors and treated them as such.
The British troops were even upset that there was no ovation to their arrival
after a request had been fulfilled. They began to attempt to
poke fun at the Militia and Continental Army by creating a song about them
called “Yankee Doodle”, yes the very one we learned as kids. In jest,
the song began in the French and Indian war as the British attempted to portray
the “bumpkin” nature of the colonists (The British called the Americans by
the name Jonathan – ‘the Jonathans’. The word Yankee derives from the
Dutch word “jankee” or little john) 3. It soon caught on and the
Americans began to use it for their own. As one can see, the
tensions would have been high amongst the troops of those who were going
to fight the natives who were supported by the opposition. As the English
creep into French territory, not only does the hostility for invasion come
out, but the high tensions from elsewhere in the world also spilled over in
this hostility. America soon became the proving ground for each country,
no matter where the fights were elsewhere in the world.
These tensions came to a head in the form of what we now call the “French
and Indian War” or “Seven Years War” of which there was a huge build up,
but officially started in 1755 and lasted till 1763 with the signing of
the Treaty of Paris. The war was over and the waring factions were
being peaceful for now. King George III issued a proclamation as a
result not to have any English settlements past the Appalachians – a move
that was most unfavourable. He considered any further movement out
of the limits would just cause further damage to the treasury and he had
already spent too much on protecting his colony and was going in debt.
How could a King so far away and knew nothing of their plight, give an edict
not to pursue that which they felt was rightly theirs. Yet nothing
was as it seemed. The natives were still upset with the English for
taking over the land. The French were still sore over their defeat
here and abroad. And the British still considered the colonists as
inferior. All the Americans wanted was to treated as normal British
subjects and subject to the same rights as all Britons, for they paid taxes
and honoured the crown too. This was not the case. To make matters
worse, the colonists had not only fought under these conditions, they had
to supply their own gear. The militia were to supply their own flintlocks,
clothing, ammo, and even small rations of food. The fighting was gone
for now, but the animosity remained. The feeling of independence remained.
Consequently, over the next 20 years this situation developed into a Revolution.
To pay for the fighting in America from the French and Indian wars as well
as abroad, King George III enacted several duties in the form of taxes,
such as the Sugar Act, the Currency Act, the Quartering Act, and the Stamp
Act to name a few. The Americans, still betrothed to Great Brittan
did not mind paying taxes, but it was in the manner in which the taxes were
placed on them and what they were going towards. This implies that
the Americans had most definitely developed a sense of self awareness
by not just accepting without question the proclamations from the homeland.
The friction and conflict festering over the years coupled with these new
taxes (of which the Americans viewed as “Taxation without Representation”)
started riots and smalls skirmishes, where some ended in death such as the
Boston Massacre in 1770 and some without death such as the Boston Tea Party
in 1773 and even tar an feathering of the royal tax collectors.
There were so many Acts and regulations passed that by 1775 the colonists
had taken all they were going to and began to take matters in their own
hands. Still, not all Americans agreed with the fight for independence,
especially at the beginning of the revolt. For many people, England
and the Crown represented a stable way of life. Why should that authority
be challenged? In 1776, they Americans issued there Declaration of Independence
from Brittan, gained allies with the French by 1778 and defeated the British
officially by 1784. By 1787, a constitution is formed and America
is now the United States of America.
That’s the national state of affairs, but what about the state and
local circumstances. As most are aware, there were 13 original colonies.
Of those 13, one of the first settled after Virginia (who incidentally
was named after Ms. Virginia Dare, the first English colonist to be born
in America on 18 Aug 1587), was North Carolina (whose named derived from
the Latin word “Carolus” which stands for Charles in reference to King Charles
I who was reigning at the time in England). Charles had
granted a charter to the eight men who supported and helped him regain
his title as King. The charter basically gave the men rights to certain
lands in America, in this case North Carolina. The land remained the
King’s as far as politics and taxes, yet the men could do with the land
as they pleased and profit from it. Now the first official settlement
in North Carolina was in 1655, but the first incorporated city of Bath was
not until 1705. The proprietors began to separate their holdings in
order to better manage them into counties (or shires as they were called
back then). The word Shire comes from 7th century England when the Saxon
Kings began to mark off their kingdom. By the marking off, the Kings
would give sections of land to his loyal subjects to look after and control
for him. In this it was considered sharing his kingdom. Shire
is the Saxon word for sharing. In time, these loyal officials who administered
the King’s policies were eventually called “shire-reeves” or “Sheriff” as
it is pronounced today). With all the traffic now from England to America,
many goods were also being transported. It was during this time that
became a popular profession for some. The most famous of Pirates
is none other than Edward Teach. Who? Blackbeard! He was
the most notorious of them all and from the early 1700s till around 1718,
he sailed the waters of North Carolina and Virginia looking for all the bounty
he could muster. The Royal navy eventually cornered him and killed
him in North Carolina. By 1729, seven of the original eight proprietors
sold their interest in North Carolina back to the crown. Lord Granville
retained his monetary interest and continued granting land in the northern
portion of North Carolina. With all this land to disperse and maintain,
the proprietors needed help themselves to manage the business. This
gave rise to a unique profession called a Land Broker. The broker
controlled the purchase and sale of the land in question and made a tidy
sum for his troubles. These brokers in essence perpetuated the colonization
of America. In 1700, there were 5 colonized shires. By
1740, there were 13 shires, including New Hanover and Bladen. In 1760,
there were 25 counties, including Cumberland. By 1780, the North Carolina
borders had been set and all land had been sectioned off into counties.
The brokers were working hard and by now all rights belonged to the King
of England; thus, the brokers now worked for the King and his government
(much like a corporate buyout). From here on in, the larger counties
were broken into smaller counties as the state government saw fit to maintain
control. This included the break up of Cumberland Co. in 1784 into
Moore Co. North Carolina. It was named in honor of Captain Alfred Moore
of Brunswick (a soldier of the Revolution and afterwards a Justice of the
Supreme Court of the United States). It is in the south central section
of the State and is bounded by Cumberland, Harnett, Hoke, Scotland, Richmond,
Montgomery, Randolph, Chatham and Lee counties.
As noted earlier that the French and Indian wars were brewing, North
Carolina was in the middle of it. As a matter of fact, in 1758 the
North Carolina militia and local Cherokee Indians assisted the British
military in campaigns against the French and Shawnee Indians. The Cherokee
decide to change sides right in the middle of it all after receiving ill
treatment by the English (which seemed to be the norm as they taunted their
own Englishmen), and they return home, where they eventually attack North
Carolina colonists, young and old. The Americans declared their independence
in 1776 and by 1780 every one was involved in the war. To make matters worse,
southern families were divided. Loyalist fathers were pitted against patriot
sons while brothers and cousins fought against each other. Charleston, once
the fourth largest (and richest) city of the colonies was besieged and fell
to the British in 1780. On 12 May 1780, the British captured Charleston,
SC along with a
large portion of the American army. Among those captured were
815 Continental troops and 600 militia from North Carolina. Loyalists across
the backcountry are made confident as the British army approaches North
Carolina, and significant Loyalist groups form in Anson, Rowan, Tryon,
and Surry counties. Local Patriot forces defeat most of them, but 800 men
under the command of Samuel Bryan reached the main British army. In
1783, the North Carolina general assembly passed the Act of Pardon and Oblivion,
offering amnesty to some North Carolinians who remained loyal to Britain
during the Revolution. Many Loyalists did not receive amnesty as the state
continued to sell off their confiscated property well into the 1790s.
It is quite apparent that if you had anything to do with the Crown or at
least did not renounce your allegiance, you were not well looked after and
considered to be a loyalists, even if you actually were not. The
general public acted then as they still do today, if you get a mob together
with an idea in their head, they do not stop and think and damn the consequences.
By 1787, all was over for the fighting and by 1790; the newly formed American
government even began to organize itself with a Federal Census. In
North Carolina, there were roughly 390,000 people (290,000 free and 100,000
Wow, what an exiting and dangerous time to live in. Many
volumes of details were left out above but the general idea has been expressed
as to what was going on during the 1700s in America. Why did we go
into so much detail in the history, even down to the county level?
Because now, with the knowledge of what was going on, we can now discuss
the Smith Family in relation to this time period in order to attempt to
discover why the Smith’s did what they did and lived where they lived.
In our Smith Family, it is estimated that our Nicholas Smith was born
about 1700 in Bertie Co. North Carolina, the son of Captain Ambrose Joshua
Smith and Judith Ann Spann. He became one of the estimated 250,000
people that inhabited America during 1700. Nicholas apparently spent
all his life between Virginia and North Carolina, yet his time and place
of death is still unknown. However, we do have records proving his
existence through the purchase and sale of land mainly in North Carolina.
Not much is known about his childhood, but it is known that his father,
Ambrose, not only was a Captain in the military, but was a land broker/speculator
as shown earlier. “Before, during, and after the American Revolution,
colonists pushed the western boundaries of the settlement frontier. In
the process, they provoked numerous conflicts with native tribes and made
land speculation one of the chief pursuits of enterprising, adventurous
and, sometimes, unscrupulous men
. George Washington's career as a surveyor was a natural extension
of his own land speculations. Benjamin Franklin spent a great deal of his
time in London promoting land deals to the crown. Robert Morris, the financial
whiz who managed Congressional accounts during the Revolutionary War, died
in poverty because his own post-war land speculations lacked the genius
of his governmental accounting. John Filson, a speculator in Kentucky
land, helped promote his investments by creating a legend of another Kentucky
speculator, Daniel Boone. ”4 I must assume that Nicholas was a speculator
of sorts, for he was a well documented land broker, especially around the
area in and around the NW (Old) Cumberland Co. North Carolina. This
area later encompassed the Moore Co. North Carolina that we know today.
It is believed that he learned his trade from his father. There is
very little evidence at this stage that gives evidence of Nicholas' family,
but all the relevant details before and all the information gathered on those
after wards just seem to match so perfectly. The only difference really
was the name of Nicholas' son. He named him Nicholas but for reasons
unknown (I can speculate as to why ) it seems that he changed his name
to Nathan Smith - the same Nathan we descend from.
I will present to you those records which I have found and afterwards
we shall discuss them. For simplicity’s sake, I shall also display
those records found with the name Nathan Smith, and yet again we will discuss
them even later.
Nicholas Smith / Nathan Smith Records5
CUMBERLAND COUNTY DEED INDEX
ST CNTY BK Page
-------------------- -------------------- ----------- -- ---- -- ----
Smith, Nicholas Guest,
1757 NC CUMB 1 174
1754 NC CUMB 2 16
Narrimour, Edward Smith, Nicholas
1764 NC CUMB 2 361
1767 NC CUMB 3 113
Johnston, Jonas Smith,
1770 NC CUMB 4 33
1770 NC CUMB 4 226
1772 NC CUMB 4 410
1772 NC CUMB 4 414
1772 NC CUMB 4 426
Smith, Ann & Nathan Pennington, Levi Sr
1772 NC CUMB 4 428
1774 NC CUMB 6 279
6 Oct 1748 Nicholas Smith sold 400 acres on
the North side of Great Pee Dee river about a quarter mile above Isaac
Denson, joining the river bank.
13 Oct 1749 Nicholas Smith sold 200 acres to Unknown
in Bladen Co. NC on the south side of the Great Pee Dee and above
the mouth of Little River joining the river and a point about ½ mile
above the Wagon Ford.
10 May 1752 Nicholas Smith deed land to Thomas Collins
in Bladen Co. NC for 30 pounds VA. Money – 450 acres on south side of
Deep river on Buck Creek.
Deed from Cumberland Co. NC - 21 Apr 1757 . Deed: NICLOS SMITH
to Henry Guest [JOHN SMITH crossed out in original] acknowledged.
Deed from Cumberland Co. NC - 17 Aug 1762 . Deed: Joel McClendol
to WILLIAM SMITH proved by Thomas Collins. JOHN SMITH, sec. for John
Gardner. Petty Jurors: JOHN SMITH, NICHOLAS SMITH.
Cumberland NC Deed Book 2-361 - 14 May
1764 Edward Narrimour to NICHOLAS SMITH, both of Cumberland co.,50
pds, 100a in Cumberland co. on the Lower Little River. s/ Edward Narrimour
w/ William Mears, William Harrison,
Deed from Cumberland Co. NC – 16 May 1764 . Deeds (5): Thomas
Felps and wife Jean to ALEXANDER SMITH proved by John Stewart. JOHN
SMITH, a grand juror. NICHOLAS SMITH, a petit juror. JOHN
SMITH, a petit juror.
21 Nov 1764 . ROBERT SMITH, a grand juror. A road to be
laid off from SANDHILL SMITH'S as apptd last court: Jury: WILLIAM
SMITH, SR, JOHN SMITH, and NICHOLAS SMITH. Lewis Barge and ALEXANDER
SMITH lic. to keep ordinaries at their respective houses.
20 Aug 1765 . Richard Blalock, a grand juror. Deed: William
Narremore to George Foulds proved by NICHOLAS SMITH. Deed: John
Underwood to Elijah Kallam proved by ROBERT SMITH.
Cumberland NC Deed Book 3-113 - 18 May 1767
William Gilmore of Craven co. to NICHOLAS SMITH of
Cumberland co., 30 pds, 100a in Cumberland co. on a branch of the Crains
Creek on both sides of the branch, etc. s/ William Gilmore.
w/ William Mears, Thomas Collins.
Cumberland NC Deed Book 4-128 - 04 Aug 1770
NICHOLAS SMITH, planter of Cumberland co. to Josiah
Williamson, of Cumberland co., 50pds, 100a lying in Cumberland co.
on the South Fork of Cranes Creek on both sides of sd fork including the
plantation. s/ NICHOLAS SMITH, SARAH SMITH, w/ William
Feagin, William Manes.
Cumberland NC Deed Book 4-226 - 28 Sep 1770
NICHOLAS SMITH, planter of Cumberland co. to Andrew Ingram, planter of
Cumberland, 30pds, 100a lying in Cumberland co. on the Lower Little River
on both sides of the river, first granted to NICHOLAS SMITH by patent dated
22 Apr 1767. s/ NICHOLAS SMITH, w/ John Stewart, Wm.
Cumberland NC Deed Book 4-410 - 28 Nov 1771
NICHOLAS SMITH, planter of Cumberland to HENRY SMITH, of
Cumberland co. 30pds, 100a in Cumberland co. on the fork of Little
River including the plantation that the said HENRY SMITH now lives on,
first granted to William Narrimour, 22 Apr 1763. s/ NICHOLAS SMITH
w/ Kenneth Black, John Black.
Cumberland NC Deed Book 4-414 - 28 Nov 1771
NICHOLAS SMITH, planter of Cumberland to John Black, planter of Cumberland,
35pds, 60a in Cumberland between the Lower Little River on the south side
of said SMITH'S Mill Pond, first granted to NICHOLAS SMITH by patent 16
Dec 1769. s/ NICHOLAS SMITH w/ Archibald McDuffie, Malcolm
Cumberland NC Deed Book 4-426 - 25 Nov 1771
NICHOLAS SMITH, planter of Cumberland co. to John Black of Cumberland
co., 35pds, 100a in Cumberland on the Lower Little River. s/NICHOLAS
SMITH w/ Archibald McFee, Malcolm Patterson.
Cumberland NC Deed Book 4-435 - 20 Jul 1771
NATHAN SMITH, and ANN SMITH his wife, planter of Cumberland co. to Levi
Pennington, Sr of Cumberland co., 45pds, land in Cumberland co. on Richland
Creek branch of McClendon's Creek. s/ NATHAN SMITH, ANN SMITH
w/ John Stephens, Isaac Pennington.
29 Jan 1772 . Commission of Gov. Josiah Martin dated at New
Bern Dec 13, 1771 apptd the following as justices: .....DAVID SMITH...Deed:
NICKS SMITH to HENRY SMITH proved by Kinath Black.
29 Jan 1772 Deed: Daniel Munroe and John Clark to MALCOM
SMITH proved by Thomas Dobbins. Sander McKay apptd road overseer from Little
River bridge to his house at the ______ road. To work road, ROBERT SMITH.
NATHAN SMITH and wife ANN SMITH to Levi Pennington, Sr. proved by
29 Jan 1772 Deeds (2): NICHOLAS SMITH to John Black proved
by Archibald McFie.
30 Jan 1772 . Deed: NATHAN SMITH & wife ANN to Levi Pennington,
Sr. proved by John Stephens.
25 Oct 1774 . Deed: Jesse Ritter to NATHAN SMITH proved by William
Manes. Deed: ??????? Sanders to RICHARD SMITH proved by JOHN SMITH.
* Prior to 1734, Bladen Co. NC was part of the New Hanover precinct
of Bath Co. NC.
* In 1754, Cumberland Co. NC was carved out of Bladen Co. NC.
* From: "The North Carolina Gazetteer - A Dictionary of Tar Heel
Places" William L Powell. UNC press 1968
"Pocosin" - a swamp or boggy place that may also
run or flow as a stream.
"Lower Little River”- rises in SW Moore co and flows
E through Moore co.
forms the N boundary of Fort Bragg in Hoke and Cumberland
counties and in
part along the Cumberland / Harnett county line
to the Cape Fear River.
"Neill's Creek" - rises in S Wake co and flows SW
in N Harnett County
into Cape Fear River. Named for Red Neill
McNeill who settled along it's
banks in 1740
"Hector's Creek" - rises in SW Wake co & flows
SW thru N Harnett co into
Cape Fear river. Named for Hector McNeill
who settled along its banks
If nothing else is evident, it is clear that Nicholas Smith bought and
sold land. Not just a few acres here and there, he sold great blocks
of land from 200 to 450 acres at a time. The only thing I find interesting
to note is that he sold land or rather of the records found, he only traded
land every couple of years, on average and basically around the same area.
I will go out on a limb here, but this tells me that Nicholas had found
a niche in the new country that he was quite good at. I will have
to assume that he was a modest man, yet of means (probably passed down, but
not overly wealthy) for his ambition for money was not great, lest he would
have traded more often. It appears that he traded only when he needed
to – to pay taxes or avoid taxes. etc. He apparently made just enough
to keep his family comfortable or to remain unnoticed during these troubled
times. I say this, because of the locality of his dealings. I
am assuming that he had his family and homestead in Moore Co. NC (although
it wasn’t Moore Co. until 1783) and wished to stay there and be with his
family. I assume that in between brokering, he had his own farm as
well. Simply, my thoughts are this: Nicholas Smith was a family
man of means. Understanding the culture, lessons from his father on
business, and staying ahead of the game, Nicholas seemed to achieve exactly
what he wanted in life. He wanted a family and to be surrounded by
his extended family - a trait that still survives today. In order to
achieve his goals, he took what he learned from his father and earned enough
to take care of and provide for his family by speculating land from the British
Government to the colonists. Easy job and good money. There were
only two problems with this arrangement – Natives and being a Loyalist.
Nicholas was born about 1700. Let’s give him 20 – 25 years
to grow up and learn the lay of the land. This would put him wanting
to stretch his wings about 1720. Sound good so far? He was married
to an unknown lady before 1730. I believe this because his only recorded
son (that I have found) was born about 1731, also named Nicholas.
Now stop and think for a moment. By 1735, Nicholas is supposed to
be married with a child in Old Cumberland Co. (now Moore Co.) North Carolina.
What is he doing for a living? How does he support himself?
Who else is there with him? Here is my theory….Nicholas’ father, Ambrose
was a very well connected man as we discovered, not only with the locals
but with family ties. His grandfather, Christopher, was also established
connections. As a matter of fact, every male child of Christopher’s
joined the military and were part of the local and state governments –
all connected with other influential friends. All but Ambrose exceeded
the rank of Captain in the King’s Army during the 1600/1700s, even up to
the rank of Brig. General.6 Through these connections, the Smith’s
developed relations and established contacts within the British government
(usually the Military officers were placed in charge as governors and
such over colonies; thus, they had connections with those who had the
power). And just by happenstance many of these officers were either relative
or friends of relatives. It would be safe to assume that the Smith
family of the late 1600s and early 1700s were some what loyal to the crown.
Why wouldn't they be? - He who had the King's ear, had power and money,
which was a necessity in a colony that was just growing, as a child needs
his mother. The key here is that some of our relatives were in control
of or looked after the king's possessions in the colonies. Through
this they became what I would call Semi-Loyalists. But in the early
1700s, when American/British relations were basically good, there was
no problem being loyal to your motherland. With these connections,
the Smith’s discovered land speculation and surveying to be a cash cow.
The land was claimed by Great Brittan and then dispersed among the Proprietors
and then among the colonists at a price (who also in turn had to pay taxes
as well – what a great deal!!?!!). Ambrose obviously discovered
this niche and taught his son, Nicholas, to do the same later in life.
The only way to make wealth was with land. Manufacturing was outlawed
as the king kept all trade from the colonies within British control. So
investing in land was the way to go. "Everyone who could borrow money
plunged into the land speculation "7. The Quaker, William Penn (who was
the brother - in - law to Lord Granville of the North Carolina land grant
from the King) was granted land - Pennsylvania, yet realized that if he
wanted a peaceful community they were not to settle land until it had been
bought fairly from the Natives. William was not a well thought of
by his fellow Americans, due to tax reasons, yet he gave good advice that
no one heeded as the French and Indian Wars proved. I believe Ambrose
kept his children and family near him and took good care of them financially
as the land brokerage became quite lucrative. Not to say there isn’t
any earlier records, but since the first record showing Nicholas as the
broker was in Oct. 1748, where he would have been close to 48 and his father
would have been close to 80, it would seem better late than never that Nicholas
take over the “Brokerage Business” as well as probably run the farm.
I want to believe Ambrose kept Nicholas out of the business as long as possible
for safety’s sake for not everyone liked the speculators. And as we
discovered earlier, Ambrose finally was killed around 1758 by an Indian
Attack along with his wife. He would have been close to 98 years old
and probably couldn’t run or fight back. Obviously this situation was escalated
across the country as the French and Indian War came into play about 1755.
Incidentally, the were records of Nicholas selling land in 1757.
Now he should, according to averages, been found selling again in 1759,
but He was not found again till 1762 – a good five years later, just as
the war was coming to a close. I believe he stopped selling and went
into hiding after his father was killed in 1758. At this stage, Nicholas
only had to worry about the Indian problems, the Loyalist issue hasn’t come
into play yet.
If you lived all your life on a patch of land, the same patch that
your ancestors lived on for hundreds of years, and some foreigner came
over and started taking it away from you in pieces, Would you be happy
about it? Well neither were the Native Americans, or Indians.
These guys were not stupid, and soon discovered how their lands were being
taken away. It was by the brokers. Now the brokers were only
doing that which was allowed by their King. So the Indians were mad
at the King, but took out their hostilities on his subjects, the brokers
and the colonists. The Indians fought to keep their lands by attacking
the colonists and rightly so. Yet their primitive ways, in the long
run, were no match for the then mechanized invaders. I believe that
Nicholas kept a low profile in order to maintain their business and not
be attacked by Indians as well as stay under the radar of the British,
and Americans for that matter (I believe these actions are also why some
would consider brokers as unscrupulous – they played both sides. Yet
playing both sides was not a unique situation to be in as every American
was placed in this position during this time of war and revolution.
“The revolution forced competition amongst the colonists’ allegiances:
To England and the King, to colonial homes and families, and even to religious
convictions. To support the war was to refute the King; to oppose the
war was to deny one’s homeland” 8). What were the Smith’s to do?
Were they to discard their mother country or better yet their “bread and
butter” and cry the rebel yell or were they to discard their homeland and
countrymen in support of an
unpopular government? If you had a family with many mouths to
feed, not to mention being accustomed to maintaining a certain way of life,
what would you do? If all your life, you survived on relationships
that had been built on for generations and then suddenly were told to give
up your security and lively hood, would you? Nicholas’ dilemma to remain connected
to his brokering, his family, and his countrymen was even more complex
than we earlier thought. He was like so many, going to be in the
middle of a fight that tore some many families apart as brother was against
brother, father against son, and so on. It is estimated
that 1/3 of the American population chose not to give up the motherland
and became Loyalists. And “during the [Revolutionary] War, many loyalists
stayed close to the British Army. A great many clung to New York
because the British held that City for much of the War. Perhaps as
many as 100,000 loyalists left the country after the revolution, many winding
up in Candada.”9 Yet where do we find, Nicholas? Did he go to New
York? No, he stayed in North Carolina. I believe that Nicholas’ loyalty
was towards his family. I believe he remained close to his own borders
to defend them. “Some of the militia men simply refused to serve beyond
their territory’s boundary because they felt no connectedness to other colonies
or to the British Crown; feelings of local Allegiance were already very
strong in the mid-1750s”10. At the time, many people were more loyal
to their immediate community than they were to either the "American" or
the "Loyalist" cause. Does this sound like a Loyalist? But on
the other hand, it appears that up until at least 1770, Nicholas was still
brokering land. He had to get the land from somewhere.
I feel that Nicholas wanted to support the war, but only to the extent of
his locality. Yet in his line of work, he undoubtedly had to maintain
contact with someone on the British side to keep the business going.
His loyalty to his homeland and countrymen was established when he remained
in North Carolina. His loyalty to his family was upheld by continuing
to support them the only way he knew how. It is interesting to note
that that every time we find them on the map overlayed with the current
Political structure, the Smith’s are always just outside the line in the
“Wild Country” and just out of reach of most authorities (yet just in reach
of the Indians). This tells me that Ambrose and Nicholas both were
buying blocks of land in the wild country and selling it to make a profit.
In a way, our Smith’s helped expand the colonization of the new territory.
Remember that King George III, took the helm of England in 1760.
This was the time when national pride was forming and the hatred for all
things British as the King began imposing his extra taxes on the people.
Yet Nicholas kept on brokering land in 1764, 1765, 1767, 1770, 1771, and
up till 1772. I have also discovered a Nicholas Smith on the 1767
Tax list of Cumberland Co. NC. On the same tax list, was a Nathanial,
three John’s, a Henry, two William Smith’s, as well as some members of the
Owen Carpenter family, Kees (Keys) family, and a few other families, all
of which we will get to later. Here is where I think it really
becomes interesting. It is not known when Nicholas died.
It is known that Nicholas had at least four children, one of which was named
Nicholas (not uncommon then or today). It is estimated that the younger
Nicholas was born around 1731 of which in 1770 he would have been roughly
39 years of age. And if the older Nicholas was born about 1700, it
would be obvious that he would be 70 years of age at the same time. So we
have Old Nicholas at 70 yrs and Young Nicholas at 39 yrs in 1770. Remember
what is going on around them. A war with the Indians and French had
not long ended and a Revolution is brewing. I propose that Old Nicholas,
nearing his time of death, passed on what he had learned to young Nicholas
and could have even used his father’s name once or twice to broker some
land during this time. And over the next couple of years bought and
sold with or for his father. Even to the extent that we find on the
exact same days (29 & 30 Jan 1772) in the exact same place (Cumberland
Co. NC), the sale of land by both Nicholas and Nathan. Is this a coincidence?
Wait a minute! Who is this Nathan guy now and where did he come
from? He is not mentioned on any record I have found before 1767 (on
the tax list). Then the next record found was in 1771 and 1772 brokering
land in the same place as Nicholas. He is found again in 1774 brokering
land. The next time I find him is on the 1790 Federal Census (the
first of it kind). Whoa, wait another minute! Where is Nicholas now?
I can’t find him. After the 1772 records, he disappears off the face
of the earth. Are you curious? Me too! Before we attempt
and answer, lets find out a bit more about this Nathan.
Now before I go too much further let me say that researching the past
is not an exact science, for with people, names are spelled differently,
people known by one name are not necessarily recorded under that name, nick-names
are used, people assume names that were not theirs to begin with, dates
are not always exact and are sometimes very confusing. Unless you
have a document (birth certificate, death certificate, marriage license,
or something that is of an official nature) you can never be 100% sure;
and even these conflict each other at times. Who is Nathan Smith?
What makes him so important, for this man is an enigma — which is to say
he would fit right into our family. From all accounts he appears
to be a descent man, an educated man, and a man who doesn’t want to be found.
Why on earth would a man not wish to be found? If this is the case,
what was he hiding from? He is said to be born in North Carolina during
the early 1730s which if one remembers correctly these are semi-troubled
times with uprisings, political troubles, and not to far off there will be
the beginnings of the civil war with the natives and other settlers.
In his life time he would have seen not only a war, but a rebellion against
the tyranny which manifested into a revolutionary war resulting in the birth
of a new nation. Awesome!
The Nathan Smith we know is a man estimated to be born around 1730/31
in or around the area of North Carolina who we believe died somewhere in
the Franklin Co. GA area. He married a lady with the name Ann (first
or middle we don’t know) supposedly around 1750 somewhere in North Carolina.
We must assume in 1750 and in Moore Co. North Carolina because it is believed
their first son, Everett Smith was born in 1751 in Moore Co. North Carolina.
Nathan is also believed to have had other children as follows: Nicholas
Smith (b. 1758), Isham Smith (b. 1760), Stephen Smith (b. 1762), William
Smith (b. 1763), and Sarah Rachel Smith (b. 1765/70). Some think
that he had more named Gabriel Smith (b. 1764), Mary Smith (b. 1768), and
Jesse (b. 1772). The all are feasible, but we have no proof and lean
toward them being the children of other related Smith’s. Below is
a quick overview of Nathan’s children:
1. Nathan Smith (Born abt. 1730/31 in North Carolina) (Died in
GA, most likely Franklin Co.). He married Ann Smith (b. abt. 1733)
abt. 1750 in North Carolina.
A. Children of Nathan Smith and Ann Smith
Everett Smith (b. 1751 in Moore Co., NC) (d. 21 Apr 1822 in MS)
Nicholas Smith (b. 1758 in Moore Co., NC)
Isham Smith (b. 1760 in Cumberland Co., NC) (d. 1840 in Lawrence Co. MS)
Stephen Smith (b. 1763 in NC) (d. 1846 in Lawrence Co., MS)
William Smith (b. 1764 in NC)
Sarah Rachel Smith (b. 1765 in NC) (d. in MS)
2. Everett Smith2 [Nathan Smith1] (b. 1751 in NC / d. 21 Apr.
1822 in Fair River, Lawrence Co., MS) married Eliza Furr 1773 in Moore Co.,
NC (b. 1758 in NC / d. 1827 in Lawrence Co., MS), daughter of Henry Furr
(b. 1717 in Gassau, St, Mall, Canton, Switzerland / d. 1769 in Anson Co.
NC) and Russena Raffor (b. 1720 in Purrysburg, Effingham, GA / d. Unk).
Everett and Eliza are both buried in Smith Cemetery, Lincoln Co., MS.
A. Children of Everett Smith and Eliza Furr
+ ii. Isaac
Smith (b. abt. 1772 in NC)
+ iii. William One
Hand Smith (b. 30 Apr. 1775 in NC)
+ iv. Nathan Smith
(b. 5 Feb. 1777 in NC)
+ v. Everett
Smith (b. abt. 1780 in NC)
+ vi. Levi Smith (b. abt.
1782 in NC)
+ vii. Pleasant Smith (b. abt.
1784 in NC)
+ viii. Eli N. Smith (b. 30 Apr. 1787
ix. John Smith
(b. abt. 1790)
3. Nicholas Smith [Nathan Smith1] (b. abt. 1758 in Moore Co. MS / d.
unk) married unk.
A. Children of Nicholas Smith and Unk:
+ i. Henry Smith (b. abt. 1790 in
Putnam Co. GA / d. abt. 1835)
4. Isham Smith2 [Nathan Smith1] (b. abt. 1760 in Cumberland Co.
NS / d. abt. 1840 in Lawrence Co. MS) married Sarah Harbin (b. abt. 1770
/ d. 1803 in GA?) on or about 1789 in NC.
A. Children of Isham Smith and Sarah Harbin
+ i. Isham
Anderson Smith (b. abt. 1790 in NC)
+ ii. John William
Smith (b. abt. 1797 in NC)
Smith (b. 1796 in NC)
+ iv. Jemima Smith
(b. abt. 1798 in NC)
+ v. Stephen
Smith (b. 1803 in Franklin Co., GA)
5. Stephen Smith2 [Nathan Smith1] (b. 1763 in NC / d. 1846 in
Bogue Chitto, Lawrence Co., MS) married Jemima Kees (abt. 1787) (b. abt.
1760 in GA / d. abt. 1860 in Lawrence Co. MS). Both are buried at Friendship
Baptist Church Cemetery, Lincoln Co., MS.
A. Children of Stephen Smith and Jemima Kees
Nathan Smith (b. 1789 in NC)
Mary Polly Smith (b. 1791 in NC)
iii. Sarah Smith
(b. abt. 1793 in NC)
+ iv. Isham Smith
(b. abt. 1795 in NC)
+ v. Nicholas
Smith (b. abt. 1800 in GA)
+ vi. Nancy
Smith (b. abt. 1800 in GA)
+ vii. Margaret Smith
(b. abt. 1802 in GA)
+ viii. Elizabeth Smith
(b. abt. 1804 in GA)
+ ix. James Allen Smith
(b. abt. 1808 in GA)
+ x. Jemima
A. Smith (b. 9 May 1811 in Franklin Co., GA)
6. William Smith2 [Nathan Smith1] (b. abt. 1764 in NC / d. UNK)
A. Children of William Smith and UNKNOWN
+ i. William
Smith (b. abt. 1788 in Moore Co., NC)
7. Sarah Rachel Smith2 [Nathan Smith1] (b. abt. 1770 in NC /
d. in MS) married Owen Carpenter (m. abt. 1785 in NC) (b. abt. 1767 in
NC / d. abt. 1828 in Lawrence Co., MS), the son of Thomas Owen Carpenter
and Catherine Shamberger.
More about Owen Carpenter:
Owen’ Father, Thomas Carpenter (b. abt. 1740 in NC / d. 1780 in NC)
married Catherine Shamberger (b. abt. 1743 in NC / d. UNK) around 1759 in
NC. They lived in Bear Creek, Moore Co., NC. Thomas is buried
in Shamberger Cemetery, Montgomery Co., NC. Thomas and his youngest
son died at the hands British soldiers by being shot during the American
Thomas and Catherine Carpenter had 7 children: Jonathan Carpenter
(b. abt. 1760 in NC), Solomon Carpenter (b. abt. 1763 in NC), Dennis Carpenter
(b. abt. 1765 in NC), Owen Carpenter (b. abt. 1767 in NC), and Temple
Carpenter (b. 1769 in NC), Adam Carpenter (b. 2 Jul. 1771 in NC), and
Infant Carpenter (b. & d. 1780 in NC).
A. Children of Sarah Rachel Smith and Owen
+ i. William Carpenter (b. abt.
+ ii. John Carpenter (b. abt. 1787)
+ iii. Nancy Carpenter (b. abt.
+ iv. Catherine Carpenter (b. abt.
+ v. Owen Carpenter (b. abt. 1795)
+ vi. Nathan Carpenter (b. abt.
+ vii. Dennis Carpenter (b. abt.
+ viii. Henry Carpenter (b. abt.
+ ix. Mary Carpenter (b. abt. 1809)
+ x. Malinda Carpenter (b. abt.
+ xi. Green Carpenter (b. abt.
There you have it, three generations of what is believed to be from
Nathan Smith. But this is not where the story begins for we have only
jumped into the middle of it. As mentioned earlier, Nathan is bit
of an enigma, mainly because there are no records showing neither where
Nathan came from, nor who his parents or siblings are. He just appeared.
Remember the first record found was in the 1767 Tax list for Cumberland
Co. NC and again in a deed dated 1771 and then in 1772. Again we
found him buying land in Cumberland Co. NC in 1774. The next record
found was the 1790 US Federal Census. Now the 1790 US Census was
the first of its kind for the newly formed United States. This Census
was taken for each county in the land. Since we know that Nathan’s
children were born in North Carolina, it is safe to assume that this is the
place to start searching.
North Carolina in the 1790s was beginning to take shape in the
political aspect. The county lines were still being formed but were
not too far off from what it is today. We know that Everett Smith
was born about 1751 in what is known today as Moore Co. NC, but as you can
see in the 1760 map of North Carolina, there is no Moore County, NC.
There even isn’t one in the 1780 map. Moore Co. doesn’t show up until
1783, when it was created out of what was Cumberland County, North Carolina
as shown in the 1800 Map (right in the middle). Now notice the
surrounding counties: Cumberland, Chatham, Randolph, Montgomery, Richmond,
and Robeson. It is within these counties, including Moore Co. that
we should find our ancestors.
In the 1790
Federal Census of Moore Co. NC11, we researched and found that there
are the following Smith’s recorded: Everat Smith (2,3,3,0,0); Nathan
Smith (1,0,1,0,0); Zachariah Smith (2,5,1,0,0); Thomas Smith (2,1,2,0,0);
William Smith (1,1,4,0,0); William Smith (1,1,4,0,0); John Smith (1,2,2,0,0);
William Smith (1,1,1,0,0); Archibald Smith (4,3,6,0,0); Stephen Smith (1,1,2,0,0);
David Smith (1,0,4,0,0); James Smith (1,0,0,0,0); and William Smith (1,2,3,0,0).
After each name is a list of those in the family by numbers. With
the knowledge that the first number is those living in the house hold that
are males either the head of household or at the age of 16 or over, the
second number being all males younger than 16 years of age, the third number
is all free females in the house hold, the forth number being all other free
persons living there, and the fifth being any slaves that may be owned.
Lets begin the tedious task of going through these as an example of how
we determine all other records we will go through in time.
* Everat Smith (2,3,3,0,0) – Even thought the spelling is different,
this is most likely our Everett Smith (b. 1751). Earlier we discussed
the children of Everett and by 1790, Everett and Eliza Furr (b. 1758) had
8 children. The youngest was Eli (b. 1787), the next youngest
was Pleasant (b 1784), the next youngest was Levi (b. 1782). These
three would account for the second number of “3”. Obviously the first
number includes the Head of House hold, Everett, so the “2” still leaves
us with one male child 16 or over living at home which was most likely William
”one hand” Smith (b. 1775). Now this leaves the third number of “3”.
With Eliza living at home, this accounts for one. Now Everett only
had one daughter (birth unknown) and this could account for one more.
That leaves one female unaccounted for. My belief is that it was a
mistake and should have been another male, which would have been Nathan (b.
1777). I believe Isaac (b. 1772) had already moved out on his own and
Everett’s youngest son, John, had not been born yet. To my knowledge
th ere is no other Everett, Everat, or Averitt mentioned in any of the
surrounding counties in the 1790s.
* Nathan Smith (1,0,1,0,0) – This is most likely our Nathan Smith.
Being around 60 years of age during this Census, still married to Ann,
with all his children out on their own this seems to fit the profile depicted
here in the census as Nathan being the one male over 16 or head of house
hold and Ann being the female. The only thing I see that could be wrong
here is that this Nathan could be a young man just starting out with his
new wife, thus, no children. It just isn’t clear. There are,
however, in the neighbouring counties other Nathan Smith’s during the same
time. We will discuss them as we come to them.
* Zachariah Smith (2,5,1,0,0) – Just knowing the Census was taken in
1790 and knowing that the First number is a “2”, taking into account that
one of the two is Zachariah, I estimate Zachariah’s birth date to be as
follows: 1790 minus 16 equals 1774 just to start because he has a
son 16 or over. Knowing he had a son at this time to be at least
16 and that for Zachariah to be the father, he would have had to have been
at least 20 (just an assumption – but this is all I have to go on) I will
take off another 20 years (1774-20=1754). Now this date of
1754 is the minimum I can calculate, meaning he could have been born before
this but I again guesstimate that he was born between 1744 and 1754 (or
1749 +/- 5 years). This puts him about the same age as Everett, but
there is no mention of Nathan having a son named Zachariah; therefore, I
must look for him to belong to another Smith born on or before 1730.
There is evidence of a Zachariah that belongs to Ambrose Smith (b. 1660/61),
see Appendix II. If so then, Zachariah was born 19 Aug 1734, which
fits our profile here.
* Thomas Smith (2,1,2,0,0) – By using the same process as mentioned
above, we can calculate that Thomas was born on or before 1754, but with
other evidence we will find later, I believe that Thomas was born between
1735 – 1745. He has a son at least 16 yrs old still at home, a son
under 16 years old, a wife and daughter of indeterminate ages. Again,
there is evidence of a Thomas belonging to Christopher Smith (b. abt. 1720
in Bear Creek, Cumberland Co. VA), the son of Ambrose Smith (b. 1660/61),
see Appendix II. If this is correct, he would have been born about
1754 in Chatham Co. NC, which also fits our profile here.
* William Smith (1,1,4,0,0) – Through calculation, it appears William
was born at or before 1754. He had one son under 16, a wife and three
daughters. Our William only had one child and therefore this William
is omitted from the direct line, but he is not to be forgotten about.
He may lead to other of our Smith’s. There is evidence of a William
belonging to the above same Christopher Smith (b. abt. 1720 at Bear Creek,
Cumberland Co. VA) who again is the son of Ambrose Smith (b. 1660/61),
see Appendix II. If this is a match, then this William was born about
1751 in Chatham Co. NC, which fits our profile here.
* William Smith (1,1,4,0,0) – This William appears just a few lines
down from the first one mentioned above. I believe it is just a duplicate
of the above mentioned. I can be wrong, but I have not been proven
wrong yet; there is just not enough information on this.
* John Smith (1,2,2,0,0) – This John Smith, with calculation, would
have been born at or before 1754. He had two sons below the age of
16, his wife and one daughter (age unknown). This John is believed
to be part of the family but on another line as we will discuss next.
* William Smith (1,1,1,0,0) – Now this is in all probability our William
Smith (b. abt 1763), son of Nathan Smith. William only had one son,
also named William (b. abt. 1788). He fits perfectly into this.
Other reasons I believe it is our William is because of the placement
on the Census. I assume the way this Census was taken was that the
people came up to the poll taker or as the poll taker came to the people,
this William is recorded in the middle of John Smith and Owen Carpenter.
We know that Owen Carpenter is the husband of Nathan’s daughter, Sarah
Rachel Smith. Owen’s record will be discussed in a later portion
of the book. Matching William with Nathan and knowing that Owen is
his brother-in-law, I assume it is no coincidence that these two were recorded
at the same time. So with this theory, I further assume that the
John Smith mentioned before William is also a relative of some sort, but
this is just a theory and have no evidence to support it.
* Archibald Smith (4,3,6,0,0) – Archibald is a name that I have
not found in any of my Smith research of this time era. I cannot rule
him out as he does exist, but to whom I do not know. By calculation,
Archibald is assumed to be born between 1740 – 1750. He has three
sons 16 years old or older, three sons below the age of 16, His wife and
* Stephen Smith (1,1,2,0,0) – Our Stephen Smith (b. abt. 1762) would
have been married with about two children in 1790. And what do you
know, this record shows a Stephen Smith that matches. Stephen and
his wife Jemima Kees (b. abt. 1760) were married around 1787 and had at
this stage two children: Nathan Smith (b. 1789), and Mary Polly Smith
(b. abt. 1790). I believe this is most definitely our Stephen Smith,
son of Nathan Smith.
* David Smith (1,0,4,0,0) – This fellow is unknown to me during this
time frame. But is a Smith nonetheless. He apparently is married
with three daughters (age unknown). I must assume that he was born
* James Smith (1,0,0,0,0) – This James Smith is not of our direct line,
but it may be proven later to belong to our Smith clan later, through John
Smith (b. abt. 1721). If I am correct this James would have been born
around 1760. This would make him right at 30 years old now.
It is strange that a 30 year old man is living single and no children.
The record suggests two things: He was either a young chap over
the age of 16 just out on his own or he was an elderly man living alone.
I need more data.
* William Smith (1,2,3,0,0) – As you can already see, there are many
Smith’s in the world. And for those of us who research the Smith’s,
the name William is a source of pain for us. There are almost as
many William’s out there as there are Smith’s. I have no idea yet
who this man is, but he has a wife, two sons below the age of 16 and two
more daughters, ages unknown. I too would have to assume his birth
to be at or before 1754.
Now that was the Moore County Census of 1790 in NC. Notice that
of the children of Nathan Smith, we only came across three of the sons and
We are missing at the least Nicholas and Isham. Where were they?
To find them, we need to start looking first in the surrounding counties.
I am going to list the Smith’s found in the 1790 Federal Census for each
county surrounding Moore Co. NC along with their family numbers in Appendix
I. I will not; however, make it boring with talk of calculations, for
you can see how I come to my conclusions with the dates and how to read the
data presented as shown earlier.
First let’s look at Chatham County, North Carolina. Our search
at this stage is just for the two missing sons, Nicholas and Isham.
After abstracting all the Smith’s listed, we were unable to find any Nicholas
or derivative thereof, but there were two Isham Smith’s with the first one
having the following family numbers (2,3,4,0,0). In 1790, our Isham
would have been just about 30 years old and according to records he would
have had only one child. This one we find already has 7 children; therefore,
we must rule him out. The second Isham had the family numbers of (2,1,5,0,0).
Again, this Isham is not ours as he already has 6 children. Knowing
that all our records are not exact and the dates could be wrong a bit,
by stretching it as far as I can go, I cannot make these two Isham’s match
ours. We will not forget the rest of the Smith’s listed in this county
for some of them will come in to play with a related line.
Second, let’s look at Cumberland Co. North Carolina. This one
county has almost 40 Smith families to go through. Of the families
found in the 1790 census of Cumberland Co. NC, only 6 have matching names
to our ancestors. Of these six, there are 4 Williams, a Nathan, and
a Stephen. Knowing from what we have gone through earlier that we already
have our William, we can discard (from the direct line at this time period
only) the 4 others, leaving only a Nathan and a Stephen. Our Nathan
would have been around 60 years of age and his wife about 57. This
Nathan in Cumberland County has 2 females living with him. Assuming
one is his wife, Ann, who is the other female? Our Nathan only had
two daughters (one I am still not sure is his), Sarah and Mary. Sarah
married Owen Carpenter around 1785 and had already begun a family as we had
seen in the Moore County census. Therefore, the only female left is
Mary (b. about 1768) and would have been about 22 years of age at this time.
Not knowing enough about her, I cannot comment if she was married or not
or if she was living at home. Thus, I must keep this Nathan as a candidate
(although not probable). Now Everett, Nathan’s first born, has a son
also named Nathan born on 5 Feb 1777. In 1790 he would have
been 13 years of age – not old enough to be this one. Stephen, Nathan’s
fourth son, also had a son named Nathan, but born around 1789 – not old enough.
I have exhausted all the Nathan’s I can find with no clear match. All
that is left now, is the Stephen. This census says the Stephen has
2 males 16 or older, 3 males under the age of 16, and 3 females. Assuming
Stephen is one male over 16 and his wife being one of the females, then he
had 1 son over 16, 3 young sons under 16, and 2 daughters in 1790.
Our Stephen was married in 1787 and his first born arrived in 1789 – this
cannot be our Stephen.
Third, let us look at Richmond Co., NC. Of the 10 Smith families
found, only one matching name exists, William Smith. But we know
he is not our William.
Fourth, let us look at Robeson Co. NC and Randolph Co. NC. Neither
county has one name that matches ours.
This leaves us one more county that borders the 1790 Moore Co.
NC to go through, Montgomery Co. NC. Of the 10 Smith families found,
we have 3 names that match ours. First is a Nathan Smith (2,3,6,0,0).
Now if our Nathan and Ann got lonely after most of the children left and
began producing a few more in the 1780s that we are not aware of, I think
we can safely say that this Nathan does not belong to our direct line.
Second match is a William Smith (1,1,1,0,0). Now this is a match to
the information we have on our William. But I thought we already has
our William in Moore Co.? Remember how I came to the conclusion that
he was ours with the added theory of being with Owen Carpenter? This
William is found with a Jonathan Carpenter and a Temple Carpenter (both brothers
of Owen), yet these two Carpenter’s did not register with or at the same
time as this William. So this is another mystery. Is this our
William again, just counted twice or is it just a coincidence? I do
not know. Finally the last matching name was that of an ISHAM Smith.
This Isham is recorded having a family of one male over 16 (himself), 2 males
under 16, and 6 females. Our Isham, in 1790, is believed to have been
married with one male child born around 1790. This doesn’t match at
all. But to many researchers, it has been common practice to call this
Isham, the son of our Nathan. I have two choices at this stage for
Isham. I can accept the common practice until I find a better match
or I can extend my search to a wider radius of counties around Moore
Co. I will leave the issue alone for now.
We have gone through the 1790 Census for Moore Co. NC and every county
surrounding it and still have not located our Nicholas Smith or found
a satisfactory match for our Isham Smith. Isham is recorded to have
been born in Cumberland Co. NC around 1760. We have documentation
for later about him moving to Franklin Co. GA in the early 1800s from Montgomery
Co. NC. Where was our Isham between 1760 and 1800? Now even
stranger is the fact that the young Nicholas (son of Nathan) born around
1758 isn’t mentioned anywhere in any of the surrounding counties.
In 1790, he should have been about 32 years old, married with one child born
around 1790 named Henry.
Question: What if Nicholas (b. abt. 1758) was under the name
of Nathan. This is just a hypothesis, but let’s check it out for
clarity’s sake. Now we went through 7 counties and found 3 Nathan
Smith’s. The first one in Moore Co has (1,0,1,0,0) for a family record.
The second Nathan is from Cumberland Co. with (1,0,2,0,0) for his family
record. And the Last Nathan found was in Montgomery Co with (2,3,6,0,0)
for his record. Our Nicholas (b. 1758) in 1790 would have been married
with one child as best as I can tell. Now if this child was a girl,
then the second Nathan from Cumberland Co. could be a match to our Nicholas
- food for thought - for later.
Now that we are back on the subject of Nathan, let’s continue.
Using Nathan’s children as verification, we attempt to establish that
we are in the correct place looking for Nathan himself. Through
establishing each of Nathan’s Children, we get a stronger picture and proof
of Nathan Smith’s existence and where he came from, even though we have
nothing before 1767. Just based on the Census data, we believe we
have a match. After this, he is only found in Cumberland and Moore
Counties for a few years. Then low and behold, he shows up in Franklin
Co. GA with a settlement named after him, the Nathan Smith Settlement.
It is hear that he is presumed to have died. “The Smith’s migrated
from North Carolina to the Nathan Smith Settlement prior to 1800 [between
1790 and 1798 as he was in Moore Co. NC on the 1790 Census and he signed
a petition in GA in 1798] to what they thought was Franklin County, Georgia
but later was deemed to be Cherokee lands. The Cherokees complained that
the Nathan Smith Settlement [and every other local settlement] was on their
land. An Indian agent by the name of Benjamin Hawkins [a Revolutionary Officer]
from Washington D. C. was sent to Georgia to determine who was right, the
settlement or the Indians; he decided in favor of the Indians. The land dispute
went on for many years and the settlers became discouraged and sold their
lands "warranted against all but the Indian Claims"12
In The First Settlers in what is now Habersham County, taken from the
Lavonia Times and Gauge, February 23, 1934, the following excerpt is cited:
“The first settlers of what is now Habersham County were
those settlers of Franklin County, whose lands were granted by the State
of Georgia between 1783 and 1788, lay north of the Indian Boundary fixed
by the treaty of 1785. These lands were granted under the impression that
they lay south of the agreed boundary line. When this line was surveyed,
it was found that these lands lay north of the boundary line and in the
Cherokee Nation, the Indians demanded their immediate removal. In 1798,
these settlers petitioned Governor James Jackson to have the line re-run
or to take such other action that would protect them in the possession
of their homes. This resulted in the "Four Mile Purchase" of 1804, when
the Indians ceded a strip of land four miles wide and twenty miles long
which included these lands. This strip of land was then added to Franklin
County, but now lies in Banks and Habersham Counties. Those who signed
the petition were: Phillip Thomas, John Thomas, William Thomas, Phillip
Thomas, Jr., Abednego Downing, George Waters, Levi Taylor, James Huitt,
Joseph Dunnegame, E. Dunnegame, Moses Terel (probably Terrell), John Little,
William Alexander Ramsey, Jesse Austin, Thomas Ketrim, Thomas Lean, Equila
McCrackin, (torn) McCrackin (probably James), (torn) Halcom (probably Moses),
George Hopper, William Weatherspoons, Hugh Hartgrove, Benjamin Wofford,*
Nathaniel Wofford, Richard Burkes, Richard Lay, Nicolas Smith, Nathan
Smith, Oen Carpenter (probably Owen), James Minnerd (probably Minyard),
Nicholas Nuton (probably Newton), Stephen Smith, Lewis Dickerson,
Joseph Halcom, John Parker, John Ratley, Thomas Warren, Robert Shipley,
John Shipley, Nathaniel Shipley, William Little." In the Georgia Genealogist,
under Franklin County, Wofford Settlement appears the following: ". . . Col.
Meigs further reported settlers left outside the Hawkins line around other
Isham Smith, John Smith, Adam Sheffield, James Keys,
Joseph Shelton, Samuel Spencer, William Spencer, Richard Jacks, John Huitt,
Jacob Hollingsworth, Moses Alfred, William Smith, Averitt Smith,
James Brown, Temple Carpenter, John Warren, James Hamilton, Nimrod
House, James Alfred, Thomas Bullen, ` William Newton, ____ Snow, Asa Walker,
Morgan Guest, George Morgan, Reuben Warren".
Of the above names found in Nathan Smith's Settlement, the following
relocated to Mississippi: Nathan Smith - Franklin County, Nicholas
Smith - Franklin County, Owen Carpenter,* Lawrence County, Isham
Smith - Lawrence County, Asa Walker - Lawrence County, Temple Carpenter
- Lawrence County, William Newton - Lawrence County, Morgan Guest - Lawrence
County, and Averitt/Everitt Smith - Lawrence County.
It appears from the above transcripts that the Smith land was reclaimed
by the Cherokee Nation and that the Smiths then migrated to Lawrence Mississippi
prior to 1813. In the 1813 Tax
Roll of Marion County (note: Lawrence County was formed from Marion
in 1814), Isham Smith, Sr. is shown with a lot in Monticello with no
poll taken. Persons exempt from poll taxes were over 50 years of age, thus
the estimate that Isham Smith, Sr. was born about 1760.”13
As I stated earlier, most believe that Nathan died in Franklin Co.
GA. I further estimated his death to be between 1805 and 1810.
The last record we have of him is in Georgia in 1798 and there is no record
of him moving with his family to Mississippi. My theory is that
Nathan was a big family man as he brought his entire family to his settlement
in GA. Some of the children may have wanted to move out, but out
of respect for Nathan they remained in the Settlement even though
there were problems with the local natives as well as the local state government.
Here is why: By calculating the birth dates of the last of Nathan’s
grandchildren to be born in Georgia coupled with birth dates of his grandchildren
who were first to be born in Mississippi then using the 1813 Tax List for
Marion Co. Mississippi, I estimate that the Smith’s did not move out of
GA until after 1811 as they were in MS before 181314. Now I did find
some of his great-grandchildren to have been born in MS as early as 1811.
And I found some great-grandchildren born in GA as late as 1811.
This means that part of the family travelled to MS early and started a
homestead, of which I assume was to prepare for the rest of the family.
We will go into depth into this in the next chapter, but I would say that
with the Migration boom to MS in the early 1800s, coupled with the War of
1812, land was being given out cheap and the family wanted to move, but
Nathan may not have wanted to as he had planted his family in GA.
If my theory is correct about the respect of Nathan, then no one would have
gone early to MS to get things ready if Nathan was alive. And if I
found some of the family in MS in 1811, then I assume that Nathan must have
died prior to 1811. The trouble with the Georgia government was not
finished until 1804 with the “Four mile purchase” and once again I can only
assume that Nathan was there to see it through; thus, my estimate of Nathan’s
death between 1805 and 1810. I know we dipped into the 1800s, but it
was necessary to finish out the 1700s while proving the existence of Nathan
Smith. One more theory to Nathan is that he could have been planning
a move to MS due to all the trouble with the Indians and the bad land purchase
from the Georgia government. He just didn’t live long enough to see
it through, but the children followed through after his death. I just
Well I think that just about does it about Nathan Smith we know his
exists and where he went. Earlier we discussed Nicholas Smith and
where he came from. And here are some interesting comparisons between
The story of Nicholas
Smith and where he comes from appears to match that of Nathan Smith and
where he went.
Nicholas and Nathan
both have similar birthdates.
The last records of
Nicholas and the first records of Nathan appear to co-inside with one
Nicholas was selling
property on the same days as Nathan (29 & 30 Jan 1772).
Nicholas was not only
selling property on the same day, but at the same place (Moore Co. NC).
The fact that Nicholas
disappears and Nathan appears at the same time and place is quite intriguing.
Nathan’s second child
was named Nicholas, as per custom of the day to name children after grandparents,
for Nicholas’s father was also named Nicholas.
Nathan’s fourth child, Stephen, named
his first male child Nicholas and his second male child Nathan.
Nathan’s first child, Everett, named his third male child
Nathan. Nathan’s daughter, Sarah, named her fourth
male child Nathan as well.
The history or situations
of the time period as well as actions of the Nicholas Smith Family prior
to 1775 appears to necessitate the proposed theory and the
actions of Nathan Smith family afterwards.
What I am attempting to prove (without any real hard evidence to confirm
the change), is that I am showing you the same person. I believe
that Nicholas Smith, born to Ambrose J. Smith, is the Nathan Smith we have
shown above. Many researchers that have been in the game much longer
than I, have also debated the issue and have come to the same conclusion,
yet again with no other evidence than that above. The issue
then turns to you, do you believe or don’t you. If you
don’t, then almost all you have read up till now is for naught. If
you do, then you have a continuation of the Smith Linage back to the 1500s.
Every thing from Nathan Smith till today is verifiable. Every thing
from Nicholas Smith back to William Smyth has records to verify.
The argument is clear and is hard pressed to be circumstantial, yet
if this is true, there is the nagging question as to how or why? I
believe we have also covered this, which is why I went into so much detail
with the history. Prior to the revolution, Nicholas Sr. was still considered
a loyalists despite all evidence due to his continuation of brokering land.
The Indians still were a threat to those settlers (and brokers), as shown
by the murder of Ambrose in 1758 and the small attacks in Franklin Co. GA.
And most importantly, the nation was about to start a revolution against
everything remotely tied to the British. The dates and place of the
last brokering of land by both Nathan and Nicholas (29 & 30 Jan 1772)
verify the proximity of timing to the revolution in 1775. Nicholas
was a hunted / hated man in light of everything going on around him – not
personally but by his profession and assumed loyalties. In order to
protect himself and more importantly his family, anonymity seems an appropriate
response for some one who wished not to be found. What better way
to hide from the government than to change your name. I believe he
and his family rode out the war in Moore Co. NC until the outcome had been
determined, as his best move was to do nothing in order not to arouse suspicion.
Once the war was over he took his family and purchased a settlement in Georgia
for a fresh new start. But that is another story. Some further
research like (1) What were the laws on buying/selling land prior to 1775
in NC; (2) Did Ambrose have much land accumulated and if so can we create
a paper trail of land bought and sold on a map to see if what Nathan was
selling belonged at one time to Ambrose or Nicholas; (3) and What if Nicholas
changed his name to sell more land without paying more taxes needs to be
done. Personally I believe with all the trouble with Indians, the French,
the Revolutionists, and possible other reasons (such as being asked to leave
the country) Nicholas changed his name to attempt a new life as Nathan Smith.
Another theory, by Jennings Smith – another Smith Researcher, says that Nathan
may have begun heading for the Spanish territory (Natchez area) in lieu of
leaving the country. Along the way, he stopped in Franklin Co. GA,
bought a track of land called the Nathan Smith Settlement. Here again
he had troubles with the local Indians and a bad purchase of land from the
GA Government. So fed up with it, he decided to move again toward Natchez
but died before he could make it. His family however made the trip,
and that is another story. But it is believed that Nathan died in GA.
He could have been stubborn and tried to stick it out, but when he died,
his family took the opportunity to move on. No one really knows.
Now that we have an idea who Nathan is, we can continue with his family.
If you read carefully back in the deeds for Nathan, you would have noticed
that his wife was also in on the dealings. Here is where we get
the name ANN. It is estimated that she too was born around 1730
just as Nathan. This is all I know about her other than she had to
have been a strong woman to keep up with Nathan and all her children in
these turbulent times. Now as shown earlier Nathan had 9 children,
Everett, Nicholas, Isham, Stephen, William, Sarah, Gabriel, Jesse, and
Mary. And as stated earlier, Jesse and Mary have yet to be proven.
We used their birthdates and places of birth as well as their children
to verify their existence within the 1790 Federal Census. But we didn’t
go into any detail of who Nathan’s children were.
I believe he is our family, but through another line, perhaps of John
“Little River” Smith, Alexander Smith, or even Francis Smith. I have
yet to formulate an educated guess.
The first born, Everett, born in 1751 in North Carolina,
most likely Moore Co. The second born, Nicholas, who was named after
his grandfather (or possibly his father), was born in 1758 in Moore Co.
MS. The third born, Isham, was estimated to be born about 1760.
Fourth, was Stephen, who was born about 1762 in Cumberland Co. NC.
The fifth child was William, who was in the Revolutionary War, was born
26 Feb 1763 in Moore Co. NC. The sixth child was Sarah Rachel Smith,
who was born about 1765. These sixth children I can competently say
exist and all fit the bill to be the children of Nathan and Ann.
Now there were three other considerations for children: Gabriel, who was
born in 1764, Mary, who was born about 1768 in Moore Co. NC and Jesse,
who was born about 1772 in
Moore Co. NC, none of which I am sure about. I have only found
some connections through others research and no solid proof. Besides,
if Ann was born about 1730, she would have been 38 with Mary and 42 with
Jesse. It is entirely possible, but it just doesn’t feel right to
me. I believe Jesse was born on 16 Apr 1766 in Montgomery Co. NC
and died on 11 Apr 1842 in Franklin Co. GA. I also believe, yet have
no proof, that he was the son of John “Little River” Smith, which was either
a brother or 1st cousin of Nathan’s. It is also said the Jesse was
a veteran of the Revolutionary War and received a land grant in Franklin
Co. GA for service in the War. He was supposed to have joined the
military around May 1780 in the Chester District of South Carolina till
about 1783. He then moved to his birth place in Montgomery Co. NC
for one year. He last moved to Franklin Co. GA with his land grant
where he died. He is said to have married Keziah Neal (b. abt. 1765)
around 1787 and had 4 Children (William, Benjamin, James, and Jesse).
He also married Ann Mitchell (b. abt. 1783) on 31 Jan 1832 with one Child
(Rebecca – b. abt. 1833)15. With that in mind about Jesse, I will
pick him up in another portion of this book. Now Mary, I have only
seen a couple of links and have on proof or records to comment on her.
And finally, Gabriel who fits nicely into the picture as far as dates, but
he is no where to be found with the immediate family. He was born
12 Dec 1764 in Anson Co. North Carolina. Which is a bit strange as
all the other children were born in Moore Co. area, yet Anson Co. was next
to Cumberland Co. in 1764 which was not yet Moore Co.; therefore, I cannot
give a definitive answer to this question. And as it still stands,
I am not sure that he belongs to Nathan. As a matter of fact, he
has been linked to John “Little River” Smith, who is the brother of Nicholas,
son of Ambrose.
Everett grew up in Moore Co. North Carolina and remained living near
his father after moving out. He married Eliza Furr , the daughter
of Heinrich or Henry Furr and Russena Raffor. Henry was from Switzerland
born about 6 Jul 1726 and died 27 Sep 1769 in Anson Co. North Carolina.
Russena was born in Georgia. Everett, living in Moore Co. NC during
the 1790 Federal Census, would have been about the age of 39. By
this time he and Eliza had all of their 9 children: A daughter (b. unk),
Isaac (b. abt. 1772), William (b. 1775), Nathan (b. 1777), Everett (b.
abt. 1780), Levi (b. abt. 1782), Pleasant (b. abt. 1784), Eli (b. 1787),
and John (b. abt. 1790). The first child, the daughter, is found
in the 1790 census only recorded as a female and is the only knowledge
of her existence that I am aware of. I have seen another’s
research that claims she was married to a Mr. Sheffield, but I have found
nothing. Nathan has been found through a marriage record to Elizabeth
Jackson on the 18th of January 1821 and then later to a lady named Jennet,
but nothing else has been found as of yet. John, Everett’s youngest,
was recorded as marrying a Ms. Sarah Dunn on 9 Aug 1824 in Mississippi and
this is all I could find. Later, Everett is recorded living in Franklin
Co. GA near his father in the Nathan Smith Settlement as shown on the 1798
petition. It is believed that they were here only for a few years
until moving to Lawrence Co. Mississippi by 1812. We did not find
him recorded on the 1813 Marion County Tax list (as Lawrence Co. was not
formed yet out of Marion Co.) along with his brothers, Isham, William,
and Stephen; however, a couple of his sons were listed. Everett is
recorded to be buried in Smith Family Cemetery near Brookhaven, Lawrence
Co. MS on 22 Apr 1822, survived by all of his children as they lived in
Mississippi. There is an Everett Smith Sr. listed on the 1830 Federal
Census of Lawrence Co. MS (p. 63, line. 17), but it is difficult to verify
that this is him.
Nicholas Smith, the second son, was born around 1758 in Moore Co. North
Carolina. He too remained near his father as he got older and began
his own family. Being named Nicholas is just one more notch in the
list of things that help prove the Nicholas/Nathan saga as it was customary
for parents to name their children after their grandparents. He married
an unknown lady. Together, they had at least one son I know of, Henry,
who was born about 1790 in Putnam Co. GA (Putnam is notable for a couple
of citizens such as Joel Chandler Harris, author of The Uncle Remus Tales
, who was born and raised in Putnam County and Alice Walker, author of The
Color Purple.). It is assumed that Nicolas’ wife was from Putnam Co.
as well, and met her just before the move of the Smith Family to Franklin
Co. GA (indecently, Putnam Co. [in 1807]was carved out of Baldwin Co. [in
1803] which was part of the Creek Indian lands and Franklin Co. during the
1790s.) Nicolas was not found on the census lists we went over in North
Carolina, yet he is found as seen on the 1798 petition to the Governor of
Georgia shown earlier with his father, Nathan. Then we loose Nicholas.
Did he remain in Georgia or did he move to Mississippi with the rest of the
family. It may be jumping ahead, but we found his grandchildren in
Mississippi and therefore assume that he moved with the rest of his family.
He could have died in Georgia and his family continued on to MS. I have
no proof of his death or proof to verify my assumption on Nicholas.
The third child, Isham Smith, seemed to be a bit of a mystery at first,
but the further I dug, the more research from others I found. Now
officially, Isham appears to have gone to great pains to hide from the tax
man. I have found no record of his birth, but it is estimated by other
means that he was born around 1760 in Cumberland Co. North Carolina.
Now in 1760, Moore co. was not created yet, but the land was carved out of
Cumberland Co. I said this because I don’t know if
he was born in Cumberland Co. or Moore Co. as we know them today?
It was hinted to me while researching that Isham was a participant in the
Revolutionary War, but I am still trying to find out. The first record
of Isham was in 1787 on a North Carolina State census of Montgomery Co.
Then I found an Isham Smith in the 1790 Federal Census, but it is not definitive
that it is him. We do however have him signing the 1798 petition in
Franklin Co. GA. This follows suit with the rest of the family.
All the children, basically no matter how old, remained near their father.
Family and Respect was obviously very important in these days.
While in Georgia, thanks to Dr. Harold Graham of Newton Co. MS, records
were found in the form of Deeds. On 18 Apr 1804 (recorded on 7 Jun
1808) in the Deed Book RR on page 38, a Lewis Dickerson of Franklin Co.
GA, sold Isham 200 acres in Franklin Co. on the Hudson Fork of Broad River
for the sum of $1,065. But Dr. Graham found on 30 Jul 1810 (recorded
6 Nov 1810) in the Deed Book T, on page 94 (Tax Collector’s Deed of Franklin
Co.) a deed to a Lewis Moulder for 200 acres (the same 200 acres bought
earlier) on the Indian Boundary and Hudson River. How can the Tax
Collector sell Isham’s land? Simple, If you don’t pay your taxes, the tax
man will take your possessions to pay the tax. The tax collector, Zebediah
Payne, sold Isham’s land that he paid $1,065 for to Mr Moulder for (get
this) $6.00 due to taxes in arrears from 1804 through an auction on 4 May
1805. Isham lost his land for $6.00 in an auction. In the Deed
Book T, page 95, dated 31 Jul 1810 (also recorded on 6 Nov 1810), Mr Moulder
sold the land the very next day to John C. Aberhold of South Carolina for
$775.75. Can you believe it? It appear that Isham forked out $1065
and then had the land taken from him, sold to another and then he made
a profit from the resale. Then there was one last record found in
Deed Book HH, page 154 – 155, dated 21 Jul 1810 (dated just before the
tax man took the land and not long before the time I estimated he moved
to MS) a sale of land from Isom Smith to Isaac Smith of the same said property
of 200 acres for the sum of $1,100. This last sale wasn’t recorded
until 30 Aug 1817. This means that Isham bought some land for $1065
in 1804. Had it taken from him and auctioned for $6 upon which
the new owner sold for $775.75. But Isham, under the name of Isom,
sold the land to Isaac Smith (of any relation, I don’t know) for the sum
of $1,100 – a $35 profit – just 9 days before the tax collector auctioned
off the land. The records didn’t have time to be recorded before the
transactions took place; therefore, no one knew of the sales.
He worked the land for 6 years without anyone noticing, sold it for a profit
without paying any taxes. Where another man who also profited of the
purchase and resale of land that didn’t belong to him via the tax collector.
No one could even tell until Aug 1817 that the discrepancy existed.
Who owned the
land? Who got shafted? It either belongs to
Isaac Smith or John Aberhold. But Isham, Mr. Moulder, and the Tax
man all got their share and disappeared. There was some shady deals
going on that had Isham’s name written all over it. It is quite funny
to also notice that the Smith Family packed it in a migrated to MS within
months of these transactions. This is also an example of the government
land dealing that were going on with the Yazoo Land Fraud and Pine Barrens
The next record found on Isham was in the 1813 Marion Co. Mississippi
Tax List where it appears he had a plot of land in the city of Monticello,
MS (probably bought from the proceeds of his previous sale). As Marion
Co. was carved up and Lawrence Co. was born in December 1814, we found
Isham on the 1821 Tax List for Lawrence Co. MS. In around 1822 he
was located on a lawsuit pertaining to his nephew, William “One Hand” Smith,
being mentioned as his uncle Isham Sr. just for a reference. I also
found him on the 1820 Federal Census for Lawrence Co. MS (page 61, Line
34). The only problem with this is that it records Isham as having
2 males age 10 or under, 1 male between 18 and 25, 3 females age 10 or
under, 1 female between 10 and 15, and 1 female between 16 and 25.
Our Isham only had 5 children that I am aware of which in 1820 he would
have had only one at home at the best. Yet with out more details,
as these children could have been grandkids or nephews/nieces, I cannot be
sure. He was cited in the 1833 and 1834 Lawrence Co. Tax Lists.
Some how he missed being recorded on the 1830 Census and the 1840 Census.
I looked in surrounding counties and was unable to find him. I believe
after the dealings in Georgia, he didn’t mind being on the local records
as it was inevitable, yet refrained from being on anything Federal that those
from Georgia could find him. It is rumoured that after 1820 (assuming
that was him) he is never listed as the head of any household because he
was living with one of his children and never owned any land, but we know
that he was listed on the 1840 Tax list for Lawrence Co. MS so something
is amiss with the rumour. And the last record found by Dr. Graham had
to deal with Slaves. Yep, my direct ancestors owned slaves.
This began with a court case of ‘William WOOTEN, Complainant, vs. Stephen
SMITH, Defendant’. Stephen was Isham’s son. “The case involves
a slave named Buck who was able to save enough money to buy his freedom from
Stephen Smith in about 1841. He had originally been owned by old Isham
Smith. Isham, Sr. sold Buck to Stephen Smith [his son] in about 1835.
Buck had attempted to buy a mulatto slave girl named Rachel from James Case.
Rachel and Buck were trying to leave the south when Rachel was arrested and
held in a Vicksburg jail. Buck had his freedom papers which saved him
from going to jail with Rachel. Buck returned to Bahala and contacted James
Case in an effort to get Rachel out of jail. James Case informed Buck
that when he had sold Rachel to Buck that Rachel had then become the property
of Stephen Smith and that Buck needed to enlist Stephen Smith's help. Buck
told Case that under no circumstances would he go to Stephen Smith.
Stephen Smith learned of Rachel's arraignment, and with his son-in-law, George
Washington Phillips, had her released. Case determined that Buck had
disappeared and that the girl Rachel was his property if Buck could not take
care of her. Case then sold Rachel to William Wooten. Jeptha Furr interceded
and stated that if Rachel were turned over to Wooten, something terrible
would happen to her. Smith hid the girl from Wooten and Wooten then
brought a law suit against Smith. William ‘One Hand’ Smith (son of
old Everett Smith) and William's son Hamilton testified for Stephen Smith.
During the interrogation, William ‘One Hand’ Smith stated that his Uncle
Isham had originally owned Buck and had sold Buck to Stephen.”16
With all this, we gathered that Isham was married. He married
Sarah Harbin, who was born about 1770 in North Carolina as best as I can
tell and died about 1803 while in Georgia, around 1790 in North Carolina.
She died just about the time all the mischief began with Isham. Together
they had 6 children: Isham Anderson Smith (b. 1790), Elizabeth (b.
1796), John (b. 1797), Jemima (b. 1798), Stephen (b. 1803), and Dorcas
(b. unknown). Logic would dictate that if Isham and Sarah were married
in 1790, the first child fits. I have no record, yet if Sarah died
in 1803, I am assuming she died during or afterwards due to complications
from child birth of Stephen. Furthermore, as she had no more children
after 1803 and was married about 1790, Dorcas had to have been born within
these dates. The biggest gap in dates is between Isham Anderson and
Elizabeth, which means I assume Dorcas to have been born between 1791 and
1795. Each of the children had their own families and will be discussed
in the next chapter, except Elizabeth. We have discovered that Elizabeth
married William Levi Netherland (b. abt. 1770 in SC / d. about 1815 in Amite
Co. MS) on 3 Aug 1811 in Amite Co. MS. Yet this is all I found. I have
no record of any children. It is not known when Old Isham died, yet
we know it must have been after 1840 (from the 1840 Tax list).
The Fourth child, Stephen Smith, was born about 1762 in Moore Co. North
Carolina. He grew up as part of a pack that appeared to be inseparable
of the years, even till death. He was probably the toughest of them
all. I have not uncovered any shady deals or dark secrets. He
appears to be quite upfront and forthcoming. Unlike his father and
a couple of his brothers, he remained visible to the public eye as we can
find him on most all the census and tax records. Through this, I have
been able to use his paper trail to help me find the rest of his family
as they travelled and lived near one another. It appears that
Stephen got married about 1787 in North Carolina (assume Moore Co.) to
Jemima Kees. Jemima is said to have been born around 1760 in Georgia.
In the 1790 Federal Census of Moore Co. North Carolina, Stephen is found
having one male child under 16 and two females. This matches his profile
at this date in time. According to Jennings Smith, another Smith
Researcher who actually belongs to this Stephen Smith line, it is estimated
that Stephen moved around 1795 to the Nathan Smith Settlement in North East
Georgia. This also fits his profile based on the birth of his children.
While in GA, we have already discovered the land troubles with the settlement
on Indian lands with Nathan, yet Stephen was also there as he also signed
the petition to the Georgian Governor. Jennings also discovered that
Stephen moved his wife and kids out of the settlement and bought some land
in 1798 from a Thomas Gregg on the Hutson River in Franklin Co. GA.
Stephen always appeared to be doing the right thing and avoid as much trouble
as he could without going too far from his family. Now we found out
earlier that Isham sold his land in Jul 1810, and just on year later, it
has been found that Stephen sold the same property bought in 1798 on 21
Sep 1811. These dates all coincide with the assumptions that the Smith
family left Georgia and migrated to Mississippi before 1812, because we also
find Stephen on the 1813 Marion Co. Mississippi Tax list where he paid taxes
on a block of land in Bogue Chitto (now in Lawrence Co. MS). On the
1820 Federal Census of Lawrence Co. MS, we find Stephen (page 60, Line 13
– Township #8) with 4 male children under 10, 2 male children between 10
and 15, 1 male child between 15 and 18, 1 male over 45, 2 females under 10,
1 female between 10 and 15, and 1 female between 26 and 44. It also
said that Stephen owned 1 female slave. He had a big family obviously
and those shown here were not all his; they were probably some grandkids
living with him. He was found again in the 1830 Federal Census for
Lawrence Co. MS (page 63, line 13) with 1 male between 5 and 10, 1 male
between 60 and 70 (himself), 1 female between 20 and 30, 1 female between
60 and 70 (the wife), and he had 12 slaves. It appears that Stephen
had settled down and began a farm (of what I don’t know). He had to
be successful at it to be able to acquire the slaves and maintain them.
Once more in the 1840 Federal Census of Lawrence Co. MS (page 61, Line 23)
Stephen is found with only himself and 14 slaves. His wife and children
were missing or moved out and he remained working the farm. It is said
that his wife Jemima Kees died about 1860 in Lawrence Co. MS, so I don’t
know where she was at this time. But it is estimated that Stephen died
in Bogue Chitto, Lawrence Co. MS around 1846. Jennings Smith says that
although there are no gravestones remaining, both Stephen and Jemima are
believed to be buried at Friendship Baptist Church Cemetery in Lawrence Co.
Now Stephen and Jemima together had 10 children as far as I can tell.
There was: Nicholas (b. 1788), Nancy (b. 1788), Nathan (b. 1790), Mary
(b. 1791), Sarah (b. 1793), Isham (b. 1795), Margaret (b. 1802), Elizabeth
(b. 1804), James (b. 1808), and Jemima (b. 9 May 1811). Each one
of the children ventured out and had families of their own except for Sarah.
The only information I can find on Sarah at this stage is that she had
married a John Delishment.
The Fifth child, William Smith, was born 26 Feb 1763 in Moore
Co. North Carolina. William appears to be a bit of the quiet one. Being
the 5th child with 4 older brothers, he probably was held back as little
brothers are, yet he appears to have grown up with the same respect for his
family and maybe even his country as it is rumoured that he was a volunteer
in the Revolutionary war, enlisting about 1780 in the 96th District of South
Carolina (I have sent off for documents from the American Archives and War
office to prove this). William moved back home to Moore Co. after the
war and lived there and in Montgomery Co. over the next few years.
He is estimated to have been married around 1787, at the close of the revolution,
to a Ms. Sarah Patterson. Together they had one child that we are
aware of, William Smith, who was born about 1788 in Moore Co. MS. A
Smith researcher, Gregory Smith, in his book “Descendants of Captain Billy
Smith” stated that Sarah’s family originated in Moore Co. North Carolina
as well. William and Sarah, according to Gregory Smith, were involved
in many land transactions in the Franklin Co. Georgia area (of which involved
some of the Kees’ Family – we will get to them later). Now we did find
that he signed the 1798 petition to the Georgia Governor as well; thus, proving
the theory of Gregory Smith that he was located in Franklin Co. GA.
I have yet to find these land transactions, but I am still looking .
William seemed to remain with his family though out his life as they all
did, for again I found him but this time on the 1813 Marion Co. MS Tax List
as William Sr. also holding one slave. Modestly, he is found in the
1820 Federal Census of Lawrence Co. MS (p. 58, Line 16, Twsp. #8) with
2 boys under 10 yrs old, 1 male between 18 and 25, himself, one female under
10, 2 females between 10 and 15, and his wife, along with 2 slaves.
It is apparent that William was a farmer, modest, but a farmer none the less,
because in the 1830 Federal Census of Lawrence Co. MS (p. 65, line 13) we
find him again with three boys, one daughter, his wife, and 5 slaves.
I have found no further records of William, yet it is estimated that he died
about 1833 in Mississippi.
The sixth and last child, Sarah Rachel Smith, was born about 1765 in
North Carolina, and assumed Moore Co. She married Owen Carpenter,
who was born about 1767 also in North Carolina, around November 1785.
Now it is hard to find some of these people in the distant past and you
hope they owned some land, paid taxes, or were recorded with some court
record or deed. It is even harder to keep up with the person if they
are female. Women did own land and run farms and businesses, but as
a rule, the men handled all the business. Therefore, after women married
they were hard to find unless on a deed with the husband, on a will from
the husband or father, or the head of house hold and the husband had died.
Up till now we have had only sons of Nathan, but now we have his only confirmed
daughter, Sarah. I have found precious few records of Sarah, and can
only follow the trail using Owen Carpenter, her husband. But this
seems to work just as well. As they were married about 1785, on the
1790 Federal Census of Moore Co. North Carolina, we found Owen Carpenter
with matching wife and children. Unable to find further evidence, the
next record found was on the 1798 petition to the Governor while living in
Franklin Co. Georgia. Owen signed next to Nathan and Nicholas.
In 1804, it has been found through a “summary of a Report of Col. William
Wofford, made to Col. Jonathan Meigs, agent to the Cherokee Indians, Southwest
Point, regarding the number and condition of the Settlers living in and near
the "Wofford Settlement [and Nathan Smith Settlement]", on the Frontier of
Georgia and the Cherokee Nation of Indians - lying between the Currahee Mountain
and the Headwaters of the Oconee River. [Of these] Nathan Smith's Settlers
- Original Settlers left outside of Col. Hawkins line 1st February 1798
[were]: Owen Carpenter”17 There were others, but at this point I only
wish to show Owen.
Although, this portion is about Sarah, there is an interesting note about
the Carpenter family that I must share with you. Now Owen’ Father,
Thomas Owen Carpenter who was born about 1740 in North Carolina and died
about 1780 in North Carolina married a Catherine Shamberger who was born
about 1743 in North Carolina around 1759 in North Carolina. They lived
in Bear Creek, Moore Co., NC. Thomas is buried in Shamberger Cemetery,
Montgomery Co., NC. Together they begat 7 children: Jonathan
Carpenter (b. abt. 1760 in NC), Solomon Carpenter (b. abt. 1763 in NC),
Dennis Carpenter (b. abt. 1765 in NC), Owen Carpenter (b. abt. 1767 in NC),
and Temple Carpenter (b. 1769 in NC), Adam Carpenter (b. 2 Jul. 1771 in NC),
and Infant Carpenter (b. & d. 1780 in NC). These names will be
relevant later, but the story is simply that “[Thomas] Owen CARPENTER, Sr.
being the patriot militiaman who was killed on his doorstep along with an
infant son then held in his arms, by a single musket ball fired by a marauding
band of Tories [British Soldiers] during the American Revolution”18
As Owen seemed to miss the 1813 Tax List (his brothers were on it),
we can find Owen again with Sarah on the 1820 Federal Census of Lawrence
Co. MS (page 75, line 9). It would appear that they had a couple of
grandchildren living with them as well as one slave. It is believed
that Owen Sr. died in Lawrence Co. MS sometime in 1828. His and Sarah’s
children, namely Owen Jr., moved at this stage up to Carroll Co. MS as we
can see on the Original Land Plat Book for Carroll Co. MS: Owen Jr. owned
as follows: (1) Owen Carpenter 40.78 acres 1834 (2) Township 19 Range 4
E Owen Carpenter, Sr. 40.14 acres in 1835 (3) John Carpenter 40.78
acres 1836. In 1835, Owen Sr. was already dead; thus, it is believed
that Sarah may have bought land under her husband’s name, for it is shown
that she, too, passed away in 1836 in Carroll Co. Mississippi, near her
children. It is estimated a few of our Smith’s and Carpenters (and
Taliaferro’s) moved to the
Black Hawk and Smith Mills areas in the southern portion of Carroll
Co. MS. Black Hawk, located six miles south of Coila, was formed
from an Indian village and named for a famous Indian chief who lived in
the vicinity. The place is classed with Carrollton as being one of the
oldest settlements in North Mississippi, being formed in 1828. The town
was incorporated in 1836, but had been a village long before Mississippi
ever became a state. As Mississippi took over the Indian lands in
1833, it was by June 1834 Some of the early settlers to this community
were: O' Keefe, Marshall, Carpenter, Smith, Gillespie, Standley, Brewer,
Martin, Johnson, Atchison, King, Hendon, Fleming, Avera, Moore, Stevens,
Semple, Faucher, Bland, Bennett, Harris, Terrell, Kittrell, Cooley, Hill,
Reeves, Murdock, Lundy, Pate, Purcell, Austin, Streater, Meek, Spann, Sharkey,
Calhoun, Hinson, Cox, Bacon and Brown. According to local family history,
the Smith's Community was located between Potacocowa Creek and the Longhill
Community in Carroll County. It is said there was a big steam mill located
on the creek, a couple of stores, and a post office and Rock Ford public
school. Some of the families living in the area du
ring this time included those of Josh Smith, Angus M. Millan, Morgan
Smith, James M. Liddell, Charles O. Aven, John A. Hammons, Henry Harden
Smith, Hightower, Sabin, Wash R. Mullen, Watson, Benjamin J. Lott, Lee C.
Smith, Geralus N. Smith, Curtis Lee Smith, Edgar A. Hammons, Ben Telford,
Lynn Taliaferro, Eva Smallwood and Homer Ricketts. The first Postmasters
of Smith’s Mills were: Josh Smith (appt. 23 Sep 1837) and Thomas M.
Smith (appt. 1 Oct 1840); if they are of relation, I am not aware yet.
The Smith Family went through many changes in the 1700s, not to mention
America and the World. It was a time of changes, revolutionary and
unity, in all facets of life. The world was still attempting to establish
itself as those inside demanded change, just as Our Smiths were sorting through
all the changes going on looking for their place to set roots. These
changes; however necessary but unfortunately, ended in many battles being
fought both on and off the battle field. Our ancestors were caught
up in the middle of the fights and even caught between the warring sides.
Although there were no outstanding heroes recognized by the world in our
family during this time, we did survive a most dangerous and exciting time
and I am glad they did for I would not be here to cherish my family as it
appears our ancestors did. They are all heroes to me. God is
always in control guiding our Family.
By: Jerry A. Smith,
Smith Family Researcher
1. Connell, Brian: George Washington-The Savage Years (New
York: Harper & Bros. Press, 1959), p. 61.
2. Bennardo, Kevin: Essay – Uneasy Allies: British and
Colonial Interaction During the French and Indian War.
3. Chronicle of the Revolution, Expanding Frontier, p. 3
4. Chronicle of the Revolution, Expanding Frontier, p. 1
5. Cumberland Co. North Carolina Deed Books, 3 & 4 – along
with Deed Index.
6. Coleman, C. W.: Compilations of records from "William
and Mary College Quarterly Historical Magazine, Vol. 6, No. 1, July 1897,
7. Meltzer, Milton: Benjamin Franklin, The New American; 1988,
8. Wulf, Karin A.: Essay – Despise the mean distinctions
[these] Times have made: The complexity of Patriotism and Quaker Loyalism
in one Pennsylvania Family
9. Chronicle of the Revolution, Loyalists, p.1 www.PBS.org/ktca/liberty/
10. Bennardo, Kevin: Essay – Uneasy Allies: British and
Colonial Interaction During the French and Indian War.
11. 1790 US Federal Census: https://sites.rootsweb.com/pub/usgenweb/nc/moore/census/1790/
12. Lavonia Times and Guage (Newspaper): 23 Feb 1934.
13. Georgia Genealogical Society Quarterly Vol II Ser 3 March
14. 1813 Marion County Tax list
15. Fortenberry, Bobby J.: Research on Jesse Smith at firstname.lastname@example.org
16. Logan, Sharon Smith: Smith Family Researcher – Essay of Origins
of Smiths (http://wc.rootsweb.com/cgi-bin/igm.cgi?op=GET&db=sjsmith&id=I00027)
17. Georgia Genealogical Society Quarterly Vol II Ser 3 March 1967
18. Morrow, Ken: Emails and Correspondence: Descendant
of Temple Carpenter, Son of Thomas Carpenter: email@example.com as
verified by bible record.