The Known Children of Peter Smith and Jemima Simpson of Caswell County, NC are as follows:
James Simpson Smith, son of Peter Smith and Jemima Simpson
James S. was born in 1766 in Virginia; died in Muhlenberg County, Kentucky, July 6, 1854, in his 88th year. The mother of his children was also a native of Virginia. It would appear that James S. Smith was married when he went to Kentucky and that his first wife died after the year 1820 and before 1825. He married Rachel S. Robertson, a widow, in Muhlenberg County in 1825.
He was a prosperous farmer in Muhlenberg County. His will dated (July 22, 1851) was probated in November 1854, found in Will Book 3, page 151. He gave his son John “an undivided half of the tract of land on which I now live”; the other undivided half he bequeathed to the “three natural heirs or children of my deceased son Moses F. Smith to be equally divided between them.” He bequeathed the sum of $500.00 “to be equally divided between the children” of his deceased son Aaron A. Smith ”as they arrive at age or marry.” The six slaves mentioned were to be divided among the heirs referred to above.
The children of James Simpson Smith were:
John B. Smith
Moses F. Smith
Aaron A. Smith
Per Census Records: James Simpson Smith had a family in 1820 that consisted of four sons, one daughter, and his wife. His wife died after 1820, for in 1825 he married Rachel Robertson. Rachel was a widow and brought children of her own into the marriage.
The 1830 census does not show any woman in the household of James Simpson Smith. Rachel Smith heads another household in which, in addition to herself, there are two girls between 10 and 15 and two boys, one between 5 and 10 and the other between 15 and 20 years of age. One of the girls may have been Jemima Smith (who was not married until 1835) and one of the boys may have been Alney Robertson (thought to be the son of D. Robertson), whose guardian Rachel was in 1825-26 and 1827-28.
Rachel Robertson Smith’s will was dated January 7, 1837, and was probated in January Court 1837. It states that she wished “to make a disposition of my property somewhat different from the course it might otherwise go” and she names “my daughter Margaret” and “my son David Robertson.” Evidently these were children by an earlier marriage. It appears the marriage of James Simpson Smith and Rachel Roberstson Smith ended in a separation.
Elizabeth Smith, daughter of Peter Smith and Jemima Simpson
Elizabeth was born July 15, 1770 and Ocotber 6, 1847. She married Richard Hornbuckle in 1792 in Caswell County, North Carolina. Their marriage bond was dated “7 January 1792. William W. Smith, bondsman.” Richard Hornbuckle was one of the executors of Peter Smith’s will
Hornbuckle’s will was dated June 17, 1806, and was probated July 1806 in Caswell County, Will Book E, page 264. It names his wife, Elizabeth, and sons Simpson and Hiram. In the 1800 census Richard and one other male in the household were listed as between the age of 26 and 45; there were three males under 10. The wife was under 45 and one girl was under 10 years of age.
George Rudolphus Smith, son of Peter Smith and Jemima Simpson
John Bailey Smith, son of Peter Smith and Jemima Simpson
John was born October 12, 1773, probably in Virginia; died May 5, 1856.
It is believed he married 1) Betsey Armstrong and 2) Elizabeth Anthony in Muhlenberg County in December 1799.
He received 200 acres of land in Muhlenberg County on Beech Creek March 19, 1803. (See Jillson, Book 3, page 417.)
Per Muhlenberg County census of 1820, John B. Smith’s age was given as “45 upward”; his wife’s age as “to 45.” The 1820 census idendified two sons under 10; two daughters under 10, and two daughters between 10 and 16. He is not identified in the 1850 census of either Muhlenberg or Ohio County. He is buried in Hazel Creek Baptist Church Cemetery, in Muhlenberg County, and the inscription on his tombstone reads “10-12-1773 – 5-5-1856.”
Elias Guess Smith, son of Peter Smith and Jemima Simpson
Elias was born March 21, 1775, believed to be in Virginia. He died March 3, 1830, in Muhlenberg County, Kentucky. He married Hannah Vaught in January 1801.
Hannah was a daughter of Christian and Hanna (Crum) Vaught. Hannah was born April 30, 1781; died in 1842. Her siblings (that we know) include John Vaught (m. Elizabeth Martin), Simon Vaught (m. Elizabeth Zimmerman, 1799), and Gilbert Vaught. Simon performed many marriages in Muhlenberg County. The Vaught family came from Prussia and John came to Kentucky via Pennsylvania. John served as a Revolutionary War soldier. Vaught descendants are found in White County, Illinois.
Elias G. Smith received 120 acres of land in Muhlenberg County, on Pond River, on September 5, 1823 (See: Jillson, Book 27, page 142).
Elias Guess Smith was appointed on May 25, 1807, “to survey a road from Fugates sugar camp branch to Littlepage’s ferry” and to “keep the same in repair…” On February 12, 1815, he sold 200 acres of land on Pond River to Elias Smith (son of John Smith who died in 1803, said to be a relative of Elias G.) of Hopkins County for the sum of $1,000. Hannah relinquished her right of dower.
Of Elias G. and Hannah Smith’s twelve children, evidently only seven reached adulthood:
Rachel S. Smith, born September 17, 1801; died 1801
Jesse W. Smith, born February 15, 1803
Martha V. Smith, born May 10, 1805
William B. Smith, born March 7, 1807; died February 1882
George L. Smith, born January 23, 1809
Willis S. Smith, born February 3, 1811; died in infancy
John Everett Vaught Smith, born September 27, 1812
Louisa S. Smith, born July 27, 1815; died January 1832
Sisera B. Smith, born May 21, 1817
Elias G. Smith, Jr., born June 27, 1820
Elijah F. Smith, born August 28, 1822; died 1823
Mary E. Smith, born March 8, 1827
Birth and death dates are recorded in the “Old Smith Bible” in possession of Mrs. Hattie Brown, of Island, Kentucky (a great granddaughter of Elias and Hannah).
Hannah Smith and Simon Vaught appeared before the Justice of the Peace for Muhlenberg County on March 3, 1830, and made oath that on the same date Elias G. Smith “voluntarily gave and delivered into the actual possession of his son William B. Smith, in their presence, all his personal estate without exception, he, the said Elias G. Smith, being in his perfect mind…” This oath was, in March County Court 1830, declared to be the “nuncupative will of Elias G. Smith, deceased…” Elias G. Smith died on March 3, 1830, and his widow gave oath the same day.
The will reveals that William B. Smith, at 23 years of age was given “all his (father’s) personal estate without exception.” As the oldest child remaining at home it appears he was given the responsibility of looking after the family and given the means to make it work. Older brother, Jesse W., (age 27) and sister Martha V. were already married and living independently.
William Wigginton Smith, son of Peter Smith and Jemima Simpson
William was born before 1776 in VA; died 1847. He married Patsey Glenn of VA. (Per the 1880 census: it shows the state of birth of each person, and of each person’s parents as VA.
William W. Smith received 250 acres of land on Plumb Creek in Muhlenberg County on September, 1805 (See: Jillson, Book 19, page 324).
Eight children were indicated in the 1810 census, but only six were named in William W. Smith’s will. They follow:
Granddaughter: Margaret Cundiff. The identification of a grandchild often indicates that the parent has passed away. It appears William Wiggington Smith had a daughter who married a Cundiff.
William Wigginton Smith’s will is recorded in Will Book 3, page 80, in Muhlenberg County. He gave the Penrod tract of 250 acres and one Negro boy named Wesley to his son William Bradford. He had already conveyed to his son Thompson Bailey. “certain lands” but bequeathed one Negro boy named Bailey to him. He stated that he had already made advances to his other children in land, Negroes, and money. His will was dated March 18, 1846, and was probated in May Court 1847 in Muhlenberg County.
One witness on the will of William Wigginton Smith is Edward Rumsey. William’s brother, Aaron Fairfax Smith named one of his children Edward Rumsey Smith. Edward Rumsey was identified as the president of a college in 1860. At that time was Rumsey was 62; and married to a Jane M. Rumsey.
Martha (Patsey) Smith, daughter of Peter Smith and Jemima Simpson
Martha was born 1779 and married Levi Blackwell in Caswell County, North Carolina, February 16, 1799. Levi was born before 1775 and died in Caswell County in 1819. He was the son, of Robert and Zilla Blackwell. The Blackwell family was prominent in Caswell County. A village of Blackwell near Hogans Creek, home of the Round Hill Plantation of the Smiths in Caswell County.
In 1820, “Patsey” Blackwell lived in Muhlenberg County, Kentucky, apparently having joined her family after her husband’s death. The Muhlenberg census for 1820 showed that she was between 26 and 45 years of age. Two of her sons were under 10 and one son was between 10 and 16. No girls were included in this census, although the Caswell County census of 1800 did list one girl under 10. She could have easily been married by 1820 or deceased.
One of Patsey’s boys, William Marshall Blackwell (b. 1801) married 1) Elizabeth Strader (d. 1867) and 2) Mary A. Davis, in Muhlenberg County, Kentucky. He died January 29, 1887, and is buried in the Smith Cemetery, in Smith Township, Posey County, Indiana. This son’s name and history reveal clues about our own family history. His middle name ‘Marshall’ reveals the family pride in the tie we had to the Chief Justice John Marshall. His second marriage, to Mary Davis, reveals the connections once again to Davis descendants. His residence in Muhlenberg attests to the fact that he was indeed part of the Smith migration from Caswell to Muhlenberg. His death and burial reveals that he continued that migration with the Smiths and Davis clans into southern Indiana and specifically Posey. The surname Blackwell was prominent in American politics and Charles Cox, husband of my sister Christine, descends from a branch in the Blackwell branch. I have been delving into both his Cox and Blackwell roots.
Pressley Wheeler Smith; son of Peter Smith and Jemima Simpson
Pressley was born c. 1781 in Caswell County, NC. Purportedly migrated with brothers to Kentucky, however, evidence is extant. He is not found in census records for either Muhlenberg, Kentucky or Caswell County.
In a suit filed in Daviess County by William Bailey Smith, Jr., against the executors of the estate of William Bailey Smith, Sr., in 1820, Pressley Wheeler Smith was mentioned as one of the heirs of Peter Smith who was a non-resident of Kentucky. Pressley Wheeler Smith is said to have married Judy Luce.
Aaron Fairfax Smith; son of Peter Smith and Jemima Simpson
Aaron was born in North Carolina in 1783; died April 12, 1867. Buried in Dering Cemetery, later known as McDougal Cemetery, Paradise, Kentucky.
Aaron Fairfax Smith married Judith Strum, daughter of Pioneer Leonard Strum (or Strom). Born July 20, 1792. Died June 18, 1860.
Rothert, in his History of Muhlenberg County, 1913, says that Paradise is about a mile from Old Airdie and is built on land first settled by Pioneer Leonard Strum. He and his sons, Jacob and Henry (Henry married Susannah Smith, daughter of William Wigginton Smith), opened up a farm and also conducted the first store. They also operated a boat landing. Aaron Fairfax Smith was a prosperous farmer in Muhlenberg County. He and Judith had the following known children:
Moses F. Smith; son of Peter Smith and Jemima Simpson,
Moses was born in 1784 in North Carolina. He married Frances “Fanny” Allen, daughter of Charles Allen of Franklin County, Kentucky. Fanny’s date of birth was August 31, 1793; she died in 1861 in Daviess County, Kentucky. She probably had a brother named Memucan Allen. Moses F. and Fanny Smith seem to have resided in Daviess County most of their married lives. Moses F. died in Daviess County in 1859.
One Moses Smith received 57 acres of land in Muhlenberg County, Kentucky, located on Beech Creek on January 28, 1803 (See: Jillson Land Grants Book 2, p. 523).
Moses F. Smith was one of the administrators of the estate of his uncle, Major William Bailey Smith, whose will was dated 1811 in Ohio County, Kentucky. In that will his uncle left most of his estate to Moses F. Smith. In 1853, Moses sold to his daughter Fanny, for $4,300, a “tract of land lying and being in the county of Daviess on the waters of Green River and Panther Creek and the unsold part of the following survey deeded by the Commonwealth of Kentucky on the 19th day of June, 1795, to William B. Smith and devised by said William B. Smith to the party of the first part (Moses F. Smith)… containing 860 acres…” (See Davies County Index to Deeds, Grantee, Book K, p. 545)
Charles Allen, on July 30, 1822, deeded to his grandchildren, the first six children of Moses F. Smith, 200 acres of land in Daviess County, “it being the tract of land formerly owned by William B. Smith and including a ferry called Smith’s Ferry and the plantation whereon Moses F. Smith now lives…it being the same land conveyed to the said Charles Allen by Moses Smith and Richard Taylor, executors of William B. Smith, etc.”
Moses F. and Frances “Fanny” Allen Smith were the parents of eleven children, as follows:
Allen S. Smith died by 1846 in Daviess County, Kentucky.
William C. Smith
James R. Smith, died by 1846; did not marry
Sarah Ann “Sally” Smith
Mary A. Smith
Frances D. “Fanny” Smith
Thomas Smith died by 1860; died young.
Memucan Smith died by 1860; died young.
Elizabeth Holland Smith
Susan H. Smith
Jesse W. Smith; son of Peter Smith and Jemima Simpson
Jesse was born 1785 in Caswell County, NC. In 1805, he lived in Henderson County, KY calved into Union Co. in 1811.
On June 20,1805, Jesse W. Smith, appointed his brother William Wigginton Smith, of Muhlenberg County, to act as his attorney “to ask, demand and sue for and recover of Richard Hornbuckle of the county of Caswell and the state of North Carolina, one of the executors of the last will and testament of Peter Smith, deceased (my father), all sums of money or property to which I am entitled as one of the heirs…of Peter Smith…or as one of the heirs of Elizabeth Smith, deceased, who was one of the heirs…of the said Peter Smith “ Jesse W. Smith came of legal age, probably married in that year and wished to come into his inheritance.
Among numerous deeds on record in Union County, Kentucky, one states that he and his wife, Rebecca, sold land in Union County in 1821. Rebecca died before 1850. The census report of that year gave Jesse W. Smith’s wife as Mary Jane (b. 1799 in NC).
Jesse W. Smith was a farmer. Evidence exists for the following children:
Elias G. Smith
Also highly probable three additional sons: 1) Peter W. Smith, 2) John B. Smith, and 3) Caswell Smith
In at least one of the land transactions recorded in 1838, Jesse W. Smith and his wife, Rebecca, and Elias G. Smith and Peter W. Smith sold 200 acres of land to Benjamin Bean (also spelled Bhean)
Elijah Smith; son of Peter Smith and Jemima Simpson
Elijah was probably born 1787 in Caswell County, NC. Family tradition says that he died fairly young as the result of having been kicked by a horse. While he evidently was living in 1793 when his father made his will, he had died by the time the estate was settled on July 27, 1803. Richard Hornbuckle, who had been appointed guardian of Aaron Smith, a minor, received Aaron’s share of the distribution of Elijah Smith’s portion of his father’s estate, which amounted to 8 pounds, 19 shillings, and 6 pence.