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Peter Smith, Son of James Smith of Westmoreland County, VA

Peter Smith, aka “Peter Smith of Caswell County”, also “Round Hill Peter Smith. Son of James and Elizabeth Smith and grandson of Peter Smith of Yeocomico, Westmoreland County, VA. He was born in Prince William County, VA c. 1736 the oldest of James Smith’s sons (per direction in will of James). He married Jemima Simpson,[1] of Fairfax County.

Jemima’s father was George Simpson, who in his will named several children then added that his daughters who had married and left him had received their share.[2] Two of George Simpson’s children were Aaron and Richard. There were men by these names in Caswell County, North Carolina, where Jemima lived in later years. Immigrant ancestor of Simpson families in Stafford, Prince William, and Fairfax Counties appears to be John “the Scot’ Simpson, a Scotsman who settled in Stafford late in the 1600’s.

Peter Smith bought 202 acres of land in Orange County, North Carolina. The sale by George Counts to Smith was ordered to be registered at Inferior Court of Pleas and Quarter Sessions held in Corbin Town on the second Tuesday of November 1764.[3] Caswell was formed from Orange in 1777 and Peter Smith’s property was incorporated in Caswell County. The Smith plantation was situated on the north side of Hogans Creek on the Round Hill Branch of said creek. In census records Smith was referred to as “Round Hill Peter Smith” to distinguish him from other Peter Smiths. Two or more other men by that name settled in Caswell County after the Revolutionary War. So far as can be determined they were not related to our subject.

Peter Smith gave patriotic service to his country during the Revolution.[4] The certificate giving evidence of assistance reads:

“Peter Smith. No.592. State of North Carolina, Hillsborough District. Auditors office the 7th day of August 1782. This day certify that Peter Smith Exhibited his claim and (was) allowed fourteen pounds six shillings and pence. (Signed) John Nichols.”

Peter Smith died in 1797 in Caswell County; his will was dated April 18, 1793. Jemima, not mentioned in the will, is assumed to have pre-deceased Peter. His almost freeing “my Negro Anthony” is historically significant. At one period of time it was illegal to free slaves in NC and the will may have been written At such time.

Copy of Peter Smith’s Will; of Caswell County, North Carolina, 1793

The children that Peter Smith per listing in will:

Elizabeth
Martha Patsey
Jesse W.
Moses F.
Aaron Fairfax
James Simpson
William Wigginton
Pressley Wheeler

George Rudolphus

John Bailey
Elias Guess
Elijah

Peter and Jemima are believed to have had a son named Robert, a preacher, and a daughter Susan, although they are not named in the will. It is assumed they died before their father.

A History of Muhlenberg County (Kentucky), by Otto A. Rothert, 1813, states that Paradise, Kentucky, is one of the oldest places in that county. It is about a mile from Old Airdie (named for a town in Scotland), and is built on land first settled by Pioneer Leonard Stom. Rothert states further that among the first settlers in this neighborhood were three of the sons of Peter Smith of North Carolina: Aaron, James and Elias. Records show that eight sons of Peter and Jemima Smith moved to Muhlenberg County, where some or all of them obtained land. One of the daughters also came. They were:

James Simpson
Moses F.
John Bailey
Pressley Wheeler
William Wigginton
Elias Guess
Aaron Fairfax
Jesse W.
Martha (Patsey)

[1] DAR Patriot Index, 1966, p. 628
[2] Fairfax County, Virginia, Will Book D, p. 292
[3] Orange County, North Carolina, Registration of Deeds, 1752-1793, Part II p. 16
[4] DAR Patriot Index, p. 628