Thursday, April 2, 2009

Possibly Related? - Anthony Smith of Johnson County, Arkansas

In a previous post I mentioned Mrs. R. W. Mickel's book Johnson County, Arkansas Probate court records: wills, estate settlements, deeds, 1835 tax list - 1840 census; over 10,000 names. I reviewed the index and contents of the book, but I did not find any entries for my ancestor, David Smith.

I did, however, find a couple of other families who could possibly be related to my David Smith family.

Anthony Smith was born about 1780 in North Carolina according to census reports. He married Winnefred "Winney" Unknown who was born about 1790 also in North Carolina. They had at least 3 children: George Washington Smith, Daniel Smith, and Joseph Smith born between 1816-1820 in Tennessee. Anthony and Winney were married in either Tennessee or North Carolina. If they were married in Tennessee, then both of their families probably migrated from North Carolina to Tennessee at about the same time together.

Anthony and Winnifred Smith were enumerated in Clarksville, Johnson County, Arkansas in 1850. Anthony Smith was 70 years old - born about 1780 in North Carolina - and was a grocery keeper; Winnefred Smith was 60 years old - born about 1790 in North Carolina. They did not have any children living in the house with them.

In 1854, Anthony Smith's will was presented to the Johnson County, Arkansas court. The will listed his wife, Winnafred Smith, and 3 sons - Washington, Joseph, and Daniel Smith.

2nd generation....

George Washington Smith was born about 1816 in Tennessee, the son of Anthony and Winnafred Smith. He married Ester Lee, the daughter of David Lee. Ester's sister Harriett Lee married Washington's brother Daniel Smith. George Washington Smith died between 1862 and 1870. George and Ester had the following children living with them during the census report years: David Smith (1842), Millie (Delyan?) Smith (1845), Mary Smith (1848), Winney Caroline Smith (1850) & Nancy C Smith (1862).

Daniel Smith was born about 1818 in Tennessee, the son of Anthony and Winnafred Smith. He married Anquila Unknown who was born about 1824 according to the 1850 Johnson County, Arkansas census report. Daniel's wife Anquila died between 1853 and 1860. I am not sure exactly how many children they had together. According to the 1850 Johnson County, Arkansas census report, they had Elizabeth (1844), William A (1846), and John W (1850) Smith living with them. William, John, and Joseph (1853) were enumerated with Daniel on the 1860 Johnson County, Arkansas census report. Daniel Smith left a will that was presented to the Johnson County court in 1864. His "heirs" were Joseph A. and Walter Smith, and Dicey Corley, now Hamelton. Joseph was the youngest son. Walter was probably the "John W. Smith" mentioned in the 1850 and 1860 census reports above. Dicey Smith was probably the oldest daughter Elizabeth Smith. Dicey Smith married first to Leroy Cauley in 1859. She then remarried to a Hamilton prior to her father's will in 1864. Daniel's oldest son William was not mentioned in his will, therefore he either passed away prior to 1864 (could have perished in the Civil War) or he removed to another state.

Joseph Smith was born about 1820 in Tennessee. He married Harriett Lee, the daughter of David Lee. Her sister Ester Lee married Joseph's brother Daniel Smith. Harriett Lee Smith was born about 1825 in North Carolina. They had at least 9 children: Elizabeth Smith (1840), Winney Caroline Smith (1842), Richard Smith (1848), Martha Smith (1850), Mary Smith (1852), William Smith (1854), Virginia Smith (1856), Fanny Smith (1858), and Thomas Smith (1862). Joseph Smith died between 1862 and 1870. His oldest daughter Elizabeth Smith was born about 1840 in Tennessee. This information allows us to estimate a timeline that includes Joseph Smith and his family moving from Tennessee to Arkansas between 1840 and 1843 when 2nd daughter Caroline was born in Arkansas.

I need to do more research on this family in order to build a more accurate timeline which would include the family's migration through North Carolina, Tennessee, and Arkansas. I did find an Anthony G Smith on the 1820 Rutherford County Tennessee Census report along with an older Joseph Smith. It is possible that Anthony was the son of this Joseph Smith due to the proliferation of the name "Joseph" down the lines of descendants. A search for Joseph Smith's will, possibly in Rutherford County, Tennessee, would verify or disprove this hypothesis.

The only connection I have been able to find between Anthony Smith and my David Smith line is the proximity of the two families in Johnson County, Arkansas in 1850. Anthony Smith's family moved to Johnson County, Arkansas by way of Tennessee shortly after 1840. Anthony's children had been born in Tennessee between 1816-1820 prior to their removal to Arkansas. David Smith's family, however, was in Jackson County, Alabama about 1838. His daughter Sarah Smith Grider had been born about 1825 in Alabama as well. I could not find David Smith's family in either Arkansas or Alabama on the 1840 census report, so I am not sure exactly when his family moved from Alabama to Arkansas - it had to be sometime between 1838 and 1850. There was a David Smith on the 1840 Jackson County, Alabama census report, however he was born between 1810 and 1820 and had only two daughters living in the household at the time.

According to the 1850 Johnson County Arkansas census report, David Smith was born about 1789 in Tennessee. This is the only documentation I have that says anything about David Smith. Anthony and his wife Winnefred were born in North Carolina about 1780-1890. It is possible that the birth year on the 1850 census report was incorrect and David was actually younger - he might have been the David Smith on the 1840 Jackson County, Alabama census report - which would put him as a possible son born to Anthony Smith between 1810-1820 in Tennessee. I don't believe this was a strong possibility, however, because neither David or his family was mentioned in Anthony's will of 1854. David Smith purchased a land grant in 1855, so he was still living at the time of Anthony's will.

Another interesting tidbit is that there is yet another correlation between the Smith and LEE families. In an earlier post, I wrote about a Lee descendant who's DNA matched 100 % to my grandfather's Smith DNA. The match was so close it indicated that these Smith and Lee men had a 50% chance of sharing a common ancestor in the last **2** generations!

I think that we need to look closely at our two families and try to find a paper trail that might indicate the Lee - Smith relation. So far there are two Lee-Smith family connection possibilities: (1) Assuming we find some connection between this Anthony Smith and my David Smith families, there is the connection between Anthony's Smith's two sons, Joseph and George Washington who married two of David Lee's daughters, Ester and Harriett Lee. (2) According to David Smith's daughter, Sarah Ann Smith Grider's Cherokee Citizenship application file, her grandmother was Jinnie Gallymore, nee Lee. Gallymore was the name of David's wife, Sarah.

Please feel free to comment on this post!


  1. Please do follow up on the DNA connection. This is so interesting! Keep up the good work!

  2. There is little question that an Anthony SMITH married Winifred LEE in Hardeman County, Tennessee, May 1835. Also we we'll find: Joseph Smith m. to Hariet Lee in Hardeman County, TN Oct 23, 1839 George W. Smith m. to Esther Lee Hardeman County, TN, July 1841. These are usually accepted as sons of Anthony Smith and Winifred Lee. I too have them listed as their sons. In support of this is Anthony's will, presented 1854 in Johnson County, Arkansas, and which lists his wife as Winnafred Smith and his three sons, Joseph, George W, and Daniel Smith. There seems to be some confusion here concerning the dates of Anthony and Winifred (Lee) Smith's marriage, and the dates of the births and marriages of their sons. It appears to me that this was a second marriage for Anthony and Winifred? Would that mean that Winifred is not the mother of Joseph, Daniel, and George W. Smith? Or is the marriage record for Anthony and Winifred in Hardeman County, TN actually for another brother of Joseph, George W. and Daniel Smith? If so, what of the will of Anthony Smith listing Winnafred as wife with the three sons? If Anthony is the biological father of the three Smith sons, then perhaps we would be looking for a previous marriage for Anthony, one prior to 1835, and possibly back in North Carolina. Anyone is invited to respond with your own theories, information or facts that can clear this matter up.

  3. Hi Linda, Thanks for the comment and for the information. It is quite a mystery about who the Anthony Smith who married Winnefred Lee in 1835 in TN was...This matches up with the Anthony Smith who married a Winnefred and wrote a will in Johnson Co., AR in 1854. If these two couples are one and the same, then Winnefred Lee was obviously NOT the mother of Anthony Smith's children mentioned in his 1854 will who married Lee women in TN in the 1830s - Daniel, George W., and Joseph; However, I might be inclined to believe the Anthony Smith who married Winnefred Lee in 1835 in TN might be a BROTHER of the Daniel, George W., and Joseph mentioned above who also married Lee women in TN in the 1830s, instead of a FATHER, simply because they all married Lee women. OR....I suppose it is possible that Anthony Smith married a 2nd wife, Winnafred Lee, in Hardeman Co., TN in 1835 and she had daughters and they combined households and the Smith boys married the Lee girls?

    1. Thanks for the Smith family history, I'm a descendant of Caroline Smith of Johnson Arkansas.

    2. Hi Bill, thanks for writing! Have you, or any of your family members, taken a DNA test by chance? If so, I'd love to see if or how we compare.