John Smith
of Bath county, Virginia, living 1813.

Date of birth: say 174050?
Place of birth: Unknown.
The estimated birthdate is based on the fact that his children were married in the mid-to-late 1790's, suggesting that his elder children were born in the neighborhood of 1770. This estimate is clearly subject to significant error. Indications of an origin in Ireland or Scotland are tenuous at best. A biographical sketch of his grandson Robert Smith (son of Robert) suggests that the Smiths were of Irish origin, but does not indicate how many generations back the immigration occurred ["The Smiths and Burnsides are descendants of the Emerald Isle." Hist. Logan co., OH, 679]. An appearance of one granddaughter (Rebecca Minshall, daughter of John Smith Jr.) in the 1880 census gives her father's birthplace as Ireland [1880 cen., Vernon co., MO, ED214, p. 13]. However, Rebecca's appearance in the 1900 census, as well as three other children of John Smith Jr. in the 1880 census, all indicate Virginia as the place of birth (see the page of the younger John Smith). Indications of a Scottish origin are based on a source of unknown reliability (see below).

Date of death: After 1813.
Place of death or burial: Unknown.
He appears on the tax list of Bath co., VA as John Smith Sr. in 1813, two other John Smiths also appearing in the list, his son John Smith Jr. and John Smith of Stony Creek. The 1814 list has two John Smiths, John Smith of Stony Creek and one other John Smith, whether Sr. or Jr. is unknown. The 1815 list has only one John Smith, probably John Smith of Stony Creek [Bath co., VA tax lists, FHL film #2,024,469]. See a detailed account of John Smith in the tax lists on the page of the younger John Smith.

Father: Unknown.
Mother: Unknown.

Spouse(s): Unknown.
See below for the possibility that his wife's name was Margaret Harper.

Suggested children:
See the discussion below.

James Smith (possible child), d. Jackson co., OH, 9 January 15 March 1849.
m. Bath co., VA, 25 June 1794, Elizabeth Wilson, d. Jackson co., OH, 24 May 16 September 1846.
[Bath co. mar., 8] They moved to Jackson co., OH. The wills of James Smith and Elizabeth (Wilson) Smith are transcribed below.

Margaret Smith, d. bef. 2 February 1846.
m. Bath co., VA, m. bond 23 March 1796, James Stephenson, d. Jackson co., OH, 2 February 11 March 1846.
Surety for the marriage bond was John Smith, and John Smith consented for his daughter Margarit [Bath co. mar., 12]. They moved to Jackson co., OH. The will of James Stephenson is transcribed below.

Jane/Jean Smith, living 11 August 1807, Kanawha co. VA (now WV);
m. Bath co., VA, 27 February 1798, Robert Stephenson, living 11 August 1807, Kanawha co. VA (now WV).
Surety for the marriage bond was James Smith, and Jn. Smith consented for his daughter Jean [Bath co. mar., 16]. On 11 August 1807, Robert Stephenson and his wife Jean/Jane of Kanawha co., VA (now WV) were grantors along with Samuel Stephenson and his wife Jean/Jane in a deed to John Beard of Greenbrier co. [Bath co., VA Deed Book 4: 308, FHL film #30,608]

John Smith, of Logan co., OH, d. 18401;
m. (1) Bath county, Virginia, m. bond 15 October 1799,
Rebecca Carrick, living 17 October 1817;
m. (2) bef. 9 August 1828, Sarah _____, living 1830;
m. (3) Logan co., OH, 19 October 1838, Harriet Camper.

Robert Smith, d. Logan co., OH, 19 June 1834;
m. Bath co., VA, 14 January 1806, Isabella Burnside, b. ca. 1786, d. 24 December 1850 25 January 1851.
Jno. Burnsides Sr. consented for daughter Issebela [Bath co. mar., 31-2]. Robert Smith d. 19 June 1834 [Hist. Presb. Ch. Bellefontaine, 259]. On 18 August 1834, administration of the estate of Robert Smith, deceased, was granted to John K. Taylor, the widow Isabella Smith having reliquished her right to administer [Logan co., OH Adm. Docket B: 110-4, FHL film #545,336]. In the 1850 census of Logan co., OH, Isabel Smith appears aged 64 [1850 cen., Logan co., OH, 3r]. The will of Isabella Smith, transcribed below, was dated 24 December 1850, and proved 25 January 1851, and mentioned her three daughters Martha Johnson, Rebecca Burgess, and Isabel Downing, son Robert Smith, and son-in-law John K. Taylor, executor [Logan co., OH Adm. Docket G: 105, FHL film #545,338]. A more complete list of children of Robert and Isabella (Burnside) Smith appears in two Logan county deeds [Logan co., OH Deed Book I: 538, FHL film #545,363; J: 618, #545,364].


Margaret Harper as the possible wife of John Smith, and the supposed Scottish origin

This undocumented name comes from a family history from 1966, which states that James Stephenson Jr. was married "to Margaret Smith, dau. John and Margaret Harper, who emigrated to N. America from Kilraghs, Scotland 6-15-1769. Like the Stephensons, they were strict Presbyterians." [Frances Stevenson Main, Stephenson-Stevenson (Harlingen, Texas, 1966), chapter III, 9, apparently citing as a "source" Mrs. E. E. Stephenson of Galesburg, IL] I do not know on what this is based. In possible support of this one could point out that James Smith had a son named Harper Smith.

The children of John Smith

There is no record which names the above children together as children of a single John Smith. Three of them (Margaret, Jane, John) are directly documented individually as children of a John Smith, but we should discuss why they are likely to have been the children of the same John Smith. Robert Smith is stated in a church history written in 1900 to have been the brother of a John Smith of Logan county, Ohio, and their identification is discussed on the page of the younger John Smith. James Smith is not stated to have been the son of a John Smith by any known evidence, and his placement as a possible member of this family is based on circumstantial evidence.

The early tax lists of Bath county, Virginia show more than one John Smith in most years, and as many as four (in 1796) [Bath co. tax lists]. Fortunately, for 1801 and before (the most important period for our present purposes), there is one John Smith distinguished as "Sr." in most of these years (1795-7, 1799-1801, "elder" in 1798), and he is further marked by being the only John Smith in those years with more than one tithable (2 in 1794-7, 3 in 1798-9, 2 in 1800-1). This is the John Smith who heads this page. In 1797-9, there are only two John Smiths in the Bath county tax lists, and the second John Smith can be identified with some confidence as John Smith of Stony Creek, now in Pocahontas county, West Virginia, who married Sarah Moore on 24 January 1794 [Bath co. mar., 8] and and was possibly unrelated [see Hist. Pocahontas co., VA, 302-6]. His appearance in the tax lists reaches probably back to 1791, but he was not old enough to be the father of any of the above children. The tax lists also show a third John Smith in 1794-6 and a fourth in 1796. These two John Smiths apparently were not residents of the county for long. Finally, in 1800-1, we have the appearance in the tax lists of John Smith "son of Jno." In both cases, he is enumerated adjacent to and on the same day as John Smith Sr. Furthermore, his appearance coincides with a drop in the number of tithables for John Smith Sr. from 3 to 2. Thus, we can take this younger John Smith to be the son of John Smith Sr. The reasons for identifying this John Smith "son of Jno." with John Smith of Logan county, Ohio are discussed on the page of the younger John Smith, which also has tables showing the appearances of men named John Smith in the Bath county tax lists of 1791-1830.

On 27 February 1798, Robert Stephenson and Jane/Jean Smith were married in Bath county, Virginia, with James Smith as surety and Jn. Smith consenting for his daughter. At the time, the only John Smiths residing in Bath county were John Smith Sr. and John Smith of Stony Creek, the latter of whom was too young to be Jane's father. Thus, John Smith Sr. is the likely candidate for the father of Jane. Furthermore, the only appearance of a Robert Stephenson/Stevenson in the Bath county tax lists during the period 1791-1801 was a Robert Stevenson in 1798, the same year as the marriage, and John Smith Sr. (the "elder" in that year) and Robert Stevenson were enumerated only one day apart, indicating that they lived fairly close to one another.

On 23 March 1796, we have a marriage bond for James Stephenson and Margaret Smith, with a John Smith giving consent for his daughter [Bath co. mar., 12]. On the 1796 tax list, there is only one name intervening between James Stephenson Jr. and John Smith Sr. (it is not clear if they were enumerated on the same day). In 1797, there are only two intervening names, and they were enumerated on the same day. Thus, immediately after the marriage, John Smith Sr. was apparently residing very close to James Stephenson Jr.

The marriage of James Smith and Elizabeth Wilson occurred in Bath county on 25 June 1794 [Bath co. mar., 8]. The tax lists of Bath county show a James Smith in 1795-7 and and in 1801, but the taxpayer in 1801 was a slave owner and might be a different man. In the tax list for 1795, there is only one name between John Smith Sr. and James Smith, and they were enumerated on the same day. In 1796, where enumeration dates are unclear, there were only two names between John Smith Sr. and James Smith, who was enumerated next to James Stephenson Jr. The 1797 tax list shows consecutively, and on the same day, John Smith Sr., David Stephenson, James Stephenson Sr., James Stephenson Jr., and James Smith. We should also note that James Smith was surety for Jane (Smith) Stephenson, and that James Smith and Margaret (Smith) Stephenson had the same migration pattern, both going from Bath county, Virginia to Jackson county, Ohio. If the uncertain evidence suggesting the name Margaret Harper for Margaret Smith's mother is accepted, then the fact that James named one of his sons Harper Smith would also support making James a brother of Margaret Smith.

Thus, James Smith had apparent connections with both Margaret (Smith) Stephenson and Jane (Smith) Stephenson, and all three apparently lived near John Smith Sr. at the time of their marriages. This supports the suggestion that James, Margaret, and Jane were all children of John Smith Sr. and siblings of John Smith Jr. and Robert. However, it is clear that more evidence for all of the above would be desirable.


Wills

Will of James Smith of Jackson co., OH, dated 9 January 1849, proved 15 March 1849.

In the name of God amen! I James Smith of the County of Jackson and State of Ohio being sick in body but of perfect mind and memory and understanding do make and ordain this my last will and testament this 9th day of January AD. 1849. In manner and form following. viz:
1st. that all my just debts be paid and fully settled.
2nd. I give and bequeath my daughter Jane McCorcle twenty five dollars. (which sum she now owes me)
3rd. I give and bequeath my daughter Margaret Hoover Fifty dollars.
4th. I give and bequeath my son John Smith fifty dollars and also a note of hand against Patrick K----- of the State of Virginia
5th. I give and bequeath my son Wilson Smith. Fifty dollars.
6th I give and bequeath my daughter Elizabeth McCorcle fifty dollars. also twenty dollars now in the hands of Andrew McCorcle her husband.
7th I give and bequeath the heirs of Bathsheba Russel, deceased thirty dollars which is to be divided equally between them.
8th I give and bequeath my son Harper Smith fifty dollars.
9th I give and bequeath my grandson James Smith son of Robert Smith my grey Horse.
10th. I give and bequeath my granddaughter Elizabeth Smith, daughter of Robert Smith my best bedstead and bedding sufficient for one good bed.
11th I give and bequeath my sons, James Smith William D. Smith and Robert Smith all the proceeds of my property land &c after the above being fully done. which is to be divided equally between them, except that my son Robert Smith is to have all the money that I now have in hand, also a note or bond due from James Reed, and also a note or bond due from James Romines and also another note or bond due from Joseph F. Cackley. And lastly I ordain Robert Smith my son sole executor of this my last Will and testament. In witness whereof I put my hand and seal this day and year above written. Witnesses John Shadrack, Samuel C. Gates. Proved 15 March 1849. [Jackson co., OH Will Book A: 102, FHL film #301,050]

Will of Elizabeth Smith of Madison tp., Jackson co., OH, dated 24 May 1846, proved 16 September 1846.

In the name of God amen! I, Elizabeth Smith of Madison Township in Jackson County County [sic] Ohio, being of mature age of sound mind and memory and consdering the uncertainty of this mortal life do make and publish this my last will and testament in manner and form following to wit: 1st I give and devise my interest and claim as an heir at law of the estate of William Dunwoody deceased of Bath County in the State of Virginia [several illegible words] William Dunwoodys will in manner and form following to wit: I give and bequeath my beloved son Harper Smith the sum of thirty dollars and Elizabeth McCorkle my daughter thirty dollars each to receive as an extra share, the remainder to be divided into ten equal shares to be divided as follows. I give and bequeath to my son John Smith and his heirs one equal share. I also give and bequeath to my daughter Jane McCorkle and her heirs one equal share. also my daughter Margaret Hoover and her heirs one equal share I also give and bequeath to Elizabeth McCorkle my daughter and her heirs one equal share in addition to the sum of thirty dollars as above set forth. I also give and bequeath to my son Willson Smith and his heirs one equal share. I also give and bequeath to my son James Smith and his heirs one equal share. I also give and bequeath to my son William D. Smith and heirs one equal share. I also give and bequeath to my son Robert Smith and heirs one equal share. I also give and bequeath to the heirs of my daughter Bathsheba Russel late deceased one equal share I also give and bequeath to my son Harper Smith and his heirs one equal share in addition to the sum of thirty dollars as above set forth. I also nominate and appoint James Smith my son executor of this my last will and testament. impowering him to compromise adjust release and discharge in such manner as he may deem proper the debts and claims due from said estate of William Dunwoody. I also direct my executor to pay all my debts. I hereby revoke all former wills made by me. In testimony whereof I have hereunto set my hand and seal this 24th day of May AD. 1846. Witnesses John S. Stephenson, John Mackley Junr. Proved 16 September 1846. [Jackson co., OH Will Book A: 71, FHL film #301,050]

Will of James Stephenson, dated 2 February 1846, proved 11 March 1846.

In the name of God amen! I, James Stephenson considering the uncertainty of this mortal life and being of sound mind and memory blessed be Almighty God for the same, do make and publish this my last will and testament in manner and form following that is to say
1st. I give and bequeath unto my beloved grandson Smith Stephenson minor son of my son Samuel Stephenson sixty acres of land, off the South end of the west half of the North east quarter of section thirty six in Township six of range 18.
2nd. I give and bequeath unto my eldest son Smith Stephenson the north west quarter of section thirty six township six range 18. containing about one hundred and fifty nine acres also about nineteen acres off the North end of the west half of the north east quarter of section thirty six of township six of range 18.
3rd. I also give and bequeath to my son Smith Stephenson my roan mare and also my two horse McCormic plow one pair of two horse ----- and -----. I give and bequeath to my son Samuel Stephenson my black mare. I give and bequeath the remainder of all my goods chattels, rights, credits, moneys and effects real or personal of which I am now or may hereafter be possessed at the time of my death after my debts are paid to my son Smith Stephenson, Samuel Stephenson my son and my daughters Margaret Newell and Anna Blake, Jane Miller <McClure*>, Elizabeth Burnside, Sarah Horton and Mary Horton to be equally divided between them each to fare and share alike. I hereby obligate my son Smith Stephenson to pay the heirs or legal representatives of James Stephenson my son that is deceased out of what I have bequeathed to him as his share of my estate the sum of ten dollars each to share being the sum I have bequeathed them as heirs to my estate I hereby revoke all wills made by me in witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand and seal this 2nd day of February AD. 1846. Witnesses John S. Stephenson, John Horton. [*Note: the name McClure (written over "Miller" crossed out) is written in a different hand, and could have been added much later.] Proved 11 March 1846. [Jackson co., OH Will Book A: 68, FHL film #301,050]

Will of Isabel Smith of Logan co., OH, dated 24 December 1850, proved 25 January 1851.

I Isabel Smith of the County of Logan and State of Ohio do make and publish this my last will and testament as follows, to wit. Item 1st I give and bequeath to my three daughters namely Martha Johnson, Rebecca Burgess and Isabel Downing the sum of One hundred and fifty dollars each, to be paid to them so soon as it can be made and paid over by to them by my Executor, either in money or property as they may agree after my decease Item 2d I devise and bequeath to my son Robert Smith my ---- and big plow Item 3d The balance of my property I do devise and set apart to the payment of my funeral charges and the payment of my debts. And whatever of my property or money may be left after paying charges and debts as aforesaid I give and devise the same to all my children equally. Item 4th I do hereby nominate and appoint John K. Taylor my son in law my Executor of this my last will and testament. In testimony whereof I have hereunto set my hand and seal this 24th day of December in the year 1850. Witnesses Rodolphus E. Pettit, George W. Davis. Proved 25 January 1851. [Logan co., OH Administration Docket G: 105, FHL film #545,338]


Reference abbreviations

Bath co. mar. = Constance Corley Metheny and Eliza Warwick Wise, Bath County Marriage Bonds and Minister's Returns 1791-1853, (Warm Springs, VA, 1978).

Bath co. tax lists = Dennis R. Jones, Bath County Personal Property Tax Lists, volume 1, 1791-1801 (Warm Springs, VA, date?).

Hist. Logan co., OH = History of Logan County and Ohio (O. L. Baskin & Co., Chicago, 1880).

Hist. Pocahontas co., WV = William T. Price, Historical Sketches of Pocahontas County, West Virginia (Marlinton, WV, 1901).

Hist. Presb. Ch. Bellefontaine = George L. Kalb, History of the First Presbyterian Church of Bellefontaine, Ohio (Bellefontaine, 1900).


Compiled by Stewart Baldwin

First uploaded 24 August 2009.

Added will of Isabel Smith, 14 October 2009.