John Smith
of Bath co., VA and Logan co., OH, d. 18401.

Date of birth: ca. 17705.
Place of birth: probably Virginia.
Census records suggest that John Smith was 26-45 in 1810 [1810 cen., Bath co., VA, 428], over 45 in 1820 [1820 cen., Logan co., OH, 78], 50-60 in 1830 [1830 cen., Logan co., OH, 49], and 60-70 in 1840 [1840 cen., Logan co., OH, 16] (see the detailed discussion below). If all correct, this would place the birth of John Smith between 1770 and 1775, but these census ages are subject to significant uncertainty. John's children Elizabeth Hill, Margaret Allen, and Samuel Smith all died between the 1880 and 1900 censuses, and each of them gave Virginia as the place of their father's birthplace in the 1880 census [1880 cen., Logan co., OH]. John's daughter Rebecca was still living in 1900, and gave her father's birthplace as Ireland in the 1880 census [1880 cen., Vernon co., MO, ED214, p. 13], and as Virginia in the 1900 census [1900 cen., Johnson co., MO, ED104, p. 5]. Thus, Virginia seems like the probable birthplace.

Date of death: 18401.
Place of death: Logan county, Ohio.
John Smith was still alive when the 1840 census was taken [1840 cen., Logan co., OH, 16]. On 24 May 1841, Peter Kelly was granted letters of administration to the estate of John Smith of Monroe township, Logan county, Ohio, Harriet Smith the widow of the deceased having relinquished her right to the administration [Logan co., OH Administrator's Dockets, C: 287, FHL film #545,336]. See also the discussion below on John Smith in the records.

Father: John Smith, of Bath co., VA, living 1813.
Mother: Unknown.

Spouses:

(1) m. Bath county, Virginia, m. bond 15 October 1799, Rebecca Carrick, living 17 October 1817.
Samuel Carrick was surety, and James Erwins consented to the marriage [Bath co. mar., 20].

(2) m. bef. 9 August 1828, Sarah _____, living 1830.
John Smith's second wife Sarah appears on 9 August 1828 as an original member of the First Presbyterian Church of Bellefontaine [Hist. Presb. Ch. Bellefontaine, 259]. As noted below, John Smith was apparently married at the time of the 1830 census.

(3) m. Logan co., OH, 19 October 1838, Harriet Camper, living 24 May 1841.
[Logan co., OH marriages, 2: 136; A: 159]

Children by Rebecca Carrick:
On 5 June 1841, Peter Kelly and Sarah his wife filed a petition against James Smith, John Hill and Elizabeth his wife, Nathaniel Kelly and Margaret his wife, Harvey Wilson and Jane his wife, Richard Minshall and Rebecca his wife, David Woltz and Isabella his wife, Robert H. Smith, and Samuel Smith, children and heirs at law, and Harriet Smith, widow of John Smith [Logan co., OH Deed Book P: 202, FHL film #545,367 (which shows that Sarah Kelly was also one of the children of John Smith); see also Deed Book R: 595, FHL film #545,368, which names the same children].

James Smith, of Hale township, Hardin co., OH, b. VA, ca. 1800, d. Hardin co., OH, 21 April 1878;
m. Logan co., OH, 4 July 1822,
Mary Ann Taylor, b. VA, 7 October 1804, d. 10 January 1881.
See the page of James Smith for more details.

Sarah Smith, b. VA, 1802, d. 22 August 1866, bur. Fairview cem., West Liberty, Logan co. OH;
m. Logan co., OH, lic. 5 June 1822, Peter Kelly, b. 1799, d. 1856.
[Logan co., OH marriages, 1: 21; A: 13] The will of Peter Kelly, dated 12 May 1854, and proved 6 January 1857, mentioned his two eldest sons Jeremiah Kelly and Henry Kelly, son John Kelly, wife and daughters (unnamed) [Logan co., OH Will Book A: 302-4, FHL film #534,847]. The will of Sarah Kelly, dated 20 August 1866, and proved 28 August 1866, is transcribed below. The dates of "Father Kelly" (1799-1856) and "Mother Kelly" (1802-1866) are given at Fairview Cemetery in West Liberty [Liberty & Monroe Townships (Logan co. Gen. Soc., 1995), page number not recorded in my notes].

Robert H. Smith, b. VA, 5 October 1804, d. 10 September 1876, bur. Brunk cem., Cotton Hill tp., Sangamon co., IL;
m. Logan co., OH, 16 February 1826, Patience Burgess, b. 15 August 1806, d. 4 February 1857, bur. Brunk cem.
[Logan co., OH marriages, 1: 51; A: 31; Cemeteries of Cotton Hill Township, Sangamon County Illinois (Sangamon co. Gen. Soc., Springfield, IL, 1986), 15, which gives dates of birth and death for both Robert and his wife Patience] On 17 June 1843, in Sangamon co., IL, Robert H. Smith and Patience his wife signed a power of attorney to James McDonald with regard to the rights and interest that Robert H. Smith held in lands in Monroe tp., Logan co., OH, which his father John Smith had held [Logan co., OH Deed Book M: 536, FHL film #545,365]. On 22 November 1845, Robert H. Smith and Patience his wife of Sangamon co., IL signed a quitclaim to Peter Kelly for those lands [Logan co., OH Deed Book O: 654, FHL film #545,366]. This proves that Robert H. Smith of Sangamon co., IL was the same person as Robert H. Smith, son of the present John Smith.

Elizabeth Smith, b. VA, 10 October 1806?, d. 17 August 1881, bur. Fairview cem., West Liberty, Logan co., OH;
m. Logan co., OH, 15 February 1827, John Hill, b. ca. 1802, d. 4 October 1864, bur. Fairview cem.
[Logan co., OH marriages, 1: 65; A: 37] Elizabeth Hill's dates and the death date of her husband (d. in 63rd year) are given in their gravestones, but Elizabeth is given an incompatible age at death (74y, 8m, 7d, which calculates to a birthdate of 10 December 1806) [Liberty & Monroe Townships (Logan co. Gen. Soc., 1995), 30]. However, the death records of Logan county, giving the same death date, give a different age at death (75y, 10m, 7d., which calculates to 10 October 1805). 10 October 1806 seems like the most likely date.

Margaret Smith, b. VA, 2 April 1809, d. 15 February 1890, bur. Fairview cem., West Liberty, Logan co., OH;
m. (1) Logan co., OH, 30 June 1831, Nathaniel Kelly, d. 185060;
m. (2) Logan co., OH, 20 January 1867, Samuel Brown, b. ca. 1799, d. Concord, MO, 25 September 1872, in 74th year;
m. (3) Calloway co., MO, 5 March 1875, Archibald Allen, d. 29 March 1875.
[1st mar.: Logan co., OH marriages, 2: 105; A: 139; 2nd mar.: Logan co., OH marriages, C: 488; 3rd mar.: Callaway co., MO marriages, D: 46-7, FHL film #901,383 (states that bride was widow of Saml. Brown); death of Samuel Brown: Callaway Death Notices, 36] The War of 1812 pension application of Archibald Allen also gives the third marriage, his date of death, and states that the widow also lived in Logan co., OH [Index to War of 1812 Pension Files, 1: 20]. Margaret Allen was buried next to Samuel and Mary Smith at Fairview Cemetery [Liberty & Monroe Townships (Logan co. Gen. Soc., 1995), page number not recorded in my notes]. In 1850, Nathaniel and Margaret Kelly were living in Logan co., OH, and living with them were Margaret's brother Samuel and a certain Sarah Burgess, age 9. In 1860, Margaret Kelly was evidently widowed, living with her brother Samuel and his family [1860 cen., Logan co., OH, 155]. In 1870, Samuel and Margaret Brown were living in Callaway co., MO, and her nephew Samuel Woltz was living with them [1870 cen., Callaway co., MO, 389]. In 1880, Margaret Allen was living with her sister Elizabeth Hill in Logan co., OH [1880 cen., Logan co., OH].

Jane Smith, b. Pocahontas co., VA (WV), 19 February 1813, d. 15 March 1866, bur. Mt. Pleasant cem., Grundy co., MO;
m. (1) Logan co., OH, lic. 15 Oct. 1833, Harvey Wilson, d. 18416;
m. (2) Grundy co., MO, 22 January 1846, Zela Conkling, b. Morris co., NJ, 11 December 1801, d. 7 April 1869.
[1st mar.: Logan co., OH marriages, 2: 26; A: 93; 2nd. mar.: Grundy co., MO, marriages, A: 41, FHL film # 1,007,639; "Zela Conkling married Mrs. Jane Wilson, widow of Harvey Wilson, of Grundy County, Mo., as second wife, whose maiden name was Smith, of Pocahontas County, Va., born February 19, 1813, and died March 15, 1866. Her tomb is in Mount Pleasant Cemetery, Grundy County, Mo." Conklings in America, 78; dates of Zela Conkling: Conklings in America 49, 85] Harvey Wilson appears in the 1840 census of Livingston co., MO [1840 cen., Livingston co., MO, 275]. In 1850, Zela and Jane Conklin appear in the census of Grundy co., MO, which says that her daughter Martha Wilson was aged 12 born in Ohio [1850 cen., Grundy co., MO, 389r], suggesting that the move of Harvey and Jane Wilson from Ohio to Missouri occurred between ca. 1838 and 1840.

Rebecca Smith, b. OH, February 1815; still alive 1900, Johnson co., MO;
m. in Logan co., OH, lic. 6 Mar. 1834, Richard Minshall, b. ca. 1814, d. 18801900.
[Logan co., OH marriages, 2: 35] Richard is found in the 1840 census in Livingston co., MO as Richard Mencil, enumerated two households away from Harvey Wilson [1840 cen., Livingston co., MO, 275]. Richard and Rebecca Minshall were found in Linn co., MO in 1850 [1850 cen., Linn co., MO, 28r], with the birthplaces of the children suggesting suggesting between ca. 1836 [presumed son John E. aged 14, b. OH] and 1840 [presumed dau. Margret E. aged 10, b. MO] for the move from Ohio to Missouri. They were in Grundy co., MO in 1860 [1860 cen., Grundy co., MO, 467r, with Rebecca appearing erroneously as "Reuben"], Johnson co., MO in 1870 [1870 cen., Johnson co., MO, 418r], and Vernon co., MO in 1880 [1880 cen., Vernon co., MO, ED214, p. 13]. Richard Minshall was a preacher, which explains the frequent moves. Rebecca was living as a widow with her son W. M. Minshall in 1900 [1900 cen., Johnson co., MO, ED104, p. 5, birthdate given as Feb. 1815]. Rebecca's birthplace is given as Ohio in all of these censuses. The 1880 census shows her father born in Ireland and her mother in VA, the 1900 census shows both parents born in VA.

Children by uncertain mother (probably Rebecca):
These children are probably also by Rebecca Carrick, but that is uncertain, because Rebecca (Carrick) Smith is not documented as being alive after 17 October 1817.

Isabella Smith, b. OH, 6 April 1820, d. 31 December 1876, bur. Old Auxvasse Presbyterian Church cem., Callaway co., MO;
m. Logan co., OH, lic. 18 February 1836, David Woltz, b. ca. 1813, d. 186070.
[Logan co., OH marriages, 2: 77; A: 123] David and Isabella (Smith) Woltz lived in Callaway co., MO. Her gravestone there gives her date of death and age at death [Callaway County, Mo. Old Auxvasse Presbyterian Church Cemetery, 16 (birthdate based on calculation of age of 56y, 8m, 25d at death)]. They moved to Callaway co., MO, appearing there in the censuses of 1840 [1840 cen., Callaway co., MO, 225 (David Waltz)], 1850 [1850 cen., Callaway co., MO, 286], and 1860 [1860 cen., Callaway co., MO, 1042], with Isabella and her children appearing without David in the 1870 census [1870 cen., Callaway co., MO, 388]. Their son Samuel Woltz, who appears with them in the 1850 and 1860 censuses, was living with Samuel and Margaret (Smith) Brown in the 1870 census of Callaway county [1870 cen., Callaway co., MO, 389], providing clear proof that David and Isabella Woltz of Callaway co., MO were the same people as the couple married in Logan co., OH. Note that if the birthdate calculated from her gravestone is correct, which agrees perfectly with her ages given in censuses (30 in 1850, 40 in 1860, 50 in 1870), then she was rather young when she married.

Samuel Smith, b. OH, 4 March 1822, d. 12 July 1895, bur. Fairview cem., West Liberty, Logan co., OH;
m. Logan co., OH, 9 April 1857, Mary Taylor, b. 27 May 1832, d. 12 July 1903.
[Logan co., OH marriages, C: 92, FHL film #534,836] The will of Samuel Smith, transcribed below, was dated 20 October 1885, and proved 20 January 1896. The dates of Samuel and Mary are from their gravestones [Liberty & Monroe Townships (Logan co. Gen. Soc., 1995), page number not recorded in my notes].


John Smith in the records

The problem of identifying individuals with the same name who appear in different records is especially troublesome with common names like John Smith. The John Smith of interest to us appears in a deed of Logan county, Ohio, which shows us that on 5 June 1841, Peter Kelly and Sarah his wife filed a petition in the Logan county Court of Common Pleas against James Smith, John Hill and Elizabeth his wife, Nathaniel Kelly and Margaret his wife, Harvey Wilson and Jane his wife, Richard Minshall and Rebecca his wife, David Woltz and Isabella his wife, Robert H. Smith, and Samuel Smith, children and heirs at law of John Smith, and Harriet Smith, widow of John Smith [Logan co., OH Deed Book P: 202, FHL film #545,367; see also the similar entry in Deed Book R: 595, FHL film #545,368, which names the same heirs]. This deed spells out the children of John Smith, which, as the deed shows, also included Sarah Kelly. All of these children can be identified with high confidence in other records, as indicated above and on the page of James Smith. What we now wish to know is, to what degree of confidence can this John Smith (who will be called "our" John Smith below for convenience) be identified in other records? He is clearly the same as the John Smith of Monroe township, Logan county, Ohio, who died before 24 May 1841, when Peter Kelly was granted letters of administration, Harriet Smith the widow of the deceased having relinquished her right to the administration [Logan co., OH Administrator's Dockets, C: 287, FHL film #545,336]. Logan county marriage records give the marriage of John Smith and Harriet Camper on 19 October 1838, showing that Harriet was not the mother of our John Smith's children [Logan co., OH marriages, 2: 136; A: 159].

To give some indication of the potential for confusion, there were eight John Smiths in the 1840 census of Logan county, Ohio, three of whom had middle initials. Fortunately, starting with the two deed book entries mentioned above, we can unambiguously link our John Smith with a number of earlier records, including early Logan and Champaign county deeds and tax lists. The entry from Logan county Deed Book R: 595, in describing the decree for the April 1842 term of the Logan county Court of Common Pleas, specifies two tracts of land which had been owned by our John Smith. One was a 100 acre tract from survey #4493 of the Virginia Military District (which maps show to be located in Monroe township), for which it was ordered that the defendants were to deliver a deed to Peter Kelly, as the court found that that land had been conveyed to Peter Kelly before the intermarriage of John and Harriet Smith [for this conveyance, which occurred 9 August 1836, see Logan co., OH Deed Book F: 588, FHL film #545,361]. The court also decreed that Harriet Smith be endowed with a one-third part in about 270 acres, consisting of the fractional section Township 5, Range 13, Section 24 (T5, R13, S24, which maps also show to be located in Monroe township) except for 100 acres out of the northwest corner which had previously been conveyed from John Smith to Henry Covington on 26 December 1834, and stating that the land could not be easily divided, ordered the tract to be delivered to the Sheriff of Logan county for public sale [Logan co., OH Deed Book F: 188, FHL film #545,361]. The deed of Deed Book P: 202, describes the sale of the second of these tracts by the Sheriff to Peter Kelly (with the size of the tract given as only 248 52/100 acres, for reasons which are unclear).

The tax lists of Logan county are available on microfilm at the Family History Library for the years 1818 through 1838 [1818-27 on FHL film #545,118, 1828-33 on #545,119, and 1834-8 on #511,789], and allow us to reconstruct our John Smith's ownership of these lands in some detail, and to identify another tract which he owned. John Smith appears in the lists in 1818, 1819-20, 1822 (no list in 1823), and each year from 1824 to 1838, missing only 1821 (which has no list for lands in Congress District). These lists give details on the land held by the John Smith in question, making it clear that they concern our John Smith. The 100 acres from Virginia Military District survey #4493 appear under John Smith's name on the tax list in each year from 1826 to 1838. However, it is not until 6 December 1834 that we find the conveyance of this 100 acres from John Shelby and Ellinor his wife of Logan county, Ohio to John Smith of the same [Logan co., OH Deed Book F: 181, FHL film #545,361], so the deed was not executed until several years after John Smith took possession of the land. Similarly, the land apparently remained in John Smith's possession after he had sold it to Peter Kelly in 1836, leading eventually to the suit filed by Peter Kelly and his wife in 1841 after John Smith's death.

Similarly, John Smith's possession of land in fractional section T5, R13, S24 can be traced in the tax lists. John Smith possessed 372 acres in that section in the lists of 1819-20, 1822, 1824, and 1825, and 272 acres in that section in each of the years from 1826 to 1838. Here, the tax lists again show that Henry Covington took possession of 100 arces of this land in 1825 or 1826, several years earlier than the 1834 deed showing the change in ownership. The 1819-20, 1822 and 1824 lists also tell us the important fact that the John Smith who owned the 372 acres in T5, R13, S24 also owned 158 acres in the south half of T5, R13, S22, also in Monroe township. Thus, the deeds which mention a John Smith in the south half of that section also concern our John Smith. Most important among these are two Champaign county deeds of 17 October 1817 (the year before Logan county was created out of Champaign county), in which Henry Robertson sold the north half of the southwest quarter of T5, R13, S22 to John Smith for $160 [Champaign co., OH Deed Book D: 234, FHL film #295,241], and John Smith sold the south half of the southeast quarter of T5, R13, S22 to Henry Robertson for the same price [Champaign co., OH Deed Book D: 379, FHL film #295,241], thus effectively exchanging two tracts of the same size. The second of these deeds was signed by John Smith and Rebekah Smith, giving us the name of an earlier wife of our John Smith. On 2 April 1814, the United States of America had granted to John Smith, asignee of Robert Smith, the southeast quarter of T5, R13, S22 [recorded 5 June 1841, Logan co., OH Deed Book L: 615, FHL film #545,365]. After the exchange with Henry Robertson, he held a 1/4 mile by 1 mile strip, the north half of the south half of the section. In a deed executed 17 October 1838 (recording a sale that had been made much earlier if the tax lists are any indication), John Smith of Logan county, Ohio sold to Alexander Burnside of the same, 150 36/100 acres from T5, R13, S22 [Logan co., OH Deed Book J: 450, FHL film #545,364]. (What happened to the other 7+ acres is not clear. Perhaps the earlier survey showing 158 acres was inaccurate.)

Since the list of our John Smith's children with their approximate birthdates is known, it is easy to locate him in the censuses of Logan county, Ohio. The only John Smith in Logan county in 1820 was in Jefferson township (the township from which Monroe township was split off in 1822), and it has John Smith aged over 45, with one male each aged 18-26 and 10-16, one female each aged 26-45, 16-26, 10-16, and four females under 10 [1820 cen., Logan co., OH, 78v]. Here, 11 year old Margaret seems to have been enumerated as "under 10", but otherwise we have a perfect match for the children of our John Smith who had been born by that year. The 1830 census of Logan county, Ohio shows three John Smiths, one in McArthur township aged 40-50 [1820 cen., Logan co., OH, 71], one in Union township aged 20-30 [ibid., 57], and one in Monroe township [ibid., 49], of whom only the one in Monroe township matches well with our John Smith. The John Smith in Monroe township was aged 50-60, with one male each aged 10-15 and 5-10, and with females aged 40-50, 20-30, 15-20 (two in that range), and 5-10 [1830 census, Logan co., OH, 49]. This agrees well with the children of our John Smith who were unmarried in that year (assuming that 10 year old Isabella counted as 5-10), except that there is an extra boy aged 10-15. However, this extra boy can be explained by a Logan county deed of 3 December 1826, in which Thomas H. Osborne, a poor boy aged about eleven years and nine months, was placed as a servant of John Smith [Logan co., OH Deed Book B: 303, FHL film #545,359]. This boy would have turned 15 not long before the 1830 census. Since our John Smith was alive on 19 October 1838, and administration of his estate was not granted until 1841, there is a good chance that he was still alive during the 1840 census. His only unmarried child in that year would be his son Samuel, aged 18, and we would also expect to find his recently married wife living with him. Sure enough, in the 1840 census of Monroe township (where we would expect to find him) there was a John Smith aged 60-70 with only one other male, aged 15-20, and only one female, aged 20-30 (presumably John's wife, who was evidently quite a bit younger than him) [1840 cen., Logan co., OH, 16]. Thus, our John Smith was apparently living at the time of the 1840 census.

The children of our John Smith have all been located in the 1850 and some later censuses, and their birthplaces and ages show that the older children were born in Virginia and the younger children were born in Ohio. The switch comes between Jane, born 19 February 1813, whose birthplace is Virginia in all censuses in which she appears, and Rebecca, born in February 1815, whose birthplace is Ohio in all censuses in which she appears. Thus, our John Smith evidently moved from Virginia to Ohio between those two dates, fitting well with the fact that our earliest record of him in Ohio is in 1814. Among the children of John Smith there is one who is said to be from a specific county in Virginia. His daughter Jane, wife successively of Harvey Wilson and Zela Conkling, was stated to be "of Pocahontas county, Va." by a Conkling genealogy that was written by her own stepson (therefore likely to be reliable) [Conklings in America, 78]. Now, Pocahontas county, (now West) Virginia did not yet exist when Jane was born in 1813, but was formed by a legislative act in 1821 by taking parts of Bath, Pendleton, and Randolph counties. As it turns out, there is a John Smith Jr. in the 1810 census of Bath county, Virginia, showing an adult male aged 26-45, and adult female aged 26-45, two boys aged under 10, and three girls aged under 10 [1810 cen., Bath co., VA, 428]. This is a perfect match for the family of our John Smith as it existed in 1810. In this census John Smith Jr. was enumerated adjacent to a John Smith Sr., aged above 45, who had a boy under 10 living with him as the only other member of the household [ibid.]. There was one other John Smith in Bath county (of whom see below) and four other John Smiths in Pendleton county (none in Randolph county), but none of these other John Smiths had households that fit closely with the two boys and three girls that we would expect to find in the household of our John Smith. Furthermore, soon after 15 October 1799 (the date of the marriage bond), a John Smith was married in Bath county to Rebeckah Carrick [Bath co. mar., 20]. We have already shown above that our John Smith was married to a Rebecca, and this marriage occurred about a year before the birth of the eldest child of our John Smith. All of this is unlikely to be a coincidence.

In fact, there was another Smith in Logan county, Ohio who has an even better documented connection to Bath county, Virginia. We have already noted above that in 1814, our John Smith was the asignee of a Robert Smith. The only other Smith enumerated in Jefferson township in the 1820 census of Logan county besides our John Smith was a Robert Smith (aged 26-45) [1820 cen., Logan co., OH, 79r], and in 1830, the only other Smiths enumerated in Monroe township in the 1830 census were Robert Smith Senr. (aged 50-60), James Smith (aged 20-30), and Robert Smith Jun. (aged 20-30) [1830 cen., Logan co., OH, 49], the latter two of whom were sons of our John Smith. This Robert Smith appears in the History of Logan County and Ohio, which states that he was born in Greenbrier county, Virginia (the county out of which Bath county was formed), that he married Isabella Burnside, and that he came to Ohio in the fall of 1811, settling in Monroe township, where he built a mill about 1813 [Hist. Logan co., OH, 493, 679]. The marriage of Robert Smith to Isabella Burnsides is recorded at Bath county, Virginia on 14 January 1806 [Bath co. mar., 31-2]. For Robert Smith, the move from Virginia to Ohio is also documented by a Bath county deed of 2 November 1814 in which Robert Smith of Champaign county, Ohio conveyed two tracts of 80 acres and 28 acres in Bath county to Abraham Hawk of Bath county [Bath co., VA Deed Book 4: 475, FHL film #30,608]. Robert Smith appears in the 1810 census of Bath county, on the next page over from John Smith Sr. and John Smith Jr. [1810 cen., Bath co., VA, 429]. The fact that Robert Smith came from Bath county gives further support to the evidence that our John Smith also came from that county.

John Smiths in the tax lists of Bath county, Virginia

As might be expected, numerous Smiths appear on the tax lists of Bath county, Virginia [Bath co., VA tax lists, FHL film #2,024,469-70; published for 1791-1801 in Bath co. tax lists]. This includes some John Smiths (four of them in 1796), who are sometimes distinguished by epithets such as "Sr." or "Jr." and sometimes not. Since such epithets can change from year to year for the same individuals, it can be a challenge to sort them out. The John Smiths in the Bath county tax lists from 1791 to 1796 can be summarized in the following table, giving epithets or other identifying markers along with the number of tithables in each year, with columns attempting to identify individuals from year to year, perhaps not always successfully. (For example, the John Smith who appears in 1791-3 might instead be the John Smith who was labelled as "J.R." in 1795 and 1796.)

John Smiths in Bath county tax lists, 1791-6:

  John Smith John Smith Sr. John Smith John Smith
1791 John - 1      
1792 John - 1      
1793 John - 1      
1794 John - 1 John - 2 John - 1  
1795 John L.L. - 1 John Senr. - 2 John J.R. - 1  
1796 John L.L. - 1 John L.L. Senr. - 2 John Head J.R. - 1 John B.P. - 1

The main thing to note for these early years is that there was one John Smith, called John Smith Sr. in 1795 and 1796, who can also be identified with probability in the 1794 tax list as having 2 tithables. In 1797, the number of John Smiths in Bath county drops to two, and from there through 1830 (the last year checked) there are no more than three John Smiths in the county in any given year. In fact, there is no reason to believe that the lists for these years concern more than three total John Smiths. The following table outlines the appearances of John Smiths in the years 1797-1830 with likely identifications, and an asterisk indicating uncertain identifications in 1812 and 1814. Also included are the appearances of Robert Smith. There was no Robert Smith on the 1791-6 lists and no more than one Robert Smith in any of the years checked.

John and Robert Smiths in Bath county tax lists, 1797-1816:

  John Smith John Smith Sr. John Smith Jr. Robert Smith
1797 John Jur. - 1 John Senr. - 2    
1798 John - 1 John Elder - 3    
1799 John Junr. L.L. - 1 John Senr. L.L. - 3    
1800 John Jur. - 1 John Sen. - 2 John son of Jno. - 1  
1801 John Junr. - 1 John Senr. - 2 John son of Jno. - 1  
1802 John - 1 John Sen. - 1 John - 1 Robert - 1
1803 John - 1 John Sen. - 1 John Jun. - 1 Robert - 1
1804 John - 1 John Senr. - 1 John Jr. - 1 Robert - 1
1805 John - 1 John - 1 John Junr. - 1 Robert - 1
1806 John - 1 John Senr. - 1 John - 1 Robert - 1
1807 John - 1 John Senr. - 1 John Jr. - 1 Robert - 1
1808 no list no list no list no list
1809 John - 1 John Sr. - 1 John Jr. - 1 Robert - 1
1810 John - 1 John Sr. - 1 John Jr. - 1 Robert - 1
1811 John Stony Creek - 1 John - 2 John Jr. - 1  
1812 John Stony Creek - 1 *John - 1    
1813 John Stony Creek - 1 John Senr. L.L. - 1 John Jr. L.L. - 1  
1814 John S.C. - 1 *John - 1    
1815-21 John - 1      
1822-30 no John Smith      

The most notable thing on these lists is the proof from the 1800 and 1801 lists that two of these John Smiths were father and son. In both of these years, John Smith "son of Jno." appears in the list adjacent to John Smith Sr. We also note that in 1800, the number of tithables for John Smith Sr. dropped from three to two, suggesting that John "son of Jno." had been living with John Smith Sr. in the immediately preceding years. Thus, the John Smith who is labelled as "son of Jno." was a son of John Smith Sr. The change from one John Smith to no John Smiths in Bath county coincides with the creation of Pocahontas county in 1822. The Pocahontas county lists show one John Smith in each year from 1822 to 1830 (the last year checked) [Pocahontas co., VA tax lists, FHL film #1,905,686, with 2 tithables in 1824-9].

Aside from the two John Smiths who were father and son, there was a third John Smith in the county. He also appears in the 1810 census of Bath county, aged over 45, with one female 26-45 (presumably his wife), 3 girls 10-16, 3 girls under 10, and one boy under 10 [1810 cen., Bath co., VA, 412]. He can be identified with high 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 stayed in Virginia [Hist. Pocahontas co., VA, 302-6, which gives an outline of his family]. Not only does the data from the 1810 census fit very well with someone who was married in 1794, but the Historical Sketches of Pocahontas County, West Virginia shows him with two sons and six daughters, requiring only the birth of a son after 1810 to fit exactly with the account of the 1810 census. John Smith of Stony Creek can also be identified in the 1820 census of Bath county (aged over 45, with a woman aged over 45, 2 girls aged 16-26, 1 boy aged 10-16, 2 girls aged 10-16, 1 boy under 10, 1 girl under 10 [1820 cen., Bath co., VA, 64]), and in the 1830 census of Pocahontas county (aged 60-70, with 1 woman aged 50-60, 1 woman aged 30-40, 1 man aged 20-30, 1 woman aged 20-30, one boy aged 15-20, and one girl aged 15-20 [1830 cen., Pocahontas co., VA, 92]). He does not appear in the 1840 census. He was also presumably the John Smith who appears in the Pocahontas county tax lists starting in 1822, as noted above.

Although the label "Sr." appears to have been consistently applied to the same person from year to year, this does not seem to have been the case for the label "Jr.," apparently changing between 1801 and 1803. John Smith of Stony Creek is evidently the John Smith Jr. of 1797, 1799, 1800, and 1801. On the other hand, John Smith of Stony Creek is obviously a different man from John Smith Jr. in the lists of 1811 and 1813. In 1803, 1810, 1811, and 1813, John Smith Sr. (or the John Smith who is Sr. by default) was enumerated next to John Smith Jr. In 1807, Robert Smith is the only person enumerated between John Smith Sr. and John Smith Jr. Thus, it appears that the epithet "Jr." was gradually transferred from John Smith of Stony Creek to the younger member of the father-son pair of John Smiths. As noted above, in the 1810 census the John Smith Jr. whom we have identified as our John Smith was enumerated adjacent to John Smith Sr. Thus, it appears that our John Smith was the John Smith "son of Jno." of the 1800 and 1801 tax lists, and therefore son of John Smith Sr. In 1812, the number of John Smiths on the Bath county tax lists decreases from three to two, with one labelled as "Stony Creek." We are back up to three John Smiths in 1813 (Sr., Jr., and Stony Creek), then back down to two in 1814 (one labelled "SC"). In the table above we have identified the second John Smith in 1812 and 1814 as John Smith Sr., but marked it with an asterisk to indicate the undertainty. It is also possible that John Smith Sr. died between the 1813 and 1814 tax lists, and that the second John Smith in 1814 is our John Smith. Finally, in 1815 and 1816, we are down to one John Smith, presumably John of Stony Creek. Thus, it looks as though the father-son pair of John Smiths disappear from Bath county by 1815. This agrees well with the history of our John Smith, whose daughter Jane was born in Virginia in 1813, and whose daughter Rebecca was born in Ohio in 1815. The drop in 1812 might indicate a trip to Ohio to prepare the move there, or just that one John Smith was missed in that year. John Smith Sr. might have died around 1815, or he might have moved elsewhere when his son left the county. Robert Smith begins appearing in Bath county tax lists in 1802 (a year when the number of tithables of John Smith Sr. drops from two to one), and appears there every year from 1804 to 1810, after which he disappears (unless he is the extra tithable who appears with John Smith [Sr.] in 1811), coinciding well with the Logan county history which states that he arrived there in the fall of 1811 [Hist. Logan co., OH, 493].

We have left until now the problem of relationship of Robert Smith to our John Smith. The History of the First Presbyterian Church of Bellefontaine, Ohio tells us that "[i]n 1811, Robert and John Smith, brothers, of a prominent Presbyterian family of Greenbrier county, Virginia, built a mill and settled on the Mack-a-Cheek, ..." [Hist. Presb. Ch. Bellefontaine, 9]. John Smith, farmer, 8 miles south (of Bellefontaine), brother of Judge Robert Smith, is listed as contributing to the church in 1836-7 [ibid., 30 (source given as the "First Treasurer's Book")]. In a short account of the early Presbyterian church at Mack-a-Cheek, the wife of Judge Robert Smith is given as Isabella (Burnside) Smith, and it is stated that John, brother of Robert, died about 1836 [ibid., 130]. An alphabetical register of members states John Smith was an original member on 9 August 1828, that he died before 1838, and that he had a wife named Sarah who was also an original member in 1828 [ibid., 259].

So, was Robert's brother John the same person as our John Smith? Making this identification poses a problem if we accept the data of the History exactly as it stands: Our John Smith did not come to Ohio until between 1813 and 1815, and since our John Smith married in 1838, he did not die before 1838, as the History states of Robert's brother John. However, if there is one person who stands out in the records as an obvious candidate for the brother of Robert Smith, it is our John Smith. He and Robert Smith both appear in the Bath county, Virginia census in 1810, in the Jefferson township census of Logan county, Ohio in 1820, and in the Monroe township census of that county in 1830, always on the same or adjacent pages (although never on adjacent lines). Other candidates for the brother of Robert could be produced for the sake of argument (for example, in 1820, a John Smith in Salem township, Champaign co., OH, aged 18-26 [1820 cen., Champaign co., OH, 444]), but they make generally less convincing candidates than our John Smith.

It is not clear that dates like "before 1838" or "about 1836" were firmly established by whatever evidence the History used. It has the following to say about the sources of its data: "The sources from which the following data has been compiled are the registers of the pastors since 1854, records of the elders since 1828, records of the clerks of the congregation since 1825, county records of marriages, early newspapers, gravestones, correspondence, etc., and much information has been furnished personally." [Hist. Presb. Ch. Bellefontaine, 180] However, as is typical of publications of this type, we have no clear indication of the specific sources used for a given statement when the History was compiled in 1900. Thus, even if we accept the History as being largely accurate, we should also allow that it is not going to be correct on every point. A more detailed survey of the men named John Smith in the Champaign-Logan county area would be desirable, but it seems likely on the available evidence that our John Smith was the same person as John Smith, brother of Robert. We should note that whatever lingering doubt reamins on this point does not affect the parentage of our John Smith, who seems firmly documented as a son of John Smith Sr. However, it does affect the assignment of Robert Smith as another son of John Smith Sr.


Wills

Nuncupative will of Sarah Kelly, dated 20 August 1866, proved 28 August 1866.

It is my desire and will that after my death all my personal estate now in the hands of my son J. M. Kelly shall be kept at interest for one year after my death and that the interest accruing on the same shall be equally divided between my three daughters Lizzie Sallie and Bell, and after the expiration of one year after my death it is my desire and will that two thousand dollars of my said personal estate in the hands of my said son be kept on interest and the interest accruing on the same be paid to my said daughter Lizzie so long as she may remain unmarried. The other portion of my personal Estate I want Equally divided between my children including Lizzie and the two children of my son John Kelly deceased In case Lizzie shall marry then I desire that the $2000 referred to be equally divided among all my children including Lizzie and the two children of my son John Kelly deceased. I desire also that all the Household furniture and goods be given to my three daughters Lizzie, Sallie and Bell. I mean that the two children of my son John Kelly deceased shall receive only what amount would be due to one of my own children. Witnesses John Enoch, James W. Brown. Proved 28 August 1866 by Jeremiah M. Kelly, one of the children of Sarah Kelly, deceased. The death date of Sarah Kelly is given as 22 August 1866 [Logan co., OH, Will Book B: 48-9, FHL film #534,847]

Will of Elizabeth Hill, dated 9 August 1881, proved 23 September 1881.

Know all Men by these presents that I Elizabeth Hill of the County of Logan and State of Ohio, of sound mind and memory being under no restraint and in view of the uncertainty of life do make and publish this my last Will and Testament hereby revoking and annulling all former Wills by me made.
Item 1st. It is my desire that all of my Just debts and funeral Expenses be paid out of my personal property.
Item 2nd. I give bequeath and devise to my Son Hugh A. Hill all of my Real Estate wheresoever situated, to belong to his heirs absolutely forever.
Item 3rd. I give and devise also to my said Son all of my personal property, all Chattels, Money & Notes, including the Note due and payable to me by my said Son Hugh A. Hill. In Witness Whereof I have hereunto set my hand and seal this 9th day of August 1881. Witnesses R. N. Jordan, Mary E. James. Proved 23 September 1881. [Logan co., OH Will Book C: 304-5, FHL film #534,848]

Will of Margaret Allen, dated 15 April 1886, proved 1 March 1890.

In the name of the Benevolent Father of All, I Margaret Allen of the County Logan and State of Ohio being of sound mind and memory do make and publish this my last Will and Testament hereby revoking and annulling all former Wills by me made.
Item 1st. It is my desire that all of my just debts and funeral expenses be paid.
2d. I give and bequeath to Samuel Smith Three Hundred Dollars being the amount of indebtedness of siad Smith to me by note and Mortgage also any interest that may be due on said note and hereby direct that said note be delivered to said Smith and the Mortgage be cancelled by my Executor herein named.
3d. I give and bequeath to James Smith the amount of his indebtedness to me being about One Hundred and Fifty Dollars by note and book account.
4th. The balance of money due me by Bond Note or account I bequeath to the two Daughters of Samuel Smith to wit Minnie Smith and Katy Smith (so called) the same to be equally divided between them.
5th. I give and bequeath all the balance of my chattels consisting of house hold goods to James Smith, Minnie Smith and Katy Smith the same to be equally divided between them.
6th. I hereby nominate and appoint James Smith the Executor of this my last Will and Testament and direct that no appraisement of said estate be made. In witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand and seal this 15th day of April 1886. Witnesses R. N. Jordan, Delia A. Wilkinson. Proved 1 March 1890. [Logan co., OH Will Book D: 322-3, FHL film #534,848]

Will of Samuel Smith, dated 20 October 1885, proved 20 January 1896.

Know all men by these presents that I Samuel Smith of the County of Logan and State of Ohio, being of sound mind and disposing memory in view of the uncertainty of life, do make and publish this my last will and Testament, hereby revoking and annulling all former wills by me made. Item 1st. It is my desire that first of all my just debts shall be paid.
Item 2d. After the payment of all just debts, I give bequeath and devise to my beloved wife all of my estate, Real Personal and mixed, to belong to her and to her heirs forever.
Item 3d. I hereby nominate and appoint as my sole executor my son James L. Smith with full power to make deed or deeds to purchaser if it should be necessary to sell any part of the Real Estate to pay debts and I hereby desire that no appraisement of my estate shall be made. In witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand and seal this 20th day of October 1885. Witnesses J. S. Evans, R. N. Jordan. Proved 20 January 1896. [Logan co., OH Will Book E: 260-1, FHL film #534,849]


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?).

Callaway Death Notices = Cheryl Oberhaus, Death Notices from the Callaway County Newspapers "The Telegraph" and "The Missouri Telegraph" Fulton, Missouri 1848-1879 (Shelbyville, MO, 1993).

Conkings in America = Ira B. Conkling, The Conklings in America (Chas. Potter & Co., Inc., Washington, D. C., 1913). Ira Broadwell Conkling was born 28 March 1841 in Grundy co., MO, the ninth child of Zela Conkling by his first marriage with Sarah Chapman [Conklings in America, 65]. The author was thus a stepson of Jane (Smith) Wilson Conkling.

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.

Major revision uploaded 14 October 2009.