The last couple of weeks has been enlightening to say the least. After receiving word of a DNA match, I began to investigate Joseph and his family. It's been an interesting search. I have been in contact with the researcher whose father was the subject of the DNA test. This researcher, like me, could not find the Smith “needle in the haystack” either.
Since finding this person, I have found out quite a lot about our Smith family. The ironic thing is that I have been looking at other Smith families in the neighboring counties in Indiana and Illinois for several years now not knowing that this related Smith family was there.
Joseph born who was in 1817 in Ohio settled in Warren County, Indiana. He married Mary Ann Best who was born in Ohio in 1818. They had four children; Martha born in 1838, Darcus born in 1840, Hannah born in 1844 and Francis born in 1854. May Ann died soon after Francis was born.
Joseph remarried in 1856 to Cecelia Dixon in Fountain County, Indiana. In the 1860 Census, I find Joseph and his new wife,Celia, Celia's children, Isabel (16) and George (9), Hannah Smith(16) and a one year old baby named Mary Ann Smith in Attica, Indiana. In 1860, I find Martha is married to Robert Whiste and Francis who is 6 years old is living with her in Springfield, Illinois. Darcus is a farm laborer in a Parnell household in Logan, Indiana. I wonder if this Parnell family is related in anyway or just a family who had a job for Darcus. She is counted with family as if she was living with them. I will keep looking into that. Can't help but wonder why Francis is not with his father.
In 1864, I find a marriage record for Celia A. Smith to Jacob Strader in October. Did Joseph die? I can't help but think he did. I do not see him in the 1870 Census. Other compelling evidence came from the researcher who provided me with the DNA evidence. They have guardianship papers which show Francis Marion's guardian was an Uncle named Justus Smith at the time of his marriage. He married Mary Ann Hobson in 1873 before he was of age. Mary Ann and Francis received their marriage license from Iroquois County, Illinois. I do find a Justus Smith living in Belmont which is Watseka, Illinois in Iroquois County. This tells me Justus is a brother to James as well.
Francis Marion and Mary Ann had two children; Joseph Clinton Smith and Robert Francis Smith who were born in Maroa, Macon County, Illinois. Mary Ann Smith died in 1889 and is buried in Iroquois County. Francis Marion and his sons would eventually move to Spokane Washington where they remained.
There will be much more information on this family in the coming weeks!