Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Tombstone Tuesday - October 30,2012

Mary Ann Smith was 37 years old when she died. She is buried in Smith Cemetery in Benton County, Indiana. I think this may have been Mary Ann Best Smith.  The wife of Joseph who we have connected to through DNA.  I will have to try to check out this stone again but it is believed that she was born in 1818 so that would make her 37 years old in 1855.  When I took this photo, I had no idea who this person was.  It was several years ago so I will need to try to clean the stone and get the year which is on the stone.  If this is Mary Ann, her husband Joseph, remarried Celia Dixon in 1856. All this information would certainly fit into the data that we have discovered.

Indiana 1850 Census -  for Pine in Warren County for Joseph Smith Family
 Happy Hunting!


Monday, October 29, 2012

Puzzles of Darcus Smith

I love it when I run across an unusual name.  The James, Williams, and Johns hide all their clues among thousands of other James, Williams and Johns in the databases.  But when you have a name like Darcas which is also sometime spelled Dorcus you tend to stick out more!  So this week I was researching Darcus Smith. 

I was looking at her because Joseph and Mary Ann (Best) Smith had a daughter named Darcus. (the Joseph who we now know is connected to our James Smith through DNA) Then I found a marriage license for a Dorcus Smith and Jacob Best in Warren County but it was long before Joseph’s Darcus was born.  So I could not help but wonder who this woman was. Ironically the last name “Best” stuck out like a neon sign since Mary Ann, Joseph’s 1st wife was a Best. The daughter, Darcus, was Mary Ann’s and Joseph’s 2nd daughter.  Could this be the Grandmother?  Could this be Joseph’s Mother?

I had posted a message on ancestry.com about the marriage of Jacob Best and Dorcus Smith.  And sure enough a response came back the next day.  She was the 2nd wife of James Smith, was the response.   The James Smith’s who was the first person buried in Smith Cemetery ! “Really” , I thought.  How could I have forgotten that!  I was the person who entered the data for the Smiths in Smith Cemetery in Benton County a few years back but I do not remember entering a Dorcus Smith.

I spent several years looking at the Benton County Smith data but was unable to connect my James to it. I have several old blogs about them. I had totally ruled out any connection between my James and the Smith’s of Benton County!  I have several other Smith researchers that I keep in contact with. We have all freely shared what we know.  I have saved the correspondences in my email, so it was time to review what they had shared with me. There she was, plain as day, among the notes of other researchers.  Darcus or Dorcus Williams was the 2nd wife of James Smith, the elder James Smith who came from Darke County, Ohio to Warren County, Indiana.  Parts of Warren County would later become Benton County, Indiana!  James and his second wife, Darcus, had four children; Joseph, Benjamin, Justice and Elizabeth…I’ll be darned…There is the Uncle Justice too!  He is the guardian referred to in Francis Marion’s guardianship papers. I was able to find Darcus Best and Jacob in the 1850 Federal Census and “Justin” Smith is 16 and living with them. Next door to them are the families of Thomas Smith and James Smith Jr.

Well, I’ll be darned!  Of course she isn’t buried in the Smith Cemetery as Darcus Smith because she is Darcus Best!  She and Jacob are both buried there.  The “Needles in the Haystack” were right there for me to find if I just get them sorted out right. 

There is still quite a lot for me to find out.  I still do not know for sure how or where my James Smith fits into this family but with the DNA results, there is no doubt that he does!

So as it always is when doing this kind of research, the answer  for one questions always leads to another new question.  Was Mary Ann Best somehow related to Jacob and his family?  Was my James a brother to Joseph or a cousin? The search continues …

Happy Hunting,


Thursday, October 25, 2012

Family Tree is growing with DNA results.

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!

Happy Hunting, 


Thursday, October 11, 2012

Smith DNA Match..

A couple of weeks ago while I was visiting my sister in Harbor Beach, I got a surprise email.  As it often goes, when I am away from my mountains of family history information, someone contacts me about something family related.  A few years back I asked my brother to do a Genealogy DNA test for me.  He did,  we got the results and the data was  filed with several genealogy DNA database sites.  At the time, there were no Smith matches!  All that changed with one email.  An email from a world wide Smith DNA database!  Our James Smith had a brother and his name was Joseph Smith!  Another common name for a Smith family but it fits right into the pattern of names that I have been chasing for years.  

Through a DNA Smith Website called www.smithsworldwide.org, I receive an email informing me that they had recently received DNA results which closely matched ours... within two markers!  This means that our James had a brother named Joseph who was also born in Ohio.  The person related to Joseph who had the DNA test done, did the 67 marker test  and we did the 48 marker test so they have a few more markers than we do but none the less we only have 2 different makers out of 48.  In the database we, James and Joseph,  have been grouped together as a family!   

I have contacted the person who registered the results through the website but so far they have not responded.  I cannot email them directly due to privacy issues.  I have however been researching on Joseph and have found some very interest information.  I cannot determine whether Joseph and James lived in Darke County or if just James did. I do not know for certain the exact place of birth, both indicate Ohio only. 

Accord to the descendant of Joseph who had the DNA test done, Joseph settled in Warren County, Indiana.  He married Mary Ann Best from Ohio and they had at least one son.  Francis Marion Smith was born in Indiana in1853.  Francis Marion Smith settled in Iroquois County, Illinois and married Mary Ann Hobson from Iroquois, Ill??? I am check these facts... It is quite ironic to me that these Smiths ended up in Iroquios County, Illinois since this is the birthplace of my husband, Greg Gerkin. I have continued to work on this data all week.

I have looked at this area of Illinois and Indiana before for our Smith roots because a large group of Smiths from Darke County settled in the Newton, Benton and Jasper Counties of western Indiana and some of them ended up in neighboring Iroquois County, Illinois. I thought that we might have all been related but after months of searching through this large Smith family the evidence just does not support a connection. 

I continues to search for information about Joseph and his connection to us and will keep you posted in the weeks to come.

Happy Hunting!


Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Tombstone Tuesday - October 9, 2012

It’s been a year since Audrey died.  Where does the time go! We have missed her but are so glad that she is at peace with James.  

Brittany, Greg, Megan, Jan, Pamela
 As summer wounds down,  our life seems to speed up.  We had a wedding in Gerkin family on September 14, 2012.  Megan E. Gerkin married Robert J. Diamond in a wonderful outdoor ceremony on a warm sunny day!  Rest assured that the spirit of James and Audrey Gerkin were with us that day along with all the Gerkin’s who came before and all the descendants who have come after.

Megan and Robert Diamond

 Love,  Jan