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John Calvin Smith (late 1800's)

Replies: 14

Re: John Calvin Smith (late 1800's)

Posted: 1416854675000
Classification: Bible
Edited: 1416855093000
Surnames: Smith, Gannon, McKinney, McKinley, Kenney, Kinney, Buchanan
Just stumbled across this thread, and figured I'd throw my two cents in...

My grandmother's family descends from Coonie through Charlie Smith, (b. March 17, 1856, who also appears in records as Charles Vinson Smith/ Charles Horace Smith), one of Coonie and Annie Smith's 9 children.

Our copy of the Smith Family Record (1818-1978) is taken from a Smith family Bible, as I understand it, and more or less matches the information already posted; however several of the names are obviously shortened or nicknames.

Part of the complexity of researching this branch of Smiths is that each of the children seems to have had several given names, which tend to get dropped or cause confusion between generations - and furthermore the same name seems to have been given to several children in one family, in conjunction with other given names (this might be because some of them died as children, I haven't cross-checked the siblings' vital records yet).

Don't hold me to any of the details as this record could easily have some transcription and/or typo issues. Our record starts with Coonie, or Edward Charles Smith. (I can't speak to anything earlier than that but will follow-up if/when I can confirm his parents' identities.)

It appears from looking at Charles' 1944 death certificate that his father's first name may have been William, making it "William Edward Charles Smith." I can think of several reasons this could be the case ...or it may be an error.

Another contradiction: On the 1932 death certificate of John Calvin Smith (b. Dec. 17 1846) someone had begun to write "Tennessee" under Father and Mother's place of birth, then crossed it out and wrote what looks to be a cursive "Va.," presumably Virginia. On two of the other children's death certificates, Charles and Martha, their parents' birthplace is listed as "Tennessee" but the town is "Unknown." They can't both be right (or neither may be right), so more research is needed here.

I am fairly certain I know why there is so much difficulty tracing his wife Annie, though. Next to her name it reads "Full Blooded Cherokee Indian."

Keeping in mind that the Cherokee population frequently converted to Christianity or married white settlers and were then baptized with Christian names, this may explain Annie and other missing female lines in the east TN/GA/NC region.

Oh, and also that pesky Trail of Tears tragedy...
"The majority of Cherokees living in Tennessee were forced to go to the Indian Territory (now a part of Oklahoma) in the 1830s. A few hid in the mountains bordering Tennessee and North Carolina. 'Documenting descent from Native Americans who did not remove from Tennessee is usually a major challenge.'" ~FamilySearch/ Gale Bamman

So, it may have been a name adopted for social reasons or even survival, and not one based on ancestry (If this is in fact correct, you can thank Andrew Jackson et al for this particular 'brick wall'!)

Annie Smith's birthday was July 15, 1819. This record does not specifically list her maiden name as McKinley, but two names - McKinley & Buchanan - are written somewhat near hers with no explanation on my copy, leading me to think this is possibly her father's surname, and possibly her mother's maiden name. Again, the death certificates of their children disagree on that: one spells it McKinney, the other Kenney... and there must be a dozen close variations of this name I've come across in a preliminary search of early 1800's American names. No promises there! I have yet to find definitive links between the three surnames, as they're all somewhat common in early America.
The variations could also suggest that there wasn't one way to spell it because her family just picked a random Christian surname - or ( and I don't mean to insult anyone here so I'm sorry in advance ) the family's literacy was wanting sometime between then and now!

Anyway, these are the names and relations of Coonie & his kids exactly as listed in our copies:

"Edward Charlie (Coonie) Smith 1/1/1818" and "Annie (Full Blooded Cherokee Indian) 7/15/1819" had the following children:
1. John
2. Joe
3. Hamilton
4. Wesley
5. Calvin
6. Charlie
7. Ben
8. Elizabeth Jane
9. Martha

My ancestor is the sixth child, Charlie, who married Mary (Molly) Gannon and had 10 children (not counting two infants listed as dying in childbirth!) and their son "Willie Edward" had another 8 children, including my great-grandfather Roy Wesley Smith if this one branch is any indicator, it's no wonder there are so many Smiths in the world.
If anyone has documentation to correct mistakes in the above data, I'd love to see it ...and hear from any distant relations out there!

Take Care,
SubjectAuthorDate Posted
Laura Smith 1019274834000 
Brenda 1021320016000 
unclelance2 1349037121000 
Brenda 1043620469000 
unclelance2 1349037727000 
jyana smith 1349055078000 
unclelance2 1349067819000 
jyana smith 1349139837000 
unclelance2 1349189199000 
Leigh Jones 1416854675000 
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