The Smith migration

As noted earlier, the Smiths, moved to Bartow County, Georgia, from South Carolina between 1850 and 1860, and the oldest known family members in this line are Jesse Smith, who was born in South Carolina 1808-1815, and his wife Polly, born 1817-1819 in South Carolina. Jesse and Polly arrived sometime after 1850 but before 1860, because their youngest child is 10 and born in South Carolina in the 1850 census. They both died after 1880 in Bartow County. Their parents were born in South Carolina as well, so the family lived there in the late 1700s.

I could find no Jesse Smith in the South Carolina censuses or in family trees who could be verified as this Jesse Smith, so for now the line ends with him. Polly may have been a Summerroun; Lon Summeroun, 21, born in South Carolina, is living with the Smiths in 1860.

Jesse and Polly were part of a migration of Smiths from South Carolina into Cass County. In the 1850 census for Cass County, there are nine Smith families from South Carolina, including six who migrated to Georgia between 1846 and 1850.

Jesse was a farmer and a wheelwright, and by 1860 his family was living in Georgia Militia District 936, which is just north of Cassville and between Adairsville and Pine Log. Jesse must have lived near Cass, since the rest of the district is still very rural today. The town was the largest in the region in 1860, and the county seat. In the economy of the time, Jesse would be middle class, and apparently had a thriving business. He owned real estate worth $150 and had personal property worth $220.  He also lived in a prosperous area surrounded by wealthy families.

In 1870, the family is in the Pine Log District. Jesse had real estate worth $250 and personal property worth $200. Pine Log is at or near the location of an ancient Indian town of the same name, visited by DeSoto in 1540, and Jesse may have moved there to take advantage of a better business climate. But in 1880, he is in the Cassville District again. Since district lines, and even county lines, were changing during this period, it is difficult to tell if his family moved, or the lines moved since GMD 936, the Pine Log District, and the Cassville District adjoin each other.

In June1880, Jesse broke his leg and is listed in the census as “Maimed, crippled, bedridden, or otherwise disabled.” Neither Jesse nor Polly appear in the 1900 census.

There is this “Letter of Administration,” which is a legal notice for the executor of an estate, published in Cartersville in the Courant American 10 May 1900 (p. 4): “Fannie E. Smith on the estate of Jesse Smith, late of Bartow County.” A Francis E. Barron, 35, married a Jesse Smith on 18 June 1882 in Bartow County, so it is possible Polly died and Jesse remarried, although Jesse would be 65-72 years old. However, Jesse is the only white Jesse Smith in Bartow County in 1880, and would have been 85-92 in 1900. As can be seen in these pages, Smith men often lived into their 80s.

His son Albert lived to be only 70, but I say “only” because the Smiths have had more than a few octogenarians. Albert’s grandson James Henry Smith and two of his sons lived well into their 80s.

Jesse and Polly had at least four children:

1. Albert Smith, born 11 November 1840 in South Carolina, and died 2 December 1910 in GMD 936, Bartow County. Albert is Thiddo’s great-grandfather (Who the heck is Thiddo Smith? See the Smith-Hall Nexus).

2. Sally A Smith, born 1846 in South Carolina. Sally or Sallie A. Smith married John Wimpy Brownlow on 17 December 1885 in Bartow County. John W. Brownlow was Harriet Octavia Brownlow's brother. Harriet is Thiddo’s grandmother who married William Thomas Smith, Albert’s son.

John W. and Sallie A. Smith Brownlow had one known child: Walter E. Brownlow, born March 1889.

John W. Brownlow has the distinction of marrying into both the Smith and Collins families. His first wife was Sarah Elizabeth “Lizzie” Collins, Ursula Collins sister, born 3 February 1861 and died 7 July 1884. James and Lizzie were married on 1 May 1879.

3. Emily E. Smith, born 1848-52 in South Carolina. Emily married Andrew Jackson on 1 December 1867 in Bartow County. They are living in Cartersville in 1870 and may have later moved to DeKalb County. They had one known child, William, born 1868.

4. Louisa Francis Smith, born 1850 in South Carolina. Luisa married John T. Dunlapp on 29 December 1870 in Bartow County. They are in GMD 936 in 1880. In 1900, John and Francis are in in GMD 849 (East and South Part, Excluding Calhoun Town) Calhoun, Gordon County. Francis is known to have had five children, but only one, Sula or Sulie C., born 1875, is alive in 1900.

The Brownlow-Smith-Collins-Philips connections

The Smith family is connected to the Brownlow, Collins, and Philips families in several ways.

1. John Wimpy Brownlow’s (1849-1939) first wife was Sarah E. Collins, sister of Ursula and Rhoda Martha Collins.

2. John W. Brownlow’s second wife was Sarah “Sallie” A. Smith, the sister of Albert Smith.

3. Ursula Collins was Albert Smith’s first wife.

4. Albert and Ursula Smith’s son, William Thomas Smith, married Harriet Octavia Brownlow, John W. Brownlow’s sister.

5. James Madison Brownlow, brother of John and Harriet Octavia Brownlow, married Sarah Elizabeth Phillips, daughter of James Phillips and Rhoda Martha Collins.

6. James and Harriet Brownlow’s brother, Henry Jackson Brownlow, married Emily Doster Phillips. Emily was Sarah Elizabeth’s sister. 

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