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The SMITH family

Alice Ophelia Smith 1852-1903                Reuben James Bullard Jr. 1848-1934 

James Reed Smith    1818-1878                Araminta  Reed (?)

Joseph Smith    1779-1854                        Roseanne Baxter   1794-1863


    Alice Ophelia Smith was born in 1852, in  Clarington, Ohio, on the banks of the Ohio River, in the days when life on the river must have been very exciting.  At that time, Clarington was a port city, teeming with ship builders and  warehouses built to hold all the goods that had traveled there by ship, waiting to be distributed westward.  It was said that Clarington could man a ship "from cook to captain",  and there were stores, theaters, churches, doctor and dentist offices in the busy town.  Alice's father, James, owned a gentleman's clothing shop and had 3 living daughters; Alice, the eldest, and  2 younger sisters, Eva, born in1855 and Edith, in 1856. (a  first little girl, Mary Olivia,  had died in infancy.)

     Tragedy struck in 1859, when Araminta, wife of James and mother to the 3 little girls died.  Her husband placed a long memorial poem to her in the newspaper, and never married again, strange for that time period.

     Little is known of Araminta, other than the fact she is buried in Emma Grove Cemetery, in Hannibal, Ohio, in the next county, rather than in the church yard of her own Christian Church, in Clarington.  I feel she must have had family ties to  Monroe County.  Why  take her elsewhere to be buried if not for a family reason?  Another factor in this theory is that James and Araminta were married in Monroe County, and James was born  and raised in Jefferson County, leading me to believe that Araminta was from Monroe Co, where she was eventually buried.  She  is buried with the first little girl, May Olivia, who preceded her in death.  

    Our family lore also said that Araminta was born in Barnesville, and it was just an accepted "fact".  So I researched the area and even visited, but found nothing to prove this to have been true.  Later, when I found her buried in Hannibal and decided that she might have had family in that area, I did some reading, only to discover that the earlier name for Hannibal was Baresville......I'm sure family members of later generations had never heard of the old name and simply confused it with Barnesville!  Just another proof positive in  the absolute necessity of good research being needed on ANY family lore, before it can be considered true!  Family lore also says that Araminta's maiden name was Reed, but I've not been able to document this, and find it rather strange that her husband's middle name and her own  surname would both be, this is still something I need to do more work on.  I wonder that this isn't just another case of getting whose name was what confused!

    After his wife's death, James and the little girls moved on down the Ohio River to Middleport, another busy river town, and there he opened another gentlemen's clothing shop.  He lived in Middleport until his death, in 1878, and is buried in Middleport Hill Cemetery....I always wonder why his daughters didn't bury him beside their mother, in Emma Grove.  However, I imagine they had little rememberance of their mother, and the added bother wasn't worth it to them...still, after reading the poem he had printed when his wife died coupled with the fact that he never remarried,  I can't help believing that he would have liked to have been  buried with her.

    James was the son of Joseph and Roseanne Baxter Smith, who had married in York County, Pennsylvania in 1813, and emigrated to Jefferson County, Ohio sometime after their marriage.  They were members of a Presbyterian Sect known as The Seceders, a group who had left, or seceded from the organized Presbyterian Church of Scotland in around 1730.  Some of the members emigrated to the New World, and established Seceder churches of their own, here.  There were at least 2 in York County, both ministered to by the same man; Rev. Robert Cathcart, a cleric who had been born in Scotland.    The churches were the Round Hill Presbyterian in Hopewell Twp, and the York Reform Congregation of the city of York.   Joseph had strong ties to the Hopewell church, naming a son after a church elder, Andrew Duncan, and I'm sure his father is among the several Smiths in the Hopewell congregation but, as yet, I've been unable to tell which one it is.   All Smith research is difficult to say the least, and when there are 3 Smith men of the correct age to be Joseph's father, all in the same church congregation,  something more must surface to help determine the correct one.  .  Because the family has such a preponderance for naming children after their parents and friends, I'm leaning toward thinking Joseph's father is one of the 2 James Smiths in the congregation....his own elsest son, James, named for a paternal grandfather?.....but, it's a theory only, waiting to be tested.  I did discover a James Smith of York who was a prominent citizen  and signer of the Declaration of Independence, but his line died in the next generation....(that was a fun theory while it lasted!)  

    The old Hopewell or Roundhill Cemetery contains the gravestones of many, many Smiths, and includes the namesake of one of Joseph and Roseanne's sons, Andrew Duncan, so I'm sure Joseph's parents are probably among the dead , either in marked or unmarked graves.  There are many, early markers that are merely rocks with initials roughly carved into them, so many of this ilk have probably disappeared through the centuries.  The cemetery is well cared for by the current congregation,  located in the "new" church, a few miles away. 

    After a recent visit to the York archives, I must admit that the information necessary to prove Joseph Smith's parentage is not available in what is current available.   All the church members seem to have been Scots, and as the church was established in around 1750, and I imagine that the group may have emigrated together.  There may well have been a stopover of some years in Ireland, perhaps Ulster, before the move to the colonies, and the 1750s were times of much immigration of what has come to be called the Scots-Irish, in this country.   

    Joseph and Roseanne were married by Rev. Cathcart, as were her parents, the Baxters,  and she and her siblings were also baptized by him, in the York congregation. The Baxters will be on a separate page.

    Joseph and Roseanne's children, all born in Ohio, were;

  1. James Reed Smith, born 3-31-1818, listed above.
  2. Joseph Lafayette Smith, born in 1819, married Minerva Lowther, became an attorney and later a Judge in Ravenswood, WV.  His son, John, married his own first cousin,  Edith Smith, daughter of his uncle,  James Reed Smith.  They then moved to Colorado.
  3. Susannah Smith married B. McFarland and had at least 2 children, Susannah Baxter and Joseph Smith.
  4. Eleanor Beatty Smith, born in 1816, married Moses Dillon and had at least 1 child, Rosanna.
  5. Jane Smith married Thomas Mitchell and had at least 1 child, Joseph Ethan
  6. Andrew Duncan Smith, born in 1823 and died unmarried  in 1856, is buried with his parents in the Seceders' Cemetery in Mt. Pleasant.
  7. George B. Smith.....I have found a George B. Smith, born in Ohio and  who married a Mariah Spangler and moved to Fulton County, Il, but I'm not sure this is the same George B. Smith; more research would be needed to determine the relationship, and as it isn't my direct line I simply haven't done it.
  8. Ferdinand Spangler Smith, of whom I know nothing.

    As apparent from the names of these children, the Smith's went in for naming children for their own families; George B. (B. surely for Baxter) was named for Roseanne's father, George Baxter, and  Eleanor Beatty  was her mother's name....this leads me to wonder if there were 2 were, named for Joseph's family;  James Reed Smith for his father?  I think it likely.  But, what about his mother? Perhaps none, for Roseanne also had sisters named Jane and Susannah which accounts for the other females in the family.    

    Joseph died a very wealthy man  in1854 and left a detailed will. and an estate worth over $600,000 in today's money.   Roseanne died in 1863, also testate. after having lived with her daughter Susannah in her last years.

    The background for this page is typical of the rolling farmlands of the area in York where Joseph and Roseanne were born.

joseph smith.jpg (25495 bytes) Joseph Smith

MVC-012S.JPG (45387 bytes) Seceders' Cemetery, Mt. Pleasant, Ohio..gravesite of Joseph, Roseanne and their son Andrew.

JamesSmithheadstone.jpg (11297 bytes)  James Smith's headstone in Middleport Cemetery, Middleport, OHAraminta Reed Smith's headstone.  Emma Grove cemetery

Old Hopewell Cemetery (or Round Hill), in Hopewell Township, York Co, PA, where the first Smiths in the area are buried.  There are many of the name, starting in the 1700s, and I imagine it's fair to assume that Joseph Smith's parents may be buried here.  The cemetery also contains the headstone of Andrew Duncan, who Joseph and Roseanne surely must have named their son for -  Andrew Duncan Smith.  The church is long gone, and the new one located several miles away, but this old cemetery is well cared for by the congregation, and is a lovely spot.

wpe11.jpg (11821 bytes)this large flat marker is that of Andrew Finley, the Uncle of Roseanne Baxter Smith

MVC-011S.JPG (25972 bytes) Eva Smith Nye and her family