Thursday, June 23, 2011

In Their Own Words (Part 1)

Solomon King Smith. Quite a name. But not uncommon as I have learned. Many people here in Appalachia were, in fact, given Biblical names such as this. Quite a few of them this exact name, Solomon King. That may be why my great grandfather chose to sign his name, "S.K. Smith". Whatever the reason, that is how he chose to identify himself. Solomon King Smith was the son of Hiram Martin Smith and Mary Ann May. His paternal grandfather was Jonathan Smith, son of Martin Brosten Smith, son of Henry Smith II, (who was born Heinrich Schmidtt in Germany). Henry Smith was the son was of Heinrich Schmidtt, Senior who lived and died in Germany. His son "Englished" his name when he came to what would become "America".

Grandpa Solomon's mother, Mary Ann May was the daughter of Daniel May and Sarah (Sally) Coleman May. Sarah Coleman May was of the Peter Coleman line that we spoke of in my previous post.

And how do I know much of this information? Because Grandpa S.K. told me so. No, not in person -- I only met him once that I can remember when I was a very young girl. But he told me nonetheless..and in his own words too.

You see, some people go digging for buried treasure. Some are excited when they turn up relics from the past... indian spears or sunken treasure from a ship. I feel the same way when I find a genealogicial treasure. It is as precious to me as any chunk of silver would be. That's how I felt when a relative shared a letter that had been in her families possession for a long time. This letter was written by my Great Grandfather Solomon King Smith (S.K. Smith) to his neice Tennessee Wolford. In the letter, he attempts to set down for the record his recollections of the family names. It is a precious and rare find for a genealogy buff like myself. I thought I'd share the letter here... in his own words, a section at a time, beginning with the first part.

The letter is difficult to read -- written in the shaky hand of a very elderly gentlemen with a #2 pencil on the back of a lined piece of school paper. But the information is there for any who seek it and for me, it is a priceless little piece of my past that tells me so much about myself. A message from my great grandfather... in his own words!


Part 1 Translation of Great Grandpa Solomon King Smith's letter:

"S.Ks granddad on father side was Jonathan Smith. Granddad had three
brothers, Davison, Mart, and the other I dont' know. Paw (
Hiram Martin
Smith) had 4 brothers, George Harrison (Smith), Joseph
Franklin (
Smith), John Silas (Smith), Aaron (Smith),
and 2 sisters, Vashtie (Smith) Wolford and Juliana (Smith) Dyer. Grandpa's
Jonathan Smith)'s mother was Leveniah Daugherty. On mother's side
Sarah, "Sallie Ann", Coleman May), James May, a Primitive Baptist
Preacher. I think he had a brother Daniel May. I don't if any more.
Grandma May was a Coleman. I don't her parents or brothers or sisters.
Grandpa May had Mose, Jeff, John H. May and James Harve May for boys, Martha Looney, Tilda Daugherty, Elizabeth Dotson, Mary Ann Smith, Sallie Justice, Pricey Baker and Rachel Davis."

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