Friday, June 24, 2011

In Their Own Words (Part 2)

In my previous post, I told everyone about a letter written by my great grandfather, Solomon King (S.K.) Smith to his neice, Ms. Tennesee Wolford. The letter is a genealogical find written by an elderly hand holding a #2 pencil and recording his family history as best as he could. It is a treasure to someone like me who is the self-proclaimed family historian. To make it easier to read, I have broken the one-page letter into three parts and am posting each part here along with a translation of the contents in case the original is too difficult to decipher here online.

This section of Great Grandpa Smith's letter concentrates on the change of our Smith name from the original, German "Schmidt" to the Americanized, "Smith". Grandpa also records the earliest settling of the Smith's in Pike County, Kentucky. I found it very interesting. Grandpa Smith also speaks about his grandmother's family -- the Daugherty's. This part of our family was originally from Donegal, Ireland. Solomon's grandmother, Leveniah Daugherty, was the daughter of Hiram Martin Daugherty and Solomon's father, (Hiram Martin Smith) was named for both his grandfathers...his mother's father on the Daugherty side and for his dad, Jonathan Smith's, father (Martin Brosten Smith). This early history of the Smith's is priceless as it ties into many of the family trees and information that I found on researched Smith family trees on genealogical sites. Having it reaffirmed in my Great Grandfather's own handwriting is a wonderful verification of the information.

Another quaint and interesting thing about this part of the letter, is the turn of a phrase by my Grandfather. The letter is written in "mountain speech" that was common in Grandfather Smith's day. And what might sound unlearned to some, sounds endearing to me.

I hope you enjoy this piece of my family history and the knowledge that it was written "first-hand". I hope you enjoy reading my grandfather's (and subsequently my) genealogical story...."in his own words".



"I was told that some of what is called Smiths settled in John's Creek or Pond Creek or Big Creek section . Uncle Aaron said our name was spelled with only three letters but if told what the name was, I have forgotten (Note: Actually the name was spelled with three ADDITIONAL letters..from Smith to Schmidt, but Great Grandpa Solomon had gotten mixed up about what Uncle Aaron had said about the original name.)

Well then this is a poor list but I have a poor remembrance any more. Well we are all able to walk about down here. Well then these names may not run according to their births. You may know that Aunt Tilda Daugherty was Jim and W.A. Lawyer (Daughtery's mother.)

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