DNA Match from Perry Co KY
A few weeks ago I found a match between my Grandfather Smith and another Smith man who tested with Ancestry.com. I contacted him and learned that his family is from Perry County, Kentucky, having come first from Virginia, then Tennessee then on to Kentucky. As it turns out his family was in the Tri-cities area of Tennessee where TN-NC-VA intersect which also happens to be where KY meets as well. And just to the North West of this area is Perry County, KY. Here is a map of the area to show some perspective:
I haven’t exchanged too many emails with my match, but I can already tell that he is a pretty good researcher and has access to a lot of records including deeds, wills, etc. He has been to several courthouses, libraries, cemeteries and such. He sent me the following preliminary information, with his 4th great-grandfather being Richard Smith:
1. Humphrey Smith & Eleanor – came from England to Virginia in 1678
2. John Smith, b. 1684 in Norfolk Co., VA
3. Samuel Smith, b. 1723 in Norfolk Co., VA, md. Eunice Joliff
4. Richard Smith, b. 1771 in Norfolk Co., VA, md. Elitia Combs, 1794, Kingsport, TN
Since we know that my line did not descend from my match’s ancestor, Richard Smith, it is possible that we descend from one of Richard’s brothers or uncles. My match has agreed to send me copies of FGS sheets for each of these 4 men.
I shared this information on my super secret Smith Family Researchers Facebook Group and my cousin Mike immediately started the quest to find more information on this family. He posted a long family history of Reverend Richard Smith that he found at this website: The Annette Potter Family Genealogy. I immediately recognized that they had the name of Richard Smith’s father as William Smith.
Was my match holding out on me? Did I put too much faith in his talk about wills and deeds and cemeteries visited? I quickly shot him and email and inquired about the discrepancy and received the following response:
There are many sites that say that William is the father of Richard but they are wrong. I am the only person that has researched this family enough to know their history. Most people copy from other people and all get the wrong answer. I can prove that Samuel is the father of Richard. I have visited the graves in Chesapeake, Virginia. I had a person visit me from Richmond, Virginia and asked me to prove my findings and when he left my place he was convinced I was right. They say that William is the name of Richard’s father because his oldest son was named William. I have Richard Jolliff’s will who was Eunice Jolliff’s father naming all the children and Samuel whom was dead at the time and forgiving Samuel’s debt he owed Richard. Also I tracked down Samuel until he died through tax that he owed on his estate. This information also gave me the information of all his male children including his slaves. Richard and John left Eunice in Virginia and came to Kentucky after stopping in Tennessee for a few years. William and Samuel Jr. had died by this time and left their will to Eunice. I suspect they died along with Samuel senior in the war with England. They all died very young. William and Samuel Jr. never was married. The only chance that your Grandfather and I are related is through John because Richard was too young at the time he lived in Tennessee. I will send you the information later today. Thank you for your interest.
It is so unfortunate when something like this happens. But it is also very common. I am running into something similar to this on my Maternal side of the family. I believe my ancestor was Nathan Godwin, son of Jonathan Godwin; however there is another group of researchers who say their line of Nathan Godwin is descended from Jonathan Godwin. DNA has proved that our two lines are not related, however.
I have reviewed the Family Group Sheets that my match sent to me but could not find where my ancestor could have fit in with his family. I also reviewed the research documents he shared with me, including the will of Richard Joliff, the father of Richard Smith’s mother, Eunice Joliff. In his will, it clearly states that Richard Smith was his grandson and that Samuel Smith was his deceased son-in-law.
Now I would like to see the documentation that the other side has supporting the idea that William Smith was Richard Smith’s father. If you can provide any additional information, please comment below or email me at ginger dot reney at gmail dot com.