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.


15 Responses to “DNA Match from Perry Co KY”

  1. Greetings – I believe Richard Smith, 1771 to be my 3rd great grandfather – Did you get the files from the person you were writing about? Did they make sense to you? I would be interested in knowing who you were communicating with. Please pass my contact along to him if you wish. I have a photo of Richard’s headstone. Let me know if you have not seen it.

    • Hi Michael, thanks so much for writing. I did receive the files from Richard Smith’s 4th great-grandson, but I have not been able to find a connection to my family yet. I would be happy to put you in contact with him if you send me your email address. Feel free to email me at ginger [dot] reney [at] gmail [dot] com.

  2. Lori Thomas Says:

    Wow I am so impressed with all of the information you have managed to gather. I am related through Jeremiah Smith b. 1794 in TN/NC. I am confused on where it goes after that. Looks like many list it as William, but DOB do not seem to match. If you have any ideas as to who his father is, please let me know.

    • Hi Lori,

      I don’t see Jeremiah Smith listed as a child in the family of Perry County, KY. Being born in 1794, he might have fit in as a child of Richard Smith, however, Richard had a son William who was born 1795 in VA. Richard and his family were in VA and then moved from VA to KY about 1800. I’m sorry I can’t be of more help.

  3. Hill Smith Says:

    All credible local research has Richard Smith entering Ky. with
    Danger Nick Combs. No brothers. Richard then marries Danger’s
    daughter Alicia. This same research lists Richard’s mother as named Elizabeth Betty Eunice Ritchie married to William Smith.
    Perhaps you have Eunice’s maiden name wrong. There is an interesting book in the Breathitt County (Ky) Library named
    Smiths of the Three Forks. In this account, Richard has two brothers
    who settle on each fork of the Ky. River. Richard was certainly on the North Fork. The book claims another brother on the South fork and yet another on the Middle Fork. The South Fork would be
    Booneville Ky. The Middle Fork would be Hyden Ky. Smiths of the Three Forks also lists William as the father. The “credible” research I refer to was performed by my grandfather Hillard H Smith congruently with Josiah Combs. My grandfather graduated from Washington and Lee Law school around 1901 and was an eastern Ky. State Senator. Josiah Combs was a graduate of the Sorbonne in Paris, France. I have letters of the two discussing the family line. Both had nothing to gain by printing loose facts. As you can see, the Smith/Combs inbreeding produced a couple of thoroughbreds: no doubt a blow to modern propaganda to the contrary.

    I too am named Hilliard H Smith. I am a retired Professor of English.
    My father is ninety, and we still play a weekly bridge game. He still works as the the President of the First National Bank of Jackson, Ky. He claims that if I would go back to work, he wouldn’t beat me as unmercifully at bridge as he frequently does.

    The DNA project has interested me enough to begin participating.
    No one in our family has ever thought that “Smith” will be our “true”
    surname. We judge each other by behavioral production.

    • Hi Hill, you are in fact an exact match to my grandfather, Darrel Smith on the Y-DNA! I’m so glad you decided to participate. In fact, you are even a closer match to him than the gentleman I mentioned above who is the descendant of Richard Smith. Please email me directly at ginger dot reney at gmail dot com. I look forward to hearing from you.

    • Gloria Kelly Johnson Says:

      Hill, You and I are cousins. Hilliard Smith who married Armelda Combs, was my great grandfather. My grandfather was John Riley Smith, who married Nancy Breeding. My mother was their daughter, Gratus Lee, who married my dad Charles Kelly. I would appreciate any information you could give me on their geneology.

      Thank you,
      Gloria Kelly Johnson

    • Gloria Kelly Johnson Says:

      Your grandfather was my grandfather’s brother. They also had a brother named John Riley Smith and he was my grandfather. My mother was his daughter, Gratus Lee Smith, married Charles Kelly 3/30/1927. They are long gone since 1971 but had 7 children of which I am the youngest and only surviving. I am 64 now. I have not had the DNA testing done but I know this to be true. I am on Facebook so if you go there, look up Potter Family. The woman who runs the site is a daughter of Hilliard and Amelda, who were your grandparents. Feel free to email me, cousin

      • Anonymous Says:

        Sorry. Hilliard Hagan Smith b.1875 and LeoDice Francis
        were my grandparents. John Ashley Smith was Hilliard’s
        father and William Med Smith was John’s father and William
        Smith was W. Med Smith’s father and Richard b. 1771 was
        William’s father

  4. Shirley Perez Says:

    My name is Shirley Perez! I have many Clay and Perry Co. Ky ancestors, Ritchie, Sizemore and Bolling. I never new I would be cousins to the Smith family there also. I just had a member of my Arkansas Smith family do a DNA test. We match the dna of the Perry and Clay Co. Smith families. Problem is my John W Smith was born in 1811 in either Ga. or SC. He lived and was married in Georgia. His marraige was in Merriweather Ga. His family moved to Benton and Talladega Co. Al, then on to Scott and Logan Co. Arkansas. I guess that John was the only Smith from our line to move to SC. Some censuses say GA, some say SC. so I am sure his parents were probably from SC. Anyone with my same dna have Smiths from SC?

  5. Douglas Gibson Jr Says:

    So what was Betty Eunice Elizabeth’s maiden name and was her father Richard Joliff? I know some family trees say James Ritchie was her father but I can’t find proof of that.

    • Hi Douglas, Elizabeth and Eunice were two daughters of Richard Jolliff.

      Charles Smith posted a marriage bond to marry Elizabeth Joliff, daughter of Richard Joliff who gave his consent the same day; Witnessed by James Jolliff and Solomon Smith.

      Eunice Smith posted a bond as guardian of John and Richard Smith, the orphans of Samuel Smith. Their older brother William Smith was already deceased and other brother Samuel Smith was probably of age.

      Richard Jolliff’s will written 26 Apr 1774, proved Mar 1779; names son James Joliff; grand children Richard Joliff, Richard Smith, John Bray, James Smith, & Joliff Holstead; daughters Mary ______ and Eunice Smith; and James Bray, John Bray, Sarah Bray, and Elizabeth Bray.

  6. Calvin Smith Says:

    I am a descendant of Jabel Smith born 1805 in Clay County Ky. My y-DNA from FTDNA matches Benjamin 1780 and John Smith 1780 of the same location. My Autosomal DNA shows Rev Richard Smith descendants are distant cousins. Is there any Richard Smith descendants that have tested y-DNA with FTDNA. We are I-m253-17 group on FTDNA.

  7. I am looking up my family tree and I’m am a smith from perry Co Kentucky father was Timothy mark smith his dad Marcus smith and I have traced it back to Richard smith I’m at the point of is his dad William or Samuel smith what is the best way to find out this info and I’m looking t trace it back to before we came across the sea thanks Mark smith

  8. C A Moon Says:

    Ginger, by chance do you have a Cuthbert Smith in your line?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: