Monday, October 17, 2011

James Simpson Smith, Son of Peter Smith of Caswell County, North Carolina

James Simpson Smith, son of Peter Smith of Caswell County, North Carolina , born in 1766 in Virginia; died in Muhlenberg County, Kentucky, July 6, 1854, in his 88th year.  The mother of his children was also a native of Virginia.  It would appear that James S. Smith was married when he went to Kentucky and that his first wife died after the year 1820 and before 1825.  He married Rachel S. Robertson, a widow, in Muhlenberg County in 1825.  More will be said about this marriage later.

Indications are that he was a prosperous farmer in Muhlenberg County.  His will was dated July 22, 1851, and was probated in November 1854, Will Book 3, page 151.  (See Appendix D.)  He gave his son John "an undivided half of the tract of land on which I now live"; the other undivided half he bequeathed to the "three natural heirs or children of my deceased son Moses F. Smith to be equally divided between them."  He bequeathed the sum of $500.00 "to be equally divided between the children" of his deceased son Aaron A. Smith ''as they arrive at age or marry."  The six slaves mentioned were to be divided among the heirs referred to above.

The children of James Simpson Smith were:

            John B. Smith
            Peter Smith
            Moses F. Smith
            Aaron A. Smith
            Jemima Smith

James Simpson Smith, of Virginia, son of Peter and Jemima Smith, had a family in 1820 that consisted of four sons, one daughter, and his wife.  Evidently his wife died after 1820, for in 1825 he married Rachel Robertson.  Rachel was a widow and had children of her own.

The 1830 census does not show any woman in the household of James Simpson Smith. Rachel Smith heads another household in which, in addition to herself, there are two girls between 10 and 15 and two boys, one between 5 and 10 and the other between 15 and 20 years of age.  One of the girls may have been Jemima Smith (who was not married until 1835) and one of the boys may have been Alney Robertson (thought to be the son of D. Robertson), whose guardian Rachel was in 1825-26 and 1827-28.

Rachel Robertson Smith's will was dated January 7, 1837, and was probated in January Court 1837.  It states that she wished "to make a disposition of my property somewhat different from the course it might otherwise go” and she names “my daughter Margaret" and “my son David Robertson.”  Evidently these were children by an earlier marriage.

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