Sunday, October 16, 2011

Thomas Smith, Son of Peter Smith of Westmoreland County, Virginia

Thomas Smith sold land to Daniel Jenings in 1747 and the sale is on record in Deed Book B, No. 1, of Fairfax County, Virginia.  It reads:

"Indenture made the 14th day of April 1747 between Thomas Smith of Truro Parish in Fairfax County, planter, of the one part and Daniel Jenings...witnesseth that the said Thomas Smith for and in consideration of the sum of 100 pounds current money of Virginia...paid by Daniel Jenings...sold a piece or parsel of land containing 325 acres of more or less which Peter Smith, father of Thomas Smith, by his last will and testament dated 10th day of January 1738 did give and bequeath unto his son Thomas Smith; ...being part of 1160 acres of land granted by the proprietors of the Northern Neck of Virginia by deed to the said Peter Smith bearing the date of 30th day of June 1712, which said 325 acres of land is where the said Thomas Smith now dwelleth at Bull Run adjoining to the land of his brother James in the aforesaid parish of Truro of the county of Fairfax, and all houses,  outhouses and edifices, building, trees and woods, etc. ...Thomas Smith set his hand and affixed his seal the day and year first above written."

In Fairfax County Deed Book B, page 237, “Thomas Smith acknowledges this to be his act to Daniel Jennings and Elizabeth, the wife of said Smith being privately examined and relinquished her right of dower to said land.”  [Here is evidence that Thomas Smith’s wife was named Elizabeth (Fleming)]

Having sold the 35 acres in Fairfax County that he inherited from his father, Thomas Smith leased land in Prince William County, Virginia, in 1749.  The transaction is recorded in Prince William County Deed Book L, page 197, and reads:

“Lease.  Dated 22 May 1749.  Recorded 22 May 1749.  Between Francis Watts of Prince William County and Thomas Smith of same.  Consideration:  500 pounds of tobacco annually on 25 December.  Tract of land for the term of space 99 years in Prince William County on Bull Run containing 103 acres more or less.  Thomas Smith covenants to build a sufficient dwelling house and tobacco house and corn house and to plant an apple orchard or 100 trees.  First rent to begin December 25, 1751.  Witnesses:  John Combs, Obed Calvert.”

Thomas Smith died before September 12, 1778, for on that date, an inventory of his estate was presented, as follows:

“Prince William County, Virginia, Will Book G, page 10.

“We the subscribers being first sworn have proceeded to inventory Sept the 12th 1778 an inventory of the Estate of Thomas Smith decd.  Presented to our view by the administrator.

“To one lease of Francis Watts for ninety-nine years, seventy years of which is to come, appraised to 100 L.  [Inventory amounted to 135 L  0 S  and 3 D.  Items will not be listed here.]  Prince William pet.  Signed:  John Anderson, Robert Spittle and John Woodyard, sworn before John Flood.”

“At a court held for Prince William County the 5th of Oct. 1778 this Inventory and Appraisement of the Estate of Thomas Smith dec’d was presented to the County and admitted to record.

“Test. Robert Graham  Cl. Court”
. . .

“The Estate of Thomas Smith Decd with Charles Smith Admr.

“Cr. September 1778 by amount of the Inventory          L 135 0 3

                                                                                                            L          S         D        
“To Elizabeth Smith widow her third part of the estate                           45        0          1
“To Fleming Smith one ninth part of the remainder of
            the estate per receipt                                                                10        0          0
“To John Smith ditto per receipt of his brother-in-law
            John Gibbs                                                                              10        0          0
“To John Gibbs for one ninth per receipt                                              10        0          0
“To Elizabeth Smith one ninth ditto                                                       10        0          0
“To my own share of the estate (Charles Smith)                                    10        0          2
“The balance remaining in my hands for Daniel Smith,
            Thomas Smith, Peter Smith and James Smith,
            sons of the Deceased now in the State of
            South Carolina for each L 10                                                   40        0          0
                                                                                                       L   135     0          3

“Note the Debts owed by the deceased have been all paid by the children, the charges of the administration to be hereafter settled and paid by the several claimants time not permitting the inclusion of them in this account by the administrator.

“(Signed)  Charles Smith

Acknowledgements of receipt of the amounts set forth above, for the stated “part” or “share” of estate, were signed by Elizabeth Smith, Fleming Smith, Elizabeth Smith [daughter], John Gibbs, John Gibbs for John Smith.  Some bore the date “28th Sept 1778” and others “5th day of Oct. 1778.”

In his History of Spartanburg County, 1900, Dr. J. B. O. Landrum included a chapter headed “Smith Family,” beginning on page 208.  Dr. Landrum stated that just before the Revolutionary War five brothers from Bull Run, Virginia, settled in Spartanburg County, South Carolina.  He named James, Fleming, Thomas, John, and Charles and told of some of their descendants.  He stated that their mother was a Miss Fleming.

While the father’s name was not mentioned and sons Daniel and Peter were omitted, those he did mention are sons named in the will of Thomas Smith of Prince William County, Virginia.  It is the opinion of some present-day descendants of this family that Dr. Landrum erred in saying that Miss Fleming was born in France and that the father (Thomas Smith) was born in Wales.  One researcher asserts that Elizabeth Fleming was born in 1710 in Richmond County, Virginia, the daughter of Alexander and Sarah (Kenny) Fleming.  I have made no attempt to verify this statement.  However, Thomas Smith, being the son of Peter Smith of Westmoreland County, Virginia, is not likely to have been born in Wales.

Fleming Smith and his brother Charles served in the Revolutionary War from South Carolina.  Fleming moved his family, in 1802, from South Carolina to Cumberland County, Kentucky.  That portion of the county in which he lived later became Monroe County, Kentucky.  Fleming made application for pension on June 3, 1833, in the state of Kentucky, Application No. S-30708.  Pension payments began in March 1833 and the last payment was made on March 4, 1847, according to records in National Archives, Washington, D. C.  In Kentucky Family Records, Volume VI, 1977-78, page 77, it is said that Fleming Smith is buried in the cemetery of the Old Mulky Meeting House in Monroe County, Kentucky.

In 1767, a dispute arose over the dividing line between the land he had sold to Jenings and the land owned by James Smith.  The controversy was between the heirs of Jenings and the heirs of James Smith.  George Mason of Gunston Hall (the George Mason of our history books) was chosen to "arbitrate" the issue. See his award in Appendix A.

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