The Smith Branch of my Family

I may be a research junkie, but I am a terrible blogger.  My New Year’s resolution is to do a better job of reporting on what I am researching and why I am researching that topic.

I was contacted on FaceBook a month or so ago by a SMITH cousin, who wanted to know more about her THORNE ancestry.  For a research junkie, this wasn’t as simple a request as it sounds.  Before I could tell her about the THORNE family, I had to trace the SMITH link back to where it linked up with the THORNE line and go from there.

I have a very old printout from a very old genealogy program that was in my Aunt Mary Sue THORNE’s papers that gives the SMITH genealogy from the THORN marriage on.  The papers are hard to read and follow, but with some perseverance, I have muddled through part of it and gotten new names into my database.  I also have some old family group sheets from another THORNE cousin that contain SMITH family information and have been useful in this project.  The work isn’t complete, but it will be soon.

In the process of adding the SMITHs, I made a discovery that surprised me.  The most famous SMITH is Southern Baptist Missionary, Olive Bertha SMITH, who served in China and Taiwan for 47 years.  I went to Find a Grave and found there was no memorial there for her or for the other SMITHs buried in the same, Cowpens.. South Carolina cemetery.  Of course I had to fix that.

There is some confusion in my mind as to which of two Cowpens cemeteries the SMITHs are buried in.  I found them on a survey for Daniel Morgan Memorial Gardens, but all of their obituaries list Cowpens Cemetery as their burial place.  I added 720 burials on Find a Grave to Daniel Morgan Memorial Gardens, but have a suspicion that the surveyor wandered into an old section of the Cowpens Cemetery, right next to Daniel Morgan, and included these burials in the wrong cemetery.  More research will hopefully solve this question.

Meanwhile, I created a nice memorial for Miss Bertha, as she was affectionately known, and linked her with her parents and their parents, back to the THORNE connection.  William Taylor THORNE, Civil War Veteran,and his wife, Mary Berry TURNER, had a daughter, Frances Eugenia.  Frances married John McClellan SMITH and that is where the SMITH connection began. They had another daughter, Marie Rosalee, who married John SMITH’s brother, Columbus Daniel SMITH, Jr., so we actually have two, related SMITH lines descended from THORNEs.

My next post will be about my mission to find out the history of these two cemeteries and explain the difficulty in separating them.  I do want to honor Miss Bertha, so I am going to create a post right after this one that does that.

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