Smith Family History

Genealogical and Personal History of the Upper Monongahela Valley West Virginia
by Harvey Faris Smith
 

Few men of Clarksburg are more favorably known than Harvey Faris Smith, whose success in his chosen field is the outcome of perseverance, integrity and honorable conduct, combined with all the other characteristics of a true gentleman. He was born at the homestead of his maternal grandfather, Captain Samuel Hoff, near West Milford, Harrison County, West Virginia, July 20, 1873, being the second son of Thomas Marion and Amy M. (Hoff) Smith.

Mr. Smith was reared on his father's farm on Big Buffalo creek, now owned by Jordan Carter, until he was fifteen years of age. He was a practical farmer and had at that early age acquired a good knowledge of farming and cattle raising, and about grazing stock generally, in which life he is still much interested. He attended the local public schools, passed an examination and obtained a high-grade number one teacher's certificates and contracted for his first school before he was sixteen years of age. He taught school two years and later entered the University of West Virginia as a regular student, continuing his studies there for four years, from 1892 to 1896 inclusive, and the following year pursued a post-graduate course in the George Washington University, from which he was graduated with the degree of Bachelor of Laws in 1897. During his five years of college work- he was active in promoting college enterprises, was for some title editor-in-chief of the University Daily, was popular with the student body and while he sustained himself in college during the entire time, with but little outside assistance, he never failed in any branch of study and always passed a very satisfactory examination for promotion of graduation. He began the practice of law September 10, 1897 at the Clarksburg bar. His practice extends over several of the counties adjoining his home county, in important cases. While a general practitioner he is regarded as a consulting lawyer, the larger part of his practice being out of court, and his clients are among the leading people and firms. He is a close student of the law, possesses a logical and discriminating mind and is held in high confidence and esteem by his fellow practitioners and by the people of his city and county. Mr. Smith was one of the first five to pass an examination for admission to the bar under the new statute passed by the legislature of 1897 prescribing the power of the judges of the supreme court of appeals in examination of candidates for admission to the bar. Mr. Smith has a splendid and well-selected literary library, and is a close and careful student of history, politics and government, and he paid special attention to political history and the science of government while a student in his State University. Aside from his profession he is largely interested in various important business enterprises. He was one of the founders and active members of the board erecting the Harrison County Hospital, now called St. Mary's Hospital, which has had such phenomenal growth of recent years in Clarksburg. He was one of the original stockholders in the Empire National Bank, and has within the past five years disposed of most of his bank stock in banks throughout the state, is largely interested in local real estate and farming lands. He is a member of the local and state bar associations, and since 1903 has been a member of the American Bar Association, and for two years represented his state as a member of its general council. He is a member of Christ Church (Episcopal), and is a Democrat in politics. He has attained to the thirty-second degree in Scottish Rite Masonry is a Knight Templar, and a Noble of the Mystic Shrine, and a member of a college fraternity, the Phi Sigma Kappa.

Mr. Smith joined the Sons of the Revolution February 22, 1912. He is a descendant of eight worthies of the revolutionary war from the following branches of his family: Thomas Smith, of New Jersey (Captain James Jett and William Jett, of Virginia; Daniel Grant, a "minuteman" of Fauquier county, Virginia, who was one of the one hundred minuteman who from his county responded to the call of governor Patrick Henry for Virginia troops in 1775- In the same company was Thomas Marshall, of Fauquier county, and his son John, afterwards Chief Justice Marshall. These minutemen were under Colonel Daniel Morgan's regiment, of whom it was said by the British, Commander, when he surrendered at Saratoga to Colonel Daniel Morgan, "that his was the finest regiment in the world." ("History of people North America," volume 6-396, by Guy C. Lee); Philip (Fedrow) Fittro, James Faris, John Ross, - Hoff and perhaps others. Mr. Smith suggests that these, with thousands who composed the revolutionary army, were not aristocrats, but the plain, substantial, virile, middle class of people of that period. The rich and most highly educated people of the colonies of that period belonged to the Tory party, and were warm sympathizers of the British government. To this there were but few exceptions, General Washington and a few others.

Mr. Smith is an enthusiastic advocate of a state department of more complete vital statistics which should, among other things, gather and publish a full and complete set of archives of the early history of West Virginia and of this part of Virginia prior to 1863, in order to preserve its local history of individuals, towns and counties, and it's interesting traditions and historical places throughout the state. He recommends the merging of the Sons of the Revolution and the Sons of the American Revolution into one society, as they now have the same requirements for membership and a common purpose, and could accomplish much more if united into one society. Mr. Smith has in his possession some very interesting genealogical data of the different branches of his family, among them a valuable ancestral document - an indenture deed bearing date 1787, executed by John Prunty and wife to his great-great-grandfather, Thomas Smith. Mr. Prunty was a member of the legislature of Virginia from Pruntytown for more than twenty years. He also has photographic facsimile copies of the wills of his second, third and fourth great-grand- parents, the latter being the will of William Green, in his own hand- writing, born in England in 1630, came to America in 1700, landing at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and was one of the first judges of West Jersey.

Mr. Smith was married at Mt. Lake Park, Maryland, at the summer home of his father-in-law, on June 17, 1903, to Anita Collins, daughter of Creed Collins, a very prominent citizen of Pennsboro, West Virginia. Children: Collins Haymond, born August 4, 1905; Rachel Adelia, July 28, 1908.

He is the younger and only brother of Edward Grandison Smith, a prominent lawyer of Clarksburg, whose sketch follows. He has one sister (Ella E.), Mrs. Floyd E. Morrison, of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. His parents are both living.

Mr. Smith now has in preparation a genealogical history of the various branches of his family which will be quite complete, and will contain in addition many interesting and well authenticated traditions of these early settlers in Harrison county, now West Virginia, and to him due acknowledgment is here made for the genealogical data of the following families, William Green's family into which Thomas Smith married, including the descendants of Thomas Smith, James Faris, Philip Fittro (Fedrow), Adam Hoff, Chapman Grant and the Jett family.

The following is a short genealogical statement of his wife's ancestral history.

Anita Collins Smith, born May 4, 1882, is the seventh child of Hon. Creed Collins, of Pennsboro, born 1842, died 1909 married December 14 1867, in Harrison county, Susan Haymond, born 1846 (still living).

Creed Collins was the son of John Collins, born 1805, died 1873, and Phoebe Brice, born 1846, married 1833, died 1865, daughter of Major Benjamin Jones and Sarah (Wilson) Brice. John Collins rep resented Ritchie County in the Virginia legislature. He was a son of Jacob Collins, who came to Ritchie County from the Shenandoah Valley, Virginia, and was the first settler on the head of the North fork of Hughes River. His wife was Phoebe (Stuthard) Collins, of Virginia, and was of revolutionary stock.

Mrs. Phoebe; (Brice) Collins (wife of John Collins) came of an old and aristocratic Welch family, she being descended from the Earl of Carmarthan, through his daughter, Lady Janet Griffiths, who married a Brice.

Major Benjamin Jones Brice, son of Captain William Brice, born 1740, died 1783, and Rachel (Jones) Brice. Sarah (Wilson) Brice was daughter of Colonel Benjamin and Anne- (Ruddle) Wilson.

Susan Haymond (Mrs. Smith's mother) is a daughter of Lewis Raymond, born 1813, died 1847, married in 1839, Rachel Wilson, born 1820, died 1906, in her eighty-sixth year. She was a real daughter-of the American Revolution. She was married a second time to Dr. William Dawson Wilson, January 26, 1854. She was a daughter of Benjamin Wilson, Sr., born 1747, died 1827, and Phoebe Ann (Davisson) Wilson, born 1777, died 1849, married 179S, daughter of Hezekiah Davisson, died 1794, and Ann Davisson, married about 1776.

Lewis Haymond, son of Thomas Haymond, born 1776, died 1853 and Rebecca (Bond) Haymond, born 1780, died 1869. Thomas Haymond, son of William Haymond, born 1740, died 1821, and Cassandra. (Clelland) Haymond, born 1741, died 1783, married, 1763, Rebecca Bond, was daughter of Richard Bond (second wife), born 1723, died 1819, and Mary (Passmore) Bond, born 1747, died 1820.

Mrs. Smith, at the age of fifteen, entered Mary Baldwin Seminary at Staunton, Virginia. In 1900 she entered Mt. de Chantal at Wheeling, West Virginia, where she remained for some time. She finished her education at one of the leading seminaries for women in the south, Belmont College, Nashville, Tennessee. She is a member of the Daughters of the American Revolution through five different branches of her ancestral family, viz.: Major William Haymond, Captain Benjamin J. Brice, Benjamin Wilson, Hezekiah Davisson and Richard Bond, all of whom aided in establishing American Independence.

For further history of the Collins family see "History of Ritchie County," 1911 by W. K. Lowther, and "Sharpness Genealogy of Bond Family."

Thomas Smith was born in England May 23, 1743. He came to West Jersey (about two 'miles northeast of Trenton, New Jersey) about 1760. He married Sarah, second child of Joseph Green, granddaughter of William Green, January 25, 1764 in Hunterdon County, New Jersey.

Thomas Smith was a prominent farmer. Owned land in Hunterdon county most of his life. He and his family attended church at Old Hopewell. He later moved to Monmouth County, where he died October 17, 1799. He and his wife were buried in Old Tennent cemetery. The following are his children

1. Hannah, died single at the age of thirty-nine.

2. Watters, born July 15, 1767, moved to Harrison County, Virginia, now West Virginia, and settled on Duck Creek in the southern end of said county and is the ancestor of all that branch of the Smith family now residing in Harrison county, which is quite numerous. He died in his eighty-second year. He and his wife, Elizabeth (Davisson) Smith, are buried at Broad Run Church cemetery-

3. Nancy, died single at the age of thirty-five.

4 Rebecca, married Samuel Morris in New Jersey and moved to Harrison county, now West Virginia, in 1818. They settled on the waters of Lost Creek at the Morris homestead, about one and one-half miles southwest of what is now Lost Creek Station, and are the ancestors of all that numerous family of Morris in that part of Harrison county, and who have intermarried with the Gastons, McWhorters, Posts, Davissons and others, and moved to various sections of West Virginia, some of whom have moved to the far western states.

5. John T. Smith born May 22, 1778, died April 30, 1846. He married and resided in Monmouth County, New Jersey, and had nine children, among whose descendants at this time is Mr. James Smith Parker, who is a great-grandson of the above named Thomas and a grandson of John T. Smith.

Joseph Smith, the youngest child, is referred to in his father's will, dated the 13th day of October, 1799, stating, "and he (meaning my son, John T., the executor), must likewise maintain my son Joseph Smith as he has lived with me free of expense, until he arrives at the age fit to go to a trade, then my executor must bind him until he shall arrive at the age of twenty-one years * * * at which time my son John T. Smith must pay him one hundred dollars money afrsd." Nothing further is known of Joseph Smith except that it is understood that he married, lived and died in New Jersey.

Thomas Smith was a successful prosperous farmer, one of the leaders in his community, as is shown by his sale bill. He was a typical, ruddy Englishman. He was a soldier responding to every call to arms in that unsettled period, as is evidenced by a copy of his military, record from the adjutant general's office from the state of New Jersey, which is in the following words:

State of New Jersey,
Office of Adjutant-General
Trenton, December 27, 1911

This is to certified, That the records of this office shows that Thomas Smith served as Private in the First Regiment, Monmouth County, New Jersey Militia; Private, First Battalion, Second Establishment, New Jersey Continental Line; Private, Captain Aaron Ogden's Company, First Regiment New Jersey Continental Line; also Private, New Jersey State Troop during the Revolutionary War.

(Signed)         W. F. SADLER, JR
Adjutant-General's Seal.                 The Adjutant-General”

No doubt much of his success was due to his fortunate marriage to Sarah Green, four years after he came to this country. As stated above she was the granddaughter of William Green who is the ancestor of most all of the families of that name in New Jersey. He left England at the age of twenty, landed at the port of Philadelphia prior to 1700, married Joanna, Reeder, who was of an excellent family. They had eleven children, the second child being named Joseph (the of Sarah). William Green was one of the first judges of the first court of Hunterdon County in 1714, judge of the court of common pleas in quarter sessions in Old Hunterdon County from 1714 to 1721. He was also the first assessor of Hunterdon County. He was indeed a useful and distinguished citizen and a decided leader in the county in which he lived. He built in 1717 the first brick house which was ever erected in his township in West Jersey, which is still standing in', good condition and is now occupied by one of his direct descendants. It may be of interest to the direct descendants of judge William Green, which include all the descendants of Thomas Smith, to know that the women of that family are eligible to membership in the Society of the Colonial Dames of America. The eligibility list including the judiciary of which William Green was a distinguished member. The order books of his court are still legible-, and deposited in the State House, Trenton, New Jersey. His second son, Joseph, married Elizabeth Merchand (French Merchand). He was an elder in the Ewing church, and died March 12, 1784, at the age of eighty-five years. They had four children, namely: Jemima, married James Hunt; Sarah, above named, married Thomas Smith; Ann Green, born 1748, died unmarried; Joseph Green, Jr., married Hannah Lanning, and died February 23, 1826.      He was executor of and settled his father’s estate in 1784. For full history, family tree and record of this Green d family see Cooley's genealogical work, "Early Settlers in Trenton an Ewing," page 78 et seq.

Watters Smith, married Elizabeth, daughter of William Davisson recently of New Jersey He and his father-in-law's family left for New Jersey, went westward through Pennsylvania, and settled on George's Creek in what is now Fayette county, Pennsylvania. At that time George's Creek was within territory claimed by Virginia. He lived not far from the old home of Albert Gallatin, and during his temporary stay there the Whiskey Insurrection broke out, and he served as a militiaman to retain order for the new federal government. He was a neighbor of and personally knew Baron Steuben, the distinguished Prussian officer who previously did so much to reorganize and improve the American army. Not far distant was the home of Theophilus Phillips on George's Creek, where the first court of Monongalia County was held in i776. Later, after a series of disputes and bickerings between the two states, this territory was ceded by Virginia to Pennsylvania, and the present boundary line mutually established. Watters Smith and his wife remained with his father-in-law until the spring of 1796, when he removed his family to Duck Creek, Harrison county, Virginia, on a farm of two hundred acres, which he had purchased from John Prunty, by indenture deed bearing date of January 21, 1792, which deed is recorded in Deed Book No. 1, page 258 consideration sixty pounds. This land adjoined a tract of land, which John Prunty had previously conveyed by indenture deed to. Thomas Smith, father of Watters, on the 18th day of September, 1787, which was afterwards purchased by William Davisson and settled on by some of the heirs of John Gaston, who married Ann Davisson, the sister-in law of Watters Smith.

Elizabeth, the wife of Watters Smith, was of Scotch Irish descent. Her father, William Davisson, had been a prominent and leading citizen in New Jersey, having owned and conducted a fashionable old- time tavern located on the main highway between Trenton and New York, and his family had been reared amid the society and fashions of that old-time colonial life which rapidly gave way to a new order of things some years after the revolution and which has long since become extinct, leaving only its dear old traditions as an inspiration to future generations. So Mrs. Smith, his daughter, naturally brought to their new pioneer home the best sentiment and traditions of old Jersey's social and political colonial life. She is said to have been a very ambitious woman. She conducted, a model home, was an ideal wife to her splendid, quiet and dignified companion, who was a very strict Baptist churchman. The following are a list of the children of Watters Smith (sometimes called Walter and Wattes) :

1. Sarah, born April 25, 1794, married Benjamin Holden.

2. Charles Smith (first white child born on Duck Creek), born November 3, 1796-

3. Elizabeth (Betsy), born August 25, 1793, married James Faris, son of Humphrey, who was a son of James Faris (who was killed by the Indians in furnishing food supplies to Fort Pitt)

4. Thomas, born July 29 1800, died young.

5. Andrew D., born August 6, 1802, died July 3, 1818.

6. Nancy, born August 20, 1808, married James Bailey.

7 John D., born November 12, 1810, married Mary, daughter of Matthew Mattox.

8. Watters Smith, Jr., born September 2, 1814, married Ruhama, daughter of Jobe West.

Charles Smith, married Mary (Polly) daughter of Chapman and Polly (Jett) Grant, January 22, 1823 (see history of the Grant and Jett families), and had the following children:

1. Eliza, married, Lemuel Swisher, son of Isaac Swisher, and lived on Jesse's Run, in Lewis county.

2. Chapman Grant Smith, born 1827, married (first) Mary J. Veach, in 1352. She died in 1856, leaving one child, Mary, who married Parker Davisson; married (second) Isabell J. Sheets, December 28, 1865; had children: Lloyd, Helen V. (dead); Charles M. and Albert, married Cora Post, 1911-

3- John Alvin Smith, born July 24, 1833, married Adelia Ann, daughter of John D. Smith, February 23, 1873. They left no issue.

4. Captain Edward Grandison Smith, born April 7, 1839, served four years in the Confederate army, entered as lieutenant of Company B, Seventeenth Virginia Regiments which was a regiment of mounted infantry. He was shortly promoted to captain of the same company and was first wounded in a skirmish near Lynchburg, Virginia, April 6, 1865, died as a result of the wound, April 9, during the hour of General Lee's surrender at Appomattox to General Grant.

5. Thomas Marion Smith, born February 14 1845, married Amy Minerva, daughter of Samuel and Catherine (Faris) Hoff, April 19, 1866 (see history of Hoff, Fittro and Faris families). Watters Smith was, with three of his neighbors, the founder of the Broad Run Baptist Church in 1804. The minutes of that church show that Elder John Carney, of Buckingham county, Virginia, visited a number of Baptists who had settled on Duck Creek in Harrison county, the Rev. Carney having been sent out as a missionary by the Virginia Board of Missions. As the result of his labors the location of a Baptist church known as Good Hope was effected with the following members: Watters Smith and wife (Elizabeth), Jobe West and wife, Solomon Hires and wife, and Samuel Romine and wife.. So far as known Watters Smith was the first deacon and Jobe West the first clerk of the church. In 1816 a member of the Bailey family settled in the vicinity of Broad Run, and that event probably caused the removal of the church the next year, 1817, from Duck Creek to its present location, when its name was changed from Good Hope to Broad Run, in honor of the old Broad Run church in Fauquier county, Virginia, from whence the Baileys came. In 1818 John Bailey was licensed to preach, and within the same year the church was strengthened and encouraged greatly by the reception by letter of Elder John J. Waldo, an ordained minister from Bridgeport, Virginia (born in Connecticut), who became its pastor. Rev. Waldo served this church as its regular minister until 1836. He did much toward building up the church and religious life in that community. Elder Waldo was frequently entertained at the Watters Smith home, and on occasions of the Baptist Association meetings, Watters Smith entertained as high as sixty guests at his commodious pioneer home on Duck Creek. Rev. Waldo was related to some of the best families in Clarksburg and Harrison County. Thomas Marion Smith (who is a retired farmer and business man) and wife have the following three children: Edward Grandison -and Harvey Faris Smith, each prominent lawyers of Clarksburg, and Ella Earle, born November 7, 1880, married Floyd E. Morrison, son of Columbus B. Morrison, July 24, 1898 and resides in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. They have one child, Faris Smith, born December 28, 1901.
 

(The Grant Line)

Mary (Polly) Grant, who married Charles Smith, was the daughter of Chapman and Polly (Jett) Grant. She was the oldest of ten children. Her father, Chapman Grant, was reared in Fauquier County, Virginia. Her mother's maiden name was Polly Jett, and was quite young she married _____ Jett in Culpeper County, Virginia. A few years later Mr. Jett died, leaving her a young widow with three children: Maria, the oldest, who afterwards married Isaac Swisher, Sally married Richard Dobsen, and Washington Jett, the youngest, who married  _________and is the ancestor of all the Jett family in Harrison county. Chapman Grant married Polly Jett in Fauquier County, Virginia, October 14, 1803. The marriage bond is duly recorded there. They, with Mrs. Grant's three children by her, first husband, moved to Harrison county, Virginia, in 1806, and settled on a farm half way between Lost Creek Station and Rockford, known as The Old Grant Homestead, which is now owned by William Swisher, a great-grandson of Mrs. Polly (Jett) Grant.

Chapman Grant was perhaps the best-informed man in his community. He was well-educated and a. man of fine bearing and prestige. "He had been well educated in Virginia and taught school there prior to his marriage. He was a member of the first federal grand jury drawn west of the Alleghenies in Clarksburg, March 22, 1819. He was an exemplary husband and father. Physically he was heavy, smoothly shaven, a blond, and weighed a little over two hundred pounds, and his youngest son, Dr. Grant, of Grafton, says that of all his descendants the author of this sketch, Harvey F. Smith, most strikingly resembles him, and much -more than any o-f his own children. His wife was a woman of marked refinement, ambitious and rather exclusive in her social tastes.   She was of one of the oldest and best families of old Culpeper. She was a large, heavy woman, a decided brunette in her coloring-the opposite of her husband. She was and her family for generations had been large slave-owners, coming from Westmoreland county, Virginia, to Culpeper prior to the, revolutionary war. She was a descendant of James Stark Jett and James Jett, of Westmoreland County, and of Burket or William Jett, of Culpeper. The details of the Jett genealogy have not as yet been verified, but Harvey F. Smith, of Clarksburg, the great-grandson of Polly (Jett) Grant has under-taken the work and will have the family tree complete within the next few years. The coat-of-arms of the Jett family will be found in Virginia Heraldic, a Registry of Virginia Gentry, by Crozia, page 8, also William and Mary Quarterly, vol. 6, page 247- Leading family names in the Jett family were: William, John, James, Steve, Francis, Duncan, Robert, Burket, Sally and Polly. The Jetts were French Huguenots, and the name originally was spelled Jette.

Mr. Grant and his wife Polly were, buried in their private family cemetery on the home farm on the hill which is north of and above the county road.  Polly died in l841, Chapman died in 1857.  They had the following children who lived to mature age and had families:

1. Mary (Polly) married Charles Smith.

2. George Chapman Grant, married Jane Wine from Culpeper county, Virginia, lived in Harrison county and later moved to Jackson county and married  there a second time, and has several children by each marriage.

3. Mary Ann, married Oliver Shurtliff

4. Matilda, married Thomas Cheuvront.

5. Susan, married Zachariah Patten.

6. Sophia, married Jacob Bond.

7. Edward Francis, was a skilled cabinetmaker, married Amanda, daughter of Wilson Bartlett, leaving one child, Mary Frances, who married George Yates, of Lincoln, Nebraska. Edward Francis' second wife was Eglintine, daughter of Solomon and
Elizabeth Jarvis, a very prominent family of Philippi. Mrs. Grant was a ,.sister of the wife of the late William T. Ice, of Philippi. By this marriage there were two children born: George Edward and Granville Armstrong Grant, both merchants living at Philippi. The third wife of Edward Francis was Lydia Skidmore. She was reared on the headwaters of Elk creek in Barbour County. As a result of this marriage there were six children born, viz.: Sarah Amanda, born 1853, resides at Philippi, unmarried. Charles Leland, born 1855, died 1885, unmarried.  Prudence Samaria, born 1856, married Lloyd D. Robinson, of Philippi, and their children are: Opal Grant, born .1889, Earl Neill, born 1893, deceased; Harry Grayden, born 1896. Francis Allison, born 1860, died 1864. Lewis, born 1867, died 1867. Lizzie Wilson, born 1869, married Aldine S. Poling, editor of the Barbour Democrat, of Philippi, West Virginia, and their children are Forrest Blanchard, born 1894, Laurence Edward, born 1899.

8. Elizabeth Grant married Richard C. Bond. They later moved to Jamesville, Wisconsin. He was a Seventh Day Baptist preacher.

9. Dr. William Laurence Grant, born July 22, 1822, married in Harrison county, 1842, Mary E. Lyons, of Clark County, Virginia, daughter of David Lyons. He graduated from, Jefferson Medical College in 1857, lived and practiced medicine for many years on the Grant Homestead near Lost Creek Station, later moved to Janelew, Lewis county, where he continued his very success full practice, and in 1872 moved to Grafton, where he now resides his son, James Arthur Grant. He is the only child living of the ten children and is now ninety years of age. He was for 9, short time surgeon in the Ninth Virginia Regiment in the recent civil war, entered the ranks at Point Pleasant, West Virginia.

Genealogical and Personal History of the Upper Monongahela Valley West Virginia

Lewis Historical Publishing Company 1912
New York


 


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