Wednesday, August 4, 2010

The Confusing Smith Family

My great-grandparents on my father's side -- Asberry Charles Smith and Martha Haygood Smith, at their farm in Cherokee County, Georgia.  Probably taken in 1930's.

OK -- I know genealogy is a big yawn for some of you, so you might want to just skip this post.  Smiles.

I spent a couple of hours this morning working with this family, which has always been confusing.  We know who they all are, but proving it for DAR is a lot different from 'knowing'.  The problem here is that so many of the names in question -- William Smith, Elizabeth Smith -- are so common.  Asberry's parents were first cousins (please, no snickering about the inbred south here): Manson's father (William) and Sarah's mother (Elizabeth) were brother and sister.  Go back another generation or so and you have a father and son who both fought in the Revolution and are documented by DAR as such.  I have their wills.  

Sarah's father was Moses Asberry Waters, who is also documented by DAR.  I have three avenues here for filing a supplemental ancestor or two, but no listed DAR members come down from either William or Elizabeth, so I have to prove it.  Proving Manson is a son of William is easy enough, but proving that this William Smith and this Elizabeth Smith are the children mentioned in the will of their father, Charles, is documentation I just don't have at this moment. It seems that I remember seeing something official that mentions Manson and connects him to his wife's family and thus Moses, but I sure can't remember what that was.  And I have tons of documentation.  I'm still working to get it all on my database.

Now, it's fairly clear to me that Sarah named her son (Asberry Charles) after her father (Moses Asberry Waters) and for her and Manson's grandfather (Charles Smith).  Asberry is not that common a name, after all.  But I don't think the DAR will accept names as proof.  They're a fussy bunch, which is what makes them so darned good.

Actually, what I have is probably enough, but since it costs a good bit of money to file an application, I want to have lots of proof to go with it.  The DAR does not work on 'maybe' or 'possibly'.  It has to be proven. I've emailed a cousin who has tons of info on this family to see if she has anything in her files on any one of them. I don't care which one I file on -- happy to take the easiest way out and go for the others later.  Or, not at all.  I already have one on my mother's side and it would be fun to have one on my father's side as well, but more than one on each side?  Costs money and reeks of ego.  I may do it regardless.  Giggles.

I always leave this family with my head spinning.  Lots of Smith kids married lots of Waters kids, so the names are deeply intertwined.  For the moment, I think I have them straight in my head, but that's not likely to last for long!

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