Our Smith Family

Beginning with Henry and Susanna

The name Smith is so common that those with Smith ancestors will always have extreme difficulty in sorting our relatives from other Smiths who lived in the same neighborhood or, if we go back far enough in time, even those born in the same state. Our task of finding our earliest ancestor in the United States is made harder by most of those coming to the colonies from Europe having arrived and initially settled near only a few Atlantic ports.

I'm unsure where my Smiths put foot on soil in the colonies, but I know from my great-grandmother's records and from wills, county records, and censuses that Henry and Susanna Smith were my ancestors and that they were born in Virginia around 1800. Although I have found nothing I consider adequate for proof, early censuses suggest that Henry's father was either Jesse or Francis, most likely Francis, I believe.

A modern tool that can help in sorting family lines is YDNA testing. It is worthwhile only for tracing the male line, and it often cannot distinguish among a man's five-times (or two-times or seven-times) Great-grandfather Smith and that great-grandfather's brother or other closely related male Smith relative. What if can do well is show that most Smiths could not be the ancestor of the YDNA tester. I can report that the test helped me immensely in pushing my Alexander ancestry back a couple of generations earlier than I previously knew.

Click to begin exploration of our Smith family with Henry and Susanna.