- The next phase of our search developed in two different directions. First, that of tracing all of Daniel Smith's fourteen children from 1860 to the present time, hoping to locate vital records and living descendants who would be able to supply the missing information. We feel that we have been successful in both areas, even thou all our questions have not been answered, we have traveled many miles and had the pleasure of knowing many Smiths. More about these records and Smiths to come!
The second part of this phase of research was to learn about all the Smith families in Washington and Jefferson County, Illinois in 1840 and try to locate living descendants who might be doing genealogical research. I have collected information about three Smith families from that area. By comparing data, we may be able to discover WHO brought Daniel Smith to Washington or Jefferson County, Illinois?
My first lead was the discovery of a query in a genealogical quarterly by Mary Lyons of Sandoval, IL who was seeking information about children of James B. Smith. She informed me of the probate packet at Jefferson County courthouse of James B. Smith. After examination of that packet and a search of census, land and vital records of Washington Jefferson and surrounding counties, for ANY Daniel Smith and finding none, I feel sure that OUR Daniel Smith was the administrator of that court record. Why was he chosen to be administrator -- he was the only male of the James B. Smith family who could read and write according to census records.
I have corresponded with Patricia Staley and Lauralea Byers, both descendants of James B. Smith. These ladies stat that their elderly relative remember hearing of a brother Dan who went to Arkansas. Upon looking at a map of the United States it isn't hard to comprehend that Arkansas is on the way to TEXAS! Lauralea Byers also states taht her mother, Flora Smith Farnwalt, remembers her father, Charles Smith, telling that his father, William/Bill Smith (child #1 on James B. Smith family chart) was not really a Smith. She questioned her Uncle George Walter Smith at a reunion in summer of 1984 about this story. He confirmed it and told her that William/Billy Smith was born a Bohen (spelling unsure). He was orphaned and took the name Smith from a friend or man who raised him. I have noticed that given names of both the James B. and Daniel Smith families are repeated many times through the tenerations and comparison of old photos from both families have very definite resemblances.
Two records that I found in the area of Bedford County, TN bear out the story of the Illinois Smiths better than that of the Texas Smiths. There is a marriage recorded in Williamson County TN on 2 February 1807 of James Boleng/Boling/Boleny to Charlotte Barton. Bondsmen were Richard Orton, Samuel Dobbins and Jon McCracklin. The reason for the three versions of the last name is because the typist was not positive as to the correct translation of the original handwriting in the courthouse record. I believe this James Boleng/Boling/Boleny is the same man I found in the 1810 Federal Census of Rutherford County, TN. Jame Boney is listed with one male under 10, one male 26-44 and one female 16-25. This would be interpreted that James Boney was born between 1766-1784, his wife was born between 1785-1794 and a male child was born between 1800-1810. This age would be copatible with the age of William Bohen Smith, oldest child of James B. Smith. Daniel gives his age on the 1840 census as between 20-30 and age 33 on the 1850 census. At age 33 in 1850, we would compute his birth year as 1817 which would be later than the birth year of the male child in the 1810 census mentioned above.
I would like to draw your attention to The 10th Civil District. The Enon Primitive Baptist Church was evidently created in the Rover area at an early date, remembering that James Byler was an early settler and set aside an acre of ground upon which it was to be built. The obituary of Luna B. Smith Music Dickerson, 9th child of Daniel and Minerva Bird Smith, states that she was a member of the Primitive Baptist Church. James B. Smith is said to have been a Baptist preacher. Wouldn't it be interesting to know if the Enon Primitive Baptist Church in Tennessee had any influence or connection with Luna's decision.
The name Bohning and the idea that Daniel's parents were from Ireland is not compatible, as the name BOHNING is of German origin. I could assume that some ancestor of Daniel Smith left Gerany and lived in Ireland before emigrating to the United States. I prefer to think that Daniel's last name was spelled Boney, of either English or Welsh origin, if indeed he was not really a Smith.
There has been some discussion between the Illinois Smiths and myself as to the middle initial of James B. Smtih, non of them know his middle name. Luna B. Smith Music Dickerson has been called Luna Broderick Smith by some. Perhaps, she and James B. Smith share the same middle name.
By this time, I am sure you have ascertained taht quite a bit of thought and study have gone into this documentation. I have tried to tickle your mind with other possibilities and have made decisions that differed from your ideas only when there was an actual document to support my theory. The only regret I have about completing this book now is that I have not had sufficient time to satisfy all of these questions in my own mind. Hopefully, I can spend time in Tennessee some day to work on this problem and more thoroughly exhaust the available sources of answers to these questions.
as told by Corrine Afton