A few years ago, I mentioned in a blog post that I didn’t know the parents of my 3rd great-grandmother, Polly Y. Smith who married James Lanier 29 July 1810 in old Randolph (now Jasper) County, Georgia.1
I wouldn’t call that a brick wall, because I hadn’t really tried to identify her parents beyond a cursory look online and making a list of Smiths in old Randolph/Jasper County in the time frame of her wedding. Lack of research was the reason I didn’t know more then and hadn’t learned anything since.
A few months ago I received a message from someone who had found that old blog post when searching for Polly and James. She told me Polly was the daughter of David Smith (one of those Smiths on my list) of Jasper County and the sister of her ancestor Ransom Smith and she referred me to David’s will.
Sure enough, Polly Y. “Lenear” is listed as one of David Smith’s children in his will written 16 October 1845 and recorded in Jasper County 18 September 1850.2
And James bought several items from the estate—a pair of saddle bags (cost unreadable on the digital image), a curry comb 12¢, a raisor [razor] strap and hone $1.50, a bed quilt counterpin $2.35, and a wagon and harness $52.00.3
David’s will listed four sons, Ransom L, John, Joseph, and David, and three other daughters, Marthane Murphy, Sally Norris, and Frances Hately. Children David and Frances were both deceased at the time as he left their share to their surviving (unnamed) children.4
David’s wife was Belinda when his will was written in 1845, but they weren’t married until 1828.5 That was 18 years after Polly married James Lanier so Belinda was not her mother and probably not the mother of any of David’s children.
I’d always assumed my great-grandfather Joseph Smith Lanier’s middle name was from Polly’s maiden name. But it may be that his full name was for her brother Joseph Smith who was his father’s uncle.
While there is more research to be done to fully document David as Polly’s father, it’s likely that is the case.
But that will leave the question “Who was Polly’s mother?” unanswered and add “Who were David Smith’s parents?” to my list.
Genealogy is never done.
Written for 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks Challenge from Amy Johnson Crow.
Polly Smith was my 3rd great-grandmother through my paternal grandfather, John William McCauley.
- Jasper County, Georgia, Marriage Records from Microfilm, 1808 – 1820: 19a, Lanier-Smith, 29 Jul 1810; digital images, Georgia Archives, Georgia’s Virtual Vault (http://cdm.sos.state.ga.us.2011/cdm/ : accessed 26 October 2012). ↩
- Jasper, Georgia, Georgia, Wills and Probate Records, 1742-1992, David Smith; digital images, Ancestry (www.ancestry.com : accessed 6 Nov 2017). ↩
- Ibid. ↩
- Ibid. ↩
- Jasper County, Georgia, Marriage Records from Microfilm, Book 1821-1835: 111, Smith-Digby, 24 Aug 1828; digital images, Georgia Archives, Georgia’s Virtual Vault (http://cdm.sos.state.ga.us.2011/cdm/ : accessed 6 Nov 2017). ↩