Sunday, August 11, 2013


There are a lot of different ways to document one's ancestry in a blog.  One way is to dedicate each posting to a different surname, starting with the most recent generations and working backwards in time. 

In this posting, I'm documenting what I know about my direct Smith ancestry.  Much of it comes from personal knowledge, then census records, christening and marriage records, and newspapers. 

My father was George Thomas Smith, born 8 November 1917 in Newark, Essex County, New Jersey, died 3 November 1999 in Richland County, South Carolina, and is buried in Newberry Memorial Gardens in Newberry County, South Carolina.  Apart from the time that he was stationed at various locations during World War II, Dad lived his life before 1960 in Essex County, New Jersey (primarily Newark before the war and in East Orange after the war).  He married my mother, Altha Corinne Martin, on 31 January 1943 in Newberry, Newberry County, South Carolina, at Epting Memorial Methodist Church.  He moved the family (Mom, my brother Jeff, and me) from East Orange to Newberry in early 1960, and he lived the rest of his life there.  He graduated from East Side High School (Technical track) in Newark in 1936.  He originally worked for Reynolds Metals prior to 1960, learned from the RCA Training Institute (funded by the GI Bill) how to repair radios and televisions, and then set up his own radio/TV repair business in Newberry which he continued until his retirement.  He was originally raised Catholic but attended Methodist churches after his marriage. 

My grandfather was William Henry Smith, born 21 September 1889 in Newark, Essex County, New Jersey, died 9 February 1961 in Irvington, Essex County, New Jersey, and is buried in Holy Sepulchre Cemetery in Essex County, New Jersey.  He married my grandmother Rachel Weinglass on 19 July 1911.  

My great-grandfather was Charles Henry Smith, born 30 May 1859 in Newark, Essex County, New Jersey, died 22 April 1906, and is buried in Holy Sepulchre Cemetery in Essex County, New Jersey.  He married my great-grandmother Mary Ann Bannon on 4 January 1880 in Newark. He was responsible for managing the day-to-day operations of the Newark-based M.A. Smith Glass Bending and Beveling Company, later known as the American Glass Bending and Beveling Company.

My great-great-grandfather was James Smith born about 1825 in Ireland and died November 1872 in Newark, Essex County, New Jersey. His burial location is unknown.  His jobs included being a "boss carpenter" and working in a zinc works. The county of his birth is unknown, although at least one newspaper article claims that he was from County Mayo in Ireland.  He married my great-great-grandmother, Mary Ann Reilly, in 1850 in Newark.

At this point, my biggest Smith brick walls are:
  1. Where is James Smith buried?
  2. Where in Ireland is he from?
  3. Who were his parents?