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The Smith Family

Thomas Smith was born about 1725 and died in 1798 in Rockingham County North Carolina. Thomas married Elizabeth Witt, daughter of John III and Elizabeth LIPTROT Witt. Thomas came to Pittsylvania County, now Henry County Virginia in 1772 and settled on 329 acres of land located on Spring Branch of Fall Creek on the south side of Mayo River, near the North Carolina border. His neighbors were William Moore, Alexander Joyce. David Lanier, and Henry Mayes according to Henry County Deed Records. Thomas Smith was a Captain under Colonel Penn who commanded 21 Companies in the Henry County Virginia Miltitia during the Revolutionary War. Captain Thomas Smith's Company consisted of twelve men namely; William Stewart, John Hurd, James Strange, Henry Smith, Frances Telston, Jesse Burnett, Thomas Hurd, George Stewart, David Atkins, Jonathan Pratt, George Bowles and Henry Law.

One account of the Henry County Militia in the American Revolution was recorded by Judith Parks Hill who wrote a History of Henry County, Virginia recorded in 1925. She wrote "On March 11, 1781, Colonel Penn and his men marched from Beaver Creek in Henry County, crossed Rowland's Ford just below Fontaine, followed the old road, deep cuts now showing its location, up Marrowbone Valley crossing the creek west of where Ridgeway now stands, thence along the ridge two miles, then crossing Matrimony Creek half a mile to the state line, only one mile from the Marrowbone home of Old Rusty Hairston to the National Highway is now used for public road. From the line south is not known, however, they marched so rapidly they soon reached General Lord Cornwallis a few miles north of Greenboro, North Carolina and begin what became known as the Battle of Guilford Court House on March 25, 1781". General Green said our men would fight, get beat, rise, and fight again. This American defeat helped win the War for Independence as the casualties for the British forces represented 27 % of the British troops and the American losses amounted to only 6 % of the total forces engaged. Lord Cornwallis said "another victory such as this would ruin the British Army".

Thomas Smith made his Will January 10, 1797 (see Old Wills # 15, Rockingham County Archives North Carolina). In his Will, Thomas left his wife the Estate both real and personal during her natural life. He left Drury, his son 10 schillings. He left his daughters and granddaughters furniture and feather bedding and six negroes and their offspring as specified. He willed his daughter Elizabeth (wife of Sherod Mayes) one negro girl named Lettice during her natural life and after her death to be equally divided between her daughters. Thomas willed his grandson, Isaac, son of Zacheriah one negro man named Tom, he will his daughter Mary one negro slave named Oal,. He willed his daughter Phebe three slaves named Abram, Frank and Peter. Thomas appointed his son Drury Smith and his grandson Stephen Smith to be the Executors of his Estate. The will was witnesses by Drury Smith, John Moore and Umphrey Brooks.

It is interesting to note that beginning on page 58, Tennessee Supreme Court Report, September term, 1849 at Knoxville, Tennessee, we find the quite celebrated decision in the case of the five daughters of Mrs Sherod Mayes, daughter of Thomas Smith of Virginia. The Suit, "Satterfield versus Mayes et al", decided the distribution of the female descendants of slave named Lettice "loaned for life" by father Thomas Smith to his daughter Elizabeth Mayes. The case got into Court, when two of Elizabeth's daughters (Patsy & Nancy) died before their mother and Priscilla after her mother. The heirs of the daughters sued for their share of the slaves. The slaves were ordered sold and monies split among the heirs of the five girls.

Thomas Smith died 1798 and assumed buried in the Smith family cemetery near Lady Mary Road west of Price near the Virginia border in Rockingham County, North Carolina. Thomas and Elizabeth had the following children: 1. Drury Smith (1746-1822) married (1) Betsy Vaughn (2) Eleanor Grogan 2. Mary Smith (1748-1816) married John Journykin 3. Elizabeth Smith (1752-1846) married Sherod Mayes 4. Zacheriah Smith (1752-1796) married Frances Moore 5. Eleanor Smith (1755- ) 6. Phebe Smith (1761-1851 married (1) Littleberry Mayes (2) Alexander Joyce