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Erie County (PA) Genealogy

Family Histories

Smith Family 2nd Generation - Venango Twp. - Samuel

Contributed by Susan Smith

The information below was written and submitted by Susan Smith. It is based on 20 plus years of research on the Thomas Smith family who settled in Venango Township in 1802. Thomas and his wife, Sarah, had 12 children with 9 of them remaining in the Erie area. Susan hopes that her contribution of detailed information about one of the SMITH families will help other SMITH researchers. Below is the 'story' of one of the children. Any comments or questions about the article or this family should be sent directly to Susan.


#2. Samuel SMITH was born 24 July 1782/3 in Westmoreland Co., PA, the 1st child of Thomas and Sarah SMITH. Samuel died 18 Apr 1858 in Venango, Erie Co., PA . No will or probate was found for him. He married Sarah (Sally) __?__ about 1809. She was born in 1790; died 8 Aug 1837 in Venango Twp. Erie Co., PA. Both are buried in Lowville Cemetery Erie Co., PA.

Father Thomas, Samuel and brother John were listed on the 1800 tax list for Erie County, Pa. In November 1808, Samuel purchased the northwest 100 acres in Lot 60 of Venango township, Erie Co from the Pennsylvania Population Company for $100. He farmed this property until he sold it in 1844 and went to live with daughter Hannah Chapin. In November 1831 Samuel purchased 50 acres in Lot 59. This was sold about 1835/36 to his son-in-law David Chapin. Along with every other able bodied man in the county during the War of 1812, Samuel was called for militia duty. There were three Samuel Smiths in Erie Co. at this time. War records in the Pennsylvania Archives show the three on the militia rolls for pay and rations – a lieutenant, a sergeant and a private; its impossible to distinguish which one filled each of these positions. The records of the Middlebrook Church 1826-1834 list Samuel and Sally as members. Samuel was a trustee for the first year along with James Donaldson, Wm Pierhant and Solomon Tracy. The accounts for the support of the minister list his contributions of cash and "days drawing wood".

Samuel and Sally had nine children, four daughters and five sons. By the time of the 1850 U.S. census when individual names and ages were given, these children were adults and had left home. Using the one written account found for this family naming the five sons but not the daughters, census records 1820-1850, church records, tax and land records, eight of the nine children can be identified.

Children of Samuel and Sallie Smith

#14. 1) Jane SMITH born abt 1814. By 1830, two of the daughters have married. Jane, probably the oldest, married Aseheb Gates from Amity township, Jan 2, 1828, according to the Middlebrook Church Records. A letter from "your cousin Jane Gates" written in October 1858 to Nancy McNair Platt in Illinois tells of stopping in Kansas City MO for the winter and asks about brother Thomas in Kansas. She plans to go to Kansas in the spring to "seek our fortunes".

#15. 2) Hannah SMITH born abt 1812, married Pliny CHAPIN on 14 Jan 1830 according to the Middlebrook Church Records The Chapins are found in the 1850 census. Samuel is living with the family after he sold his farm in 1844. Pliny was born on 25 Feb. 1805 in Madison Co. NY, died on 27 Mar 1887 in Wattsburg, Erie Co PA. His parents, Daniel and Alice Chapin, were both natives of Mass. Before going to Venango Twp in 1827, they had resided in Madison, Ontario and Ostego counties in NY. Pliny had a farm near Wattsburg where he and Hannah lived most of their lives. His parents lived with them until their deaths, his father in Oct. 1842 and his mother in Feb. 1844. Hannah was a member of the Presbyterian Church. Pliny was a Republican in politics and he served as a treasurer and justice of the peace in Venango Twp. Children of Hannah SMITH and Pliny CHAPIN:

  • 1) Betsy Sally CHAPIN born 8 Dec. 1831, died 16 Apr. 1833.
  • 2) Orrin CHAPIN born in 1838. A soldier in the Civil War, died from exposure 25 Jul. 1865.
  • 3) Sabrina CHAPIN born abt 1846 in Venango Tsp Erie Co PA; married George H HOWARD. One child Pliny Howard

#16. 3) John C SMITH born abt 1814, died 10 Sept. 1872 and is buried in Kane Co. IL. He married Emily _?_ abt 1837/38 in Erie Co. She was born in 1821 in PA. By July 1840, John and Emily are in Kane Co. Their oldest daughter, Mary born in 1839, died July 24, 1840 is buried in Blackberry Cemetery, Kane Co. John is listed on the 1840 census for Kane Co. The family went to Kane Co. either in 1837 with his cousin Thomas McNair, or accompanied his uncle, David Smith’s family when they left Erie for Kane Co in March 1840. The trip took about six to eight weeks. Children of John C SMITH and Emily:

  • 1) Mary SMITH born 19 Aug. 1839; died 24 July 1840; buried in Kane Co. IL
  • 2) Harriet SMITH born 1841 in IL.
  • 3) Christopher SMITH born in 1844 in IL.
  • 4) Orphy SMITH born 11 Sept. 1845; died 9 Feb. 1855; buried in Blackberry Cem. Kane Co.
  • 5) Marcus SMITH born 18 Dec. 1848; died 13 Dec. 1849; buried Blackberry Cem. Kane Co.
  • 6) Margaret SMITH born 19 Aug. 1849; died Sept. 1849; buried Blackberry Cem. Kane Co.
  • 7) Tilly SMITH born 11 Jul. 1853; died 19 Feb. 1855; buried in Blackberry Cem. Kane Co..

#17. 4) Nancy SMITH born 1816. About 1836 she married David CHAPIN, born abt 1814. They lived in Erie Co. PA until at least 1850. Nancy Chapin is listed as a creditor when her uncle Harvey Smith’s estate is probated. Her youngest brother Joseph is living with her family on the 1850 census. Children of Nancy SMITH and David CHAPIN:

  • 1) Jane CHAPIN born abt 1837 in Venango, Erie Co. PA.
  • 2) Sarah CHAPIN born abt 1839 in Venango, Erie Co. PA.
  • 3) Aurilia CHAPIN born abt 1845 in Venango, Erie Co. PA.
  • 4) Aluza CHAPIN born abt 1850 in Venango, Erie Co. PA.

#18. 5) daughter SMITH born abt 1817/1820

#19. 6) James SMITH born abt 1822. He was on the Venango township tax rolls as a blacksmith and a laborer from 1843 to 1845. After that he may have gone to Kane Co IL or further West.

#20. 7) Harvey SMITH born 1823. He is listed in the Erie Co. tax assessment rolls 1847/48 as a blacksmith. Harvey with wife Telly are on the 1850 census. She was born 1823 in PA.

#21. 8) Thomas SMITH born abt 1831. He married Eliza BENTON, daughter of Gilbert Benton and Jemima Seavey, 7 Apr. 1857 in Kane Co. IL. The previous year his cousin John McNair had married Eliza’s sister Jane. Eliza was born in 1835; died 21 Jan 1867 in Nemaha Co. Kansas. Thomas and Eliza left Kane Co. for Kansas in the year after their marriage. On the 1860 U S census, Thomas is a merchant in Clear Creek Township, Nemaha Co Kansas. Eliza and daughters Hattie A. 2, and Samantha 3 months are listed with him. On the 1870 Nemaha Co census, Thomas and two of the daughters not found. Wife Eliza and daughter Carrie died in 1860's and Hattie is found living with the Parsons family in Richmond township. Living next door is Nancy Smith 49, probably Thomas's first cousin and George Underwood 19, her nephew along with a Clark Smith 17 and Charles Smith 14. Both born in IL; relationship unknown. Children of Thomas SMITH and Eliza BENTON:

  • 1) Hattie A. SMITH born 9 Mar 1858. In 1888 she was school principal in Marysville KA.
  • 2) Samantha Jane SMITH born 25 Apr 1860 in Nemaha Co Kansas. She was called Mattie. She married William W WILSON 14 Feb 1882 in Kane Co IL Kane Co. William was born 17 Mar 1856 in Forestville NY. Mattie and William resided in Sugar Grove Township, Kane Co. where he engaged in stock raising, and farming Samantha died in Sep. 1946 and William 31 Oct. 1930. They are buried in Sugar Grove Cemetery Kane Co. IL. Children of Samantha Jane SMITH and William W WILSON:Glidden S WILSON born 11 Jan 1884 in Sugar Grove Kane Co IL.
  • 3) Carrie SMITH born 6 Jan 1862, died 19 Jul. 1863 Nemaha KS.
  • 4) Nellie E. SMITH born 7 Apr. 1864 Nemaha Co. KS, married Charles MYERS in Mar 1885 in Big Rock Kane Co. IL

#22. 9) Joseph SMITH born abt 1833. In 1850 he was living with his sister Nancy Chapin. Joseph and wife Matilda had a number of land transactions from 1857 to 1865. In the last two sales in 1865, he sold his land to Thomas Smith and Thomas Robison, his cousin and uncle. After that he may have gone west.

[Return to Thomas & Sarah Smith - Part 1]

This page originally posted May 9, 2001.

Last updated on  Tuesday, February 15, 2016 .

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