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Erie County (PA) Genealogy

Family Histories

Smith Family 2nd Generation - Venango Twp. - Sarah

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.


#5. Sarah SMITH born about 1791 in Westmoreland Co., PA, the 4th child and 2nd daughter of Thomas and Sarah Smith. Sarah died in Mill Creek Erie Co., PA, March 9,1842, 51 years old and is buried in the Belle Valley Church Cemetery. She married Francis DAVISON as his second wife abt 1813-1815. Francis DAVISON born between 1779/80 in Northern Ireland; died 1 Feb. 1860 in Mill Creek Twp.


Francis and his brother Robert both married a Sarah Smith. Both lived in Venango township then moved to Mill Creek township. The two Sarah Smiths, one born 1783/84, one 1791 are close enough in age so as not to be distinguishable on the 1820-1840 censuses. Francis’ wife, born about 1791, fits our Sarah. The other Sarah Smith was probably from one of the four large Smith families in adjoining Wayne township.

"In 1795 the family of Thomas and Jane (Godfrey) Davison came from the North of Ireland to Philadelphia. There were five sons: Francis, Robert, George, Thomas and Arthur, and one daughter, Elizabeth Jane, who died on the voyage at sea. They settled in Northumberland Co. PA but shortly moved to Erie Co. Venango township. Thomas Davison Sr. died a while after reaching Erie county, June 1844 at 94 years old. In 1801 the Davison brothers joined in erecting the Middleboro Presbyterian Church, the first church in Erie county. The Davison brothers remained for about twenty years in Venango, though one of them, Thomas, died there and was buried in the Middleboro Church yard. The four surviving brothers each purchased a farm and made a home in East Mill Creek, near Belle Valley. Their homes in Mill Creek were long distinctive feature of that neighborhood. Their influence and support were transferred to the First Presbyterian Church of Erie, of which many of their families were members and George and Robert elders."

In Venango Twp, Francis’ farm of 200 acres in tract 82, was adjacent to the Smith farm. He also owned an additional 400 acres in tract H. By 1827 these properties were sold and he had moved to Mill Creek. There he had 150 acres on tract 338 adjacent to Sarah’s brothers James and David. Tax lists show he had a sawmill on this property in the 1830’s. Francis has sons Francis and Arthur and daughter Nancy living with him on the 1850 census. Francis married 1) unknown spouse (1785-1812) abt 1810. They had one child: 1) Sarah DAVISON (1811-1877). She was raised by her grandmother Jane Davison in Mill Creek township, Erie Co. PA. Sarah married 1) George W. Fish (1807-1851). They moved to the Chicago area by 1850, where George died. Sarah married 2) John Van Natta (1796-1885) in 1852. John’s first wife, Polly Farnsworth, was the half sister of Azubah Farnsworth married to James Smith (brother of Sarah Smith, Francis’ second wife). Children of Sarah DAVISON and George FISH: Zeruiah Jane Fish (1848-1926) married Alexander Robinsin (1848-1897) in IL. They had eleven children.

Francis married 2) Sarah Smith between 1813-1816. They had seven children. Children of Sarah Smith and Francis Davison

#5a. 1) Francis DAVISON born abt 1817

#5b. 2) Arthur DAVISON born abt 1820, died in Aug. 1864.

#5c. 3) Irene DAVISON born abt 1825 married R.B. Barnes and was in Chicago IL in 1894

#5d. 4) Nancy C DAVISON born abt 1827 died 1883.

$5e. 5) Julia DAVISON born abt 1830 married Silas E TEEL. Silas was a collector of tolls on the Erie Canal. He died about 1866. Julia was in Erie Co. PA in 1894. Children of Julia DAVISON and Silas E TEEL: Silas E TEEL JR., Emma TEEL, Esther TEEL

#5f. 6) Elizabeth DAVISON born abt 1832 married Cyrus ROBINSON. They are in CA in 1894.

#5g. 7) Mary DAVISON born abt 1835 married _?_ MIDDLETON. She was in Waterford Erie Co. PA in 1894. Children of Mary DAVISON and ? MIDDLETON: Mary MIDDLETON

[Return to Thomas & Sarah Smith - Part 1]

This page originally posted May 15, 2001.

Last updated on  Tuesday, February 15, 2016 .

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