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Erie County (PA) Genealogy

Family Histories

Smith Family 2nd Generation - Venango Twp. - James

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.


#6. James SMITH born 15 Nov 1792 in Westmoreland Co, PA, the 5th child and 3rd son of Thomas and Sarah SMITH. James died 17 Nov 1878 in Blackberry Kane Co, IL. He married Azubah FARNSWORTH, daughter of John Farnsworth and Elizabeth Willard, 25 Dec 1817 in Greenfield Erie Co PA. Azubah was born 10 Feb 1797 in VT; died 27 Jan 1874 in Blackberry Kane Co IL. James and Azubah are buried in Blackberry Cem Elburn Kane Co IL.

Azubah’s father, John Farnsworth, had six children by three wives and six more with his fourth wife Sarah Bassett Whitney. Sarah also had three children from her first marriage. The Farnsworth Whitney children and their descendants went west with and married into the Smith family in Erie County, Kane County Illinois and further west.

James served in the Pennsylvania militia as follows from his service record: "Two months a private, substitute for one William Smith, in Captain Wm Smith's company, discharged October 1812. From July 27, 1813 until August 2, 1813, as a private in Capt. Wm Dickson's company. From January 2, 1814 to February 5, 1814, a substitute for his brother John, as private under Lt. Robert Davison. He also served another two months in Capt. Wm Dickson's company. He was not related to any of the Smith's mentioned except John." In 1850, in Illinois, James applied for bounty land for his service in the War of 1812 but nothing ever came of it. On April 2, 1855, in Wattsburg, Erie Co., PA, James again applied for bounty land due him as a veteran of the War of 1812. Whether he was in Pennsylvania for this purpose or visiting when the act was passed is not known. Under the act of March 3, 1855 he received a grant of 160 acres of land. In 1871 an application was made for a pension which he received based on his service.

James first owned a farm adjoining his father's land but sold it about 1825 and bought 100 acres in Mill Creek township with his brother David, just outside of the village of Erie. They moved their families there and started a sawmill, which they ran together until about 1831. They split the land 50/50. James had the sawmill. David purchased 56 acres adjacent to his parcel and was then in a partnership owning another saw mill factory. The Mill Creek tax records show that in 1838 James' younger brother Robert replaced him on the tax assessment roll. It is assumed that James sold his land and saw mill to his brother Robert about 1836 when he left Erie Co for Kane Co IL. No deed has been found to substantiate this. At the end of August 1836 James and his family along with Samuel and Nancy (McNair) Platt, his niece, left Erie Co, PA. William and Sally (McNair) Rogers, Nancy's sister, may have accompanied them. They were in Racine Co., WI by June of 1837 when their first child was born. The Smith Platt party arrived in Blackberry township Kane Co., Illinois on September 30, 1836 and were among the first settlers in that county. Earlier that year John and Polly (Farnsworth) Van Natta arrived in Kane Co from Michigan. Polly was Azubah's half-sister and was probably the reason the Smith's chose to settle in Kane Co. Smith Road runs past James' original farm. In the years to come many other family members settled in Kane Co. James and Azubah had eleven children. They spent the last fifteen years of their lives living with the family of daughter Jane. James left an estate of $16,990.00 in personal property, his farm had been sold to son James years before.

Children of James Smith and Azubah Farnsworth

#32 1) Oscar SMITH born 15 Aug 1818, died 25 Sep 1818 Erie Co PA;

#33 2) Mary Marie SMITH born 30 Jul. 1819 Venango, Erie Co. PA, died 23 Aug. 1900 IL. She married William PRICE 4 Jan 1843 in IL, born 4 July 1816 Ireland, died 27 Aug. 1903 IL. They had a farm in Kane Co. Children of Mary Marie SMITH and William PRICE:

  • 1) Frankie PRICE died in infancy.
  • 2) Jeddie PRICE died in infancy.
  • 3) Olive M PRICE born 1844 Kane Co. IL. She never married and lived at family farm.
  • 4) Judith Jannette PRICE born 1845 Kane Co. IL, died May 1921. She married Charles BENTON born 1845, died 1928.
  • 5) Elihugh E PRICE born 1847, died 1927 Kane Co IL. He married Lida A THOMPSON born 1847, died 1928.
  • 6) Mary PRICE born 1849 Kane Co. IL, died in infancy.
  • 7) Minnie PRICE born 9 Feb. 1850. Living at family farm in 1908
  • 8) George W. PRICE born 22 Feb. 1852 Kane Co. IL. A farmer who raised fine horses and hogs. He was living on the family farm in 1908. George never married.
  • 9) Nancy PRICE born 1854 Sugar Grove Kane Co IL. She married Richard BERRY 1898. Richard was a farmer in Sugar Grove.
  • 10) William W PRICE born 29 Apr. 1856 Sugar Grove Kane Co IL. He married Celia M LARSON 8 Mar 1908, born 4 Nov. 1884 Sweden. She came to the U.S. with her parents in 1887. William was a farmer living on the Price farm in 1908.
  • 11) Jessie PRICE born between 1857-1862 Kane Co IL. She married Cornelius D CORNELL

#34 3) Nancy E SMITH, born 18 Apr 1821 Venango Erie Co PA. Never married. In 1870 she was Nemaha Co. KA living next door to her cousin’s daughter.

#35 4) Samuel SMITH born 8 May 1823 Venango, Erie Co. PA, died 15 Oct. 1897 IL. He married Elizabeth Ann CONELY 2 Oct. 1851, born 2 Feb. 1833 Canada, died 15 Apr. 1909. Both are buried in Blackberry Cemetery Elburn Kane Co. IL. Samuel was a farmer. Children of Samuel SMITH and Elizabeth Ann CONELY:

  • 1) Winfield G SMITH born 13 Aug. 1852, died 25 Dec. 1943 Kane Co. IL. He married 1) Sophia M HUNT 25 Dec. 1877. Sophia born 21 Sep. 1858, died 27 Aug. 1881, killed by lightning. He married 2) Hannah L STUDIE 26 May 1885 Kane Co. IL. Hannah born 27 May 1854 IN, died 9 May 1906 IL. Winfield stayed on the home farm.
  • 2) Silvia A SMITH born 11 Aug. 1855, died 23 Nov. 1911 Kane Co. IL. She married Frank KENDALL.
  • 3) Martha J SMITH born 20 Aug. 1858, died 1932 Elburn Kane Co IL. She married William V HENRIE, born 1853, died 1914. William was the proprietor of the Plano hotel and livery stable in Maple Park IL.
  • 4) Emma D SMITH born 4 Feb. 1862, died 1945 Kane Co IL. She married Adelbert Flowers, son of Phoebe Whitney* and Lorenzo Flowers, 4 June 1880. Adelbert born 27 Aug. 1860, died 1947. They were living on the Winfield Smith homestead in Blackberry twp in 1888. *Note: Phoebe Whitney Flowers was the daughter of Aaron Whitney, a half brother of Azubah Farnsworth Smith, Emma and William’s grandmother. Phoebe and Lorenzo sold their farm in Chautauqua Co NY after 1860 and went to Illinois then later to Sibley Iowa.
  • 5) George L SMITH born 10 Feb. 1864, died 15 Jan 1865
  • 6) William J SMITH born 18 June 1870 Kaneville IL, died Sibley Iowa 1942. He married Lillian Viola FLOWERS, daughter of Phoebe Whitney* and Lorenzo Flowers, 28 Mar 1889. Lillian born 17 Dec. 1863, died 1962. After 1900 they lived in Salina Kansas.

#36 5) Sarah SMITH born 1824 Erie Co. PA, died 13 Jun 1905 CA. She married Samuel WILKINSON 22 Dec. 1847 in IL. Samuel was born 10 Mar 1827 Beaver Co. PA, died 25 Nov 1905 CA. He moved with his parents to Ogle Co., Illinois, in 1846, and then to Kane Co. in 1847. After his marriage to Sarah, Samuel helped his father, John WILKINSON on the family farm and continued to care for his widowed mother after John’s death. In 1885, Samuel and Sarah moved to California. The U.S. Census, 1900, for California lists them as residing in Burbank Township, Los Angeles County, they were married 52 years and had 12 children with 6 still living. In California, Samuel and Sarah lived about five houses from their son Clark Grant Wilkinson. They owned a large acreage and were successful fruit farmers. They are buried in Evergreen Cemetery, Los Angeles, CA. Children of Sarah SMITH and Samuel WILKINSON:

  • 1) Mary J WILKINSON born 13 Nov. 1848 Virgil Kane Co IL. She married C.L. GILBERT. They lived in Nebraska.
  • 2) Lucetta A WILKINSON born 7 Jan 1850 Virgil Kane Co IL, died in Ocean Park, Los Angeles Co. CA. She married Julius LEE 11 June 1871. In 1878 they were in Huron Co OH.
  • 3) John J WILKINSON born 3 Mar 1852 Virgil Twp. Kane Co. IL, died prior to 1920 Albion IA. John married Carrie _?_ by 1877. They lived in Black Hawk Co. Iowa after 1878, then Liscomb Twp., Marshall Co., Iowa. In 1910, the U. S. Census indicates that John's son Ernest is on the family farm. John and Carrie have probably moved to Albion, residing with their daughter and son-in-law, Fred and Alberta (Elva) Grace.
  • 4) William W WILKINSON born 8 Nov. 1853, died 11 May 1871.
  • 5) Frank B WILKINSON born 9 Aug. 1855 Virgil Kane Co. IL, died 27 Apr 1917 Burton Twp, McHenry Co., Illinois. He was a farmer. Frank married Carrie BEVERLY 22 Nov 1876 Maple Park, Kane Co., Illinois. Carrie born 4 Mar 1857, died 7 Jan 1933 IL
  • 6) Harvey S WILKINSON born 22 Apr. 1857 Virgil Kane Co. IL, died June 11, 1905 Vinta AZ enroute to California to be at the bedside of his dying mother. He lived in Rochester WI.
  • 7) Georgia WILKINSON born 27 Mar 1859, died 1 Jan 1863
  • 8) Luella A WILKINSON born 13 Apr. 1861 Virgil Kane Co. IL.
  • 9) Nora S WILKINSON born 1 Feb. 1863 Virgil Kane Co. IL
  • 10) Perry B WILKINSON born 10 Jun. 1865 Virgil Kane Co. IL, died 31 July 1935 Ocean Park, Los Angeles Co. CA. He married Adelaide W.
  • 11) Miles W WILKINSON born 28 Jun. 1869 Virgil Kane Co. IL.
  • 12) Clark G WILKINSON born 18 Mar 1872 Virgil Kane Co. IL, died in Tropico (Glendale), California. He married Orlio FRANCINE, born Mar 1870 Oregon. They left Kane Co., Illinois and moved to Burbank Twp, Los Angeles Co., California, before 1885 where they purchased a large acreage in Los Angeles Co. near Tropico.

#37 6) Unknown son SMITH died young.

#38 7) Lucetta SMITH born 4 Mar 1829 Erie Co. PA, died 3 Apr. 1872 IL. She married Almon UNDERWOOD 26 Jun. 1851 in IL. Almon was born 2 Mar 1821 Linden NY, died 10 Dec. 1889. Children of Lucetta SMITH and Almon UNDERWOOD:

  • 1) George Almon UNDERWOOD born 25 Mar 1852 Kaneville Kane Co. IL, died 15 Dec. 1921 Ames Story Co. IA. He married Augusta E AMES 8 Aug. 1875 Madison Dane Co. WI.
  • 2) Oscar UNDERWOOD, a twin, born 28 May 1859, died 1 Jun. 1859.
  • 3) Edgar UNDERWOOD, a twin, born 28 May 1859, died 16 Jun. 1859.
  • 4) Ella May UNDERWOOD born 5 Aug. 1861 Kaneville Kane Co. IL, died 27 May 1936 Nevada IA. She married Charles Merwin SOPER 16 Sep. 1879. He died Nov. 1925.
  • 5) Charles Elbridge UNDERWOOD born 10 Feb. 1866, died 23 May 1933 Kane Co. IL. He married Electra BENTON* 9 Feb. 1888. She was born 6 Jan 1868, died 30 Sept. 1952. Charles was a farmer. *Electra was the daughter of Simeon Benton whose sisters Jane and Eliza married cousins John McNair and Thomas Smith
  • 6) Jeannette Azubah UNDERWOOD born 3 Sept 1870 Kaneville Kane Co. IL, died 24 June 1960 Denver CO. She married 1) Keyes BECKER 28 June 1893 IL, 2) Louis Frederick EPPICH 26 Nov 1910.
  • 7) Nettie UNDERWOOD born 3 Sept 1871 IL. She married Mr BAKER. In 1922 they were living in Denver CO.

#39 8) James Madison SMITH born 4 Oct. 1832 Mill Creek Erie Co. PA, died 20 Oct. 1913. James married Sarah J BEELER, daughter of David Beeler and Margaret Lance, 20 Dec 1860 IL. She was born 20 Dec. 1839 IL, died 22 Oct. 1873. They are buried in Blackberry Cemetery, Elburn, IL. They lived in Lyon Co Iowa after their marriage. By 1868 they were back in Kane Co. IL and living at his father’s farm he purchased. Children of James Madison SMITH and Sarah J BEELER:

  • 1) Grant SMITH born 22 Jan 1863 Lyon Co. IA, died 4 Oct. 1896 IL. He married Laura STUCK 8 Mar 1892 Kaneville, Kane Co. IL. She was born 16 Dec. 1871, died 21 Feb. 1958 IN. Grant was a farmer.
  • 2) Mattie SMITH born 21 Nov. 1868 Kaneville Kane Co. IL. died 21 Aug. 1922. She married Preston B. SWANEY born 26 Feb. 1859 IL, died 29 Nov. 1941. Preston was a farmer in Kaneville township. He owned and trained trotting horses.
  • 3) Burt M. SMITH, a twin, born 17 Jul. 1871, died 8 Mar 1947 Kaneville Kane Co. IL. He married Christina Maria MILLER, born 1 May 1880 Chicago IL died 10 Nov. 1939.
  • 4) Bertha SMITH. a twin, born 17 Jul 1871 Kaneville Kane Co IL, died 27 Jan 1939 Hillsboro OR. She married Russell LEE, born IL. They went west to Oregon. Russell died from pneumonia as a result of a wound inflected by Indians along the Oregon Trail. Bertha continued on to Oregon. She married Ivan W HOPE in OR.

#40 9) Azubah M SMITH born 21 Jan 1835 Mill Creek Erie Co. PA, died 29 Feb. 1916. She married George W SMILEY 6 Jan 1858 in IL. George born 8 Mar 1834 in Sullivan Co. NY, died 7 Aug. 1897. They are buried in Malta Cemetery DeKalb Co. IL. George came with his parents to Illinois, locating in Kane County. His mother died when he was nine years old. Before he was 22 years of age he traveled in 26 different states. He spent a summer in Canada and visited Central America, Cuba and Mexico. While in Central America he was arrested and held a prisoner for some time by the authorities. In California he was drawn into gold mining, which proved a fortunate investment. He returned home via New Orleans to Illinois and settled on a farm of 160 acres. He also had a business selling coal, lumber and farming implements, in partnership with Charles W Haish. At one time he was the leading dealer in farming implements in the county. For 15 years he shipped to market annually an average of 100 car loads of stock. Azubah managed the domestic part of her father's affairs, until her marriage. She had the canteen carried by her father in the War of 1812. Children of Azubah M SMITH and George W SMILEY:

  • 1) Burr Byron SMILEY born 30 Apr 1859, died 20 May 1936 Kaneville Kane Co IL. He married Emma Jane PETERS 21 Oct 1880 Malta DeKalb Co IL. She was born 16 Jun 1858 London Canada, died 20 May 1936.
  • 2) Budd D SMILEY born 3 Feb. 1861 Malta DeKalb Co. IL. He was accidentally killed by a freight train May 26, 1878, at Creston, Ogle Co., IL.
  • 3) Thyrza SMILEY born 13 June 1864 Malta DeKalb Co IL, died 6 July 1925. She married S.L. SCHEIDECKER.
  • 4) Mae SMILEY, twin, born 27 Jun 1868, died 5 Feb 1936 Malta DeKalb Co IL. She married William A PHELPS 30 Mar 1892. William born 1866, died 1948.
  • 5) Myrtie SMILEY, twin, born 27 June 1868 Malta DekKalb Co IL, died 9 Jan 1940. She married George W BIRD.

#41 10) Jane Caroline SMITH born 22 May 1837, died 18 Sept. 1930 IL. She married Perry BOWDISH, son of Joseph Bowdish and Ann Fairchild, 25 Dec. 1855. Perry born 17 Sep. 1835 in Milford Otsego Co. NY, died 27 Apr. 1897. They are buried in Blackberry Cemetery Elburn Kane Co. IL. Perry was a farmer and a stock raiser with 140 acres about five miles from Elburn. He went to Kane Co. IL in 1855 with his parents. James and Azubah Smith lived with the Bowdish family for the last fifteen years of their lives. Children of Jane Caroline SMITH and Perry BOWDISH:

  • 1) Judd Wilber BOWDISH born and died 1858
  • 2) Ida C BOWDISH born and died 1859.
  • 3) Effie Azubah BOWDISH born 4 Jun 1862, died 19 Nov 1920 Kane Co IL. She married George S BEAM.
  • 4) Addie L BOWDISH born 17 Jul 1864 Kane Co IL, died 27 Sep 1948 CA. She married John PRYOR 11 Sep 1906 California. Addie was an accomplished artist.
  • 5) Anna BOWDISH born 1 Nov. 1866, died 23 Oct. 1940. Anna never married.

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This page originally posted November 3, 2001.

Last updated on  Sunday, March 13, 2016 .

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