Erie County (PA) Genealogy
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.
Azubahs 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:
#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 cousins 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:
#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 Johns 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:
#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:
#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 fathers farm he purchased. Children of James Madison SMITH and Sarah J BEELER:
#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:
#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:
This page originally posted November 3, 2001.
Last updated on Sunday, March 13, 2005 .
Return to Erie County Genealogy
Return to Erie Co Family Histories
Return to Venango Township
© 2001-2005 Erie County Pennsylvania Genealogy