Transcribed by Brenda H. Wills


April 23, 1953






   The following letter has been sent to Winnie Smith in an effort to learn more of that family.  The letter follows:

                                                                                                                     Lafayette, Tennessee

                                                                                                                         April 19, 1953

Dear Brother Smith:

   You will perhaps be surprised to hear from me.  I am trying to learn something of the Smith family to which you belong.  You are the son of Tip Smith, as he was familiarly called.  I find that his real name was William Henry Harrison Smith, and that he was born about 1841.  He was called Tip because President William Henry Harrison was called “Old Tippe-canoe.”  Now my records show that his father was Allen Smith, who married a Miss Wilburn.  She is listed in the census of 1850 as Mary Smith, but I believe that she was called Polly.  Am I right in this matter?  Her father was Thomas Presley Wilburn, I believe.  Is this correct?  Thomas Presley Wilburn had a brother, Obadiah Wilburn, who was the father of Ben Wilburn, father of Jake, Billie, Peter, Albert and Ben Wilburn Jr.  Obadiah and Thomas Presley, I believe, had a brother called Gunnery Wilburn, but I am not sure about this.  Any information you can give me along this line will be appreciated.


   Now we come back to the Smith family.  I find that your father had the following brothers:  John H. Smith, born in 1832, but I have no record of his wife’s name nor of his children; Tommie Smith, born in 1827, married Sallie Ann, daughter of Bradock Beasley; Robert A. Smith, born in 1836 and removed to Kentucky; Mary E. Smith, born in 1839, and no further record; and Daniel L. Smith, born in 1844, and became a Baptist minister in Kentucky, I believe.  Now I want you to give me all the additional information you have.  In 1850 you grandfather was dead and Polly or Mary Smith was a widow.  Tommie and his wife were then married but had no children.  Later they became the parents of: John, married Eliza Gregory; Braddock, Robert, Rainey, Dora, Sallie and one daughter who married Jim Phillips.  Is this correct?  Please feel free to correct me on any point about this family in which I am in error.  I want to get the record straight.


   I wonder if you can tell me about this family of Frank Smith, who was related to your father’s family.  I have been told that Frank and his brother, William Smith, were the sons of William Smith, who died perhaps about the opening of the Civil War from exposure brought on following a tremendously heavy fall of rain.  The father’s name, I understand, was William Smith, and it seems that he was closely related to your father or was it Frank’s mother who was a close relative of your father?  I believe her name was Sarah and that she was a Smith before she married William Smith.  The last named was a school teacher and is buried on the Smith Branch in Smith County.  Any information about this will also be appreciated.


   There is another group to which I am almost certain you are related, but I am not certain of the connection.  This is the Wade Smith family of near Pleasant Shade in the years gone by.  Wade Smith married Missouri, daughter of Milton Gregory.  Wade had the following brothers and sisters according to my limited information: Peyton, married Sallie Brown, Alfred, married Sallie’s sister, Harriet; Lon, married a Holladay; Albert, married a Holladay, a sister of Lon’s wife, and later married Martha Matthews; Lottie, married Ira Holladay, a brother of the two women just mentioned; Dora, married a Langford: Tilda, married Dave Hines; and Sarah, married Tom Hackett.  There might have been others but I have no record of them.


   Wade Smith’s father was “Hairy Bill” Smith, and Wade’s mother is said to have been Minerva Smith prior to her marriage.  Was either “Hairy Bill” or Lottie related to your father?  “Hairy Bill” Smith was the son of Archie Smith who married a Piper long, long ago.  Archie Smith’s father is said to have come from Ireland to America.


  Archie Smith had another son, Alfred Smith, who married Clarkie, a daughter of Braddock Beasley.  Alfred and the Beasley woman were the parents of: Buck Smith, the guerilla of Civil War days; Charlie Smith, married a Curlee; Tobie, who went to Kentucky and we do not know of his ever marrying; and another son or daughter, who is believed to have married a Piper.


  “Hairy Bill” and Alfred had a sister, Susan, who married Dan Wilkerson, but they never had any children; and Joe Smith, who married a West and who also died without issue.


  Now give me any information you can on any of the points set forth in this letter.  Have your reply typed if you can as I will want to have it filed away with my other records. 


   Please let me hear from you as early as you can.

                                                                                          Your friend and brother,

                                                                                                  Calvin Gregory.