Littleton Smith Pension Ap Aids in Ancestry Search

When confronted with a brick wall during your ancestry search, sometimes it pays to reread documents that were collected years earlier. I recently pulled out the Confederate Pension Application of Widow M. F. Smith of McLennan County, Texas.

Background: Martha Francis Chapman was born 28 August 1837 in Houston County, Texas to Robert D. Chapman and his wife, Rebecca Hodges. Robert D. Chapman is one of my DRT (Daughters of the Republic of Texas) proven ancestors. Martha married Littleton Smith in 1857. The 1860 census lists Littleton as "Leticia" Smith along with Martha and their two oldest girls. In 1850 he had been listed alone in nearby Rusk County, age 18 and born in South Carolina.

Now there were some Littleton Smith's in South Carolina but they are pretty well documented and don't fit the criteria for my Littleton but I keep them in mind. Smith is a hard name to research so you tend to keep other Smiths in mind but you can't know for sure if they are related. No other Smiths appeared to have moved with Littleton between 1850 and 1860. Other researchers have left information with the LDS church listing him as Robert Lilton Smith. In 1870 he is enumerated as Lewis Smith but with the correct family members. In 1880 he is listed in McLennan County, Texas as L. Smith, a horse breeder, with the same family. So that pretty much sums up the brick wall on my Smith line.

I spent a little time earlier in the day on today to see if anything had popped up on my Smith line. I noticed a couple of other Littleton Smiths I didn't remember seeing before but nothing really stuck out.

But back to the pension application - Martha is named as the widow of L. S. Smith throughout the document but in one place that I had apparently not been able to decipher earlier, he is named as Littleton Spivy Smith. It's hard to read the handwriting but this time it made total sense because Littleton Spivey Smith was one of those individuals I noticed on Ancestry today.

Well, it turned out that my Littleton Spivy Smith (born ca 1832 in SC) is not the same Littleton Spivey Smith (born 1819 in GA) that is in Ancestry. I could find nothing to help me but I am one step closer than I was yesterday and that made my day.

I hope this helps you with your ancestry search!


Joan said...

Laura, I believe that I have some additional information on this Smith family line. If you're interested, let me know and I can give you my e-mail contact information.