WNC History Timeline

Please send corrections.
www.childers-shepherd.org, 4 Jan 2009

Samuel Smith appears on the 1800 census of Buncombe County with the following family unit:  one
male 26-45, one female 16-26, and 2 males 0-10, with no slaves.
Samuel Smith was born 29 Aug 1765 in a public inn, in Albermarle Co, VA as his father was moving his
family from Cecil Co, MD to Guilford Co, NC.  He died 27 May 1856 in Rusk Co, TX, aged 90 years, 8
months and 29 days.  Samuel Smith's parents were Joseph Smith, born 1 Apr 1730 in Cecil Co, MD;
and Rebecca Death/D'Ath, born 29 Aug 1739 also in Cecil Co. MD.
Joseph and Rebecca Smith were members of the Nottingham Presbyterian Church of Rising Sun, MD.  
This church was located nearly on the boundary line between MD and PA.  In the mid-1700's a fierce
boundary quarrel arose between MD and PA in which several people were killed.  In order to get away
from this trouble, the members of the Nottingham Church elected to send representatives to western
NC to negotiate for a large block of land to which in the period 1755-1765, most of the church members
moved.  It was to join their kinsmen and fellow church members in Guilford Co, NC, that Joseph Smith
was taking his family when they had to stop at the inn in Albermarle Co, VA, for the birth of Samuel.
In the fall of 1775, Joseph Smith settled his family at the "Hawfields," on the Haw River in western NC.  
The family lived there until about 1781 when they moved to Pleasant Gardens about six miles NE of
Davidson's Fort, now known as Old Fort.  It was while living here in 1782 or 1783 that young Sam then
only about 17, or 18, volunteered for a very dangerous task.
After the surrender of Cornwallis at Yorktown, Gen. McDowell who was in command of "Old Fort" on the
western frontier of NC, hoping to end the hostilities between the Americans and the Cherokees,
decided to send a letter to the principal chiefs of the Cherokee, who at that time were encamped at the
Coosawatte Towns on the Coosawatte River in Georgia.  In the letter he proposed peace terms and the
enchange of prisoners.  Thinking that to send a soldier into their country might anger the Cherokee, he
asked for civilian volunteers and accepted young Sam Smith.  Young Sam was furnished with an Indian
guide and interpreter, Yellow Bear, and a mulatto man volunteered to go along as cook.  John Preston
Arthur, in his Western NC, A History, states: "Mr. Smith aided largely in bringing these people into
peaceable terms with the whites.  He moved to Texas after having raised a family of distinguished sons
in NC, dying in Texas when over ninety years of age."
On 28 Feb 1796, Samuel Smith and Mary Jarrett were married in the home of an old friend of the
family, William Welch, in Asheville, NC.  Samuel and Mary settled on a farm in the Sulphur Springs
neighborhood about 6 miles southwest of the present city of Asheville.  They lived there until 1820, and
all of their ten children were born there.
Mary Jarrett was the daughter of Daniel Jarrett and his wife Mary Catherine Moyers.  Daniel Jarrett was
born 18 Dec 1747 in Bucks Co, PA (now Lehigh Co).  He was the youngest of the 13 children of John
Jarrett, Sr, and wife Mary Lukens.  Mary Catherine Moyers was born 9 Feb 1753 in what is now Lehigh
Co, PA, dau of Adam Meyer/Moyers and his wife, Anna Catharina Schneider, who married 18 Oct 1748
at Williams Township Lutheran Church.
In 1820, when the western tip of NC was opened for settlement, Samuel Smith bought at public outcry in
Waynesville what was known as the Tessentee Towns, later known as Smith's Bridge, as Samuel and
his sons built a bridge across the Little Tennessee River.  This bridge was maintained and kept in use
up to the middle 1900's, when a new bridge was built.
As the children grew to adulthood, they began to scatter.  Bennett Smith, the fifth son, decided in the
early 1830's to go with Robert W. Smith, a close friend, but no relation, down into Georgia and work in
the gold mines to earn money to go to Texas and buy land.  At the end of 1835, they decided they had
enough money and Robert came on to Texas in time to be in the Battle of San Jacinto; but Bennett had
to go back to NC to help his father out in a land deal.  Bennett didn't get to Texas until 1839.  He joined
Bob Smith at this home in Nacogdoches and there at a party given in his honor by Bob, he met
Maryann Susan Vannoy, and on 21 Feb 1843, they were married in Bob Smith's home.
In 1847, Bennett Smith sent for his father and mother to come to Texas to live with him.  Samuel Smith
was 82 and his wife Mary was 72 when they made the long trip from  Asheville, NC to Rusk Co, Texas
by wagon train.  Samuel Smith died 27 May 1856 and is buried in Pleasant Hill Cemetery in the Old
London community in Rusk Co, Texas.  His wife Mary died 8 April 1862, and is also buried in Pleasant
Hill Cemetery.
Samuel Smith, son of Joseph Smith and Rebecca Death/D'Ath Smith, was born 29 Aug 1765 Albermarle
Co, VA, and died 27 May 1856, Rusk Co, TX.  He married 28 Feb 1796 in Asheville, NC, Mary Jarrett,
dau of Daniel Jarrett and Mary Catherine Moyers/Meyers.  Mary Jarret was born 23 June 1775
Cabarrus Co, NC, and died 8 Apr 1862 Rusk Co, TX.
According to Bennet Smith Bible records, the ten children of Samuel Smith
and Mary Jarrett Smith, all born in Buncombe County, NC, were:
1.  Nathan Smith, b. 13 Nov 1797, m. Mary White.
2.  Saul Smith, b. 12 June 1799, m. Tabitha Dobson.
3.  Aaron Smith, b. 7 Jan 1802, m. 23 Feb 1824 Mary Jones Israel.
4.  Bacchus J. Smith, b. 8 Aug 1804, m. Sarah Baird.
5.  Bennett Smith, b. 25 Sept 1806, m. 21 Feb 1843 Maryann S. Vannoy.  These are the
great-grandparents of Tom Jarvis, the submitter of this sketch.
6.  Larken Smith, b. 26 Nov 1808, m. 29 March 1831 Louisa Long.
7.  Samuel Smith, b. 5 Oct 1810, m. Jane Gaut.
8.  Rev. Conaro D. Smith, DD, b. 1 Apr 1813, d. 30 Jan 1894 Macon Co, NC, m Knoxville, TN, Margaret
Bearden.  He was a Methodist minister, and NC Assistant State Geologist.
9.  James Hervey Smith, b. 9 May 1815, m.(1) Emily Galt; m.(2) Nan Gaut [sic].
10.  Altha Paulina Smith, b. 23 Dec 1817, m. William L. Moss.
Additions and corrections to this First Family sketch should be addressed to Mr. Jarvis directly at the
address given above.  He would be delighted to correspond with anyone related to these families.

[From the website of the Old Buncombe County Geneological Society (
submitted by Tom Jarvis, 3420 Stanford Street, Dallas, TX 75225