Friday, November 28, 2008

FIRST ANCESTOR TO SETTLE IN OHIO - Our first ancestor to settle in Ohio was Abraham Smith and his wife Mary Ann (maiden name Foster/Deming). He was the father of my great-great grandfather William Reuben Smith and was the grandfather of my great-grandmother Flora Vanetta Smith. He was born on June 30, 1777 in Manchester, Vermont. He moved to what is now Morgan County. Ohio in the area above Marietta with three or four of his brothers before 1822 when his son William Reuben Smith was born (i.e. probably in 1820). There is an article about him in the History of Washington County, Ohio which describes him as the leading frontiersman of the area with the nickname Abraham "Wolf" Smith. He built one of the first mills in Ohio on Meigs Creek. Our family bible indicates that he was so strong that he could lift one of the millstones all by himself. He also collected wild herbs and distilled them to make perfume - hence another one of his nicknames by which he was called was Abraham "Essence" Smith. He learned distilling from his father, John Smith was a distiller from Mancester, Vermont. There is a large statue in the town center of Manchester, Vermont of our ancestor John Smith for his role in helping found the Green Mountain Boys and for fighting at the Battle of Bennington in the American Revolutionary War. Any female descendant can join the Daughters of the American Revolution since his record of service has been established by the Ormsby Chapter of the DAR. John Smith died on May 24, 1835 and is buried in the Factory Point cemetery in Manchester, Vermont. He was married to Mary Bull, a Quaker whose parents were Isaac Bull and Rebecca Browning from Rhode Island who settled in Quaker Hill (now Nine Partners), Dutchess County, New York (right below the Vermont border) - where they helped to establish the Quaker meeting house there. One of Isaac Bull's ancestors was Arthur Howland, who came over on the second ship to Plimouth Plantation and who brother, John Howland, came over on the Mayflower. A number of U.S. Presidents share our Howland ancestry, including presidents Franklin D. Roosevelt and George W. Bush.