HOLMES COUNTY, FLORIDA

HISTORY OF HOLMES COUNTY -- The First Settlers of Holmes County --- The John Smith Family

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(From the book "Heart and History of Holmes County" by Anna Paget Wells (used by permission of the publisher, Sue Cronkite))  This book is chock full of pictures and what has been used within this web site is only a small amount of the book.  It can still be ordered from Sue Cronkite or from the Holmes County Advertiser, 112 E Virginia Avenue, Bonifay FL 32425; phone 850-547-2270; fax 850-547-9200

 

The John Smith family was among the original families to settle in the Leonia area. There is a Smith Cemetery located a few miles from Leonia. Cemeteries bearing family names indicate that the family settled in the area before a church was established in the locality. There are a number of cemeteries in Holmes County bearing family names.

There were two Smiths listed in the 1850 Federal Census of Holmes County as heads of families. John Smith was one of them. At that time he was listed as being a farmer, 33 years of age, born in North Carolina. His wife, Mary, was 22. She was born in Florida. There were three children listed in their household: Elizabeth, age 4, born in Florida; George, age 2, born in Florida; William, age 13, born in Georgia. The age of Williams leads the writer to believe that William was not a child of John and Mary, but likely a close relative. This is just a supposition.

The writer attended Leonia school in the early decades of the 1900s with the grandchildren of John and Mary Smith. John A Gillman, a grandson, gave me some added information on his grandfather Smith’s family. John A Gillman was 87 year of age when the first edition of this book was published in 1983.

John Smith was born Mar 7, 1816, and died Feb 5, 1891. His wife Mary was born May 30, 1821, and died Dec 20, 1916. Their children were:

        1. Mary Smith Padgett, born Feb 12, 1848, and died Nov 7, 1914.

        2. George Smith, born Jan 5, 1850, and died Nov 9, 1925.

        3. Mary Margaret Smith Bishop, born Jan 16, 1851, and died Mar 30, 1881.

        4. Dan Smith, born Jan 6, 1852 and died Jan 22, 1925.

        5. Mary Smith Hunter, born Jan 1, 1853, and died Mar 27, 1880.

        6. Steve Smith, born July 8, 1854, and died Dec 3, 1925.

        7. Henry Smith, born Apr 14, 1857 and died Oct 3, 1940.

        8. Queen Esther Smith Gillman, born Jan 27, 1861, and died Oct 19, 1939. (More information on the Queen Esther Gillman family is included in the Ambrose Ira Gillman story).

        9. Mahala Smith Arrant, born May 14, 1862, and died June 22, 1915.

        10. Serena Catherine Smith Padgett, born Oct 19, 1864, and died Oct 8, 1952.

 


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This page was last updated on:  17 June 2002 , 08:42 PM