Monday, July 17, 2017

DNA Discoveries: Rediscovering John Muir (1905-1978)

John Muir was born on 24 November 1905 in Hamilton, Scotland, to James Muir and his first wife, Janet Lees Syme. James was a coal miner and grandson of my three times great grandfather, Robert Muir (c1800-1869). James and Janet had two more sons -- Hugh Syme in 1908 and Thomas in 1910.

When Thomas was three months old, the family boarded the Allan Line's RMS Pretorian on 31 December 1910 in Glasgow and arrived in Boston, Massachusetts, on 11 January 1911. Their destination was Mystic, Iowa, to join James' brother, John, and his uncle, also named James Muir, who was my great great grandfather. Mystic was in the Walnut Valley area of Appanoose County and was described as "one continuous mining camp." The Mystic coal seam was on the surface and drift mines were opened and abandoned so often the place looked like a honeycomb.

Mystic, Iowa, in 1909; photograph source unknown

Less than two years after the family's arrival in Mystic, James' wife, Janet died on 29 September 1912. She was buried in a local cemetery two days later. James decided to return to Scotland and traveled to New York with his three young sons, boarding the Anchor Line's SS Cameronia bound for Glasgow. They arrived in Scotland on 11 May 1913.

James joined the Gordon Highlanders regiment in 1914 but was released within 90 days. He remarried in 1927 and died in 1967. His eldest son, John, returned to the United States at the age of 20, arriving in New York on 16 January 1926. He was an iron molder and was headed to Detroit for work. On 19 January 1926 he declared his intention to become a U.S. citizen at the district court in Detroit.

He must have traveled back to Scotland some time after settling in Michigan because on 20 October 1928 he and his brother, Hugh, boarded the Anchor Line's RMS Transylvania in Glasgow.[1] He returned to Scotland the next year as well, returning aboard the Anchor-Donaldson Line's SS Leticia. He arrived in Quebec on 31 August 1929 and crossed the U.S. border on 3 September. His appearance was described as being 5' 7" tall, of medium build with brown hair and green eyes. He lived at the YMCA in Detroit and worked as a clerk.

Detroit skyline as seen from Windsor, Canada, in 1929; photograph courtesy
of the National Photo Collection held by the Library of Congress

When the 1930 census was enumerated, John lived at 80 Vernon Street in Mount Clemens, Michigan. He rented a room from the Alore family and worked as a laborer in a refrigerator factory.

On 4 February 1933 John married Roselyn K. Malcolm in Detroit. She was the daughter of William and Margaret (McCartney) Malcolm, and was a bookkeeper. She was born in Queens, New York, to Scottish immigrants. The year after their marriage, the couple lived in Buffalo, New York, at 995 Lafayette Avenue. Eventually, they settled in Hamburg, New York.

John Muir died in April 1978; Roselyn died on 8 August 1989. They had two sons.

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I rediscovered John Muir because of a DNA match who had two people in his family tree -- himself and his father, who was deceased. Using the death date and place of the father, I was able to find an obituary, which included his parents' names and then an obituary for his father's mother, Roselyn K. (Malcolm) Muir. Once I knew her maiden name, I found the marriage license and realized I already had her husband, John Muir (1905-1978), in my tree but had had not yet spent time researching him after he returned to Scotland with his father and brothers in 1913.

[1] I am suspicious about this UK outward bound passenger record as his brother Hugh's age is listed as being older than John rather than being three years younger.

"Not Likely to Become an Efficient Soldier"
Anchor Line: Scottish Ships for Scottish Passenger

Monday, July 10, 2017

Family Memories of John Campbell Smith (1806-1888): Smith Siblings and His Children

Continued from Family Memories of John Campbell Smith (1806-1888): Smith/Campbell Parents.

Father and mother with four children moved from Gennings Creek, Tennessee[1], to the headwater of Little Barren (then Green County, Kentucky) in the fall of 1805. Afterwards changed to Barren County and now in 1867 it is Metcalfe County formed in 1860 where he bought land and continued to reside until his death on 8 January 1845.

Josiah Campbell Smith (1796-1843)
Josiah C. Smith was the first born living child of father and mother. He was named for grandfather Campbell and was a wheelwright by trade and a Baptist by profession. A good and holy man, married Barbara Morehead, lived and died in the same neighborhood of my father and raised eight children -- five boys and three girls.

William S. Smith was the eldest son. He has been married three times. His first was Polly Acres; his second, Sally Gooden; his third, Lucinda Morehead. John M. Smith was the second son. He married Lucy Harvey, daughter of Austin Harvey. Rebecca Smith was the eldest daughter and married Josiah Murphy. Susannah Smith was the second daughter and is not yet married. Elvira Smith married Joseph Wright Parks. David C. Smith married Martha Gooden. George W. Smith married Mary Ann Bradhauser. James Grouch Smith married Judy Quick.

William Street Smith (between 1801 and 1810-before 1844)[1]
William Street Smith was the second son of my father and mother. He married Leah Chandler. His first son was named Thomas Chandler Smith and his oldest daughter was named Elisa. His second oldest daughter was named Frances.

My brother, William S. Smith moved to Indiana, stayed a year or two and came back to Kentucky. Then moved to Illinois and came back to Kentucky sick. He died in Marrowbone[2] with consumption. His widow married Thomas Morris and moved to the state of Illinois.

Susannah M. Smith (about 1801-after 1870)
Susannah M. Smith was the name of my eldest sister. She was named for Grandmother Campbell and married Jacob Lemon. They lived on the dividing ridge of Little Barren and the Cumberland river in Metcalfe County about one mile from father's old dwelling place and have raised a large family of children.

Their oldest is named James G. Lemon and he married Elizabeth Branstetter. The second son was named William Smith for his Grandfather Smith and he married first a Miss Huffman and second Miss Williams. The eldest daughter was named Elizabeth and married Lewis Williams. George Lemon married Marissa Branstetter. Margaret Lemon was named for my mother and is not yet married. Barbara Lemon married Granville Williams. Nancy Cropper Lemon is not yet married. Jonathan Stamper Lemon married Susetta Amyx and Josiah, the youngest child, married Meta Vaughn. When I was at their house last summer  (1875), they had one child.

Frances Smith (about 1803-before 1870)
Frances Smith, my second eldest sister, married Archibald Ferguson. They had eight children -- four girls and four boys. Their oldest named Margaret Campbell for my mother. She is not yet married. Joseph Ferguson, their second child and oldest son, is a Methodist preacher and married Louisa Branstetter. Sally Ferguson married Ely V. Ovens, a Baptist preacher. William Ferguson died when he was young. Nancy Ferguson married James Amyx. They are both dead, leaving only one child, a daughter named Mary Frances. John Ferguson married Jermia Resslar. Mary Ferguson died unmarried. Alfred Ferguson married Mary Smith.

John Campbell Smith (1806-1888)
John C. Smith, the writer of this memorandum, married Ruth Parke. His eldest daughter Margaret Campbell married Samuel R. Tolls. She died childless. After her death, Tolls married a second wife, a Miss Betty Childress. They have three children, all girls named as follows: Lelah Florence, Sally Bell and Althea.

My second born and oldest son is named William Fletcher. He is a house carpenter and married Harriet Ballinger. They have six children named as follows: Lucinda, Florence, Ida, Susan, Clarence and Minnie.

Jane Douglas Smith, my second daughter, married Francis Dollins. They have four living children named as follows: Frank Price, he is blind; Norah; John; and Mary Edd.

Lucinda Cropper Smith, my third daughter, died when she was about three years and a month old.

My fourth was born dead and not named. My first wife also died a few days after and I was left a widower with three living children: Margaret, Fletcher and Jane.

My second wife' name is Lucinda Parke, youngest own sister to my first wife. Our oldest or first child was a son named Americius Vespucia. He died before he was two years old.

Our second child was a daughter named Elisabeth George. She married John H. Beals. They have two children named Calidonia and Isaac Campbell.

Our third child is a son named David Bristow and he will be seventeen years old the sixteen day of August 1875, the year I am now writing.

I am now seventy years and two days old and have only four children living, two sons and two daughters. Fletcher and Jane, my first wife's children, and Elisabeth and David, my second wife's children.

David Campbell Smith (1809-1870)
David C. Smith, my brother and fourth son of father and mother, married Susan Parke, his first wife. By her he had four sons named William Washington, Joseph Westley, John Linsy, and Jeremiah Stamper. William married Miss Hattie Hardy, daughter of Lt. Governor Hardy. Joseph married Miss Ella Revice of Missouri. John married Betty Dollins and died in time of the last war.[3] Stamper died about the same time and their mother, my brother's wife, also died in the in the time of the war and left my brother, David, a widower. He afterwards married Mattie Murphy. She had two children, a son and a daughter named Henry Street and Susan Campbell. They are living with their brother, William, being orphans, their father and mother both dead.

David Campbell Smith; courtesy of Ancestry user
Virginia0426

Elizabeth Street Smith (1812-1868)
Elizabeth Street Smith, my sister and third daughter of father and mother, married Leven Hartland. She died in Illinois, leaving six children, three boys and three girls named as follows: George Barton, Huldah, William, Mary, Sarah, and John. Their father, Leven, is a Methodist preacher and has a second wife and lives in Illinois.

Nancy Jones Smith (1816-after 1880)
Nancy Jones Smith, my sister and fourth of father and mother's children, married William Douglas Parke, who is now dead, leaving her a widow with about nine children named as follows: Margaret, William, Joseph, Ruth, Bell, Robert, Lizzie, Marion, and Phebe.

Jeremiah Moulton Smith (1810-1870)
Jeremiah Moulton Smith, my brother and fifth son of father and mother, married Pervania Clarke, daughter of Henry Clarke of Virginia. Jeremiah died in Illinois and left his wife a widow with six children named as follows: Cassandra, Nathaniel, Ann, William, Sarah, and Emma.

George Washington Smith (about 1828-1855)
George Washington Smith, my youngest brother and sixth son of father and mother, married Margaret Neal of Allen County. They are both dead, leaving two orphan children, both girls named Elnora Pitts and Melicia Green. Elnora is dead and Melicia is married to William Richey and now lives in Metcalfe County, Kentucky.

And now in the year 1876, I have but one sister living and no brothers. Myself and Nancy are all that are left upon the land of the living of my father and mother's eleven children.

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John Campbell Smith was born on 19 March 1806 in Barren County, Kentucky. He was a second generation Kentuckian as his grandparents had migrated west after the Revolutionary War. He is also the great grandson of Robert "the Elder" Mitchell (1714-1799), my five times great grandfather. Between 1848 and 1876, John wrote about his memories of his family. The document is the property of David S. Peden and was scanned using optical character recognition technology and then edited by Jack A. Laswell, Sr. I am indebted to them for making the electronic version available to other descendants of the Campbell, Enos, Mitchell, Shropshire, Smith, and Street families.

[1] According to the will of William Smith, his father, which was written in 1884, William Street Smith was already deceased.


[2] Marrowbone is an undesignated Census place in Cumberland County, Kentucky.


[3] I believe he was referring to the Civil War


Family Memories of John Campbell Smith (1806-1888): Smith/Campbell Parents
Family Memories of John Campbell Smith (1806-1888): Smith Aunts and Uncles
Family Memories of John Campbell Smith (1806-1888): Campbell Aunts and Uncles
Family Memories of John Campbell Smith (1806-1888): Grandparents
Robert Mitchell, the Elder
Kidnapped by Indians