FHB William Smith I

From Family History Book

Family History Book: William "Hellnation" Smith (1751-1852)

William Smith was born in Nansemond County, Virginia in 1751. According to his second wife, "Meredy" [Mariah or Meredith Gamage] in her application for a pension based on his Revolutionary War service, which was approved, he was a private in the North Carolina line (Alston's militia) for two years during that conflict. She said he lived in Moore County, NC at that time. This document is also the source for his birth date and place.
If, as seems to be the case, it is correct that this William Smith was the father of our documented ancestor, William Smith, his first wife was Mildred Hickman, born about 1753 in Albemarle County, Virginia. They would have married, probably in Virginia, around 1775 or earlier. Mildred died in Coweta County, Georgia sometime before 1835, when William married Meredy there. Mildred's children with William Smith were William (1775-1840), Bryant (born 1783), and George (born 1785). N.B. Some family trees show William's first wife and mother of his older children was Martha Hale, not Mildred Hickman, but no documentation regarding either name has been turned up yet by this researcher.
After the Revolution, and before he moved to Coweta County, Georgia, William and his family lived in Cumberland County and Randolph County, North Carolina according to US census records. By 1830 he and his first wife and children had relocated to Coweta County, Georgia. The US census for that year did not include the exact location, but William's widow, Meredy, lived on "Mrs. Stamp's farm" about 10 miles north of Newnan in 1891, at the time she was interviewed by an Atlanta Constitution reporter.
In 1835, William married Meredy Gamage in Coweta County, Georgia. They had two children, Elvira and Marcus de Lafayette Smith.
According to a newspaper article of an interview with Meredy Smith in the 10 Jun 1891 issue of the Atlanta Constitution, William Smith was known as "Hellnation" Smith because of his frequent use of that expletive when "in his cups".

William Smith's (probable) known descendants are:

with Mildred Hickman

  • William Smith, Jr. (1776-1840)
    • grandson, Sion Bell Smith (1809-1889)
      • 13 great-grandchildren
        • 37 great-great grandchildren
          • many great-great-great grandchildren
            • many 4G grandchildren
              • many 5G grandchildren
                • 6G grandchildren
                  • 7G grandchildren
    • grandson, William Smith (1825 -)
  • Bryant Smith (1783-
  • George Smith (1785- )

with Meredy Gamage

  • Elvira Smith (1837- )
    • granddaughter, Arminda S Smith (1860 -)
  • Marcus de Lafayette Smith (1837-1862)
    • grandson, William J Smith (1858-1939)
      • great-grandson, Ira Clifton Smith (1909-1984)
        • great-great-grandson, Ira Clifton Smith, Jr. (1932-2013)
          • great-great-great grandson, living
William Smith died in Coweta County, Georgia on 8 May 1852 at the age of 100 or 101. He is buried in the Oak Hill Cemetery in Newnan, Coweta County, Georgia, where his remains were moved from a remote area of the county. In 2018, the local chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution held a grave-marking ceremony for three Revolutionary War soldiers buried there, including William Smith.

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