Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Unraveling the story

Source: Fold3. Revolutionary War pension file of James Smith.

The next generation from Isaac Smith takes us to his parents, James Smith and Margaret Truax. There are many descendants of this couple, my 5th-great-grandparents, so I am not alone in trying to uncover their story. We are lucky to have the Revolutionary War pension file of James and Margaret. There are over 50 pages in the file, captured digitally on Fold3. I will start to go through the file with this post. There may be other researchers and descendants of James and Margaret who may find this page. In no way is my research exhaustive or definitive, I am only scratching the surface of available data here.

According to the file, James was born about September 1755. Some researchers attribute his birth place to be Fairfax (now Loudoun) County, Virginia. He moved to Frederick County, Maryland before 1776. He enlisted in the Flying Camp of Captain Valentine Creager in 1776. I will write more about the description of James' service in the war shortly.

After the War

The file notes that after the war, James married Alice Margaret Truax in Loudoun County, Virginia on 25 January 1783. The file includes a certification from the Clerk of Court of Loudoun County, dated 2 February 1841, attesting to the marriage. Margaret is noted as a "spinster of Shelburne Parish" in Loudoun County. She is supposedly born on 19 February 1757, so she would have been 26, almost 27 on the date of her marriage.
Source: Fold3. Pension file page 46.
James and Margaret later moved to Fayette and then Adair County, Kentucky, where many of their children were born. James applied for his Revolutionary War pension from Adair County, Kentucky in 1832. By 1835, he and Margaret had moved to Gibson County, Indiana to be close to their children. That same year, James requested the transfer of his pension file to Indiana from Kentucky. James died on 29 January 1838 in Gibson County. After his death, Margaret applied for and received a widow's pension for James' service in Maryland.
Source: Fold3.
The children of James and Margaret are not mentioned by name in the pension file. James and Margaret had at least the following children after their marriage in 1783:
- John Smith, 1784 in Virginia
- Mary Polly Smith, 1785-1873
- Elizabeth Smith, 1788-1869
- Andrew Smith, 1790-1862
- Lydia Katherine Smith, 1794-1857
- Anna Smith, 1797-1868
- Isaac Smith, 1799-1858
- Jane Smith, 1800-1862
- David Smith, 1801-1881/1882

Some researchers attribute James Smith Jr (1774-1855) to James and Margaret. I am keeping him separate for now, as I do not think he was a son of Margaret.

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