Monday, January 29, 2018

William and Elizabeth (Stewart) Smith

Elizabeth 'Sarah' (Stewart) Smith

Elizabeth (Stewart) Smith
"Gordon S and Ann Stewart had the following known children:

Elizabeth b. 1823 m. William Smith
Priscilla b. 1825 m. Berry Whitley
Lydia b. 1827 m. William J Webb
William Gordon b. 1830 m. ThursdayAnn Lee
Mary b. 1837 m. Lemuel Pittman
Matilda b. 1837 m. C G B W Parker
Martha b. 1838 m. Elias Pittman"

Pioneers of Wiregrass. Ga. - Huxley - Vol V pg 420
Our great, great grandmother* (see realtionship notes below) was Lydia (Stewart Webb) Merritt third child of this Stewart family. This post is the story of her sister, Sarah "Elizabeth" (Stewart) Smith.

William Smith

Fort Mudge was a temporary fortification on the eastern border of the Okefenokee Swamp at the entrance to Cowhouse Island..

Around the end of the Florida Seminole Wars (1835-42), Indian activity in the swamp increased.

In response the government dispatched seven additional soldiers from the US Army Dragoon to join the militia Fort Mudge.

"Among the first company of mounted militia soldiers was Pvt. William Smith, an imposing soldier even at age 17, standing over six feet tall. 
William Smith
Soon after William arrived at Fort Mudge he met 13 year-old Sarah 
(known by her middle name,  Elizabeth ed.) Stewart, daughter of a local farmer. 
...William and Sarah were married almost immediately, on November 8, 1837." 
Queen of the Okefenokee: The Autobiography of Lydia Smith  pg 1-2
They had ten children together in 25 years; two boys and eight girls.

Of their four youngest daughters;
"Lydia and three of her sisters -
Lydia (Smith) S
Hannah, Nancy and Sarah  - inherited the almost giant-like traits of their father. 
Each grew to around 6" 4" height, and they all had broad strong shoulders and possessed great strength. 
Some people have speculated that Nancy ('Big Nancy') and Hannah ('Big Six') were of below average intelligence, while Lydia and Sarah possessed exceptional shrewdness." 
Queen of the Okefenokee: The Autobiography of Lydia Smith  pg 10-11

Queen of the Okefenokee: Our Cousin

George 'Henry' Merritt
Lydia (Smith) Stone is legendary, known as the "Queen of the Okefenokee", around Ware County, Georgia. There's even a movie in early production stages about her life.

And she is also the first cousin of our great grandfather, George 'Henry' Merritt. (She is our first cousin, three times removed.)

Lydia was the last child born to William and Sarah 'Elizabeth' (Stewart) Smith.  Grandpa Henry was the last child born to Elizabeth's sister, Lydia (Stewart) Webb Merritt. Lydia was three years old when our great-grandfather was born.

*NoteRelationships, such as grandmother, 2nd great, etc., are expressed from the perspective of the grandchildren of Willis Edgar and Carrie (known as) Mae (Merritt) Musgrove.

Terms of relationship - grandmother, uncle, aunt, cousin, etc.  - are used here generically to include  relatives such as fourth great grandfathers, great grand uncles, second cousins twice removed, etc.

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