The Smiths

No, not the 80's rock band from Manchester. The Smiths, as in the ancestral brick wall I can't seem to break through. After taking a few weeks off from weekly posts, I'm happy to say I'm making progress figuring out family connections for my Irish 3rd great grandfather, William Smith (1818-1894). I resolved to find his roots in Ireland this year. It took some time and serendipity to get to this point in the Smith branch of my tree. I was stuck with my paternal 2nd great grandmother Mary Ann Smith for years. I posted a copy of her husband, my 2nd great grandfather, Francis Button Marr's will on ancestry which led to the breakthrough. Read how that fluke happened here. This is why I always make any information I have public. I understand others may have their reasons for keeping information to themselves, but I think they're selling themselves short hoarding secrets.

Samuel Smith 

The photo on the right is Samuel Smith (1820-1904). I'm 99.9% sure he is my 3rd great uncle, the brother of William Smith. Whilst combing through the DNA matches of my paternal aunt and uncle, I came across matches whose direct ancestors with the surname "Smith" showed Samuel Smith from Ireland born two years after my 3rd great grandfather. Samuel Smith was born in Ireland, married in Leeds, Megantic, Quebec, Canada where his four oldest children were born. The family then moved to Middlesex, Ontario where six more children were born. This lines up with my William Smith. He was married in Leeds where his children were born and he then also moved to Middlesex, Ontario. When I clicked on the member ID of the person who posted this photo, an account he managed was a "good" 4 - 6th cousin match to my paternal uncle. I went through posted pictures of Samuel Smith's children and found even more DNA matches, mostly for my uncle. He must have the most Smith DNA. I reached out to David Long, the member who posted this photo. Turns out some of the other matches were his 2nd cousin and his father's sister. Their whole family were unaware of William and have no further information about Samuel's parents or lineage in Ireland either.

The best part of making this connection with my Ontario Smith cousins is that they are avid genealogists. David sent me an unpublished family tree for the Hunt family of London, Ontario. I found several connections through marriage with my Smiths and another branch of my tree the Pattersons. It really was a small world back in the old days I guess! Isn't it great when you link in with a cousin who shares the ancestry bug?

If my trip to Ontario this summer pans out, London is definitely on the itinerary. David has been working on restoring the old Brick Street Cemetery there for a decade. They even have a facebook page Friends of Brick Street Cemetery.  They did a beautiful job. This photo is their cover page.

Maybe all of this new info on where the brothers lived when they immigrated and the DNA matches will help locate records to break through the brick wall and over to the old country.
Fingers crossed 🤞🍀


  1. Hi Libby! Welcome back!
    This post inspires me to keep many broken branches and brick walls. It is hard enough to find Smiths that match...James is the same...LOL You have inspired me to unlock my tree . Hugs,
    NZ Cuzzie cj

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