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Daniel Smith and his Ancestors

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Web page started 1 Jan 2008.

Daniel Smith is a Mystery.

Who is he? We never see him in the census listed with Eliza yet her surname is always shown as Smith. We see him noted in one book as her husband. Her daughters used the name of Smith.

Clue #1

In the Centennial History of Oregon (published in 1912), I found this written about Mary Alice Smith Miller, sister of Laura Smith Baker:

"Mrs. Miller is a daughter of Daniel and Eliza (Goens) Smith, both whom were natives of North Carolina, but of Pennsylvania Dutch extraction, the grandparents having moved from the Keystone state to North Carolina. The father is now deceased, having passed away in 1863..."

Eliza (Goens) Smith is the grandmother of Charles Lee Baker.

Clue #2

In December of 2007, I contacted another Goens descendent and he sent me this:

Wiley Going was married to Anna Goldman January 26, 1839 in Lincoln County according to "North Carolina Marriage Bonds, 1741-1868," record 1050, bondsman: Daniel Smith, witness: H. Cansler, Clerk of Court, bond 72692.

I've also seen Anna's surname as Goodman.

Wiley Going was the brother of Aaron Goins who I believe is the father of Eliza. Look at this web page for all the details of that connection.

Could this Daniel Smith be the same one who married Eliza? If so, he must have been much much older than Eliza since she outlived him by almost 60 years. (He died in 1863 and she in 1920). Or, of course, he just could have died young (although if he died in 1863, we don't have any information that he died as a result of the Civil War.)

I found this note on the findagrave page for Jacob Goldman, the father of Anna Goldman Goins:

Jacob´s son-in-law was tried and aquitted for the burning death of ¨old man Goldman"in April of 1849.

Jacob had two daughters Anna and Hannah. Perhaps a third. The witness to the 1833 marriage of his eldest daughter Hannah to Moses Smith was a neighbor ,George Seitz. Moses Smith is a brother of Jerimiah Smith 26125638 who married Sally Goins (sister of Wiley Goins.)

Anna married Wiley Goins in 1839 and the witness was a 3rd Smith brother, Daniel Smith.

Here are more records from "Marriage Bonds of Tryon & Lincoln Countys, NC", FHL 695.678 v28b:

Going, Wiley Goodman, Anna Smith, Daniel 26 Jan 1839 H.Cansler, C.C.
Goings, Arren Leonard, Ann Roderick, Elisha W. 10 Jan 1837 M.W. Abernethy
Goins, James Kincaid, Mary A. Dunn, William 4 Aug 1936 M.W. Abernethy
Goins, John Clippard, Polly Kelly, Phillip 5 Oct 1833 J.T.Alexander
Goins, Philip P. Smith, Elisabeth Reinhardt, Daniel 29 Mar 1866 Daniel Seagle, J.P.
Goins, Wiley Clippard, Elizabeth Roderick, William 3 Mar 1829 B.J. Thompson
Leonard, Jacob Saypaugh, Margarett Seagle, Daniel 25 Dec 1827 J.T. Alexander
Smith, Daniel
(son of John)
Jenkins, Sally Smith, Daniel 11 Sep 1810

From "Lincoln Co Marriages 1783-1866", FHL 975.6782 v28;

Smith, Jeremiah Going, Sally 21 Oct 1825
Goins, Sarah Workman, Henry 28 Aug 1847

I also checked these books and did not find a reference to Daniel Smith:

"North Carolina Mortality Census  1850, 1860, 1870, 1880"  FHL 975.6 X2a
"North Carolina Obituary Records" FHL 975.6 v4w
"Catawba and Wilkes Co Marriage Certificates"  FHL 975.6 v25m
"Gaston County North Carolina Marriage Bonds and Licenses 1848-1888"

Clue #3

From the 1850 census on, Eliza was listed as "Smith". In 1850, she would have been 17 years old. Could she have already been married to Daniel by then? But if so, it would have been 8 more years before she had her first child.

Clue #4

Her first two daughters, Mary Alice and Laura Ann, were born in 1858 and 1861 respectively. That would have been before Daniel died in 1863. Eliza's third daughter, Lulu, was born in 1871 so that must have been with a different father.

Clue #5

At NO time, in the census, did we see Eliza's husband. Its odd.

In 1850, she was Eliza Smith with no children. Living with Polly Bollinger.
In 1860, she was Eliza Smith with child, Alice. Living with Polly Bollinger.
In 1870, she was Eliza Smith with children, Alice and Laura. Living with Polly Bollinger.
In 1880, she was Eliza Smith with children, Alice, Laura and Lulu. Living with Polly Bollinger.

Clue #6

In April of 2008, Linda Goodwin sent me this email with more clues:

Date:    Fri, 25 Apr 2008 16:32:52 -0700 (PDT)
From:    Goodwin Family <>
Subject:    Re: Smith/Goens genealogy


  My brother, Jim Meinel, wrote to you about a year ago (his letter is posted on your website), saying he was a direct descendent of Georgia A Miller and Alfred R Meinel - and had just found your website with information on these people and their ancestors.

  I don't have much information, but I will share with you what I found. It was probably from about 15 years ago....I've been interested for longer than that, but once I got married and started raising children, I haven't had much time to do any serious researching. I was excited when my brother told me how much information you had gathered!
  We had known for a long time about the book Centennial History of Oregon....our Great Aunt Alice Meinel Reed (daughter of Georgia Miller & Alfred Meinel) told us about that and gave us a photocopy from the book. I had noticed the "Bollingers" from census' but never made the connnection.
  Unfortunately, my source notes were not taken very well back then....and I've forgotten where I found some of my information. But, I did record this important note:
  I believe it was from a trip to Salt Lake City when I found this information -
  I photocopied a page from a book titled: North Carolina Troops: 1861-1865 -- then I wrote "Vol VIII, Co. H, 27th Regiment, NC Troops" - and I actually wrote the call number to the book, which I am pretty sure came from the FHL in Utah - "975.6 M2nc".
  Here is what is says: 
  SMITH, D.C. Private
  Enlisted in Pitt County on April 20, 1861. Killed at Bristoe Station, Virginia, October 14, 1863.
   (Mark's note: Pitt County is on the other side of the state from Catawba, Lincoln and Gaston Counties where most of the rest of this story takes place.)

  So that confirms Daniel's death year (Mark's note: as documented in the Centenial History of Oregon). I don't think I did much more research in North Carolina to look for him because I don't see any other notes about that. I doubt I even searched/requested  his military records - as I did for Wesley Miller (never knew he was really "George Wesley" either).
  And, I printed out and saved one more finding - but just wrote "checked - might be related", so I guess I never searched any more:
  from a microfilm....a printout I made at the FHL....
  Call Number
  1685454  item 5
  Contents:  Samuel Smith was born in 1799 in North Carolina. Viginia Herriet Aiken married Samuel. Their children were Francis Oliver, John A., Martha, Virginia Hariett, Daniel, Amanda, Elizabeth, Samuel and Judson.
  Other surnames include Weaver, Fowler, Parremore, Ricks, Cherry, Ford and Kircher.
  The above was a summary printout I got from the FHL, and on another page of notes I wrote:
  Samuel Smith family: parents b. father, NC, mother, VA
  He had another wife : Mary ______
  Died 1897 Blakely, Carly Co, Georgia
  Wife Vigina Harriet Aiken
  and listed their children and birth dates....Daniel: "b. ca. 1837"
(Mark's note: This Daniel seems to be too young)

  So I guess I thought this was a possible connection, but once again (sorry), I never followed up!
  So maybe this will help you a little? Back then I never really looked anywhere except in Census records, and books in Salt Lake City. So I  know there is a lot of areas I never searched.
  Thanks for all the work you have already done. I didn't know about the graves in Oregon...I am planning a visit in the next month or so to see the Meinel & Millers at the Cooper graveyard. My father remembers growing up in the area, and although his grandparents (Millers) were in the area, he never really knew them. He often visits the area; - it's a long story, but the family he grew up with - a woman who is like a sister to him - still lives in the area, so he often visits and has offered to show me the graveyard and the Hillsboro area...something that I was never interested in as a child! We live in Washington, the Mt St Helens area, so it's not a long drive.
  Let me know if you have any questions....or if I was too confusing!
Dear Linda,

My trip to the FHL did not yield any new information.

I spent about 5 hours looking through many, many books recording data about Lincoln, Catawba, and Gaston counties. I found a few references to one (or more) Daniel Smiths but no information to connect him to Eliza.

I confirmed the info about the marriage bond of Wiley Goins and Anna Goodman with Daniel Smith as the bondsman.

At least this shows that there was a Daniel Smith and he knew the Goins family. But this Wiley Goins would have been the uncle of Eliza (brother of who I think is her father). So it seems this Daniel would be much older than Eliza.

This trip didn't do anything to resolve the mystery. I will keep on looking.


Sep 2011I posted a query on the Lincoln County message board on and got a very informative response:

Posted: 7 Sep 2011 9:06PM

I've been doing genealogy research on my wife's family. It goes back to Felix Baker and Laura Ann Smith in the area of Catawba, Lincoln and Gaston Counties in North Carolina.

Laura Smith's mother was Eliza Smith. I found that Eliza was raised by a woman named Polly Bollinger. The Bollingers were a big family in the area. Most of these families were German orginally from the "Dutch" country in PA.

I searched for several years and looked at many clues but I now believe that Eliza was the daughter of Aaron Goins and Ann Leonard. She was born when Aaron and Ann were 15/16 years old and well before they were married.

<added link to this web page>

I'd like to know your thoughts about it and if you have any information that you can share that might help me prove or disprove my theory.

Mark DiVecchio
Posted: 8 Sep 2011 8:53AM
Hi Mark,

Your case study on the parentage of Eliza Mahala Smith is interesting. Thanks for sharing it and giving others a chance to learn from your experience!

There are three pieces of evidence working against the theory that Eliza was married to a Smith:

a) When Eliza was indentured (bound) to Mary "Polly" Bollinger, her surname was Smith. See minutes of Lincoln County Court of Pleas and Quarter Sessions for September 1837: "Indentures. Eliza Smith bound unto Polly Bollinger until she arrive to the age of 18 years." If Eliza was born in 1832, then in 1837, she would be only age five and obviously unmarried.

Mark's note: you can now see that indenture on-line at :  

b) When Margaret Sebach executed her Lincoln County will on 25 July 1843, she referred to Eliza with the Smith surname. In 1843, Eliza Smith would be only age eleven and unmarried.

c) Eliza's surname is consistently Smith as a child and through 1850-1900 censuses and Eliza's children carry the surname Smith. As you point out, no Smith husband is ever in the picture.

Eliza Mahala Smith possibly was the orphan of a Smith couple, although when a child is bound out the court minute docket "most often" will say "orphan of ..." Possibly, the original indenture (if extant, is at the North Carolina State Archives) would have more information although the bond typically is the same as the minute docket entry.

Possibly Catawba County, NC, minutes and/or bastardy bonds show Eliza Smith as an unwed mother.

Thanks again for sharing,

Charlotte, NC

Thanks for the information about the Lincoln County Court of Pleas and Quarter Sessions. I didn't know such a document exists. I see that you have produced some books containing earlier transcribed records from this court.

Have you published the Lincoln County records for the 1830's?

Can you tell me about how to get to the Catawba County records?
Hi Mark,

Most pre-1910 North Carolina county records (originals or microfilms) are at the North State Archives in Raleigh. The Archives web site includes a list of the county records available held in that facility. Not all the Archives' holdings have been microfilmed, but those that have been (check the catalog) can be purchased (current price is $12.00 per reel). For another option, see next.

Microfilms of some North Carolina county records can be rented (current price $3.75) from the Family History Library in Salt Lake City. Visit the FHL's catalog at their website to review which films are available for rental.

I extracted some 1813-1852 items (bastardies, indentures, estates) from Lincoln County, NC, records for my personal files. I also have an index I prepared of Catawba County Probates 1843-1885. I reviewed these for the surnames of Bollinger/Bullinger, Leonard, Goins/Going/Gowens, and Smith. I did not locate anything in my materials other than Eliza Smith's 1837 indenture to Polly Bollinger that I already told you about.

Let me know if this helps with your questions.

Charlotte, North Carolina

To be continued....

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