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Ancestors of Charles Lee Baker

Parents of Eliza Mahaly Smith

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This page originally created on 15 Aug 2006.


Angie Baker Ryan and I have done a lot of searching and have traced Charles Lee Baker's line back to Eliza Smith. Look at the web site for all this information.

What that web page shows is Polly Bollinger and her adopted daughter, Eliza Smith, together in the 1840 census onward. Polly never married.

So where did Eliza come from? Was she a neighbor's daughter? Was she related? What happened to her parents? Did they die? Where did the name "Smith" come from?

I didn't think it would be possible to trace Eliza's parents. We are convinced that she was adopted by Polly. But back then, adoption was often not a formal process.

Well, I think I found Eliza's parents, grandparents, and great-grandparents.

I'd like to say upfront that some of this is circumstantial as the records are not good. But, to me, the evidence supporting my conclusions is overwhelming.

What we know about Eliza's parents and the woman who raised her

The cemetery records from the Cooper Mountain Evangelical Cemetery in Aloha, OR show her death on 7 Aug 1920 at the age of 87 years and 7 months. That would put her birth in Jan of 1833.

"The centennial history of Oregon, 1811-1912 : with notice of antecedent explorations" by Joseph Gaston, published Chicago : S.J. Clarke, 1912, FHL 979.5 H2g v. and 979.5 H2g v.2.

Centennial History of Oregon entry for George Miller and Mary Alice Smith contained this about Mary Alice Smith Miller, sister of Laura Ann Smith Baker who was Charles' mother:

"Mrs. Miller is a daughter of Daniel and Eliza (Goens) Smith, both of 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, but the mother, who has attained the venerable age of seventy-eight, has been making her home in Oregon with Mrs. Miller since 1891."

Eliza died in 1920 and is buried near Aloha, OR. I have a copy of Eliza's death certificate which lists her mother's family name as Lenard (probably Leonard). Her father's family name is not listed. George Miller, who was the informant listed on the death certificate, had to have known Eliza's mother's family name from somewhere. That is, he did not make it up, it must have been part of the family history.

The following quote was written by Mrs. Mary E. Eudy (Mary Ellen Bollinger [born about 1892], daughter of Sidney L. Bollinger (Sidney Bollinger was the son of Joseph who was the son of Legion who was the son of Christian Bollinger)) - sent to me by Tony Bollinger:

"Miss Polly Bollinger, the daughter of Christian Bollinger, lived in Catawba Co.  She raised Liz Smith.  She was living with the family of George Miller at the time of her death in 1880.  She was about the age of 90 years and was buried at Fairgrove [United Methodist] Church in Catawba Co."

This told us that Polly was not Eliza's birth mother. The quest for the parents of Eliza was on!

Update 9 Sep 2011. From a posting on to a query that I submitted to the Lincoln County Message board, I got this response from Kathy Gunter Sullivan that shows that Eliza was officially adopted:

Minutes of Lincoln County Court of Pleas and Quarter Sessions for September 1837: "Indentures: Ordered by Court that Eliza Smith be bound unto Polly Bollinger until she arrives to the age of 18 years."

See below for the entire posting.

My plan at the Family History Library

There are many books in the FHL that are not microfilmed. You can't get them anywhere except at the FHL. In August of 2006, Sally and I were in Salt Lake City to visit her daughter. I took a day off and headed to the Family History Library.

At the FHL, I started out looking for Daniel and Eliza Smith.

Lincoln Co NC Will Abstracts 1779-1910  FHL 975.6782 P28m

I searched in the index (which had all of the names found in the book). There was a "Smith" reference to an entry for Margaret Sebach. Click for full text.

#1096 Margaret Sebach, Will dated 25 Jul 1843, probate March 1848. Daughter Mary. To Eliza Mahaly Smith. EXEC. son Legion Bullinger. WIT. Henry Rhodes, Caleb Miller Book 2 pg 295.

This is Maria Margherita Runk who died on 3 Mar 1848. She married Christian Bollinger and, after his death, Jacob Seabaugh. "Daughter Mary" refers to Anna Mary "Polly" Bollinger. Son, Legion, is the brother of Polly. This is the first time we have seen Eliza's middle name - Mahaly. The 1920 census from Aloha, OR shows her middle initial as "M" and her surname as "Smith". In 1843, she would have been about 10-11 years old and certainly not married.

I learned from Glenn Miller that there was a family name of Mahaley living in and about (Salisbury) Rowan County, NC about this time. He said that the name was probably changed from Michaley when the family immigrated from Germany. Searching on shows a lot of Goins families in Rowan County. Glenn wrote:

I do have Mahaley (note different spelling) lineage. My father's grandmother was Annie Zeb Vance Mahaley ( Zeb Vance really was her middle name(s)). Her father was Julius Mahaley. They lived in Salisbury, NC. The name was apparently changed from Michaley to Mahaley when Julius' grandfather William immigrated from Germany in 1760.

Henry Rhodes appears next door to Oran Goins and Margaret Seabaugh in the 1840 census from Upper Regiment Militia, Lincoln, NC. Calib Miller appears next door to Jacob Leonard in the 1840 census from Upper Regiment Militia, Lincoln, NC.

Next to that was an entry for Jacob Sebach (Seabaugh) who died 22 Dec 1809. Click for full text.

#1095 Jacob Sebach, Will dated Nov 1804, probate Jan 1810. wife Margaret. His children and wife's children by her first husband: Jacob Sebach, Peter Sebach, Lionder Bollinger, Christian Bollinger, Susanna Bollinger, Anna Mary Bollinger. My youngest children John Sebach and Margaret Sebach. My other children: Catherina Sebach, Joseph Sebach, George Sebach, Magdalena Sebach, and Elizabeth Sebach. EXEC. Peter Hoyl, Henry Roth. WIT: Abraham Smith, Christian Sebach (no book or page reference).

Note: Anna Mary Bollinger is Polly. Lionder Bollinger is Legion.

Abraham Smith appears next door to Jacob Leonard in the the 1840 census from Upper Regiment Militia, Lincoln, NC.

Next to that, was an entry for Peter Seback who died 5 Nov 1865 (son of Jacob Sebach and his first wife, Catherine Runk):

#1097 Peter Seback, Will dated 14 Jun 1862, probate Jan 1866. Brother Jacob Saboch. Sister Elisabeth wife of Daniel Reep. To Peter Marshall Rhyne son of Esli Rhyne. EXEC. Esli Rhyne, WIT: Michael H. Costner, Jacob Plonk, Book 3, page 77.

This family is Seabaugh/Sebach. Jacob Seabaugh was the second husband of Maria Margherita Runk Bollinger.

My First Discovery and BIG CLUE #1

I continued my search for Goens. I looked for a family with father's name of Goens and mother's name of Leonard, having children in the 1830's.

I went to the section on Lincoln Co, NC. I picked a few books and looked through the index for Goens. I found the spelling had a few variations: Goens/Goins/Goin/Goings.

"Lincoln County Heritage 1997" by Lincoln County Historical Association (North Carolina) FHL 975.6782 H2L

An entry by Madge H. Philbeck,
716 Georgia Ave
Statesville, NC 28677


We know very little about the early history of our family. Members of the family were told that Aaron Goins and his brother Wiley came from Virginia (no proof).

The Marriage Bonds of Old Tyron-Lincoln Counties North Carolina by Bynum, tells us that a marriage bond filed for Arren Goings (Goins) and Ann Leonard with Elisha W. Roderick and M. W. Abernethy, witness, dated 10 Jan 1837.

The 1850 census lists Oran Goin, laborer, age 34; Anna, age 33 and Philip, age 8.

According to a great Aunt, Aaron lived in the "Old Beam House" and was killed by a tree while clearing a new ground. Ann died about 1894, the daughter of Jacob Leonard."

The article goes on to describe Madge's family connection through Aaron's son, Philip Pinkney Goins, born 14 Sep 1842. CLICK HERE for the full text. I've written Madge a couple of times but never received a reply.

Madge also wrote this to David Goings in the 1990's:

My grandmother, Sarah Goins, told members of my family that Aaron Goins and his brother, Wiley, came to North Carolina from Virginia. Aaron, who was a millwright, married Ann Leonard, who is believed to be the daughter of Jacob Leonard. According to Grandmother, they had two children: Phillip and Ann Goins. Aaron, who lived in the "old Beam house," was killed by a tree while clearing a new ground.

My great aunt says that Aaron and Ann Goins had only one child whose name was Phillip. Ann died when my aunt, who was born in 1884, was about ten years old, so Ann died about 1894.

"Marriage Bonds of Tyron & Lincoln Counties, North Carolina"  FHL 975.678 v28b

pg 50: Arren Goins (Goings), Ann Leonard, Surety: Elisha W. Roderick, Witness: M.W. Abernathy 10 Jan 1837

"Marriage Records of Lincoln Co, North Carolina 1873-1866" FHL 975.6782 v28i

Aaren Goings, Ann Leonard 10 Jan 1837

To me, this was the first piece of the puzzle. This HAD to be Eliza's parents. In my searching of many books at the FHL, this was the only time I found a family with the father named Goins and the mother named Leonard. I'll call this BIG CLUE #1.

This was a circumstantial clue, was there anything else I could find to support it?

I surmise that Aaron Goins and Ann Leonard had a baby about 1832 - that baby was Eliza. Why was the baby adopted by Polly Bollinger?

I needed more data.

My Next Discovery and BIG CLUE #2

So now I had some names (and various spellings - don't put too much weight on the spellings Arron/Orrin/Orin/Oran are all the same person), I searched the US Census and here is a summary of what I found, my comments in (italics):

1800 Lincoln County, NC
See Note below.
not found Jacob Seabaugh, over 45y
female, 26-44y (Maria Margherita "Margaret" Runk Bollinger Seabaugh)
male child, 16-25y
male child, 10-15y
male child, 10-15y
male child, under 10y
female child, under 10y
female child, under 10y
1810 Lincoln County, NC
See Note below.
not found Margaret Seabaugh (3 in family)(her two husbands were dead)
female child under 10y (Levitha Seabaugh)
male child under 10y (Jacob Seabaugh)
female 26-44y (Maria Margherita "Margaret" Runk b 1760)

Henry Rhodes (8 in family)
male child, under 10y
male child, under 10y
male child, 1-15y
male child, 16-25y
male over 45y (Henry Rhodes)
female child, under 10y
female child, 16-25y
female child, 16-25y
female over 45y

Philip Leonard
male under 10y
male under 10y
male under 10y
male 10-15y
male 10-15y
male 10-15y
male 16-25y
male over 45y (Philip Leonard would be 36y)
female 26-44y (Magdalena Long)
1820 Lincoln County, NC
See Note below.
not found Peter Seaboch
male 26-44y (Peter Seaboch)
female 26-44y
(West of the South Fork of the Catawba River, Lincoln, NC)

Phil Leonard
male under 10y
male under 10y
male 10-16y
male 10-16y
male 16-25y
male over 45y (Philip Leonard would be 46y)
female under 10y
female under 10y
female 10-15y
female over 45y (Magdalena Long would be 43y)
1830 Lincoln County, NC
See Note below.
not found

Comment from Madge Philbeck in the book "Lincoln County Heritage 1997" : "We know very little about the early history of our family. Members of the family were told that Aaron Goins and his brother Wiley came from Virginia (No proof)."
Jacob Leonard 30-39y
male 20-29y
female 20-29y (must be Margaret "Peggy" Seabaugh b 1801)
female 15-19y
male 5-9y
female 5-9y
female 5-9y
male child, under 5y
1840 Upper Regiment Militia,
Lincoln County, NC
See Note below.
Henry Rhodes (page 108 of 144)

Oran Goins, 20-29y (page 108 of 144)
female, 20-29y (must be Ann Leonard)
male child, under 5y (this child must have died before the 1850 census.)

Margaret Seabaugh, 80-89y (Maria Margherita Runk Bollinger Seabaugh) (page 108 of 144)
female, 40-49y (Polly Bollinger)
female child 5-9y (Eliza Mahaly Goins (Smith) )

(Henry Rhodes, Oran Goins and Margaret Seabaugh are listed on adjacent lines)

Jeremiah Smith 40-49y (page 110 of 144)
female 30-40y (Sarah Goins Smith b 1803 - Arron Goins' sister)
female 60-69y (Martha Goins - b 1771 - Arron and Sarah Goins' mother)
7 children

John Goans, 30-39y (John Goens b 1811) (page 94 of 144)
male, under 5y
male, 5-9y
female, under 5y
female, 20-29y

Daniel Workman 60-70y (page 94 of 144)

David Beam 40-50y "the old Beam house" (see note in next row about Peggy Leonard.) (page 94 of 144)

Daniel Seagle 40-50y (page 94 of 144)

Reep (Daniel Reep married Elizabeth Seabaugh b 1778, d/o Jacob Seabaugh and Catherine Runk) (page 94 of 144)

Rudolph Rhodes (page 94 of 144)
Jacob Leonard, 40-49y
male 40-49y
female, 30-39y (must be Margaret "Peggy" Seabaugh b 1801)
male child, 15-19y
female child, 15-19y
male child, 5-9y
female child, 5-9y
male child, under 5y
female child, under 5y

Christian Bollinger 50-59y b 1784
female 20-29y
female child, 5-9y
male child, under 5y
male child, under 5y

(Jacob Leonard, Christian Bollinger, Calib Miller and Abraham Smith are listed only a few lines apart)

Henry Rhodes 30-39y
1850 Lincoln County, NC Oran Goin, 34y, b 1816 (page 94 of 136)
Anna Goin, 33y, b 1817 (Ann Leonard)
Phillip Goin, 8y, b 1842

Henry Workman, 25y (page 90 of 136)
Sarah Workman, 28y (Sarah Goins b 1825, sister of Aaron and Wily)
John Workman, 2y
Sarah. A. Workman 5m
Wily Goins, 40y (Aaron's brother)(wife Anna Goodman probably died before 1850)
Mahaly C. Goins, 10y (Wily's daughter)
Louisa Goins, 8y (Wily's daughter)

(Henry Workman's family and Wily Goins' family lived in the same house)

Polly Bollinger, 39y (page 89 of 136)
Eliza Smith, 17y.

(Polly and Eliza lived close to William Roderick and Henry Rhodes)

Henry Rhodes, 50y (page 89 of 136)
Catherine, 48y
6 chilldren

Martha Goin, 79y (b 1771 - living with family of:) (page 93 of 136)
Jeremiah Smith, 50y (page 93 of 136)
Sarah Smith, 47y (Arron & Wiley's sister Sarah Goins, b 1803) (and seven children)

(Martha Goin is most likely the mother of Sarah Goins who married Jeremiah Smith. So she would also be the mother of Aaron and Wiley. She appearently had two daughters named Sarah, one born in 1803 and one born in 1825.)
Jacob Leonard, 52y, farmer, 1000 acres
Peggy Leonard, 48y (Margaret "Peggy" Seabaugh b 1801)
William Leonard, 21y, farmer
Mary "Polly" Leonard, 18y
Caleb Leonard, 16y
Sarah Leonard, 12y
Carolina (Emeline?) Leonard, 10y
Martin Shufford, 52y, laborer

About: Margaret "Peggy" Seabaugh Leonard : Leonard Research by Philip Leonard, of Wash, DC - pp 1, 80-90, 176: "Margaret ("Peggy") Saypaugh/Seaboch was born on December 12, 1801, and died on October 3, 1871. She is buried at Daniels Church in the row with Franklin Leonard. Her parents were evidently Jacob Seaboch and his wife Margaret. Great Uncle Gaston Leonard also said that she was born and reared in the old house that stands back from the road--in a very diplapidated condition in 1977--above the abandoned Beam's Cotton Gin and below the house of Marsh Goins."

Aaron Goins was born in Virginia about 1816 of parents unknown, according to the research of Madge Goins Wood Philbeck, a descendant of Statesville, North Carolina. She wrote of him in “The Goins Family of Lincoln County, North Carolina:”

“My grandmother, Sarah Goins, told members of my family that Aaron Goins and his brother, Wiley Goins, came to North Carolina from Virginia. Aaron, who was a millwright, married Ann Leonard, who is believed to be the daughter of Jacob Leonard. According to Grandmother, they had two children: Phillip and Ann Goins. Aaron, who lived in the “old Beam house,” was killed by a tree falling on him while clearing a new ground.

Franklin Leonard, 30y, farmer,
Barbara Leonard, 22y
Elizabeth Leonard, 2y
A.J.P. Leonard, 9m
1860 Summers, Caldwell County, NC

1860 Lincoln County, NC

1860 Catawba County, NC

1860 Cleveland County, NC

Orrin Gowins, 44y
Willie Gowins, 50y
Ann Gowins, 42y (Ann Leonard, b 1818, wife of Orrin) listed as "Cannot Read,Write".
Phillip Gowins, 18y (Orrin and Ann's son)
Louisa Gowins, 15y
(Wily's daughter)

Henry Workman, 35y
Sarah Workman, 30y, b 1825
John A. Workman, 13y
Sarah Workman, 11y
Susannah Workman, 9y
Daniel W. Workman, 6y

Sarah Smith, 56y (Orrin's sister b 1803)
Jeremiah Smith, 65y
6 children

John Goins 49y, millwright, b 1811
Mary Clippard Goins 33y
John C Goins 14y
Lucinda Goins 12y
Daniel Gions 10y
Benjamin Franklin Goins 8y
Miles H Goins 6y
Philip E Goins 4y
Mary E Goins 2y
Sophie Goins 3m
Probably siblings of John:
Joseph Goins 26y
Michael Goins 18y
Nancy Goins 22y
Jacob Leonard, 63y
Margaret Leonard, 59y (Margaret Seabaugh)
Caleb Leonard, 23y
Sarah Leonard, 21y
Emaline Leonard, 18y
Margaret S. Leonard, 3y
1870 Lincoln County, NC Wily Goins, 64y, b 1806 (Aaron's brother)
Louisa Goins, 25y, b 1845
Annie Goins, 51y, b 1819, "Lives with nephew" (Ann Leonard, remember her husband Aaron, was killed by a falling tree in the 1860's.)

Phillip Goins, 27y, b 1843 (Aaron's son)
Elizabeth Clippard Goins, 28y, b 1842 (possibly the sister of Mary C. Clippard who married John M. Goins)
Ida Goins, 3y
David A. Goins, 1m
Jacob Leonard, 70y
Margaret Leonard, 69y (Margaret Seabaugh)
Sarah Leonard, 31y
Charlie Leonard, 13y
Susannah Leonard, 11y
Jennie Leonard, 6y
Ida Leonard, 2y

(Charlie, Susannah, Jennie and Ida could not be the children of Jacob and Margaret because they are too young. I believe they are the children of Sarah. It appears that Sarah never married. Jacob's 1875 will refers to daughter, Sarah, and grandchild "Charley A. Leonard")
1870 Hickory, Cawtaba County, NC Polly Bollinger, 73y
Eliza Smith, 33y
Alice Smith, 10y
Laura Smith 8y

(Nearby was Michael and Minerva Bollinger)
1880 Lincoln County, NC Phillip Goins, 36y, b 1844 (Aaron's son)
Elizabeth Goins, 37y
Ida Goins, 13y
David Goins, 11y
Charlie Goins, 5y
Sarah Goins, 2y
Oscar Goins, 7m

Annie Goins, 56y (Ann Leonard - I think)
Louisa M. Goins, 30y, niece (Wiley's daughter whose mother died about 1848-50)
Daniel Workman, 22y, nephew (Annie's sister Sarah's son)
Sarah Leonard, 41y (living with Catherina Leonard, 48y)
Ida Leonard, 14y
Sarah A. Leonard, 6y
William S. Leonard, 3m
1900 Lincoln County, NC Louisa Goins, 52y (living with Johnson family, Wiley's daughter)

Phillip Goins, 57y
Elizabeth Goins, 51y
Ida L. Goins, 33y
Charlie M. Goins, 27y
Oscar A. Goins 20y
Alice E. Goins, 18y
Lelia M. Goins, 15y
Sarah Leonard, 62y, widowed
Sallie A. Leonard, 26y
Liebe W. Leonard, 20y (probably Leslie William Leonard)

(Note: Remember that the 1840 and earlier census only list the name of the head of the household - I've added the other names.).

Lots of bits to this clue.

In the 1840 census, we see Polly Bollinger and Eliza (Smith) Goins living next door to Eliza's real parents, Oran/Arren/Arron Goins and his wife Ann Leonard. They had a male child under 5 years old who does not appear in any of the other later census so he must have died before 1850. I'll call this BIG CLUE #2.

From the 1850 census data, Arron was born in 1816 and Ann was born in 1817. In 1832, they would have been 16y and 15y old - and not married. Eliza was born out of wedlock. Arron Goins and Ann Leonard most likely gave up their baby!

But why to Polly?  Did Polly adopt Eliza because she was a neighbor? What was really going on?


In the 1850 census, we see Arron's brother, Wily Goins, and his two daughters, Mahaly and Louisa. We saw the name Mahaly as Eliza's middle name in Margaret Seabaugh's will from 1843 (maiden name: Maria Margherita Runk). Mahaly may be a family name. For both Wily and Arron Goins to use that name in naming one of their children convinces me more that Arron Goins is Eliza's father. I'll call this BIG CLUE #2½.

My Last Discovery and REALLY BIG CLUE #3

"Lincoln Co Marriages", 1783-1866 FHL 975.6782 v28i

Jacob Leonard, Margarett Saypaugh, 25 Dec 1827

Remember that in the book "Lincoln County Heritage 1997", Madge H. Philbeck wrote that Ann Leonard's father's name was Jacob Leonard.

Almost without a doubt, this is Margaret Seabaugh (or Sebach), the daughter of Maria Margaritha Runk (Runck) and her second husband, Jacob Seabaugh. These must be the parents of Ann Leonard. Ann was born in 1817 but this marriage bond was 1827. I'll call this REALLY BIG CLUE #3.

Also remember that Maria Margaretha Runk was first married to Christian Bollinger and they are the parents of Polly Bollinger.

Can you see the family tree forming?

Eliza Mahaly (Smith) Goins was born out of wedlock in 1832 to Arron Goins and Ann Leonard (BIG CLUE #1). Arron was about 16 years old and Ann was about 15 years old. Arron and Ann did get married 5 years later in 1837. They went on to have two more children, a male child born about 1838 (who appears in the 1840 census but not in the 1850 census) and Phillip Pinkney Goins, born in 1842 (who does appear in the 1850 census and has a family line traced down to the present).

In 1840, after Polly adopted Eliza, they still lived next door to Eliza's birth parents (BIG CLUE #2).

Ann Leonard was the daughter of Jacob Leonard and Margaret Seabaugh (REALLY BIG CLUE #3). Ann was born in 1817 when Jacob was about 17 years old and Margaret was about 16 years old. Ann must have also been born out of wedlock - Jacob and Margaret were married in 1827. They went on to have many more children, the first, William Pickney Leonard, in 1829.

Maria Margaritha Runk was the mother of both Polly Bollinger (with first husband Christian Bollinger) and Margaret Seabaugh (with second husband Jacob Seabaugh).

So Polly and Margaret were half-sisters --- Polly Bollinger adopted the grandchild of her half-sister - Margaret Seabaugh - and that child was ELIZA MAHALY GOINS.

For me this was the final clue that convinced me that all this circumstantial evidence pointed in this one direction. Polly didn't adopt Eliza "out of the blue", they were related.

Click here for full size image of the Family Tree with more up-to-date information than the small image above (large 2MB+ JPG file).

NOTE: much of the information on the chart above was gleaned from the following Census pages:

1800 Jacob Seabaugh, Lincoln County, NC
1810 Margaret Seabaugh, Lincoln County, NC
1820 Peter Seaboch, West of the South Fork of the Catawba River, Lincoln, NC
1830 Jacob Leonard, Lincoln County, NC
1840 Jacob Leonard, Upper Regiment Militia, Lincoln County, NC
1840 John Goins, Upper Regiment Militia, Lincoln County, NC
1850 Jacob Leonard, Lincoln County, NC
1850 Martha Goin, Lincoln County, NC
1850 Wily Goins, Lincoln County, NC
1850 Arron Goin, Lincoln County, NC
1860 Jacob Leonard, Lincoln County, NC
1870 Jacob Leonard, Rhodesville, Lincoln County, NC
1870 Phillip Goins, Rhodesville, Lincoln County, NC
1880 Sarah Leonard, Howards Creek, Lincoln County, NC

Adoption of Eliza by Polly Bollinger

After years of thinking that we would never find a record of the adoption of Eliza by Polly, I 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 Carolina 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, 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.

Mark's note: You can see the index to the microfilms of the Minutes of the County Court of Lincoln County, NC 1779-1868 here:

I searched these microfilms for the years 1832/33 and I could not find any mention of Eliza Smith's birth.

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

Thanks, I reviewed the films and books available on the LDS site. I see the court records from the Court of Pleas and Quarter Sessions. The items on film, I will get sent to our local FHC. The books will have to wait for a trip to SLC.

Thanks, Mark
27 Jan 2012 Followup:

I wrote to the NC Department of Cultural Resources, Archive and Records Section.  I was hoping to find a birth record or the original indenture order which might have the names of Eliza's parents. They said that the level and amount of research necessary to answer the query is beyond the scope of their Correspondence Unit. They suggested that I hire a private researcher. That is something for the future.'s "DNA Match" results

I sent this to two of Sally's former Baker cousins:

From:    Mark DiVecchio <>
To:    Emily Frisch <>, Jeremy Baker <>
Subject:    New Ancestry DNA Feature
Date sent:    Tue, 01 Nov 2022 09:04:20 -0700

Emily and Jeremy, has a new analysis of DNA available. They now claim that they can group people into the maternal or paternal sides of your ancestry. They call it "DNA Matches".

For me and my Italian roots, it seems to work pretty well. Being that both of my parents came from small isolated towns in the mountains of Italy, the surnames of each town are completly different and it is pretty easy to confirm that split between towns shows up in the surnames.

And for Sally, we can see her "new" ancestors clearly on her mother's side (that is,  Davis' and Kennedy's).

So I took a look at Charlene's results. I don't know much about her mother's side and her tree on that side is full of names that I don't recognize.

But on her father's, Charles Lee Baker, side, I see all of the Baker descendants that we know - Jessica Baker, Patricia Slimbarski, Kay Lambert, Kimberly Shires. And of course, you, Jeremy.

Ancestry has a third category for this analysis, "Both sides". Here we see descendants of Charlene, like you Emily and your immediate family.

What is interesting is when I look at the Baker side, I see what to me is more confirmation that Eliza Mahaly Goins was the out-of-wedlock daughter of Ann Leonard and Arron Goins.

1. There are a dozen people connected to Maria Margherita Runk (who would be Eliza's great-grandmother).

2. There are people descendant from Polly Leonard who would be Ann Leonard's sister.

3. There are people descendant from John Phillip Leonard and Magdalena Long who would be Ann Leonard's grandparents.

4. There are people descendant from Philip Pinkney Goins who would be Eliza's half-brother.

5. There are people descentant from Sarah (Sallie) Goins who would be Arron Goins' sister.

I still may be wrong so more confirmation is required.


What we still don't know

The Centennial History of Oregon says that Eliza married Daniel Smith. We don't know anything about him or if he even existed. If he didn't, we don't know the origin of the Smith name. Eliza had three daughters so if Daniel is not the father, who is? The Centenial History of Oregon says that Daniel died in 1863 but Eliza's daughter Lon/Lori was born in 1871.

I'm putting everying I know about Daniel Smith on his own web page.

Other bits and pieces:

"Lincoln Co NC Will Abstracts 1779-1910"  FHL 975.6782 P28m. Click for full text.

#718 Jacob Leonard, Will dated 15 Mar 1875, probate 9 Mar 1878. Grandchild Charley A. Leonard. Daughter Sarah Leonard. EXEC. Franklin Leonard. WIT. D.A. Coon, George Coon, Book 4, page 184.

"Catawba Co Will Book, 1817-1867" Vol 1, FHL 975.6785 P2s

Pg 66, 1-139
Will of Legion Bollinger, 28 Jan 1854
wife: Catharine
sons: Jacob A. Bollinger, Joseph F. Bollinger
6 children:
M. Bollinger
J.A. Bollinger
L.L Bollinger
J.F. Bollinger
Polly Bolch
Anna Bowman

North Carolina Marriage Collection, 1741-2000

Name:     Wiley Goins
Spouse:   Elizabeth Clippard
Marriage Date:     3 Mar 1829
Marriage County:     Lincoln
Marriage State:     North Carolina
Source Vendor:     County Court Records Lincolnton, NC and FHL # 0873860 item 21

Name:     Sarah Goins
Spouse:   Henry Workman
Marriage Date:     28 Aug 1847
Marriage County:     Lincoln
Marriage State:     North Carolina
Source Vendor:     County Court Records Lincolnton, NC and FHL # 0873860 item 21

Name:     Ann Leonard
Spouse:   Aaron Goings
Marriage Date:     10 Jan 1837
Marriage County:     Lincoln
Marriage State:     North Carolina
Source Vendor:     County Court Records Lincolnton, NC and FHL # 0873860 item 21

Name:     Jacob Leonard
Spouse:   Margarett Saypaugh
Marriage Date:     25 Dec 1827
Marriage County:     Lincoln
Marriage State:     North Carolina
Source Vendor:     County Court Records Lincolnton, NC and FHL # 0873860 item 21

Another family tree

There a family tree on  :

that lists Ann Leonard  (1817-1894). In this tree, her parents are listed as John Phillip Leonard and her mother was Magdalena Long.

Other Links

Here are links to web site for some of these people:

Margaret Seaboch who married Jacob Leonard
Maria Margaretha Runk who married Christian Bollinger and Jacob Seabaugh
Legion Bollinger who was the son of Christian Bollinger and Maria Margaritha Runk
Family of Christian Bollinger and Maria Margaretha Runk
Sarah Leonard, daughter of Jacob Leonard and Margaret Seabaugh
Jacob Leonard who married Margaret Seabaugh (daughter of Maria Margherita Runk)
Margaret (Maria Margreth?) Runk who married Christian Bollinger and Jacob Seabaugh
Christian Bollinger who married Margaret Runk (Runck)
Christopher Seabaugh father of Jacob Seabaugh

Statler Family Web site : - Goin Family Website

Aaron and Wiley Goins and a lot of family data.

Here are links to for some of these people - Note that a subscription may be required to access these records:

Phillip Pinkney Goins who was the brother of Eliza Mahaly (Smith) Goins
Phillip Pinkney Goins - another tree
Aaron Goins
Columbus Goins and Mary Lucinda Vick  This tree along with several others on show Columbus Goins and Mary Lucinda Vick as the parents of Wiley, Aaron and John Goings. There is no source information about these people on any tree that I could find on There is another Columbus Goins (b ~1845) who married a Mary Lucinda Vick (b ~1846) - that family lived in SC. It is possible that these families were confused. I received this information from David Goings in Sep of 2011. David is descendant from John M. Goins who only might be the brother of Wiley and Aaron. David has not found proof of that yet.

General Notes (These may be out of date and are here for reference ONLY).


This site prepared and maintained by Mark DiVecchio

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