THE SMITHS OF ABRAHAM, W.VA.
George Washington Smith Sr. and Catherine Bennett
Updated 14 Aug 2015
George Washington Smith Sr. (12 Dec 1826/19 Jan 1862) and Catherine (Kate) Bennett (November 1825, Greenbrier County, W.Va./07 Nov 1904 Raleigh County) were married 13 April 1848 in Fayette County, W.Va. (Photo of Catherine shared by Cousin Susan.) George Sr. was a son of Jacob Smith Sr. and second wife Jane Kincaid. (Jacob Smith had 25 children: 12 with wife Susan Campbell and 13 with Jane. See articles about four of Jacob's children, Ann, Nancy, Jacob Jr. and James Smith and an article about Jacob Sr.'s reinterment under Smith articles near the bottom of this page. Note: There are pictures of George's half brother Washington Smith and wife Elizabeth Moore on Find a Grave.)
It is believed that George Sr. served in the Confederate cavalry and died in the U.S. Civil War during the Battle of Gauley Mountain, Fayette County, W.Va. A monument with the following inscription was put in place on his grave by descendants Charlie Jones and Denny Todd, according to one of George’s granddaughters:
KILLED IN BATTLE OF GAULEY MOUNTAIN
IN THE WAR BETWEEN THE STATES
Family historian David Smith of Grafton, W.Va., (see tribute, In Memory) in a March 11, 1999, letter to Dale McLaughlin, wrote:
"...Mr. Jones, not living from Baltimore, from General Marion (Smith) line said when he was in high school he did a history report and asked his Uncle George W. Smith Jr. what killed his dad and he said he was shot off a horse fighting for the south. Mr. Jones said he did some research and the date of his death matches the Battle of Gauley Mountain. Mr. Jones did get the Tombstone before he died so the information would not be lost. Another side of General Marion family that lived in Meadow Creek said he (George Sr.) was killed in a logging accident. I do know that an old Ral. Fay. (Raleigh Fayette) Gen. News Letter listed a George Smith killed in Fay. Co. as a Confederate, but I do not know if this is (our) George. This information was (gotten) several years ago by the Daughters of the Confederacy at the Fay. Co. Court House."
George and Catherine's home
A caption to a photo at Raleigh County Landmarks: Abraham home of George Sr. and Kate reads: As far as we know, this is the oldest existing home in Raleigh County. That site seems to be gone. But the same picture is on New River WV album 44. Photo taken by great granddaughter E.M. Smith during the Smith Sr. house renovation in 1974. A Hinton Daily News, Summers County, W.Va., article, 05 Nov 1974, written by Ms. Smith:
Smith Descendants Repair
‘Oldest House In Abraham’
Descendants of George Smith are restoring the house he built in Richmond District at least 120 years ago.
Earl and Carl Bennett, both of Beckley , are painting, leveling, underpinning and repairing the roof of the house where they spent part of their childhood.
Earl Bennett said he believes the house is the oldest standing in Richmond District. It was put together with logs and pegs and inside the ceiling joists were made by a whip saw.
George Smith, who the descendants think is the original builder, had several children including Marion Smith and George Washington Smith.
Marion ’s daughter, Effie Smith Bennett, and her husband David also lived in the house. Their children included Earl and Carl, who now jointly own the house, Mrs. Ruth Pack and Mrs. Sona Pack, both of Nimitz, Mrs. Stella Adkins, Shady Spring, Dexter Plumley (of) Abraham, Noah, White Oak, Kyle of Delaware, John, Beckley, and Edward and Homer, Cleveland , Ohio .
Mrs. Bennett, 83, is now a patient in Pinecrest Hospital .
The house is in Abraham overlooking New River . The brothers plan to put siding on the ends of the house but leave the front and back logs exposed.
The house has been empty for ten years since Mrs. Sona Pack, the fourth generation, lived there.
Earl Bennett said that his main reason for restoring the old house is “for my grandchildren.”
Newspaper photo caption: RESTORATION OF OLD HOUSE – A house in Abraham which is reported to be over 120 years old is being renovated by descendants of the original builder, George Smith. Pictured here are Oather Todd, an Abraham resident who’s helping with repairs, Jessie Adkins, Beckley, who is also a Smith descendent, Earl Bennett, Beckley, part owner and great grandson of George Smith, his brother Noah Bennett, and Earl Smith, a grandson, both of White Oak. (See story on page one).
NOTE: Three of their sons -- Ervin, Marion and George Jr. -- operated Smith Brothers, a large general merchandise store, in Abraham, W.Va.
Children of George Sr. and Kate
- FRANCES "FRANKY" SMITH. According to "Our Families: Shuck, Fleshman, Sydenstricker, Smith, Lewis, Kincaid, Keister, et. al., of West Virginia" by Larry G. Shuck, (Gateway Press Inc., Baltimore, MD, 1995), pages 114-115, Franky was born in 1849 in Fayette County, W.Va., married William H. Meadows and William Carter. I haven't been able to find any records of her birth, marriage or death. The 1870 federal census shows Frances and William Meadows living in Fayette County with their sons Lewis M. and Marion Meadows. Apparently the boys adopted their stepfather's last name. Franky's children:
1. Marion (Meadows) Carter, born in March 1868 (U.S. Census, 1900). There is a 1921 Fayette County death record for Marion Carter, 53, single, who died in McKendree. The cause of death was "dialation of heart.". However, there was an article in a local paper (Back Broken, The Raleigh Register, Beckley, W.Va., Oct. 14, 1921, Page 2. Reprint from Montgomery News) about Marion Carter who was in critical condition in McKendree Hospital after he broke his back while painting the Buck Lick store.
2. Lewis Marshall (Meadows) Carter, born in Dec 1869 (U.S. Census, 1900)/W.Va.; died 15 Jun 1938/Fayette Co.. Death certificate. Lewis married Virginia "Jennie" Bennett.
3. Sarah Katherine Carter, born 28 Jan 1870/West Virginia; died 29 Mar 1928/ Quinnimont, Fayette County, W.Va. Sarah married John Goddard in 1897 in Summers County, W.Va. Source: West Virginia Vital Research Records online.
4. Nancy A. Carter, born 1874
5. Rachel E. Carter, born 1876.
6. Mary E. Carter, born 1878.
7. Rebecca E. Carter, born 1879.
- NANCY JANE SMITH. According to Our Families, Page 123, Nancy was born 20 Apr 1852, Fayette County, and died 09 Jan 1893, Fayette County. She married Joseph Henry Adkins. on 22 Oct 1868 in Raleigh County. Joseph was born in 1832 and died 19 Jul 1891 in Raleigh County. Nancy was buried in New Salem Missionary Baptist Church Cemetery. Find A Grave Memorial# 70446990. Their children (from Our Families):
1. Henry Jackson Adkins, born 1868.
2. Rebecca Adkins, born 03 Jan 1869 in Raleigh County, according to Raleigh County, West Virginia Birth Records, 1853-75, and her tombstone. Married Lewis Marshall Bennett on 17 Sep 1886. Rebecca Adkins Bennett, 25, died on 20 Apr 1894, the day she gave birth to her fourth child, Rosa. The cause listed on the Raleigh County death record was consumption. On 13 May 1894, less than a month later, baby girl Rosa died. The cause of death was hives. Death record. Rebecca's other children were Bertie, 1887 birth record; William, 1891 birth record; and Clarence, 1889 birth record, obituary. On 29 Aug 1894, Lewis married Rachel Adkins in Raleigh County. Marriage record. Rebecca and sons Clarence and William are buried in New Salem Missionary Baptist Church Cemetery, Abraham, Raleigh County, W.Va. Find A Grave Memorial# 70447027
3. Buchannon Adkins, born 1870.
4. Richard Adkins, born 1872.
5. Jane Adkins, born July 1876 at New River, Fayette County.
6. Vania Adkins, born 1879.
- MARY ANN SMITH. Born 21 Apr 1858/died 19 Dec 1934. (Sources: tombstone, New Salem Missionary Baptist Church Cemetery (New Salem), Abraham, W.Va., and death certificate. Find a Grave link.) Mary Ann married John Robert Plumley on 24 Jul 1873 in Raleigh County. (Source: Dodd, Jordan, comp.. West Virginia Marriage Records, 1863-1900.) John was born 18 Dec 1853. (Tombstone. New Salem Missionary Baptist Church Cemetery, Abraham, W.Va. Find A Grave Memorial# 14759187) J.R. Plumley, 46 year old farmer, husband of Mary A. Plumley, died of fever on 18 Mar 1899 in Raleigh County, according to his death record. Photo of Mary Ann Smith and John Robert "Bob" Plumley. (Shared by Hope Plumley Heller.)
- MARTHA SMITH RICHMOND. Born 18 Aug 1865, according to her death certificate and tombstone. Note: Martha's birth year is 1862 in Our Families, Page 114. She died of "fever" at age 34 on 17 Mar 1900 in Raleigh County, W.Va., after the 08 March birth of her youngest child Everette. Martha was the wife of Charles "Charley" Richmond. The 1900 federal census of Richmond District, Raleigh Co., W.Va., taken in June, shows Catherine Smith, 74, living with the motherless Richmond family. Martha and husband Charley are buried in New Salem. Death record link. Find a Grave link. Charley Richmond Taken by Death; Rites Set Monday, 1952. Charley Richmond's birth record. Children of Charley and Martha, from a list provided by a great granddaughter (thank you, Wanda L.):
1. Ladona May Richmond, born 22 Feb 1886 in Raleigh County. Birth record. Ladona, 16, died of consumption on 22 Sep 1902 at Pear, Raleigh County, according to her death record. The tombstone she shares with her mother in New Salem has her death date as 21 Feb 1902. Find a Grave link.
2. Emma Frances Richmond, 15 Sept 1888, Pear, W.Va./15 Mar 1965, Oak Hill, W.Va. Birth record She married Everette Zachary Buckland (1885-1945) in 1908. Marriage record. Emma Buckland's obituary. Find a Grave link.
3. Della Lorna Richmond, 21 March 1890 at Abraham/died 01 Dec 1951 in Beckley Hospital. Death certificate. Della L. Richmond, 19, married George W. Plumley, 20, in 1909 in Raleigh County. Marriage record. She later married Walter Adkins. Walter and Della are buried in the Adkins Family Cemetery at Pluto, W.Va., "on the old farmstead," according to a family member.
4. Estella Richmond, 03 Feb 1893/20 Dec 1982. (Source for birth date: Social Security Death Index. Death date: family member.) Her name is also seen as "Stella Dare Richmond." Estella Dair Richmond, 19, married Kenzie Sylvester Patton, 21, in 1912 in Raleigh County. Marriage record. Kensie was born 1 Sep 1890 in Eccles, W.Va., according to World War I and II draft records. He died in March 1966, according to the Social Security Death Index. Mr. Patton was a former mayor of Meadow Bridge, W.Va. Obituaries.
5. Charlie Emmett Richmond Jr., 01 Jan 1896, Raleigh County, W.Va./08 July 1979 in Tennessee. Birth record: Charley Emette Richmond, Corrected 9/11/45, Bible record & Father's Affidavit. Social Security Death Index: Charley E. Richmond. Birth: 1 Jan 1896. Death: 9 Jul 1979 (note different date) - Mountain Home, Washington, Tennessee.
6. Merrida Elliott Richmond, 01 Jun 1898, Raleigh County/27 Dec 1979, Union, W.Va. Birth record. In 1917, he married Edith Mina Eskew, who died 13 March 1979. Marriage record.
7. Everette Roosevelt Richmond, 08 Mar 1900 at Pear, W.Va./12 Sept 1968. Birth record. Everette, 43, divorced, married Margie E. Higginbotham, 25, in Fayette County, W.Va., in 1943. Marriage record. Obituaries.
- WILLIAM BALLARD SMITH. According to Our Families, William was born in 1852/died in 1907 in Raleigh County and was married twice, to Rebecca C. Plumley and Catherine Plumley Bennett. Photo of William Ballard Smith and Catherine. (Contributed by Dale M.)
- GENERAL MARION SMITH. Born 05 Mar 1854/died 28 Jan 1924. He married Frances Plumley, daughter of Washington and Catherine Plumley, on 15 May 1873. (Source: "Marriage Records of Raleigh County West Virginia 1850-1910" compiled by Ronald Ray Turner.) They are buried in New Salem. Find a Grave link. Marion and Frances Smith. (Photo contributed by Barbara.) Marion Smith's obituary. Four of their children died within a few weeks: Research notes on the deaths of the Smith children in 1898, revised 09 Dec 2011. Smith children death record. Diphtheria epidemic: 1887 Year of Tragedy In Richmond District, Part 1 Part 2 Part 3, by Pauline Haga, Post Herald, 13 Aug 1974. All of their children were born in Raleigh County, according to Our Families.
1. John M. Smith, born 31 Mar 1874. John, 16 months old, died of fever on 20 Aug 1875. Death record.
2. Mary Catherine Smith, born 19 April 1877. Mary married Benjamin Franklin Jones in 1896 in Raleigh County. Marriage certificate. She died at age 63 on 13 Nov 1940 in Raleigh County. Death certificate. Mr. Jones, born 09 Jan 1880 in Floyd County, Va., a son of Ira Jones (death certificate) and wife Cordelia "Billie" Booth, died 30 Aug 1957 in Beckley, Raleigh County. (B.F. Jones obituary) Mr. and Mrs. Jones are buried in the New Salem cemetery, Abraham. Find a Grave Memorial# 21382068. Children:
Ermen William Jones (delayed birth certificate, death notice, family “thank you” ad ), husband of Della Bennett, (Find A Grave Memorial# 90913560);
Charles Davis Jones, (Find A Grave Memorial# 108362717),married Letha A. Plumley, daughter of Lemon William Plumley and wife Virginia "Jennie" Bennett in 1934 (marriage record, Find A Grave) and Margaret Lee Greene in 1951 (marriage record, Find A Grave);
Ira B. Jones (obituary), husband of Thelma Burford Jones (obituary) daughter of H.T. and Amanda Burford;
James Arlie Jones (Find A Grave Memorial# 21382534);
Juddie Jones, husband of Effie Kelly Jones, daughter of James Kelly, (see James under Martha A. Vest, Vest page) (marriage record, Find A Grave Memorial# 21382538);
Letha M. Jones Todd (1903-88. Find A Grave 128344969), wife of Jesse Jason Todd (Find A Grave 128344949), son of George and Amanda Todd;
Bertha Clara Jones Taylor, (obituary), wife of Olen Ray Taylor; and
Addie Frances Jones Bennett (death certificate, Find A Grave Memorial# 53553634) wife of Luther H. Bennett. After Addie's death, Mr. Bennett married Mogene Tincher. Bennetts Of Abraham Push Berry Business (1958).
3. William Silas Smith, born 14 Sep 1879 and died 10 Feb 1961, Abraham, W.Va. Obituary. He married Della Bowling, a teacher at Smith School. Third Generation Is Running The Smith Farm At Abraham, by Pauline Haga, Beckley Post-Herald, W.Va., 30 Aug 1974, Page 13. General Marion Smith land. Photo -- B.B. Hurley.
4. James E. Smith, born 25 Dec 1880 at Abraham. James, 17, died 27 March 1898 of diphtheria. (See Research Notes above.) He was buried in the New Salem Missionary Baptist Church Cemetery. Find a Grave.
5. Charles D. Smith, born 08 Oct 1882. Charles, 15, died 24 Feb 1898 from diphtheria. He buried in New Salem Missionary Baptist Church at Abraham. Find a Grave.
6. Roxie Francis Smith, born 13 Jun 1884, Abraham, W.Va. Birth record. Roxie married Calvin Wesley Plumley in 1904 in Raleigh County, W.Va. Marriage certificate. She died on 15 Feb 1920 in Pear, Raleigh County. Death certificate. Death registry. Calvin was born 27 Oct 1885 in Raleigh County, a son of Jackson Plumley and wife Minerva Richmond. He died 03 Oct 1961 at his Shady Spring, Raleigh County, home. Obituaries. He married Elsie Kincaid, daughter of Lewis Harvey Kincaid and wife Mittie Angeline Todd in 1920. Marriage record. Elsie died 11 May in a Beckley, W.Va., hospital. Roxie, Calvin, Elsie and Elsie's parents are buried in the New Salem cemetery. Find a Grave.
7. Parris C. Smith, born 29 Dec 1886. Parris, 11, died 29 Jan 1898 of diphtheria. He is buried in the New Salem Missionary Baptist Church Cemetery. Find a Grave.
8. Merida E. Smith, born 23 May 1888 at Abraham, Merida, 9, died 01 Mar 1898 of diphtheria. He was buried in the New Salem Missionary Baptist Church Cemetery. Find a Grave. The 1974 newspaper article and Find a Grave say Merida was a daughter. But the tombstone says “He.” and the 1888 birth record is for a male.
9. Jasper Lee Washington Smith, born 02 Oct 1889 at Abraham. Birth record. He died 07 Jul 1906. "Jasper Smith, aged 19 years, was accidentally killed by the discharge of his own gun. Smith had been hunting and was returning to his home when the fatal accident occurred." His gun discharged and shot him in the neck. Death was instant, according to a newspaper account. Raleigh man Killed By Discharge of Gun, Hinton Daily News, W.Va., 12 July 1906. Jasper was buried in New Salem. Find a Grave.
10. Effie Medora Smith was born 31 Oct 1891 in Abraham, W.Va. She married Squire David Bennett. Effie died 30 Nov 1974 in Beckley. Obituaries.
11. Joseph Omer Smith, born 29 May 1895 at Abraham. Died 17 Dec 1953, Raleigh Co., W.Va. Death certificate.
12. Elmer J. Smith, born 25 Feb 1897. Died 26 Oct 1952. Death certificate. Obituary.
13. Marion Smith, born 23 Oct 1899 at Meadow Creek, W.Va. Birth record. Marion, 11 months old, died 22 Sep 1900 in Raleigh County of whooping cough. Death record. He isn't named in the death record or the tombstone in New Salem. Find a Grave. Our Families, Page 123, lists his name as Lacy.
NOTE: Alexander Richmond was born 03 Apr 1872 in Raleigh County, W.Va., a son of Clarinda Richmond, a single woman. Marion Smith is listed as the boy's father. Alexander's descendants believe that his father was General Marion Smith. Birth record.
- ERVIN SMITH. Also seen as Irvin. Born 15 March 1854, Fayette County, W.Va. (Our Families, Page 114.); died 22 Jan 1940, Summers County, W.Va., according to his 1940 death certificate. His tombstone says 20 Jan: Meadow Creek Community Cemetery site. The cemetery site has Ervin's obituary and a tombstone picture. He also has a memorial page on Find a Grave. He married Nancy Angeline Bragg in 1878, Summers County. Marriage record. Nancy Angeline was born 22 Jan 1856, Greenbrier County, W.Va., daughter of Ira and Lucinda Bragg. Birth record. Nancy, 37, died 23 Jun 1894, Raleigh Co., of consumption. Death record. She was buried in the New Salem Missionary Baptist Church Cemetery, Abraham, W.Va. Find a Grave. Children of Ervin Smith and Nancy Angeline Bragg are:
1. Charley Lee Smith, born 02 Jul 1879, Raleigh Co.; died 06 Feb 1907. (Source: Shuck, Larry G., Our Families: Shuck, Fleshman, Sydenstricker, Smith, Lewis, Kincaid, Keister, et. al., of West Virginia, Gateway Press Inc., Baltimore, Md, 1995, Page 124. Family Bible, Nora Corkey, Ashland, Va.)
2. John Marshall Smith, born 03 Jun 1881, Raleigh Co.; died 01 Apr 1904. (Source: Our Families, Page 124.)
3. Ida Bell Smith, born 21 May 1883, Raleigh Co.; died 23 Mar 1920. (Source: Our Families, Page 124.) Ida Bell married James Foster Craycraft 07 Jan 1903 in Raleigh Co. Marriage record. James was born 30 Aug 1871, Robinson County, Ky., died 28 Jan 1940 (Source: Find a Grave.) His parents were Thomas and Zerilda Craycraft. (1880 U.S. Census, Robinson Co.) After Ida's death, James married Mary, born abt. 1872, W.Va. (1930 census, Summers Co.) Ida and James are buried in the New Salem Missionary Baptist Church Cemetery, Abraham, W.Va. Find a Grave.
4. Baby Boy Smith, born 17 Mar 1887, Raleigh Co.; died 20 Mar 1887 in Raleigh Co. (Source: Our Families, Page 124.) NOTE: death record has different date of death: 27 March 1887. Cause of death unknown.
5. Walter Marion Smith, born 02 Jul 1888, Raleigh Co.; died 25 Dec 1959, Meadow Creek, W.Va. Walter was killed by a blow to the back of his head. Death certificate. Married Violet Elizabeth Massau in 1914. (Source: Our Families, Page 124)
6. Jessie Ervin Smith, born 30 May 1891, Raleigh Co.; died 17 Jan 1931 (Source: Our Families, Page 124.) He married Maude Plumley; born 11 May 1895; died 19 Nov 1934. She was a daughter of Alexander "Elick" Plumley and wife Cora Mae Thompson. (Source: Find a Grave.) Jessie was buried in the New Salem cemetery. Find a Grave. Maude was buried in Washington Plumley Cemetery, Abraham, Raleigh County, W.Va. Find a Grave.
7. Sarah Emma Smith, born 04 Nov 1893 in Raleigh Co.; died 26 Jun 1896 (Source: Our Families, Page 124, and birth record. ) NOTE: Death record is wrong. Sarah was almost 3, not 3 months old.
Ervin's second wife was also named Nancy. In 1895 in Raleigh County, Ervin married Nancy Abagail Smith Bragg, widow of Abraham Bragg. She was born in Montgomery County, Va. (Our Families, Page 114.) Marriage record.
- JACOB SMITH. Born in 1860 in Raleigh County and married Susan (no last name given). (Our Families, Page 114.)
- GEORGE WASHINGTON SMITH JR. Born 30 Jan 1860/died 06 Apr 1940. George had 16 children: nine children with first wife Emily Alice Vandall and seven with second wife Emma Catherine Biars. George, Emily and Emma are buried in the New Salem Missionary Baptist Cemetery, Abraham, W.Va. (For more information on George Jr.'s children and links to Vandall information, go to the separate George Smith Jr. page. Emma's birth family information is on the Biars page.)
Smith related articles
- Mrs. Plumley Dead, Raleigh Herald, Beckley, W.Va., 31 Dec 1915, Page 6. Obituary of Nancy Smith Plumley, daughter of Jacob Smith Sr. and first wife Susan Campbell. Nancy (Find A Grave Memorial# 35984690) and husband John Plumley are buried in the Washington Plumley Cemetery, Abraham, Raleigh County, W.Va.
Plumley related articles