Marian Asher Fawcett to Elizabeth Holder, July 15, 1981

It has been almost a year since you and your mother so pleasantly dropped in on us while you were at Bedford. We hope the winter and intervening months have dealt kindly with each of you.

We have tried to write you long ago, but arthritis has grown progressively worse, and more than ever we are "putter-offers". Furthermore, we keep finding information that changes what we thought we already knew. To date this is the Smith data we have unearthed.

From the Campbell County court records and old pre-Civil War and Civil War letters here we have found answers to some questions about your kin. The Rustburg death records list your ggg-grandfather Smith as William B. son of Isaac Smith and wife Sarah Hancock, daughter of Dudley Hancock. [see note 1 below]. William B. Smith was then a brother to Jane Smith who married 1822 Dr. [Robert] Smith. Grandpa Paulette Clark's request for a marriage license for Catherine and William B. (1832) lists her as Catherine F.W. Clark. We do not know what the F.W. stood for [see note 2]. William B. Smith and Catherine F.W. Clark Smith had the following children (as stated in his will):

1. Robert born 1832
2. Watson born 1834
3. Mollie A. born 1838, m. 1st 1859 William [this is incorrect, his name was Francis] Pollard of Bedford County, Va.
2nd 1870 Ellis Holcombe of Campbell County Va.
4. Susan Elizabeth born 1839 m. 1872 Hugh Elliott
5. William C. b. 1842
6. Adolphus A. m. Nannie Thornburg
7. John born 1844 never married
8. Orthodox Creed b. 1846 m. Mayne [Mary?] Cabell

William B. Smith died in 1854 of consumption. Catherine F.W. Clark Smith died in 1861 of consumption. William's will which you may have, stipulates that at Catherine's death his personal property, including slaves, should be divided among the children and the plantation sold with the proceeds of sale divided among children. We have wondered about the reason for such a will. Some of the children were then still minors. From letters here the family seemingly was left without a homesite and were just left adrift - during Civil Ear period. As you know the Smith place was just across the road from Irvindale - Uncle Creed's Orthodox Creed Clark] home, it was a good house for the times, the land had been of course a part of the land "taken up" by John Irvin. Mollie and William [Frank] Pollard were then (at Catherine's death) living in Bedford county and Sue (then unmarried) [Susan Smith, Mollie's sister] was living with her. We infer from the letters here there were possibly some of the younger Smith children also in Bedford in 1863. Anyway all seemed in need of a home and the family and their circumstances were the concern of all the Clark kin. The Clarks here (Aunt Nancy and Uncle Pleasant and their six sons and three daughters) were very closely associated with the Smith family. There is a letter here written in 1863 from Will, son of Nancy and Pleasant, to his mother in which he says "Robert Smith (all in 11th Va. Infantry of Confederate Army) has bought Adam Clement's place for $8000 and will put the family in that house to live." In the same letter Robert himself adds a note to "Aunt Nancy" telling her the same thing. There is also here a letter from Sue (later Elliott) written from Bedford county (1863) relating the same news, and saying they have to move from Bedford. We do not know the date of William [Frank] Pollard's death. We know he didn't live long after marriage and this incident may have been after his death. Anyway all the kin seemed glad to get Aunt Catherine's family housed in the Clement house. This place was between here and Rustburg.

Frank Pollard was 34 years old when married. Mollie was 21 at her first marriage and 30 when secondly married. Ellis Holcomb was 29 years old and was Commissioner of Campbell County. Mollie and Frank were married by the Reverend Hammersley the pastor of Hat Creek Church. Mollie and Ellis Holcomb were married by Rev. W.J. Walcupin (?) of Campbell county.

The Robert Smiths and the Isaac Smiths were kin, stemming from the same root - from Hanover or nearby Eastern Virginia counties - all connected with the great dissenter and Presbyterian advocate, Samuel Morris and wife Mary Lewis Oliver.

I doubt if our old letters will reproduce but you certainly will want to see them and make copies (even if written) of them. Come up when you can and we'll thresh out their hidden facts and fiction. Just let us know when you are coming and I'll have a sandwich or something pre fixed to eat so we can just talk without the bother of cooking. We shall look forward to this time together.

I have not given you the exact location in the court records of this information. Julia did the research at Rustburg - a bit at a time - when she went for county library board meetings. You may want this information and she will have it for you when you come. Love from us both -

Affectionately, Marian A. Fawcett

Notes by Elizabeth Harris:

1) On the Smith family: I had this information regarding William Booker Smith's parents on my Smith page for years, without realizing its source, but was told by another descendant of Isaac and Sarah Smith that he had a family Bible record showing their son William to be William Finney Smith born 1789. I haven't resolved this issue yet; see my Smith page

2) Other records show that the F. in Catherine's name is for Frances. I don't know what W. stands for.

 

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Elizabeth Harris, ncgen@mindspring.com