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FOUND - Another Branch on Orphan Annie's Tree


An email from this website helped to fill in another - very interesting branch on Mary Alice Smith aka Little Orphan Annie's Tree.

Thanks to Amie Cox, who shared this information about her husband's family tree. She has been researching her family's genealogy including that of her husband's family. His Great-Great-Great Grandmother was named - "Mary Johnson" who was married to "James Johnson." Mary *Smith* and James Johnson married in Union County, Indiana in 1845. They are in Center Township in Union County in the 1850 Census. However, the most important fact is they were *next door neighbors* to Alice Smith and her granddaughter, Mary Alice Smith in Brandywine Township in Hancock Couty in the 1860 census.

Mary and James Johnson had six children: John, William, James, Ephsaby, Elizabeth and Malinda. We see a couple of possible namesakes in this group - as Mary's younger brother was William Smith, and her older sister was Malinda (Smith) Rittenhouse. Mary Smith Johnson would die in Brandywine Township in Hancock County in 1868. This would be two years after Alice Smith died (Mary Alice's Grandmother and Mary Smith Johnson's mother). James Johnson would remarry - to a Sarah "Sadie" Arnold. The family would live in Hancock County for the rest of their lives.

I was able to match up the information that Amie supplied with the information that I had on the Smith family in my own tree. However, more importantly - this also may tell a little more about the Smith family and their whereabouts around the time Mary Alice was sent to live with Grandmaw Smith. This also sheds some light on some other info about Mary Alice's father - Antipas Thomas Smith.

Mary Alice's Grandfather, Peter Smith, is living in Union County in the 1830 census. He buys two parcels of 40 acres each in Shelby County in 1835 from the government. Peter and his family are in Shelby County in the 1840 census; however, Peter dies in 1844. The probate records from Shelby County for Peter list his heirs as: Alice, his widow; his daughter, Malinda Rittenhouse, the wife of John; and minor children: Daniel, Mary, Antipas, Asa, and William. We see - Amie Cox's husband's ancestor: Mary Smith - listed as one of the minor heirs.

I know that Alice Smith had to sell the property in Shelby County in order to satisfy her husband's debts. With this new information, I can surmise that Alice and her minor children moved back to Union County. The reason for this belief is that most marriages at this time took place in the county where the bride resided. Mary Smith married James Johnson in Union County in 1845, which would be one year after Peter Smith passed away. Also, Daniel Smith - the oldest Smith boy - would marry Catherine Bridget in Union County in 1846. Antipas Thomas Smith, Mary Alice's father, didn't have to go far to find his bride. He went one county south to Fayette County where he married Ellen Rittenhouse in 1849. I do not know about the marriages of the two youngest Smith children: Asa and William.

Then, the Smiths move en masse or at least followed one another to Hancock County. According to what we know of Mary Alice's life, she went to live with her Grandmother in 1854, and shortly thereafter moved to Hancock County. We know that in that same year, the town of Carrollton was laid out as a town and the lots sold off. Alice Smith, the Grandmother, and Mary Alice Smith, would both be in Carrollton in the 1860 census. I would guess that they bought lots in 1854 or shortly thereafter, and what is very interesting - the Johnson family did the same.

James and Mary Johnson and their children are the *next door neighbors* to Mary Alice and Alice Smith in the town of Carrollton! If you look at the 1860 census records, they are listed right before Alice and Mary Alice Smith! They are both in Carrollton in Brandywine Township in Hancock County. However, we also find Daniel Smith with a Greenfield address in Brandywine Township in Hancock County, and we find John and Malinda (Smith) Rittenhouse in Philadelphia, Sugar Creek Township, Hancock County. It would be interesting to know if Asa and William are also somewhere in Hancock County too.

Finding Mary Alice's aunts and uncle also points to something else regarding Mary Alice's father - where he has been untruthful - either by design or because he didn't know, I am unsure. However, Malinda, Daniel and Mary - the three siblings directly older than Antipas Thomas - all list "Indiana" as their place of nativity. Thomas, as he goes by commonly, lists "Ohio" as his place of birth in 1850 and 1860 census records. Then in the 1870 and 1880 census he lists "Tennessee" as his place of birth. Tennessee is also listed as his native state in all of his Civil War records and on his intake records for the Soldiers Home in Lafayette. However, if the timeline as presented here is correct for his parents, and this is backed up by the nativity of three of his five siblings - then Thomas Smith, Mary Alice's father was born a Hoosier. I believe his parents came from Ohio, but I do not believe he was born in that state. I am fairly certain based upon this information that he was born in Union County, Indiana. There is also the probability that he was a namesake - the family that was living right next door to the Peter Smith family in Union County in 1830 (the year of Thomas' birth) - was the family of "Antipas Thomas." Coincidence? I think not.

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