When I started on this project of putting together a family history of my Smith ancestors, I was lucky to be able to draw upon research already done.
I am indebted first of all to my Uncle Lancelot (the Rev. Lancelot Upton Smith) who developed very detailed family trees based on what he could find, mostly in the 1950s and 1960s. His children were kind enough to share with me those trees and other charts as well as a large number of photographs and family stories.
I also appreciate the documents, notes and other help that I have received from other cousins and from my siblings.
Another source of help (and I believe she would have been pleased about this) is a great-aunt, long since dead. She was Agnes Hannah Smith, a sister of my grandfather William Smith. Agnes married Alex Nicholson and one of their children, Jack, became a professor of entomology in Australia. In 1916, when Jack married an Australian girl, Agnes Nicholson sent to her new daughter-in-law Phyllis a short narrative about the Smiths and their history in Cumberland. At the beginning of her narrative, Agnes Nicholson wrote:
I am writing this for my children, & perhaps in the dim future, who knows! some grandchild or great-grandchild might long to know, as I have often done, something about their forefathers, where & how they lived, & what sort of people they were? & might be glad to read what I can tell about them.
I am indeed very glad that Agnes Nicholson wrote her narrative even though we are not direct descendants of hers.
All the above information sources have been very useful and I have tried to substantiate or supplement them with searches in church records, civil registration records, newspaper archives, land valuation records, census records and other sources as they become available. Of course, the Internet has made searching much easier but visits to archives and other repositories in Ireland and England have also been needed.
The search continues …..