When I tell people I am researching the family history of people called Smith, they look at me sympathetically and secretly thank their lucky stars they have a less common name to trace. Actually it is not so bad because we sometimes have the unusual forename of Lancelot to go along with the common Smith surname; that has helped a lot.
However, we also have the “John Smith” name to contend with. This name comes up often, including in our direct ancestors in Melmerby. Because there were two John Smiths (father and son) who lived in Melmerby I have decided to label them John Smith Sr and John Smith Jr in this blog to keep them straight (see the family trees and family stories sections in the drop-down menu under the header picture).
The earliest John Smith in our family was born in August 1712 in Melmerby; he was the second son (and only surviving child) of Thomas Smith of Melmerby. He was my 4 times great-grandfather (that is to say, great-great-great-great-grandfather). I have labeled him John Smith Sr to distinguish him from his son John.
He was followed by:
- John Smith Jr (my 3 times great-grandfather), born in August 1741 in Melmerby, the second son of John Smith Sr of Melmerby;
- John Smith (my 2 times great-grandfather’s brother) , born in February 1778 in Melmerby and died in Jamaica in 1802 , the oldest son of John Smith Jr of Melmerby
- John Smith (my great-grandfather’s cousin), born in May 1815 in Hesket, the oldest son of William Smith of Melmerby
- John Smith (my grandfather’s uncle), born in April 1822 and died in February 1848 in Gamblesby, the oldest son of Lancelot Smith of Gamblesby;
- John Smith (my grandfather’s second cousin), born in March 1861 in Melmerby, the fourth son of John Smith of Hesket;
- John Smith (my great-uncle), born in December 1868 in Cashel, Tipperary, the third son of Lancelot Smith of Corballis;
- John William Smith (known as William) born in October 1882 in Stainmore, Westmoreland, the only son of George Hardy Smith of Melmerby.
Clear as mud? Check out the family trees in the menu tab at the top of the blog.