This blog is named after my grandfather William Smith of Blackhall, County Meath, in Ireland. There are plenty of other William Smiths in our family tree. Following are the Williams I have come across in my searches; there are probably others in the outer branches of the family that I haven’t found yet.
The first Smith we can identify by name was called William. He was born around 1640; I do not know the precise date nor if he was born in Melmerby, Cumberland, because the parish records do not go back far enough. I do know that William’s oldest son Robert was born in Melmerby in 1668. Although William and his wife Anne had four sons and one daughter, only one son Thomas survived him and had children. (Their daughter Mary married Thomas Robinson and had seven children.) William died in Melmerby in 1720. He was my six times great-grandfather.
The first William Smith was followed by:
- William Smith (the first William’s grandson), born in May 1711 in Melmerby but lived only a few days;
- William Smith (third son of John Smith Sr), born in March 1744; his fate is unknown;
- William Smith (second son of John Smith Jr), born in October 1781 in Melmerby; he was an older brother of my great-great-grandfather Lancelot Smith of Gamblesby.
In 1821, this William Smith inherited the Melmerby property from his father John and his descendants stayed in Melmerby or in nearby communities in the Eden Valley of Cumberland.
It was at this time that the family tree can be split into two branches, one (headed by William Smith) stayed on the Melmerby property and the other (headed by his younger brother Lancelot Smith) lived in Gamblesby for a time, then went to County Tipperary in Ireland in the early 1850s.
Following the William Smith of Melmerby branch first, we have:
- William Smith (fourth son of the above William of Melmerby), born in July 1825 in Melmerby;
- William Smith (eldest son of John Smith and grandson of William of Melmerby), born in May 1849 in Parkhead;
- William Harrison Smith (only son of William Smith and another grandson of William of Melmerby), born in 1859 probably in Gamblesby.
Then, following the Lancelot Smith branch, we have:
- William Smith (fourth son of Lancelot Smith of Gamblesby), born in April 1836 in Gamblesby; this William went to London to work for HM Customs and did not move to Ireland with the rest of his family; he was my grandfather’s uncle;
- William Smith (second son of Lancelot Smith of Corballis), born in September 1867 in Cashel, County Tipperary; this was my grandfather William Smith of Blackhall;
- William Smith (younger son of Lancelot Smith of Beaverstown), born in February 1907 in County Dublin; he was my first cousin once removed;
- William Anderson Smith (second son of William Smith of Blackhall), born in December 1908 at Blackhall, County Meath; he was my uncle.
You can have a look at the family trees section in the menu bar to see where the various William Smiths fit into the two branches of the family.