Tuesday, September 10, 2013

When the Lines Converge

The Smiths of Litchfield, Maine and the Rogers of Harwich, Massachusetts

It wasn't surprising to me to find that the lines of my tree crossed in a few places. I found lots
of overlap in the line that ran back to Cape Cod; the marriage options would have been limited
in the early days of the colonies and the families were large. No surprise there. What was a surprise was finding a crossing of the lines of my two great grandparents.

George F Smith came from a family from Litchfield, Maine. His line runs back directly to a James
Smith who settled early on Cape Cod. His great grandfather, Thomas Smith, was a farmer in Litchfield. Thomas married Mehitable Baker. Mehitable Baker's mother was born Mehitable Smith.
Her parents were Elizabeth Smith and Moses Rogers. That line of Smiths runs back to a Ralph Smith, also of Cape Cod. I've never seen a connection between James and Ralph, but it wouldn't surprise me.

Mehitable Smith, her brothers Deacon Thomas Smith and Benjamin Smith all ended up in Litchfield, Maine along with their nephew John Rogers. Elizabeth Smith married Moses Rogers and her son Aaron Rogers settled in Holden, Massachusetts. Several generations later the two lines converged when Cora E Smith married Edward W Rogers.

 I have two completely different lines of Smiths in Litchfield alone. Four of them have the same name. It was convenient when the records said "Thomas Smith husband of Hannah" or "son of...", but records were usually hand-written and seldom that precise. This is where writing out a timeline for the people in your tree might be helpful. Sometimes by dates alone you can tease out the threads of the truth. Sometimes you have to look for deeds, bills of sale, wills and other primary sources. Not all of this is online yet. I have some footwork ahead of me.

Now for a confession. I have never chosen a numbering system for my tree. The genealogy software I use numbers my offline tree using the Ahnentafel system, but my online tree would benefit by choosing a numbering system and using it. In fact, I find the whole numbering question fairly intimidating. There are some good resources online starting at Cyndi's List. If you are new to genealogy, do yourself a favor and number from the start. It may not keep the old records any straighter, but you'll know which Thomas Smith you're studying at a glance. Crossed lines are ok, a granny knot is NOT.


  1. Just found your blog today. So neat! Thanks for the great posts!

  2. Thanks Dani, come back and visit anytime!

  3. Oh, Smiths! There has just got to be a special reward for researching Smiths. Best wishes to you as you continue your work on this and all your family lines.

    I found your blog today, thanks to a mention in GeneaBloggers. Welcome!

  4. Welcome to Geneabloggers! I know the intersecting lines well myself!!


  5. Thanks Piper and Jacqi....now if only one of those elusive Smith descendants would join GeneaBloggers!

  6. Welcome to the GeneaBloggers family. Hope you find the association fruitful; I sure do. I have found it most stimulating, especially some of the Daily Themes.

    May you keep sharing your ancestor stories!

    Dr. Bill ;-)
    Author of "13 Ways to Tell Your Ancestor Stories" and family saga novels in The Homeplace Series such as: "Back to the Homeplace"
    The Heritage Tourist at In-Depth Genealogist: http://www.indepthgenealogist.com/

  7. Welcome to Geneabloggers! Your graphic caught my eye because of the Smith marrying a Lowell in Maine and having a son Reuben Lowell Smith!

    I have 3rd great-grandparents Sarah Smith (b. 1795) who married a Reuben Lowell (b. 1794) in Maine, so we may be related in some way. I haven't done much research on the Smith line because, well, it's Smith... ;-) You can visit my blog and see my Lowell line at From Maine to Kentucky and see if any of the other names look familiar.

    1. Your Reuben Lowell looks to be my 4th Great GrandUncle...I would imagine I'm related to Sarah Smith somehow too. I'll take a look at your line and see. We would be some sort of cousins one removed I think.
      So I've made my first connection to a previously unknown relation on my blog. FUN!

    2. It looks like we can probably confirm that we are related through siblings Sarah Smith (mine) and Joseph Smith (yours), as well as the Lowells (4th cousins once removed, I think) but I'm not familiar with some of the other Smiths you mention above. It is fun to find these connections among fellow geneabloggers!

    3. Hi Elizabeth

      The research I have seen shows Mehitable Smith's parents as John Smith and Elizabeth Brown. This is documented in the Mayflower Society records. John Smith is a direct descendant of Stephen Hopkins from the Mayflower.

    4. Well first of all it's Chris. If you look at the illustration in my blog post I DO have John Smith as her father and Elizabeth Brown as her mother. She married Barnabus Baker and they moved to Maine. You may have been confused because her daughter was also a Mehitable (Baker) and she then married another Smith in Maine.