Gilbert Smith

Very little is currently known of Gilbert Smith. We do not even know where or when he was born, although it is likely that he was born in the late 1760's in Pennsylvania. He would marry a girl named Bridget O'Flannagan who lived in or near Chester County, Pennsylvania and whose date of birth has been calculated to about 1771. Their marriage is estimated to around 1794 but may have been as early as 1787 when Bridget was 16 years old.

Family narratives tell us that they had several children and in fact they may be present in the 1810 Census for the town of Woodbridge, Fayette, Pennsylvania. This record shows Gilbert Smith, age between 26 and 45 and wife, age between 26 and 45 (Bridget was about 39 at this time) and their children: A girl under 10 (Priscilla was 5) and another between 16 and 26, although this second girl may not have been a daughter depending on how old she actually was. And six boys, five under the age of 10 and one between 10 and 16 (probably Henry).

Gilbert left his family when they were still quite young, probably not long after 1810. He returned several years later, but by this time all of the children were old enough to work and were willing to help. Gilbert and Bridget spent the night talking it over, and she let him know that they no longer needed him around. She went to bed and in the morning he was gone, along with a pair of newly made shoes that she had left out, which he had replaced with his old and worn shoes.

Years later Henry Smith and Priscilla Hastings, his children, would move to Hopkins County, Texas and they found that their father had settled there as well, but Priscilla never forgave her father. If the account is true he must have been very elderly and it is assumed that Gilbert died in Hopkins County, Texas some time between 1836 and 1850, but the exact date and place have not been verified.

Gilbert and Priscilla had at least children (but there were more), they are:

  1. Henry Gilbert Smith (1799-1868)
  2. Nancy Priscilla Smith (1805-1885) m. James William Hastings

Documentation

Memoirs

  1. Narrative: Maternal Lineage of John D. Jones