Posts Tagged ‘Sarah Smith Wright’

John Smith of South Carolina, Georgia, and England

September 6, 2019

This title might be a stretch. I don’t know for a fact that John Smith came from England. I do know that his granddaughter Mary Anne Cowper said in her will that her grandfather came over with Oglethorpe on the second voyage. She was parceling out properties to family members, and mentioned several prime Savannah properties on the bay and in what would now be in the historic district. So I’m stretching that to say that the grandfather she means is John Smith, not the father of her father Basil Cowper. Basil was born in Scotland, and I can’t find who his father is nor proof that he ever came to the Americas. So today, that is my theory. That could change since I’m still out of work due to the Hurricane Dorian (which didn’t actually happen), plus I have the world edition of ancestry. Par-tay in the making.

I have found several newspaper items from the Georgia Gazette that mention John Smith. What a common name. I suppose there could be other John Smiths in the area, but in order to be sure that this is the John Smith that I’m researching, I need to find him in conjunction with family, associates, and/or neighbors.

Savannah, May 13, 1794

On Wednesday the 25th of June next, will be sold, at public auction, at Red Bluff, New River, South Carolina, at the plantation of the late Mr. John, deceased.

THE Personal Estate of the said John Smith, consisting of 14 Negroes, a stock of cattle, two chair horses, a riding chair, a sulky, two carts, and plantation tools, some household furniture, and a few books. The Negroes to be sold in families. Conditions of sale cash.

And on the usual day of sale at Coosawhatchie Courthouse, the first week in July, will be sold,

A few pieces of household furniture, a mill for grinding rice with quern stones, and a rice fan.


May 12, 1794.

We know that the aforementioned John Smith is our John Smith. His wife was Elizabeth who had inherited a plantation called Red Bluff, so the plantation is not for sale.

The bulk of what I find about John Smith is in Savannah, Georgia. I haven’t found a will, but I do suppose that there was a will, since Elizabeth Smith is called his Executrix, and the assignment of a person as an executor or executrix seems to be a feature of a will.

The first mention that I found of John Smith, which started me down this Smith road, was a plat in the Lawton Family collection in the South Caroliniana Library. I have no definitive answer as to why this plat is in the Lawton collection unless it is because the property because part of a Lawton plantation.

John Smith deeds 100 acres to Sarah Smith.

South Carolina

Pursuant to an Order of Council to me directed Dated this day XXX hereby Certify for Sarah Smith a Tract of (Svrd for her the 28th of Augt 1769) Containing One Hundred Acres Situate near Black Swamp Bounded So ward by John Smith’s Land, all other sides by vacant Land, and hath such shape, form and marks as above Plat represents.

Given under my Hand this 5th Day of Jany, 1770.

John Bremar

D. Sur. Genl.

John Linder

Dep. Survr

John Bremar is the Deputy Surveyor General, and John Linder is the Deputy Surveyor.

When we went to Colonial Park Cemetery in Savannah, Leslie found the grave of John Smith.



the memory of


who died

November 1793

Aged 75 years

Blessed are the dead

Who die in the Lord;

they rest from their labors,

and their works do follow them.

So now we have gone full circle-ish from the beginning of finding John Smith owning property in St. Peter’s Parish to the end at Colonial Park Cemetery.

I’ve traced John’s wife, his children, and some of his grandchildren. This could go on for days and weeks, but I draw this to a close. Of course, if I find more about John and his family, I’ll take up the subject again.

As for now, there are Robertville stories in the making. Leslie has been asking when we can return to Robertville, figuratively. He wanted to sort out some stories about John Robert, and so I sat down with the South Carolina Department of Archives and History online records, and my goodness, what rich records. But first, I want to wind up the chapter on the plats and records that I requested from Caroliniana most recently, and that means a side trip to Catherine Maner Lawton’s plat in 1840.

This just goes to show that there is never an end to this hobby, this obsession, called genealogy research.

Sarah Smith Wright of Georgia, South Carolina, and Britain

September 3, 2019

There’s a method when you are researching families. It is called FAN. You research FRIENDS, ACQUAINTANCES, and NEIGHBORS. I have loosely used this method for years, not knowing that it was a thing. I skip around to people that are mentioned in conjunction with my main research topic, like a frog leaping from lilypad to lilypad. Sometimes I fall in the pond and become immersed.

So I started out 2 months ago by viewing the Lawton Family collection in the South Caroliniana Library. I requested 4 documents and/or plats. I haven’t gotten past the first 3 because I have discovered a whole area of research that hasn’t been discussed in my world. I am anxious to get back on track, but these people are pulling at me.

Take Sarah Smith. There is an early plat where John Smith deeds 100 acres to Sarah Smith.

South Carolina

Pursuant to an Order of Council to me directed Dated this day XXX hereby Certify for Sarah Smith a Tract of (Svrd for her the 28th of Augt 1769) Containing One Hundred Acres Situate near Black Swamp Bounded So ward by John Smith’s Land, all other sides by vacant Land, and hath such shape, form and marks as above Plat represents.

Given under my Hand this 5th Day of Jany, 1770.

John Bremar

D. Sur. Genl.

John Linder

Dep. Survr

In the Georgia Gazette, Savannah, Georgia, on January 18, 1781, the newspaper announced the marriage of Sarah Smith for Major James Wright. That explains the relationship regarding the land survey.

SmithJohnAndSarah Royal_Georgia_Gazette_1781-01-18_[3]


Sir James Wright isn’t just anybody. Google him. (Insert lilypad for stability.)

Once I had established that I should also be looking for John Smith in Georgia, there were lots of lilypads to leap onto. He had other children. He died in 1793.

Let’s jump back to Sarah Smith Wright, who died in Little Ealing, County of Middlesex, near London, England. Why is she in Britain, you ask? Because she married a Loyalist.

If you are a slave researcher, you can trace the slaves that she inherited from her mother Elizabeth Williamson Smith on through her will to other family members.

WrightSarahSmith Will P1

Little Ealing — 

County of Middlesex 

In the name of God Amen I Sarah Wright Wife of Sir James Wright Baronet of LIttle Ealing & County aforesaid being of sound mind and memory do make this my last Will and Testament. 

Imprimis after paying the Debts if any there are against my property — 

I give & bequeath to my nephew John McQueen of Georgia, North America, my Lot and Houses in Savannah bequeathed to me by my mother’s Will and likewise to the said John McQueen my part of Red Bluff left me by my mother — 

2dly I give to my Neice Margaret McQueen the following Slaves viz: Ishmael & Minty his Wife and Son Adam — 

3dly I give to my Neice Mary Anne Cowper the Slaves Diana and all her children likewise June and his Wife Hagar and their Children viz Jack Paul and Jacob their Daughter Tenah I shall hearafter mention 

4thly I give to my Neice Eliza Mackay, the Slave Jesse, son of June and Hagar. 

5thly and to Mary Anne Mackay My great Neice I give the Negro girl Tenah for her waiting maid. 

6thly I bequeath to my Neice Sarah Williamson the Slaves Joe and Jessey sons of Ishmael & Minty. The Silver Cup left me by my Mother I likewise give to her — 

And I desire before the Property is divided it shall furnish the Sum of fifty guineas for a Watch and likewise the Sum of Ten guineas /or a Seal I give to my Nephew James Wright 

WrightSarahSmith Will P2

As a small token of my affection for him 

I leave to my Friend Mrs Heron five guineas for a Mourning Ring. 

My own Watch I give to my Neice Catharine Bourke as her Sister has one – and to my Neice Elizabeth Bourke my gold chain and Locket with my Fathers & Mothers Hair in it 

All my other Toilets I leave to Mary Anne Cowper — 

To Mary Anne Mackay I give a Bible at 10 guineas value 

But in case these my Slaves are already Disposed of by my Attorney John McQueen which I gave him full power to do if he saw fit 

I do, then hereby give the value of each Slave before named – agreeable to the average sum they sold for viz. 

To Margaret McQueen I give the value of Two Slaves — 

To Sarah Williamson I give the value of Three Slaves 

To Eliza Mackay the value of one Slave and to Mary Anne Mackay the value of One slave 

To Mary Anne Cowper the value of the six Slaves left to her – making in all together the number of Thirteen Slaves mentioned in my Mother’s Will, except Diana and her Family which remains the same to her Mary Anne Cowper — 

In case of any Deficiency to supply these bequests to the value of one Salve less – that must be taken out of the number I left to Mary Anne Cowper from Hagars children. 

All the above mentioned property being bequeathed to me by my Mother’s Will under the restriction of leaving the same to some one or more of her own Family is the  

Reason of my not mentioning my Husband herein this my Last Will and Testament is made conforma There-to – Written with my own hand the year of our Lord one Thousand eight Hundred and Thirteen; the twenty sixth day of August – and I do here by nominate and appoint John McQueen Esqr of Georgia North America my sole Executor of the same — 

Sarah Wright 



In the Court of Ordinary Chambers 

26 April 1816 

Present the honourable John P. Williamson & Oliver Sturges Justices of the Inferior Court 

Personally appeared Archibald Smith of Savannah merchant, when being duly sworn saith he is well acquainted with the hand writing of Lady Wright decd who has signed the foregoing instrument of writing purporting to be her will, having frequently saw her write and been for many years a correspondent with her – that the said instrument purporting to be the will of the said Sarah Wright is in her own hand writing & the signature “Sarah Wright” thereto subscribed is the proper hand writing & signature of the said Sarah Wright. 

Archd Smith 

Sworn in open Court 

26 April 1816 

Saml M Bond 

Clk Co Ordy  

WrightSarahSmith Will P3

May 1816 Appeared John McQueen Esquire one of the executors named in the will of Sarah Wright deceased and qualified as such by taking the required by law.

S M Bond

Clk Co Ordy

No. 114

Will of Mrs. Sarah Wright

Filed 25 March 1816.

Bond clk

Recorded Book

  1. folio 348.–


Researching this family has made me order 2 books. Y’all, I don’t order books. I downsize. I give away. I recycle. I reuse. I blog and archive old photos and documents.

But now?? This family is making me achieve a new FAN level of lilypad behavior.

Elizabeth Smith of South Carolina and Georgia

August 27, 2019

This is part of a series of posts about people who are linked to Basil Cowper. He owned property in Granville County, Province of South Carolina, back in the day prior to the Revolutionary War. That area later became known as St. Peter’s Parish, Beaufort District, South Carolina.

Basil Cowper was an American Loyalist, and he lost his property and was banished for it. In 1782, part of his property was deeded to John Robert, who built up quite a large amount of land over the years.

Basil married Mary “Polly” Smith, daughter of John Smith and Elizabeth Williamson. I can’t find a will for John, but Elizabeth has one that is quite in depth. The following images come from

SmithElizabeth Will P1

Last Will & Testament

Mrs. Elizabeth Smith


Filed 5th March


Recorded in Book G. folio 235.242

Edmund Roberts

  1. C. O.

10 March 1810

Jane Bourke

SmithElizabeth Will P2

State of Georgia

Chatham County

In the Name of God Amen

I Elizabeth Smith Widow of John Smith late of the State of South Carolina deceased being of sound mind and memory by the mercy of God, Do make and Publish this my last Will and Testament, Revoking all other Wills formerly made.

Imprimis It is my Will and desire that my Executors herein after mentioned, and named, do keep my Negroes together on my Plantation, in South Carolina and continue to work them as at present, appropriating to one half of the Nett Proceeds of the Crops made to the payment of all my just and lawfull Debts, and discharging all such Legacies and bequests as I shall leave and mention in writing, purporting my Instructions to my Executors or otherwise, the other half of the Nett Proceeds of the Crops to be divided equally between my Daughters Jane Bourk and Elizabeth Smith for their maintenance etc the aforesaid debts be paid and Legacies and bequests be discharged when a Division of my Estate is to take place.


SmithElizabeth P3

2nd I give and bequeath and devise to my Daughter Mary Cowper Widow and her Heirs The following Negroes to Wit: Bricklayer Ceasar, Roger and his Wife Venus with their children Racheal, Mag, Ceasar, Sandy, Ansel, and two younger children with their future increase. Also a Lott of Land and the Buildings thereon in the Town of Beaufort South Carolina to the said Mary Cowper her Heirs and Assigns forever.

3rd My Daughter Anne M’Queen being in a Poor state of health and her Death Daily expected and having received two Tracts of Land and five Negroes from her Father /my late Husband/ formerly, one of which Tract was afterwards placed in the purchase of a small Island called Oatlands in the County of Chatham and now the Private Property of the said Anne M’Queen, notwithstanding which in justice to her feelings and for my own satisfaction, I declare that the reason she now has no Negroes left her, was from her desire that I would have those designed for her in any other way I should like. I give bequeath and devise to my GrandSon William M’Queen my Carpenter Jemmy.

4th I give bequeath and devise to my Daughter Jane Bourke Widow and at her Decease to my GrandSon Thomas Bourke and Grand Daughters Elizabeth and Catherine Bourke to be equally divided between them and used as they please the following Negroes to wit: Old Phillis, Carpenter George, Sabina his Wife, Hinter, Morrice, Harriet, Nanny, Maria, Flora and her two children and their future increase she had three Negroes formerly given her. I do also give and bequeath to my Daughter Jane Bourke all that Lott of Land and buildings thereon known as /No 8/ number Eight Reynolds Ward near the filature in the City of Savannah and after her Death to go in remainder to my Grand Daughters Elizh and Catherine Bourke and their Heirs, but in case of the Death of either single that it is my Will that the said House and Lott do go to the Survivor. I give to my Grand Daughters Elizabeth and Catherine Bourke for their own separate use and their Heirs, or as they may chuse to will them to be equally divided. Young Tom and Daphne with their children, Joe, Primus, Mary, Nelly, Ned, and Billy with their future increase.

5th I give bequeath and devise to my Daughter Elizh Smith the following Negroes: Old Ceasar, Old Lucy & Venus with all the children she has and may have: Luke, Isaac, London, Amey and child and future increase. Nanny having been


SmithElizabeth P4


Formerly given her left the following children: Sam, Grace, Mary, Charles, Nanny, Betty, Fanny, to be given and willed by her to any of her Sisters and Brother as she shall chuse, as they are her heirs after he natural Life or to such person or persons as she shall chuse of them together with my Lott in the Town of Savannah known as /No 2/ Number two Reynolds Ward containing forty five feet front on the Bay and Ninety feet in Depth, and all the improvements and buildings thereon to hold during the term of her natural Life, and from and after her Death for the benefit and advantage of such person or persons as she shall chuse or appoint from amongst her Brother and Sisters and their Representative if Dead or their children if alive by her las Will and Testament duly Executed but in case of the Death without such Will, appointment or nomination, then the said real and personal estate, shall be equally divided among my Daughters and Son or their children and Heirs in case of either dying before my said Daughter Elizabeth Smith. It is also my desire that my Daughter Elizh Smith being infirm in health should have for the term of six years the rent of my store and Brick Building standing on Lott Number one, Reynolds Ward fronting the Bay and now occupied by Mr. Steinert in case of her Death before the expiration of the Six Years the Profits to go to the owner as herein after mentioned

6th I give to my Son Archibald Smith in trust for my Grand Children, Archibald Smith, Elizh L. Smith, John Smith and Jane Wallace Smith and any other children my said Son may have, by his present Marriage and their Heirs, share and share alike, they to have possession at the age of twenty years or day of marriage the Negroes, Old Tom, Old Molly, Hannah, Hester, Catherine, Bella, and young Ishmeal.

7th I give bequeath and devise to my Daughter Sarah Wright, wife of Sir James Wright for her sole separate and independent use, free from any control, management or claim of her said Husband, or any peron claiming or to claim under him the following Negroes: Old Ishmeal, Mynty, Joe, Adam, Jesse, Diana, and chld, June and Hagar, given her formerly and their children and future increase and also my House and Lott in Savannah known as /No 1/ Number one Reynolds Ward and all the Buildings thereon with the Negroes and their increase above mentioned to the said Sarah Wright and her Heirs but in case of the Death of the said Sarah Wright without child or children arriving at the age of twenty one or day

SmithElizabeth P5

of marriage, then the said real and personal Estate so bequeathed and devised to her shall go and descend to XXX of her Sisters and Brother or their children and Heirs as she shall chuse appoint or select by Will duly made and executed and in case the said Sarah Wright dying without such Will or Without any child or children arriving at any time after Death at the age of twenty years, or day of marriage, then the said real and personal Estate shall go and descend to her Sisters and Brother and their representatives Share and Share alike, his, her, or their Heirs.

8th My Son Archibald Smith having been provided for by his Father my late Husband Twenty two years ago, I therefore only give him one Negro Man Philander also all the right and Title I have to a Tract of Land in the County of Camden which he has sold to John H. McIntosh Esquire.

9th I give bequeath and devise to my Daughter in Law Helen Smith a Negro Woman Sary and her Son Philip and her future increase, also Twenty Pounds Sterling as an entire Gift to herself and at her disposal

10th I do hereby confirm the Freedom and Emancipation of my Old faithful Servants Buba and Dinah which freedom is to be absolute three Months after my Death.

11th After the payment and Satisfaction of the Debts and Legacies, I give bequeath and devise to my Daughter Jane Bourke that Third part of my Tract of Land in South Carolina on which the Dwelling House out Houses and other Buildings stand known by the name of Red Bluff and after her Death to my Grand Son Thomas Bourke and Grand Daughters Elizth and Catherine Bourke and their Heirs but in case of the Death of either of my above mentioned Grand Daughters single and unmarried then it is my will that her proportion of the above land descend to the survivor, the other two thirds of the above tract I leave to my daughter Elizabeth Smith to plant at equally with my Daughters Mary Cowper and Sarah Wright as Heirs to this two thirds of the above Tract.


12th I give and bequeath to my Grand Daughters Mary Ann and Margeret Cowper and their Heirs a Lott of Land in the City of Savannah /No 12/ Number twelve Washington Ward. Now called the Hawthorn Lott.


13th I give to my Six Grand Daughters Mary Ann and Margeret Cowper, Eliza Mackay, Sarah William, Elizabeth and Catherine Bourke twenty Dollars to each of them for a Ring.

14th I give to Elizth Zubly now Mrs. Magill the sum of one Hundred Dollars.

15th Isabella Hunter and Elizabeth Hunter


SmithElizabeth P6

one Hundred Dollars cash.

16th I give to the Female Asylum to promote that benevolent and meritorious institution the Sum of one Hundred Dollars.

17th My Negroes are not to be divided till my debts are paid. It is my desire that my Daughter Elizabeth Smith receive the wage of the Carpenter Luke who is given to her from the time of my death.

Lastly I do hereby constitute and appoint my Daughters, Mary Cowper, Jane Bourke, Elizabeth Smith, Sarah Wright, and my Son Archibald Smith my Executrixes and Executor of this my last Will and Testament in Witness whereof I have hereto set my hand and Seal this fifteenth day of March in the year of our Lord one Thousand Eight hundred and Nine.

Elizabeth Smith

Isabella Hunter

Betsey Hunter


Further, I found a report of Elizabeth Smith’s death. She died at her daughter Anne McQueen’s plantation called Oatlands, and her burial left from daughter Jane Bourke’s house in Savannah. This makes me guess that she is indeed buried in Colonial Park Cemetery.

Good-night, Elizabeth. We are thinking of you.