Special Note: This month’s article is by guest author, Orlan Smith
The most difficult descent in my tree has to be my Great, Great Grandfather Aaron Smith. I found him living in Fredericton, New Brunswick Canada in 1820 and that he married Mary Davis a new arrival from Wales. There was plenty of information on their children but little else on the area they lived in.
They lived in Cardigan a small community twenty miles north of Fredericton settled by the Welch families who came over the year before. From what I have learned it was a very hard time for the new settlers because they were not prepared for the journey to the new world. Cardigan did not survive as a community after the first families died off and the children married local people and moved away.
One record said that Aaron came from Grand Manan Island just off the coast of Maine and New Brunswick.
After ten years of looking everywhere to no avail, I thought I hit pay dirt when I found Nathaniel Smith living in Ellsworth, Maine in 1810. Records said he moved to Grand Manan Island around that time and had a son named Aaron. With this information I could finally take my family back to Boston, Mass. area in the 1650s. Around this time I took a DNA test and it came back saying that Nathaniel Smith was not part of my family so I kept looking. What a big disappointment.
Not long after a friend gave me the email address of the Library on Grand Manan Island so I sent a short letter asking them if they could help me. About fifteen minutes after I sent the request I heard back. The Librarian gave the email address to a local woman who was working on genealogy so I sent a query to her asking about any information she may have on a young Aaron Smith. She got right back to me and said she would look and not long after I had the information on the real Aaron Smith.
Now, what do I do with all the information on Nathaniel Smith as he was not part of my family? I decided to hold on to this information because it may be helpful to someone else.
Five years later I was working on my grandfather’s sister Laura Smith who married Edward Haines from Dorin Ridge, N.B. Canada. Around 1910 they moved to Smyrna Mills, Maine. I remember seeing my great Aunt Lara when I was about eight when my mother took me, my brothers, and my sister, for a visit. As I started to work on the Edward Haines family I got a big surprise when I found that they are related to Nathaniel Smith from Ellsworth, Maine! What a coincidence.
So it goes to show: never throw out anyone you are not related to as it may come in handy later on.