At this time our Smiths can be traced back to Colonial South Carolina. Like most of our ancestors, they lived along the streams and rivers where abundant wildlife thrived.
Up to the breaking out of the Revolutionary War, the woodlands in the upper portion of South Carolina were carpeted with grass, and the wild pea vine grew, it is said, as high as a horse’s back, while flowers of every description were seen growing all around. The forests were imposing, the trees were large and stood so wide apart that a deer or buffalo could be seen at a long distance; the grasses and the pea vines occupied the place of the young scrubby growth of the present day.Landrum, John Belton O’Neall. Colonial and Revolutionary History of Upper South Carolina (Greenville, SC: Shannon and CO. Printers and Binders, 1897) digital image, Google Books (archive.org: accessed April 2019) 2-5.
This was certainly a promising setting for the Smith family to grow and flourish.
Jeremiah Smith was the first of the Smith family to be found in historical records. He was born in South Carolina circa 1755 but the names of his parents and their country of origin is still to be discovered. [i] The oldest reference to Jeremiah is in 1770 in Craven County on Lynches Creek, sometimes referred to as Great Lynches Creek or, later, as Lynches River. His name is shown as owning land adjacent to John Kirkley. Most of the land surrounding the property of these two was men was described as ‘vacant land’. [ii] In 1773 Jeremiah’s land on Lynches Creek was again referenced in land records, this time as adjoining the property of James Minzies. [iii]
Lynches River originates in North Carolina, crosses into South Carolina where it flows for 175 miles and empties into the Pee Dee River. “In the late 1700s the Lynches attracted entrepreneurs who set up saw mills, harvested the long leaf pine, and shipped the lumber downstream to Georgetown.” [iv]
[i] Gurr, Cindy Brock and Dennis Ray Gurr. The Ties That Bind US Together, Volume 5 (Privatley Print3ed, 2006) Genealogy Gophers (gengophers.com: accessed March 2019) 131-212.
[ii] South Carolina Department of Archives and History. Colonial Plat Books; Series S213184, Volume 17, Page 500, Item 2; digital image (scdah.sc.gov: accessed March 2019) John Kirkley adj. Jeremiah Smith, 1770.
[iii] South Carolina Department of Archives and History. Colonial Plat Books; Series S213184, Volume 18, Page 445, Item 2; digital image (scdah.sc.gov: accessed March 2019) James Minzies adj. Jeremiah Smith, Great Lynches Creek, 1773.
[iv] Stevens, Robert. Lynches River; digital image, South Carolina Encyclopedia (scencylopedia.org: accessed March 2019).