Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Wyatt Smith, Farmer

Wyatt Smith
31 August 1809 LA – 16 February 1894 MS
Son of Jeremiah George Smith & Joanna Dillon
Husband of Euseba Fortenberry

My 3x Great Grandfather

Wyatt Smith was the son of Jeremiah Smith & Joanna Dillon.[1] His siblings were: Hollander, Martha P., Eli, Jane, Edwin, Eliza, Calvin, Lidda, Mehala, Milevey, Joanna & Jeremiah.[2]

He married Euseba Fortenberry, daughter of William Jasper Fortenberry & Violette Kennington.  In 1840 they were in Pike Co., MS with four children and 25 slaves.[3] In 1850 they had seven children. Their farm was valued at $1,000.[4] The 1860 census shows their location in Pike Co. as Holmesville. Neighbors included other Smiths, Fortenberrys and Ellzeys.[5] That year Wyatt owned ten slaves and had two slave houses.[6]

"These two seemed to possess the traits of true democracy and that is 'work'. They blazed the trail, built the stockade a quarter mile east of the present Silver Springs Church. Besides rearing eight children of their own, they proved their love for children by bringing up several orphan children, and counted them their own."[7]

By 1870 the farm was valued at $3,000 and Wyatt’s personal estate at $1,400.Only two children were still at home.[8] In 1880 Wyatt was living with his son Adolphus and family. Son, Walter, and family lived nearby.[9]

“24 Feb 1894 - Mr. Wyatt Smith, father of Dr. A S Smith of Magnolia, died 16 Feb 1894 at the home of his son-in-law Rev. J N Fortinberry at Smithburg, Pike County, 84 years 5 months 15 days. Member Silver Springs Baptist Church. Interred in family burying ground beside wife who died 17 years ago.”[10] 

Wyatt is buried in the Wyatt Smith Cemetery in Pike Co., MS.[11] Several years ago my family and I visited the cemetery. We had to go through private land to reach the cemetery. Trees and weeds were grown up around the stones. Wyatt’s stone is broken. The top half was lying on the ground, covered with dirt. I hope the stones there are still readable.

The broken Tombstone of Wyatt Smith

[1] Holbrook and Fressenden’s Stereotype Edition of the Holy Bible, Brattleboro, VT, 1825. Original owner: Jeremiah Smith Sr. of Pike Co., MS. Copied by Texana Carter, 27 August 1854. In possession of Mrs. W C Uhlman, Rte 6, Tylertown, MS, great granddaughter.
[2] Criminger, Adrianne Fortenberry. The Fortenberry Families of Southern Mississippi. South Carolina: Southern Historical Press, 1984.
[3] 1840 US Census, MS, Pike County.  Wyatt Smith family.
[4] 1850 US Census, Pike County, Mississippi. Wiatt Smith family.
[5] 1860 US Census, MS, Pike, Holmesville, page 149. Wyatt Smith family.
[6] 1860 US Slave Schedules, MS, Pike Co., Schedule 2, p. 51. Wyatt Smith.
[7] Fortinberry, G. K., Abstract History of the Fortinberry Family; 1795-1940's; Family History Center Microfilm #1036152.
[8] 1870 US Census, MS, Pike, Osyka, page 3. Wyatt Smith family.
[9] 1880 US Census, MS, Pike; SD 3, ED 37, page 58. Wyatt Smith family.
[10] O'Rourke, Helen L. Gone But Not Forgotten. Mississippi: Privately printed; Page 172; Magnolia Gazette, Reel  MG 5. Pike - Amite - Walthall Library System, 1022 Virginia Avenue, MS.
[11] Parish, Ray and June Sartin. Cemetery Inscriptions Pike County, Mississippi 1750 - 1978. Page 633.  Wyatt Smith Cemetery (John S. Ellzey Cemetery).  


  1. Whenever I visit older cemeteries, I'm amazed at how some of the most fragile tombstones are easy to read while some big sturdy ones are nothing but a blur.

  2. I glad my genealogical chapter has spent considerable time cleaning up old cemeteries. It's to bad that more groups don't take on this challenge; it is so needed.


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