We will now state according to our best recollection what we know and have seen of my own uncles and aunts on mother's side of the house.
John Campbell (about 1765-unknown)
I think Uncle John Campbell was the oldest son. He had two wives, his first had several children by my uncle and then took up or was married to another man. The last I heard of her she was residing in Lexington, Kentucky. I have seen some of her children and as they are my own cousins, the sons and daughters of mother's brother, I will speak of them.
Cousin Robert was a shoe and boot maker and was the man I learned my trade with. His wife was a very pretty woman; their children were Smithanna, Hester Ann, William, and the rest are not recollected. His wife's name was Betsy Smith, the daughter of John Smith, a hatter living in Columbia, Adair County.
|Engraving of a painting by H. R. Ichter; this may be purchased from |
FineArt America in several media
Cousin Martin, I think was bound to some trade but before he was twenty-one, he left and was not heard of for a long time. I think it was about the year 1828; he was living within about fifty miles of New Orleans engaged in the sugar making trade and was very wealthy.
Cousin Susannah or Sooky as they all called her was a very small and beautiful woman. She married James Overstreet, an extraordinary high man, and a hatter by trade. He fell down once and Uncle Philip Shuck  said he looked like about three panels of new fence.
Cousin Betsy married William Tucker. He was a man of common size.
Uncle John's second wife was a very pleasant woman and greatly beloved. We called her Aunt Becky.
One of her sons was named John and he was a very ingenious man, somewhat about my age. When he was a boy, he sent me a top or whirligig, which pleased me very much.
Uncle John was the man I was named for. He was a great hand to sing and I heard him sing a song that was called "soar apple tree." He said he had seen the day when he could sit down and sing from sun up to sun down and never sing the same song over. I can just remember the little fur hat he gave me for my name, or because I was his namesake. I think he also gave me a calico coat as was common in his day.
He used to partake of intoxicating draught, but I think before his death he left it off and joined the Methodist Episcopal Church. This is 1847 and he has been gone from the shores of time several years and we trust he is happy and that sooner or later we shall see him in that bright world above where sickness, sorrow, pain and death can never come.
Besides Uncle John there were of my grandfather Campbell's children, David and Robert, males; Molly, Betsy, Susannah (or Zannah as they called her), Margaret and Frances, females.
David Daniel Campbell (about 1785-unknown)
Uncle David married his cousin Betsy Campbell. They had six children that lived to be grown four daughters and two sons: Sarah, Susan and Polly had black hair but Lucinda had red hair. None but one of them ever married. But both boys married. Elexus married Ellen Laswell my mother's sister's daughter. I have forgotten whom Thomas the youngest son married, but I think she was a girl of some property.
Uncle David is still upon the land of the living or was last fall for he then visited my mother and promised to visit her once a year as long as they both lived as long as he is able to travel. I believe both him and all of his house are Presbyterians. When I was at his house (and I have been there twice), he seemed to be a man of God. When he arose in the morning, it seemed his first thoughts were turned to that God who had shielded and protected him through the night. No sooner had the son, that bright luminary of the day gilded the Eastern horizon then the family altar, which had long been erected was resorted to, and although it has been twenty years since my first visit and about eighteen since my last, the scene is yet tolerable fresh in my mind. About middle ways on one side of the house, at the foot of a bed there stood a table upon whose leaf was spread a clean white toilet fringed around the edge; upon this was the family Bible and a book of hymns (or rather I believed they were Psalms). The family was conveniently seated around the room, my eldest brother and myself in among the rest. Aunt Betsy a little nearer the table than any of the rest except Uncle, who was then actually sitting in juxtaposition with the table having the sacred volume in his hands. He commenced and read a portion of God's word. We then mingled our voices together in singing the high praises of God, after which we kneeled before the God of our Fathers whilst Uncle led in prayer. Soon after this breakfast was ready and again God was sought unto for a blessing and after breakfast thanks were returned unto the Great Giver of all good and again at dinner and supper the like blessings of God were sought and thanks returned for his blessings and yet again before he suffered his family to retire to bed; or as Doctor Young would have before their thoughts were suffered to be locked up in health's restorer sweet prayer, supplication and thanksgiving ascended the hill of Salvation. How pleasant it is for a family thus to live, that when death comes, have nothing to do but step over Jordan and swell the praises of the redeemed. Some of them have already since the time of which I speak crossed the river of death. I think about half the family and the rest are swiftly hastening to its swelling billows. A few more battles for my only and venerable uncle and the victory will be gained. A little longer successful fighting and like St. Paul he may exclaim, "I have fought a good fight. I have finished my course. I have kept the faith henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord and the righteous judge shall give to me and not only me but all those that love his appearing."
Uncle Robert Campbell was cut off in the bloom of manhood at about the age of eighteen or twenty years. He served one term in the service of his country in her last struggle against Great Britain and the Creek Indians. I think he reached home and died in a few days. Oh, how uncertain is life; and how true the proverb that says in the midst of life we are in death.
Mary "Molly" Enos Campbell (1772-1864)
Twin of Elizabeth "Betsy" Campbell
And Mollie Campbell married Martin Jones and they had six children, four boys and two girls. The boys were named as follows: Jack or John, Louis, William and Stephen; the girls were Sally and Polly. Uncle Martin Jones was a small man and a cripple. He loved a dram, easily irritated and would fight. I have heard my father tell an anecdote or two about his fighting. He said in the neighborhood where Uncle Martin lived was a stout and overbearing man. This man and uncle fought and Uncle whipped him. Again he had another fight and the man he was fighting had hi down beating him unmercifully and father knowing Uncle had resolved never to holler, "Enough" though to encourage him to arise by hollering to him, "Rise, Martin, Rise." Martin responded feebly, "Too drunk, Billy." And father pulled the man off.
Uncle Martin was a good hunter and loved to joke. When he killed a turkey or a deer, he would be sure to try to have a laugh about it. One day he went out hunting and came in with a fine fat, he said the way he came to kill it was on this rise when he came in sight of the turkeys they were feeding along as is common for turkeys to do. One of them stretched up his neck and looking at him inquired, "Who is there?" Another looking answered, "Oh, it is Davy Campbell. Never mind him." But another looking cried out, "It is Martin, it is Martin," and away they went be he level his rifle and brought one of them down. And again one day he killed a deer and told the following story on his brother, Allen, who was engaged in digging sang. About that time his gun fired and the deer fell.
Uncle Martin's death was somewhat mysterious. My father and he were traveling together when one night Uncle went to a house to get fire whilst father took care of the horses and prepared wood for camping. But Uncle overstayed his time and father went after him and fund him dead in the peach orchard near the house with a chunk of fire near him.
After Uncle Martin's death, Aunt Molly married a second time. Her second husband was named Philip Shook. He was a very large raw-boned Dutchman. He weighted about two hundred pounds, had a very coarse voice, and would eat as much (at least) as two common men. A good many anecdotes could be told on him but one will suffice. Father and he were coming home together one very rainy day. They had ridden some distance without a word being spoken. Father broke the silence, "Well, said he, "Philip my hat leaks." "Oh," said Uncle, "mine don't leak at all; it just pours right through," and broke out in his big laugh. I remember two of their children. They called them Sy and Phil. I suppose they were named Josiah and Philip. I heard from Sy last year. He followed boating up and down the Ohio River. He is said to be in good circumstances and a man of business.
The last I heard of Uncle Shook and his family, they were living in the state of Indiana. Whether Aunt Molly is yet alive or not I cannot tell. Her son William Jones lives in this state ten miles below or rather west of Shakertown. He and his brother Louis lived with my father awhile when they were boys. After they were grown William learned the wheelwright trade, and Louis went to learn the trade of the coppersmith. They were both small men but William was much the smallest and possessed a large share of the spirit of his father. They both met at a gathering somewhere and a fracas took place in which Louis was involved. William instantly drew his coat and exclaimed, "Try Big Dick." This circumstance acquired him the title of "Big Dick" ever after.
Elizabeth "Betsy" Campbell (1772-1864)
Twin of Mary Enos Campbell
Aunt Betsy Campbell was a very handsome woman. She married Allen Jones, a brother of Martin Jones, the first husband of Aunt Molly. I cannot say how many children they had but I will give the names of those I remember. There were two boys, Robert, and Martin and three girls, Nancy was the oldest. The names of the other two I have forgotten, but I know when I was about eight years old my oldest brother and myself were there for the first and last time I saw them. They were two beautiful young girls. There were some younger children than I have named, but how many I cannot say.
|Elizabeth "Betsy" (Campbell) Jones; courtesy of|
Ancestry.com, original source unknown
Cousin Robert Jones was a young man the first time I ever say him and the last account I had of him he was living in Missouri. He was a shoe and boot maker and I think learned his trade with Uncle James Jones, of who we will hereafter speak. Cousin Martin was younger than Robert. I sent him a top when I was quite a boy and about the time I was eighteen I went to Columbia, Adair County, Kentucky, there to learn the cordwaining business with Cousin Robert Campbell. After I had been there a month or more Cousin Martin Jones came to Columbia and set in to learn the trade with Cousin Robert Campbell also. But he had not been there very long until his brother Robert came in from Missouri and wished to take him home with him. So Robert being a shoe maker his brother concluded to go to Missouri and learn the trade with his brother. This was a matter of some grief to me for he was a pleasant young man and our affections were knit together, but the nearest ties in this life are often broken. I have not heard of him since.
Nancy Jones the eldest daughter of Aunt Betsy lived at my father's a good many years. She was a remarkably handsome and industrious young lady. She married Enoch Couch. He was a very industrious farmer of Dutch descent. Both Allen and Aunt Betsy were both living in Indiana the last I heard of them.
Susannah "Zannah" Campbell (about 1780-after 1850)
Aunt Zannah, as we were accustomed to call her, but I suppose her right name was Susannah, married Mier Goings, perhaps his name was Jeremiah Goings, but I was taught to call him Uncle Mier. I do not recollect ever to have seen Aunt Zannah or any of her children and in fact I am rather of the opinion that she did not have any. I remember Uncle Mier coming to my father's house. I think he was a very active man. At least the most I remember about him was as follows: When he was at my father's, the branch or creek that runs between the house and spring was tolerably flush and the freshets that had been before had not only washed a considerable quantity of drift wood and trash against the old sycamore log that we were accustomed to walk on going to and from the spring. But had actually cut out a broad channel around the root of this old log, so that we were obliged to make an artificial bridge from the bank to the root of the old sycamore in order to get across the branch to the spring. Well, several of us were down there and the question was asked, "Who can jump across the branch to the opposite shore." Uncle Mier was the only man that ventured to try it. He jumped across. I think he had red hair or fair hair. I have heard mother say Aunt Zannah was a handsome woman but I have no recollection of ever seeing her. I think they lived in the state of Indiana and perhaps they are still alive. Be this as it may, there is an affinity between us that seems to twine around my heart and almost irresistibly makes me say while I write this, "Oh, that I could see them. Oh, that I could see them and safely guide them through this life to the Paradise above."
Frances "Franky" Gillespie Campbell (about 1784-unknown)
Aunt Frances, or Aunt Franky, as we called her was, I think the youngest daughter. She married for her first husband James Jones. He was a brother to Martin and Allen Jones, the husbands of Aunt Molly and Aunt Betsy. So we see by this record that three of my Aunts married brothers by the name of Jones. Uncle James was a shoe and boot maker and carried on business in Danville, Kentucky. He was a good workman and might have done will but for the intoxicating bowl, that foul monster, which has been the overthrow of thousands, was no doubt the exciting cause of the suicide of my Uncle. His death was on this wise. He had been for a long time indulging in the inebriating and soul-destroying fluid, and of course had neglected his business, involved himself in debt to some extent and afterwards booting off as it is sometimes called. One night he became restless and got up out of bed, went out of doors, came back again once or twice, sat down by the fire and ate some dried beef. Aunt Franky went to sleep while he was sitting there and when she awoke he was absent. She called him but receiving no answer she waited awhile expecting hime to come in again. But as he did not return she became uneasy and got up to see if she could find him. After having lighted a candle and perceiving he was not in her room, she went into another, perhaps the kitchen. To her great surprise and regret she there saw the form she so much loved suspended by a rope with one end round his neck in a running noose, he hands also tied and feet almost touching the floor. She shrieked. She cried aloud. It was all she could do. Her friends hearing her cries ran to her and cut him down, but alas it was too late. Life had fled apace. His heart had ceased to palpitate and his flesh was almost cold. This was truly a time a mourning, a time of thick gloom and affliction to my Aunt, living as she did some distance from any of her connections and having no children, her only hope in this life as it respected worldly pleasures was cut off.
She however settled up her business in Danville and my father brought her to his house where she resided several years. She was a remarkably small woman, weighing only some ninety odd pounds. She was called by some the "Widow Jones" but most generally speaking she as called "The Little Widow." She was a very pleasant lady, had good use of her needle whereby she could make her support and besides this she had some money let her after settling up Uncle's estate in Danville. How much I am not able to say but I think about two hundred dollars. This she loaned to Cousin Robert Jones and he had moved to the state of Missouri. The last I knew of the case he had not paid her neither principal not interest but it is likely before this time he has paid all the debt for it has been more than twenty years since I have seen either of them.
I suppose I was about fifteen years old when Aunt Franky left off living at father's and went home with Uncle Allen Jones. Since that time Uncle Allen moved to the state of Indiana and she went with him where I learn she has a second time joined in Holy Wedlock. The name of her second husband I have forgotten. He was a man of good circumstances and they were making out very well. But I learn they happened to the misfortune of having their house burned up. How they have prospered since I know not. The last I have heard of them they were living in Danville, Indiana. If Aunt Franky ever had any progeny I have not been informed of it. It is remarkable that the towns of Danville seemed to be the most fatal sport to her happiness. In the town of Danville, Kentucky, she lost in a most heart-rending manner the companion of her youth. In the town of Danville, Indiana, her property, the savings of many hard years of labor which no doubt was expected to make her easy and comfortable in her declining years. She had the fortification to see enveloped in flames. Oh, how uncertain is all our worldly comforts and how important it is not to trust in uncertain riches but to lay up for ourselves bags that wax not old eternal in the heavens.
I have given a short traditional account of all of Grandfather and Grandmother Campbell's children that I know except one, and that is my mother.
John Campbell Smith was born on 19 March 1806 in Barren County, Kentucky. He was a second generation Kentuckian as his grandparents had migrated west after the Revolutionary War. He is also the great grandson of Robert "the Elder" Mitchell (1714-1799), my five times great grandfather. Between 1848 and 1876, John wrote about his memories of his family. The document is the property of David S. Peden and was scanned using optical character recognition technology and then edited by Jack A. Laswell, Sr. I am indebted to them for making the electronic version available to other descendants of the Campbell, Enos, Mitchell, Shropshire, Smith, and Street families.
 The definition of toilet 19th century definition was a cloth which covered a dressing table.
 Sang is probably wild ginseng.
 Cordwainers are shoe makers who make new shoes from new leather.
 Jeremiah's surname was variously spelled Goen, Going, Gorn, Grings, Gowen, or Gowin in records.
 Margaret "Peggy" Campbell will be the subject of a future blog post.
Family Memories of John Campbell Smith (1806-1888): Grandparents
Robert Mitchell, the Elder
Kidnapped by Indians