Friday, October 13, 2017


Chasing the "Smith" in Abiathar Smith Robinson to JOSEPH SMITH, Mormon

Nadene Goldfoot
Abiathar Smith Robinson 1829-1904
Younger picture from 2nd cousin Tom

I'm on another tangent today of still delving into the mystery of who Abiathar Smith Robinson's parents really are because I have no hard evidence, great theories.  He appeared in my maternal grandfather's bible as the father of Grandfather Frank Hugh Robinson, my mother's father.  Frank ran away from home at about age 16 according to his oral history over his father not letting him remove his horse from a pasture where the bull had entered.  It was on a Sunday and his father wouldn't allow it.  Thus Frank removed himself forever from his family.  He did try to locate them later in life, but he said the building of records had burned down. However, I had found him living next door to one of his sisters later on during his first marriage.  It must have been after that that he lost communication with anyone.  So we have never learned more about the family other than Abiathar, born December 1829 was very strict religiously.  He hasn't appeared on any records other than 1852 marriage, and 1870, 1880, 1900 census. Being born before 1850 is hard on me as his name was not on any census and this means that his father could have been but he was just a tally mark.  No name. He missed being on any 1850 census or would have found it.  I've hunted online for over 10 years and he hasn't showed up.  A Waterman cousin, professional librarian, hunted in person, going to county offices, and couldn't find hide nor hair of him.
Abiathar Smith Robinson b: December 1829 in New York or Vermont according to census information was married to Julia Ann Tuller in Tunbridge, Orange, Vermont  on February 29, 1852, which is very close to Royalton, Vermont where she was born and raised.
 Tunbridge is full of Robinsons and Tullers and Durkees who are buried there according to my source,  Now I find a Smith Cemetery there as well. Only 2 people are buried there.  
Too small to be tended by anyone
                                           Tunbridge's Smith Cemetery-2 interred 
To find the graves of the  2 people here, From Tunbridge village go north on VT Route 110 about 1/4 mile and turn right onto Strafford Road just before you cross the highway bridge. Go about 3-3/4 miles on Strafford Road and turn left onto County Turnpike. Go about 6/10 mile to Bicknell Road. Turn right onto Bicknell Road and go about 1 mile and drive a short distance up the hill beyond Larkin Road. The cemetery is on the left being located at the edge of a pasture, the plot surrounded by an electric cattle fence. It is said that there are seven graves with the first burial dated 1807 and the last in 1881. That was probably Major Smith who was buried that year.

Alma Andrus Smith was born June 10, 1805 and died January 6, 1853.  Her husband was Major Smith, also buried there.

Major Smith was born November 14, 1804 and died September 23, 1881.  His parents were Joseph and Hannah Fifield.  This information and the following is from the Tunbridge section in Hamilton Child, Gazetteer of Orange County, Vermont 1762-1888: "Major SMITH, remained in this town and cared for his parents in their old age. He always lived here, and is buried in the family burying-ground on the old farm. Of his children, two sons and one daughter, Azro A., the eldest, is pastor of the Congregational church at Johnson, and the daughter died in 1863, leaving, one child."

Hanna Fifield Smith was Major Smith's mother. Hannah married Joseph Smith at Gilmanton, Belknap,  NH on 23 Feb 1794 with Rev. Isaac Smith officiating. 

Joseph Smith, developer of the Mormon Religion, was from Gilmanton, Belknap, New Hampshire . Was his mom Joseph Smith's  daughter in law?  Information below is from ""

Birth: unknown
Death: unknown

"Stephen and Joseph SMITH. brothers, came from Gilmanton, "Belknap, New Hampshire., and located in this town [Tunbridge VT] in 1793. They each purchased land, made a clearing: and built a house of logs in the then wilderness, the nearest neighbor of Joseph being a Mr. MOODY, three miles to the southeast. February 23, 1794, Joseph SMITH was married to Hannah FIFIELD, at Gilmanton, by Rev. Isaac SMITH, for whom they had both worked for several years, and soon after started for their forest home, on East hill, in this town, the place now occupied by their grandson, Walter F. SMITH. Mrs. SMITH deemed it no hardship to take her first child in her arms and go to Stephen SMITH's, the place now occupied: by George L. SWAN, on West hill, a distance of five miles, her only guide being marked trees, and return the same day. Who of her great-grandchildren would be equal to the task at the present time? Joseph and Hannah SMITH reared two sons and four daughters, the eldest of whom, Josiah, settled and died in Hopkinton, St. Lawrence county, N. Y. The other son, Major SMITH, remained in this town and cared for his parents in their old age. He always lived here, and is buried in the family burying-ground on the old farm." Source: Hamilton Child, Gazetteer of Orange County, Vermont 1762-1888

"During these early years, Dea. Simeon Hunt started a settlement in the N E. corner of the town [Tunbridge], whose "good wife" made the bread for Joseph Smith during the summer of 1792, while preparing a home for his family of children, which he brought on an ox -sled, with all his goods, in the following winter, driving their only cow, and were obliged to get her shod before reaching their new home in the woods. The old clock which was brought with much care on that sled, still stands in the same corner of the room where it has been faithfully beating time for 67 years. Faithful old sentinel ! let him serve out his three score years and ten. Dea. Major Smith, the son of Joseph, lived on the same spot where his father made his early strike for a home." Source: Abby Maria Hemenway, The Vermont Historical Gazetteer, vol 2, pp. 1121-22

Family links:
  Hannah Fifield Smith*

  Major Smith (1804 - 1881)*

*Calculated relationship

Note: He is probably one of 7 persons buried in the Smith Cem., Tunbridge VT but this has to be checked.

Son Major Smith
Birth: Nov. 14, 1804
Orange County
Vermont, USA
Death: Sep. 23, 1881
Orange County
Vermont, USA

Major was the son of Joseph and Hannah (Fifield) Smith. This information and the following is from the Tunbridge section in Hamilton Child, Gazetteer of Orange County, Vermont 1762-1888: "Major SMITH, remained in this town and cared for his parents in their old age. He always lived here, and is buried in the family burying-ground on the old farm. Of his children, two sons and one daughter, Azro A., the eldest, is pastor of the Congregational church at Johnson, and the daughter died in 1863, leaving, one child."

Family links: of Major Smith
  Joseph Smith
  Hannah Fifield Smith

  Alma Andrus Smith (1805 - 1853)*
THE Mormon Joseph Smith, however, was born in Sharon, Windsor, Vermont on December 23, 1805.
Mary A. Robinson, b: May 3 1834 married a Smith and died in Sharon, Vermont December 23, 1872 of stomach inflamation.  Mary was the daughter of Cyrus B Robinson b: November 4, 1808 and Thankful Preston b: October 28, 1811 of Royalton, Vermont.  Cyrus is a  good candidate for being Abiathar Smith Robinson's father, being the right age and in the right place. 

"May 16, 2014 - Family experiences may have shaped Joseph Smith's questions about God, ... The new Smith family lived at the Tunbridge farm for six years before Joseph determined to ... the family moved again to Tunbridge, then to RoyaltonVermont. ... Here, with Don Carlos's birth, the family grew—but little else did."

Joseph met his wife, Lucy Mack, through her brother, Stephen Mack. "To distract her from her grief, Stephen Mack invited Lucy to stay with him at his home in Tunbridge, Vermont. There, Lucy’s "depressed"  mood began to change after she became acquainted with a tall, strong 23-year-old named Joseph Smith. Joseph and Lucy were married on January 24, 1796." 

For months, Lucy and the children waited in Norwich, Vermont hoping for good news from him. At length, Joseph Smith Sr. sent word for his family to join him in a town called Palmyra, over 300 miles away in the fertile, wheat-growing Genesee country of New York.

I found a Moses Robinson in the Genesee, Allegany, New York area who was already on my tree leading to a 1600 George Robinson, not the Reverend John of the Pilgrims boarding the Mayflower.  This was the line I had first thought our genealogy would lead us. A Smith girl could have married or had an affair with a Robinson boy from this area where Abiathar could have been born.  But I'm counting on him being connected to the Reverend John Robinson line as his DNA is leading me to believe.

                                              Tunbridge's Durkee Cemetery- 64 interred

Going back to Tunbridge, there are a few Smiths on record there with  Emily Nelson Smith born in 1820 and died on January 2, 1900 is buried in the Durkee Cemetery.  Julia Ann Tuller, Abiathar's wife's mother was Asenith  Durkee.   The Smith middle name very likely is for her.  Her husband was Pvt. George W. Smith born August 13, 1822 and died December 29,1921 in Tunbridge.  George was born in Peru, Maine and was senile at death. He lived all his life in Maine, but was boarding with Joseph and Mary Fay in Strafford, Orange Vermont on June 4, 1900 when the census was taken.This took place 5 months after his wife had died.   He was 77 years old then and was a widower.  He was listed as a farm laborer. The question I ask is why are they buried in the Durkee Cemetery if all their life was spent in Maine?  

I found an Emily Nelson on the 5th August 1870 census of Strafford, Orange, Vermont.  On it was Levi Nelson, 85, wife Mary 80, and Aaron Nelson 53 and Emily Nelson 44 who could have been Aaron's wife.  That means that Aaron could have later died and Emily was a 2nd wife to George W. Smith.  I doesn't explain the Smith middle name of my  1829 born ggrandfather, Abiathar Smith Robinson.  I saw that below their names was listed Joseph and Mary Fay!  I don't have them in my name bank, but I do have many Fays. Fays have married Robinsons in Bennington, Vermont.  

John Robinson b: 1803 d: May 20, 1870 was born and died in Tunbridge and buried here.  I've long thought that could have been the John Robinson living with Julia Ann Tuller's family in Royalton, VT found on the 1850 census with Julia and her family.  I thought perhaps he was Abiathar's father.  They had given his age as 51 then, making his birth 1799 on the census.                                                  
An Irish Robinson family James b:1813 and Mary Clemons b:1816
Two Robinson brothers John and James; their wives and children, a sister of the two brothers and their widowed mother made up the group coming to the New World
.(no relation but we match Irish DNA haplogroup more than English) 

                                              Robinson Cemetery
I found 2 Joseph Fays buried in the Robinson Cemetery in Strafford, Orange, Vermont. 

Joseph L. Fay with headstone was born about 1808 and died at age 62 on November 5, 1870.
Joseph Fay with headstone was born 1843 and died at age 81 in 1924. 
Fays number 12 in this cemetery: 

Bartletts, 5 of them are buried here.  They are Abiel, Charles H, Rebekah, Ruth and Samuel.  Bartletts are also on my DNA match of segments on chromosomes who is a 3rd cousin.  

Durkee-3 of them are here. 

Robinson-24 are here.  

I might be able to connect everyone in this cemtery to either Abiathar or most likely Julia Tuller, his wife.  It could even turn out that the John Robinson living with them was a relative from Tunbridge!  Good grief!  I never thought of that.  
Wallace and Julia Smith, a Pioneer Family in 1800
no relation). 

Smith is worse than Robinson.  Robinson was the 16th most popular surname, now has dropped to the 20th.  Smith is number 1.    " If you have a Smith in your family, you have a staggering 81 million records to pore through on Ancestry. Smith has long been the most common surname in both the United States and Great Britain. Each U.S. census lists more and more Smiths, from 274,919 in 1850 to 2,376,206 in 2000. Yet the name is far from generic and has a rich and complicated history."  Robinson can also be a Jewish name, and I through my father, am Jewish.  Clark, which is on the Robinson tree, is number 21 in popularity.

I've always wondered about the Smith middle name.  Usually it means the parent of the mother, and that Mom was a Smith.  Look at this common pattern, part of the family below:
Descendants of Harvey A. Robinson

1   Harvey A. Robinson b: August 23, 1821 d: March 13, 1866 in Hume, Allegheny, New York
.. +Elizabeth Fuller b: 1824 d: 1856
. 2   Hubbard Fuller Robinson b: 1856 d: 1891

This shows a case where the mother had died in childbirth at age 32, very sad.  The child's middle name was the surname of his mother.

So is my Abiathar Smith Robinon's mother the daughter of Hannah Smith married to THE Joseph Smith of the Mormon religious history?  Being Abiathar married in Tunbridge, it's possible in not a huge coincidence.  


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