Submitted by Diane Hill Zimmerman


      James Smith was born abt. 1732 in Trenton, Hunterdon County, New Jersey and d. bef. 15 May 1819 at Simpsons Creek, Monongalia (now Harrison, WV) County, Virginia.

      He md. 1) Anne Parke, abt. 1751 in Trenton, Hunterdon, New Jersey. She was b. abt. 1732 in Hopewell, Huntingdon, New Jersey, dau. of John Parke Jr. and Mary and d. abt. 1754 in Hampshire County, Virginia. Children: Aaron, William and James Jr.

      James md. 2) abt. 1755, Mary Capen, parents unknown, b. abt. 1733 in New Jersey and d. abt. 1819 in Harrison County, Virginia. Children: Elizabeth, Sarah, Timothy, Rhoda, Ann, Phoebe and Ruth.

      If the James Smith family was Quaker at one time, they changed when they came to what is now Harrison County, West Virginia. They founded the Smith Chapel Methodist Church which still exists today with an active congregation. The Smith’s were a large family that left many, many descendants. I’m continually running into Smith cousins, even here in Utah.

      James and several of his children, including his oldest son, Aaron, were among the first settlers of the Simpsons Creek area near Bridgeport, WV. Most are buried in the Smith Cemetery on Simpson’s Creek Road where a roadside monument honoring them is also found.

      James Smith had connections to at least two of the earliest leaders of our county, George Washington and Patrick Henry. After his first wife’s father, John Parke Jr., was killed while serving in Col. George Washington’s regiment, his mare was impressed. James Smith went before the court to get the horse back to the family. These documents are part of George Washington’s Papers at the National Archives. A photocopy can be found at the end of this article. His land in Hampshire County was surveyed by a young George Washington and his land grant approved by Patrick Henry.

      The James Smith family is supposed to be related to James Madison and Patrick Henry according to A Genealogical and Personal History of the Upper Monongalia Valley, edited by Barnard L. Butcher with resources etc. by James Morton Callahan. I haven’t been able to verify the connection.

      An affidavit dated 1771, by James Smith before Adam Stephen, Justice of the Peace, stated that he was married to Ann, daughter of John Park(e), Jr. and that his father-in-law made no Will.

      James Smith was granted the following land in Hampshire County but bear in mind there were at least two James Smiths. I think the grants on Tear Coat Creek were to Major James:

1769 - 25 acres - N. River in 1769 - Book 6, p. 546
1788 - 202 a. - Tear Coat Creek in 1788 - Book 8, p. 76
1791 - 639 a. - N. River - in 1791 Book 4, p. 14
1792 - 208 a. - N. River in 1794 - Book 4, p. 405
1797 - 100 a - Tear Coat Creek - Book 5, p. 149
      Total 1,174 acres.

      In a Hardy County Deed (Hardy was taken from Hampshire County) dated 9 Jun 1792; James Smith and wife Mary Smith of Hampshire Co. to Jacob Baker of Hardy Co. 220 acres for 110 shillings on the Lost River of Cacapon, land originally granted to James Baker and he to said James Smith. The land is adjacent to William Warden.

      Under Grantor-Grantee: 7 Nov 1780 - Smith, James (wife Mary) of Hampshire Co. to Abraham Powell of Hampshire Co. (lease and release) 429 a. on Dillons Run; rec: 22-24-2780 Wit: none

      8 Nov 1785: Smith, James of Hampshire Co. 371 a. on Dillons Run; rec. 11-8-1785. Wit: Isaac Parsons, John Bosler, Abraham Powell. To Isaac Lupton of Hampshire Co.

      10 Sep 1790: Smith, James, of Hampshire Co. Release of mortgage on 400 a. in Hampshire Co; rec. 9-16-1790. Wit: Andrew Woodrow to Samuel Baker of Hardy Co.

      18 Jul 1796: Smith, James, Sr. and Smith, Mary, of Hampshire Co. 246 a. on South Branch; rec: 18 Jul 1796. Wit: None. To Thomas Tucker, Jr. of Hampshire Co.

      1772 - James Smith, 142 a. branch of Simpson Creek, (Harrison County) ad. John Nutter.

James Smith’s will reads as follows:

      In the name of God, Amen. On the 15th day of June, one thousand eight-hundred fifteen, I, James Smith, late of the county of Hampshire, but now residing in Harrison County in the State of Virginia, calling to mind, the uncertainty of this life, and being of sound mind and disposing memory, do make, ordain, and constitute this, and this only, my last Will and Testament in manner and form following, to-wit; I commit my soul to Almighty God, my Savior and Redeemer, and my body to the earth, to be decently buried, and where it hath pleased God to bestow on me certain lands in the County of Hampshire and Monongalia, these I dispose of as hereinafter mentioned.

      My will and desire is that my wife Mary Smith hold her interest in all my lands during her natural life (if she chooses to do so) and to leave them clear of incumbrance at her death.

      My will is that my daughter Elizabeth, who married Levi Shinn , my daughter Ann, who married Abraham Powell, my daughter who married Samuel Lupton and my daughter Rody, who married Joseph Fry, have no part or parcel of my estate, either real or personal (nor their legal representatives). I having given to them at and since their marriage all that part of my estate I allotted them, with this exception only (viz) I give and bequeath to my granddaughter Rody Fry the sum of forty dollars and no more.

      Item - I will and direct, order and direct my executors hereinafter named to sell all my lands for the highest price that can be obtained in money, or so equalize the value of all the lands by sworn apporators [appraisers?]and divide the lands, of the value of them in money into five equal parts, amongst my five children, viz: Aaron Smith, James Smith, Timothy Smith, Phoebe, who married William Fry, and Ruth who married James Moore, and my executors, 2nd to have and to hold the amount of the sale money or the value of the land, as the case may be, and to who each portion of land may be allocated, entered on the records of Hampshire Court House, specifying to each of the five legatees, their share of the money or land, and that my executors shall be fully prepared in two years from my death to pay off the legatees, which estate is to be enjoined by them forever.

      Item - I will and decree that my executors assume the character of trustees, and take under their care such part of my estate as shall fall to the share of my daughter, who married William Fry, and such estate given her in proportion to her reasonable wants for her support and maintenance and education of her children, at such time as she need and requite, and the remainder at her death, if any, to be divided among her surviving children.

      My will is that my executors pay my funeral expenses, just debts, and the legacy to Rody Fry, and all the proper just charges to be allowed by the court of the five legatees, for the distribution of the estate, before the legatees are paid off and each legatee to bear an equal portion.

      Item - I do hereby ordain, constitute and appoint my two sons James and Timothy Smith executors of this my last will and testament.


In witness of I have hereunto set my hand and seal the day and year above written.
James Smith {seal} Testee. John B. White”

      James Smith was in the 4th, 8th and 12th Continental Lines during the Revolutionary War. He is one of my ten grandfather’s who served. They were James and Aaron Smith, William Backus, Samuel Boggess, George Hill, John Wade Loofbourrow, Isaac and Benjamin Shinn, John Jarvis and Rhodam Rogers. Thomas Harbert was in the Colonial army and was a captain in the Virginia militia. His sons, Samuel, Edward, William, Thomas and John, were also in active combat with the Indians during this time. The British and Indians were allies so any engagement with the Indians were a part of the war. Western Virginia was known as the “back door of the revolution.”

      Ray and I visited Apple Pie Ridge, former home of my Harbert ancestors, and Cacapon River Road near Capen Bridge, West Virginia home of John Park(e), Sr. and Jr., as well Parke’s Valley near Winchester, Virginia, home of John Parks III and other Park(e) descendants as well as James Smith. We found the area to be absolutely beautiful. I don't know why they'd want to leave it but I was judging its beauty and they were farmers who depended on the soil to feed and support them. Crops don’t grow as well in higher altitudes and, in the absence of chemical fertilizer, it’s even more difficult. Secondly, their families were large and they wanted enough land to be able to will each child a farm.

      Apple Pie Ridge Road runs 8.8 miles along the ridge between the city of Winchester, Virginia, and the West Virginia border, starting at U.S. 522 beside James Wood High School. The road passes the Upper Ridge Quaker Cemetery, then continues past Hiatt's Hill and Hiatt Road, where General Edward Braddock led a march of British forces on the way to capture Fort Duquesne near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

      As Quaker families settled in this area, orchards, wheat farms and cattle farms sprang up around the area. The road supposedly became known as Apple Pie Ridge Road when Hessian soldiers, captured during the Revolutionary War, were quartered on the Glaize farm west of Winchester, Virginia, and would walk north to the ridge to eat apple pies baked by Quaker housewives.

      These Quaker’s named their meeting “Hopewell” after the original Hopewell in New Jersey. The Hopewell Meeting house they built is still standing.

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