Oh Mr. Smith....Where Shall I Begin?

Can I tell you I was so relieved to learn that Elizabeth O'Neal of the blog Little Bytes of Life had extended the deadline on the July 2016 Genealogy Blog Pool Party! I thought I had missed out on all the fun. If you aren't familiar with the Genealogy Blog Pool  Party and this month's theme, please click here.

This month's theme:  Do you have an ancestor who makes your research absolutely miserable?

Ah yes, yes I do. His name is John Edward Smith or as I like to refer to him, Mr. Smith. 

Mr Smith, why oh why did my paternal great grandfather have to be named of all things --John Smith? Really, I mean REALLY :(

Yes. Really. (sigh)

Oh well. What'cha going do?

Here's how Mr. Smith is connected to me.

Oh Mr. Smith....Where Shall I Begin?  How Did I Get Here? My Amazing Genealogy Journey

What do I know of his life? Not much. According to the information that was listed on my grandmother Ethel Smith Murrell's birth certificate, his occupation was a carpenter and he was 35 years old when his daughter was born. My grandmother Ethel was born at John Walker Memorial Hospital in Wilmington, NC. Her mother Ella Kerr was born in Sampson County, NC so perhaps John Edward Smith came from the same county. Perhaps he was from Wilmington, or somewhere entirely different. The thing is, I just don't know. 

My grandmother Ethel didn't know her father. Her mother Ella moved to Philadelphia first and then later New York City. In 1920, Ella Kerr married a William Dixon in Manhattan and it's noted on the marriage certificate that this was her second marriage. The certificate also listed Ella's status as "widowed."

I believe at the very least he my Mr. Smith was dead by 1920.

Oh Mr. Smith, you frustrate me so much, sometimes I wish I could push you into a pool!

Oh Mr. Smith....Where Shall I Begin?  How Did I Get Here? My Amazing Genealogy Journey


  1. Mr. Smith, your great-grandfather, sounds really elusive. And I thought tracing Weiss would be difficult--Smith is much more of a challenge. Just give him a shove and send him over the edge of the pool...splash!

  2. Come through Mr. Smith. My Lewis line is so badly recorded. I had to repost my old blog story I did on my Great Grandfather again this week. Just to get some time of movement on him. Great Piece. Here's to finding information! Pop Pop has been been frustrating me too.

  3. Don't push him into the pool! Something will turn up eventually. maybe...


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