Friday, November 4, 2011

Smiths a-go-go

R.S.Smythe, in his will, probated in 1917 left a sum of money to his nephew in South Australia, Lancelot Wellesley Smith. Now there's a name that history cannot sweep under the rug with the crumbs dropped by the last person to drop in for an afternoon tea.

So imagine my surprise quickly thickening to suspicion when I come across a Ralph Lancelot Wellesley Smith born in 1892 in South Australia. A few hundred tippity-taps on the old plastic clavier and I find he is the son of a Francis Stringer Smith (of the South Australian Telegraph department) and Maria Julia Blott, of Kooringa, now known as Burra) in South Australia. Now surely, this Ralph and by obvious connection his father and any other Smiths that might care to reveal themselves to me must be connect to Lancelot Wellesley Smith, Smythe's proven nephew.

So what is the connection? Obvious the families knew each other well enough to name a child after another family member. So, Francis Stringer Smith was born to Francis Smith and Eliza Stringer who married in Kooringa on the 14 of Dec 1880. Francis Smith I find was born in about 1815 according to a rootsweb entry. So, That makes Francis Smith an early pre-gold rush settler and probably Edward Smith of Crafer's, R.S.Smythe's and Frederick Thomas Smith's Uncle. Curiously there is a Francis Smith mentioned of Sydney of 1829 who had lately arrived on the "Henry Wellesley". I wonder if that is him?

But, I can find no verification of who Francis Smith was for although I think he died in 1866. I am not sure and an Andrew Mitchell, who has a tantalizing tree listed on Ancestry (which I cannot afford) doesn't seem to have broken that barrier either. South Australian certificates are among the most arid and scrooge-like in the world, bearing so little information that they are virtually a waste of money to purchase until they reach the 1880s.

Now where do I go? Who is Francis Smith? How is he related?

There are some volumes in our state library compiled by genealogists, who intent upon correcting the miserly record keeping of the 'governing' entity of the time, have left brilliant and proud volumes from which much may be gathered. I hope that they might give me some of the missing links, along with some 'Smiths' in England, doing the same.

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