An American Family History

Elizabeth Pitts Smith

The American Revolutionary War (1775–1783) was between the Kingdom of Great Britain and the 13 colonies which became the newly formed United States.

Washington County, Virginia was formed from Fincastle County in 1777. It originally contained Sullivan County, Tennessee.

Elizabeth (Nancy) Pitts may have been the daughter of Lewis Pitts of Washington County, Virginia.

She married James Smith. James was born about 1752. She may have been his second wife since he had a daughter as early as 1775.

James was a private in the Virginia militia during the American Revolution.

They lived in the part of Washington County, Virginia that became Scott County on Blue Spring Branch on the north fork of the Holston.

James Smith's children may have included:

James Smith, Jr.
Nancy Smith (1775, married George Rouse in 1794)
Alexander Smith (1787)
Nathan Smith
Sarah Smith (married Brown),
Rebecca Smith (married Bledsoe),
Thomas Smith
Benjamin Smith (1788, married Martha Denison and Nancy Gardener).

In 1777 James signed the 1777 petition of men living on the north Holston River complaining about the division of Fincastle County. They felt the line was not equitable and the court house was too far away.

In 1795, James received treasury warrant for 50 acres on both sides of the north fork of Holston River including the mouth of Blue Spring branch

Smith, James 14 Feb 1806 30 acres Warrant No. 3038 dated 09 Dec 1800 both sides Blue Spring Branch [a south branch of the North Fork of the Holston River]
adj: corner to said Smith, crossing the North Fork of Holston River, corner to said Smith & William King

At the time of the 1820 census, there were two James Smith families in Scott County.

James received his pension in 1833 and died the same year at age 81.

The Holston River flows from Kingsport to Knoxville.
map by Kmusser

The American Revolution was ended in 1783 when the Treaty of Paris was signed.

Fincastle County, Virginia was created in 1772 from Botetourt County and abolished in 1776. It was divided into Montgomery, Washington and Kentucky Counties.




from Historical Sketches of Southwest Virginia, "Frontier Forts" by Emory L. Hamilton

On July 12, 1774, the day before Captain Russell wrote to Colonel Preston giving the names of the forts, Christian wrote to Preston, heading his letter "Captain's Russell's Fort," and saying:

There are four (4) forts erecting on the Clinch in Captain Russell's company, one at Moore's four miles below this; another at Blackmore's sixteen miles down; and one at Smith's twelve miles above this place. I am about to station 10 men at Blackmore's and 10 here. Captain Russell thinks this will do as the other forts are very strong and well supplied with men.

Arthur Campbell in a letter relating to Elk Garden and Glade Hollow Forts, states:

I give no orders regarding Elk Garden and Glade Hollow, only that I would write you so and so. I believe a wiser head that yours or mine put together would not please Jemmy Smith.

These two letters seem to indicate that James Smith had something to do with Glade Hollow Fort, and since he was not a militia officer it must have meant possession of the land.

In 1777, Robert Dale settled on a tract of land on Big Cedar Creek in Glade Hollow and obtained a patent warrant for the same. This may be the land upon which the fort stood and which James Smith was residing at an earlier date. John Carr, who was born on Carr's Creek in 1773 refers to Dale's Fort on the Clinch, which was surely a reference to the Glade Hollow Fort.


Smith, James
14 Feb 1806
30 acres Warrant No. 3038
dated 09 Dec 1800
both sides Blue Spring Branch [a south branch of the North Fork of the Holston River]
adj: corner to said Smith, crossing the North Fork of Holston River, corner to said Smith & William King
Assistant Washington County Surveyor: Elijah Gillenwaters


Page 440
James Smith, assignee of Jerre Reamy, assignee of George Knicely
50 ac treasury warrant #832
dated November 7, 1794
on both sides of the north fork of Holston River including the mouth of Blue Spring branch
corner to Abraham Fulkersons land at the mouth of said branch
October 27, 1795


Will of James Smith

In the name of God, Amen; I, James Smith of the County of Scott and the State of Virginia, being frail in body but of sound mind and memory, thanks be given to God, calling onto mind the mortality of my body and knowing that it is appointed for all men once to die; do make and ordain this my last will and testament...

First, I give to Elizabeth, my beloved wife, all my household and kitchen furniture together with the bedding, clothing and all that appertains to the same, to keep and dispose of at her discretion forever.

Secondly, I give and bequeath all my land and other appointments to my two sons Alexander and Benjamin, to be divided as followeth; Beginning at the Still house, and thence running across the field a west course to the north side of the grave field; Alexander to have the north end & Benjamin the south end, the said Alexander and Benjamin Smith, my two sons, whom I likewise make and appoint my sole Executors of this my last will and testament, all and singular my land and tenements by them freely to be enjoyed.

Thirdly, the balance of my children to wit; Nancy Rouse, Nathan, Sary Brown, Rebecca Bledsoe & my son Thomas Smith['s] heirs & Grissy Smith & Peggy Gardner, then I give and bequeath each of them one dollar to be paid by my Executors,

together with all my just debts to be paid by them, my said Executors, out of my personal estate, and I do hereby disallow, revoke and disannul all and every other former testaments, wills, legacies, bequests and executors, by me in any wise before named, ratifying and confirming this and no other to be my last will and testament, in witness whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and seal this seventeenth day of June in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and thirty three.

His X James Smith mark
signed, sealed and delivered in the presence of us, William Purcell, Eleanor Purcell.

Virginia: At a Court continued and held for Scott County the 15th day of February, 1834. This last will and testament of James Smith, deceased, was proven by the oath of William Purcell and Eleanor Purcell, witnesses thereto and ordered to be recorded. Attest, John S. Martin, CSC (Will Book 2, Scott Co.,Va., pp.148).


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©Roberta Tuller 2020
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