An American Family History

George Washington Smith

The Confederate States of America (CSA), also known as the Confederacy, was a government set up by southern states during the Civil War. The states who left the Union were Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and Virginia.

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

George Washington Smith was born March 26, 1810 in Piney Flats, Sullivan County, Tennessee. His parents were John Smith and Catharine Humphreys. He was named for his father's brother, George Smith.

In 1830 and 1840, George was living with his mother in Sullivan County, Tennessee.

He made frequent trips south and west on boats from the mouth of Beaver Creek on the Holston River and would take his horse, "Button," along to ride back.

He married Celina Millhorn. Celina was born about 1818 in Tennessee. She was the daughter of George Millhorn (Milhorn). At the time of the 1850 census, 32 year old Selina was living with her 67 year old father in Sullivan County. In 1860, 45 year old Celina was still living with her father in Piney Flats, Sullivan County.

In 1850, a 36 year old George Smith was living with James Cole age 34, Isabella Cole age 32, and Jane Cole age 30. George was a shoemaker.

In 1860, a 50 year old George Smith was living in District 8 of Sullivan county. He was living with James Webb age 54, Ruth Ann Webb age 19, Catharine Webb age 17, Rodney Webb age 22, Mary Webb age 22, and Catharine Webb age 64. He was a shoemaker. James was George's sister, Polly's, husband.

G. W. Smith from Sullivan county applied for a Confederate pension (S10128). He was in the 5th Cavalry.

In 1866 his brother, Josiah Smith, named his son George Washington Smith.

In 1880, 73 year old Celina Smith was divorced and living in the 20th district with 50 year old "transient" Elizabeth Hudson. George was also divorced and his brother David and his family were living with him.

Sullivan County is in far northeast corner of Tennessee between North Carolina and Virginia and was originally part of those states. It was formed in 1779 when it was divided from Washington County.

Children of John Smith
and Catherine Humphries
  • MaryAnn Smith
  • George Washington Smith
  • Elizabeth (Bettie) Smith Deck
  • John Humphreys Smith
  • King Henry Smith
  • Polly Eliza Smith Webb
  • Prince David Smith.
  • Nancy Ann Cross Smith Massengill
  • Samuel Rhea Smith
  • Josiah Smith
  • William Hart Smith
  • East Tennessee is part of Appalachia. At the end of the French and Indian War, colonists began drifting into the area. In 1769, they first settled along the Watauga River. During the Revolution, the Overmountain Men defeated British loyalists at the Battle of Kings Mountain. The State of Franklin was formed in the 1780s, but never admitted to the Union.



    from The Massengills, Massengales and Variants, 1472-1931 by Samuel Evans Massengill, M.D. The King Printing Company, Bristol, Tennessee, 1931.

    George Washington Smith m., first, Celina Millhorn. One child, daughter. Married, second, a Phelps. He made frequent trips south and west on boats from the mouth of Beaver Creek on the Holston River and would take his horse, "Button," along to ride back.

    He later removed to Kentucky.

    There were two Beaver Creeks in early Washington County, Virginia. One (also called Shallow Creek) flowed through Bristol and emptied into the South Fork of the Holston River in Tennessee. The other was a south branch of the North Fork of the Holston River in current Smyth County.

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    ©Roberta Tuller 2023
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