Tuesday, January 18, 2011

You Have The Wrong Beulah Smith!

Beulah Smith, wife of Samuel Darling vs Beulah Smith, wife of William Darman - Salem County, New Jersey

Several years ago I received an e-mail from a distant Darling cousin. I found out later that it's contents were copied and pasted from yet another Darling cousin after I did some searches and found the identical note on a message board. This is the exact message I received (copied and pasted verbatim; italics mine):

"I have info on Beulah Smith Darling her grand mother Grace Tyler named Beulah in her will and named her mother .Grace left to her daughter Ann Smith she was m to Mark Smith in Salem she listed her two grandaughters to granddau Rebecca Tyler Smith,Bedding,Bureau, and silverware,to granddau Beulah Smith bedding, silver tablespoons marked P.E.A. and a tenplate stove and rag carpet now at Mark Smiths she also stated she wills her rights to the farm which she bot of Mark Smith,being his life estate in same,in trust to pay the profits arising from same to dau Ann Smith which income is not to be under control of her husband Mark Smith oct 16,1824"

A second entry to the message boards by the same person adds just a little more information:

"This the info on the will 1822,Jan 17 Tyler Grace,Salem.To my executor,my right of the farm which I bot of Mark Smith.being ,his life estate in same, in trust to pay the profits arising from same to dau.Ann Smith which income is not to be under control of her husband Mark Smith.To granddau. Beaulah Smith,bedding,silver tablespoons marked P.E.A,and a tenplate stove and rag carpet now at Mark Smith's Exec.John G Mason.Wit James Newell,Ebenezer Smith and Maskell Mulford. Proved Oct 16,1824"

Then, there was the "other Will" (again, message posted by the same person):

"This is another will Feb 27,1807 David Smith to his wife Mary , house and lot in Salem where I now live and a lot on a new st fronting John Tyler's. to hannah Carpenter Ellet and Maria Ellet 100 pounds each to nephew Steven Smith 300 pounds Elizabeth Fogg 25 pounds to Neices Beulah and Attila Smith house and lot on the creek,In Salem to Elisha Smith 15 acres of woodland. to nephew David Smith remaindre og me estate Exec Mary Smith Bro William Smith and nephew David Smith wit Jesse Bond,John Redman,and John Ellet proved mar 30, 1807"

I originally cast these carelessly typed notes aside because too many things were just "not right". My ancestor, Beulah Smith, was born in 1823 and married Samuel Darling around 1844. The first five of their ten children were born in or near Salem County, New Jersey. The first Will above was written a year before my ancestor was born and the second Will was proven over a decade before she was born. Normally, I wouldn't have bothered with doing any follow-up research on something so unlikely, but it bothered me that these Internet messages were going to mislead others. Add to that my curiosity concerning the names Beulah and Attila! Beulah and Samuel's oldest daughter had many names in the various records found for her throughout her life: Artilla, Atilla, Artmezy, Misha, etc. I am convinced she was named after Artemisia Newell*, a neighbor of Samuel and Beulah's in 1850 and that Artmezy and Misha are derivatives of that name. Artilla or Atilla may have been a second, or middle name. Those are not the most common names and it made me curious; were these recycled family names and could all these Smith families of Salem county be connected? A bit of research turned up strong evidence that Grace Tyler was not the grandmother of my ancestor.

The Will cited does indeed mention a Beulah Smith, daughter of Mark and Ann Tyler Smith. Ann Tyler was the daughter of Samuel and Grace Ambler Acton Tyler. Grace's maiden name was Ambler. She was a widow at the time of her marriage to Samuel Tyler and her previous married name was Acton. However, as research would indicate, Grace's granddaughter Beulah Smith (b. 1818) married WILLIAM DORMAN (or DARMAN) and they and their children can be found in Gloucester Co., NJ in the 1850 census. Their two youngest boys are Mark and Samuel, named for Beulah's father and grandfather.  Beulah DARLING (b. 1823) is likewise found in the 1850 census in Salem Co., NJ with her husband Samuel and three sons. 

The genealogy of the family mentioned in the Will of Grace Tyler can be found in the book "The History and Genealogy of Fenwick's Colony, NJ" on pages 279 and 280. Fenwick's Colony (a Quaker colony) was located in Salem county. Grace Ambler Acton Tyler's parent's were Peter and Elizabeth Ambler and it was they who were the likely original owners of the silver tablespoons marked "P.E.A.". It clearly says in this history that Grace's granddaughter Beulah married William Dorman (Beulah R. and William Darman in the census and in the marriage record dated 9 Feb 1841 in Salem Co., NJ).

Excerpt from "The History and Genealogy of Fenwick's Colony" by Thomas Shourds, pg. 280 "Tyler Family"

The other cited Will of David Smith appears to tie into this same family. It is highly possible that these Smith families, including that of my ancestor, are all related. More research is in order.

*Samuel and Beulah named their first born child William "Newell" Darling and the name Newell is passed down once again to William's grandson Lawrence Newell Huckleberry. It is also interesting to note that a James Newell is a witness in Grace Tyler's Will.

1 comment:

  1. Good post. There no substitute for due diligence. I read your article with interest as I have seen similar mistakes. Thanks for showing your detective work and your careful scrutiny.