Tag Archives: Knox County

Annie’s Siblings–The Isaac Smith Family

Ann Marie Smith (Butts)

Ann Marie Smith (Butts)

My great-grandmother Annie Smith  lived all her life in Knox County, Ohio. However, her father, Isaac Smith and mother, Mary Maria Krigbaum Smith started their family in Maryland, and Annie’s many brothers and sisters were born partly in Maryland and the rest in Ohio.


Birth and Death Dates of Smith Family Members

Those who lived to adulthood ( 8 out of 12, although one of those adults died at 22) nearly all made it into their 80s.

The order of birth, which is how I presented them here,  contrasts sharply with order of death.

Birth Order:

  • John Henry 1823
  • Mary Jane   1825
  • Jeremiah     1827
  • William J.     1828
  • George W.  1831
  • Susan          1833
  • Annie           1835
  • Priscilla        1838
  • Isadore        1840
  • James           1843
  • Dallas           1845
  • Rebecca       1847

Whereas, if we look at order of death, we find that the infant deaths occurred early and anyone who survived past the Civil War had a very good chance of reaching their 80s (with the exception of Isadore). Here is the age at death and year of death.

  • Susan (1)           1834
  • Priscilla (0)         1838
  • George W. (7)    1838
  • Rebecca (1)        1848
  • Jeremiah (22)     1849
  • John Henry (41)  1864
  • Isadore (39)         1879
  • William J. (83)      1911
  • Mary Jane (88)    1913
  • Annie (82)            1917
  • James (87)            1930
  • Dallas (88)            1933

In this age when death in childbirth was so common, none of three women in the family who had children, died in childbirth. Mary Jane (Stevens) had the most children–eight and Annie (Butts) had six.

Their Lives

The family moved to Ohio definitely by the time of the birth of Susan in 1833, and perhaps two or three years earlier. The information is lacking on George’s birthplace.

The adult men were mostly farmers, the women farmer’s wives and mothers. Most stayed right in Knox County, Ohio where they grew up. Here are a few more details.

John Henry, 1823-1864. I introduced the man who did not survive the Civil War earlier.

Mary Jane Smith (Stevens) 1825-1913.  Annie’s oldest sister had a very long and relatively unremarkable life as a farm wife and mother.  Born in Maryland, she married Cyrus Stevens (1821-1887) in November 1845 in Knox County.  Their children were as follows:

  • Rebecca Frances  (1848) Died before 1851
  • William (1850) Died young
  • Isaac (1851)
  • Aletha (1853)
  • Alice/Ann  (1855)
  • Ellen (1858)
  • Charles (1863)
  • Fulton (1877)

In the six years between 1886 and 1894, Mary Jane’s father died, then her husband (1887) and finally (1892) her mother.  1900 comes missing, but by 1910 at the age of 84, she is living with her sons Charles, a farmer in Knox County.  According to the Smith Family Bible records, Mary Jane died in 1913.

Jeremiah Smith (1827-1849) and destined to die young and leave no record of his life, except the family Bible. Maryland Catholic church records  show the baptism of an unknown child of Isaac and Mary Smith in May 1827.  The family Bible says he died at 22 years old.

William Jackson Smith (1828-1911), born while the family still lived in Maryland. I will write separately about William, an anomaly in several ways.

George W. Smith (1831-1838), probably another unidentified child in baptism records in Maryland. Death and birth dates recorded in family Bible.

Susan Elizabeth (1833-1834) Died at less than one year old.

Ann Marie (Butts) (1835-1917) I have written about Annie and her husband previously.

Priscilla Bell (1838) Died as an infant. (Note that the 7-year-old George died the same year).

Isadore Orilla (Critchfield) (1840-1879)  Isadore did not marry until she was in old maid territory–28 years old. Her husband, Thomas Critchfield only 24, was another farmer in Knox County.  They married in 1870.  The couple moved in next door to Thomas’ widowed mother and his two adult sisters.  After only nine years of marriage and no children, Isadore died at the age of 39.

James F. (1843-1930) Although James came of age during the Civil War, and registered for the draft in 1863 when he was twenty, he did not appear to have served. He married in 1870 and lived next door to his father, Isaac Smith.  James apparently had ambition and studied for the law. However, although he was listed as a lawyer in the 1870 census, subsequent census reports say “farmer”. By 1880, he and his wife Rebecca have a daughter Roxie, who was destined to die as a young teen.  He had no other children.  His brother William lived with him in 1910 in Howard Township, Knox County, but William died in 1911.

Rebecca and James moved into Millbrook Village, part of Danville, Ohio in their later years.  They both lived long lives, Rebecca surviving James who died in 1930 at nearly 87 years old.  I cringe when I think of the horrible death reported on this death certificate.  Starvation resulting from cancer of the face.”

Joseph Dallas Smith (1845-1933) Dallas, as he was called, led the most colorful life of all, and so I will be writing about him separately.

Rebecca (1847-1848) Unfortunately the last child born to Isaac and his wife Mary died when she was less than one year old.  My great-grandmother, Annie would have been twelve years old.  Isaac, in 1847 had reached the age of 47, and Mary was 43.

I will write more about the mother and father, Isaac and Mary (Krigbaum) Smith, who lived to 1886 and 1892 respectively, long enough to enjoy many grand-children. and great-grandchildren. That would include, potentially, my grandmother Mary “Mame” Butts (Kaser), my father’s mother who was born in 1868.

The Isaac and Mary Smith Family, A Guide

When families like the Isaac Smith family come up for discussion it sometimes is “hard to tell the players without a program.”  Here is a guide to the family (sisters and brothers of my great-grandmother Ann Marie Smith Butts) with birthdates and (mostly) places of birth. Twelve children, of whom seven lived to adulthood, plus one who died when he was twenty-two (Probably). Six left “issue” as the old biography books say.

Much of the information here comes from the transcription of an old Smith family Bible, which is not always correct.  Therefore I have put question marks beside most information that I am not sure of from more than one source. (Always remember that genealogical research is a work in progress.)

Father Isaac Smith. Born circa 1800 either in Pennsylvania or Maryland.  Died 1 November 1886, Ohio.

Mother Mary Maria Krigbaum Smith. Born 26 July, 1804, Maryland. Died 28 November 1892, Ohio.

Smith Children:

*Lived to Adulthood

*John Henry Smith. 26 January, 1823, Maryland. Died 17 December 1864, Nashville Tennessee. (Civil War)  [Referred to as Ivan Henry in Family Bible] (Married Rebecca Jane Draper.)

*Mary Jane Smith (STEVENS). Born Circa 1825 in Maryland. Died September 1913 (?) in Knox County, Ohio.

Jeremiah Smith. Born 19 February 1827 in Maryland. Died 9 January 1849 (?) in Knox County, Ohio. (22 years old, not married)

*William Jackson Smith. Born 1 December 1828 in Maryland. Died 20 February, 1911, Howard, Knox, Ohio. (never married)

George Washington Smith. Born 1 January 1831(?). Died October 1838 (?), Knox County, Ohio. (7 years old)

Susan Elizabeth Smith. Born 16 June 1833 (?) Knox County, Ohio. Died October 1838. (?) Knox County, Ohio. (Infant Death)

*Ann Marie Smith (BUTTS), Born 12 April 1835, Knox County, Ohio. Died 24 April 1917, Danville Ohio.

Priscilla Belle Smith, Born 20 February 1838 (?), Knox County, Ohio. Died October 1838(?), Knox County, Ohio. (7 months old)

*Isadore Orilla Smith (CRITCHFIELD).  Born 13 June 1840, Knox County, Ohio. Died 28 January, 1879 (?), Knox County, Ohio. (no children, although her husband remarried and had two daughters.)

*James Francis Smith. Born 27 September 1843 Danville, Knox, Ohio. Died 13 September 1930, Millwood, Knox, Ohio. (Married Rebecca Hawn)

*Joseph Dallas Smith, MD. Born 24 January, 1845, Knox County, Ohio. Died 26 April 1933. (Married twice: Martha Fitzpatrick and Elizabeth Fitzgerald.)

Rebecca Francis Smith. Born 12 September 1847 (?), Knox County, Ohio. Died February 1848(?), Knox County, Ohio. (5 months old)

Ann Marie Smith, Church and Family

If you are a family history researcher or blogger, you will understand why I have been reluctant to tackle this particular family line. SMITH. But the Smiths are not going to get any easier to figure out if I keep ignoring them.  So here is my great-grandmother, my father’s grandmother, Ann Marie Smith (Butts).

Ann Marie Smith 1835-1917

parents of Mame Kaser

Henry Allen and Ann Marie Butts, about 1880

Ann Marie Smith, my father’s grandmother, joined five other children when she was born in Knox County,Ohio on the 12th of April, 1835. The children ranged from three years old to ten. Isaac, their father, the shoemaker, must have mended a lot of shoes to be able to feed his large family.

Her parents, devoted Catholics originally from Maryland, took her to the mission that would become St. Luke Catholic church in Danville Ohio to be christened the following July.

Jean Baptiste Lamy

Jean Baptiste Lamy, taken in 1860. From the French Wikipedia site.


HISTORICAL NOTE:  Four years after Ann Marie Smith’s  baptism, a traveling priest began serving the Danville area.  Jean-Baptiste Lamy would be Annie’s priest when she was a young child. He built the first wooden church to serve St. Luke Church in 1840, before he departed for New Mexico in 1850. This means Father Lamy would have presided over the baptism, christening and infant deaths of the Smith children that came after Annie. I also found a marriage license of Annie’s older sister, Mary Jane, SIGNED BY Rev. Lamy!!

Father Lamy signature

Father J. Lamy signature on the marriage certificate of Mary Jane Smith and Cyrus Stevens, 1845.

Willa Cather’s book Death Comes to the Archbishop covers the New Mexico life of Father/Archbishop Lamy.

For the rest of her life, Annie would know only Knox County, Ohio as her home, and St. Luke as her church.  The beautiful brick church, with its soaring interior, still serves the area.

While every child certainly was welcomed with love, little Ann Marie must have been a special delight because Mary (Krigbaum) and Isaac Smith had suffered the loss of an infant girl in 1833.

I wrote a bit about Ann Marie’s married life when we read her husband, Henry Allen Butts’ letters home from the Civil War, but I recently realized that I had not looked at Ann Marie’s earlier life at that time.

Ann Marie’s Early Life

During the early years of her life, the Smith family kept growing. But before she gained more siblings, three-year-old Ann lost a 7-year-old brother (George). In the same year, her mother Mary Smith gave birth to another girl who died in infancy, Priscilla Bell Smith.

Then the curse–if they believed in such things–was lifted and five-year-old Annie gained a close playmate when Isadore Orilla  joined the family in 1840. I believe Mary felt particularly close to Isadore, because Annie honored her sister by using her name for my grandmother. Mary Isadore Butts (Kaser) received the names of her grandmother Mary and her aunt Isadore.

Three years after Isadore joined the family, Mary presented another boy, James, and in 1845, the youngest, Joseph Dalice, joined the family.

With a new baby , and a total of eight offspring in the house, Mary Smith no doubt had mixed feelings about her oldest daughter, Mary Jane’s marriage and departure. The oldest son, John Henry also married in 1845. Mary Jane had reached 20 and John (also called Ivan) would now be 22.

Adding Children and Losing Children

In 1847, when Ann Marie reached twelve her mother gave birth to another girl baby who died in infancy.  Poor Mary. She had lost three children in infancy and one at only seven years old. Another shock hit the family when Ann Marie reached fourteen years old.  Ann Marie’s older brother Jeremiah died in a farm accident when he was only twenty-two. Of twelve children Mary Smith had given birth to, only seven survived to 1850.

[In 1849 William Smith, 21, may also have married and lived in another county with an uncle named George, but I need further research on this since there are dozens of  William Smiths to sort out.]

When the census taker wrote down the facts in 1850, he showed 15-year-old Ann Marie as the oldest of the children still at home. The others were sister Isadore (10) and brothers James (8) and Joseph (6). Although their mother Mary apparently could not read and write (at least in English), the Smith children all attended school and became literate. In 1860, Ann Marie still lived at home at 25 years of age–probably already considered a spinster. (The census shows her as 24.)

The Spinster Meets Her Man

In 1860, Henry Allen Butts showed up in the Pennsylvania census living in a boarding house.  How he met his wife Ann Marie Smith remains a mystery to me. Political division stalked the land, and most expected war to break out. Henry, who presumably had not yet met Annie, joined a Pennsylvania Regiment of the Union Army for a year.  When he mustered out, he apparently moved to Ohio. His father had died in 1846, and I am not sure where his mother was by 1860.

Records show that Ann Marie Smith and Henry Allen Butts married August 23, 1864.  They obviously had met nearly a year before that, as their first son, Giles Allen (called Alan or Allen), came “prematurely” a month after the marriage.

The Civil War Intrudes

The war continued to rage in 1864. Henry did not own land, and did not have a skill to rely on, so he joined the Union Army in Ohio. Since Henry had already served a one-year stint with the Union Army from Pennsylvania,  I can think of no reason other than financial that he would leave his “Dear Wif” and the baby he obviously doted on. His love for both of them shines through his letters, regardless of grammatical and spelling challenges.

If Ann Marie felt frightened and alone when her husband left for the front, things only got more troublesome when her brother John also joined the war.

The oldest boy in the Smith family John Henry Smith, enlisted at the beginning of 1864, even though he was already forty years old and married with children.  Henry Allen Butts mentions John Henry in a letter to his wife “Annie”. Annie had told Henry in a letter from home that her brother had gotten a leave and visited with his children.  The visit, in retrospect, suggests a bittersweet memory.  John Henry fought through several severe battles with his unit and died of wounds he received near Nashville Tennessee before 1864 ended.

It is easy to see Mary’s problems during 1864 with her husband gone and money in short supply. She is offered a job helping out as a housemaid, but Henry doesn’t approve of that, so she struggles along, without borrowing and without working outside the house.

Although Henry fought under Sherman in the famous March to the Sea, he survived to return to Ohio and invest in a small farm. More fortunate with babies than her mother, Ann Maria Smith gave birth six times and all six lived to adulthood, although one daughter died at 26.  Ann’s father died in 1886 and her mother died in 1892.

After the War

I encourage you to read the story of the rest of Ann’s life which I covered in this post about Henry’s first letter home.  Rooted in Knox County, near the small town of Danville, Ann Marie lived until April 1917 when she was 82 years old.  My father would have been eleven years old when she died, and remembered both Ann Marie and Henry Butts.

A memoir written by Homer Blubaugh tells more about Ann Marie, so devoted to her church that she would walk a few miles to church carrying her youngest baby, known for her enormous vegetable and flower garden.

Ann Marie Smith lies buried in the Catholic churchyard in Danville, Ohio. (I believe her grave is unmarked. Her husband’s grave was unmarked until a veterans’ organization erected a Civil War Veteran monument.) St. Luke church shepherded her into the world with a christening, brought her solace throughout her life and saw her departure. Henry survived her and died in 1920.

How I Am Related

  • Vera Marie Kaser (Badertscher is the daughter of
  • Paul Kaser, who is the son of
  • Mary Isadore Butts (Kaser), who is the daughter of
  • Ann Marie Smith (Butts)

Notes on Research

  • History of St. Luke Church and Father Lamy, the St. Luke website.
  • Death Comes to the Archbishop , Willa Cather.
  • United States Census, 1850, Millwood, Knox, Ohio; 1860, Union, Knox, Ohio;1870, 1880, 1900, Harrison, Knox Ohio; 1910, Union, Knox, Ohio.
  • Ohio, County Marriages, 1774-1993, Record for Henry A. Butts, Ancestry.com
  • Ohio, Deaths, 1908-1932, 1938-2007, Annie M Butts, Knox County, pg 1158,  Ohio Department of Health and Ancestry.com
  • Smith Family Bible,  Isaac M. Smith and family. Family Bible in possession of family of Joseph Dallas Smith; Elizabeth Ferretti Smith Rotterman, near Cleveland Ohio, 2016. Hand written Bible page transcribed by Mary Martha VonVille on Family Search.org https://familysearch.org/tree/person/M7BQ-48D/details
  • “A History of the Henry Allen Butts Family” by Rev. Homer Blubaugh, Saint Mary Church, Lancaster, Ohio.  This is a combination of documented and anecdotal information about the Butts family from Ohio. Some was gathered at family reunions. Some is downright wrong, but some is quite interesting. My copy was sent by Butts descendent Helen Findon in 2003. The document says Revised May 11, ’92 – Rev. Homer Blubaugh. Copies in the authors’ possession.