AUTHOR: Tom Bailey
I knew my dad and he knew his. It got a bit iffy when I started chasing the ‘Rest of The Story.’ I had problems locating documentation for my GF’s birth, among other things. Then, I located his birth record, Lafayette Burl Smith (Not Bailey as is my Father’s, mine and the one we knew as GF). He was born in May 1875 on The Watauga River pretty close to The NC/TN state line. His Mother was maiden named Bailey. Then, it really gets weird.
Her Father was (As best we know) Henry Bailey (B:1823 circa) and her Mother was Mary Jane (Cheek) Bailey (B:1826 circa). She seems to have had a son named David Cheek in 1841 or so. It seems Mary Jane married Henry in about 1852/53 and little Sarah Safronia (Or was in Lafronia?) Cheek (Bailey) was born somewhere in there about 1852. This is all complicated by Henry applying for a marriage license to marry a Mary Slimp (Or was it Schlimp?) but never completed the marriage ceremony and maybe for obvious reasons. Maybe Mary Cheek challenged him with evidence of other responsibilities named Sarah. Okay so we have a young lady coming of age during The Civil War in Western NC and up jumps a CSA soldier from Moore County, NC and late of The North Carolina 4th Infantry Div. except we find him in Western NC and Watauga County of The Last Frontier. Young Everett Smith joins the Tennessee 2nd Infantry Division of The Union Army. All of this courtesy of ancestry records on Ancestry.
They appear in 1870 census records as living in the same household and possibly as Sarah being the Servant or Housekeeper. This David Cheek seems to nearly always appear as an extra hand or helper. Everett is harder to catch than a March hare. He ends up downstream in Fish Springs in TN and eventually Butler, TN where he dies, destitute, in 1912. Young Lafayette Burl Smith was born in 1875 to Sarah Safronia Bailey in the household of one Henry & Mary Jane (Cheek) Bailey. His Mother claims Everett Smith is the father and they were married but no obvious proof exists. She marries Abraham Lincoln Ward (His friends called him A.L.) in 1881 and they soon start a family. Young Lafayette lives with his Grandparents and assumes the Bailey surname. The census for 1900 has him in the A. L. Ward household and his surname is listed as as Payley. (He is listed as working in lumber.)
He marries Edith Richardson in 1902 and those Richardson’s are from Moore County, NC that came to East TN after the Civil War. So, as stated in the beginning, I knew my dad (Luther T. Bailey) and he knew his (Lafayette B. Bailey) Unfortunately, all of this came to light when my Male ‘Y’ DNA has me as an Isaac(k)s and out of North Carolina. My Cousin also tested and confirmed our results. That takes us back to May 1875 on The Watauga River but the DNA goes further back like maybe right after The American Revolutionary War but still in North Carolina. Everett Smith’s Father & GF were both named Isaac Smith out of Moore County, NC. One even married a Richardson girl there.
The obvious conclusion is that The Civil War was uncivil to many young ladies and potential beaus.
Dear old GGM Sarah Safronia (Buried as Lafronia) in Fish Springs,TN in 1927. She applied for the Civil War pension for Everett Smith and from Both Sides. I don’t know if my imagination could stand to find out the truth about all the twists and turns of my ancestry. My checkered past seems rather pedestrian compared to what I have found so far.