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AUTHOR:  Linda Branch (edited and vetted by Cheri Todd Molter)

Caleb Smith was my great-great-grandfather. He married Elizabeth Braxton (the daughter of Jesse Braxton), and she was the mother of my great-grandfather, Caleb Putnell Smith (called “Put”). Caleb Putnell Smith was born on June 2, 1861. Caleb and Elizabeth had two other children, too: James Washington Smith and Parmelia Smith.

Before marrying Caleb Smith, Elizabeth Braxton Smith lived with Caleb and his first wife, Laney Gardner Smith, as their domestic servant. The 1850 census shows them all living together in the same household with his mother, Charity Putnell Smith (the daughter of Joshua Putnell) there, too. Charity was born in 1776. Caleb Smith and family lived in the Chicod section of Pitt County, and I know that he enslaved quite a few individuals. The house still stands by Highway 43. They grew rice before and during the Civil War. After Laney Gardner Smith died, Caleb married Elizabeth. He was in his 60s at the time, and Elizabeth was in her 30s.

Sources: 1850, 1860, and 1870 U.S. Census Records (Pitt County) and Caleb Putnell Smith’s N.C. Death Certificate (He died Oct. 25, 1931)

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