Henry Tilbe Smith

England, 1831. The year that saw the opening of the London Bridge, creation of the Royal Astronomical Society, the coronation of King William IV, the scientific demonstrations of the brilliant Michael Faraday, the departure of Charles Darwin for the Galapagos, and the birth of the also brilliant James Clerk Maxwell. But all that pales in comparison to the event that occurred on January 11.

It was that day that Henry Tilbe Smith was born to Charles and Ann Smith in the English village of Aldington in the county of Kent. He was their first child.

Three months later, on April 30, little Henry was christened in the local Aldington church, St. Martin’s. By 1841, he had a sister, Ellen Ann.

St. Martin's Church, Aldington
St. Martin’s Church, Aldington

In 1851, at age 20, Henry boarded the Italy at Liverpool for the trip to America. The trip to Liverpool was enough in itself for a village boy such as Henry. Liverpool stood at the other side of the country.

The Italy made another stop at Queenstown, Ireland, another new sight for Henry, before coming to New York.

Passenger list for Henry Smith
Passenger list for Henry Smith

From New York, he made his way to Rock Creek, Ohio, in Ashtabula County. There he met Frances Elizabeth Wilbur and they married in 1852. They soon moved to nearby Saybrook. There Henry became father to five children: Henrietta Ann, Mary Elizabeth, Charles Anson, Katherine Bell, and Frederick Henry.

Henry spent his years in America farming with his sons Charles and Frederick to help until they got their own farms nearby.

The last few years of his life Henry suffered from high cholesterol and high blood pressure, which we can probably blame on his diet which was high in fats. This caused his arteries to clog and blood to flow slowly, which probably led to some confusion as the blood wasn’t getting to his brain. When he worked he probably had tight pains in his chest and couldn’t catch his breath no matter how hard he tried. On September 18, in the early hours of the morning, Henry’s heart simply gave out.Henry Tilby Smith tombstone



Funeral Card Friday: Joseph Hawley

164ff360-8adb-407c-9865-1d4715e14ec1I got into this particular branch through my favorite cousin Mark. Our grandmothers were sisters but this is his grandfather’s side. Joseph Hawley is his third great-grandfather.

Joseph was born on 31 December 1834 in Mapperley, a Derbyshire village in England. His parents were William and Sarah Hawley.  By the age of 17, he was working as a servant for the Thornhill family in nearby Stanton. Soon enough though, he began working at the coal mines in Ilkeston and Stonebroom like most men in the village.

There he worked until 1882 when he decided he wanted something better for the remainder of his life. He took his family and moved them to Young, Pennsylvania in Jefferson County.

But the miner in him just couldn’t quit. He worked the Pennsylvania coal mines until his death on 26 March 1908 of the “infirmities of old age.” Having the flu certainly didn’t help.

He was buried in the Horatio Cemetery in nearby Punxsutawney three days later.