James Smart (1770 - 1837)


James Smart was born in 1770 in Rutherford County, North Carolina, supposedly the son of John Smart, a Revolutionary War patriot from Rutherford.

Marriage - Nancy Scott

James Smart married Nancy Scott on March 8, 1794 in Rutherford county, NC. Nancy was the daughter of John Scott Jr., born 1728 in Maryland and Agnes Reed, born 1744 in North Carolina.

Jas. Morris was the witness and Lewis Tomerton, the bondsman. No. Carolina Marriage Bond #000136058 Rutherford Court Record - FHL #6418151

James and Nancy Move West

Around 1795-8, James and Nancy moved to Kentucky--first to Christian county and later to Livingston county.

The 1830 Census enumerator found the family in the northwest part of Caldwell county. James and Nancy were living with two males--one under 5--one 15-19--and a female, 20-29. Could these have been William (the youngest son) and a daughter and her son (a grandson)?

James Names His Family in His Will

On January 9, 1836, apparently seeing death lurking, James wrote his will in Caldwell county, Kentucky. It is a treasure of our family history, correcting information found in the old book on Rutherford Smarts. Much is based on this will and much time put into authenticating and documenting it. An entire page on this site is dedicated to the analysis and other supporting documents. Serious inquiry into this will should be directed to this analysis/page.

In the process, James clearly & concisely named all his "dear children" in an order that seemed purposeful--like a genealogy. These seven represent the only known children of James and Nancy.


Their Lives

  John S. Smart

m. Anna Tyler July 14, 1814 Caldwell co., KY
Not found on Find-A-Grave

  Polly Reed Smart  
  Joseph Reed Smart

b. 1799 KY m. Darnall 1827

  Luanna Patterson

b. Mar. 28, 1912 d. Sep. 29, 1992 buried El Reno Cemetery Canadian co., OK Find-A-Grave
m. Thomas Patterson Sept. 20, 1817 Caldwell co., KY

  Jane S. Leroy m. Peter Leroy Nov. 14, 1825 Caldwell co., KY
  Nancy Patterson  
  William M. C. (or Mele) Smart b. ~1811 (per the 1830 Census?)

A Reed Connection? by Randy C. Smart

Nancy's mother, Agnes (Reed) Scott, was the daughter of a Joseph Reed who could have been a descendant of the land baron Joseph Reed of Maryland. The connection to Joseph Reed might be documented within the naming conventions used with the children. Could he have been their benefactor all those years in NC?

James Passes

James Smart died in Caldwell county, Kentucky in 1837. He was around 67.

He had moved his family into the frontier from NC where the family had lived for a century. He grew up, instead, experiencing some of the west as it was opening.

James Smart's Will

No Find-A-Grave listing of a James Smart buried anywhere in Kentucky.