Granny Smith

Orville Smith

New Member
Jan 24, 2010
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A Letter from a great grandaughter states that Emeline CHAMPION SMITH, spouse of Charles SMITH spent time in the NJ Pine Barrens as a healer/midwife known as "GRANNY SMITH" and that one of her grandmothers was a Lenni-Lenape Indian. Granny Smith would be my great grandmother. My guess of a timeframe is 1911 to 1924, but might be way off.

Has anyone any knowledge of this?
 

lakesgirl

Explorer
Jan 3, 2010
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collings lakes
Is the Charles Smith the doctor of the "Neutral Water Health Spa", (can't remember the actual name of the place) in Egg Harbor City? If so, you might want to contact them at the Round House. They may have some information about Granny Smith.
 

Teegate

Administrator
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Sep 17, 2002
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Any relation to Emeline Montgomery Smith or Henry Goldsborough Smith, son of the late Francis and Emeline Smith?


Guy
 

Spung-Man

Explorer
Jan 5, 2009
932
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Richland, NJ
loki.stockton.edu
A long Tradition of Indians and Healers in Western Atlantic County

Orville,

The Smiths and Champions operated a number of forest resource enterprises throughout old Gloucester County, especially sawmills within the portion that is now western Atlantic County. Pancoast Mill was built (c.1780) and operated by a Thomas Champion, and through marriage (Archibald Campbell – Abigail Champion) it became Campbell Mill (c.1800). During the 18th century Smiths operated Little Mill (c.1750) just above Weymouth, and opened a new mill on Deep Run three-miles downstream of Champion’s. It is interesting to learn in recent correspondence with you that Granny Smith was born in 1832 near Tuckahoe (i.e., Etna Furnace). A location really helps! Smiths also operated a sawmill near Etna on the Tuckahoe River adjacent to Concord Forge, and had business ties with the Wood family (i.e., the Wawa family).

The Woods were related through marriage to the Richards of Batsto fame. With iron in the Pines, nepotism worked well, at least as long as it was kept within the family! Smiths’ business ties with the Woods lasted throughout the 19th century. When Edward Randolph Wood laid out the 20,000-acre Cumberland Colony (c.1875), Jonathan Harris Smith was hired to build a steam-powered sawmill. Jonnie Smith cut the West Jersey Railroad right-of-way (c.1879) and built Richland. During the late 1800s, ER Wood had Jonnie clear the cannon range from Milmay towards Hunters Mill for a proposed heavy ordinance proving ground. Its trace is today known as Cannon Range Road. Wood’s range site was considered too remote for easy transport of test ordinance, and a deepwater port was sought elsewhere by the US officials. The grounds are today the Peaslee Wildlife Management Area.

A woodcut of Smith’s steam-powered sawmill, seed store, and residence is posted here:
http://forums.njpinebarrens.com/f18/new-fight-over-how-save-pinelands-6033/index2.html#post75038

There are numerous accounts of 19th century Lenape activity around western Atlantic County, an area considered the wildest portion of the Pines until the railroad era. Many locals claim Lenape heritage, and have blood-test evidence to prove Native American lineage. I tend to believe them, and suggest your family lore may be credible but difficult to prove. There was one clan known as the Piney Hollow Indians, to which some Richland residents claim kinship. I would love to hear more on this topic!

For example, Mints (1968: 13 & 14, The Great Wilderness) recounted that in 1837 John Ford of Doughty’s Tavern (Milmay) “was drawing charcoal when a piece of hot charcoal dropped into his boat [old name for charcoal wagon] burning him severely… At that time there were no doctors in the vicinity and the folks had to depend on home remedies. The sore would not heal and gangrene developed.” An old Indian shaman summoned, who produced an herbal remedy mixed with bear grease, powdered charcoal, and stove polish. The concoction was packed into a hollow ten-inch-long bone, which was heated and periodically applied to the festering sore. The young coaler quickly and completely healed. Doughty’s was a coaling station for Etna and Cumberland Furnaces, so was almost certainly a familiar place to Granny Smith.

Spung-Man
 

Orville Smith

New Member
Jan 24, 2010
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Hi Spung-Man,

In 1837, Emeline (Granny Smith) was 4 0r 5 years old. The "old Indian shaman" might have been her mother(50% Lenape) or grandmother(100% Lenape), or someone else. Emeline's parents were Nathaniel Champion and Mary or Margaret LAYTON. I currently have no grandparent names or dates nor know which grandmother was Lenape. Apparently, LAYTON is a recorded Lenape surname. Emeline married about 1850 Charles Smith, 2nd, from Philadelphia and relocated to Midlesex Co., NJ, Charles died 1911. I don't know where Emeline lived between then and her death in 1924, but suspect the Pine Barrens area since she was called Granny Smith.

There were several Nathaniel Champions in southern NJ in the early/middle 1800s. One of them married a Margaret Layton 1828 Cumberland County. My best guess would be Nathaniel Champion, lumber dealer in Maurice River.

Orville - Cybersaurusrexx@yahoo.com

PS: If you or anyone else gets Posion Ivy/Oak, crush Buckhorn Weed leaves and rub it on. Known side effect = green stain.
 

Spung-Man

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Jan 5, 2009
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Richland, NJ
loki.stockton.edu
I just came across two journal articles that match my understanding of what became of many of the Lenape (Lenopi) in South Jersey. They are still here!

"After the sales of their lands in the 1600s, most Lenopi simply withdrew to areas in their collective territory, such as swamps, that were less attractive or useful to colonial immigrants....most Lenopi never left their homeland" (Becker, 2010: 63).
"Many [Lenopi] intermarried with the colonists during the earliest period of contact" (Becker, 2010: 68).
"Many, if not most, of the descendants of those Lenopi. who loved elsewhere in New Jersey when the Brotherton tract was occupied (1758–1802), never left the area. Their stories remain poorly known" (Becker, 2011a: 74).
Becker makes a good argument that South Jersey's native population ("Jersey" or "Lenopi") was distinctive from their brethren across the river ("Delaware" or "Lenape"). It is a controversial viewpoint. Read the papers and decide for yourself.

S-M

Becker, M.J., 2010: The Armewamus band of New Jersey: other clues to the differences between the Lenopi and Lenape. 80, 2: 61–72.
Becker, M.J., 2011a: Jacob Skickett, Lenopi elder: preliminary notes from before 1750 to after 1802. 81, 2: 65–76.
Becker, M.., 2011b: Lenape culture history: the transition of 1660 and its implications for the archaeology of the final phase of the Late
Woodland Period. Journal of Middle Atlantic Archaeology. 27: 53–72.
 

cudgel

New Member
Mar 5, 2013
14
2
Mount Holly
I spent many years researching the subject of Lenape ancestry in South Jersey, especially in the Pinelands. Initially this was to research my own family's Native ancestry, but as I went, the research grew beyond my own family's history.
I found quite a bit of compelling evidence, some of which I eventually self published, but I'm sure I missed some things, like this info from Becker. I'll have to look for these journal articles and check them out. Thanks for posting.
 
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