The Story of Will Smith

The Smith family history as descended through Narcissus “Narcis” Simmons Lang, daughter of Robert “Reuben” Simmons and Frances Smith, and Narcissus’ son Seldon Albert Lang. Related by Bob Ann Breland.

“Seldon Lang remembers that he was told by his mother that Ward Smith’s father (Will Smith) was an Indian fighter. He had been reared by the Indians and could speak their language, so he could talk with them and knew how to track them.

“When Indian marauders burned down the town of Roanoke, VA., there were only two people who survived. He became the tracker for a party of soldiers who tracked down the marauders. When the soldiers were in pursuit, they came upon the home of settlers burned by the same Indians, and the remains of the house still smoking.

“The story is told that a Cherokee Indian girl in her teens was out behind the place, standing on a stump picking green peaches. The soldiers and their tracker, who was Ward Smith’s father, took the girl with them when they left. Smith took her for his wife and they had a family, which included Ward Smith. This is where the Indian line of the family comes in.

“Apparently, this family ancestor was quite a character. He had a dog for years to help him in his tracking, and when the dog died he put him in a box and buried him in the human cemetery which was illegal. He evidently did many things which were unusual, which often caused him to get into trouble.”

SOURCE: Bob Ann Breland

An Alternate Smith history descended through Mary Ann Simmons, daughter of Reuben and Francis Simmons thru Mary Ann Simmons, daughter of Rueben and Francis SIMMONS, and was transmitted from Kermit Reeves to Bob Ann Breland.

John C. Smith and his family lived in Virginia where he was in the Cavalry. So was his son, Ward Smith. After one of the raids on the Indian camps, John thought all the Indians were dead, but he found an Indian girl under a pile of wood. She was young and he did not want to kill her. He carried her home and raised her.

When she grew up, his son Ward married her and they moved to Kentucky and raised a family of two sons and three daughters. One of the daughters married Robert Reuben Simmons, who moved to Alabama and then on to Pike County Miss where he raised a family, five sons and two daughters. Mary Ann married James “Jim” Lang and Narcis “Dink” married Albert Winston Lang. Both Albert and Jim after starting a family moved to Sheridan LA. Albert and Narcis had sons Iva, Leslie, Norman, Narvil and Seldon and daughters, Fannie, Evie and Lillian.

Jim and Mary Ann had two sons, Monroe and Esco, and their daughters were Fannie, who married and moved back to Kentucky, but the others, Mattie, Della, Marjorie and Maud all lived in Washington Parish, married and had large families.

We know that Ward Smith married Easter Everidge and that she wasn’t discovered under a wood pile but there are other details that are interesting. Such as the idea of “moving back to Kentucky”. Though the alternate story of Will Smith indicates the family coming from Virginia, and the census (not always correct) says South Carolina, the detail of “moving back to Kentucky” suggests someone had a tie with that state.