Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Thankful Thursday ~ Gift from Beyond

I am not quite sure how to start this, which is a shock cause I never have trouble talking, I think because it is SUCH an UNBELIEVABLE event that I still have yet to wrap my head around it.

Three days ago I received this contact in my messages, along with a return email. ( I didn't want to get my hopes up as I have had MANY disappointments in my recent past, so I just let the chips fall where they might, BOY did they FALL!)

I have some documents written by Joseph Smedley, one is a hand written copy of his appeal that was given to the Choctaw council. And others.
I would like to get these into the family hands. Will give longer story if you are interested

THIS is my reply


I am a direct decedent of Joseph Smedley, he is my Great x 4 Grandfather and I would ADORE anything that has to do with our family! I am very interested in the documents but also how you came to get them. I love stories about how things get around to others, vintage shop sales and the likes. I appreciate you contacting me, please let me know what you have and how or what you would like to do with them.

Thank you,


THIS is his reply

Ready for the long story, as I talk a great deal when speaking of genealogy and family history.  This week end at the annual reunion of graduates of Phillips High School. This is a school that used to exist 3 miles North of Borger, Texas in the Texas Panhandle.  After the regular meeting some of us from the class of 1960 had lunch and I went back to the motel where a classmate was staying. In the great room at the entrance of the motel were numerous tubs of stuff from an estate. The stuff was the leftovers of Ronnie H. and his wife. According to a friend, Ronnie and his wife had passed very young with only one child. The child took what she wanted and these tubs of stuff remained in Les Hargis’s possession for perhaps the last 20 years. So Les, who is married to a Phillips grad, got tired of keeping the stuff. Since the motel was full of people who knew Ronnie H., Les said “ everyone take what they want and the rest goes to an antique dealer( also a graduate) to sell for whatever.
As a collector, I thought I had died and gone to heaven( thinking what left this tub in the days before). One tub was completely full of photos, many school pictures, carte vistas, cabinet cards, one tin type. Most of the older photos and real photo postcards were not identified( as you know is the usual case). I spent over an hour looking at the tub.

MY next reply

I am in tears and have the shakes and am GIDDY all over! I can't tell you what this means to me, I am 39 a family historian and Genealogist, I blog about the things I do and the journey I am on. I ADORE this on so many levels I can't even explain! I just read it to my mother and she is tickled too. I can't tell you what this means to me, to us, to our family. I will protect them, get them scanned safely and see about getting the copies shared with our extended family and the research community. 

I sent him a reply and a link to this blog and his reply

Wow, Alisha.
After seeing your blog I realize that I have gotten the documents to the right place.

I received those PRECIOUS documents in the mail today, I am a BALL of emotions. I have in my hands something not only from 1840-1850, but it is my 4th grandfather, his writing, his words, his thoughts, his deeds, his actions. VERY seldom am I at a loss for words, but this just takes it, it takes my breath away.

Rev. Joseph Smedley, as you will see below in my quick tree to him, is my 4th great grandfather. He was also the first Smedley to come to the states from England. He was a teacher, and a missionary to the Choctaw people as they came off the Trail of Tears. He lived among them, became part of their families, and raised his 7 children with them. I am beyond excited to have such a person in my family, but equally as excited that he accomplished all the things that he did, that he passed on his love for being a missionary to his children and their spouses and children, another blog post. He was a pioneer to this area, to the Choctaw Nation and its people. I can see a Rev. Joseph Smedley blog post in my near future!

In the coming days I will be transcribing, posting, and sharing these documents with you all here on the blog and my family across the country. I have had family documents 'kept' from me and I just don't believe in it. They are precious gifts to be shared, not horded away from those who will treasure and share them.
                                                Rev. Joseph Smedley

Joseph B. Smedley Rev. (1792 - 1877)
is your 4th great grandfather
Son of Joseph B.
Son of John Ratcliff
Son of William Leslie
Son of Walter Lee
Daughter of John B.
( ME)

I had the privilege of visiting and photographing his resting place, next to several of his children, not far from me.


Happy Hunting,


  1. I am just so excited for you that I too got goosebumps. You have hit the elusive jackpot that we all seek. Congratulations on such a wonderful rich find.

  2. Alisha I was wondering if you could help me. I am a Smedley by blood. My grandmother was Anna Myrie Smedley, born in 1901, died 2000.. She married my grandfather Theodore T King in Sebastian County Arkansas. I cant seem to find ANY info on her! I was told by my father that I am related to missionaries and Indians from that era, but that was all he told me. I cant find out who her parents were and how I am related to Joseph, possibly one of my great grandfathers.Would you happen to know who her parents were and what tribe the family is related to? Please email me at if you know anything or can lead me on the right path. Thank you!!
    Kimberly King Byers

  3. Hello Alisha - another request for your help. I too am descended from Joseph Smedley through his daughter Charlotte Abigail Smedley - Edwin Theodore Sorrells - Charlotte Sorrells - Embree Laverne Cox - Edwin Frederick Armentrout - Vicky Armentrout (me). What I need help with is locating the burial place of Joseph Smedley's daughter Charlotte. I live in Georgia so it is somewhat difficult to search for her grave. All of the online research that I have done has been fruitless. If you have any info can you email it to me at ( I would so appreciate it. And congrats on finding the stash on Joseph Smedley - that was so amazing!