Letter to the Editor

Dear Editor;

In the January 31, 2020 edition of The Pocahontas Times under “Preserving Pocahontas” there was a photo titled “Smith Family Musicians – 1897.

In the photo are Andrew Jacob “Jake” Smith, daughter Allie Smith Eubanks and Uncle. They are identified from a letter written by Julia Ann Smith to her sister, Ida Virginia Moore in 1887. Allie also played the banjo, Julia Ann played the guitar and Ida Virginia played the organ.

Another letter written in 1887 by Julia Ann Smith told how young people came to the Smith home on Sunday afternoons to join in the singing and playing of instruments. A second group came at 5 p.m. and stayed until 10 p.m.

Perhaps it is through the Smith Family musicians of Edray that my family and I received our roots of music, our love for it and participation in it.

The gentleman on the left, playing the fiddle, violin, is Andrew Jacob “Jake” Smith, who is my great-grandfather. He was born near Mill Point December 29, 1839, and died August 31, 1917. He was a tanner, had a tanning pond in Edray, and was also a shoemaker, as was his father. He married Susan Virginia Kellison April 20, 1865. She was born October 21, 1846 and died January 23, 1917. They lived at Edray. He died seven months after Jenny, and it was said he died of a broken heart.

Their children were: Morella Smith Barlow, who married John Barlow; Ida Virginia Smith Moore (my grandmother) married Samuel Moore; Oliver did not marry; Luther married Francis Sharp; Julia Ann Smith Moore married Lanty Moore; Eppaminondas “Dick” married Emma Jordan; and Alice “Allie” Smith Eubank married Edgar Eubanks.

I am interested in hearing from any descendants of the above families and can be reached by email at mdmlbittle@gmail.com or at 10 Warfield Place, LaVale, MD 21502 or call 301-729-0122.

Glenn and Vera Bly Tracy were my parents. My mother was the granddaughter of Jacob and Susan Virginia Smith and a descendant of Moses Moore. My sister, Helen Tracy Loman, and I grew up in Boyer, and we are so proud of our Appalachian mountain heritage.

Marian Tracy Bittle
LaVale, Maryland

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