Inevitably, anyone with English ancestors will discover that one of their ancestors bore the name of SMITH. In my case I have two great-grandmothers named SMITH: Rose Broom SMITH (1866-1934), whose photo is to the right, and Edith SMITH (1868-1953).
Rose Broom SMITH was born in Greenwich, Kent, England, the daughter of William Broom SMITH (1834-1908) and Elizabeth Ann WALL (1837-1909). According to census data, William Broom SMITH was born in Lambeth, Middlesex. William joined the Royal Navy and was an engineer serving aboard HMS Ajax when he married Elizabeth Ann WALL in 1857 in Stoke Damerel, Devon. According to his daughter's obituary, William later served aboard the cable-laying ship SS Great Eastern. Three of their six children were born in Stoke Dameral and the other three in Kent. According to his marriage certificate, William Broom SMITH's father was also named William Broom SMITH, but I haven't been able to trace this line back any further.
On the other hand, Edith SMITH's father, Henry SMITH, was born in Dolton, Devon in December of 1834. He was the son of Thomas SMITH (1807-1841) , a cooper, and Mary Field BULLEID (1809-1894). After Thomas SMITH died, Mary Field BULLEID married William HALLS (1813-1893), a builder from Merton, Devon. In 1873, Henry SMITH, his wife Elizabeth Tucker BUDD and four small daughters left Devon for Ontario, Canada and settled in the hamlet of Elimville in Usborne Township, Huron County.
But why did Henry SMITH choose Elimville?
Henry SMITH's father was baptised in Merton, Devon in 1807. As I researched the SMITH's of Merton, I made an interesting discovery. It appears that Mary Field BULLEID second husband was the cousin of her first.
Thomas SMITH was the son of Thomas SMITH (1779- ?), a cooper, and Elizabeth SCRIGGINS (1779- ?). Both Thomas and Elizabeth outlived their son. Thomas was the second youngest of the five children of John SMITH (1744-1815) and Mary FRAINE (1743-1810). The youngest child was Jenny SMITH (1787-1846), who married Philip HALLS (1791-1846) in 1810. Of their six sons, only the second oldest, William HALLS, stayed in Devon. The rest emigrated to Canada during the 1840s. Three of them settled near Elimville in Usborne Township, Huron County, to be joined many years later by their step-nephew, my gg-grandfather, Henry SMITH.
Sixteen years after arriving in Canada, Henry and family headed west to Manitoba. By that time the family had grown to nine children — eight girls and one boy. Three of the four oldest girls stayed behind in Ontario. Eight of Henry SMITH's children married and produced 27 grandchildren. Most, however, never knew their grandfather, as Henry SMITH died in Hamiota in 1903.