Milly Smith, wife of Armstead Burgess had become distressed with a child and no husband when Armstead married her. At 22, Milly was 11 years his senior with a son half of Armstead’s age. Her father, William Smith was a revolutionary war hero, serving in the Continental Army from New York to Charleston South Carolina. He had seen war’s horrors up close, taken prisoner and escaped to continue fighting, and based on his life probably suffered from what we call PTSD today.
Smith was the grandson of two prominent ministers on his father’s side and Jamestown and Virginia founders on this mother’s side. While the Smiths had fallen to the lowest stratum in society of 1820, their heritage was the highest and best.
Path to Virginia Founders:
Milly Smith married Armstead Burgess who was Keziah’s oldest son.
William Smith, the Revolutionary Soldier
Bowker Smith married Judith Cox descendant of the immigrant William Cox arrived in 1609
Judith Cox’s mother was Judith Woodson, descendent of Dr. Woodson, killed by Indians in 1644. Her grandfather was a partner of Peter Jefferson, and friend of Thomas Jefferson, and participated in the making of the first congress in Virginia.
Her father Stephen Cox married Sara Cocke, descendent of William Cocke, rich planter, member of the council and a burgess arriving in about 1634.
She was also descended from Captian William Powell, Lt. Governor and Lord Protector of Jamestown
This family also were descended from Royalls, Banks, and intermarried with the Randolph’s and Jefferson’s.
William Cock married Temperance Bailey daughter of Cecily Bailey Jordan Farrar said to be the first Southern Belle.
Cicely came to Jamestown in 1610 just following the starving time where she undoubtedly knew the few women in the town. One was Temperance Flowerdew who married Governor Yardley. Cicely also lived with the William Pierce family, who was a business partner with John Rolfe and married Pocahontas.
William Pierce was a wealthy merchant and key Jamestown figure with the finest house in the citie. Cicely also married William Farrar who was one of the three councilors to the Governor and who’s family ran the Virginia Company of London.
So poor Millie Smith, an old unmarried mother of a son, with little support from her family, in fact had fallen from over a dozen founders of Virginia and collectively owned over 20,000 acres of prime land on the James River in the 1650s to the lowest possible station in life. She was latterly just one step from the poor house when Armstead saved her and Keziah and his two brothers by taking them to Kentucky.
Her ancestors stories tell a noble story of establishing a new country and self governance literally in the middle of history.