Part Two of Pioneers that ran
in Enterpriser-Recorder, Oct. 17
Second Generation: William Smiley
William Smiley married Ann Matthews in Madison County on Sept 7, 1856. William Smiley and Ann had the following children: 1. James S., born 1857; 2. Lafayette, born 1859; 3. Margaret A., born 1861; 4. John Andrew, born 1865; 5. Robert Lee, born 1866; Robert Lee married Mary Wright in 1891; 6. Thomas J., born 1866; 7. Mary Emma, born 1859; Mary Emma married James T. Kelley in 1885. 8. William, born 1870; 9. Archibald Stephen, born 1871; and 10. Anna, born 1876; Ann married Isaac Bass in 1893. William Smiley and Ann lived in the Hamburg area of the county. Ann died a few days after her daughter Ann was born, in 1876. In 1877, William Smiley married Caroline Wimberly. William Smiley and Ann’s son James married M.M. McNair in 1878; she was over 20 years older than James. We think that James and his family moved to Brooks County, Georgia, and possibly Lafayette. We also found Robert Lee and Archibald Stephen in Brooks County; we could not locate Thomas J. or William.
Third Generation: William Smiley
John Andrew, however, did stay in Madison County, we think. It seems that John Andrew married Martha Eugenia Surles, and had the following children: 1. John Russell, born 1890; 2. Mamie, born 1892; Mamie married A.V. Moore; 3. Thomas, born 1894; 4. Florence, born 1896; 5. Baby?, born 1899; 6. Edward Hazel, born 1903; 6. Thelma, born 1905; 7. Clarence, born 1907; 8. and Frank, born 1915. John Andrew died in 1944 in Madison, and is buried in Nankin, Brooks County. Mattie died in 1950.
Fourth Generation: William Smiley
Clarence died as a child; John Russell, according to Ancestry Family Trees, married and moved his family to Polk County; we didn’t find records for Frank and Thomas. However, Edward Hazel married Lola Mae Bass, lived in Cherry Lake, raised his family in Madison County, and farmed. By the 1940 Census, Edward and Lola Mae had the following children: 1. Erma, born 1924; 2. Ruby M., born 1925; 3. James, 1929; 4. Newton, born 1932; and 5. Baford, born 1935.
So, William Smiley Collins, Florida Pioneer and early Madison County resident, has descendents in the county today, through his son, John Andrew and through John Andrew’s son, Edward Hazel. For around 165 years, the Collins family has been an integral part of the fabric of Madison County, farming, and providing generations of stable, salt of the earth, contributing citizens.
Often, research into family histories involves a bit of deduction and guesswork. If you see omissions or mistakes, please don’t hesitate to correct us.
The Madison County Genealogy Society welcomes your input and invites you to join our organization. We meet on the second Thursday monthly, except during summer months, in the Madison Public Library from 6 to 7 p.m. Annual dues are $25. To add comments to our articles or to submit your own sketch of your ancestor, contact us at Madison County Genealogy Society, P.O. Box 136, Madison, FL. 32341. Or contact us by email at email@example.com.