Pharosima Hastings Smith: Part 1

Pharo Smith

The family ancestor who really hooked me on genealogy was from my wife’s maternal line. This person was believed by many relatives doing genealogy research to be the source behind the family lore concerning a Native American ancestor. The rumor was she was Cherokee, and those who passed the story from one generation to the next knew which generation she was since they all could quote their own percentage of Native American blood (each generation dividing the previous generation’s % by half).

When I picked up the puzzle, “Pharo” Smith had been identified as being the mother of Nancy Jane [Smith] Hamilton. Nancy Hamilton had raised her family and lived out her life in Tishomingo, Oklahoma – not far from the part of Oklahoma my wife’s family hailed from. The connection from my wife to Nancy Hamilton is well documented. So it was from Nancy to Pharo and then Pharo’s roots I was  investigating.

These 4 posts (Part 2, Part 3 and Part 4) review the results of research and exploration by myself and distant cousins who descended from Pharo Hastings. They cover how we sifted records to discover family connections, how we were able to find the lost grave site of Pharo and her family in Oklahoma, and my continued research on which Indian tribe Pharo might have hailed from. They represent years of effort by many people, who have been able to recreate the life of Pharo and her family.

Part 1: What Census Records Uncovered

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Pharosima Hastings Smith: Part 2

Pharo Smith

Update 12/21/14 to add graph of family tree and members living in Choctaw/Sumner/Webster County MS with Pharosima

In the previous post I covered where I began my investigation of “Pharo” Smith. In this post I will review how I connected her to the Hastin/Hasting family of Mecklenberg County, VA and later Spartanburg, SC.

It has been many years since I tripped over the revolutionary war pension filings related to one Absalom Hastings. The first time was before the genealogy site Fold3 really took off. I know this because the first time I read the scanned images of this incredible source (70 pages of written records from the early 1800s) I found them on It was completely from curiosity that I began to peruse the images. They are a really interesting historical artifact of that time.

By the time I realized there could be a connection to the Hasting pension filings, the records were moved to Fold3 (and thus the impetus behind my Fold3 account). What is so wonderful about the Hasting pension filings is the detailed record of his life, marriage and children.

Part 2: Pharo’s Family In South Carolina

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Pharosima Hastings Smith: Part 3

Pharo Smith

In the previous two posts (Part 1 and Part 2) I laid out the back story of my wife’s 4th Great Grandmother – Pharo (Hastings) Smith. In this post I will review the search for Pharo Smith’s grave and how Ellen Herriman (a distant cousin) was able to physically locate and document the site.

Part 3: Pharo’s Final Resting Place Discovered

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Pharosima Hastings Smith: Part 4

Pharo Smith

This is the final post in a series of 4 highlighting the story of Pharo (Hastings) Smith, my wife’s 4th great-grandmother and likely source of Native American heritage in her family line. It is more speculative than fact-based. It attempts to take individual facts and build a conclusion on the native roots of one Pharo (Hastings) Smith.

In the prior posts I covered:

  • Where this journey all began (Part 1)
  • How I connected Pharo Smith in Mississippi to the Hastins family of Spartanburg SC and Mecklenberg, VA. (Part 2)
  • Discovering Pharo’s final resting place in Carter County, OK (Part 3).

In this final segment I want to review the strong evidence of Pharo’s Native American heritage and which tribe I believe she could be from.

Part 4: Pharo’s Native American Roots

What’s in a name?

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