01 October 2012

Research Trail: In which Central College was Andrew Smith born?

Andrew Nelson Smith (1855 - 1933) was a barber at 1159 North High Street in Columbus, Ohio. His granddaughter Louise Long remembers him giving her Page Boy hair cuts when she was younger. Andrew had two wives, Emma Ward and Mary Etta Webb. But, the question I'm wondering about is where was he born.

According to Andrew's death certificate, he was born in Central College, Ohio. A previous search for Central College turned up the following location: Central College, Delaware, Ohio, United States. I'm being a little vague on how I found this fact because, quite honestly I don't remember whether this was work done by myself or someone else. In any case, when I was searching in the Franklin County, Ohio 1872 Historical Atlas, I found an interesting picture.

Franklin County, Ohio
1872 Historical Atlas

This is a map of Central College. I didn't find Andrew's family land in this photograph. I shouldn't find it here because in the 1870 US Census, Andrew's family is living in Blendon, Franklin, Ohio. What stood out to me was that the map title says to the effect that Central College is in Blendon Township. If that's the case, than Central College is in Franklin County not Delaware County.

What's fascinating is the story of how Central College came into existence officially in 1842 and by 1901 became a ghost town of sorts. I found this story at Ghost Towns of Franklin County.

Now it's still possible that "Central College" refers to a place in Delaware County, Ohio. But, I'm inclined to believe the death certificate was referring to a place in Franklin County because other evidence points to that fact. His parents were from Franklin County. In the 1860 US Census, his family is in Blendon, Franklin, Ohio when he's five years old.

I guess the point I'm trying to make is that we can't assume the facts we have on our family tree are accurate until we've proven them. I don't have a birth certificate for Andrew to provide more solid evidence of where Andrew was born. However, I'm leaning towards Central College, Franklin, Ohio.


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