When the good Lord passed out ancestors, he must have thought, "I'll give Brenda a challenge and make her work a little bit harder to find her ancestors." That's the only reason I can think to explain my ancestor, John Smith. If that weren't enough, he put John Smith somewhere in Virginia and gave him an approximate birth year of 1777. Do you have any idea how many John Smiths there were in Virginia at that time? A bunch would be a mild estimate.
In John's defense, he did give two of his children (the only ones I can prove) names that should set them apart from all the other Smiths: Morgan and Giles. Notice I said "should" and not "did."
Morgan, my ancestor, was born about 1804 in Virginia, may or may not have lived in eastern Kentucky at one time, married an unknown woman sometime, somewhere and then married Sarah Holder, daughter of Shadrach Holder, in 1834 in Caldwell County, Kentucky. He is found on the 1840 and 1850 Hardin County, Illinois census records and, in 1860, was living in Lyon County, Kentucky separately from his wife and children. Then he did the famous disappearing act by going to "parts unknown." That is just about all I know about Great-Great Grandfather Morgan Smith.
Well, I do know the names of Morgan's children: Rufus, Angeline, James A., Cassander, Reddick (my ancestor), Susanna, Morgan W., and Giles. No son named John for Morgan's father - at least, to my knowledge. And I do know that he lived in iron manufacturing areas.
My next step is to make a list of exactly what I do know and then make a list of what I need to learn and where I might find that information. This will be my research plan on the elusive Smith family and, with luck and a little divine guidance, maybe it will pay off. In the meantime, if you run across a stray John Smith born somewhere in Virginia about 1777 or a lost Morgan Smith born about 1804, let me know. They might have fallen off my family tree.