You are in the same boat as myself and about 6-8 other folks who have also taken a Y-DNA test. My g-g-g granpas Stephen Smith was born in NC abt 1801. He shows up in 1830 Bount County, Alabama and later resided in Lamar County, Alabama. I've paid the area researchers, been everywhere online and finally took the DNA test which at the very least hooked me up with other folks with the same issues.
Now my g grandpa told my father we were Scotch-Irish which DNA has proved incorrect. Maybe they thought that because at one time our line lived there IDK but all the Y DNA branches that myself and the others come from is Norman. I believe though by what my g-g grandpa told my dad's aunt. He said we were Black Dutch which most likely means Indian/white mix. This is probably why there are so few records of these folks is that during that time (ie: the trail of tears) that if they admitted being Indian they may have possibly lost everything they had and been relocated out west.
My suggestion to you is this, take a reputable autosomal DNA test, have a male cousin take a Y DNA test and the sites from which you take them will hook you up with others of the same dna combinations.
Middle names are also important. Look at the frequency generation after generation, ie: Anderson is a prominent middle name in my line. I believe its because they were either from and or living in Anderson, SC. Franklin is another. Is that because they lived in Tennessee before it became the state of TN, when it was called Franklin?
Also look at the names of the neighbors. I can't tell you how many times I have seen, not just in my Smith line but in my collateral lineage that when the kids grew up, they married the neighbors sons, daughters etc.
The population wasn't as sparse today so the choices of finding a mate were limited. And just like when they migrated to other areas, they travelled with like minded folks they could trust and depend their lives on. Think about it, living on a farm there isn't much need to go to the general store so, the other social outlets were church, and school if there was one.
I hope this helps and please feel free to explore my Smith line here and on ancestry if it'll help you.
And the best trait you could inherit from your Smith's hopefully is being stubborn because researching them is going to try your patience. Don't give up cause after 30+ years I havent'.
Look at it like this, if they had the fortitude to not only cross the ocean but tame the frontier, then they passed those traits down to us and with today's modern conveniences our life is a cakewalk.