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Stith Name Study

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This is a One Name Study to collect together in one place everything about one surname and the variants of that name. The hope is that other researchers like you will join our study to help make it a valuable reference point for people studying lines that cross or intersect. Please contact the project leader, add categories to your profiles, add your questions to the bulletin board or G2G (tagged Stith), add details of your name research, etc.

~ Liz Shifflett, current project leader
(want to lead it? please give me a holler - I'm a lineal descendant, but the Stith family is new to me)



Spellings other than Stith:

Not a variant spelling, but I've seen more than one Stith "corrected" to Smith.


The initial goal: Work on the profiles added to Category:Stith Name Study, get them cleaned up & sourced.

Compile a good list of online sources - as you add sources to Stith profiles, please list them here too (Add-a-Source, below).


Contact the project leader, Liz (Noland) Shifflett, or simply add your name and interests below.

Stith Researchers

In addition to (or duplicating) the list of Stith Genealogists:


See the next section also
  • Lyon Gardiner Tyler's Encyclopedia of Virginia Biographies note - recommend confirmation of information elsewhere, as errors have been found
  • transcript, 1782 will of Richard Stith (this Richard, taken with Stith Valley's information, Richard's DAR record that lists a son Benjamin.
  • The Vestry Book and Register of Bristol Parish, Virginia, 1720-1789 (page 364, for example)
  • R. Bolling Batte Electronic Card Index - see John Stith and descendants
    • Note - the database has moved & is now housed at the Library of Virginia. See this link for the index. ~ Noland-165, 2 June 2020
  • Sarah S. Hughes, Surveyors and Statesmen . . . Land Measuring in Colonial Virginia (Richmond: The Virginia Surveyors Foundation, Ltd., and the Virginia Association of Surveyors, Ltd., 1979)(ISBN 0-9604076) – this general history of the surveying profession in Colonial Virginia focuses on a Bolling–Stith–Cocke kinship group that dominated surveying south of the James River in the 18th century. It has detaled information about changes in the business and its political context. Note - it has errors in family relationships, but these don't detract from the useful details, in particular about Drury Stith II and his sons.
  • Louis B. Wright & Marion Tinling, editors, The Secret Diary of William Byrd of Westover 1709–1712, (Richmond, The Dietz Press, 1941) – William Byrd II kept a series of personal diaries in a form of shorthand. They were first decoded and published in the 1940s. Byrd recorded regular visits to Westover by Stith family members and many related families, from the first entry in this diary to the next–to–last. They provide details of family relationships, meals and drinking, and other entertainment.
  • Louis B. Wright & Marion Tinling, editors, The London Diary (1717-1721) and Other Writings, (New York: Oxford University Press, 1958) – entries a decade after the first diary show that the Stiths and their related families continued to visit Byrd regularly, for both pleasure and business.
  • William K. Boyd, editor, William Byrd's Histories of the Dividing Line Betwixt Virginia and North Carolina, (Gloucester, Mass.: Peter Smith, 1984) – Byrd wrote two versions of a survey of the Virginia–North Carolina dividing line in 1728: a public version and a more humorous private version. Drury Stith II briefly joined the surveyors on 20 September 1728, pp. 147-49.
  • Louis B. Wright, editor, The Prose Works of William Byrd of Westover: Narratives of a Colonial Virginia (Cambridge, Mass.: The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 1966) – Byrd's account of his 1733 "Journey to the Land of Eden," to inspect his western lands also includes the humorous description of Drury Stith II's copper mine, pp. 382-84.
  • Maude H. Woodfin, editor, Another Secret Diary of William Byrd of Westover for the Years 1739-1741, (Richmond, The Dietz Press, 1942) – William Byrd II continued, over 30 years after his first diary that has been published, to record regular visits by the Stiths and related families. The notes to these diaries provide useful information and suggestions for further research.

Basic Sources & Resources

This started as a list of some sources I use, but turned into more of a how-to - so now there's an Add-a-Source section also.

The following sites are valuable collections of previous research. Be careful, though, as the Stith Valley site has additional pages of Errata that are easily overlooked. Whenever using a source like this, you'll want to note what source it is citing.
  • The Pegram Family Album, by N. Duffy, Winona Solomon and "Pegram cousins across the country" covers the ancestors of Drury Hardaway who married Ann Stith, daughter of Richard Stith Sr. and Lucy Cocke Hall. Notes on that site for the children of Drury and Ann takes us back to Jess Scott's website for the Hardaway Family History.
Also good for leads are Find a Grave memorials (some are more reliable than others, ranging from memorials that include tombstone pictures and cite primary sources to ones that do not even include the location of burial). Find a Grave can also be searched by cemetery - a search returned 33 memorials with the name Stith in the Blandford Cemetery, Petersburg, Virginia.
The Virginia History and Biography Magazine & William and Mary Quarterly have some articles on the Stith family, and some of the information include source citations of wills, deeds, and other primary sources. Be careful that the source is cited for the correct Stith, as the many John, Buckner, and Drury Stiths sometimes get confused (and then there's Ann Stith marrying Robert Bolling, the great-grandson of Ann Stith who married Robert Bolling).
  • "The Stith Family," Christopher Johnston, The William and Mary Quarterly, Vol. 21, No. 3 (Jan., 1913), pp. 181-193. Published by Omohundro Institute of Early American History and Culture. Article DOI: 10.2307/1914697. Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1914697
  • "The Stith Family," Christopher Johnston, The William and Mary Quarterly, Vol. 21, No. 4 (Apr., 1913), pp. 269-278. Published by Omohundro Institute of Early American History and Culture. Article DOI: 10.2307/1915353. Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1915353
  • "Further Notes on the Stith Family," Armistead C. Gordon, The William and Mary Quarterly, Vol. 22, No. 4 (Apr., 1914), pp. 273-275. Published by Omohundro Institute of Early American History and Culture. Article DOI: 10.2307/1914821. Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1914821
Searching jstor.org can also reveal corrections, such as the following:
  • "STITH — In Quarterly, XXI, 189, Dr. Johnston states that Col. Drury Stith had no children by his second marriage with Elizabeth Jones, widow of Thomas Eldridge, but Mrs. S.O. James, of Petersburg, calls attention to the fact that his will contains the following section: "I give to my wife Elizabeth Stith... after her decease to be equally divided among the children I have had by her." (see the article for more, such as the list of children from her will, whom Dr. Johnston took to be all Thomas Eldridege's)
~ "Historical and Genealogical Notes," The William and Mary Quarterly, Vol. 23, No. 3 (Jan., 1915), pp. 220-221 (Omohundro Institute of Early American History and Culture; DOI: 10.2307/1914721), Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1914721
Searchable database, Daughters of the American Revolution, Genealogical Research System, included seven Stiths whose service was recorded for Virginia (this means that descendants of these seven Stiths have joined the DAR by documenting their connection to, and service of, these Stiths - not that only seven Stiths were American Patriots). Add a citation using this template - {{DAR-grs|A110272|Richard Stith|August 30, 2016}} - and it becomes:
  • Daughters of the American Revolution, DAR Genealogical Research Databases, database online, (http://www.dar.org/ : accessed August 30, 2016), "Record of Richard Stith", Ancestor # A110272.
Don't stop there, however. Click on the number to the left of a listed child, say Joseph, then on the page that opens, click the Ancestor Patriot entry to see descendancy, which will have more information. For example, this DAR record shows that Lucy Hall married Richard Stith in Virginia on 28 Dec 1756. But in this case, there were two Stith entries to click on: A110272 (Richard's) and Joseph was also an Ancestor Patriot, #A110266.
  • Daughters of the American Revolution, DAR Genealogical Research Databases, database online, (http://www.dar.org/ : accessed August 30, 2016), "Record of Ensign Joseph Stith", Ancestor # A110266.
Joseph's entry includes a pension number, S*W8750, which has been transcribed by Will Graves for Southern Campaigns Revolutionary War Pension Statements & Rosters and includes a wealth of family information.

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the R. Bolling Batte (RBB) info is now housed at the Library of Virginia. See https://www.lva.virginia.gov/public/guides/opac/ba.htm
posted by Liz (Noland) Shifflett