Swedish Soprano Inspires Voice and Piano Lessons to Smith Family of Monroe County
By Jeannette Holland Austin
When the Swedish opera singer, Jenny Lind was brought to America by P. T. Barnum in 1850, she presented 93 large-scale concerts on tour, earning more than $350,000, most of which was donated to charities. She was affectionately known as the "Swedish Nightingale," Lind became famous after her performance in Der Freischutz in Sweden in 1838. However, thereafter suffered vocal damage, but the singing teacher Manuel Garcia saved her voice. She was in great demand in opera roles throughout Sweden and northern Europe during the 1840s, and was closely associated with Felix Mendelssohn. Lind was in Charleston, South Carolina when Colonel Davis Smith of Monroe County took his wife, Elizabeth, to hear the soprano. Colonel Smith came to Monroe County from Laurens County and built his plantation in Brent, Georgia in 1824. Elizabeth was a talented pianist, and during the couple's visit to Charleston, purchased a piano and brought it back to Brent. For the longest while, this instrument was known as the first piano in Monroe County! Elizabeth's daughter, Jennie Smith, was sent to study music at Wesleyan Female College in Macon, the first college of its sort in Georgia for women. More information on Wesleyan Female College
Davis Smith Plantation, built ca 1824 in Brent, Georgia. Seated in middle is Jennie Smith Clements Brent (named by her mother after "Jennie" Linn).
Smith Plantation of Brent, Georgia
Monroe County Landscape
Did your Ancestors Fight with the Patriots?
By Jeannette Holland Austin
If you think that your family members did not associate with famous historical figures of their time, you are wrong. Isaac Smith of Monroe County enlisted from New Kent County, Virginia in the Virginia State Troops during the latter part of 1775. He must have been a true patriot to enlist so early in the Revolutionary War, for he went to Williamsburg where he served under Captain Robert Ballard for one year before going to Norfolk on a small scouting party where he was wounded by "a ball in the forehead." At the time he was in a regiment commanded by the famous Patrick Henry! During August of 1779, he was with General Washington in the battles of White Plains the taking of the Hessions at Trenton, Princeton, Brandywine, Germantown and Monmouth. But that was not enough, because after he was discharged in 1779 by General Muhlenberg, he joined the Militia of Kent County and was with that Militia at the siege of York and surrender of Lord Cornwallis. In other words, Isaac Smith stood side-by-side with the "bravest of the bravest" and most valiant heroes of the American Revolution. He was a person who believed in freedom and the American way; he never gave up the cause and fought until the very end of the war. If you wish to learn more about the good character of your progenitors, the names of their friends and neighbors and how they helped to build America, read the Revolutionary War pensions. The details of the battles and names of their officers were essential elements of their lives. And, perhaps tell a little bit about you?
Patrick Henry (1733-1799). How well did Isaac Smith know Patrick Henry and his friends? Dig a little deeper into the life of Henry and you might find out!
See how Easy it is to read old Wills online Members may also print/download image
The first court house was built 1825 in Forsyth and served the community until 1895 or 1896 when a two-story brick edifice was erected. Monroe County was created on May 15, 1821 by an Act of the General Assembly after Creek Indians ceded lands between the Ocmulgee and Flint rivers on Jan. 8, 1821 in the first Treaty of Indian Springs. The land was istributed by the 1821 land lottery and named for James Monroe, President of the US. Later, portions of Monroe County were used to create the following counties: Bibb and Pike in 1822; Butts in 1825 and Lamar in 1920. Many families who lived in Bibb County also resided in Monroe.
Monroe County Records Available to Members of Georgia Pioneers
Digital Images of Monroe County Wills 1824-1847Testators: Adams, Benjamin; Allison, David; Allright, David; Alston, Charity; Barron, Willis; Beall, James ;Beckham, Thomas; Bird, Clarissa ;Bird, James ;Bivins, Samuel ;Black, William ;Brantley, Benjamin; Brantley, Jeptha; Brantley, Nancy; Brewer, Henry; Cabaniss, Eldridge; Chancely, William; Chapman, Isaiah; Chappell, John ;Clower, Jesse; Clower, John ;Cochran, John ;Cohron, Elizabeth ;Colbert, James ;Colbert, John ;Colbert, William ;Coleman, David; Coleman, Robert ;Collier, Cuthbert ;Congleton, Allen; Cook, Nathaniel ;Cowles, Judith; Crowder, Frederick; Culloden, William ;Curry, Elijah ;Darden, Jethro; Darden, Stephen; Darden, William; Davis, Thomas ;Dillard, Arthur; Douglas, Miller; Dunn, Jone ;Dunn, Obedience; Durham, Matthew; Durham, Singleton; Durham, Thomas ;Durkee, Lewis; Dyess, Thomas; Edge, Obadiah; Edwards, John; Elder, Catharine ;Evans, John ;Fambrough, William ;Finch, Robert ;Fleming, James; Freeman, Edward; Freeman, Mathew; Freeman, Polly ;Gibson, Churchill; Gibson, John; Goggins, Abraham; Greer, John ;Hagood, Benjamin ;Hagood, Benjamin; Hamlin, Richard; Hamlin, Richard (2) ;Hanson, William; Harman, Zachariah; ;Harman, Zachariah (2)Harris, John ;Heath, Benjamin ;Hickman, John ;Hill, Henry ;Hogan, James; Hogan, William; Horn, John; Hudgens, Josiah ;Hunt, Turner Sr. ;Hunter, David; Jenkins, Francis; Johnson, Angus ;Johnson, Gideon ;Johnson, Larkin; Johnston, Archer ;Jones, Zedock; Jordan, Theophilus ;Keadle, Jeremiah ;Kelsey, Noah ;Lockett, Anna; Lockett, Cullen; Low, James; Malone, William; Mann, John Sr. ;McCary, Elizabeth; McGinty, Robert; McMullen, Fielder; Middlebrooks, Robert ;Middleton, John ;Milner, Peter; Mitchell, Margaret; Monk, John ;Moore, Joseph ;Morgan, James B. ;Moody, Jabez; Nelson, William S.; Nun, William; Owen, John; Partridge, William; Penn, Edmund; Phillips, Obadiah; Phillips, William ;Pinckard, James ;Pittman, John ;Ponder, John; Ponder, Margaret ;Pool, William; Pope, Jesse ;Pope, Wiley; Pratt, John (deed) ;Pye, Ann; Roberson, Mary; Rogers, John; Rogers, John (2) ;Rogers, Wiley ;Rutland, Riddick; Slack, John ;Smith, Augustus G. ;Smith, John D.; Smith, Seaton ;Stallings, John; Stallings, Sarah; Standard, John ;Stubblefield, Catharine; Switzer, Bird ;Tatum, Milly ;Taylor, Eden; Turner, Abednego; Turner, Ezekiah; Vandiver, Marcus; Walker, Sylvanus; Wallace, Mary; Wallis, Richard ;Watson, Benjamin; Watson, John Sr. ;Wilder, William ;Williams, William; Wilson, John; Wilson, Larkin ;Womack, Abraham; Wood, Henry ;Woodard, Orren ;Woodward, KeziahMonroe County Wills (abstracts)
Indexes to Monroe County Probate Records
- Monroe County Wills 1824-1847 (abstracts).
- Monroe County Wills 1848-1875 (abstracts).
- Monroe County Wills 1868-1878 (abstracts).
- Monroe County Wills 1876-1927 (abstracts).
- Index to Monroe County Wills 1824-1847
- Index to Monroe County Wills 1866-1876
- Index to Monroe County Miscellaneous Estates 1861-1869.
- Index to Monroe County Annual Returns, 1823-1858.
- Bass, Joshua (estate)
- Browning, Elizabeth deed to Marcus Culpepper (Digital Image).
- Chambliss, John, LWT (1879) (Digital Image).
- Chambless, Thomas, Guardian of Charles J. Chambless (Digital Image).
- Chambliss, Zachariah, LWT (1874) (Digital Image).
- Ethridge, E. N., Estate, Z. H. Chambless, executor (Digital Image).
- Evans, Elizabeth, estate (Digital Image).
- Evans, Thomas, estate (Digital Image).
- Harman, Rebecha, LWT (1830), transcription.
- Head, George W., LWT (1898) and (1956) (digitalImages0
- Head, Peter estate)(digital image)
- Head, W. H. (1887) digital images)
- Joiner, Hiram P. Estate (Digital Image).
- Job Taylor deed to Eli B. Browning (Digital Image).
- 1821 Monroe County Boundary Map
- 1822 Monroe County Map
- 1865 Monroe County Map
- 1915 Forsyth Map
- Monroe County Marriages 1824-1850 (transcription).
- Monroe County Index to Marriages 1824-1845 (from county)
- Monroe County Marriages from newspapers 1885-1886.