Hi Helen! About one year ago, I was googling various Nesmith ancestors and ran across an unknown cousin of mine, Bruce Nesmith, in Cedar Rapids. He very kindly sent me a family tree, stating that "...John Nesmith (spelled Naismyth/Nesmith) sailed from the Harbor of Leith, Port of Edinburgh, Scotland on ship "Exchange" under Capt. Peacock, by way of Aberdeen to New Jersey, USA, arrived mid Dec. 1683. He was sent over by the "Proprietors of Scotland", a group of merchant/traders, to acquire land and a foothold from which to carry on commerce with the Colonies. He settled in Monmouth County, NJ to raise a family before moving southward to pursue his calling as a Merchant/Trader with other members of his family that were still in Scotland. Seems he moved about in his business of trading and did not reach South Carolina until the death of his son, John #2 in 1743. He stayed in SC until #2's minor sons reached legal age before returning to his trade of being a merchant. Scottish records state he died in Virginia in 1750..."
I don't know where this information came from...and that is the crux of my problem...all this research is done, but little of the documentation or recording from where the information was acquired is done. Howard Horner did a magnificent job with his research, but he passed away in 2002, and I don't know who took over his records.
Also, written on some of these pages was the name, Jean Beck, of Tennessee. She had done some of this research, but Bruce knew nothing about her, and I despaired of ever finding out anything about her until one day, when I google another Nesmith name, and on about the 82nd page, I happened across an obituary, that mentioned Jean Beck as a surviving daughter of this Nesmith. Further research uncovered the fact that Jean Beck is still alive (at the age of 90+), but that put me in contact with HER daughter, Jean! Jean very, very kindly copied and sent me everything her mother had researched, including photos of tombstones, old homes, etc. Alas, in all of that great packet of information, nothing to prove that Thomas Johnson Nesmith is the son of Isaac and Ann (Johnson) Nesmith!!!!!!!
There's plenty of paperwork showing that they are father/son, but there is no official documentation, nor the location of where the information was acquired!!!!!
That is soooo important, so just remember, if you find something earth-shattering, remember to state that "Bible page from Jones family bible..." and make a copy if you can!
I had heard the indentured servant story before, but also that THAT John Nesmith died without issue...John was a hugely common name...as was James, Thomas and Alexander...especially from the Scots!
Sorry this is so long...I tend to get excited about genealogy research!