Just getting started on my family tree journey now. My mother's maternal grandfather was Timothy A. Smiddy, the economist referred to in your post, Jodie. He was also Ireland's first ambassador to the USA. I've put up some basic information about him here:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Timothy_Smiddyhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Timothy_Smiddy
He - and I - are of the Youghal Smiddy line. The family tree of the Smiddy's of Youghal (County Cork) from the early 1700s on, compiled by Brother Hugh Cathal Smiddy, is available from http://www.annsmiddy.pwp.blueyonder.co.uk/http://www.annsmiddy.pwp.blueyonder.co.uk/
The site is mentioned elsewhere on this forum by its author Ann Smiddy - a sixth cousin of mine. The site is fantastic as it covers not only the Youghal line but any other line of Smiddy's she can get information on. The earliest Smiddy in the records is a John Smiddy, b. ca. 1680.
It would be great, although perhaps over-optimistic, if we could one day join up that John Smiddy (who had children in 1710) with your Jesse Smiddy (who was starting a family in America not long after)!