Martha Smith’s father, Milington Smith was one of the planters caught in the web of circumstances woven by the Civil War, but he managed to keep his family well cared for. He (Milington) left early one evening to ride the several miles to the small building near Ocala where his Masonic Lodge held its meetings.He never reached the meeting and was never seen again.His horse was found the next morning near a huge sink-hole beside the road.A deep, mysterious pit, its steep sides covered with dense brushy undergrowth that masked the deep water below was searched carefully, as far down as searchers dared go.Ni trace was ever found of Milington.He was said to have had $800.00 in his wallet, a large amount of money in an era and community impoverished by war.Robbery and murder was the final conclusion. Martha’s mother, Sibbiah struggled to keep the once prosperous plantation operating, but it proved too difficult and see was forced to let it go.
Near the end of the war, Martha was married to Dempsey Bryant.Their first child, Nancy Ann was born on June 16, 1866 at Fort McCoy.Their son, Sampson S. was born on June 21, 1870.There were repeated instances of murder in Alachua and Marion counties at the time.It was during this time that Dempsey was a victim of Robbery and murder.Word was brought to Martha that his horse had been found, no trace of him.
Martha Smith later married Templeton P. Tillis on Oct. 30, 1873.They had four children, James J. Tillis born 1874, Martha Sylvia Tillis born Dec. 16, 1875, William Harney Tillis born Feb. 22, 1877 and John Albert Tillis born Dec. 29, 1879.Templeton adopted Martha and Dempsey’s children Nancy Ann and Sampson S.
John Albert Tillis is my great-grandfather.His son Carl Glenn Tillis was my grandfather.His son Michael Carl Tillis was my father.I am Robert Wayne Tillis.My son is Robert Wayne Tillis II.
Martha Smith (Tillis)
Father: Milington M. Smith – born 1811 (GA) Mother: Sibbiah Smith (Woods) – born 1812 (GA) Children:Hiram Smith 1836, Elizabeth 1838, Martha Ann 1842, David 1844, Thomas 1846, Charity 1850, Eveline 1854, Rufus 1857 and James 1862.
Martha Ann Smith (Bryant/Tillis) died Mar. 9, 1920.