I am looking for information about my grandfather, William Vernon Smith. He was born out-of-wedlock on 5/1/1913, in Morgan County, TN. It is believed that his birth mother's name was Ada. There was another female relative, named Winnie, who was either the aunt to Ada or to my grandfather. It is believed that although he was born in TN, his birth parents were from Oshkosh, WI; his mother was sent south to have the baby, perhaps staying with family members.
Shortly after his first birthday, he was "adopted" by Courtland Smith & Lora (Himebaugh) Smith. I cannot find any record that the Smith's officially adopted him, but rather took him in. In fact, the 1920 census record for Hamilton Co., TN has my grandfather listed as a "border", living with the Smith's and listed his name as "Wm. Vernon Morgan." The family is unsure where the Morgan name comes from - perhaps his mother?
Lora Himebaugh Smith was the daughter of Francis Himebaugh and Sarah Delight Reed. Lora Himebuagh & Courtland Smith were married in WI, but later moved to TN. In 1920, Courtland Smith was killed in a trolley accident in Chattanooga, TN. Lora returned to Oshkosh, WI, shortly after his death, taking my grandfather with her. Some time later she developed TB & was hospitalized. My grandfather was put into an orphanage at the age of 6, where he remained until he was about 15 years old.
As an adult, my grandfather returned to Chattanooga. He had "cousins" there - Ralph & Dorothy Sageser. During my research, I have uncovered the family connection. The Sageser cousin's father was Harry Sageser, the son of Huldah (Himebaugh) Sageser - sister to Lora (Himebaugh) Smith.
It is believed that his cousin Dorothy, who later became a nun after her brother Ralph was killed in WWII, had information about my grandfather's birth parents. My grandfather passed away in 1996, so I cannot ask him what, if anything, Dorothy told him about his birth parents.
Many relatives believe that my grandfather's birth mother, Ada, was actually a relative to Lora (Himebaugh)Smith, explaining why the Smith's took in my grandfather.
I would appreciate any information anyone may have about my grandfather's history.
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