Earlier today I found some information on the Cherokee Indian removal from the southern states and the Trail of Tears. I found information on John R. Gourd who testified that he knew James Smith, father of my ancestor David Smith, back in the old country and that they were of Cherokee blood. I could not find a connection between the two families, however. At least not in GA. I did find information on John Gourd's family and posted it here.
I decided to try and go back to what I knew: Richard Smith was born 18 Dec 1838 in Blue Cove Springs, Jackson County, Alabama. This was the same time that the Cherokee indians (the last tribe) were removed from the southern states. So a couple of possible scenarios presented themselves: (1) Richard Smith was born while his family was being removed and travelling along the Trail of Tears; (2) Richard Smith's family was originally from AL and they stayed there even though their kind was being removed. They might have chosen to live as white men instead of leaving their home.
I spent a couple of hours trying to find out if Jackson County, AL was along the Trail of Tears route. Although I could not find specific evidence that Jackson county, AL was along the Trail of Tears route, it is feasible that it was because Jackson County, AL is located in the northeastern part of the state, bordering both TN and GA.
I also tried to find this Smith family on the Trail of Tears and/or Native American Rolls, but did not have much luck. This can be addressed another time.
In my search for Jackson County AL history, I found a few references to a couple of Smith families in the A Census of Pensioners :
(1) James Smith was 81 years old (b. about 1759), resided in Jackson County, AL with James P Smith, head of house.(p. 148)
(2) John Smith was 77 years old (b. abt 1763), resided in Jackson County, AL with Larkin Smith head of house(p. 148)
(3) Rebecca Smith, 39 years old (b. abt 1801), resided in Jackson County, AL with Rebecca Smith, head of house(p. 148)
These three Smith families were also mentioned in Thomas Owen's History of Alabama & Dictionary of Alabama Biogrpahy, Vol IV. These entries referenced two other sources: Census of Pensioners and Revolutionary Soldiers in Alabama.
(1) James Smith, Soldier of the American Revolution, 81 years old (b. about 1759), resided in Jackson County, AL June 1, 1840, with James P Smith, head of house (p. 1588)- Census of Pensioners, 1841, p. 148
(2) John Smith, Soldier of the American Revolution, 69 years old (b. abt 1771), resident of Madison County, AL, private in the NC Militia, enrolled on Sept 26, 1833 under Act of Congress of Jun 7, 1832, payment to date from Mar 4, 1831; annual allowance - $80. Revolutionary Pension Roll in Volume VIX, Sen. doc. 514, 23rd cong. 1st sess 1833-34. He resided in Jackson County, AL, Jun 1, 1840 with Larkin Smith (p. 1588), age 77 - Census of Pensioners, 1841, p. 148
(3) Rebecca Smith, Soldier of the American Revolution, 39 years old (b. abt 1801), resided in Jackson County, AL (p. 1588), June 1, 1840 - Census of Pensioners, 1841, p. 148
A Colonel James Smith was also mentioned in an article about John McCutchen in Thomas Owen's Revolutionary Soldiers in Alabama.
A Census of Pensioners for Revolutionary Or Military Services: With Their Names, Ages, and Places of Residence, as Returned by the Marshals of the Several Judicial Districts, Under the Act for Taking the Sixth Census, By United States Census Office. 6th census, 1840, United States Census Office, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints Genealogical Society, Published by Printed by Blair and Rives, 1841. [This title is available as eBook on google books.]
History of Alabama and Dictionary of Alabama Biography, Vol IV, Thomas M Owen, 1921. [This title is available as eBook on google books]
Revolutionary Soldiers in Alabama: being a list of names, compiled from authentic sources, of soldiers of the American Revolution who resided in the state of Alabama, Thomas M Owen, 1911. [This title is available as eBook at HeritageQuest.com]