When I first looked at the gravestones for Thaddeus Smith and his wife, Sarah Adelia Miles, at the Lexington Cemetery, Fayette County, Kentucky, I was amazed to find they died at Pelee Island, Canada. That sounded like such a far distance from Woodford County, Kentucky, where they lived until their marriage. Thaddeus was the son of Byrd and Elvira Smith; Sarah Adelia was the daughter of Samuel Issac Miles and Elizabeth W. Hawkins.
They are both listed in the 1850 census of Woodford County. In addition to his parents, Byrd, 63, and Elvira, 41, Thaddeus, 23, William, 21, and Mary M., 4, make up the household. In the Miles household are Samuel, 47, Elizabeth, 50, John E., 28, William, 20, Elizabeth, 22, Sarah, 18, Mary H., 14, and Samuel J., 9. Thaddeus and Adelia married within the year. By 1860 Byrd Smith had died. Elvira is listed as head of household, 51, with son Thaddeus, 33, Sarah A., 25, and grandchildren Lilla, 8, and Bertha, 3, and her youngest daughter, Mary M., 14.
Then the family made an unusual move – to Pelee Island, Ontario, Canada. It is the most southerly community in Canada, 10,000 acres. Over 1/2 of our United States states are north of Pelee Island! Well, I was intrigued! Thank goodness for Google! Pelee Island is located in Lake Erie. If you were to come straight south you would land at Sandusky, Ohio! Can you guess what Thaddeus did for a living on Pelee Island? He was a grape grower! More research turned up that Pelee Island is at the same latitude as the wine growing regions in France, Spain, Italy, Germany and Portugal! How fascinating!
In the 1871 Canadian census are Thaddeus, 43, Adelia, 39, Lereta, 14 (could this be Bertha?), and Minnie Rood, 9. In 1881, Thaddeus, 53, Delia, 49, Minnie, 19, Effa Miles, 22, and Thomas Davison, 15. In 1891 only Thaddeus and Adelia are listed, with T. V. Sanford, 53, a bookkeeper, Mary Sanford, 44, and Elvira, 16. This must be Thaddeus’ sister Mary – with a daughter named for their mother.
Sadly Adelia passed away in April of 1895 – according to the information on her gravestone. In the 1901 Canadian census Thaddeus, 73, is living with his widowed daughter, Bertha Wray, 42. He died the next year. I suppose, since there are stones for them in the Lexington Cemetery, that their bodies were brought back to Kentucky for burial. What an interesting story! I think Pelee Island may make a great vacation spot!