Personal Home Page of Larry D. Smith
I was born at Altoona, Pennsylvania (in Blair County) on the 12th of December, 1954. I have one older brother, Leon R., and one older sister, Carol J. (Trautman). My sister, Carol is married to Roger W. Trautman. They have a daughter, Kimberly A., who is married to Richard E. Johnson, Jr. Richard and Kim have two children: Richard, III and Brittany M. My brother, Leon (now deceased) was married to Linda K. (Snyder). They have a daughter, Amanda N. And Amanda is married to Erik Kane. Erik and Amanda, in turn, have a son: Trevor Leon.
My parents, Bernard R. and Dollie E. (Nofsker) Smith, are both direct-line descendants of Jacob Schmitt, Sr. Jacob Schmitt, Sr was the first settler to homestead in the region that is today called Smith Corner. Jacob and his wife Rosana, and their three children were the only family to reside in the region that is today encompassed by Juniata, Freedom and Greenfield Townships in Blair County and Kimmel and Pavia Townships in Bedford County between 1775 and 1785. Jacob Schmitt Sr served as a Ranger on the Frontier in the Bedford County Militia during the American Revolutionary War. My Smith/Schmitt roots, therefore, are very deep and old in Mother Bedford.
I descend through both parents not only from Patriot, Jacob Schmitt Sr (and of course his father, Henrich Schmitt Sr) but also from Phillip Wendell Holtzel, Valentine Ficus Sr, Jacob Stifler, and Mathias Bausser Sr.
Genetically speaking, I have a greater percentage of Walter and Imler in me than anything else. I am a direct-line descendant of Rudolph and Hannah Walter and Wilhelm Imler and his wife through five of Mathias and Barbara (Imler) Walter's six children. But that was seven generations ago.
I descend from thirteen Patriots of the American Revolutionary War: Jacob Schmitt Sr, Johann Tobias Holtzel, Isaac Fickes Sr, Valentine Ficus Sr, Jacob Stifler, Heinrich Naftzger, Johann Heinrich Ickes, George Michael Imler, Johan Heinrich Kleckam, James Morehead, Johan Simon Clar, Jacob Stambaugh III and William Proctor Jr.
I descend from Oliver Cromwell through his daughter Bridget and Charles Fleetwood's daughter, Frances and down two generations through the Markhamm family and on into the Shaw line (although the official stance of the Cromwell Museum in England is that the Cromwell/Markhamm connection is not proven).
I descend (as do all Shaw descendants) from the Scot king Erc through Clan Shaw. My immigrant Shaw ancestor was William Shaw, the son of Thomas Shaw of Clonmel.
Click on this button to go to a page
detailing my lineal descent from Adam and Eve.
The majority of my ancestors (including the Schmitts, Holtzels, Stiflers, Fickes, Ickes, Walters, Imlers, Baussers and so on) came from the Palatine region of Germany; but the Naftzgers came from Switzerland, the Muirheads came from Scotland, the Townsons, Hydes, Markhams and Shaws came from Ireland, and the Cromwells and Dodsons came from Wales.
Click on this button to go to additional pages
to view my Schmitt and Naftzger genealogies,
along with genealogies of other direct lines,
such as that of Muirhead, Bausser and Walter.
Click on this button to go to a page
to help you decipher all the cousins
if you don't know how to tell second cousins from first cousins once removed.
I always had a great interest in history, science and art. When it was time to decide on a college curriculum, I chose science and started out as a microbiology major, with the intention of centering on genetic research. After the first year, finding that I wanted to spend most of my time producing art and electronic music, I decided to switch majors. I graduated from I.U.P. (Indiana University of Pennsylvania) in 1977 with a B.S. degree in Art Education.
I was involved in Correspondence Art for a few years after graduation from college, and organized the ARTCOMNET group. I participated in group shows throughout the world, including memorable ones in Rome, Helsinki, New York City, Seoul. About that same time, a good friend, Larry Ripple, and I published an arts magazine for a couple years. Primarily due to my involvement in Correspondence Art, my biography has been included in the Marquis Who’s Who since 1992.
My interest in genetics rekindled an interest in genealogy, which had been sparked by my maternal grandmother, Grammy Nofsker, when I was only six or seven. That was long before the mini-series, Roots, came out; so contrary to popular belief, not everyone who in interested in genealogy was motivated to do so by that single mini-series. I started spending a lot of time on searching out my family tree.
Then my interest in genealogy and history motivated me to begin the writing of several books. The local genealogical society, the Blair County Genealogical Society, published two of my family history books, The Mystery Of Rachel: A Smith Genealogy Revealed, and Clar: Biography Of Johan Simon Clar. I wrote three other books after those, which were not published: Bedford Smiths, an index of all references to anyone named Smith in the Mother Bedford region, Descended From The Likes Of Shoemakers And Such, a history of the Naftzger/Nofsker family, and A Genealogical Book Of Hours, a day-by-day guide to keep memories of your ancestors alive. In 1992 I organized a project to honor the sesquicentennial of the erection of Blair County, Pennsylvania. Twenty-one individuals agreed to work on the project, but in the end only half that number actually contributed anything. The book, 150th Anniversary History Of Blair County, Pennsylvania, was published in 1997 by the Closson Press. My next project to be published was the book, Mother Bedford And The American Revolutionary War. The majority of the material for this website was derived from that book. Closson Press is in the process of publishing the book now. They will soon publish the Genealogical Book Of Hours. Hopefully, the next book to be published by Closson Press will be Bedford Smiths, but that will not be finished soon.
I was employed at the Spring Mill of Appleton Papers Inc since I graduated in 1977. I started out as the clerk for the Utilities Department and then took on duties in the Maintenance Department. Then, in 1984 I was appointed to the position of Stores Supervisor, and I continued in that position until 2005, when I lost the job through downsizing. During the last two years of my employment at Appleton Papers, I designed watermarks for security papers. After losing my job through downsizing - rather than through any fault of my own doing - all of the salaried employees, except for two or three, treated me like I had leprosy. The hourly employees, though, contacted me with well wishes by phone and by letters. It was easy for me to see who my real friends were when I lost that job. In a way, when I look back at the situation, I am kind of glad that I was downsized because I had begun to hate going to work during the last four or five years of my employment there. There was so much inter-departmental fighting, and the executive staff members were simply power-hungry idiots, and the combination made for a hostile work environment.
After leaving Appleton Papers, I found employment as the receptionist at the Altoona Office of the law firm of Edgar Snyder and Associates. I have loved my employment there. The employees truly work together as a team, and the upper management makes every effort to try to treat every employee as a valued member of the team. The difference between my work experience at ESA and Appleton is like the difference between day and night.
I love and collect antiques, especially anything wooden. I collect "dutch" wooden shoes because they are wonderful examples of carving and painting. I collect wooden kitchen tools because of the history in which they are soaked. I collect anything associated with the art of spinning and weaving; I don't know anyone else who has a flax-break occupying a place of honor in their living room. Then there is my love of books, which I collect more avidly than anything else. I grab up any book I can on the subject of the American Revolutionary War; my collection makes writing about the War very easy and enjoyable.
I reside in Blair County, Pennsylvania in the shadow of Blue Knob in the region known as Smith Corner. My house, for the most part, was built by myself and my father, which makes it special to me. It's a single-story foundation structure (without a basement under it). I had planned to build an A-frame on it, but haven't got around to that yet. My house stands along the bank of South Dry Run, and I mean along the bank - just ten feet from it. The creek is a wonderful thing to live beside, except for in the late-winter or early-spring when the snow all melts and it raises dangerously high. I have been lucky, though, to only have been flooded once, in January of 1996. At that time sixteen inches of water came into my house before I got it stopped. With the help of my family I was able to get everything cleaned up and back to normal. I was able to trace the genealogy of my property back to the mid-1820s when my mother's great-grandfather, John Jacob Nofsker, moved from Centre County to settled here.
In 2002, I received a Blair County Historical Society's Award For Excellence In Historic Preservation, in recognition of the book, 150th Anniversary History of Blair County, Pennsylvania.
In November of 2002, I was accepted as a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland. This honor gives me the privilege of attaching the title, 'Esquire, FSA Scot' to my name. The honor was bestowed in recognition of my work at preserving Scottish history in the various website pages devoted to Ulster-Scot history, heraldry and the Scottish Clans and armerigous families.
Here's the Bernard and Dollie Smith family a few years ago.
Back row: Roger, Carol, Larry, Linda and Leon
Front row: Dollie, Kim, Amanda, Bernard
Follow this link to the Bernard Smith Family Home Page:
My e-mail address is: email@example.com