It is now time to summarize my findings about our Smith County Dickens pioneers.
As I see it now, in the late 1790s Henry, John, Jesse, Jeremiah and perhaps others of their families began their migration from North Carolina to Smith County, TN. We don’t know how long the journey took or how many trips might have been necessary to make the move.
They obviously came with enough provisions to purchase property, establish homesteads, and conduct whatever business that was necessary to begin a new life.
They settled in and around the valley of Hurricane Creek on the south side of the Cumberland River. That area became known as Maggart and it was known by that name for several years.
The early family members died before the 1850 Census so all we have to identify them is the little information
There is no way to tell how many early Dickens family cemeteries there may have been. The Corps of Engineers acquired the land for one Dickens cemetery which was located near the home of Joshua, Jr. and
Dickens of Hurricane Creek
Including: Maggart, Sullivans Bend, Elmwood, Chestnut Mound, Smith County, TN
After the original pioneers died, three Dickens men of the next generation that I found very active in Smith County were Joseph C. Dickens 1805 to1868, John Dickens Jr. 1813 to 1862, and Joshua Dickens, Sr. 1820 to 1904. I’m sure there is much more documentation yet to be discovered about other Dickens’ activities.
I suppose the Civil War, Industrialization, diminished use of the Cumberland River for transporting goods, the First World War, then the Great Depression were all factors in the dispersion of our families from Hurricane Creek to better opportunities elsewhere – and the subsequent loss of family identity for future generations.
And speaking of family identities, I still hadn't proven a tie between my grandfather Joshua, Jr. Dickens and Joshua, Sr. Dickens. Isn't it obvious that they are father and son? Isn't it a usual practice to name the father Sr. and the son Jr.? I thought so but evidence proved they were not father and son.