Massacre of Smith Family and Slaves, Long Cane, Abbeville SC, 1776

Murder and Massacre of the Smith Family and Slaves at Long Cane, Abbeville, SC, 1 July 1776

This is a story about murder … and murder of kin to our Golden family … and a story about following breadcrumbs that pull together various family lines to answer the question.

As of July 2023, plentiful (10+) DNA matches have been made between our Goldens living near (Newberry SC) to the Smith-Caraway family (Abbeville SC). These matches strongly indicate that our Goldens had a Caraway grandparent within 1-2 generations preceding 1776. Read here for more info.


On July 1st, 1776, Cherokees attacked the plantation of Captain Aaron Smith (1720-1776), killing him, his wife Elizabeth Ann Caraway (1726-1776), four children and five slaves.

One of the surviving sons was Thomas Keeling Smith (1753-1827) … named after a long line of Thomas Keeling grandfathers from Lynhaven, Princess Anne, Virginia (modern Virginia Beach).

CANNONS — Capt Smith’s wife Elizabeth Ann Caraway was the daughter of John Carraway, 1700–1742, and Margaret Keeling, 1702–1742, both born at Princess Anne, Virginia. Husband John Carraway was the son of John Carraway, Sr., 1675–1719, and Mary Elizabeth Cannon, 1675–1719.

>>> We South Carolina Goldens descend from William Golden, c1750-1809, and Nellie Golden, c1755-aft 1812, have many Cannon cousins.

KEELINGSElizabeth Ann Caraway‘s mother Margaret Keeling was daughter of Thomas Keeling III, 1674–1714, and Elizabeth Carraway Lovett (Lovertt), 1678–1715, … and grand-niece of Edward Keeling (1640-1697), who was close friend/associate/cousin of Thomas Gouldman (1625-1684) and his son Edward Gouldman (1660-1710) of Caroline County, Virginia.

SURVIVOR / Storyteller of the Massacre: Two sons survived the attack. One was Thomas Keeling Smith, 1753-1827, … with three great-grandfathers named Thomas Keeling, and the other was Ezekial Smith (1742-1821). 

DNA Connection

Via a DNA match, have now connected with a living descendant of Ezekial Smith from the Casey family.
>>> Why this matters: Although we are Goldens, and were Gouldens by 1720, and were probably Gouldman in the generation just prior, am fairly certain that we were Keelings about 1660, or of direct male Keeling descent.
Connecting with a living Keeling descendant allows us to backtrack through someone else’s timeline. We share an inherited ‘DNA fragment’ which is also shared by several other families. By backtracking the other families that inherited this same DNA fragment we can determine which Keeling belongs to us all.

Got info? Bill Golden

Comments, Questions and Thoughts

You can reach Bill Golden at is moderated by Bill Golden — in search of his own family.

To find his, he collects and shares what he finds. His Pokemon strategy is to collect them all while finding his.

Bill Golden