Smith Ellis, grandfather of the subject of this sketch, was born in the Mohawk Valley, New York, and removed to the town of Gainesville, Wyoming county. New York, early in the nineteenth century. He was one of the early settlers in that town and, some years later, removed to Pike in the same county. He was an active participant in the war of 1812 and saw service at Sacketts Harbor. He married Christine Helmer, who was also a native of Mohawk Valley.