I surmise that your Grandfather was a preacher at Key's Church in present day Butts County. Thomas Key, my gggGrandfather, owned properties on each side of the Ocmulmulgee River and donated the land that a Methodist Church was built on. My Key ggGrandfather (Thomas Key's son, Richard Key) was raised in Jasper County and married Mariah Smith of Butts County in 1839. She was raised within rock throwing distance of Key's Church and her father, Emanuel Smith owned Key's Ferry. Richard and Mariah Key's 4th child, Abraham Pennington Key was born probably in Butts County in 1845. They moved to Arkansas in 1850 and Abraham Pennington Key was killed during the Civil War at Jenkin's Ferry, Arkansas.
The Key family is well researched, except for Thomas Key's wife, Sarah Jones. They were married in Jasper County in 1812.
I have done a lot of research on Mariah Smith's family in Georgia and have really kept my ear to the ground for the "Pennington" name. I have found no Penningtons in the family and conclude after reading your post that if there isn't a connection through Sarah Jones, Abraham Pennington was my family's preacher.
I would be curious to know more about John S. Smith as I believe I am short one Smith male in Emanuel Smith's family.
Also, Jesse Testerman / Mary Baker are my gggGrandparents.
Feel free to drop me an email anytime.
Billy Key in NM
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