Saturday Night Genealogy Fun: Do You Have a Mary Smith?

It is Saturday night and it’s time for Randy Seaver’s Saturday Night Genealogy Fun challenge. This week, it’s a bit interesting for me.

1)  How many persons named Mary Smith do you have in your genealogy management program or online family tree?  How many persons named Mary Smith are ancestors?

2)  Pick out one of those persons named Mary Smith and do some online research for them in Ancestry, FamilySearch, or another set of record collections.  Your goal is to add something to your database.

I looked at both my and my husband’s family trees. Dave has but one Mary Smith, who is not a direct ancestor, and I have three Mary Smiths, none of whom is a direct ancestor.

Plus, two of my Mary Smiths are only names from old genealogies with almost no information.

My choice then is Mary Smith, born 1624 in Hadleigh, Suffolk, England, daughter of Lt. Samuel Smith and his wife, Elizabeth, said also to be a Smith by birth.

Lt. Samuel Smith and his wife, hailed from St. Margaret Whatfield, Suffolk, England, where they married on 6 October 1624.

They were the parents of six children, four of whom were born in Hadleigh, Suffolk, England, before they made their new home in Massachusetts. They first lived at Watertown, but then moved to Hadley, Hampshire, Massachusetts by 1637.

Their daughter, Mary Smith, was baptized on 9 October 1628 in Hadleigh, Suffolk, England and was their second daughter, but third child.

Mary Smith married John Graves, c1651 , probably in Hadley. It is said that this couple removed to Wethersfield, Hartford, Connecticut, but I find no records for them or any children in Connecticut.

I can’t find any documentation for the children that are supposed to have been born to Mary and John, nor can I find any definitive date of death for Mary. She apparently died between 1660-1668.

Since John Graves apparently married another Mary, (2) Mary (Bronson) Wyatt, the widow of John Wyatt, and there are no vital records, at least none that I find in the Barbour collection or Massachusetts vital records for this couple, nor can I find a probate record for John Graves, proving his children is a bit problematic.

However, it is certain that John Graves died on 19 September 1677, along with his brother, Isaac, in an Indian attack at Hatfield, Hampshire, Massachusetts.

I did learn something new about this family, though. As I often find when I do my own research, John apparently married as his second wife not Mary (Bronson) Wyatt, but: (2) Elizabeth (MNU), about 1661 because four children were born to John and Elizabeth Graves in Hadley: Elizabeth, 6 December 1662; Daniel, 7 December 1664, Ebenezer, 20 November 1666 and Bethiah, 7 January 1668.

No where online do I see any mention of a wife Elizabeth for John Graves, but their four children are attributed to Mary, plus an earlier set of four who I can’t find ever even existed.

Lt. Samuel Smith left a will that was proved in 1681. He named all of his children – Samuel, Elizabeth, Philip, Chiliab and John – except for Mary. He also made no special bequests to grandchildren named as children of his daughter Mary (although he did leave a Bible to “each of my grandchildren”).

However, because his other children all received something, however small, and no heirs of Mary were named, I am thinking that she perhaps had no surviving children and that she died not many years after her marriage.

This has been an interesting exercise and one that I wouldn’t have done on my own because Mary Smith is not my direct line. Nonetheless, it has been a learning experience.

Thank you, Randy, for this week’s challenge. 🙂





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