Category Archives: Smith

Lt. Samuel Smith & Elizabeth Smith, England to Massachusetts, 1634

This is part of a series about my New England colonial ancestors who arrived by during the Great Migration. If you have early Massachusetts ancestry, be sure to check out AmericanAncestors, as the Great Migration Study Project can be viewed there with a membership to the New England Historic Genealogical Society.

I’ve written about the Smiths in the past, but there has been much new information uncovered about their English origins in the last year. The English Ancestry of Elizabeth Smith, Whose Husband Was Samuel1 Smith of Hadley, Massachusetts by Myrtle Stevens Hyde was published in the New England Historic Genealogical Register in the spring and summer issues of Volume 174 (2020). The articles are only accessible through membership.

BSO (bright shiny object) teaser – Samuel’s parents have been identified and Elizabeth’s ancestral lines have been documented through her grandparents and several great grandparents.

Lt. Samuel Smith, as he came to be called in Massachusetts, was baptized on 6 September 1601 in Burstall, Suffolk, England. His wife, Elizabeth Smith, was apparently not related to her husband. She was baptized on 22 July 1599 at Erwarton, Suffolk, England.

The two towns are about 25 miles distant from each other, but Elizabeth’s family moved to Whatfield, where Samuel and Elizabeth married on 6 October 1624.

Samuel and Elizabeth lived in Whatfield for a short time and where their first child was born.  They then removed to Hadleigh, a village about 3 miles south of Whatfield, where three more children were born to them. Their two youngest sons were born after the family left England.

On 30 April 1634, the young Smith family were enrolled as passengers on the Elizabeth, bound for New England.

Samuel was active in town matters after he arrived in the colonies, living first at Watertown, then removing to Wethersfield, Connecticut in 1635 and finally to Hadley, Massachusetts in 1661.

His occupations have been identified as fellmonger (one who deals in hides and skins) and glover (one who makes gloves).


  1. Samuel, baptized 6 February 1624/25, St. Margaret Whatfield, Suffolk, England; died after 1688, probably in the Carolinas; married Rebecca Smith, c1649. However, Samuel abandoned his wife in 1664, leaving with Sarah Clay, and living first in Roanoke, Virginia and then “Carolina.” Rebecca divorced him by 1669. Samuel had a young wife after he left, but it isn’t evident whether he had been divorced before that time. There was quite a local scandal over his behavior towards his wife and reported dalliances with other women in town.
  2. Elizabeth, baptized 28 January 1626/27, Hadleigh, Suffolk, England; died after 5 January 1702, when she swore to her husband’s estate inventory; married (1) Nathaniel Foote, January 1745/46, Wethersfield, Hartford, Connecticut (2) William Gull, c1656.
  3. Mary, baptized 9 October 1628, Hadleigh, Suffolk, England; died by 1660; married John Graves, 18 May 1654, Wethersfield, Hartford, Connecticut.
  4. Philip, baptized 25 October 1632, Hadleigh, Suffolk, England; died 10 January 1684/85, Hadley, Hampshire, Massachusetts; married Rebecca Foote, c1657.
  5. Chiliab, born c1636, probably Wethersfield, Hartford, Connecticut; died 7 March 1730/01, Hadley, Hampshire, Massachusetts; married Hannah Hitchcock, 2 October 1661, Hadley, Hampshire, Massachusetts.
  6. John, born c1638, probably Wethersfield, Hartford, Connecticut; died 30 May 1676, Hatfield, Hampshire, Massachusetts in an Indian attack during King Philip’s War; married Mary Partridge, 12 November 1663, Wethersfield, Hartford, Connecticut.

Elizabeth (Smith) Smith survived her husband, passing away on 16 March 1685/86 in Wethersfield, Hartford, Connecticut. Samuel died sometime between 28 September 1680, when his name appears in a town record, and 17 January 1680/81, when Elizabeth filed his estate inventory with the Hampshire County, Massachusetts court.

My line of descent:

  1. Samuel Smith & Elizabeth Smith
  2. Nathaniel Foote & Elizabeth Smith
  3. Daniel Belden & Elizabeth Foote
  4. Benjamin Burt & Sarah Belden
  5. Seaborn Burt & Susannah Lobdell
  6. Benjamin Burt & Rebecca Follett
  7. Philip Crouse & Sarah Burt
  8. Peter Crouse & Rebecca Jones
  9. William Coleman & Sarah Moriah Crouse
  10. Hartwell Thomas Coleman & Anna Elisabeth Jensen
  11. Vernon Tarbox Adams & Hazel Ethel Coleman
  12. George Michael Sabo & Doris Priscilla Adams
  13. Linda Anne (Sabo) Stufflebean – Me!




Ancestry of Elizabeth Smith, Wife of Lt. Samuel Smith of CT & MA, 1600s

Last year, The Register published a multi-part article, The English Ancestry of Elizabeth Smith, Whose Husband Was Samuel Smith of Hadley, Massachusetts, by Myrtle Stevens Hyde, FASG.

As Elizabeth and Samuel Smith are two of my ancestors, I was more than thrilled to see her ancestry documented back a further six generations!

Given that this article is newly published, I am sharing only the bare bones details about Elizabeth’s parents and siblings. I highly recommend that you join AmericanAncestors if you have early New England roots. It is well worth the membership fee. Members may view all previous issues of The Register and you can then read this terrific article with its lengthy family history and source citations  for yourself.

Elizabeth Smith is the daughter of Philip Smith and his wife, Ann Grymwade, whose family lived in Erwarton, Harkstead and then Whatfield, Suffolk, England, all parishes close to one another.

Philip Smith was baptized on 1 April 1565 in Erwarton, Suffolk, England and was buried on 27 March 1631 in Whatfield, Suffolk, not far away. He married Ann Grymwade, 1 June 1590, Erwarton. She was the daughter of Edmond Grymwade.

Ann was baptized 30 November 1570, in Rattlesden, Suffolk and was buried 26 March 1639 in Whatfield, Suffolk, England.

Philip died between March 1630/31, when he wrote his will, and 21 July 1631 when it was proved. Ann also wrote a will, but her death is noted as 24 March 1638/39, both in Suffolk, England.

They were the parents of nine children:

1. Anna, baptized 25 April 1591, Erwarton; buried 29 July 1730 (sic) as found in The Register, but likely a typo for 1630 or ?, and called the daughter of Philip Smith.
2. William, baptized 30 November 1592, Erwarton; mentioned in the 1619 will of his uncle James Smith; no further record.
3. Hester, baptized, 7 April 1594, Erwarton; no further record.
4. Jane, baptized 22 May 1597, Erwarton; no further record.
5. Elizabeth, baptized 22 July 1599, Erwarton; mentioned in the 1619 will of her uncle James Smith and called “a lame daughter of. . . my brother; married Samuel Smith, 6 October 1624, Whatfield, Suffolk, England.
6. Joane, born c1601, Harkstead; married Adam Tomson, 26 September 1626, Whatfield; no further record.
7. Thomas, born c1603, Harkstead; married Alice Colman, 20 August 1632, Whatfield. Six children baptized in Whatfield.
8. Dorothy, born c1605, Harkstead; married Matthew Andrews, 15 July 1633, Whatfield. Four children baptized in Whatfield.
9. James (probably), born c1607, Harkstead; buried in Whatfield, 14 April 1642; married Anne Hammond, 18 October 1639, Whatfield.

More to come on Elizabeth (Smith) Smith’s grandparents!

Richard Smith of England, New Amsterdam, NY and Narragansett, RI, 1600s

Yesterday, I shared the family of Gysbert Opdyck (Updike) and his wife, Katherine Smith. As with the Updike ancestry, I have come across undocumented items, supposedly detailing Richard Smith’s origins in London, England.

However, I have not found any sources that connect Richard Smith of New Amsterdam and Rhode Island with a man by that (really uncommon?!?!?!) name in England. Thus, I can’t say whether or not he was born and grew up in London or not.

Let’s begin his story with his will, written on 14 July 1664 and recorded on 22 August 1666. Richard Smith likely died earlier in the summer of 1666.

In the Name of God, Amen. The fourteenth day of July, in the year of Our Lord, one thousand, six hundred, sixty and four, in the Sixteenth year of the reign of our Sovereign Lord, Charles the Second, by the Grace of God of England and Scotland, France and Ireland, King, Defender of the Faith &c. I, Richard Smith, of Wickford, in the Narragansett Countrey, in New England, yeoman, being in health of Body, and of good and perfect memory, (Thanks be unto God) Do make this my last Will and Testament, and I do hereby revoak and renounce all former and other Wills and Testaments whatsoever heretofore by me made, by Word, Writing or otherwise And make and ordain this to be my very true, last Will and Testament, and no other Concerning my Lands, Chattels, Debts, and every part and parcel thereof, in manner and form as followeth. First, I Commend my soul to Almighty God, and to his Son Jesus Christ, my Saviour and Redeemer, by whom I hope to obtain full pardon, and remission of all my Sins, and to Inherit Everlasting Life. And I will that my Body be decently buryed by the Discretion of my Executors hereunto names. Item. I will that my debts which I shall owe unto any Person or Persons at the time of my decease either by Law or Conscience be well and truly Contented and paid, within Convenient time, out of my Goods and Chattels. Item. I give unto my son Richard Smith all my Right, Title and interest of, in and to, my Dwelling house, and Lands thereto belonging, Situate, being and lying in Wickford aforesaid, and is bounded on the Southwest by Annoquatucket river, and by the lands of Capt. William Hudson, Northeasterly and on the East by a fresh river or brook and Creek and Cove. Item, I give unto my Son the s’d Richard Smith, all my right title and interest of, in and to my propriety of Lands lying in Cunnanicot Island and Dutch Island, with the privileges and appurtenances to them or either of them belonging or in any way appertaining. Item, I give unto my daughter Elisabeth wife of John Vial of Boston, Vintner, all that my Share, which is a one Third part of Land lying on the Southerly side of my son, Richard Smith’s two thirds part of a tract of land lying on the Easterly side of the aforesaid ffresh river, or Brook, and Creek and Cove, Commonly Called by the name of Sagag. Item, I will that all my share and part in the Great Neck of Land beyond Capt. Edward Hutchinss house, Westward and Southward and all the rest of my share of Land belonging to that purchase And also all my share of Land of the last purchase and all my Cattle, Horses, Mares, Sheep, Goats, & Swine and all my Goods and Debts whatsoever to me appertaining be (after my decease) Divided into Four Equal parts and portions, the which after my Debts paid & funeral Charged thereout, I Give and bequeath as followeth. That is to say. To my son Richard Smith, and his heirs, the one fourth part or portion thereof, and to my Daughter, Elisabeth, wife of John Vial and her issue, I give one other Fourth part thereof, and to my Grand Children, the Children of my dece’d daughter Katharine, sometime wife to Gilbert Updike, one other fourth par thereof to be Equally Divided amongst them, And to my Grand Children, the Children of my deceased daughter, Joan, sometime wife to Thomas Newton, one other fourth part thereof to be Equally divided amongst them my S’d Grand Children, parts to be paid to each of them, Viz. to Each of my Grandsons as they Come to the age of Twenty one years; And to Each of my Grand Daughters as they Come to the age of Eighteen years, or on day of marriage which shall first happen, And in Case that any One of my Grand Children, the Children of my Daughters Katharine and Joan, do Dye before they come to be of the age aforesaid or Marr’yd, then such part or share, as should have been to such deceased, shall be to the Survivours of them, part and part alike to them to be divided. Item, I make and ordain my sons, Richard Smith, and John Vial, to be my full whole and only Executors of this my last will and Testament. And my Well beloved Friend Capt. Edward Hutchinson of Boston. (document is torn at this point.)

The will was recorded at the request of John Vial, 22 August 1666.

Where this will was recorded is a mystery. Although published in the Op Dyck Genealogy, it is also mentioned in The Early History of Narragansett by Elisha Potter and in Austin’s Rhode Island Genealogy. It appears that early court proceedings (in the 1650s and 160s, at least) were recorded in Boston, Massachusetts. That would fit with John Viall presenting the will to the court, as he lived in Boston.

Richard Smith obviously married and had a family and, while I have seen his wife attributed as Joan Barton, I have not seen any evidence in the colonies that she was his wife. There seems to be some question about which Richard Smith that Joan Barton married (in England, which again returns to the question of proof of Richard Smith’s English origins.)

Richard Smith and his unproven wife had the following children:

  1. Richard, had no children
  2. Katherine, married Gysbert Updike; predeceased her father
  3. Elizabeth, married John Viall of Boston, Massachusetts
  4. Joan, married Thomas Newton, predeceased her father

Richard Smith was a very wealthy and well-respected man, who continued to build his wealth through profits of his trade with the Indians and the real estate holdings that he amassed in Newtown, Long Island, New York, today’s Manhattan Island and property he owned as one of the first settlers of Narragansett, Rhode Island.

The mid 1600s were a dangerous time for colonists to be living out on the frontier, which aptly described southern Rhode Island. By 1641, Richard Smith “purchased” about 30,000 acres of land in Narragansett from the local sachems. (Native Americans didn’t have the same concept of land ownership that we have today, so it is uncertain whether the Indians actually agreed to “sell” Smith land.) However, he soon established a trading post there. While he came and went frequently through the years, this post was in the middle of nowhere and in dangerous country. An aside: The Great Swamp Fight of 1675 in King Phillip’s War took place in this area.

So, while Smith visited his business, he and his family mostly lived in Manhattan until he reached old age. By 1664, he was living in Wickford, in today’s Washington County, Rhode Island, where he wrote his will.

Although Richard Smith has many descendants today, because his son died without children, there are no male Smiths of his line.