Moving West: Thirteen Generations of a Smith Family

Family Histories

Generation One
Samuel Smith and Elizabeth Smith*

Samuel Smith, son of Samuel Smith and Barbary Mumforde, was born on 6 Oct 1602 in St Nicholas, Ipswich, Suffolk, England and died on 16 Jan 1681 in Hadley, Hampshire, Massachusetts at age 78.  

Samuel married Elizabeth Smith on 6 Oct 1624 in St. Margaret's, Whatfield, Suffolk, England. Elizabeth was born in 1602 in Whatfield, Suffolk, England and died on 16 Mar 1685 in Hadley, Hampshire, Massachusetts at age 83. They had six children: Samuel, Elizabeth, Mary, Phillip, Chileab, and John

Samuel Smith was born on 6 Oct 1625 in Hadleigh, Suffolk, England and died in 1712 in Northumberland, Virginia at age 87.  

Elizabeth Smith was born on 28 Jan 1626 in Hadleigh, Suffolk, England and died on 16 Dec 1668 in Hadley, Hampshire, Massachusetts at age 42.  

Mary Smith was born in Oct 1628 in Hadleigh, Suffolk, England and died on 16 Dec 1668 in Hatfield, Hampshire, Massachusetts at age 40.  

Phillip Smith was born on 25 Nov 1632 in Hadleigh, Suffolk, England and died on 10 Jan 1685 in Hadley, Hampshire, Massachusetts at age 52.  

Chileab Smith was born in 1635 in Wethersfield, Connecticut and died on 7 Mar 1731 in Hadley, Hampshire, Massachusetts at age 96.  

John Smith was born in 1637 in Wethersfield, Connecticut and died on 30 May 1676 at age 39.

Samuel Smith came from England, probably near Hadleigh in Suffolk, with his wife and four of his children in the ship "Elizabeth" which sailed from Ipswich, Suffolk, England on 30 April 1634. He and his wife Elizabeth gave their ages as 32 and named their first four children: Samuel, Elizabeth, Mary and Phillip.

We have no clear evidence on where he first settled but in he was probably in Wethersfield in 1635 or 1636. He is called "The Fellmonger" in the early Wethersfield records meaning that he was a tanner by trade and a dealer in skins and furs of animals. He served Wethersfield as a Deputy to the General Court almost continuously from November 1637 to May 1656. He also served as Assistant to the Connecticut Colony in March and April of 1638.

In February 1651 Samuel Smith served as a member of a particular Court in Hartford, chosen to try John Carrington and his wife for witchcraft. And indictment "thou deservest to dye" was returned but the sentences were probably not carried out.

Samuel Smith figured in a number of land transactions and seems to have been engaged in various commercial enterprises. In November 1649 the General Court authorized him and "the rest of the owners of the shipp at Wethersfield to get and make so many pipestaves as will freight out said shipp the first voyage, etc." Pipestaves were used in the West Indies to make barrels for the shipment of molasses, rum, salt beef, pork and fish. The building of this ship had been authorized by the General Court and was probably the first ship built in Connecticut.

On 28 December 1649 Samuel Smith, Sr., Nathaniel Dickinson and Mr. Trat (Treat) were chosen by the town to "seat men and women in the meeting house", an important assignment in those days when social rank as practiced in old England still influenced the settlers. Seating was done on the basis of community standing and could be done peaceably only by freeman most highly regarded both for integrity and social rank.

In May 1653 Samuel was made a member of the Committee for War in Wethersfield and sometime before 1658 was commissioned a Sergeant of the Wethersfield Trainband. The Trainband was an organization formed to defend the town and its officers were chosen by the soldiers, subject to confirmation by the particular Court which dealt with the lesser cases.

Due to a church quarrel in 1659 a meeting was held at Goodman Ward's house in Hartford. Here a compact was signed by 59 men, 20 of whom, including Samuel Smith, Sr., Samuel Smith, Jr. and Philip Smith were from Wethersfield. The signers agreed to remove themselves and families to the new settlement on the east side of the river from Northampton and to be dwelling there by the 29th day of September 1660. The Rev. John Russell, jr. of Wethersfield was their spiritual leader and became their first minister at Hadley.There were 48 original proprietors of the settlement in the Norwottuck Country, later called Hadley, including among them Samuel Smith and his sons Chileab and Philip. Samuel and Peter Tilton were chosen Town Measurers on 31 December 1660 to lay out the lands for the settlers, place stakes at the "front and rear" of every lot and keep a record of them. During the same month he was chosen one of the first Townsmen, now called Selectmen. He attended the march 1661 session of the General Court at Springfield as a juror. At the next meeting of the court on May 22, the town was named Hadley, after hadleigh in Suffolk Co., England where some of the settlers originated.

In 1661 Samuel Smith was chosen one of three commissioners who were to determine civil actions not exceeding 5 pounds and to deal with criminal actions where the penalty did "not exceed ten stripes for one offense." He was chosen to this position many times again.

In May 1663 the Court approved Samuel Smith as Lieutenant of the Hadley Trainband to serve under Capt. John Pynchon of Springfield a position he held until 1678 when he resigned because of his advanced age. He served inactively in King Philip's War where in 1676 his son John was killed by Indians at Hatfield.

His home in Hadley was said to have served as a hiding place for the regicides Whalley and Goffe, for a part of the time they were in Hadley.

In 1661 he was chosen assessor. On 14 January 1667 Lieutenant Samuel Smith, together with Rev. John Russell and Aaron Cooke, was chosen at Town Meeting to serve as a trustee of a fund offered by Mr. John Davenport of New haven and Mr. William Goodwin of Hadley, acting as trustees under the will of the late Mr. Edward Hopkins, for the establishment of a grammar school in Hadley.

Samuel was given a license in 1671 to sell wines and strong liquors, a right that was sparingly given by the Selectmen and approved just as sparingly by the Court in those days. He 1677 he was empowered to solemnize marriages, a right he had had since 1661 but only to be exercised in the absence of William Westwood who was fist given that authority.

In 1678 Lieutenant Smith requested, since he was "nearing 80 years of age" to be "relieved fro military trust." His request was granted and his son Philip made Ensign immediately and later in the same year raised to Lieutenant. Samuel's death was two years later.

* Elizabeth Smith, the wife of Samuel Smith, has sometimes been named as Elizabeth Chileab. This probably occurred in one of the early genealogies of this family because they named one of their sons Chileab and then the error has been passed on through the years in subsequent genealogies. The following article documents that Samuel Smith's wife was Elizabeth Smith and not Elizabeth Chileab.

Article from The American Genealogist, Vol. 32, p. 195.
By Paul W. Prindle, B.S., of New York, N.Y.

The wife of Lieutenant Samuel Smith of Wethersfield, Connecticut., has often been named erroneously as Elizabeth Chileab. The following article appeared in abbreviated form in "The Hartford Times, " 8 Jan 1956.

About one year after their arrival from England, Lt. Samuel Smith's wife gave birth to a son,1 to whom they gave the unusual name of Chileab. Someone, possibly Stiles (he must at least be charged with responsibility for passing on the fiction in his "History of Ancient Wethersfield 2:646), assumed that this unusual name must have been the surname of the mother.

It is unfortunate that Stiles failed to consult his Bible concordance. Had he done so, he would have learned that Lt. Smith, a devout man who made a bequest of a Bible in his will to each of his grandchildren gave biblical names to each one of his other sons, - Samuel, Philip and John, - and Chileab was no exception; the original Chileab was the son of King David by
Abigail (II Samuel, 111;3). According to Rev. William Jenks, "Comprehensive Commentary on the Holy Bible" (1836), Chileab signifies "like his father, or the father's picture." Due to the unusual circumstances of Chileab"s birth, Abigail being the lawful wife of Nabal the Carmelite, we may reasonable ascribe the touching choice of the babe's name to Abigail rather than to David. In any event in the 7 Oct. 1929 issue of "The Boston Evening Transcript," one C.D.A. wrote, in answer to query 8072-15. If Lieutenant Smith had named the child Chedorlaomer, Jaazaniah, Yephibosneth, or Maher-shalal-hash-baz ( all biblical masculine names), there would have been as much ground for assuming the selected name was the family name of Elizabeth as there was that it was Chileab.

The identity of Elizabeth, wife of Lt. Samuel Smith, has been determined within the bounds of probability acceptable to careful genealogists. As long ago as 14 Aug 1943, the late Dr. Ray G.Hulbert, in his answer to query A-2442-(6) in "The Hartford Times," gave the facts, which have been repeated on a number of occasions, once at least by the present contributor. Nevertheless, to bring all the known facts together, perhaps for the first time the following account is presented to lay the ghost of Elizabeth Chileab.

The parish registers of St. Margarets's, Whatfield, Co.,Suffolk, England, show the Oct 6, 1624 marriage of Samuel Smyth to Elizabeth Smyth, and the baptism of their son Samuel on Feb 8, 1625 (1625/6?). The young couple next appear at Hadleigh, co. Suffolk, three miles south of Whatfield where, at the church of St. Mary the Virgin, they baptized Elizabeth on Jan 28, 1627 (probably New Style); Mary, Oct. 9, 1628 and Philip, November1632. The Smith, Smyth, Smithe (all interchangeable, of course) family embarked "the last of Aprill, 1634, for New England, in the "Elizabeth," from Ipswich, Mr. Wm. Andrews, "Master" (New England Hist. and Gen. Register, 14:329; Hotten' s "Original Lists," pp. 280, 282; Pope's "Pioneers of Massachusetts"; James William Hook , "Lieut. Samuel Smith (1953), p. 1.The ship's list shows the following ages for the members of the Smith family:"Samuell Smithe,"; 32; "Elizabeth his wife," 32; and children of "Sam. Smith:" Samuel, 9; Elizabeth, 7; Mary, 4; Philip, 1. The ages of the children Samuel, Elizabeth, and Philip exactly correspond with their respective dates of baptism. Mary, however, was 5, not 4. Actually, this record represents a high degree of accuracy. Most ages taken from ships' lists (and from gravestones and census records as well) are questionable unless confirmed by other contemporary records.

There remains little room for doubt that the baptismal records shown above taken from the parish registers in Whatfield and Hadleigh, are of the children who sailed on the "Elizabeth" from Ipswich only ten miles east of Hadleigh, co. Suffolk and that Elizabeth, wife of Lt.Samuel Smith, was a Smith before her marriage.

Marriage certificate for Samuel and Elizabeth Smyth
Courtesy of Northeastern Smiths DNA Project


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