Moving West: Thirteen Generations of a Smith Family
John Smith and Elizabeth Smith
John Smith, son of John Smith and Mary Root, was born on 1 Feb 1697 in Hadley, Hampshire, Massachusetts and died in 1784 in Berwick, York, Maine at age 87.
John married his cousin Elizabeth Smith in 1727 in Northampton, Hampden, Massachusetts. Elizabeth was born on 5 May 1703 in Northampton, Hampden, Massachusetts and died on 12 Jan 1778 in Brattleboro, Windham, Vermont at age 74. They had eight children: Ruth, Elizabeth, Timothy, Benjamin, Titus, Seth, Israel, and Lucy.
Ruth Smith was born in 1726 in South Hadley, Hampshire, Massachusetts.
Elizabeth Smith was born on 14 Feb 1728 in Granby, Hampshire, Massachusetts and died on 18 Jul 1814 at age 86.
Timothy Smith was born on 6 Dec 1729 in Granby, Hampshire, Massachusetts.
Benjamin Smith was born on 16 May 1732 in Granby, Hampshire, Massachusetts and died in Nov 1803 in New Salem, Massachusetts at age 71.
Titus Smith was born on 23 Jun 1734 in South Hadley, Hampshire, Massachusetts and died on 15 Sep 1807 in Dutch Village, Halifax, Nova Scotia at age 73.
Seth Smith was born on 21 Aug 1736 in South Hadley, Hampshire, Massachusetts and died on 18 Oct 1820 in Granby, Hampshire, Massachusetts at age 84.
Israel Smith was born on 2 Apr 1739 in Granby, Hampshire, Massachusetts and died on 7 Jun 1811 in Bainbridge, Chenango, New York at age 72.
Lucy Smith was born in 1741 in Granby, Hampshire, Massachusetts and died in 1763 at age 22.
Chloe Smith Hayes, a granddaughter of Deacon John and Elizabeth Smith, left a diary, the original of which is in the Rutherford B. Hayes Library, Fremont, Ohio. Under date "Brattleboro, Oct. 3, 1840", she wrote:
"My grandfather by my father's side was Deacon John Smith. His native place was Hadley. When Deerfield was destroyed by the Indians, he (Deacon John) was seven years old. In the morning saw the smoke of the buildings that they had left burning....when he was married he went to South Hadley (later Granby) when it was a wilderness. He was an eminent Christian, and sustained that character, to the day of his death. I have heard him say, when he was converted it was a very dull time...After this was Whitefield's time. He used to speak of the great stir there was through New England - the first and second stir (it was not then called a revival, but a stir).
...My grandfather did not marry 'till after he was thirty years old. He said his Uncle from Wethersfield in CT (Benjamin Smith) visited him at his Father's, and slept with him. In the night he told him he had a daughter that would make him a good wife, and so it proved; he married his cousin Elizabeth Smith."
Deacon John Smith owned land in Hadley and was living there in 1731. He was Townsman, Deacon in various churches as they were constructed, and an active citizen in every way. He moved to Brattleboro with his son Israel in 1774, as recorded by Chloe in her Diary:
"My Father moved here from South Hadley when I was in my twelfth year. My grandfather and grandmother belonged to the family."
On 6 Feb. 1778 Deacon John Smith was in Granby and while there he signed his will. It was accepted for probate in Brattleboro in Nov. 1784. It mentioned his seven children and his son-in-law, John Ayre to whom he gave "the Right of Land in the 2000 acre Division", presumably in Granby. Four days later he executed a deed, conveying certain Granby lands to four of his children (Timothy, Ruth Ayres, son-in-law Phineahs Smith, husband of Elizabeth who "belong to Granby", and Seth and Israel "belonging to Brattleboro"). Sons Benjamin and Titus, who had remained loyal to the Crown and lived in Halifax, Nova Scotia, were not named in the deed and only in a token way in the will.
Both Deacon John Smith and Elizabeth were buried near the Hayes Mansion in West Brattleboro.
Family Histories Index