Moving West: Thirteen Generations of a Smith Family

 Family Histories

Generation Five
Israel Smith and Abigail Chandler

Gravestones of Israel Smith and his wife Abigail
Pioneer Congregational Cemetery in Sidney, Otsego County, New York
A special thanks to Jack Felt for taking and sharing this picture
(Note: The picture is a small thumbnail. Click on it to open the actual photograph)

Israel Smith, son of John Smith and Elizabeth 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.

Israel married Abigail Chandler, daughter of Isaac Chandler and Abigail Hale, in 1761 in Enfield, Hartford, Connecticut. Abigail was born on 11 Sep 1741 in Enfield, Hartford, Connecticut and died on 10 Nov 1791 in Bainbridge, Chenango, New York at age 50. They had nine children: Chloe, Israel, Simeon, Sibyl, Clarine, Amos, Clarinda, Abigail, and Azor

Chloe Smith was born on 10 Nov 1762 in South Hadley, Hampshire, Massachusetts and died on 17 Feb 1847 in Brattleboro, Windham, Vermont at age 84.  

Israel Smith was born on 15 Dec 1764 in Granby, Hampshire, Massachusetts and died on 27 Jan 1837 in Bainbridge, Chenango, New York at age 72.  

Simeon Smith was born in Dec 1766 in Granby, Hampshire, Massachusetts and died on 30 Mar 1849 in Bainbridge, Chenango, New York at age 82.  

Sibyl Smith was born on 17 Jan 1769 in South Hadley, Hampshire, Massachusetts and died on 24 Feb 1844 at age 75.

Clarissa Smith was born on 30 May 1771 and died on 9 Sep 1772 at age 1.  

Amos Smith was born on 13 Jun 1773 in Granby, Hampshire, Massachusetts and died in Jan 1850 in Litchfield, Medina, Ohio at age 76.  

Clarinda Smith was born in 1775 in Brattleboro, Windham, Vermont and died on 22 May 1847 in Bainbridge, Chenango, New York at age 72.  

Abigail Smith was born on 13 Jun 1778 and died on 30 Mar 1847 in Afton, Chenango, New York at age 68.

Azor Smith was born in 1780.

Israel Smith lived on his father's farm in Granby, Massachusetts until 1774 when he removed to Cumberland County, New York (now Brattleboro, Windham County, Vermont), where his brother Seth was already a well-established citizen. With his family were his parents, John and Elizabeth Smith, who, as his daughter Chloe said in her diary, "belonged to the family." 

In 1776 he was chosen a member of the Committee of Safety of Cumberland County, and before 1778 was commissioned a Lieutenant in the local militia in which his brother Seth was a Lieutenant Colonel.

On 4 June 1777, Israel was one of the 72 delegates from Brattleboro to the convention at Windsor, which pledged the New Hampshire Grants to "support the war against the Fleets and Armies of Great Britain." Israel also cast the one lone vote against making Vermont a new and separate state. In a year's time, the views of the residents had changed and on 11 Apr. 1778, only one out of 166 delegates voted in favor of "the pretended state of Vermont." These "Vermont Sufferers" as they became to be called, had purchased land within the limits of the present State of Vermont, under titles from the State of New York, which claimed that territory. After years of difficulty the State of New York surrendered her claim and gave those persons whose claims in Vermont had become invalid, lands in Jericho, Chenango County, New York.

As one of the "Vermont Sufferers" Israel received a grant of 640 acres from the State of New York, which he divided into farms for himself and sons. In 1789 Israel moved to the new village of Jericho in Chenango County in the Susquehanna Valley of New York. The land was then in Harpersfield Township, Montgomery County, and is so listed in the 1790 census. The rest of Israel's family followed in 1790. He settled on Lot 76 on the east line of the county opposite the mouth of the Unadilla. ("History of Chenango County." by Smith, p. 162). His farm lay on both sides of the Susquehanna and was near that of Samuel Bixby.  "Gazetteer of New York", by Horatio Gates Spofford, Albany, 1813, p. 216, says that Jericho, area 48,000 "is part of a tract of land granted by this state in 1788 to the sufferers by former grants in the present state of Vermont to which New York laid claim." Israel's name appears on the church records in Jericho in 1790 as "Deacon", and from then on to his death he was active in church and town affairs. On June 20, 1796, he conveyed "30 rods of land" to the city of Brattleboro for use as a cemetery.

Israel and Abigail's grandson, Hon. David McMaster, in a speech at the Sidney Centennial Jubilee on 13 June 1872, said of them: "All except one child (Chloe) lived most of their lives in this vicinity, attaining an average age of over 75 years and retaining during their lives the plain manners and the industrial, frugal habits which they brought with them from Vermont. They were a family of scrupulous integrity and strict religious principles." He described his grandfather as a tall man, standing "several inches over six feet."

Through their daughter, Chloe, who married Rutherford Hayes, Israel and Abigail (Chandler) Smith became the great-grandparents of Rutherford B Hayes, 19th President of the United States.

Census Information

1790 census (image)
Name: Smith, Israel Township: Harpersfield, Montgomery, New York; Roll: M637_6; Page: 7; Image: 0074.(note: Harpersfield, Montgomery County later became Jericho, Chenango County)

1800 census (image)
Name: Smith, Israel Township: Jericho, Chenango, New York; Roll: 28; Page: 758; Image: 239.

1810 census
not found - Israel is probably living with one of his children by this time


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