Saturday, November 23, 2013

Surname Saturday ~ SMITH of Wethersfield, Connecticut and Hadley, Massachusetts


Samuel Smith and his wife and four children sailed from Ipswich, England for the Massachusetts Bay Colony on board the ship Elizabeth in April 1634.  They first lived in Watertown, and then were in Wethersfield, Connecticut in 1635. 

In the records of Wethersfield Samuel Smith is called “The Fellmonger” because he was a fur trader and a tanner. He was also part owner and builder of the Tryal, which might be the first ship built in the Connecticut colony.  Around 1659 he removed to Hadley, Massachusetts, where he appears in the records as “Lieutenant Smith”.   The regicides Whalley and Goffe supposedly hid in Smith’s home in Hadley.  (Seven men who signed the death warrant for King Charles I were known as the Regicides.  Edward Whalley, a relative to Oliver Cromwell, and his son-in-law, William Goffe,  escaped to Boston in 1660.  They lived openly for a while until orders arrived for their arrest. They fled to the New Haven colony, and then to Hadley where they lived for fifteen years.)

The only compiled genealogy about this family is Lieutenant Samuel Smith and His Children by James William Hook.  The sketch for Samuel Smith is found in The Great Migration: Immigrants to New England, 1634 – 1635, pages 396 – 402. There is an article about the identity of Samuel Smith’s wife, who was Elizabeth Smith, in The American Genealogist, Volume 32, page 195 “The Wife of Lt. Samuel Smith of Wethersfield”.  The Smith family is listed on board the Elizabeth in NEHGS Register, Volume 14, page 329, Hotten’s Original Lists of Persons of Quality pages 280 and 282, Pope’s Pioneers of Massachusetts.  There is a short sketch about Samuel Smith in The History of Whately, Massachusetts.

My Smith genealogy:

Generation 1:  Samuel Smith, born about 1602 in Hadleigh, Suffolk, England, died 16 Jan 1681 in Hadley, Massachusetts; married on 6 October 1624 in Whatfield, Suffolk, England to Elizabeth Smith, born about 1602 and died 16 March 1686 in Hadley.  Six children.

Generation 2: Elizabeth Smith, baptized on 28 Jan 1627 at St. Mary the Virgin, Hadleigh, Suffolk, England and died after 1701; married about 1646 to Nathaniel Foote, son of Nathaniel Foote and Elizabeth Deming.  He was born on 5 March 1619 in Colchester, Essex, England and died in 1655 in Wethersfield, Connecticut. Four children.

Generation 3:  Nathaniel Foote m. Margaret Bliss
Generation 4: Eunice Foot m. Michael Taintor
Generation 5: Eunice Taintor m. Aaron Skinner
Generation 6: Charles Skinner m. Sarah Osborn
Generation 7: Ann Skinner m. Thomas Ratchford Lyons
Generation 8: Isabella Lyons m. Reverend Ingraham Ebenezer Bill
Generation 9: Caleb Rand Bill m. Ann Margaret Bollman
Generation 10: Isabella Lyons Bill m. Albert Munroe Wilkinson
Generation 11: Donald Munroe Wilkinson m. Bertha Louise Roberts (my grandparents)

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Copyright © 2013, Heather Wilkinson Rojo


  1. Thank you dear genealogist cousin! I think you have helped me to make another connection and another cousin connection with you! I have a Samuel Smith born 1638 in Wethersfield, CT and he married a Mary Ensign in about 1661. He is very likely a son of Samuel Smith of Wethersfield! I will look for more records to confirm. Thanks! BTW, I also have a Bliss line from Springfield, MA. Thomas>Samuel>Thomas, etc. :)

    1. Good luck with your search. It is never easy tracing SMITHs.

  2. Well, I think I have found my ancestor but he is not your Samuel Smith but rather the Reverend Henry Smith, born about 1599 England, graduated from Cambridge, went to Charlestown, MA then to Waterstown, and then to Wethersfield where he died in 1648. He was the first ordained minister in Wethersfield and had Mary, Phillippa, Perigrin, Samuel, Dorothy, Joanna, Noah, and Elizabeth. Thanks for the clues though. :)

  3. Heather, well done! It's great to have all those sources for Lt Samuel in one paragraph. Interesting to me is that the two lines of Henry and Samuel that were both in Wethersfield, "reconvene" in Wilmington, VT after Samuel goes to Hadley: a very small town for coincidences, despite Smith being common as it is. (I guess "common" is an understatement, isn't it.?)
    I think it may be possible there may be a connection before the migration, but maybe the bond created in Wethersfield was strong enough to get them both to Wilmington. I haven't yet checked for other founders of Wilmington that may connect the two Smith lines. My line, by the way comes down via, James Smith of Suffield through his grandson Cyrus Austin Smith.
    Thanks to you both.

  4. Wonderful post, Heather. It's great to have all the sources for Samuel referenced in one paragraph. Teresa, although there's no evidence of a link between Lt Samuel and Henry, it may be of interest that both lines start in Wethersfield and are "neighbors" again in Wilmington VT after Samuel's line comes over from Hadley. There may be more than coincidence that get's them in VT, besides the Connecticut River.
    My line from Henry goes to James and through son, Rufus, and his grandson Cyrus Austin Smith. Both names Cyrus and Rufus appear in both lines there in Wilmington.
    Thank you both.