Ulster-Scots, or Scotch-Irish as they are also known, were Scots who emigrated to the Irish province of Ulster from the Scottish Lowlands beginning in the early 17th century, initially as part of a crown-sponsored plan to settle Protestants on lands confiscated from Ulster's Catholic nobility. A second wave of Scottish emigration to Ulster followed a severe famine in Scotland in the 1690s. According to one researcher, our line may have come from around the Scottish village of Ochiltree.
By the end of the century, however, the Presbyterian Scots in Ireland were suffering from laws which favored Anglicans, who were mainly the descendants of English settlers. The Woolens Act of 1699, prohibiting the export of linen cloth, dealt a crippling blow to the Scottish weaving industry in Ulster. Legislation restricting Presbyterians from holding office and exorbitant increases in rent squeezed the Scotch-Irish further. By 1710, most of the farm leases granted to the Scottish settlers in the 1690's had expired and were up for renewal. Finally, when a fourth successive year of drought ruined crops in 1717, serious preparations for migration began.
In his 2001 book, "The People with No Name: Ireland's Ulster Scots, America's Scots Irish, and the Creation of a British Atlantic World," Patrick Griffin wrote that "between 1718 and 1775, more than 100,000 men and women journeyed from the Irish province of Ulster to the American colonies. Their migration represented the single largest movement of any group from the British Isles to British North America during the eighteenth century. In a first wave beginning in 1718 and cresting in 1729, these people outnumbered all others sailing across the Atlantic, with the notable exception of those bound to the New World in slave ships."
of the New Hampshire Ulster-Scots originated
Some of those early emigrants settled in New Hampshire in a place originally called Nutfield because of the abundance of chestnut, walnut and butternut trees there. They built a town, which they called Londonderry after Londonderry in Ulster, from which they had come. An 1851 history of Londonderry, New Hampshire, by Edward Lutwyche Parker, says that they came from the valley of the river Bann, "in or near the towns or parishes of Coleraine, Ballymoney, Ballywoolen, Ballywatick and Kilrea."
The small band that settled in Nutfield, later called Londonderry, brought potatoes with them from Ireland and planted them in the town's Common Field. This is said to be the first cultivation of the plant in the colonies. Nutfield's Scotch-Irish were also linen weavers and Londonderry linen became so well known in colonial America that the town passed a law in 1748 requiring that all linen woven there be marked with a seal bearing the town name in order to discourage counterfeiting. This is said by some to be the first trademark in the New World.
In fact, the Nutfield settlers were the first major group of Scotch-Irish to emigrate from Northern Ireland. They left under the leadership of Rev. James MacGregor or McGregor, after petitioning the Massachusetts Bay Colony governor, Samuel Shute, for land in 1718.
Among those who signed that petition are several Smiths, including two Samuel Smiths and two James Smiths, though we have no way of knowing if any of them are of our line. Nonetheless, there is an intriguing trail of citations that trace the names Samuel Smith and James Smith to Londonderry, New Hampshire.
A brief history by the Londonderry Historical Society tells us that five shiploads of people left Ulster for the New World under Rev. MacGregor's guidance:
One group remained in Boston, one group settled in Dracut and Andover and a third group ventured north to what is now Portland, Maine. A harsh winter and low provisions forced the third group to retreat south to Haverhill, Massachusetts, where they heard of a twelve square mile area "abound with nut trees." Sixteen families left Haverhill for Nutfield in 1719 and on June 21, 1722, established a charter for the Township of Londonderry.A Samuel Smith came to the New World in 1719 on board the "Elizabeth," a ship that had been part of the 1718 migration. The ship's captain was Robert Homes (or Holmes), who was born at Stragolan, County Fermanagh, Ireland, in 1694.
Robert Homes' father, William Homes, was a Presbyterian clergyman who had travelled to the New World as a young man and met the renowned Boston clergymen, Increase Mather and his son, Cotton Mather. William Homes returned to Ireland but eventually emigrated with his family to Boston in 1714. The next year, he became the congregational minister of Chilmark, Martha’s Vineyard, where he remained until his death in 1746.
In April 1716, William Homes' son, Robert, married Mary Franklin, Benjamin Franklin’s sister. Robert became the mate to Alexander Miller with a share in the ship “Mary and Elizabeth.”
By November 1717, Rev. Homes and his son were in correspondence with Cotton Mather, who was recruiting Scotch-Irish migrants to settle in New Hampshire and Maine in hopes of creating a buffer between the hostile Indians and the settled towns of Massachusetts. Robert was instrumental in spreading the word back in Ireland. Edward Lutwyche Parker, in his 1851 “History of Londonderry,” gives this account:
A young man named Homes, son of a Presbyterian clergyman, first brought reports to the people in Ireland of opportunities in New England. This was probably Captain Robert Homes, son of the Rev. William Homes; he had an unusual opportunity for intercourse with his father's former parishioners through his voyages to Ireland. In 1717 two men with names later significant in the Worcester and Falmouth settlements, called to see the minister at Chilmark; they were John McClellan and James Jameson. Three weeks later (November 24th) Mr. Homes writes in his diary: "This day I received several letters, one from Doctor Cotton Mather, one from several gentlemen proprietors of lands at or near to Casco Bay, and one from son Robert.According to Charles Knowles Bolton, in his 1910 “Scotch Irish Pioneers in Ulster and America,”
The above quotation points strongly to a conference held at Boston in November between Captain Robert Homes, recently from Ireland and interested in transporting Scotch Irish families, the Rev. Cotton Mather, eager to see the frontiers defended by a God-fearing, hardy people, and the third party to the conference, the men who were attempting to plant settlements along the Kennebec. They must have talked over the project for a great migration (they all had written to the minister at Chilmark), and undoubtedly Captain Robert Homes sent over letters and plans to friends at Strabane, Donaghmore, Donegal and Londonderry. Perhaps no one in Boston had so many relatives among the clergy in Ulster, and as a sea-captain he had a still further interest in the migration. Robert himself sailed for Ireland April 13, 1718, and returned "full of passengers" about the middle of October.The ship on which Robert Homes returned from Londonderry was the “Mary and Elizabeth.” The Boston News-Letter recorded it as arriving in October, 45 tons, carrying linen and 100 passengers. It was one of about 15 ships that arrived that year from Ireland and is sometimes counted among the "five ships" said to have brought the Bann Valley emigrants to the New World.
After they arrived, the captain, Alexander Miller, bought a farm in Saco, Maine, and sold his share in the ship to Homes, who became the captain and rechristened the ship the “Elizabeth.” Homes returned to Ireland and carried a second load of Scotch-Irish emigrants, including a Samuel Smith, to Boston in 1719.
Smallpox broke out on the ship and about 30 of its 150 passengers were "warned out" of Boston when they arrived.
Those that were "warned out" were sent into quarantine at a pesthouse that had been built for the purpose on Spectacle Island, in Boston harbour, in 1715.
Ulster Scots continued to arrive from the Bann Valley in subsequent years. The following account about Archibald Stark is from a history of the Jelke & Frazier & Allie Families, written by L. Effingham De Forest in 1931:
In 1720 Archibald Stark, in company with a number of other Scottish Presbyterians, started for New England to join some of their neighbors and co-religionists who had settled at or in the vicinity of Nutfield, New Hampshire (later, Londonderry, New Hampshire). The vessel on which they sailed was overcrowded and the voyage was a very uncomfortable one, even before the plague of smallpox broke out. Several passengers died, including the children of Archibald Stark. When the ship reached Boston, it was not permitted to discharge its passengers because of the smallpox on board, but was sent to the desolate coast of Maine, where the present town of Wiscasset stands, to spend a year in quarantine. There the winter was endured with much suffering. It was not until the summer of 1721 that the survivors of the group of settlers reached their new homes in New Hampshire.
A William Smith is listed beside Archibald Stark among the proprietors of Londonderry at its incorporation in 1722. Nothing more is known of this William Smith but George F. Willey, in his 1869 Book of Nutfield, noted that there was a James Smith with land in the town.
John Goffe, Londonderry's first clerk, recorded that this James and his wife 'Jean' bore a son named William in 1715. This William raised at least four children in Londonderry before moving to Antrim, New Hampshire, in 1771. New Hampshire Vital Records, meanwhile, record the birth in Londonderry of a Samuel Smith to James and 'Joan' Smith on March 29, 1720. This is possibly the Samuel Smith of our line.
There is no Samuel Smith on the original Londonderry proprietor's list, but a Samuel Smith does appear in Londonderry records in subsequent years.
In the 1730s, Londonderry split over rival pastors and some of its members established a new parish in the western part of the town. Eventually, the split divided the town into Londonderry in the west and Derry in the east. A Samuel Smith appears on various petitions related to the formation of the West Parish. He may have been the father or an uncle of our Samuel Smith, though, again, there is no way of knowing what relation, if any, he has to our line.
From Londonderry, the early immigrants branched out in various directions looking for undeveloped land. Some settled near the current town of Dunbarton in the late 1740s and, in 1751, a group led by Archibald Stark was given a grant to form a town there. They called it Starkstown. The name was changed in 1765 to Dunbarton, after Dumbarton, Scotland (just south of the famous Loch Lomond), where Archibald Stark was born.
Among the other original settlers of Starkstown was John Stinson, also a Scot from Londonderry, Ireland, and the head of a prominent family that would have close dealings with the Smiths. [I have color coded the various John Stinsons so that they can be differentiated and identified using a chart below]
Other families with whom the Smiths were associated also came in the early wave of Ulster-Scot immigration and settled in Londonderry, Derry or Dunbarton.
Our Samuel Smith and his wife may have been born in New Hampshire to families that arrived in that initial migration or they may have moved to New Hampshire from elsewhere in the colonies. Given that there was a Samuel Smith on board the "Elizabeth" with men who were among the original proprietors of Londonderry, and that our younger Samuel Smith was among the early settlers of Starkstown, it is not hard to imagine that the younger Samuel Smith is related to the Samuel Smith who emigrated from Ireland in 1719.
Whichever the case, it is almost certain that Samuel Smith and his wife Elizabeth were Scotch-Irish Presbyterians with roots in the Scottish Lowlands.
Elizabeth was born on July 9, 1729, though we don’t know where. Our Samuel was probably born about the same time.
In 1753, "Samuel Smith of Starkstown" bought Lot 12 in the "2nd range" from Caleb Page for "160 pounds, Old Tenor," according to Dunbarton records. He built a house on the 100-acre lot "on old 4-rod road (now abandoned)."
This is the first documentary evidence that we have of our Samuel Smith. As was the custom in that day, the town was laid out with rectangular lots arranged in a row, or range.
"Old Tenor" refers to the paper money issued by the Massachusetts and New Hampshire colonial governments prior to 1742. The "bills of credit," as they were known, depreciated rapidly in value and new bills, or "new tenor," were issued to reflect the depreciation.
The "4-rod" reference is the width of the road, a rod being a unit of length in the English system originally fixed by King Edward I in 1303. It is equal to about 16 ½ feet, so a 4-rod road is 66 feet wide. Road widths are still measured this way.
Caleb Page was a colorful character, according to a Merrimack County history:
In 1740 he married a widow Carleton, of Newburyport, who weighed three hundred and fifteen pounds. She, together with a huge arm-chair, now in the possession of the Stark family, had to be carried to meeting on an ox sled.In 1751, according to the history, Page sold his lands in Atkinson, New Hampshire, for his wife's weight in silver dollars, and relocated to Dunbarton.
The country was then infested with Indians; and his daughter Elizabeth, who later became the wife of General John Stark of Revolutionary fame, often stood, musket in hand, as guard at the rude block-house.Well, happy for the white folk, at least.
Caleb, who is said to have had a noble and benevolent spirit, had ample means to indulge his generous impulses. His money, comprising golden guineas, silver crowns and dollars, was kept in a half-bushel measure under the bed. He owned many slaves. His house was the abode of hospitality and the scene of many a happy gathering.
This is Caleb Page's house at Page's Corner in Dunbarton. His daughter, Gen. John Stark's wife, stayed here throughout the Revolutionary War.
The house that Samuel Smith built on the land he bought from Caleb Page still stands. This page is from Harlan Noyes' 2004 book, "Where Settlers' Feet Have Trod."
When originally built by Samuel Smith, the house was two stories tall and one room deep, with a central chimney that contained two fireplaces on each floor.
This is a picture of the house taken in June, 2010. Roger Smith is standing in front. The owners weren't home.
Alice M. Hadley, in her 1976 book, "Where the Winds Blow Free," writes that:
"This farm was settled in very early times by Samuel Smith; then by John Stinson, son of Samuel Stinson, one of the first settlers. The house was built in part before the Revolution ... The house has been changed so many times it is hard to know what its first shape was.Ms. Hadley was apparently mistaken in her identity of John Stinson, as he was son of John Stinson Sr., one of the first settlers in the town. Samuel Stinson was a brother. Ms. Hadley also writes in her book that Samuel Smith owned the 100 acres of Lot 17, 3rd range, which he mortgaged to Jeremiah Page, Caleb Page's son, on March 3, 1754 for 510 pounds, old Tenor. According to Caleb Stark's "History of Dunbarton," Samuel Smith eventually sold the lot to "Judge Page," as Jeremiah was later known.
(Intriguingly, a great-grandson of Jeremiah Page, born in 1783, was named Samuel Smith Page)
These were the years of the French and Indian War, which broke out in 1754 and continued until 1763. The war left Britain heavily in debt, which Parliament tried to ease through taxation of the colonies, leading to the Revolutionary War.
Many of New Hampshire's Scotch-Irish fought in the French and Indian War, helping Britain defeat France's claims to North American territory, though there is no evidence that Samuel Smith was among them.
Samuel Smith was nonetheless active in his small community and, as we will see, was acquainted with the cream of local society. In October 1760, he and Jeremiah Page were elected to a committee to maintain Starkstown's roads.
Like many of the men involved in clearing the woodlands for farms and providing lumber for new construction, Samuel Smith was also apparently involved in the local timber industry. He died sometime in 1762, leaving Elizabeth with six children.
A distant cousin now deceased, Ralph Smith, visited Dunbarton twenty years or so ago with his wife, Norma, and they were told by an elderly town historian that Samuel was drowned in a "log drive." Alice Hadley’s book cites handwritten notes by a man named Dave Tenny as saying that a Smith, evidently Samuel, drowned at Amoskeag Falls. We don't know where he is buried.
Samuel's widow, Elizabeth, was 35 at the time. He did not leave behind a will. John Stinson, one of the original John Stinson's sons, was appointed administrator of his estate on Dec. 6, 1764.
the "New Hampshire State Papers."
Both Samuel Smith and John Stinson are listed in the probate records as 'yeomen,' which in the English social order meant commoners who owned and cultivated their own land.
John Stinson was required to post a 10,000 pound bond to protect Elizabeth and her children from misfeasance. Two prominent men of the area acted as guarantors of this bond: Stephen Holland and John Stark, both listed as 'gentlemen.' A gentleman was a rung higher in the social order and was entitled to a coat of arms.
Stephen Holland and John Stark's brother, William, were married to John Stinson's sisters. Stephen Holland may also have been Elizabeth Smith's brother.
Matthew Thornton, a surgeon and also among the original settlers in the town, acted as one of the witnesses to the bond.
This is a remarkable document because of the signatures it contains. [You can click on the image above to see the signatures.]
Matthew Thornton was born in Londonderry, Ireland, emigrated to New Hampshire as a child and settled in Londonderry. He was among the original settlers of Starkstown, later Dunbarton. He went on to serve in the Continental Congress and was among the signers of the Declaration of Independence. Again, intriguingly, his grandmother's maiden name was Nancy Smith.
Matthew Thornton's signature appears in the lower right hand corner of the Declaration of Independence [click to see it larger]. While most of the signers signed on August 2, 1776, Thornton signed when he took his seat at the Continental Congress on November 19 of that year.
John Stark, too, was a larger than life figure in New Hampshire history with a dramatic life from an early age. On April 28, 1752 while on a hunting and trapping trip along the Baker River, a tributary of the Pemigewasset, he and a friend were captured by Abenaki warriors and taken to Quebec. He managed to warn his older brother, William, who was following in another canoe, but David Stinson, John Stinson's brother, was shot, killed, stripped and scalped.
While a prisoner of the Abenaki, according to John Stark's memoirs and transcripts of later interviews with the men, he and his fellow prisoner, Amos Eastman, were made to run a gantlet of warriors armed with clubs. Unlike Eastman, Stark fought his way through the gantlet and emerged relatively unscathed. The Indian elders were so impressed by Stark's courage that he was adopted into the tribe and called a "little chief." The next spring a government agent sent from Massachusetts to work out a prisoner exchange paid a ransom of $103 Spanish dollars for Stark and $60 for Eastman.
Stark and Eastman then returned to New Hampshire. You can read about it in John Stark's memoirs here.
John Stark went on to fight in the French and Indian War with Rogers' Rangers, under the command of Major Robert Rogers, another early Dunbarton settler. [Robert Rogers, by the way, once escaped a chasing band of Indians by throwing his pack down what is now called Rogers' Rock on Lake George, a place I know well. The Indians were fooled into thinking that he had fallen down the sheer rock face and abandoned their pursuit.]
John Stark later became a celebrated general during the Revolutionary War. He is best remembered for his line, "Live free or die," which he wrote in a letter in 1809 to be read at a reunion of the soldiers who fought under him at the Battle of Bennington. Stark was then too old and infirm to attend. "Live Free Or Die" is now stamped on New Hampshire license plates - ironically in a state prison factory.
Stephen Holland and John Stinson also played roles in the Revolution, but not on the same side as John Stark and Matthew Thornton, as we shall see.
Dunbarton town records show that on March 12, 1764, John Stinson sold Lot 12 in the 2nd Range to John Stark to defray the late Samuel Smith's debts and that Stark sold the property back to Stinson the following day for 3,050 pounds, "old tenor." The lot is described as "being lot whereon Samuel Smith lately dwelt, with ye buildings."
Samuel Smith's probate records include an inventory of his estate, dated Jan. 17, 1765. It was signed by Caleb Page and John Stark's brother, William. The estate was valued at 3,498 pounds, 12 shillings.
Above is an image of the inventory and below is a transcription:
Starkstown Jenuary ye 17th 1765There is apparently more than one copy of this inventory because William G. Stinson, in his 1998 "History of the Loyalist Stinson Family," gives a slightly different transcription. He lists the "syeth hingings" as "sylken hangings," though at only 4 pounds one wonders if they aren't some attachment for a scythe.
In compliance to your Warrant to us Dated Portsmouth December 6th 1764 We have meet this Day and Prized the Estate of Samuel Smith Deceased in the following maner as it was chewin to us by John Stinson
one Hundred acres of Land Buldings and Improvments..L 2000
one fifty acres with Common Right.............................90
one Pare of oxan.................................................198
one Pare of stear.................................................140
one Pare of [Ditto] year old......................................65
one stear and one Heffer.........................................50
Three chains and a clevis and Pine..............................40
Two pair Syeth Hingings...........................................4
two chissels one auger two gimlets...........................2/15
Four small pots old frying pan and trammel....................20
one Pare of Plow Irons and 2 Howes.............................10
Two coats and 1 waistcoat........................................60
one old Sadel and Bridel...........................................10
one old axe...........................................................3
One Beed and beeding.............................................90
One hand iron and a salt morter...................................5
Two wheels and one Reel...........................................9
Four old chairs and a Half bushel..................................8
one old chiast.......................................................48
Bells two Sives dear skin......................................19/10
the weddow chatty.................................................39
The above sums all in old tenor.......................L 3498/12
William Stinson's transcription also lists "100 books" instead of the "Boks" in this copy. If indeed there were 100 books in Samuel's possession, it would suggest that he was a fairly well educated man. In any case, the inventory suggests that he was literate.
In William Stinson's transcription "weddow chatty" is listed as "widow's cloathes."
Note that the "clevis and pine" is a clevis and pin.
Presumably some of Samuel Smith's possessions would already have been distributed among his children, but it is clear from the inventory that he was not a rich man. Given the prominence of the people involved in settling his estate, it seems reasonable to imagine that Elizabeth came from richer stock and that the connections were hers.
To put the community into perspective, a 1767 survey found that there were 271 people living in Dunbarton and 2,389 in Londonderry (then made up of the modern towns of Londonderry and Derry).
By Jan. 25, 1765, John Stinson and Elizabeth are both listed as administrators of the estate. The records refer to Elizabeth as John Stinson's wife. They were married sometime after Samuel Smith's death and Elizabeth went on to have three more children, including a son, John Stinson Jr., who many records list as having been born in 1764.
A January, 1765 accounting of the estate mentions 'receipts' of 4,470 pounds and expenditures of 1,721 pounds, 8 shillings - either from the sale of Samuel's assets or from some ongoing business.
The colonies, meanwhile, were beset by growing opposition to the crown, in particular, the Stamp Act of 1765, which taxed all legal papers, such as those filed in the settlement of Samuel Smith's estate.
John Stinson's Administrator's Account of January 15, 1767, includes charges by John and Elizabeth for the support of the children Elizabeth had had with Samuel Smith. The estate was billed 156 pounds for supporting Andrew for 52 weeks at 60 pounds a week. As of January 21, 1765, Mary and Samuel Jr. had received support for 148 weeks. As of January 14, 1767, Mary had received another 52 weeks of support and Samuel Jr. another 104 weeks.
The estate was also billed 39 pounds for the set of widow's clothing.
(148 weeks prior to January 21, 1765 would have been March 20, 1762, suggesting that Samuel Smith died around that date. Another document among the probate records charges the estate for "rates" due for 1762 and 1763, supporting the thesis that Samuel died sometime in 1762.)
The accounting was approved by John Wentworth, judge for New Hampshire's probate court and a cousin of the provincial governor of the same name.
In January 1771, Stephen Holland posted a 200 pound bond "for the guardianship of Andrew Smith, minor, aged more than 14 years, son of Samuel Smith." This date concurs with later evidence that Andrew was born in 1756. Matthew Thornton acted as guarantor of the bond.
Some researchers have suggested that Elizabeth was Stephen Holland’s sister and the fact that Stephen Holland became Andrew’s guardian does suggest that Elizabeth and Stephen were related. The name "Holland" appears as a middle name in later generations of Smiths.
Stephen is believed to have come from the Ulster-Scot community of Coleraine in Londonderry County, Ireland, and to have returned there after the British lost the war. If he and Elizabeth were related, she may have come from Coleraine, too.
On February 4, 1771, John and Elizabeth Stinson deeded the late Samuel Smith's farm to Stephen Holland. The deed was probably in return for a mortgage because it reads, "the farm whereon I now dwell," and Holland never lived in Dunbarton. In fact, Holland was known for lending money against such collateral.
The final probate record, above, is an accounting for what remained of the estate with an order that the monies be divided among Elizabeth and the six children.
It reads, in part:
1/3 of the balance (L 153/2 in new lawful money) belongs to the woman who was the wife of the deceased, and deducting interest of the two-thirds which is included makes L 106/6 to be divided among the heirs, there being six children, makes 7 shares, each single share is L 16/4 the eldest son's share being double that sum and I order the administrator to make distribution there of accordingly.[The six children included Andrew, Samuel and a sister named Mary. According to available evidence, another, older son was named Thomas and there are many indications that there was a son named William and possibly a daughter named Abigail.
Jan 31, 1771
John Wentworth J Prob
A William Smith, born in 1755, lived in Dunbarton and according to typewritten notes by Alice Hadley, she believed William to be one of Samuel Smith's sons. William and John Stinson's brother, James, married sisters. The Daughters of the American Revolution, meanwhile, list this William as having served in General Enoch Poor's brigade under the colorful Col. Moses Hazen. The DAR says he was a private in Colonel John Carlisle's company.
Caleb Stark's 1850 history of Dunbarton says that William lived on land he owned "in the valley, nearly a mile south-east of the meeting-house" and that his son Archibald and daughter Sarah were still living in the town. William, his wife Peggy, their son Archibald and daughter Sarah are all buried in Dunbarton. William's gravestone lists him as having died on May 12, 1827 at the age of 72.
Most intriguing is a note found on the Internet from another researcher stating that William had another son named Andrew, born in 1790. The name would further support the theory that William was one of our Samuel Smith's sons and brother to our Andrew Smith.
The 1880 "History of the Town of Antrim, New Hampshire" by Rev W R Cochrane, meanwhile, mentions an Abigail Smith of Dunbarton in relation to Gen. Stark. Robert McCauley, it says, "married Abigail Smith of Dunbarton, July 11, 1774 ... She called herself Nabby Smith, a niece of Gen. John Stark, and was his adopted daughter."]
By the time Samuel Smith's estate was settled, frustration over "taxation without representation" had reached a fever pitch.
British warships were stationed in Boston harbor where, a year earlier, a group of British soldiers had opened fire on a mob, killing three people and wounding others in what would forever after be called the Boston Massacre.
At dawn on April 19, 1775, about 70 armed Massachusetts militiamen in Lexington, Massachusetts faced British soldiers who had been sent to destroy the colonists' weapons in Concord. Someone opened fire and the "shot heard around the world" began the American Revolution.
Two months later, when British warships began shelling the hastily constructed rebel fortifications overlooking Boston on Breeds Hill (in what became known as the Battle of Bunker Hill), John Stark set off with a regiment of New Hampshire militiamen to reinforce the rebels.
His brother, William Stark (who, too, had commanded a company of Rogers' Rangers during the French and Indian War) reportedly heard the shelling from his home in Dunbarton and also set off on his swiftest horse to fight, but arrived after the battle had ended.
John Stark was rewarded by George Washington for his participation and eventually became a general. William, on the other hand, requested command of a regiment but was passed over for Timothy Bedel, a former subordinate. Apparently embittered, he became a loyalist instead and eventually joined the British Royal Army in New York.
to join the Royal Army.
In September 1776, John Stinson, Andrew Smith's stepfather, also joined the British in New York.
Another John Stinson, Andrew Smith's step-cousin (son of Samuel Stinson), had been raised by John Stark but nevertheless followed his uncle William Stark into the Royal Army.
Meanwhile, back in New Hampshire, Stephen Holland - Andrew Smith's guardian, who had also been an officer in the French and Indian War - was developing a reputation as a dangerous Tory.
All of this would have a bearing on the Smiths.
According to the historian Kenneth Scott, the Irish-born Holland (who was twice wounded in the French and Indian War) owned a tavern in Londonderry and acted as Justice of the Peace, Clerk of Common Pleas and Clerk of the Peace for New Hampshire's Hillsborough County. He had amassed a "considerable fortune" of about 10,000 pounds and held the rank of colonel in the provincial militia. Since 1771, he had served as a member of New Hampshire's General Assembly.
Scott describes him as a "good-looking, ruddy-faced, pockmarked Irishman, fleshy and five feet eight in height, was affable, popular, and a leader in the community and province."
In his 1915 "History of Rockingham County, New Hampshire and Representative Citizens," Charles A. Hazlett wrote that Holland "tarred numbers of the people with the stick of Toryism."
Holland's patriotism was publicly questioned and in April 1775, shortly after the war's opening skirmish at Lexington, he appeared before a town meeting to deny that he was a loyalist. According to Londonderry records, he said:
Whereas by mistake, misunderstanding, misrepresentation, or for reasons unknown to me, I am represented an enemy to my country, to satisfy the public, I solemnly declare I never aided or assisted any enemy to my country in anything whatsoever and I make this declaration not out of fear of any thing I may suffer but because it gives me great uneasiness to think that the true sons of liberty and real friends to their country, from any of the first mention reasons, should believe me capable so much as in thought of injuring or betraying my country, when the truth is I am ready to assist my countrymen in the glorious cause of liberty at the risk of my life and fortune.But, in fact, he had already become embroiled in a British scheme to destabilize the colonial economy by flooding it with counterfeit currency.
In "Counterfeiting in Colonial America," Kenneth Scott tells us what happened:
He was a warm friend of Governor John Wentworth and was secretly devoted to the interests of the crown.Scott mentions John Stinson of Dunbarton "among the members of the gang."
In April 1775, Governor Wentworth persuaded Holland to remain in New Hampshire and use all his arts to circumvent and disappoint the views of the patriots. The Londonderry Tory, among other acts of devotion to the British cause, organized an elaborate chain of friends and acquaintances as passers of counterfeits. Some of them went, ostensibly on business, to the southward, secured quantities of British-made counterfeit bills, and brought them back to loyalists and their wives to be passed off.
One of the gang, John Moore of Peterborough, while in Connecticut on the pretense of buying flax, came down with the smallpox in Wallingford and died there. A boy at the house where Moore had stayed, while looking for eggs in the barn, found a stone in the hay and under it a packet of letters from Governor Wentworth and other New Hampshire Toreys [Tories] in New York, some of which were addressed to Stephen Ash of Londonderry, which turned out to be a covering name for Stephen Holland. As a result of the discovery, Holland and others were detected.
One accomplice was William Stark of Dunbarton, a former captain in Rogers' Rangers and the brother of Colonel, later General, John Stark. William was also a brother-in-law of Holland for they had married sisters, Mary and Jane Stinson. Stark was indicted for counterfeiting but when released on bail he chose to forfeit his bond and fled to the British in New York, where he obtained a colonels commission.
In fact, the counterfeiting was very much a family affair. The John Moor, or Moore, whose death unmasked the scheme, was Stephen Holland's son-in-law, married to Holland's daughter Mary. For an alias, Holland borrowed the name of his close friend, George Ash.
showing the punishment of a counterfeiter.
Two members of the band, David Farnsworth of Hollis and John Blair of Holderness, were arrested in Danbury Connecticut. Farnsworth confessed, implicating the wives of William Stark, Stephen Holland (Stinson sisters), among others. He and Blair were later executed in Hartford.
Holland, the organizer of the band, was twice imprisoned in Exeter and twice escaped, the second time while under sentence of death. He reached the safety of the British lines and was given a well-earned commission in the intelligence service. It is small wonder that John Langdon, later governor of New Hampshire, said with reference to Holland: Damn him I hope to see him hanged. He has done more damage than ten thousand men could have done.
Langdon's feelings about the damage done by Holland are probably warranted, when one considers the disastrous effect of British counterfeiting on the American paper money. Benjamin Franklin, in an essay composed in his eightieth year, wrote as follows on the subject:
Paper money was in those times our universal currency. But, it being the instrument with which we combated our enemies, they resolved to deprive us of its use by depreciating it; and the most effectual means they could contrive was to counterfeit it.
with a warning to counterfeiters.
An historian named C.E. Potter, in his "History of Manchester," published in 1856, gives a more detailed account of the story:
The Congress held at Philadelphia, May 10th, 1775, ordered the issue of two millions of Dollars, and in July following another emission of three millions of dollars.
These bills were printed with common type, and read thus:
This bill entitles the bearer to receive Spanish milled Dollars, or the value thereof, in Gold or silver, according to the Resolutions of the Congress held at Philidelphia, [sic] on the 10th day of May, A. D, 1775."
Of this emission, forty thousand dollars were assigned to New Hampshire, by vote December 5, of the same year.
Each colony was to provide ways and means to sink its proportion of the bills ordered by Congress in such way as its circumstances would permit, and was to pay its quota, in four equal annual installments, viz; Nov., 30, 1779, 1780, 1781 and 1782. It will be noted that the time of payment of these bills was within a month of the time specified for the redemption of the bills ordered by the colony.
On the 29th of December, the same year, Congress ordered another emission of three millions of dollars. This was assigned to the several Colonies according to population, and each was to redeem its share in four equal annual installments, the first to be paid Nov. 30, 1783.
Thus it will be seen that in the first year of the Revolution, what with the bills issued on her own account, and those assigned by Congress, New Hampshire had an indebtedness on account of paper currency of more than three hundred thousand dollars. This was an amount that would not be considered onerous in our present prosperous circumstances, but then it was alarming, and could not be met, as the result proved.
But still the bills continued at par and were readily taken in all the transactions of life. However, in January 1776, the currency began to depreciate, as the public confidence in it began to be shaken. This was mainly owing to the efforts of the Tories, sustained by the British government. These, secretly or openly embraced many of the wealthy men in all the colonies. So long as money could be had to carry on the war, so long it was evident it would be protracted, and it became the settled policy of the "enemies of liberty" to break down the currency. To do this completely, was to bring the contest to an immediate close.
Hence there was a union among the adherents of the British government to practice any means to produce to them so desirable an end. Not content with keeping hard money from circulation, and refusing to take paper money under any circumstances, they resorted to counterfeiting. Counterfeits of the various Colonial and Continental issues were put in circulation in all the colonies. These were, in most cases, the most perfect imitations. To meet this exigency, laws were passed making it an offence to refuse such currency for any obligation, and attaching severe penalties for counterfeiting the currency; but all to no purpose.
In this colony, the Tories managed with much adroitness. In January 1776, the Legislature had made the bills of the State and of the United States, a legal tender in all cases, and counterfeiting of them a penal offence.
At the same time, they had ordered another issue of paper money to defray the expenses of the war. These bills, as the others had been, were printed by Mr. Rob't Fowle, under the immediate superintendence of a Committee of the Legislature. Fowle had been gained over to the interests of the British government, and from the same form from which he had printed the money for the Committee; he struck off an immense number of bills on his own account, and that of the Tories. These were sent to, and put in circulation by the principal royalists in the colony.
Being from the same form and the signatures well counterfeited, they passed with the utmost readiness. Many of them were taken to the treasury, and received without hesitation. At length such vast numbers were in circulation, that suspicion was aroused, the counterfeit detected, and measure set on foot to detect the counterfeiters. Fearing detection, Fowle absconded, and soon after some of his confederates were detected. Among them was Col. Stephen Holland of Londonderry. He also succeeded in making his escape, after he had been arrested. Many others were more than suspected, among them men who had hitherto sustained the most unblemished reputations. They had engaged in the measure as one of policy, not for the purpose of fraud, and hence they had no scruples on the score of morality. The law of the Legislature met them however without any such distinctions, and it was with the utmost difficulty that some of them evaded its penalties.The undoing of the scheme brought financial ruin to the families involved, including the Smiths. Mr. Potter writes that "John Stinson of Dunbarton was brother of William Stark's wife, Mary. When judgment was entered at Amherst he went on bond for his brother-in-law. The sum was added to the costs of prosecution and the same became charges against the estates of William Stark when, later, they became legally forfeited."
The emission that had been counterfeited was called in forthwith and destroyed, and a new emission made. This was printed by Mr. John Melcher, late of Portsmouth, who had been an apprentice to Fowle. After the form was set up, Mr. Weare, the Chairman of the Superintending Committee, drew hair lines with a knife, across the face of the type, the bills were then printed, and the form melted down in the presence of the Committee. This device prevented the counterfeiting of this emission. This was the last emission of paper money by New Hampshire, and all former bills were called in and exchanged for Treasurer's notes on interest, and of value not less than five pounds.
Counterfeits of the Continental bills were made in England, sent over in government vessels, and distributed in large quantities. This state of the currency of itself produced a want of confidence in it, but this was greatly increased from the fact that when the time stipulated for the redemption of these bills had expired, they were paid in like currency, instead of specie.
Thus the holders of Continental bills, redeemable the 20th of November, 1779, and those holding our own Colonial bills, redeemable a month later, on presenting them had to take a like amount in paper, instead of silver. Under such an accumulation of adverse circumstances, it was not strange that the curency [sic] should depreciate. On the contrary, it is passing strange that it did not become completely worthless, long before it did.
Richard Holmes, Londonderry's town historian, recounts the episode in Chapter 6 of his 2007 book, "Nutfield Rambles."
Holland later said that the only reason he stayed in New Hampshire was that in April 1775 he had made a promise to Governor Wentworth. John Wentworth was preparing to flee the state. Holland had told him that he personally "considered it dangerous to remain in the province." The Governor convinced him to stay and "use his utmost efforts to repress the military exertions and to use every art and address to circumvent and disappoint their views, and keep me informed." And like the good soldier he was, Holland agreed to stay in New Hampshire and lie for king and country.On August 27, 1777, Andrew Smith and Thomas Smith joined with many of Holland's friends in signing a request that Holland be released on bail from Exeter, New Hampshire's "loathsome jail replete with the noxious odors of an infectious vault."
For two more years Holland remained in New Hampshire as a very effective British secret agent. His cover was finally accidentally blown in a way worthy of a modern spy novel. Brothers John and Robert Moor, of Londonderry, were employed hauling loads of flax from Connecticut to New Hampshire. During the March 1777 trip, John Moor took sick with smallpox and subsequently died. A farm boy went into his barn in search of chicken eggs. He put his hand into a crevice in the coop and found a flat rock where no flat rock should be. His curiosity was piqued. Under the stone he found
a bundle of letters. In time these pages were turned over to Governor Trumbell, of Connecticut, who forwarded them to the Committee of Safety in New Hampshire.
Among the letters were two that were addressed to "Colonel Stephen Ash of Nutfield." One of these said that Ash should flee to safety behind the British lines in New York. It was quickly determined that "Ash" was actually Stephen Holland. On March 11, 1777, the Committee of Safety ordered Holland and Robert Moor arrested "on suspicion of their being enemies to the liberties of America."
The request was denied but Holland managed to escape and flee behind British lines.
Once he was sprung and their cover was blown, many of the men in the Stark, Stinson, and Smith families not yet fighting for the British fled behind British lines, too, leaving their women and children to tend to the farms.
The tide had turned against the British in the war that winter, with Washington's twin victories at Trenton and Princeton after crossing the Delaware River. On August 17, 1777 - the day Andrew and friends were petitioning for the release of Holland - militia under General Stark had beat a force of Germans, Canadians, American Loyalists and Indians at Bennington, Vermont.
Family lore holds that one of the Smith brothers remained committed to the American cause and fought in the Revolution. This may have been William Smith.
involved in the counterfeiting.
John Stinson served in the Royal American Reformers. Stephen Holland served in the Prince of Wales American Volunteers. A Thomas Smith also served in the Prince of Wales Volunteers and may have been the brother of Andrew Smith.
In November, 1778, the New Hampshire Assembly moved to banish 76 men who had joined the British Army and prevent them from returning to the state without permission. Fugitives who were caught returning a second time were to be put to death. Among those named were Stephen Holland, William Stark, John Stinson Jr., and Thomas Smith.
Before the end of the month, according to Wilbur Siebert's 1916 "Loyalist Refugees of New Hampshire," the assembly proceeded to confiscate the property of 23 of the proscribed men. In each county, trustees were appointed to take possession of the sequestered estates and sell the personal property immediately at public auction, except such articles as they might deem necessary for the support of the families left behind. Stephen Holland and John Stinson were among those whose property was to be seized.
Pressure on the families didn't abate. In a petition as late as Oct. 12, 1779, citizens of Weare, Pembroke, Goffstown, and Dunbarton combined in complaining that "There are now residents in Dunbarton aforesaid, the wives and families of William Stark and John Stinson, who are gone over to the British army."
The petition said of William Stark and John Stinson that "the connection between the infamous Stephen Holland and the said absentees is well-known."
[Recall that John Stinson's wife, the former Elizabeth Smith, was our 4th or 5th or 6th great-grandmother, depending on which of the current generations you are.]
The citizens asked the new American government for relief because of the "danger of receiving counterfeit money and every evil attending spies, Lurking Villains & cut throats & murderers" because "Tories and suspected persons frequently resort to houses of said absentees and (hold) nightly and private meetings there."
"Where Settlers' Feet Have Trod."
All of this evidently took place in the house that Samuel Smith built, listed above as John Stinson's house. A notation in Dunbarton genealogy records says that John Stinson "owned and resided on Lot 12, 2nd Range. He and his son went over to the enemy in the Revolutionary war and the farm was confiscated. This was later the Straw Farm."
Another notation reads, "The farm that John Stinson and his son John owned in this town was the farm in the westerly part of the town on the road leading from the Center to East Weare and known for years as the Aaron C. Barnard farm, later owned and occupied by Charles Gourley. This was the farm that was confiscated by the Colonists during the Revolution as was that of his brother Samuel's on the North."
And yet another reads, "the dies used in making the counterfeit money that circulated during the Revolutionary War, were found in the stone wall on this so called 'Barnard Farm.'"
Alice Hadley, in her book, writes that "Stinson was one of the noted Tories of Dunbarton who caused much trouble. Counterfeit money was made on this farm and the dies found later where they had been concealed in a stone wall. The farm was confiscated."
(Norma Smith said that she was shown the house where Samuel Smith lived in Dunbarton and was told that "after it was sold a number of times, they found in the basement of the house counterfeiting equipment and between that house and the next house there was an underground tunnel.")
By 1783, the war was over and the British were scrambling to relocate the thousands of loyalists who had fled for protection behind their lines. King George promised to give land in Canada to any American loyalist who wanted it. Many loyalists had gathered on Long Island awaiting evacuation.
One John Stinson, according to Wilbur Siebert, "went to St. John in May, 1783, and became a grantee of the town, although he spent a year at Maugerville and lived later in Lincoln, Sunbury County."
We don't have the evidence on which Mr. Siebert based this claim, but he is most likely referring to the son of Samuel Stinson. The reference to May could mean that this John Stinson traveled in the Spring Fleet of 1783, an armada of ships that brought thousands of loyalist refugees from Long Island to what was then Nova Scotia.
Historian W. Stewart Wallace described the fleet's arrival in his 1914 book, "A Chronicle of the Great Migration."
On April 26, 1783, the first or 'spring' fleet set sail. It had on board no less than seven thousand persons, men, women, children, and servants. Half of these went to the mouth of the river St John, and about half to Port Roseway, at the south-west end of the Nova Scotian peninsula.Papers were circulated among loyalist refugees in Long Island seeking to estimate the number who wanted to be transported to Canada. One of these documents includes two Smiths from New Hampshire, one immediately after the other, suggesting that they were related. An Andrew is listed as a farmer from New Hampshire and a Thomas is listed as a mariner. On the document, Thomas Smith indicated that he would travel to Canada in a private vessel.
The voyage was fair, and the ships arrived at their destinations without mishap. But at St John at least, the colonists found that almost no preparations had been made to receive them. They were disembarked on a wild and primeval shore, where they had to clear away the brushwood before they could pitch their tents or build their shanties.
The prospect must have been disheartening. "Nothing but wilderness before our eyes, the women and children did not refrain from tears," wrote one of the exiles; and the grandmother of Sir Leonard Tilley used to tell her descendants, "I climbed to the top of Chipman's Hill and watched the sails disappearing in the distance, and such a feeling of loneliness came over me that, although I had not shed a tear through all the war, I sat down on the damp moss with my baby in my lap and cried."
We have no way of knowing whether these were two of our Smith brothers, but David Bell's book, "Early Loyalists - St. John," lists an Andrew Smith, farmer, from New Hampshire, arriving on the British transport vessel Two Sisters without wife, children or servant.
B. Wood-Holt’s 1990 book, “The King's Loyal Americans” also records that “Smith, Andw, of New Hampshire, farmer, disembarked River Saint John from ship Two Sisters.”
The Two Sisters was part of a convoy of 14 vessels, known as "the Second Spring Fleet," that brought about two thousand people to Canada's St. John River. Two of the ships, the Union and the Two Sisters, sailed direct from Long Island's Huntington Harbor. Conditions were extremely crowded, as recorded by Sarah Frost, a pregnant woman aboard the Two Sisters who kept a diary of the voyage.
On May 25, 1783, she wrote:
I left Lloyd's Neck with my family and went on board the Two Sisters, commanded by Capt Brown, for a voyage to Nova Scotia with the rest of the Loyalist sufferers. This evening the captain drank tea with us. He appears to be a very clever gentleman. We expect to sail as soon as the wind shall favor. We have very fair accommodation in the cabin, although it contains six families, besides our own. There are two hundred and fifty passengers on board.The ship didn't get underway until June, lying for much of the intervening time off of lower Manhattan.
On June 9, 1783, she wrote:
Our women, with their children, all came on board today and there is a great confusion in the cabin. We bear with it pretty well through the day, but as it grows toward night, one child cries in one place and one in another, whilst we are getting them to bed. I think sometimes I shall be crazy. There are so many of them. I stay on deck tonight till nigh eleven o'clock, and now I think I will go down and retire for the night if I can find a place to sleep.Still, the fleet idled off of Staten Island and didn't really get on its way until June 16. They reached the St. John River twelve days later and finally disembarked near Fort Howe on Monday, June 30. There was nothing there except the fort and two log cabins.
"It is, I think, the roughest land I ever saw," Mrs. Frost wrote after a visit ashore on Sunday. "We are all ordered to land to-morrow, and not a shelter to go under."
You can read more about the evacuation of loyalists to New Brunswick, here. The last British forces in the colonies, meanwhile, left New York and Brooklyn on November 25, 1783.
There are many garbled stories about the Smith brothers' arrival in Canada. One claims that they swam part of the way, another that they were imprisoned and escaped with the help of a girl. According to the strongest family tradition, Thomas and Andrew came by sea but Samuel came by land.
The most authoritative version of these tales was recorded by Nancy Melary in her book on the descendants of the youngest Smith brother, Samuel.
Family tradition holds Samuel Smith was serving in a British Army Group in the interior of the New York Colony (now New York State) where most of the troops from the General down to the last Private were killed, wounded, or taken prisoner. Samuel was imprisoned, although it is not known for how long, or where he was held. He was able to escape, aided by the girl who brought his meals, using a key she had hidden in the food. It is said Samuel escaped with two others, and was pursued by Patriot Soldiers. One of the prisoners was captured, but the other two escaped, traveling overland on foot to Canada and freedom.We lose track of Elizabeth's daughter, Mary. William, the presumed older son who supported the Revolution and remained in Dunbarton, is mentioned in Caleb Stark's 1860 history of the town.
"William Smith occupied land in the valley, nearly a mile southeast of the meeting house. His children, Archibald and Sarah, are still living."
Esther Clark Wright's "Loyalists of New Brunswick" lists Andrew Smith, without place of origin or mention of military service, first settling at Beaver Harbor, Charlotte County, and later at Rusagonis.
On February 15, 1785 Andrew, Thomas, Samuel Smith and John Stinson (spelled Stinsson) appear on a petition with nine other refugees asking Thomas Carlton, Captain General and Governor of New Brunswick, for grants of unsettled land on the northwest branch of Rusagonis Creek in Sunbury County.
The petition was filed by Lieut. William Dumond, late of the 1st Battalion New Jersey Volunteers. It asked Thomas Carlton, Captain General and Governor of New Brunswick, for grants of unsettled land on the northwest branch of Rusagonis Creek in Sunbury County, south of the York County town of Fredericton. [You can click on the image to see it larger.]
This is the back of the document and below a transcription of the petition:
New Brunswick Land Grant PetitionsThe John Stinson on the petition is most likely the Smith brothers' step-cousin, the son of Samuel Stinson.
Lieut. William Dumond et al.
To His Excellencey Thoms
Carlton Esqr Captain General and
Governor in and over His Majesties prov
ince of New Brunswick and the Terri
tories thereon depending, Chancellor
And Vice Admiral of the same &c &c &c
The Petition of the Persons whose Names are Hereunto annexed
That your unfortunte petitioners have not Yet Drawn Any lands who, from your Excellencey's Proclamation, Understand, that any Officer, Soldier, or Refugee may have Such lands as are Not Sittled ; and any Number of them May it by Applying
Your Petitioners have pitched on a tract of land Lying on the northwest Branch of Rosogonis Creek, which Lands have been Surveyed (Last Winter) and drawn for By the Refugees, and Not Yet Settled, and your petitioners have been informed it is given up, as there are a great Many of these lots of land Not fit for Cultivation
Your Petitioners therefore humbly Requests Your Excellency will be pleased to order your Petitioners to pick such lots on the said tract of land as they shall Think will do for Cultivation, Your Petitioners will ever pray
Rosogonis Febry 15th 1785
Wm V. Dumond Lieut
of the late 1st B. N. J. Vols.
Wm Dumond Lieut late 1st Batn N,J,V,
Mathew Phillips Jur
[Petition endorsed, "Read in Council 2d March 1785. May advertise noting the numbers of the Lots prayd for."]
Apologies for the confusion created by the various John Stinsons. Please refer to the chart of John Stinsons above.
This John Stinson (Andrew Smith's step-cousin and son of Samuel Stinson) was raised by John Stark after Samuel Stinson died. He was blind in one eye and, according to Caleb Stark's "History of Dunbarton," was known as "one-eyed Johnny." An interesting side story to this John Stinson is provided here.
Dunbarton town records show that on March 5, 1789, "Mr. John Stinson of New Brunswick in the Province of Linkoun, was married to Mrs. Nancy Stinson of Dunbarton in the State of New Hampshire."
The couple settled in New Hampshire and later genealogies identify this John Stinson as Samuel Stinson's son. The "Province of Linkoun" mentioned is most likely Lincoln Parish in New Brunswick's Sunbury County, putting him in the same neighborhood as the Smith brothers.
This and the appearance of Holland as a middle name among descendants of Thomas, Andrew and Samuel Smith - including one of Samuel Smith's sons who was named Andrew Holland Smith - also supports the thesis that these Smiths are the sons of Dunbarton's Samuel and Elizabeth Smith and became involved in the Stephen Holland saga.
The August 1785 petition suggests that Andrew, Thomas and Samuel Smith were under the charge of Lieutenant Dumond from the 1st Battalion of New Jersey Volunteers.
The following account is from a “A History of the 1st Battalion, New Jersey Volunteers.”
The Volunteers were removed from Paulus Hook in October of 1782, moving first to New York City, then Brooklyn and finally Newtown, Long Island, where they would finish the war alongside most of the other Provincial regiments then in garrison. Numerous leaves were granted for soldiers to return home and bring in their families.The entire history can be read here.
Lt. Col. DeLANCEY led a first contingent of officers and men to Nova Scotia in June of 1783, where they would search for suitable lands to settle the remainder of the battalion. The 3rd of September witnessed the mustering out of all those who wished to remain behind in New York, either permanently or temporarily. The others then set sail for "the River Saint John" Nova Scotia, which in two years time would be the new Province of New Brunswick, in modern Canada.
Here the officers, soldiers and their families received free grants of land for their service, as well as provisions for the next three years. Laws passed by the new state governments, New Jersey included, precluded their returning home, although several rank and file of little note did so without much fuss. The 1st Battalion, New Jersey Volunteers would pass into history on 10 October 1783, the official date of their disbandment, having served over seven years in the British service.
According to a history of the evacuation, "Four hundred and seventy-one heads of families were divided into sixteen companies, each having a captain and two lieutenants to preserve order, to distribute provisions, and to apportion lands."
Presumably, Lt. Dumond was one of the lieutenants in charge of the company to which the Smith brothers and their Stinson cousin were assigned.
While the petition suggests that Andrew, Thomas and Samuel Smith were civilian refugees rather than soldiers, there is evidence that they did fight on behalf of the British.
According to William G. Stinson's book on the Stinson family, John Stinson (Elizabeth's husband) served in several regiments of the Royal Army, ending the war as a Captain in the King's Rangers (commanded by Robert Rogers, the famed leader of Rogers' Rangers during the French and Indian War). He was taken prisoner in March 1781 when the ship he was traveling on to New York from Penobscot, Maine, was captured near Newburyport, Massachusetts.
A 1917 edition of the New York Historical Society Quarterly has a reference to him that reads:
John Stinson, a Tory absentee who had formerly resided at Derry and later at Dunbarton, confessed to one of the crew of the schooner Industry that he had been concerned with Holland.Stinson was jailed in Boston and eventually released on parole, but a Robert Smith who saw him in Boston reported that Stinson had repeatedly been seen "passing between New York and Dunbarton" and so Stinson was jailed again. He was transferred from place to place and was finally released in Rutland, Vermont in exchange for a "Capt. Simeon Smyth," who was being held in Canada.
He eventually made his way to Prince Edward County, Upper Canada (now Ontario), where he was granted several tracts of land totaling thousands of acres in Hallowell Township. Elizabeth and their son John Jr. followed him there. John Jr. went on to become a prominent politician, elected twice to the Parliament of Upper Canada.
According to William G. Stinson's book, John Stinson (Thomas, Andrew and Samuel Smith's stepfather) died on July 26, 1813 at his homestead in Hallowell Township and is buried in the Stinson cemetery there. Elizabeth is also buried there. Her gravestone reads, "died August 16, 1796, age 67y 1m 7d. Wife of John Stinson."
Andrew and Thomas Smith remained in Rusagonis, New Brunswick, while Samuel Smith eventually moved to nearby Geary.
Stephen Holland, meanwhile, returned to Ireland, where he died some time before 1803. His will was dated 3 January, 1801 and states that he was a Captain on half pay in the Prince of Wales regiment. The will was registered in Coolefirmy County, Londonderry, on August 5, 1803. In it, Holland asked that he be buried "in the most private manner," "near the grave of my dear late friend, George Ash, Esq. As William Hamilton Ash, Esq." It's not clear what he meant.
New Brunswick, Canada, was populated by three waves of English-speaking immigrants – initially British subjects displacing the French, then the loyalists, and finally Irish escaping the infamous potato famine of the early 1800s. The area is still a big potato producer today.
Though the Smiths arrived with the loyalists, they eventually intermarried with families that had come with the earlier British wave that displaced the French.
Andrew Smith married Abigail Tracy sometime before 1786 in Rusagonis. Her father, Jeremiah Tracy, had arrived in the early British resettlement of the area and founded the village of Tracy south of Fredericton.
Lyle and Michael Smith, descendants of Andrew who still own his original New Brunswick farm, recount a story told to them by their Aunt Stell (also a descendant of Andrew). According to the story, Andrew stayed at the Tracy farm shortly after he arrived in New Brunswick and was so taken by their young daughter that he vowed to return when she was of age and marry her.
A handwritten list of Births and Deaths of Andrew, Abigail and their children records their marriage as July 4, 1784. The document, the original of which is in the possession of Lyle Smith's family, is of uncertain age or provenance. Note that the document records Andrew's birthplace as Londonderry, New Hampshire.
Abigail would have been just 13 when Andrew arrived in the territory in 1783. She would have been 14 when she married in 1784. She was 16 in 1786 when their first child was born. Andrew was then 30.
In 1796, Andrew paid 121 pounds and 5 shillings to buy eighty five acres of land with buildings along the southwest branch of the Rusagonis Creek from the Hazen, White and Peabody families.
Above is a barely legible picture of the deed.
Neither Andrew nor Thomas apparently received a grant from the 1785 petition because they filed another petition in 1801 saying that since they had arrived in 1783, "no lands have hitherto been granted" to either of them. They said that they had cleared a tract of land on the Rusagonis and had built a saw mill there "at very considerable expense." This is evidently a reference to the land purchased from the Hazen, White and Peabody families in 1796. Andrew and Thomas asked for 500 acres each on the river's southern branch. This time, the request was apparently granted.
On December 17, 1808, Andrew Smith petitioned again on behalf of three of his eldest sons, Thomas, 21, Samuel and Andrew, 18, for each to receive 200 acres on the north side of the south branch of Rusagonis Creek, opposite the lands that had been allotted to him and his brother. Above is an image of that document, which you can click on to read.
This is a transcript:
To His Honor The President in CouncilThis image shows the fork in Rusagonis Creek. In his first petition, Andrew Smith was living along the northwest branch. In the 1808 petition, he says he is living along the southwest branch and asked for land on the north side of that branch for his sons. In other words, the land on either side of the southwest branch of the creek belonged to our ancestors. Some of it still belongs to Smiths today.
The Memorial of Andrew Smith in behalf of his three sons Thomas, Samuel, Andrew
That Your Memorialist is settled on the South Branch of the Rushagoannis where he has resided 24 Years on purchased Lands.
That Your Memorialist lately applied for an allotment of 500 acres for himself and is desirous of settling his Boys near him.
That Your Memorialist last year built a mill which cost him upwards of L 500 and has made other extensive Improvements.
Your Memorialist therefore humbly prays that allotments of two hundred acres may be made to each of his sons above named, the eldest of whom is 21 & the Youngest 18 years old on the North side of the S. Branch of the Rushagoannis above mentioned opposite to the lands allotted to him & his Brother – whereon your memorialists’ said sons will immediately begin to make such improvements as are required by the King’s Instructions.
And as in duty bound
Will ever pray
The Lands applied for are Vacant
17th Dec. 1808 Geo. Sproule
Andrew built a house on his land in 1801. It is still standing. The current owner, Lyle Smith, had to take down the massive stone chimney that ran up through the middle of the house because it had settled and distorted the frame. The chimney was 15-feet square in the cellar.
The house is marked in the image above. If you have Google Earth, you can use the coordinates in the lower left hand corner of the image [click on it to see it larger]. The house appears as a dark rectangle.
This is a local newspaper account of the house written sometime around 1904. Click on it to read it.
This is a picture of Lyle Smith with a print that hung over the mantle of the Smith homestead when he was a boy. The print depicts the 42nd Highland regiment, also known as The Black Watch, charging up from the river Alma during the Crimean War. It is a reproduction of a painting by Robert Gibb, a Scottish painter of romantic, historical and military subjects portraying Scottish regiments. The print was published as a supplement to Montreal's Family Herald & Weekly Star around 1890.
Andrew and Abigail’s first child was named Elizabeth, after Andrew's mother. Their sixth child was named Israel Smith. He was born in Rusagonis on June 4 or 24, 1797.
He married Sarah Tracy, on March 3, 1817 in Sunbury County’s Lincoln Parish. As Sarah Tracy's father, Solomon Tracy, and Israel's mother, Abigail (Tracy) Smith were siblings, Israel married his first cousin, not an unusual occurrence in those days.
Witnesses to their marriage were Daniel Whelpley and Israel Kinney.
Israel Smith had been witness to Israel Kinney's marriage to Mary Tracy the year before. Sarah Tracy and Mary Tracy were sisters.
Israel Smith petitioned for land in Sunbury County in 1817. It appears his petition was not granted but he was granted 300 acres in Kingsclear Parish, York County, in 1819. It's not clear whether he settled on that land. He and his wife moved to Nasonworth in neighboring New Maryland Parish, also in York County. They had nine children there.
Israel Smith was a deacon in the Free Will Baptist Church and was a co-founder of the New Maryland Baptist Church.
Free Will Baptists were an American denomination founded in 1780 that sent missionaries to Canada in the second and third decades of the nineteenth century. The Canadian congregations were eventually absorbed by Free Christian Baptists, another denomination that arose during the early 19th century religious revival known as the Second Great Awakening. The Smiths became Free Christian Baptists.
A history of the New Maryland Baptist Church tells us that:
The New Maryland United Baptist Church dates back to 1825. At that time a church building was under construction but was destroyed by fire the same year.
A very scant record remains of this early church, which, in 1827, some eight persons began to organize with Israel Smith and Thomas Phillips as deacons and Israel Smith as clerk. This was accomplished in 1828. Some of the people moved away and some died, and the church almost lost its identity. The faithful, however, held church services on Sunday and mid-week prayer meetings and kept the church going.
Services were held in a small schoolhouse located near the Smith home (the house where the late Harry Morgan lived). Later this schoolhouse was moved across the road and, with some renovations, was used as a parsonage. When the parsonage was no longer required the building was sold to Shelburn Phillips for $180. Israel Smith built the little schoolhouse for his daughter, Abigail, who taught school there until she died in 1861.
The New Maryland Baptist Church, now called the Nasonworth Baptist Church, today
Israel Smith donated the land for the church and Thomas Phillips gave the land for the cemetery.
In 1846 Elder Walker came to preach to these people for a short time. A number were baptized and joined the church. The church was reorganized with Israel Smith and Thomas Phillips as deacons and Israel Smith as clerk. A church building was then started and completed at the close of the year 1847. This was accomplished through the untiring efforts of Israel Smith.
They paid 25 pounds for the land, as recorded in the document above. It may be that Andrew, then 82, was in failing health because he signed with an X.
Andrew died in Rusagonis on December 15, 1842 at the age of 86.
He and Abigail are buried in the Rusagonis Baptist Church Cemetery in Sunbury County's Lincoln Parish, just a short walk from their farm.
The stone reads:
In memory of
15 Dec. 1842
aged 86 years
and his wife
13 March 1813
aged 43 years
7 Feb 1830
aged 38 years
died an infant
son of the above
On Nov. 9, 1842, Israel Smith bought 100 acres in Wakefield Parish, Carleton County, from Israel Kinney for 50 pounds.
Carleton County straddles the St. John River. It is beautiful country.
The transaction is recorded in the Carleton County registrar's book beginning near the bottom of the page above.
It continues in dense legalese for two pages. The lawyers out there might want to click on these images to see them larger.
The acreage is described as the southern fifth of a 500-acre parcel originally granted to a Mark Needham and bordering a lot granted to David Jackson near the village of Jacksontown (later Jacksonville).
The land is easily identifiable on this map of the original land grants in the county.
Israel and Sarah’s third child was also named Israel. He was born in 1821.
On March 29, 1849, Israel Jr. married Sarah Kinney, the daughter of Israel Kinney and Mary (Tracy) Kinney.
Sarah had been born in Wakefield Parish on May 12, 1828. As Israel's mother, Sarah (Tracy) Smith, and Sarah Kinney's mother, Mary (Tracy) Kinney, were sisters, Israel Jr. - like his father before him - married a first cousin.
The 1851 census lists Israel Smith (Jr.) and his wife Sarah living in Wakefield Parish with their son Jethro and Sarah’s sister Sabina Kinney. Click on the picture below to see the notation about halfway down the page.
Israel Jr. is described as a farmer. The next page of the same census lists the family of Israel Kinney, Sarah’s father.
On June 25, 1854, Israel Smith Jr. purchased about four acres in Jacksonville from a Dr. William Wiley. It's not clear where this land was located because it is simply described as abutting land that Israel Smith already owned.
Two weeks later, on July 10, 1854, Israel Smith Sr. sold Israel Jr. the 100 acres he had bought a dozen years earlier from Israel Kinney in Wakefield Parish.
The Kinneys were descendants of Henry Kenney, who was born about 1624 and eventually settled in Salem Village, Massachusetts.
Either Henry Kenney or his son, also named Henry, was among those who accused Martha Corey of witchcraft at the Salem witch trials. Henry Jr. was married to the sister of Mercy Lewis, one of the "afflicted children," who started the hysteria. Martha Corey was convicted and hung, one of 19 people executed in the trials.
Henry Kenney (either father or son) also testified against Rebecca Nurse, who at 71 was one of the oldest to be hung and became an important figure in Arthur Miller's play, "The Crucible."
Our line of the Kenney family were ironmongers and were part owners of a small iron works near Salem called the Boxford Ironworks
Sarah (Kinney) Smith's great-grandfather, Israel Kinney, settled in Topsfield, Massachusetts, married and then moved to what is now New Brunswick in the 1770s as part of an immigration encouraged by the British to resettle lands taken from the French. He sided with the rebels during the Revolutionary War and was part of a committee that asked the Massachusetts rebels for help in fighting the British in Canada with a view toward joining the United States that was then being formed.
You can read more than you need to know about that here.
This is an article from the May 21, 1859 edition of the Carleton Sentinel. The house referred to is presumably the one in which Israel Jr.'s children, including Henry, were born.
On Sept. 17, 1864 Israel Smith Jr. bought 200 acres from Charles Drier for 300 pounds. Charles Drier was the father of Jethro's future wife. The purchase was apparently some sort of bridge loan because Israel sold the 200 acres to Charles Drier's wife, Phebe, for the same amount less than a month later.
This is a picture of his gravestone in the Jacksonville Community Cemetery in Wakefield Parish, Carleton County, New Brunswick. The inscription on the book carved into the stone reads, "This Was My guide."
The inscription lower down reads, "The Father called, thy work was done. Thy spirit home was borne. Thy course on earth forever run. And we are left to mourn."
Israel Sr. died in New Maryland Parish on April 2, 1877 at the age of 80. He is buried in the "Smith Burying Ground" across the road from the church he helped found.
While we do not have a picture of Israel Jr., we do have this picture of his older brother, Nehemiah with his wife, Ann (Haining) Smith.
In the 1871 census, Sarah (Kinney) Smith is listed as a widow with five children, the youngest being George, who was 13 at the time. Interestingly, the census lists Sarah and her children as being of Irish descent.
1871 CENSUS, PARISH OF WAKEFIELD, CARLETON COUNTY, NEW BRUNSWICK
SMITH, Sarah: Female, age 41, FC Baptist, Irish, farmer, Widow
Jethroe, Male, 21
Heneretta, Female, 19
Henry Allen, Male, 17, farmer
Mary A, Female, 15
George, Male, 13, school
On June 26, 1876, Jethro sold his share of the 'Needham' and 'Wiley' land to Henry for 330 dollars.
On October 21, 1876, the Carleton Sentinel reported the death of "Emerenza Drier, age 24 years 9 mos., second d/o Charles E. Drier and Phoebe A. Drier. Her remains were brought to Middle Simonds (Carleton Co.) and interred in the family burial place thereat." This was apparently Jethro's wife.
Jethro then married a woman named Alice Gould in nearby Brownsville, Piscataquis, Maine. Jethro and Alice had a son named Charles Perley Smith in 1877, but she apparently died in childbirth.
Henry's farmhouse on the 'Needham' land is included in the 1876 map of Carleton County.
The road that the house sits on is now called Kinney Road. The red outline is roughly that of the Smith farm.
This is a view of where the Smith farmhouse once stood. The owner has set out an antique wagon and plow on the site. The equipment may well have belonged to the Smiths.
There is another house listed for "H. Smith" in the village. This may be the 'Wiley' property.
RETURN TO THE UNITED STATES
There was apparently a significant migration of people from Carleton County west to Montana in the late 1800s in the wake of the gold, silver and copper mining boom there.
Jethro also went West, prospecting for gold for a time and working as a contractor in British Columbia and a real estate agent in Spokane - again, according to family lore.
Jethro's great-granddaughter, Gail Whelan, recalls that her grandmother, Katie Driscoll Smith, wife of Jethro’s son, Charles Perley Smith, maintained that Jethro had married five times. Katie Smith talked about Jethro as a builder traveling across the Canadian border to develop a town. She also said he traveled to Denver and built the first church there.
Sarah's oldest daughter, Henrietta, married a man named John Walton on July 24, 1877 and in 1878 she and her husband moved to Glendale. Sarah and her boys, Henry and George, went along. George left behind an estranged wife, who he later divorced. Sarah's other daughter, Mary Alice Smith, stayed in Canada and eventually married a man named Charles Plummer.
Before Sarah and her children left, Mary, listed in the registrar's record as a spinster, sold her "one fifth share" in the 'Needham' and 'Wiley' lands to Henry for 100 dollars. On the same day, Henry and his mother mortgaged the land to a Charles Good for 300 dollars. The terms allowed them to get the land back within two years for nine percent interest, suggesting that they were not sure about the move to Montana.
It was a risky move. There were regular reports in the local press about how tough things were turning out to be in Montana. On July 20, 1878, the Carleton Sentinel carried the following report:
Mr. C.R. Hay, writing us from Montana, June 28th ult., says: "Looking over a late number of the Sentinel, I saw, in the Houlton Items, that a number of young men were coming to Montana. The best thing that they can do is to stay home, for there are five hundred idle men in Butte, and some are working for their board."The Smiths show up in Glendale, Montana in the 1880 U.S. census.
Living in the same household are Jethro's brothers, Henry A. Smith, 26, and George E. Smith, 22, listed as working in the Glendale smelter. The household includes a cousin, Alfred Green, 20, and another boarder, Herbert N. Payson, also 20, both natives of New Brunswick, Canada.
John and Henrietta Walton are listed nearby. John's occupation, too, is listed as "teaming," suggesting that he and Jethro were partners.
Glendale was a silver mining town then. It is now a ghost town. According to one account, the Smiths and Waltons weren't the only ones to move there from Carleton County.
This is part of a colorful New York Times article from 1881 describing the stage coach ride to Glendale. [Click on it to read it]
I remember Henry's son, Burtt, telling stories he had heard from his father about vigilantes who would write 3-7-77 in chalk on the doors of people who they wanted to run out of town. I recently came across a fascinating article on this, which you can read here.
Around the time that Henry and his brothers were working in Glendale, an Irish-born Civil War veteran named Michael Hickey was prospecting for silver in the area. In 1876, he staked a claim in nearby Butte and named it the Anaconda Mine. He later said he got the name for the mine from an editorial by Horace Greeley in the New York Tribune that likened Ulysses S. Grant's forces surrounding Robert E. Lee's forces to "an anaconda." In fact, General-in-Chief Winfield Scott's proposed strategy for the war against the South was called the Anaconda Plan.
Butte, quite literally, did not pan out as a gold and silver town and while it was rich in copper, Hickey didn't have the money to develop such a mine. In 1881, he sold his claim to a man named Marcus Daly.
As it happens, demand for copper was rising because of the spreading use of electricity, which was transmitted through copper cables and wires. What's more, the railroad reached Butte later that year, making it feasible to bring in the kind of technology necessary to make copper mining profitable. Butte was soon known as the "richest hill on Earth" and the press crowned Daly the "Copper King."
There is an interesting drama that played out among Jethro, Henry and George's cousins in Montana around this time. Among the extended family members who moved west was their cousin, Samantha Smith, the daughter of Nehemiah and Ann (Haining) Smith pictured above.
Samantha had married a man named Winslow D. Morgan back in New Brunswick, but they divorced and Samantha went to live with her uncle, George Haining, also pictured above (George Haining was the brother of Samantha's mother, Ann (Haining) Smith). George and Rosanna had homesteaded in Birch Creek, near Glendale.
Winslow lost his lawsuit and about 3 a.m. on July 5, 1885, shot Fred while he and Samantha were coming home from a July 4th party.
Fred was killed and Winslow fled to Canada where he was eventually caught. He was brought back to Montana and tried the next year but was found not guilty by reason of insanity. He died in 1916 in Anaconda, Montana. You can read a more detailed account here.
Sarah Smith and her boys, Henry and George, returned to New Brunswick shortly after the 1880 census. A note from Charles Good attached to the 1878 mortgage says that he received "full payment" for the land, which Henry and his mother evidently recovered.
Henry married John Walton's sister, Susan Elizabeth "Lizzie" Walton, on December 7, 1881, according to Hayward's book of Carleton County marriages. They were married by Thomas Conners, a Free Christian Baptist minister, at the home of the bride's mother. Henry's brother George and a woman named Martha Connor were witnesses.
Betsy's ancestors are believed to include Peregrine White, born on the Mayflower in 1620, the first child born to the Pilgrims in the New World. You can see that lineage, provided by Diane Murach, here.
Samuel Walton died in 1878 and Betsy died in 1885.
By 1891, a New Brunswick census shows Sarah, now 61, living with her youngest daughter, Mary, now 35 and married to Charles Plummer, a Methodist farmer in Wakefield Parish. Charles and Mary had two daughters.
Plummer, Charles, Male, 46, Married, Methodist, farmer
Plummer, Mary, Female, 35, Wife
Plummer, Edith, Female, 11, Daughter
Plummer, Blanch, Female, 9, Daughter
Smith, Sarah, Female, 61, Widow
The same census lists Henry (spelled Hanry), now 36, as a farmer and the head of a household that includes his wife, Elizabeth, 32, and their boy Earnest, 7. The household includes George E., Henry’s brother, and a hired man, Charles Emery.
Smith, Hanry, Male, 36, Married, farmer
Smith, Elizabeth, Female, 32, Wife
Smith, Earnest, Male, 7, Son
Smith, George, Male, 33, Brother
Emery, Charles, Male, 34, general laborer
Jethro apparently returned to Maine in 1880 and married a woman named Milly Squire on November 6, at Biddeford. They had a daughter, Edna E. Smith, in 1882. Milly apparently died shortly thereafter because Jethro then married Havilah Stiles in October, 1882. Havilah had had a daughter, Jessie Stiles, from an earlier marriage around 1865 in New Brunswick, Canada.
Still, it appears that the Smith boys were torn between their lives in New Brunswick and the lure of Montana's mines. Henry Smith is listed on payroll time sheets for the Hecla Consolidated Mining Company's Cleopatra Mine in 1892.
Unfortunately, the Hecla Mining District, like many others, was hard hit when the Sherman Silver Purchase Act was repealed in 1893. Though operations continued on a smaller scale, the ore was dramatically played out by the turn of the century. The company’s major producing mine, the Cleopatra, shut down in 1895 and in 1900 the Glendale Smelter was torn down. Only the Atlantis and Cleve Mines continued to operate but by 1904, all operations of the Hecla Consolidated Mining Company ceased.You can read a history of the Glendale mines here. That history recounts Glendale's boom and bust:
Besides farming in New Brunswick, meanwhile, the Smiths and the Waltons also ran a boarding house called the Turner House in the nearby town of Woodstock.
This is a picture of the Turner House. It was at 14 Chapel Street.
A regular advertisement for the hotel ran in the Woodstock Dispatch. This one is from in the edition of November 7, 1899, shortly after Henry moved his family back to Montana.
This map is from 1909. Click on it to see the location of the Turner House. Sometime after the Smiths and Waltons moved west, the hotel was run by a Mr. and Mrs. Albion Way. It eventually became the Hammond House.
During the time that Henry was back in New Brunswick, Butte had become a boomtown known around the world thanks in large part to Marcus Daly's Anaconda Copper Mine. It was a wild town, with hundreds of saloons and a famous red light district. It's fair to assume that talk of the boom is what lured Henry and his brothers back west.
Jethro first returned to Montana, moving to Butte with his wife Havilah and her daughter, Jessie, together with his daughter, Edna.
His stepdaughter, Jessie Stiles, later married a man named Jason Moxley and the couple moved to British Columbia where Jason worked in the gold mines. Jessie died sometime between 1893 and 1900. The 1900 Census shows her son, Kent, age 7, living in Havilah Smith’s household in Butte.
In 1898, presumably at Jethro’s urging, Henry moved his family to Montana, too, together with his brother, George (and hauling, as the story goes, an iron boiler with which to start a business. It broke once they got it there).
Jethro apparently did well enough that he could finance a home for his son, Charles Perley, in Vermont.
Jethro died of pneumonia in Butte on Jan. 9, 1900. His death certificate lists him as having lived at 717 Maryland Avenue. He is buried in the Mt. Moriah Cemetery there.
A sparse obituary appeared in the Montana Standard newspaper on January 10th:
J.A. Smith, one of the members of the official board of the M.E. Church south, died at his home, 717 Maryland Ave., last night from pneumonia.On January 11, 1900, the Montana Standard noted that Jethro’s funeral service was held at his home and that he was buried in Mt. Moriah Cemetery.
The 1900 Butte City directory listed Havilah Smith, widow of Jethro, and Edna Smith, Jethro's daughter by Milly Squire, living at 717 Maryland Ave, Butte.
Edna married Charles B. Rucker in Butte on Dec. 23, 1900 and the couple had three daughters before the marriage ended in bitter divorce, receiving several mentions in the Anaconda Standard newspaper. Two of the daughters stayed with Edna and a third stayed with their father, who eventually died in Butte in 1933.
The last entry for Edna Smith in the Butte City directory is in 1903 when she is listed as a student at the Butte Business College.
Edna then married Charles A. McNally and had a daughter, Margaret, and possibly a son. The family moved to Seattle where Charles McNally died in 1955.
The city directories for 1901 through 1905 show Havilah living at various places. In 1905 she is listed as being a nurse.
The last entry for Havilah Smith is in the 1906 Butte City directory with a notation that she "moved to Durango, Colorado."
Havilah’s grandson, Kent Moxley, served in the US Navy from Arapahoe County, Colorado during World War One and was listed in the 1920 census of District 159, Denver, Colorado.
We have from Marjorie, Ernest's daughter, a letter to Henry A. Smith written by his mother, Sarah, in Jacksonville presumably where she was living with her daughter and son-in-law, Charles Plummer.
[In 1892, Charles Plummer had built a house in Jacksonville on land he bought from Michael Campbell. The house was later owned by a Jack Frazer and still stands.]
Dear Son,On the back, there is what appears to be a rushed note written after the letter had been folded.
This is the first day I felt as though I could lift my pen since I heard the sad news of Jethro death. My body is here in Jacksonvill and my heart is out amongst you all. I think all the time about you all. It is so very hard to be separated from you all. If I could of been there to kiss that poor damp brow when he was sufring so and speak to him how responsable a parent is the question often comes to me have I done my duty in every respect toward my family. I can see where I have failed in many ways. Hope the Lord will forgive all my failures. He bears with us and is willing to forgive us. I scarcely ever forget to remember you all to the throne of grace each and every one and my dear Grandchildren. My prayer is to God that they will give their hearts to the Saviour while young. It is so hard to give him our hearts when we grow old. I am glad I sought him when young. Thank the Mister and his Wife for being so kind to my dear boy and all that lent him.
From your loving mother
That note reads:
I am glad to hear Earnest is a good boy and Lee they say.It's not clear who the troublesome Billy was. Lee was Henrietta Walton's son. The teacher, Gray, was evidently Clinton Gray, mentioned in the local press at that time.
Ig [?] Billy is going to the bad. Goes with the bad boys and has been drinking, got mad and won't go to school. Gray is a fine teacher. His mother is most crazy about him, poor foolish boy. This is Thursday the 18. Mary and Charley is going to the mail right away. Write as often as you can.
This is a picture of Henry and "Lizzie" taken by a photographer working for a studio in Denver, Colorado. I'm told that large photography studios like the one in Denver may have sent roving photographers out to take photos in towns without a photographer. If so, the family was probably in Montana when this photo was taken. Click on any of these pictures to see them larger. Henry was quite handsome.
This is a picture of Henry and Lizzie's oldest boy, Ernest Clifford Smith, with a child identified as a cousin named Frank - though it's not yet clear whose child it is. The picture was also taken by the Denver studio - according to the logo on the photograph - at the same time as the portrait of Henry and Lizzie.
The U.S. census of 1900 shows Henry and Elizabeth and Ernest and George living in a rented house on South Main Alley between Colorado and West Platinum Streets in Butte.
Henry and Elizabeth are listed as having been married now for 18 years. Elizabeth has had two children, according to the census, but only Ernest survived. We know from Marjorie, Ernest's daughter, that he had a twin who died at or shortly after childbirth.
George is listed as having been married for 7 years, a reference to the wife he left behind in Canada. Henry and George are listed as carpenters, having spent three months "not employed," though it's not clear during what time frame. Ernest is listed as a bookkeeper in a general store.
Henry’s older sister, Henrietta, also moved to Butte. According to Marjorie, Ernest’s daughter, Henrietta had a child named Lalia who “was a stunning young girl and married Scovill who was considerably older and had a lot of money. They lived in the swanky part of Butte in a very large home. Remember being impressed when I was little. Lalia was supposedly the first woman driver in Butte. She out-lived Scovill and married a much younger man – Larry Myers. Lalia never had children.” According to Montana state records, Henrietta died on October 30, 1928, at the age of 76, and Lalia died on February 19, 1943, at the age of 62.
The New Brunswick census of 1901 finds Sarah still living in Wakefield Parish with her daughter, Mary Plummer.
PLUMMER, Charles, born New Brunswick 21 Oct 1844, age 56, Methodist, farmer
PLUMMER, Mary A, born New Brunswick, 10 Aug 1855, age 45
PLUMMER, Blanch, born New Brunswick, 7 Nov 1882, age 19
SMITH, Mrs Sarah, born New Brunswick, 12 May 1828, age 72, Irish, Baptist
Henry and Elizabeth and Ernest were living in Butte when Burtt was born on September 17, 1902. Burtt, incidentally, is a surname that shows up in Wakefield during the time that Israel and his kids lived there. Perhaps Burtt was named for some earlier relation from that family line.
In 1903, George finally divorced the estranged wife he had left behind in Canada. The divorce was published, somewhat inaccurately, in the Butte papers and in papers back in New Brunswick, eliciting an exchange of letters to the editor by George and his ex-wife. You can read the exchange as it appeared in the October 28, 1903 Dispatch, Woodstock, New Brunswick's local paper:
Henry and Elizabeth became American citizens in 1904. Sarah's sister, Rosanna, died in Beaverhead County's Birch Creek Township in 1904 and is buried in Mountain View Cemetery in Dillon. Sarah, too, evidently moved to Montana after Burtt was born, or perhaps only went to visit. In any case, she died there when Burtt was four.
She is buried in Butte's Mount Moriah cemetery.
This is a picture of Burtt from a few years later. It must have been not long after this that he developed "St. Vitus' Dance," or Chorea sancti viti (which means St. Vitus' dance in Latin), a neurological disorder in which the muscles move involuntarily.
In later life, Burtt would tell of working his way along the street in front of his house by hanging onto the fence while suffering from the disease. "I'd want my leg to go this way and it would go that way," I remember him saying. Todd, another of his grandson's, remembers him telling about his parents pouring ice water over him to try and shock his system back to normal. He eventually recovered.
The 1910 census lists Henry's family living at what looks like 636 Palmer Street in Butte. They own the home, free of a mortgage. George and Ernest have moved out (Ernest had married Florence Evans and was living in Butte with their first child, Russell. Ernest later moved to Billings, Montana and eventually settled in Laramie, Wyoming). At the time of the census Burtt was 8.
The address mentioned in the 1910 census is most certainly the house that Henry built at 636 Placer Street. We know from a Montana Historical and Architectural survey that in 1905 Henry built a "worker's cottage" at 636 Placer Street in Butte and was living there in 1906. Palmer Street is nearby. The census takers apparently listed one street for an area and then house numbers regardless of what street they were on. Placer, by the way, means an alluvial deposit that contains particles of some valuable mineral, such as gold.
The architectural survey describes Henry's house as a square workers cottage with a square, hipped, asphalt shingle roof and a flat roof extending over a front porch. The porch had turned posts and a decorative grill. The house had a central stove pipe. It lists Henry as a carpenter at the Butte Reduction Works, one of eight ore processing plants operating in Butte at the time.
Todd Smith, one of Burtt's grandsons, visited the house with Burtt and his wife Lois in the 1980s. Roger Smith, one of Burtt's sons, visited the site in the summer of 2007 and found that the house had been torn down.
The 1920 census shows the family now living in a rented house on 638 1/2 Dakota Street. Roger, Burtt's son, found this address for the family in city directories thru at least 1918, when Henry was listed as a clerk for Julius Fried.
Julius Fried was a publisher. Above is a postcard of a Butte mine, published by the company.
In the 1920 census, George, now 62, listed as single, is back living with Henry - one wonders whether the 7 years of marriage noted in the 1900 census is wrong or whether he was now actually divorced or widowed.
Burtt, 17, is working as a bookkeeper at an ice company.
George died later that year. Perhaps he had moved back in with Henry because he was ill.
The 1930 census finds Henry and Elizabeth living in a house they owned at 637 Colorado Street. Roger, Burtt's son, found this address in city directories from 1923 (when Burtt is listed as a student at Butte Business College). They lived in the house until they died.
This is a picture of Henry and "Lizzie," taken, presumably, in the front yard of the Colorado Street house. Click on it to see a close-up of them.
Marjorie, Ernest's daughter, remembers visiting Henry and "Lizzie" when she was young:
One of my most vivid memories of Grandpa Smith was when visiting them in Butte. He always stood at the old wood stove stirring a pot of "mush" for breakfast. If you wanted to have breakfast you had to attend his prayer meeting after.Henry died on April 6, 1933 when Burtt was 30.
Everyone gathered in the living room and he got very excited - reading the Bible, waving his hands and everyone knelt and said prayers. Pretty intimidating for a little girl.
Grandma was a wonderful cook, had a great sense of humor and did beautiful needlework - crocheting lace and making quilts.
This is his obituary. His wife, Lizzie, lived until 1943. She spent the last eight years or so of her life with the family of her youngest son, Burtt.
In 1957, Ernest, Henry's oldest son, drove back East with his second wife, Jenny, and Lee Walton and his wife, Frances, who, as the obituary notes, had settled in Great Falls, Montana.
Ernest wrote his daughter, Marjorie, a wonderful letter about the trip on stationery from the Motel Hill View in Woodstock. The letter is transcribed below.
Monday, Sept 23[Jenny was Ernest's second wife]
Dear Marjorie and Bill:
Well here we are in the old hometown where Dad and I were born. We left Laramie Sept 3rd arrived in Detroit on the 7th. We visited cousin Edith Dystant and her husband John for a couple of days. She is 79 and he is 87. She is not too well and we stayed at a motel. They are able to get around however and they took us to dinner and we also had them to dinner with us.
John was a Methodist minister. Edith was born on a farm 1/2 mile from ours.
From Detroit we crossed over into Canada and visited Niagara Falls and Toronto, Ont. From there to Ottawa, the capital, where we visited Blanche, Edith’s sister. Her husband, Harry Rice, died 2 years ago. She is 76. She lives with a daughter Mary who never married. We stayed at a motel and had our meals with them. She is still spry and a wonderful cook. From there to Montreal, then Tucker and around the Gaspe Peninsula into New Brunswick and Nova Scotia.
Then drove up here to Woodstock.
I remember this country pretty well and was able to drive out to the Farm where Dad and I were born. I was amazed to find the old house still intact. It has been repaired but the inside is as it always was. The old Orchard is about gone. I did get a couple of apples from an old tree. A farmer by name of White is living there. I wrote you that Lee Walton and Fran were coming with us. We drove out to his old house on the farm. The house had burned down and was rebuilt. Our farms, the Smiths and Waltons, used to operate a small hotel here in Woodstock called the Turner House. It is still here and still operating. We also found our old grocery man Harry Noble who used to board at the Hotel. He is 86 and spry. We have found many people who knew our parents, but only two who knew Lee and I.
It has been a great trip. This is surely God’s Country. It is 50 % timber. Every Farm has its timber. Not large like ours, but mostly hardwoods, Beeches, Maples, Birches, Elms, etc. We drove 100 miles through the Matapedia valley and it was the most beautiful thing I ever saw. The maples are flaming red, the others yellow. Brown, maroon, green etc. Words cannot describe it. I also found my old school teacher Julia Neales. She is 90. She could not remember me, of course, but was glad to see me. She is very frail. I would guess she does not weigh more than 90. Still lives in the same house. We are leaving here tomorrow for Boston, New York and Washington, then home. We'll be there about Oct 5th. Will tell you more when I see you Christmas. Jenny is having a great time and says hello.
This is a picture of the grocery store on Woodstock's Main Street that Ernest refers obliquely to. The picture was taken in the late 1860s. The store was owned by Charles Beardsley Snow and was later run by his son-in-law, Harry Gordon Noble, who Ernest refers to as "our old grocery man."
You can see C.B. Snow seated here with a child on his lap. Harry Noble, who Ernest reports meeting as an old man, is standing behind him. This picture was taken in 1911.
The Edith and Blanche that Ernest refers to were the daughters of Charles Plummer and Mary (Smith) Plummer - Henry's younger sister.
Edith married John Dystant, who, as Ernest notes, was a Methodist minister. This is a reference to John Dystant in Carleton County's Press Newspaper from January 2, 1899:
Plummer - GardenerErnest and Lee's visit was of sufficient interest to warrant a small article in the local paper. It's an interesting article, reproduced below. Click to see the images large enough to read.
A very happy event occurred at Waterville on the evening of the 21st of December. When Harry Woodford Plummer, was united in holy wedlock to Miss Idella Marion Gardener. The ceremony was performed by Rev. John Dystant. The Methodist church was tastefully decorated and a splendid display of plants added to the beauty of the scene.
The writer recounts a colorful but unlikely version of the boiler story, claiming that John Walton transported it west to the "Klondike" with the intent of using it to thaw the frozen ground in order to dig for gold. There's no record of John Walton or any of the Smiths going to Alaska, however. The boiler was more likely meant for some sort of steam power.
This is an article about the former Turner House, renamed the Hammond House from Woodstock Sentinel Press about 1950. This is what Ernest would have seen during his visit. The building was finally torn down in the 1970s.
This is a chart showing the lineage from Samuel Smith down to the current generation.
As the chart shows, Burtt Smith went on to marry Lois Spencer, the daughter of Guy Spencer, a political cartoonist working for the Omaha World-Herald.
Best evidence suggests that Guy Spencer was descended from John Spencer, a London tailor, who emigrated to the colonies and purchased from William Penn in 1681 a 125-acre tract of land on the north bank of Neshaminy Creek in what is now Bucks County, Pennsylvania. The Spencers were Quakers in Pennsylvania though it is not known whether John Spencer was a Quaker in London or whether persecution of the denomination drove him to emigrate.
John Spencer and his wife died several months apart in 1683 - John drowned in a flood - and his two young sons, James and Samuel, were sent to live with relatives in the Barbadoes. (Interestingly, the Neshaminy is still prone to flooding, its waters reportedly rising more than 10 feet above their normal level during severe storms.) James and Samuel Spencer returned to Pennsylvania from Barbadoes when they were grown and our branch of the Spencers began their westward migration after the Revolutionary War - first to Ohio, then to Missouri, Iowa and finally to Nebraska where Guy's daughter, Lois, was born.
This is a picture of Lois as a child. On the back is written a note, "Lois on the run." If you look closely, the dog is on a string.
Guy married Josephine McNulty, whose brother, William Charles McNulty, was also a political cartoonist and accomplished artist. He taught for many years at the Arts Students League in New York where Guy Spencer also studied.
Guy was a great fly fisherman and the family lived in a cabin-like house at the Carter Lake Club on Carter Lake, a former bend in the Missouri river that was cut off after a flood in 1877. Roger (Burtt and Lois' son) remembers that the house had a sleeping porch and that the club had a drafty old club house in which they projected movies during the summer.
Guy R. Spencer was born in Missouri in 1878 and moved to Nebraska at an early age. He was educated in the school system at Falls City, Nebraska, and at the Omaha Penmanship School.This is a picture of Guy Spencer with his children: Lois and Kathleen and little Roger and Steven. Kathleen eventually married a colorful journalist-raconteur named Bob Bruskin and became an accomplished artist. Steven married a genteel intellectual woman named Mary Sears and became a journalist, writing for the Saturday Evening Post, among other publications.
Spencer began working at the Omaha World Herald on June 12, 1899 for $10.00 a week. He was best noted for his political cartoons and was known as "one of the ablest pens in Midwestern journalism."
He was an avid "trust buster" and opposed all forms of big business. For several years Spencer drew caricatures and cartoons for the Commoner as well as the World Herald.
His initial popularity was established in 1902 when he drew a series of political cartoons concerning the political debates between Edward Rosewater and William F. Gurley.
Spencer retired in January of 1939. Guy R. Spencer died on December 27, 1945.
According to family lore, little Roger didn’t get along with his father and left home when he was 15. For a while he was married to a ballerina in Chicago and lived in an apartment with a dance studio. After they divorced, he became a traveling salesman hawking odds and ends and visited Spokane once driving a roadster with a rumble seat. On that trip, he gave Russell and Roger each a pair of earmuffs, which were part of his line. Somewhere, there's a picture of the boys wearing them.
In the early 1920s, Burtt went to study at the University of Montana and lived at the Alpha Tau Omega fraternity house there. Lois, from Omaha, also went to the university and was a member of the Theta sorority. Burtt graduated in 1927 and they were married on February 15, 1928. Burtt was 25 and Lois just 20.
He and Lois moved to Anaconda, Montana, named for the Anaconda Copper Mining Company that was based there along with its smelter. The company, in turn, was named for the Anaconda Copper Mine in Butte. Burtt got a job at the company.
For a time when Burtt was growing up in Butte, the Rockefellers and the Rothschilds battled for control of the Anaconda Copper Mining Company. Metal prices soared in the early 1920s and around the time that Burtt began working as an accountant there, the company reached its apex.
Anaconda was, and is still, a small town laid out in a narrow valley. 7th Street was the second to last street running along the hills on the far side of town in this Google Earth image.
But in 1928, the Rockefellers were pumping and dumping Anaconda Copper's shares, causing its stock price to jump wildly, wiping out many small investors in the process. The market crashed the next year and copper prices fell and Anaconda laid off much of its workforce. Burtt's hours and pay were cut back and cut back. He and a friend tried to start a miniature golf course to make ends meet.
Burtt and Lois stayed in Butte through the early years of the Great Depression. Their second child, Roger, was born there in 1930. In 1932 or 1933 Burtt moved the family to Spokane, where he had found work at the Federal Land Bank. Spokane was the largest city near Butte in those days.
The second floor window was Russell and Roger's room.
"She was nice to us," Roger recalled in January, 2008. "She was a frontier type person with fairly rough language, not profane, but not delicate."
Roger remembers that he was home when she died. The boys moved back into their old room after that.
Sometime after Lizzie died, the family moved to 1910 East 18th Street.
"We used to run down that steep path like mad to catch the bus since we were always last minute guys," Roger recalls. "The driver would wait if he saw us coming and people on the bus would laugh to see us jumping down the path."
Lois' maternal grandmother, "Grandma Adams" (Anna Alstadt McNulty Adams) would come to stay with the family for extended periods of time. She lived in Missoula and her second husband had worked for the railroad, so she had a pass that allowed her to travel. Roger remembers her as a cranky elderly woman who would take her dessert and set it next to her plate during meals because she was worried that she wouldn't get her share.
Lois' mother, "Grandma Jo" would also come to stay while the family was living on 18th Street. Roger remembers that she was a wonderful, artistic person but suffered a kind of breakdown after her husband Guy had a stroke that left him in a coma before he died.
"I remember her sitting at the kitchen table and she’s rub her fingers of one hand against her palm all the time," Roger recalled.
Burtt and Lois bought their first home, 110 West 27th Street, a few years later. The family was living there when Roger finished high school.
Burtt died in Lacey on October 23, 1990 at the age of 88. Lois followed him in May, 1996.