NameLieut. Samuel Smith
Birth9 Oct 1602, Suffolk, England
DeathDec 1680, Hadley, Hampshire Co., Massachusetts
Misc. Notes

"SAMUEL SMITH , called Lieutenant Samuel after his appointment in 1663, was born in England, probably near Hadleigh in Suffolk, in 1601 or 1602 where he married about1624 one Elizabeth who d. in So. Hadley, Mass., Mar. 16,1686, age 84. He died in Hadley Massachusetts in Dec 1680, age 78. (His estate was inventoried in January 1681) He came with his wife and four of his children in the ship "Elizabeth" which sailed from Ipswich, Suffolk, England (see Judds "Hadley") on April 30, 1634. He and his wife Elizabeth gave their ages as 32, and named their four children as follows: Samuel, Jr., age 9; Elizabeth, age 7; Mary age 4 and Philip, age 1. On board the same ship were families named Rayner, Kemball, Scott, Munnings, Mixer, Bradstreet, Underwood, all said to have been Suffolk people, and Lewis, Woodward, Bloomfield, Day, Hastings, Gouldson, Cutting and Firmin whose origins are unknown.

"Assuming a period of two to three months to complete a crossing of the Atlantic in those days, the family probably did not reach the shores of America earlier than late July or early August of 1634. Just where they landed is not known. Some say it was at Salem and indeed a Samuel Smyth(sic) is recorded (Annals of Salem by Joseph B. Felt, Vol. I, p. 167) as having been granted land and made a freeman in Salem subsequent to 1637. But the "History of Salem" by Sidney Perley, Vol. II, page 11, says, "at a meeting of the whole town April 23, 1638 there was grante to Samuel Smith 200 acres of land being 50 more than his former grant of 100 (sic) acres which was annulled"; then in a foot note it is stated that Samuel Smith was one of the very first settlers in Enon which became Wenham. He married Sarah who died in the autumn of 1642. On page 127 of the same Vol. II it is stated that Samuel Smith built a house in Wenham where he lived until 1642 when he died.

"This Salem record seems to dispose of the claim that the Wethersfield Samuel Smith first settled in Salem. That he was in Watertown is borne out by the fact that in September of 1634, which must have been soon after his arrival from England, he was a freeman and an early proprietor in that town but with no evidence that he was a resident. ( see Bonds History of Watertown, p. 1017.) Some have conjectured that he immediately went to Wethersfield Connecticut, This writer doubts this because no permission was so early given by the General Court for removal thence and being a freeman and therefore a church member in good and favorable standing and with rights to vote in the town it is improbable that he would have risked so much with his family of wife and four small children in the face of so many other dangers and difficulties. He could, however, have ventured alone leaving his family with friends or relatives on the seaboard while making an exploratory trip and as we shall see later this writer suspects that this is what he did. The General Court gave its approval on May 6th and June 3rd of 1635 for removal of people from Watertown "to any place they shall think meet to make choice, provided they continue still under this government" and it was after one of these dates that it seems reasonable that Samuel Smith and his family departed. Adams and Stiles in their monumental "Ancient Wethersfield", say on page 300 of Vol I that they came "in 1635 or late 1634".

"How he made the journey is not known. He could have done it, as many did, by overland route over Indian trails or he could have gone by water which in some ways was more hazardous because of storms and uncharted channels which took their toll of coastal craft. Some sent their house-hold goods by water but brought themselves, their horses, cattle and hogs by land. Winthrop's "History of New England", page 140 Vol. I, tells of a party of sixty men, women and little children going overland to Connecticut in September of 1635 with their cows, horses and swine, and arriving safely. Wethersfield is said to have been discovered by John Oldham and three others in the autumn of 1633. Those who came in 1635 and 1636 according to "Bonds History of Watertown, Massachusetts", as listed on page 29 of Adams and Stiles "Old Wethersfield", include Samuel Smith and Lieutenant Robert Seeley. There is a strong implication that Samuel may have gone ahead of his family. On page 30 - 31of Adams and Stiles "Ancient Wethersfield" is given a Iist of new arrivals in Wethersfield between 1636 and 1640 "no later than 1645". In that list is Rev. Henry Smith and "his sons Samuel and Philip". Since Rev. Henry had no son Philip and his son Samuel was not born until 1638 or 39(see page 628 of Vol. II of Stiles "Ancient Wethersfield") and Samuel did have sons of both names whose ages in 1636 were 11 and 3 respectively (see page 647 of Vol. II of Stiles "Ancient Wethersfield") it is quite certain the Samuel and Philip listed were sons of Samuel rather than of Rev. Henry. If this be true then here to evidence of them arriving later than their father who came in 1635 or 36, thus solving the question of how he could have housed them that first year in the Wilderness of Pyquag the Indian name of the settlement before it was renamed Wethersfield. Being there ahead of them he could have built a home for their arrival the following year. A map of old Wethersfield with layout of streets and lots, 1633,_34, shows the Samuel Smith homestead as lying on Broad Street between the households of Thomas Killbourn on the north and John Edwards on the south. The household of Rev. Henry Smith, the first pastor of the Wethersfield Church, also the households of Richard Smith and William Smith are indicated on the map. None of these latter three Smiths are thought to have been related to Samuel. Nathaniel Foote and J. Churchill with whose families members and descendants of the Samuel Smith family later intermarried, are shown but not John Roote or Luke Hitchcock who came later. Robert Seeley, from whom the children of this writer's son directly descend, is shown, he having been one of the very early settlers of Wethersfield.

"Samuel Smith is called "The Fellmonger" in the early Wethersfield records meaning very likely that he was a tanner by trade and a dealer in skins and furs of animals. The word generally refers to sheep pelts but there could not have been many sheep in that wolf infested wilderness at so early a date although there were some a little later. This writer rather expected to find that he was a representative or London fur traders who were becoming active in North America at the time but no records to support this conjecture have been found. He must have been a man of some means because he figured in a goodly number of land purchases and sales in Wethersfield. On page 643, Vol. I of Adams and Stiles "Ancient Wethersfield" the statement is made that Samuel Smith was "one of the wealthiest men Wethersfield". This was in 1646. His son John in 1672 was admitted by town vote in Wethersfield as an inhabitant to set up "a trade of tarnning in this town". He had been living in Hadley and evidently had returned to Wethersfield then or before.

"Samuel Smith served Wethersfield as a Deputy to the general Court almost continuously from November 1637 to May 1656. He also served as Assistant to the Connecticut Colony in March and April of 1638. (See Conn. Colonial records )The General Court sat first at Hartford (April 26,836) by authority of a commission from Governor Winthrop - Massachusetts to "govern the people of Connecticut for the space of one year". Rev. Henry Smith was one of the governor's original appointees and was living in Watertown Massachusetts at the time. Later the General Court of Connecticut which included the elected deputies called itself the "General Assembly". In May of 1678 it was known as the "Governor and Council". In May of 1698 it was divided into two sections known as "The Upper House" which consisted of the Governor or his deputy and his assistants and the "Lower House" made up of the deputies of the several towns. In 1819 the Upper House became Senators, the Lower House, Representatives.

"The Court in early days consisted of the Governor and least seven chosen assistants and four deputies from-each town. It not only performed legislative and adjudicative functions but also served as the "Court of Elections" with power to choose the Governor and his assistants. In February 1651 Samuel Smith served as a member of a Particular Court in Hartford, chosen to try John Carrington and his wife for witchcraft. An indictment "thou deservest to dye" was returned but the sentences were probably not carried out.

"Samuel Smith figured in a number of land transactions and seems to have been engaged in various commercial enterprises. In November 1649 the General Court authorized him and "the rest of the owners of the shipp at Wethersfield to fit and make so many pipestaves as will freight out said shipp the first voyage, etc.". Pipestaves were used in the West Indies to make barrels for the shipment of molasses, rum, salt beef, pork and fish. The building of this ship had been authorized by the General Court and was probably the first ship built in Connecticut. Thomas Deming, a ship carpenter, was probably the master builder. The ship was named the "Tryall" and captained first by Mr. Larribee, and the boatswain was Christopher Fox of Wethersfield. It appears that she was still in operation in 1662 plying as far as the West Indles. On December 28, 1629 Samuel Smith Sr., Nathaniel Dickinson and Mr. Trat (probably Richard Treat) were chosen by the town to "seat men and women in the meeting house", an important assignment in those days when social rank as practiced in old England still influenced the settlers. Seating was done on the basis of community standing and could be done peaceably only by freeman most highly regarded both for integrity and social rank.

"On Mar. 28, 1653 in a town meeting Samuel Smith was one of those chosen to meet with a committee from Mattabeseck (Middletown) to fix the boundary line between the two settlements. Boundary matters were troublesome in those days and required many adjustments to settle overlapping and infringement problems that arose among the settlers.

"In May 1653 Samuel Smith was made a member of the Committee for War in Wethersfield and sometime before 1658 was commissioned a Sergeant of the Wethersfield train band. The train band was an organization formed to defend the town and its officers were chosen by the soldiers, subject to confirmation by the Particular Court which dealt with the lesser cases, offenders having the right of appeal to the General Court. Wethersfield sent a contingent of men under the command of Lieutenant Robert Seeley to fight the Pequots in 1637 and it is said that Samuel Smith was one of the group but this writer has seen no definite proof of it. (Many early records of Wethersfield were probably lost at the time of the Stamford and Hadley migrations.)

"Wethersfield during the first twenty five years of its existence suffered two church quarrels one in 1640-41 resulting in a large number of its citizens going to the Rippowam's Country (Stamford Connecticut) and to Saybrook (New Haven, Stratford and Milford), and a second, in 1659 resuiting in an additional number removing themselves from the Jurisdiction of Connecticut into the jurisdiction of Massachusetts and founding Hadley The meeting at which this latter removal was decided was held at Goodman Ward's house in Hartford on April 18, 1659. Here a compact was signed by 59 men, 20 of whom, including Samuel Smith Sr., Samuel Smith Jr. and Philip Smith were from Wethersfield. The signers agreed to remove themselves and families to the new settlement on the east side of the river from Northhampton and to be dwelling there by the 39th day of September 1660. The Rev. John Russell Jr. Of Wethersfield was their spiritual leader and became their first minister at Hadley.

"The History of Northampton by Trumbull Vol. I, page76 refers to the agents of the Hartford Company, one of whom was Samuel Smith of Wethersfield, as purchasing, in 1659, the meadow of "Capewonke", later known as Hatfleld. It was then a part of Nanotuck (Nonotuck) including Northampton, a part of the grant made to the settlers from Connecticut, largely Windsor and Hartford, who settled Northampton in 1653. The price paid was 30 pounds in wheat and peas, delivered at Hartford, and the payment is recorded as having been made promptly. (First Book of Deeds at Springsfield.)

"On November 9th, 1659, at Hartford and approximately at the same time at Wethersfield and at the new plantation at Norwottuck (Hadley) which by then included Capewonke, the settlers and the settlers to be, chose seven men, among-them Samuel Smith, "to order all public occasions that concern the good of that plantation for the year ensueing" (First Book of Records in Hadley)

"There were 48 original proprietors of the settlement in the Norwottuck Country, later called Hadley, including among them Samuel Smith and his sons Chileab and Philip. It will be noted that his sons Samuel and John do not appear. John, it seems by the records, lived alternately in Hadley and Wethersfield. Samuel, Jr. is thought to have removed to New London and thence to Virginia and all track of him lost. (P. 647 Vol. II of Stiles "Ancient Wethersfield".)

"Samuel Smith's public life in the new Norwottuck plantation, later Hadley, began soon after his arrival, He and Peter Tilton were chosen Town Measurers on December 31, 1660 to lay out the lands for the settlers, place stakes at the "front and rear" of every lot and keep a record of them. During the same month at Norwottuck, along with Nathaniel Dickinson, Andrew Bacon, Andrew Warner and William Lewis, Samuel Smith was chosen as one of the first Townsmen, now called Selectmen. He attended the March 1661 session of the General Court at Springfield as a juror. At the next meeting of the court on May 22, the town was named Hadley, after Hadleigh in Suffolk County, England from whence came some of the settlers including, probably, Samuel Smith and his wife, Elizabeth.

"The May 22, 1661 session of the court authorized the town of Hadley to choose commissioners with power, and without jury to determine civil actions not exceeding 5 pounds and to deal with criminal actions where the penalty did not exceed ten stripes for one offense, "provided said offenders may appeal their cases to the Springfield or Northampton courts". The townspeople met, as authorized and chose three commissioners or Deputies to the General Courts one being Samuel Smith, the other two Andrew Bacon and Mr. Wllliam Westwood. He was chosen again in 1663,1664, 1665, 1667, 1668, 1671 and 1673 and very probably, if the record was complete, in some other years as well. He was also made associate of the County Court for Hampshire County in 1678 and 1679.

"Samuel Smith was chosen to be a Townsman or Selectman tine after time, his last election being in 1680 the year of his death. From the records it would appear, also, that in the years when he did not serve as Townsman his talented son Philip served instead. In one year, 1675, when he did not serve, two of his son, Philip and Chileab were chosen.

"At its session of May 1663, the Court approved Samuel Smith as Lieutenant of the Hadley Trainband to serve under Capt. John Pynchon of Springfield a position he held until 1678 when he resigned because or his advanced age. He served inactively in King Philip's War where, in 1676, his son John was killed by Indians at Hatfield and where, a year later, his son-in-law, John Graves met the same fate. These tragic deaths were a portent of what was to come twenty years later when on September 16, 1696 Elizabeth Foote Belden a granddaughter of Lieut. Samuel Smith was killed by Indians at Deerfield, Mass. and 6 of her 14 children were either killed, wounded or captured by them. In 1704, also, a great grandchild, Samuel Foote was ambushed and killed by Indians.

"Returning to the earlier period, Samuel's home in Hadley was said to have served as a hiding place for the regicides, Whalley and Goffe, for a part of the time they were in Hadley. The authority for this is a letter dated March 26, 1793 written by Samuel Hopkins to Yale's president, Ezra Stiles. It's a reasonable conjecture because of Samuel Smith's prominence in Hadley at the time.

"On December 16, 1661 and for a number of years thereafter Samuel Smith "was chosen" rate makers that is to say, assessor. A plat of the village of Hadley for 1663 shows Liert. Samuel Smith and his sons Philip and Chileab owning lots of 8 acres each. (Judds Hadley, Part I, pp. 2h, 26.) Samuel's lot was valued at the top value of 200 pounds, Philip's at 150 pounds and Chileab's at 100 pounds. In1681, after Lieut. Samuel's death, his son Philip was the second largest and his son Chileab the 5th largest tax payer in the town. In 1686 after the son Philip's death (by hideous witchcraft) the son Chileab Smith is shown to have been the largest taxpayer.

"In April 1664 Mr. Samuel Smith was empowered to purchase land "to secure the north line of Hadley", (page 21Judds Hadley, Part I), at a price not exceeding 200 pounds. He did not succeed and petitioned the General Court at the, 1664 session for a gift of 1000 acres of land which could be added to the 200 pounds to satisfy the hard trading owner. The petition was granted and transaction completed on this new basis. The land is now a part of the town of Whately, Massachusetts.

"On January 14, 1667 Lieutenant Samuel Smith, together with Rev. John Russell and Aaron Cooke, was chosen at Town meeting to serve as a trustee of a fund offered by Mr. John Davenport of New Haven and Mr. William Goodwin of Hadley, acting as trustees under the will of the late Mr. Edward Hopkins, for the establishment of a grammar school in Hadley. (The Hopkins fund was divided between Hadley, Mass., Hartford and New Haven, Conn. and Harvard University.) Samuel Smith was also chosen with others, to serve on a committee to select the land that would be used by the school. His son Chileab was made a trustee of the grammar school in 1686 following the death of Philip who succeeded his father as a trustee in 1681.

"Lieutenant Samuel Smith was an original members from 1669 to his death, of the "Hadley School Committee for 50 years" which in effect was a life tenure assignment and, therefore given only to those who were the most trusted and highly respected in the town. He served continuously on this board until his death in 1680 when his place was taken by his son Philip. Philip's brother Chileab was added to the Committee in 1687 and in 1720 the Committee consisted of four citizens, one of whom was Sergeant Joseph Smith and another, deacon John Smith, sons of John and Philip respectively.

"Another evidence of the respect and trust in which Lieutenant Samuel Smith was held by his fellow townsmen was the license they gave him in 1671 to sell wines and strong liquors, a right that was sparingly given by the Selectmen and approved just as sparingly by the Court in those days. In 1677 he was empowered to solemnize marriages, a right he had had since 1661 but only to be exercised in the absence of Wllliam Westwood who was first given that authority.

"In May 1667 Samuel Smith, Rev. John Russell and Peter Tilton, acting in behalf of Hadley, appeared before the General Court in opposition to the petition of the citizens of Hatfield to separate from Hadley. They succeeded for about two years to hold up the withdrawal but on Dec. 22, 1669 Lieut. Samuel gas one of the signers of the agreement that authorized the separation and brought an end to the controversy. About the same time, Feb. 19, 1669, he signed a citizen's petition to the Governor and General Court of Massachusetts, opposing the decree that levied imposts and customs on merchandise, cattle, horses and grain entering Hadley. The next years May 3, 1670, with Rev. John Russell and Henry Clark he signed a petition "in behalf of the freemen of Hadley ", praying the General Court to make inquiry as to the reason for "God's displeasure" upon them One evidence or this displeasure, it seems, was the breaking away of dissenting members of the First Church of Boston to form Old South Church, an event that stirred remote sections of the Massachusetts Colony. The memorial referred to "the Lord's displeasure" and requested that "there be some public and solemn inquiry what it is that has provoke dthe Lord against us". (See History of Northampton by Tru,bull pp 215-216, Vol. I). The same source, page 572, lists Samuel Smith as one of those who contributed to Harvard College, 3 lbs. Of flax values at 0-.03-00 "from that line above and now all set down under our 3 lb. and half more is pck into the great barrell". This untranslatable gift seems small but it was about the average given by the 89 givers whose total gifts were valued at 29-17-0.

"Lieutenant Samuel Smith and his sons Philip and Chileab were well-to-do for their time. They were engaged in pursuits outside their regular professions indicating that they had capital. In 1678 Lieut. Samuel and Philip had out on loans to John Pynchon, the most prominent man in Springfield, 50 and 25 pounds respectively, at interest. These amounts appear small today but in that early period they were considerable sums

"A review of the Records or the Colony of Massachusetts Bay, Vol. IV, Part II and Vol. V, shows a number of instances where the General Court placed responsibilities upon Lieut. Smith and reposed confidence in him. He was at times assigned duties of dealing with the Indians, hearing their complaints and investigating their requests. The October Court of 1667 chose him as one of a committee of three to treat with the Indians about, "setting of a chief or head over them and by advising with them thereabouts to learn whom they account or desire to be their chief that the English may have their recourse to for satisfaction for injuries from them ... and in the case of the Indians not agreeing ... that the next General Court may appoint or declare some meet man to be their chief or sachem".

"Another court record, 1663, tells of a committee of six members, including Samuel Smith, being appointed to lay our a fares of 250 acres at Paucomptucke. This was the beginning of Deerfield, Massachusetts.

"In 1678 Lieutenant Smith requested, since he was "nearing 80 years of age" to be "relieved from military trust". His request was granted and his son Philip made Ensign immediately, and later in the same year raised to Lieutenant. Samuel's death two years later, (the inventory of his estate was taken January 17, 1781), indicates, perhaps, that he was justified in seeking some repose after so extended and active a career in the wilderness of a new world. The regret is that so little is known about his wife Elizabeth who remained at his side through all of these hard years, bearing and rearing his children and enduring the hardships of those pioneer times with him. Not one word is written about her trials and activities that this writer has seen. She died March 16, 1686 at the age of 84 leaving a family, the descendents of whom in the next three hundred years, were to swarm over the land producing worthy citizens and many distinguished ones, all Christian and God fearing.

"The children of Lieutenant Samuel Smith and his wife Elizabeth were four sons and two daughters. Four of these children were born in England and two in Wethersfield, Connecticut.

Title: A History of Hatfield Massachusetts
Author: B-3 Wells, Daniel White and Wells, Reuben Field
Publication: Springfield, Mass: F.C.H. Gibbons 1910

Died: 17 Jan 1681
Birth1602, England
Death16 Mar 1686, Hadley, Hampshire Co., Massachusetts
Marriage6 Oct 1624, St. Margaret's, Whatfield, Suffolk, England
ChildrenPhilip (1633-1685)
Last Modified 21 Jul 2007Created 4 Sep 2012 using Reunion for Macintosh