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Fort Havoc (Wallace Hale)

Info The language of the text is the original used by Wallace Hale. Records acquired by the Provincial Archives are not translated from the language in which they originate.

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The Smith Family

 

Examing the Descendants

of

Lieut. Michael Smith

of

Bergen County, New Jersey.

 

1. Lieut. Michael Smith, date and place of birth unknown, married Francina Berry, daughter of Capt. John Berry and his wife, Francina. Michael Smith was probably born in England of good family, as evidenced by his marriage to John Berry's daughter.

John Berry came to Bergen County, New Jersey from Barbadoes, W.I., probably in 1669, having been granted extensive properties in that area. Whether Michael Smith accompanied his then or future father-in-law is unknown, but quite likely he, too, came to New Jersey from Barbadoes.

In the East Jersey records of 1675 Capt. John Berry is listed with his wife, two daughters, one son, one servant and 32 negroes. "Michell" Smith is listed with his wife, 3 servants and 16 negroes, holding 780 acres of land. Michael's eldest child was evidently born some time after the 1675 listing was compiled. In 1677 John Berry and Michael Smith acquired, by an Indian deed, land on Hackensack, Saddle and Tantaqua rivers, and two years later, in another Indian deed, acquired another tract of land, "called Aschatking" on Tantaqua Creek.

Michael Smith was, at one time a merchant, and afterward a planter with an extensive estate in Bergen County, near Overpeck's Creek, adjoining a plantation belonging to his father-in-law. On 22 June 1677, he was appointed a Lieutenant in the Bergen Foot Company, in which John Berry was Captain.

In 1683, Michael Smith became the first High Sheriff of Bergen County under the Twenty-four Proprietors. He died sometime prior to 2 August 1685 when his widow married Thomas Lawrence. On 9 June 1686 his widow, wife of Captain Thomas Lawrence, was granted administration of Michael Smith's estate.

The children of Michael and Francina (Berry) Smith were:

1. Mary Smith, born about 1675 or not long thereafter, married 1 February 1696 Major William Sandford, son of Captain William Sandford by his second marriage to Sarah Whartman.

2. Charity Smith, married 3 May 1691, at Bergen Dutch Church, John Edsall, son of Samuel Edsall by his first wife, Jannetje Wessels.

3. Sarah Smith, married 14 September 1705 Samuel Moore, son of Samuel and Naomi Moore and stepson of Samuel Edsall.

4. John Smith, married 27 November 1711 Deborah Lawrence, a native of Newton, Long Island. She may have been a daughter of Major Thomas Lawrence.

Francina Lawrence, former widow of Michael Smith, died at Hackensack. Her obituary, published 4 June 1737, read, in part, "On Thursday last the wife of Capt. Thomas Lawrence of Hackensack was buried, aged Ninety-four; Her husband follow'd her to the Grave, at the age of Ninety-seven, is a hearty man and walks as upright as a Youth."

 

 

2. John Smith, son of Michael and Francina (Berry) Smith, married 27 November 1711 Deborah Lawrence. She was, possibly, a daughter of Major Thomas Lawrence by a previous marriage. John Smith died at Hackensack in 1716.

The children of John and Deborah (Lawrence) Smith were:

1. Francina Smith, baptised 14 December 1712, sponsors Major Thomas Lawrence and his wife Francina, widow of Michael Smith.

2. Michael Smith, baptised 18 April 1714, sponsors John Edsall and his wife, Charity. Michael married 12 November 1741 [Maria] Smith of Secaucus.

3. John Smith, baptised 22 January 1716, sponsors Richard Edsall and Anna Lawrence, his wife. John married 26 March 1742 Catharine Lee.

 

 

3. Michael Smith, baptised 18 April 1714, son of John and Deborah (Lawrence) Smith, married 12 November 1741 "Malli" Smith. The records of the Dutch Church, or at least a published transcript of those records, show the marriage of Michgel Smit, y.m., born Hackensack, and Malli Smit, y.d., born Long Island, living at Zykakis (Secaucus), married 12 November 1741. The 26 September 1741 may have been the date intention to marry was published or a license applied for. Various writers ascribe "Malli" or Maria Smith as a possible descendant of Abel Smith of Secaucus but have presented no proof of that assertion.

Given the early Dutch propensity for mangling English names, nearly beyond recognition at times, it is difficult to ascertain whether "Malli" Smit's name was Molly, Mary, Maria, even Nellie, or perhaps something entirely different - a diminutive for Amelia or Cornelia, for instance.

Michael Smith died about 1786 at English Neighborhood, Hackensack, New Jersey. The known children of Michael and Maria Smith were:

1. Jacob Smith, born 26 April 1749, died at Woodstock, New Brunswick, 29 September 1837. According to his descendants in New Brunswick, Jacob Smith was born at Stony Brook, Long Island, which may or may not be correct.

2. John Smith, born 19 July 1750, twin to Abel. Reputed to have been shot in the arm by a rebel in 1777, John Smith removed to New York and died there. In his will, dated 20 August 1805, proved 28 March 1806, he named brother Abel Smith executor and bequeathed his estate to Abel in trust for "my grandson John Smith Burdett until he is 21." Witnesses to John's will were Peter Edsall, Jesper Maybe and Charity Smith.

3. Abel Smith, born 19 July 1750, twin to John. Evidently Abel Smith remained in New Jersey, inheriting his father's land, and probably died there.

4. Michael Smith, born about 1757, died Woodstock, New Brunswick 3 January 1842.

Michael Smith's will, dated 9 June 1784, proved 27 March 1786, bequeathed his farm to son John, he to pay £200 to son Abel, and £200 to son Michael, "if he is to be found, or if he comes to demand it." Rest of real estate to sons John and Abel. The will was witnessed by Samuel I. Moore, Benjamin Westerfelt and John Day. Obviously, Michael's wife, Maria, had predeceased him. While it may seem strange that no mention was made of Jacob Smith, if he was, indeed, a son of Michael and Maria Smith, it is quite possible that, as eldest son, he had received his portion when he came of age.

 

 

4. Michael Smith, born about 1757, was commissioned Lieutenant 1 January 1777 in the 4th Battalion of the New Jersey Volunteers, commanded by Lieut. Col. Abraham Van Buskirk, also of Bergen County, N.J. Michael Smith was the ninth officer commissioned and the third to be commissioned as Lieutenant. Perhaps his commission was granted in the expectation of his ability to recruit men for the battalion; possibly he, or his father, purchased the commission. The other possibility is that Michael and Abraham Van Buskirk were related through the Laurens/Lawrence family.

Michael Smith does not appear in the muster rolls of the 4th New Jersey Volunteers after 1778 and he may be the Lieut. Michael Smith who appeared in Rogers' Rangers. He perhaps discovered a more profitable occupation during part of the Revolutionay War; he made no claim for loss of land, but did mention the loss of an armed sloop, perhaps indicating he spent some time as a privateer on a small scale.

Michael came to New Brunswick with other Loyalists from New York. He petitioned on 6 November 1786 for land on the Oromocto River with Francis Drake and Nehemiah Beardsley, the latter two being formerly with DeLancey's Brigade. The petition was denied, the requested lots having already been assigned. No effort has been made to determine the ancestry of either Francis Drake or Nehemiah Beardsley, but Francis Drake may have been a descendant of the Drake family who were among the early settlers of Bergen, included in the 1675 list as:

Francis Drake of New Piscataway, wife and son John, George Drake and wife, each 60 acres, beside homelot and meadow.

Michael Smith next petitioned, 20 May 1787 at Woodstock, for Lots 73 and 74 on the east side of the river in Block 7, allotted to the 2nd Battalion DeLancey's. While the petition was allowed, the land may have been already occupied, since Michael again petitioned, on 23 January 1788 at Woodstock, for Lot 33 in Block 6, stating he had not drawn any land in this Province. He further stated he had purchased Moses Holmes' rights to the requested property, which was near "My Brother Cap't. Smith's," referring, of course, to Capt. Jacob Smith.

Michael Smith married 30 November 1791, at Woodstock, Phebe Ketchum, born about 1771, perhaps at Stratford, Connecticut, daughter of John and Elizabeth (Browne) Ketchum. The children of Michael and Phebe Smith, all born at Woodstock and baptised in the Anglican Church, were:

1. John Ketchum Smith, born 26 December 1792, baptised 3 February 1793.

2. Polly Gaston Smith, born 23 April 1794, baptised 1 June 1794, died single.

3. Eliza Smith, born 13 Mary 1796, baptised 12 June 1796, died single.

4. Albert Smith, born 20 January 1798, baptised 25 February 1798.

5. Emily Caroline Smith, born 25 December 1799, baptised 3 February 1800, died single.

6. Nancy Beach Smith, born 6 October 1802, baptised 7 November 1802, married 29 July 1830 Charles Peabody.

7. Chrissey Ann Griffiths Smith, born 15 February 1804, baptised 25 March 1804.

8. Phebe Lewis Smith, born 19 April 1807, baptised 23 April 1807.

9. Charles Lewis Smith, born 26 August 1809, baptised 22 September 1809, died 3 May 1863 at Woodstock and was buried in the old Woodstock Methodist Cemetery.

10. William Dibblee Smith, born 1812 or 1813, baptised 15 February 1813, died 1891 at Woodstock. He married 17 April 1841 Jane Sharp.

11. Sally Belle Smith, born 28 April 1817, baptised 28 August 1817.

Phebe (Ketchum) Smith died 11 July 1849 at Woodstock and was buried in the Anglican Cemetery below Woodstock. Michael Smith predeceased her 3 January 1842 and was buried in the same cemetery.

 

 

5. William Dibblee Smith, born 1812 or 1813 at Woodstock, baptised 15 February 1813, son of Michael and Phebe (Ketchum) Smith, resided at his father's farm at Lower Woodstock. William Dibblee Smith married 17 April 1841 Jane Sharp, born 18 April 1816, baptised 14 September 1834 in the Free Christian Baptist Church at Woodstock. Jane Sharp was daughter of Adam Boyle Sharp and his first wife, Elizabeth White Peabody.

The children of William Dibble and Jane (Sharp) Smith were:

1. Charles A. Smith, born 10 February 1842, died 13 December 1851.

2. Marion Smith, born 29 September 1843, married J. H. Freeman of Brooklyn, N.Y.

3. Elizabeth Alice Smith, born 17 February 1845, died 19 January 1876, married 23 November 1870 Henry Alnutt of Guilford, England. Elizabeth was buried in the Woodstock Methodist Cemetery.

4. Henry B.Smith, born 4 February 1847, died 29 July 1914 and was buried in the Woodstock Methodist Cemetery. He married Lydia H. Smith, who died 10 May 1928 and was buried beside her husband.

5. Isabel Maria Smith, born 4 October 1850, married 14 January 1874 William Sperry Shea. She died 20 August 1872 and was buried in the Woodstock Methodist Cemetery.

6. Emily Jane Smith, born 11 March 1855, married Jeremiah Judson Hale of Northampton. Emily died 23 April 1884.

William Dibblee Smith died in 1891 and his wife, Jane, died in 1904. Both were buried in the old Woodstock Methodist Cemetery.

 


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