Monday, March 03, 2014


The prompt for the latest Saturday Night Genealogy Fun assignment from Randy Seaver's Gene-Musing's blog is this:
1)  How many persons named John Smith do you have in your genealogy management program or online family tree?  How many persons named John Smith are ancestors?

2)  Pick out one of those persons named John Smith and do some online research for
them in Ancestry, FamilySearch, or another set of record collections.  Your goal is to
add something to your database.

3)  Tell us about it in your own blog post, in a comment to this blog post, or in a post
on Facebook or Google+.

 Well, as Ace Ventura would say, alrighty then:

I only have four John Smiths on my family tree, and as luck would have it, one of
them is my 7x great grandfather John Smith. There doesn't seem to be any birth
record for him but when he died in Middleboro,Ma. on 16May 1727 his age was
given as 69 years old, so that would put his birth year 1658.  Now the interesting
thing about John is who he married, and who his daughter Abigail Smith married. 
I'll get to Abigail later in this post. As to who John's wife was, he married Mary Ellenwood on 23May 1684 in Beverly, Ma. She was the daughter of my immigrant ancestors Ralph Ellenwood/Ellingwood and Eleanor Lynn. In researching this article
I learned John was a "coaster", someone who transported goods in small boats
along the Massachusetts coast between the port cities. Since he ended up in
Middleboro south of Boston, I believe he may have done his business between Beverly and Plymouth which is close by to Middleboro.

I'd always wondered how he'd met Mary if he was in Middleboro and she lived in Beverly. But the following information I found in an old edition of National Genealogical Society Quarterly, Volumes 6-11 shows they were both living in Beverly at the time
they were married:

We find John Smith joining in an agreement of division of the Ellenwood land under date of April 17, 1695, in right of Mary, his wife—how long he had been married does not appear. (Salem Deeds, Vol. II, p. 192).

Nov. 19, 1702, John Smith of Beverly, with consent of his wife, Mary, sells his house and lot in Beverly to Robert Hale for £100. His brother, Benjamin Ellenwood, is mentioned as an abutting property owner. (Salem Deeds, Vol. 15, p. 261). 

About—1702, John Smith removed from Beverly to Middleboro, in Plymouth County, Mass. We find of record at Plymouth, the following deed: John Doggett and Samuel Doget, both of Marshfield, sell to John Smith, late of Beverly, in the County of Essex, Marriner, for £55, lot No. 26, in the 26 Men's purchase on Whetstone Brook, containing 100 acres. The deed is dated Feb. 11, 1702-3. (Plymouth Deeds, Vol. 6, page 127).
Oct. 6, 1712, John Smith sold onehalf of this lot to his son Jonathan.

According to the stone in the Old Cemetery, in Middleboro, John Smith died May 16, 1727, in his 69th year. He was born, therefore, about 1658. His widow Mary was appointed administrator July 3, 1727 (Plymouth Probate Records, Vol. 5, p. 266). Since he died intestate, the estate was divided among the heirs by agreement (Plymouth Wills, Vol. 12, p. 222.)

-COREY (CORY), CLEAVES AND SMITH FAMILY LINES. By Prof. Arthur Adams, Trinity College, Hartford, Conn. Vol. VII APRIL, 1918 No. 1

I found the images of the probate record and agreement online at FamilySearch. It's going to take me awhile to transcribe them since the handwriting is difficult to read and the last page has some really small and messy added writing at the bottom of the page. So that is the material I've added to my database as a result of the assignment.

The Smith family estate agreement is on the left hand page.

Now, as to the marriage of Abigail Smith, John and Mary's daughter: on 12Dec 1719 she
married my 6x great grandfather Ebenezer Donham/Dunham in Middleboro, Ma. And
131 years later their descendant Florilla Dunham married my 2x great grandfather Asa
Freeman Ellingwood. I don't think they would have known about that family connection.

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