Samuel Smith-53698 help please

+8 votes

I am hoping someone reads this that is interested in sorting out the family of this Samuel Smith. I added the spouse mentioned in the biography, along with their children and sources. The problem is, the children that were already listed don't mesh so I'm wondering if I was wrong to add the 2nd wife and children. Reprinting my profile comment here, Marcy and Nehemiah are only a few months apart. There is a record for Marcy but Nehemiah wasn't listed in the Norwich records. Elizabeth and Samuel called II were born the same year, different towns, not possible to both be in this family. The first Samuel listed is the supposed son of Elizabeth Ely but he was born the same year that Samuel Sr married Sarah Armstrong, One of the Samuel's died young so maybe there could be two, but three? And one of them doesn't even have a mother listed. 

I've been trying to sort this out until my head is spinning. I've been searching familysearch, any vital records for towns mentioned I can find,  and Pg 72, 79. I need assistance determining who really belongs to Samuel, Perhaps I shouldn't have added the 2nd wife to this Samuel or some or all of the other children don't belong to him (I find little in the vital records). Thanks.

WikiTree profile: Samuel Smith
asked in Genealogy Help by Connie Mack G2G2 (2.4k points)
retagged by Ellen Smith

3 Answers

+5 votes

Hi, Connie. There were several unrelated Smith families in Lyme, Connecticut (which includes places that were much later split off as East Lyme and Old Lyme) in the late 1600s and 1700s. I think you are getting members of some different families scrambled (goodness knows it's easy to do!).

For example, you (or whoever created the profiles) have given Samuel Smith-53698 two sons named Samuel who both lived to adulthood. That's confusing, but the older one has the wrong parents. Your is a dead ringer for (an ancestor of mine), who is the son of John Smith and his wife Mary.

Many of the church records have been lost, so there are quite a few people who don't appear in vital records. Donald Lines Jacobus published an analysis of some of the Smith families of this area some years ago, using deeds, wills, and similar records to help sort out the Smith families. ("The Smith Number," The American Genealogist, v. 25 (1949), No. 98, April 1949.) Some years before that my great-grandfather had correspondence with a local historian in Lyme who shared some local lore about the different Smith families of Lyme.

We can work this out (but this is all I can write at the moment).

answered by Ellen Smith G2G6 Pilot (863k points)
You're absolutely right, Ellen. 93726 and 77583 must be the same person. I can suggest a merge but can't do it myself. I didn't create the original profile, only created the children of Sarah Armstrong, including the younger Samuel that died young.

I've didn't find this Nehemiah Smith line in the "Smith Number" of TAG (apparently Jacobus covered this family earlier, in the Bourne appendix to vol. 1 of The Waterman Family in 1939), but I did find a couple of relevant genealogical publications. [I've sent you a private message about this.]

According to the article John and Elizabeth (Smith) Fenner in TAG v. 46 (1970), page 21, Jacobus said that an 1895 genealogy (I'm not sure which) mistakenly gave the immigrant Nehemiah Smith 9 children, but he had only 4 children. Those 4 children seem to be Elizabeth (married Joshua Raymond), Mary (married Samuel Raymond), Nehemiah (married Lydia Winchester), and Mehitabel (married Joshua Abell).

Children of Samuel Smith and Elizabeth (?Ely?) Smith identified in the 1970 article (based on a deed of 20 March 1734/5) were: Nehemiah Smith of Lyme, Samuel, Simon, and Lydia Smith of New London, and Elizabeth (Smith) Fenner of Saybrook (married John Fenner of Saybrook). A deed in 1739 identifies Lydia as the wife of Elijah Beckwith.

+1 vote

I don't know, Connie.  The Nehemiah book you listed only has one wife, Elizabeth (Ely?).  Pages 78-82 list info about his children.

New England Marriages to 1700, Vital Records (incl. Bible, Cemetery, Church and SSDI) shows two apparently different Samuel Smiths.  The top one married Sarah Armstrong and the bottom one married Elizabeth Ely.  I think you added Sarah Armstrong to the wrong Samuel Smith.  



answered by Kitty Smith G2G6 Pilot (458k points)

Thanks, Kitty. How can we know though, that this is two different men. Weren't they both born 1676? The Nehemiah Smith clan lived in both those towns too. Nehemiah lived in about 4 towns, including a year or two on Long Island, ending up in Norwich, CT. The family held land that was the border of Niantic (Lyme), Preston, etc, If I recall correctly from the Smith book.

Another problem I see is that the gravestone listed for Elizabeth Ely is engraved with, "In Memory of Mrs. ELIZABETH SMITH wife of Mr. MILFORD SAMUEL SMITH who departed this life Nov'r ye 16th 1773 in ye 91 year of her age." His page is  named Samuel "of Milford". The cemetery is in Ridgefield, Fairfield Co. but their birth and death locations are listed as Lyme. Were they both moved? Also, the daughter listed at findagrave is not connected to their profile. It's a different Elizabeth. I'm even more confused now.

I think you pointed out that Samuel Smith had children by different wives at the same time intervals.  Page 73 of this text lists the children of Samuel Smith (son of Nehemiah and Lydia, born 2 Jun 1676) and Elizabeth Ely  

This book lists different children born at roughly the same time period to Samuel Smith and Sarah Armstrong.  

I think there is more here to indicate that these are two different Samuel Smiths with different wives, than there is to indicate that it is the same Samuel Smith with two wives.  Without documentation that Samuel was married twice, I think the records show they were two different Samuels.  

I think the published genealogy from 1889 has been the source of a lot of mistaken information here.
+1 vote
For the time being, I have removed Sarah Armstrong and her children from Samuel's profile and will keep looking for her correct husband.
answered by Connie Mack G2G2 (2.4k points)

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