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Elizabeth (Lawrence) Smead (1642 - 1704)

Elizabeth Smead formerly Lawrence
Born in Hingham, Massachusetts Baymap
Ancestors ancestors
Wife of — married 31 Dec 1658 in Northampton, Massachusettsmap
Descendants descendants
Died at age 61 in Deerfield, Hampshire (now Franklin), Massachusettsmap
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Profile last modified | Created 2 Aug 2009
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Category: Raid on Deerfield



Elizabeth (Lawrence) Smead was the daughter of Thomas Lawrence and his wife Elizabeth. Although this profile originally showed her as born in 1635 in Limpsfield, Surrey, this is the wrong location; she was baptized in Hingham, Massachusetts, in March of 1641-42. A different Elizabeth Lawrence was indeed born in Limpsfield in 1635, but her father was a different Thomas Lawrence who is not known to have emigrated to America.


Elizabeth Lawrence[1][2]
Elizabeth Smead[3]


Presumably March 1641-42 at Hingham, Massachusetts.[1] (See baptism, below.)


Elizabeth was baptized at Hingham, Massachusetts on 6 Mar 1642.[4]
It is unclear whether Elizabeth was baptized as an infant or whether she was born earlier than 1642 and baptized as an older child.


Father: Thomas Lawrence (died in Hingham, Massachusetts, per Hingham church records.)
Mother: Elizabeth (Bates) Lawrence. (Reportedly, Mrs. Elizabeth Lawrence moved back to Dorchester after her husband died.[5])


Husband: William Smead (1630 - 1703)
Marriage: 31 Dec 1658, at Dorchester, Massachusetts[1][2]



Death: 29 Feb 1704, at Deerfield, Massachusetts[21][22][23][1][3][24] Age 68.


Burial: Old Deerfield Burying Ground, Deerfield, Franklin County, Massachusetts, United States[24]

The Deerfield Raid

Based on information from Captors and Captives, pp. 116 & 135:

Elizabeth was recently widowed and living with her son Samuel at the time of the Deerfield Raid - just before dawn, 29 Feb 1704.
Samuel escaped the house, either to run to Hatfield for reinforcements, or to join other militia men in Deerfield to fight off the attackers, and left his wife, mother, and two children to hide in the house (probably the cellar).
Tragically, the house was set on fire toward the end of the raid, and all inside either suffocated or burned to death. The entire family of Elizabeth's daughter, Thankful Hawks, died similarly, while hiding in the cellar of a house that burned.
Two more of Elizabeth's grown daughters died as captives during the forced march to Canada after the attack. Pregnant Waitstill Warner couldn't keep up, and was murdered on the fourth day, then Mehitable Nims grew tired and was murdered on the fifth day.


Hingham Church Record on Ancestry:[4]

Lawrence Siblings:
  1. Mary Lawrence - not in church record
  2. Nicholas Lawrence - not in church record
  3. Elizabeth Lawrence from this profile - in record, see above
  4. Sarah Lawrence - in record, baptized 4 Mar 1644
Thomas Lawrence (father) - in record, died Nov 5 1655

History of Hingham, pp. 426-427. (Obvious OCR errors corrected.)

"LAWRENCE, THOMAS, had a grant of land in Hing. 1638. His w. was Elizabeth, dau. of James Bate of [Dor]. She survived her husband, who d. in Hing. 5 Nov. 1655, and soon after returned to [Dor]. Their Ch, were - i. MARY, - m. Oct 28, 1658, Thomas Mosley of [Per.?] Their s. Ebenezer, b. 1673, was the [Is.?] of Rev. Samuel, b. 1708, who grad. at Har. Coll. 1729, and was a minister at [Dor]. ii NICHOLAS, - (See Savage's " Genealogical Dictionary.") iii. ELIZABETH, bt. in Hing. March 6, 1642. m. Dec. 31, 1658, William Smeade. iv. SARAH, bt. in Hing. March 4, 1644."


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Source: Torrey
  2. 2.0 2.1 Source: Boston Records. Boston, Transcript of County Records, 1643-1660; Vol· 1 Births, Marriages Deaths from 1630-1666. Film 257 of 306. Image of p. 509: "Dorchester Marriages... William Smead was married unto Elizabeth the daughter of the widow Lawrence by Major Atherton, the 31st of the 10th month 1658."
  3. 3.0 3.1 Source: Vital Records of Deerfield, Deaths, p. 312: "Smead... Elizabeth, w. William, Feb. 29, 1704. Slain by the enemy."
  4. 4.0 4.1 Source: Hingham Church Records,"seventh leaf".
  5. History of Hingham, p. 427.
  6. History of Deerfield, Genealogies, p. 301
  7. History of Deerfield, Genealogies, p. 301
  8. Find A Grave Memorial #39582449.
  9. History of Deerfield, Genealogies p. 301
  10. Find A Grave Memorial #39582449.
  11. History of Deerfield, Genealogies, p. 301
  12. Find A Grave Memorial #39582449.
  13. History of Deerfield, Genealogies, p. 301-2
  14. History of Deerfield, Genealogies, p. 301
  15. History of Deerfield, Genealogies, p. 302
  16. Find A Grave: Memorial #39582449.
  17. History of Deerfield, Genealogies, p. 302
  18. Find A Grave Memorial #39582449.
  19. History of Deerfield, Genealogies, p. 301
  20. History of Deerfield, Genealogies, p. 301
  21. Burial
  22. Deerfield Csptives of 1704
  23. Deerfield Museum artifacts
  24. 24.0 24.1 Source: Find A Grave.

See also:

  • Torrey: New England Marriages Prior to 1700. Operations Inc; Provo, UT, USA; 2012.
  • Massachusetts, Town and Vital Records, 1620-1988: Operations, Inc.; Provo, UT, USA; 2011.
  • A History of Deerfield, Massachusetts: the times when the people by whom it was settled, unsettled and resettled: by Sheldon, George, 1818-1916, published 1895; Volume 2, Publisher: Deerfield, Mass, Press of E.A. Hall & co., Pages 752, Call number b16991230, Digitizing sponsor Boston University; 1895
  • History of Hingham published by the town of Hingham, 1893.
  • Evan Haefeli, Kevin Sweeney. Captors and Captives: The 1704 French and Indian Raid on Deerfield. University of Massachusetts Press, 2005.


The following history is taken from the "History of Deerfield, Massachusetts" by Sheldon. REV. JOHN WILLIAMS:

"On Tuesday, the 29th of February, 1704, not long before the break of day, the enemy came in like a flood upon us; our watch being unfaithful, an evil, whose awful effects, in a surprise of our fort, should be speak all watchmen to avoid, as they would not bring charge of blood upon themselves. They came to my house in the beginning of the onset and by their violent endeavors to bread open doors and windows, with axes and hatchets, awakened me out of sleep; on which I leapt out of bed, and running towards the door perceived the enemy making their entrance into the house; I called to awaken two soldiers in the chamber, and returned to my bedside for my arms; the enemy immediately brake into the room, I judge to the number of twenty, with painted faces and hideous exclamations. I reached up my hands to the bed-tester for my pistol, uttering a short petition to God for everlasting mercies foe me and mine. * * * expecting a present passage through the valley of the shadow of death. Taking down my pistol, I cocked it, and put it to the breast of the first Indian that came up; but my pistol missing-fire, I was seized by 3 Indians who disarmed me, and bound me naked, as I was in my shirt, and so I stood for near the space of an hour; bending me, they told me they would carry me to Quebec. My pistol missing fire, was an occasion of my life being preserved. The judgment of God did not long [Chart 10-1, Curtis Lines – page 3] slumber against one of the three which took me, who was a Captain; for by sun-rising he received a mortal shot from my next neighbor's house, [Bunyan Stebbins] who opposed so great a number of French and Indians as three hundred, and yet were no more than seven men in an ungarrisoned house * * * The enemies who entered the house were all of them Indians and Macquas; insulting over me awhile holding up hatchets over my head, threatening to burn all I had; but yet God, beyond expectation, made us in a great measure to be pitied; for tho some were so cruel and barbarous as to take and carry to the door two of my children and murdered them, as also a Negro woman; yet they gave me liberty to put on my clothes, * * * gave liberty to my dear wife to dress herself and our children. About sun an hour high, we were all carried out of the house for a march, and saw many of the houses of my neighbors in flames, perceiving the whole fort, one house excepted, to be taken * * *

Upon my parting from the town, they fired my house and barn. We were carried over the river to the foot of the mountain, about a mile from my house, where we found a great number of our Christian neighbors, men, women and children, to the number of one hundred, nineteen of whom were afterwards murdered by the way and two starved". In 1704 the town was built along the whole length of the plateau as to-day. Of its forty-one houses, at least fifteen were within the line of the stockades. About twelve were north, and fourteen south of it.

When the night of February 28th closed down, 291 souls were under their rooftrees. Of these, twenty were garrison soldiers, two visitors from Hatfield and 268 inhabitants. They were of all ages, from Widow Allison of eighty-four years, to John, the youngling of Deacon French's flock, of four weeks. Among them were three negro slaves, one Indian, and three Frenchmen from Canada. In a few hours all but one hundred and twenty-six of the inhabitants were either killed or in the hands of a cruel enemy, on a march over the snow to Canada, three hundred miles away. On the march to Canada many died, and many were killed. Those who survived were taken in by Canadians. Many of the survivors were bought for ransom and were returned home. The following of our family members are listed below:

John Catlin - 2 children burned but survived. John and one son burned inside house. His wife survived.
Joseph Catlin - Joseph lost his life His Wife, but his child survived. He died fighting in the meadow.
Samuel Smead - His wife, mother and two children smothered in the cellar of their burning home. Samuel survived but was wounded.
John Smead - family survived
Ebenezer Smead - family survived
Waitstill (Smead) Warner - carried off to Canada, died on the way
Ebenezer Warner - burned in his home with their two children.

Thankful (Smead) Hawks - with her husband and three children burned in the cellar of their home.

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Categories: Deerfield, Massachusetts | Raid on Deerfield