Ebenezer was the fourth of eight children and spent his early years in Northampton. When he was about twelve his family moved to Hadley, where his first daughter was born in 1694. He was probably the Ebenezer Smith who on 11 August 1695, along with 17 other Hadley men, including his brother Samuel, "wear impressed and went to persew Indians for 3 days; whoe returned from said servis August 14th. He and Samuel had their own horses -- see New England Historical & Genealogical Register 55:343.
He was in Suffield by 1699 where his six youngest children were born and where he would spend the remainder of his life. He was elected to many town offices over the years, first serving as a tithingman in 1700, a postion he held again in 1710. A tithing man was elected "to preserve good order in the church" during meetings. He was "to make complaint of any disorderly conduct and to enforce the observance of the Sabbath. Tithing men were equipped with a two foot long black staff with a brass knob on one end and a foxtail or rabbit's foot on the other. The knob was used to awaken men by tapping them on the head and to correct wicked boys. Women were awakened by brushing the foxtail against their faces." Church attendance was compulsory and lasted all day long each Sunday -- see First Parish History.
On 14 Mar 1701 Ebenezer was chosen as a selectmen and was also named a town assessor that day; he also served as a selectman the following year, as well as in 1716 and 1718. In March 1703/4 he was chosen as the town's constable. His name appears often in the town records: "At a legall Town meeting, December ye 16th, 1700, first: it was then agreed, and voted that every Male in this Town, from sixteen years old, and upward; for the supplying of our Reverend Pastor with fier wood, for this present yeare, should carry him each man, a substantial cart, or sled load of wood; and all to be done, and the complement to be completed by the last of January next ensuing; and in case of failure the Delinquent, or Delinquents to be made Debtor, two shillings a piece in their Town rate; for the use of the Town to be recovered according to Law."
"At the Anniversary, or General Town meeting; March the 3d, 1702 it was agreed, and voted: to give liberty to Ebenezer Smith, to set his barn, half the breadth of it into the highway."
"May ye 10th, 1710 at this General Meeting Ebenezer Smith, Freegrace Norton, & John Austin, proposed to the Town for to grant them some small Tracts of Land." "At a Meeting of the Inhabitants of Suffield Aprill the 2nd, 1713, the Town by a full, and Clear vote, Gave unto the severall persons hereafter named, Land as followeth, viz: To Ebenezer Smith two acres and an half."
"On 19 June 1717 Ebenezer was chosen moderator of the meeting." "Att a meeting of the freeholders, and other Inhabitants of the Town of Suffield, August ye 25th, 1726 for the choice of Jurymen" ... Ensign Ebenezer Smith Senior, was chosen to serve on the grandjury. See Sheldon's Documentary History of Suffield, pages 135, 138, 148, 154, 164, 198 and 228.
He died at age 60, having predeceased all of his children, except for his two youngest daughters who died as toddlers.
Descendant of yDNA group NE07 Rev. HENRY Smith-2065 (c1600 ENG - 1648 Wethersfield CT) m poss. 2x Dorothy Unknown-7644 . See SmithConnections Northeastern DNA Project.
Hampden County Deed Books:
D:308 - Ebenezer & Sarah sell 10 acres in Suffield - 1724 M:148 - Ebenezer gives his three sons his lands in Suffield and in Simsbury - 1724
Genealogical Notes: Or Contributions to the Family History of Some of the First Settlers of Connecticut and Massachusetts by Nathaniel Goodwin, page 193
A Digest of the Early Connecticut Probate Records: Hartford district, 1745-1750 edited by Charles William Manwaring, Page 645
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