According to Jacobus, Thomas Smith of East Haven died November 16, 1724. (Ricker states that when he died in 1724 he was about 90.) He married Elizabeth Patterson, the daughter of Edward & Elizabeth Patterson in 1662. Jacobus lists twelve children of that marriage: John (1664), Anna (1665), Joseph--probably (1667), John (1669), Thomas (1671), and Thomas (1673), Elizabeth (1676), Joanna (1678), Samuel (1681), Abigail (1683), Lydia (1686), and Benjamin (1690) .
Their first child John Smith, born in 1664, died as an infant.
Their second, Anna Smith, born in 1665, apparently also died young.
Jacobus refers to their third child as Joseph (Joseph Smith), probably the “child” born 1667, died 1713, who married Hannah Morris, the daughter of John Morris and Hannah Bishop. Jacobus lists eight children for the couple and they have many descendants. We have found 2 male Smith descendants of this couple proving that this Joseph was the son of Thomas Smith and Elizabeth Patterson.
Dodd’s East Haven Register indicates that the infant born in 1667 died young, and includes a son Joseph born in 1688, which would not make sense if there was a living child Joseph who had been born in 1667.
There is also some confusion about their fourth child John Smith who was born in 1669. Jacobus gives nothing more than a birth date. Dodd says that there is “a feeble family tradition that John Smith was connected with the preceding family. If so, he must have been the oldest son of the first Thomas that lived, and was 49 years old when he married.” Further, Dodd said, this was probable, but somewhat doubtful. The John Smith that Dodd then refers to is the John Smith who married Martha Tuttle in 1718. It seems more reasonable that the John Smith who married Martha Tuttle was the son of Joseph, the third child of Joseph Smith (1667-1713).
There are old sources that state Thomas Smith arrived on the Hector in 1637. I believe that assumption was related to his being the son of George Smith who came on the Hector. Using yDNA from documented descendants of both Thomas Smith and George Smith of New Haven we have been able to prove conclusively that George Smith was not the father of Thomas.
A careful review of all documented information related to Thomas shows that the first record of him in the colonies is his marriage to Elizabeth Patterson in 1662. If he was born in 1634 he would have been 28 when they married.
The most respected genealogist for the time period, Robert Charles Anderson, published a book in 2015 listing all immigrants to New England from 1620 – 1640, The Great Migration Directory. This Thomas Smith does not appear in it. I believe that if there were any evidence of Thomas in the colonies prior to 1641, Anderson would have named him.
Torrey’s New England Marriages Prior to 1700 gives 5 references for the marriage of Thomas Smith and Elizabeth Patterson. See the comments below about Torrey’s sources, and the now-disputed information they claimed.
We currently have evidence that points to a very likely Scottish ancestry for Thomas Smith, not English as we’ve always supposed:
The genetic differences in the yDNA match between Glenn Smith, whose earliest known ancestor John Smith came from Scotland to Nova Scotia in 1774, and two direct descendants of Thomas Smith, Quentin Smith and William Waugh Smith, point to a MRCA (Most Recent Common Ancestor) prior to Thomas Smith-15895, possibly his father, grandfather, or more distant ancestor.
Glenn’s closest yDNA matches (who also match Quentin and Waugh at a greater distance), include a number of men with the surname Hunter.
Glenn and at least one of the Hunter men trace their male lineage to Kirkcudbright, Scotland.
I now believe that it’s most likely that Thomas Smith, our immigrant ancestor, came to New Haven as an adult. If he was at least 18, that would have been about 1652. In 1662 he married Elizabeth Patterson, the only daughter of Edward Patterson, one of the founders of New Haven. He must have either been in New Haven for some time prior to 1662 or had some connection to New Haven prior to that time to be considered an appropriate match for the daughter in an important New Haven family. Elizabeth’s only sibling had already died when she married Thomas, and Thomas inherited Edward Patterson’s land.
Torrey’s New England Marriages to 1700, Vol 2, page 1407, documents Thomas Smith’s marriage to Elizabeth Patterson in New Haven in 1662. The sources provided by Torrey are:
New Haven Gen. Mag. 1379, 1643: Families of Ancient New Haven by Donald Lines Jacobus, 1923-1932, refers to Thomas being from East Haven, that he died 16 Nov 1724, and that he married Elizabeth Patterson in 1662.
Morris 207: Genealogy of the Morris Family by Lucy Ann Morris Carhart, 1911, refers to the marriage of Thomas Smith and Elizabeth Patterson, and that they were the parents of Samuel Smith born in 1681 who married Anna Morris. Carhart incorrectly states that Samuel was their first son. Samuel was actually their 9th child, and their 6th son.
Sv. 4:135: A Genealogical Dictionary of the First Settlers of New England by James Savage, 1862, states that Thomas of New Haven, perhaps the eldest son of George Smith, married Elizabeth Patterson, the only child of Edward Patterson. Savage names their children: John, Ann, child, John, Thomas, Thomas, Elizabeth, Joanna, Samuel, Abigail, Lydia, and Benjamin. We now know of course that Thomas was not the son of George.
Nash Anc. 128: Fifty Puritan Ancestors, 1628-1660 by Elizabeth Todd Nash, 1902, states that Thomas came to Guilford on the invitation of the planters from Fairfield in the capacity of blacksmith in 1642. She also states that he came to New Haven on the Hector in 1638 at the age of four. She states that he was given a large tract of land in Guilford, and that in 1663 he moved to Killingworth, and that he signed a petition from Guilford to Connecticut Legislature in 1664. She states that he married Elizabeth Pattison. She says that he died after 1676, and refers to his son Elnathan Smith of Killingworth who married Mehitable Buell. Most of what Nash wrote is incorrect. He did marry Elizabeth Patterson, but the information about Guilford, Fairfield, Killingworth, a son Elnathan, and his being a blacksmith all apparently refer to other men named Thomas Smith.
Bullard Anc. 54, 121: Bullard and Allied Families by John Edgar Bullard, 1930, states that Thomas Smith came on the ship Hector, “who must have come with his parents but no record of them has ever been found.” Thomas was born about 1634 and died at East Haven in 1724 at the age of 90. He married Elizabeth Patterson, the only daughter of Edward Patterson and “succeeded to the rights of his father-in-law among the proprietors of New Haven.” Bullard names 12 children: John, Ann, Joseph, John, Thomas, Thomas, Elizabeth, Joanna, Samuel, Abigail, Lydia, and Benjamin.
This is the Immigrant Ancestor of yDNA group NE12 Thomas Smith (1634 - 1724) and Elizabeth Patterson. See SmithConnections Northeastern DNA Project.
↑ Jacquelyn Ladd Ricker, Ricker Compilation of Vital Records of Early Connecticut, Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc., 2006, page 11821.
↑ Donald Lines Jacobus, "Families of Ancient New Haven", Vol VII, page 1645-47 (Smith Family).
↑ Stephen Dodd, “The East Haven Register”, (1824) page 149.
↑ Stephen Dodd, “The East Haven Register”, (1824) page 152.
↑ Torrey, Clarence A. New England Marriages Prior to 1700. Baltimore, MD, USA: Genealogical Publishing Co., 2004, page 1407.
Ecclesiastical and other Sketches of Southington,Conn., Rev. Heman R. Timlow, Hartford, Press of the Case, Lockwood and Brainard Co, 1875. Covers Thomas and his descendants to David Smith III (1782-1870) and others.
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It may be possible to confirm family relationships with Thomas by comparing test results with other carriers of his Y-chromosome or his mother's mitochondrial DNA.
Y-chromosome DNA test-takers in his direct paternal line on WikiTree: