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Thomas Smith (abt. 1634 - 1724)

Capt. Thomas Smith
Born about in Scotlandmap [uncertain]
Son of [father unknown] and [mother unknown]
[sibling(s) unknown]
Husband of — married 1662 in East Haven, New Haven Colonymap
Descendants descendants
Died at about age 90 in New Haven, Connecticut Colonymap
Profile last modified | Created 21 Jun 2011
This page has been accessed 6,557 times.


EKA - Earliest Known Ancestor. Please do not add his parents without source documentation.

Using yDNA tests of living male descendants of Thomas Smith, we now know that George Smith of New Haven was not his father. See: FTDNA SmithConnections NE Public Page



According to Jacobus, Thomas Smith of East Haven died November 16, 1724. (Ricker states that when he died in 1724 he was about 90[1].) 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) .[2]

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.[3]

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.[4] 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).

Thomas Smith, their fifth child, died as an infant.

Thomas Smith, their sixth child, was married twice, first to Sarah Howe/Dow, and then to Abigail Potter, the widow of Samuel Thompson. He had many descendants.

Elizabeth Smith, their seventh child, married Samuel Cooper.

Joanna Smith was their eighth child. There is a record of her baptism at age 7, but no further mention of her, so it is assumed that she died without marrying.

Samuel Smith, their ninth child, first married Anna Morris, then later Sarah Pardee, the widow of John Thompson. He had many descendants.

Their tenth child, Abigail Smith, married Joseph Cooper.

Lydia Smith, their eleventh child, married Theophilus Alling.

Benjamin Smith, their twelfth child, died without issue.

Joseph Smith, the Joseph born in 1688, according to Dodd, is probably reported in error.

Research Notes

Posted Johnson-18438 17:57, 7 October 2018 (UTC)

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[5] 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.

Possible Origins of Thomas Smith of New Haven

My current working theory of how Thomas Smith, likely from Kirkcudbrightshire in southwestern Scotland, came to be in New Haven, Connecticut in 1662 when our first documented record of him is his marriage to Elizabeth Patterson:

On 3 September 1650, near Dunbar, Scotland, the English army under Cromwell defeated a Scottish army commanded by David Leslie, and took about 6,000 prisoners. [6] Some of those prisoners were transported to Massachusetts to work in the first iron works in the colony. It was originally called Hammersmith, and later Saugus Iron Works. [7] The prisoners were bonded servants, under contract to serve the company for a set period of time. “The bonded servants received generous clothing, which included shoes, gloves and aprons, food, lodging, healthcare, tobacco, and liquor. If they remained with the company, they were paid like other employees.”

150 of the 6,000 prisoners were transported to Massachusetts on the ship Unity. “62 went to John Giffard, the agent for the Undertakers of The Iron Works of Lynn (Saugus).” “The term of service for all of them was seven years.” “There is also an extensive list of Scot prisoners on the John and Sara which sailed from London 1651. These men were captured at the battle of Worcester.” [8]

After the battle of Worcester 8,000 Scottish prisoners were transported to New England, Bermuda, and the West Indies. [9]

There have been lists created of the men on the Unity and the John and Sara, but they are incomplete, and I have not found Thomas’s name among them.

Another source of information about Scottish prisoners transported to the colonies is here. [10]

East Haven was home to Connecticut’s first iron works. “In 1655, with East Haven residents engaged primarily in farming, New Haven businessman Stephen Goodyear and Boston mining entrepreneur John Winthrop Jr. selected a site near the Saltonstall Lake in the modern-day town of East Haven to build Connecticut’s first iron works.” [11]

“Long interested in the production of bog iron in New England, John Winthrop, Jr. (metallurgist & physician) visited the New Haven Colony on a prospecting tour in the spring of 1655. Discovering a convenient place for an ironworks and a furnace between New Haven and Branford, he succeeded in interesting John Davenport, Theophilus Eaton and Stephen Goodyear of New Haven and Jasper Crane of Branford in the project. On February 13, 1656, John Winthrop, Jr., Stephen Goodyear, undertakers of New Haven with John Cooper as their agent, and undertakers of Branford with Jasper Crane as their agent, organized an ironworks company.” [12] [13]

Thomas Smith, who was born about 1634, would have been about 16 or 17 in 1650/51, and could have been taken prisoner at either Dunbar or Worcester, and transported to Massachusetts as a bonded servant. Did he work in the Hammersmith Iron Works in Massachusetts, and was he then sent from there to work in the new Saltonstall Iron Works in East Haven? If his bonded indenture ran for 7 years from 1652 to 1659, he would have been a free man, working on his own, by 1662 when he married Elizabeth Patterson. The timeline works, but I have found nothing but speculation to support my theory. Johnson-18438 02:04, 3 July 2022 (UTC)

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.[14]


  1. Jacquelyn Ladd Ricker, Ricker Compilation of Vital Records of Early Connecticut, Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc., 2006, page 11821.
  2. Donald Lines Jacobus, "Families of Ancient New Haven", Vol VII, page 1645-47 (Smith Family).
  3. Stephen Dodd, “The East Haven Register”, (1824) page 149.
  4. Stephen Dodd, “The East Haven Register”, (1824) page 152.
  5. Torrey, Clarence A. New England Marriages Prior to 1700. Baltimore, MD, USA: Genealogical Publishing Co., 2004, page 1407.
  14. SmithConnections Northeastern DNA Project, haplogroup R1b NE12 Thomas Smith.
  • 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.
  • Dodd, Stephen. The East-Haven Register, In Three Parts (A.H. Maltby & Co., 1824) Page 165.
  • Vital Records of New Haven, 1649-1850 (Connecticut Society of the Order of the Founders and Patriots of America, Hartford, 1917) Vol. 1, Page 187. Death record.

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A few early genealogists put forth the question of his relationship to George Smith (1618-1662), a founder of the New Haven Colony. The science of genetics disproved a close relationship in 2009 through YDNA analyses. Thomas' pedigree has not been established yet.
posted 7 Jul 2013 by Quentin Smith   [thank Quentin]
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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: It is likely that these autosomal DNA test-takers will share some percentage of DNA with Thomas:

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