Christopher Smith
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Christopher Smith (abt. 1591 - 1676)

Christopher Smith
Born about in Englandmap
Son of [father unknown] and [mother unknown]
[sibling(s) unknown]
Husband of — married 1 May 1616 in Stratford-On-Avon, Warwickshire, Englandmap
Descendants descendants
Died at about age 85 in Newport, Newport, Rhode Islandmap
Profile last modified | Created 31 Mar 2012 | Last significant change: 19 Jul 2022
01:30: Susan Glen posted a comment on the page for Christopher Smith (abt.1591-1676) [Thank Susan for this]
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Christopher Smith is currently protected by the Puritan Great Migration Project for reasons described in the narrative.
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Cross of St George
Christopher Smith was born in England.
Christopher was a Friend (Quaker)
Flag of England
Christopher Smith migrated from England to New England.
Flag of New England

From "List of One Hundred and Fifteen Colonial Ancestors." Eighth in descent from Christopher Smith (...-1676). Deputy to the General Court of Massachusetts, 1655. Chosen sergeant at Providence, Rhode Island, 1655.[1]

Need to get this book: CS71.S643 2003 Ancestry & descendants of Judge Rufus Biggs Smith 1854-1923: a descendant of Immigrant Christopher Smith of Providence, RI by Harrison Black

New England Families, Genealogical and Memorial By William Richard Cutter Vol. 1 p 474

Christopher Smith, a member of the Society of Friends in Providence, who died in June 1676, in Newport, having removed to that town for safety during the Indian wars, with many others in the outlying districts of Providence. He was taxed 3 shillings and 4 pence in Providence, September 2, 1650, was a freeman, April 27, 1655, and juryman in the same year. He was granted a share of the meadows, March 16, 1656, to be laid out in the meadows called "World's End, "in lieu of a share formerly laid out to him beyond the great meadow. He took up sixty acres of land and a share in the meadows, July 7. 1658, and in a division of lands, February 19, 1665, he drew lot No. 25. He subscribed to the oath of allegiance, June I, 1667. He sold twenty acres of land, August 21, 1660, and another parcel, November 28, 1672. His wife Alice survived him by about five years, dying in 1681. Children: Susanna, died 1692; Thomas, mentioned below; Benjamin, born 1631, died December 23, 1713.

"A History of the Episcopal Church in Narragansett, Rhode Island" By Wilkins Updike, James MacSparran, 2nd edition, 1907 "Christopher Smith." Vol I p. 579

"The date of Christopher Smith's birth is not known. He first appeared upon the records in Providence, September 2, 1650, when he was taxed 3s.4d. He was granted or took up several tracts of land, and married a wife named Alice, having by her four children, of whom Susannah, who became Mrs. Lawrence Wilkinson, was the eldest. At the time of the breaking out of King Philip's War, Mr. Smith took refuge in Newport, dying there soon afterward, in June 1676. He is called, inthe Friends' records of that town, "an ancient Friend of Providence." "

CHRISTOPHER, Providence, in the list of freem. there 1655, had d. Susanna wh. m. Lawrence Wilkinson; engag. for alleg. to Charles II. June 1668. In 1672, his w. was Alice; but what was her fam. name, or whether she was first, sec. or later w. is unkn.[2]

"Christopher Smith, immigrant ancestor, and progenitor was a native of England, whence he came to the American colonies at a date unknown. He is first of record in Providence on September 2, 1650, when he was taxed three shillings, fourpence. In 1655 he was admitted a freeman, and on April 27 of the same year served as a juryman. On March 16, 1656, he was granted a share of meadow to be laid out beyond the meadow called World's End, in lieu of a share formerly laid out to him beyond Great Meadow and Pawtuxet Path. On July 27, 1658, he took up sixty acres and a share of the meadow. On February 19, 1665, he drew Lot 65 in a division of lands. On June 1, 1667, he subscribed to the oath of allegiance. On August 21, 1668, he and his wife, Alice, sold Asten Thomas twenty acres. On November 28, 1672, he and his wife sold to Shadrach Manton a parcel of lowland. Christopher Smith went to Newport at the outbreak of King Philip's War, and died there in June 1676, as declared by the records of the Society of Friends, which call him an ancient Friend of Providence. The surname of his wife, Alice, is not known."[3][4]

From the Ancestry of Emily Jane Angell[5][6] the earliest mention of Christopher in the Providence records was 3rd 9th month 1649 when he was one of six who might, by lot, receive Mris Lea’s lot. [7]

Christopher was a juror in 1652, 1655 and 1656.[8] He volunteered “to ye good example of all younger Persons” to help the constable return a prisoner to the constable at Secunck
Christopher swore his allegiance to King Charles II, 30 May 1667[9] and was on a list of freeman 4 May 1669[10] although he had, evidently, been a freeman a long time before that.
There are many land transactions in his name in the Providence records. He received grants, bought, sold and traded property. He signed his name to many of the deeds. Both he and Alice, his wife, made a mark.[11]
There were 19 men on a June 1652 rate list. Christopher and 4 others paid the second to top rate of L1. 10.00. Most of the list paid 4s.0d.[12] June 1671, he paid a rate of 5s, his son Edward paid 10s.[13]
In 1676, Christopher and Alice’s house was burned down by Indians.[14] He is believed to have evacuated to Newport prior to the attack. He died there within a few months


"SMITH Christopher, an "ancient Friend," Providence, died at Newport, June -, 1676."[15][16]

Note: "ancient Friend" in Quaker terms is used to describe the first generation of Friends. Glossary of Quaker Terms and Phrases


Gravesite is unknown but said to be in Newport, Rhode Island. [17]

Officials from the Newport Historical Society state:

"Smith's burial is only known through the Friends records..." and ..."there is no physical evidence of it that I've been able to find."

"If Smith was buried in Newport, the two Friends burying grounds that he could have been interred in are Clifton/Golden Hill and Friends. He could also have been buried in the Common Ground or perhaps in the family burying ground of a friend. If he was a Quaker his grave was probably either unmarked or marked with a simple fieldstone."


"There is no day of the month in the Quaker records. His burial place is not known and there were no local stone cutters in Newport at that time."

Religion and church excommunication

He may have been a Seeker[18], but he later became a Quaker and relocated to the religious freedom offered in Providence, Rhode Island. In August 1625, he was accused of adultery and removed from his church position in Stratford Upon Avon. My assumption is that the church wanted this free-thinker out of their church. This email from Bob Bearman in Stratford Upon Avon is the only documentation I have on this episode (Cooper-1 14:10, 10 June 2017 (EDT)):

At this hall the company, upon taking into consideration that Christopher Smith hath much wronged this company & disgraced them, not only by his heinous offense in committing adultery but also in that he hath refused to be censured by the judge of our peculiar jurisdiction, appealing to the court of Worcester thereby weakening our liberties of this borough, as we conceive it, contrary to his duty, wherefore they have removed him from the place of a principle burgess and service in this place and for that he standeth excommunicate and will not submit himself to the law. Council Book B, 7 September 1625.

From that email, "The ‘peculiar jurisdiction’ is a reference to the Stratford-upon-Avon church court, whose authority Smith refused to recognize. Instead, he appealed to the bishop’s court at Worcester (Stratford was in the Worcester diocese). He had been chosen a capital burgess on 18 April 1623. Earlier he had been aletaster (1617) and then one of the constables (1618-19). He was also churchwarden, from 1623 to 1625."


Immigrant Ancestor of yDNA group NE18 father Christopher Smith (c1591 ENG-1676 Newport, Rhode Island) m Alice Gibbes on SmithConnections Northeastern DNA Project.[19]

Research Notes

Vol I Page 286 and 744 of Representative men and old families of Rhode Island does not list Alice as a child of this couple.


  1. Cadle, Harriet Swan. List of one hundred and fifteen colonial ancestors of Cornelius Cadle : Muscatine, Iowa, member Missouri Society of Colonial Wars Muscatine, Ia. Mrs. Charles Francis Cadle, c 1909.
  2. Savage, James. A Genealogical Dictionary of the First Settlers of New England Showing Three Generations of Those Who Came Before May 1692. Vol. I-IV. Boston, MA, USA: 1860-1862. Vol. IV p. 111
  3. History of the state of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations: Biographical. NY: The American Historical Society, Inc. 1920 transcript at Rhode Island USGenWeb Project.
  4. Bicknell, Thomas Williams. The history of the state of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations. Biographical Vol IV. p. 413 New York, The American Historical Society, 1920
  5. Smith, Dean Crawford, author, compiler. The ancestry of Emily Jane Angell, 1844-1910 1992, Boston, Massachusetts : New England Historic Genealogical Society. Smith Pgs 466-479.
  6. Providence (R.I.). Record Commissioners, The Early Records of the Town of Providence, v. I-XXI; 1892, Providence : Snow & Farnham, city printers.
  7. Source: ERTP II:42
  8. Source: ERTP1652 p.63; 1655 p. 80/1; p. 94 1656
  9. Source: ERTP III:102
  10. Source: ERTP XV:73
  11. Source: ERTP I:55-6, II:99, III:14, III:123, III:128, II: 18, III:72, III:245, IV:46-7, IV:65, XX:265-7, V:326-8, IV:15-6 IV:12, II:102,
  12. Source: ERTP XV:63
  13. Source: ERTP XV:135
  14. Smith and Sanborn cite Correspondence of Roger Williams 2:721
  15. (Town Page Detail: Monthly Meeting 1676 Providence, Rhode Island, United States)
  16. Arnold, James N.. Vital record of Rhode Island, 1636-1850, first series, births, marriages and deaths : a family register for the people. Vol VII. "Friends and Ministers." Providence, R.I.: Narraganset Historical Publishing Co., 1891-1912. p. 121 Accessible at ($) OR [Page 121.
  17. Findagrave# 50836614
  18. Seekers on Wikipedia The Seekers, or Legatine-Arians as they were sometimes known, were an English Protestant dissenting group that emerged around the 1620s, probably inspired by the preaching of three brothers – Walter, Thomas, and Bartholomew Legate. Seekers considered all organised churches of their day corrupt and preferred to wait for God's revelation. Many of them subsequently joined the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers).
  19. SmithConnections Northeastern DNA Project, haplogroup Rb1 NE18 Christopher Smith.


There are several Smiths that were members of the Holy Trinity Church in Stratford-Upon-Avon in the late 1500s. It is strictly a guess, but I wonder if William Smith that married Elizabeth Comton alis Symys on May 15, 1585 might be Christopher's parents. This guess is only based on the timing of his birth c1591 and that Christopher named his firstborn William. More research needed. The registers of Stratford-on Avon, in the county of Warwick, page 12


Thank you to Jan Fillingim, Dale Burdick, Linda James and Kitty Smith for contributing to this profile.

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Comments: 18

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Looking for the guardianship for Lucy Gilbert who is listed on the 1850 Fed census living with Moses Smith and his wife Pheba. I know the other young person listed is his nephew but is Lucy perchance the grand daughter of Esther and Solomon? Need to prove Lucy is the daughter of Clark and Clarissa Gilbert.
posted by Susan Glen
So is it Stratford-On-Avon or Stratford-Upon-Avon?
posted by Michael Stills
Oh, it is Stratford-Upon-Avon in the Stratford-On-Avon District. Do we have this correct for Christopher's marriage and children's birth locations?
posted by Michael Stills
Smith-187412 and Smith-27264 appear to represent the same person because: same name, similar birth info, son Edward on both profiles in process of merge. similar death info. Thank you for reviewing, Teresa (WikiTree Arborist)
posted by Teresa Downey
posted by Steve Hunt
FYI, National Society, Descendants of Early Quakers recognizes him as an Early Quaker.

posted by Michael Stills
Ancestor of Stephen Hopkins-2262, Governor of RI Colony and Declaration Signer.
posted by Michael Stills
I'll change the project box tp PGM Adjunct, it will keep his ppp covered. Thanks Kitty. And if the Quakers would like him, that would be great PGM has plenty to share. :)
posted by Anne B
Michael, Christopher appears to have been a Quaker, but his children were not.
posted by Kitty (Cooper) Smith
Hi Anne, First records are sketchy, but it appears his older children came before Christopher and his younger children. Mary was in Hartford by 1644. Simon was in Hartford by 1646. They may have come with Ephraim Huit in 1639. Joseph married Ephraim's daughter.

You can remove the PGM tag if you want, but we may need to add it back later.

posted by Kitty (Cooper) Smith
Perhaps we should add him to the Quaker Project?
posted by Michael Stills
Anne, I think you are correct, not PGM based on the bio info.. Kitty has more knowlege on this than I.
posted by Michael Stills
Is he actually Puritan Great Migration? First record in 1650.

note to myself. If he isn't neither are his children.

posted by Anne B