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John Smith (abt. 1600 - 1669)

John Smith
Born about in Englandmap [uncertain]
Son of [father unknown] and [mother unknown]
[sibling(s) unknown]
Husband of — married [date unknown] in Englandmap [uncertain]
Descendants descendants
Died in Lancaster, Middlesex, Massachusetts Bay Colonymap
Profile last modified | Created 8 May 2012 | Last significant change: 29 Jun 2020
23:19: M Cole edited the Biography and Death Place for John Smith (abt.1600-1669). (removed duplicate citation) [Thank M for this]
This page has been accessed 1,308 times.
John Smith is currently protected by the Puritan Great Migration Project for reasons described in the narrative.
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Disputed Origins, Relationships, and Other Data

See also: Distinguishing the John Smiths of Early New England

This John Smith, who was recorded in Sudbury and Lancaster, Massachusetts, has been mistakenly equated with other men of the same name who were among the early settlers of New England. In a 1985 article, Robert Charles Anderson discussed several John Smiths of early Massachusetts, including this man, and showed that John Smith of Lancaster was not the same person as John (Bland) Smith, was not another son of John (Bland) Smith's mother Adrian (unknown birth names; married names Bland, Smith, and Norcross), and was not the husband of Alice Smith who arrived in New England on the Planter in 1635. [1] The 1928 Miner Genealogy[2] stated that Alice Smith, age 40, arrived in America on the Planter on 10 April 1635 with children Mary and Hannah, both age 18, Richard 14, and John 13, and asserted that "the names of her children makes her identification as the first wife of John Smith (of Lancaster) almost positive; Hannah was probably the child later known as Ann." Anderson disputed this. He pointed out that Alice and the four younger Smiths did not appear together on the list of passengers of the Planter. Alice's name was separated from the name of John Smith, 13, by the name of Elizabeth Cooper, aged 24, and the other names (Richard Smith, 14, servant of Martin Saunders, and Hannah and Marie Smith, both age 18) appear on a different list dated 6 April 1635 and are scattered within a list of individuals (not family groups). He concluded "There is no justification for considering these five Smiths to be part of one family unit." He concluded that Alice and John were related, but the others "have all the appearance of being servants, or on their own." He identified Alice as the wife of Francis Smith of Watertown and John as that man's son, born in England in 1621.[1]

The Miner Genealogy inaccurately assigned Mary Smith who married Amos Richardson to this man as a daughter. This mistake presumably arose because the Marie or Mary Smith who traveled on the Planter was mistakenly identified as a child of Alice Smith and John Smith.

One previous version of this man's profile indicated that this John Smith died in Watertown, Massachusetts, on 13 July 1639. That was the date of the burial of Isabel Smith, wife of John (Bland) Smith.

This man's only recorded wife was named Mary; her birth name is not known. A previous version of his profile had him married to "sisters" Mary Tinker and Alice Mary Tinker, supposed daughters of Robert Tinker. Robert Tinker had no such daughters. A previous version of his profile claimed, without source, that he was born in Hampton, Hampshire, England in 1591 and was the son of John Smith and Mary Levett Nelson. That information has been removed and those "parents" have been disconnected.


The first evidence of this John Smith is from 1647, when his sons John and Richard were married in Sudbury, Massachusetts. His daughter Ann married John Moore in Sudbury in 1654. Based on his sons' assumed ages at marriage, Anderson estimated that he was born no later than 1600, presumably in England.[1]

This John Smith married Mary. The will for this John Smith of Lancaster, Massachusetts, dated 12 Apr 1665, mentions sons John & Richard, and daughters Ann Moore and Ales (Alice).

By the mid 1650s, records for these families begin to appear in the records of Lancaster, where the elder John Smith's wife Mary died in 1659.

On the 5th day of the 2d month, 1669 (i.e., 5 April 1669), John Smith transferred all of his estate to John Moore (husband of his daughter Ann), conditioned on John and Ann Moore caring for him in his old age: "Now in my old age I being old and infirme, & not able to improve land, nor to maintayne myself by my labours nor to pay publique charges for my land, therefore in consideration of my foresaid son John Moore & his wife are to keepe mee duringe my naturall life."[3]

The death of John Smith on July 16, 1669, appears in Lancaster, Massachusetts, town records.[4]


John Smith made his will on 12 April 1665. It was proved on 27 September 1669.[5] The will reads:[6]

These presence testifie and declare unto all Christian people that I John Smith of Lancaster in the Countie of Midlesex in new England Planter being sicke and weake in body but of good and perfect memorie, doe by this my Last will and testament Comitt and Comend my soule to allmightie god that gave it and my body to the Comon burying place in the aforsaid Lancaster. And as for those Lands and other goods the Lord in his mercy hath intrusted me with, it is my desir that my debts if any bee shall be paid out of them, and the Charg of my sicknes and buriall, And that my sonn John Smith shall have an old blak Cow that hath sum whit upon her Rumpe, And it is my mind and will that my daughter Ann More shall have a Red pied cow, And I give to my sonn Richard Smith two shillings to be paid him if he demand it and two shilling to my daughter Ales, And furthermore I desir and also impower my beloved sonn in Law John More my sole executor to se this my Last will and testament truly and faithfully performed, unto whome I freely give the overpluse of my goods if any be. witness my hand this twelft of the 2: mon: 1665.
John [mark] Smith
witness Jacob Farrer his mark
Daniel Gaines
Ralph Houghton

According to Randall Seaver's analysis of the probate file, John Moore appeared in court on 5 October 1669 and renounced his right as executor, but was allowed administration on the estate. He testified that the inventory of the estate of John Smith, deceased, was a true one. The inventory, taken by Jacob Farrer and Ralph Houghton, totaled 4 pounds, 4 shillings. Items in the inventory were:

  • An old cow (2 pounds)
  • Fethers and an old (bed) Covering (1 pound, 10 shillings)
  • An iron pot, old frying pan, pothooks and tramels, an old pewter Chamber pot, an old ax and an old hoe (12 shillings)
  • an old chair (2 shillings)

Presumably the small size of the estate was due to John Smith's action in May 1669 to transfer his property in Lancaster to his son-in-law John Moore.


Immigrant Ancestor of yDNA group NE05 John Smith-70371 (b ENG - 1669 Lancaster, Massachusetts) m Mary Unknown. See SmithConnections Northeastern DNA Project.[7]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Anderson, Robert Charles. John Smith of Watertown, Massachusetts. The American Genealogist. New Haven, CT. (Online database. New England Historic Genealogical Society, 2009 - .)(subscription), Vol. 61 (1985): pages 18-31.
  2. Selleck, Lillian Lounsberry Miner. One Branch of the Miner Family: With Extensive Notes on the Wood, Lounsberry, Rogers and Fifty Other Allied Families of Connecticut and Long Island, (D. L. Jacobus in New Haven, Connecticut, 1928).
  3. Nourse, page 287.
  4. Nourse, page 13
  5. Randall Seaver, citing Middlesex County Probate Records, Probate Packet #20,654 (accessed on FHL Microfilm 0,421,520, and also transcribed in the book Middlesex County Records of Probate and Administration, March 1660/61 - December 1670, edited by Richard H. Rodgers, published by The New England Historic Genealogical Register, Boston, 2001).
  6. Transcription by Randall Seaver, published 22 October 2012 at
  7. SmithConnections Northeastern DNA Project, haplogroup Rb1 NE05 John Smith.

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Comments: 6

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I would be very appreciative if one of you profile managers would add me as a profile manager for this man (Smith-28591).

This John Smith happens to be the immigrant ancestor (and the earliest known ancestor) on my paternal Smith line, so I'm very interested in this profile (and I've made extensive edits on some of the profiles that have been merged into this one, but I'm not a profile manager because I never created a duplicate profile for him). I also have at least one line of descent from his daughter Anne (Smith) Moore.

Please can I become a profile manager?

posted by Ellen Smith
Smith-53510 and Smith-28591 appear to represent the same person because: same death information. I think these are two profiles for the same John Smith. If you agree, please merge Smith-53510 into Smith-28591. Thank you!
posted by Kitty (Cooper) Smith
I thought my ancestor's profile (Smith-70371) was in good shape until this recent merge, but after the merge I had difficulty recognizing my ancestor.

John Smith, who died in Lancaster, Massachusetts, is "origin unknown". I've removed and recharacterized some content that said otherwise.

posted by Ellen Smith
Smith-70371 and Smith-53510 appear to represent the same person because: Kitty, these two both represent the man who died in Lancaster. There are many problems with Smith-53510; your information on Smith-70371 is correct. We have to fix spouses of Smith-53510; at least one of the supposedly Tinker women (here sisters!) (there were no such Tinker women) could be merged into your wife of John Smith. And the daughter married to Amos Richardson needs to be detached. I'm slowly working this mess, but wanted to set this merge up.
posted by Jillaine Smith
Smith-53510 and Smith-70773 do not represent the same person because: I can't give it an unmerged Match because the birth & death date are so far off & the lack of comparable places seems like one Smith is confused about his wife & his patents. The dates are just too far off!!!!
posted by Eddie Pike
Smith-77073 and Smith-53510 do not represent the same person because: mistaken

John is 16 degrees from Mary McCauley, 22 degrees from B. W. J. Molier and 11 degrees from Henry VIII of England on our single family tree. Login to find your connection.