John Smith I

John Smith I (abt. 1614 - 1710)

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Rev John Smith I
Born about in Englandmap [uncertain]
Son of [father unknown] and [mother unknown]
[sibling(s) unknown]
Husband of — married 13 Jun 1643 in Sandwich, Barnstable Co, Massachusetts Bay Colonymap
Descendants descendants
Died in Sandwich, Barnstable Co, Massachusetts Bay Colonymap
Profile last modified 3 Sep 2019 | Created 7 Feb 2011
This page has been accessed 3,857 times.
Space: SmithConnection.com_DNA_Project
The Puritan Great Migration.
John Smith I migrated to New England during the Puritan Great Migration (1620-1640).
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Disputed Origins

What is the source for John's connection to parents Thomas Smith and Joan Doan?

Although the biography below, by Frederick Freeman, probably contains much correct information, the part about the birthplace of John Smith being Brinspittal, Dorsetshire, is incorrect. (He based his information in a footnote in the New England Historical and Genealogical Register printed before he wrote his book, but also before a correction was issued.) In a footnote in the Necrology for Rear Admiral Joseph Smith, U.S.N. in the New England Historical and Genealogical Register[1], it states:

"* The native place of John Smith, the emigrant ancestor of this family, is not known. The particulars given in a foot-note on page 68 of this volume, drawn from a document dated Feb. 8, 1651, relate to John "Chipman", and not to John Smith. Through the kindness of C. C. P. Waterman, Esq., of Sandwich, Mass., we have been permitted to examine the original of this document, and we find the name written plainly Chipman. The document is now owned by William C. Chipman, Esq., of Sandwich. A copy is printed in the REGISTER, vol. iv. pp. 23-4, furnished by the Rev. R. Manning Chipman, now of Lisbon, Ct. There are a few typographical errors there, which will be corrected in a future number of the Register. — Ed."

The full document was reprinted in the NEHGR (April 1881):127, correcting previous typographical errors. It clearly shows that the document relates to John Chipman, not John Smith.

The controversy and errors made in print in the NEHGR were fully addressed in an article appearing in The American Genealogist, The Reverend John Smith and Elder John Chipman of Sandwich: A confusion of Origins, by Russell A. Lovell Jr. [2] It again shows that a deposition incorrectly attributed to Rev. John Smith in fact pertained to John Chipman; it also corrected the date of this document from 8 Feb. 1651 to 8 Feb. 1657/8. The conclusions made from this correction then are that:

  • The origins, birthplace and parents are unknown.
  • He did not come from Briantspuddle (Brinspittell), Dorsetshire. This record belongs to John Chipman.
  • He was not aged 37 in 1651. This record belongs to John Chipman who should be correctly called aged 37 in 1657/8.
  • He did not immigrate in 1630. This record belongs to John Chipman who correctly should said to have been in New England 21 years in May 1658 (immigrated May 1637).
  • He was not the son of Thomas Smith of Briantspuddle (and his supposed wife Joan Doan). John Chipman was the son of Thomas Chipman of Briantspuddle.
  • He did not have sisters Hannah and Tamsen. These were the sisters of John Chipman.


Flag of England
John Smith I migrated from England to Colonial America.
Flag of Colonial America

From The History of Cape Cod, by Frederick Freeman.[3]
"In 1688, the pastoral office of the Rev. John Smith, terminated at his own request As the church records previous to the ordination of his successor are lost, it has been impossible to give, hitherto, full and authentic statistics of ecclesiastical proceedings. Mr. Smith had already continued to hold office one year since he first urged a request to be released; being pressed thereto by the advice of an ecclesiastical council. The church had not yet recovered from the sad state into which it had been thrown by the religious dissensions of the last thirty years. The active male members of the church, it is said, now numbered but five, besides Mr. Smith, viz. James Skiff,Thomas Tupper, Thomas Tobey, Jacob Burge, and William Bassett. Mr. Smith was already a man 'well stricken in years,' having considerably passed the 'age allotted to man,'1 and during his entire pastorate had painful experience of the difficulties that are the unavoidable inheritance of the minister whose lot is cast in the midst of party strife.

"1 He was now 74 years of age; and yet he survived many, we trust, happier and less perplexing. That part or the obituary record that mentions his decease, is so worn and mutilated that, for many yrs. the last figures of dates occurring near the margin of the pages are entirely illegible. "Mr. John Smith died Oct 2, 17 — ," is all that is recoverable. We think there is good reason, from the surroundings, to add a unit to the date which looks like 171-. He evidently died at a great age, and had probably been long disabled by the weight of years.
[subsequently proven to be about John Chipman, not John Smith] Our attention has been called by J. Wingate Thornton Esq., of Boston — one of the most keen-sighted and accurate historical observers of the day — to a deposition taken for probate, which may be supposed to settle the question in respect to the origin and date of birth of this venerable Sandwich minister. It appears from this document, that the father of Rev. Mr. S. was Thomas Smith of Brinspittae, about 5 m. from Dorchester in Dorsetshire. The deposition is that of the son himself, "John, now, Feb. 8, 1651, in Barnstable, New Plymouth Colony. The sd. John, only son and heir, supposeth his age about 37, it being, next May, 21 yrs. since he came out from England." He, i. e. the sd. John, "had sisters in England, viz. Hannah and Tumson." He must, then, have come over in 1630, at the age of 16, having been b. in 1614.

He was in Barnstable early, for he was betrothed to Susanna Hinckley in 1642, and married in 1643. He joined the Barnstable church Oct. 13, 1644, and is first mentioned in the S. records in 1676. — His children were: Samuel, b. Ap. 1644; Sarah, May 1645; Eben Oct. 1646; Mary, Nov. 1647; Dorcas, Aug. 1650; John, buried 1651; Shubael, Nov. 1653; John, Sept. 1656; Benj., Jan. 7, 1658; Ichabod, Jan. 7, 1660; Elizabeth, Feb. 1662 ; Thomas, Feb. 1664; and Joseph, Dec. 6, 1667."

He's buried under a large tablestone near the grave of Elder John Chipman. The inscribed inset plate was lost before an 1875 cemetery survey.

Rev John Smith joined the church in Barnstable in 1640. He was a Representative to the General Court in 1656 and 1657. In 1659, he was were permitted to visit the Quaker meetings and report his observances. His felt the best way to deal with them was to let them alone and not persecute or antagonize them, and recommended the colony reverse it's harsh treatment of them and repeal the laws against them. His wife Susanna was the sister of Gov. Thomas Hinckley. John and Susanna were buried in the Old Town Cemetery in Sandwich, MA.

From: Genealogical Dictionary of First Settlers of New England, by John Savage: REV JOHN SMITH, Barnstable 1640, join. the ch. 13 Oct. 1644, and his w. Susanna d. of the first Samuel Hinckley, join. 13 June 1652; but whether she was mo. of all the ch. is not cert. but he had:

  1. Samuel, born April, 1644.
  2. Sarah, bap. 1645.
  3. Ebenezer, b. Nov. 22, 1646, and died next month.
  4. Mary, b. Nov. 1647.
  5. Dorcas, b. Aug. 18, 1650.
  6. John, b. Feb. 22, 1652, buried in two days.
  7. Shubael, b. March 13, 1663.
  8. John, Sept. 1656.
  9. Benjamin, b. Jan. 1659.
  10. Ichabod, Jan. 1661.
  11. Elizabeth, Feb. 1663.
  12. Thomas, Feb. 1665.
  13. Joseph, Dec. 6, 1667.

In 1659 being allow. by the Ct. to hear what the Quakers could say in their defence, was wise eno. with Isaac Robinson, s. of blessed John of Leyden, to advise repeal of the laws against them. He rem. to New York, but contin. there not long; was min. at Sandwich, and d. aft. 1690.

The Hoxie House, overlooking Shawme Pond in Sandwich, MA. - the oldest house on Cape Cod was built in 1675 for Reverend John Smith, his wife Susanna and their 13 children. In 1676 John moved back to New England and became 'teaching elder' of the church in Sandwich. John's name was added as a freeman to the Sandwich list in 1676. In 1688, at his own request his pastorate at Sandwich terminated, being then aged 74. He apparently lived to be over 90 years old and died about 1711. (Much of this is taken from "Colonial Families of America," Vol. III, pages 248-252.)

"He was buried under a large tablestone, but the inscribed inset plate was lost before an 1875 survey of the cemetery. 'It has been said that John Smith was acceptable because he had never persecuted the Quakers'. (Bonnie Hubbard)

Mr. John Smith Oct 22d, "We think there is good reason from the surroundings to add a unit to the date which looks like 171-.", says Frederick Freeman, who saw the original page (History of Cape Cod 2:80).[4]

Rev. John Smith may have come to New England in the ship "White Angel."

REV. JOHN SMITH was born around 1614 in England. His parents are unknown. Some records claim he was the son of Thomas Smith of Brinspitell, but this information is now understood to be false. He came to America between 1630 and 1631. Records conflict with regard to him becoming a freeman, with some claiming in 1639, 1640, or 1651. It is confirmed that he was living in Barnstable by 1640 and that he was a member of the local church by 1644. In 1643 he was a member of Lt. Thomas Dimmock's Company of Militia in Barnstable. He married Susanna Hinckley (1625-~1675), daughter of Samuel Hinckley and Sarah Soole, on 6/13/1643 in Sandwich, Massachusetts. They had 13 children: Samuel; Sarah; Ebenezer; Mary (1649-1717); Dorcas; John; Shubael; John; Benjamin; Ichabod; Elizabeth; Thomas; and Joseph. In 1654 he was a Surveyor of Highways for Barnstable. He also was the Deputy of the General Court from 1656 to 1657. He was known to be a tolerant to the Quakers in the Colony. In 1657 he received official permission to attend Quaker meetings. In 1659 he requested that the laws against the Quakers be repealed. On 2/5/1661 a foreign Quaker, William Reap, was in the area and the local authorities told him to leave, but allowed him to stay at John’s house for the night. Later in 1661 he attempted to organize a church but the council did not approve the church. Because of the conflicts within the town, he left Massachusetts around 1663 or 1665 and settled somewhere in Long Island. In 1665, as he was sworn into the Grand Enquest but a note states “for present respetted.” His daughter Sarah stayed in the area and in 1667 she was fined 5 pounds for committing fornication. By 1669 he moved again and became an early settler of Piscataway, New Jersey (later named Woodbridge), where he was noted as “John Smith of Barnstaple.” There he received 512 acres of land and worked was a mill wright. He helped establish the first church in Woodbridge and became Constable of the town in 1669. He later became the Town Assistant from 1670 to 1671, and then in 1671 he served as the Town Clerk. Additionally, from 1671 to 1672 he was a member of the New Jersey Assembly. Lastly he served as an Assistant Judge in 1672. By 1675 he was called back to Barnstable and asked to be their pastor. By June of 1675 he was granted land located where Charles the indian use to live. Sometime after their return, Susanna died and was buried in Barnstable. In 1688 he terminated his pastorship due to his age and issues still in the congregation, but they convinced him to stay for another year. He remained in Barnstable until his death in October, 1710.


Immigrant Ancestor of yDNA group NE09 John Smith-6919 (c1620 ENG - 1710 Sandwich, MA) m Susanna Hinckley-55. See SmithConnections Northeastern DNA Project.[5]


  1. NEHGR, 31(Oct 1877):437 (accessed 20 Nov 2016 at InternetArchive Internet Archive
  2. The American Genealogist vol. 61 no. 1 (January/April 1985):2-6.
  3. Freeman, Frederick The History of Cape Cod, pub. for Author (Boston, 1862). Image cope accessed at InternetArchive 18 Nov 2016. Vol. 21, page 80 InternetArchive
  4. Massachusetts Vital Records to 1850 (subscription) Sandwich-V1 page 30
  5. SmithConnections Northeastern DNA Project, haplogroup Rb1 NE09 Rev. John Smith.

See also

  • Savage, A Genealogical Dictionary of The First Settlers of New England, Vol. 4, Pg. 119
  • Massachusetts: Vital Records, 1620-1850, Sandwich, Pg. 30
  • Otis, Genealogical notes of Barnstable families (1888) Vol. 1, Pg. 332, 369, 379
  • Otis, Genealogical notes of Barnstable families (1888) Vol. 2, Pg. 105, 236-37, 242
  • Freeman, History of Cape Cod: Annals of Barnstable County (1862) Pg. 69, 80
  • Pope, The Pioneers of Massachusetts (1900) Pg. 421
  • NEHGR Vol. 10, Pg. 39
  • NEHGR Vol. 65, Pg. 315
  • Mayflower Descendant, Vol. 12, Pg. 154
  • Plymouth Colony Records, Vol. 2, Pg. 141
  • Plymouth Colony Records, Vol. 3, Pg. 50, 115, 204, 213, 200
  • Plymouth Colony Records, Vol. 4, Pg. 91
  • Plymouth Colony Records, Vol. 5, Pg. 171
  • Plymouth Colony Records, Vol. 7, Pg. 200, 207
  • Plymouth Colony Records, Vol. 11, Pg. 124
  • Plymouth Colony Records, Vol. 4, Pg. 91, 162
  • Colonial Families of the USA, 1607-1775 [database on-line]. Lehi, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2016. This collection was indexed by Ancestry World Archives Project contributors.
  • Mackenzie, George Norbury, and Nelson Osgood Rhoades, editors. Colonial Families of the United States of America: in Which is Given the History, Genealogy and Armorial Bearings of Colonial Families Who Settled in the American Colonies From the Time of the Settlement of Jamestown, 13th May, 1607, to the Battle of Lexington, 19th April, 1775. 7 volumes. 1912. Reprinted, Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc., 1966, 1995.

Genealogical Publishing Co.; Baltimore, MD, USA; Volume Title: New England Marriages Prior to 1700

  • Torrey, Clarence A. New England Marriages Prior to 1700. Baltimore, MD, USA: Genealogical Publishing Co., 2004.

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Rev John Smith
Rev John Smith

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On 3 Sep 2019 at 14:33 GMT Ron Raymer wrote:

Smith-194024 and Smith-6919 appear to represent the same person because: are the same person, Smith 194024 was Rev John Smith, married to Susannah Hinckley

On 19 Nov 2017 at 22:15 GMT Jillaine Smith wrote:

Parents detached; dates genericized; profile protected (although he may not have arrived until after 1640, the cutoff date for the PGM project).

On 19 Nov 2017 at 18:43 GMT Kitty (Cooper) Smith wrote:

Given the info in Disputed Origins, I think this profile needs to be disconnected from his parents and his place of birth changed to England (uncertain). I don't think we have documentation for his parents or birthplace.

On 6 Aug 2017 at 13:03 GMT Jillaine Smith wrote:

Despite Freeman's claim that he came over in 1630, Anderson does not profile him or list him in his GM directory suggesting no evidence of his presence in New England prior to 1640. Anderson does document his marriage to Susannah Hinckley in the GM profile of her father. This record makes no reference to his being a reverend.

On 6 Aug 2017 at 00:42 GMT Kenneth Kinman wrote:

It is now clear that John Smith did not have sisters named "Turson" and Hannah. It was John Chipman who had sisters Tamsen and Hannah. They should therefore be merged away.

On 21 Nov 2016 at 13:42 GMT David Cordell wrote:

Vic, it looks like there is a response to your comment. The following are not my comments--just a cut-and-paste.

I am related to Rev John Smith married to Susannah Hinckley. There is a book about Rev Thomas Smith and also about Rev John Smith. Title Is "A Memorial of Rev Thomas Smith & his Descendants. A full Genealogical record 1707 - 1895" Author is Susan Augusta Smith. The book will show that Rev Thomas Smith was the son of Rev John Smith. Enjoy. answered 16 hours ago by Donald Praast

On 21 Nov 2016 at 03:22 GMT Vic Watt wrote:

Regarding the suggestion to disconnect the parents (and siblings) of John Smith, I am now inclined to agree. The document that was used to identify them was picked up by Frederick Freeman from an ERROR in a footnote in the NEGHR. The document actually was made by John CHIPMAN, not John Smith. That error was later corrected, but not before Freeman and others used the information.

As far as I can find, there is no source identifying John Smith's parents or other family. Please set the notes I have added to the profile. Shall we disconnect the parents?

On 18 Nov 2016 at 19:06 GMT Vic Watt wrote:

Regarding the proposal to disconnect John's parents, please see the info I have added to his profile about a deposition in the estate of his father, Thomas Smith of Brinspittal. Also, see the question I have asked in G2G:

On 18 Nov 2016 at 04:15 GMT David Cordell wrote:

I am not inclined to disconnect even though there are not primary sources.

On 17 Nov 2016 at 17:01 GMT Kitty (Cooper) Smith wrote:

I would like to disconnect the parents of John Smith for lack of documentation or sources. Can anyone supply a reliable source that names his parents? Once the parents are disconnected, this profile should be Project Protected.

more comments

John is 17 degrees from Cari Starosta, 15 degrees from Marie-Antoinette d'Autriche and 11 degrees from Henry VIII of England on our single family tree. Login to find your connection.

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