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John Thomas (Smith) Smyth (1566 - 1658)

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John Thomas "of Nibley" Smyth formerly Smith
Born in Deerhurst, Gloucestershire, Englandmap
Ancestors ancestors
Brother of
Husband of — married (to ) [location unknown]
Husband of — married after in , Gloucester, England, Great Britainmap
Descendants descendants
Died in Northampton, Virginiamap
Smith-7466 created 21 Feb 2011 | Last modified
This page has been accessed 3,124 times.

Categories: Deerhurst, Gloucestershire | Virginia Colonists | Charles City County, Virginia Colony | Northampton County, Virginia.

John (Smith) Smyth came from Deerhurst, Gloucestershire, England
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Name: John Thomas /Smith/[1]

For Wikipedia entry on Berkeley Hundred and John Smyth's role Wikipedia on Berkeley Hundred

Parents and Sibling

The younger son, Thomas (de Hooby) Smith married Joane Alleyne, daughter of Richard (Allen) Alleyne of Derby. The son of this marriage was John Smyth (of Nibley - 1568). He had no brothers and only one sister - who married Stephen Fowler. A daughter of this latter marriage, Mary Fowler, married her cousin, Thomas Smith, son of her uncle, John Smith of Nibley and his second wife, Mary Browning.

The history of the ironmonger family of Smythe of Oxford (qv Smythe Index) mentions that a Thomas Fowler married a daughter of John Smythe - Oxford ironmonger. Fowler "also is described as “Ironmonger” and may have been associated with his father-in law ..." and, perhaps associated with the Smyth family of Nibley. As the Oxford family can be traced back into previous centuries, perhaps they, too, may connect with the Lincolnshire roots of this Smith/Smyth family. "During the seventeenth century and possibly earlier, the principal Ironmongery establishment in Oxford was owned by the Smythe or Smith family, and from them the business has descended to the present Proprietors."

Occupation of John Smyth of Nibley

Of John Smyth's involvement in the Virginia colony, the following is stated:

"Sir Walter Raleigh's two attempts to establish a settlement in Virginia, the first in 1585, and again in 1587, were not successful: the support of such a settlement was found to be beyond the means of any one individual, however well-off or well-connected. Yet interest in such a project remained high and a few years later, early in the next century, the Virginia Company of London was formed to exploit the immense resources of the country. Soon afterward, in 1618, appreciating the possibilities for financial return of such an enterprise, a group of local Gloucestershire merchants and gentlemen came together to form The Berkeley Company.

The principal backers of the enterprise: John Smyth of Nibley, agent to, and historian of, the Berkeleys, Richard Berkeley, George Thorpe of Wanswell Court, Sir William Throckmorton, and Sir George Yeardley, Governor of the new territory, negotiated a grant of land on the James River in Virginia, some 8000 acres, on which to form a private colony to be named the Berkeley Hundred. Accordingly, at eight o'clock in the morning of 16th September 1619, 38 voyagers, under Captain John Woodleaf set sail in a barque called The Margrett, of "Bristow" (47 tons), to cross the Atlantic and establish the new settlement. On the 4th December the settlers arrived in America and celebrated what has become recognised as the first Thanksgiving."

John Smyth of Nibley wrote his Lives of the Berkeleys in about 1618. "The Description of the Hundred of Berkeley was dedicated by the antiquary John Smyth of Nibley (1568-1641) to his son John, who succeeded him as estate steward to Lord Berkeley and to his clerk William Archard. It was written over many years, the final revision apparently occurring in 1639. It combines information that would be useful to his son as estate steward with the antiquarian gleanings of four decades spent in the Vale of Berkeley. Smyth's description of the dialect of the Vale of Berkeley in the first half of the seventeenth century is a useful resource for historians, studying local documentary evidence of the period. It provides a tantalising glimpse of the modes of expression of middling and common sorts of people of the Vale of Berkeley. By the use of the phrase "wee hundreders," Smyth associates himself with his neighbours, although he was not a native of the Vale of Berkeley. Smyth was born in Leicestershire, took up residence in Gloucestershire when around 30 and spent a significant part of most years in London." Gloucestershire Miscellany - Vale of Berkeley.

Marriages and Issue

John Smyth of Nibley married twice. His first wife (October 1597) was Grace Thomas, the daughter and heir of William Thomas and his wife Alice Hill (a daughter of Richard Hill). Grace had first been married to John Drew of Nibley who died in March, 1597. It appears there were no children of the marriage and that Grace (Thomas/Drew) Smyth died on the 9th November 1609; but, according to the details - taken from "The Visitations of Gloucestershire 1623 and 1683" - John Smyth's second marriage, to Mary Browning, (daughter of John Browning) took place at Cowley in Gloucestershire on 9th January 1609. Allowing for the calendar operations of the era, perhaps that should be interpreted as 1608 and 1609 - or 1609 and 1610 since the first child of the second marriage, John Smith of North Nibley, was baptised at Nibley on 12th September 1611. John Smith of North Nibley died on 17th September 1692, aged 82 and was buried at Nibley.

John Smyth of Nibley (d. 1641) and Mary Browning had:

  1. John Smith of North Nibley (1611)
  2. Thomas Smith of Stonehouse in Glos.(1613)
  3. Mary Smith who married (1632) Christopher Purnell of Nibley
  4. Ursula Smith (1618) who married (1636/7) William Thorp of Wandswell, Berkeley
  5. Elizabeth Smith (c. 1615) who married (1636/7) Edward Hill of Cam, Glos
  6. William Smith (1625) of Kingswood, Wiltshire
  7. Sarah Smith (1627) who died young
  8. George Smith (1629) of Twickenham, Middlesex
  9. Richard Smith (1631)[2]

Alternate Date of Death

17 Sep 1640 in Nibley, Gloucestershire, England (source citation needed)


  1. Source: #S15 Page: Ancestry Family Trees
  2. The Visitation of the County of Gloucester, p. 149, retrieved 09 February 2015, amb

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No known carriers of John's Y-chromosome or his mother's mitochondrial DNA have taken yDNA or mtDNA tests.

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On 27 Apr 2015 at 03:48 GMT Greg Hays wrote:

Smith-7466 seems pretty well confirmed compared to Smyth-843.

On 26 Apr 2015 at 21:36 GMT Mitchell Watson wrote:

Smyth-843 and Smith-7466 are not ready to be merged because: Need better confirmed dates and names.

On 23 Feb 2015 at 21:27 GMT Greg Hays wrote:

Smith-71783 and Smith-7466 appear to represent the same person because: same spouse and dates and places of birth and death

On 19 Dec 2014 at 14:25 GMT Kitty (Cooper) Smith wrote:

Please provide your documentation for John Thomas Smith-73548 as the father of Richard Smith-40488. I didn't know his parents had been documented. Thank you!

On 28 Mar 2014 at 12:22 GMT Michelle (Bairfield) Brooks wrote:

Removed as spouse of - no supporting evidence that she was one of his two marriages 1) Grace Thomas; 2) Mary Browning.

John is 17 degrees from Kevin Bacon, 23 degrees from Robynne Lozier, 12 degrees from Pocahontas Rolfe and 14 degrees from Queen Elizabeth II Windsor on our single family tree. Login to find your connection.

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