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Smiths of Colonial Virginia

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See also Smiths of Lancashire. These pages were created to aid in research of the evidence concerning Lawrence Smith: the Lawrence baptized in Lancashire in 1629 is believed to be the same Lawrence who first appears in Colonial Virginia records in the list of headrights redeemed by Augustine Warner in 1652. The mother of Lawrence (baptized 1629) is believed to be Elizabeth Towneley, sister-in-law of Augustine Warner (who married Mary Towneley).


Smiths in Tyler's Virginia Biography

Looking at Smith entries in Tyler's Encyclopedia of Virginia Biography shows areas for research.[1] (It should be noted that in the years following the publication of Tyler's research, many corrections have been made by subsequent researchers, which are not reflected in the quoted passages below.)
Three generations of Arthur Smiths, the first arriving in Virginia in 1622
  • 'Smith, Arthur, gentleman, was born in 1797 [sic - prob. 1597] and came to Virginia in 1622 in the company of Farrar Flinton; burgess for Isle of Wight county in 1644-1645. By his will dated October 1, 1645, he left sons Thomas, Arthur, Richard and George Smith.'[2] Smith-145277[3]
  • 'Smith, Colonel Arthur, son of Arthur Smith (q. v.), was born in 1638, resided on Pagan Creek, Isle of Wight county, was justice in 1675 and 1680; colonel of the militia the latter year; and burgess in 1685. His will dated December 2, 1696, was proved in Isle of Wight county June 10, 1697.'[2] Smith-156119
  • 'Smith, Arthur, son of Colonel Arthur Smith, of Isle of Wight county, who died in 1696-1697, was born in 1670; was burgess for isle of Wight county in 1703-1705, 1710-1712, 1715, 1718, 1720-1722. He had a son Arthur who was the founder of Smithfield, Virginia.'[2] Smith-156120
Lawrence Smiths
  • 'Smith, Lawrence, was a resident of Gloucester county, Virginia, and in March, 1675-1676, he commanded a fort at the head of Rappahannock river. In Bacon's rebellion he sided with Governor Berkeley, and after Bacon's death led the Gloucester "trained hands" against Ingram, but they deserted him. He was surveyor for the counties of Gloucester and York in 1686, and in 1691 laid out Yorktown. In 1699 the governor recommended him as suitable for appointment to the council. He died in 1700. From his coat-of-arms Major Smith appears to have belonged to the Smiths of Totne, county Devon, England. he was father of Colonel John Smith, of the Virginia council.'[2] [Smith-1217]
    • Richardson says that the Lawrence Smith who married Elizabeth Towneley is the "likely immigrant to Virginia".[4] If so, this is who most descendants believe him to be.
  • 'Smith, Lawrence, son of Major Lawrence Smith, of Gloucester county, settled in York county, where he was lieutenant-colonel of the militia, justice of the peace, sheriff, and one of the feoffees of Yorktown. In 1620 and several succeeding years her represented York county in the house of burgesses. He married (first) Mildred, daughter of Captain Thomas Chisman, and (second) Mildred, daughter of Robert Reade. He died in1639, at his house near Yorktown.'[2] Smith-12044
    • If Lawrence, son of Major Lawrence Smith, died in 1639, his father is not the Lawrence Smith who was baptized in Burnley, Lancashire, England in 1629. However, this is probably a typo for 1739, which is the date often given for the death of Lawrence Smith (believed to be son of Lawrence bap. 1629).
  • 'Smith, Lawrence, son of Colonel John Smith, Esq., of Gloucester county, was born about 1700, and represented Gloucester county in the house of burgesses in 1734-1740. He died the latter year (1740).'[2][5]
John Smiths/Smyth
  • 'Smith, John, came to Virginia about 1652, married Anna Bernard, daughter of Richard Bernard, of "Purton," in Gloucester county. He was major in 1665, lieutenant-colonel before 1674, and sided with Sir William Berkeley in 1767 against Bacon. His son, John Smith, of Purton, married Mary Warner, daughter of Colonel Augustine Warner.'[2] Smith-521
  • 'Smith, Major John, came to Virginia about 1650, and resided first in Warwick county; was speaker of the house of burgesses in 1658; removed to Westmoreland county, where he was known as Major Francis Dade, He died in 1662. Ancestor of the Dade family of Virginia.'[2] Dade-7
  • 'Smith, John, son of Augustine Smith, of "Shooter's Hill," Middlesex county and Sarah Carver, his wife, was born November 13, 1715. He was burgess for Middlesex in the assemblies of 1761-1765, October, 1765, 1766-1768. He was a wealthy planter, married Mary Jaquelin, daughter of Edward Jaquelin, of Jamestown, and died near Winchester, November 19, 1771. He was father of General John Smith, to "Hackwood," Frederick county.'[2] Smith-17665
  • 'Smith, John, burgess for Goochland county in 1756-1758. He was son of Guy Smith, of Gloucester county, was born September 23, 1725, and married in 1751, Elizabeth Hopkins, daughter of Arthur Hopkins, of Goochland.'[2] Smith-3019 based on wife Elizabeth Hopkins, attached to Smith-3019 (who is attached as son of John Smith-21585 and Ann Bowker as of 5 Jan. 2020)
  • 'Smyth, John, came to Virginia in 1611, purchased "Burrows Hill," patented by John Burrows, and called it "Smyth's Mount." It lay next to Pace's Paines. Smyth was a burgess for Pace's Paines in 1629, for Pace's Paynes and Smyth's Mount in 1630.'[2][6]
Other Smiths
  • 'Smith, Joseph, came from Ireland to Virginia about 1710, was justice of the peace of Essex and colonel of the Essex militia. He died 1727. He was a wealthy merchant and mentions in his will his brothers John Smith, late of Biddeford, merchant, Benjamin Smith, of the kingdom of Ireland, and James Smith of Rosse in Ireland.'[2][7]
  • 'Smith, Rev. Charles Jeffrey, A. M., was a Presbyterian minister of Long Island, New York. He formed a partnership with another Presbyterian, William Holt, of Virginia, and in 1765 held 500 acres in James City county, and a mill called "Kennon's Mill." He founded a settlement in New Kent county which he called "Providence" (now Providence Forge), and built thereon iron, grist and saw mills. He died in 1771. After his death the forge at New Kent was conducted by Francis Jerdone and William Holt.'[2] (Smith-156852)
  • 'Smith, Francis, son of Captain Nicholas Smith, Jr., was vestryman and justice of Essex county, 1740; major of horse, 1753, and afterwards colonel; member of the house of burgesses for Essex, 1752-1758. His will dated March, 1760, and proved March 15, 1762, disposes of a large estate; father of Meriwether smith, prominent in the American revolution.'[2] Smith-44771
  • 'Smith, Rev. Guy, came to Virginia before 1700 and was minister of Abingdon Church, Gloucester county. he was a member of the convention of the clergy that assembled at William and Mary College in 1719. He died about 1720, leaving issue at least four sons, John, Guy, Constantine and Lawrence.'[2] Smith-21589 Note: No support for Lawrence Smith-1217 as father, aside from unsourced Find A Grave: Memorial #104613412 for Guy Smith.
  • 'Smith, Rev. Thomas, son of Gregory Smith of King and Queen county, Virginia, was born in 1741, attended the school at Wakefield in Yorkshire, England, and took his A. B. degree at Trinity College, Cambridge, England, in 1763. He was ordained by Bishop Porteus in 1765. On his return to America he became rector of Yocomoco and Nomini Churches in Westmoreland county, Virginia, and died May 20, 1789. His son John Augustine Smith became president of William and Mary College.'[2]
  • 'Smith, Toby, was a burgess for Warwick River county in March, 1643; for Nansemond October, 1649. He removed to Lancaster county where he was justice in 1652 and 1653. When Rappahannock county was former, he was appointed December 11, 1656, one of the justices, and colonel of the militia. He married Phebe Fauntleroy, sister of Moore Fauntleroy. His will dated December 29, 1677, was recorded in Rappahannock county. He left a son Henry and other children.'[2]
Three (unrelated?) Nicholas Smiths
  • 'Smith, Nicholas, son of Nicholas Smith, and Efsobah, his wife, of the city of London, was born at London, September 4, 1666; a justice and coroner of Richmond county, one of the first justices of the new county of King George, member of the house of burgesses 1723, 1726, 1732-1734; lieutenant colonel of the King George militia; he died possessed of a very large estate, March 18, 1734, and is buried at his manor plantation "Smith's Mount" in Westmoreland county. His daughter and heiress Elizabeth married Major Harry Turner.'[2] Smith-84289 based on birth date
  • 'Smith, Nicholas, of Petsworth parish, Gloucester county, Virginia, was a vestryman October 13, 1697, churchwarden in 1700. He left a son Captain Nicholas Smith, who was father of Colonel Frances Smith of South Farnham parish, Essex county, (q. v.).'[2] Smith-84289 based on son Nicholas, grandson Frances
  • 'Smith, Nicholas, was a justice and member of the house of burgesses for Isle of Wight county in 1659-1660. His will, dated November 19, 1695, and recorded there, shows that the two daughters of Thomas Powell in Maryland were his only descendants.'[2] Smith-143875
Sir Thomas (not related to Christopher's father Thomas)
  • 'Smith or Smythe, Sir Thomas, a great merchant and first treasurer of the Virginia Company of London, born about 1558, son of Sir Thomas Smythe, of Ostenhanger in Kent, a merchant of large wealth,.... He married three times, his third wife being Sarah, daughter of William Blount, Esq., by whom he had two sons — Thomas and John Smythe. The line of the former ended with the accomplished geographer the Eighth Viscount Strangford, who died in 1869, and the line of the latter expired with Sir Sidney Stafford Smythe, chief baron of the exchequer in 1772. The family always wrote the name Smythe, though it is generally rendered Smith.' Sir Thomas died in 1625.[8] Smythe-97


  1. Lyon Gardiner Tyler. Encyclopedia of Virginia Biography, Volume 1 (accessed 2 January 2020).
  2. 2.00 2.01 2.02 2.03 2.04 2.05 2.06 2.07 2.08 2.09 2.10 2.11 2.12 2.13 2.14 2.15 2.16 2.17 2.18 2.19 Tyler, pages 319-328.
  3. Smith-145277 is attached as father of Arthur born 1638. Other Arthur profiles that were close: Smith-39774 has b 1597, d 1645 but no support in text. Smith-39759 mentions in the text a son Thomas (of either the profile's Arthur or another) who died is Surry, Virginia, but the profile needs a lot of work. All three profiles accessed 2 January 2020.
  4. Douglas Richardson. Magna Carta Ancestry: A Study in Colonial and Medieval Families, 4 vols, ed. Kimball G. Everingham, 2nd edition (Salt Lake City: the author, 2011), volume IV, page 207 TOWNELEY 15.ii.a.
  5. If "Colonel John Smith, Esq., of Gloucester county" is meant to be the son of this Lawrence (Smith-1217), he does not appear to have a profile - as of 2 January 2020 - and the closest profile found for a Lawrence born c1700 is Smith-39636.
  6. As of 3 January 2020, it does not appear that this John Smyth has a WikiTree profile.
  7. No WikiTree profile identified as of 2 January 2020 for a Joseph Smith from Ireland, died Virginia 1727. (The profile for Smith-42099, died February 1727, appears to have been in Rhode Island.)
  8. Excerpted from Tyler's biography of him. See Volume 1, pages 19-20. (accessed 2 January 2020).
  • Pettigrew, Marion Dewoody, 1876-: Marks-Barnett Families and Their Kin (Macon, GA: J. W. Burke Co., 1939) (page images at HathiTrust)
  • The Virginia Genealogist. Washington, DC: J. F. Dorman, 1957 - 2006. (Online database. New England Historic Genealogical Society, 2009.) vol. 41 (1997), page 163 - 171, Katherine (____) (Debnam) Grymes and some Relatives, by Rudolf Loeser, Concord, Massachusetts. [This paper sorts out the identity of Katherine and her spouses.]
    • THE VIRGINIA GENEALOGIST, Vol. 41, No. 3, No. 163, July-September, 1997. The article is continued in Vol. 41, No. 4, No. 160, October-December, 1997. Katherine (____) (Debnam) Grymes and some Relatives, by Rudolf Loeser; providing evidence for the identity of Katherine and her spouses "Katherine (____) (Debnam) Grymes and some Relatives." (membership required)
  • The Virginia Genealogist. Washington, DC: J. F. Dorman, 1957 - 2006. (Online database. New England Historic Genealogical Society, 2009.), Vol. 48, pages 83 - 112 John Taliaferro of the Mount, page 87 by Henry G. Taliaferro, New York, N.Y.
  • The Virginia Genealogist. Washington, DC: J. F. Dorman, 1957 - 2006. (Online database. New England Historic Genealogical Society, 2009.) Vol. 38, page 168, Who Was Catherine, the wife of Cadwallader Jones of Virginia?, by Henry G. Taliaferro, New York, N.Y.

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