Thursday, March 20, 2008

Chapter I Samuel SMITH History Ancestry

Mother of Samuel SMITH, Sarah WOODING SMITH

Samuel Smith's Ancestry

There are at least two different versions of the Smith family genealogical line from whence Samuel Smith sprang. One was provided by Isaac Smith, Samuel's son, who, upon completion of his mission to England, visited the Padbury, Buckinghamshire county area to try to establish the family line through Richard Smith and his wife Ann. Richard Smith was the squire of Padbury (and, as a result, was known as Richard Smith Esquire, the 'Esquire' being a title denoting his station). Isaac gathered the Padbury Smiths line from the old parish records and traced the genealogical linkage as follows:

Richard and Ann owned several hundred acres in the squireage. On it was built an impressive structure, a large home which may have later been expanded to genuine castle proportions, so the people of the area claimed. The imposing manse and about three acres of land were enclosed by a wall some twelve feet high. The grounds inside the enclosure were well kept. A pleasing balance of grass, shrubs, trees and flowers made the environs attractive and pleasant. The remainder of the squireage was used primarily for grazing purposes for a considerable number of cattle. The entire tract of land was a well-endowed one. A goodly number of small streams flowed through its fields and the plentiful water resulted in a generous growth of reeds along the stream banks.

After Richard and Ann died, the account continues, the estate was passed on to Harris Smith. (Harris Smith was likely their eldest son since the law of primogeniture was then in effect). Harris Smith and his wife Frances were, in turn, succeeded by their son Richard Smith (who was probably named after his grandfather) and Richard's wife, Penelope.

Parish records indicate that Richard Smith, the younger, very much improved the estate. It may have been he who expanded the manse to castle proportions. The children of Richard and Penelope were as follows: Frances, Penelope, Richard, Henry, Frances (probably so named because her older sister had died: it was a common practice in those days to name a succeeding child by the same name as an older child who had died. That way the name could be perpetuated and the memory of the lost child honored). Their other children were Ann, James, Bridget, Charles, John, Bernard, William, Anthony, Leigh and Barnard. As the reader will note, Samuel Smith (if he did come through this line) descended from forebears who also believed in having large families!

Richard Smith, the younger, was the last of the Smith family to live at the squireage. The records do not show how they lost possession of that valuable property nor did any of the old inhabitants seem to know just how the Smiths were dispossessed. At any rate, the family was relieved of their proud possession and required to seek their fortunes elsewhere. William Smith was the twelfth child born to Richard and Penelope. According to the lore established in Isaac's account, William (or 'Will') moved to Sherington in Bucks county. We have record only of his first wife, Elizabeth Longhurst though he remarried after she died. Children of these unions were Maria, Ann (no death date known) another Ann, Hannah (another child who apparently died young) (NP) another Hannah, William, Daniel William and James.

Daniel William Smith, the seventh child of William and Elizabeth Longhurst Smith, married Sarah Wooding. Their marriage date was July 10, 1815. Daniel was then nearly 23 years old and Sarah was one month shy of 18. Daniel and Sarah had 11 children: George, Samuel, Ann, James William, William, Jane Louisa, Mary Ann (who lived less than two months - from May 29, 1833 to July 25 of that same year), Mary Ann, John, Daniel and Jabis. (NP)

Samuel, the second child of Daniel William and Sarah Wooding Smith, is the chief subject of this work.

Though Samuel was born in humble circumstances, he was destined to be a prime mover in the establishment of the restored gospel in both England and his adopted land of America.
Samuel, according to this account, seems to have come down through a ti tled lineage.
However, on August 27, 1975, Ivy L. Larsen sent the following letter to interested family members. It reads as follows (with minor editing):

Dear Cousins:
In regard to the tradition handed down to us of Samuel Smith being descended from Richard Smith, Esq., of Padbury, I would like to bring to your attention the information I have searched for and received from the Sherington Vicar and, also, from Mrs. Joan Douglas-Smith, my researcher, residing in London. This information was received many years ago while I was the Smith Family Genealogist after Welland Smith of Riverdale, Idaho passed away.

Samuel Smith's son, Isaac went on a mission to England and before coming home he went into Padbury to see if he could prove his father's lineage to Richard Smith, Esq., of Padbury. He gathered the Padbury Smiths from the old parish records and brought a lineage down as follows:
Richard Smith, Esq., born 1624, of Padbury
Harris Smith, born 1650, Padbury
Richard Smith (year left blank) of Padbury
Will Smith, born 1736, Padbury

As Daniel William Smith, Samuel Smith's father, would know by personal knowledge that his father's name was William Smith and his mother's name was Elizabeth Longhurst, Isaac has assumed, because of tradition, that the above Will Smith came into Sherington and married Elizabeth Longhurst 2 October 1773. Samuel Smith recorded this lineage in his Temple Record Book and had the temple work done for them and established relationships.

In obtaining copies of birth and marriage entries from the Sherington Vicar, he informed me that William Smith, who married Elizabeth Longhurst, was christened in Sherington 29 July 1750, and was the son of Edward Smith and Mary Higgins. Edward Smith was born about 1710 and christened in the Sherington Parish 21 November 1715, son of James Smith.

James Smith apparently moved into Sherington from another parish as a widower with three sons; his wife's name in unknown to us. He had the baby, Joseph, christened 30 January 1713, and then his two older sons, Samuel and Edward, were christened 21 November 1715. James Smith then married Ann Vickers 16 September 1718 in Sherington and she raised the children. This lineage, consisting of family group sheets, had been submitted by me, and is on file in the archives of the Genealogical Library.

The Sherington Vicar informed me that there were descendants still living in Sherington, and he put me in touch with Walter H. Coleman, great grandson of Maria Smith, the oldest sister of Daniel William Smith. She married Robert Coleman. I corresponded with Walter H. Coleman for many years until his death in 1954. He was very helpful in obtaining Maria Smith's descendants for me. He stated that his mother was the organist in the Sherington Church before she died. Walter H. Coleman lived across the street and to the rear of the Sherington Church.

Mrs. Joan Douglas-Smith, being a member of England's Genealogical Society in London, was able to borrow the old parish records of Padbury and had them in her home for two weeks. She, too, informed me that our William Smith who married Elizabeth Longhurst was not the Will Smith of Padbury.

There was the possibility that James Smith of Sherington could be a grandson of Richard Smith, Esq., of Padbury, but Joan could not find a James in the Padbury records that could be the James that went into Sherington. So, we were unable to find where the Sherington Smiths connected with the Padbury Smiths.

Dear Cousins, you may choose for yourself the lineage given by the Sherington Vicar or the one recorded in Samuel Smith's old Temple Record book after his son, Isaac, returned home from his mission. Sincere prayer will help give you the conviction you need to make the right decision. You have a noble lineage that you can be proud of. May the Lord bless each one of you and give you the desire to make Samuel Smith and his progenitors proud of you.
Sincerely, Your Cousin,

Mrs. Ivy L. Larsen 1739 South 4th East Salt Lake City, Utah 84115*
*For basic reference data provided by family members, see Appendix.

As the reader can easily see, there is a real possibility that the work which Isaac did, admirable though it was, was not valid because of the confusion over the names "William Smith" and "Will Smith."

The confusion stems from the fact that Richard and Penelope's son [Will Smith] was born in 1736. The records also show that he died eleven years later. This means, of course, that he would not have married and sired Samuel's father Daniel William Smith. Hence, it must have been a different William Smith through whom Daniel (and later his son Samuel) descended. The William Smith who was Daniel William Smith's father was born in 1750 or thereabouts and father was, apparently, Edward Smith. William Smith was christened in Sherington, England 29 July 1750. He was, as Ivy noted, the son of Edward Smith and Mary Higgins. Research work is underway now to insure we have the proper genealogical lineage so that this issue can be clarified insofar as possible.

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