Saturday, March 1, 2014

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun - Do You Have a John Smith?

It's Saturday Night - 
time for more Genealogy Fun! 

Your mission, should you decide to accept it (cue the Mission Impossible! music) is to:

1)  How many persons named John Smith do you have in your genealogy management program or online family tree?  How many persons named John Smith are ancestors?

2)  Pick out one of those persons named John Smith and do some online research for them in Ancestry, FamilySearch, or another set of record collections.  Your goal is to add something to your database.

3)  Tell us about it in your own blog post, in a comment to this blog post, or in a post on Facebook or Google+.

Here's mine:

1)  I have 29 persons named John Smith, and one John Smyth, in my RootsMagic database.  Six of them are ancestors, and all were born between 1600 and 1647.

2)  I chose John Smith (about 1647-before 1706), who married Ruth Cutler (1668-1758) in 1693 in Charlestown, Massachusetts, and had three children born in Charlestown recorded in the town Vital Records.  I don't know where John Smith 1647 was born, or who his parents were.  

He married Ruth Cutler in Charlestown on 18 May 1683.  The record says (Charlestown VR book, page 754):  "John smith & Ruth Cutler, m. May 18, 1693."

Ruth (Cutler) Smith married (2) Thomas Upham (1668-1735) on 11 March 1706, and lived out her life in Reading, Massachusetts.  Apparently, John Smith died before 11 March 1706.

I checked for leads for parents in the Ancestry Public Member Trees.  There was only one tree entry for a John Smith that married Ruth Cutler in 1693 with a set of parents named - John Smith and Catherine Morrill.  There is a birth date for the son John Smith as 4 Nov 1651 in Charlestown, with a source attached which gives a birth date of 8 March 1667 in Charlestown, born to Abraham and Martha Smith.  There is also a source attached to the death record of 31 March 1704 in Charlestown, which links to a Find A Grave memorial for John Smith (1667-1704) in Wakefield, Mass.   So this tree has attached sources for a John Smith with two different birth dates and two sets of parents.  

This Find A Grave memorial may actually be for "my" John Smith that married Ruth Cutler.  The only way to determine if this is the correct John Smith who married Ruth Cutler is to find other records that corroborate relationships - probably in land records or probate records that name the spouse and/or the known children (including my ancestor, Mary (Smith) Phillips (1698-1746, wife of Ebenezer Phillips)).

The 4 November 1651 birth record is actually from Reading, Massachusetts (in Reading VRs, page 209, son of John).  Again, this may be "my" John Smith who married Ruth Cutler.  But there is not enough evidence to make that conclusion.  

I'm afraid that I've struck out on this investigation in the short time I had to work on it.  I will add the John Smith (1667-1704) to my To-Do list to look for land and probate records to see if this is "my" John Smith.

The URL for this post is:

copyright (c) 2014, Randall J. Seaver


GeneGinny said...

I didn't think I had ANY John Smith's in my database, but darned if I didn't find one. John P. SMITH, b. 22 Mar 1846, d. 8 Jun 1847 in Tennessee, son of Elijah SMITH and Fannie PEOPLES. Not a direct ancestor (obviously). Elijah's second wife, Sarah Jane COLLINS, was a step-sister to my gggf, Robert Henry COLLINS.

Michigan Girl said...

Believe it or not Randy, not a single John Smith in my database of 3500+ people in Legacy. But I did enjoy reading about your John Smith.

Liz said...

I found one! Here's my post:

Donna Hansen Peterson said...

I have four Smiths and no Smyths. No Johns.

Julie said...

I don't have any John Smith's in my tree either (at least not yet!). I did a post on a different Smith relative instead.

Kinseeker said...

I have 19 John Smiths and one of them is yours. Ruth Cutler is a 1st cousin, 9 times removed.

bgwiehle said...

No John Smiths, but 3 Johann Schmidts. The earliest, 1692-1745, was my 9th great-grandfather.

Bill West said...

4 John Smiths, including one ancestor. Here's my post:

John A. Smith said...

Hi Randy,
I enjoyed reading post about John Smith's in your family tree. I didn't have to look that far as I'm a John Smith. I have a paternal uncle, great-uncle and great-grandfather plus a maternal great-grandfather and great-great-grandfather here in Australia. My search continues in England and Scotland