Friday, December 24, 2021

52 Ancestors - Week 411: #634 John Smith (1667-1704) of Charlestown, Massachusetts

John Smith (1667-1704)  is #634 on my Ahnentafel  List, my 7th great-grandfather, who marrie#635 Ruth Cutler (1668-1738) in 1693 in Charlestown, Suffolk County,  Massachusetts Bay Colony.

I am descended through:

* their daughter #317 Mary Smith (1698-1746) who married #316 Ebenezer Phillips (1695-1746)  in 1717 .
* their son #108 John Phillips (1722-1800) who married #109 Hannah Smith (1725-1774) in 1749.
*  their #79 Martha Phillips (1757-1830) who married #78 Isaac Buck (1757-1846) in 1791.
* their daughter #39 Sophia Buck (1797-1882) who married #38 Lambert Brigham (1794-1834)  in 1817.
* their daughter #19 Sophia Newton (1834-1923) who married #18 Edward Hildreth (1831-1899) in 1852.
* their daughter #9 Hattie Louisa Hildreth (1857-1920) who married #8 Frank Walton Seaver (1852-1922) in 1874.
* their son #4 Frederick Walton Seaver (1876-1942) who married #5 Alma Bessie Richmond (1882-1962) in 1900.
* their son #2 Frederick Walton Seaver (1911-1983) who married #3 Betty Virginia Carringer (1919-2002) in 1942.
* their son #1 Randall Jeffrey Seaver (1943-living)


1)  PERSON (with source citations as indicated in brackets):

*  Name:                       John Smith[1–7]

*  Sex:                           Male

*  Father:                      Matthew Smith Jr. 1626-1690
*  Mother:                     Alice Leader 1635-1684

2)  INDIVIDUAL EVENTS (with source citations as indicated in brackets):

*  Birth:                         28 March 1667, Woburn, Middlesex, Massachusetts, United States[1–2,4]

*  Death                         31 March 1704 (age 37) Charlestown, Middlesex, Massachusetts, United States[1,3–4]
*  Burial:                       after 31 March 1704 (after age 37), Old Burying Ground, Wakefield, Middlesex, Massachusetts, United States[4]

*  Probate:                     14 June 1705 (age 38). Cambridge, Middlesex, Massachusetts, United States[5]

3)  SHARED EVENTS (with source citations as indicated in brackets):

*  Spouse 1:                 Ruth Cutler 1668-1738
*  Marriage 1:             18 May 1693 (age 26), Charlestown, Middlesex, Massachusetts, United States[1,6–7]

*  Child 1:                  Ruth Smith 1694-1722
*  Child 2:                  Mary Smith 1697-1746
*  Child 3:                  Elizabeth Smith 1700- ????   
*  Child 4:                  Hannah Smith 1702-1704
4)  NOTES (with source citations as indicated in brackets):  

The book, The Descendants of John Mack, by Sophia (Smith) Martin[1], provides some information about the Matthew Smith family, including the birth date for John Smith.  Further information on John Smith's parents and siblings were provided in the Smith and Smith The American Genealogist article "Family of Matthew Smith of Charlestown, Mass., 1637"[2] but the articles did not provide any information about the family of John Smith.

John Smith was born 28 March 1667 in Woburn, Massachusetts, the son of Matthew and (2) Alice (Leader) Smith of Charlestown and Woburn[1-2,4].  

On 18 May 1693 in Charlestown, Massachusetts, he married Ruth Cutler (1668-1758)[1,6-7], daughter of Thomas and Mary (Giles) Cutler of Reading and Charlestown, Massachusetts.  They had four children, all born in Charlestown:

*  Ruth Smith (1694-1722), married 1717 Thomas Upham (1694-1730).
*  Mary Smith (1698-after 1746), married 1717 Ebenezer Phillips (1695-1746).
*  Elizabeth Smith (1700-????)
*  Hannah Smith (1702-1704).

John was a tailor, and obtained several tracts of land in Charlestown as listed in his probate inventory.

John Smith of Charlestown died testate on 31 March 1704, leaving a wife and four young daughters (ages 2 to 10)[3-4].  He is buried in the Old Burying Ground in what is now Wakefield, Massachusetts[4].  The inscription on his gravestone says:

"Here lyes
 Y'e body of 
John Smith 
of Charlestown 
Bounds, Aged 
37 years. 
Died March 
y'e 31,1704."

He wrote his will on 27 March 1704 which is in Middlesex County Probate Records Estate File 20661[5]. The will is extremely difficult to read, but some parts of it can be deciphered.

*  John Smith of Charlestown, Taylor, bequeathed 5 pounds to his wife Ruth in household stuff of her choice, and the use and improvement of the house, buildings, orchards and land that he dwelled on, and all moveable goods or estate within doors and without.
*  To his eldest daughter Ruth Smith, he bequeathed his homestead and land, including barns, orchard, privileges after his wife died or married again, and she paying to her sisters as to make their shares equal to Ruth's.
*  When daughter Ruth reaches age 18 years, then she will receive one half of the use and improvement of the property and pay sisters Elizabeth and Hannah 5 pounds each when they reach their 18th year of age.
*  To daughter Mary Smith, he bequeathed the lot bought of Mr. Green and the lot near Spoot Pond.
*  He named his wife, Ruth Smith to be executrix, and Henry Green Jr. to be executor.
*  The witnesses were William Rogers, Sarah Hais and Joseph Burnap.
*  The will was proved on 14 June 1705 in Cambridge by J. Leverett.

An Inventory was appraised on 11 April 1704 by Andrew Phillips, Eleazar Batman and Joseph Burnap.  The real estate included:

**  The homestead lot with housing, land, orchard, and the wood and timber on a lot of 4.5 acres bought of Mr. Geners near the homestead, was appraised at 97 pounds.
**  A lot bought of Mr. Green with the land of the abovesaid Generses appraised at 23 pounds.
**  A lot of land lying near Spoot Pond containing 11 acres appraised at 18 pounds.
** The total personal inventory totaled 42 pounds 18 shillings, with debts due of 1 pound 10 shillings, and debts owed of 10 pounds.  So the estate appraisal was 191 pounds, 8 shillings.

His widow, Ruth (Cutler) Smith married, secondly, to Thomas Upham (1668-1735) in about 1710 in Malden, Massachusetts.  Thomas Upham was named guardian to the surviving children of Ruth (Cutler) Smith.


1. Mrs. Sophia (Smith) Martin, The Descendants of John Mack of Lyme, Conn.; with Appendix Containing Genealogy of Allied Families, Etc. (Rutland, Vt. : The Tuttle Company, Printers, 1903), pages 1709-1713, Matthew Smith of Charlestown sketch.

2. Edward Church Smith and Phillip Mack Smith, "The Family of Matthew Smith of Charlestown, Mass., 1637," The American Genealogist, Volume 19 (1941), pages 203-207, Volume 20 (1942), pages 48-53, 162-166., Volume 19, page 206, John Smith birth entry, 28 March 1667.

3. Thomas W. Baldwin, Vital Records of Wakefield, Massachusetts to the Year 1850 (Boston, Mass. : New England Historic Genealogical Society, 1912), Deaths, page 320, John of Charlestown, March 31, 1704, age 37 years.

4. Find A Grave, indexed database and digital image,  (, Old Burying Ground, Wakefield, Mass., John Smith (1667-1704) memorial #21240718.

5. Middlesex County, Massachusetts, Probate case files, Packets 20 000 to 21,999, Estate File 20,661 (5 images), John Smith of Charlestown, 1705; "Middlesex County, MA: Probate File Papers, 1648-1871," indexed database and digital images, New England Historical and Genealogical Society, American Ancestors ( : accessed 21 December 2021).

6. Roger D. Joslyn, Vital Records of Charlestown, Massachusetts to 1850 (Boston, Mass. :  New England Historic Genealogical Society, 1984), 3 Volumes, Marriages, page 754, John Smith and Ruth Cutler entry, 18 May 1693.

7. "Massachusetts, U.S., Town and Vital Records, 1620-1988," indexed database and digital image, ( : (accessed 21 December 2021), Charlestown > Archives, Births, Marriages, Deaths, 1629-1800, Marriages, page 515 (image 317 of 385), John Smith and Ruth Cutler entry, 18 May 1693.


NOTE: In 2014, Amy Johnson Crow suggested a weekly blog theme of "52 Ancestors" in her blog post 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks on the No Story Too Small blog. I have extended this theme in 2021 for an eighth year to 416 Ancestors in 416 Weeks. The list of 52 Ancestors biographies from my great-grandparents to the 7th great-grandparents (in work) is in

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