(late-1500s - 1649/50) - England; Watertown and Reading, Middlesex co., MA

(First Generation - Smith Family)


BIRTH & DEATH Francis was born somewhere in England and died on 20 March 1649/50 in Reading, Middlesex co., MA[1,2,3].
MIGRATION & RESIDENCE His migration information is currently unknown, however he was one of the earliest migrants to Massachusetts and one of the early settlers of several towns in the Boston, Suffolk co., MA area. We know from town records that he was in Watertown, Middlesex co., MA by early 1628.

He first settled in Watertown, Middlesex co., MA, receiving an eight acre grant (as townsman #34) in the following land grant of 28 February 1628: "A Granto of the Plowlands at Beverbroke Planes, Devided & Lotted out by the Freeman to all the Townesmen then Inhabiting being 106 in number. Allowing one Acre for a person & likewise for cattle valued at £20 ye head, beginning next to the small Lotts beyond the ware..."[5].

In 1637, Francis was made a Freeman of Watertown[2]. On 26 June 1637 in Watertown: "A Grant of the Remote or Westpine Meaddows, devided & Lotted out by the Freemen to all the Townesmen then Inhabiting being 113 in number; allowing one Acre for a person, & likewise for cattle valued at £20 the Head beginning next to Plaine Meaddow & so to go on vntill the Lotts be ended..." Francis Smith is number 102 and was granted another eight acres[6].

In 1636-1637 and 1642, Francis was called a Proprietor in Watertown[1,4]. On 10d:3m:1642, he received another Watertown land grant: "Ordered that all the Townes Men that hath nor Farmes laid out formerly shall take them by Ten in a Division & cast Lotts for the severall Divistions allowing 13 Acres of vpland to every head of Persons & cattle." Francis is part of Lott 9 Division & received a grant of lot #94, which had 131 acres[1,7].

In the 1644 inventory of Lands & Posessions in Watertown, Francis' holdings were: 1. A homestall of Six Acres, the marsh to the south, John Smith to the north, Henry Cuttris on the East and Jeremiah Norcrosse to the West.
2. 2 acres of Marsh
3. 3 acres of upland
4. Eight acres of plowland in the "hither Plaine"
5. Eight acres of remote Meddow & the hundred & second lott granted to him.
6. Thirty acres of upland received in the second Division & twenty-one lot granted to him.
7. Thirteen acres & half of upland[8].

In 1647, Francis moved his family to Reading, Middlesex co., MA and was one of the first settlers of the town. He settled at the north end of Smith's Pond (which is named for him), with his land extending around the pond and into what is now Woodville. He served as a Selectman in Reading[2]. The location of his house is near where the Wakefield Junction Railroad Station stood[2]. He also lived for a while in Rumney Marsh (later Chelsea Ferry, now Chelsea), Suffolk co., MA.

ESTATE Francis' will is dated 14 March 1650/1[1]. In it, he mentions wife, though not by name, and sons John, Benjamin and granddaughter Mary Smith. He also left "To my kinsmen Henry and Benjamin Bulflower of the town, each £3. For fencing the burial lot, £3"[1].
MARRIAGE Before 1621 Francis married Alice [surname not known], in Watertown or Reading, Middlesex co., MA[910,11,12]. Alice was born in 1583 (as estimated from her age given on her death record) and died in 1667; she was 84[9]. She was buried on 13d:3m:1667 in Roxbury, Suffolk co., MA "a. abt. 84 y."[13]

CHILDREN 2. i. John SMITH Please see his own page.
3. ii. Benjamin SMITH Benjamin was born on 10 October 1637 in Watertown, Middlesex co., MA as "Smith, Benjamin, s. of Francis, in Watertown."[2,26]. On 27 March 1661 when Benjamin was 23, he married Jehodan PALFREY, in Reading, Middlesex co., MA[27].
4. iii. Hannah SMITH On 15 November 1659 Hannah married George LILLEY, in Reading, Middlesex co., MA[2,27].
5. iv. Mary SMITH In 1664 Mary married Jeremiah SWAIN[2].
6. v. Andrew SMITH Andrew died on 15 March 1639 in Roxbury, Suffolk co., MA[28].

GENERATION Great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great (G9) Grandfather
SOURCES 1. Bond, Henry, Genealogies of the Families and Descendants of the Early Settlers of Watertown, Massachusetts, (Boston: NEHGS, 1860) [Appended to the Watertown, Middlessex co., MA VRs on the CD], [Bond or Watertown], 2:935.

2. ????, Genealogical History of the Town of Reading,, [ReadGen], 111.

3. Reading, Middlesex co., MA Vital Records [ReadingVR], 566.

4. [Bond or Watertown], 2:433.

5. Watertown Lands, Grants, Possessions and Proprietors' Book, [WatLands], 6.

6. Ibid. 10.

7. Ibid. 14.

8. Ibid. 75.

9. Torrey, Charles, New England Marriages Prior to 1700., (Boston: New England Historic and Genealogical Society). [Torrey].

10. Wyman, Thomas Bellows, The Genealogies and Estates of Charlestown, 2 vols., (Boston: D. Clapp and Son, 1879), [Charlestown], 876.

11. Savage, James A., A Genealogical Dictionary of the First Settlers of New England, 1860-1862., (Boston 1860-1862; rpt Baltimore 1955), [Savage], 4:112.

12. Warner, Frederick Chester, The Ancestry of Samuel Freda and John Warner, 5 vols., (Boston, Mass.: 1949, 1955), typescript, [Warner-Harrington].

13. Roxbury, Suffolk co., MA Vital Records, [RoxVR], II:640.

14. [Charlestown], II:876.

15. [Warner-Harrington], 581.

16. Tingley, Raymon Meyers, Some Ancestral Lines; Being a Record of Some of the Ancestors of Guilford: Solon Tingley and His Wife, Martha Pamelia Meyers, Collected by Their Son, Raymon Meyers Tingley, (Rutland, Vt.: The Tuttle Publishing Co., 1935), [Tingley-Meyers], 234.

17. Shurtliff, Benjamin, Descendants of William Shurtleff of Plymouth and Marshfield, Mass., (Revere, Mass.: 1912), [Shurtleff], 320.

18. New England Historic and Genealogical Register. Vols. 1+, (Boston: New England Historic and Genealogical Register, 1845+), [NEHGR], 11:35; 69:155; 96:240.

19. Pope, Charles Henry, The Pioneers of Maine and New Hampshire, 1623 to 1660, (Boston: C.H. Pope, 1908), [PopesPioneersofMEandNH].

20. [Savage], 4:119.

21. [RoxVR], II:370.

22. Bill, Ledyard, History of the Bill Family, (New York, 1867), [Bill], 44,60.

23. The Essex Antiquarian, (13 vols.)(n.p., 1897-1909), [EssexAnt], 12:138.

24. [NEHGR], 96:365-6.

25. [ReadingVR], 444.

26. Ibid. 208.

27. Ibid. 443.

21. [RoxVR], II:639.

29. [ReadingVR], 210 [M.R.].

30. Ibid. 209.

31. Ibid. 211.

32. Ibid. 565.

51. [ReadGen], 112.

34. [Charlestown], II:661 and II:876.

35. [ReadingVR], 391,443.

36. [Warner-Harrington], 443,583.

37. Essex Institute Historical Collections, vol. 1+, (Salem, Mass., 1859+), [EIHC], 57:331; 58:210.

38. [Savage], 4:113.

39. Fuess, Elizabeth Goodhue, Cushing and Allied Families, (Andover, Mass., 1931), typescript, [Cushing (Ms)], 313.

40. [NEHGR], 69:155; 96:240.

41. [ReadGen], 112 [says aged 62].

42. [Charlestown], II:757.

43. Boston, Suffolk co., MA Vital Records. [BostonVR or BVR], 9:59.

44. [Charlestown], II:661.

45. [ReadingVR], 210.

46. Ibid. 445.

47. Wakefield, Middlesex co., MA Vital Records, [WakefieldVR], 327 [C.R. - Congregational Church of Wakefield].

48. Malden, Middlesex co., MA Vital Records, [MaldenVR], p. 302, #12.

49. Ibid. p. 85, #88.

50. [Charlestown], 925.

51. [ReadGen], 113.

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