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Sylvanus SMITH[1]

Male 1759 - 1830  (71 years)


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  • Name Sylvanus SMITH  [2
    Born 24 Feb 1759  Chatham (now East Hampton), Middlesex Co, CT Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Gender Male 
    Died 12 May 1830  Dover (now Westlake), Cuyahoga, Ohio Find all individuals with events at this location 
    • According to Cooley-Hall book, Sylvanus died in Dover Ohio in 1835.
    Person ID I2621  foot
    Last Modified 16 Oct 2016 

    Father Jonathan SMITH,   b. 29 Aug 1729, Middletown, Connecticut Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 23 Mar 1813, Ashfield, Massachuesetts Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 83 years) 
    Mother Anna CHIPMAN,   b. Middletown, Connecticut Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Aft 7 Nov 1763 
    Married 27 Jul 1748  Middle Haddam, Connecticut Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Family ID F1919  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family Lydia CLARK,   d. Before July 1837, Probably Dover, Ohio Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Married 21 May 1782  Haddam, Connecticut Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Notes 
    • Ancestry.com, Early Connecticut Marriages (Provo, UT, USA, Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2012), Bailey, Frederic W. Early Connecticut Marriages as Found on Ancient Church Records Prior to 1800. Baltimore, MD: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1997.
      Publisher
      Name: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc.; Location: Provo, UT, USA; Date: 2012;
    Children 
     1. John F. SMITH,   b. Abt 1784, Probably Chatham, Connecticut Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 26 Jul 1828, Probably Dover, Ohio Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age ~ 44 years)
     2. Sophronia SMITH,   b. Abt 1786, Probably Chatham, Connecticut Find all individuals with events at this location
     3. Lydia SMITH,   b. 4 Oct 1789, Chatham, Connecticut Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 30 Mar 1866, Dover, Ohio Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 76 years)
     4. Julia SMITH,   b. Abt 1790, Chatham, CT or Ashfield, MA Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 18 Jun 1833, Dover, Ohio Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age ~ 43 years)
     5. Florilla H. SMITH,   b. Abt 1792, Probably Ashfield, MA Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Proabably Dover, Ohio Find all individuals with events at this location
     6. Job SMITH,   b. Abt 1799, Hawley, MA Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Aft 1835  (Age ~ 37 years)
     7. Clark SMITH,   b. Abt 1799, probably Hawley, MA Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 14 Oct 1877, Dover, Ohio Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age ~ 78 years)
     8. Sylvanus SMITH,   b. Abt 1801, probably Hawley, MA Find all individuals with events at this location
     9. Susan SMITH,   b. Abt 1803, Probably, Hawley, MA Find all individuals with events at this location
    +10. Emeline Clark SMITH,   b. Jan 1807, Hawley, MA Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 28 May 1882, Melrose, Minnesota Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age ~ 75 years)
    Last Modified 12 Jan 2016 06:52:57 
    Family ID F1909  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Notes 
    • "One has a daunting task in sorting out the various Smith families in seventeenth century New England. Merideth Colket, in his classic book Founders of Early American Families, 1985, lists 43 Smith immigrants. The author started his research with his ancestor Sylvanus Smith, who married Lydia Clark in 1759 and lived in Hawley, MA,before removing to Dover (now Westlake), OH, in 1818. Sylvanus'unusual name made it easier to identify his parents who were Jonathan and Anna (Chipman) Smith. For earlier generations, Donald Lines Jacobus provided the link back to Richard Smith of Wethersfield, CT, in his Richard Smith of Wethersfield published in The American Genealogist (25[1949]: 126),
      hereinafter cited as Jacobus. Further clues to his family and ancestry in England are found in The English Ancestry of Richard Smith of Wethersfield, Connecticut, by Roderick Bissel Jones in The New England Historical Genealogical Register, (128[1974]:136)."

      From page 193 of George Lathrop Cooley and Clara Elizabeth Hall Their Ancestors and Descendants In America With Allied Lines Descended from Immigrants Richard Seymour, George Lilly, Richard Smith and John Vincent by Harl Preslar Aldrich, Jr. Sc.D., Penobscot Press, Rockport Maine, Copyright 2001, First Printing July 2001.
    • Baptised at Haddam Neck on 6 May 1759.
    • From Cooley-Hall genealogy book. "He is probably buried in Evergreen Cemetery."..."However, there is no stone to mark his grave. The absence of death records and gravestones for Sylvanus and Lydia is troubling. A monument for Sylvester Smith is found in Evergreen Cemetery at Dover, with a date of death on 9 December 1829, This is not Sylvanus; his death in 1835 is documented by probate records, Case 452 in the Cuyahoga Co. Archives in Cleveland,
      OH. A letter dated 23 July 1826 from Asher Cooley (who married Lydia Smith) to his sister Esther in Hawley, says "Father Smith wishes you to write in some letter to me how much Mr. Grennel paid you on Russell's account. Mother Smith sends her love to our mother and family." Thus, Sylvanus and Lydia Smith were both living in 1826. Asher Cooley, Jr., in a letter dated 6 July 1837 to his grandmother Cooley in Hawley, writes "I have an increased desire to see you since our Grandmother Smith died as you are the only surviving Grandparent that we have." Both Sylvanus and Lydia had died by 1837 (Cooley letters in the author's possession).

      Sylvanus Smith served in the Revolutionary War for at least 3 years. He enlisted as a private on 31 May 1777 in the First Regiment of the Connecticut line under Col. Jedidiah Huntington. He listed his residence as East Haddam. Sylvanus was promoted to Corporal on 1 May 1779 and to Quartermaster Sergeant on 1 February 1780. He was discharged on 9 April 1780. Among other engagements, the
      regiment was at the battle of Germantown on 4 October 1777,
      wintered at Valley Forge in 1777-78, and was present at the battle of Monmouth on 28 June 1778 (Henry P. Johnson, The Record of Connecticut Men in the Military and Naval Service During the War of the Revolution, Hartford, CT, 1889).
      While living in Dover, OH, Sylvanus applied for a pension and received $8 per month beginning 20 August 1819. On that date, he testified before a judge in Cleveland that he also served under Col. Huntington from January 1776 to January 1777 (Revolutionary War Bounty Land Warrent Applications and Pensions, No. S40469, CT). When he enlisted in January 1776, he would have been 16 years old.

      Sylvanus Smith lived in Chatham, CT, selling his land there in 1788.About 1790, he removed with his family to Ashfield, Franklin Co., MA. His father and other members of the Smith family had removed to Ashfield about ten years earlier. A Sylvanus Smith is listed in the 1790 U.S. census as living in "Haddam Town", with one male under 16, one male over 16 and three females in his household, the correct number for Sylvanus . He is included in the Ashfield census for the
      year 1790. Sylvanus, his father and his married siblings are living in the same general area, according to the order of listing in the census.This location is believed to be in the Lilliput Road area. On 14 September 1790, "Sylvanus Smith of Ashfield" purchased 50 acres of land, Lot No. 14 in the fourth division of lands in Ashfield (Deeds, 22:87). This land is located near the northwest corner of Ashfield, adjacent to the boundary with Hawley. Later, Sylvanus would live in Hawley, locating just across the boundary with Ashfield on what became Watson Road. Sylvanus, his father Jonathan, and his brothers Joseph, Abner, Jonathan, and Chipman are included on a list of tax payers in Ashfield
      in 1793. This account does not prove that he lived in Ashfield in 1793, only that he owned property there.
      In any case, it is unlikely that he lived in Ashfield for long, although most of his land was located in that town. According to Parker, the first mention of Sylvanus in Hawley was in 1794 when, at a town meeting, "a road layout was accepted from the southeast corner of Joseph Longley's land, through Phineas Scott's land, 'to Sylvanus Smith's house on the Ashfield line.'" This road is now Watson Road(Harrison Parker, Hawley, Massachusetts, The First Fifty Years,1770-1820, Amherst, MA, 1992). According to Parker, p. 144 and 145, in 1799 Sylvanus had four acres of cleared land and six acres of unimproved land. He had two
      draft animals, 14 cows and two pigs. His total valuation was $378 of which his house and barn were valued at $100 each. In 1818, the year he removed to Dover, OH, he is listed with Elisha Smith (relationship unknown) with a house valued at $75, a barn at $60 with just three
      acres of cleared land, all having a total value of $188. These valuations do not include his property in Ashfield, only his property located in Hawley. In 1803, Sylvanus won eight acres of land in Hawley at a public auction for the sum of $1.76. The land is described as part of Hawley
      Lot No. 54 in the second division. Six years later, it appears that the same land was sold for $25 (Deeds, 22:537 and 38:255). On 1 November 1808, he purchased 25 acres of land in Ashfield, part of Lot No. 15 in the fifth division, for $112.44 (Deeds, 25:569). This land is close to or may adjoin his Lot No. 14 in the fourth division, both located on the Hawley town line near his home.

      In court actions dated 24 November 1817, Sylvanus as debtor lost three parcels of land to three creditors, a merchant and two blacksmiths, land totaling approximately 35 acres located primarily in Ashfield, but partly in Hawley, "excepting fourteen rods of ground on which the buildings now stand." Sylvanus' total debt to the three creditors was $443.18 (Franklin Co. Executions, 3:437-441, 458, 459).

      Sylvanus Smith served as Selectman in Hawley in 1802 and 1804, as an Assessor in 1802, and as Surveyor of Highways in 1799 and 1806 (Parker, 1992). He and Lydia remained in Hawley for approximately 25 years during which time they had other children. On 13 May 1818, he and Lydia sold the remaining 47 acres of their original 50 acres of land in
      Ashfield for $235 (Deeds 40:356). Later that year, they removed with their extended family to Dover (now Westlake), OH. Their trip to the Connecticut Western Reserve with others from Hawley in 1818 is chronicled in The Cooley Branch. Three of Sylvanus' siblings had gone to Dover before he left Hawley in 1818. Jonathan came to Dover in 1811, Abner in 1812, and his sister Abigail, who had married Abraham Stocking, came in 1815.Sylvanus' son John and his daughter Julia, who had married Asa Blood, Jr., removed to Dover in 1815. His daughter Lydia who married Asher Cooley, and daughter Florilla who wed Ansel Rice,were in the party with Sylvanus making the journey to Ohio in October 1818.

      In 1821, Sylvanus purchased Lot No. 46 from Jedediah Crocker, 160 acres of land in Dover for $400. He was the first settler at the place now known as Dover Center. Seven years later, he sold 60 acres of that land to his son Clark for $300. His son-in-law Asa Blood, Jr. kept the first tavern at the Center.

      Sylvanus was listed as "Capt. Smith" according to the Ashfield 1793 tax record. He was also called Capt. Smith in correspondence in the author's possession. Could this be a rank he achieved in the militia following his service during the Revolutionary War or was it an honorary title given in recognition of military service?

      In 1821, at Dover, Sylvanus served as administrator of his brother Abner's estate, at the request of Abner's wife Hannah. Sylvanus Smith died intestate. According to a letter of appointment dated 27 July 1835, held at the Cuyahoga Co. Archives, his son Job was administrator of his estate."
      [3]
    • Sylvanus and Lydia may have had an eleventh child named Anna
      who married Jonathan Taylor. Although there were other Smith
      families in Hawley, one also wonders if Elisha Smith who was listed with Sylvanus in the 1818 tax list was a son. The 1800 U.S. census lists two boys and three girls from 0 to 10 years old, one boy and two girls from 10 to 16, and one boy from 16 to 26, a total of nine children before Susan, Emeline and probably Sylvanus were born. [4]

  • Sources 
    1. [S122] George Lathrop Cooley and Clara Elizabeth Hall Their Ancestors and Descendants In Americ, Harl Preslar Aldrich, Jr., ScD, (Penobscot Press, Rockport Maine, 2001).

    2. [S71] "Howes & Heath Family History" By Betsey Heath Howes Web site on Ancestry.com.

    3. [S122] George Lathrop Cooley and Clara Elizabeth Hall Their Ancestors and Descendants In Americ, Harl Preslar Aldrich, Jr., ScD, (Penobscot Press, Rockport Maine, 2001), 202-207.

    4. [S122] George Lathrop Cooley and Clara Elizabeth Hall Their Ancestors and Descendants In Americ, Harl Preslar Aldrich, Jr., ScD, (Penobscot Press, Rockport Maine, 2001), 208.