Thomas Smith, Rev. (1706 - 1788) MP

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Birthplace: Yarmouth, Mass
Death: Died in Pembroke, Plymouth, MA, USA
Managed by: Judith "Judi" Elaine (McKee) Burns
Last Updated:

About Thomas Smith, Rev.

RECORD:

1. Susan Augusta Smith, A Memorial of Rev. Thomas Smith, Avery & Doten, Plymouth, 1895, pg. 9-21. "Joseph Smith 2 married Ann or Anna Fuller, April 29th, 1689. She was daughter of Lieut. Samuel Fuller who was killed at Rehoboth battle 1676 son of Capt. Matthew Fuller.

Of this marriage there were also thirteen children, ten of whom were sons. The ninth of these was Thomas 3 born February 6th, 1706. At the age of nineteen, 1725, he graduated at Harvard College, was ordained at 23, April 16th, 1729, over the church, at Yarmouth, and at 28, August 29th, 1734, married Judith Miller, daughter of Josiah Miller, of Yarmouth. One of the wedding presents was a small black girl named Joan, eight years old. Her death and that of her daughter Margaret or "Peg," as she was known in the family are recorded in the family Bible, both lived to a great age and were faithful servants slaves of course as was the custom of the times. Old "Peg" my father remembered perfectly from one especial circumstance. One night when a small boy he came in tired with play and begged for baked beans, his mother fearing to give them to him then, said: "Just one spoonful." He began to cry at what seemed so small a quantity, and said he would rather go without, but was immediately soothed by old Peg with "Hush ! hush ! child, you don't know what a spoonful is." And he found he didn't, as he saw the large quantity she conveyed to his plate, with one dip into the dish. When the time came for the freeing of the slaves in Massachusetts, those belonging to Rev. Thomas Smith 3 , came to him with tears, begging to be kept, saying, "Don't send us away, Master, we want no home but this." They remained of course, loved and trusted servants....

With this digression, to speak of the other side of the family, we will return to Rev. Thomas Smith 3 . I very much wish to know of that first ordination, and have vainly searched for items in regard to it, at Yarmouth, but a fire about 1800 destroyed the church records. He was a wonderfullv scholarly man, always in advance of his time, and in sympathy with the younger generation. After preaching at Yarmouth twenty-five years, his religious views had so advanced and liberalized, as to be no longer in accord with the church, consequently he asked his dismission, which was granted. The same year, 1751, he settled at Pembroke, where he remained till his death, July 7th, 1788. As one of the Cape historians has put it "He lived in reputation and died at advanced age." During the latter part of Mr Smith's life, he had as colleague, Rev. Kilborn Whitman, who afterwards studied law and became Judge Whitman. There has always beeu a strong and lasting friendship between the two families of Smith and Whitman.

So numerous are the anecdotes told of Parson Smith's independence, charity, kindliness and quick perceptions, it is difficult to select the best. Many have become as household words. I am indebted to my father for all such information, his mind being a perfect store-house of stories and traditions.

Once when taking tea at the house of a proverbially good cook, and of course the best was put before the minister, she expecting a compliment chose to depreciate her food, and said, "Mr. Smith let me give you some very poor apple- pie." "No, ma'am, thank you," said he, "I never eat poor pie," and much mortified, she could not persuade him to touch it. His criticism upon a sermon, read to him by Mr. Whitman, which began with a long preamble, was "Very good, but you porch is larger than your house." While preaching at Yarmouth it was said of him, "That Mr. Smith could preach a sermon an hour long in twenty minutes."

One descendant says, "It has always been said of him that he was a profound Hebrew scholar and very absent minded, and in proof of this ; once returning from some meeting at Hingliam, he drove home the wrong horse, not discovering his mistake till the next day, when the owner came for it."

When the minister came to call at his son's house, the children were ranged around the room in the most solemn manner, and not allowed to speak, for although their "gran'pa" he was still the minister, and none must be too familiar; yet he always had a sweet smile and kind word for each and all.

It was during his ministry at Pembroke, that the famous singing quarrel occurred. It devolved upon Deacon Josiah Smith, his eldest son to "deacon," the hymns, a duty he evidently enjoyed, for when the younger ones wished to change the style of singing, for something more modern, he would not give up his position. The minister was with the vounger ones. Affairs at this time became very seditious and civil war seemed imminent, had not Rev. Thomas been equal to the occasion. The climax was reached on Sunday, when the new choir stationed itself in a pew below, the old choir occupying the galleiy. The minister gave out the hymn, the new choir began one tune, and at the same time the old choir another, after being "deaconed" by Josiah. Then the minister arose and said "Josiah, sit down." Josiah attempted to remonstrate by saying it was a vote of the parish for hinrto read. "I don't care if it is," says the parson. "I command h°re myself, by and by the clods in yonder church-yard will cover me, then you can do as you please, now I command myself, sit down !" That ended the singing quarrel.

It was said, Mr. Smith had a dog who always accompanied him to church, and behaved as a pious dog should, except when the singing quarrel was at its height, when he barked furiously....

The children of Thomas 3 and Judith Smith were twelve, eleven of whom reached maturity and most of them old age. Seven of these were sons, always ready to do their duty in town or state.

It is singular that from so large a family there should be so few descendants of the name. Indeed, there are but five who have inherited the name of Smith, and only one young man among them as yet unmarried to hand the name down to future generations.

From a study of the various generations of this family of Smith, I find the prevailing traits, the younger generations ought to inherit to a remarkable degree, unless the blood becomes diluted so as to lose its identity, are religious toleration and liberality, generosity, a keen sense of the ridiculous, and loyalty and devotion to their wives and families and patriotism

Thomas Smith, 3 born February 6, 1706, graduated at Harvard t College 1725, married, August 28, 1734, Judith Miller, who was born August 23, 1716, died July 31, 1785. He died Juty 7, 1788. Both were born in Yarmouth, Mass., and died in Pembroke, Mass. Children of Thomas and Judith (Miller) Smith :

COPY OF FAMILY RECORD.

Thomas Smith, son to Joseph Smith, b. Feb. 6, 1706. Judith Miller, daughter to Josiah Miller, b. Aug. 23, 1716. Married together Auo-. 28, 1734.

  • i. Mary Smith, b. May 18, 1735 ; bap. May 25.
  • ii. Josiah Smith, b. and bap. Feb. 26, 1738.
  • iii. Joseph Smith, b. Nov. 22. 1740; bap. Nov. 23.
  • iv. Thomas Smith, b. Lord's Day morning-, sun one hour high, July 24, 1742 ; bap. the same clay.
  • v. Joshua, b. Friday, 7 o'clock in ye morn, July 27, 1744, bap. July 29.
  • vi. Nathaniel, b. Thursday, May 29, about an hour after sunset; bap. June 5, 1746, and d. Dec. 26, about 10 in ye morning,
  • vii. Judith, b. Nov. 4, 1747, sun about an hour high, Wed- nesday, and was bap. Nov. 8.
  • viii. Thankful, b. Feb. 26, 1749, 5 o'clock; March 4, bap.
  • ix. Nathaniel, Feb. 16, 1752, Lord's Day morning, about 6 of ye clock ; bap. the same day.
  • x. Edward, b. Thursday morn before sunrise, May 16, 1754 ; bap. 19th.
  • xi. Catherine, b. at Pembroke, March 21st, 1756, J after 6 at night, Lord's Day ; bap. 28.
  • xii. Christopher, b. Dec. 22, about 5 in the morn, and bap. Dec. 25, 1757.

Mary, 4 eldest child of Rev. Thomas Smith, born May 18, 1735, married November 13, 1766, Rev. Isaiah Dunster, born at Cambridge, October 21, 1720, son of Henry and Martha (Russel) Dunster

Children of Rev. Isaiah and 4 Mary (Smith) Dunster :

  • i. Hannah, 5 b. Feb. 26, 1768, cl. May 9, 1853.
  • ii. Mary, 5 b. May 17, 1772, d. April 27, 1850.
  • iii. Judith Miller, 5 b. Dec. 6, 1769, d. March 27, 1843.
  • iv. Catharine, 5 b. March 1, 1774, d. May 1, 1811.
  • v. Nabby, 5 b. July 29, 1775, d. May 13, 1816.

Mr. Dunster died at Harwich, January 18, 1791. After his death his widow and daughters removed to Pembroke and built a house near the parsonage, now owned by Isaac Foster. Mrs. Dunster died December 23, 1796. None of the daughters married....

JOSIAH SMITH, 1 born February 26, 1738, second child of Rev. Thomas Smith, married, June 15, 1760, his second cousin, Mary Barker, baptized July 20, 1740, daughter of Elisha and Elizabeth (Bowen) Barker

Children of Josiah born February 26, 1738, and Mary  (Barker) Smith : 
  • i. Miller, b. June 22, 1761, d. Sept. 30, 1779.
  • ii. Albert b. March 22, 1763.
  • iii. Bowen, b. Aug. 27, 1764.
  • iv. Josiah, b. March 2, 1767.
  • v. Thomas, b. May 31, 1769, d. May 30, 1774.
  • vi. Elizabeth, b. May 9, 1771.
  • vii. Ruth, b. April 12, 1773.
  • viii. Thomas, b. March 22, 1775.
  • ix. Mary, b. May 9, 1777.
  • x. Elisha, b. June 21, 1779.
  • xi. Miller, b. June 9, 1782.

Albert,"' the second child, born March 22, 1763, of Hon. Josiah Smith, married, August 23, 1787, Anne Lenthal Eells, born July 18, 1765, daughter of Capt. Robert L. and Ruth (Copelancl) Eells."

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Thomas Smith, Rev.'s Timeline

1706
February 6, 1706
Yarmouth, Mass
1735
May 18, 1735
Age 29
Yarmouth, Barnstable, MA, USA
1738
February 26, 1738
Age 32
Pembroke, Plymouth, Massachusets, USA
1740
November 22, 1740
Age 34
Yarmouth, Barnstable, MA, USA
1742
July 25, 1742
Age 36
Yarmouth, Barnstable, MA, USA
1744
July 27, 1744
Age 38
Yarmouth, Barnstable, MA, USA
1746
May 29, 1746
Age 40
Yarmouth, Barnstable, MA, USA
1747
November 4, 1747
Age 41
Yarmouth, Barnstable, MA, USA
1749
February 26, 1749
Age 43
Yarmouth, Barnstable, MA, USA
1752
February 16, 1752
Age 46
Yarmouth, Barnstable, MA, USA