Thomas Smith (1677 - c.1753) MP

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Birthplace: Hopewell, (Present Hunterdon County), Province of New Jersey
Death: Died in Swearing Creek, Bath County (Present Davidson County), Province of North Carolina
Managed by: Ann Becker
Last Updated:
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Immediate Family

About Thomas Smith

Thomas Smith  Born  20 Nov 1677  (poss. Crosswicks village) Burlington, New Jersey

  

The area was first settled in 1677, when a group consisting primarily of Quakers settled in the area of Crosswicks, the oldest of the Chesterfield's three "villages". They sheltered in tents made from the ship KENT's sails.

Migrated in early July 1735 with his family and that of his brother-in-law John Parke, to Orange Dist. (now Hampshire Co) Virginia Colony. (In 1738 Frederick Co. was formed from Orange Dist. and in 1754 Hampshire County was created by the Virginia General Assembly from parts of Frederick and Augusta counties)

Notes

From http://minerdescent.com/2010/05/19/roger-parkes-sr/

Baptized February 28, 1702 by Rev. Mr. John Talbot: John and Roger Parke, ye children of Rogr. Parke.Thomas, Andrew, Elizabeth, Mary and Hannah Smith, the children of Andrew Smith. William Scholey (son) of Robt. Scholey. By now, settlers had cleared land, built cabins and barns, widened paths, and established a ferry to connect with the Philadelphia road where many went to shop or to church so that the Jersey wilderness was becoming a productive, English style, rural community of isolated farms joined by lanes and a few wagon roads. In 1707 Col. Coxe acted to reclaim the Hopewell tract he had conveyed to the West Jersey Society by persuading the Cornbury Ring to make a new survey of the Hopewell tract in his name. Then, in 1708 the Coxes had a major setback: the Crown removed Lord Cornbury as Governor because of the turmoil caused by his obvious corruption. ...

Between 1731 and 1760 about half of the families of Hopewell’s “Fifty Men’s Compact” moved where land was cheaper and the government more trustworthy

.... A great attraction for these victims of political corruption was that in 1745 North Carolina was exceptionally well governed.  Gov. Gabriel Johnston was an honest, capable Scottish physician and professor who on arrival found the colony in pitiable condition, and tried earnestly to better its welfare. About 1745, the New Jersey group (perhaps a dozen or more families) left Back Creek in a wagon train bound for the Yadkin.

Based on events after arrival, their leaders were probably  Jonathan Hunt and Thomas Smith, but they were almost surely guided by the famous ”Waggoneer” and explorer, Morgan Bryan who guided other groups to this general area, and in 1748 brought his own family from the Opequon to form Morgan’s Settlement on the south bank of Deep Creek, four miles above the “Shallow Ford” of the Yadkin.

So began the River Settlements, best reached from the north via an old Indian warpath, widened and renamed The Yading Path. About 1745/6 Thomas Smith received land on Swearing Creek, but his Bladen deed is missing.  At age 71, on September 29, 1748, Smith was at Newburn with men from other western communities, petitioning the North Carolina Assembly to form Anson County, because they had to travel over a hundred miles to Bladen court house. The next day, September 30, 1748, he was appointed Justice of the Peace for Bladen,  –and under Colonial N.C. law, only landowners could be Justices of the Peace.

On November 5, 1748, a survey was made on Swearing Creek for Robert Heaton adjoining Thomas Smith; chain bearers: John Titus and Jonathan Hunt. These men are the first four landowners identified in Jersey Settlement. More than four men were needed in a frontier settlement, so it’s likely others came in this first group, young men from Back Creek (not necessarily Hopewell) who were unable to buy land at first, but, being needed, lived with friends or kinsmen. Perhaps some did buy land on arrival, their Bladen deeds missing, like Smith’s. John Titus, Jr. (1748 Swearing Creek chain bearer for Heaton), after losing his Hopewell land, joined his wife’s uncle, Thomas Smith, on Back Creek before moving with him to the Yadkin.

From Origins of the Jersey Settlement of Rowan County, North Carolina: First Families of Jersey Settlement. By Ethel Stroupe 1996. (Reprinted by permission of the author from vol. 11, no. 1, February 1996, Rowan County Register, PO Box 1948, Salisbury, NC 28145))

Thomas Smith and John Parke did not wait for High Sheriff Bennet Bard to pursue nor for Governor Cosby to declare them outlaws. Before dawn, they had crossed the Delaware river, and were safely beyond the reach of New Jersey's royal officials. Two years after receiving eviction notices, some in Hopewell who had not paid for their land a second time nor paid "rent" on their own homes, fled to avoid being thrown into Debtor's Prison and having their personal property seized.

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Thomas Smith's Timeline

1677
November 20, 1677
Hopewell, (Present Hunterdon County), Province of New Jersey
1695
1695
Age 17
1697
1697
Age 19
Burlington County (Present Hunterdon County), Province of West Jersey
1699
1699
Age 21
Hopewell Township, Mercer, NJ, USA
1703
February 8, 1703
Age 25
Hopewell Township, Mercer, NJ, USA
1706
1706
Age 28
Westminster, England
1708
1708
Age 30
Hopewell Township, Mercer, NJ, USA
1710
September 23, 1710
Age 32
Hopewell Township, Mercer, NJ, USA
1712
1712
Age 34
Hopewell Township, Mercer, NJ, USA
1753
1753
Age 75
Swearing Creek, Bath County (Present Davidson County), Province of North Carolina