Francis Smith, of Watertown

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Francis Smith, of Watertown

Birthdate: (54)
Birthplace: Colchester, Essex, England
Death: March 20, 1651 (54)
Reading, MA (Alt. Death1690 Roxbury, Suffolk, MA)
Immediate Family:

Husband of Alice Smith
Father of Lucy Gardner; Capt. John Smith, of Watertown & Reading; Hannah Lillie; Benjamin Smith and Mary Swain

Managed by: Private User
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About Francis Smith, of Watertown


According to Robert Charles Anderson in the Great Migration, Francis Smith of Watertown and Reading was born about 1597 (based on date of marriage or 1583 based on age of his wife at death) in England and died in Reading on 30 March 1649/50. He has no known parents and no known relationship to John Bland Smith. He married Alice ___. Alice was born about 1583 in England (based on age at death) and was buried in 1667 in Roxbury, MA.[1]

Francis only names two children in his will and no other children have ever been proven:[1]

1 John Smith who according to TAG was on the passenger list with Alice. He was born about 1622 England per Hotten and married 1st Catherine Morrill and 2nd Mary Bill.[1]

2. Benjamin Smith born Watertown 10 Oct 1637 married Jehoidan Palfrey.[1]

Note older sources like "Genealogical History of the Town of Reading" p 111 also list two daughters:[2]

1. Hannah SMITH On 15 November 1659 Hannah married George LILLEY, in Reading, Middlesex co., MA[2]

2. Mary SMITH In 1664 Mary married Jeremiah SWAIN[2]

Anderson doesn't include these two daughters. Examination of his will only mentions the two sons above.[1]

The name of his wife Alice is unknown. Alice and John appear on the manifest list for the "Planter" on 10 Apr 1635. So, it appears that Alice and John came to join Francis, already in Massachusetts. Then, within two years, they had a son Benjamin. This Francis Smith was in Watertown but by the early 1640s, he had removed to Reading, Massachusetts.[1]

Alice died in Roxbury, Suffolk, Massachusetts, on 13 Mar 1667; she was 84.

Earlier sources are not consistent (e.g., Pioneers of Massachusetts and the GDMNH seem to have somewhat differing information). However, for what it's worth, the Littleton, MA Vital Records mention a Francis Smith. It states that among the children of John and Isabell Smith is "probably Francis, removed to Reading and d. March 20, 1656." That may not clear up anything, but it does mention Francis as being connected to the John (Bland) Smith who married Isabella Drake. For a full discussion see John Bland Smith


  • 1 Robert Charles Anderson, George F. Sanborn Jr. and Melinde Lutz Sanborn, The Great Migration Begins: Immigrants to New England, 1634-1635, Volume VI, R-S (Boston, MA: NEHGS, 2009) p 353
  • 2 "Genealogical History of the Town of Reading" p 111
  • History of Martha's Vineyard - Annals of Edgartown, 2, 41-46.
  • Hall, Kristin Carole, “Smith Register Report,” , 21 Dec 2002, p. 1, 2
  • Massachusetts, Town and Vital Records, 1620-1988 and Genealogical History of the Town of Reading, Massachusetts, Honorable Lilly Eaton, (1874)
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Francis Smith, of Watertown's Timeline

March 8, 1590
Colchester, Essex, England
March 8, 1590
Colchester, Essex, England
March 8, 1590
Colchester, Essex, England
March 8, 1590
March 8, 1590
Colchester, Essex, England
March 8, 1597
Colchester, Essex, England
Age 21
Age 23
Age 30