William Smoot, Sr.

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William Smoot, Sr.

Birthplace: probably England
Death: before circa 1670
Province of Maryland
Immediate Family:

Son of unknown father of William Smoot and unknown mother of William Smoot
Husband of Grace Smoot (widow Wood)
Father of Eleanor Margery Warren; William Smoot; Thomas Smoot; Richard Smoot; Elizabeth Smoot and 8 others

Occupation: Planter, carpenter, shipwright
Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About William Smoot, Sr.

Born in Scotland or England or on the continent in the year 1596 or 7. He was apprenticed to and became a boatwright. During 1633 he was in London when, as a member of the Boatwright Guild, agreed to perform 50 days of work in Virginia for a Colonel Burbage, which brought him to America. He married a woman probably named Grace.


The following notes were supplied by Donna Bott of Valdese, North Carolina:

Was in London in 1633 as a member of the Boatwright Guild. He agreed to work for 50 days in Virginia for Colonel Thomas Burbage, sailing from England to settle at Hampton, York County (now Elizabeth City, VA). It is not clear exactly when he came to America.

First public record 24 Feb 1642 when granted 400 acres of land in York County on the north side of the Charles River near the head of Tymber Creek. To Maryland in 1646; lived on 300 acres, "Smoote", in Poplar Hill Hundred, St. Mary's County. Also 400 acres, "Smootly" in Manor of West St. Mary's on the west side of Wicomico River at the head of Smoot's Branch.

Probably raised in England and took oath there or in Virginia.

Planter, carpenter, shipwright. He designed and built vessels used in trade between Maryland and Virginia. How big these vessels or enterprise is not clear, two vessels were pinnaces, small sailing ships.

In 1644 William Smute gave George Codd 3 barrels of corn and clothes for fulfilling his indentured service.

William Smute fought in the campaign against the Pamunky and Chickahominy Indians, receiving 600 pounds of tobacco 1 Oct 1644 for his services.

2 Jun 1647 granted by Lord Baltimore's Land Office 300 acres near the mouth of Herring Creek on the manor of New Towne in what is now St. Mary's County, MD.

17 Apr 1650, William Smoot and his son-in-law, William Hungerford, signed Stone's declaration saying "We the said Lieutenant, Council, Burgesses, and other Protestant inhabitants (enjoy) all fitting and convenient freedom and liberty in the exercise of our religion under his Lordship's Government and interest."

Per Timothy A. Colcord from his collection at the Charles County Community College, La Plata, MD; lived at Wicomica River.

William was alive when his wife died in Jan 1666 but dead by 1670. https://www.ourfamilyhistories.org/getperson.php?personID=I108189 -=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-

Even though the life of William Smoot and his role in the early years of our country has been researched throughout the centuries, there are still questions about the man, such as: the year of his birth (1596 or 1597), where he was born (Scotland or England), the correct spelling of his last name (Smoot, Smaut, Smute, etc.) and the name of his first wife (who had at least one child before dying in England). We do know that his roots were planted in the seafaring Dutch "House of Smoot" before they spread their branches into Scotland and England.

What is also known is the road he had to travel in order to eventually attain recognition and honors in his chosen profession. He lived in a time when there were no trade schools and the only way for a young man to learn a trade was to serve as an unpaid servant and errand boy for an expert craftsman and whose parents had signed a contract in which they gave up control of their son. In return, the apprentice received food, clothing and training in the chosen trade from the ground up, so that - after a number of years - he would be able to earn a living as an expert himself.

Apprenticeship was the accepted educational system for transferring the knowledge and experience gained by one generation of tradesmen to the next, and was not a new concept. 4,000 year old records found in Egypt, Greece and Rome reveal that trade skills had been passed on in this fashion even then; and it was only after the students had finally achieved the status of craft workers that they became respected members of society. http://www.lni.wa.gov/TradesLicensing/Apprenticeship/About/History/

Coming from the family he did, it's no surprise that young William Smoot became an apprentice in the boat building industry. During those formative years, he was taught the intricacies of design and construction of strong, sea-worthy boats, and was probably in his 20s before he could qualify for membership in the Boatwright Guild as a certified professional boatwright.

By 1633, this 37 year old man had earned a reputation for quality workmanship and received an offer to work for 50 days in Virginia for Colonel Thomas Burbage, an officer in the local militia. He readily accepted the proposal, especially since a terrible king, Charles I, had just been crowned and life in England was tumultuous at best. The contract with Colonel Burbage might not have been of long duration, but it definitely was life-changing for William, who never lived or worked in England again.



William Smoot was born. William married Grace Wood on 1634 in Charles County, Maryland, United States and had 10 children: Thomas Smoot, Richard Smoot, Elizabeth Smoot, Alice Smoot, Grace Smoot, Edward Smoot, Charles Smoot, James Smoot, William Smoot, and Ann Smoot.

The original immigrant was William Smute, born 1596 probably in Scotland and died 1670 in Charles County, Maryland. On arrival in America in 1633 he settled in Hampton, York County. His first wife was the widow Grace Wood. She was born 3 August 1601 in Essex, England and died 14 January 1666 in Maryland. They had numerous children, two of whom are relevant to this family history.


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William Smoot, Sr.'s Timeline

probably England
Westminster, London, , England
Richmond, Virginia, United States
York County, VA, United States
York County, Virginia, United States
York, Virginia, USA
Charles Co., Va.
August 13, 1641
Charles River Shire, Virginia Colony, Colonial America
York County, Virginia, United States