Francis Smith & Elsie
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P. 111 SMITH, FRANCIS, was a freeman of Watertown in 1637; stopped awhile it is said at Chelsea Ferry, or Rumney Marsh, and came to Reading about 1647; settled at the north end of SMITH's Pond (so named from him), he owned a large tract of land in the vicinity of the pond and extending into Woodville (now so called). His home stood, it is said, near where is now Wakefield Junction railroad station. He was a selectman; died 1651.

Children: John, Benjamin, born at Watertown, 1637; Hannah, who married 1659, Geo. Lilley; Mary, who married Jeremiah Swain.

P. 281-290 Selectmen of Reading - FRANCIS SMITH 1647 & 1649



P. 113 SMITH, FRANCIS, the freem. of 17 Apr. 1637, was a propr. Bond thinks, in Watertown, that yr. but not in 1642 and in my opin. prob. that Reading man, wh. d. 20 Mar. 1651, then call. sen. wh. was first, perhaps, of Lynn. His will, made six days bef. ment. without nam. w.s. John, and Benjamin, and Gr. d. Mary S.


From Paul R. Swan

Our present knowledge of FRANCIS SMITH comes only from Howard [1952] and Eaton [1935]. His roots in England have not been determined.  There was another Francis Smith b 1619 in Hingham, Suffolk, Mass., still there in 1635 and died after 22 Feb 1679. He had a son Samuel m 20 Feb 1690 Rebekah Hoar in Taunton, where this Francis' widow Aggnes or Agnis d 6 Jan 1665 (this conflicting with his own death date).

FRANCIS SMITH was a proprietor 1632 of Watertown, where 131 acres were granted to him. This makes him one of the earliest of our ancestors to come to this country. He "probably" came to New England with Gov. Winthrop's company. He was made freeman either 1631 [Howard] or 1637 [Eaton], the latter date more likely, but also the date reported for the Francis of Hingham. By 1642 his name is no longer found in the Watertown records, as he and his son John went to Chelsea where they leased the Ferry Farm. The Massachusetts Colonial Records state that "Good man Smith of Winnissimmet hath liberty to sell wine and keep a house of common intertan'mt". It was customary for magistrates and others to stop at the Ferry Farm on their journeys from Salem to Boston.

In 1646 FRANCIS came to Reading and bought for £30, from Capt. Richard Walker and his wife Sarah, and Lt. Thomas Marshall and his wife Rebecca, the 500 acre farm of upland and meadow given originally to Mr. Edward Howell [Howard] or to Richard Sadler [Eaton] by the town of Lynn in 1638. This land was "bounded southwest by the town of Malden; on the southeast with the common lands of the town of Boston; on the east with land of Richard Boutton of Lynn; and on the north with a little river, and ye land of Clark & Marshall". (See the Eaton family history for the Reading town map showing the location of this land.) From the Essex Records we read that the grant declared "That the 500 acres sold to FRANCIS SMITH are free of all manner of former bargains, gifts, grants and sales, from the beginning of the world to the day of the date thereof." Surely, a free and clear declaration that did not hedge its promise with conditions of any kind! The pond on the west edge of Francis' property became known as Smith's Pond (see the Redding town map in the Eaton family history), the "little river:" above referred tobeing its outlet. The next year FRANCIS was granted 30 acres by the town in the general division of land. Two years later he received a confirmation grant jointly to himself and his son John. His land is described as "All that land that layeth between the Highway as we go to Boston… and the Highway that goeth to Lynn by Sergt. Smith's house". It extended from the pond to include part of what is now known as the Woodville part of Wakefield. It did not, however, extend to the Mill River on the north, as the town in 1647 granted "all the land lying on the north side of Goodman Smith's farm, near the water mill" in several parts to various men of the town. FRANCIS was a member of Reading's first Board of Selectment in 1647, and again in 1649, but he was one of the first of the original settlers to die, in 1651.

The Rev. Samuel Francis Smith, a descendent of FRANCIS', was the author of our national hymn "America".

FRANCIS' first will, written 1644, stated that he had "already, some years since given and disposed of all my land of all my Real Estate, by deeds of gifts to my six Sons … and they have it in their possession. By a second will dated 1650 he bequeathed his house and homestead to his wife during her life, and on her death it was left to his son Benjamin. His will also details his possessions, giving us a glimpse into the life of the well–to–do of that time period in the history of the Massachusetts Bay Colony [Eaton, 1935]: "In the Parler, on fether beads and boulsters and pillows, Ruggs and Blankets, Curtains and Bedsteads and all thereto belonging; a Tabell and Carpitts and Table, Six Cuishins, a great Chest, a desk and two boxes, two chayers, Two Joyn stools with od things." "Goods in the Hall, a fether Bead, bousters and pillowes and blacketts and Coverlead and bedstead, a chayer Tabell Settell, a Cubert, kneading Grough, and two Lettle chayers." "Goods in chamber, a fether bed and boulster and blackets, a Hayer cloath, eight payer of Sheets, four payer of pillow beeres, two tabell clothes, ten Napkins." "In the kitchen, brass, the Putter, two Iron Pots, on Kettell and dripping Pan and spett, bruing vessel, and other wooden Vessels, two chayers, two sawes, and plow irons, wedges & other things" as well as some "warring Apparell".

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