Smith Genealogy

Robert J. SewellThis page was set up by Robert Sewell in September, 2001 to show the Family of Chief Justice William Smith since the earliest known times.  Robert Sewell graduated from McMaster University (Hamilton, Ontario, Canada) in 1967 with a B.Sc. degree in chemistry.  After a year of studies at the University of Toronto's College of Education, he taught high school science in Collingwood, Ontario for a year and then taught chemistry, physics and general science in Hamilton, Ontario for twenty-nine years.  Robert Sewell retired from teaching in June 1998.

Click to Contact Robert Sewell

Click for  PDF index 

Please visit the Sewell Genealogy Site Map for other pages in this series.

    Little work has been done on the Smith ancestry, but perhaps this is hardly surprising, as so common a surname dampens genealogical enthusiasm.  Fortunately, over 200 years ago, Chief Justice William Smith had the foresight to record the history of his family as it was known to him.  As well, the place of this family in the history of both Canada and the United States has ensured a number of historical and genealogical studies; including the following sources from which the information presented here has been compiled:

Sewell V. Sample
A special thanks to

Sewell Vincent Sample

without whose help 
these pages would not be possible.

Generation OneArmorial Bearings of Hartley
Hurtley of Strangewide Hall which was located in Lancashire within two miles of Manchester.  

    Hurtley of Strangwide Hall, if he existed, would have lived sometime in the 1500's and perhaps early 1600's. William Hartley, our first proven ancestor in this line, said to be his son and mentioned next, married in 1601/02.

    However, Strangewide (also Strangeways) Hall appears to have remained in the hands of the Strangeways Family until it was purchased by John Hartley (1597 - 1655), a successful merchant of Manchester, in 1624. This information is from Frank J. Gent: The Development of Strangeways 1768 - 1868, a thesis presented for the degree of Master of Arts to the University of Leicester, 1973. John Hartley of Strangewide Hall was granted in October 1632 the following arms:  argent, on a cross gules, quarterly pierced of field, four cinquefoils or, in the first and fourth quarter a martlett sable; and as a crest: a martlett sable, holding in its beak a cross-crosslet fitchee or”.

    It has been suggested by Charles F.H. Evans in The American Genealogist Vol. 56, No. 4, October 1980 "Some English Ancestors of the Smith Family of New York" ISSN 0002-8592 that William Hartley, shown next, was perhaps a cousin of the Hartleys of Strangewide or Strangeways Hall. 

    {Chief Justice} William Smith indicates that William Hartley is found among the children of "Hurtley of Strangewide Hall" as shown next. Click Here to see the records of
{Chief Justice} William Smith as recorded by his son, {Honorable} William Smith.

Generation Two
William Hartley described himself as a yeoman in his will.  He settled at Newport Pagnell, Buckinghamshire about or before 1600.  {Hon} William Smith (III) wrote in a letter:  “William gave three books being Foxes Acts and Monuments of the Church -  Which in the year 1714 being chained to a desk at the East end of the South Isle of the Parish of New Port with a Latin inscription over it signifying that these books were his gift in the year 1612.”
Married:  February 5, 1601/2 to Joan Harding who died November, 1620.
Married:  a widow, Margaret Shortered, née Lowe.
William Hartley left a dozen or more children, among whom was:

Generation Three
James Hartley was a grocer, and he lived at Newport Pagnell, Buckinghamshire.  James and his wife Cyceley died at the time of the great plague, apparently on the same day, June 27, 1666.
Born:  1603
Died:  June 27, 1666
Married:  April 24, 1625 to Cyceley Barnes who was born 1604/5 and died June 27, 1666.  She was the daughter of Thomas Barnes (d. 1653) , weaver, by his first wife Katherin Cabart (d. July 1634) who was married June 27, 1597 at Newport Pagnell.  There was a family of weavers named Barnes at Newport Pagnell, to which doubtless Thomas Barnes belonged.
James Hartley and Cyceley Barnes had the following children:

Generation Four
Elizabeth Hartley
Born:  1641
Died:  March 1711/12
Married:  September 4, 1661 to William Smith, who died June 1682
William Smith served in the Army of the Commonwealth.  He moved from Isle of Ely in Cambridgeshire to Newport Pagnell in Buckinghamshire.  Both William and Elizabeth were buried in one grave in the Isle on the south side of the Font in the Parish Church at Newport Pagnell, Buckinghamshire.  William was buried on June 20, 1682 and Elizabeth on March 5, 1711/12.
Elizabeth Hartley and William Smith had the following children:

Generation Five
Thomas Smith, a tallow-chandler, emigrated to New York on account of his religious opinions in 1715.  Thomas, his wife and three sons sailed from London on May 24, 1715 and arrived in New York on August 17, 1715.  It appears that the four daughters remained in England.
Born:  November 18, 1675 at Newport Pagnell, Buckinghamshire
Died:  November 19, 1745 at New York and buried at the plantation of his son Thomas in Smith’s Cove, Orange County, New York.
Married:  May 13, 1696 to Susanna Odell (1678 – 1729)
The Descent of Susanna Odell
The Goodmans possessed a huge estate in Buckinghamshire, about 4 miles from Newport Pagnell.  This estate was transmitted from the time of William the Conqueror, from father to son, the heirs with rare exceptions bearing alternately the names of Richard and John.
Richard Goodman (d. 1631)
married Elizabeth
John Goodman (d. 1674/5)
married Mary (d. April, 1674)
Christiana Goodman (d. July 7, 1698)
married Thomas Odell (d. May 13, 1698)
Thomas Odell was probably the eldest son of Thomas Woodell, alias Odell (d. 1653/4) and his wife Mary Woolman who was a daughter of John Woolman and his wife Margaret, and a granddaughter of Thomas Woolman.
Mary Odell, Susanna Odell, Thomas Odell, John Odell

Thomas Smith and Susanna Odell had the following children:

Generation Six
{Judge} William Smith I emigrated from England in 1715 with his father, mother and two brothers.  He was graduated from Yale in 1719 and was admitted to the bar in 1724.
Born:  October 8, 1697 at Newport Pagnell, Buckinghamshire
Died:  November 22, 1769 at New York
Married:  May 11, 1727 to Mary Het (1710 – 1754) who was the daughter of René Het and Blanche Dubois, French Huguenots who had been forced to flee from Marennes and La Tremblade, Saintonge, France following the Revocation of the Edict of Nantes in 1685.  For a short history of the Huguenots, click to visit Wido Hoville's Site.
    René Het was the son of Josué and Sarah Het of Rochelle, France. René was "naturalised" about 1709 and his will was proved on November 8, 1768 at New York.
    Blanche Dubois was the daughter of Jacques Dubois and Blanche Sauzeau. According to family tradition, Jacques had held an important office under the government in France . Jacques and Blanche were compelled to flee from Marennes, France with their infant daughter following the Revocation of the Edict of Nantes in 1685. They first went to Amsterdam, then to Martinique in the West Indies, and then to New York.
    René Het and Blanche Dubois are said to have had a daughter Sarah Het who married another William Smith, described as "a Sea Captain, mariner and merchant".
    The following images of {Judge} William Smith and his wife Mary Het Smith were kindly provided by Teresa Grant Smith of North Carolina and Gene Cody Smith of Texas.  William and Mary's daughter Martha married {Col} Ann Hawkes Hay of the Haverstraw Militia, and the images come from "The Family of Hay" where it is stated on page 237 that:
"The portraits were painted in 1729 when Mary was nineteen and William thirty-two.  When Mary died in 1754, Judge Smith married Elizabeth Williams, widow of Rector Elisha Williams, President of Yale.  At the Judge's death in 1769 several of his fourteen children were living in New York.  However, his second wife took the portraits with her when she returned to her home in Wethersfield, Conn.  When she died in 1776 they were inherited by her stepson, Capt. Elisha Williams, who left them to his daughter, Elizabeth W. Belden, and she to her daughter, Elizabeth B. Buck, who, dying in 1887, gave them to her husband's cousin, Caroline Handy.  They then went to her daughter, Frances Gold who married David F. Worchester and died in 1907. Her descendants sold the portraits to the Copley Gallery which in turn sold them in 1923 for $2500 each to The Cleveland Museum of Art.  This museum restored the portraits and has provided them excellent care."
thanks to Laura and Philip Dixon for this information
Judge William Smith I
Mary Het
{Judge} William Smith I (1697 - 1769)
Mary Het Smith (1710 - 1754)

Judge William Smith I and Mary Het had the following children:

Generation Seven
{Chief Justice} William Smith II remained a loyalist, and from 1776 to 1778 was confined to the limits of Livingston Manor, the home of his wife’s sister Margaret Livingston and {Col} Peter Robert Livingston, who were third cousins; their common ancestor being {Rev} John Livingston (1603 – 1672).  {Col} Peter Robert Livingston was a member of the “Sons of Liberty” prior to the American Revolution. Armorial Bearings of SmithHowever, the Livingstons looked out for family and the Smiths were welcomed at the Hermitage after they were placed under “house arrest.”  The Hermitage was located on Livingston Manor on what became the Town of Livingston.  (The Hermitage, what was left of it, was torn down in 1983 and a contemporary residence was built on the site.)  In 1780, William Smith was appointed Chief Justice of the Province of New York.  In 1782, he left for England, leaving his family at the Livingston home at Clermont, a 13,000 acre tract on the Hudson River in what is now Columbia County.  In 1786, William Smith was appointed Chief Justice of Canada.
The Heraldic Bearings which appear on the bookplate of {Chief Justice} William Smith (1728 - 1793) affixed to one of the original volumes of his "Historical Memoirs of the Province of New York" currently in the Manuscript Division of the New York Public Library are described as follows:  “Argent, three tilting spears proper, a chief counter-compony or and azure.  Crest:  a sea-lion rampant.”  These bearings were used by other members of the family including {Chief Justice} William Smith’s father, {Judge} William Smith I (1697 – 1769), his son {Hon} William Smith III (1769  1847) and his 2nd cousin, William Peartree Smith (1723 – 1801).  Click to see a bookplate used by {Hon} William Smith III.

Born:  June 18, 1728 at New York
Died:  December 6, 1793 at Quebec
Married:  November 3, 1752 to Janet Livingston

William Smith II
Janet Livingston
{Chief Justice} William Smith II
(1728 - 1793)
Janet Livingston
(1730 - 1819)
Portrait of William Smith from The Diary and Selected Papers of Chief Justice William Smith.
Portrait of Janet Livingston courtesy of her great X 5 granddaughter, Janet W. Beale.

Click for the descent of Janet Livingston from the time of St. Edward the Confessor, circa 1057.
William Smith and Janet Livingston had the following children:

Generation Eight
Henrietta Smith
Born:  New York February 6, 1776
Died:  Quebec May 26, 1849
Married:  September 24, 1796 at Quebec City to {Hon.} Jonathan Sewell, Chief Justice of Lower Canada (born Boston 1766, died Quebec November 12, 1839 and was a son of Attorney General Jonathan Sewall and Esther Quincy)

Henrietta Smith and Jonathan Sewell had the following children:

  • Henrietta Maria Sewell who died an infant.
  • {Sheriff} William Smith Sewell (1798-1866)
  • {Reverend} Edmund Willoughby Sewell  (1800-1890)
  • Robert Shore Milnes Sewell  (1802-1881)
  • Maria May Livingston Sewell  (1808-1881)
  • {Reverend} Henry Doyle Sewell  (1806-1886) 
  • For this line click on: {Rev} Henry Doyle Sewell
    • Henrietta Elizabeth Sewell  (1808-1847)
    • {Doctor} James Arthur Sewell  (1810-1883)
  • Montague Charles Sewell  (1812-1859)
  • Charlotte Mary DeQuincy Sewell  (1814-1826)
  • Frances Georgina Sewell  (1816-1885)
  • Algernon Robinson Sewell  (1817-1875)
  • Elizabeth Janet Sewell  (1819-1875)
  • A Girl who was still born
  • Twin Boy and Girl who died infants.
  • Henrietta Smith
    Henrietta Smith
    (1766 - 1849)
    Written on the back
    of the portrait is:

    "Henrietta Sewell
    wife of
    Jonathan Sewell
    Chief Justice of Lower Canada was the daughter of
    William Smith
    Chief Justice of L Canada
    & of
    Janet (Livingston)
    his wife
    was born
    6th February 1776
    at New York."

    This portrait was shared by Henrietta and Jonathan Sewell's
    great X2 grandson John Rees.

    please click here to return to the top

    For the continuation of this line, please click on: {Rev} Henry Doyle Sewell

    Please visit the Sewell Genealogy Site Map for other pages in this series.