DODSON-L ArchivesArchiver > DODSON > 1997-11 > 0880298498
Subject: Re: Smoots, Durhams and Hunts redeux
Date: Sun, 23 Nov 1997 10:21:38 -0500 (EST)
There's a little girl on my lap, I forgot to hit attach on the last e-mail!
Hunts, Durhams and Smoots
Bermuda is a complex of 150 islands well east of the Virginia coast in t=
he Atlantic Ocean. In 1503 a group of Spanish mariners were blown off co=
urse and shipwrecked on the major island. They eventually were rescued a=
nd nothing much happened on the archipelago until British colonists on th=
eir way to Virginia were shipwrecked over a hundred years later.
The British decided to stay and in 1612 the islands were included in the=
third charter of the Virginia Company. The history of Bermuda is of som=
e interest to our family because the warm waters, sunny skies and hope of=
fortune brought the Hunts and the Durhams there in the early Seventeenth=
Many attempts to trace the Hunt and Durham families to Bermuda and back =
have been attempted but little hard evidence has been found except for in=
formation in the Latter Day Saints Churches' International Genealogical I=
ndex (IGI). The pedigree charts from the church show us descending from =
one Governor Richard Hunt, presumably a governor of Bermuda, who lived on=
the island after 1627 (when he married Francis Grimsditch in St. Giles C=
hurch, London) and through at least 1643 (when daughter Judith is believe=
d to have been born there).
Also in Bermuda at the same time was Thomas Durham, a Pittingdon, Devon,=
native who married in Port Royal, Bermuda about 1627. His son Henry was=
born there circa 1629-1634.
Henry Durham and Judith Hunt undoubtedly knew each other growing up in P=
ort Royal and are believed to have married there on Valentine's Day, 1660=
=2E Their first son, Thomas Durham, was born March 6, 1661 in Port Royal=
and at some point the family appears to have moved to Richmond County, V=
The list of children found through the Latter Day Saints Family History =
Center doesn't make any sense, so it won't be included here. Sufficient =
to say Thomas Durham met Dorothy Smoot in Richmond County and they were m=
arried in North Farnham Parish.
Dorothy Smoot also has a puzzling ancestry. Believed to be the daughter=
of William and Jane Smoot, she is thought to be the granddaughter of Wil=
liam Smoot, the original Smoot in America. =
William Smoot the elder, was born about 1596 in London and was a member =
of the Boat wright Guild when he was asked to come to Virginia in 1633. =
He was contracted to perform 50 days worth of labor for Colonel Thomas Bu=
rbage at Hampton on the York River. Once he made the arduous trip and lo=
oked around, he decided to stay and build up his own business.
He first obtained land on February 24, 1642 in payment for transporting =
eight individuals into the colony. Smoot was granted 400 acres of land n=
ear the head of Tymber Creek on the north side of Charles River in York C=
ounty. Harry Wright Newman, the author of The Smoots of Maryland and Vir=
ginia, believes William Smoot was bringing his family and some indentured=
servants into the colony at the time.
Smoot seems to have established his boat yard in good order, paying off =
one indentured servant, George Codd, in 1644 with "three barrels of corn =
and clothes". As a citizen of the fledgling colony, he also fought the P=
amunky and Chickahominy Indians. He received 600 pounds of tobacco for h=
is efforts. He undoubtedly needed the money for that same year he was su=
ed in court for 854 pounds of tobacco owed to Ashwell Batten.
There are several references in the records of Smoot suing and being sue=
d, perhaps it was a necessary part of business in those days!
About 1646, William Smoot packed up his family and moved north to Maryla=
nd. He was granted a patent for 300 acres in 1647 for land near the mout=
h of Herring Creek on the Potomac River. Later, he settled on 400 acres =
of land known as "Smoothly", which he received for transporting his then-=
wife Grace, her daughter Elizabeth Wood, and his children Thomas, Richard=
,Elizabeth, Anne and Alice as well as a servant Anne Woodnot. This may =
have been the land in present day Charles County on the Wiccomico River w=
here he set up a boatyard and established himself as a knowledgeable boat=
During his early years in Maryland, Smoot built boats for Ralph Beane an=
d Charles Calvert, among others. He purchased a ship from Governor Leona=
rd Calvert, trading it away within the year. In his old age he was asked=
to appraise the ship St. George, after it sank in the Wiccommico River. =
He may have grown tobacco on his plantations, but water craft appear to =
have been his main interest.
William Smoot is believed to have married and had children while still i=
n England. His conjectured English wife is not known and the children of=
their marriage are believed to be:
Richard; married Elizabeth
Thomas; married Jane Batten
Elizabeth; married Humphrey Atwickes
Anne; wed William Hungerford and William Barton =
William; married Jane
Most of the children are believed to have been born in England, but nothi=
ng definite is known. =
At the time of his move to Maryland, William Smoot apparently was marrie=
d to the widow Grace Wood, though there is confusion as to just who she w=
as. Newman, in The Smoots of Maryland and Virginia, noted Grace apparent=
ly was married to James Atwickes at the time of her transportation into V=
irginia by John Dorman of Northampton County. He received land for bring=
ing the Atwickes over in 1655, along with transporting their two children=
William and Jeane (note there is no daughter Elizabeth mentioned). Grac=
e was also thought to have married a Thomas Hinton and the Smoot children=
referred to her as "sister", causing one historian to think she may have=
been William Smoot's sister, rather than his wife. Whatever, she was at=
tached somehow to William Smoot in Maryland, and she died there January 1=
The Smoots were Anglicans and signed Stone's Declaration allowing for fr=
eedom of religious worship in Maryland. Smoot continued to transport peo=
ple and acquire land throughout the 1650's. He is believed to have died =
within a few years of Grace and no will has been found.
William and Jane Smoot
Thomas and Dorothy Smoot Durham
It is not clear if William Smoot the younger was born in Maryland or Vir=
ginia. He is believed to have been born before 1654, but an exact date h=
as never been determined. Since William Smoot the elder did not receive =
any land for transporting him into Maryland, he may have been born after =
the 1646 move. The IGI lists his birth date as about 1636, so perhaps he=
never went to Maryland with this family!
He was living in Old Rappahannock County, Virginia by 1672 when he witne=
ssed the sale of a cow, and therefore he must have been at least 18 years=
old. At some point he married a woman named Jane and in 1681 he purchas=
ed some land. Within a few years the couple settled in Richmond County.
It continues to be confusing. The IGI lists Jane and William as the par=
ents of Dorothy Smoot, born in 1663 in Richmond County, Virginia. Newman=
lists the couple in The Smoots of Maryland and Virginia, as being parent=
s of three girls born between 1693 and 1698, none of whom were named Doro=
thy. They were:
Mary (April 7,1693- May 8, 1750); married Thomas Durham, Jr.
Elizabeth (March 16, 1698)
Anne (March 16, 1698)
Mary was willed a landed estate in 1693 by Elizabeth Grady of Richmond C=
ounty, VA. William Smoot received all of Elizabeth's personal property a=
nd was named the executor. Perhaps Elizabeth was his sister? Her will, =
dated March 4, 1693, was not approved until November 4, 1702 according to=
Newman. The officials approving the will were Thomas Durham (undoubtedl=
y the husband of Dorothy) and Richard Draper.
Perhaps we're dealing with different William Smoots married to Janes. I=
n The Dodson Family of North Farnham Parish, authors Lucas and Williams l=
ist William and Jane Smoot as having three daughters:
Dorothy (1663-1716); married Thomas Durham Sr. about 1685
Alice (?-1701); wed John Chinn and John Stretchly
Thomazin; married Marshall
Since in his will, William is named as William Smoot Sr, we can suppose t=
hey had a son as well. Our ancestor Dorothy is known to have given birth=
in 1686, so I'm inclined to believe the IGI and the Dodson family book.
On the other hand, maybe Dorothy, Alice and Thomazin are SISTERS of Will=
iam Smoot Sr. and none of them are descended from William Smoot the Maryl=
and boat builder? =
The primary historical connection between William Smoot Sr. and Dorothy =
Smoot is the granting of land in 1700. On August 2, 1700, William Smoot =
for love and affection for Dorothy Durham, wife of Thomas Durha=
m, and her children, deeded sixty-two acres of land entailing it upon the=
ir eldest son Thomas Durham Jr., their second son, John Durham and their =
eldest daughter, Mary Durham; he provides if all of these children the sa=
id land was to descend to the fourth, fifth and sixth child of the said D=
orothy Durham and if all the aforementioned children of Dorothy Durham de=
ceased, said land to descend to Ann Fox, wife of William Fox, Gentleman, =
of Lancaster County.
Ann Fox was the daughter of Dorothy's sister Alice. If William was Dorot=
hy's brother, he might be assigning family property to his sister, nieces=
and nephews in the above deed.
Thomas Durham, tobacco planter, and Dorothy Smoot were married before 16=
86 at the North Farnham Parish church. They had three children known to h=
ave survived to adulthood:
Mary (June 15, 1686-January 1, 1715); Thomas Dodson Sr.
Thomas Jr. (June 27, 1690-December 3, 1734); Mary Smoot
John (November 23, 1698-September 23, 1722)
In 1707 William Smoot Sr. deeded to Thomas and Dorothy Durham, his wife,=
an additional 50 acres of land. Jane Smoot also deeded them 50 acres of=
land in 1707.
That same year William Smoot witnessed another deed assigning land to th=
e Durhams. There is no mention of a purchase price for the land "upon a =
branch of Farnham Creeke called and knowne by the name of the Buory Swamp=
" estimated at 50 acres. It was granted and conveyed to both Thomas and D=
orothy Durham his wife on April 26, 1707 by a widow, Mary M. Gilbert and =
recorded on May 15.
William Smoot's will was dated February 24, 1715; Jane survived him. In=
the will, he mentioned his wife Jane, his son-in-law Thomas Durham and t=
hree grandchildren: Margaret, Joseph and Sarah Durham. =
The Thomas Durham mentioned in the will was the son of Thomas and Doroth=
y Smoot Durham, since Thomas Durham Jr. married Mary Smoot about 1710. T=
hat the will did not mention Dorothy Durham and referred to Mary's childr=
en as grandchildren, would seem to indicate Dorothy was not William's chi=
ld (though HER child Thomas was his son-in-law!). This all seems to indi=
cate Mary Smoot and her twin sisters were really William and Jane Smoot's=
children and Dorothy, Alice and Thomazin were other relations, albeit cl=
William made provision for his wife to "devise the use of all lands and =
the plantation during life", then everything went to his son-in-law and t=
hree grandchildren. We don't know when Jane died.
(Only three of Thomas and Mary Smoot Durham's children are listed in Wil=
liam Smoot Sr.'s will. The youngest child, Sarah, eventually grew up to m=
arry William Hanks, older brother of Luke Hanks from whom we descend.)
Thomas Durham Sr. marked and sealed his will on August 4, 1711, though i=
t was not approved until June 1, 1715. He left his plantation and all hi=
s lands and tenements to his "dear and loving wife" Dorothy, with the pla=
ntation going to his son Thomas and daughter-in-law Mary at Dorothy's dea=
th. His only daughter Mary Durham Dodson received tobacco and her son Th=
omas Dodson was granted land if son John Durham never had an heirs (which=
he doesn't appear to have had). =
William Smoot, Thomas Durham Sr. and Dorothy Smoot Durham were all dead =
by 1716. The person we are really interested in was Thomas and Dorothy's=
daughter Mary Durham, because she married Thomas Dodson.