Ancestral Family Topic 1784

 1784   John Smith (c.1690-c.1745)
Pedigree Chart 07

John Smith, in his own words
If he could speak to us today, John Smith might describe his life as follows.

I can acquaint you with little of my life as I lived and died in Gloucester County where records have been lost. To provide land for my sons, I acquired 400 acres on both sides of Flat Creek in Amelia County: 200 acres by purchase in 1739 and another 200 acres granted me by the governor in 1740. 
My sons were evidently William Thornton Smith and John Smith, both of whom later held 200 acres of my Flat Creek land. John sold his tract after my death about 1745 and Thornton’s son, John, sold the remaining 200 acres in 1767 after he married Susanna Watson.

Who was John’ Smith’s father?
We have yet to identify John’s Smith’s father. That he named a son William Thornton Smith would seem to place him in Petsworth Parish. Indeed the family of John Smith of “Purton” resided on Purton Bay just north of the plantation of William Thornton.
Capt. John Smith received 400 acres on Poropotank Creek of Gloucester County, 14 Oct. 1657,  and, as Major John Smith, got another 500 acres on Poropotank to Purton Bay 1 April 1665 and again 8 Feb. 1665/6. 
The second of his name, also Capt. John Smith, of “Purton,” was appointed vestryman in the room of Capt. Lightfoot 5 Oct. 1692 and served until his death by 9 Feb. 1698/9 when the church disposed of £10 left to the poor of the parish by Capt. John Smith, deceased.  During his tenure he served a year as churchwarden, responsible for collecting 42½ pounds of tobacco for every tithable.  Other vestrymen during this period were William Thornton and William Thornton Jr.
His son, John Smith III, who paid quit rents on 1,300 acres in Petsworth Parish, Gloucester County, in 1704,  married Ann Alexander, a daughter of David Alexander, but nothing identifies him as my ancestor John Smith.
Another John Smith “sawyer” appeared near William Thornton in processioning records of Petsworth Parish 1724-31 and was sheriff 1728-31.  A “sawyer” operated a saw mill.
Articles on the family of John Smith of “Purton” that include records of births, death, and marriages from a family Bible, reveal no Thornton connection.  Nor do comprehensive articles on the Thornton family mention Smiths. 
The Abingdon Parish Register of Gloucester County does not identify my Smith family, suggesting they lived in another parish.

Was John Smith’s wife a daughter of William Thornton?
William Thornton Sr. (525 acres) and Jr. (800 acres) paid quit rents in Petsworth Parish in 1704.  “The Thornton Family,” by W.G. Stanard outlines the family of William Thornton, the immigrant, and his son William Thornton of Gloucester (1649-1727). 
The second of his name married 3 times and his Bible reveals the births of 3 daughters of an age to have been the wife of John Smith. Yet since we cannot place John Smith near the Thorntons, it may be that he named a son William Thornton Smith in admiration for the man.

Descendants of John Smith
Information about the children of John Smith, their descendants, and allied families previously found at is now available as Southside Virginia Genealogies. Learn more 
Names found in this topic include the following.
 John Smith (c.1725-),  
Robert Smith,  Lucy (—) Smith,  
 William Thornton Smith (-1749),  

This topic, which represents .05% of all the family history material at, includes 31 citations and the names of 7 individuals.
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