- Birth date: https://www.smithsworldwide.org/tng/familygroup.php?familyID=F20898&tree=tree1
THOMAS SMITH d. 1783, Son of JOSEPH SMITH
There is no record as to where THOMAS SMITH was born, or who was his wife. That he was one of the early settlers in Albemarle County, VA, however, is shown by the proceedings of the county court. On January 24, 1745, Joshua Fry and others of the Gentlemen Justices held a court "For the laying of the county levy." Most of the levy went to pay the bounty due persons who had killed wolves - 140 pounds of tobacco for an old animal, 70 pounds for a young one. William Cabell, one of the Justices present, reported that there was due THOMAS SMITH 280 pounds, the bounty for two grown wolves. THOMAS, then, was an inhabitant of the county when it was formed, and was living in a sparsely settled area where predators threatened his livestock.
He probably was already settled on the land which William Cabell surveyed for him on March 20, 1749, a tract of 400 acres on the branches of Mechum River. Patent was issued for it in 1756. This parcel lay immediately south of Col. John Chiswell's large patent, its northern boundary coinciding with what the early deeds refer to as Chiswell's "back line." On today's map its location would be somewhat south of Route 635 at its intersection with Route 736; that is, about three miles west of Batesville and close to the Nelson County line.
THOMAS evidently prospered. In 1751 Col. Chiswell deeded to "THOMAS SMITH Smith of Albemarle, Colony and Dominion of Virginia" the parcel of 150 acres which lay immediately north of their common boundary. In 1769 THOMAS (now described as "SENIORr") made the purchase from Andrew Kinkead 100 acres adjoining his own holdings, on the north. The personal property tax records for 1782 list THOMAS as the owner of 12 slaves, 19 cattle and 6 horses. It is not possible to get a more detailed account of his effects because his will directed that his estate was to be "brought to no appraisement", in consequence of which no sale was had; nevertheless the property listed, real and personal is sufficient to indicate that he was one of the more substantial citizens of his area of the county.
THOMAS SMITH'S will was probated at November Court, 1783. (See copy below. HB)
It contains an unusually devout preamble. This supplication might have been the spontaneous outpouring of the old man's piety. Yet since Benjamin Burgher, the early Baptist preacher in western Albemarle, was THOMAS' next neighbor, one is tempted to suspect that Burgher may have had something to do with the drafting. His burial, THOMAS directed was to be "decent, without Pomp and State." The will was signed, as were his conveyances, with his monogram T WITH AN S over it.
THOMAS' will also contained the seeds of a dispute among his children over the ownership of certain slaves. To his "Dear and Loving wife" he left all his estate during her "life or widowhood." Provision was made for each of his children after her death. To his daughter Susannah was left a negro woman named Wennefred, while SON THOMAS was made residual legatee of all personal property. No mention was made of negro man Robin or of Wennefred's daughter Milley. After his mother's death THOMAS claimed them as part of the residual estate, but assigned to Susannah his interest in Milley, "since she had had the trouble of raising her." Their brother John demanded that the two negroes be sold and the proceeds divided among all the heirs of THOMAS, SENIOR, on the theory that under the law of Virginia they passed like real property, as to which no residual legatee had been named. John was, of course, correct. Thomas and Susannah nevertheless refused to yield possession.
The altercation finally came to a head in 1801 when the disputants agreed to submit the matter to the arbitration of Andrew Hart, Tandy Key, George Divers, Samuel Murrell and Marshall Durrett. Bond was given in the penalty of $l000 "in case either party refused to stand to the award of said gentlemen." When the arbitrators met, Susannah refused to proceed unless Capt. James Brooks was allowed to plead in her behalf. The other parties agreed, though they had no counsel. This matter settled, the artibrators examined the will of THOMAS, SENIORr, and unanimously decided that the negroes in fact belonged to all the heirs.
Thomas, Junior, was evidently of a mind to comply with this decision, being overheard to say that he was perfectly satisfied with the award. Susannah was not, and apparently changed his opinion for he later declared that he had been "much persuaded" by her not to submit to arbitration and had been intimidated by his brother John's treat of suit and the prospect of ruinous costs. John and the other heirs now retained William Waller Hening, who at November term of court filed bill of complaint on behalf of John Smith, William Grayson (who had marrried Thomas, Senior's, daughter Anne), Claudius Buster (widower of Mary Smith, deceased), and William Wood (husband of Thomas Senior's granddaughter Eliza Ray).
The matter proceeded in the leisurely fashion then characteristic of chancery causes. Answer was not filed until 1804. In 1805 some depositions were taken and William Wood withdrew as a party. He deposed that he had, while in Williamsburg on military matters, consulted Edmund Randolph and had been advised that the arbitrators' decision was correct, but that "on returning home and reading the will he thought that he was not entitled to any part of the negroes in dispute and relinquished all claim to them." In this same year Hening removed to Richmond and began the task of compiling the Statutes at Large of Virginia. Probably because of this the case dragged on. There is no record of a final decree, but the outcome was favorable to the complainants because the negroes and their increase were sold and distribution made to the heirs in 1837. But Susannah won half a victory anyway. Because of her stubborness and the law's delays she kept Milley and her offspring as long as she lived.
THOMAS SMITH, SENIOR, had six daughters and three sons. The daughters were Anne (wife of Captain William Grayson), Sarah (wife of John Crawford), Mary (wife of Claudius Buster), Ursula (wife of Thomas Ray), Lizey Coffey and Susannah. The sons were Lawrence, John and Thomas. Lawrence was no doubt the eldest son of THOMAS, SENIOR. He had left Albemarle before the death of his father in 1783 and evidently lost or cut his ties with the family. In the suit papers there is a deposition, taken in 1806, that "by report" he was then in Kentucky. THOMAS refusing to believe him lost or dead, bequeathed him the sum of 100 pounds and left a negro boy named Caesar to son John to assure that property was available to pay this bequest if the prodigal returned. Lawrence was a member of the Albemarle militia defending the frontier against the Indians in 1758 and is listed in 1765 as a debtor to Charles Smith's estate. Thomas Smith, Jr., third son of THOMAS SMITH, SR., lived in his father's household, and to him his father devised the homeplace. The tax records, various deeds, and depositions in the suit refer to him as MAJOR THOMAS SMITH, but whether he held this rank in the militia or in a unit of the line is not clear. He married Rachel Patrick, daughter of Charles Patrick, probably well advanced in years; in any event the records contain no reference to children of the marriage. In 1787 and subsequent years the tax lists include a John Smith, "overseer for MAJOR THOMAS," though THOMAS' holdings could scarcely have justified the employment of such a person, and perhaps as a result of such extravagance he became hard pressed. Whatever the reason, in 1803 he (THOMAS) conveyed all his land in Albemarle and evidently moved west and no further record of him is found. (Source from Charles K. Woltz Manuscript, Charlottesville, VA, written July 1988)
At a Court continued for Albemarle County July 15, 1748
In debt case of Jeremiah Whitney agst John Biby, parties appear as does a Jury, to wit: Joseph Anthony (foreman), John Smith, Charles Lambert, Thommas Smith, Richard Dameron, William Hooper, Leonard Ballow, John McWerters, William Sympson, Richard Gwin, James McNeal & Drury Tucker who defer Judgment till August court.
Feb 23, 1769: Albemarle Co. Deed from Andrew Kinkead to THOMAS SMITH, SENR., both of Albemarle, 100 acres for L 40. On the Branches of Meechums River, having been conveyed to Andrew Kinkead by Wm. Grayson (conveyed by Robinson Esq. To Grayson & Samuel Tincher). Neighbors: John Kinkead, Walker. Witnesses: John Smith, Thos. Coffey, Benjamin Coffey, Thomas Smith.
ALBEMARLE VA CO. 1779 Quit Rents as cited in: Colonial America, 1607-1789 VA Census Index.
Thomas Smith Jr.
Thomas Smith Sr.
U.S. Census Reconstructed Records, 1660-1820
Name: Thomas Smith Sr
Gender: M (Male)
County: Albemarle County
Residence Year: 1780
History of Albemarle by Edgar Woods
APPENDIX, No. 9. Page 397
Thomas Smith 1783
WILL OF THOMAS SMITH, SR. d. 1783
Will Book 2, Pages 414-415, Albemarle County, VA
(Transcribed by Hazel Smith Bonner)
In the name of God Amen, I THOMAS SMITH of Albemarle County being This the abundanct mercy and goodness of God, tho weak in body, yet of a sound and Perfect understanding and memory do constitute this my Last will & Testament and desire it to be preceived by all as such. Imprimis. I most humbly bequeath my Soul to God, my father, beseeching his most Gracious Acceptance of it, thro' the All Sufficient merits and mediation of my most Compasionate Redeemer Jesus Christ, who gave himself to be an Atonement for my Sins, and is able to Save to the Uttermost, all that Come unto God by him, Seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them, and who I trust will not reject me, a returning penitant Sinner, when I come to him for mercy in this hope and Confidence I deliver, myself unto his kind and beneficent hand thro' Jesus Christ Amen.
Imprimis. I give my body to the Earth from whence it was taken in full assurance of its Preservation, from thence at the Last Day, as for my burial, I desire it may be decent without Pomp or State, at the Discretion of my Dear wife, or those who have the management thereof, who I doubt not will do it with all Requisite prudence. As to my Worldly Estate, I will and positively order that all my debts be paid. Item I give to my Dear Loving wife, all my Estate during her life or widowhood. And after the Death of whom I give my land to my Son Thomas Smith whereon I now live. Also that which I bought of Andrew Kindead.
Item to my son John Smith I give one negro boy named James.
Item I give to my daughter Anne Grayson one negro girl called Sarah she and her increase to be given to whom she pleases at her death.
Item I give to my Daughter Sarah Crawford five shillings Sterling.
Item I give to my son Lawrence Smith, one hundred pounds to be paid on the Day of the Date hereof by my sons, John & Thomas Smith Jr.
Item I give to my Daughter Mary Buster Dec'd one hundred pounds to be paid on the Day of the Date hereof by my Sons John and Thomas Smith Jr. This money to be equally divided between her two sons John & David Buster.
Item I give to my grandaughter Lizey Ray, One Negro Boy called David.
Item I give to my Daughter Lizey Coffey a negro Girl called Alse, who is to be given at her Death to whom she pleases.
Item I give to my Daughter Susannah Smith, a negro Girl Winnefred to be given to whom she pleases at her Death.
Item I give to my son Thomas Smith Jr. one negro man James, one negro woman Susannah, one negro Girl Elizabeth, with all the rest of my personal Estate at his Mother's Death.
Nb: I give a negro boy Caesar to my son John Smith that he may pay his brother Lawrence Smith one hundred pounds as above mentioned. And I give to my Son Thomas Smith, one negro Boy call Benjamin that he may pay one hundred pounds as above mentioned to John and David Buster. In Witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand & Seal.
Nb: I desire that my Estate may be brought to no appraisement.
THOMAS TS SMITH SR. (Will was signed with his monorgram T with a S over it. HB)
Signed Sealed & delivered in the presence of
At Albemarle November Court 1783
This will was proved by the oath of John Massie, William Smith and Thomas Smith the witnesses thereto and ordered to be recorded.
THOMAS SMITH was the youngest son of Joseph Smith, (Joseph) who with Edwin Hickman, Thomas Graves, and Jonathan Clark, patented 3,277 acres in 1734 on the north side of Rivanna River where it flows through the South West Mountains. Joseph Smith surveyed a road there in 1745-48, over which Parson Rose probably walked, near Buck Island Creek. By 1765, (Joseph)Smith's sons had sold their shares in the land, and Thomas Jefferson owned it as part of his Monticello plantation near Charlottesville. THOMAS SMITH died in Albemarle County in 1783, his will naming three sons and five daughters. (Source from The Diary of Robert Rose 1746-1751)
From "History of Albemarle County," by Rev. Edgar Woods, 1901, page 317:
In 1769 THOMAS SMITH, purchased a part of the Chiswell patent on the head waters of Mechum's. He died in 1783. His children were Thomas, John, Ann, the wife of William Grayson, Sarah, the wife of Nathan Crawford, Lawrence, Mary, the wife of (David?)(Claudius HB) Buster, Susan, and another daughter, the wife of a Ray.
Will Abstracts of Albemarle, Va film 01421873
par 1783 THOMAS SMITH SR., Nov, children: Thos, John, Laurence, Sarah Crawford, Susannah, \tab Lizey Coffey, Ann Grayson, Mary Burster, grd sons John & David Burster, (and granddaughter Lizey Ray).