Nielsen Hayden genealogy

John Smith

Male Abt 1605 - Bef 1649  (~ 43 years)


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  • Name John Smith 
    Born Abt 1605  [1
    Gender Male 
    Died Bef 1649  [1
    Person ID I19134  Ancestry of PNH, TNH, and others | Ancestor of JTS
    Last Modified 10 Nov 2017 

    Family Alice,   d. 1650 
    Married Bef 1630  [1
    Children 
    +1. John Smith,   b. Abt 1630,   d. 1682  (Age ~ 52 years)
    Last Modified 10 Nov 2017 
    Family ID F11833  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Notes 
    • Emigrated 1635 on the Elizabeth.

      On 3 Sep 1635, Massachusetts Bay General Court "ordered, that John Smyth shall be sent within these 6 weeks out of this jurisdiction, for diverse dangerous opinions, which he holdeth, & hath divulged, if in the meantime he removes not himself out of this plantation." He removed to Rhode Island along with Roger Williams and his followers. Many 19th- and 20th-century family histories -- and modern web pages -- characterize John Smith as (in the words of Representative Men and Old Families of Rhode Island, citation details below) "a confidential friend of Roger Williams."

      But on 16 Apr 1638, Roger Williams wrote to Governor John Winthrop that "it is and ever shall be (the Lord assisting) my endeavor to pacify and allay where I meet with rigid and censorious spirits who not only blame your actions but doom your persons, and indeed it was one of the first grounds of my dislike of John Smith the miller and especially of his wife, viz: their judging of your persons as devils etc." Many years later, in 1677, Roger Williams wrote that at the time he left the Bay Colony, he "consented to John Smith miller at Dorchester (banished also) to go with me." [Italics ours.] Far from being a "confidential friend of Roger Williams," it appears that John Smith was the kind of person that bedevils thoughtful reformers and rebels throughout history -- the sort of personality summarized by our friend Roz Kaveney, British civil-rights crusader, as "More Right-On than Requirements."

  • Sources 
    1. [S101] The Great Migration Begins: Immigrants to New England, 1620-1633, Volumes 1-3 and The Great Migration: Immigrants to New England,1634-1635, Volumes 1-7, by Robert Charles Anderson. Boston: New England Historic Genealogical Society, 1996-2011.