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Nehemiah Smith

Biography by Albert L Williams

NEHEMIAH SMITH, b. 5 Feb. 1764, probably at East Hart, Ct. where he resided and where he died 16 Sep 1803. His residence at the time of his death was probably at Fabius, Onondaga County, NY. At that time, however, Onandaga had not yet been created out of old Ontario Co.

The data above were collated from a variety of sources at which I now can only guess. Grandfather Williams' old family Bible gave the dates of his birth and death I think; some I probably got from Uncle Jack, some from Mrs. Elizabeth A. Adams, a granddaughter of Ralph Pomeroy, with whom I had a most interesting correspondence, copies of which I have bound under the title, "Letters of a Saint", and some from records and the recollection of correspondents at Canandaigua, the old shire town of Ontario Co.

There is no assurance that the above list of children is complete. The Surrogate of Onondaga informed me, for instance, that a Nehemiah Smith died at Skaneateles in 1859, leaving a wife, Hannah, and children Elizabeth Olmstead of Auburn, Julia Smith, and Mary Burch of Skaneateles. Assuredly he was a near relative, probably a son.

The County Clerk of Onandaga wrote that their records show that 21 Feb. 1800, a deed was given by Nathaniel Barber to Nehemiah Smith and Jonathan Standly---His father-in-law (193-7)---both of East Hartford, Ct. The property was located in the Town of Fabius. "There were several transactions after that by Nehemiah Smith, the last one being a deed to him from the estate of Nicholas Thon on property in the town of Skaneateles, this County, on Oct. 16th, 1834." Inasmuch as our grandfather, Nehemiah, died 31 years previously, this must have been the other Nehemiah.

That looked probable enough to set up Nehemiah Jr. as a son, but I worked the Clerk for another letter: "The lot conveyed by the above deed in Fabius was Lot 28. The next deed in which he was named was given 9 Mar. 1818, by John Stockman to Mabel Smith, Allen Smith, Samuel Smith, Jerusha Smith and Mabel Smith Jr. heirs of Nehemiah Smith, late of the town of Fabius. While this deed does not make it conclusive that parties named were the only surviving heirs of Nehemiah Smith, unless a close scrutiny of the deed affords no reason for the exclusion of the other Nehemiah, it raises a strong presumption that he was not Junior to our Grandfather.

Mrs. Adams wrote, "I have heard your Grandma, Jerusha, tell stories which convinced me that the Smiths were seafaring men and dealt in Chinese merchandize."

But the Roberts family were her ancestors as well as the Smiths, and they are known to have fulfilled the requirements of that tradition.