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Sort Out Between Nicholas Smith m Elizabeth Flood and Thomas Smith of Scotland Neck
Nicholas Smith
Posted by smithsworldwide in Smith Tangled Lines on January 2, 2023 Views:(431Replies (0)
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Recently someone commented on whether Nicholas Smith born before 1656 in Virginia could possibly be the brother to Richard Smith born c 1632 Surry Co VA who is the supposed son of Thomas Smith who died in Surry Co VA in 1669. From a DNA standpoint, there are two different YDNA groups that do not match each other, one that claims origin from Nicholas Smith and the other from Thomas Smith. If Nicholas Smith is in the Thomas Smith line, members who have that line should match each other.. and they don't. That means that there could be an error in the downlines of the groups. (As always, if you see something that looks incorrect or have more evidence, one way or the other, please weigh in while keeping in mind that the definitive place we want to be is proving these lines through YDNA)

To start. The Thomas Smith b c 1750 VA that went to Scotland Neck is here, Smith DNA Project Group GRP-R-M269-7. Reference for this group are from William & Mary Quarterly Vol 13 No 3 Jul 1933 (The Smiths of Smith's Neck, Isle of Wight County, Virginia), William & Mary Quarterly Vol 25 No 3 Jan 1917 "The Smiths of Virginia,  (one from Nicholas Smith, Smith of Scotland Neck (author Claiborne Smith) and Ancestors and Descendants of Smith by Cheek. Note that all references are on the smithsworldwide.org site, tree project site for the Smith DNA Project at FamilyTreeDNA. Keep in mind as you read that there is more than one Thomas Smith in the area at about the same time and more than one Nicholas.
There was a traditioni among the Scotland Neck Smiths that the progenitor Nicholas had come to North Carolina from one of the counties of lower Virginia and that he was in some way related to the well known Arthur Smith family which gave its name to Smithfield in Isle of Wight County, Virginia. Published sources have listed Nicholas of North Carolina as the son of the third Arthur Smith of Smithfield and states without foundation that Nicholas was a vestryman of St Luke's Old Brick Church in Isle of Wight. Later research proved that Nicholas Smith could not have been the son of this Arthur. ... in 1752 the town of Smithfield was established on land of Arthur Smith IV and in the same year the General Assembly of Virginia passed an act docking the entail on that portion of his property, reciting that all the other male heirs of Arthur Smith I had died without issue except this Arthur and his brother Thomas

Surry Co VA was formed in 1652 from part of James City County, VA on the south side of the James River. There is a fragmentary will of a Thomas Smith bearing only the testators name and the date 1669. According to the Smith of Scotland Neck book p 1

    It is possible that this was Thomas Smith of Martins Hundred, who may have moved a short distance across James River to Surry County before this death and it is also possible that Thomas, will dated 1669, was the father of Richard Smith d 1772 and also of a contemporary Thomas Smith of Surry. Thomas and Richard Smith were granted land in the county on the same date in 1682.


Putting a pin on this. Richard Smith of Surry Co VA is son of Thomas and IF Nicholas Smith is a brother or otherwise related, Richard cannot be listed in both places because the two lines of male Smiths do not match. Or Richard is not the son of Thomas but right now the strongest evidence through YDNA and related trees is that he is.

    On Feb 20 1719, the 3 brothers, Richard, Thomas, and Nicholas received grants on the Meherrin River in what was then Isle of Wight Co VA
    In 1733 when Richard smith and his son Arthur joined Thomas and Nicholas Smith to break the entail on his father's Surry lands, they were living in Brunswick County which had been formed from Isle of Wight in 1720. A few years later Richard Smith moved a few miles south to what was then Bertie Precinct in North Carolina to the portion which, after 1740 became Northampton. In 1738 he sold to David Cummings 50 acres on the south side of the Meherrin and this land adjoined what had been formerly owned by Richard's brother, Nicholas.

According to "The Smiths of Smith's Neck, Isle of Wight County, Virginia" p 170 "The Isle of Wight County records show that land was patented in the County William Smith in 1645 and 1657, Arthur Smith in 1637 and Nicholas Smith in 1655. Their relationship, is any, is unknown. William and Arthur Smiths were the progenitors of a long line of Arthus and Williams and an Arthur Smith was a witness to the will of the third William Smith. The name, Nicholas, appears among the descedants of William. The first Nicholas Smith of Isle of Wight, by his will dated November 19, 1695, mentioned his wife, Anne and a daughter who married Thomas Powell of Maryland, but neither he nor his family are mentioned again (William and Mary Quarterly Vol VI, p 41). However, this article is concerned only with the family who settled and lived in that part of Smith's Neck, where the village of Rescue is now located. This appears to be the family of William Smith, who patented September 29, 1645 for transporting certain persons to Virginia, 700 acres of land lying near Pagan Point, bounded on the North by the James River adn admoining the lands of Anthony Jones, Tristram Norsworthy and Nicholas Smith, together with 500 acres of land for the transportation of certain persons by his late father, William Smith; 425 acres by assignment of headrights from Anthony Jones; and March 17, 1657, 300 acres, being a Marsh known as Ballase Marsh bounded by Hughes Creek and the James River, which grant was renewed October 20, 1661. (VA Magazine Vol VI p 117- William and Mary Quarterly Vol VII, p 221-315, Vol IX p 42-Patent Book 2 page 38 VA Land Office)

Also section on Anthony Jones will of August 16, 1649 which mentions, among others daughter in law Ann Smith "Plantation I now live on with the divident of land thereunto belonging after my wife's decease" to Thomas and John Smith... George Fawson made a Deed of Gift dated October 30, 1654 to Mrs. Ann Smith "whom I intend to make my wife" 1500 acres on the Upper Parish of Isle of Wight upon the Main River Side  "All which mentioned jointure & Dowry the Nuptials now celebrated We George & Ann Fawdon do oblige our selves never to Alienate Release or in any ways alter without the consent & approbation of our Father in Law, Nathaniel Bacon and our Mother Ann, his wife, with our brother William Smith. Witt: Tho Woodward, Richard Clark (Guardien Accounts p 93 - George Fawdon, Ann Fawdon
Nathaniel Bacon was granted 1075 acres of land in Isle of Wight County, adjoining lands of William Smith on September 23, 1652 (Patent Book #3 p 189 VA Land Office). This was Nathaniel Bacon SR, a cousin to Nathaniel Bacon, the Rebel. He was qualified to settle the estate of Major George Fawdon, the husband of his stepdaughter (daughter in law) Ann Smith in 1655.

Now, from YDNA, there are two sons from Richard Smith, Nicholas and Richard Smith b 1679 and they match -See Group Chart  There is therefore no doubt that from Richard Smith b 1632 in Surry Co VA that this is a matching and established group that has a solid treeline.

Could Nicholas Smith who married Elizabeth Flood be a brother of Richard? Based on naming patterns, related family names, yes. Adventures of Purse and Persons, in an article about John Flood says 

Elizabeth Flood married (1) Thomas King of Surry and (2) before 2 Mar 1670, Nicholas Smith , son of Richard and Mary smith of Southwark Parish, Surry County.

and has a reference for Richard's will dated 14 Feb 1724 (R Surry Co 1709-1715 p 244). I believe this reference is incorrect and that the Nicholas referred to is Richard Smith's son Nicholas Smith b 1682 d 1743 at Scotland Neck. (ie conflated two Nicholas Smiths). If instead, it was that Nicholas Smith was the brother (and not son)  of Richard Smith, would make more sense logistically. Also the 3rd son Thomas Smith who got the same land grants at the same time as Nicholas and Richard apparently also went to Northampton Co NC.(Would like to see an actual copy of the will)

Now over to Nicholas Smith who married Elizabeth Flood. Nicholas Smith's will of 1718 in Surry Co VA mentions children: Nicholas, John, Lawrence, Mary and William. Son Lawrence Smith married Jane Regan and they went to Northhampton Co NC. It's interesting that there is a land deed dated 29 Aug 1748 at Northampton Co NC in which

Joseph Smith in Northhampton County in NC to Absolom Smith of Isle of Wight ... 85 acres on the north side of Meherrin River ( being land granted Thomas Smith on 23 MArch 1715 who sold it to Thomas Regan who sold it to Lawrence SMith, the father of the Joseph Smith and Absolum Smith who willed in on 10 Jun 1746 to his son ABsolum Smith. Note see preceeding will. 

Is it possible that the Thomas Smith mentioned in this deed as selling land to Thomas Regan and thence to Lawrence Smith is the 3rd brother to Nicholas and Richard? (Looking for the deed). Note that son of Nicholas, John  Smith who married Mary Price, had a son named Arthur which is also a family name of the first Thomas Smith group.

The book South Side Virginia Families Vol 1: Nicholas Smith family has an exposition about son of Nicholas William Smith whom it is believed married Anne Isham. Sons of this William accoding to his will in Brunswick Co VA are: Cuthbert, William Isham, Josiah, Sarah, Lucy and Susannah.

I question not whether Nicholas Smith had a son named William but whether this book is correct in saying that Wililam Smith of Brunswick Co VA is the son. Here's why. There are no family names listed with this Wililam Smith that are shared by Nicholas Smith, none of the children seem to have gone to Northampton Co NC, need proof of any in Brunswick Co VA, and, in fact, through YDNA, could this lineage be why the two groups do not match? It also appears based on other patterns of migration that this line from William  is related to the Smiths that went to Georgia. Note that every person who matches on the apparent Nicholas Smith line come through William Smith and then either William or Josiah. Not any through Cuthbert but would really like to have a Cuthbert Smith descendant join the project to confirm the baseline.

Of course this is speculation at this point and, through YDNA, the way to test this is to get additional male Smith YDNA testers who have a direct line to both these groups. That means male Smith, last name is Smith, with a tree line that can be shown to go up the ways.

In testing whether Nicholas Smith m Elizabeth Flood could possibly be more kin to the Thomas Smith group, we would like to have a descendant of Nicholas through another one of his sons do YDNA, for example, Lawrence Smith b 1687 who seems to have a very strong line and hopefully would have a male Smith descendant living. Frankly, the Nicholas Smith b 1682 that died in Westmoreland Co VA needs to be confirmed as well to be a son of Smith/Flood. (At least at the time of Nicholas Smith b before 1650, apparently Nicholas Smith his son had no heirs.) Have not followed out the line for John Smith who married Mary Price but he appears to have had two sons, and definitely Arthur Smith, mentioned in the will.

To sum up. A DNA project seeks to prove through matches, in particular YDNA paternal line matches that a group can be proven from a common ancestor. When there are discrepancies (ie, as raised by question whether Nicholas is direct kin to Richard, we seek to prove yes or not by having male Smiths of those line do YDNA.