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Full text of "Asahel Smith of Topsfield"



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THE LlSKAftY 

or CONi3R£|| 

WASHINGTON 



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JOSEPH SMITH, 
The Mormon Prophet. 




HYRUM SMITH. 



ASAHEL SMITH OF TOPSFIELD, WITH SOME 
ACCOUNT OF THE SMITH FAMILY. 

BY JOSEPH F. SMITH, JR., OF SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH. 



In looking over the early history of the United States, one 
cannot help but see the truthfulness of the words of the 
Apostle Paul, that "the powers that be are ordained of God." 
I firmly believe that through the inspiration of the Lord the 
first settlers of America were moved upon to take up their 
journey from the old world and make their homes in this 
land of freedom. Generally they were of humble birth, yet 
honest, industrious and brave ; men, such as the Lord would 
choose to cope with the many problems which are always to 
be met and overcome in the settlement of a new country or 
in the framing of a new nation. 

Among these early settlers was a Robert Smith who immi- 
grated in the year 1638. Beginning life in the new world in 
a humble way he gradually won the esteem of his neighbors, 
and through his industry and integrity was able to gather 
around him some of the comforts of life. He married a 
Mary French and moved to that part of Rowley, in Essex 
County, which afterward became the township of Boxford, 
where he purchased two hundred eight acres of land. Robert 
was known among his neighbors as a quiet unassuming man, 
devoted to the welfare of the settlement, and was ever ready 
to lend a helping hand to the needy. He was the father of 
ten children, namely : Thomas; Mary, born October 28, 1658, 
married John Towne ; Phebe, born August 26, 1661, married 
Jacob Towne; Ephraim, born October 29, 1663, married 

(87) 




88 ASAHEL SMITH OF TOPSFIELD. 

Mary Ramsdell;_Samuel, born January 26, 1666, married 
Rebecca Curtis; Amye, born August 16, 1668, married 
Joseph Towne ; Sarah, born June 25, 1670, died August 28, 
1673; Nathaniel, born January 29, 1674, married Rebecca 
Symonds; Mariah, born December 18, 1677, married Peter 
Shumway. In his will dated August 7, 1693 — twenty-three 
days before his death — Robert appointed his wife Mary and 
third son, Samuel, his executors. Later by request of his 
mother and the children, Samuel became the sole adminis- 
trator of his father's estate. He received a letter of adminis- 
tration from Judge Jonathan Corwin, October 3, 1698. 

After the estate was divided, Samuel moved from Boxford 
to Topsfield where he became an influential member of soci- 
ety and held several ofifices of trust. He married Rebecca, 
daughter of John Curtis, January 25, 1707, He is sometimes 
credited with a previous marriage, but whether this is the 
same Samuel has not been proved with any degree of cer- 
tainty. The children of Samuel and Rebecca were : Phebe, 
Mary, Samuel, Rebecca, Elizabeth, Hephzibah, Robert, Su- 
sannah and Hannah. His son Samuel was born January 3, 
1714, in Topsfield. He married (first) Priscilla Gould, 
daughter of Zaccheus Gould of that village. Their children 
were: Priscilla, Samuel, Vashti, Susannah, and Asahel. After 
the death of his wife, Samuel married (second) Priscilla 
Gould, a cousin to his first wife. Samuel was a very promi- 
nent man in the community and served the people the greater 
part of his life. Among the many positions he held are the 
following: — He was grand juryman in 1760; in 1770, road 
supervisor; in 1779, 1780, 1783, 1784, and 1785 he was on the 
committee of safety ; from 1771 to 1777 and in 1781 and 
1782 he was assessor and selectman in Topsfield, declining 
the honor in 1783; he was moderator in 1758, 1759, 1760, 
1762, 1764, 1766, 1767, 1768, 1769, 1770, 1771, 1772, 1773, 
1774, 1775, 1778, 1779, 1780, and 1783; recog. of debts in 
1777. 1778, 1779, 1780, 1782 and 1783; representative to 
the General Court (H. of R.) in 1764, 1765. 1766, 1767, 
1768, 1769, 1770, 1772, 1777, 1778, and 1781 ; town clerk in 
1774, 1776 and 1777; delegate to the Provincial Congress at 
Concord, October ii, 1774 and again January 19, 1775 and 
he was on the tea committee (chairman) in 1773. He was 



Vv'*-. 






ASAHEL SMITH OF TOPSFIELD. 89 

best known as "Captain" Samuel Smith, receiving his mih"tary 
title from service in the militia. 

He died November 14, 1785, leaving an estate valued at 
^544-12-8. The Salem Gazette of November 22, 1785, in 
recording the fact of his death made mention of him in the 
following worthy terms: 

"Died. — At Topsfield, on Monday the 14th instant, Samuel 
Smith, Esq., aged 'J2. — So amiable and worthy a character 
as he evidently appeared, both in public and private, will 
render the memory of him ever precious. For a number of 
years he represented the town in the General Court, where he 
was esteemed a man of integrity and uprightness. His use- 
fulness among those with whom he was more immediately 
conversant was eminent. He was a sincere friend to the 
liberties of his country, and a strenuous advocate for the 
doctrine of Christianity. 

"The memory of the Just is blessed." 

Asael, son of Samuel, was born in Topsfield, March 7, 1744. 
His mother died shortly after his birth and he was left in the 
care of his father's second wife, Priscilla. The greater part 
of his early life was spent in Topsfield. February 12, 1767, 
he married Mary Duty, of Windham, New Hampshire, and 
took up his residence in that place about the year 1772. 
From there he moved to Dunbarton and from there he went 
to Derryfield, now the city of Manchester. 

During the Revolution he followed the example of his wor- 
thy father and cast his lot on the side of the patriots, serving 
in the American army during the war. After the death of 
his father, in 1785, Asael returned to Topsfield again to make 
his home on the paternal estate. He lived in the old home 
about one mile north of the town, where a number of his 
children were born, notably, Joseph, father of the "Mormon" 
Prophet. It is doubtful if Asael would have again left the 
place had he not aroused the prejudices of his neighbors. 
He was a man of very liberal views, with thoughts in advance 
of his time. He was noted for having opinions of his own 
which he would not yield to bigotry nor opposition. Some 
of his children were baptized in the Congregational church at 
Topsfield ; but in his own religious views he was somewhat 
of a Universalist, and held to the truths that in America, all 



90 ASAHEL SMITH OF TOPSFIELD. 

men should have free and equal religious liberty. It is com- 
monly reported in the family that he brought the ill-will of 
his neighbors upon his head because of his too liberal reli- 
gious views. It is well known that he was open and explicit 
and always expressed his honest opinions whether they were 
in accord with prevailing views or not. 

It has been said of him that one of his shoulders was high- 
er than the other, but this is a mistake. He was not deformed 
in any way, but while a small child his neck was severely 
burned which caused the cords to contract, making his neck 
stiff; and from this he received the undignified nickname of 
"Crook-neck" Smith, a term applied to him by his opposers. 
Nehemiah Cleaveland, in his address delivered at the two- 
hundredth anniversary of the incorporation of Topsfield, 
speaking of Asael, said: "He was so free in his opinions on 
religious subjects that some regarded his sentiments as more 
distorted than his neck." But fortunately some of his writ- 
ings in which he expressed his views have been handed down 
to us, and although his religious opinions were not always in 
accord with public opinion or belief, yet he was honest in his 
convictions and held aloof from all denominations simply 
because he could not reconcile their teachings with the Scrip- 
tures and his reason. In the spring of 1 79 1 he removed from 
Topsfield never to return, and again took up his abode, tem- 
porarily, in the "Granite State," afterwards moving to Tun- 
bridge in Vermont. 

Asael was somewhat gifted with the pen and did consider- 
able writing in his day. He was affable in manner, posses- 
sing a quaint and genial humor and a fund of anecdote. 
While living in Topsfield he thus expressed to the selectmen 
the amount and nature of his taxable property: — 

"I have two poles tho' one is poor, 

I have three cows & want five more, 
I have no horse, But fifteen sheep. 

No more than these this year I keep, 
Stears, that's two years old, one pair, 

Two calves I have, all over hair, 
Three heffers two years old, I own 

One heffer calf that's poorly grone, 



ASAHEL SMITH OF TOPSFIELD. 9 1 

My Land is acres Eighty two 

Which sarch the Record youle find true, 

And this is all I have in store, 

I'll thank you if youle Tax no more. 

AsAEL Smith." 

The following is an extract from one of his letters, written 
after his departure from Topsfield, to a friend in that town: 

"For my part I am so willing to trust the government of 
the world in the hands of the Supreme Ruler of Universal 
Nature, that I do not at present wish to try to wrest it out of 
His hands, and I have so much confidence in His abilities to 
teach our Senators wisdom that I do not think it worth while 
for me to interpose from the little stock of knowledge that 
He has favored me with, in the affair, either one way or the 
other. He has conducted us through a glorious Revolution 
and has brought us into the promised land of peace and lib- 
erty ; and I believe that He is about to bring all the world 
in the same beatitude in His own time and way; which, al- 
though His way may appear never so inconsistant to our 
blind reason, yet may be perfectly consistant with His de- 
signs. And I believe that the stone is now cut out of the 
mountain, without hands, spoken of by Daniel, and has smit- 
ten the image upon his feet, by which the iron, the clay, the 
brass, the silver and the gold, (viz.) all the monarchical and 
ecclesiastical tyranny will be broken to pieces and become 
as the chaff of the summer thrashing floor: the wind shall 
carry them all away, and there shall be no place found for 
them." 

But perhaps the sentiments and character of the man are 
best depicted in his address to his family which is here pro- 
duced in full : — 

"A few words of advice which I leave to you, my dear wife 
and children, whom I expect ere long to leave: 

My Dear Selfs — I know not what leisure I shall have at the 
hour of my death to speak to you, and as you all know that 
I am not free in speech, especially when sick or sad ; and 
therefore now do speak my heart to you, and would wish you 



92 ASAHEL SMITH OF TOPSFIELD. 

to hear me speaking to you as long as you live (when my 
tongue shall be mouldered to dust in the silent tomb) in this 
my writing which I divide among you all. 

And first to you, my dear wife, I do with all the strength 
and power that is in me, thank you for your kindness and 
faithfulness to me, beseeching God who is the husband of the 
widow, to take care of you and not to leave you nor forsake 
you, or never suffer you to leave nor forsake Him, nor His 
ways. Put your whole trust solely in Him, He never did nor 
never will forsake any that trusted in Him. One thing, how- 
ever, I would add, if you should marry again, remember 
what I have undergone by a stepmother, and do not estrange 
your husband from his own children or kindred, lest you 
draw on him and on yourself a great sin. So I do resign you 
into the everlasting arms of the great Husband of husbands, 
the Lord Jesus Christ. 

And now my dear children let me pour out my heart to 
you and speak first to you of immortality in your souls. 
Trifle not in this point; the soul is immortal; you have to 
deal with an infinite Majesty; you go upon life and death; 
therefore in this point be serious. Do all to God in a serious 
manner; when you think of Him, speak of Him, pray to Him, 
or in any way make your addresses to His great Majesty, be 
in good earnest. Trifle not with His name nor with His at- 
tributes, nor call Him to witness to any thing but is absolute 
truth ; nor then, but when sound reason on serious consider- 
ation requires it. And as to religion, I would not wish to 
point out any particular form to you ; but first I would wish 
you to search the Scriptures and consult sound reason and 
see if they (which I take to be two witnesses that stand by 
the God of the whole earth) are not sufificient to evince to 
you that religion is a necessary theme. Then I would wish 
you to study the nature of religion, and see whether it con- 
sists in outward formalities, or in the hidden man of the 
heart; whether you can by outward forms, rites and ordin- 
ances, save yourselves, or whether there is a necessity of 
your having help from any other hand than your own. If 
you find that you stand in need of a Savior, Christ saith : 
'Look unto me and be ye saved all ye ends of the earth;' 
then look to Him, and if you find from Scripture and sound 



ASAHEL SMITH OF TOPSFIELD. 93 

reason that Christ hath come into the world to save sinners, 
then examine what it was that caused Him to leave the cen- 
ter of consummate happiness to suffer as He did — whether it 
was to save mankind because they were sinners and could not 
save themselves ; or, whether He came to save mankind be- 
cause they had repented of their sins, so as to be forgiven on 
the score of their repentance. If you find that He came to 
save sinners merely because they were such, then try if there 
is any other so great that He cannot save him ; but mind 
that you admit no others as evidences but the two that God 
hath appointed, viz.. Scripture and sound reason. And if 
these two witness that you are one whit better by nature than 
the worst heathen in the darkest corner of the deserts of Ara- 
bia, then conclude that God hath been partial towards you 
and hath furnished you with a better nature than others; 
and that consequently, He is not just to all mankind. But if 
these two witnesses testify to you that God is just to all and 
His tender mercies are over all His works ; then believe them, 
and if you can believe that Christ came to save sinners and 
not the righteous Pharisees, or self-righteous; that sinners 
must be saved by the righteousness of Christ alone, without 
mixing any of their own righteousness with His, then you 
will see that He can as well save all as any. And there is no 
respect of persons with God, who will have all mankind to 
be saved and come to the knowledge of the truth, viz., 'that 
there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, 
the man Christ Jesus, who gave Himself a ransom for all, to 
be testified in due time.' And when you believe this you will 
enter into His rest, and when you enter into His rest you will 
know what that rest is, and not before. And having gotten 
this evidence that God is true, be still adding to your evidence 
and enjoy your present assurance. Do all to your God as to 
your father, for His love is ten thousand times greater 
towards you than ever any earthly father's could be to his 
offspring. 

In the next place strive for those graces, most which con- 
cern your places and conditions and strive most against those 
failings which most threaten you. But above everything 
avoid a melancholy disposition, that is a humor that admits 
of any temptation and is capable of any impression and dis- 



94 ASAHEL SMITH OF TOPSFIELD. 

temper; shun as death this humor \vhich"\vill work }'ou to 
all unthankfulness against God, unlovingness to men and un- 
naturalness to yourselves and one another. 

Do not talk and make a noise to get the name of forward 
men, but do the thing and do it in a way that is fair and 
honest, which you can live and die by and rise and reign by; 
therefore, my children, do more than you talk of, in point of 
religion; satisfy your own consciences in what you do; all 
men you shall never satisfy, nay, some will not be satisfied 
though they be convinced. 

As for Your Calling — Any honest calling will honor you if 
you honor that. It is better to be a rich cobbler than a poor 
merchant; a rich farmer than a poor preacher; and never 
be discouraged though sometimes your schemes should not 
succeed according to your wishes. 

Persevere in the way of well-doing and you may hope for 
success. For myself (who had never your parts nor helps), 
I never found anything too hard for mc in my calling, but 
discouragement and unbelief. If I was discouraged and did 
not believe I could do a thing, I never could ; therefore, when 
you think anything is too hard for you, do not undertake it. 

As to Your Company — Abandon all infectious, self-serving 
companions; when once you have found them false, trust 
them no more. Sort with such as are able to do or receive 
good. Solomon gives you the best counsel for this in many 
places. Read the Proverbs and remember him in this. For- 
sake not an old friend; be friendly and faithful to your 
friends. Never trouble nor trust friends unless there be a 
necessity, and lastly be long in closing with friends and loth 
to lose them upon experience of them. 

As to Your Marriages — I do not .think it worth while to 
say much about them, for I believe God hath created the 
persons for each other and that nature will find its own. 

But for Your Children — Make it your chiefest work to 
bring them up in the ways of virtue that they may be useful 
in their generation. Give them if possible a good education ; 
if nature hath made no difference do you make none in your 
affections, countinances nor portions; partiality this way be- 
gets envy, hatred, strife and contention. 

And as for Yourselves Within Yourselves — My desire hath 



ASAHEL SMITH OF TOPSFIELD. 95 

been to carry an even hand towards you all and I have 
labored to reduce you as near as I could, all circumstances 
considered, to an equality; and, therefore, my last request 
and charge is, that you will live together in an undivided 
bond of love. You are many of you, and if you join together 
as one man, you need not want anything. What counsel, 
what comfort, what money, what friends may you not help 
yourselves unto, if you will all as one contribute your aids. 

Wherefore, my dear children, I pray, beseech, and adjure 
you by all the relations and dearness that hath ever been be- 
twixt us and by the heart-rending pangs of a dying father 
whose soul hath been ever bound in the bundle of life with 
yours, that you know one another. Visit as you may each 
other. Comfort, counsel, relieve, succor, help and admonish 
one another; and, while your mother lives, meet her, if pos- 
sible, once every year. When she is dead, pitch on some 
other place, if it may be your elder brother's house; or if 
you cannot meet, send to and hear from each other yearly 
and oftener if you can ; and when you have neither father 
nor mother left, be so many fathers and mothers to each 
other, so you shall understand the blessings mentioned in the 
133 Psalm. 

As to Your Estates — Be not troubled that you are below 
your kindred ; get more wisdom, humility and virtue and you 
are above them, only do this. Deal with your hearts to 
make them less ; begin low, join together to help one another ; 
rest upon the promises which are many and precious this 
way. Love mercy and have mercy on yourselves and one 
another, and I know, I know, I say and I am confident in it, 
that if you will trust God in His own way He will make com- 
fortable provisions for you. Make no more objections but 
trust Him. 

For the public — Bless God that you live in a land of lib- 
erty and bear yourselves dutifully and conscionably towards 
the authority under which you live. See God's providence 
in the appointment of the Federal Constitution and hold 
union and order precious jewels. And for the church of 
Christ; neither set her above her Husband nor below her 
children ; give her that honor, obedience and respect that is 
her due. And if you will be my children and heirs of my 



96 ASAHEL SMITH OF TOPSFIELD. 

comfort in my dying age, be neither anothers nor factions of 
any party or faction or novelty; it is true that this is not a 
rising way, but it is a free, fair, comfortable way for a man to 
follow his own judgement without wavering to either hand. 
I make no doubt but you will hear divers opinions concern- 
ing me both before and after I shall sleep in silence ; but do 
not be troubled at that. I did what in my circumstances 
seemed best for me for the present; however, the event hath 
not in some points answered my expectations ; yet I have 
learned to measure things by another rule than events and 
satisfy myself in this that I did all for the best as I thought, 
and if I had not so much foresight as some others I cannot 
help it. 

Sure am I, my Savior, Christ, is perfect, and never will fail 
in one circumstance. To Him I commit your souls, bodies, 
estates, names, characters, lives, deaths and all, and myself, 
waiting when He shall change my vile body and make it like 
His own most glorious body. And wish to leave to you 
everything I have in this world but my faults, and them I 
take with me to the grave, there to be buried in everlasting 
oblivion ; but leaving my virtues, if ever I had any, to revive 
and live in you, Amen ; so come Lord Jesus ; come quickly. 
Amen. 

The above was written April lO, 1799, and left for my 
dearly beloved wife and children to view after my decease." 

The original copy of this article, which is in a well pre- 
served condition, is now in the possession of the Smith family. 
It was read and well understood by Asael's family many years 
before his death and no doubt had a great influence over 
them in their actions for good. 

Asael was devotedly attached to his wife, his life-long com- 
panion, who survived him. The latter years of his life were 
spent at the home of his son Silas in Stockholm, St. Law- 
rence County, New York, where he died October 31, 1830, 
over 86 years of age. In stature he was tall, his body was 
well proportioned and powerful and he was capable of hand- 
ling with ease two ordinary men. 



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ASAHEL SMITH OF TOPSFIELD. 97 

The children of Asael and Mary were: 



Jesse, born April 20, 1760, in Topsfield. When his 
father's family moved to the West, Jesse remained in Ver- 
mont. He married Hannah Peabody and had the following 
children: — 

Benjamin, b. May 2, 1793. 
Eliza, b. March 9, 1795. 
Ira, b. January 30, 1797. 
Harry, b. April i, 1799. 
Harriet, b. April 8, 1801. 
Stephen, b. May 2, 1803. 
Mary, b. May 4, 1805. 
Catharine, b. July 13, 1807. 
Royal, b. July 2, 1809. 
Sarah, b. Dec. 16, 1812. 



Priscilla, born in Topsfield, October 20, 1769; married 
John C. Waller, August 24, 1796. Their children were: — 

Calvin C, b. June 6, 1797. 

Polly, b. Oct. 16, 1799; d. June 20, 1800. 

Marshall S., b. March 18, 1801. 

Royal H., b. Nov. 29, 1802. 

Dudley C, b. Sept. 29, 1804. 

Bushrod, b. Oct. 18, 1806. 

Silas, b. January i, 1809. 

Sally P., b. October 31, 18 10. 

John H., b. Sept. 9, 1812 ; d. Nov. 5, 1812. 

'3 

Joseph, born in Topsfield, July 12,1771. He moved with 
his father to Tunbridge, Orange County, Vermont, in 1791, 
and assisted in clearing a large farm of a heavy growth of 
timber. In the year 18 16, Joseph moved to the State of 
New York and settled in Manchester, Ontario County. While 
the family was living in New York, the Church of Jesus Christ 



98 ASAHEL SMITH OF TOPSFIELD. 

of Latter-day Saints was organized with six members on 
April 6, 1830, and Joseph Smith, Jun. was chosen as its 
President. This young man who, at this time, was but 
twent\-four years of age, is generally spoken of as the founder 
of "Mormonism", but the Latter-day Saints, or members of 
the Church of Jesus Christ, look upon him as an instrument 
in the hands of God in restoring to the earth the pure doc- 
trines of ancient Christianity, and to them he is a Prophet in 
the fullest sense of the word, as Isaiah, Jeremiah, Daniel, etc., 
were to ancient Israel. His testimony is that through the 
power of God he was enabled to translate from golden 
plates, which were buried in the earth about the year 420 A. 
D., a history of the ancient inhabitants of America. This 
record is now known as the Book of Mormon ; by the same 
power and authority the Church of Jesus Christ was organ- 
ized with the same officers, gifts and blessings which charac- 
terized the Church in the days of the Apostles. 

Joseph Smith, Sen. was the first to accept the testimony of 
his son and in the year 1833 he was called to the office of 
Presiding Patriarch of the Church. He died in Nauvoo, 
Hancock County, Illinois, September 14, 1840, of consump- 
tion which was brought on through exposure and suffering 
during the mobbings and persecutions of his people. The 
Prophet Joseph and his brother Hyrum* (the latter succeed- 
ing his father as Patriarch), when under the protection of Gov- 
ernor Thomas Ford of Illinois and while waiting trial on the 
charge of treason, were murdered in Carthage jail, June 27, 
1844, by a mob disguised with painted faces. For what 
reason these men were charged with treason has never been 
made clear, unless, according to the ruling of Judge Austin 
A. King, "they believed that the Kingdom of God would 
eventually be set up upon the earth and break in pieces all 
other nations, hence they were guilty of treason". The 
Church of Jesus Christ to-day numbers 300,000 souls. 

Joseph (3) married Lucy, daughter of Solomon and Lydia 
Mack, January 24, 1796. Their children were: — 

Alvin, b. Feb. 11, 1798; d. Nov. 19, 1824. 
Hyrum, b. Feb. 9, 1800; d. June 27, 1844. 



♦Grandfather of the author. 



ASAHEL SMITH OF TOPSFIELD. 99 

SOPHRONIA, b. May 16, 1803. 

Joseph (Mormon Prophet), b. Dec. 23, 1805; d. 

June 27, 1844. 
Samuel Harrison, b. March 13, 1808; d. July 30, 

1844. 
Ephraim, b. March 13, 1810; d. March 24, 1810. 
William, b. March 13, 181 1. 
Catherine, b. July 8, 1812. 

Don Carlos, b. March 25, 1816; d. Aug. 7, 1841. 
Lucy, b. July 18, 1821. 



Asael, born May 21, 1773, in Windham, Rockingham 
County, N. H. He married Elizabeth Shellenger, March 21, 
1802. In 1809 he settled in Stockholm, St. Lawrence County, 
N. Y., and in 1836 removed to Kirtland, Ohio, He accepted 
the mission of his nephew, Joseph, and became a member of the 
"Mormon" Church in 1835. From that time his life was spent 
in the ministry. He died July 21, 1848, at lowaville, Wapello 
County, Iowa, while on his way to the Rocky Mountains. 
His son Elias, a pioneer of the West, became probate judge 
of Salt Lake County, Utah, in 1852 and served until 1882. 

The children of Asael and Elizabeth Smith were: — 

Elias, b. Sept. 6, 1804; d. June 24, 1888. 
Emily, b. Sept. i, 1806; d. Aug. 11, 1893. 
Jesse J., b. Oct. 6, 1808 ; d. July i, 1834. 
Esther J., b. April 20, 1810; d. Oct. 31, 1856. 
Mary J., b. April 29, 1813 ; d. March 1, 1878. 
Julia P., b. March 6, 1815. 
Martha, b. June 9, 18 17. 
Silas, b. June 6, 1822; d. June 11, 1822. 

5 

Mary, born June 4, 1775, married Isaac Pierce; their chil- 
dren were : — 

Eunice, b. April 29, 1799. 
Miranda, b. June 17, 1803. 
Horace, b. June 8, 1805. 
John S., b. March 6, 1807. 



100 ASAHEL SMITH OF TOPSFIELD. 

Susan, b. June 20, 1809. 
Mary, b. April 25, 181 1. 
Laura, b. Feb. 8, 1814. 
Eliza A., b. Sept. 2, 1817. 



Samuel, born Sept. 15, 1777, married Frances Wilcox in 
February, 1816. He died in March, 1830. His children 
were: — 

Charles, b. April 17, 1817. 

Laura, b. 18 19. 

Horace J. 

Elizabeth. 

Sarah. 



Silas, born October i, 1779, died September 13, 1839, 
married, first, Ruth Stevens, January 29, 1805, by whom he 
had the following children: — 

Charles, b. Nov. 11, 1806; d. May 7, 1809. 

Charity, b. April i, 1808. 

Curtis S., b. Oct. 29, 1809; d. Sept. 23, 1861. 

Samuel, b. Oct. 3, 1811 ; d. March 7, 1826. 

Stephen, b. June 8, 181 5. 

Susan, b. Oct. 19, 1817. 

ASAEL, b. Oct. 12, 1819; d. May 15, 1834. ' 

He married, second, Mary Aikens. Their children were : — 

Silas Sanford, b. Oct. 20, 1830. 
John A., b. July 6, 1832 ; d. in 1838. 
Jesse Nathaniel, b. Dec. 2, 1834. 

Silas served during the war of 18 12-15 ^s a captain of 
militia. In the summer of 1835 ^^ was baptized by his 
nephew Hyrum Smith and became a member of the Church of 
Jesus Christ ("Mormon"), He moved to Pittsfield, Illinois, 
in the year 1838, where he died the following year nearly 60 
years of age. 



ASAHEL SMITH OF TOPSFIELD. lOI 

i 

8 

John, born July i6, 1781, in Derryfield (Manchester), 
Rockingham County, N. H. In 181 5 he married Clarissa 
Lyman by whom he had three children, George Albert, born 
June 26, 1 81 7, died Sept. i, 1875; Caroline, born June 6, 
1820, and John Lyman, born Nov. 17, 1823. He joined the 
"Mormon" Church in 1832 and became one of its most active 
workers. He was one of the pioneers of the West, having 
crossed the plains from Nauvoo, Illinois, to the Great Salt 
Lake by ox team in the year 1847. He died in Salt Lake 
City, Utah, May 23, 1854. His son, George A., was one of 
the most renowned leaders of the "Mormon" Church. 

9 

Susannah, born May 18, 1783. 

10 
Stephen, born April 23, 1785 ; died April 23, 1802. 

II 

Sarah, born May 16, 1789, married Joseph Sanford, Oct. 
15,1809. She died May 27, 1824. Their children were : — 

Martin, b. Sept 24, 1811 ; d. Nov. 24, 18 17. 
Charlotte, b. March 4, 18 14. 
Wm. Wallace, b. June 13, 1816. 
John Lyman, b. May 20, 18 18. 



THE BOARDMAN FAMILY IN TOPSFIELD. 

BY MISS H. ROSA TOWNE. 



Among the emigrants mentioned in the early records of Ips- 
wich, there were two bearing the surname Boreman, Thomas 
seems to have been the first to come, and he made his per- 
manent home there, becoming the ancestor of the Boardmans 
in this vicinity. In a few years he was followed by Samuel, 
who made a short stay in Ipswich, and finally settled in Weth- 
ersfield, Connecticut. 

The relation these two men bore to each other, and the 
place in the mother country from which they came to make 
their homes on these shores, have recently been found by 
one* of the descendants of Samuel, who went to England for 
this purpose. 

Samuel had received a letter from his mother in England 
soon after his settlement in Wethersfield, and this had been 
preserved as a sacred relic, and handed down from one gen- 
eration of his descendants to another unto the present day. 
This letter had become somewhat obliterated by age, and 
only the last letters of the name of the town could be de- 
ciphered, but this gave a clue, by which, after much work 
and trouble, the place was found. 

It was learned that Thomas and Samuel were cousins, and 
their home in England was Claydon, situated in the northern 
part of the County of Oxford. 

The first known ancestor of Thomas and Samuel is William 
Boreman, who was living, 1525, in Banbury, an important 
place a few miles south of Claydon, as many things seem to 

*See Boardman Genealogy by Miss Charlotte Goldthwaite. 

(102) 

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