Birth: 1605 Staffordshire, England
Freeman: 06 MAR 1637/38
Place: Plymouth, Massachusetts
Marriage: 21 JAN 1639/40
Lived in: Marshfield or Greens Harbor (as it was then called)
Note: He is believed to have been the first religious teacher at that place
Note: 05 MAY 1640
Details: He is on a committee of five to view all the meadows of Greens Harbor
which were not granted forth and to measure them and to report to the Court.
Note: 23 APR 1641
Details: Nehemiah Smith and Mrs. Bridget
Fuller, a widow residing at New Field, entered into an agreement by which he was to keep
her sheep on shares. Mrs. Fuller was to furnish four ewes, which he was to keep until the
23d June, 1643, each to have half of the wool annually and the increase to be divided at
the expiration of the time. Mrs. Fuller one-half, and Nehemiah "thother"
half, and the stock sent to Mrs. Fuller at " thend " of the term, there was also
an agreement of a second term of years which was never entered upon.
01 JUN 1641:
Details: Most likely the first agreement was soon dissolved as the widow
married Henry Sirkman the next September, and under date of Plymouth records June 1st,
1641, is the following:"Whereas there is an act against the
selling of sheep out of the Colonies and that Nehemiah Smyth
having some sheep is
departing the collonies and would carry them away with him contrary
to the said act, the Court doth order that the said Nehemiah
Smyth shall bringe his sheepe to the towne of Plymouth the next second day at night
or the morning following, and shall sell them to any person or persons that is disposed to
buy them viz: his ewes at fourty shillings a piece, and the lambs at twenty shillings a piece, to bee payed in money or such commodities as the said Nehemiah shall like; of and for the rest that are not bought he
to be permitted to carry them with him whither he goes to dwell."
Birth of Daughter: ABT 1642
Name: Sarah Smith
Birth of Daughter: ABT 1642
Name: Mary Smith
Birth of Daughter: ABT 1644
Name: Hannah Smith
Note: From Marshfield, Nehemiah Smith probably
sailed with his wife direct to Stratford, taking his sheep with him.
Note: 23 JUN 1644
Details: "A motio made on the behalf of Goodma Smyth for a lott by the
sea side, beyond the West River, was taken into consideratio and referred to bro. Gibs,
bro: Miles, bro : Ceely, bro: Clark and bro: Peck to see if itt may stand with the
convenience of the towne to grant itt."
Note: 21 OCT 1644
Details: " Goodma Smyth of Stratfords desired thatt he may have 30 or
40 acres of upland and 10 acres of meadow granted him for the comfortable keeping of
sheepe about the Oyster River whereupon itt was ordered that those who were intrusted in
the townes occasions for disposeing of lotts, shall consider of the said ppositio and
order itt as they. see cause."
Birth of Daughter: ABT 1645
Name: Mercy Smith
Birth of Daughter: ABT 1645
Name: Elizabeth Smith
Place: New Haven, Connecticut
Birth of Son: ABT 1646
Name: Nehemiah Smith
Birth of Daughter: ABT 1647
Name: Lydia Smith
Birth of Daughter: Ann Smith
Birth of Daughter: Mehitable Smith
Note: 16 JUN 1645
Details: " Whereas some have taken offence att the shepheards keeping
his sheep and making a penne for them towards the Oyster River thinking they were wronged
by itt, but the order of the Court the 21 of October, 1644, being read itt appeared thatt
nothing was done butt by order of Court."
Note: 02 OCT 1645
Details: " Goodman Smith desired the Court to
take some order that his land may be layed out. The Govennour wished the Court to consider
whether they would confirm their former grant to the said Smith or
revoke or alter it, but it was respited to further consideration because for the present
he hath put off his sheep."
Note: It is possible that at about this time he moved
from Stratford to New Haven, but more probable that he continued to reside in Stratford
for a longer time, but kept a flock of sheep on the west side of Oyster river, then in the
jurisdiction of New Haven, which gave him the name of Shepherd Smith.
It appears that he built at this place a sheep-pen on what was afterward called
Shepherd's Hill, as early as the Spring of 1645. This now falls within the town of Milford
and is located near the junction of Oyster river with the Sound.
Note: 08 DEC 1645
Details: "The Goernour propownded to the Court whether they would confirme
their former grant to Goodman Smith in refference to his
sheepe, or such part of it as might bee conveynient for him and his famyly, wch occasioned
a lardg debate, and sundry questions were put to Goodman Smith, both about the quantitye of ground he desired and keeping
sheep for the town's benefit. Goodman Smith declared
that he would not be content with five acres of meadow, nor would he be tyed to keep any
sheepe but his owne, at wch the Court was offended because his promise to keep other men's
sheepe was the grownd of their former grant. In conclusion, the former condition grant
being voted, was by this Court revoked."
Note: 16 AUG 1646
Details: "Nehemiah Smith's request was read,
viz.: "'These are the propositions I thought meete in wrighting to propownd to
yo'r worp's, upon which 1 desire land. '"First: that I might have tor myne owne
propryety 20 acres of upland and 10 acres of meadow. "' 2dly, that I might have
it upon that hill where I have made a sheeps penne, of the south side of the hill of Mr.
Malbons cove, because the sheep may have the ay re of the sea in the summer time, lying four square by reason
lesse chardge will fence it. " ' 3dly, also I desire when the sheepe doe
returne, I may have 20 acres of upland and 10 acres of meadow, for w'hout 20 acres of
meadow I can doe noe good wth keeping the sheepe. Also that it may be the hithermost of
the Oyster River, & yt I may cntt timber for fencing upon the common, by reason
there is little besides walnut upon that land. "' This being granted, I shall
doe what I am able for the keeping the town's sheepe and the good of them. This I desire
may be granted as speedyly as may bee, that I may provide for them against they come.
(Signed) « ' NEHEMIAH SMITH.'
The above said request of Nehemiah Smith was granted to him
according to his propositions in the close of his wrighteing if it be accepted.
" It was ordered that the Surveyor should runne the lyne on this side of Mr.
Davenport's farme, from the stone east & by south 120 gr. parrallell to the other.
05 JUL 1647
Details: " It was now remembered that form'r orders were made for the
incouradgetnent of the sheapheard but lately it is fownd that uppon some speeches that he
hadd mett w'thall from some, he has entertayned thoughts to remove. Therefore it was
desired that things might be so considered off, that the sheepe with himselfe might bee
kept in this towne, for thereby much good may redound to the publicque.
Whereupon it was ordered that the necke, or so much of it as may be improved by the sheep,
should from time to time be made use of as a sheep pasture, and to that purpose it was
further ordered that every one who hath grownd in the neck should cleare his land,
according to order from the Committee to be chosen to treate w'th Goodman Smith, & consederatiou was had also about a penn to keepe
sheepe in, all wch w'th sundry other questions was committed by this gen'll Court unto
those of the particular Court, joyning to them elder Newman, bro: Myles, Mr. Tnttle, Mr.
Caffinch, Mr. Gilbert, Mr. Wackman, Wm. Preston, bro: Camfield and Goodman Johnson as a
committee unto whom all questions concerninge the sheep buisinese is referred."
11 JUN 1649
Details: June 11, 1649. "after excusing Jno. Thomas ' to goe cary some
phisicke to one that was sicke.' The Governor acquainted the Court that the principall
ocasion of this Court was aboute Nehemiah Smith the
Sheppard, whoe is willing if he maye be accommodated heare to come hither & bring
ye flock of sheepe with him, hoth them yt belonge to ye towne and his own allso, thoughe
not willing to keepe the townes sheepe because of some weakness he finds upon himselfe,
but he shall sell some of his owne & Keepe aboute 20 or 30 himselfe, and therefore
propounds that he might have land wher he formerly propounded for it; that is, twenty
ac'rs of upland at ye sheppards penn & 10 ac'rs of meadow in Oyster meadow.
" Affter much debate it was voted that he should have 20 ac'rs of upland upon
sheppards hill and 10 acrs of meddowe in Oyster River meddow for his proprietie, and for
the rest of his commonage he must fall under ye rules of a planter as other planters doe.
Note: 06 MAY 1650
Details: "Nehemiah Smith having had 20 acres
of land gran'ted him by this Court, to be laid out for him on Sheppards hill, but by an
error it is laid out in another place, which the Court witnessed against, but seing it is
laide out, and some cost bestowed upon it the Court did now order for his incouragmt that
he should have that '20 acres that is laide out for him.
Note: 13 MAY 1650
Details: In the margin, "At a towne meeting ye 13th of May, 1650, it was
voted yt yt clause in this order of keeping 20 or 30 sheep should be of no force, but that
he keepe what sheep he sees meete selling some to ye towne, and when ye towne sees cause
to stint themselves in other catle, that then he be stinted also as other planters."
Note: 01 JUL 1651
Details: " It is ordered that John Wood, nor any for Nehemiah
Smith, meddle no more to break up or any way improve the land formerly granted for
sheepe on the Westside, the grant being voyde and the land returned to the townes use and
Lived in: ABT 1652
Place: Long Island
Note: 29 AUG 1652
Details: From the Town Records of New London, or Pequot, as it was then known, we
learn that " Goodman Smith that comes from Long
Island, hath 8 acres of upland given him for an house lot at the back of Goodman Kenny
& Parkers house lots bounded with the highway that runs to the marshes given to Cape
Ann men. Also he hath a grant of the next lot upon the general neck that falls to the
Land Rec: 27 DEC 1652
Details: 20 acres of upland given him upon the plain upon the east of the pond in
Scull plain." This was on the other side of the river at Smith Lake, Poquonoc, and since known as the location of the Smith homestead.
Land Rec: FEB 1652/53
Details: Goodman Smith the weaver hath given him
next Goodman Waller what land is there left to be divided.
- "'February 9, 1652-3. Nehemiah Smith hath given him
150 acres of upland upon the plain joining to his 20 acres given him by the pond on Scull
- " Februare 9, 1652-3, Goodman Smith hath given him
for his whole proportion of all divided lands 8 acres of upland more to> be laid to
hits house lot, excepting swamps, &c.
- "February 20th, 1652-3 Nehemiah Smith hath given him
a piece of meadow joining to Captain Denison's 50 acres two or three acres, if it
- " February 25th, 1652-3, he is on a committee to make the rate £60 for the
minister, John Elderkin.
- "December 23rd, 1653, goodman Smith, the weaver, two
acres * * * near high mountain.
- "January 24, 1653-4, Nehemiah Smith hath given him a
piece of plain land about fifteen acres lying on the eastward of his land given beyond
Skull Plain. He hath also given him one hundred acres of upland joining to his brother's
about Mistic Hill, his brother's two hundred acres which is half granted by the Pond and
half about Mistio Hill.
- " Richard Houghton and ' Weaver' Smith one hundred
acres each, above goodman Cheesbroughs.
- " February 19,1654, he hath given him five acres of meadow lying upwards upon
Poquonnoc River, at Mistic, he hath given him four acres of meadow.
- " He hath also given him two hundred acres of upland more or less upon the hills
towards Poquonoc plains bounded on the west by land of goodman Burroughs and Thomas toward
Poquonoc, bounded by the pond of water. Also more land January 4th, 1053-4.
Details: Nehemiah continued to reside at New London, probably until after
1655, owing to trouble with the Indians. He then moved to his farm at Smith Lake, Poquonoc, where he doubtless had been making
improvements, building, etc., for several years.
Land Rec: JUN 1659
Details: Norwich, Connecticut was purchased of the
Indian Chief Uncas and his sons, in June, 1659. Nehemiah Smith was
one of the original proprietors, and his home lot was laid out with the others, in Nov.,
1659, with fifteen acres added in 1663. Whether he joined the company from Saybrook in
1660, and moved from Pequot to Norwich at that time does
not definitely appear; but in 1663 he is spoken of as " now of New Norridge."
His was the largest tract of land of any possessed by any of the first settiers. His house stood about
fifty-seven feet north of the oldest burying ground after it was enlarged and known as the
Post and Gager burying ground located on the south side of the road which runs north-west
and south-east. He was on the north side of the road with Hammer brook running between his
land and that of Thomas Howard on the north-west, while Samuel Hyde was his neighbor on
the south-west, with a road between them.
Forty-seven acres of upland meadow and pasture at the further end of the Yantick
" abutting easterly on land of Jonathan Rogers on the Pine swamp and a brook
"was laid out April, 1661, and granted to him May, 1663. In April, 1661, there
were four and a half acres of meadow laid out for him ; and again twenty-two acres on
Forty-acre hill, abutting easterly on the brook near William Backus, laid out in May,
1663. Also fifteen and a half acres of upland and meadow on Scotch cove, mostly on land of
Thomas Bingham. This grant was laid out in May, 1663.
Details: The following was recorded at the Superior Court between June 6 and
September 20, 1666 : "Nehehomyah Smith of Norwig
declaring himself to be above sixty years in age, his
brother John Smith declaring also the same, upon his
earnest desire is freed from training, watching and warding."
Note: 18 NOV 1668
Details: (New London Records) he made over some of the property by the Big pond,
to Edward, his nephew. Five days later, he with Nathaniel Leneis apprised a stray horse at
Norwich at £4 10s.
Land Rec: 02 MAY 1673
Details: He was granted seven acres of pasture and about this time he
purchased five and a quarter acres at Yantic.
Note: OCT 1679
Details: At Norwich, Nehemiah Smith aged
about seventy-four, and Anna his wife aged sixty-four or " thereabout,"
testified in relation to an attempt to break his brother's will, that "about seven
and twenty years ago they lived on Long Island." It would seem by this that the
family was living somewhere on Long Island in 1652. Probably they moved there in the
spring of 1651, as he was in New Haven until after May 13, 1650, since migrations were
usually made as early as possible in the spring of the year, and John Wood was on
Shepherd's Hill previous to July, 1651. A branch of the New Haven Church was established
at Southold, Long Island, about 1640, and it may be supposed that this was the place where
Neheuiiah lived on Long Island. Unfortunately there are but few town records at Southold
preserved previous to 1653, or of church records previous to 1745. He remained on Long
Island one or two years and returned to Connecticut.
Land Rec: 12 JUN 1684
Details: Nehemiah and Ann Smith
made over their homestead and other property to their son-in-law, Joshua Abell,
stipulating only for maintenance during life, they being in an infirm and weakly state.
Will: " The last Will with an Inventory of the estate of
Mr. Nehemiah Smith, Sr., of Norwich,
being exhibited in Court, was proved and ordered to be recorded, and this Court
grants power of administration unto the heir, Nehemiah Smith. This
Court approves of the agreement drawn between the legatees, bearing date the 30th of J
une, 1686, and ordered it to be recorded. The above was exhibited in a Court holden at New
London, September 22nd, 1686."
no copy of the inventory or agreement of legatees can be found, as the oldest book of
wills belonging to the county was destroyed in the burning of the town of New London by
the British in 1781.