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Descendants of John Smithson


Generation No. 1

     1.  John1 Smithson was born Abt. 1675 in Northumberland, England, and died 1761 in Lunenburg Co., Va..  He married Elizabeth Boulton Abt. 1704 in Louisa Co., Va..  She was born Abt. 1680, and died Aft. 1761 in Lunenburg Co., Va..

Notes for John Smithson:
This information is included here with the first data on John Smithson, and the Smithson family in Virginia.  It was presented by Tom Hardy, on the Smithson Website, January 11, 1999.  It explains the relationship between the Smithsons of Virginia, and the gentleman who founded the Smithsonian Institute.

Sir Hugh Smithson was born 1714 and died 1786.  He was a Yorkshire Baronet and married Baroness Elizabeth Seymour Percy on July 16, 1740, assuming the Percy name and becoming Hugh Smithson Percy.  (Note: A "Percy" through blood or marriage has been the Earl or Duke of Northumberland from 1377 to the present, with the exception of two times).  The title of 'Duke' was given to Hugh Smithson Percy when he ascended to the Dukedom in 1766.   Prior to that, the position was the lesser ranking "Earl".

He and the Duchess lived in Alnwick Castle in Alnwick, Northumberland, England.  The castle is the second-largest castle to still be occupied presently by people linked to Royal genealogy: the 12th Duke of Northumberland.  Windsor Castle, occupied by the Royal Family, is the largest.

Hugh Smithson Percy's illegitimate Son, James Smithson (founder of the Smithsonian) was born in 1765.  The mother of James was a widow of Royal blood (descendant of Henry VII).  Her name was Elizabeth Hungerford Keate Macie.

James Smithson never met his father Hugh Smithson Percy, was not permitted to have a Royal-related position, and was never allowed into Alnwick Castle.  In fact, James assumed the name James Lewis Macie while at Oxford.  He became a respected English research scientist, specializing in chemistry, mineralogy and geology, and was a Fellow of the Royal Society.

James inherited the estate of his mother, Elizabeth Hungerford Keate Macie, and his Will specified that if his nephew Henry James Hungerford died without heirs (which is what happened) then the money would go to the United States to establish the Smithonian Institution as "an establishment for the increase and diffusion of knowledge among men." Curiously, James Smithson never visited the United States.

Note that the birthdate of Hugh Smithson Percy is 1714.  This confirms that if there is a direct link  between James Smithson (founder of the Smithsonian Institution) and the John Smithson from Virginia (born 1675 in Northumberland, England, and ancestor of many of us in the United States) then it would be with the ancestors of Sir Hugh Smithson.

John Smithson allegedly came to Virginia about 1700 as an headright of Dunkin Bohannan (to be confirmed), however, he probably was not the first of his family to arrive here.   In the files of Historical Manuscripts Commission, Printed Calendars of English Archives in Public Custody under the date August 17, 1611 there is abstracted a letter from George Percy, Governor of James Town to his brother, Henry Percy, Earl of Northumberland, "I have been prodigal in nothing but keep a daily table for the men of fashion about me."  

So, George Percy, Governor of James Town in 1611, is brother to Henry Percy, Earl of Northumberland.  On the muster roles for James Town, 1610, also is William Coxe, great grandfather of John Cox II, whose daughter Mary became the wife of Micajah Smithson, John Smithson's grandson.  William Coxe was brought to James Town on the Godspeede in 1610, by the Third Lord De La Warr, whose brother Robert West was married to a daughter of Sir Henry Coxe of Broxburg, Hertfordshire, suggesting a connection to that family.  Another passenger on the Godspeed was Thomas Boultinge, probably the grandfather of Elizabeth Boulton, said to be John Smithson's wife (To be confirmed).  This information is included here to suggest that the relationship between John Smithson, and the families into which his family intermarried began in England almost a century before his arrival in Virginia.

Two Smithsons are found to have enterd Virginia before John, whose record has not been confirmed:

Robert Smithson, came on Bonaventure, 2 January, 1635, age 23
Richard Smithson, came on Friendship from Liverpool, September, 1683.

One Smithson, Benjamin, shipped to Jamaica, 14 December, 1685, age 24

John Smithson can be found in St. Paul Parish Register, June 2, 1721, spelled Smithing or Smithin.  As was customary, he was required to assist in building a road.
He owned land in Hanover Co., which became part of Louisa County when it was formed.
His will , dated April 6, 1760 names no heirs.  Book 1, page 336:

In the name of God, Amen I John Smiythson of Cromwell Parrish in the County of Lunenburg, Planter, Being of sound and disposing mind and memory do make this my last will and Testament in the manner and form following that is to say Imprimis first I give and bequeath my sole to God and secondly I do give unto my Loving wife all my estate Goods andChattles and Personal estate whatsoever.  Lastly I do make and Constitute my sade wife sole Executrix of this my last will and Testament dated this sixth day of April in the year of our Lord one thousand and seven hundred and sixty.

Signed John ( )Smithson
His mark
In presence of us: Robert Breedlove
Isabell Johnson Breedlove

At a court held for Lunenburg County the first of December 1761 the within last will and Testament of John Smithson, deceased was exhibited in Court and the same was proved by the oaths of all the witnesses thereto subscribed and the same is ordered to be recorded.

Signed Clement Read SCS

It is probable that no certain evidence exists that the following are his children, although, based on circumstantial evidence, they have been accepted by all historical acounts.

More About John Smithson and Elizabeth Boulton:
Marriage: Abt. 1704, Louisa Co., Va.
Children of John Smithson and Elizabeth Boulton are:
+     2     i.     Francis Hugh2 Smithson, born Abt. 1705 in Louisa Co., Va.; died December 07, 1784 in Lunenburg Co., Va..
     3     ii.     Susannah Smithson, born Abt. 1708; died Unknown.  She married John Davis Abt. 1728; died Unknown.

More About John Davis and Susannah Smithson:
Marriage: Abt. 1728

     4     iii.     John Smithson, Jr. Smithson, born Abt. 1710; died Unknown.  He married Jennie LNU Abt. 1749; died Unknown.

More About John Smithson and Jennie LNU:
Marriage: Abt. 1749