William S. (William Smith) Pelletreau.

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Long Island, made his home at Green] )ort, and was a shipping-
merchant and owner of whale ships. In 1856 he was elected
member of the Legislature, and served with great ability. Dur-
ing his long life he connnanded the resjiect of the entire com-
munity by reason of his benevolence and kindly sympathy, and
manv voung men owed to him their bes:innino's of future success.


He })ossessed a keen iutellig-enee, and was well known as a
power for good-
Air. Floyd married Lydia, dangliter of William Smith, of
Elastic, a re])resentative of the Tangier, Smith family, so noted
in the history of Long Island. They were married Jniy 31.
1S45, and their children were: Julia Delafield, married Al])eri
Delafield, June l-t, 1882, and has one daughter, Grace Floyd.

"Brecknock Ha!!," Residence of Hon. David G. Fioyd, Greenport, L. I.. Now-
Owned l3y Mrs. Aibert Delafield.

Lydia Smith, wife of Frederick C\ Prentiss. Mary Augusta,
died unmarried, 187.'?. Grace, now living at Greenport.

Brecknock Hall, the residence of Hon. David G. Floyd, is
situated at Greenport, and is one of the finest country residences
on Long Island. It is now owned and occu})ied by his daughter,
:\Irs. Albert Delafield.

The residence of General William Floyd is still standing in
Westernville, Oneida county. It is owned by his graiuldaughter,
the widow of Admiral Sicard, United States Xavy. The line of


descent of General AVilliani Floyd from Kicliard Sniitli. the
founder of Smitlitown, is thus given: 1. Richard Smith, the
founder. 2. Jonathan Smith, died about 1718. o. Jonathan,
second, born November 9, 1676, died 1749. He married Eliza-
betli, daughter of Epinetus Ph^tt, and had among otlier children
a daugliter Tabitha, born Feliruary 18, 1704, died January 17,
1755. She married Xicoll Floyd, father of General William

A portrait of Anna Floyd, who married Hugh Smith, is now
in possession of J. C'onkling Havens, of East Moriches.

Charles Floyd, lirotlier of General Floyd, lived and died in
Smitlitown. He nuirried Abigail, daughter of John Thomas.
Their children were: John, l)orn February 2, 17()4. died April
17, 1826. Thomas. Abigail, wife of AVilliani Post. Gloriana,
wife of William Ho])son. Of these children John Floyd mar-
ried Sarah, daughter of Colonel Jesse AVoodhull (brother of
General Nathaniel AVoodhull), and had among other children a
son, Hon. Charles A. Floyd, county .judge and member of Con-
gress. For a more complete account of this branch, see Records
of Smithtown.

The following notice is from the "New York Gazette and
Mercury," May 6, 1774: "On Sunday, April 21st instant, de-
jiarted this life at his house a few miles from the to\vn of Brook-
haven, the Hon. Richard Floyd, Es(i., in the 68th year of his age

"He arose early in the morning and stepped out of the door,
where he was suddenly taken with a fit and dropped down. This
was instantly perceived by his family who got him into his
house, where he exjiired in a very few minutes after. He was
an affectionate husliand, an indulgent ])arent, and a kind mas-
ter; his disposition was iiohle and generous, easy of access, his
charity was extended to those who stood in need of his aid. and
to assist the poor in their distress he made one of the principal


pleasures of liis life. He was a colonel of the Suffolk Coimty
militia and the first judge of tlie Inferior Court of Common
Pleas, wliicli offices he executed for many years and acquitted
himself with honor ami mucli to tlie satisfaction of the people of
his county. His death is universally regretted by his neighbors
and others who enjoyed the pleasure of his accjuaintance. View
him either as an officer or in private life, his character is un-
blemished and trul\' amiable.''


The ancestor of this family made illustrious in our (A)loni;d
history in the persons of Chief Justice William Smith and his
son, William Smith, the historian, was William Smith, who
served in the army of the Commonwealth under Cromwell. His
birthplace was iu the Isle of Fly, (Cambridgeshire, England, but
after the Civil war he settled at Newport Pagnell, Buckingham-
shire, where he died al)out 1682, and was l>uried in the parish
church in that place. His wife, Elizabeth Hartley, whom he
married Se])tember 4. Kifil, lived until 1710. They were the
parents of six: children: William, James, John, Sanrael,
Thomas and Christiana.

William Smith, the eldest son, was known as "Port Royal
Smith," having resided there for some time. He died in New
York, October 15, 1736, at the age of seventy-four. He also
bad a son AVilliam, who married a daughter of AVilliam Pear-
tree, who was mayor of New York, 1705-07, and left an only
son, William Peartree Smith, a prominent citizen, born 1725,
died November 20, 1801. His home, the same as that of liis
father, was the soutliw^est corner of AVall and Pearl streets.

James, the second son, remained in England.

John, the third son, came to New York, where he married
and lived manv vears. In 1714 he returned to England and


(lit'<] tlicrc. He left a family in New Yoi-k of wlioni little is

Sanuiel Sniitli, tlie foni'tli son, lived m Port Koyal,
Jamaica, and mai-ried and died there aged twenty-seven years.

Thomas Smith, tlie youngest son, was born at Newport Pag-
nell, Se))teml)er IS, 1745. He survived all of liis brothers and
sifters, and died in New York, Xovemher 14. 1745, and was
buried at the ])lantatinn of his son, Thomas Smith, in Smith's
('love, ( )range county, Xew York. lie mai'ried, in England, May
K!, l()9(i, Susanna, the second dangliter of Thomas and Chris-
tiana Odell, of Xoi'thtield Meadows, Ihickinghamshire. Thomas
Smitli came to this eounti'v at a much more advanced age than
his brother. He sailed from London, May 24, 1715, with his
wife and three sons, arriving in New York on the 17th of Au-
gust. His fortune i)laeed liim at once among the sulistantial
citizens of New York. Being a Presbyterian Ins first effort was
to collect the meml^ers of that denomination, and he lias the
lionor to be one of the founders of the first Presbyterian cliurch
in New York. The first church service and 1)ai)tism of tlmt
dtnominatiou was held in the house of AVilliam Jackson, on the
north side of Pearl street, al)out half way betAveen A^'llitehall
and State streets, in 1710. .\s early as 171() a congregation
with a resident minister assembled at the City Hall. On Janu-
ary 5, 1717, Hr. John Nicoll, Patrick ^NfcKniglit, Gilbert Living-
ston and Thomas Smith, ])urchased from Aliraham De Peyster
and Samuel P)ayard a lot eiglity-eight feet wide on the north
side of Wall street, l)etween Broadway and Nassau street, and
iipon it the Fii-st Presbyterian C^hurch was erected. In 1722 a
part of this congregation, under the leaderslii]) of Thomas
Smith, withdrew for a short time and called the famous Jona-
than Edwards as a i)astor, and diiring the eight months of his
ministi'y his home was at the house of Thomas Smith. i)roba])ly


the south corner of Wall street and Broadway. As old age ap-
proached ^Ir. Smith seems to have intended returning to Eng-
land. With this intention Mrs. Smith sailed in the ship "Re-

becca," Captain l>anks, December 7, 1728, and landed in Eng-
land, January 15, 1729. At London she was taken ill and died
there March 9, 1729, in the fifty-second year of her age. She
was buried in the Church of St. Botoli^h, Aldergate. The chil-
dren of Thomas and Susanna (Odell) Smith were: William


Smith (the judge), Thomas, .John, OcU'll, who died young, Eliz-
abeth and Martha. The two daughters died iu Enghind.

Of this family Thomas Smith, the second son, was the owner
of a hirge tract of land in Orange county, in Smith Clove, which
took its name from him. His descendants were living there dur-
ing the Kevolution. He married Hannah Hooker, who may
have been a sister of Mehitabel Hooker, who married his l)rotlier,
Rev. John Smith.

Rev. dolin Smith, the third son, was born ]\Iay 5, 1702, at
Newport Pagnell. He was a graduate of Yale, 1727. He studied
inedicine and received the degree of Doctor of Medicine. He
(■ntered the ministry and was the first Presbyterian minister
at Rye and White Plains. His tombstone in the latter i)lace
bears a well merited tribute to his memory. He died February
26, 1771. On ^May 6, 1724, he married ^lehitabel Hooker, daugh-
ter of James and Mary Hooker, of Guilford, Connecticut. She
died September 5, 1775, aged seventy-one. They had four sons
and eight daughters, (^ne of these, Susanna, married Rev.
Benjamin Tallmadge, and was the mother of Colonel Benjamin
Tallmadge, of Revolutionary fame.

Judge William Smith, tlu^ oldest son, was boi'n at Newport
Pagnell. October S, 1697, and died in Xew York, November 22,
17()f). With his father's fjnnily he came to New York, August 17,
1715. He entered \'ale College, graduated in 171!>, and received
the degree of Master of .\its in 1722. From 1722 to 1724 he was
a tutoi' in the college, and was i'fterwai'ds offered the presiden-
cy, which was made vacant by the retirement of Rev. Dr. Cutler.
This offer was declined and he adopted the legal ])rofession in
which he became famous. On May 20, 1724, he was admitted to
the bai- and began pi-actice in New York. He rose ra])idly to em-
inence, and h'\y cases of imi)ortance came before the courts in
which he was not retained as counsel. In 1755 occurred the


fanion:> trinl of .Inlni I'ctcr Zenker, tlio editor of the "New York
AVeokly JournaK" for liliel. The fanions Gonveriienr Morris de-
clared in later years that "the trijil of Zei'i>(M- in 1755 was the
j>-erm of American Free(h)ni." P>ittci- offense taken hy the
jndges, De Lancey and Pliilipse. cansed the names of William
Smith and his collengne. James Alexander, to lie stricken from
the rolls of attorneys. Zenger was most ahly defended hy ^[r.
Hamilton, a noted lawyer from Philadelphia, and was acipiitted
hy the jury, a verdict which was Iniiled with the greatest en-
thnsiasm In- the ])eo])le. In 1737 the order depi'iving them of
their right to ])ractice was canceled, and theii- former ]K)sition
was not only restored hnt with mncli higher honors and respect.
On Se])temher 20. 17."-)9, he was a]i])ointed recorder hy "Rip
Van Dam. the acting governor. Tn 174S he was one of the incor-
]iorators of the College of New Jersey at Princeton, and to the
end of his life he was an earnest friend of the college, and one of
the most honored and influential memhers of the hoard. In 1732
he with William Alexander and some of the ^Nforris family peti-
tioned the assembly to establish a free school for teaching Latin,
Greek and mathematics. This was done, and a school was estab-
lished the same year under Alexander Malcolm. This in after
years develojied into Kini>s College, and William Smith was
foremost among its founders. Tn 177)4 William Smith, Philip
Livingston, and a few others, met at the house of one of their
numlier and arranged a ]ilan for a ]inblic library and collected
£600 for that ])urpose. A charter was olitained and such was the
origin of the Xew York Society Library. Tn 1751 William Smith
was appointed by Governor Clinton attorney-general and advo-
cate-general, and in 177)2 he was made mendier of the Council. ITe
remained a member until shortly before his death, when he was
succeeded by his eldest son. Tn 1754 he was one of the four rep-
resentatives from Xew York to the general congress to prejiare



plans for the union of the Colonies. In 17(!(l lie was offered the
office of ehi( f jn^tL-e, but derlined the position. In 17(i3 he was
made jndge of the snpi-enie court, and retained tint office until
liis death. As a lawyer he was one of the most graceful and elo-
(luent members of the It ir, and his intlucnce was nnexcelleil. Aft-


^^^^^^^^^K* '^'^'^ jE9

W^^ v.fll

^^^HlH^^p '^~

;. ixM

Mrs. Mary (Hett) Smith.

er a most useful life .Judge Smith die(l Wednesday, Xovemher
2."'. 17(iJ), ami was buried in the grave\ard attached to tlu' Pres-
byt(Mian clnirch in Wall street. He left a will which was never
pi'obated and seems to have been concealed by one of his family.
His residence was the south corner of Kxchange jtlace and
Broadwav, and his ^on, I'homas Smith, was liviui'- there at the


timt' of the Kevolution. He owned a very large tract of land in
what is now Hix'khuid county, of which a notice is hereafter

Judge Smith married Mary, daughter of Rene and Blanche
(Du Bois) Het, May 11, 1727. She was horn in New York, ]^lay
24, 1710, and died August 22, 1754, and was buried in the aisle of
the old South Dutch Church. After her death Judge Smith mar-
ried Eliza) )C'tli. widow of Colonel p]lisha Williams, who survived
him. There were no children by this marriage. Rene Het lived
at No. 216 Pearl street. When his daughter Mary married W^ill-
iam Smith lie gave them a house and lot, No. 179 Pearl street.
There was another daughter, Blanche Het, who married Cap-
tain William Smith, and had a daughter Blanche, who married
Jedediah ('liai)man, of Orangetown, Essex county, New Jersey.
The children of Judge William Smith were:

]. William Smith, the historian, born June 18, 1728. 2.
Susanna. l)orn December 24, 1729, married Robert James Liv-
ingston. 3. Mary, born March 2(1, 17;)2, married John Smith.

4. Sarah, l)orn August 3, 1733, uuu'ried Rev. Abraham Kittle.

5. Thomas, born March 11, 1734. (i. Elizal)eth Blanche, born
December 13, 173(), nmrried John Torrans, of Charleston, South
Carolina. 7. Dr. .James, born FeV)ruary 13, 1738, died 1812. 8.

Anne, born July 19, 1740, married Bostowick. 9. John,

born August 20, 1741. 10. Catharine, born April 7, 1743, mar-
ried John Gordon. 11. Martha, born June 18, 1744, married,
17(i3, Colonel Ann Hawkes Hay, of Fishkill. 12. Samuel, born
June 24, 1745, died umnarried at Charleston, South Carolina,
1771. 13. Margaret, born September 19, 1747, married Alex-
ander Rose. 14. Joshua Hett, born May 27, 1749, died 1818.

William Smith, the historian, and chief justice of New York
and Canada, was a graduate of Yale, 1745, entered his father's
oflice and was admitted to the bar in 1750. There is not a chap-



tor ill tlie local history of his tiuu' in wliieli liis nanu' does not
appear. In 17<i7 (lovernor Moore wrote that "William Smitli is
at the head of his profession," and rerpiests that he he appoint-

ed meniher ofconncil from whicliliis fatlier, the judnc was ahmit
to retire. 'J^his was done, and he held that position till tin- time
of the Revolution. His jxjsition during the great struggle is dif-
fienlt to describe. He seems to have denied the right of rebellion


and >ai("^ti()iUMl the adxaiitam' to tlie ('olonists of independence.
He took no active part citlicr for or against the new order of
things. As a result he was liated by the Tories and distrusted
by the friends of liberty. In 1771 lie was reipiired to remove to
the Maiioi' of Livingston and to give his parole to remain there.
This was owing to his answer to (juestions, "that he does not
consider liimself discharged from his oaths of fidelity to the
Crown of (ire:it Britain.'" In the sumnier of 1778 he was re-
leased from his parole and directed to remove to New York; he
was commissioned as chief justice of the Province, and took the
oath of office before Governor Robei-tson. Before that was done
the (^'olonies had declared their independence, and whatever
])ower attended the office was confined to that portion of the
state still under British control. After the war he was included
in the list of persons who were banished and whose property
was confiscated, and on December 5, 1783, the chief justice sailed
for England with his son William. Mrs. Smith with the younger
children still remained in New York. On September 1, 1785, he
was ai)pointed chief justice of Canada. He arrived in Quebec,
October 23, 1786, and was joined there by his wife and children.
The act of attainder by which he was banished was cancelled in
17!)0, and he with some others was free to i-eturii to his native
land. Me died in (^)uebec, December 4, 17!)."!, and was buried in
the E})iscopal church.

Oliief Justice Smith married Janet Livingston, daughter of
James Livingston. Her brother, Robert .lames jjivingston, mar-
lied Susanna Smith, sister of the chief justice, so there was a
double relationship. Janet Livingston was born November 1,
17.")(). and died in (j)nebec, November 1, ISli), at the age of ninety.
They had ten chiklre?i. The oidy son wlio sui-vived was William
Smith, bom 17(>!», died 1S77. lie was the author of "Smith's
History of the Province of Canada." The oldest daughter,


Janet, married ] lieutenant John Plendleath, (Jetol»ei- L'l, 1771.
Another daughter, Henrietta, married Jonathan Sewell. chief
justice of Lower Canada, and had sixteen children.

The portrait of Judge William Smith is from a iiainting l)y
Wollasto?!, made 1701, and is now o\vned by ^latuiin Livingston
Delafield, of New York, a descendant of the judge. The portrait
of his son. Chief Justice William Smith, the historian, is from a
miniatui'e obtained from his descendants by Kobert J. Living-
ston. A copy of it is in the New York Historical Society. The
portrait of Ah's. ^Lary (Het) Smith is from a painting in posses-
sion of the family of Judge Sewell, of Canada.

•'Smith's History of the Province of New York," written
by Chief Justice William Smith, has given him a lasting fame.
The first volume was published in Loudon, 1757. The second
volume was published by the New York Historical Society,
1826; and the two volumes in one edition by the same society in
1829. There are also several editions of the first volume.

Thomas Smith, son of Judge ^^'illiam Smitli, and brother of
the liistorian, was born March 11, 1784. He was a graduate of
Yale, and a prominent lawyer in New York. He was a meml>er
of Provincial assembly and of tlie I'rovincial congress. He mar-
ried Klizabeth, daughter of Abraham Lynsen, November 22,
1758. He owned much property in New York and at Haver-
straw, and was the owner of the famous "Treason House," at
the latter place, where Arnold and Andre laid their nefarious
plans. He died at HaN'ei'straw. November 7, 17!>r), leaving a
large family. One son. Thomas Smith, Jr., married ^lary, daugh-
ter of John Taylor, a lu'ominent merchant of New York, Decem-
ber -I-, 1786. Their children were: John Taylor, Catherine Au-
gusta, wife of Budd. Thomas Charles, William Eugene,

and Anna ^laria.

John Ta^'lor Smith was a i;raduate of Columbia College


nnd editor of the "Kockland Registei-, " tlie first new.spa])er in
Rockland county. New York. He was born in tlie old "Treason
House" at Haverstraw. and died in ISIT), leaving- five children:
John Ta.\ lor, who died in Xew Jersey, August 31, 1904, aged
eighty-nine. Mary, wife of Leroy T.ittle. Tlionias Eugene.
Anna IV ('hni'le< Bainln-idge Sniitli, who was a noted hiwyer
in Xew York. He niari'ied MaKina. dnnghter of Henry Kettle-
tns. and has one son, Eugene Kettletas Sniitli, now living in
Swanton, Vermont. Charles Bainbridge Smith was the last of
the race wh.o held a ])rominent position. His second wife was a
widow Youngs of Calif orni;-!. Mr. Smith died in Paris, France,
October 17, l**!)o. at the age of eighty-five, the last of his family.

Joshua Hett Smith, the youngest son of Judge William
Smith, was born May "JT, 17-111. He married Elizabeth Gordon,
of Behidere, South Carolina, 1770. She died January 1, 1784.
They had three children: Joshua G., Sarah, wife of Thomas Hay,

and Laura, wife of West. He was living at the family

residence at Haverstraw at the time of the Revolution, though
the house ^Aas ow7ied bv his brother Thomas. His troul)'es as the
un.fortunate dupe of Arnold and .\ndre are too well known to be
re])e''ted here. Suspected of l)eing the accomjjlice of Arnold, he
was imprisoned, but jiermitted to escajie. He went to England
in 17S3, and returned to America in 1801, and for a while kept a
sc'iool in the house at Haverstraw. He again went to England,
but retni'ued some time after ISOS. He died ()ctol)er 10, 1S18,
and was buried in a vault in the middle of North Dutch Church.
His second wife, Ann;i (Middleton) Smith, and his two danali-
ters survived him. In 1808 he published his noted book. "An
Authentic Xarration of the Causes AVhicli Led to the Death of
]\ra.ior .\ndre." This l)ool< has been the subject of much dis-

The famous house at Haverstraw remained in the hands of


llie faiuiiy until 1831^ niid still stands, an intei'estini>' relic of the
L'olonial times. Judge A\'illinni Sniitli was the owner of two
shares in the gieat Patent of Cliees-cdck, which includes tlie
greater part of the Highland Mountains. The Treason House,
builr in 1752, stands at the south end of Lot 7. William Smith,
the his*^orian, had a house next west, which was burned. The
immense traict owned by the family sold for a ver>' small sum.
On.e of tlie daughters of Thoma - Smith, .Jr., mari-ied William
Denninu. Jr., wtiose fatliei' was a [)rominent merchant in Xew
^'(ivk. His uKmument is in the northwest corner of St. Paul's
( hiii'cliyard. Another daughter married Plon. John C Spencer,
secretary of navy, 1842

Wi!li:im Kugene Smith, son of Thomas Smith, Jr., was the
father of Judge William p]. Smith, who kept a roadhouse on
Jerome avenue, Bi'onx. for many years.


This family, wliicli has man\' Viranches in various parts of
the countr)-, is descended from ^latthias St. John, who with a
large family sttt'ed at Xorwalk. Fairfield county. Connecticut,
befoi'e l()."i4. The name on the eai'ly towii and state records is
spelled in difl'ei'ent ways, as Senti(in and Saint John, but after
172.") the present foi-m of St. ,lolin prevailed. The line of descent
of the }»ai'ticular branch now under consideration is as follows:
1. Matthias. 2. :\!attliias. :!. Matthias. 4. Benjamin. 5. Mat-
thias, (i. Sanniel St. John.

^ilattliias St. Jolin. fa.ther of Pienjamin. was one of twenty-
five men who purclrised land and establi-^hed the town of Hidge-
field, Connecticut. Sejitember MO. 17tl8.

Be;ijann'i St. John was a n^sidcut of X'orwalk, but removed
to New ( anaan in 1744 with lii< faniil>' ( !' four sons an(_l four
daughters, and died tliei'e ahout the close of the Revolution.

\o\. I— i'n



His sons were: Beiijauiiu, Caleb, AFatthias and Daniel. All of
these lived and died in New Canaan, and left a very nnmerons

?klntthias vSt. John, son of Benjamin, married Jnne 28, 1758,
Naomi Weed, danghter of Abraham Weed. He died March 20,
1819, aged eighty-seven. His wife died August 27, 1780, aged
forty-six. They are the pai'ents of eleven children: Abraham,

Milton St. John.

Iniptized March 2."), 17oi). Sarah, June 15. 17(>(i. married Isaac
Keeler. :\[atthias, August 29, 1762. Esther, July 8, 1764, die 1
1777. Enoch, October 19, 1765. Benjamin, June 8, 1767.
Samuel, January 27, 1769. Anna, November 13. 1770, married
Matthew Benedict. John Trobridge, .fuly 2(), 1772. Nathan,
November 6, 1775. Esther, Marcli 15, 1777. married Benjamin

Of this familv, Samuel St. Jt)hn died Novemlier 4, 1844.


At that time only four of tlioui reinaiued: Knocl). Benjamin,
John T. and Anna. The last survivor was Benjamin, who died
ahout lsr)2.

Ahi-aham St. John had chihli-en: Polly, wife of Klijah
Weed, of ^liehigan; Anna, wife of Samuel Everitt ; and Betsey,
wife of Samuel AVaterlmry.

Sarah Keidei' had children: Isaac; Esther, wife of Uriah
Eichards; Naomi, wife of Stephen Ayres; and Sarah, wife of
Peter Ch'issy.

Matthias St. John had children: Mary, wife of Xehemiah
Benedict; Lewis; Sarah, wife of Frederick Seeley; Esther, wife
of Daniel AVaring; Betsy Ann. wife of Silas Davenport; and

Enoch St. John died in 1846. His children were: Enocl)
C. Samuel, an.d Hannah, wife of Hanford Davenport.

Benjamin St. dolm had children: Benjainin AT., Ahraham

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Online LibraryWilliam S. (William Smith) PelletreauHistoric homes and institutions and genealogical and family history of New York (Volume 1) → online text (page 19 of 26)