An American Family History

The Smoot Family

The first European settlements in Maryland were made in 1634 when English settlers created a permanent colony.
Lord Baltimore, Cecil Calvert (1605 -1675), 2nd Baron Baltimore was the first governor of Maryland.
Phillip Calvert (1626–1682), was the 5th governor from 1660 to1665.
Charles Calvert (1637 – 1715), 3rd Baron Baltimore inherited the colony in 1675.

Fendall's Rebellion
In March, 1660 Josias Fendall attempted to overthrow the proprietary government of Maryland. It was a bloodless coup.

Maryland was established with religious freedom for Catholics. The colonial economy was based on tobacco cultivated by Africans who had been enslaved.

Colonial Maryland used the headright system to encourage settlement. Land was granted to anyone who would pay fthe transportation costs of a laborer.

from The Smoots of Maryland and Virginia by Harry Wright Newman

Whether William Smute [Smoote, Smote] was born in Scotland, on the Continent, or in England is an unsolved question at the writing of these chronicles, but we do know that his birth occurred about the year 1596/7. In his late teens he was apprenticed to a boatwright who trained him in that craft until he obtained sufficient perfection as to be acceptable to the guild of that industry. . .

Shortly after the year 1633 William Smute sailed from England and settled at Hampton, York County, Virginia. The first mention of his name in public records is that of February 24, 1642, when he was granted for the transportation of eight persons into Virginia [400 acres]. . .

William Smute fought in the campaign against the Pamunky and Chickahominy Indians, and for his services he was granted 600 pounds of tobacco on October 1, 1644, by the Grand Jury held at James City. . .

In 1646 William Smoot sued William Broch for a debt of 600 pounds of tobacco. Shortly after this action, William Smoot with his family departed for the Province of Maryland. . .

His wife at the time of his migration to the Province was Grace ----, whom he had married as a widow Wood, with a daughter. . .

Children of William Smoot
1. Richard Smoot married Elizabeth [Rowland]

Richard Smoot (guardians Walter Davis and Richard Morris)
Edward Smoot (guardian Thomas Taylor, married Lydia Newman)
Elizabeth Smoot (guardian Elizabeth Bonner)
William Smoot (died young)
Eleanor Smoot ( married Humphrey Warren)]

2. Thomas Smoot [1634] married Jane Batten. [His children were:

Mary Smoot (married John Bennett)
Barton Smoot
Thomas Smoot
Charles Smoot
William Smoot.
John Nathan Smoot,
Elizabeth Smoot.
Rachel Smoot (married).
Anne Smoot.

3. Elizabeth Smoot married Humphrey Atwickes.
4. Anne Smoot, born 1640, married William Hungerford and William Barton. Issue: William Hungerford.
5. Alice [Ales] Smoot.
6. William Smoot married Jane -

. . .On June 12, 1647, he was granted by His Lordship's Land Office a patent for 300 acres of land near the mouth of Herring Creek, known as Smoote in consideration of his own migration into the Province and the transportation of his wife and two children (unnamed) in the year 1646

. . .he was awarded a patent for 400 acres of land originally known as Smoothly for the transportation of his wife Grace and her daughter Elizabeth Wood, and his children Thomas, Richard, Elizabeth, Anne, and Alice, and a maid servant Anne Woodnot at his own expense from Virginia to Maryland on or about April 6, 1646. This patent later became known as Attwicke's Purchase . . .

William Smoot and his son-in-law, William Hungerford, were among those who on April 17, 1650, signed the Stone's Declaration . . .

On January 26, 1652, William Smoot assigned a portion of Atwicke's Purchase, lying next to the lands of John Hatch, to Humphrey Atwickes and another portion to Richard Smoot. The transactions were acknowledged by Grace Smoot his wife.

In 1658 William Smoot patented 240 acres of land on the west side of the Wicomico River known as Smootwood, a portion of which he subsequently assigned to William Barton. This tract became known as The Hills, 190 acres being later held by Walter Hanson and 50 acres by Notley Maddox.

In 1665 he transported seven persons into Maryland for which he was granted 350 acres of land, and later an additional six persons for which he received 300 acres. The latter he assigned to Richard Morris.
William Smoot practised his profession in Maryland by designing and constructing many of the early vessels used in the inter-colonial trade between Maryland and Virginia. . .

William Smoote was in sympathy with Josias Fendall and consequently was involved in the legal proceedings following his prosecution. On April 17, 1661, at the Provincial Court he was arraigned with twelve others for

mutinously, seditiously, and the instigation of the Devil ... assembled at the house of Josias Fendall in Charles County in February 1660, and attempted by force to rescue Josias Fendall formerly the Governor of the Province and William Hatch Secretary.

The jury returned a verdict of "not guilty".

Grace Smoote, the wife of William, died on January 14, 1666. Inasmuch as she was reported in the records as the "wife," William Smoote was apparently living at that date. . .

Guardianship is when a court gives an adult custody of a child and/or the responsibility of managing the child's property. Before women could own property, guardians were appointed for their minor children if their husband died.
Tobacco is a native American herb that is cultivated for its leaves which are prepared for smoking, chewing or snuff. In parts of colonial America, it was used as money. Tobacco plantations in the colonial south fueled the need for enslaving people.

A land patent is an exclusive land grant made by the government. The certificate that grants the land rights is also called first-title deed and final certificate. In the United States, all land can be traced back to the original land patent.


St. Mary's City Men's Career Files
MSA SC 5094

Courts, John ( ? - 1697 )

Wife: Margaret.
John (b. 1655, m. Charity Henly),
Margaret (b. 1666); (possibly illegitimate):
Elizabeth (b. 1663, m. James Keech).

Moved to Charles County by 1662.
Local Offices: appraiser, 1666.
Provincial Offices: juror, Provincial Court, 1648, 1679, 1680; grand juror, Provincial Court, 1668, 1672, 1677.