Household 1 - John Smith - Contributed by Gail M. Walczyk




John Smith was born in Accomack Co., VA, circa 1738. He was the son of Isaac Smith and Sarah West (Dorman, Vol III, p. 524). He married Sarah Parker circa 1775 in Accomack Co., VA. Sarah was born in Accomack Co., VA, circa 1758. Sarah was the daughter of William Parker and Leah Taylor, the sister of Michael Parker. Bridget, the wife of William Crowson, was her aunt.

 John was named as an heir in his father's will (Nottingham, p. 200). An abstract reads:

SMITH, ISAAC - 6 May 1760 - 29 July 1760 - Son John Smith. To son Thorowgood Smith (under age) Daughter Sarah West. Daughter Ann West. Grandson Isaac West. Daughter Briget Smith. Son Isaac Smith. Grandaughter Sarah West, daughter of Ann West. Grandaughter Betty Smith. Wife Sarah. Children not to disturb my son Isaac concerning what he has already advanced my deceased daughter Betty the estate of Charles West deceased - Wife Exec. Witt: John Spendelow, Edmund Custis.

Smith witnessed the will of William Parker on 17 August 1781 in Accomack Co., VA.  It was probated 30 March 1784 (Nottingham 342).  An abstract reads:

To daughter Ruth Boggs.  To daughter Frances Read.  To granddaughters Elizabeth and Sarah Nelson.  To Elizabeth Taylor all my right and title of a Negro boy called Israel.  To daughter Mary Boggs.  To son Robert Parker (Watts Island,) hand mill and etc.  To son Michael Parker.  To son John Parker 100 acres where he now lives.  To daughter Sarah Smith.  Son John Parker and William Crowson exrs.  Witt: Barth: Taylor, John Smith, Zorobabel Hornsby.

Smith witnessed the will of William Smith on 4 June 1784 in Accomack Co., VA.  It was probated 24 February 1784 (Nottingham 341).  An abstract of his will reads:

To grandson George Smith all my land and marsh I ever owned on Pungoteague Creek in Slutkill Neck.  To daughter Elizabeth Boggs.   To daughter Peggy Boggs.  To son Solomon Smith. To grandson William Smith (under 21) [Household 7]. To Henry Trader (under 21.) To grandson Smith Aimes.  Balance of estate to be divided between Betty, Peggy, Solomon, William and George.  John Arlington and son Solomon executors.  Witt: John Smith, Levin Boggs.

John was listed on the personal property Tax List for 1787 (Yantis-Schreiner 101).  The record reads, "John Smith charged with the Tax, 7 males above 16, 9 males under 16, 4 horses, mares or colts, 11 cattle.  Notes Pungue, two wheeled carriage."

On 26 November 1790 John purchased 1 Red Cow & yearling at the Estate Sale of Charles Leatherbury (Accomack County Will Book 1788-1794  247-254).

On 29 December 1795 in Accomack Co., VA, the boundaries of the lands of John Smith were processioned.  The text reads: "Lines between John Smith & Branson Dolby. Lines between John Smith & Susanna Phillips" (Walczyk 10).  He witnessed this procession.

John made a will on 4 November 1823 in Accomack Co., VA.  It was probated 26 July 1824:

To son Thomas H. Smith the money he owes me & as much more as will make $100.  To son John J. Smith $100 & Negro woman Reaner & Negro boy Samuel.  To grandson Thomas S. Joynes $100 but his mother-in-law is to have the interest until he is age 21.  To daughter Agnes Warrington. . . To daughter Margaret Joynes . . . Balance to daughter Agnes Warrington & Margaret Joynes.  Son John J. Smith Extr.  Witt: Ann S. Warrington, James Eichelberger & William F. Eichelberger.   (Miles 494)

In 1775 Edmund and Mary Potter sold 300 acres and a windmill to John Smith and in 1818 he deeded 275 acres to his sons John G. And Thomas H. Smith (Whitelaw 815).

Smith's property [A55A]  was the location of the Battle of Pungoteague, also called the Battle of Rumley's Gut, which took place on May 30, 1814.   It was the closest thing to a major battle on the Shore in the War of 1812.  Lt. Col. Thomas M. Bayly made a report to the governor the day after the battle:

On yesterday morning at half past 7 o'clock a very heavy cannonading was heard at my house, and instantly an express informed me that the enemy in a Tender and seven barges were entering Onancock Creek.  I expected his intention was to attack Onancock Town about 8 miles from me, but when I reached that place I found he was in Pungoteague Creek 8 miles further; that he had come close to the mouth of Onancock Creek, caused an alarm to be sounded at that station to draw the Militia there, and then pursued his course down the Pungoteague.

At 9 o'clock I fell in with a part of two companies of Infantry, about fifty, with our elegant brass cannon and about twenty five old men who had joined about one mile and a half from where the enemy were engaged.  Here I received the information that the enemy had landed below, a station where I had heretofore had a guard, with five hundred men partly negroes, all in full uniform; that he had captured a cannon and was then formed in line in a large open field, about a mile in advance from his landing place.  Believing that he intended to retain his ground during the holly days that the slaves from Accomack and Northampton might join his standard, or that his intention was to obtain livestock, I communicated to the officers and soldiers then present, my plan to attack him in front and retreat, to draw him further from his boats, while detachments from the right and left was to cut off his retreat to his barges.  I entertained no doubt, but during the day to have a force amply sufficient to effect my intention (and I should not have been deceived).  I then went and joined Major [John] Finney and his detachment about half past 9 o'clock, when the enemy was leaving our shores defeated.  The point of land where he landed was on a point of marsh, on the north side of Pungoteague Creek, a quarter of a mile below a station where I had heretofore fixed a guard, but had broken it up about the time of my last communication to your Excellency.  Pungoteague and Onancock Creeks are about three miles apart nearly parallel, seven miles in the country; a large road runs down this neck nearly an equal distance from both creeks, with a thick woods on each side.  A guard of men was placed on the south side of Pungoteague Creek, but they could render no assistance--the enemy always with out the reach of their musketry.  At 7 o'clock the enemy crossed the bar of Pungoteague in eleven barges and launches in two divisions.  The center barge wore a large broad Flag, two Tenders, a sloop and a schooner, lay off in the Bay close in.  Upon their first fire (an 18-lb. cannon), the Albion 74, Rear Admiral Cockburn's ship, in full view, was decorated with a great number of elegant colours.

Lieutenant Thomas Underhill of the Artillery, who had charge of a cannon at his house (about one mile from the station before mentioned), with it and five men repaired to that place.  He was soon afterwards joined by Major John Finney, who lived on Onancock Creek, and with ten men had been watching the enemy from his first appearance. At 1/2 past 7 the enemy commenced his attack upon Major Finney with 18-lb. shot and Congreve Rocketts, which was returned with rapid firing by Lieutenant Underhill.  Soon afterwards Captain Isaac Smith who had been stationed on Onancock Creek about four miles from that place, made his appearance with 20 men, and occupied a pine wood on the right.  The enemy then opened his fire upon Captain Smith, and at the same time upon the detachment stationed on the south side of Pungoteauge Creek, and the attack was then general.  The enemy used his 18-lb., 12-lb., 4-lb. cannister and grape shot and Congreve Rocketts with great profusion, but without effect.  He soon landed from eight barges and Launches one quarter of a mile from Major Finney and Lieutenant Underhill, and gave three cheers; put about 30 negroes in full uniform in front and rushed upon the Major, receiving and giving a continued fire.  Major Finney ordered Lieut. Underhill to retreat with his cannon, but the Lieutenant not having enough men to take off his cannon, charged with cannister shot, and when the enemy had reached him in column about 100 yards distant, he gave him a well directed fire, spiked his cannon and effected his retreat.  The enemy then advanced with 30 negroes, 400 or 450 sailors and marines, as nearly as I can ascertain, and took possession of a large open field, and with a small party, the house of John Smith, aged 76, near to it, and formed a Battalion about one mile from his landing place.  Major Finney with 15 men now occupied a thick skirt of woods on his right, and Captain Smith with his 20 men occupied a thick wood on his left.  During the whole of this time a incessant fire of musketery was kept up on both sides, with cannon and Congreve Rocketts from the barges then in the creek, three of which never landed, and had moved up the creek.  In a short time the enemy rushed to the woods occupied by Captain Smith, drove him from it and took possession.  This woods was nearly united with the woods occupied by Major Finney; between them was an open field nearly in the form of a triangle, with a fence on each side.  The enemy had the advantage of Major Finney in having a ditch and bank on which his fence was placed, the ditch next the woods.  In this situation each advanced along their fence towards the angle of the field, keeping up an incessant fire, when about one hundred yards apart, the bugle horn sounded from the barges a retreat, which was instantly and cheerfully obeyed.  At this place a negro in full uniform was left dead, he was in advance.  They were one mile from the barges; half of the distance was marsh.  His retreat was rapid and without order except a corps of 80 marines who covered heir retreat.  They entered their barges and made all sail to their Fort and Camp on Tangier Island.  Six wounded men or dead bodies were seen to be carried in blankets to their barges, and blood was found at three places.  Our loss, one private badly wounded, but not dangerously.  (Whitelaw 815-817)

John Smith and Sarah Parker had the following children:

1 i. Agnes Smith was born in Accomack Co., VA circa 1775.  She married Stephen Warrington circa 1793 in Accomack Co., VA.  Stephen was born circa 1768.  Stephen wrote his will in 1814.  An abstract of his will reads:

1814 - 28 November 1814 - Friends George Scarburgh & John Finney Extrs.  To son John K. Warrington the land lying over the road adjoining his shop from the mill up to John Finney's line.  The rest of my land to be sold.  My wife Agnes should have what the law provides.  To daughter Sally Parson £5.  Balance of the money arising from the sale to my children George Warrington, Samuel Warrington, Peggy Warrington, Smith Warrington, Nancy Warrington & Thomas Warrington.  Witt: Mitchell Chandler, Levin Laylor & Thomas Phillip Jr.  Prob: Major S. Pitts & George D. Wise (Miles 569).

In John Smith's will on 4 November 1823 in Accomack Co., VA, Agnes was named as an heir.  It was probated 26 July 1824 (Miles  494).

2 ii. Thomas H. Smith was born in Accomack Co., VA circa 1777.  He married Catherine B. Underhill circa 1802 in Accomack Co., VA.  Catherine was born in Accomack Co., VA on 9 January 1780 (Mihalyka 251).  Catherine died on 24 November 1853 (251).  Both Thomas and his wife Catherine were buried in a family plot now in the undergrowth near Underhill Point, between the road and Underhill Creek.

In John Smith's will on 4 November 1823 in Accomack Co., VA, Thomas was named as an heir.  It was probated 26 July 1824 (Miles 494).

3 iii. John J. Smith was born in Accomack Co., VA circa 1780.  In John Smith's father's will, John was named by John to handle his estate on 4 November 1823 in Accomack Co., VA.  The will was probated 26 July 1824 (Miles 494).  His father also named him as heir.  It was probated 26 July 1824 (494).

4 iv. Margaret Smith was born on 22 September 1785 (Mihalyka 141).   On 25 July 1814 she married Elias Dunton Joynes, the deceased sister's husband.  The marriage record reads, "Elias Joynes to Margaret Smith on 25 July 1814.  William Joynes security" (Turman 146).  Margaret died on 2 August 1861 (Mihalyka 141).  Her stone reads, "Margaret Joynes, wife of Elias, daughter of John and Sarah Smith.  Born 22 September 1785 - Died 2 August 1861.  Connected with the Church in 1810.  Married in 1811?"

5 v. Jane Smith was born circa 1789.  On 16 March 1808 she married Elias Dunton Joynes (Turman 146).  She died circa 1809 when Elias married her sister.  Elias was listed as the head of a family in the 1810 census of Accomack Co., VA (Powell 74).  An abstract reads: "Elias Joynes 1 male to 45, 2 females to 26, 2 slaves."


_________.  Accomack County Will Book 1788-1794.

Dorman, John Frederick. Adventurers of Purse & Person, Fourth Edition. Vol III R-Z.  Baltimore MD: Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc.

Mihalyka, Jean and Faye Downing Wilson.  Graven Stones.  Inscriptions from Lower Accomack County, Virginia, including Liberty and Parksley Cemeteries.  Bowie, MD:  Heritage Books, Inc., 1966.

Miles, Barry W., & Moody K. Miles III.  Wills and Administrations of Accomack Co., VA 1800-1860. Bowie MD: Heritage Books, Inc., 2000.

Nottingham, Stratton.  Wills and Administrations of Accomack County, Virginia 1663-1800.  Bowie MD: Heritage Books, Inc., 1990.

Powell, Jody.  Accomac County Virginia 1800 1810 1820 Census.  Roanoke, TX: Jody Powell, 1991.

Turman, Nora Miller., Marriage Records of Accomack County, Virginia 1776-1854, Recorded in Bonds, Licenses and Ministers' Returns.  Bowie, MD: Heritage Books, Inc., 1994.

Walczyk, Gail M.  Accomack County Processioners Returns 1796 -1816 for Accomack and St. George's Parishes.  Coram NY: Peter's Row, 2004.

Whitelaw, Ralph T. Virginia's Eastern Shore A History of Northampton and Accomack Counties.  Gloucester MA: Peter Smith.

Yantis-Schreiner, Netti & Florence Love.  The personal Property Tax Lists for the Year 1787 for Accomack County, Virginia. Springfield VA: Genealogical Books in Print, 1987.

© Copyright 2005-2011 by Gail M. Walczyk

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