two lines of descent
1, 2
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John was called "the Mason" to distinguish him from another John Smith of Providence, RI, called "the Miller." It is not known when he came to New England, but it would have been with his only known child, John, Jr., and perhaps his first wife. John first appears in Providence records in when he sold property to Samuel Comstock on 1 March 1654. An undated record, probably from the late 1650s, says that "ffor as much as John Smyth mason hath this day put upp a Bill unto the Court, that they would consider him with a Right of Comoning; it is therefore ordered by this Court that the said John Smith shall have Libertey for ffeeding for Cattell, and Takeing of ffireing and ffenceing etc: untill the Towne shall see cause to the Contrarey." John served on grand and pettit juries with fellow-ancestor James Sweet in Warwick, RI, on 30 June 1657. He was fined for being absent from court duty on 8 March 1658-9. On 10 September of that year, Richard Pray of Providence sold a house and "outhousing," with land, fencing and fruit trees to John Smith Mason "of Warwick." This reference to Warwick is somewhat cryptic. It seems likely that he built a house of stone at Warwick known as the "Stone Castle" for another John Smith, who is no known relation. A drawing of it survives based on a description by a woman who was alive before it was torn down in 1795. The house may have been the prototype for the Rhode Island "stone-ender," a house-type with an entire side wall made of stone and containing the chimney stack. It is said to have been the only building left standing in Warwick after the town was attacked and burned during King Phillip's War. John is erroneously said to have been the mason for fellow-ancestor Eleazer Arnold's stone-ender house in Smithfield (now Lincoln), RI. John, Sr., died before the Arnold house was built. His son and grandson are said to have also been stone masons and if so, surely apprenticed with their respective fathers. John, Jr.'s, daughter Eleanor married Eleazer Arnold, strengthening the claim that the Smith family raised his massive chimney. John "resigned" 5 acres he had bought from Thomas Walling to the Town of Providence on 14 May 1660. John Smith, mason, "requested" land from the town on 27 January 1660(-1), but on 9 March 1660(-1), the town orders a committee to settle the estates of John Smith and Samuel Comstock. These facts indicate that John, Sr., died between 14 May 1660 and 9 March 1660-1. The John Smith referred to on 27 January 1660-1 could have been John, Sr. or Jr., since the latter would probably not have been referred to as "Jr."" after his father's death. Given that John, Jr., does not certainly appear until 1662, it is likely that the referrence was to John, Sr., and that he died in February of 1661. Anna Smith of Providence sold a house and home lot of John's in "the row of houses in the northern part of Providence" to Roger Mowry on 4 May 1661. The 4 acre parcel had been bought by Samuel Comstock and presumably transferred to John when he married Anna.      

1

child of John Smith:

John




vital records sources:

1.

all text and photographs © 1998-2023 by Doug Sinclair unless where otherwise noted