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Guide to the Smith families papers ARC.244

128 Pierrepont Street
Brooklyn, NY, 11201
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Brooklyn Historical Society

Collection processed by Nicholas Pavlik

This finding aid was produced using the Archivists' Toolkit on November 28, 2011
English using Describing Archives: A Content Standard

Descriptive Summary

 
Creator: Smith family
Creator: Smith, Caleb, 1724-1800
Creator: Smith, Ebenezer
Creator: Smith, Joshua
Creator: Smith, Obadiah
Creator: Smith, Richard, ca. 1615-1692
Creator: Smith, William
Title: Smith families papers
Dates [inclusive]: 1659-1848
Abstract: Papers of the Smith families of the towns of Brookhaven (referred to in the papers as the Manor of St. George) and Smithtown in Suffolk County, Long Island, N.Y., dating from 1659 to 1848. Materials include court records, land deeds (some involving the Native American inhabitants of the region), personal and business correspondence, bills and receipts, contracts, and various other business, financial, and property documents.
Quantity: 0.12 linear feet in 19 folders.
Text [Box]: A0019
Call Phrase: ARC.244
Sponsor: This collection was processed and described as part of the project, "Uncovering the Secrets of Brooklyn's 19th Century Past: Creation to Consolidation," funded by the Council on Library and Information Resources, with additional support from The Gladys Krieble Delmas Foundation.

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Biographical Note

The prominent Smith families of Suffolk County, Long Island, N.Y. resided in the towns of Brookhaven (formerly the Manor of St. George) and Smithtown. The Smiths of Brookhaven were descended from Colonel William "Tangier" Smith (1654-1705), an Englishman who was mayor of the city of Tangier in Morocco, North Africa before settling in Long Island and purchasing large tracts of land that collectively came to be known as St. Georges Manor, or the Manor of St. George. This land comprised roughly 40 percent of the present-day town of Brookhaven.

The Smith family of Smithtown was descended from Richard Smith (or Smythe, circa 1615-1692), a wealthy landowner who founded Smithtown circa 1665. Smith's great grandson, Caleb Smith (1724-1800), was a graduate of Yale College and a judge for the Suffolk County Court of Common Pleas, as well as a member of the New York State Assembly. In 1754, Caleb and his father, Daniel Smith II, built a home on the estate of Richard Smith, in which Caleb lived with his wife, Martha (b. 1727), and their four children. Five subsequent generations of the Smith family resided on the estate until 1888, when it was purchased by the Brooklyn Gun Club. In 1963, the State of New York acquired the Smith estate and converted it into part of the Caleb Smith State Park Preserve. As of 2011, Caleb Smith's original house still stands as part of the preserve.

Sources:

  1. Friends of Caleb Park Preserve. "History." Accessed August 5, 2011. http://www.friendsofcalebsmith.org/history.php
  2. The Hamlet People. "Col. William Smith, 'Tangier.'" Accessed August 8, 2011. http://brookhavensouthhaven.org/hamletpeople/tng/getperson.php?personID=I6509&tree=hamlet
  3. Long Island White Family. "Caleb Smith." Accessed August 5, 2011. http://www.thelongislandwhitefamily.com/getperson.php?personID=I41066&tree=white

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Scope and Contents note

Papers of the Smith families of the towns of Brookhaven (referred to in the papers as the Manor of St. George) and Smithtown in Suffolk County, Long Island, N.Y., dating from 1659 to 1848. Materials include court records, land deeds (some involving the Native American inhabitants of the region), personal and business correspondence, bills and receipts, contracts, and various other business, financial, and property documents. One document contains what appears to be a poem or toast given to George Washington on an unspecified and undated occasion. The papers represent various members of the Smith families, particularly William Smith of the Manor of St. George and Caleb Smith of Smithtown, as well as Richard (the founder of Smithtown), Joshua, Ebenezer, and Obadiah Smith, among others. A military commission bestowing the rank of Ensign to Caleb Smith, Jr. (b. 1763) in Captain Joshua Smith, Jr.'s Company of Light Infantry in the Militia of Suffolk County is also included.

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Access Points

Subject Names

  • Smith, Caleb, 1724-1800
  • Smith, Caleb, Jr., b. 1763
  • Smith, Ebenezer
  • Smith, Joshua, Jr.
  • Smith, Joshua
  • Smith, Martha, b. 1727
  • Smith, Obadiah
  • Smith, Richard, ca. 1615-1692
  • Smith, William

Document Type

  • Agreements
  • Bills of sale
  • Correspondence
  • Deeds
  • Family papers
  • Legal documents
  • Military commissions
  • Receipts (financial records)

Subject Organizations

  • Manor of St. George (Mastic Beach, N.Y.).
  • Suffolk County (N.Y.). Militia.

Subject Topics

  • Families |z New York (State) |z Suffolk County
  • Indians of North America -- New York (State) -- Long Island
  • Land titles -- New York (State) -- Suffolk County
  • Landowners |z New York (State) |z Suffolk County
  • Real property -- New York (State) -- Suffolk County
  • Soldiers |z New York (State) |z Suffolk County

Subject Places

  • Brookhaven (N.Y.)
  • Smithtown (N.Y. : Town)
  • Suffolk County (N.Y.)

Family Name(s)

  • Smith family

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Administrative Information

Conditions Governing Access

Open to researchers without restriction.

Preferred Citation

Identification of item, date (if known); Smith families papers, ARC.244, Box and Folder number; Brooklyn Historical Society.

Immediate Source of Acquisition note

Source and date of acquisition unknown. Materials in the collection were formally accessioned in 1974, 1977, and 1978.

Processing Information note

Minimally processed to the collection level.

The collection combines the accessions 1974.040, 1977.362, and 1978.105.

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