m. 6 Oct 1624 Whatfield, Suffolk, England
Facts and Events
Article from The American Genealogist, Vol. 32, p. 202-203.
THE WIFE OF LT. SAMUEL SMITH OF WETHERSFIELD
By Paul W. Prindle, B.S., of New York, N.Y.
The wife of Lieutenant Samuel Smith of Wethersfield, Connecticut, has often been named erroneously as Elizabeth Chileab. The following article appeared in abbreviated form in "The Hartford Times, " 8 Jan 1956.
About one year after their arrival from England, Lt. Samuel Smith's wife gave birth to a son, to whom they gave the unusual name of Chileab. Someone, possibly Stiles (he must at least be charged with responsibility for passing on the fiction in his "History of Ancient Wethersfield 2:646), assumed that this unusual name must have been the surname of the mother.
It is unfortunate that Stiles failed to consult his Bible concordance. Had he done so, he would have learned that Lt. Smith, a devout man who made a bequest of a Bible in his will to each of his grandchildren gave biblical names to each one of his other sons, - Samuel, Philip and John, - and Chileab was no exception; the original Chileab was the son of King David by Abigail (II Samuel, 111;3). According to Rev. William Jenks, "Comprehensive Commentary on the Holy Bible" (1836), Chileab signifies "like his father, or the father's picture." Due to the unusual circumstances of Chileab's birth, Abigail being the lawful wife of Nabal the Carmelite, we may reasonably ascribe the touching choice of the babe's name to Abigail rather than to David. In any event in the 7 Oct 1929 issue of "The Boston Evening Transcript," one C.D.A. wrote, in answer to query 8072-15. If Lieutenant Smith had named the child Chedorlaomer, Jaazaniah, Yephibosneth, or Maher-shalal-hash-baz ( all biblical masculine names), there would have been as much ground for assuming the selected name was the family name of Elizabeth as there was that it was Chileab.
The identity of Elizabeth, wife of Lt. Samuel Smith, has been determined within the bounds of probability acceptable to careful genealogists. As long ago as 14 Aug 1943, the late Dr. Ray G.Hulbert, in his answer to query A-2442-(6) in "The Hartford Times," gave the facts, which have been repeated on a number of occasions, once at least by the present contributor. Nevertheless, to bring all the known facts together, perhaps for the first time the following account is presented to lay the ghost of Elizabeth Chileab.
The parish registers of St. Margaret's, Whatfield, Co.,Suffolk, England, show the Oct 6, 1624 marriage of Samuel Smyth to Elizabeth Smyth, and the baptism of their son Samuel on Feb 8, 1625 (1625/6?). The young couple next appear at Hadleigh, co. Suffolk, three miles south of Whatfield where, at the church of St. Mary the Virgin, they baptized Elizabeth on Jan 28, 1627 (probably New Style); Mary, Oct. 9, 1628 and Philip, November 1632. The Smith, Smyth, Smithe (all interchangeable, of course) family embarked "the last of Aprill, 1634, for New England, in the "Elizabeth," from Ipswich, Mr. Wm. Andrews, "Master" (New England Hist. and Gen. Register, 14:329; Hotten' s "Original Lists," pp. 280, 282; Pope's "Pioneers of Massachusetts"; James William Hook , "Lieut. Samuel Smith (1953), p. 1.The ship's list shows the following ages for the members of the Smith family:"Samuell Smithe,"; 32; "Elizabeth his wife," 32; and children of "Sam. Smith:" Samuel, 9; Elizabeth, 7; Mary, 4; Philip, 1. The ages of the children Samuel, Elizabeth, and Philip exactly correspond with their respective dates of baptism. Mary, however, was 5, not 4. Actually, this record represents a high degree of accuracy. Most ages taken from ships' lists (and from gravestones and census records as well) are questionable unless confirmed by other contemporary records.
There remains little room for doubt that the baptismal records shown above taken from the parish registers in Whatfield and Hadleigh, are of the children who sailed on the "Elizabeth" from Ipswich only ten miles east of Hadleigh, co. Suffolk and that Elizabeth, wife of Lt.Samuel Smith, was a Smith before her marriage.