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John Rock Smith

Male 1615 - 1706  (91 years)

Personal Information    |    PDF

  • Name John Rock Smith 
    Born 1615  England Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Gender Male 
    Died 1706  Hempstead, Suffolk Co., LI, NY Find all individuals with events at this location 
    • John "Rock" Smith's family can be traced in "Genealogies of Long Island
      Families", Henry Hoff, 1987, vol. II, pp. 49 -66), which is a reprint of
      an article which first appeared in the NEW YORK GENEALOGICAL &
      BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD in Jan. 1957.
      John' Smith "Rock" was born about 1615, as on March 20,1674/75, he
      testified to being about sixty years old. Presumably his birth occurred
      in England. He was a proprietor and resident of Hempstead, Long Island,
      from 1644 until his death shortly
      before April 3, 1706, when his will was proven. At a date unknown, he had
      emigrated with or without parents but prior to November I640 when he was
      briefly at Stamford, Conn., (then part of the Colony of New Haven). He
      appears often on the
      records as "Rock" Smith, occasionally as "Goodman Smith Rock," and after
      1666 as "Senior," as well as under these appellations combined variously
      with his first name John. As an original proprietor of Hempstead, he
      settled there in 1644. His
      life suggests neither the wealth nor the breadth of vision inherent in
      that of a man who owns lands in more than one town and colony. The
      troublous times in which Rock Smith lived: are glimpsed through the few
      other than town records of him.
      The first positive mention of him as an inhabitant of Hempstead, is July
      4, 1656, the date of a letter to Gov. Stuyvesant signed by 42 Hempstead
      men (including his own mark); they said they were ready to pay the tenths
      (tithes) if due, but
      only knew of the current general peace with the Indians . Thus, with
      great independence, they reminded Stuyvesant of Hempstead's Nov. 16,
      1644 patent from the Dutch government of New Netherlands, whereby tenths
      were to begin ten years after
      the first general peace with the Indians. There had been Indian troubles
      both in 1643 and 1655. Despite only nominal rule of the Dutch, most of
      the English towns in New Netherland hastened to annex themselves to
      Connecticut. Early lists of
      Hempstead's original proprietors include the propriety of "Rocke Smith"
      in Mr. Coe's Neck (probably 1654) John "Rock" Smith is often on
      Hempstead's town records, giving a good picture of him. He was a solid
      and cautious person, doing his civic
      and religious duty but concentrating on increasing his land holdings as
      a patrimony for his children. .And in this he succeeded, for his
      children had a better education and "married well." By action of
      Hempstead's town meeting of May 13,
      1659, he became an innkeeper. It is ordered that John Smith rock is
      licensed by general vote to keep an ordinary and is allowed to sell
      meat, duck,and rum to strangers with theire retinew.
    Person ID I0110  Arthur
    Last Modified 9 Aug 2014 

    Family Hannah Murray,   b. Stamford, Conn Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Married Abt 1644 
     1. Mary Smith,   b. 20 Jul 1630, Dorchester, Suffolk, Mass. Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 15 Mar 1712/13, Hempstead, Queens, Ny Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 82 years)
    Last Modified 9 Aug 2014 
    Family ID F0023  Group Sheet

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