This is a condensed version of an interesting story taken from
The Goffstown News-Bulletin-Banner Publications, dated 16 Jun 1977,
printed courtesy of the New Boston Historical Society, and contributed here by Nancy Smith.
Below this newspaper article, you will find a few names copied by Nancy
from an overgrown cemetery plot believed to be on old SMITH property in New Boston.
Thanks for your contributions, Nancy!
Lt. THOMAS SMITH, first New Boston Settler
Thomas SMITH, reportedly the first settler in New Boston, built the first frame house in this town at Harold STRONG's homeplace. According to Chester town history, Lt. SMITH came from Ireland, an original grantee of Chester in 1720. After a harrowing escape from capture by the native Indians, Lt. SMITH, in 1735 moved to what was to become the town of New Boston. Some historians say he could have moved as early at 1733.
In March of 1752 SMITH sold his 40 acre farm in Chester, NH at Long Meadow to Gideon ROWEL of Amesbury, MA. Lt. SMITH settled in what was called "The Plains" and built a log cabin after he cleared some land and planted some corn. The problem with the Indians capturing these early settlers remained, and Lt. Smith, seeing evidence of more Indians in the area of his new homestead, moved back to Chester. One settler named WORTHLY, who also had a cabin at Parker's Station, was captured and taken to Canada.
In Vol. 28 of the State Papers, dated 26 Oct 1749, Lt. Smith of Chester sent a petition to the Proprietors of New Boston stating he had purchased a right in New Boston of Jacob HURD, a goldsmith of Boston. SMITH said he had settled and improved his land in New Boston for seven years past and had built a house. He had wanted to move his four sons, Samuel, John, James and Reuben, to the New Boston home to help him improve the property. He ask for a grant for himself and for each of his sons or five rights in New Boston.
19 Aug 1740, Jacob HURD of Boston, a goldsmith, for 10 pounds deeded to Thomas SMITH of Chester lot #21, containing 50 acres, more or less, with dwelling house which was witnessed by John INDICOTT and William SALTER. Smith did received his grants from the New Boston Proprietors is it believed, for there is record which states: "4 or 5 years ago the Proprietors granted me five shares in New Boston - one for myself and each son, but Robert BOYCE claimes one of these shares that I had lived for 12 years come August next" (record not dated). Lt. SMITH had made improvements but never received a copy of his grant. He ask to be granted some land in the Gore between Halestown and New Boston, but this was not accomplished.
Lt. SMITH made improvements on his New Boston property and was said to have built the first frame house in New Boston. In 1885 a part of SMITH's house was still standing and was called the oldest house there, being then a part of Widow Hiram LULL's place. George STRONG tore this house down when he rebuilt the present house on this site.
On the first census (click here to see the census page) in 1756, Thomas SMITH was listed with a house on lot #18 and a house on #7 with 10 acres cleared on each lot. He was listed as a family of 3 men and 1 woman. As sons John and Samuel had families of their own, the two sons were believed to be Reuben and James. James SMITH froze to death on the road to Parker's Station and Reuben was in the Revolutionary War. He later moved to Maine. Son Samuel lived at the old Smith Farm, now called Eliott HERSEY's Great Meadow Farm and John settled SAUNDERS farm. He was called Deacon John and died in 1800 at the age of 74.
Several old deeds of Thomas SMITH were recorded in the New Hampshire Archives in Concord. In September of 1752 SMITH bought lot #19 from Robert BOYES except the mill site which was reserved for the owner of the dam. In October of the same year, for 30L (pounds) BOYER also sold to SMITH lot #7 of 50 acres. In February 1753 Thomas COCHRAN sold SMITH lot #20 of 50 acres for 30 pounds and in April of 1753 SMITH bought one share in New Boston for 26L 13S and 4P from John MAVERICK, a store keeper in Boston, one of the New Boston Proprietors. In December 1758 SMITH bought lot #9 of 50 acres from BOYES.
In Matthew PATTERN's diary entry of 11 May 1762 "I drawed out Thomas SMITH account and sent it to him by Thomas KENNEDY and the deed he lodged with me of his place to his son for which he sent a written letter." PATTERN wrote on 07 Oct 1762 "I settled Thomas SMITH's account with his son Reuben and he paid me the balance being 22-17-5 old tenor." Lt. SMITH died in 1768 at 80 years of age, so Reuben was probably doing his business for him by then. The last deed recorded in Concord was for Thomas SMITH dated September 1762 where he deeded for 500L to Reuben SMITH land in New Boston which included parcels #7, #9, #19 and #20 each of 50 acres, the lot of Jacob HURD also 50 acres and 40 acres of lot #30.
Reuben SMITH lived in New Boston during the Revolutionary War, moving to Maine later. He may have been living on Strong's place. Reuben was a Constable in New Boston in 1782, but was not listed on the 1790 Census (see the census page). Samuel SMITH was listed head of the household in the 1790 with his wife and two daughters. John SMITH had three sons over 16, three under 16 and four daughters. Many SMITH descendants lived in New Boston for years. There was Deacon Thomas who built the sawmill on Peacock Brook with his father, John, and Deacon Thomas' son John had 13 children. He built a house the house of Charles COLBURN off Weare Road. Ivers ran the grist mill and Luke SMITH had a sawmill in town for 18 years.
Please send me interesting stories of your ancestors. I will be happy
to publish them here, especially if they contain many New Boston surnames -