John "Rock" Smith, Sr.

Male 1615 - 1706  (~ 91 years)

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  • Name John "Rock" Smith 
    Suffix Sr. 
    Born ~1615  Lancashire, England Find all individuals with events at this location  [1, 2, 3
    Gender Male 
    Will 10 May 1695  (Hempstead, Nassau County, New York) Find all individuals with events at this location  [4
    Died 0Oct 1706  Merrick, Hempstead, Nassau County, New York Find all individuals with events at this location  [3, 5
    Person ID I16679  The Hennessee Family
    Last Modified 5 Feb 2019 

    Father John Smith,   b. (CIRCA 1590) 
    Mother Isabella LNU,   b. (CIRCA 1590), (England) Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Married (CIRCA 1610)  (England) Find all individuals with events at this location  [6
    Family ID F9932  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family Martha Strickland,   b. Abt 1615 
    Married (Hempstead, Nassau County, New York) Find all individuals with events at this location  [3
     1. Mary Rock Smith,   b. 20 Jul 1630, Toxteth, Lancashire, England Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 15 Mar 1713, Hempstead, Nassau County, New York Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 82 years)
    Last Modified 25 Jun 2019 
    Family ID F13213  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Event Map
    Link to Google MapsBorn - ~1615 - Lancashire, England Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsWill - 10 May 1695 - (Hempstead, Nassau County, New York) Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsDied - 0Oct 1706 - Merrick, Hempstead, Nassau County, New York Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsMarried - - (Hempstead, Nassau County, New York) Link to Google Earth
     = Link to Google Earth 

  • Notes 
    • There is no agreement regarding John's marriage...

      According to the New York Genealogical and Biographical Record, vol.30, p.203, John Rock Smith's wife was a daughter of Lt. John Strickland. Some have taken that to mean Martha Strickland. The Treadwell Genealogy says his wife was Hannah Murry (c1621-c1661). Long Island Genealogies says she was possibly named Mary, who died between 1660 and 1665, after which John married Sara. Another source claims Elizabeth Gildersleeve (b.1624), daughter of Richard Gildersleeve and Jo Anna Appleton. another claims Elizabeth Wood, daughter of Jeremiah Wood (b.1618) and the same Elizabeth Gildersleeve. In short, there is no agreement as to the identity of John Rock Smith's wife. But she does NOT appear to have been Gildersleeve nor Wood. Lists of children vary, too. [7]
    • John "Rock" Smith was born around 1615, as evidenced by his deposition in 1675 when he said he was 60 years old. He died at Merrick, Hempstead, Long Island, in 1706; his will, written 10 May 1695, was proven 3 April 1706. There were several Smith families on Long Island, originally unrelated, that were given the distinctions of "Rock," "Bull," "Nan," "Weight," "Tangier," "Blue," and "Arthur," which continued intermittently for at least four generations. Some were given for reasons we know, such as the blue coat that John "Blue" Smith wore. The reason for "Rock" has been speculated, possibly from a fireplace carved from a rock in a previous house in New England, or from a brief stay in Roxbury, but more likely from land he owned near the area on Long Island called Rockaway.

      . . A John Smith (b.1575) came to Massachusetts Bay in 1630 with John Winthrop, aboard the Arabella, with his wife Isabel (1578-1638). [The Manifest of the Arabella lists only Mr & Mrs Smith] He settled in Watertown, MA, and was made a Freeman there in 1631. Discontent there, John Smith Sr and John Smith Jr (of unknown relation to John and Isabel) were with the group who moved from Waterford to Wethersfield, CT in 1635. Dissentions there led 28 of them to move to Stamford in 1641. By the end of 1642, John Sr, John Jr, and Henry Smith lived in Stamford.

      They were part of a group, under the leadership of Rev. Richard Denton, who left Stamford in 1644 to start a new community in Manetos, New Netherland, soon known as Hempstead, Long Island. Upon arrival, John Jr bought land at the extreme westerly part of Hungry Harbor near Rockaway (perhaps another possible source for his nickname) and eventually accumulated land at Little Neck and the main farm at Merrick in Hempstead. John Rock Smith of Hempstead deposed in 1675, at age 60, that he remembered the marking of the line between Stamford and Greenwich in 1641, making him the most probable candidate for John Smith, Jr, of Stamford, not related to John Smith, Sr, although John Jr's daughter apparently married John Sr's grandson John Nan Smith. [7]
    • 16 May 2007

      Check out monument...


      The following is from "The John Rock Smith Family", by Valentine W. Smith, Jamaica, L.l., 1937: from Bunker's Long Island Genealogies: and from "The Descendants of Edward Tredwell", by William A. Robbins, New York, 1911.

      John Smith's birth date is not known, but it must have been about 1615, as in a deposition he made in 1675, he gave his age as sixty. He died at Merrick, Hempstead, L.I. in 1706: his will was dated May 10/1695, proved April 3/1706. In the same deposition he stated that he got his name "Rock" as a distinction from other Smiths. No reason can be traced for this designation except for a legend that he built a house in New England, with a fire place carved out of a rock inside his house. This designation was used intermittently in the family for four generations. Valentine W. Smith states that there were six distinct Smith families on Long Island, namely, the Weight Smiths, the Rock Smiths, the Blue Smiths, the Tangier Smiths, the Bull Rider Smiths, and the Arthur Smiths. Charles J. Werner gives the following reasons for these designations:-

      The Weight Smiths possessed the only set of scales and weights:

      the Blue Smith's ancestor always wore a blue coat on every possible occasion of which he was exceedingly proud:

      the Tangier Smiths were descended from Colonel William Smith, Mayor of Tangier, Africa, then a British Colony where he resided before coming to America: Arthur Smith was one of the original proprietors of Brookhaven, L.I.

      All of these Smiths were originally unrelated.

      There were two John Smiths originally in Hempstead, known as senior and junior, and it is not known whether they were father and son or not. The first mention of John Rock Smith is in Huntington's History of Stamford, who states that John Jr, and his father John Sr, together with Henry Smith, came to Stamford from Wethersfield, Conn., in the spring of 1640.

      In that year, a company of dissatisfied and restless men in Wethersfield were anxious to end the contentions and feuds which for four or five years had rendered their home in this colony of Connecticut, including the towns of Windsor and Hartford, comfortless and unprofitable. The reasons for that distracted condition among a band of men who had left England, not six years before, to seek a quiet and peaceful home for themselves, may never be fully known. So decided the Church committee from Watertown, Mass,, who had been sent out into the wilderness, to look after the brethren who had so recently emigrated from their company. So decided also, that princely pioneer among the worthies of that age, the Reverend John Davenport, who had gone up from New Haven to see if fraternal counsel would not restore harmony to that distracted community. They finally decided to remove to Stamford: 28 of them came to Stamford in the summer of 1641. At the end of 1642, both John Smith senior and junior and Henry Smith were residents of Stamford. They were under the leadership of Richard Denton, who had been a minister at Halifax, Yorkshire, England. The colony, not liking the overshadowing influence of the New Haven jurisdiction, found a leader in Richard Denton, and in 1644, he removed with them to attempt a new settlement at Manetos, New Netherlands, now Hempstead, under the Dutch government. Denton returned to England in 1659 where he died in 1662, aged 76 years.

      On arrival at Hempstead, John junior bought land in the extreme westerly part of Hungry Marbor,near Rockaway. He must have been an astute real estate operator for he left properties of many acres at Rockaway, Hempstead, and Little Neck. His farm at Merrick extended from the Merriok or Meadowbrook river on the west, to Cedar Swamp on the east.

      According to the New York Genealogical & Biographical Record, Vol 30, p 203, John Rock Smith's wife was a daughter of Lieutenant John

      Subject 280 P2 (265)

      Strickland, one of Saltonstall's party of emigrants, and one of the first settlers of Hempstead in 1657. The Tredwell Genealogy says his wife's name was Hannah Murry,


      1. John Smith. He was dead by May 20/1690. He had sons Timothy and Richard, and presumably daughter Sarah (who married William Pine) and Mary.

      2. Joseph Smith. Bunker says he was married and had a son Joseph.

      3. Jonathan Smith. Born before 1650, will dated March 6/1724. He married in 1671, Grace Mott, born about 1653, daughter of Adam an his first wife Jane (Hewlett) Mott, see subject 282, page 3. See subject 140 for issue and further particulars.

      4. Mary Smith. She married in 1661, Samuel Denton, born 1632-4, son of the Reverend Richard Denton who owned 240 acres of land in Hempstead.


      2/1. Samuel Denton, born 1665, will dated February 14/1717, proved May 27/1719 in which he left everything to his wife Abigail. He married, 1st, in 1686, a Mr. Smith: 2nd, Abigail (Barlow) Roeland. He had Joseph, Mary, Deborah, Jemima and Anne, all under age in 1717.

      2/2. Mary Denton, born 1668. She married, 1st, in 1684, Peter Smith: 2nd, Jonathan Nostrand.

      2/3. James Denton, born 1670, will dated March 7/1713, proved February 3/1723. He married in 1723, Jane Titus, born 1670, daughter of Edmond and Martha (Washburn) Titus and had two children.

      2/4. Hannah Denton, born 1673, died August 17/1748. She married in 1695, Capt Thomas Tredwell, born 1670, died 1722, and had Timothy, Elizabeth Halstead, Charity, Hannah Sands, Thomas Star Tredwell, and John.

      2/5. Abraham Denton, born 1675.

      2/6. Jonas Denton, born 1677. he married in 1690, Jane Seaman probably daughter of Jonathan and Jane (---) Seaman.

      2/7. Phebe Denton, born 1679, died 1728. She married, 1st, in 1699, Richard Thorne: 2nd, Robert Mitchell. Issue:- (by her first husband Richard Thorne)

      3/1. Phebe Thorne, born 1701. She married on May 7/1725, Micah Smith, born 1704, died May 1747, son of Isaac and Elizabeth (Underhill) Smith. They bad five children.

      2/8. Martha Denton, born 1681. She married in 1717, Jonah Halstead, born 1692, died 1762, son of Timothy and Abigail (Carman) Halstead, and had eight children.

      2/9. Elizabeth Denton, born 1684. She married in 1709, Jonathan Seaman, who died in 1748, son of Jonathan and Jane (---) Seaman. In 1712 they removed to Kikiat, N.J., and had eleven children. [4]

  • Sources 
    1. [S21630] Nelta Dupree Evans,Pedigree Chart,501 South Hoover,Enid,OK 73703, dated.

    2. [S49696]

    3. [S49697]

    4. [S45752]

    5. [S21655] "Some of the Descendants of Rev. Richard Denton", by Edythe Whitley,, p. 10 (Reliability: 3).

    6. [S36459],smith::gildersleeve::1.

    7. [S49698]