Smyth Family History


By David Smyth


Version 8:   December 3, 2004


NOTE:  This updated version now includes:


New information at Generation 3, on the sons of Thomas Smyth and Margaret Lightfoot, and the origin of the Smyth coats of arms


New information on Generations 10 and 11, Thomas Hutchinson Smyth, who died in 1830, and his offspring Arthur M.D. and Edward, the banker.


New information in Appendix 4, on the ancestry of William Smithdike


Appendix 6, the Australian descendants of Arthur Smyth







This is the history of our small branch of the Smyth family, as far as I have been able to piece it together from various sources. It traces my Smyth ancestors back through my grandfather Thomas Hutchinson Smyth (1851-1931) to his forebears in Ireland and northern England. It covers twelve generations to my grandfather (fourteen to me, sixteen to the youngest Smyth generation now living), and a period of about five hundred years. This is as far back as I have been able to track the Smyth line so far. However, it is a work in progress, and further information will be added as more facts come to light. The current version, dated December 3, 2004, will, I hope, be superseded by later editions as my research continues.

            In the early 1600s, one ancestor, Ralph Smyth, married Elizabeth Hawksworth of Hawksworth Hall, Yorkshire. The Hawksworth family can be traced back for at least another four hundred years, through seventeen generations, to a Robert de Hawksworth who lived in Yorkshire in the early Thirteenth century. (See the Hawksworth appendix).

We thus have about eight hundred years of recorded family history. That looks impressive. But to put the matter in its proper perspective: excluding the single exception of the Hawksworth connection, the ancestry is traced only through the male line of descent, which severely limits the scope of the inquiry. It is probably just as well, since genealogical research through both male and female lines quickly becomes buried in a mass of unmanageable data. This is due to the inescapable fact that everybody has two parents, four grandparents, eight great-grandparents, sixteen great-great-grandparents, and so on back into the mists of time. If there are no overlapping ancestors along the way through intermarriage, by the time you go back five hundred years and sixteen generations (one generation being usually estimated at about thirty years) everybody alive in the year 2003 had 131,072 direct ancestors around the year 1500. And if you go back one thousand years, each person could theoretically have had more than 107 million ancestors about the year 1066, when the battle of Hastings was fought. Since the population of England at that time was probably not more than a couple of million or so, it is obvious that there must have been a lot of overlapping ancestors between the Tenth and Twentieth centuries.

            It is equally obvious that a family tree which lists a single ancestor (say Robert de Hawksworth of Hawksworth Hall) around the year 1227 is concentrating its attention on perhaps less than a millionth part of its total gene pool. This is the inevitable result of going back only through the male line. Your father has half your genes, your grandfather one quarter, your great grandfather one eighth, your great-great-grandfather one sixteenth, and so on, back to one quadrillionth or one zillionth by the time you get all the way back to Adam. Indeed, if you go far enough back in time everybody in the world is related to everybody else. However, as my friend Santiago Ferrari used to argue, “People say: Well, we are all descended from monkeys anyway. But what I say is: Yes, but not from the same monkey.”

            So tracing a family tree from father to son is something like boring an exploratory oil well. The earth cores that come up through the pipe for examination are only minute samples from the successive geological strata lying down there in the vast darkness of the past. But the sample cores can occasionally bring up some intriguing nuggets of information. At one point in the late 1700s it seems that our branch of the Smyths may have lost a castle in Ireland to the legal maneuvering of one Maggie Gerity and her possibly bastard son Robert Smyth. And in the 1500s, a Hawksworth aunt and uncle appear to have murdered their niece and nephew to take over Hawksworth Hall and the family estate. The murderous uncle was our direct ancestor. The murderous aunt and the murdered children were not.

            Well, there is nothing to be done about the castle or the murders or anything else now that all those centuries have gone by. And the Smyths have branched off in all directions since the 1500s. There are 13,813 Smyth households around the world, according to the editor of a Smyth genealogical book who recently contacted me. So, when I refer to “our” ancestors, the tight structure of this family tree limits the term “our” as applying to the descendants of my grandfather Thomas Hutchinson Smyth. This is a fluctuating number of people over the years - currently about a dozen and a half now living who are descended from the offspring of Thomas Hutchinson Smyth. He had five sons, Alan (1892-1960), Bertie (1894-1966), Currell (1896-1972), Dermot (1898-1991), and Tom (1901-1965), all of whom are now dead. Dermot and Tom died unmarried. Alan, Bertie and Currell had children.

            The descendants of Alan now living are June Leonard, her daughter Mary Trevelyan, and her grand-daughter Sharon Trevelyan. The descendants of Bertie still alive at the turn of the century were his daughter Cleone Smyth; his grandson Richard, and Richard’s sons Nyall and Stuart; Bertie’s grand-daughter Elaine, and Elaine’s children Laura, Peter, Nicholas and Angus Marshall; Bertie’s grandson Alec, and Alec’s daughter Frances; Currell’s son David and grandson Clifford Smyth. So there are sixteen people in this branch of the family whose genes may be traced back to the earliest identifiable Smyth in the 1500s. To which are added the people related to them by marriage who have a vested interest in this family tree, having contributed genes from England, Scotland, Spain and Germany (Betty Dixon, Alison Peebles-Brown, Nigel Trevelyan, Gavin Marshall, Silvia Lopez and Elli Helene Düsterhöft).


How Reliable is this Family Tree?


The first question that arises of course is the accuracy of the data. Just how reliable is the information in this family tree? In general terms, the more recent it is, the more reliable it looks, since much of it is supported by original documents. I have my own birth certificate, the birth certificate of my father (Currell Hutchinson Smyth, born in Bernal, Buenos Aires Province, July 29, 1896) and the birth and baptismal records of his four brothers, Alan, Bertie, Dermot and Tom. I also have the birth record of my grandfather, as well as the rather illegible certificate (Thomas Hutchinson Smyth, born in Londonderry 13 Aug. 1851). My grandfather’s birth record was located by the Ulster Historical Foundation, which also verified the marriage of his father (my great-grandfather) Edward Smyth to Elizabeth Wallace in Downpatrick  May 18, 1843. This parish marriage registry appears to be the earliest original family record that we have at this time.

            Going back from that date I have had to rely on other, probably less trustworthy, sources. The first of these is a family tree either made by my grandfather Thomas H. Smyth himself, or commissioned by him, probably in the early 1900s. It traces the family line back to a William Smyth of Rosedale Abbey, Yorkshire, who moved to Dundrum, Ireland, in the early 1600s. It is notably lacking in specific dates of birth, marriage and death. This made me suspect that the data probably came from wills that mentioned sons and daughters as heirs, without specifying their dates of birth or marriage or death. Or perhaps some unethical genealogist had just concocted a collection of spurious details for my grandfather and charged him a lot of money for very little work.

            In late 2000 I decided to verify my grandfather’s material by commissioning the Ulster Historical Foundation (UHF) to make a genealogical study of our branch of the Smyth surname. I provided their researchers with my grandfather’s family tree as a basis for them to work on. The UHF made what seemed to me a remarkably thorough investigation, and the report it sent me in early 2001 came up with a lot of corroborative detail. It dug up documents I did not have - the birth record and certificate of my grandfather Thomas H. Smyth (born in Londonderry 13 August, 1851) and the birth certificate of his wife Emma Jane Stephens (born in Dublin November 23, 1864), as well as the marriage record of her parents (George Alexander Stephens and Selina Bell, married in Abbeyleix, November 25, 1857). The UHF also found a number of other original records that tended to confirm the general accuracy of my grandfather’s family tree, including the marriage of his father Edward in 1843.

            The UHF suggested, however, that the data contained in his family tree probably came not from family wills as I suspected but from published works, such as Burke’s History of the Landed Gentry of Ireland and Burke’s Irish Family Records. They sent me xeroxed pages of these publications, which do indeed appear to be the source of the somewhat barebones details given in my grandfather’s family tree. (See Family Tree Appendix for the complete text of this document).

            This is what the Oxford Companion to Irish Literature says about Burke’s Irish genealogical reference works:  "Burke's Landed Gentry of Ireland (1st edition. 1899), is a genealogical dictionary of Irish landowning families, published by the company established by John Burke (I787-1848), compiler of A Genealogical and Heraldic Dictionary of the Peerage and Baronage of the United Kingdom (1st edition. 1826). The sole criterion was ownership of 1,000 acres in Ireland. Most of the names listed belong to ascendancy families, though not all were Protestant and not all were titled. Following the Wyndham Land Act in 1903 the editors were forced to ask if there were still a landed gentry, as noted in the 1912 Preface. After a fourth edition in 1958 the work was reissued as Burke's Irish Family Records (1976), listing the descendants of `500 interesting dynasties', whether living in Ireland or settled abroad."


            My grandfather’s family tree begins with this entry:


WILLIAM SMYTH of Dundrum, County Down. Settled in Ireland from Rosedale Abbey, County York, England, in the reign of King James I (1603-1625). Married Mary, daughter of John Dowdall of Glashisbell, County Louth.


            The 1899 edition of Burke’s Landed Gentry of Ireland has this, almost identical, entry for the Smyth family of Gaybrook, County Westmeath:


WILLIAM SMYTH, of Dundrum, County Down, settled in Ireland from Rosedale Abbey, County York, temp. James I, 1630. He married Mary, daughter of John Dowdall, of Glaspistell, County Louth (by Anne his wife, daughter of Sir Thomas Cusack, Lord Chancellor of Ireland).


            Burke’s Landed Gentry then mentions a granddaughter of William, named Marjorie, who married a Richard Currell. A couple of generations later, in the early 1700s, we have a Rev. Currell Smyth listed in the family, with Currell now used as a given name as well as a surname. Currell is very unusual as a given name, and the fact that my grandfather bestowed it on my father Currell Hutchinson Smyth in 1896 makes me think that he was probably familiar with the 1890s editions of Burke’s Landed Gentry of Ireland. He himself bore the middle name Hutchinson in honor of a family related by marriage to the Smyths and passed it on to all his five sons.


We must face now the matter of reliability. How trustworthy are Burke’s publications as a source of genealogical data? Unfortunately, in this particular case Burke appears to start out with an error in the very first generation. The 1899 edition of The Landed Gentry of Ireland states that William Smyth’s second son was also called William, was also of Dundrum, and also married Mary Dowdall. It seems improbable that both father and son should have married a Mary Dowdall. And in fact this is explicitly amended in a later edition of Burke’s Irish Family Records, published more than seventy years later.

According to the Irish Family Records:


WILLIAM SMYTH, came to Ireland from Rossdale (sic) Abbey circa 1630, settled first at Dundrum, County Down, but later moved to Lisburn, County Antrim. Married Ann (died ante 1630), daughter of Sir Thomas Hewley, and aunt of Sir John Hewley, Member of Parliament for Yorkshire, and died 1650.


So it turns out that Mary Dowdall was not the wife of our ancestor William Smyth, but his daughter-in-law, and in this particular generation we are descended in the female line from Hewleys rather than from Dowdalls.

How did this error come about? Burke’s publications contain such a mass of genealogical data for hundreds of families over hundreds of years that it is quite evidently beyond the capabilities of the editors to research them all themselves. I would say they probably do little original research, if any at all. Instead, the editors most likely have to rely on the families themselves to volunteer whatever they have in the way of ancestral information and accept uncritically whatever is thus provided. What it comes down to then is that each family listed is the source for its own genealogy and should be looked at skeptically for any tendency to self-aggrandizement. What appears to have happened in this case is that the Smyth family of Gaybrook used the seventy-odd years after 1899 to dig a little deeper and make some corrections in the family records. Since Mary Dowdall was no longer their (and our) direct ancestress there is no longer any mention here of her being the grand-daughter of the Lord Chancellor of Ireland. The family record apparently benefited also from some new research that extended the Smyth history a further hundred years, from the William Smyth who moved to Ireland in 1630, back to his great-grandfather Thomas Smyth, born in West Layton, Yorkshire, in 1520.

So we know more or less where we stand as regards Burke’s genealogical records. They are not all that reliable. We return now to my great-grandfather Edward Smyth, whose wedding on May 18, 1843 marks the earliest event anchored by original documentation. Everything before that event stands on a lower level of credibility. In fact, however, all the father-to-son successions recorded in my grandfather’s family tree seem to be duly confirmed by the genealogy given in Burke’s reference works, back to Ralph Smyth, son of the William Smyth of Rosedale Abbey, Yorkshire who moved to Dundrum, County Down. So my grandfather seems to have got all that right at least. But, as we have seen, Burke appears to have been his source material, and Burke does make mistakes. Another of these mistakes is the statement that William Smyth moved to Ireland in 1630, temp James I. King James died in 1625, and if William did settle in Ireland in 1630, it was in the reign of Charles I.


The Ulster Historical Foundation is careful to limit its research to original documents (civil and religious registers of birth, marriage and death) and other documentary sources such as biographies, government reports, newspaper articles published at the time, and other contemporary records. Unfortunately civil records of births, deaths and Catholic marriages in Ireland did not begin until 1864, and the civil registration of Protestant marriages only started in 1845. Before these dates the UHF can only provide copies of baptismal or marriage records in church registers. How far back these records go varies from parish to parish, and there is always the possibility that the UHF may perhaps not find some records that actually do exist. The parish records are scattered all over the country, and the UHF, not having the information available all in one place, may not know where to look.

Fortunately, however, the UHF’s information can be supplemented by the research service of the Church of Latter Day Saints – the Mormon Church. The Mormons believe that when you become a Mormon you find salvation not only for yourself, you can also save your ancestors by baptizing them posthumously into the Mormon religion. It is therefore important to Mormons to know precisely who their ancestors are, and they have embarked on a vast project of gathering the records of birth, marriage and death of ultimately everybody in the world. Much of this information is available on their website, and it is not necessary to be a Mormon to discover its usefulness in genealogical research.

For example, it was during a search of the Mormon website that I found a record of the marriage of Edward Smith (sic) and Elizabeth Wallace in Downpatrick on May 18, 1843. I passed the information on to the UHF, and they confirmed its accuracy by checking the church register. However, they might not have found it on their own. I have found other useful information on the Mormon website, as will appear further on in this report.

The reliability of the Mormon data varies widely. The information contained in their main list, the International Genealogical Index, presumably comes entirely from their actual search of original records in churches and civil registries, which are microfilmed and then catalogued. These entries may be taken as being the most reliable. They can be downloaded and taken to Mormon Family History Centers, where photocopies of the original records themselves may be ordered. I intend to order various such documents as time allows. While authenticity may be assumed, faded writing and the poor physical condition of some old documents, illegible handwriting and hard-to-read old-style script may sometimes make them hard to interpret.

The Mormon website also contains further information from other sources, including family trees and additional contributions volunteered by third parties, many of them amateur genealogists. The quality of this material fluctuates wildly and is of highly dubious reliability. One may find a father listed as being born three years before his son, a mother giving birth in her sixties, a marriage taking place in 1688 instead of 1588, and other huge discrepancies and anomalies.

There are many other sources of information to be exploited. The invention of the internet has not only made available the vast store of genealogical data on the Mormon website, it has also opened up millions of other websites for the discovery of additional information. This includes family histories, old maps, historical documents (such as the Ulster muster rolls of 1630 listing the names and number of men at arms that landowners were required to provide the King), genealogical associations and discussion groups, local histories and many other resources. It was on the website for Glasson and Portlick that I discovered that fourteen Smyth relatives disputed in the law courts the ownership of Portlick Castle, which Maggie Gerity eventually secured for her son Robert and his descendants.

One fruitful source of information has been Smythe of Barbavilla, The History of an Anglo-Irish Family, by Stephen Penny. This very rare book was kindly loaned to me by Canon Ronald Smythe of Suffolk, England, who is, I believe, my eighth cousin. (Canon Smythe is the brother of Pat Smythe, the Olympic equestrienne, and has written his own autobiography No Sparrow Falls). Smythe of Barbavilla traces the history of that branch of the Smythe family from William Smyth, who settled in Ireland in the early 1600s, to his descendants in the 1970s, a period of about three and a half centuries. Only 200 copies of this book were published privately in 1974 (printed by TRUEXpress, Oxford). The work is based on family letters and documents, and several family members collaborated in collecting the records and writing various chapters, starting in the 1920s. A grandson, Stephen Penny, was given all the notes, manuscripts and typescripts, and he produced the final version. Barbavilla is the name of an estate in County Westmeath purchased by William Smyth (1692-1769), and named in honor of his wife Barbara Ingoldsby (who was incidentally the grand-daughter of a cousin of Oliver Cromwell). The property remained in the family until 1955 and Smythe of Barbavilla is an absorbing record of the generations that inhabited it for more than three centuries. However, most of the account is extraneous to the family history I have undertaken here because our ancestry diverged after Ralph Smyth, the grandfather of Barbavilla’s founder. Smythe of Barbavilla in fact contains a remarkable amount of documented information on Ralph Smyth and how he prospered as the first generation of the family to be raised in Ireland. It is surprising, in view of this, how little the book knows of Ralph’s father William, the settler from Yorkshire who moved to Ireland in the 1630s. It does not even know that his Christian name was William, and is reduced to calling him The Settler. This fact, and many others on the Smyth ancestry in Yorkshire, were readily available from the entries for other Smyth families listed in Burke’s Irish genealogical works.

    There is a potentially rich trove of information to be found on the Smyth family at Trent University (in Peterborough, Ontario, Canada) that I have not fully explored yet. It is contained in the Jean Sherman and Elizabeth Sherman collection of documents. These two ladies collected the letters of their great-great-grandmother Frances Browne Stewart, who emigrated to Douro Township, Canada, in 1822, and kept up a half-century correspondence with her numerous cousins and other relatives in Ireland, including the Smyths - 450 letters in all from the 1820s to the 1870s. Trent University sent me a brief guide and description of each letter in which a member of the Smyth family is mentioned, and 24 of these appear to refer to persons of interest to this family history. They offer tantalizing glimpses into the past. Here, for example, is a reference to



       e. son of Ralph Smyth & Hannah M. Staples

       b. 1800

       d. 1827

       m. 1821 Georgiana, dau. of Hon. John Thomas Capel, 2nd son of Wm. Anne, 4th Earl of Essex

       Issue: none

       Of Gaybrook

       Dies in a drunken fit, 18.7.1827; family afraid Gaybrook will be left to Capel family; brother Robt. inherits.

       Letters, 495, 496, 500


       Unfortunately, to inquire further into this drinking episode that led to the death of Ralph at the age of 27 - and any other matters of family interest - I would have to visit Trent University, search the archives for the transcripts of the original letters 495, 496 and 500, and xerox whatever is relevant. The librarian, Bernadine Dodge, tells me this would be a time-consuming task as the numbering of the letters is rather confusing. She added that "Frances Stewart's letters were published as Our Forest Home but were edited disastrously by her daughter.”

       The reference is to “Our Forest Home, being Extracts from the correspondence of the late Frances Stewart,” compiled and edited by her daughter E.S. Dunlop, printed by the Presbyterian Printing and Publishing Company, Ltd., Toronto, Canada, 1889. It can be read on the internet at

In this work Ms. Dunlop appears to have cut out everything that did not directly apply to the daily life of her mother’s family as pioneers in Canada. This approach is indeed “disastrous” with regard to information about family members in Ireland or elsewhere, as well as other matters, but is a logical way of telling a tightly focused family history. As regards the original correspondence, I intend to do some research at Trent University some day. (Trent University says that associated material is located at the Archives of Ontario and the Metropolitan Reference Library, Toronto, Ontario. For related records see: 69-1003, 74-1005, 74-1006, 77-1006, 78-008, 92-1002, 94-1001, 94-006, 94-007, 97-023, and 98-005. The page numbers cited in the guide are only approximate as Trent University Archives has a different edition of the transcripts (94-006) referred to).


So much for the documentation and the sources of information on which this family history is based. All of it allows, in varying degrees, for a large dose of skepticism. And what should be kept in mind at all times, of course, is the waywardness of human behavior. Documents are one thing, what actually happened may well be something else altogether. It takes only one extramarital affair, one rape or one case of spouse-swapping that results in a pregnancy to wipe out an entire line of male ancestors and introduce into the picture a wholly different - and usually unknown - male line of descent. At some point, over the course of fifteen to thirty generations, such a disruptive incident, which invalidates everything that goes before, must at least be considered a possibility. How it affects the prospects of posthumous Mormon salvation I do not know. However, recent advances in DNA science do allow one to establish whether there is an actual family relationship between people now living and the bones of their presumptive ancestors. It is just a matter of digging up the bones of the dead, drawing blood or saliva from the living, and comparing their DNA. It was thus that the remains of the murdered Czar Nicholas II and his family were verified as authentic - one of the living relatives being Prince Philip of Britain. We could, I suppose, dig up an ancestor and see how our DNA compares.



Family Records



The earliest date for our branch of the Smyth family that I have been able to find so far, in other wider Smyth family ancestries, is in the entry for the Smyth family of Gaybrook, Mullingar, Westmeath, in Burke’s Irish Family Records. It begins:


Lineage – This family originally came from Stainton in Palatinate of Durham but moved to Yorkshire circa 1500, settling at Rosedale Abbey which was leased to them by Ralph Neville, First Earl of Westmorland after the dissolution of the Monasteries.


There is already one mistake here. Ralph Neville, First Earl of  Westmorland, was born in 1364 and died in 1425. So the reference is presumably to the Fourth Earl. Stainton is a town just north of Darlington in County Durham, near Hartlepool on the northeast coast of England. It is only a few miles away from Stainford, the site of Raby Castle, built by the Neville family in the Fourteenth century. The proximity of the Neville’s castle and the Smyths’ town of origin seems to imply that the Smyths knew or had some connection with the Nevilles before they moved from Durham to Yorkshire.






Generation 1


William Smithdike (?-?) = wife unknown

(Children: THOMAS, perhaps others unknown)


            Rosedale Abbey was a small priory of the Cistercian Order, founded in the Twelfth Century in the narrow little valley of the River Seven (which is actually a small stream) at the foot of Spaunton Moor, about a day’s ride on horseback northward from the city of York. There is not much left of it now, and it does not seem to have been a very impressive place to begin with.

            All that remains, as I found on a visit in 1996, is the stump of a tower and part of a staircase. Rosedale Abbey still shows on the map of Yorkshire but it is now the name of a small village rather than an abbey. The abbey itself was dissolved in 1538. At the time of its dissolution it consisted of only eight nuns and a prioress (who were compensated with state pensions) and twelve lay workers, mainly farmers and shepherds. But it did own a considerable amount of land, donated at various times by prominent local families, including the de Rosedales, Stutevilles, Wakes, Malcakes, and Bolebecks.

At the High Street shop I purchased “A History of Rosedale,” a local history written in 1971 by Raymond H. Hayes, MBE, FSA. According to this work:

 On the dissolution of the priory, on July 9th, 1538 – together with Keldholme Priory – it was granted to Ralph Neville, Earl of Westmorland, who leased it to William Smithdike of the household of the King, at seven pounds nine shillings per annum for twenty one years.”

            This William Smithdike was apparently the father of Thomas Smyth, the first ancestor mentioned by name in the Burke genealogy of the Irish Smyth family. We have no explanation available for the contraction of the Smithdike name to Smyth, but according to the Rosedale history this William Smithdike had some connection with the court of King Henry VIII, so perhaps further research of Henry’s reign may dredge up some new information on the Smithdike ancestry. (Raymond Hayes is dead but his papers are kept at the Folk Museum in Hutton-le-Hole, Yorkshire, which is a bit too far for me to visit from New Jersey, USA, at this time. However, if anyone living nearby could look through these papers for any further references to the mysterious Smithdike I would greatly appreciate the findings. For now, all I can offer on the subject at this time lies firmly in the realm of speculation – See Appendix 4 for some absolutely undocumented conjectures on the possible Smithdike forebears).

            For the present, the fact that the Irish Smyths of Gaybrook did not know the name of the man who first leased the property from the Earl of Westmorland indicates that their knowledge of the period is very sketchy.

Smithdike’s twenty-one-year lease apparently ran from about 1538 to 1559. The size of the property at that time is not known, but according to the “History of Rosedale,” some years later, “when the Manor of Rosedale was leased in 1576… there were forty farms and six mills.” We may therefore conclude that William Smithdike was probably running a rented estate of considerable size.



Generation 2


Thomas Smyth (1520- ?)= Jane Layton (? - ?)

(Children: THOMAS, others unknown)


Burke’s Irish Family Records continues:


THOMAS SMYTH, born 1520, married Jane Layton, of West Layton, and had with other issue, Thomas Smyth.


The dissolution of the monasteries was decreed by Henry VIII in 1535, when William Smithdike’s son Thomas was fifteen years old. It would appear from the initial Burke entry that the Smyth family had moved from Durham to Yorkshire before that event, in the early 1500s, but the timing is not very clear. It seems probable that the Earl of Westmorland leased Rosedale Abbey to Smithdike in the mid to late 1530s and that the family moved from Durham to Yorkshire at that time.

The political background to this is that Henry VIII wanted to divorce Catherine of Aragon because she was unable to produce a male heir, the Pope would not let him, so Henry broke with Rome, founded his own church and declared himself the head of it instead of the Pope. This was the origin of the Anglican Church. Subsequently Henry confiscated the property of the Catholic Church, which owned large tracts of land in England, dissolved the monasteries and nunneries, and pensioned off the monks and nuns. Court favorites like the Earl of Westmorland ended up in possession of a great deal of the confiscated ecclesiastical property. All this religious upheaval was going on when Thomas Smyth was growing up, and he was probably eighteen when his family took over the running of the Rosedale property.

Jane Layton appears to have come from a prominent local family. West Layton and East Layton are two small villages northward of Rosedale Abbey, about nine miles west south west of Darlington in the North Riding of Yorkshire. The principal family of this area was the de Laytons, of Norman descent. It can be traced back to the Twelfth century and one Odarus, Lord of the Manor of Layton. The name was later shortened to Layton. Richard Layton, a younger son of the Laytons, of West Layton, was dean of York in Henry the 8th's time, and was one of the persons whose authority Henry made use of in dissolving the monasteries. He may have been an uncle of Jane Layton. Having taken over the management of expropriated land and marrying into such a family, it seems evident that the Smyths were well in with the new Anglican establishment. It was a connection that was to continue for several generations.




Generation 3

Thomas Smyth (1550-?) = Margaret Lightfoot (?-?)

(Children:  William, JAMES, others unknown)


Burke’s Irish Family Records continues:


THOMAS SMYTH, born 1550, married Margaret Lightfoot, daughter of Simon Lightfoot of West Clayton, and had, with other issue, James Smyth.


Thomas junior was now the third generation Smyth on the Rosedale estate. He would have been nine years old when the original Smithdike 21-year lease on the Earl of Westmorland’s Rosedale property expired in 1559. It was probably renewed or extended, since the Smyth connection with Rosedale was apparently maintained until the departure of his grandson William Smyth for Ireland around 1630.

The History of Rosedale has this to say on the ownership of the property:


“On the de-possession of the Earl, owing to his part in the Pilgrimage of Grace, they (the Earl of Westmorland’s properties) were forfeit to the Crown.”


It is now obvious that Raymond Hayes, the author of this work, is as prone to errors as Burke. Rosedale Abbey was expropriated from the Cistercian Order and handed over to the Earl of Westmorland in 1538. The Pilgrimage of Grace was a rebellion against King Henry VIII two years earlier, in 1536, by people opposed to Henry’s religious policy and his dissolution of the monasteries. It is obviously impossible for Westmorland to have been deprived in 1536 of property that he was only granted in 1538. And as a beneficiary of the dissolution of the monasteries he would in any case have been an unlikely participant in the Pilgrimage of Grace.

According to standard histories of England, the Nevilles were ringleaders in a revolt four decades later, in 1569, against Henry’s daughter Queen Elizabeth I - the so-called rising of the North. In this uprising, Charles Neville, Sixth Earl of Westmorland, a Catholic by birth, joined forces with Thomas Percy, Earl of Northumberland. They captured Durham but failed in their attempt to free Mary Queen of Scots (Elizabeth’s Catholic rival for the throne) from prison. Westmorland fled abroad. The Protestant Elizabeth deprived him of his titles and all his properties, which included the ancestral seat (Raby Castle), and the Rosedale Abbey estate.

A William Smyth of Nunstainton (whose relationship to us - if indeed any - is unclear), according to Surtees, was “engaged in the rebellion of the Northern Earls in 1569, and was included in the list of attainder.” He reappears, however, some years afterwards in the peaceable possession of his own estates. The estates in question, Eshe and East Herrington, had come to him through his wife Margaret Eshe, who inherited the properties due to the lack of a male heir in the Eshe family. Surtees has a detailed pedigree of this Smythe family of Eshe and Nun Stainton, in Durham, and of Acton-Burnell and Langley in Shropshire.

To return to our own line of Smyths, however, when Rosedale Abbey was forfeit to the Crown it may be presumed that the Smyths’ lease was renewed by the royal agents, since the family retained their connection with the estate in some way into the next century. However, the “History of Rosedale” states that in 1576 the Manor of Rosedale was leased to Ambrose Dudley, Earl of Warwick and his wife Ann. At this time Thomas Smyth senior would have been fifty-six years old, and his son Thomas junior twenty six. It is not clear whether the Earl of Warwick allowed the Smyths to continue managing the Rosedale property, but he probably did not take a direct interest in it himself, since he had other, much larger interests.

Ambrose Dudley was the owner of Warwick Castle and Kenilworth Castle, where he once entertained Queen Elizabeth with a spectacular fireworks party that burned down one of the local houses. He was married three times but died childless in 1589. His title and property then reverted to the Crown. So, perhaps once again the Smyths were granted a royal lease on the Rosedale Abbey estate.

It is evident at all events that the Smyth family had good connections with the establishment, and particularly with the church, as will be seen from the brief biography of William Smyth, the eldest son of Thomas Smyth and Margaret Lightfoot to be found on page 347 of the Durham Quarter Session Rolls 1471-1625: biographies of Justices of the Peace

SMITH, William, esq., of Durham, son and heir of Thomas Smith and Margaret Lightfoot, married Mary Heron of Chipchase; counsellor at law; of Gray’s Inn; recorder of Durham city, 1603; bishop’s attorney-general; steward of Durham, 1623 (Reg. Cath. D., 82n.; Hutchinson  i, 490; Surtees IV ii, 20; CJ 199 n.42).


Although Thomas’s son James is our director ancestor, James’s elder brother William is the key to opening up some further information on our ancestry. I am indebted to my cousin Charmaine Robson for a pedigree of the Smiths of West Herrington, County Durham in which William alone figures (presumably as the first born) but our ancestor James does not. Charmaine ascribes this family tree to The History and Antiquities of the County Palatine of Durham, London 1816-1840, by Robert Surtees (1779-1834).

According to this document, William’s father Thomas Smyth, of Barton, co. Richmond, co. Ebor. (Yorkshire), married Margaret, daughter of Simon Lightfoot, and sister of George Lightfoot of Durham, esq. Lord of the Manor of Greystones and Humbleton, co. Pal. (County Durham). It would appear therefore that the Lightfoots had substantial roots in Durham, which perhaps would partially account for the successful career of Margaret’s son William in that county. The West Herrington family tree then lists William as the only offspring of Thomas Smyth and Margaret Lightfoot, identifying him as “of the city of Durham, esq., Councellor at Law and Clerk of the Chancerie; descended from Smith of West Layton, co. Ebor. (Yorkshire); buried in Durham cathedral 7 Dec. 1631, aet. 63.” The West Herrington family tree then traces the descendants of William Smith down to the early 1800s.

One interesting point is that William Smith was granted a coat of arms in 1615 that closely resembles the coats of arms later adopted by various Smyth families in Ireland, and was presumably their point of origin. (See the discussion of Smyth coats of arms at the end of this family history). Surtees describes William Smith’s coat of arms as follows: “Argent, on a Bend Azure three lozenges Or, each marked Erminois inter two Unicorns’ heads erased Azure. armed and maned Or. Crest: On a wreath. a dexter Hand embowed or spotted Erminois, Cuff Argent, grasping a broken sword, proper, Hilt Or. Granted by Sir Richard St. George to Wm. Smith of Durham Counsellor at Law, at his Visitation 1615.”




Generation 4


James Smyth (after 1568-?) = Helen Sayers (?-?)

(Children: WILLIAM, at least two other sons)


Burke’s Irish Family Records proceeds:


JAMES SMYTH, married Helen, daughter of Francis Sayers, of Worsall, North Allerton, and had issue a third son, William Smyth.


James Smyth was probably born around 1570 (his elder brother William’s birth year being 1568) and he was a contemporary of William Shakespeare. He brings us to the end of Queen Elizabeth’s reign (she died in 1603) and the beginning of the reign of James I, who united England and Scotland under one king for the first time.

According to the History of Rosedale James granted the priories of Rosedale and Keldholme to George Villiers, Duke of Buckingham, who sold them to Charles Duncombe. They had presumably remained Crown property until that time.

This transfer of ownership probably affected the Smyth tenancy of Rosedale, leading ultimately to the emigration of James’s son William Smyth to northern Ireland around 1630. George Villiers was born in 1592 and was killed in 1628 at the age of thirty six by a disgruntled naval officer. He arrived at the English court in 1614 and became a favorite of James I, who gave him the title of First Duke of Buckingham. By 1620 he was dispensing the king’s patronage and perhaps doled out Rosedale to himself. Thus he probably took over Rosedale some time after 1620. He held the post of Lord High Admiral and was involved in foreign military expeditions, so he presumably had no time to manage the Rosedale estate. Charles Duncombe, who bought it from him, probably did, and this was perhaps where the Smyth stewardship ended.

(See Appendix 4 for a possible link between the Smyth and Duncombe families).

As regards the Sayer family, Surtees has some sketchy biographical details on various Sayers of Worsall and Preston on Tees, ranging from the parents of John Sayer (born Tuesday before Epiphany in the first year of Henry IV’s reign, 1400; baptized at Norton aged six months) to Leonard Francis Sayer (will dated 1559, proved at York). However I find no mention there of our ancestress Helen or her father Francis, so the precise connection remains in doubt.





Generation 5


William Smyth (1600?-1650)= Ann Hewley (?-1629?)

(Children: James, John, William, RALPH, Margaret {or Marjorie} and Isobel)


Burke’s Irish Family Records now records:


WILLIAM SMYTH, came to Ireland from Rossdale Abbey circa 1630, settled first at Dundrum, County Down, but later moved to Lisburn, County Antrim, married Ann (died ante 1630), daughter of Sir Thomas Hewley and aunt of Sir John Hewley, Member of Parliament for Yorkshire, and died 1650, leaving issue…


I have turned up relatively little about the life of William Smyth beyond what is stated in Burke’s Irish Family Records. The family history Smythe of Barbavilla by Stephen Penny contains a remarkable amount of original, documented information about his son Ralph Smyth but knows so little about the father that it is unaware that his Christian name was William and has to refer to him as The Settler. Nevertheless, it does have some tit-bits of information. It cites, as its earliest documentary evidence of him, a letter written in 1739 by a Miss Jane Smith in B(allin)derry, who says, “…as yu. Desired I send yu. Ye Genealogy…as I had it from my Mothr…  She does not remember ye name of her Gt. Grnd. Father but that he had 3 sons & 2 daughters, John; Wm. & Ralph. & ye daughters Isabel and Margaret after he had settled his family dyed at B-macash. He came fm. Near Ross deal abbey in Yorkshire, where he left one son who enjoyed ye Estat.”

The son who remained in Yorkshire would be James, who is not mentioned by name in the letter, and who brings the number of siblings to six – four brothers and two sisters. There is no word of William’s wife in this letter, so presumably she had died before the move to Ireland. There is no indication of Jane Smith’s relationship to the family, but William the Settler’s daughter Isobel lived in Ballinderry, so perhaps there is a connection there.

Smythe of Barbavilla reports that “The Smyths, by family tradition, landed at Dundrum, County Down, before moving to Lisburn. The father died about fifteen years later at a place now called Old Ballymacash. A garden was all that remained of the first family home there.”


Smythe of Barbavilla’s version of the family’s move to Ireland is sketchy, but is corroborated in some details by information I obtained elsewhere. It states:

Early in the seventeenth century, Sir Fulke and later Sir Edward Conway, who became Viscount Conway and Killultagh, were granted a large estate, the Manor of Killultagh. On this was built a castellated house and the new town of Lisnegarvey, now called Lisburn. Settlers were encouraged to come over from England, Scotland, and Wales, and amongst these were a family named Smith, or, as it was usually spelt, Smyth. They arrived in about the year 1630 and quite soon they settled on Lord Conway’s estate, putting themselves under his protection. Like Thomas Wentworth, afterwards the Earl of Strafford, the next Lord Deputy, and Sir George Rawdon, Lord Conway’s son-in-law, the Smyths were Yorkshiremen.

Lisburn was destroyed in the Irish rebellion of 1641, and

Most of the estate papers which survived this destruction were burnt in 1707 when the whole town was again destroyed in an accidental fire. However, an early seventeenth century plan of Lisburn, preserved in the office of the Marquis of Hertford, shows the castle and the tenements, and in a list of the fifty-one tenants occurs the name of William Smyth.

In fact, a copy of this plan is in my possession, as will be mentioned below.


I made a search on the Mormon website of all the William Smyths born in England between 1480 and 1520 to a father named James Smyth. About twenty came up. Narrowing the search down to those born in Yorkshire, I concentrated on a William Smithe, son of James Smithe, who was christened in Keighley, Yorkshire. January 13, 1600. I believe this man was perhaps the William Smyth on our family tree because the date seems about right, and because Keighley is only about six miles from  Hawksworth Hall. William’s son Ralph married into the Hawksworth family, and the proximity might explain this relationship. Unfortunately the name of William’s mother, which might confirm the identification, is not given on this birth record.

We now turn to Burke, which records that William Smyth and Ann Hewley had five children: James, John, William, Ralph and Isobel. According to Burke, James remained in Yorkshire, but it appears that the other four went over to Ireland with their father. Their mother had died by this time. If their father was born in 1600 they must have been under ten years of age when he moved to Ireland. According to Burke, William died in 1650 (probably at the age of 50 if he was the man born in Keighley in 1600).

Why did William Smyth move to Ireland with his small children after the death of his wife? I have not yet been able to find out the reason. The Rosedale lease had probably expired, but William was only the third son and was probably not needed to run the estate anyway. He was evidently well connected in Yorkshire. His father-in-law was a baronet and through his wife he was related to a member of Parliament who later became a large landowner in Yorkshire. So why leave Yorkshire? Particularly as Ireland was convulsed by civil strife at the time.

Ireland had in fact never been an attractive place to settle. It had been in almost constant conflict with England for more than four hundred years, since the first Anglo-Norman invasion in 1169. In 1177 the Norman lord John de Courcy invaded Ulster and built Dundrum Castle on the Irish Sea. Over the centuries, the Normans were never able to subdue the native Irish, and in times of crisis they fell back on their two main castles in northern Ireland, Dundrum and Carrickfergus. Despite centuries of failure by previous dynasties, the Tudor dynasty tried to assert its control over the whole island. In 1541 Henry VIII proclaimed himself king of all Ireland. However, the native Gaelic earls managed to keep control of most of Ulster and were in almost constant warfare for the next sixty years with Henry’s daughter Elizabeth I of England and her successor, the first Stuart king, James I. Finally, in 1607 the native Ulster rulers Hugh O’Neill, Rory O’Donnell and Cuchonnacht Maguire gave up the struggle and fled to Spain. The so-called flight of the Earls thus opened the way for James I to confiscate their lands in the northern counties of Donegal, Coleraine, Fermanagh, Tyrone, Armagh and Cavan. James then tried to suppress the rebellious northern Irish once and for all by undertaking in these counties the Plantation of Ulster with English and Scottish settlers, which began in 1609-1610.

However, the colonization did not include the counties of Down and Antrim, where William Smyth settled, so he was evidently not a part of the official Ulster Plantation.

In County Down, Scottish settlers were brought over by Hugh Montgomery, a Scottish laird from Ayrshire, and James Hamilton, who had begun his career in Ireland as a school teacher in Dublin in 1587. Their royal grants obligated them to populate their lands with Scots and Englishmen, and the first Scottish settlers arrived in 1605. However, it does not seem very likely that William Smyth, an Englishman, had any part in these Scottish endeavors. But there were other smaller settlement ventures in which he could have been a participant.

It is worth recalling that Ireland was very thinly peopled at this time. The population of Ulster has been estimated at 50,000 in 1620 and about 100,000 in 1640. The entire population of Ireland was probably less than a million.

 Dundrum, where William Smyth moved to, is a small town and port picturesquely situated where the mountains of Mourne sweep down to the Irish Sea. Lisburn, known at that time as Lisnegarvey, is an inland town further north, about eight miles south west of Belfast.

Dundrum Castle,  built shortly before 1210, was held by the native Earls of Ulster - from the middle of the Fourteenth Century by the Magennises of Mourne. The castle was surrendered in 1601 by Phelim Magennis to Lord Mountjoy and the English Crown, which granted it in 1605 to Edward Cromwell, Lord of Lecale. (This Cromwell had no connection with Oliver Cromwell, who came to Ireland almost half a century later). In 1636 Edward Cromwell sold the castle to Sir Francis Blundell. The Magennises retook the castle briefly in 1642, but later lost it to Oliver Cromwell’s Parliamentarians, who dismantled the castle in 1652 when they withdrew their garrison.

William Smyth arrived therefore when the castle was in the hands of Lord Edward Cromwell, and some connection between them may possibly be sought there. Perhaps the transfer of the property from Cromwell to Sir Francis Blundell in 1636 might have had something to do with William Smyth’s move to Lisburn.

The Lisburn area, as noted in Smythe of Barbavilla, was settled by Sir Fulke Conway in 1608 with  English and Welsh immigrants from his family estates in the west of England and Wales. It appears practically certain that William Smyth was closely involved with the Conway settlement even if that was not the original reason for his move to Ireland. Sir Fulke, an English army officer, obtained from King James I a grant of the manors of Killultagh and Derryvolgie in south Antrim and north Down. His land grant extended from west of Belfast down to the shore of Lough Neagh.

Sir Fulke settled at Lisnagarvey (now known as Lisburn), where in 1622 he built a castle and in 1623 founded the Church of Saint Thomas. In 1624 he died and his estates passed to his brother, Sir Edward Conway (later Viscount Killultagh in the Irish peerage and Viscount Conway in the English peerage). A fellow-researcher of families in the Lisburn area, Trevor Fulton, sent me a map of the original town of Lisnegarvey. It bears no date, but apparently goes back to about 1632. This map identifies the town plots of fifty three settlers, and a William Smyth is listed as occupying lot 29, on the south side of Bridge Street, which ran down to the bridge over the River Lagan. It seems probable that this William Smyth was our ancestor. However, if it was, he did not seem to have any distinguished position in the community as his plot is just one in a row of a dozen rather small holdings. All the inhabitants are listed as “tenants.”

The Lisburn Historical Society Journal comments that this “sketch map of Lisburn recorded fifty-three tenements, possibly representing a population of about 260 people. By 1659 the number had grown, 357 people being recorded on the poll tax for that year. This may represent a population of about 700. Of these 357 persons, 217 were settlers and 140 were Irish. The town was then the sixth largest in Ulster after Belfast, Armagh, Coleraine, Derry and Canickfergus.

In 1641 the natives of Down and Antrim decided that they could no longer endure any further dispossession by foreign intruders. Not only the Gaelic Irish but also the “old English” (settlers in Ireland from previous centuries) rose in rebellion against the Anglican and Presbyterian newcomers from England and Scotland. They drowned, murdered and burned alive several thousand men, women and children. The rebels attacked Lisburn and burned the town. The rebellion lasted several years and was not ended until Oliver Cromwell arrived in Ireland in 1649 to perpetrate his own massacres of about 2,600 people at Drogheda and another 2,000 at Wexford. So William Smyth would have experienced all this appalling civil strife in the last years of his life, almost up to his death in 1650.






Generation 6


Ralph Smyth (1620?-1689) = Elizabeth (Alice) Hawksworth (1622?-1689)

(Children: William, THOMAS, Ralph, Robert, Alice, Mary, Margaret)


          Burke’s Irish Family Records now has this:


            CAPTAIN RALPH SMYTH, of Ballymacash, County Antrim, High Sheriff 1680, married 1643 Alice, daughter of Sir Richard Hawksworth, of Hawksworth Hall, Yorkshire, and died (will dated 15 August 1688, proved 1690), leaving issue, 1 William (Right Reverend), 2 Thomas, of Drumcree, County Westmeath, 3 Ralph, 4 Robert, 1 Alice, 2 Mary, 3 Margaret.


We must now go back to Burke’s 1899 edition of The Landed Gentry of Ireland to sort out some discrepancies. According to this work:


RALPH SMYTH, of Ballymacastle, County Antrim, Captain in the Army, married Elizabeth, daughter of Sir Robert Hawksworth, Knight, of Hawksworth Hall, County York.


Once again the Smyth of Gaybrook genealogy seems to be at fault here. Was the name of Ralph Smyth’s wife Alice or Elizabeth? Or did she use both names? (It is also possible that unclear handwriting and the free-form spelling of that time may have variously rendered contractions such as Elis or Alis. as Alice or Elizabeth). I have not been able to identify her yet in the Hawksworth family tree, which is probably incomplete in the female line. It is possible too that she may have been a niece of Sir Richard’s, not a daughter. Sir Richard Hawksworth was born about 1594-96 and died in 1658, according to the Hawksworth family tree. (See Appendix 2 on the Hawksworth lineage for an extensive inquiry into the identity of Elizabeth-Alice Hawksworth). It seems possible that she may have been the daughter of Peter, another Hawksworth brother, and that both Richard and Robert were her uncles).

Smythe of Barbavilla,” the family history written by Stephen Penny (see the Introduction for a description of this work) traces one branch of the Smyths from William Smyth of Rosedale Abbey down to the Smythes of Barbavilla, Westmeath, in the 1970s. It has this to say about the marriage of Ralph Smyth and Elizabeth Hawksworth:


“Ralph Smyth was the third and youngest son who crossed to Ireland with the First Settler (William Smyth of Rosedale Abbey, Yorkshire). In spite of much enquiry, the date and place of his birth remain conjectural. In or about the year 1637 he married Elizabeth Hawksworth, also of an ancient Yorkshire family, although it is assumed that the marriage took place in Ireland, since there is no mention of her accompanying the family on their journey. Elizabeth was the sister of Lieutenant, later Captain, Robert Hawksworth, and a relative of Sir Richard Hawksworth, of Hawksworth Hall in the West Riding of Yorkshire. It is possible that Elizabeth was travelling in Ireland with her brother when she first met Ralph Smyth. Some of the earliest entries in the Lisburn parish registers, which have not, unfortunately, been preserved before 1639, record the burial of two little children of Ralph Smyth in 1640. There is no mention of the marriage, but this took place before 1638, since their eldest surviving child was born in that year.


Burke’s 1899 edition of The Landed Gentry of Ireland thus seems to have confused Elizabeth’s brother Robert with her father Richard (if indeed he was her father, since Smythe of Barbavilla says she was a “relative” of his).

As for the Ballynacastle mentioned by Burke, there is in fact a town called Ballycastle on the coast at the northern tip of Antrim, but the 1899 work seems to have confused this with Ballymacash, perhaps through unclear handwriting. Ralph Smyth is mentioned by other, independent sources as being of Ballymacash, and it seems clear that is where he was from.

Ballymacash is a parish (actually a townland, or subdivision of a parish) on the northern outskirts of Lisburn. It contains a historic Ballymacash House, on Glenavy Road, currently (this was written in 2001) the home of the Drayne family and the headquarters of Drayne’s Dairy. Up to the 1940s it was the property of the Johnson family, who inherited the place from their ancestor Ralph Smyth, and rebuilt it in 1791. Ralph Smyth built the original house in the late 1600s. His original home seems to have been burned down or partially destroyed by fire in the rebellion of 1641.

According to an entry in the Mormon genealogy website, Ralph Smyth was born in 1620 in Dundrum (probably not too reliable - some amateur genealogist may have extrapolated this from the data in Burke’s genealogical works). The date might be right but Dundrum as his birthplace seems to be impossible as his mother reportedly died before the family moved to Ireland. The same entry says he married Elizabeth Hawksworth about 1642 in Yorkshire. If she was born in 1622 they would have been 22 and 20 respectively when they wed. However, according to Stephen Penny’s Smythe of Barbavilla book cited above, they were probably married in 1637, and if so their birth dates were probably around 1615. If they grew up in close proximity in Keighley and Hawksworth Hall they may have known each other as children, or perhaps it was a family-arranged marriage if Ralph was raised in Ireland. They had seven children who survived childhood, all born in Lisnegarvey or Lisburn: William (born 1640), Thomas (1643), Ralph (1645), Alice (1648), Mary (1650), Robert (1655), and Margaret (1657). The children’s names come from Burke’s Irish Family Records, the dates from a somewhat suspect source in the Mormon genealogical record.

Ralph and Elizabeth appear to have had other children who died in early childhood, according to other surviving records. When Lisnagarvey was burned down in the 1641 rebellion the Church of St. Thomas was destroyed by fire, but both town and church were subsequently rebuilt, and miraculously the church records of births, marriages and deaths survived the flames. The church register for the years 1637-1646 has been reprinted by the Representative Church Body Library of Dublin and may be obtained from the Ulster Historical Foundation. It contains these entries:


Elizabeth, daughter to Ralph Smyth, baptized the fourteenth daie of April 1640.

Ann, daughter to Ralph Smyth, buried the seventh daie of October 1640

Elizabeth, daughter to Ralph Smyth, buried the xxvi daie of Jannuarie 1641


These infant deaths preceded the parents’ imprecise marriage date reported on the Mormon website, but the actual church records, and Stephen Penny’s account would appear to be the more reliable source. Elizabeth’s birth date appears also to conflict with the birth date of William, unless they were twins.

The death of infants was a common event in those days, but it was also a time of terrible strife in Ireland and these children may have been victims of the violence. Ralph Smyth would have been a young man in his twenties when the native Irish rising began in 1641 and Lisburn was burned by the rebels. As an army officer he would have been engaged in the years of fighting that followed and that ended only with Oliver Cromwell’s invasion in 1649, when Ralph was probably in his thirties.

The Saint Thomas church register also contains this entry:


Ensigne Thomas Haucksworth buried the twenty ninth daie of Februarie (1640).


It seems likely that Thomas Haucksworth was a brother or cousin of Elizabeth-Alice Hawksworth, the wife of Ralph Smyth. As he was an ensign, or standard bearer, Thomas was probably a young low-ranking military officer and may have died at the hand of rebels.


Ralph Smyth’s later years after the rebellion seem to have been a period of success and prosperity, since he was named High Sheriff of Antrim in 1680 and built himself a substantial residence at Ballymacash House.

The High Sheriff in those days was the main representative of central government in the county in relation to the execution of the law in both civil and criminal courts. His duties included the selection of Grand Juries and supervising parliamentary elections. Grand Juries examined cases to determine whether there was a “True Bill” – i.e. should the case go to court at all (“petty juries” actually tried the cases brought to court). Grand Juries were composed of some of the leading landowners of the county. So Ralph Smyth, as High Sheriff, stood near the top of the social pecking order. How he achieved this status is detailed below.

The historical background to this and the following generation: Oliver Cromwell’s Commonwealth ended and the Stuart dynasty came back into power with the restoration of Charles II to the English throne in 1660, when Ralph Smyth was around forty. King Charles left the Irish land seizures largely untouched, but he was succeeded on the throne by his son James II, a Catholic who might well have taken measures to undo them. However, James was deposed in 1688 by William of Orange. In 1689, trying to regain his throne, James landed with French troops in Ireland and besieged Derry. He was unable to take the city, and on July 1, 1690 William of Orange confronted him at the Battle of the Boyne, near Drogheda. James was decisively defeated, and the victory ensured the supremacy of the Protestants in Ireland. The Treaty of Limerick in 1691 allowed 15,000 Irish soldiers to emigrate and serve King Louis XIV of France. It also promised Catholic toleration.


We know a great deal about the life of Ralph Smyth during this period of upheaval thanks to Smythe of Barbavilla, the family history written by Stephen Penny. This book was brought to my attention by my distant kinsman, Canon Ronald Smythe of Suffolk, England. It is based on a large number of original letters and documents over a period of about 350 years going back to Ralph the Tanner. Curiously, although this work cites original documents verbatim concerning Ralph’s business transactions it knows so little about his father William that it does not even know what his Christian name was, referring to him simply as Smyth The Settler.

To quote from Smythe of Barbavilla:


Ralph founded a tannery in Lisburn, which is only about eight miles from the centre of Belfast, lying on the main road from the south in County Antrim. The tannery was to flourish and prosper to such an extent that Ralph, as an old man, held the esteem and respect of the whole county, and, as an old family document states, “he succeeded so well as to leave a good estate.” That a tanner should have been a man of such wealth and repute may seem curious in these days of synthetic materials, but three hundred years ago leather was a vital necessity of daily life. Without his skill and craft, a book could not be bound, a kitchen could not be fully equipped, a man could not be properly clad, a horse could not be saddled or reined; indeed an army could not even put into the field. Ralph as a young man showed energy and initiative in taking advantage of the opportunities to prove his skill in the new settlement at Lisburn.

During the time in which Ralph was establishing and expanding his business, the country was again in a state of discontent and insurrection. In 1641 the iron hand of Strafford was removed from Ireland, by his attainder and death on orders from Parliament. The Irish decided that they were a free people once more, and saw an opportunity of ensuring that Catholicism would not be completely suppressed by the Presbyterianism and Puritanism of the Scots and English. Towards the end of that year, a serious rebellion broke out in the North, and soon spread to other parts of the country. It is difficult to estimate the number who were killed in this war of hate, but about five thousand people, mostly Protestants, perished by the sword.

In Lisburn, the fighting was particularly intense, resulting in the newly founded town being burnt to the ground. Many civilians were killed and Lord Conway’s chapel and castle were completely destroyed. Ralph Smyth was obliged to defend himself and try to save his own property from destruction. It may have been as a result of this local incident that he acquired the rank of Ensign by which he was then sometimes addressed. Later he became a Lieutenant. It is unlikely that he was called upon for permanent military service, since he was supplying the very sinews of war from his tannery. Some professions were “reserved occupations,” and he would be required to produce the immense quantities of leather needed for the equipment and armour of the horses and men. Perhaps Ralph received “temporary call-up” whenever there was a threat to the security of the neighborhood of Lisburn, and, as was customary, he retained the military title until his death.

The rising in the North sparked off many similar actions in other parts of the country… The rebellion continued until Oliver Cromwell himself crossed to Ireland in an attempt to crush it. He brought with him his large, well-trained Parliamentary army…


Cromwell’s troops then committed massacres at Drogheda and Wexford, so that


 Cromwell’s name has never been forgotten in Ireland. The policy of revenge for 1641 served only to separate the two races which Cromwell wished to unite.


In Smythe of Barbavilla, Penny describes in detail how Ralph the Tanner laid the foundations for the prosperity of himself and his descendants in Ireland. His tannery business evidently provided an abundant cash flow and he then used the money to buy up cheap land from discharged soldiers.


Penny says:

“During the long period of unrest and intermittent warfare in Ireland, England was obliged to maintain large armies to keep control. The cost of these occupational forces, especially during and after the Cromwellian wars, became a steady drain on the nation’s resources. In due course wages got very much in arrears. In Ireland the soldiers in lieu of pay received grants of land – “allotments” – which had been confiscated from the Irish. The soldiers, even if they knew how to cope with their land, wanted simply to get out of the country and return to their homes. Many of them were content to sell their allotments for a small cash payment, and perhaps a horse to ride away on.

There were so many soldiers in Ireland who had not received the pay due to them that there were inevitable delays in assigning them their allotments to them. Of course the previous owners of the land disputed their claims, leading to further delays. Before the soldiers were granted their allotments, they were issued with an official acknowledgement of the government’s debt to them, known as a ‘debenture.” These debentures were sometimes paid a long time after their issue, and soldiers who did not wish to settle in Ireland at all sold their debentures for cash in hand. There are several deeds recording such sales amongst the papers of Ralph Smyth, and the following is a typical example:


To all Christian people to whom these Presents shall come Wee John Fisher and Andrew McConnell late private Souldrs of the Companie under ye command of Captn. Gwilliams in Col. Russells Regimt. Of foote; now of Ballendery in the county of Antrim Send Greetinge &c; Whereas there is ye Sam of Thirtie two powndes Ten shillings two pense three farthings Due as Arrears of Pay unto us…from ye Comonwealth of England for theire Servaice in the late Warr of Ireland which is to bee satisfied out of the Rebells Lands (etc)…in the Dispose of the Common Weealth As apeareth by Three Debentures under ye hande & seale of ye Comisioner Appointed to State ye Accounts of ye armies in Ireland; bearing date ye 26th of October 1654;

Now Knowe Ye that wee… for and in Consideration of the Sum of Tenn powndes Sixteen shillings Eight pence Sterling well and truly to us in hand paid… By Ensigne Ralph Smith of Ballymakush in ye County of Antrim the Receipt whereof… wee… doe by these Presents confesse and Acknowledge; have Granted… unto him the said Ensigne Ralph Smith… All and whole ye said Arreares… Together with the said Debentures of Arreares… and… whatsoever other kinde of satisfaction by Moneyes or otherwise wch. Shall or may come from ye said Common Wealth in liew of ye said Arreares and Debentures…

In Wittness whereof… we have hereunto Sett our handes & seales this third day of January Anno Dom. One Thousand Six hundred and fifte foure.


Whilst most of these deeds are receipts for debenture money, one records the transfer of an allotment.


I John Bodkin… haveinge received my debenture lands…In the County of Westmeath amounting to the sume of fifteen pounds seventeen shillings and eight pence three fardings… for the sume of twelve shillings for every ofe the said pounds to me in hand paid the receipt wherof I doe acknowledge of Ensigne Ralph Smyth…


This deed, dated 22 July 1658, is signed by John Bodkin in his own hand, and is witnessed by four people, one of whom is Robert Hawksworth.

It is clear that Ralph Smyth acquired quite a few debentures and some debenture land at a price which was approximately one third of the arrears due to the original grantee. These debentures were valuable; they had to be surrendered when they were paid off, for without them the grantee received no pay “A List of the Severall Debentures left with Capt. Richard Francklin the 19th of May 16565 for ye service of ye undernamed since 1649” included debentures totaling approximately one thousand pounds. Richard Francklin wrote the receipt in his own hand:


May 19th 1656. Received then of Lt. Robert Hawksworth ye Originall debentures, a Copy of ye Summs wherein Contained is above written, which are in Number forty seven Debentures which are to be satisfied with ye Ld. Deputy his two regiments. I say rec’d by me. Ric. Francklin.


In this way - says Penny - Ralph became the owner of land and property apart from his own at Ballymacash, although not all of this property was confiscated from the “Rebbells.” Some land in County Down and in County Westmeath was bought from the previous owners who had probably become impoverished by the wars. A measure of his wealth may be gauged from the fact that upon the introduction of the “Hearth Tax,’ by which a sum of two shillings was levied on each hearth in a property, Ralph was taxed for five hearths. Apart from Lord Conway’s castle, he possessed the largest establishment in the Lisburn area. The records of these “Hearth Money” taxes for 1669 provide one of the rare pieces of definitive information about this period in his life.

Ralph liked the lands of Ballymacash so later he built a square, comfortable home on this property, with a lodge on the road to Lisburn. This house had very thick walls and a great flagged kitchen, with a room off it with stone troughs for bacon curing. A rent table stood near the back door to the house, which had drawers round the circular top where the tenants would deposit their rents, which were entered in a small parchment account book. This book has survived amongst the Barbavilla papers, and along with the rents and tithes, carefully indexed, Ralph also kept accounts of any sums of money entrusted to him by his family. Some typical entries are:


My son deane Smyth in folio 209

An account of what moneys I have received that doe belong to my son William Smyth. Folio 209. 60 pounds.

For the deanery of Dromore. Jan. 1678. 30 pounds.

Payed me out of the Deanery of Dromore by my son Thomas Smyth. 50 pounds.

Memoranded that I left my son Thomas Smyth of the above money a hundred pounds sterling. I have his bond bearing date 10th Apr. 1679.


It is evident from Penny’s account that Ralph Smyth the Tanner operated a lucrative tanning business, was a careful money manager and also a shrewd investor in land at cut-rate prices. In these investments he was evidently joined by his brother in law Robert Hawksworth. Penny then describes the final years of Ralph Smyth the Tanner:


Ralph Smyth saw the monarchy restored in 1660, and in 1662 the ‘Church of Lisburne alias Lisnagarvie’ was made into the cathedral for the Diocese of Down and Connor, as a mark of respect by Charles II for the loyalty of the inhabitants. The church, originally dedicated to St. Thomas, was built as the private chapel to the castle. The parish church was at Blaris about two miles to the south-west. It was perhaps inevitable that the chapel in Lisburn should become more important, for the church at Blaris was rather dilapidated and was too far away for the people of Lisburn to go there regularly. By the time of the 1641 rebellion the parish was sometimes called ‘Blaris, otherwise Lisburn,” and the Lisburn parish register book contained many entries of people ‘of Blaris’ as well as ‘of Lisburn.’ The numerous Smyth (or Smith) entries may be taken to refer to a member of one particular family only when a place of origin is given. For instance, whilst Largiemore was in Blaris, Ballymacash was in Derriaghy, a parish just to the north of Lisburn. By the royal charter of 1662 Lisburn Cathedral was confirmed as the only parish church, although Blaris graveyard continued to be used, and Derriaghy church, rebuilt and enlarged, still survives.

The business of Ralph Smyth’s tannery continued uneventfully until King Charles was succeeded by his brother, King James II. Quite soon England grew tired of James’ Roman Catholic ways. He had to flee to Ireland, where he knew he was sure of a welcome from some, at least, of the population, and where a rather unfortunate policy of replacing the government by Catholics was nearly complete. King James raised troops in Ireland in the hope of winning back his throne. Later he plunged the country into another hard and brutal war, during which time Ralph’s house was burned down.

In 1688, Ralph, now an old man, made his will, setting out his wishes with regard to his landed property, leaving Ballymacash to his ‘dearly loved wife.’ By this time Ireland was again in a sad state, and Ralph had suffered with the rest. The final blow was the death of his wife Elizabeth, nee Hawksworth, in April 1689, so that he had to add a codicil to his will. He said that he had “sustained many and great losses by these sad and troublous times,” and that, in the circumstances, he had “thought fit to recall several legacies left unto my poor friends.” By his will he divided his property between his three elder sons, the fourth, Robert, having been provided for during his lifetime.

Ralph Smyth the Tanner died at Ballymacash in July 1689, surviving his wife by only three months. He was buried in a grave at the west end of the cathedral in Lisburn. In his will he desired his “body to be buried in the Parish Church of Lisburn.” Jane Smith states that he “was interred in Lisburn Chh.” There were probably many people at his funeral, for he had been an important man in the town, and his grave was made in a fairly prominent position. The record in the burial register reads: “Lieut. Ralph Smyth of Dirr. (Derriaghy?), July ye 23rd 1689.”

Ralph did not live quite long enough to see the battle of the Boyne between the troops of James II and the army of William of Orange, who had been proclaimed King of England, with Mary his wife Queen, as equal sovereigns. This decisive battle was fought at the crossing of the River Boyne above Drogheda, on July 1, 1690. The Duke of Schomberg, William’s general, was killed, but James II was finally defeated, and had to flee to France. The revolution which had set William and Mary on the throne also brought an end to the long struggle between King and Parliament. Some may have hoped that Ireland would be peaceful again, but the divisions in the population which Cromwell had increased were accentuated yet again, and “the Boyne” has become one of those watersheds of history.

Ralph Smyth left four sons and two daughters. William, “the Bishop of Kilmore,” who was the eldest son, appears in the next chapter. Thomas, the second son, married Elizabeth Hatfield in about 1670. He became a captain in the army, and was High Sheriff for the County of Antrim in 1691. Thomas founded the Drumcree branch of the family in County Westmeath, from which sprang the Glananea (Ralphadale) and Coole lines, also in the same county. Ralph – “the younger” – the third son, married Mary Jackson, the widow of Edward Moore who was a merchant in Lisburn. The marriage in 1672 and their children are recorded in the registers of Lisburn Cathedral. Ralph “the younger” was to have the Ballymacash property after the death of his mother by Ralph the Tanner’s will, but he is not mentioned in the codicil in 1689. The letter written by Jane Smith stated that Ralph the younger ‘dyed in ye Isle of Man,’ and his own will is dated shortly before his father’s death; it was proved in the Episcopal Court in 1691.”


The Jane Smith quoted by Penny was a family member who lived in the early 1700s. Some letters of hers were preserved from the 1730s and 1740s, so she was quite close in time to the death of Ralph Junior (in fact she says that her mother attended the funeral of Ralph Smyth Senior in 1689). Her statement that he “dyed in ye Isle of Man” is thus probably correct. However, merely as a matter of interest, we have indirect evidence that a Ralph Smyth was killed, round about that time, at the Battle of the Boyne. The evidence is as follows:

In the Lisburn Historical Society Journal volume 7 (see the Lisburn website), we find mention of one Edward Smyth. This man’s chief claim to fame seems to be that he issued his own money in Lisburn in 1736, a token for two pence. With a unicorn’s head on the obverse (a design used by the Smyth family) and his name underneath, the reverse reads “I owe the bearer two pence Lisburn 1736.” Edward Smyth was Member of Parliament for Lisburn 1740-1760. He died in 1788. According to the Lisburn Historical Society, he was “born either in 1700 or about 1693, with the latter being the more likely, and was the grandson of a Colonel Ralph Smyth who was killed at the Battle of the Boyne.” If this was not our Ralph Smyth Junior one would have to look for another contemporary Ralph Smyth, which is of course quite possible.

In any event, it seems likely that Ralph the Tanner’s second son, Thomas, a captain in the army, and then 47 years old, might well have fought at the Boyne Water even if his bother Ralph, the third son, did not.

It may be noted here that Thomas’s cousin Edward Smyth (this is not the money-issuing Edward mentioned above), who later became Bishop of Down, prudently left Ireland during the troubles of 1688 and became chaplain to the Smyrna Co. at Constantinople and Smyrna. He returned to England in 1692 and was made chaplain to King William III. A Fellow of the Royal Society, he contributed papers to its transactions and to the Dublin Philosophical Society, including “Account of Soap Earth, near Smyrna,” and “The Use of Opium Among the Turks.” Edward died at Bath October 16, 1720, and, having married a couple of rich women, left large legacies to his children, according to “The Clergy of Down and Dromore,” from which all these details about him are taken.




To sum up the history of the Smyth family in Ireland thus far: William Smyth (The Settler) moved from Yorkshire to Northern Ireland around 1630. He had six children, including Ralph the Tanner, whose life is described above. The lives of Ralph’s five siblings are all accounted for in Burke’s Irish Family Records except James, who remained in Yorkshire, and is only listed as having “had issue,” (a child or children unnamed, by a spouse unnamed). Jane Smith the letter-writer quoted in Smythe of Barbavilla, says he remained behind and “enjoyed ye estate” at Rosedale Abbey.

William the Settler’s second son, John, had an only child, Judith, who married a Captain Kelly, and whose grand-daughter married Ralph Lambert, Bishop of Meath, thus keeping the family’s tradition of Anglican church connections. (Captain Kelly, according to Smythe of Barbavilla, was of Downpatrick and master of a vessel, and traded to the West Indies. He and Judith had three daughters and an only son, Smyth Kelly, who died in Jamaica).

The third brother, William junior, married Mary Dowdall, daughter of John Dowdall, of Glaspistol, County Louth, a coastal town south of Dundrum, near Drogheda. The Dowdalls were a powerful and influential family that had built themselves castles and fortified towers at Athlumney and Clogherhead near the River Boyne  in the previous century. William and Mary (or Margery) lived at Largiemore, south of Lisburn. They had three sons and two daughters. Two more sons died without issue. William junior’s grandson Edward Smyth (born 1662 and to be mentioned later) became Anglican bishop of Down.

Ralph’s sister Isobel is only listed as having married one M. Dawson. They lived in Ballinderry.

The younger sister, Margaret (or Marjorie). Married John Deal in Lisburn, according to Smythe of Barbavilla. This Quartermaster Mr. John Dale is mentioned immediately following “Ensigne Ralph Smyth” in a list of army pay arrears dated September 1666. He was also a witness to Ralph Smyth’s will in 1688.



Generation 7


Thomas Smyth (1643-1712)-= Elizabeth Hatfield (1656-?)

(Children: WILLIAM, Thomas, Hawksworth, Mary, Elizabeth)


            Burke’s Irish Family Records continues:


THOMAS SMYTH, of Drumcree, County Westmeath, High Sheriff of County Antrim 1691, Captain in the Army, married Elizabeth, daughter of Ridgeley Hatfield, and was buried 30 October 1712 (will dated 2 April 1709, proved 20 Feb. 1713), leaving issue 1 William, 2 Thomas,  3 Hawksworth, 4 Mary, 5 Elizabeth.


Thomas, the second son of Ralph Smyth and Elizabeth Hawksworth, was born in 1643 in Lisnegarvey and died in Drumcree, Westmeath, 30 October 1712, according to the Mormon genealogical record. Drumcree is a village in the middle of Ireland. He would have been 69 years old at the time of his death. In 1684, according to the same record, when he was 41, he married Elizabeth Hatfield, the 28-year-old daughter of Ridgeley Hatfield. Elizabeth was born in 1656 in Killinure, Westmeath. Killinure is very close to the village of Glasson and to Portlick Castle on Lough Ree, the property of her husband’s kinsman Robert Smyth (whose acquisition of the castle is mentioned below). Elizabeth probably died fairly young because Thomas later married Mary Welsh, with whom he had no children.

A Ridgeley Hatfield was mayor of Dublin 1656-1657. He may possibly have been Elizabeth’s father or grandfather. He had been preceded as mayor by a William Smyth (1663-65). A William Smith (the same or another?) is listed as mayor for 1675-76, and a John Smith held the office in 1677-78. A William Smith had previously been mayor of Dublin from 1642 to 1647. I have yet to find out whether any of these have any connection to our family tree, but in view of the Hatfield-Smyth marriage it seems to be a possibility worth exploring. In fact, a web site whose reliability I cannot vouch for, states that “In 1646 William Smith started his fifth term as Lord Mayor of Dublin. He was a Colonel in a regiment of foot that protected the city and was of a Yorkshire family that later settled in Suffolk. Several other members of this Yorkshire family are also recorded in Ireland. In 1677, John Smith was Lord Mayor of Dublin. He was of the same family as the Carrington-Smiths, whose ancestor was on the Crusades with King Richard.”

Burke’s Landed Gentry of Ireland, lists various Smyth families, among them the Smyths of Gaybrook, of Ballynegall, of Ballynatray, of Headborough, of Masonbrook, of Barbavilla, and the Smyths of Drumcree. Many of them were related, tracing their ancestry back to the William Smyth who moved to Ireland from Yorkshire in the early 1600s. The Thomas Smyth of this generation, the grandson of William from Yorkshire and husband of Elizabeth Hatfield, is listed as founder of the Drumcree line. No details of his life are given by Burke so it is not clear how he acquired the Drumcree property. However, it had belonged to James Nugent, member of an Anglo-Norman family that had adopted Irish ways and ended up on the wrong side of the English Civil War. In 1652 Oliver Cromwell decreed extensive expropriations of land belonging to Irish Catholics and royalists. According to a memorandum of the Earl of Cavan, Oliver Nugent, the head of the clan, had forfeited his lands by rebelling in 1641. It seems that Ralph and Thomas Smyth, father and son, both army officers on the winning side, and probably well connected through the Hatfield marriage, gained the spoils of victory.

Thomas was not the only son of Ralph Smyth and Elizabeth Hawksworth who did well in life. William, the eldest son, was educated at Trinity College in Dublin, became Bishop of Kilmore, married Mary Povey, the daughter of the Chief Justice of Ireland, and in 1670 purchased the Manor and Castle of Ranaghan, which had been forfeited (for his part in the 1641 rebellion) by John Lutrell, “an Irish Papist,” and transferred to Thomas Lutrell in 1663. William Smyth renamed the estate Barbavilla in honor of his wife. He died in 1699. (The Barbavilla Smyths later changed the spelling of the name to Smythe to distinguish the family from all the other related Smyths).

Robert, the fourth son, entered holy orders and became rector of Ballyloughloe in Westmeath. In 1703, he bought Portlick Castle on the shore of Lough Ree for 885 pounds. This castle had belonged to the Dillon family, who joined the rebel side in 1641, and consequently had their properties confiscated. Portlick Castle was granted in 1696 to Privy Counsellor Thomas Keightley, who sold it for 365 pounds to William Palmer, who sold it to Robert Smyth a few years later for more than double that price. Robert died in 1707 aged 52. According to the Trent University correspondence he had married a Miss Arnold, with whom he had three children: Michael (married Isabella Johnstone), Alice (married Rev. Joseph Trevers), and Jane (married Rev. Stephen Radcliffe in 1704).

So the first generation of Smyths to be born and raised in Ireland had done remarkably well for themselves: one of them acquired an estate at Drumcree and two of them purchased castles.

One could understand perhaps that a bishop might have the means to buy a castle but it is harder to see how a simple clergyman could do that, even at a time of wholesale expropriations. However, it pays to have a rich father, particularly one who is willing to pass on a legacy before he passes on himself. Smythe of Barbavilla explains what happened. It says:

Robert Smyth, the Tanner’s fourth son received one guinea by his father’s will ‘by reason I have lately given him a considerable portion.’ He had been set up by his father on the estate (worth only three pence an acre in 1632) at Portlick Castle, near the shore of Lough Ree, six miles from Athlone in County Westmeath. ‘A whack of high bank  bog’ was included in the estate… Robert was rector of Ballyloughloe (Mount Temple) nearby, and had a small family whose descendants continued to live in the castle until recently.

Ralph, the third son of Ralph Smyth and Elizabeth Hawksworth, apparently moved to Ballingarry, Tipperary, and married a Mary Jackson. In this village, at Knight Street, stand the remains of Ballingarry Castle, the home for four centuries of the de Lacy family, which lost its lands in the Cromwellian and Jacobite wars and fled the country in 1690. I have not yet discovered whether Ralph Smyth got his hands on Ballingarry Castle. This may, in any case, be the wrong Ralph Smyth, since Smythe of Barbavilla asserts that Ralph - ‘the younger’ – the third son, married Mary Jackson, the widow of Edward Moore who was a merchant in Lisburn. The marriage in 1672 and their children are recorded in the registers of Lisburn Cathedral

…While Ralph may have had estates in Tipperary, even though they are not mentioned in any of the family correspondence, it is clear that he did not settle there. The pedigree of his descendants in Burke’s Landed Gentry of Ireland seems to be at fault.


Of the three sisters, Burke’s genealogies say that Alice married a George Lambert, and Mary married a Colonel Daniel McGenis. Margaret, if she existed, apparently remained unmarried. Smythe of Barbavilla mentions only two daughters, Alice and Mary – apparently conflating Margaret and Mary into one person. It says:

Ralph’s two daughters were married with families in 1688. Alice married George Lambert of Dundalk, County Louth, and the eldest of their fourteen children was Elizabeth who married Capt. William Brabazon. Elizabeth Brabazon was the writer of one of the letters about the family origins… Mary, the Tanner’s other daughter, married Colonel Daniel Magennis. According to Elizabeth Brabazon’s letter, they had eight children, of  whom little is known.



Generation 8


William Smyth (1685-1742) = Mary King (1692-1733)

(Children: THOMAS, Ralph, Robert, William, Alicia, Mary)



Burke’s Irish Family Records:


WILLIAM SMYTH, of Drumcree, County Westmeath, married (setts. 11 December 1713) Mary (died January 1733), second daughter and heiress of Robert King, Member of Parliament, of Lissenhall, Swords, and ward of Most Reverend William King, Archbishop of Dublin, and died 30 March 1742, leaving issue, 1 Thomas,  2 Ralph.


The corresponding entry in the 1899 edition of Burke’s Landed Gentry of Ireland is as follows:


WILLIAM SMYTH of Drumcree, married Mary King, daughter and heir of Robert King, of Coxard, County Fermanagh, and niece and ward of William King, Archbishop of Dublin.



William Smyth was born at Drumcree in 1685, according to the Mormon genealogy website, which also confirms his death date as March 30, 1742 (apparently aged 57). On 11 December 1713, at the age of 28, he married Mary King in Drumcree. She was then twenty one years old. The Mormon website says she was born in Swords, Dublin, in 1692 (her father being Robert King, her mother’s name unrecorded). The Mormon website reveals that the couple had not two but six children, all born in Drumcree: Thomas (born 1 October, 1714), Ralph (born 1720), Robert (1724), William (1726), Alicia (1728), and Mary. (1730). The mother died in January 1733 at the age of forty one, when the youngest daughter Mary was three years old. Thomas, the eldest son, inherited the Drumcree estate at the age of twenty eight when his father died in 1742.

I have not yet found any further biographical details on Mary’s father Robert King other than those recorded by Burke: that he was a member of Parliament and resided at Lissenhall, Swords, Dublin, or at Coxard in County Fermanagh. However, his brother William King was a prominent churchman, and through him we know that these two brothers were of Scottish Presbyterian descent.

Archbishop King, Mary’s uncle and guardian, was in fact a leading figure in the Irish intellectual world of that time. Born in 1650, he was named Archbishop of Dublin in 1702 at the age of fifty two. An ardent believer in the rights of the Church of Ireland (the Irish branch of the Anglican church) he published in 1691 his State of the Protestants in Ireland under the late King James’s Government. His main work is De origine male, published in 1702. In a recent biography, (Archbishop William King, and the Constitution in Church and State), Philip O’Regan, of the University of Limerick, has this to say about him:


“Born in Antrim of Scottish Presbyterian parents, William King (1650-1729) rose, following his conversion to Anglicanism, to become one of the principal ecclesiastical and political figures of his day. Theologian, 'patriot', bibliophile, astronomer and controversialist, he was a man of many talents and abilities. King's life was dominated by a determination to secure the role of the Church of Ireland as both arbiter and enforcer of the common moral and social good in Ireland. To this end, prompted by the events of the (1688) Revolution and the war, he devised a political scheme - his 'Constitution in Church and State' - which envisaged a key place in Anglo-Irish society for the Church of Ireland. It was to the achievement of this that he devoted the remainder of his life. Viewed in this context it becomes apparent that his political involvements and, in particular, his 'patriotic' championing of the rights and privileges of the Irish parliament owed more, at least in their beginnings, to a desire to ensure that the Church of Ireland did secure this central role. In King's scheme of things an English parliament, which he characterized as whiggish, sympathetic to non-conformists and increasingly secular, posed a potent threat to this ambition. To counter this he sought to ensure the legislative and judicial supremacy of an Irish parliament which, in tandem with the king, would protect the Anglican character of Anglo-Irish society.”


This was the ecclesiastic who became guardian of Mary King, presumably when her father and mother died at an early age. He was active on the political scene at a time of severe political repression. Despite the promises of toleration for Catholics in the 1691 Treaty of Limerick, in the first three decades of the Eighteenth century the Irish parliament passed a series of oppressive acts: these penal laws prevented Catholics from bearing arms and owning horses worth more than five pounds, restricted their rights to education, did not allow them to buy land, banned them from serving in the army, holding public office, entering the legal profession, becoming members of Parliament or voting.  Archbishop King evidently was no opponent of this social order: he wanted to preserve an Irish Parliament which would support the Anglican establishment in Ireland against a more liberal Parliament in London. So if he allowed William Smyth to marry his niece it seems probable that William’s opinions could not have differed very greatly from that position. Meanwhile, if things were bad for Irish Catholics, at that time they were not all that much better for Protestants in Ireland. Protestant emigration from Ulster to America began to gather pace after 1719, mainly due to poverty.


Generation 9


Thomas Smyth (1714-?) = Martha Hutchinson (?-?)



Burke’s Irish Family Records:


THOMAS SMYTH, of Drumcree, County Westmeath, High Sheriff 1746, born 1 October 1714, married 1st 30 October 1742, Alice, daughter of Thomas Nugent, of Clonlost … married 2ndly August 1761, Miss Purefoy. He married 3rdly 22 March 1764, Martha, daughter of Venerable Francis Hutchinson, Archdeacon of Down and Connor, and by her had issue Thomas Hutchinson Smyth.


Burke’s 1899 issue of the Landed Gentry of Ireland provides the same information given above, adding only the facts that Alice Nugent was Thomas Smyth’s cousin and that the only son of Thomas Smyth and Martha Hutchinson became the founder of the Smyths of Ballynegall.

With his first wife, Alice Nugent, Thomas Smyth had a son, William, who inherited the Drumcree estate, and a daughter, Frances Maria. They do not concern us directly since we are descended from the third wife, Martha Hutchinson. (However, it is interesting to note that the Nugents were the original owners of Drumcree before being dispossessed and that now a Nugent had returned). The marriage with Thomas’s second wife, Miss Purefoy, lasted only three years and produced no children.

Thomas Hutchinson Smyth (born in the second half of the Eighteenth century) initiates the tradition of the Hutchinson middle name, given to several members of our Smyth family in later generations. There is a family tradition that Francis Hutchinson had daughters but no sons, and that he insisted that his son-in-law should give his children the Hutchinson name in order to keep his family name going. In fact, his will, dated January 1, 1766, mentions two daughters but no sons. He had one son, Samuel Hill, baptized in Lisburn Feb 14, 1736, who appears to have died young. As it turned out, Thomas Hutchinson Smyth was the only child of Thomas Smyth and Martha Hutchinson, and thus the only means of transmitting the Hutchinson name.

According to The Clergy of Down and Dromore, Archdeacon Hutchinson was born in England in 1704, educated at Bury St. Edmunds and entered Trinity College, Dublin, June 27, 1721, aged seventeen. He married Magdalene Crommelin (daughter of Alexander Crommelin and his wife Mademoiselle Lavalade) at some unspecified date. (We have some French Huguenot ancestry here – see Appendix 5, containing information on the Crommelin and Lavalade families) The wedding was presumably in 1735 or earlier, as their daughter Sophia was buried in Lisburn March 11, 1736. Francis Hutchinson was Archdeacon of Down from 1733 to 1768 (from the ages of twenty nine to sixty four). He was buried in the Chancel Vault, St. Ann’s Church, Dublin, June 14, 1768. His daughter Martha had married Thomas Smyth in the same church four years previously. The Archdeacon’s wife Magdalene died suddenly, ten years after his death, in Cuffe Street, Dublin in March 1778.

Archdeacon Francis Hutchinson was the son of Samuel Hutchinson, an ensign who fought at the Batle of the Boyne. His brother was Samuel Hutchinson, junior, Bishop of Killala, and his uncle was his namesake, Francis Hutchinson, Bishop of Down.

Since this eponymous Bishop Hutchinson is a collateral ancestor, had some professional connection with the Smyths, and was a fairly important figure in the Ireland of his time, we might well follow his family tree and his career as far as we can. According to the Wirksworth Parish records (found on the internet), his parents (our direct ancestors) were Edward and Mary Hutchinson and he was baptized January 8, 1659. His brother Samuel Hutchinson (father of the Archdeacon and our direct ancestor) was born October 10, 1666 and fought at the battle of the Boyne in 1689 as a twenty-three-year-old ensign in Forbes’ Regiment.

The Rev. Francis Hutchinson was the Anglican bishop of Connor and Down from 1720 to his death in 1739. In 1720, at the age of 61, he was consecrated in St. Peter’s Church, Drogheda, as Bishop of Down and Connor. His predecessor in the office was Bishop Edward Smyth (1662-1720) of Lisburn (a cousin of our ancestor Thomas Smyth), who had been appointed Bishop of Down and Connor in 1719. As noted above, Edward Smyth had previously been Dean of St. Patrick’s Cathedral and chaplain to King William III (William of Orange). Bishops Smyth and Hutchinson were presumably on close professional terms and probably in intimate social relationship as well. This might help explain how Hutchinson’s niece Martha came to marry Thomas Smyth.

Among the events recorded of Hutchinson’s  tenure is the erection of the Church of Ireland in Portglenone, Antrim, at the corner of the Ballymena-Townhill Roads soon after 1735. However, Bishop Hutchinson is best remembered for his attack on the persecution of witches in his Historical Essay on Witchcraft, published in London in 1718. Samuel I. Mintz, in his 1962 work on the seventeenth century response to Thomas Hobbes, The Hunting of Leviathan, credits this work with "delivering the final blow" to the belief in witchcraft. Mintz, however, mistakenly assigns this work to Francis Hutcheson, a contemporary who was a Presbyterian clergyman.

The Dictionary of National Biography lists nineteen of Hutchinson's published sermons. Hutcheson the Presbyterian was not so lucky. When he preached his first sermon his entire congregation walked out on him because he was talking about the love of God when all they wanted to hear about was hellfire and damnation. Curiously the two men knew each other, and Hutchinson tried but failed to convince Hutcheson to conform to the Church of England. Presbyterians are evidently stubborn people and gluttons for punishment.

Thomas’s younger brother Ralph Smyth built a triumphal arch in front of his property at Glananea, Westmeath, and according to Burke became known as Mr. Smyth With the Gates. Growing tired of this he got rid of the arch and was then known as Mr. Smyth Without the Gates. According to a letter in the Trent University correspondence he married Jane Walsh, daughter of Anthony Walsh of Grange Cairn Aug. 1, 1757, and died in 1797, leaving one son, William Thomas.



Generation 10


Thomas Hutchinson Smyth (after 1764?-October 25, 1830) = Abigail Hamilton (?-1853?)

(Children: Thomas, Francis, John Stewart, EDWARD, Arthur, Hamilton, Anna, Emily)


Burke’s 1899 edition of the Landed Gentry of Ireland has this to say of the Smyths of Ballynegall:


Lineage – This is a branch of SMYTH of Drumcree

THOMAS HUTCHINSON SMYTH (only son of Thomas Smyth, of Drumcree, by his 3rd wife, Martha, daughter of the Venerable Francis Hutchinson, Archdeacon of Down and Connor, served as High Sheriff 1792, being then described as of “Smythboro” or Coole. He married 1796 Abigail, daughter of John Hamilton, of Belfast, and died 1830, leaving issue by her (who died 1853), 1 Thomas, his heir, (born 1796, died 1874) 2 Francis, Captain Royal Navy, 3 John Stewart (died 1887), 4 Edward (died 1857), 5 Arthur M.D. (died 1866), 6 Hamilton, barrister at law (born 1859, died 1883), 1 Anna, 2 Emily.


Burke’s Irish Family Records provides essentially the same information in a more abbreviated form.

Ballynegall, the family seat, is near Mullingar in County Westmeath.

The birth and death dates given by Burke for Hamilton (1859-1883) are obviously erroneous. Working back from the French civil registry death data provided by my cousin Charmaine Robson (see below), it appears that Arthur was born in 1811 and Hamilton in 1813. Edward, being older than these two, must have been born before 1811.


            According to J.C. Lyons, Grand Juries of Westmeath, p.299:


Thomas Smyth, son of William, of Drumcree, (by Mary, niece to Dr. King, Archbishop of Dublin,) had issue by his third wife, Martha, (daughter of  - Hutchinson,  Archdeacon of Dromore, and niece to the Bishop of Killala,) an only son,


1Thomas Hutchinson, of Benison Lodge, of which place he held a freehold

lease from the representatives of Anthony O’Reilly. He served as Sheriff in

1792, and is, in the return from the Hanaper Offfice, styled as of  “Smithboro”,

which is now called Coole. He married in 1796, Abigail, daughter of John

Hamilton of Belfast, Banker. He died in 1830, leaving issue, with others,

            1.      Thomas, born in 1796, entered Holy Orders, and married in 1832,

Mary Anne Gibbons, niece to James Gibbons of Ballinagall, the elder,

By whom he has issue, with others,

      I. Thomas James.


2.      Hamilton, born in 1813, called to the Bar in 1836.


The estate of Coole was originally part of the Pakenham Hall property, and was purchased by the ancestor of Thomas H. Smyth, about the year 1700, from the Rev.Robert Pakenham, half brother to Sir Thomas Pakenham of that day.



Thomas Hutchinson Smyth and Abigail Hamilton were married March 1, 1796. The Belfast Newsletter for the week Monday February 29-March 4, 1796 reported the wedding as follows: “Married on 1st Inst., Thomas H. Smyth, Esq from Smythsborough, Co. Westmeath, to Miss Hamilton dau. Of John Hamilton, Esq. of Belfast.”

Their six sons went into a variety of professions. The oldest son, Thomas, born that same year 1796, became a Church of Ireland clergyman and died in 1874 at the age of 78. According to the Trent University correspondence, in 1832 he married Mary Anne, the daughter of Adam Tate Gibbons HEICS and niece of James Gibbons of Ballynegall. They had seven children: Thomas James, James Gibbons, William Adam, Albert Edward, Elizabeth Abigail Mary Amelia, Mary Anne (Ferguson) and Louisa Anna (Reynell).

Francis became a captain in the Royal Navy, Arthur a medical doctor, Hamilton a lawyer, and Edward, our ancestor, became a banker.

According to the Trent University correspondence, Francis was born in 1801 and died Aug. 20, 1879, and was “one of those on whom was conferred an honorary title by Oxford University with F. B’fort, 2.7.1839.” This is apparently a reference to the Admiral Francis Beaufort, a Westmeath native, who devised the Beaufort wind force scale. According to the same source, Francis married Dorothea Ireland, third daughter of William Ireland of Low Park, County Roscommon, in 1835, and they had five children: Horatio Francis, Robert, Samuel Gardiner, Florence, and Anna Frances.

The abstract of the Canadian correspondence in the Trent University archives contains here a cryptic and intriguing reference, apparently to Thomas Hutchinson Smyth. According to Letter number 490, “Emigrated to America, 23.5.1827; eloped with servant girl, rude to A.M.S. Stewart.” And in Letter 569, “Death announced in paper recently, 20.11, 1830, great release as he was senile.” As the Canadian correspondence lists him as the Rev. Thomas Hutchinson Smyth, what we seem to have here is a clergyman on the verge of senility insulting people and eloping to America with a servant girl. However, after examining the actual texts of these letters I concluded that the reference was to the son of Thomas Hutchinson Smyth, also named Thomas, and also a clergyman, who later officiated at the wedding of his brother Edward, as will appear below in Generation 11.

Thomas Hutchinson Smyth was buried in Maine Churchyard in Ireland. His tombstone bears this partially effaced inscription:


Here lies the Mortal Remains


Thomas Hutchinson SMYTH


Benison Lodge Esq, second son of the

late Thomas SMYTH of Drumcree

Esq. he departed this life on the 25th

of October 1830

Here also lie the

of his daughter Char

died on the 5th September

Here also lieth the body of hi

William who was born on the 15

of March 1805 and died on the 5th of

June 1857


This lapidary inscription appears to conflict with Burke’s genealogies, which do not mention a son named William or a daughter named Char(lotte).


I am indebted for the tombstone inscription to my distant cousin Charmaine Robson of Sydney (the great-great-granddaughter of  Thomas Hutchinson Smyth’s son Dr. Arthur Smyth), who had the words transcribed by a local historian named Michael Conlon.  (See Appendix 6, The Descendants of Arthur Smyth, for details of this branch of the family)


It is at this point in the family history that we should make a brief excursion into a collateral branch of the Smyth clan and explain how we lost possession of Portlick Castle to other family claimants. Robert Smyth, the clergyman son of Ralph Smyth and Elizabeth Hawksworth and brother to our ancestor Thomas Smyth, purchased Portlick Castle in 1703, but the Burke reference works are curiously reticent on what happened after that. Burke’s Irish Family Records notes merely that Robert had a son Michael, who in turn had two daughters, Alice and Jane. It does not even mention Portlick Castle. Burke’s Landed Gentry of Ireland does mention Portlick Castle but lists Robert’s brother Ralph as the owner. However, nothing further on the subject.

All of this is contradicted by The Grand Juries of Westmeath 1727-1853, another reference work which lists a whole dynasty of Smyths of Portlick Castle, beginning with “Robert Smyth, the fourth son of Ralph, by Alice Hawksworth.” According to this source, Robert was succeeded at Portlick by his son Michael, who was followed by his own son Ralph. And this is where the trouble starts. “Ralph married Margaret Gerity in the year 1775, and, dying in 1778, left issue, a son, Robert, born in 1776.” The succession then continues through Margaret Gerity’s son as though nothing untoward had happened.

However, the website for Portlick Castle has a different slant on the affair. This account, authored by a Niamh Coghill, has this to say:

“In 1782 Ralph Smyth, grandson of Rev. Robert died. There were 14 claimants to the estate, mainly from other branches of the family. However, Maggie Gerity, who was a local woman, came forward with her son Robert Smyth (born 1776) claiming him to be the son of Ralph Smyth and thus, heir to Portlick. A law suit commenced and Maggie Gerity produced her  ‘father-in-law's’ will granting the castle to the male heir. Robert Smyth became the legal owner of the estate.”

The unsuccessful claimants most probably included our ancestor Thomas Hutchinson Smyth and his children, including my great-grandfather Edward Smyth. Perhaps they should have won the case. Coghill at all events seems to take a skeptical view of Maggie Gerity and the legitimacy of her son. However, Maggie’s son Robert got the castle in the end, so that is that. In any event, Coghill reports that

“Portlick Castle was destroyed by fire in 1861. Many portraits and furnishings of the Smyth family also perished in the fire. The last Smyth of Portlick was another Robert Smyth. He married Agnes Gleeson of Athlone and they had one daughter Harriet. The Castle was intended to pass to Harriet's step-son but he was killed in Norway in the 1939-45 war. Her husband Norman Wallard Simpson died in 1955. The following year the castle was sold. This ended the second great dynasty in Portlick.” (The first was the Anglo-Norman Dillon family).

As a footnote: in 2001 my son Clifford Smyth, finding himself in that area of Ireland, happened to visit Portlick Castle – it was rebuilt in Victorian times and is now a hotel. In fact, the castle that the Rev. Robert Smyth bought for 885 pounds in 1703 happened to be up for sale, for several million pounds. The caretaker told Clifford that the castle needed a dozen extra rooms to make money as a hotel and that the heating bill for the cold and damp structure was horrendous. So if anyone thinks of reclaiming the property for the family, it looks like a very large white elephant.



Generation 11


(Edward Hamilton Smyth (1803 or later-1857?) = Elizabeth Wallace (after 1810?-?)

(Children: Hugh, Emily, Edith, Edward, THOMAS, Miriam)


The bare mention of Edward Smyth as being the fourth son of Thomas Hutchinson Smyth and Abigail Hamilton, in Generation 10 above, is the last reference to our direct ancestors that I have found in Burke’s genealogies.

However, with the marriage of Edward Smyth and Elizabeth Wallace we are now on firmer ground, with documentary evidence of their wedding and of the births of all their six children, including my grandfather Thomas Hutchinson Smyth.

Actually, the Ulster Historical Foundation (UHF) was unable to find anything much beyond that in the way of documents: no records of the birth or death of Edward Smyth or Elizabeth Wallace. However, we can calculate an approximate birth date for Edward. His older brother Francis was born in 1801, according to the Trent University correspondence, followed by John Stewart and then Edward. So Edward was born in 1803 or later.  According to Burke, he died in 1857.

As regards the wedding of Edward and Elizabeth, according to actual church records located by the UHF, Edward Smyth and Elizabeth Wallace were married at Down Cathedral, Downpatrick on May 18, 1843. The ceremony was conducted by the groom’s oldest brother, Rev. Thomas Smith (sic) of Benison Lodge, County Westmeath. The Belfast Newsletter reported the event as follows, under Marriages: “On 18th inst. At the Cathedral Church of Downpatrick, by his brother, the Rev. Thomas Smith of Benison Lodge, Co. Westmeath, Edward H. Smith of Londonderry, Esq., to Elizabeth, eldest daughter of Hugh Wallace of Downpatrick, Esq.

The UHF also located the birth and baptismal records of all their six children. All of them were baptized in St. Columb’s Cathedral in the City of Londonderry. The records (in the Templemore parish of the Church of Ireland) are as follows:


7 Sep. 1844    Born 1 Sep. Hugh Wallace, son of Edward and Elizabeth Smyth, Magazine Street, Banker.

9 April 1847     Born 18 Jan. Emily Abigail, daughter of Edward Smyth, Elizabeth Wallace, Northern Bank, Banker.

27 Oct. 1848       Born 23 Sept. Edith Elizabeth, daughter of Edward Smith, Elizabeth Wallace, Londonderry, Banker.

16 Nov. 1849     Born 4 Oct. Edward Hamilton, son of Edward Smyth, Elizabeth Wallace, Magazine Street, Banker.

18 Sept. 1851        Born 13 Aug. Thomas Hutchinson, Edw. H. Smyth, Elizabeth Wallace, his wife, Londonderry, Banker.

24 Feb. 1854      Born 21 Jan. Miriam Helena, daughter of Edward Hamilton and Elizabeth (nee Wallace, Magazine Street, Banker.


These children were born at a grim time in Ireland. In the mid 1840s the country was depopulated by the Great Famine caused by the failure of the Irish potato crop under the devastation of a lethal fungus. Millions died of hunger and millions more emigrated, but the disaster would not have had any great impact on the family of a relatively prosperous bank manager like Edward Smyth.

From the above entries it may be deduced that Edward Smyth’s address from 1844 to 1854 was Magazine Street in Londonderry, that he was a banker, that he worked at the Northern Bank, and that he was already resident in Londonderry at the time of his marriage in May 1843. The Ulster Historical Foundation report notes that on Magazine Street “were to be found the premises of the Northern Banking Company, now known as the Northern Bank and owned (via the Midland Bank) by Hong Kong and Shanghai Bank. Banking may not have been a Smyth pre-occupation, but Edward’s father-in-law Hugh Wallace became an agent for the Northern Bank of Belfast in 1823 and perhaps that is how Edward and Elizabeth Wallace met.” I might add that it is perhaps also how Edward Smyth got his job as manager of the Londonderry branch. Hugh Wallace was a powerful and influential man in Londonderry, as will become clear from his biographical details below.

The UHF report continues, “It has been a source of much puzzlement to us that we cannot confirm the date of Edward Smyth’s death.” (The date was 1857, according to the Burke genealogies). “Edward Smyth’s death is not noted in the Belfast Newsletter (which drew its information from all over Ireland) although his marriage in 1843 was, as was the birth of a daughter in 1854 (Miriam). Nor is his burial amongst those in Templemore parish, and no pre-1858 will has been found for him. Will Calendars begin only in 1858, but some earlier wills do survive. We do not, of course, know where Edward Smyth died, whether indeed it might have been abroad.”

We were able to look at Slater’s Directory of Ireland for 1846 and 1856. The 1846 volume lists in Londonderry Edward G. Smyth, Esq. (sic) in Magazine Street, given as Edward H. Smyth under ‘Banks.’ The 1856 volume, however, does not list Edward Smyth at all, and the manager of the Northern Banking Co. is a Robert Hanna. Since street directories are always a little behind actual events, it is possible that Edward Smyth disappeared from Londonderry circa 1855, under what circumstances we do not know.

“No reference has been found either to the death of his widow Elizabeth who, equally, could have died elsewhere. Unfortunately, civil records of births, and deaths did not begin in Ireland until 1864. We did make a search of original city of Londonderry registers of deaths for Elizabeth Smyth from 1864 onwards, but no relevant entry was found. No trace has been found of any will left by Elizabeth Smyth either.

“An approach was made to Mr. Noel Simpson, current historian/archivist of the Northern Bank, but his records (which are patchy in earlier years) could reveal nothing of Edward H. Smyth’s banking career.”


Until further information comes to light, the last years of Edward and Elizabeth Smyth remain a mystery.

However, I turn now to an email received from my distant cousin Charmaine Robson of Sydney, Australia, which might offer a glimmer of a possible solution.


Charmaine provided this information in an email dated Oct. 7, 2004:


 My great grandfather was the son of Dr Arthur Smyth, son of Thomas Hutchinson Smyth and Abigail Hamilton. He and his brother Hamilton, the barrister, migrated to the Pyrenees in France in the middle of the 19th century. Arthur worked in the health spas and most of his offspring were born there. His son, Thomas Fitzarthur Smyth, then moved to Australia and from his two marriages, there are many descendents alive and well throughout this country.It was only about 10 years ago that the scattered branches of this family found each other, reunited and compared notes and oral histories, as well as official documents, and finally realised that our ancestors were the Smyths of Mullingar, County Westmeath. Thomas Fitzarthur, for some reason, added an -e to his surname.

I visited Benison Lodge some years ago in the company of a local historian from Mullingar and it was quite distressing to see it dilapidated and vandalised but I did manage to photograph an old portrait of the house in the possession of a woman who owned the house and land around it. She was using the land to graze cattle.

If you are interested in updating your records, according to the French civil registry, Arthur Smyth died at Pau, France on 20th November 1865 and his brother, Hamilton, also at Pau on 30th April 1859. Hamilton had been married to Elizabeth (I don't know if there were children) and Arthur's wife was Anna Elizabeth (nee Gibbons). They had six children all of whom were born in France except my great grandfather Thomas who was born in Dublin in 1839.

Kind Regards

Charmaine Robson


We know therefore that Edward’s brothers Arthur, the doctor, and Hamilton, the barrister, emigrated to Pau, France, in the mid-Nineteenth century. Could Edward and Elizabeth have followed them there and died in France? Charmaine Robson notes that according to the French civil registry, Arthur Smyth, doctor, aged 54, resident of Pau, born at Benison Lodge, County of Westmeath (Ireland), husband of Dame Anna-Elizabeth Gibbons, died 20 November 1865 at Maison Martin, Tran Street. Hamilton Smyth, lawyer, aged 45, resident of Pau, born at Benison Lodge, County of Westmeath (Ireland, son of Hutchinson Smyth Esquire and of Lady Abigail Hamilton, died 30 April 1859, Maison Lapeyrere, Place Bosquet, husband of Elizabeth Hamilton.

Charmaine Robson adds that Dr. Arthur Smyth practiced medicine in Pau from at least 1853. From 1850 to 1865 he was director of health treatments at the “Hot Springs thermal baths.

Perhaps something will turn up eventually in the French civil records on the death of Edward and Elizabeth Smyth.


With regard to Edward Smyth’s in-laws, the Wallace family, the UHF reports: “Elizabeth was, according to her marriage record, the eldest daughter of Hugh Wallace of Downpatrick, Esquire. Further information on the Wallace family comes from a variety of sources. Chief amongst these is the account of Aynsworth Pilson of Downpatrick, who collected notes on various families. His information is corroborated from other printed sources and for example Hugh Wallace’s will. The typed transcript in PRONI (the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland archives) has been annotated by hand in the distinctive writing which looks very like that of Mr. Richard Blackwood, a noted genealogist. It is his hand which added the note that Elizabeth Wallace, the third child of Hugh Wallace, was married 18 March 1843, but both the church register and the Belfast Newsletter indicate the month was May. On the death of her elder sister Abbey, Elizabeth did become the eldest surviving daughter of Hugh Wallace. Hugh Wallace’s will mentions one of his daughters as Elizabeth Smyth and there is reference to a marriage settlement, although we have been unable to find a copy of this. One of Elizabeth’s brothers, William Nevin Wallace, was also a notable Downpatrick man. We enclose a copy of the inscription on his headstone and pages from a printed work showing the part he played in the development of Down Cathedral.”

Hugh Wallace’s will mentions five daughters (Elizabeth Smyth, Margaretta Warnock, and three unmarried daughters, Jane, Hannah and Ellen) and two sons (William Nevin and James Alexander). It also mentions son in law John Warnock but not son in law Edward Smyth. The will was dated 18 April 1855, so it raises the possibility that Edward Smyth may have died before that date (but not long before - his youngest child, Miriam, was born in 1854).

The UHF report adds that “Aynsworth Pilson’s notes enable us to take the Wallace family back two generations from Hugh Wallace, to his father James of Downpatrick and grandfather, also James, of Barmaghery near Saintfield.” Barmaghery is in the outskirts of Downpatrick.

Elizabeth Wallace Smyth’s brother William Nevin Wallace (Edward Smyth’s brother in law) was a lawyer and a leading light in the management of Downpatrick Cathedral from 1871 to his death in 1895. J. Frederick Rankin, in his history “Down Cathedral, The Church of Saint Patrick of Down,” remarks that “no one had done more for the cathedral than he. As Secretary and Treasurer to the Board… (over) a period of twenty five years, he had guided the business affairs of the Cathedral as an extension to his own legal practice of Hugh Wallace & Co… As one peruses the Vestry minutes one is left in no doubt that the real power behind the scene was Wallace… It would not be an exaggeration to say that the very survival of the Cathedral in these years, when it was desperately seeking a role in the Diocese, was in no small measure due to his advocacy.” A photograph of him in Down County Museum shows a baldheaded man, his face surrounded by a fringe of hair around the back of his head and Dundreary whiskers under his chin.

According to Aynsworth Pilson’s family notes, William Wallace’s father Hugh (the father-in-law of Edward Smyth) was the eldest son of James Wallace, an attorney in Downpatrick, and Elizabeth Ledlie, daughter of James Ledlie of Saintfield, who was a distiller there. Hugh was born in 1785 and apprenticed to his father as a lawyer. In 1810 he married Eliza Nevin, the only daughter of a Downpatrick doctor, and they had nine children (Abbey, William, Elizabeth – who married Edward Smyth – Margaret, Jane, Mary, Hannah, Ellen and James). Pilson observes that Hugh Wallace was successful as a lawyer, “acquired wealth and kept up an establishment which might be called pretty expensive.”

“In 1823 he became an agent for the Northern Bank in Belfast, and opened a Discount Office there in that capacity.”The banking activities brought more business to his law office. His position as banker also brought him political power. “This connection with the bank gave him such a command of money as enabled him to exercise an almost unlimited power over the actions of many of the inhabitants of Downpatrick, which power was of course exercised at contested elections.” There seems no doubt that Edward Smyth’s father in law was a redoubtable character. However, he had a weakness for speculative investments, and according to Pilson “on some occasions indulged in speculations which were more the result of a day dream than the consequence of deliberate thought or sober reflection.” He built huge stores for curing beef and pork, for trading timber, iron and spirits, which remained empty for years; he set up a Downpatrick paving and lighting concern that Pilson says “resolved itself into a dirty job”; he founded the County Down and Liverpool Steampacket Company, which foundered in huge debts, largely because “a captain was appointed to command the vessel quite unfit for his duties, being naturally of a rash and hot temperament.” Hugh Wallace later figured in railway speculations in which the other investors all lost money. Pilson hints that Wallace may not have shared in those losses.

“Owing to some peculiar trait in his character, or some peculiarity of temper,” says Pilson, “he did not live in terms of amity with his family. His laborious and troubled life terminated on Friday 4 May 1855, at the age of sixty nine, and he was interred in the Stream Street Meeting House green. Whatever his religious opinions may have been they were little known, if they were any. To the ineffable surprise of all… the Rev. William White. Minister of the Trinitarian Presbyterian congregation of this town ascended the pulpit of the Unitarian meeting house and delivered an oration – this was in conformity with the deceased’s instructions.” Apparently this “excited the surprise and dismay of many of the inhabitants here, who for many years followed in the wake of this their defunct leader, who took him for their political, social and religious guide… a man who employed them for every purpose of his aggrandizement or caprice.”

(I must admit that the nuances of religious opinion in Downpatrick escape me, but it appears to have given offense for some reason that Hugh Wallace turned out in death to be a Presbyterian. Perhaps the sedition of 1798 had something to do with it? I am reminded here that during my student days at Cambridge University I made a cycling tour of Ireland in 1950 and visited Saint Patrick’s grave at Downpatrick. The caretaker, an old lady with a cane who looked about eighty, appeared to be employed by the Protestant Church of Ireland. She said that every year on Saint Patrick’s day several dozen Catholic toughs came up from Dublin, several dozen Protestant toughs came down from Belfast, and they fought all over Saint Patrick’s grave. And last year, she said, waving her stick, we won, we won).

If Aynsworth Pilson appears to paint a rather disapproving portrait of Hugh Wallace, we may possibly find a reason for that in his description of Hugh’s father, James Wallace. This James Wallace (junior) was the son of “James Wallace (senior), a farmer, in the townland of Barnamaghery, near Saintfield. He was born about 1757. About 1786 he married Elizabeth Ledlie, eldest daughter of James Ledlie of Saintfield, distiller. Mr. Wallace was bred an attorney and in the early period of his life was employed at the ordinary country practice. In 1791 he removed to Downpatrick at instance and advice of Mr. Conway Pilson, who became his early and sincere friend.”

Mark that phrase “early and sincere friend.”

Pilson continues:  “Mr. Wallace had a good deal of business as an attorney during the troubled periods in this country prior to 1798. He had been employed to defend the United Irishmen at the Assizes of Downpatrick in 1797, charged with treasonable and seditious offenses, and especially in spring 1797, when the late John Philpot Curran was brought here specially on behalf of those persons.”

What Pilson is referring to here is an uprising in which a coalition of Presbyterians and Catholics inspired by the French Revolution tried to wrest power from the Anglican Ascendancy in the cause of the Rights of Man and the independence of Ireland.

James Wallace’s “father in law Ledlie was a man of most violent passions and greatly heated by the politics of that day, and having but two children, Mrs. Wallace and Mrs. George, his property, about 3,000 pounds, was divided between them.

“Mr. Wallace had eight children, six sons and two daughters: Hugh (born 1786), James (1789), William (1790), Hamilton (1793), John (1794), Andrew, Eliza, and Jane (born 1798).”

In 1819 James Wallace moved to Dublin with Mrs. Wallace and the children, and remained there until his death in 1829, aged seventy-two. Mrs. Wallace died in 1836, aged eighty, in her son Hugh’s house in Downpatrick.

We come now to the matter of James Wallace’s “sincere friend” Conway Pilson. Conway’s son Aynsworth notes that “Mr Wallace was persevering in his business and anxious to make provision for his family, but was of very uncouth manner. Mr. Conway Pilson frequently lent him money when going to Dublin, at the usual terms, and showed him many instances of friendship, for which he made an ungrateful return in 1812, by exacting 70 pounds for costs arising from the Election of 1806… In consequence of this transaction my father and myself withdrew our business from him.”





Generation 12


Thomas Hutchinson Smyth (1851-1931 = Emma Jane Stephens (1864-1951)

(Children: Alan, Beltran, Currell, Dermot, Thomas)


The Smyth family report made for me by the Ulster Historical Foundation (UHF) says that “Thomas Hutchinson Smyth was born 13 August 1851 and baptized 12 September in Templemore parish of the Church of Ireland (at St. Columb’s Cathedral) in the city of Londonderry (see enclosed printout from microfilm copy of the church register). His father’s occupation was given as “banker.” All Thomas’s siblings were baptized in the same church and we can now give you the exact dates of birth and baptism for Hugh Wallace (1844), Emily Abigail (1847), Edith Elizabeth (1848), Edward Hamilton (1849) and Miriam Helena (1854). Full details are given in the attached notes section.”

It appears that Edward Smyth probably died when my grandfather Thomas Hutchinson was about six. The oldest son, Hugh, would then have been about eleven, and the youngest child, Miriam, one year old. It is unclear how or by whom the children were raised, since the death date of their mother is also unknown.

The marriage date of Thomas Hutchinson Smyth and Emma Jane Stephens presented quite a puzzle. As noted below, my Uncle Dermot put me on a false trail by stating that Thomas was unmarried when he left for Argentina and that Emma Jane followed later. This led to fruitless searches and inquiries in Buenos Aires church records and Argentine civil registries. But in the end the internet came through with the definitive information when a new website appeared online with an apparently exhaustive civil registry record of all births, marriages and deaths in England and Wales from 1837 to the present time.

According to this website, Thomas Hutchinson Smyth and Emma Jane Stephens were married in Wandsworth, UK, in 1891, a fact quickly confirmed when I requested an official copy of the marriage certificate. The registration.district of Wandsworth records in this document that they were married on January 6, 1891 in St. James’ Church in the parish of Clapham in the county of Surrey. The bridegroom is identified as a 39-year-old bachelor, an accountant currently resident at St. Clement Danes, Strand, the son of Edward Smyth, banker. The bride is a 26-year-old spinster, resident at 33 Hosebrigge Road, the daughter of George Alexander Stephens, Justice of the Peace and Gentleman. As they were married according to the rites of the Established Church, it was an Anglican ceremony. The officiating clergyman was Wm. Rob. Stephens, MA, British Chaplain Bruxelles, perhaps a brother or uncle of the bride (as noted below, a clergyman of the same name officiated at Emma Jane’s parents’ wedding). The witnesses were the bride’s father, George Alexander Stephens and G. Wishart Stephens, who was presumably the Uncle George (mentioned by my Uncle Dermot below) who went out to South Africa for the Boer War and then settled there. It appears that the male members of the Stephens family were out in full force to ensure that Emma Jane was well and truly married before Thomas H. carried her off to Buenos Aires. It seems likely that Thomas H. went out to Buenos Aires in the late 1880s, established himself there, and then came home to claim his bride in 1891.

Thomas Hutchinson, the fifth of the six children of Edward Smyth and Elizabeth Wallace, was the only one of the six to marry. Two of the sisters, Edith and Miriam, were missionaries for many years in Jubbulpore, India. They lived into their 80s or 90s. One of them, I am not sure which, was murdered by a mission convert in the early 1940s. The motive apparently was money. The two old ladies received a small regular remittance from England and the date of its arrival was probably known. The other sister, Emily, was a pious spinster who lived in England. Edward was a somewhat eccentric bachelor who had a passion for cycling. I have no information on Hugh, the eldest son.

Thomas worked for a bank in Dublin. He was a member of the Royal Alfred Yacht Club and took part in regattas in several sailing boats. Among his yachting trophies that have come down to Gerald and Betty Smyth are two silver beer mugs. Both are inscribed “Corynthian Match” and “T.H. Smyth.” One is dated 11 June 1881 and the boat’s name was “Finola.” The other is dated 14 June 1884 and the boat was “Hofda.” There is also a silver tea kettle, by far the most impressive prize, inscribed “T.H. Smyth” and “Won by Lua.” Lua means “moon” in Portuguese.

When the bank closed its doors THS decided to emigrate to Argentina. I have not yet discovered which bank it was or why it closed. There is a clue, however, in Stephen Penny’s Smythe of Barbavilla. Some members of the Barbavilla Smythe family had put their money in Ridgeway’s Bank in Ireland for five percent interest. When the bank failed in 1885 they lost it all. It seems likely that this was the bank THS worked for and that when it closed he left for Argentina in the mid-1880s. I do not know  why he opted for Argentina when he had the whole British Empire to choose from. Perhaps he had personal contacts with people (possibly the Gibson family that owned the Alpargatas firm) who were already established in Argentina, a country which at that time had one of the most flourishing economies in the world. In any event, with Thomas’s decision to leave Dublin – probably in 1886 or 1887 – nearly three hundred years of family history in Ireland came to an end.

The five sons of Thomas Hutchinson Smyth and Emma Jane Stephens were all born in Argentina:

Alan Hutchinson Smyth was born in Buenos Aires 22 May 1892. Baptized 11 February 1893 at the Anglican Church of All Saints, Quilmes, Buenos Aires Province.

The other four were all baptized as Presbyterians in St. Andrew’s Scotch Church, in Buenos Aires,  

Beltran Hutchinson Smyth  Born in Bernal, Buenos Aires Province, 5 September 1894. Baptized 26 January 1886.

Currell Hutchinson Smyth Born in Bernal on 29 July 1896. Baptized 22 October 1899 by the Rev. Lyall Wilson.

Dermot Hutchinson Smyth  Born in Bernal on 3 November 1898. Baptized 22 October 1899 by the Rev. Lyall Wilson.

Thomas Hutchinson Smyth (junior)  Born in Bernal 2 August 1901. Baptized 19 September 1902.

 They are registered as the sons of Thomas Hutchinson Smyth, accountant, born in Ireland and Emma Jane Stephens, born in Ireland.

The Ulster Historical Foundation located the birth record of Emma Jane Stephens and also the marriage register of her parents. “She was born on 23 November 1864 at 4 Blackhall Place, Dublin, to George Alexander Stephens and Selina Bell. Her parents were married seven years earlier, not in Dublin, but in Abbeyleix Church of Ireland, Queen’s County (now known as County Leix or Laois). George Alexander Stephens was given as a merchant, with a Dublin address, and was the son of William Robert Stephens, also a merchant. Selina Bell lived in Abbeyleix, so was presumably married in her home church, and was the daughter of William Bell, gentleman. The witnesses appear to have been both fathers. The officiating clergyman, also William Robert Stephens, is presumably George’s brother.” The UHF notes that the Church of Ireland has no record of a Rev. W.R. Stephens, so he may have been a Presbyterian or Methodist. It is noteworthy that a clergyman of the same name later officiated at the wedding of Emma Jane in Wandsworth in 1891.

The UHF report continues: “Street directories for Dublin do not give many clues about the Stephens family and we cannot find any relevant wills for any known individuals. The one thing that is of interest is that Emma Jane Stephens was born at 4 Blackhall Place in 1864, and in 1846 a William Robert Stephens, iron founder (of Courtney and Stephens) had his residence at 3 Blackhall Street. Since Stephens is not a common name in Dublin and Blackhall Street is off Blackhall Place, this may not be entirely coincidence.” From my Uncle Dermot I know that Emma Jane had three sisters (Charlotte, Lily and Lena) and one brother (George) but I do not know their birth dates.

Evidently, Thomas Smyth and Emma Jane Stephens knew each other in Dublin but I have no inkling of how that came about. Thomas – my grandfather – died in 1931 when I was about two years old, so I had no opportunity to question him – but Emma Jane, my grandmother, lived on until 1951, when I was already twenty-two. Unfortunately at that age I lacked the curiosity to ask her about her young days. To the young, grandparents are ancient history and their life experiences are meaningless since it seems impossible that they could ever have been young themselves. Nevertheless, with the generation we are now considering, we are now within a period where family history falls within the range of living memory, and in 1975 I did have the wit to ask my Uncle Dermot, the last surviving brother, what he knew about his parents’ lives.

Unfortunately, Dermot did not know all that much about his family history either. He and his four brothers were all packed off to boarding school in England (Blundell’s School in Tiverton, Devon) and seldom saw their parents, who remained in Argentina. However, Dermot did tell me this in a letter:


“Now for your query about news of your ancestors, rather a difficult one to answer. As regards a photo of Father, the only one I ever saw was in a group of a cricket team he used to play for in Dublin before his marriage. I know that he worked in a bank in Dublin which closed its doors, and it was then that he decided to emigrate to this country (Argentina). That must have been about 1887, because he was auditor of the Alpargatas Factory (a major Argentine textile firm) for thirty three years and retired, I think, in 1920. He also had his own office in Buenos Aires (as an independent accountant) and did several other audits.

“His brother, Uncle Edward, came out (to Buenos Aires) with him but did not stay long. I remember once Mother remarked that he was too fond of cocktails. Anyway he left and spent the rest of his life living in a cheap boarding house in London during the winter, and touring the country on a bicycle during the summer. He was a member of the Cyclist Touring Club, and called his bicycles Jemima I, II, etc. I don’t know how many he had altogether.

“Father was single when he came out, and Mother followed later, but I cannot tell you what year exactly. Anyway the eldest of the family, Alan, was born in 1892. The rest of Father’s family consisted of Aunts Edith and Miriam who were in the Church Missionary Society in India, and Aunt Emily, who lived in England. All of them had a little bit of money, just about enough to exist on. I know that Aunt Emily noted down everything she spent, even a halfpenny for the Daily Mail. We usually spent part of our summer holidays with her, and did not like it very much because we were dragged off to church twice on Sundays and were not allowed to read a book even, except the Bible.

“The rest of the holidays we spent with Mother’s sisters, Aunts Tottie and Lily. There was another one, Aunt Lena, but she was in the hotel business and at different times was manageress of The Royal County in Durham, The George in Stamford, and Ye Old Bell in Barnby Moor, all very famous hotels.

“Some member of their family –Stephens - I don’t know who, had a family tree compiled and the aunts had a copy of it. I never looked at it but believe it went back to 1604 more or less. They had a brother, Uncle George, who fought in the Boer War, and after that ended remained in South Africa, so we only saw him on odd occasions when he came to England on holiday.

“Aunt Tottie (real name Charlotte) was the proudest one of the family, and I remember she claimed to be related to Robert Hichens, the novelist, and Sir Ernest Shackleton, the explorer. She once told me she had an ancestor, Sir Humphrey de Hauteville, buried in Bath Abbey, but I was never able to verify that. I never heard anything about our ancestors on Father’s side, but the family must date back for a good many years because the crest, I have been told, is a very old one. It is a unicorn’s head on a crown, and the motto Exaltabit Honore, but I dare say you already know this, as I think your father had a signet ring. Father was born in Londonderry in 1851, and Mother in Dublin thirteen years later. That is about all I can tell you as regards our family history.”


            Thomas Hutchinson  Smyth made a comfortable life for himself in Argentina. He had a house in Bernal, a suburb south of Buenos Aires - at that time the fancier side of town – and his own accountant’s office in the central business district of Buenos Aires. He made enough money to send all five sons to boarding school in England. When World War I broke out the younger ones were brought back to Argentina and sent to St. George’s College, a British boarding school in Quilmes a few miles from his home. The three older ones – Alan, Beltran (“Bertie”) and Currell – volunteered for service in the British forces. Alan served in the infantry, Bertie first in the infantry and then in the Royal Flying Corps. Currell joined the army a few weeks before the war ended in November 1918 without seeing action. Dermot and Tom were too young for military service.

            Bertie’s air force record includes eight victories in aerial combat and he is listed as one of the aces of World War 1 (see Appendix 3 below, Bertram Hutchinson Smyth, World War 1 Flying Ace). He may just possibly have faced the Red Baron, the most famous German air ace of World War I. Baron Manfred von Richthofen became known as the Red Baron because of his bright red Fokker triplane in which he shot down 80 Allied warplanes over France and Belgium. His squadron, Jagdstaffel 2, was known as Richthofen’s Flying Circus because he had all its planes painted in gaudy colors. The Red Baron was himself shot down on April 21, 1918. Four days before that, on April 17, Bertie Smyth, who had been serving in the trenches with the Royal Gloucestershire Regiment, was attached to the British Royal Flying Corps in the field. So there was a window of four days in which they might have met in the air. He did in fact encounter the Flying Circus after the Red Baron’s death, as recorded in a flying log in which he lists 101 combat sorties between May 7 and Sept 7, 1918. Bertie also kept a diary in which he jotted down greater details of ten combat missions.

One of these was on August 11, 1918, over Peronne: “On special offensive patrol (10 machines) during the Third Battle of the Somme. We attacked 25 Fokker biplanes, all painted in the most gaudy colours (apparently the famous Circus). So successfully did we surprise them that we succeeded in destroying or sending down out of control eleven Huns. The scrap lasted about twenty minutes.” It must have been one of the worst days ever for Richthofen’s Circus. By this time the Red Baron was dead and gone, but his brother Lothar (himself an ace who shot down 40 Allied planes) may well have been in that dogfight. And so may have another famous German aviator – the man who took over command of the Flying Circus after the Red Baron’s death. This was no other than Hermann Goering, later to become Reichsmarschall Goering in Hitler’s Third Reich. And so, if Bertie’s aim had been a little better, Hitler might have prematurely lost the follower who was to become his number two man in World War II. The following month, September, 1918, Bertie was sent back to England for training as a pilot (he had been flying as an observer), and also to get married. By November 11 the war was over and on December 2 he married Dorothy Lily Garrett. On October 20, 1920 their first child, Gerald, was born. The Red Baron may have been more famous but he failed where Bertie succeeded: he did not survive the war or leave any descendants.

            In another letter to me, Uncle Dermie recalled that “Alan was among the first lot of volunteers from this country to go to the war. After training with the Public Schools Battalion attached to the Middlesex Regiment he was commissioned to the Gloucestershire Regiment (infantry) and served in the trenches. After the war he saw an advertisement of the British East Africa Corporation asking for staff, applied and got taken on. He was sent to a place called Jinja and worked in a cotton factory. I understand the climate in Jinja was anything but pleasant, so Alan later on moved to Nairobi and worked with an import-export company called Gibson.”

            Tom, the youngest brother, got a scholarship to Sidney Sussex College at Cambridge University, studied mathematics and got a job as mathematics master at Eton College, where he remained the rest of his working life. Bertie returned to Buenos Aires from the war and made a career in the Pacific Railway in Buenos Aires. Currell and Dermot both spent their working lives with Argentine Estates of Bovril, which had a meat-processing plant at Santa Elena, Entre Rios, about 400 miles north of Buenos Aires.


            After his retirement, Thomas Hutchinson Smyth went back to England and lived on a pension from Alpargatas at a small house with a large garden (Wind Door, Hookhills Road) in Paignton, Devon, about half a mile from the beach at Torbay.

            His widow, (my grandmother) Emma Jane, continued to live there for another twenty years until her death in 1951. Her son Tom stayed there in vacation time from Eton and inherited the house on her death. I followed my Uncle Tom to Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge (1948-1951) and also spent my vacations with Granny at Wind Door. She was a cheerful octogenarian at that time, despite deafness, angina and a bad leg, and was constantly visited by neighbors – not because they felt sorry for her, but because she was an entertaining old lady. She still had an Irish brogue, and had a song about Father O’Flynn (Oh Father O’Flynn you’ve a wonderful way with you, all the young girls are so anxious to pray with you, play with you, stay with you. Father O’Flynn!) Despite my lack of genealogical interest at that time I did get some interesting details from her in conversation. When she first went out to Buenos Aires there was no proper port. Ships had to anchor out in the River Plate and passengers were transferred ashore first in small boats, then in ox-carts with huge wheels that waded out into the shallows. More than a century has gone by since then, Buenos Aires has a huge modern port, the world has changed, and the latest generation, as a new millennium begins, are the great-great grand children of Thomas Hutchinson Smyth and Emma Jane Stephens.

            If the descendants of their sons (my uncles) Alan and Bertie want to continue this family tree, they have here the first twelve generations as a foundation for their genealogical record. All they have to do is add the thirteenth and subsequent generations for their own respective lines. The current crop of children of Richard, Elaine and Alec Smyth comprise the sixteenth generation since the William Smithdike who rented out the lands of Rosedale Abbey, Yorkshire, around 1538 – nearly five hundred years ago – and who (salvo error u omisión, as they say in Spanish) was perhaps our common ancestor.

            So, as I hand over the baton I regret only the inevitably narrow scope of this family tree. To avoid spreading all over the landscape and becoming entangled in all kinds of complicated collateral relationships with cousins, uncles and aunts multiplying like rabbits from one generation to another, one simply has to draw a firm line of demarcation. Anything outside the direct line of descent must be cut out. It is unavoidable. But still it is a pity. It leaves out all kinds of tantalizing details at the margins. For instance, from Burke’s genealogies:


            William Maxwell Smyth, of Drumcree, Captain Turkish Irregular Cavalry in Crimean War. (What did he know about the Charge of the Light Brigade?).

            Sarah Smyth, married Lt. Colonel C.A. Bailey, Governor of the Island of Gozo (the light burden of Empire – Gozo is a minute speck of land in the Mediterranean, off Malta).

            William Smyth of Barbavilla, Westmeath, related in some way (how exactly I do not know as Burke’s syntax is involved and none too clear) to Elizabeth, eldest daughter of Sir Oliver Cromwell, KB, of Hinchinbrooke, and first cousin of the Lord Protector.

            Maria Smyth, who, according to Burke “was murdered in her brother in law’s carriage at Barbavilla, 2 April 1882.” (An Agatha Christie case, obviously).

            Robert Smyth, “born 1870, disappeared in North America 1932.” (What happened to him? Perhaps only an Earle Stanley Gardiner or some other mystery writer could tell us).

            Patricia Rosemary Smyth, eminent equestrian and show jumper.

            James Smyth, “Captain Royal Navy, killed in action in the American War of Independence 1781.” (Well, we had somebody on the wrong side evidently).

            Sir Leicester Curzon, KCB, KCMG, Legion of Honour, aide de camp to his relative Lord Raglan in the Crimea (the charge of the Light Brigade again), later Commander in chief of Gibraltar. He married Lady Alicia Maria Eliza Smyth of Drumcree, and in 1866 “by royal license, assumed the surname and arms of Smyth.” An honorary Smyth in fact – and he gave up the famous Curzon name to become a Smyth.

            Sir Richard Smyth, “commanded as captain in the defeat and expulsion of the Spaniards at Castle Ny-Parke, County Cork” in the reign of Elizabeth I.

            Penelope Smyth, “married 5 April 1836 His Royal Highness Charles Ferdinand Borbone, Prince of Capua” and became the mother of Francesco Ferdinando Carlo Borbone, Prince of Capua.

            All these people at the fringes of this family tree are related to us by blood or by marriage in ways that are too complicated for me to investigate further. If you care to wander through the labyrinths of Burke’s genealogies you may eventually figure out the relationships.


Family Coat of Arms


As far as I know we are not legally entitled to a family coat of arms, but there is apparently nothing illegal about private use in the home provided no public display is made and no false representations are made.

Burke’s Landed Gentry of Ireland lists several Smyth coats of arms.

We seem to be most closely related, from Generation 7 onward, to the Smyths of Drumcree, Gaybrook and Ballynegall, whose coats of arms would be the appropriate choice for a framed picture in the living room.


Smyth of Gaybrook shield: Argent, on a bend, between two unicorns’ heads couped azure, three lozenges or. Crest: Out of a ducal coronet or, a unicorn’s head azure. Motto: Exaltabit Honore.

Seat: Gaybrook, Mullingar, Westmeath


Smyth of Ballynegall:  Same as Smyth of Gaybrook.

Seat: Ballynegall, near Mullingar, Westmeath.


Smyth of Drumcree. (This combines the arms of the Smyth and Curzon families): Arms – Quarterly: 1st and 4th argent, on a bend between two unicorns’ heads couped azure, three lozenges or, a canton ermine, for difference, for SMYTH; 2nd and 3rd argent, on a bend sable three popinjays or, collared gules, a rose for distinction, for CURZON. Crests – 1st: out of a ducal coronet or, a unicorn’s head azure, charged with a lozenge of the first, for SMYTH; 2nd: A popinjay rising or, collared gules, a rose for distinction, for CURZON. Motto: Exaltabitur Honore.

Seat: Drumcree House, Killucan, Westmeath.


Smyth of Ballynatray: Arms – Argent, on a bend, between two unicorns’ heads erased azure, armed, crined, and tufted or, three lozenges of the last, a crescent gules for difference. Crest – Out of a ducal coronet or, a demi-bull salient argent, armed and unguled or, and charged with a crescent gules for difference. Motto – Cum Plena Magia.

Seat: Ballynatray, Youghal, Waterford.


Smyth of Headborough: Arms – Argent on a bend between two unicorns’ heads couped azure, three lozenges or. Crest – out of a ducal coronet or, a demi bull salient sable, armed and unguled or. Motto: Cum Plena Magia.

Seats: Headborough, Tallow, and Monatrea, County Wateford.


(In heraldic terminology Argent = silver, Or = gold, Azure = blue, Gules = red, Sable = black).


Burke also lists Smyths of Ballyrane House, Killinick (County Wexford); of Barbavilla (County Westmeath); of Glananea, Collinstown (County Westmeath); and of Termonfeckin (County Westmeath).


The website lists eighteen Smith-Smythe-Smyth coats of arms, five of which are variants of the ones described above by Burke, having as a common feature a unicorn’s head, and are evidently linked to various branches of our family. My father had a signet ring with a coat of arms incised in it. He did not seem to know anything much about it or its origin, but it consists of a unicorn’s head encircled by the motto Exaltabit Honore, which would seem to derive from one of the designs described above by Burke.

            Judge Robert Staples Smyth in the UK, the head of the Gaybrook clan and my seventh or eighth cousin, tells me that the motto Exaltabit Honore comes from Psalm 112, “His horn shall be exalted.” He adds, “We are supposed to have gained it at the siege of Acre, where our ancestor behaved with such courage that Richard Coeur de Lion took off his crown and placed it over the helm, bearing a unicorn’s head, of our ancestor.”

            The pertinent lines from Psalm 112 are:


Dispersit dedit pauperibus iustitia eius manet in saeculum saeculi cornu eius exaltabitur in gloria


He hath distributed, he hath given to the poor: his justice remaineth for ever and ever: his horn shall be exalted in glory.


            However, a more likely candidate seems to be Psalm 92, in which the actual words “horn shall be exalted like that of the unicorn” appear, and the belligerent reference to enemies seems more appropriate to a Crusader.


quoniam ecce inimici tui Domine quoniam ecce inimici tui peribunt et dispergentur omnes qui operantur iniquitatem

            For behold thy enemies, O Lord, for behold thy enemies shall perish: and all the workers of iniquity shall be scattered.

            Et exaltabitur sicut unicornis cornu meum et senectus mea in misericordia uberi

            But my horn shall be exalted like that of the unicorn: and my old age in plentiful mercy.

            It should be noted that in both psalms the Latin verb is “Exaltabitur” (will be exalted) rather than “Exaltabit,” (will exalt). So if either of these psalms is in fact the origin of the motto, the Smyth-Curzon family of Drumcree seems to have it right with “Exaltabitur Honore.” And we might conclude that the Exaltabit Honore Smyths’ motto is either from a different source or else their Latin is not very good.

It seems to me that the coats of arms of several Smyth families in Ireland could plausibly be traced back to the coat of arms granted to William Smith in Durham in 1615 (see Generation 3). It will be recalled that Robert Surtees describes William Smith’s coat of arms as follows: “Argent, on a Bend Azure three lozenges Or, each marked Erminois inter two Unicorns’ heads erased Azure. armed and maned Or. Crest: On a wreath. a dexter Hand embowed or spotted Erminois, Cuff Argent, grasping a broken sword, proper, Hilt Or. Granted by Sir Richard St. George to Wm. Smith of Durham Counsellor at Law, at his Visitation 1615.”

            One might ask, where did William Smith get his coat of arms from? Did he just invent them? Or did he look back to some real or supposed ancestor? However, any earlier origin of the Smyth coat of arms belongs to an age for which at present I have no direct documentary evidence. The siege of Acre takes us back to the Third Crusade and the years 1189-1191. Apparently one of our forebears was fighting in the Holy Land, but who was he? If any Smith or Smyth was at the side of Richard Coeur de Lion it seems more likely that he was shoeing horses rather than tilting lances against the Saracens. And in any event this leaves a gap of three hundred years between the Third Crusade and anything I have been able to trace with any certainty in England and Ireland. Everything in between is an undocumented genealogical blank to me and I have no proven connecting link.

 However, there are some tantalizing clues. Richard the Lion Heart apparently had a standard- bearer called Michael Carrington who died in the Holy Land. One of this man’s descendants, John Carrington, got himself into so much political trouble that according to Burke,  in the beginning of the reign of Richard II he was forced to expatriate himself, and after residing sometime abroad, to assume for security the very general surname of Smyth.” John Carrington died in 1446, leaving, among other children, Hugh Smith, his heir, ancestor of the Smiths, Lords Carrington, a family that became extinct in the male line in 1706.

The father-to-son connections between Michael Carrington, the heroic standard-bearer of Richard the Lion Heart, and John Carrington, the political scapegrace who had to go into hiding as a Smith or Smyth, six generations and two centuries later, appears to be as follows: Sir Michael, the ennobled standard bearer, had a grandson, Sir William Carrington, who lived during the reign of Edward I (1272-1307). Sir William was the father of Sir Edmund Carrington, who lived in the reign of Edward II (1307-1327). Sir Edmund’s son, Sir William Carrington, was married in the time of Edward III (1327-1377) to Lady Catherine, sister of William Montague, Earl of Salisbury. And his son, Sir Thomas Carrington, was a steward to King Edward III. According to Burke, “Sir Thomas Carrington married Margaret, daughter of Sir Robert Roos, and was the father of John,” the politically miscreant Carrington who had to assume the alias of Smith or Smyth and who died in 1446.

The historical background to this is that King Richard II (who reigned from 1377 to 1399) faced a rebellion by Lord Bolingbroke, who forced him to abdicate and then succeeded him as King Henry IV. Richard was imprisoned in Pontefract Castle, where he died, or perhaps was murdered, in 1400. Henry IV thus founded the Lancastrian dynasty, and, despite immediate insurrections by supporters of Richard II, followed by wars with the French, the Welsh and the Scots, managed to hold the throne until 1413, when he died of a long illness and was succeeded by his son Henry V. John Carrington was apparently a partisan of Richard II, and according to Judge Robert Smyth (see his source below) “had to flee England after Bolingbroke usurped the throne. He went to the continent as a soldier of fortune with a companion named Ralph something-or-other. Eventually they decided to take a chance and return to England hiding their identities. The companion, Ralph, was killed in an accident while crossing the Alps.” And so John Carrington returned alone to England as John Smith. If he did indeed die in 1446, he survived into the reigns of Henry V (1413-1422, the son of Henry IV) and Henry VI (reigned 1422-1461). This whole scenario is rather murky, however, since Burke states that John Carrington, “was forced to expatriate himself in the beginning of the reign of Richard II,” which would mean he was an opponent of Richard rather than a supporter. The chronology does not seem to square with this version, however, as he would then have gone abroad soon after 1377, and if he died in 1446 would have been about one hundred years old at his death.

There seem to be grounds anyway to speculate that the Smyth who won distinction at the Siege of Acre was in fact a Carrington, whose descendants for whatever cloak and dagger reason two centuries later assumed the name of Smith or Smyth.  In support of this conjecture, there appear to be remarkable similarities between the coats of arms of the Carringtons and of the Smyths of Ireland listed above. On this subject, Judge Robert Staples Smyth, head of the Gaybrook clan, writes as follows, after reading “The History and Records of the Smith-Carrington Family,” (printed by Taylor, Garnett and Evans of Manchester, Publisher H. Sotheran, 1907. This is a two-volume work, consisting of a 697-page tome, with a second volume containing “key pedigree.”)

Robert Smyth says:

“I have gleaned the following:

1. When John Carrington originally took the name Smith as an alias it was a very common name in Essex, where he settled, as doubtless it was elsewhere. Thereafter the family spelled the name indiscriminately Smith, Smithe, Smyth, and rarely Smythe.

2. Ormerod, in his History of Cheshire, wote in 1816 “There is in the possession of William Hamper a charter dated 47 Edward III (the 47th year of the reign of Edward III, i.e. the year 1374) with two seals remaining. They are in red wax. One has the arms of Caryngton (sic): on a bend three lozenges, and for a crest out of a ducal coronet an unicorn’s head.

3. A notice of arms Harl. MS. 1988 fol 189 says “Carington of Carington beareth a sable, a bend argent: on ye bend three lozenges of the field, on his helme an Unicorne’s head sable, in a crownet argent.”

4. In Harl. MS. (2151, f. 449b) at the British Museum there is a drawing showing a monument dated 1510 to the memory of Andrew Carington and his wife and issue at Bowdon parish church. The arms and crest are almost identical to ours.”

The unicorn, the coronet, the bend, and the three lozenges are all features common to the Carrington and Smyth coats of arms. However, the Burke reference works describe the Carrington-Smith arms as: Quarterly; 1st and 4th argent. a cross gules between four peacocks ppr; 2nd and 3rd argent. on a bend sa. six swords in saltier of the 1st. Crests-1st. A peacock's head erased, issuing out of a ducal coronet, 2nd an arm embowed in armour holding a sword. Motto: Spero Meliora.

No unicorns, the wrong motto. And so genealogical research runs into another conundrum. Perhaps this coat of arms belongs to the Carrington family that took over the title after 1706.

To sum up: speculative as all the above may be, the trail currently peters out entirely at the point where Sir John Carrington died in 1446, leaving, among other children, Hugh Smith, his heir, ancestor of the Smiths, Lords Carrington. This is followed by a gap of about half a century in which we have no visible connections with the earliest recorded member of our Smyth family, the William Smithdike who took over the lease of Rosedale Abbey in the early 1500s. The Carringtons became Smiths or Smyths, but there is no documentary proof  that they are our line of Smyths. There is only the similarity of the Carrington and the Smyth coats of arms, which certainly seems to merit further investigation in search of a link.

See Appendix 4 below for further speculation on the origin of the Smyth clan founded by William Smithdike.





Generations 13 to 16


The descendants of Alan, Bertram and Currell Hutchinson Smyth


The Smyth family splits up at this point into three branches: the descendants of Alan, Bertram and Currell – the three sons of Thomas Hutchinson Smyth and Emma Jane Stephens who married and had children (the other two brothers, Thomas and Dermot, having remained unmarried). In this section we will briefly list the descendants of all three branches, before following in the next section the line of descent through Currell Hutchinson Smyth, which is my own lineage. I leave it to members of the other two branches to detail their own families from this point on.

The offspring of all three brothers are listed below, but key data for persons still living, such as exact dates of birth, are withheld. This is for privacy reasons, and because identity theft is such a prevalent crime that security concerns should preclude the publication of any personal details that would allow criminals to take out credit cards in the names of any living persons or loot their bank accounts.

The Three Branches of Generation 13

Alan Hutchinson Smyth (1892-1959) married Elizabeth Longfield. They had one daughter, June (who married John Leonard). June had one daughter, Mary Leonard (who married Nigel Trevelyan). Mary had one daughter, Sharon Trevelyan.

Bertram (Beltran) Hutchinson Smyth (1894-1966). Bertram or Beltran – both names were used, depending on whether the documents were in English or Spanish – was known in the family as Bertie. He married Dorothy Lily Garrett at St. James’s in the Parish Church of Paddington, London, December 2, 1918. Dorothy was born December 29, 1893, and died in 1974.

They had two children (Generation 14), Arthur Gerald (Gerry) Smyth, born October 11, 1920 in Buenos Aires, died in a car crash in the Andes March 23, 1983, and Mary Cleone (Cleo) Smyth, born October 10, 1920 in Buenos Aires, died in Ruislip, England,  in 2003. Cleo died unmarried.

Arthur Gerald Smyth married Elizabeth Ida Dickson, and they had three children (Generation 15): Richard Martin Smyth (born 1951), Elaine Smyth (1954), and Gerald Alexander (Alec) Smyth (1964).

Richard Smyth married Alison Elisabeth Peebles-Brown in Glasgow in 1982, and they had two sons (Generation 16): Niall Adair Smyth (born 1985), and Stuart Hutchinson Smyth (born 1987).

Elaine Smyth married Gavin Marshall in Scotland in 1978, and they had four children (Generation 16): Laura Stephanie Marshall (born 1984), Nicholas Gerald Badenoch Marshall (born 1986), Peter Gavin Marshall (born 1987), and Angus Harry Marshall (born 1992).

Gerald Alexander (Alec) Smyth married Silvia  Adriana Lopez in Saint Andrews Presbyterian Church, Buenos Aires, in 1991. They had one child, Frances Elaine Smyth (born 1999).

Currell Hutchinson Smyth (1896-    ) see details below at Generation 13.




Generation 13


Currell Hutchinson Smyth (1896-1972) = Jessie Rodger Macmillan (nee Dodds) (1897-1941)

(Children: David)

Currell Hutchinson Smyth was born July 29, 1896 and died January 15, 1972. In 1927 he married Jessie Rodger Dodds, who died in 1941. They had one son, David, born in 1929. Jessie was the widow of Donald Macmillan, who died in 1921, and the mother of Ian Douglas Macmillan.








          The following is the family tree made or commissioned in the early 1900s by my grandfather Thomas Hutchinson Smyth. It was used as the basis for the family history given above.



WILLIAM SMYTH          of Dundrum, County Down. Settled in Ireland from Rosedale Abbey, County York, England, in the reign of King James I (1603-1625). Married Mary, daughter of John Dowdall of Glashisbell, County Louth.


RALPH SMYTH               (second son of the above-named William Smyth), of Ballynacastle, County Antrim. Captain in the Army. Married Elizabeth, daughter of Sir Richard Hawksworth, Knight, of Hawksworth Hall, County York, and had issue:  (1) William, his successor, and (2) Thomas.


THOMAS SMYTH          Captain in the Army. Married Elizabeth Hatfield, his first son and heir being William.


WILLIAM SMYTH          of Drumcree. Married  Mary, daughter and heiress of Robert King of Coxard, County Fermanagh, and niece and ward of William King, Archbishop of Dublin, his first son (and heir) being Thomas.


THOMAS SMYTH           married 1st his cousin Alice, daughter of Thomas Nugent of Clonlost; 2nd Miss Purefoy; 3rd Martha, daughter of Venerable Francis Hutchinson, Archdeacon of Down and Connor, and had issue by her of a son, Thomas Hutchinson.

THOMAS HUTCHINSON SMYTH          High Sheriff 1792, being then described as of Smythboro' or Coole. Married Abigail, daughter of John Hamilton of Belfast. Died 1830, leaving issue:

                                                  Thomas (his heir)

                                                  Francis, Captain in the Royal Navy

                                                  John Stewart, Captain in the Army

                                                  EDWARD (died 1857)

                                                  Arthur Hamilton, QC (born 1813, died 1859)





EDWARD SMYTH           married Elizabeth Wallace, and had issue:


                                                  Emily Abigail

                                                  Edith Eleanor

                                                  Edward Hamilton

                                                  THOMAS HUTCHINSON, bortn 1851

                                                  Miriam Helen

                                                 (all except Thomas died unmarried).


THOMAS HUTCHINSON SMYTH           Married Emma Jane Stephens, born 1864. Five sons: Alan, Bertie, Currell, Dermot, Thomas.







The Hawksworths


          About the year 1640 our ancestor Ralph Smyth married Elizabeth (or Alice) Hawksworth, daughter, or niece, or relative (perhaps cousin) of Sir Richard Hawksworth of Hawksworth Hall, Yorkshire. This is what I have been able to discover about the history and family tree of the Hawksworths – without so far being able to make any positive identification of Elizabeth (Alice).


(What follows immediately below is raw material, unedited, from the internet and from the Aireborough and Horsforth Museum Society)




Hawksworth of Hawksworth



(This article is in the files of the Aireborough and Horsforth Museum Society in Yorkshire. It was sent to me by David Willcock of the Society, who says he does not know who wrote it)



            The village of Hawksworth (Hawkswarde and other spellings) appears in Domesday Book. It was always a part of Otley, and as such was a berwick of the manor of Otley, held in the time of Edward the Confessor by Archbishop Eldred, who at the coronation of William I placed the crown on the Conqueror’s head. Eldred died in 1069, and as Archbishop Thomas was not appointed until 1070, William I was Lord of the Manor of Hawksworth for eight months. The boundaries of Hawksworth have not changed much since Saxon times, and include about 3,000 acres.

            Hawksworth is a place name, not a family surname as such, and this gives rise to confusion in the early recorded history of the place. The custom of using as a surname the name of the manor or village was introduced by the Normans and was entirely unknown before the Conquest. It brings complications (there are 14 Thorntons and 32 Thorpes, each of which have given a name to a family).

            A Gumel Hochesworda appears in the Pipe Rolls of the 12th century, and in 1203 Henry Haeuekswarde was fined six shilling eight pence for default. During the 12th century there were several lines of Hawksworth living in the village. There is nothing to indicate that they were all of one stock, but it is tempting to believe that they were, the ancestors of what was to become an important family in the area.

            During the 12th century the Hawksworths appear to have possessed only a little land in the area. The manor up to the early 14th century belonged to the second Simon de Warde of Guiseley who gave this ward patrimony, the manorial rights of Hawksworth, to Walter Hawksworth on his marriage to Beatrice de Warde.

            There is much to relate at each branch of the pedigree. Religious problems during the Reformation; divided loyalties at the time of the Civil War, and the personalities of the Hawksworth men, make interesting reading. The Hawksworth daughters were married into great families, and as the years went by the family assumed greater importance.


                                     (Note: Murder most foul – David Smyth)


An interesting facet is that part of the pedigree which shows Walter Hawksworth, who married Ann Wentworth, having died in 1503. His two children Thomas and Joan both died very young. Young Thomas about 9 years old, Joan about 12. The manor went to Thomas Hawksworth, who had married Margaret Acclomb, heiress of Danby of Yafforth, and his descendants.

            It is a fact that in 1511, at the Michaelmas term of post mortem inquisition, one William Clark, yeoman, Alice Hawksworth, and Thomas Hawksworth were indicted that they did poison and murder Thomas Hawksworth, son of Walter Hawksworth and Joan Hawksworth, daughter and heir of the said Walter Hawksworth, by administering rat poison from which they both died. The defendants were sent to the Marshalsea, later transferred to York prison. As no one appeared at the trial to prosecute, they were acquitted!


               (The murderous Uncle Thomas is our direct ancestor, Aunt Alice is not)


            There were many, many girls born at Hawksworth Hall, and eventually in the early 18th century the second baronet, Sir Walter Hawksworth, who made many of the alterations to the house and gardens, died, leaving two daughters, Frances and Judith.

            Frances married Thomas Ramsden in 1722, and he assumed the name of Hawksworth. Their son, who died in 1760, was named Walter, and from his marriage came a daughter, who married a Beaumont. This Walter Ramsden Beaumont Hawksworth was born in 1746, and it was he who succeeded to the Farnley estates in 1786, under the will of Francis Fawkes of Farnley, and assumed the name of Fawkes. The mother of Francis Fawkes was Margaret Ayscough, whose sister Judith had married Sir W. Hawksworth the second baronet.

            Various people lived in Hawksworth Hall after the departure of the Hawksworths to Farnley. The family Wilkinson have a commemorative shield with arms in the Stansfield Chapel of Guiseley Church, where there are many Hawksworth memorial tablets. Timothy Horsfall of Bradford lived in the hall for 50 years until 1924. His coat of arms in tile is under the carpet in the entrance hall. Reuben and Mrs. Gaunt lived in the hall from 1924 until about 1960, when the village and hall were sold off. I knew Mrs. Gaunt and learned much of the Hawksworths from her. Eventually the hall was bought by the Spastic Society, who unfortunately in their efforts to make a suitable place for handicapped children committed sacrilege behind closed doors. A wonderful tithe barn (1611) was destroyed and a great deal of original Jacobean panelling removed, together with other extensive alterations which completely changed the place. I have spent many, many hours in the hall, and was about during the alterations. The first principal was a friend of mine, and I was able to continue my investigations. I have a full account, including a report from the Commission on Ancient Monuments which confirm a very early Middle Ages construction, followed by another building (the existing one began about 1611 and altered in 1664). Panelling in the second floor corridor and some rooms is original. I saw one priest hole revealed during alterations, and later filled in. This was behind the fireplace in the Royal Room. Another existed over and above the fireplace in Reuben Gaunt’s study.

            The Royal Room is remarkable, with a plaster suspended ceiling. The coat of arms of James I are at one end, and the Hawksworth and Danby arms at the other.

            James I is supposed to have slept here! Actually he never was nearer than Pontefract.




Hawksworth Hall


Description from Langdale's Topographical Dictionary of Yorkshire.




HAWKSWORTH, in the parish of Otley, upper-division of Skyrack, liberty

of Cawood, Wistow, and Otley; (Hawksworth Hall, the residence of George

Carroll, Esq.) 4 miles from Otley, 6 from Bradford, 12 from Leeds. Pop.


            This place gave name and residence to a family of the highest antiquity, to which authentic records usually ascend; and is one of the instances in which property has descended in the possession of one family from the conquest to the present time; for it appears by a pedigree of the family, attested by the "King of Arms." in 1642, that John, the father of Walter de Hawksworth, the first possessor of this place, came over with the Conqueror, and was killed at the battle of Hastings, where he commanded under Richard Fitzpoint, a Norman Baron, surnamed Clifford, Lord Clifford, of Clifford Castle. It is now the property of Walter Fawkes, Esq. of Farnley, a lineal descendant of the family, and whose father resided there till 1786. The Hall is an irregular stone building of various periods. The oldest part bears the date of 1611, on some rich and curious plasterwork, very characteristic of that age. But it has been improved and modernised by the family, at various times.



Hawksworth Genealogical Table


            This table was sent to me by David Willcock of the Aireborough and Horsforth Museum Society. He says the earlier parts are based on Dugdale’s “Heraldic Visitation of Yorkshire 1660.” He adds that “it does not show a marriage between Elizabeth Hawksworth and Ralph Smith in the 1600s, but that does not mean that it did not take place. Some daughters were not of much importance in those days.” As will be seen below, Elizabeth may have been the daughter of Peter, another Hawksworth brother, and both Richard and Robert would then have been her uncles, not her father.

            Also worthy of note is the death of Thomas Hawksworth (at Generation 14) in 1509 at the age of 9, and the fact that the family tree continues thenceforward as descendants of his Uncle Thomas (Generation 13). Thomas the nephew and his sister Joan were apparently done in with rat poison by Uncle Thomas and Auntie Joan.


Hawksworth of Hawksworth



Coat of arms: Sable, three hawks silver



1.       Robert de Hawksworth; 1227   =   Cicely





2      Walter de Hawksworth            =   ????

          cir. 1220-1250





3       Walter de Hawksworth    =   Beatrice, dau. of Sir Simon de Warde

          1252-1265. Dead 1272             living in 1275



4        Walter de Hawksworth     =   Beatrice  ?

             1262-1306. Dead 1308  


                     _____ __________ |



5        Walter de Hawksworth    =   Elizabeth,  dau. of Hugh de Cowlam

           1294-1334?  Dead 1337         married 1294 ?   living 1335


                      _______________ |_____________________________________________

                     |                                                                    |                                                |

                     |                                                                    |                                                |

6        Walter de Hawksworth         =      ???                   Richard                                  William

         cir. 1310 ? 1356  dead 1367                                    1310                                      1334



                        |                                                                                                           |

                        |                                                                                                           |

7       Walter de Hawksworth  =  Elizabeth     =      Robert de Bradley               John, Rector of

             1339-41  dead 1350       living 1400-1401  Mar. 1352. Dead 1370   Guiseley 1349-1371


                         ___________ |____________________________________________________

                         |                                                                                                                           |

                         |                       1                                                    2                                            |

8        Walter de Hawksworth  =  Isabel, dau. of Sir John Suthern  = ?William de Kettering    John

           1350-1371  dead 1378                                                                                                  1367


                         ____________ |



9        Thomas de Hawksworth




9         Thomas de Hawksworth   =   ?????

             1395-1447, died 1447      |

                      ____________ ___ |__________________________________________

                      |                                                                                                                |

                      |                                                                                                                |

10        John Hawksworth       =    Joan, dau. of Sir Richard Radcliffe                          Margaret

             1414-1463 dead 1465        married 1414, living 1448-9                                    1447





11        Thomas Hawksworth   =   Elizabeth, dau. of John Paslew

             1443-1490 ?dead 1499        married 1443, living 1483



                        |                                                                                                                           |

                        |                       1                                                     2                                           |

12        Walter Hawksworth    =   Alice, dau. of Miles Radcliffe     =   Elizabeth                       John

            1465-1502, dead 1514        dead 1486                                    dau. of Nicholas          1470-

                                                 |                                                         Wortley, widow

                                                 |                                                           of Thos. Copley

                                                 |                                                           1486, living 1511


                          |                                                                  |                                 |                   |

                          |                                                                  |                                 |                   |

13        Walter Hawksworth  = Anne, dau. of Thomas      Thomas=Margaret        Joan          Alice

              married 1499           |   Wentworth                      1477     |  dau. of              1503

              died 1503                |      died 1548                      died      |  John Acclomb

                                             |                                            1517    |  co-heir  Ralph

                                             |                                                        |  Danby of Yafforth

                        ___________|___________                     __ ____ |

                        |                                          |                     |

                                                                               Walter Hawksworth  =  Jane dau. of Alexander              

14         Thomas Hawksworth                  Joan          born 1517 died 1547    Ayscough

             born 1500 died 1509                      ?                                             |

                                                          ____________________________  |_________________

                                                          |                                                                                        |

                                                          |                                                                                        |

15                                        William Hawksworth  =  Rosamund, dau.                                     John

                                             born 1534 died 1588   |  of Thomas Lister                                   1544


                           ___________________________ |__________________________________

                           |                                                                |                     |               |                |   

                           |                                                                |                     |               |                |

16        Walter Hawksworth  =  Isabel, dau. of                  William        Richard     John          Peter

             born 1538 died 1620  | Thomas Colthurst            of Hope          1615                          1615

                                               | died 1612                        in Baildon

                                               |                                         died 1603








                           |                                                                                                                      |

                           |                        1                                          2                                                |

17       Sir Richard Hawksworth  = Anne, dau. of                    = Mary, dau.                         Walter    

            born cir. 1594                   | Thomas Wentworth          |  of Sir Henry                  bapt. 1596

            died 1658                          | married 1615?                  |   Gooding?                          1619

                                                     | died 1618                         |   Goodricke?                         

                      ________________|                _____________|_______________________

                      |                                               |                                                                     |

                      |                                               |                                                                     |

18      Katherine, 1615                  Walter Hawksworth = Alice. dau. of                             Jane

          married 1.William                 born 1625                |  Sir William                      married Francis

          Lister, 2. Sir John                 married 1652           |  Brownlow                         Baildon

          Bright. Living 1659               died 1677                |   died 1675





19      Sir Walter Hawksworth, 1st baronet  =  Anne, dau. of Sir Robert Markham

           born 1660  died 1684                        |            living 1688                                      





20      Sir Walter Hawksworth, 2nd baronet  =  Judith, eldest daughter and coheir

                 1683-1735                                   |        of John Ayscough. Died 1724



                    |                                                                                                              |

                    |                                                                                                              |

21          Frances                                                                                                      Judith

              bapt. 1702                                                                                           married William

              married Thomas Ramsden 1722                                                              Stanniforth



22          Walter Ramsden, died 1760



23           Walter  Ramsden Beaumont Hawksworth

                born 1746, died 1792

                succeeded to Farnley estates in 1786 under the will of his grandmother’s first cousin

                Francis Fawkes, and assumed the name of Fawkes. The mother of Francis Fawkes

                was Margaret Ayscough, whose sister Judith married Sir Walter Hawksworth.


(From here on see Fawkes pedigree).         



Other Versions of the Hawksworth Family Tree


Mark Twain once began a short story with a plot so complicated, involved and entangled that he was unable to find a plausible ending to it. After outlining to the reader the various solutions he had considered in his fruitless attempts to bring the story to a credible conclusion, and explaining why none of them worked, he abandoned his tale unfinished and asked his readers to find their own ending to it if they could. Much the same situation comes up all too often in genealogical research. Here, for example, is an alternative pedigree of the Hawksworth (or Hoxworth) family put together by Marion Melozzi (a Hawksworth descendant) from data in the Genealogical Society of Utah. The complete pedigree down to our own times is to be found on the internet at

but I have only transcribed it as far as Generation 18, not too long after the Elizabeth (Alice) Hawksworth-Ralph Smyth marriage.

            Now, it is obvious that the pedigrees put together by the Aireborough and Horsforth Museum Society, and by Marion Melozzi are not complete works of fiction because many of the names and some of the dates they mention coincide with each other through more than a dozen generations over several hundred years. However, they contain irreconcilable differences, which my readers, like Mark Twain’s readers, will have to resolve for themselves.

            The Melozzi version of the Hawksworth  pedigree starts two generations later than the Aireborough and Horsforth version, so that its Generation 1 (Walter de Hawksworth, born before 1275, married Beatrice Ward) corresponds to Generation 3 in the Aireborough and Horsforth family tree (Walter de Hawksworth, 1252-1265, married Beatrice, daughter of Sir Simon de Warde). Consequently, all the subsequent generations listed by Marion Melozzi should be moved down two places on the Aireborough table so as to get them into alignment. However, as Generation 4 of the Aireborough version appears to be a repetition of Generation 3 (two Walters marrying a Beatrice), the Melozzi version perhaps should from there on be moved three places down, instead of two. Further discrepancies of names and dates continue thenceforward, including ancestors who became fathers at a physically impossible tender age.

As to our main purpose here in tracing the Hawksworth ancestry, it seems impossible to identify definitely any Elizabeth (Alice) Hawksworth who married Ralph Smyth in the 1600s, unless perhaps it might be Elizabeth, daughter of Peter Hawksworth (Generation 14) of Morewood, Gloucester, and his wife, Dorothy Harris, of Thornbury.


Descendants of Walter De Hawksworth

Generation No. 1

1. WALTER1 DE HAWKSWORTH was born Bef 1275 in England, and died Unknwn. He married BEATRICE WARD Unknown, daughter of Simon Ward.

Child of Walter De Hawksworth and Beatrice Ward is:

2. i. WALTER2 DE HAWKSWORTH, b. Abt 1275, England; d. Unknown.

Generation No. 2

2. WALTER2 DE HAWKSWORTH (WALTER< SUP>1)was born Abt 1275 in England, and died Unknown. He married ELIZABETH COLLUN 1293 in Loftesholme, daughter of Hugh Collun.

Children of Walter De Hawksworth and Elizabeth Collun are:

3. i. WALTER3 DE HAWKSWORTH, b. Aft 1293, England; d. Unknown.

ii. JOHN HAWKSWORTH, RECTOR OF GUISELEY, b. Aft 129 3, England; d. Unknown.

Generation No. 3

3. WALTER3 DE HAWKSWORTH (WALTER< SUP>2, WALTER1)was born Aft 1293 in England, and died Unknown. He married ISABELLE SOTHERON Abt 1344, daughter of John Sotheron.

Child of Walter De Hawksworth and Isabelle Sotheron is:

4. i. THOMAS4 DE HAWKSWORTH, b. Aft 1344, England; d. Unknown.

Generation No. 4

4. THOMAS4 DE HAWKSWORTH (WALTER< SUP>3, WALTER2, WALTER1) was born Aft 1344 in England, and die d Unknown.

Child of Thomas De Hawksworth is:

5. i. WALTER5 DE HAWKSWORTH, b. Aft 1399, England; d. Unknown.

Generation No. 5

5. WALTER5 DE HAWKSWORTH (THOMAS< SUP>4, WALTER3, WALTER2, WALTER1) was born Aft 1399 in England, and died Unknown. He married ELIZABETH BRADLEYAbt 1410.

Children of Walter De Hawksworth and Elizabeth Bradley are:

6. i. JOHN6 DE HAWKSWORTH, b. Aft 1414, England; d. Unknown.


Generation No. 6

6. JOHN6 DE HAWKSWORTH (WALTER5, THOMAS4, WALTER3, WALTER2 , WALTER1) was born Aft 1414 in England, and died Unknown. He married JOAN RADCLIFFE, daughter of Richard Radcliffe.

Child of John De Hawksworth and Joan Radcliffe is:

7. i. THOMAS7 DE HAWKSWORTH, b. Bef 1443, England; d. Unknown.

Generation No. 7

7. THOMAS7 DE HAWKSWORTH (JOHN6, WALTER5, THOMAS4, WALTER3 , WALTER2, WALTER1) was born Bef 1443 in England, and died Unknown. He married ELIZABETH PASLIEW September 16, 1443, daughter of John Pasliew.

Children of Thomas De Hawksworth and Elizabeth Pasliew are:

8. i. WALTER8 DE HAWKSWORTH, b. Aft 1443, England; d. 1514.

ii. JOHN HAWKSWORTH, b. Bef 1481.

Generation No. 8

8. WALTER8 DE HAWKSWORTH (THOMAS< SUP>7, JOHN6, WALTER5, THOMAS4 , WALTER3, WALTER2, WALTER1)was born Aft 1443 in England, and died 1514. He married (1) ELIZABETH. He married (2) ALICE RADCLIFFESeptember 5, 1465, daughter of Miles Radcliffe.

Child of Walter De Hawksworth and Alice Radcliffe is:

9. i. THOMAS9 DE HAWKSWORTH, b. Bef 1480, England; d. Unknown.

Generation No. 9

9. THOMAS9 DE HAWKSWORTH (WALTER< SUP>8, THOMAS7, JOHN6, WALTER5 , THOMAS4, WALTER3, WALTER2, WALTER1)was born Bef 1480 in England, and died Unknown. He married MAUD WORTLEY 1 492, daughter of Thomas Wortley.

Children of Thomas De Hawksworth and Maud Wortley are:

10. i. WALTER10 DE HAWKSWORTH, b. Aft 1492; d. Unknown.

ii. JAMES "MILES" HAWKSWORTH, b. Aft 1492.

iii. THOMAS HAWKSWORTH, b. Aft 1492.

iv. WILLIAM HAWKSWORTH, b. Aft 1492.


vi. LEONARD HAWKSWORTH, b. Aft 1492.

Generation No. 10

10. WALTER10 DE HAWKSWORTH (THOMA S9, WALTER8, THOMAS7, JOHN6, WALTER5, THOMAS4, WALTER3< /SUP>, WALTER2, WALTER1)was born Aft 1492, and died Unknown. He married ANNE WENTWORTH, daughter of Thomas Wentworth.

Children of Walter De Hawksworth and Anne Wentworth are:

11. i. THOMAS11 HAWKSWORTH, b. Abt 1500, England; d. Unknown.

ii. JOAN HAWKSWORTH, b. Abt 1500.

Generation No. 11

11. THOMAS11 HAWKSWORTH (WALTER10 D< /EM>E HAWKSWORTH, THOMAS9, W< EM>ALTER8, THOMAS7, JOHN6, WAL TER5, THOMAS4, WALTER3, WALTER2, WALTER1) was born Abt 1500 in England, and died Unknown. He married MARGARET ACKLOME Abt 1516, daughter of John Acklome.

Child of Thomas Hawksworth and Margaret Acklome is:

12. i. WALTER12 HAWKSWORTH, b. Aft 1516, England; d. December 10, 1547, Musselburgh.

Generation No. 12

12. WALTER12 HAWKSWORTH (THOMAS11, W ALTER10 DE HAWKSWORTH, T HOMAS9, WALTER8, THOMAS7, JOHN6, WALTER5, THOMAS4, WALTER3, WALTER2, WALTER1) was born Aft 1516 in England, and died December 10, 1547 in Musselburgh. He married JANE PASLIEW Aft 1525, daughter of Alexander Pasliew.

Children of Walter Hawksworth and Jane Pasliew are:

13. i. WILLIAM13 HAWKSWORTH, b. Abt 1530, England; d. Unknown.

ii. JOHN HAWKSWORTH, b. Abt 1530.

Generation No. 13

13. WILLIAM13 HAWKSWORTH (WALTER12, THOMAS11, WALTER10 DE HAWKSWORTH, THOMAS9, WALTER8, THOMAS7, JOHN6, WALTER5, THOMAS4, WALTER3, WALTER2, WALTER1) was born Abt 1530 in England, and died Unknown. He married ROSAMUND LISTER Abt 1587, daughter of Thomas Lister.

Children of William Hawksworth and Rosamund Lister are:

14. i. PETER14 HAWKSWORTH, OF MOREWOOD(?) GLOUCESTER CO., b. Bef 1609, England; d. Unknown.

ii. JOHN HAWKSWORTH, O.S.P., b. Unknown.



v. ROBERT HAWKSWORTH, b. Abt 1590.


vii. BARBARA HAWKSWORTH, b. Unknown.

viii. DOROTHY HAWKSWORTH, b. Unknown.


x. ANNE HAWKSWORTH, b. Unknown.

xi. MARY HAWKSWORTH, b. Unknown.

xii. MARGARET HAWKSWORTH, b. Abt 1590.

xiii. WALTER HAWKSWORTH, b. Unknown.

Generation No. 14

14. PETER14 HAWKSWORTH, OF MOREWOOD(?) GLOUCES TER CO. (WILLIAM13, WALTER12, T< /EM>HOMAS11, WALTER10 DE HAWKSWORTH, THOMAS9, WALTER8, THOMAS7, JOHN6, W ALTER5, THOMAS4, WALTER3, WALTER2, WALTER1) was born Bef 1609 in England, and died Unknown. He married DOROTHY HARRIS, OF THORNBURY Unknown, daughter of Henry Harris.

Children of Peter Hawksworth and Dorothy Harris are:

15. i. JOHN15 HAWKSWORTH, b. Abt 1625, England; d. Unknown.

ii. ROBERT HAWKSWORTH, b. Unknown.

iii. WILLIAM HAWKSWORTH, b. Unknown.


v. JOAN HAWKSWORTH, b. Unknown.


Generation No. 15


Children of John Hawksworth are:

16. i. PETER16 HAWKSWORTH, OF MELKSHAM, b. Abt 1650, Melksham Parish, Wilts Co.; d. Unk nown.


Generation No. 16


Child of Peter Hawksworth is:

17. i. PETER17 HAWKSWORTH, b. Bef 1690, Bristol, England; d. Unknown.

Generation No. 17

17. PETER17 HAWKSWORTH (PETER16, JOHN15, PETER14, WILLIAM13, WALTER12, THOMAS11, WALTER10 D E HAWKSWORTH, THOMAS9, WALTER8< FONT SIZE="-1">, THOMAS7, JOHN6, WALTER5, THOMAS4, WALTER3, WALTER2, WALTER1) was born Bef 1690 in Bristol, England, and died Unknown. He married ALICE POULSONOctober 1, 1696 in Shaw Hill, Melksham Parish, daughter of Thomas Poulson.

Children of Peter Hawksworth and Alice Poulson are:

18. i. PETER18 HAWKSWORTH, (HOXWORTH), b. November 23, 1697, Bristol, England; d. 1769, PA.

ii. ALICE HAWKSWORTH, b. December 12, 1700.

iii. THOMAS HAWKSWORTH, b. February 28, 1701/02.

Generation No. 18

18. PETER18 HAWKSWORTH, (HOXWORTH) (P ETER17, PETER16, JOHN15, P ETER14, WILLIAM13, WALTER12, THOMAS11, WALTER10 DE HAWKSWORTH, THOMAS9, WALTER8, T< EM>HOMAS7, JOHN6, WALTER5, THO MAS4, WALTER3, WALTER2, WALTER1) was born November 23, 1697 in Bristol, England, and died 1769 in PA1. He married MARY BURKApril 1, 1718 in 1st Pres. Church, Phila.,PA.


Came to America at Lansdale - at that time it was Hatfield, Philadelphia?

Children of Peter Hawksworth and Mary Burk are:

i. SARAH19 HOXWORTH, b. 1720; d. January 16, 1794; m. JOHN JENK INS, 1741.

19. ii. JOHN HOXWORTH, b. 1723; d. February 24, 1777.

20. iii. PETER HOXWORTH, JR., b. 1731, PA; d. 1815.

iv. EDWARD HOXWORTH, b. Aft 1731.


vi. RACHEL HOXWORTH, b. Unknown; m. JOHN THOMAS, Ju ne 9, 1748, Christ Church, Phila..



To add further confusion to the contradictions introduced by the two genealogies given above, we will now add a third Hawksworth family tree. This one comes from the “Pedigrees of the County Families of Yorkshire,” compiled by Joseph Foster (W. Wilfred Head, London, 1874). (For this contribution I am grateful to my distant cousin Barry Reid of the Portlick Smyths, who found it in what appears to be a truly magnificent library system in Australia).

This tree spreads out over so many collateral ramifications that it is impossible to reproduce it in full on pages of ordinary width, and so cannot be given in detail here. However, as will be seen in the stripped down version given below (strict father-to-son direct line of descent only) it agrees to a large extent with the Melozzi version reproduced above. Not that one necessarily confirms the other  - Melozzi’s source, the Genealogical Society of Utah, might have used Foster’s 1874 work as its own source.

     In any event, the complete version compiled by Foster still gives no really unmistakable sign of the Elizabeth (Alice) Hawksworth who married Ralph Smyth in the 1600s. The Elizabeth Hawksworth who figures in the Melozzi version of the family tree as the daughter of Peter Hawksworth (Generation 14) and his wife Dorothy Harris does indeed make an appearance in this pedigree but is listed as having “died unmarried.” In search of corroboration elsewhere: on the Mormon genealogical website Peter is cited as being born about 1590 in Hawksworth, Yorkshire, his wife Dorothy Harris about 1592 in Thornbury, Gloucester, and their daughter Elizabeth born about 1625 in Moorwood, Gloucester As the marriage of Elizabeth Hawksworth and Ralph Smyth is variously given on the Mormon website as 1639 or 1642, if this is the Elizabeth we are seeking she would have been a teenager when she married. Since her father Peter, the first-born in his family (according to the Melozzi version, but the last-born in the Foster version), had brothers named Richard and Robert, Sir Richard Hawksworth and Robert Hawksworth could possibly have been her uncles. (The dates given below indicate the year of a monarch’s reign. 18 Edward 3, for example, means the 18th year of King Edward the Third’s reign)


Another Hawksworth Family Tree

From “Pedigrees of the County Families of Yorkshire,” compiled by Joseph Foster (W. Wilfred Head, London, 1874).


Generation 1

Walter de Hawksworth, will dated 1306, proved 1308 = Beatrice, daughter of Sir Simon Ward of Givendale and Esholt, Knt., by which marriage he had some lands in Hawksworth.


Generation 2

Walter de Hawksworth, mentioned in his father’s will, held 1 carucate of  land in Lofthousum (Loftsome, East Riding, Co. York) in 31 Edward 1 (22 King Edward 1) = Elizabeth, daughter of Hugh Collun, lord of Lofteshholme, by whom he had the manor of Loftesholme, jointure deed dated 22 Edward 1, and several other deeds dated 1294.


Generation 3

Walter de Hawksworth, 18 Edward 3 = Isabelle, daughter of Sir John Sotheron, lord of Mitton.


Generation 4

Thomas de Hawksworth, 1 Henry 4 =  ??


Generation 5

Walter de Hawksworth, 12 Henry 4 = Elizabeth Bradley, she married a second husband, William Keterin.


Generation 6

John de Hawksworth, 2 Henry 5 = Joan, daughter of Sir Richard Radcliffe, of Clitheroe, Knt., jointure dated 14 April 2 Henry 5.


Generation 7

Thomas de Hawksworth, living 22 Henry 6 = Elizabeth, daughter of John Pasliew, of Ridelsden, Esq., jointure deed dated 16 September 22 Henry 6.


Generation 8

Walter de Hawksworth, died 6 Henry 8 = (1st) Alice, daughter of Miles Radcliffe, of Riddlesden (Rylstone in Craven) Esq., jointure deed dated 5 September 5 Edward 4. = (2nd wife) Elizabeth ??


Generation 9

Thomas de Hawksworth, living 8 Henry 7 = Maud, daughter of Sir Thomas Wortley, of Wortley, Knt.


Generation 10

Walter de Hawksworthg, died in the lifetime of his father, 19 Henry 7 = Anne, daughter of Thomas Wentworth, of North Elmsall, Esq.


Generation 11

Thomas Hawksworth, (17 June 1516, license for Thomas Hawksworth, parish of Otley, and Alice Acclom, parish of Stillingfleet, to be married in the chapel of Moreby) =  Margaret, daughter and co-heiress to John Acklome, Esq., by his first wife, Alice, daughter and co-heiress of Robert Danby, of Yafforth, Esq., by his wife Margaret, one of the four daughters and co-heiresses of Sir Richard Conyers, of Cowton, 3rd son of Sir Christopher Conyers, of Hornby Castle, Knt.


Generation 12

Walter Hawksworth, slain at Musselburgh 1 Edward 6, 10 December 1547 = Jane, daughter of Alexander Pasliew of Riddlesden, Esq.


Generation 13

William Hawksworth, died 20 February 1594 = Rosamund, daughter of Thomas Lister, of Westby.


Generation 14

Walter Hawksworth, died 11 April 1620. Inq. taken 25 October 18 K. James, seized of the manors of Hawksworth, Milton, &c, &c. = Isabel, daughter and co-heiress of Thos. Colthurst, of Edisforth in Bolland and Mitton.


Generation 15

Sir Richard Hawksworth, aged 18 in 1612, died 11 February 1657 = (1st) Ann, daughter of Sir Thomas Wentworth, of North Elmsall, Esq. by his wife Elizabeth, daughter of Richard Goodrick, of Ribstone, Co. York. = (2nd wife) Mary, eldest daughter of Sir Henry Goodrick, of Ribstone, Co. York by Jane, daughter of Sir John Savile, of Methley, Knt.


Generation 16

Walter Hawksworth, Esq., D.L. for West Riding, J.P. in 1666, born 14 June 1625, bd. at Guiseley 11 December 1677, aged 60, will dated 1 Dec. to be buried there. = Alice, 2nd daughter of Sir William Brownlowe, Bart., of Humby, Co. Lincoln.


Generation 17

Sir Walter Hawksworth, born  25 Nov. 1650, created a baronet 6 December 1678. Will dated 2 February 1683, proved 18 April 1684, to be buried at Guiseley, names his cousin, Mr. William Hawksworth = Anne, daughter of Sir Robert Markham, of Sedgbrook, Co. Lincoln, Bart. (O.H. in his obituary says they were married in March 1678, having but 24 hours’ acquaintance with one another)





            With the impulsive marriage of Walter Hawksworth and Anne Markham we must take our leave of this Hawksworth family tree, which continues for several more generations that are no longer germane to our purpose here. As usual, this family tree is none too clear in spots. At Generation 11, for example, Thomas Hawksworth obtains a license to marry Alice Acclom but then weds Margaret Acklome. At Generation 14 something untoward appears to have occurred upon the death of Walter Hawksworth on 11 April, 1620. In October some kind of inquest or inquiry was held, and somebody (presumably not the dead man) “seized of the manors of Hawksworth, Mitton, etc. etc.”

            In any event, we cannot be distracted into irrelevant issues, even if we suspect murder. The only Elizabeth Hawksworth in this family tree who might be our ancestress as the wife of Ralph Smyth is the Elizabeth, daughter of Peter Hawksworth. But unfortunately it is claimed here that she “died unmarried.”. Peter was one of the seven siblings of the Walter Hawksworth at Generation 14 who seems to have come to a questionable end.

The entries for Elizabeth and her parents on this family tree are as follows:


Generation 14

Peter Hawksworth, of Morewood or Monkwood (Thornbury?), Co. Gloucester, living 1609 = Dorothy, daughter of Henry Harris of Thornbury, Co. Gloucester. Daughters: Joan, died unmarried; Elizabeth, died unmarried.


(The two sisters also had four brothers, John, Robert, William and Richard).


            Unfortunately, apart from “dying unmarried,” this Elizabeth would appear to be a cousin of Sir Richard Hawksworth rather than a daughter or a niece. Once more, genealogy leaves us with an unanswered question mark.






Bertram Hutchinson Smyth

World War 1 Flying Ace


          B.H. Smyth is listed as an ace in aerial combat in World War 1 on the web site


            His entry reads as follows:


Name                    Bertram Hutchinson Smyth

Country                England

Rank                     Lieutenant

Air Force              Royal Flying Corps

                             Royal Air Force

Unit                      88

Victories              8

Born                     05 September 1894

Place                    Bernal, Buenos Aires Province, Argentina

Died                     06 February 1966

Place                    Buenos Aires






Aircraft Opponent Location


28 Jun 1918


B.F.2b (C787) 1 Halberstadt C (DESF) Houthulst Forest


29 Jun 1918


B.F.2b (C787) 1 Fokker D.VII (DES) Ghistelles


29 Jun 1918


B.F.2b (C787) 1 Fokker D.VII (DES) 3 Ghistelles


14 Aug 1918


B.F.2b (E2153) 2 Fokker D.VII (DESF) Dompierre


19 Aug 1918


B.F.2b (E2216) 1 Fokker D.VII (OOC) Oignies


19 Aug 1918


B.F.2b (E2216) 1 Fokker DR.I (OOC) 4 Oignies


04 Sep 1918


B.F.2b (E2153) 2 Fokker D.VII (OOC) Seclin


04 Sep 1918


B.F.2b (E2153) 2 Fokker DR.I (OOC) Provin


Pilot Lt Kenneth Conn


Pilot Lt C Foster


Shared with Capt KR Simpson & Sgt Charles Hill, Lt William Wheeler & 2/Lt Thomas Chiltern


Shared with Capt Edgar Johnston & 2/Lt John Rudkin





The Ancestry of William Smithdike,

Possible Family Connections with the Nevilles.

Some Conjectures and Speculations


Tracing the ancestry of the William Smithdike who took over the administration of the Rosedale estate in the 1530s is at present a matter of pure speculation. There is no documentation available and the Smithdike name itself is a mystery. All we have is that according to the History of Rosedale Abbey, William Smithdike was “of the household of the king.”  The king at the time being Henry VIII.

It is possible that the family’s connection with Rosedale Abbey, and with other ecclesiastical properties in Durham, may have antedated the Dissolution of the Monasteries by Henry VIII in the 1530s. On the web site of the Smithson family ( I find this: “There is an early notice of an individual named Smythson in the county of Durham. At Nun Stainton or Nun Monkton, in the parish of Aycliffe, in 1265, the Prior and Abbey of Durham let to John Smythson a house and lands. This is allluded to in a charter of 1382 printed in a volume of the Surtees Society’s publications.” It seems a very tenuous connection over a time-span of three centuries, but The History and Antiquities of the County Palatine by Robert Surtees notes that “Bishop Hugh gave to the Prioress of Monketon and nuns the whole village of Staynton-upon-Skyren in Haliverfok... After the Dissolution, the estate was granted to Lord Latimer, and he immediately conveyed to the Smythes, who had been tenants under the nuns of Monketon. In 1594 George Smythe died seised of the manor of Nun Staynton, held of the crown by knight’s service.”

So, at Nun Staynton in Durham a Smythe family had been tenants of the nunnery before the Dissolution, and ended up in possession of the place. Could something similar have happened at Rosedale Abbey? In both cases we have a connection with the Nevill family, for Lord Latimer was John Nevill (died 1542) who succeeded his father as third Baron Latimer. There is a connection here also with Henry VIII, because Latimer’s second wife was Catherine Parr, who afterwards became Queen to Henry VIII.

Another intriguing line of inquiry is this: according to “A History of Rosedale,” the local history written by Raymond H. Hayes, “On the dissolution of the priory, on July 9th, 1538 – together with Keldholme Priory – it was granted to Ralph Neville, Earl of Westmorland, who leased it to William Smithdike of the household of the King, at seven pounds nine shillings per annum for twenty one years.”


There may be a family connection here between the Nevilles and the Smiths or Smithdikes. Judge Robert Staples Smyth, who has researched the connection between the Smyths and the Carringtons (see under the heading Coat of Arms above) has this to say on information he found in a 700-page treatise on the Carrington genealogy: “Thomas Smith ob. (died) 1564, will dated 10 May 1563 (one of the Carrington lot – that is, a Carrington who had changed the family name to Smith in the 1400s) of Cressing Temple in Essex, is described in a Visitation of Yorkshire dated 1584, after his death, as a lawyer. In 1559 he settled an annuity on his half-brother William Smith. He took as his second wife Mary, only daughter of Sir Thomas Nevill of Holt in Leicestershire. In Chipping Hill Church there is a memorial to her: “Here lyeth Mary daughter and sole heir of Sir Thomas Nevill of Holt in the County of Leycest., kt., and Dame Clare his wife and co-heire of Raff Nevell of Thort. Bridge in the Co. of York, Esquire dissended by both father and mother from that antient and Honourable Name of Nevell and Rabie from whom the Erles of Westmo are also dissended.”

Robert Smyth adds, “When the family moved to Rosedale they were tenants of Ralph Neville, first Earl of Westmoreland. I wonder if this could have come about through some family connection.”

I might add that there is also the curious coincidence that at Generation 2 we have a Thomas Smyth born in 1520, who might possibly have died in 1564 and could possibly have had a half-brother named William after the boys’ father. A marriage connection at this point with the Nevilles would have come about a generation after the Nevilles granted Smithdike the Rosedale Abbey lease.


Two generations later there is another possible Smyth-Neville connection, as well as a possible Smyth link with the Charles Duncombe who took over the Rosedale Abbey property in the early 1600s. According to the Leicestershire Archeological Society Volume 13, page 200,  “Sir John Dackombe’s daughter Alice married Henry Smith alias Nevill of Cressing Temple in 1614.” (Considering the free-form style of Elizabethan spelling, could this have been the brother of Charles Duncombe?). “The manor of Holt, Leicester, came to the Nevills in the 15th Century and was named Nevill Holt. Thomas Nevill died in 1570 with no legitimate son Humphrey who died 1590 and thence to Thomas Smyth of Cressing Temple, Essex, who had married Mary Neville, the only legitimate daughter of Thomas. Thomas took the name of Neville.”

            There are some other unrelated clues that may be worth pursuing. Pat Patterson’s genealogical web site mentions a

John SMYTHE. Born 1480-90 (guesstimate), before 1496 surely. Married Joan BROUNCKER / BRUNKER circa 1518; guestimate. Died 1538.

"Aged 31 and more" at the death of his father; likely enough more, 31 yrs proven. Resided at Corsham, Wiltshire. Occupation between 1509 and 1546 "assistant to Henry VIII" - no more info, no dates - but then likely to have spent time in London and Westminster. Occupation clothier. Heir: on 27 Mar 1527. Circa 1528? "After the death of the said Richard Smyth, the said Wm Wilforde & his co-feoffees were seised of the sd premises to the use of the sd John Smyth. ... "The sd John Smyth being so seised enfeoffed thereof Tho Crumwell, John Bylsdon, Rd Ryche, Guy Crafforde, Wm Gynkes, Rd Holte, John Bodnam, & John Stuk'ey: to hold to them and their heirs to the use of the sd John Smyth & Joan his wife, & the heirs of the sd John Smyth for ever." Probate on 8 Oct 1538 Wiltshire PCC 21 Dyngeley.

            It appears that William Smithdike was probably born around 1490 to 1500, since Burke’s Irish Family Records states that his son Thomas was born in 1520. John Smythe could possibly have been his brother or cousin.

            If there is in fact a connection here, we can trace the ancestry back another generation, to John Smythe’s father Richard, who, according to Pat Patterson’s website, was:

Richard SMYTHE. Born circa 1460. Died 27 Mar 1527 London.

I've found this likely-looking connection but checking the London Merchant Tailors' Company records available here offered nothing to confirm this link. It remains purely speculative. Occupation from 1480 to 1527 guesstimate, Merchant Tailors' Company, London. Before 1524 resided at Fryday Street & Watlyng Street, London, parish of St John the Evangelist.


            Richard Smythe owned a number of properties, apparently in London, and Patterson continues:


"All the said premises are worth per annum, clear £29. Richard Smyth died at London, 27 March, 18 Henry VIII (1527); John Smyth is his son and heir, and was then aged 31 years and more." Inquisition p.m. 21 Henry VIII, No. 21.


            At this point this particular ancestral trail appears to come to an end, at least for now.


            However, moving forward in time now from John Smythe, to his son Thomas, we have this from Pat Patterson’s web site:


Thomas SMYTHE. Born 1522 Corsham, Wiltshire. Married Alyce JUDD circa 1555. Died 7 Jun 1591.

Between 1539 and 1540 London "Supported by a small inheritance from his father, who Died 1538, Smith gained his freedom of the Haberdashers' Company and subsequently of the Skinners', the company of Sir Andrew Judde, a wealthy City merchant and Kent landowner, whose dau, Alice, he married abt 1555." Occupation before 1555 Merchant Adventurer. He and Alyce JUDD had 13 children. "Secure in business and society - he was a Merchant Adventurer, Muscovy merchant, and MP at the time of his marriage - Smith abandoned a conventional career in commerce when he took up the collectorship of the subsidy on imports at the port of London in 1558. Through his association with the customs, which earned him the title of 'Customer', Smith entered the realms of government finance and court patronage and politics. The move was highly profitable, particularly after the negotiation of his first lease of the duties on imported goods at London in 1570. Over 18 years it is estimated that the farm yielded around 50,000 pounds net profit."

…In 1573 from Robt Dudley, Earl of Leicester, "subleased the farm of the duties on the import of sweet wines after 1573" in London. Resided at Corsham, Wiltshire, "Some of the profits of the (customs) farm were put into land in Kent, where he added substantially to properties acquired through marriage, and in Wiltshire, where he built a fine house at Corsham." Occupation "He was particularly active in the affairs of the Societies of the Mines Royal and of the Mineral and Battery Works, either as manager or as lessee of their rights" … Died 7 Jun 1591 "a wealthy man" "survived by Alice and their 6 sons and 6 daus." Buried in 1591 Ashford, Kent. Probate on 29 Oct 1591 PCC 78 Sainherbe.


            This biography of Customer Smyth raises some interesting points. He too was well connected with royalty – he held a lucrative post under Queen Elizabeth, following in the footsteps of his ancestor John, who had been “assistant to Henry VIII.” Customer Smyth also took an active interest in mining enterprises. Rosedale Abbey is the site of one of the oldest iron works in England, which may have come to his attention. He was a contemporary of our own Thomas Smyth (born 1520), the second generation of our family at Rosedale Abbey. And Customer Smyth had some sort of business relationship with Robert Dudley, from whom he “subleased the farm of the duties on the import of sweet wines after 1573.” It will be recalled that in 1576 Robert’s brother Ambrose Dudley took over the lease of Rosedale Abbey.

            All of which raises some interesting possible connections but provides as yet not a shred of documentary evidence that we are related to Customer Smyth and his ancestors.



          At Generation 5, we know from the Burke genealogy  that the William Smyth who went over to Ireland from Rosedale Abbey was the third son of James Smyth and Helen Sayers, but unfortunately we do not know the names of his two older brothers. It is a pity, as that knowledge might possibly establish a connection with the Neville family in that generation.

A clue to this is to be found in The Diary 1603-1623 of William Camden, which provides an intimate insight into the Court life and times of King James I. An entry for January 27th., 1618, for example, presents this Smith/Neville conundrum - "Sir John Dacomb, Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, died, whose daughter married Thomas Smith, or Neville, son and heir of Sir Thomas Neville of Holt in the County of Leicester."

A Charles Duncombe bought the Rosedale estate from George Villiers, Duke of Buckingham, at some point between 1620 and 1628.  Was this Thomas Smith a brother of our William Smyth? And was Dacomb a variant of Duncombe in that era of free-form spelling? And above all, why does the diarist refer to Thomas Smith as “Thomas Smith, or Neville, son and heir of Sir Thomas Neville? If he was the legitimate son and heir, how does the Smith name come into play?


                Another possible ancestral link might be searched for in the life of William Smith or Smythe, Bishop of Lincoln from 1496 to his death in 1514, an influential figure at the royal court, and the founder of Brasenose College, Oxford. Bishop Smythe, who was probably born about 1450 or 1460, is of interest here because he had very close connections with King Henry VII from the very beginning of his reign in 1485. This Smythe may well have had some family relationship with the Rosedale Smyths because he was most definitely “of the household of the king.” And he was apparently well known for handing out preferments to his relations, one of whom, Matthew Smythe, he appointed principal of Brasenose College, for example. The precise relationship, if any at all, to the Smyths of Rosedale  - whether through his sons, nephews or cousins - remains to be established, but it seems to be a possibility deserving further investigation.

.Smythe may have been brought up and educated at the expense of Margaret Beaufort. This lady was not only the mother of Henry VII, the first king of the Tudor dynasty. Her family, the Beauforts, were also related to Ralph Neville, the Earl of Westmoreland who, according to Burke, leased the Rosedale property to William Smithdike in the 1530s.

In 1485, just after the Battle of Bosworth that set Henry VII on the throne, Smythe was made Keeper of the Hanaper of Chancery. The duty of the Keeper was to record fees paid on the writs that began every action at common law. In this capacity, William Smythe would have been apprised of each and every action to be heard and, as such, would have been a useful source of information for a new king grappling with insecurity. The office was so named because the writs, and the returns to them, were kept in a wickerwork box called a hanaper - or hamper. Two daughters of King Edward IV (died 1483) were also entrusted to William Smythe's keeping. He was a member of the Royal Council and in 1501, five years after he had been translated to the important Bishopric of Lincoln, he became Lord President of Wales. This was a man at the very cusp of royal favor. By the early 1500s he was also a man of great wealth. William Smythe was one of the executors of Henry VII's will but retired from public life just after this King's death in 1509.

            Smythe himself died in 1514, a quarter of a century before the dissolution of the monasteries and the handing over of Rosedale Abbey to private owners. So if there is any connection to be made between him and the Rosedale Smyths, it is probably to be found in the next generation - his sons or nephews, of which at this time we have no record.

            If a relationship should eventually be verified, Bishop Smythe’s family can be traced back for a couple of generations. He came from a  well-to-do family, being (according to the Bishop’s biographer Ralph Churton)  "the fourth son of Robert Smyth of Peelhouse, in the parish of Prescot, Lancashire. His grandfather was Henry Smyth, a country squire, seated at Cuerdley. The date of his birth and the place of his education are alike unknown. Churton conjectures  from the patronage early bestowed ... by the  mother of Henry VII  that he was brought up at a school in which were educatedcertayn young gentilmen at her findying.”






The Huguenot Connection in Ireland: the Crommelin and Lavalade Families



(The following details are taken from “The Huguenots of Lisburn” by E. Joyce Best, and an article in Irish Family History by Mona Germaine-Dillon).


Archdeacon Francis Hutchinson’s marriage to Magdalene Crommelin in the 1730s introduces some interesting French Huguenot ancestry into the Hutchinson-Smyth family history. The Huguenots were French Calvinist Protestants who had been tolerated to some extent for a century or so by the Catholic monarchy under the terms of the Edict of Nantes, until on October 18, 1685, Louis XIV revoked the Edict. The Huguenots were then subjected to brutal religious persecution and at least 200,000 of them left France for the Netherlands, Germany, Scandinavia, Switzerland and Britain.

Among the refugees were Louis Crommelin and his brother (or perhaps first cousin) Alexander Crommelin. The Crommelins fled from Armandcourt in Picardy to Holland, where Louis became so well established in the linen trade that William of Orange, on becoming King of England, invited him in 1697 to set up shop in Ireland. This he did in 1698, moving to Lisnegarvey (Lisburn), bringing with him looms and about seventy people, and investing thousands of pounds in a linen manufacturing industry.

While still in Holland, Louis’s brother (or cousin) Alexander had married Madeleine De La Valade, the daughter of the Comte De La Valade, a French noble who held lands in Languedoc. Her brother Charles De La Valade and another brother (unnamed), were Protestant pastors and had to flee their country at the Revocation. They escaped to Holland with their younger sister Madeleine, and after her marriage to Alexander Crommelin they all moved to Britain. In 1704 Charles De La Valade became pastor of the French church in Lisburn, a post he held for more than forty years. He died in 1756 and was succeeded by his brother, followed by a great nephew, upon whose death in 1812 there was no further need of a French-speaking chaplain, the Huguenot refugees having been completely assimilated into the local community.

In 1701 Louis Crommelin established the first mass bleaching establishment in Ireland at Hilden, on the outskirts of Lisburn. In 1707 a fire burned most of the town down to the ground, but Crommelin’s business survived the disaster. The Irish parliament was so impressed with Crommelin’s work that they passed unanimously a resolution of public thanks to him in recognition of the debt owed to him by the Irish people. Louis died in 1727 and his wife Anne in 1755 (at the age of 96). It is not known when Alexander and Madeleine Crommelin died.








The Australian Descendants of Arthur Smyth, M.D



            I am indebted to my distant cousin Charmaine Robson of Australia, for the following information on the Australian descendants of Arthur Smyth, M.D,. He was the brother of my great grandfather Edward Smyth, the banker. Arthur was thus my great-grand uncle.


October 7, 2004


... Just a note to say I was quite fascinated by [this] Smyth history/website. We [Charmaine Robson and David Smyth] are very distantly related. My great grandfather was the son of Dr Arthur Smyth, son of Thomas Hutchinson Smyth and Abigail Hamilton. He and his brother Hamilton, the barrister, migrated to the Pyrenees in France in the middle of the 19th century. Arthur worked in the health spas and most of his offspring were born there. His son, Thomas Fitzarthur Smyth, then moved to Australia and from his two marriages there are many descendants alive and well throughout this country. It was only about ten years ago that the scattered branches of this family found each other, reunited and compared notes and oral histories, as well as official documents, and finally realised that our ancestors were the Smyths of Mullingar, County Westmeath. Thomas Fitzarthur, for some reason, added an -e to his surname.

I visited Benison Lodge some years ago in the company of a local historian from Mullingar and it was quite distressing to see it dilapidated and vandalised but I did manage to photograph an old portrait of the house in the possession of a woman who owned the house and land around it. She was using the land to graze cattle.

If you are interested in updating your records, according to the French civil registry, Arthur Smyth died at Pau, France on 20th November 1865 and his brother, Hamilton, also at Pau on 30th April 1859. Hamilton had been married to Elizabeth (I don't know if there were children) and Arthur's wife was Anna Elizabeth (nee Gibbons). They had six children all of whom were born in France except my great grandfather Thomas who was born in Dublin in 1839.



October 13, 2004

Please find attached some information that may be of use to you for the Smyth family history.

Note that it appears that Hamilton Smyth was born in 1813 and Arthur in 1811. Also note that Hamilton's wife's maiden name is stated as Hamilton. So, unless that is a mistake, Edward and Hamilton probably were two different men and married women both named Elizabeth.

We can account for their brother William and sister Charlotte who are both buried with their father Thomas in Maine Graveyard in Ireland.


About the sources of the information I have provided:

I can vouch for the reliability of all except the Maine Churchyard headstone transcriptions which were done by an Irish local historian, Michael Conlon, but I'm sure he will have been very careful. You will notice that he only copied down what was legible on the headstones.


I have other information concerning the following: the Yorkshire Smyths, some extracts of books regarding Westmeath Smyths in general, Barbavilla (the house), the murder at Barbavilla, and I have photographs of Benison Lodge as well as the local church  attended by the Smyths. Benison Lodge may be particularly interesting to [David Smyth, USA] since his ancestor was probably born there. There was also a murder there about which I have information.


Charmaine also sent in this snippet of information about Arthur’s brother Hamilton, the lawyer:


“He [William O’Connor Morris 1824-1904] was a pupil or apprentice to Mr. Hamilton Smyth, Q.C., whom he described as an excellent and accomplished man, who had written on the law of landlord and tenant and had liberal views on the subject possibly influenced O'Connor Morris to write for The Times on the Irish land question and publish a book on the 1870 Land Act. He entered Lincoln's Inn in 1852 and was called to the Bar in the Hilary Term of 1854, where he practiced for nearly twenty years.”





Charmaine also provided the following information (the original source given under each item):





Benison Lodge - adapted from a portrait scan courtesy of Charmaine Robson

Click on the image above to view photographs - taken in 1995 - by Charmaine Robson






Thomas Smyth, son of William, of Drumcree, (by Mary, niece to Dr. King, Archbishop of Dublin,) had issue by his third wife, Martha, (daughter of  - Hutchinson,  Archdeacon of Dromore, and niece to the Bishop of Killala,) an only son,


1Thomas Hutchinson, of Benison Lodge, of which place he held a freehold

lease from the representatives of Anthony O’Reilly. He served as Sheriff in

1792, and is, in the return from the Harnaper Offfice, styled as of  “Smithboro”,

which is now called Coole. He married in 1796, Abigail, daughter of John

Hamilton of Belfast, Banker. He died in 1830, leaving issue, with others,


1.      Thomas, born in 1796, entered Holy Orders, and married in 1832,

Mary Anne Gibbons, niece to James Gibbons of Ballinagall, the elder,

By whom he has issue, with others,

      I. Thomas James.


2.      Hamilton, born in 1813, called to the Bar in 1836.Smyth/e Index


The estate of Coole was originally part of the Pakenham Hall property, and was purchased by the ancestor of Thomas H. Smyth, about the year 1700, from the Rev.Robert Pakenham, half brother to Sir Thomas Pakenham of that day. (Editor's Note: see Edward Smythe of Whitchurch, Bucks. via Smythe Index)


J.C. Lyons, Grand Juries of Westmeath, p.299.


SMYTHE, ARTHUR.      M.B. AND M.D. Æst. 1843


SMYTHE, HAMILTON, Pen. (Drogheda sch.), Oct.20, 1828, aged 15; s. of

Thomas, Agricola ; b. Westmeath. B.A. Vern. 1836. LL.B. Vern. 1842.

[Irish Bar 1835; Q.C.] See Allibone and Boase.







                                                                                                Office of the Chief Herald

                                                                                                Genealogical Office                  

                                                                                                State Heraldic Museum

                                                                                                2 Kildare Street

                                                                                                Dublin 2, Ireland


25 August 1992


Dear Mrs Robson,


We have found that Arthur, son of Thomas Smyth of Co. Westmeath, entered

Trinity College, Dublin in 1827, aged 16. It would be possible to examine our

records and visit the College of Physicians in the hope of finding additional

information on Arthur.


Etc etc


Yours sincerely,


Eilish Ellis.




                                    Mayne Churchyard




                        Here lies the Mortal Remains


                        Thomas Hutchison SMYTH


                        Benison Lodge Esq. second son of the

                           late Thomas SMYTH of Drumcree

                        Esq. he departed this life on the 25th

                                                of October 1830

                        Here also lie the

                        of his daughter Char

                        born on the 5th Aug

                        died on the 5th September

                        Here also lieth the body of hi

                        William who was born on the 15

                        of March 1805 and died on the 5th of

                                                June 1857.




Anna Letitia SMYTH, born in Pau on 30/09/1843, daughter of Arthur SMYTH, doctor of medicine, aged 32, resident of Pau, and of Anna Elizabeth GIBBONS.


Hamilton Trenchell SMYTHE 13 May 1845 in Pau


Alfred William SMYTHE 22 March 1847 in Pau


Bertha SMYTHE 14 October 1850 in Pau


Alicia  Octavia SMYTHE 7 August 1854 in Pau




Arthur SMYTHE, doctor, aged 54, resident of Pau, born at Benison Lodge, County of Westmeath (Ireland), husband of Dame Anna-Elizabeth GIBBONS, died 20 November 1865, Maison Martin, Tran Street.


Hamilton SMYTHE, lawyer, aged 45, resident of Pau, born at Benison Lodge, County of Westmeath (Ireland), son of Hutchinson SMYTHE, Esquire, and of Lady Abigail Hamilton, died 30 April 1859, maison Lapeyrere, place Bosquet, husband of Elizabeth HAMILTON.


Doctor Arthur Smythe practiced medicine in Pau from at least 1853. From 1850 to 1865 he was director of health treatments at the “Hot Springs” Thermal Baths. (Eau-Chaudes – reference: Joseph Duloum, The English in the Pyrenees),


Also: “Baptised this 1st day of Janury in the year of our Lord 1844 Anna Letitia daughter of Arthur Smythe M.D. and Anna Elizabeth his wife by me, Edward Hedges M.D. Chaplain” [English Church at Pau?]



Source: Genealogical Centre for the Atlantic Pyrenees, 15/11/1993.

            B.P. 1115    64011 Pau Cedex



Charmaine Robson, to whom gratitude is extended for permission to reproduce her genealogical findings - concludes as follows: "... attached a report for the descendants of Arthur Smyth, son of Thomas Hutchinson Smyth. It seems that Arthur's son, Thomas Fitzarthur Smythe, added -e to the end of the surname. The birthdates of those people who are still alive have been omitted in order to respect their privacy. Some of it makes for very dry reading as it is just a list of names (which would not be exhaustive), however it indicates how large the Arthur Smyth Australian branch has become. If I have not already said it to you, my mother knew nothing of her Smyth/e forbears and I just did some digging and while I was digging so were other distant relatives and we compared notes and have got together a few times. So there are about four of us, all descended from Thomas Fitzarthur Smythe, who have been actively researching this family.

I am the daughter of Victoria Veronica Vanheems who is now in her 80s. She is the daughter of Maud Smythe who was the daughter of Thomas Fitzarthur Smyth. Gary Smythe- also of Australia - the descendent of Maud's brother, William (Thomas's eldest son), has done a lot of research into the Smythe family.


Arthur Smyth was a doctor who, according to the Genealogical Centre for the Atlantic Pyrenees, was director of health treatments at the "Hot Springs" Thermal Baths in Pau, France, from 1850 until 1865(Ref: Book by Joseph Duloum,' The English in the Pyrenees' - wish I could get a copy!!) He died at Maison Martin, Tran Street, Pau, France, according to the Pau civil records.

Arthur's brother, Hamilton, a QC also moved to Pau, spending the rest of his life there until his death at Maison Lapeyrere, place Bosquet, Pau on 30th April 1859.


Arthur's son, Thomas Fitzarthur Smythe, was a professor of languages, a journalist in Queensland and a civil servant. He migrated to northern Queensland before 1860 and married twice, with children from both marriages. His first marriage ended in divorce and scandal. In 1875, he took his family to England and then took an appointment as language teacher in South Africa. Unfortunately, he had developed a severe drinking problem and was unable to continue working. He returned to England where it seemed the family never heard from him again. His wife, Drusilla, took her children back to Australia and spent the rest of her life in Melbourne. After her early death, the children split up - some to Western Australia, one to Queensland, and the rest stayed in Melbourne. This left the family fractured. Only a few weeks ago, I discovered poor Thomas living in an asylum in England in 1881 so that gives me another trail to follow. As yet, we do not know when or where he died."

Link to .pdf file .... courtesy of Charmaine Robson - some Australian Smythes - a family tree ... Smyth/e Family Tree .pdf - c/0 Charmaine Robson