Ancestor Index Ancestor Index
Smyth/e and Smith - exploration of connections with Norfolk in general and East Dereham in particular ...
(Click on any left hand image)

MDDS - Smythe/Saphier

1974 Bridgewater

IDDS - Smythe/Anstruther

1950 Bristol

RDSDS - Smythe/Cloutman

1920 Bristol

HJDS - Smythe/Drew

1891 Northampton

FTS - Smythe/Smith

1862 Worstead

JFS - Smythe (Smith)/Roberts

1830 Bristol

FS - Smith (Smyth/e) / unknown

1807 Bristol

Typical "Smythe" profile (from 1914)

c. 1780? ???

MDDS - Smythe/Saphier

1974 Bridgewater

IDDS - Smythe/Anstruther

1950 Bristol

RDSDS - Smythe/Cloutman

1920 Bristol

HJDS - Smythe/Drew

1891 Northampton

FTS - Smythe/Smith

1862 Worstead

JFS - Smythe (Smith)/Roberts

1830 Bristol

FS - Smith (Smyth/e) / unknown

1807 Bristol

Typical "Smythe" profile (from 1914)

c. 1780? ???

MDDS - Smythe/Saphier

1974 Bridgewater

IDDS - Smythe/Anstruther

1950 Bristol

RDSDS - Smythe/Cloutman

1920 Bristol

HJDS - Smythe/Drew

1891 Northampton

FTS - Smythe/Smith

1862 Worstead

JFS - Smythe (Smith)/Roberts

1830 Bristol

FS - Smith (Smyth/e) / unknown

1807 Bristol
Access the Smythe IndexIn the early 1800s, a Thomas Smyth of East Dereham - Norfolk - left an 82,000 Will (a vast fortune in those days). The document is an extensive and very complicated instrument and is accompanied by some seven Codicils - on which probate was granted in 1835. This document is currently being analysed and may be linked from this page at a later date. East Dereham 'Smyth' and Norfolk 'Smith/Smyth/e' connections have been hovering on the periphery of the male Smyth/e line investigation of this site (see below) for some time now. (Scr. 4/2003)

Research to date shows that the paternal Smythe lineage of this site runs thus: (Capt.) Richard David Somerset Drew-Smythe > Henry James Drew Smythe > Frank Tompson Smythe > James Francis Smythe > Francis Smyth/Smith > Thomas Smith ... it should be noted that the names Smith, Smithe, Smyth and Smythe appear in a variety of forms during the different centuries - sometimes with the variation seen within members of the same family group, even to the point of siblings carrying a different spelling.

The Reverend James Francis Smythe and Norfolk

When he finished his training to become a Baptist Minister (at Bristol College), James Francis Smythe who was baptised 'James Francis Smith' in Temple parish, Bristol, 1830) did not take up a pastorate immediately (because of poor health) but removed to East Dereham in Norfolk. His father was Francis Smith/Smythe, a 'cooper master' of Bristol. His grandfather's name was Thomas Smith, also a cooper of Bristol. So, why would a newly qualified pastor leave the city of his youth for Norfolk without a pastorate to go to when he had at least two previous generations of family linkage to Bristol - unless (and especially as his health was poor) he had some family connection with Norfolk, and in particular, East Dereham?

His father had married Martha Roberts - daughter of James Roberts and it is possible that her family was connected with the celebrated Baptist Minister, Tom Roberts of Devon and Bristol - which may explain his commitment to the Baptist faith - but it does not explain his removal to Norfolk. Currently, there is no research result on when his paternal grandfather/mother died. He appears to have had twin brothers (1834) Josiah Hill Smith and Philip Vickery Smith and a sister, Martha Ann Smith (1832).

James Francis Smythe began attending the Baptist Church at King Street, Bristol, in his youth, where the Minister (Thomas Roberts) was very active in the abolition movement (slavery) for which Bristol was a notorious centre. Another active campaigner for abolition was the Reverend William Smyth Thorpe (see below) of Norfolk. Amongst the papers of Henry James Drew Smythe were letters from a Captain Herapath of Bristol, from the Brig Tom Cod, detailing slave numbers and voyage conditions and there was a Herapath family represented at the wedding of Henry James Drew Smythe in 1914. On the other side of the coin was F. G. Smyth of Clifton, whose Will demonstrates that he and his family were extensively involved in - and made exceptionally rich by - the slave trade, owning tracts of land, plantations and slaves in the West Indies ... issues that divided families and prompted disinheritance.

On the assumption that he did have some kind of family connections in Norfolk to make it attractive for him to move there, this article sets out to investigate the 1700s and 1800s Smyth and Smith backgrounds to Norfolk and, to begin with, a mystery is probably now solved. Kelly's Directory for Cambridgeshire, Norfolk and Suffolk for 1883 (p.522) has this to say - not about Smyth/e but about Tompson - by the report of Parish Clerk, Abraham Leggate. (paragraphs artificial)

"Thompson (or Tomson) is a parish 3 miles south from Watton and half-a-mile west from Stow-Bedon railway station and 10 west from Attleborough, in the Western division of the county, hundred and union of Wayland, Attleborough county court district ... and archdeaconry and diocese of Norwich.
Tynemouth Priory and CastleAbraham Leggate then writes:
"The ancient family of Tompson of Tynemouth Castle (says Blomefield) is descended from the Tompsons surnamed of this town."

He continues: "In the time of Edward I, a small chantry was established here by the then lord of Tompson; Sir Thomas de Shardelow, fifty years after, gave the society a chantry house, called Tompson's College, an estate, and the advowson of the living. The College Farm still marks the site of the ancient residence of the chantry priests, and some oak stalls in the church show where they used to sit.

The church of St. Martin, standing close to the road, is built of rubble: its date is apparently about 1300: it is in the Early English style and consists of chancel, nave, porch, transept and tower containing 3 bells: the windows of the chancel have beautiful tracery, now half blocked up: the south chapel appears to have been built about 1450, for the purpose of the chantry, and as a place of interment for the founder, Sir Thomas de Shardelow, and his family .... "

Thus comes a vestige of clarification as to the Tompson element in the name of Frank Tompson Smythe - from his mother, who was Elizabeth Tompson Smith. The name is probably a place distinguisher (a not uncommon device in Smith/Smyth/e family custom) rather than the result of a marriage homage. Thus Elizabeth Smith is likely to have been of a Smith family, from Tompson, in Norfolk. She is recorded as being born in Norwich in about 1834. There is a possibility, however, that her Tompson and Smith roots might be found in the Tynemouth area.

Abraham Leggate then concludes:

"The register dates from the year 1538. The living is a vicarage, yearly value 49, in the gift of the trustees of H. D. Hemsworth esq. and held since 1860 by the Rev. William Smyth Thorpe B.A. of Wadham College, Oxford, who resides at Shropham. The great and small tithes belonged to the College till the Dissolution, when they passed into private hands, and have since so continued. 31, rent of town lands, is divided between the church and the poor. The land chiefly belongs to Lord Walsingham, who is lord of the manor. The soil is light, with a clay or black gravel subsoil. The chief crops are wheat, barley and oats. There is a good deal of heath land uncultivated, and a mere called Tompson Water. The area is 2,890 acres; rateable value 2,994; and the population in 1881 was 360."

George Moates the Parish Clerk of Topcroft, Norfolk, stated in Kelly's 1900 that "[it] is a parish and scattered village 6 miles south-east from Flordon station on the Ipswich and Norwich section of the Great Eastern railway, and 6 north-west from Bungay, in the Southern division of the county ..." He reports that "outside the porch of St. Margaret's Church there are several marble tablets, with arms to the Smyth family, formerly owners of the [Topcroft] Hall, 1743-1808." (This was presumably purchased from the Buxton family whose extensive records are lodged at Cambridge University). The Galway Advertiser in Ireland of 20 August 1998 had this to say in connection with the Smyths of Topcroft Hall:

"Major Thomas Bodkin, of Kilclooney and Rahoon, married [before 1808, it is presumed] Eliza, daughter of Col. Smith of Topcroft Hall, Norfolk." The Galway Advertiser explains that the Bodkins were one of the 14 families known collectively as the Tribes of Galway. "They were a very prolific family and by the 18th century there were many branches scattered throughout County Galway, among them the Bodkins of Kilcloony."

In Kelly's Directory of 1900 for Breckles (als. Breccles), Norfolk, may be found these notes: "The church of St. Margaret ... was restored in 1862 ... [with a register that] ... dates from the year 1538. The living is a vicarage, net yearly value 25, including 21 1/2 acres of glebe, in the gift of the Hon. Charles Bateman Hanbury, and held since 1850 by the Rev. William Smyth Thorpe B.A. of Wadham College, Oxford, who is also incumbent of Tompson and resides at Shropham Villa, Shropham, Thetford ... ." (The Hanbury family are collateral descendants (via Hanbury-Tracy) of the maternal line of this site.)

The Thorpe family features in a Codicil of the Will of Thomas Smyth mentioned at the head of this article and in the probate extracts outlined below. Sailing out of Bristol, the family of Thorpe was also involved with the American plantation voyages to Virginia with the Smyth and Tracy families in the seventeenth century. Additionally, during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, the then Duke of Norfolk had extensive land interests in Shropshire and Staffordshire in which counties were also several Smyth/e 'enclaves' and with whom land transactions were completed.

The Public Records Office (UK) via its A2A resources has this information under the Shropshire Records Office:

Reference: 1514/7 Copy letters patent
Creation dates: 1 February
1513/14

Scope and Content
Grant to Thomas Duke of Norfolk of the Manors of Acton Burnell, Holgote &c. with all members, liberties and franchises to the same castles and manors belonging. To hold the castles, manors, lordships aforesaid and all the premises to Thomas the Duke and his heirs, by service of one knight's fee.
Docketed: Pa Duo' Morff: Sedward Smithe

Members of a Dickens family had cotton milling interests in the Macclesfield area of Cheshire during the early days of the Industrial Revolution and may well have been involved with the Cheshire branches of the Smyth family of that era - and beyond. For further information regarding these connections, see the respective county "Smyth" pages via the Ancestor Index.

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Connecting with previously researched and received Norfolk information ...

The Arms of NorwichEarlier information from East Dereham, Norfolk - under reference ACC 2001/95 - has records of Smyth and Dickens families of East Dereham. These snippets of various papers are batched together as one group which suggests a close connection between the two families - see below 03/03/03.

The following material was noted in the collection by Archivist, Theresa Nichols - to whom gratitude is extended.

Bills paid for 1835 - Mrs Dickens - for building work and domestic items such as bonnets, ribbons and stationery. One bill is addressed to Mrs John Dickens, East Dereham. Another says, 'received of Mrs Peter Dickens'. Papers relating to the Thorpe family: Elizabeth Dickens married the Rev'd William Smythe Thorpe of Shropham. Aspects of these references may well prove significant - Thomas Smyth - and also the Smythe/Thorpe connection, for example. (Now vindicated!)

Clothing bill from Regent Street, London to Miss Smyth of East Dereham, Norfolk dated May 23 1831. 1830s probate material of Thomas Smyth of East Dereham.
Probate document relating to Louisa Dickens, 'late of East Dereham', dated 1869. Various documents regarding the purchase of Egyptian Bonds, 1869.

03/03/03 - Probate Records - analysis

On inspection, the probate records mention a large sum of money which was expended in securing the release of a Mr. Thorpe from gaol in Paris. Why he was imprisoned in Paris is not stated. It must be concluded that his wife was a Dickens or - at very least - he was a close Smyth relative.

In researching the files of the LDS IGI the following record is of interest. According to LDS, a Thomas Smith married a Frances Dickens at Newton Longville, Buckinghamshire in March 1792. They were both of Newton Longville. Thomas Smith was born in Newton Longville in 1753 to parents, Thomas Smith and Ann (unknown).

Thomas Smith and Frances Dickens had a son, Francis Smith, who was baptised on the 13th June 1802 - also at Newton Longville. The Thomas Smith in question is recorded by LDS as having been buried on 30th October 1831. The Smith/Dickens link of this Buckinghamshire marriage and the bundling together of Smyth/Dickens papers under reference ACC 2001/95 in Norfolk is of interest.

In the Norfolk probate papers of Thomas Smyth, no son is mentioned but four daughters are listed either in their own right or via their children. The four daughters of Thomas Smyth of East Dereham, Norfolk were:

Louisa Smyth - there is also mention of a grand daughter, Ann Elizabeth, who may have been Louisa's daughter. Perhaps she married into the Dickens family? Louisa Dickens d. 1869? (Now explained - see below, September 2004.)
Emily Smyth - who married into the Nelson family and had three daughters - Harriet Nelson, Elizabeth Nelson and Louisa Nelson.
Frances Maria Smyth - who married into the Preston family. (See below)
Ann Smyth - who married into the Boycott family and is noted as having children.

Question: Might Thomas Smyth of East Dereham have had a ?perhaps disowned? son, Thomas, who moved to Bristol and worked as a Cooper? Or had he already received his "inheritance" and then moved away - since he is not mentioned in the will?

Frances Maria Smyth
According to LDS IGI records, the following details pertain to her. She was born 7th February 1780 and died 14th January 1822 - almost ten years before her father who is listed as being Thomas Smyth of East Dereham. She married Edmund Preston who was born in 1773 at Yarmouth and died in 1856. His parents were Jacob Preston and Elizabeth Abbott. Edmund Preston was twice married - his "other" (first?) wife being Phyllis Symonds.

The same set of records detail that Thomas Smyth was born in East Dereham - thus it may be that Thomas of Bucks. and Thomas of Norfolk were cousins, united by Smith/Smyth Dickens marriages and that Francis Smith/Smythe, the cooper of Bristol, was a nephew of Norfolk Thomas Smyth whose Smyth descendants (or marriage relatives) welcomed James Francis Smythe to East Dereham after he finished his training as a Baptist Minister in Bristol in 1855. The Rev. William Smyth Thorpe B.A. of Wadham College, Oxford for example!

Updated Research - September 2004
Information courtesy of Rita Dinser of America.

Rita is a researcher and archivist with a special interest in significant old documents. Over the years, she has purchased and sold many and was recently going through some Last Will and Testaments and can now confirm as follows:

"The information comes from a 28 page office copy of a Will for Louisa Dickens, daughter of Thomas Smythe, East Dereham. The Will discusses so many things - including her father's fifth codicil and the trustees increase in money from 8000  to 10,000 Sterling. Trustee Edward Palmer Clarke.Rita Dinser

It appears that Ann Elizabeth Thorpe, Harriet Elizabeth Thorpe and Emma Elizabeth Thorpe were Louisa's sister's daughters. The sister's name being Elizabeth Dickens Thorpe, married to Rev. William Thorpe.   I also have copies of Power of Attorney for the Thorpe family, Will of Rev. Thorpe, Probate of the Will of Emma Thorpe 1912, Powers of Attorney Transfer, Information for William Nicholas Thorpe, Octavia Helen Robbins (William Nicholas Thorpe's Wife) Probate of Octavia, Declaration of Thorpe seperate Estate 1845, and Probate of Harriet Thorpe ... I am not sure but I believe I also have a Vellum Indenture of Thorpe lands ..."

Rita's extensive collection promises to throw additional light on the families mentioned here. She has kindly offered to collaborate in the development of this particular line of research. Access this on-going work by clicking on Rita's image.

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Smythe, Thomas Dickens
Year: 1898 Quarter: September
  Record Type: Births Volume: 10b
  District: Tynemouth Page: 276

This late nineteenth century Ancestry.com birth record shows that Dickens was later used as a forename for a Smythe child. It would be a reasonable supposition to link this with one of the two Dickens - Thomas Smith/Smyths above. The significance of Tynemouth may also be seen by considering the above Tynemouth information.

A useful link for records in Norfolk

For a variety of reasons, all the following marriage records may also prove significant and are listed here for current and future consideration.

Walsingham District Fakenham 1728 SMITH, Thomas DICKENS, Ann
both of Hempton
Aylsham District Cawston 1790 ROBERTS Henry SMITH Hannah
Tunstead & Happing District Ingham 1796 SMITH, Benj THOMSON, Elizabeth
Tunstead & Happing District Hoveton St.John 1809 WIGG, Thomas SMITH, Judith  
Walsingham District Binham 1809 SMITH, Francis BLOOM, Mary
Aylsham District Aylsham 1820 SMITH, James SMITH, Sophia  
Flegg District Ormesby St.Margaret w Scratby 1831 SMITH, John SMITH, Elizabeth  
Henstead District Ketteringham 1834 SMITH, Aaron otp ROBERTS, Elizabeth otp  
Aylsham District Hevingham 1841 SMITH John, full age DREW Sophia, full age  
Tunstead & Happing District Walcot 1872 SMITH Thomas BALES Mary Ann   March 4th
Aylsham District Hevingham 1872 SMITH Samuel, 26 WAGG Amelia, 23   signed WEGG
St. Faiths District Hainford 1872 SMITH, William, 26 ROBERTS, Sarah Louisa, 24  
Tunstead & Happing District Irstead 1873 SMITH, William Valentine, 42 SMITH, Rebecca, 37   both widowed
Bales, Wagg and Wigg families - See Smythe censuses below & on related pages - witnesses at the marriage of Francis James Smythe to Eleanor Cooper.

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The following (01/03) comes from a fellow Smith/Smyth/e researcher - M. E. Drake -

"In 1813 Francis Gamaliel Smyth (illegitimate) was born to Ann Smythe and Francis Drake in Norwich, Norfolk (christened at St. Martin at Oak). In 1814 there is a marriage between an Ann Smyth (widow) and Francis Drake (labourer) in the same church in Norwich. In 1815 there is a Sarah Ann Drake born to parents Francis and Ann Drake at the same church again.

And this is my group:  I have an ancestor named Francis Drake born 1813 in Norwich, Norfolk (he states this consistantly over several census' and other documents) who on his marriage certificate says his father was a Francis Drake, labourer. In 1844 his first son was born and christened... Francis Smythe Drake!

If I am right then Smyth was the name of Ann's first husband. I am really stuck on that generation. It will be next to impossible to prove a marriage between a ? Smyth and an Ann ? is mine, especially since I have no idea of either of their ages, where they lived, what his occupation was, etc. I will be continuing to search for Francis/Ann Drake in census records to determine their ages and birthplaces, perhaps then I can find Ann's first marriage. An early enough census might also reveal other children Ann may/may not have had from her first marriage to a Smyth."

Aylsham District
Thetford District
Cawston
Thetford St.Marys
1787
1795
SMITH John
DRAKE, William
DRAKE Mary
SMITH, Mary
 
groom Whitwell c. Hackford
 
Walsingham District Stiffkey 1828 SMITH, Gamaliel, 22 WILLIAMSON, Maria, 25  

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Norfolk and Suffolk Smythes ...

1851 census - Norfolk - Kings Lynn St Margaret

There is a possibility that the Henry Smythe - enumerated below - is related to (Benjamin) James Francis Smythe in some way. The link appears to be Eliz. Wagg and Thos. Bales - both from Dereham. In 1858, members of the Wigg family were witnesses to the marriage of James Francis Smythe and Eleanor Cooper in Dereham and the family Wagg/Wigg are assessed together within the same research files on the internet as variations of the same family group. Local dialect would underscore this too.

Henry Smythe was born at Brandon in Suffolk and would have been 49 at a time when James Francis Smythe was 29, so, possibly a younger brother of Francis Smith/Smythe, the Bristol cooper?

Kings Lynn St Margaret, Chapel Street Surgery .. .. .. .. .. .. (HO107/1829/115/17)

Henry SMYTHE head, married, 39, General Practitioner Of Medicine & Surgery, Brandon SFK
Lucy SMYTHE wife, married, 34, Wood Rising
Henry SMYTHE son, 3, Lynn
Lucy SMYTHE dau, 6, Lynn
Elizth. BOYCE servant, unmarried, 22, House Servant, Norwich
Elizth. WAGG servant, unmarried, 16, House Servant, Dereham
Thos. BALES servant, unmarried, 17, Groom Servant, Dereham

Note also - regarding the Irish Smyth potential connection that - 'many Smyth/Smith families of English origin are found in Ireland, especially in the area around Dublin. These included Smith of Maine, County Louth and Smith of Annsbrook, County Meath (a branch of Maine). 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.'

1841 Norfolk - Gt. Yarmouth Dist. - Yarmouth St. Nicholas. Sth Dist. Page 3

SMYTH, Spencer, 45 Navy HP (Sth Pier) Not Nfk 16 -- 56
SMYTH, Martha, 45 (Sth Pier) Not Nfk 16 -- 56
SMYTH, Martha, 20 (Sth Pier) Not Nfk 16 -- 56
SMYTH, Sarah, 10 (Sth Pier) Not Nfk 16 -- 56
SMYTH, John, 15 (Sth Pier) Not Nfk 16 -- 56
SMYTH, William, 12 (Sth Pier) Not Nfk 16 -- 56
COOPER?, Mary, 20 F.S. (Sth Pier) Not Nfk 16 -- 56
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Ancestor Index Ancestor Index
Smyth/e - The Siege of Acre and medieval family researchMedieval Smyth The line of Customer Smythe ... Customer (Wiltshire) Smith/e-Smyth/e
Smyth of IrelandSmyth (Durham and Yorkshire) of Ireland Smyth/e of EssexEssex Smyth/e
Smyth of Bristol and Ashton CourtSmyth of Bristol Smythes of Acton Burnell - family of Maria "Fitzherbert" SmytheShropshire Smythe
Tudor Forebears
The Tudor connection ...
The Hastings Legacy
The Hastings Legacy
Smythe family linkages ...

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