Forward in timePaternal Great Great Great Grandparents Roberts / Smith - Smythe

The search for this Smith/Smyth/e line

Smyth or SmithThe image (right) is a computer rendering from an original oil painting, now very faded and damaged - probably beyond restoration - executed, it is estimated, during the earlier part of the 1800s. It may be a picture of Francis Smyth (Smith), the father of James Francis Smythe - or it may, equally, be a picture of James Francis Smythe himself as a younger man. Costume experts may be able to date this better than the site editor!

Martha's father was probably named James Roberts and her mother, Betty (diminutive of Elizabeth) - maiden name unknown. (See link to page for Martha Roberts above.) A Martha Roberts is shown (LDS IGI) as being born at about the right time and in the right place to parents of this name.

Proven children of Francis and Martha Smith (Smyth/e):- Eldest child - James Francis Smythe who appears to have had twin brothers (1834) Josiah Hill Smith and Philip Vickery Smith and a sister, Martha Ann Smith (1832). This makes it all the more likely that their elder son, James Francis Smythe, was born in 1831 or 1830.
Bristol (Wills) show that a Josiah Smith died in 1846, (i.e. when he was 12+/- years old). There is no record for a Philip Smith among the Bristol Wills Index listings. The latter may suggest an early death and the former (subject to further research) that Josiah may also have died as a boy or have been a boy in the Navy ... he left a Will ... or similar. He was certainly living at the time of the 1841 census. His age is given as 6; his sister, named as Ann Smith, is given the age of 8. Both Francis Smith and his wife, Martha, are listed as being 30 years of age in the 1841 census. Husband and wife are shown to have been born within England/Wales. This puts them both as having been born in approximately 1811.

According to the Norwich (East Dereham) 1858 Marriage Certificate of James Francis Smythe, his father was named Francis Smythe and was a Cooper Master - the meaning of which is open to question since one might have expected the wording "Master Cooper" to be more usual. However, he clearly had something to do with coopering and was apprenticed as such in 1823 (at age 12/13) to a John Emerson and his wife, Judith, of Bristol. There is a certain irony in that James Francis Smythe, one of his sons, married (firstly) a spinster by the name of Eleanor "Cooper" of East Dereham, Norfolk.

The occupation of Francis SmytheCoopers' Hall, Bristol

The term "Master" might refer to his being a Guild Master; he might also have been a school master or, indeed, the master of a vessel. There is mention in the British National Archives of an 'unknown' F.C. Smythe - who "flourished circa 1854". He made a voyage or voyages to the southern hemisphere and left some written records - "letters and notes rel to voyage to Australia and South America". Reference - Birmingham City Archives - MS 714 - NRA 29847 Ref. L Misc. - seems unlikely but to to investigated at a later date.

Richard Perrin, Hon. Curator (writing in 2002) of The Worshipful Company of Coopers in London states: "The term Cooper Master is certainly an unusual one. Is it possible that there is a comma between the two words. If not then I would suggest that Francis was a supervisor of sorts who was in charge of several working coopers but not necessarily a cooper himself. Bristol was, and still is, a major importer of wines and spirits and it is possible that Francis either had an importing business or at least was in charge of the making and repair of casks."

Site Note: On balance, it would be most likely that Francis Smythe (Smith) took on cooper apprentices himself in later life and therefore became styled as "Cooper Master".

It has been found (November, 2003) that both Francis Smyth and his wife, Martha were still alive at the time of the 1881 census. Francis Smyth (the spelling is as in the census document) is shown as being 74 years of age and having been born in Bristol. Martha is given the age of 73 and the census return states that she, too, was born in Bristol. This would put their birth years at approximately 1807 and 1808 respectively. Francis Smyth states clearly under "Occupation" that he is "formerly a cooper". They were lodging at 3 Lower Grove Road at Isleworth in Middlesex, where the Head of the Household was Henry SARLL - a tailor - whose wife was named as Ellen M. Sarll. Henry was 22 and his wife 24. Henry was born in Gamblingay, Cambs. and Ellen M. in London (Middlesex) - in about 1857. Details from - PRO RG11 Folio 1338/78 Page # 53.

Since he is described as a "Lodger", it may be assumed that Francis Smyth and his wife were living at the house on a permanent basis and were not just "visitors" and so a brief look at the whereabouts of his son - James Francis Smythe and family at this same time would perhaps clarify some social and/or geographical questions. In this respect, James Francis Smythe and his (second) wife, Elizabeth Tompson Smith, were living at 45 Arkwright Street, Little Bolton, in Lancashire and James Francis was the Baptist Minister for Claremont Chapel. Living at home with them at this time were eight children ranging from the age of nineteen years old down to aged three. It may be assumed that there would have been very little room for the aged parents to live there as well - even supposing that they would have wanted to.

Notes September 2004

An analysis of the transcripts ( of the 1871 Census provides the following clues:

Francis Smythe and Martha (Roberts) Smythe are living at Heston in Middlesex (Hounslow) at 37 Bath Road. (Victoria Cottages also mentioned.) Francis (Head of the Household) is shown as being a cooper and Martha as a dressmaker. They both give their ages as 62 and both show Bristol as their place of birth. Staying with them at this census point is a 13 year old granddaughter, Ellen Kingstone. It is presumed that this is a daughter of Martha Ann (Smith) Smythe (only sister of James Francis Smythe) who was born in Bristol in about 1832. There is a record (LDS IGI) of an Ellen Kingstone, at Burbage, Wiltshire for 1858 (circa March 14th) daughter to a Jeremiah Kingstone and wife, Martha ... however, the 1871 census states Ellen Kingstone's place of birth as "London, Middlesex, England". It is possible that Jeremiah Kingstone was a coachman.

It is highly likely, in view of the 1871 census information, that Ellen M (Sarll) - now aged 24 - was born Ellen (M) Kingstone and that Francis and Martha Smythe are found to be living with their granddaughter and her husband, Henry Sarll, (tailor) aged 22.

Research has found that the Sarll family (Cambridgeshire) had Baptist connections which may also be a link in this family chain. For how long Francis and Martha had been living there - and for how much longer they remained there - can only be guessed at; however, by the time the 1891 census was undertaken, there is no record of either of them in any of the current on-line transcribed British county records.

The reason being ... found via Free BMB (thanks Camilla)
Deaths June Qtr. 1883
Given Name 
Age 76
However, Martha must have been alive for the 1891 census since she outlived her husband by almost ten years.
Deaths June Qtr. 1892
(with the added e)
Given Name 
Age 82

Frank Tompson Smythe, their grandson, followed in his father's footsteps and went on to train as a Baptist Minister at the College in Bristol. He obtained his first pastorate (1887) at Harlington, in Middlesex. His grandmother was still alive and must have lived nearby. Harlington is where he married Ada Josephine Drew the daughter of a very successful hosier named James Drew. The trade of Henry Sarll, the Head of the Household where Francis and Martha Smyth were living in 1881 was that of "tailor" which is also significant.

Harlington and Isleworth are not too far distant from each other - Isleworth being slightly west of Richmond and Harlington a stone's throw further west again. It is not unlikely that there were Smyth (or other close) relatives in Middlesex and that Frank Tompson Smythe came to know the area as a result of visits there to see his grandparents at various times during his minority ... perhaps even meeting Ada Drew before he moved to Harlington. Some twenty years later, another son of James Francis Smythe - Arthur J(ames) Smythe (aged 35 in 1901) was living with his wife, Sarah (Evans?) and two children, Mabel Smythe and Lionel Smythe, at 44 Thorny Hedge Road in Acton and is listed as a Journalist and Author. Acton lies westwards of both Harlington and Isleworth.

Francis Smythe - ? Smith Some earlier Bristol research on Francis Smyth/e and his family

Roberts - Bristol 1830 ...

From Pigot's Directory of 1830 - Bristol - no mention of a James Roberts by 1830 ...
ROBERTS Misses 1 Windsor Terr, Clifton, Bristol
ROBERTS & FRY Livery Stables Keeper St Michael's Hill, Bristol
ROBERTS Arthur Tobacco Pipe Maker George Street, Bristol
ROBERTS Benjamin Venetian Blind Maker Hotwell Road, Bristol
ROBERTS Emma Miss Park buildings, Bristol
ROBERTS Hester Boarding / Lodging House 43 Queen's Square, Bristol
ROBERTS Isaac Bookbinder Taylor's Court, Broad St, Bristol
ROBERTS John Boot & Shoe Maker Waterloo Place, Clifton, Bristol
ROBERTS John & Co. Brick & tile Maker Hill's Bridge wharf, Temple Gate
ROBERTS John & Co. Coal Merchant Hill's Bridge Wharf, nr Temple Gate
ROBERTS John & Co. Lime Burner Hills-Bridge Wharf nr Temple Gate
ROBERTS Joseph Shopkeeper / Dealer Love Street, Hotwells, Bristol
ROBERTS Samuel Grocer / Tea Dealer Paul St, Kingsdown, Bristol
ROBERTS Thomas Hop Factor / Dealer 8 Peter Street, Bristol
ROBERTS Thomas Revd. St James Pl, Kingsdown, Bristol *
ROBERTS Thomas Tobacco Pipe Maker George Street, Bristol
ROBERTS Thomas Rev. Baptist Minster Old King Street, Bristol *
- was he married and, if so, was there a daughter, Martha?
ROBERTS William Blacksmith Durdham Down, Bristol
ROBERTS William Master "The John" Bristol to Plymouth
ROBERTS William Pawnbroker 5 College Street, Bristol
The Reverend Thomas Roberts arrived in Bristol from a ministry in Devon and was responsible for the setting up of the Old King Street Baptist Church building in Bristol. He had a significant voice in the campaign against slavery for which that city was a important port. The Old King Street building was demolished in the 1950s - the whole area had endured severe war damage - for the construction of the modern Broadmead shopping area. The members moved to Cairns Road Baptist. This was also the area of Temple Parish and of Counterslip - where Frank Tompson Smythe - great grandson of Thomas Smith (cooper) - was later to become the Baptist minister in the early 1900s.

From - A COMPLETE HISTORY OF Old King Street Baptist Church, BRISTOL, Formerly worshipping in the Pithay, originally at the Fryers. A.D. 1640 to A.D. 1933 - In 4 Volumes  BY JOHN SILAS MERRITT. - ILLUSTRATED.  VOLUME 1: 1640-1890. 

"Rev. THOMAS ROBERTS, M.A., through whose exertion Old King Street Chapel was erected distinguished himself in the denunciation of Slavery, was eminently the Friend of the friendless."

and - from Pigot's 1830 again ...
SMITH & KING Cabinet Maker / Upholsterer 13 Trenchard Street, Bristol SMITH & MORGAN Sheriff's Officer Trinity Street, Bristol SMITH Abraham Jones Surgeon 27 Orchard Street, Bristol SMITH Ann Shopkeeper / Dealer Old Park, Bristol SMITH Ann Day School 5 Trotman's Bds. Lodge St, Bristol SMITH Ann Miss 13 Marlboro' Hill, Bristol SMITH Ann Straw Hat Maker 6 Lower Castle Street, Bristol SMITH Ann Tavern / Public House White Horse, West St, Bedminster SMITH Ann, Mary, Hannah Ladies' Boarding School 7 Portland Street, Bristol SMITH Arthur Butcher East Street, Bedminster, Bristol SMITH Benjamin Tailor 25 Union Street, Bristol SMITH Brooke Attorney 1 Small Street, Bristol SMITH Charlotte Dress Maker 2 Cumberland Street, Bristol SMITH Elizabeth Stay Maker 41 College Green, Bristol SMITH Francis Horse Hair Chair Seating maker 8 Merchant Street, Bristol - and - SMITH Francis, Wheelwright St George, Bristol SMITH Fred Stationer 18 Welsh Back, Bristol SMITH Frederick Paper maker 11 Welsh back, Bristol SMITH George Butcher 137 Redcliff Street, Bristol SMITH George Grocer / Tea Dealer 2 Castle Mill Street, Bristol SMITH George B. Corn Factor 9 Castle Green Bristol SMITH Harriet Day School 85 Stoke's Croft, Bristol SMITH Henry Attorney 19 Clare Street, Bristol SMITH Henry B. Esq. 59 Queen;s Square, Bristol SMITH Isaac Carpenter / Builder 3 Newfoundland Street, Bristol SMITH James Cabinet Maker / Upholsterer Ann Street, Bristol SMITH James Tavern / Public House Cross Keys, 27 Welsh Back, Bristol SMITH John Chair Maker Bridewell Lane, Bristol SMITH John Chymist / Druggist Clarence Road, Bristol SMITH John Hosier 6 Wine Street, Bristol SMITH John Master "The Regulator" Bristol to Barnstaple SMITH John Organ Builder 69 Castle Street, Bristol SMITH John Perfumer / Hairdresser 10 Nelson Pl, Clifton, Bristol SMITH John Printer - Letter Press 6 Broad Weir, Bristol SMITH John Tavern / Public House Full Moon, 31 Broad Street, Bristol SMITH John Tin Plate Worker 12 Denmark Street, Bristol SMITH John Woollen Draper Bristol Bridge, Bristol SMITH John & George Plasterer / Tiler / Painter Little George Street, Bristol SMITH John C. Tailor 25 Upper Arcade, Bristol SMITH John Clare Grocer / Tea Dealer 35 Old Market Street, Bristol SMITH John H. Auctioneer / Appraiser 13 Bridge Street, Bristol SMITH Jos. Butter factor Charlotte Street, Queen's Sq, SMITH Joseph Assessor Court of Requests Council House, Bristol SMITH Joseph Barrister Guildhall Chambers,Broad St, Bristol SMITH Joseph Cabinet Maker / Upholsterer Frogmore Cliff, Bristol SMITH Joseph Ironmonger 137 & 138 Thomas St, Bristol SMITH Joseph Tavern / Public House John Bull, Meadow St, Bristol SMITH Joseph Grace Barrister Guildhall Chambers,Broad St,Bristol SMITH L. Gent St Michael's Hill, Bristol SMITH Mary Mrs. 22 Trinity Street, Bristol SMITH Mary Shopkeeper / Dealer Back Street, Bristol SMITH Nathaniel Surgeon 31 Park Street, Bristol SMITH Orton Gent 2 Berkeley Cres, Berkeley SqBristol SMITH Prince William Currier / Leather Cutter 16 Christmas Street, Bristol SMITH Richard Surgeon 38 Park Street, Bristol SMITH Richard Tailor 13 Upper Arcade, Bristol SMITH Richard Tavern / Public House Glass House, Avon St, St Philips SMITH Robert Saddler & Harness Maker 7 Nelson Pl, Clifton, Bristol SMITH Samuel Tavern / Public House Kings Head, Philadelphia St, Bristol SMITH Sarah Mrs. Montague Hill, Bristol SMITH T. Master "The Airthry Castle" Bristol to New Brunswick SMITH Thomas Baker Tower Hill, St Philip's, Bristol SMITH Thomas Carpenter / Builder Beaufort Pl, Lower Montague St, SMITH Thomas Currier / Leather Cutter 12 Milk Street, Bristol SMITH Thomas Tavern / Public House Royal Oak, Princes St, Bristol SMITH William Baker 37 Old Market Street, Bristol SMITH William Bookbinder 41 College Green, Bristol SMITH William Boot & Shoe Maker All Saints Street, Bristol SMITH William Brush, Sieve, & Mop Maker Church Lane, Castle St, Bristol SMITH William Carpenter / Builder Ellbroad Street, Bristol SMITH William Chair Maker 33 King Street, Queen's Square SMITH William Corn Factor 24 King Street, Queen's Sq, Bristol SMITH William Horse Dealer West Street, Bristol SMITH William Livery Stables Keeper Clifton Hill, Clifton, Bristol SMITH William Merchant (Commission) 24 King St, Queen's Sq, Bristol SMITH William Printer - Letter Press 41 College Green, Bristol SMITH William Provision Factor 24 King St, Queens Square, Bristol SMITH, SON & BAKER Linen & Manchester Merchant 24 Small Street, Bristol SMYTH Edward & Son Tin Plate Worker 29 Temple Street, Bristol SMYTH F.G. Colonel Down Place, Clifton, Bristol

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