Asa Smith

Last updated 11 Sep 2021 in Spear–Johnson Family.

Individual

Born: 14 Apr 1751 in Mendon, Worcester County, Province of Massachusetts Bay, British America

Died: 1837 in Danby, Rutland County, Vermont, United States

Father: Caleb Smith (1720 – 1797)

Mother: Deborah Chickering (1722 – 1818)

Supporting evidence for:
name

book-history-and-map-of-danby-vermont-1869: J. C. Williams, The History and Map of Danby, Vermont; Rutland, Vt.: McLean & Robbins, 1869; book image (PDF), Google Books (http://books.google.com: accessed before 20 Apr 2018) [Includes a section devoted to family sketches of contemporary and ancestral individuals as well as sections for civil and military town history. The family sketches appear to be the result of interviews with residents by the author.]

Additional detail for reference: Pages 258-259 (PDF pages 267-268), "Smith, Caleb"

Comment: Source includes name (Asa [Smith]).

book-vital-records-of-medway-ma-to-1850: Massachusetts, U.S., Town and Vital Records, 1620-1988, database with images, Ancestry (https://www.ancestry.com: accessed on multiple dates); citing “Vital Records of Medway, Massachusetts, to the Year 1850, Boston: New-England Historic Genealogical Society, 1905” [Transcribed list of birth, marriage, and death records, including names, parent names, and dates only.]

Additional detail for reference: Page 120 (image 119, downloaded 30 Jun 2021)

Comment: Source includes name (Asa Smith).

family-barak-smith-family-bible-register: Family bible registry entries for the family of Barak Smith; photocopy, privately held [Most entries are believed to have been made by Barak and Mary Smith. Entries are separated by inconsistent types of lines, and not all entries have individuals or couples; several are informational.]

Additional detail for reference: Births page 1, right side, entry 6

Comment: Source includes name (Asa Smith).

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,
birth

family-barak-smith-family-bible-register: Family bible registry entries for the family of Barak Smith; photocopy, privately held [Most entries are believed to have been made by Barak and Mary Smith. Entries are separated by inconsistent types of lines, and not all entries have individuals or couples; several are informational.]

Additional detail for reference: Births page 1, right side, entry 6

Comment: Source includes date (14 of 2mo 1751), and location (Mendon [, Massachusetts]). Because this is before the 1752 Gregorian and start-of-year calendar change in the UK, month 2 is April.

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,
death

family-barak-smith-family-bible-register: Family bible registry entries for the family of Barak Smith; photocopy, privately held [Most entries are believed to have been made by Barak and Mary Smith. Entries are separated by inconsistent types of lines, and not all entries have individuals or couples; several are informational.]

Additional detail for reference: Deaths page, left side, entry 7

Comment: Source includes date (10 of <unclear>mo 1837) and location (Dan, Vt. [presumably this is intended to mean Danby]). His age at death is also listed at 86 years, 26 days. The 86 is correct, and the 26 days suggests he died about 10 May, or 5mo. The month given in the source looks more like a 3 than a 5, but then it doesn't look like any number at all.

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,
father

book-history-and-map-of-danby-vermont-1869: J. C. Williams, The History and Map of Danby, Vermont; Rutland, Vt.: McLean & Robbins, 1869; book image (PDF), Google Books (http://books.google.com: accessed before 20 Apr 2018) [Includes a section devoted to family sketches of contemporary and ancestral individuals as well as sections for civil and military town history. The family sketches appear to be the result of interviews with residents by the author.]

Additional detail for reference: Pages 258-259 (PDF pages 267-268), "Smith, Caleb"

Comment: Source identifies Asa [Smith] as a child of Caleb Smith. The source does not provide sufficient evidence to denote the type of parent/child relationship.

book-vital-records-of-medway-ma-to-1850: Massachusetts, U.S., Town and Vital Records, 1620-1988, database with images, Ancestry (https://www.ancestry.com: accessed on multiple dates); citing “Vital Records of Medway, Massachusetts, to the Year 1850, Boston: New-England Historic Genealogical Society, 1905” [Transcribed list of birth, marriage, and death records, including names, parent names, and dates only.]

Additional detail for reference: Page 120 (image 119, downloaded 30 Jun 2021)

Comment: Source identifies Asa Smith as a son of Caleb Smith. The source does not provide sufficient evidence to denote the type of parent/child relationship.

family-barak-smith-family-bible-register: Family bible registry entries for the family of Barak Smith; photocopy, privately held [Most entries are believed to have been made by Barak and Mary Smith. Entries are separated by inconsistent types of lines, and not all entries have individuals or couples; several are informational.]

Additional detail for reference: Births page 1, right side, entries 2,4,6

Comment: Source identifies Asa Smith as a child of Caleb Smith. The source does not provide sufficient evidence to denote the type of parent/child relationship.

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,
mother

family-barak-smith-family-bible-register: Family bible registry entries for the family of Barak Smith; photocopy, privately held [Most entries are believed to have been made by Barak and Mary Smith. Entries are separated by inconsistent types of lines, and not all entries have individuals or couples; several are informational.]

Additional detail for reference: Births page 1, right side, entries 3,4,6

Comment: Source identifies Asa Smith as a child of Deborah Smith. The source does not provide sufficient evidence to denote the type of parent/child relationship.

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Miscellaneous Facts

Events

Christening: 30 Apr 1758 at Medway, Suffolk County, Province of Massachusetts Bay, British America

Supporting evidence for:
events

book-vital-records-of-medway-ma-to-1850: Massachusetts, U.S., Town and Vital Records, 1620-1988, database with images, Ancestry (https://www.ancestry.com: accessed on multiple dates); citing “Vital Records of Medway, Massachusetts, to the Year 1850, Boston: New-England Historic Genealogical Society, 1905” [Transcribed list of birth, marriage, and death records, including names, parent names, and dates only.]

Additional detail for reference: Page 120 (image 119, downloaded 30 Jun 2021)

Comment: Source includes date (Apr. 30, 1758) and location ([Medway, Massachusetts]).

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Research Notes (Conflicts/Spelling/Followup)

FOLLOWUP

Asa may have been born in 1773 -- there is a US Mortality Index entry for Asa Smith, age 77. This Asa was born in Massachusetts, where Caleb was known to have lived in his early life.

Legend says that Asa Smith, suffering from cancer (though some sources reduce that to "an extreme case of rheumatism"), discovered Clarendon Springs (a mineral springs) in Vermont. Some stories describe him as a "peculiar" individual who lived alone in a cabin in the northeastern part of the town of Clarendon. Sometime around 1776 he had a vision of a "wonderous healing spring" and subsequently set out to find this spring. After days of limping and dragging himself through the wilderness for several days, he finally found the springs. There he bathed in the waters and made mud packs from the silt around the spring, and returned to his cabin completely cured. As a result of his announcement of this miracle, George Rounds bought the land around the springs and built the first of the "Clarendon Houses" in 1781. [The time line appears approximately okay for this individual, but so little is known about when Asa was actually born or where he lived, that a connection is far from proved and the Asa in the story could be completely unrelated. I'm only aware of one Asa Smith around this time in Rutland County, but that's not very reliable.] The story is related in numerous online sources and at least three published sources: (1) History of Rutland County, Vermont: with illustrations and biographical sketches of some of its prominent men and pioneers by H. P. Smith (p. 38), (2) Gazetteer and business directory of Rutland County, Vt., for 1881-82 (p. 116), and (3) "When Springs Brought Hope" in the newspaper Bennington Banner; Bennington Vermont; 9 Aug 1969 (Southern Vermont Supplement p.13 [The pages are not numbered as expected; on newspapers.com, it is page 26 but extra page images are also present but not indexed.]

Sources

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