John Smalley, sometimes seen as Small, was born about 1613 in England. Underhill states he was from Devonshire and came from the same neighborhood as the Drakes who were also early settlers of Piscataway, NJ, but I do not know her source for this. He is my 10th great grandfather on my grandmother Milly (Booth) Rollins’ side of the family. He came in 1632 with Edward Winslow on the William and Francis. He first lived at Plymouth. He was one of the first seven settlers of Eastham in March 1644/45, in an area that became Orleans.
He married Ann Walden at Plymouth on 29 November 1638. (PCR 1:103). They had four children, births recorded Plymouth.
--Hannah the Daughter of John Smalley born Plymouth 14 June 1641, married John Bangs, remained in Eastham, no issue
--John the son of John Smalley born at Plymouth 8 September1644, m. Lydia Marten, lived in Piscataway
--Isacke and Mary the son and daughter of John Smalley were born 11 December 1647. Mary married John Snow, lived at Eastham (with a brief time in Piscataway) and had nine children. She married second Ephraim Doane. Isaac married Esther Wood and second Mary White and lived in Piscataway.
I descend from Mary and her first husband John Snow.
Propounded 7 Sept 1641 as "John Smaley" (PCR 2:24) and admitted 1 March 1641/2 (PCR 2:33). His name appears toward the end of the Plymouth section of the 1639 Plymouth Colony list of freemen, presumably added upon his admission to freemanship in 1642, then is crossed out and appears again in the Eastham section (PCR 8:174, 177). In the Eastham section of the 1658 Plymouth Colony list of freemen (PCR 8:201).
John was a tailor by trade. "Memorandum, the last day of August, 1639, that Richard Higgens for & in consideration that John Smalley shall teach Samuell Godbertson the trade of a tailor, as far as in him lieth, & principally employ him therein" (PCR 1:129-30).
He was somewhat active in town affairs. Coroner's jury, 5 June 1638, in the deaths of Robert Chapell, James Nicolls and William Pidell (PCR 1:88, 4:176). Grand Jury, 6 June 1654, 6 June 1660, 7 June 1665 (PCR 3:49, 188, 4:91). Jury, 7 June 1642, 7 March 1642/3, 6 June 1643, 5 March 1643/4, 8 June 1654, 2 Oct 1662, 5 June 1666 (PCR 7:31, 34, 335, 37, 70, 105, 4:125).
He was appointed Eastham constable 1 June 1647 (PCR 2:115). Surveyor of highways 6 June 1649 (PCR 2:139). In the Plymouth section of the 1643 Plymouth Colony list of men able to bear arms (PCR 8:188).
John had some education as he signed a deed and as a witness to the deeds of others.
On 5 February 1637/38 John Smaley was granted a garden place at Willingsley Brook and six acres upon Woberry Plain, in Plymouth County (PCR 1:76). On 2 July 1638 mention is made of his request, with three others, for swamp land at Willingsby Brooke (PCR 1:90). On 11 June 1640 John Smalley and Richard Higgens exchanged two parcels of meadow of one acre each (PCR 12:59). On 2 November 1640 he was granted five acres “in the South Meddows towards Aggawam, Colebrook Meddowes.” (PCR 1:166). On 31 December 1641 he was granted five acres of meadow in Cole Brooke Meadow (PCR 2:30).
On 21 March 1644(/5), John Smalley sold to Edmond Tilson all his house and housing and garden place at Wellingsley with the uplands, all his meadow at Warren's Wells and Colebrook meadows (PCR 12:108). A further grant was made 1 June 1658 (PCR 3:142). On 3 June 1662 he was on the list of "servants and ancient freemen" to have land (PCR 4:18). On 3 Oct 1662 he was one of those to be considered, with others, for land on the northerly bounds of Taunton (PCR 4:27).
On 1 October 1662, Mannasses Kemton, yeoman, of Plymouth, with consent of his wife, sold to John Smalley of Eastham for 40 shillings already paid to him, two acres of marsh meadows in Eastham near Smalley’s current house, which previously belonged to Mr. William Bradford, deceased.
John Smalley brought one gallon of liquor into the town of Eastham 28 November 1664 (PCR 4:100).
John was involved in a tragic event. On 5 March 1667/8 a coroner's jury inquired into the death of "a child about five or six years old, which was kept by John Smalley, Senr., of Eastham being found dead in the woods, about six or seven miles from the house of John Smalley abovesaid, we do all judge, that it came by his death by straying away, lost its right path to get home again, and was killed by the cold" (PCR 4:177).
John moved to Piscataway, Middlesex Co., New Jersey, by 1670 when he does not appear in the Plymouth Colony list of freemen. He was among the earliest pioneer freeholders of this New Jersey settlement which was founded as Piscataqua in 1666 by four New Hampshire men who collectively purchased one third of Daniel Pierce’s holdings in the Woodbridge Patent. In 1674, Piscataway’s population was 43. I am not sure what the Smalley family’s motivation was in settling Piscataway, perhaps fertile farm land. Something I need to further research.
John was an important member of this New Jersey community. He was named Magistrate on 26 August 1673 and in 1675 he was commissioned a justice of the peace, and at the same time appointed associate justice of the court of sessions, a position he filled for several years.
From what I’ve read, magistrates were in charge of the colonial court proceedings. Serious crimes went before a jury but lesser crimes were heard and decided by the magistrate. They believed their main role was to enforce God's plan and attempted to force a confession from the accused and make them repent their sins.
|Mock trial, Colonial Williamsburg|
He must have been close friend or perhaps relative of Richard Higgins, as they were connected in several records and moved to Eastham and then Piscataway about the same time.
John Smalley of Piscataway wrote his will on 16 July 1689 "in consideration of the natural affection and fatherly consideration I have & bear unto my well beloved and dutiful son Isaac Smallee of the same…having had large experience of his filial love and endeavors towards his aged parents in making our lives comfortable to us in this our pilgrimage hitherto...grant and confirm unto my said son Isaac Smalley all & singular my goods chattels, debts, household stuff, brass, pewter, bedding...excepting my arms (viz.) my sword & gun & my wearing apparell, which I have given to my son John Smalley after my decease, to my daughter Hanah Banges 1s., to my son John Smallie's two sons John & Jonathan one yearling heifer between them, and to my daughter Mary Snowe's three eldest daughters 5s. apiece...my loving wife Ann Smallie shall have one cow to dispose of according to her will & pleasure...if the said Isaac Smally should die before his said father & mother John & Ann Smally or the longer liver of them both, then it shall or may be lawful, and the said John & Ann Smally or either of them hath full power & authority to reenter and to take into their possession & custody & dispose of any of the goods & chattells above mentioned" (Small Gen 1:29-31, citing East Jersey LR F:395-7). This testamentary deed was "proved" 23 June 1697.
John Smalley died at Piscataway 30 July 1692 (Small Gen 1:29, source not cited).
Mary Smalley died at Piscataway on 29 Jan 1693/4 (NJHSP 4:4:42).
Enoch Pratt, Comprehensive History of Eastham, Wellfleet and Orleans, 1844
Robert Charles Anderson, The Great Migration Begins 3:1687, 1995
Josiah Paine, Early Setters of Eastham, Book 1, No. 33 of the Library of Cape Cod History & Genealogy series, 1916
Eugene Stratton, Plymouth Colony, It's History and People, 1986
Lora Altine Woodbury Underhill, Descendants of Edward Small of New England
and the Allied Families with Tracings of English Ancestry, 1934
and the Allied Families with Tracings of English Ancestry, 1934