Welcome! I really enjoy exchanging information with people and love that this blog helps with that. I consider much of my research as a work in progress, so please let me know if you have conflicting information. Some of the surnames I'm researching:

Many old Cape families including Kelley, Eldredge/idge, Howes, Baker, Mayo, Bangs, Snow, Chase, Ryder/Rider, Freeman, Cole, Sears, Wixon, Nickerson.
Many old Plymouth County families including Washburn, Bumpus, Lucas, Cobb, Benson.
Johnson (England to MA)
Corey (Correia?) (Azores to MA)
Booth, Jones, Taylor, Heatherington (N. Ireland to Quebec)
O'Connor (Ireland to MA)
My male Mayflower ancestors (only first two have been submitted/approved by the Mayflower Society):
Francis Cooke, William Brewster, George Soule, Isaac Allerton, John Billington, Richard Warren, Peter Browne, Francis Eaton, Samuel Fuller, James Chilton, John Tilley, Stephen Hopkins, and John Howland.
Female Mayflower ancestors: Mary Norris Allerton, Eleanor Billington, Mary Brewster, Mrs. James Chilton, Sarah Eaton, and Joan Hurst Tilley.
Child Mayflower ancestors: Giles Hopkins, (possibly) Constance Hopkins, Mary Allerton, Francis Billington, Love Brewster, Mary Chilton, Samuel Eaton, and Elizabeth Tilley.

Sunday, June 2, 2024

Patrick Smith (1831-1897) and His Wife Nancy Reynolds (1833-1895) of Ireland and Kingston, Massachusetts

Patrick Smith was born 17 March 1831 in Ireland, the son of Patrick and Elizabeth Smith.  What a perfect birthday for an Irishman! His birthdate is calculated from his age at death. His death record gives his birth location as Ireland and his parents’ names but does not provide Elizabeth’s maiden name. I have seen other researchers give Elizabeth’s maiden name as Henry but I need to do further research. With a surname as common as Smith, Patrick and his family can be hard to track, but it is fortunate that they lived in small-town Kingston, adjacent to Plymouth, Mass.

On 3 July 1853 Patrick Smith married Nancy Reynolds at St. Peter and St. Paul Church in South Boston. Witnesses were Thomas McManus and Abby McManus. [Page 69a of the church register, available in NEHGS database of the Massachusetts Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Boston Records 1789-1920]

Nancy Reynolds was born in Ireland 18 March 1833, the daughter of Dennis and Catherine Reynolds. Her birthdate is calculated from her age at death. Her death record provides her birth location as Ireland and her parents’ names, although her mother’s maiden name is not given. Nancy and Patrick are my third great-grandparents on my grandfather Arthur Washburn Ellis Davis’ side of the family. 

It the 1850 Federal Census, Kingston, Mass, Nancy is possibly working as a domestic, although her age isn’t quite right: Nancy Reynolds, 20, female, born Ireland, head of house is Edward Holmes age 44, a shipwright, his wife Abigail age 33, and children, Ann, 11, Edward Jr, 9, Lemuel B., 7.

Nancy and Patrick had eight children, births all recorded Kingston: 

1. Catherine born 17 Dec 1854; died unmarried at Kingston 1876 of consumption

2. Mary Ann, born 8 November 1856; married 1st Dennis McCrate 1876 at Kingston; married 2nd George Symmes 1891 at Kingston; died Boston 1929 

3. Philip born 21 July 1858; married Hannah Desmond and had a large family in Kingston; died 1929

4. Ellen/Nellie born 3 February 1860; married George Nightingale in 1886 at Plymouth; died 1888 at Plymouth of Bright’s Disease

5. Martin born 8 November 1861; m. 1st in 1890 Nancy Fisher; m. 2nd in 1909 Margaret Toohey at Dedham MA; have not found his death record 

6. Lizzie/Elizabeth born 10 April 1863; have not found marriage or death record

7. Nancy/Anna/Nannie born 8 March 1865; married Seavy Sampson 1887; died 1950 Kingston

8. Patrick Dennis born 17 March 1870 (another St. Patrick’s Day baby!); married Mary Ann Brewster 1888; died at Plymouth 1942

I descend from Patrick whom I wrote about here.. In the 1930 Federal Census, Patrick’s parents Patrick and Nancy’s birth place is given as Northern Ireland. 

1855 Mass State census, Kingston, dwelling 129, household 165:

Patrick Smith, 24, born Ireland 

Nancy Smith 21, born Ireland

Catherine Smith 6/12

Martin Reynolds 20 laborer, born Ireland

Bessie Smith 18, born Ireland

Would seem likely Martin is Nancy’s brother—she would later name a son after him.

In the 1860 Federal Census, Kingston, Mass:

Pat Smith 28, day laborer, born Ireland, cannot read or write

Nancy Smith, 28, born Ireland

Cath., 5, female, born Mass

Mary A. 4, female, born Mass

Philip, 2, male, born Mass

Ellen, 6/12, f born Mass

1865 Mass State Census, Kingston household 287, living next door to John Smith 44 and his family perhaps a brother as he also had a son Patrick:

Patrick Smith, 32, laborer

Nancy Smith, 32, housewife

Katherine Smith 10

Mary A Smith 8

Philip Smith 6

Ellen Smith 5

Martin Smith 3

Lizzie Smith 2

Smith 2/12 [no first name given, female but from 1870 census this would be Nancy]

1870 Federal Census Kington, Mass.:

Patrick Smith age 45, born Ireland, a farmer, owned real estate worth $500 and personal estate worth $100

Nancy Smith, age 42

Catherine Smith, age 15

Mary A Smith, age13

Phillip Smith, age 11

Ellen Smith, age 10

Martin Smith, age 8

Lizzie Smith, age 7

Nancy Smith, age 5

Patrick D Smith, age 4/12

1880 Federal Census, Kingston:

Patrick Smith, 55, laborer, born Ireland, parents born Ireland

Nancy Smith 50, wife, keeping house, born Ireland, parents born Ireland, cannot read or write

Mary Ann, 23, daughter, housekeeper, born Ireland, parents born Ireland, cannot read or write

Nellie L. 20, daughter, at home

Martin W., 18, son, laborer

Lizzie A., 17, daughter, housekeeper

Nancy J., 15, daughter, at home

Patrick D., 10, son, at school

Dennis, 3, grandson, at home

Patrick Smith served in the Civil War. He was 29, a laborer from Kingston, when he enlisted on 2 August 1862 as a private. Mustered 20 August 1862, Company D in the Massachusetts 38th Infantry. He was a corporal when he was injured 4 June 1863 at Port Hudson, Louisiana. Discharged due to disability on 22 October 1863 at Boston, died 1897, a laborer. 

During Patrick’s time of service, his regiment was organized at Camp Stanton in Lynnfield, Mass. It first went to Baltimore in late August 1862 and in November went  onboard the SS Baltic as part of the Banks Expedition to Louisiana. The regiment was first at Ship Island and then Carrolton near New Orleans. Early in March 1863 the men proceeded to Baton Rouge and later in the month cooperated with the Navy in the passage of the batteries at Port Hudson. In early April the regiment was transported down the Mississippi River to Algiers opposite New Orleans where it joined the Teche Expedition for Brashear City. The regiment had its first combat experience on April 12 at Fort Bisland, with 6 men killed and 29 wounded. It then went to Opelousas and then a forced march of four days to Alexandria on the Red River, reaching its location on May 8 and had a week’s rest. They returned on the same road as far as Cheneyville, then eastward to Simmsport to the Atchafalaya River. On May 19 the troops started for the Mississippi, reaching it near the Morganza Bend, then to Bayou Sara, some miles above Port Hudson. On May 25 the regiment was engaged at Sandy Creek with slight loss. Two days later marked the first assault on Port Hudson where Lt. Col. William Rodman and two enlisted men were killed and 14 wounded. In the second assault on June 14, seven men were killed and 84 wounded, 15 of those men later dying. [Patrick’s information states he was injured 4 June at Port Hudson but perhaps it should be June 14]. Estimated casualties of the Port Hudson assaults number over 12,000—7,208 Confederate and 5,000 Union. 

Depiction of Port Hudson assault; Harper's Weekly 1863

1890 census, special schedule, surviving soldiers, sailors, mariners and widows page no 5, ED 716, Kingston:

Home 372, Family 423, Patrick Smith, private, company D 38 Mass Inf Enlisted 2 Aug 1852; discharge 22 Oct 1853, 1 year, 2 months, 20 days.

Nancy Reynolds Smith died 25 April 1895 at Kingston. She was 62 years old and died of pneumonia. [MA VR 1841-1910, Vol 455, page 621]

Patrick Smith was of Kingston when he wrote his will on 26 July 1897. He names his grandchildren, the children of his son Philip Smith who survive their mother Hannah Smith, all his estate real, personal and mixed. His daughter-in-law Hannah was to have the use and improvement of the estate during her life.

His children Mary Ann, Elizabeth, Martin, Nancy, and Patrick D. received the money which was deposited for their mother in the Plymouth Savings Bank.  

Hannah Smith, daughter-in-law, wife of his son Philip, was named executrix. Interesting that she is not called widow and it appears Philip was still living. Perhaps he was away or dealing with some health or other issues. Patrick Smith signed with his mark and seal. Witnesses: Alexander Holmes, Charles M. Faunce and Agnes S.McIntosh.

Patrick Smith died at Kingston on 29 July 1897, just three days after writing his will. He was 66 years old, a widower, and died of heart disease. [MA VR vol 473, p. 654]

Nancy and Patrick are buried at Saint Joseph’s Cemetery in North Plymouth. 

Their gravestone reads:


Patrick Smith

Nancy R. His Wife


There is a GAR [Great American Republic] Post 76 flag holder, indicative of Patrick’s Civil War service. For a family of humble means, the stone is quite impressive, perhaps an indication of how much Nancy and Patrick were loved by their children. 

St. Joseph's Cemetery, Plymouth

Sources Not Mentioned Above:

Ancestry, “Massachusetts US Wills and Probates 1635-1991,” citing Plymouth Probates Vol. 201-202, 1896-1898 (Patrick Smith’s will)

Massachusetts Soldiers, Sailors and Marines in the Civil War, vol IV, 1932


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