Ebenezer Smith was my fifth great-grandfather. Born August 12, 1741 in Ashford, Windham County, Connecticut to Samuel Smith and Zipporah Morse – the fourteenth born of seventeen children and the eighth born son out of ten boys (and obviously seven girls).
His father, Samuel, died when he was about twelve years old and on December 15, 1755 we find him Bonded under Guardianship to Ezra Smith and Small Smith.
“On 15 December 1755 Ebenezer chose Ezra Smith as his guardian; he was 15 years old; 6 January 1756 bond posted by Ezra Smith and Small Smith, both of Ashford, for guardianship of Ebenezer, minor son to Samuel Smith, late of Ashford, dec’d. (#3699)” Ezra (b. 1711) was the son of John Smith and Mary Acorrs – first cousin to Ebenezer as John Smith and his father, Samuel, were brothers.
In 1768, Ebenezer married Martha Eldredge – daughter of Jesse Eldredge and Abigail Freeman Smith.
[I am related to Jesse & Abigail Eldredge twice – through Martha & Ebenezer – and through Martha’s brother, Jesse Eldredge Jr and his wife Sarah Hunt. In 1905, Martha’s great-great-granddaughter, Olive May Lougee and Jesse’s great-grandson, Willard Holt Eldredge, would marry. Olive & Willard are my great-grandparents.]
Ebenezer and Martha had twelve children – Martha in 1767, Abigail in 1770, Ebenezer Jr. 1772, Chloe in 1774, Anna in 1776, triplets Washington, Trumbull & Green in 1781, Mary in 1784, Jerusha in 1787, Ascenath in 1789 and Elisha in 1791. Elisha, the last son, was born July 24, 1791 and Martha is also listed as dying in 1791. It is unclear if it was in childbirth or not, but Elisha survived.
Ebenezer served in the Revolutionary war as a Private under Capt. Daniel Allen and Colonel Samuel Wyllys – according to DAR records. Below are excerpts where Ebenezer Smith is mentioned.
He is recorded as living in Ashford, Windham County, Connecticut in the 1790 US Federal Census – his birth is listed in the Connecticut Town Birth records and his death was listed on the Smith Family DNA Project site as June 29, 1852 in Connecticut. That seems a bit extreme for he’d have been 111 years old – but he is noted in several places as being alive in 1791 in Connecticut. More research needs to be done to find his death documented.
The earnest words and warnings of Colonel Dyer, then in London with opportunity of judging the aims and temper of the British Government, made a deep impression upon the citizens of Windham. “If the Colonists,” he wrote, “do not now unite, they may bid farewell to liberty, bum their charters, and make their boast of thraldom.” A still more potent stimulus was found in the pervading influence of Putnam, Durkee, and other popular military leaders, men of mettle and experience, quick to apprehend the exigency and most effective in appeal to popular sympathy. Windham County’s appreciation of the importance and solemnity of the crisis was shown in the character of the men sent to share in the deliberations of the General Assembly. Her shire-town sent its senior minister, Rev. Ebenezer Devotion, together with the venerable Nathaniel Wales, and in the following session, Hezekiah Manning, and men of years and approved
judgment were selected by all the towns, viz.:- Pomfret-Samuel Dresser, Samuel Craft. Canterbury-Captain Jabez Fitch, Captain Daniel Tyler. Plainfield-James Bradford, Isaac Coit. Killingly-Briant Brown, Ebenezer Larned. Woodstock-Nehemiah Lyon, Ebenezer Smith. Voluntown-John Gordon, Moses Kinney. Ashford-Amos Babcock, Jedidiah Fay. Lebanon-Captain Joshua West, William Williams. In spite of petitions and remonstrances from
America, and earnest protestations from her friends in Parliament, the British government persisted in its purpose, and on March 22, 1765, the famous Stamp Act received the sanction of the King.
-From History of Windham County Vol I.
Those sturdy fathers and patriots who had taken so bold a stand in the beginning of the great struggle carried the towns onward. Solid as their own granite rocks they stood in unbroken phalanx, manfully bearing the heavy financial burden, and faithfully fulfilling social and political obligations. Ebenezer Smith of Woodstock, called to attend a special session of the General Assembly in winter when the roads were snow-blocked, walked the whole distance to Hartford on snow-shoes rather than fail of attendance, and there were scores of men in that and other towns equally ready to perform any patriotic service in the same self-sacrificing and conscientious spirit-men who had pledged their lives, their fortunes and their sacred honor to the patriot cause, who sent their sons to the front and went themselves in any extremity, who held up the hands of Trumbull, and made Connecticut a tower of strength throughout the war.
-From History of Windham County, Vol II
A town meeting was held June 26, when it was agreed to offer a bounty of forty shillings per month. Colonel McClellan, Captain Daniel Lyon, and Mr. Ebenezer Smith were appointed a committee to confer with the several militia companies then convened and had no difficulty in procuring the requisite number of soldiers; and even at the succeeding call it was reported that they could get their men and double the number wanted at the price voted. Windham offered £20 money, equal to wheat at five shillings a bushel. In December, she offered £12 in silver money as a bounty for the first year and £9 silver for each succeeding year. Plainfield offered £100 to any five men who would enlist for three years; and generous bounties promised by other towns procured recruits without resort to drafting. Requisitions for corn, wheat, beef and clothing were promptly met by all the towns. The raids upon New Haven, Fairfield and Danbury, the frequent alarms of invasion upon New London and Rhode Island, exposed the militia to continual call and repeated service, and even while gathering these quotas for the general army, a sudden summons hurried a large force to Rhode Island.
-From History of Windham County