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Daniel Smith, Loyalist or Tory

Daniel Smith, Loyalist or Tory

Church Mice and a Case of Mistaken Identity

Stories about Daniel Smith, Loyalist or Tory

Clapman Smith Solves Problem of Two Daniel Smiths

  • Sunbury, NB
Location of Daniel's land grant in Blissville, Sunbury

Early church records for Norwalk, CT were eaten by mice obscuring the fact that there were two Daniel Smiths in Norwalk during the mid 1700s.  Interestingly though both are descendants of Mathew Marvin--one of the first twelve settlers of Hartford, CT and an original proprietor in Farmington and in Norwalk.

Daniel Smith, loyalist, was born in Norwalk, CT 1729-1736.  He married Ruth Fitch 1760 in New Canaan.  His daughter, Lydia, was baptised by the Anglican clergyman, Roger Viets, In New Preston in 1766. Connecticut Public records reveal this Daniel as a British  prisoner of the Continental General Putnam.  He was confined to "goal" in 1779 in Connecticut.

The other Daniel b.1731 was the son of Eliakim Smith from Hadley MA and Abigail Hoyt from Norwalk.   He was still living in Norwalk per 1790-1810 census and is the Daniel who married Eunice Green (widow) in 1778, parents to four daughters.  Eliakim Jr and brother, Daniel, lived on the west side of the Norwalk River.  West side Daniel served with the Revolutionary Forces in 1776.  He  appears in Connecticut Public Records multiple times as enlisted with the continental troops.  He also filed for losses to his Norwalk property in 1780, as a reseult of the damage done to Norwalk by British troops guided by loyalist Daniel. It is impossible, therefore, for West side Daniel to be considered as the Daniel who owned a public house in New Milford and who declared to be with the British in 1776.

"The American Genealogist" 1949 (volume 25 issue 2 page 82) states the parents of the  Daniel Smith who married Ruth Fitch were Elizabeth Clapham and Nehemiah Smith, son of Samuel.  Samuel was a very early settler in Norwalk and owned property on the East side of the river near Strawberry Hill.  He was involved in several undertaking with the Fitch family.  This Smith family was definitely the more prominent of the two Smith families in Norwalk history.  Donald Lines Jacobus is the author of the TAG article and probably the foremost genealogical authority on early Fairfield County Connecticut.

A confirmation of the parentage of this Daniel is his son named Clapman--a variation of Clapham.  (Clapham was often spelled Clapman in early Greenwich CT town records.) Fitch family tradition used the maternal maiden name as a son's given name. In most instances Clapman was the spelling of his given name in Canada, however, the following is one time at least when it was Clapham: m. Blissville, 9th inst., by same, John SEELY / Lydia SMITH youngest d/o Clapham SMITH. CG  (1834 article from the New Brunswick Courier, transcribed by Daniel Johnson).

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