Guide to the Microfilm Edition

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Representative digitized documents from this collection:

Collection Summary


This collection consists of correspondence, business and legal papers, account books, letterbooks, diaries, school copybooks, and genealogical information pertaining to the Smith family of Boston, Medford, and Weymouth, Mass., and related families, including the Carter and Adams families.

Biographical Sketches

William Smith (1667-1730) (identified in this guide as "Capt. William Smith") was a mariner and merchant of Medford, Mass. He married Abigail Fowle (1679-1760), later Abigail Fowle Smith Edwards. Their children were: Abigail Smith (1700-1788), who married Simon Tufts; Sarah Smith (1703-1775), who married Samuel Edwards; William Smith (1706-1783), who married Elizabeth Quincy (1721-1775); Anna Smith (1708-1781), who married Ebenezer Kent; Mary Smith (1710-1800), who married Ebenezer Austin; and Isaac Smith (1719-1787), who married Elizabeth Storer (1726-1786).

William Smith (1706-1783) (identified in this guide as "Rev. William Smith") was the pastor of the First Church, Weymouth, Mass. His children with Elizabeth Quincy Smith were: Mary Smith (1741-1811), who married Richard Cranch (1726-1811); Abigail Smith (1744-1818), who married John Adams (1735-1826); William Smith (1746-1787), who married Catherine Louisa Salmon; and Elizabeth Smith (1750-1815), who married first John Shaw and second Stephen Peabody (1741-1819).

Isaac Smith (1719-1787) (identified in this guide as "Isaac Smith") was an active trader in the cod fishery and one of the wealthiest merchant-shipowners in Boston. His children with Elizabeth Storer Smith were: Isaac Smith (1749-1829); William Smith (1755-1816), who married Hannah Carter (1764-1836); Mary Smith (1757-1839), who married first Edward Gray and second Samuel Allyne Otis (1740-1814); and Elizabeth Smith (1760-1849), who married John P. Hale.

Isaac Smith (1749-1829) (identified in this guide as "Isaac Smith, Jr.") was a loyalist who fled to England but returned in 1784 to obtain a reinstatement of citizenship.

William Smith (1755-1816) (identified in this guide as "William Smith") continued the family business. His children with Hannah Carter Smith were: William Smith (d. 1811) (identified in this guide as "William Smith, Jr."); Isaac Smith (d. 1813) (identified in this guide as "Isaac Smith III"); Elizabeth Smith, who married Edward Cruft; Hannah Smith (1794-1863), who married Benjamin T. Pickman (1790-1835); and Thomas Carter Smith (1796-1880), who married Frances Barnard (1804-1885) and also continued the family business.

Collection Description

The microfilm edition of the Smith-Carter family papers pertains primarily to the Smith family of Medford, Boston, and Weymouth, Mass., including Capt. William Smith, Abigail Fowle Smith Edwards, Isaac Smith, Isaac Smith, Jr., William Smith, and Thomas Carter Smith.

The collection consists of loose manuscripts, microfilmed on Reels 1-5, followed by letterbooks, journals, and account books on Reel 6. Included are deeds, invoices, account books, and legal documents pertaining to the estate of Capt. William Smith and Abigail Fowle Smith Edwards; notes, receipts, letters, and accounts kept by Isaac Smith, William Smith, and Thomas Carter Smith detailing the commercial interests of the family; Boston tax bills; deeds to and plans of family property; lists of debts owed and stock on hand; bills of lading; sailing orders; information on insurance rates, prices, and cargoes; and voluminous personal and family correspondence.

Papers related to the loyalist Isaac Smith, Jr. highlight the politics of the Revolutionary era. Correspondence includes letters from Isaac Smith, Jr. during two trips to Great Britain in 1770-1771 and 1775-1783, as well as letters from Isaac Smith, Elizabeth Storer Smith, and Elizabeth Smith Hale documenting the American side of the struggle. The collection also contains the Civil War letters of William V. Smith, the son of Thomas Carter Smith and Frances Barnard Smith, who served as an officer in the 7th United States Colored Infantry Regiment.

Also represented in this collection are members of the Adams, Bernard, Boylston, Carter, Otis, and Pickman families. Included are letters of Abigail Adams, John Adams, and John Quincy Adams.