Comfort Smith and family of Fredericksburg Township, Lennox and Addington County, Ontario

Was there one Comfort Smith or two?

My great-great-great-great-grandmother, Elizabeth (Smith) Foote, was the daughter of Comfort Smith of Fredericksburg, according to her application for land due to her as the daughter of a Loyalist in what is now Ontario. Elizabeth was my mother's mother's mother's mother's mother's mother, so this is my straight maternal line. This line is of particular interest to me as I have had mitochondrial DNA testing done. This type of testing reveals information about the maternal line. See http://www.carensecord.ca/DNA/CSecordmtDNA.html for more information. Unfortunately I have so many matches that it is impossible to tell which of them might be closely related to me. I would love to find another descendant of Elizabeth along a maternal line for comparing mitochondrial DNA results.

It seems likely that Elizabeth (Smith) Foote's mother was named Margaret. Though I have not been able to find a marriage record for Comfort and Margaret, and though I have not been able to find a baptism record for Elizabeth either, there is one for her younger sister Sarah:


Sarah, dau. Comfort and Margaret Smith               Fredericksburgh,  Mar. 29

The same website lists Margaret Smith and Comfort Smith as witnesses to a marriage in June, 1789, so it is likely that Margaret and Comfort were married by this time:

James Parke, third township, widower, and Susanna Marsh, same, widow
June 14, 1789, Mary Schermerhorn, Margaret Smith, Comfort Smith.

Elizabeth Foote was a widow by the time of the 1851 census. She was living in Camden Township, in Lennox and Addington County, with her daughter Margaret Kimmerly and other family members [page 45]. Elizabeth was listed as age 63. According to http://www.bac-lac.gc.ca/eng/census/1851/Pages/about-census.aspx, the so-called 1851 census for what is now Ontario was actually taken as of the second Monday in January, 1852. I checked a perpetual calendar, and according to that the second Monday in January in 1852 was the 12th. Rather than age, the census asked for Age Next Birthday. This would suggest that Elizabeth had her 63rd birthday sometime in 1852, assuming that her birthday was not in the first twelve days of January. That would indicate a year of birth of 1789.

There is a Foote family genealogy book available on Google Books. The title is:

The Foote family: or, The descendants of Nathaniel Foote, one of the first settlers of Wethersfield, Conn.

The author of the work was Nathaniel Goodwin. It was published in 1849 in Hartford, Connecticut. On page 228, there is some information on David and Elizabeth (Foote) Smith:

David Foote, of Nappanee, Canada West, near Kingston, (Upper Canada,) was married to Elizabeth Smith, 1803. She was born July 4, 1787, and was at the time of their marriage, 16 years of age, and he, 27.

Mr. David Foote died May 5, 1843, aged 67.

The children listed include my ancestor, Margaret Elizabeth Foote, born April 20, 1809, and four more after that. Presumably the author must have been in touch with Elizabeth Foote or a close relative in order to have that information. The author put a note next to the youngest child listed for David and Elizabeth, John Edwin Foote, born 1822: "Now 1846, unmarried." That makes it seem possible that it was John Edwin Foote who provided the information to the author in 1846.

There is a baptism record for Margaret at:


Margaret Eliza, dau. David and Elizabeth Foot  June 12 [1809]

This fits well with her date of birth of April 20, 1809, given by the Foote genealogy book as above. In spite of the fact that the 1851/2 census indicated a year of birth for Elizabeth (Smith) Foote of 1789, it is possible that 1787 is correct. If so, then presumably her parents were married in 1786 or earlier, and the marriages for that time do not seem to have survived. 1787 was also early for any baptism record to have survived, so that could explain why these records have not turned up.

I have to wonder at the marriage year of 1803 given for David Foote and Elizabeth Smith. Their first known child was born in 1809, and the other four listed in the Foote genealogy book were born in 1811, 1815, 1817, and 1822. Perhaps other sons and daughters had died by 1846 and were not listed because of that. It also seems possible that the author mis-read a marriage year of 1808 for 1803.

The book "The Loyalists in Ontario/The Sons and Daughters of the American Loyalists of Upper Canada," by William D. Reid, lists the sons and daughters of Comfort Smith of Fredericksburgh who applied for 200 acres of land due to them as sons and daughters of a Loyalist:

1) Sally, m. John Clapp of Fredericksburgh, bapt. 29 May 1792. OC [Order in Council] 23 Feb 1809.

2) Elizabeth, m. David Foot of Fredericksburgh. OC 25 Feb 1809.

3) Eleazer N. of Huntingdon. OC 4 Sept 1834.

4) Tyrus of Huntingdon. OC 4 Sept 1834.

5) Catharine. OC 2 Oct 1834.

6) Richard of Hungerford. OC 14 Oct 1834.

The introduction to the book states that sons and daughters of Loyalists were entitled to land grants as they came of age [which was 21] or married. Sarah/Sally and Elizabeth had both married by the time they petitioned for their land. If Elizabeth had indeed married in 1803 then surely she would have petitioned soon after instead of waiting until 1809, so this is another reason to suspect that the marriage actually happened in 1808 or thereabouts.

The petitions for the six individuals above are available online on the Library and Archives Canada website. The films can be found starting at http://www.collectionscanada.gc.ca/microform-digitization/006003-110.02-e.php?&q2=29&interval=50&sk=0&&PHPSESSID=060f8ik2htemlldss16ffc5282.

Here is the information for the six individuals:

1) Sally Clapp/Smith, 1809, Fredericksburg, Vol. 97, Bundle C 9, petition 30, film C-1650, page 906

2) Elizabeth Foot/Smith, 1809, Fredericksburg, Vol. 188, Bundle F 9, petition 25, film C-1895, page 602

3) Eleazer N. Smith, 1833, Huntingdon, Vol. 469, Bundle S 18, petition 244, film C-2818, page 694

4) Tyrus Smith, 1833, Huntingdon, Vol. 469, Bundle S 18, petition 245, film C-2818, page 698

5) Catharine Smith, 1832, Hungerford, Vol. 469, Bundle S 18, petition 247, film C-2818, page 704

6) Richard Smith, 1832, Huntingdon, Vol. 470, Bundle S 18, petition 260, film C-2818, page 759

Huntingdon and Hungerford are townships in Hastings County, which borders on Lennox and Addington County where Fredericksburg Township was located.

[To be continued.]