68 Jeffreys Neck Road, the Captain John Smith house (c 1740)

The Captain John Smith house at 68 Jeffreys Neck Road was constructed in approximately 1740. The asymmetrical construction suggests that it may have started as a smaller house that was enlarged.

Captain John Smith was born on January 03, 1706 in Ipswich, the son of John Smith and Mercy Adams Smith. He married Hannah Treadwell, daughter of Nathaniel and Hannah Treadwell, who died in 1750. Captain Smith married Susannah Howe Kinsman in 1762. He died 6 years later. The property was later owned by John Heard.

The Richard Smith Farm

Richard Smith (1) came from Shropham, Co Norfolk England, and was a commoner in 1641. He had 3 daughters and one son, Richard (2). Through a series of mortgages and inheritance his farm came into possession of Richard Smith of Ipswich, “singleman”, the house and farm “wherein he now dwells.” Smith married Hannah Cheny and divided his farm by deed to his heirs. To his son, John, for £170, he conveyed half his farm, “in sundry parcels,” the 18 acre pasture, bounded in part by the river, “with the new house and half the barn, standing at the south-east end of ye great field.” John’s wife was Mercy Adams, daughter of Nathaniel, and their children included John Smith who died on May 20, 1713 at the age of 36 years.

Captain John Smith

In his will, signed April 20, 1713, proved June 27, John Smith appointed his daughter Mercy Dodge, executrix, until his five-year old son John came of age, (311 :465). The boy, John, in due time became prosperous and acquired the whole of the original Smith farm. He enlarged the farm by the gradual purchase of the Burley land on the northeast, and built this mansion house. He held the titles of Lieutenant and Captain.

Captain John chose for his first wife, his life-long friend and neighbor, Hannah Treadwell, daughter of Nathaniel and Hannah, who was born on Sept. 25, 1709. She died in 1750, her forty-first year. John Smith took to wife the widow, Susanna How, in 1752. Captain Smith died on July 11, 1768 at the age of 62 years; his widow, on Dec. 26, 1781 at the age of 82. In his will, he gave the house and land where he lived, a half interest in Grape Island, and half the wharf and storehouse he owned in partnership with Dr. Calef; to his son John. The inventory contained The farm, one house, 2 barns and about one hundred acres, upland and marsh, £1000.

John Heard

Dr. Josiah Smith, of Newburyport, sold to John Heard of Ipswich, Gentleman, for £1025 in gold and silver, “the whole of my farm whereon Mr. Eben Caldwell now lives, consisting of 33 acres of upland and 21 acres salt marsh” with all the buildings, lying immediately between the roads leading to Jeffries Neck and my brother Charles’s house, 6 acres of marsh at Plum Island, Neck rights, etc.,” inherited from his father, Mar. 17,1781. John Heard expanded his holdings until he owned all of the original Smith Farm, as well as the Paine pastures. At Heard’s death in 1780, the land passed to his son George and daughter Mary. His son Augustine inherited the mansion which is now the Ipswich Museum.

The Old North Burying Ground

Smith, John, d-94, July the 11th, 1768. D — 94 — Herelyes buried the Body of Cap’. John Smith who departed this life July the 11th, 1768, in 62d year of his age.

Tombstone of Susanna Smith

Smith, Susanna e-166 December 26, 1781. “Here lies interr’d the Body of Mrs. Susanna Smith, wife of Cap’. John Smith, who departed this Life December 26th, 1781, Aged 82. Why should we mourn departed friends? Or shake at death’s alarms? ‘Tis but the voice that Jesus sends To call them to his arms. Are we not tending upward too As fast as time can move ? Nor would we wish the hours more slow To keep us from our Love. Why should ye tremble to convey Their bodies to the tomb? There the dear flesh of Jesus lay And left a long perfume. The graves of all his saints he bless’d And soft’ned ev’ry bed: Where should the dying members rest But with the dying Head? (Field stone: Mrs. Susanna Smith)


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