Jedediah Smith was born in the town of Lyme, New London Co., CT on May
10, 1802, and was from a long line of Welch ancestry. At the age of two,
his father, Essex died. His mother, Thankful Thompson, sent him to live
with a cousin, Abel Smith, in Preston, Chenango Co. NY. He apprenticed
and learned the trade of cloth dressing and coloring. At the age of 21,
he married Sally Wilcox of the same place. In 1824, they moved to
Sherman Twp., Chautauqua Co. NY., pioneering a tract of land from the
government. After serving as a captain in the New York State militia,
Jedediah resigned his commission when having professed religion. He was
baptized and united with the order of the Free-will Baptists about the
His wife died in 1836, and in 1837, he married Lucy Morgan of
His church had given him a license to preach at the Quarterly Meeting.
was ordained to the work of the ministry about 1843. In March 1845,
after 16 years residence in Sherman, NY, Rev. Smith was impressed with
the belief that God required ministerial work of him in Pennsylvania. He
left with his family and purchased a farm in Bloomfield Township,
Crawford County, which was his residence for twenty years.
"Here, besides farming, he devoted a large portion of his time to
of evangelism, and witnessed a gracious spiritual outpouring as the
his labors, conversions, under his efforts, numbering hundreds of souls.
Four churches were organized as the direct result of his ministrations,
sphere of his usefulness not being limited to his own immediate
but extending into the surrounding country, in some instances, forty
During this time he also had the pastoral care of the church in
with which he was connected for 18 years, preaching three Sabbaths of
each month. . .Believing his labors ended in Pennsylvania, Mr. Smith, in
spring, 1865, removed to Deerfield, Lenawee Co. MI."
Rev. Jedediah Smith was the father of Lewis, a former postmaster in
Crawford Co. who married first Ellen, then Viola Southwick; Philinda,
wife of Leander Bickford; Emeline, wife of Stephen Bloomfield; Susan,
wife of Benjamin Cannon, and E. J. (Eliot J.) husband of Annette ?. He
died in Deerfield, Lenawee Co MI, in 1883.
Information taken from the Historical and Biographical Record of Lenawee
Rev. Jedediah is a direct ancestor of mine - my great, great, great
grandfather. While I have no direct documentation, I have reason to
suspect that Jedediah may have had ties to the Underground Railroad,
which may be the reason that he left for Michigan in 1865.
Submitted by Kathy Smith