59 School Street, Box 1310, Edgartown MA 02539 - 508.627.4441
Martha's Vineyard Museum MV Museum

A Finding Aid to the Smith Family Papers

Descriptive Summary

RepositoryMartha's Vineyard Museum
Gale Huntington Research Library
59 School Street
P.O. Box 1310
Edgartown, MA 02539
(508) 627-4441
Call NumberRU 527
Creator Smith family
Creator Smith, Amos, 1849-1937
Creator Smith, Charles, 1788-1882
Creator Smith, John, 1755-1830
Creator Smith, John Bassett, 1799-1849
TitleSmith family papers
Date1795-1897, undated
Extent1 box (0.252 cubic feet)
LanguageThe materials are in English.
AbstractThe collection contains bills, correspondence, deeds, legal documents, receipts, and other material primarily belonging to John Smith (1755-1830); two of his sons: Charles Smith (1788-1882) and John Bassett Smith (1799-1849); and John Bassett Smith’s son Amos Smith (1849-1937).

Administrative Information

Access Restrictions

There are no restrictions.

Use and Reproduction Restrictions

Requests to reproduce material from this collection should be directed to the library's staff. Reproduction fees may apply.

Preferred Citation

Martha's Vineyard Museum, RU 527, Smith Family Papers.

Acquisition Information

The immediate source of acquisition is unknown.

Publication Information

Martha's Vineyard Museum

Gale Huntington Research Library
59 School Street
P.O. Box 1310
Edgartown, MA 02539
(508) 627-4441

Processing Information

Finding aid prepared by Lara J. Ullman and machine-encoded by Nathaniel Janick in June 2015.

 Creation of this finding aid was sponsored by the Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR) funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Controlled Access Headings


  • Accounts
  • Bills
  • Deeds
  • Legal documents
  • Receipts

Geographic Name(s)

  • Edgartown (Mass.)
  • Tisbury (Mass. : Town)

Biography/Historical Note

John Smith was born on November 16, 1755, to Samuel Smith (1713-1796) and his second wife, Eunice (Vincent) Smith (1711-1763). He lived in Edgartown, Massachusetts, where he worked as a husbandman. John married Caroline Smith (1760-1853) and the pair had eight children: Samuel (1784-), Betsey (1786-), Charles (1788-1882), Tisdale (1791-), Polly (1794-), Sarah (1796-), John Bassett (1799-1891), and Nathan (1802-). John Smith died on August 5, 1830.

Charles Smith was born on September 18, 1788, to John Smith and Caroline (Smith) Smith. He was a mariner and whaleman who retired from the sea around age 40, at which point he became one of the largest land owners on Martha’s Vineyard. On April 15, 1818, Charles married Polly Daggett Davis (1795-1845). The couple resided in Tisbury, Massachusetts, and had three children: Davis (1820-1901), Mary E. (1826-1919), and Miriam H. (1829-1907). Charles Smith died on March 31, 1882.

John Bassett Smith was born on February 8, 1799, to John Smith and Caroline (Smith) Smith. He lived in Edgartown where he was a pond fisherman. On May 27, 1849, John Bassett married Lydia Wilbur (1825-1913). The pair had one son, Amos (1849-1937), who worked as a farmer and fisherman and married Ellen N. Cunliffe. John Bassett Smith died on September 22, 1891.

Scope and Content Note

The collection contains bills, correspondence, deeds, legal documents, receipts, and other material created by and belonging to John Smith, Charles Smith, John Bassett Smith, and Amos Smith. Also included are material concerning Caroline (Smith) Smith’s estate, as well as material belonging to other Smith family members.


The collection is arranged by family member and therein alphabetically by folder title.

Collection Inventory


John Smith: Deed for Land on Chapaquidick from John Smith to Ephraim Marchant, 1795 March 23 


John Smith: Deed to Land in Farmington, MA, from Samuel Smith to John Smith, 1816 August 31 


John Smith’s Estate: Accounts, 1831 


John Smith’s Estate: Bills, 1833 March 20 


John Smith’s Estate: Copy of Return of Dower, 1867 January 8 


John Smith’s Estate: Correspondence, 1833 


John Smith’s Estate: Depositions, 1833 October 14 


John Smith’s Estate: Inventories, 1831 


John Smith’s Estate: Memoranda of Debts and of Property Not Inventoried, circa 1831, 1832 


John Smith’s Estate: Petitions and Subpoena, 1833 


Caroline Smith’s Estate: Accounts, Bills, Receipts, and other Records, 1846-1856 


Charles Smith: Bills, Receipts, Promissory Note, and a Bond, 1838-1880 


John B. Smith: Bills and Receipts, 1826-1886, 1892 


John B. Smith: Court Settlement, 1877 May 29 


John B. Smith: Deed for West Tisbury Burial Ground Plot, 1886 May 20 


John B. Smith: Financial Obligation between Benjamin B. Norton and John B. Smith, 1858 April 2 


John B. Smith Letter from the Selectmen of Bethel to John B. Smith, 1867 April 23 


Amos Smith: Copy of Deed from Charles Wesley Pease and Parnell C. Pease to Amos Smith, 1890 December 31 


Amos Smith: Copy of Superior Court Ruling, 1891 September 29 


Amos Smith: Note Regarding Taxes, undated 


Amos Smith: Stenographer’s Minutes, undated 


Material of Various Smith Family Members, 1894-1897