Smith ~ First Generation

  The first known generation of the Smith family commences in Bristol.

The first named couple are James SMITH and Elizabeth JAMES. The death certificate of daughter Elizabeth gives the information that James was a Shoemaker and Elizabeth's surname was James.

James was born c1812 (ref death).
Elizabeth was bap 21 Mar 1819 at Bristol St James,Gloucestershire, dau of James & Elizabeth James; abode St James's; Labourer (ref Ancestry Bristol CofE Baps image). Her siblings were: George James bap 25 Jun 1815 at St Augustine The Less, Bristol; Peter James bap 25 Jun 1815 at St Augustine The Less, Bristol; Sarah James bap 6 Apr 1817 at St Augustine The Less, Bristol; William James bap 9 Sep 1821 at St James, Bristol; Mary Ann James bap 27 Jun 1824 at St James, Bristol; Henry James James [sic] bap 22 Jul 1827 at St James, Bristol (all ref Ancestry, various records). No marriage has been found for their parents.

James and Elizabeth's marriage was on 9 Nov 1835 at St John The Baptist, Bedminster, Somerset, when she was probably still 16; they were bachelor and spinster; both were resident St John, Bedminster; witnesses John Ridler, Benjn John Room (ref findmypast and FamilySearch I02622-8).
[Bedminster is very close to Bristol and is in Somerset; the boundary between Somerset and Gloucestershire is at Bristol so sometimes the area is called Somerset and sometimes Gloucestershire.]

At the 1836 and 1838 baptisms of his daughters, James was a Cordwainer.

Ref 1841 census. Gloucestershire, England. Civil Parish of St James. Registration district of Bristol. Address: Eugene Street, St James, Bristol.
Together with children Elizabeth (4), Mary Ann (3), Emma (1):
James Smith. Age 25. Shoe M. Not born in Gloucestershire
Elizabeth Smith. Age 20. Born in Gloucestershire.

In 1845 they were living in Eugene St at the birth of Clara, and in 1846 they were living in Frog Lane near the Bristol Cathedral (ref T.Burton 2012).
Between 1847 and 1849 Elizabeth and James moved to Chatham, Kent, and due to this, were able to be traced through census records.

James died 4th Sep 1849 at Military Road, Chatham, Kent, aged 37, Bootmaker, of "Inflam't of Brain/Abscess of Brain" (ref Thomas Burton 2012 from DC).

Ref 1851 census. Kent, England. Civil Parish of Chatham. Registration district of Medway. Address: Globe Lane, Chatham.
Together with children Clara (6), Albert (4), and journeyman shoe maker Henry Tucker, servant (31):
Elizabeth Smith. Head. Widow. Age 31. Shoe Maker. Born Bristol St James'.

Elizabeth died in St Margaret's Parish Rochester in 1861 and was buried 24 Mar 1861 at St Mary's Chatham aged 42 (ref T. Burton 2012).


1841 census

1851 census

See photopage for grave
1. Elizabeth SMITH born 1836 at Bristol, Gloucestershire  
2. Mary Ann SMITH born 1838 at Bristol, Gloucestershire  
3. Emma Jane SMITH born 1840 at Bristol, Gloucestershire  
4. William Henry SMITH born 1841 at Bristol, Gloucestershire  
5. Clara Jane SMITH born 1844 at Bristol, Gloucestershire  
6. Albert SMITH born 1846 at Bristol, Gloucestershire  

Updated 9 Jul 2022