Franklin's Blog  


TThis is me, Chester Hopkins (a direct descendent of Stephen) and Charles P.Smith in front of the First Church in Plymouth just after the Mayflower Period Dress Parade that preceeds the opening of the Mayflower Triannual Congress September 2011..

Nov 27,2011

Welcome to my new blog on the ADRS website. Its been a while since I updated.. I am in the process of building a new website for the California Mayflower Society.

Last September I went on a research trip to Massachusetts and I had Charles P. Smith with me. We spent three weeks going from town to town on both sides of the state.and had a highly successful trip. This resulted in the collection of a huge amount of data and pictures. I shot a number of HD video's that are amazing to behold. We also attended the Mayflower Congress where I video recorded the entire event for the second time.

A couple of our Smith cousins showed up, but it wasn't like I had hoped where we could start rebuilding the ADRS back into a functional family association. Given how many of us there are it is kind of amazing that there should be so much apathy. There are a number of us who are serious genealogists, but doing genealogy and running a family association are two different things..

There has been a lot of writing about Ralph Smith over the centuries, but from what I have reseached those writings have only scratched the surface. In the coming weeks I will be posting various findings and news relating to our family.

Happy Holidays

Franklin . . .

Nov 28, 2011

Just put up the Hingham Bell Tower page. FS

..... ..........

Nov 29, 2011



Ralph was buying and selling land way beyond the single lot given him on Bachelor street which is now identified as Bachelor River in 1638. We can see from these documents that in a two year period he had five land transactions. The records from Bear Cove are mysteriously missing, but we do know that fifty land grants were handed out in 1634, and Ralph had to be one of them.

You can see the second document is dated Dec 29th 1642, and by this time his first child (Ralph) had died February 15,1640. His second child Samuel was born July 11, 1641, and his third child (John) would not be born until July 7th, 1644.

What this tells us is that Ralph was moving around in town, and with one child born maybe he needed a bigger house. Did he move from Bachelor street because he was married? Is Bachelor River a different location, and how many other land transactions did Ralph make before he moved to Eastham in the early 1650's. It would seem logical the Ralph may have obtain a larger parcel of land for being a first comer, and it could have been more than one parcel.

This all just opens the door, I have a lot more research to do.

Just recieved an email from cousin Seth Bailey in Nova Scotia where many Ralph descendents live. Seth is decended from Archaleus Smith, Good to read from him. FS


Nov 30th, 2011

It is interesting to note a few things about the above documents. Joseph Peck who Ralph sold his house to was a wealthy man with two man servants, a wife and 4 children. He was very close to Rev Peter Hobart both of them from Old Hingham. His father was a nobleman. The next year he would be elected Deputy to the general Court of Massachusetts along with Bezoan Allen (a year later) who lived next door to Ralph. Bozoan Allen along with Rev Peter Hobart would be charged (years later) with Mutinous conduct and briefly jailed and heavily fined. Bozoan had been ordered to replace Lt Anthony Eames (not of old Hingham) as captain of the militia against the court's orders.

We can also note from this document that Ralph's home had a fenced yard with a garden that possibly was tended by his wife. FS

Charles P. Smith and Ralph in Eastham, Cape Cod

December 1, 2011

Now I am going to hit you with something right out of left field. A genealogist and webmaster by the name of Glenn Chafe has made a huge statement about Ralph's ancestry, and before I could talk to him about it he died at the age of 50 years young. He indicates that his ancestor was Thomas Chaffee who lived on ten acres of land next door to Ralph Smith on Ralph's North side on Bachelor Street as of October 1637. This is very interest, but not the shocker! He twice says that Ralph was from The Isle of Wright. Chafe believed that Ralph was from the same area as Thomas Chaffee his Ancestor who was probably from Devonshire in Southern England.

If this is true it would explain why Rev Peter Hobart kept Ralph out of his diary. Especially if Ralph had married his sister against his wishes being that Ralph was not of the Hingham group. Add to this that Ralph may have been one of the biggest roll players in Bear Cove before Peter showed up, and the two regional parties where in conflict as the Lt Anthony Eames episode demonstrates.

Non of this is confirmed and could be complete speculation by Glenn. I have known about this for a few years and have never recieved a response from the Chaffee website Chaffee


On an additional note Glenn states that William Lutken who lived next door to one of Ralph's properties (that he sold to Joseph Peck) was the town Blacksmith. At one point Glenn suggests Lutken (From Norwich which is ten miles from Hingham) was a brother to Ralph. This is at odds with what he tries to say twice about Ralph coming from the Isle of Wright.

There is no source documentation and Glenn is gone. I can only scratch my head on this one. FS


The original Elizabeth Bonaventure that was Sir Frances Drakes flagship

Dec 9th, 2011

I am amazed at the documentation I keep finding that completely contradicts historical data from old time genealogists. In a hand written record by David Hobart copied from the Reverand Peter Hobarts book is a record that clearly states the Ralph Smith's child was buried February 15, 1640. This was Ralph's son Ralph! and a couple people were writing that our Ralph may have died then and another Ralph had come to town. Not our family historians!

I found a couple more land records the first says a couple acres was added to his Bachelor River home

April 7, 1640  It is likewise agreed upon that Ralph Smith shall have to his house lot, two arces, in Bachelor Rowe, be it more or less, as it measured, it is between the head of hid playne, and Thomas Barnens his house lot.

The 1639 record of a land sale to Thomas Thaxter takes up a whole page. It was for ten acres and some Meadow land.

Finally I have found a Hingham record the says John Smith, son of Ralph Smith Baptized July 7, 1644. More to come FS



May 8th 2012

I have been working on the Mayflower General Society website as web editor, and I am also the webmaster for the California Mayflower. I recently put together a State Members meeting on the Queen Mary for June of 2013, and I intend to attend the GSMD meeting in September in New Jersey.

Working on Ralph's history and ancestry is not an easy task because so much of it is missing or incorrect. We now have two Y-DNA matchs with the surname of Skeen that date back to 1730 in Caswell County, Norh Carolina. As far as I know there have not been any Ralph descendents in NC ever. So this raises some interesting questions. They are a pretty close match, but not so close we can't rule out sometime before Ralph came over. 1730 is around Ralphs grandchildrens time, and before the French and Indian War. There is no reason for a name change, and there are just too many Smiths with matching Y-DNA for any kind of mistake.

Bruce McGray and Myself September 2007, Mariot Hotel LAX Airport. Bruce is the grandson of Arthur N. McGray who started the Ralph Smith Association.

July 25 2012

Charles P. Smith and myself will be heading to New Jersey for the Mayflower Board of Assistants meeting September 6-9 We will also be attending the Hopkins Hertitage Society meeting at the same location.

Charlotte Line reports that she

believes that after extensive searching that she may have identified Thomas Smith's wife.

She is listed in the Rev John Mayo genealogy as Mary Mayo

married to Thomas Smith son of Ralph Smith of Eastham, MA



September 15th 2012

Two Smith researchers have found this website and have credited it with helping them find their ancestry line to Ralph. The first is Tom Lincoln of Pennsylvania who is descended from Thomas2, Ralph1, and Sean Smith of Nova Scotia who is descended from Samuel 2 Ralph 1.

It is always nice to get feedback from people who have been helped by this website. Many people have asked to join the association, but what we really need are people to help manage it. FS


Nov 6th 2012

I recieved an email the other day from none other than Madelyn Liberti who was president of the assciation from 1967 to 1969. At first I thought someone must have been playing somekind of joke on me, but I looked up her address in the old association records, and then gave her a call. We had a great conversation, and I am looking forward to meeting her at a future meeting of the association.

On another note I emailed Jeremy Bangs in Holland and asked how he was doing, and suggested that we Skype again. He emailed back saying he was busy working on a book about the Plymouth Colony records for the town of Eastham. I told him that was great news seeing as how the Smith family was largely mentioned in those records and that I was the first one to actually take pictures of them. I am still waiting to hear back from him.


A Bonaventure English Galleon

January 4, 2014

The Queen Mary event was a great success, and Jeremy did release his book. You have to email him in Leiden You pay him by paypal and he ships from Europe. I am starting to prepare for the Mayflower Congress in September, and possibly a Smyth Association meeting. Contact me if you have an interest in coming.

My research into Ralph has turned up the Historical loss of the great book of Hingham Massachusetts. The records for the town of Bear Cove from the first two town clerks were in this book and nobody knows what happened to it. It was lost sometime before the 200th anniversary of Hingham.

In other news we have a couple more Y-dna matches that include one Smith family that never left Cape Cod. I found two more Mayflower lines that link from my Adams line half way to Ralph. I will try to update this blog on a more regular basis. FS


Captain John Smith was born in Willoughby which is about 70 miles North West of Hingham or about 90 miles by road. Wouldn't it be interesting to compare our Y-dna to his. He died in June 1631 which is just before Ralph came over. Ralph undoughtedly new of John and could be a distant relation. It is said that John wanted to travel on the Mayflower as a guide and indian expert, but was passed on in favor of Stephen Hopkins.


May 24th 2014

The website has been up over six years now and cousins are still finding their ancestry through it's use. I will be going to the Mayflower Congress along with Charles P. Smith in September. In other news we are still getting new Y-dna matches and in one case were able to help map a paper trail that was long in research. Former members of the Association have been contacting me from time to time, and I am trying to build a photo gallery of past members and events. FS

March 10 2016

The quest for Ralph's history continues as I find rare books and details of surounding events. I looked at Ralphs findagrave website and the information is very distorted. Have to do something about that. Could use some help with research. FS