In addition to his grandson, Joseph Smith Jr, being the founder of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, many, many others of his direct descendants would assume prominent roles in the new church.
Asael Smith born in Topsfield Massachusetts, 7 March 1744 (New Style), passed his boyhood under care of his stepmother. At age twenty-three he married Mary Duty, "of Wenham (Windham) N. H." says the old Topsfield record, the marriage occurring on 12 February 1767. The department of vital statistics of the State of New Hampshire, carries a record of, this marriage as well as the Topsfield, Massachusetts, entries,which makes it seem likely that the ceremony was performed in Windham, her home. She was the daughter of Moses and Mary (Palmer) Duty, and was born in Rowley, Massachusetts, 16 October 1743.
Revolutionary War Service
They lived in Topsfield until after the birth of their third child, when, in 1772, they moved to Windham, New Hampshire. While living in this or a neighboring town, Asael gave his service iii the Revolutionary War, enlisting in July 1776 under Captain John Nesmith, in Colonel Joshua Wingate's Regiment of New Hampshire troops. They were mustered for Canada service, and marched to join the northern armies under Thornton and Bartlett. (New Hampshire Revolutionary Rolls 1; 342, 349.)
Derryfield Town Clerk
In 1779 Asael's name appears in the tax lists of Derryfield, New Hampshire. (Early Records of Derryfield 1: 291, 293, 295; 2: 100, 116.) This locality was first called Nutfield, in 1719. In 1742 the southern portion of the grant was set off and called Windham. Nine years later, another part was severed from the original body, and, joined with a tract from Chester and some ungranted lands about Amoskeag Falls, was incorporated under the name of Derryfield. (Manchester Historical Society's Collections 5: 15.) The name is not now in use, merging into the larger town of Manchesten A portion of Londonderry was annexed in 1778 to Nottingham West, now Hudson. Asael Smith and the various members of the Duty family into which he married, lived in those early years in several towns of this immediate locality.
In September 1779 Asael was elected town clerk of Derryfield, a position he occupied for over six years, leaving it in April 1786 to return to Topsfield, Massachusetts, to help adjust the family affairs following the death of his father, the November previous. He lived again on the paternal estate, in the old home about one mile north of the town, where a number of his children first saw the light of day.
He was a man of very liberal views, with thoughts in advance of his time. He was noted for having opinions of his own, which he would not yield, to bigotry nor opposition. Some of his children were baptized in the Congregational church at Topsfield, but in his own religious views he was somewhat of a Universalist, holding to the truth that in America all men should have free and equal religious liberty. .
In the spring of 1791 he left Topsfield, taking up his residence temporarily in New Hampshire, and then moving to Tunbridge, Vermont. From this latter place he wrote a letter to an old friend in Topsfield, which has been preserved, --And which expresses some of the old gentleman's political and religious views, and is therefore of interest here. It was addressed to J. Perkins Towne, for many years town clerk of Topsfield, and is printed in Topsfield Historical Society Collections 10: 74-77. TUNBRIDGE, Jan. 14, 1796.
Family History by George A
The following family history record is recorded by grandson, George A Smith:
George A. Smith the son of John Smith and Clarissa Lyman, and the father of Charles Warren Smith, was born and raised in Potsdam, St Lawrence County, New York. His grandfather Asae1 and wife Mary Duty, and three sons Jessie, Asael, and Silas were living in Stockholm, 12 miles distance, when grandfather Asael received a letter from his son Joseph Smith Sr. stating that his son, Joseph, had several remarkable visions. Receiving this news the old gentleman said, that he always knew that God was going to raise up some branch of his family to be a great benefit to mankind.
When George A. was in his 12th year in August 1828, Uncle Joseph Smith Sr. and son, Don Carlos, visited all of his father, Asael's children and their families, and brought copies of the Book of Mormon to them. He visited his brother John first, who took him in his carriage to visit their father, Asael, who was in his 88th year and quite feeble. On receiving the Book of Mormon the old gentleman read the book nearly through without the aid of glasses before he died and had said: “It is of God.”
While they were gone George A. and his mother busied themselves with reading the Book of Mormon. George A. listed a number of points to disprove the book and show his uncle Joseph the error of his claims, but on his return Uncle Joseph was able to answer them so convincingly and with such power, that George A. never again doubted the Divine Origin of the Book of Mormon.
His mother was the first member of the family to accept the Gospel and was baptized in September 1831. His father, John, who had been quite indisposed for many months and hadn't been able to walk as far as his barn, was baptized by Elder S. Humprey, 9 January 1832. George A. writes “The day was bitter cold, when I cut the ice in the creek, and broke a road for forty rods through the crust of two feet of snow, and helped him to the creek to be baptized. That night Father had a vision of the Savior entering his room and looking upon him with a smile. The next day Father visited his barn.”
George A. was baptized on the 10 September 1832, by Elder Joseph H. Wakefield and confirmed by Elders Soloman Humphrey and J. H. Wakefield.
After joining the church the family suffered so much persecution that they decided to join the Saints in Kirtland, Ohio. In the spring of 1833, John sold his farm and bought two covered wagons with two horses each and with his family which consisted of the father and the mother, daughter, Caroline, 13 years, John Lyman, 10 years and George A., 16 years old, they started on their journey to Kirtland. They arrived May 25, 1833.
They were heartily welcomed by Joseph, the Prophet. It was the first time George A.had seen his cousin, Joseph, and he was greatly impressed with him and from that time, Joseph's friends were his friends and Joseph's enemies were his enemies.
|Offspring of Samuel T Smith, Jr. and Priscilla Gould (1707-1744)|
|Priscilla Smith (1735-1792)|| |
|Samuel Smith (1737-1811)|| |
|Vashti Smith (1739-1763)|| |
|Susannah Smith (1742-1811)|| |
|Asael Smith (1744-1830)||7 May 1744 Topsfield, Essex County, Massachusetts, United States||13 October 1830 Stockton, Chautauqua County, New York, United States|| Mary Duty (1743-1836)|
- Joseph Smith Sr Family Organization - Genealogical Association in son's name
- Joseph Smith Sr Mission to his Family - Rich in info about the early Smith family
- Asael's Letter - Letter written by Asael Smith to his posterity in 1799.