3.8) Mary B. Morton (Smoot) of Georgetown, D.C.
Mary B. Morton was one of the youngest children of Joseph Morton and Catherine Billingsley. Her census and burial records date her birth to 1795, but her naming order in her father’s will suggests about five years earlier. In her father’s will she received a slave and $500 together with what she had already received. The initial “B.” in Mary Morton’s name is assumed to be “Billingsley”.
She married Walter Smoot of Georgetown (1789/92-1854/57) and lived there until her death in 1857. From 1835 on, they lived on the corner of Prospect and Market (now 33rd St.).
Walter was a general merchant on Water St. advertizing coal, herring, whiskey in 1840 and listing himself as a wood merchant on Canal near Market-house in the 1853 business directory. He was a Director of the Farmer and Mechanics’ Bank of Georgetown and a member of the Democratic party there. His brother George Arthur Smoot also lived in the District of Columbia and was personally close to Walter. They were likely the sons of Thomas Barton Smoot (see below), raised by their uncle Rezin Smoot in the Hughesville area. Mary’s father Joseph Morton knew the family well: he had witnessed the wills of Thomas Barton Smoot’s uncles and had bought land from their estates.
Walter and Mary Smoot had one son who married Mary Boyd of Virginia in the late 1830s, but he died young leaving her with 3 small children: Mary Ann, John, and Charles. That son is likely the “John W. Smoot” who died aged 25 and was later reburied in the family plot at Oak Hill Cemetery. But that could also be the burial of George Arthur Smoot’s son John William Smoot, in which case we do not know the name of Walter and Mary’s son.
We find Walter and Mary Morton Smoot’s whole extended family in the 1850 Census in Georgetown: Walter Smoot, Merchant aged 58, born in MD; Mary B Smoot, 55 born in MD; their daughter-in-law Mary Boyd Smoot 30 born in VA, and the three children all born in Georgetown: Mary A Smoot 10, John W Smoot 8, Charles Smoot 7.
Unfortunately, both Walter and Mary died in the 1850s and their two grandsons died in the1860s, so eventually the family was just Mary Boyd Smoot and her daughter Mary Ann, who married William M. Matthews. The three of them filed a bill against their relations Philip A. Wood and John A. Wood, administrators of the estate of Richard Morton of Autauga Co., Alabama, in a case that went to the Supreme Court of Alabama in June 1875, in which it was ruled that they would only have standing after probate.
The entire Smoot-Boyd-Matthews family was buried in Oak Hill Cemetery in Georgetown. Although only the grave of the young “Charlie” is marked, the burials (or reburials) of the others were recorded by the cemetery for their family in Lot 327 (pdf). From the Alabama court case, it is known that Mary B. Morton Smoot died on April 20, 1857.
Child of Mary Billingsley Morton and Walter Smoot:
3.8.1) John William (?) Smoot (c. 1820-c.1845) married Mary Boyd (1819-1905)
- Mary Ann Smoot (1839-1929), marr. William M. Matthews (1835-1892)
- John William Smoot (1842-Jan. 12,1866) d.s.p.
- Charles C. Smoot (1843-Dec. 23/25 1863) d.s.p.
NOTE: Although he could not place this family exactly, a very useful summary of them was written by Harry Wright Newman in The Smoots of Maryland and Virginia” (Washington D.C., 1936), pp. 186-7:
“Walter Smoot on October 14, 1820 purchased from Ulysses Ward, of Georgetown, in “Beatty and Hawkins’ Addition” at the northeast corner of Market and Third Streets a two-storied brick dwelling. The conveyance was witnessed by John Threlkeld and Daniel Bussard, with Susan Verlinda Ward relinquishing her dower. On May 31, 1823, Walter Smoot and Ulysses Ward conveyed the lot and dwelling, as described above, to Walter S. Ringgold. Susan Verlinda Ward released her thirds, but no wife of Walter Smoot. In 1827 he purchased from John J. Stull, trustee for Lloyd Pumphrey lot No. 23 on the northside of Prospect Street at its intersection with West Lane, and in 1828 he received from George A. Smoot in lieu of a debt of $1,200 a lot on the east side of 11 Street in the Federal City.
On May 8, 1835, Walter Smoot, Joel Crittenden, and Raphael Semmes were commissioned to divide the estate of Joseph N. Fearson and Mary Anne his wife, the latter being the daughter and co-heir of John McPherson, deceased. On November 30, 1835, he bought from John Marbury, trustee, two lots in Georgetown on the north side of Prospect Street.
Mary Smoot died in Georgetown during 1857. Her will dated March 24, 1857, was proved in the District of Columbia on May 26, 1857, by Mary Jane Pairo, Anne H. Waters, and Mildred M. Bronaugh. She willed her grandsons William and Charles the vacant lot on the west side of her dwelling house on the north side of Prospect Street in Georgetown. To her granddaughter Mary Anna Smoot she devised the mansion house and lot where she was living at the intersection of Prospect and Market Streets, but her daughter-in-law Mary B. Smoot was to enjoy the use of it during life. She named her daughter-in-law the guardian of the grandchildren, and Richard Plummer Jackson, the executor of the estate.
Mary B. Smoot, the daughter-in-law, was born 1818 in Virginia, and according to the 1860 census was possessed of realty appraised at $5,000 and personalty at $3,000. Her son, Charles C. Smoot, died unmarried, willing his entire estate to his mother. The will was admitted to probate on January 5, 1864.”
“George Arthur Smoot served as a private in Captain John J. Stull’s Company of Riflemen, First D. C. Regiment, commanded by Colonel Magruder and Lieutenant Thompson. He enlisted June 19, 1814, and was in service as late as October 8, of the same year. On August 22, 1817, he secured license at Alexandria to marry Elizabeth Blane. On March 1, 1831, he conveyed land to Walter Smoot at which time his wife Elizabeth waived her dower. On April 17, 1824, he transferred lot No. 6 on the east side of 11 Street Northwest to David Appler.
On July 13, 1833 he secured license to marry Anne Mitchell, widow. In November 1835, he deeded personal property to Walter Smoot in trust for the use of his wife Anne Smoot. No further record of him exists among the public records.
The will of his widow Anne Smoot was dated March 4, 1854, and proved in the District of Columbia on July 22, 1854, by P. McKenna, Martha McKenna, and Oliver McConnell. She bequeathed to her son John William Smoot land opposite Good Hope which her late husband “George Arthur Smoot” purchased from George Naylor. To her daughter, Anne Virginia Smoot, she devised the house and lot on Pennsylvania Avenue in square 790 and the house and lot on M Street between 10 and 11 Streets East in square 777. Various articles of personal property were divided between her two Smoot children. Her son Joseph T. Mitchell was willed $100, while the following were devised $1.00 each–Joseph T. Mitchell, Frances Eugene Mitchell, James Thomas Broscuo [Briscoe?], and Martha Anne Anderson. She named her brother Thomas Jenkins as the executor.”
The ages of the census and burial information of Walter Smoot of Georgetown suggest he was born c. 1791 and George Arthur could be born anytime in the late 1780s or early 1790s. These fit the dates of Thomas Barton Smoot’s children below (Newman, The Smoots, p. 93). Perhaps the first twin Arthur died and the next child was given the name of “George Arthur”. A
Thomas Barton Smoot6 (17– – 179-)
Thomas Barton Smoot, son of Arthur and Catherine (Farrand) Smoot, was born in Trinity Parish, Charles County, Maryland. His wife was Louisa —-. Children of Thomas Barton and Louise Smoot:
1. Walter Smoot, born Jan. 18, 1789.
2. Arthur Smoot, born Jan. 18, 1789.
3. George Smoot, born Mar. 31, 1792.
4. Anne Smoot, born Mar. 28, 1794.
Thomas Barton Smoot died sometime before 1800, at which time his widow appeared as the head of the family and the guardian of her four minor children. She apparently died soon afterwards, for by 1803 Rezin Smoot, the uncle, was their guardian. . . . Rezin Smoot, son of Arthur and Catherine (Farrand) Smoot, was born sometime between the years 1775 and 1794, according to the census records. His wife was Martha, the daughter of Gideon and Mary Dent. His plantation lay in Bryantown Hundred.