born May 18, 1763 in Donegal, Ireland

came to New Jersey with his family

fought with the Continental Army March 1780 - January 1, 1781

lived in Orange Co., NY after the war; later Ulster Co., NY, Tompkins Co., NY

spent the last portion of his life with his son Samuel in tiny Busti, Chautauqua NY

The Smiley surname is a Nordic-Irish name meaning "small meadow".



Patriot-Soldiers of 1775-1783--
The Veterans of the War for American Independence of Chautauqua County, New York.

Compiled by Frederick Ward Kates. Published by the Jamestown Chapter DAR 1981

page 45-- Town of Busti- Palmeter Cemetery, Cowing Road

JOHN SMILEY

    John Smiley was born May 18, 1763 in County Donegal, Ireland. His grave
is in this cemetery, but the date of his death, some time after 1840, is not
known.
    At the age of 11 years he came to America with his father's family. The
family located at Bedminster, N.J. [Somerset Co., now near intersection of I- 78
& I-287], where John Smiley enlisted in March 1780 as a private and teamster
under Capt. John Davis in Col. Richard Butler's 9th Regiment of Pennsylvania
militia [corrected below-- regiment part of Brig. Gen. Anthony Wayne's Brigade,
Continental Army]. He served until Jan 1, 1781.
    After the war, John Smiley lived at Newburgh, [Orange County], N.Y.,
and then at Walkill, Ulster County, NY [just north of Newburgh], where he
married Mary MOTT (date not known). From Watkill the young couple moved to
Groton, NY [Tompkins Co.] andt then to Lansing, NY [also Tompkins Co., northern
suburb of Ithaca], where Mary (Mott) Smiley died and was buried (date not
known). John Smiley is known to have lived at Hinsdale, NY [Cattaraugus Co.,
north of Orlean], with his daughter Matilda before making his final residence
in the town of Busti with his son Samuel.
    While living with his son in Busti, Chautauqua County, NY, John Smiley
applied for a pension Feb 11, 1836. The pension was granted and in the 1840
Pension List he is named as being 79 years of age and residing with his son
Samuel in the town of Busti, Chautauqua County, NY.
    The only known children of John Smiley are his daughter Matilda and his
son Samuel, who on May 6, 1811 married Sarah Cooper. A tall, shaft-style
monument marks the burial-plot of Samuel Smiley in Busti Cemetery. He died
Dec. 30, 1870 aged 82years 5 months 28 days. His wife Sarah died May 31, 1872
aged 77 years. Other descendants buried in Busti Cemetery, according to
standing headstones, include William Smiley (1814-1903) and MAry Ann, his
wife, who died Apr. 22, 1898; Lewis E. Smiley (1869-1897); D.W. Smiley (1838 -
1897) and his wife Rachel; Erastus Smiely (1832 - 1856); and Andrew son of
William and Mary Smiley, aged 6 years.

(John Smiley on pages 570-71 in the 2nd vol of Kates book---
re: JOHN SMILEY page 45, Volume 1 --REVISIONS)

    The compiler erred in stating (paragraph #2) that John Smiley's military
service from April 1, 1780 till discharge 1 Jan 1781 was in a militia regiment.
The 9th Pennsylvania Regiment, commanded by Col. Richard Butler from 7 June
1777 till 17 January 1781, was part of Brig. Gen Anthony Wayne's brigade in
the Continental Army.
    A review of John Smiley's pension application indicates that he was with
General Wayne's troops when they hurried to West Point in late September 1780
at the time Benedict Arnold's treason had become known and it was feared that
the British forces might attempt to capture West Point. From West Point he
marched to winter quarters in the huts at Morristown, New Jersey, remaining
there until discharge.
    According to his pension application, John Smiley lived in the town of
Bedminster, New Jersey, for about five years after the war; then he went to
Walkill, Orange Co., NY, where he married his wife and stayed about twenty-
three years; from whence he moved his family and settled in Lansing, Tompkins
County, New York, where he resided for more than 23 years and where he buried
his wife; that from Lansing he went to the town of Hinsdale, Cattaraugus
County, NY where he lived with a daughter about two years; that in March 1835
he moved to Busti, Chautauqua County, NY where he has since resided with a son.
    The compiler is indebted to Mary Emily Smiley of Los Angeles, California, A
lineal descendant, for the use of official documents regarding John Smiley.



Family Tree Maker Online: GenealogyLibrary.com: Soldiers of the American
Revolution , Page 67 ... Pier Palmiter Cemetery John B. Smiley

Family Tree Maker Online: GenealogyLibrary.com: Soldiers of the American
Revolution , Page 37 ... SMILEY, JOHN B.--Born May 18, 1763, in Donegal...

Family Tree Maker Online: GenealogyLibrary.com: Official Register of the
Officers and Men of New Jersey in the Revolutionary War, Page 867 ... SMILEY,
JOHN. Teamster


DESCENDANTS
1-John B. Smiley (18 May 1763-aft 1840)
sp: Mary Mott (abt 1765-bet 1811 and 1833)
    2-Matilda Smiley (1789/90-)
    2-Samuel Smiley (2 Jul 1788-30 Dec 1870)
    sp: Sarah Cooper (1795-31 May 1872)
        3-William W. Smiley (1 Jul 1814-29 Apr 1902)
        sp: Mary Ann Sanford (17 Oct 1824-19 Apr 1892)
            4-Sarah Jane Smiley (7 Oct 1844-)
            sp: George Martin (-)
                5-Mary E. Martin (1864-)
            sp: Francis Richard Pope (-)
            4-Mariette Smiley (3 Dec 1846-1 Jun 1874)
            sp: Perry Braley (-)
            4-Abner Smiley (3 Mar 1848-)
            sp: Mary M. Terry (30 May 1853-)
                5-William E. Smiley (4 Dec 1882-)
                5-Vernon L. Smiley (5 Mar 1887-)
            4-William J. (Wm Jr.) Smiley (22 Jul 1850-)
            sp: Laura Sylvina Lenox (-)
            4-Delphina Smiley (26 Aug 1854-)
            4-Charles J. Smiley (30 Mar 1858-)
            sp: Clara Leam (-)
            4-Lewis E. Smiley (2 Jul 1860-Mar 1897)
            4-Sanford Giles Smiley (15 Feb 1862-)
            sp: Clara B. Gypson (-)
            4-Andrew (died age 6yrs) Smiley (26 Aug 1856-1 Jun 1862)
        3-Jefferson M. Smiley (1817/18-)
        3-Madison Smiley (1817/18-)
        3-Samuel Jr Smiley (1827/28-)
        sp: Elmira ("Myra"- also mis-entered as Lemira)   (abt 1830-aft 1861)
            4-Alton William Smiley (8 Aug 1852-29 Jan 1918)
            sp: Mary Catherine Shanor (20 Jul 1862-19 Jan 1949)
                5-Alta Beatrice Smiley (20 Jun 1882-2 Nov 1971)
                5-Edgar William "Ed" Smiley (20 Jun 1884-21 Jul 1958)
                5-Grace Irene Smiley (14 Aug 1892-Mar 1955)
                5-Helen Katharine Smiley (7 Feb 1896-24 Nov 1977)
            4-Oscar W. Smiley (abt 1858/59-)
                5-Leon Smiley (1887/88-)
            4-Joseph W. Smiley (abt 1861/62-)
        3-Erastus Smiley (1832-1856)
        3-D. W. Smiley (1838-1897)
        sp: Rachel  (-)
        3-(uncertain of father of Ernest, grandson of Samuel) Smiley (-)
            4-Ernest Smiley (1858/59-)

Download GEDCOM of above persons


I am deeply indebted to Donna Mills for discovering my Smiley ancestry, and for typing the John Smiley ancestry and the information from the Chautauqua DAR book.



    Another family of Smiley's was located in the area of Ellery and Ellicott, Chautauqua Co., NY on the northern side of the lake.  This family does not appear to be connected to the family of John B. Smiley in the US.  However, one might wonder if they are somehow connected in Ireland since both seemed to settle in the same small remote area at the same time.
    That Smiley family is that of William Smiley, born in 1753 in Connecticut, son of William Smiley of Ireland.
    I'm posting the information on that family only due to their proximity, and possibly to help anyone who finds this page searching for their ancestors to distinguish between the families.


My own link to this ancestry is through Edgar William "Ed" Smiley (20 Jun 1884-21 Jul 1958), my grandfather. He's shown as the boy in the middle of this family photo of Alton William Smiley and wife Mary Catherine Shanor, along with sisters Bea and Grace (Helen wasn't born yet but "may" be in the photo.

Click here to view larger image.


email Rob