Thomas Smith married Tryphena Russell 27 August 1737

Thomas Smith’s grandson Joseph was 98 years old and the oldest man in Ipswich. In his later years, a reporter from the Ipswich Chronicle interviewed him about his life and remembrances.  The following is the section about his grandfather and grandmother, Thomas and Tryphena: 

Thomas Smith was the son of Thomas and Elisabeth (Emmons) Smith, and was born July l5, 1716. When he was 21 years old he married Tryphena Russell. She was the daughter of Henry and Sarah (Adams) Russell. She was four years younger than her husband, having been born in August, 1720. They were published from the pulpit, as the custom was then, August 27, 1737. They both staid from meeting that Lord’s Day, without doubt; both had sudden colds or a Sunday headache. The wedding soon followed and they began life in the plain style of the people of a century and a half ago.

As the years rolled they had nine children: Thomas, the eldest boy, married Elisabeth Goldsmith and lived in Newburyport; he was a revolutionary soldier. Andrew was also a revolutionary soldier, and at West Point when the treachery of Arnold was discovered; he was a pleasant, entertaining man, and delighted children by stories of West Point days. He married Sally Warner of Londonderry, and died at the age of forty, leaving no children: his gravestone may be seen in the old yard.   

Another son, Daniel, also a revolutionary soldier, was born March 10, 1755, and married Hannah Lord; he died January 28, 1844, aged nearly 89 years. He was a cabinet or chair maker; and was very skilful in making flag-bottom seats. He must be well remembered by some present. Simon was baptized August 2C, 1750, married Mary Shatswell, and was the father of the aged man with whom we meet.

Of the daughters of Thomas, Elisabeth married Thomas Gould in 1784; Eunice married Campbell Ripiev a native of Duxbury, he built the little one story house by the graveyard, recently occupied by Mr. Tibbetts. One of the daughters married a Lakeman and lived in Newburyport; another married a Phelps; another a Goodrich.

Thomas Smith the owner of the currier’s shop and lands above mentioned, was always spoken of by his grandchildren as a very worthy and industrious man. He and his wife lived together fifty-two years: Tryphena the wife died Dec. 1. 1780. aged 69; and the husband followed February 13, 1701. They are buried side by side with their son Andrew.

The family pew in the Meetinghouse built in 1749, was in the gallery, and directly opposite the pulpit.  It was marked in the plan, No. 14, and £35 old tenor was paid for it.  It was occupied in later years by his son Simon.  The homestead of Thomas was the land west of, and adjoining the old High street graveyard; he owned the land to the top of the hill; his currier-shop opened onto the street; his house and home were in the rear, on the gentle rise of the hill; and it was a pleasant place for his grandchildren. 

While it was the job of the tanner to produce the actual leather, the currier’s role was to transform the hard hides into the supple leather required by other craftsmen. To do this he reduced the leather to an even thickness to make it more pliable and improve its appearance. A number of operations were performed in this process. Damping: The leather was softened and thoroughly scoured using a variety of slickers. Shaving: The leather was reduced to a uniformed thickness, which demanded great skill. The work was done on an upright beam using the characteristic currier’s knife. Stuffing: The leather was stuffed with dubbin, a mixture of tallow and fish oil, to increase its pliability. It was then worked with various slickers of wood, glass and copper. The finest leather was then worked with various boards to enhance its grain, and finally polished.





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