Biographies: William A. Smets

Information researched, transcribed and donated by Lisa K. Slaski

William A. Smets spent only a short time in Morehouseville. However, as there are several Morehouse families connected to him through his second wife, Margaret Herbst, I thought I would see what I could find to post on his family. I have not tried to create a family genealogy for him, but rather, I have posted the specific information that I found.

Naturalization: William A. Smets was naturalized in NYC on 16 Apr 1832 (record resides in the Marine Court).

Ship lists: There are several, but none before 1832, so they are trips he took after coming to America for the first time.

Newspaper article: Death of first wife

Morning Courier and Evening Enquirer
dated about March 14 in 1836 or 1837

Yesterday morning, Mary Ann C. Smets, wife of William A. Smets, aged 26 years.

Her friends and acquaintances are respectfully invited to attend her funeral this afternoon, Wednesday, from her late residence, No. 200 [or 290] Mulberry st.

Early NYC marriage records: 24 Nov 1843 for William A. Smets and Margaret H. Herbst.

1850 Federal census, town of Morehouse, Hamilton county, NY:
Smets, William, 42, m, Holland
Smets, Margaret, 25, f, Holland
Smets, Anna, 17, f, NY
Smets, Henry, 13, m, NY
Smets, John, 5, m, NY
Smets, Lewis, 1, m, NY

1855 NYS census, Ward 3 of the city of Utica, Oneida, NY:
members of the family have resided in Utica for 3 years.
Smets, William, 49, m, Holland
Smets, Margret, 30, f, Holland
Smets, Hannah, 20, f, NY
Smets, Henry, 17, m, NY
Smets, John, 10, m, NY
Smets, Chas., 3, m, Oneida
Smets, Edward, 1, m, Oneida
Smets, Hannah Smets, 19, sister, Holland
Smets, John Smets, 22, m, brother, Holland

1860 Federal census, 2nd District, ward 16 NYC, NY
Smith, W. A. 50, m, liquor dealer, Holland
Smith, Margaret, 35, f, Holland
(listed as next family, same building)
Smith, Henry, 33, m, liquor dealer, NYC
Smith, John, 16, m, NYC
Smith, Charles, 8, m, NYS
Smith, Edward, 6, m, NYS
Smith, Mary, 4, f, NYS

1865 NYS census, 2nd District of the 6th Ward of Utica, Oneida, NY:
Smith, William, 57, m, Holland, 3 children, m2, Mergand
Smith, Margrath, 40, f, Holland, 12 children
Smith, Henry, 28, m, NYC, clerk
Smith, Charles, 12, m, Oneida
Smith, Edward, 10, m, Oneida
Smith, Mary, 9, f, Oneida
Smith, William, 5, m, Oneida
Smith, H., 1 (or 7) months, m, Oneida

Utica city directories William A. Smets is listed in Utica through at least 1868.

1870 Federal census, Fernandina, Nassau, FL:
page 21, house 217, family 208
Smets, William A., 63, ret. Crockery dealer, Holland
Smets, Margaret H., 57, f, Holland
Smets, Henry, F., 30, m, work on farm, NY
page 44, house 435 family 439
Smetz, Charles J., 19, m, clerk in store, NY
Smetz, Edward, 16, m, gardening, NY
Smetz, Mary, 14, f, at home, NY
Smetz, William, 8, m, NY
Smetz, Thomas, 5, m, NY

Supreme Court, City and County of New York

Case: Isaac Dayton, Public Administrator, &c., against John McCahill, Virginia P. Kelly, executrix, &c.

[This case is based on interests in property in NYC that provides rent money to William A. Smets through the estate of his father-in-law of his first marriage/wife. Upon her death, he continued to (properly) receive the entitlement of her portion of the rent money. Upon his death, the other siblings of his first wife, collected the rent money, but did not disperse it to William's widow and an action was taken to try to obtain this money, as well as back rent owed to her. They appeared to have contended that as William's death was intestate, that she had no legal grounds for obtaining the money. It appears to have been upheld that she should receive the money. The case is very lengthy and I have only included excerpts herein, that pertain primarily to the genealogy of the family. The full record can be found at: Google books]

[From Deposition of Margaret H. Smets:]

My name is Margaret H. Smets. I am a widow, and now a single woman. My occupation that of a housekeeper and farmer. My residence Sarcoxie Prairie, on Jones Creek, or Van Buren township, Missouri. I am not personally acquainted with the plaintiff. I know John McCahill and Virginia P. Kelly. I knew William A. Smets, formerly of New York city, and who in the year 1870 resided in Fernandina, Florida. The said William A. Smets is dead. He died on the 25th day of August, 1870. At the time of his death his place of residence was at Fernandina, Florida. He was my husband. At the time of his decease he did not leave any last will and testament. The said Smets left children surviving him. He left seven children surviving him, viz.: Anna E. McQuade, wife of Thomas McQuade, residing at Utica, Oneida County, New York, aged forty years; Henry F. smets, unmarried, aged thirty-six years. They are the children of the testator by a former marriage. Charles Joseph Smets, unmarried, aged twenty-one years; Edward Theodore smets, unmarried, aged nineteen years; Maria Louisa Graham, wife of Richard J. Graham, aged seventeen years; William Smets, unmarried, aged thirteen years; Thomas Smets, unmarried, aged eight years. That all of said children, except Anna E. McQuade and Henry F. Smets, the two eldest, are the children of William A. Smets and myself, and all reside with me on Sarcoxie Prairie, Jones Creek township, Newton county, Missouri, except Anna E. Smets and Maria Louisa Graham.

[cross interrogation:]

I am forty-nine years of age, and was born in Amsterdam, Holland, in Europe. My maiden name was Margaret Hermina Herbst. I was married to William A. Smets, deceased, on 22d of November, 1843, in New York city. I was the second wife of William A. Smets. I have carefully searched all the papers of William A. Smets in company with Henry F. Smets and all through the premises occupied by us and failed to discover any will. Mr. Smets' death was very sudden and I am satisfied from my knowledge of my husband and his business that he never made any will, he giving me to understand that it was not necessary, saying that I would be well provided for in case of his death. I am now unmarried. I had twelve children by William A. Smets, the oldest (1st) John Nicholas Smets, born September 19th, 1844, now dead, leaving no children. (2d) Peter Desmet Smets, born 20th April 1847, now dead, leaving no children. (3d) Aloysius Xavier Smets, born in August, 1848, now dead, leaving no children. (4th) Marie Antoinette Smets, born 6th November, 1849, now dead, leaving no children. (5th) Josephine Anna Smets, born 9th December, 1850, now dead, leaving no children. (6th) Charles Joseph Smets, born 25th March, 1852, now living. (7th) Edward Theodore Smets, born 17th April, 1864, now living. (8th) Maria Louisa Graham, born 20th May, 1856, now living and married to Richard J. Graham. (9th) William Smets, born 29th July, 1860, now living. (10th) Adelaide Smets, born 8th February, 1863, who died very young. (11th) Thomas Smets, born 3d June, 1865, now living. (12th) Josephine Elizabeth Smets, born 6th November, 1848, died very young. None of my said deceased children were married or left any children. Those living, except Maria Louisa Graham, reside with me on Sarcoxie Prairie, Jones Creek Township, Newton County, Missouri. Maria Louisa Graham resides in Van Buren Township, in the same County and State.

[other pertinent genealogical information: 1858, William was living in Utica, NY.]

[testimony from Emily C. Horton:]

I was acquainted with William A. Smets in his life time; I was acquainted with Mary Ann Wymbs; I think her father's name was Thomas Wymbs; Mary Ann was the sister of John T. Wymbs; I presume she was the sister of Catharine Wymbs who married Hugh Kelly, and of Margaret Wymbs who married John McCahill, also of Josephine Wymbs who married Mr. Brady; I believe his christian name was Thomas. Mary Ann Wymbs was the wife of William A. Smets; she is dead; she died over thirty years ago. I believe William A. smets afterwards married a lady named Herbst; her first name was Margaret. ... Mary Ann Wymbs and William A. Smets lived together as husband and wife; they had children, a daughter Anna and a son named Henry; Anna is married to Mr. McQuade; she did live in Utica. Mary Ann Wymbs was called Mrs. Smets. I was at one time in the employ of Madam Scheltma, sister of William A. Smets; they were then residing in the city of New York, and were engaged in the facy goods business on Broadway. Mary Ann Wymbs and William A. Smets were received by the other members of the family as husband and wife. I knew Margaret Herbst who was in the employ of William A. Smets or Madam Scheltma before I was married, about 1844, I think, Mary Ann Wymbs the first wife was then dead; she died I think before Margaret Herbst was so employed; Margaret was known as the wife of William A. Smets by his family and those in his employ; they recognized each other as husband and wife; they were so known before I was married; I occasionally saw them after my marriage, and they passed as husband and wife; they had children boys and girls. Old Mrs. Wymbs is dead. Mrs. McCahill, formerly Margaret Wymbs, is dead.

[testimony of Henry F. Smets:]

The maiden name of the first wife of William A. Smets, deceased, was Mary Ann clotilda Wymbs, and she married said Smets in New York, April 21st, 1831. She died March 14th, 1837. She left her surviving her, her husband, william A. Smets and two children, Anna Elizabeth McQuade, and this deponent. She died intestate. William A. Smets never administered on her estate to my knowledge, because she had none. ...


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