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The 1820 Settler Correspondence
 as preserved in the National Archives, Kew
 and edited by Sue Mackay

Additonal Information

This is pre 1820 information mainly taken from actual images of UK parish registers and other primary sources which I have personally researched. Further information about the settlers and their families once they reached the Cape can be found at

Sue Mackay

SMITH, John Joseph (ROWLES' Party)


(member of ROWLES' Party - first applied to emigrate with John STAPLES)


Death Notice (Cape Archives) says he was 73 when he died in 1852, so he was born ca 1779.


From research by David Smith:

He was born to Jewish parents in London in 1779. His original name was Simon SAMUEL and his parents were Levy and Esther SAMUEL.  He joined the Royal Navy in 1803 at the outbreak of the war with France, and served on the Frigate HMS Hussar. His rank was 'ORD', ordinary seaman. He served under Sir William Cornwallis and Sir Edward Pellew. The Hussar was wrecked near Brest in 1804 and most of the crew, including John Joseph, surrendered to the French. He was a POW at Givet in the Ardennes and met and married his French wife, Marie Anne FALLAUX, during the time he was in detention at Givet. He was christened in France before marrying his French wife, who was Catholic. At his christening he asked that he be called Jean Joseph but retained the surname SAMUEL until he returned to England, when he again used the surname SMITH, which he had used while in the Royal Navy. 

Joseph's baptism record in France (translation by researcher)

'The year 1813, 15th January, Us priest undersigned having baptized Simon SAMUEL, son of Levi SAMUEL and of Esther, Jewish of origin, born in London, district of Houndsditch, on 25 April 1779, English war prisoner from the frigate “Le Hussard”, presently at the deposit of the prison of Givet. Jointly with his godfather and his godmother he took the name of Jean Joseph. The godfather was Jean Joseph DUTILLEUX, in Givet and godmother Marie Louise LÉCUYER, in Mazée, wife of Jean Joseph DUTILLEUX, farmer in Mazée, canton of Givet, Ardennes. Master JACQUES, vicar of this church and serving in Rancennes, was present at the baptism, received after a long training Jean Joseph SAMUEL, who signed with us, and Master Jacques vicar of this church and Marie Louise Lécuyer, the godfather declared not to know.'


John Joseph married Marie Anne Josephine FALLAUX and they had three children born in France before John returned to London in 1819 and applied to join the settler scheme. The Settler Return for ROWLES' Party only lists Alfred and Eliza, but we know that the eldest child, also John Joseph, did emigrate. He was possibly omitted in error from the Settler Return because he bore the same name as his father.


Death Notice (Cape Archives) for John Joseph junior says he was born in France on 27 February 1814, the son of J.J. and Mary Ann Jos'ne SMITH. He predeceased his father, which is why he doesn't appear on John Joseph senior's Death Notice.


According to David Smith, John Joseph junior was born in Richelieu, France. The second son, Alfred Desiré Joseph, was born in Valenciennes on17 November 1817. Eliza Alexandrine was born in Paris on 19 May 1819, so was younger than the 1½ given on the Settler Return. Her Death Notice (Cape Archives) says she was born in Paris, the daughter of John Joseph and Maria Josephine SMITH, and was 83 years and 3 months old when she died on 2 August 1902.


The Settler Handbook says that John SMITH of ROWLES' Party had served as the boatswain on The Impregnable during the Napoleonic Wars. This was in fact the John SMITH of WILLSON's Party, of similar age, as can be seen by the letters of application written in 1819, where it is made clear that the boatswain of the Impregnable's wife was Rebecca and his sons were John, Thomas and William.


An account of the life of John Joseph SMITH written by his 4xgreat grandson, Chris Giffard, has been shared with his permission here.




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