with apologies to Horace Greeley


photo courtesy of Egbert's gr.gr,gr,grandaughter Barbara Tangier Schenck Wilcox

Notice the sailboat on Bellport Bay or perhaps Narrow Bay at Smith's Point !


Although he didn't hang around his ancestral home, The Manor Of St. George for too long, leaving it at the age of 21 in 1817, the original Egbert Tangier Smith 1796 - 1879, often gets confused with the other Egbert Tangier Smith 1822 - 1889, who was the father of the last four Tangier Smith heirs to inhabit the Manor: the spinsters and bachelors; Martha T., William E. T., Eugenia A.T. aka "Miss Eugenie" and Clarence G.T. oh........

That said, some local amateur historians and real estate revisionists, often perpetuate the myth, that I believe may well of started with Miss Eugenie's estate executor, lawyer George Furman of Patchogue. The Tangier Smith myth being that when "Miss Eugenie" died at The Manor in 1954, it was the end of the line for the Tangier Smith family. Nothing could be farther from the truth! * Unless you say Shirley Beach on Bellport Bay was once upon time known as Smith Point Beach ( Smith Point landing as that spot was known, on Bellport Bay was just a private dock of the Tangier Smith family ) or a bigger whopper yet, that Smith's Point ( a 19th century nautical navigational landmark) was once known as The Hamlet Of Smith Point! Hamlet for who ? ... Shakespeare? ... he makes fishing reels .... flounders and crabs? Where do they come up with this stuff? If Miss Eugenie was still around, she might well use one of her sage expressions on these Smith Point area rascallion revisionists come lately ... "They are about as necessary, as a dog with three tails"

* It should also be noted that Long Island Genealogy.com has long, long,ago posted detailed information that dispells this recurring myth about Eugenia A. T. Smith, being the last of the Tangier Smiths. Mac Titmus who runs LIG.com also has indepth details on the Tangier Smith Family including that of the above pictured colorful "California Pioneer" Egbert Tangier Smith.

19th century genealogists and biographers often distinguished the two to the manor born, E. T. Smiths, by calling the original, Egbert Tangier and later on Major Egbert Tangier ( he was a paymaster in the Union Army from 1862 ) and by the using prefix Honorable and suffix Jr. for Egbert T. Smith (though technically he was not a Junior, I think he was a half cousin or half second cousin to Major Egbert? ... as Jr. was the son of William "Point Billy" Smith, who as son of Major Egbert's father, General John Smith from his first marriage to Lydia Fanning, was Egbert Tangier's half brother.....still with me ?) Unlike the Egbert Tangier Smith, who went west as a young man before Horace Greely said to, the Hon. Egbert T. Smith, spent most of his entire life in Mastic, at the family homestead on Long Island's south shore near Smith's point. E.T. jr. was an 18 year old NY State assemblyman in 1840, and therefore away in Albany at times in his young adult life, before marrying Annie Robinson of Patchogue in June of 1858. He was offered the rank of General by Abraham Lincoln around the start of the Civil War, but he wisely declined, as he already had a very young daughter Martha (born in April 1859) and perhaps by then, an infant first son William Egbert T. (born in October of 1861)



I would estimate this portrait to be circa 1850-60s

But speaking of sons, the original Egbert, can lay claim to being the son of not just one, but three original, historic first families of Mastic. The Woodhulls, who first came to Long Island in 1648, the Floyds in 1654 and the Tangier Smiths, who arrived in 1689. His mother being General Woodhull's daughter "Betsy", his grandmother, Ruth Woodhull, who was the sister of Declaration of Independence signer William Floyd and widow of General Nathaniel, and his afore mentioned father, General John Smith.

Egbert Tangier Smith was born in the new Woodhull Mansion that was built after April of 1784 as that is where General John and "Betsy" lived at the time. Legend has it that Betsy was always John's first choice for a bride, but he was strongly opposed by Ruth Woodhull. So he first married Lydia Fanning from Brookhaven, and they had a son William aka "Point Billy" Lydia died very young about age 17 shortly after childbirth in 1777. John secondly married Elizabeth Platt of Kingston, NY (which is where Gen. John took refuge during the Revolutionary War ) marrying Elizabeth after the war in 1785, she died two years later. He finally married then widow Elizabeth Woodhull Nicoll in 1792. If the legend holds about the old animosity from his new mother in law, it must of been an interesting time at the Woodhull homestead as Ruth lived till at least till 1805 by one account and more say six years past her son in law until 1822.

How is that for a heritage?

The original Egbert Tangier Smith, married Sarah Rogers Schenck in Ohio in 1818 and they had a large family of 11 children. He obviously did return to Mastic, Long Island, to visit with his widowed mother Elizabeth, married sister Sarah Augusta Lawrence (who also was mother of 11), and his younger and still bachelor brothers, Robert Tangier, who remained a bachelor and Charles Jeffrey Smith, who did not marry until he was age 49 in 1852. Had Egbert not returned to Mastic, this 1831 portrait, by Shepard A. Mount (also a Tangier Smith relative), would not exist. When Egbert returned to Ohio, he took his portrait with him and it has remained in the Smith - Schenck family ever since. Traveling first with him in 1851, when he went to live in the Iowa territory, and eventually all the way to the west coast when he followed three of his sons who had "Gold Fever" to Napa, California, which is where he spent the rest of his colorful life.

Barbara T. S. Wilcox, who supplied the color photo of the painting, also writes and tells me she has been staring at her great gr. gr. grandfather's portrait all her life, but that her grandmother told her " distant eastern relatives" at one time made inquires about the painting and thought they might try to take it off her wall. She also says Egbert took the Manor's "Pigskin Book" * with him when he left Mastic. That is a book of accounts at The Manor of St. George going back the original William Tangier and Lady Martha Smith in the 17th century . One of Major Egbert's sons, Charles Geoffrey Smith gave the book to Ruth Woodhull Smith. It is now reportably in the possesion of the Bellport - Brookhaven Historical Society.

* No Telling What Ed Orr Could Of Done With The First Floyd Football Team___ Had He Only Had The Pigskin Book....Nobody else around could gain ground like the Tangier Smiths.


"Born At Mastic Long Island"

Meet Major Egbert Tangier Smith's Parents

General John Smith 1755 - 1816

Great Grandson Of The Founder Of The Manor Of St. George, Col. Wm. Tangier Smith


Elizabeth Woodhull Nicoll Smith 1762 - 1839

The daughter of General Nathaniel Woodhull & Ruth Floyd Woodhull (sister of William Floyd)

1831 portrait at age 69 by S. A. Mount

William Tangier "Point Billy" Smith 1777 - 1857
Half Brother To Egbert Tangier Smith & Father of Hon. Egbert T.

Lydia T. William T. and Sylvester T.

photo : John Dietz's Website : Brookhaven / Southaven Hamlets


Gen. John "Tangier" Smith and Elizabeth "Betsy" Woodhull Nicoll Smith had four children together.

1: SARAH AUGUSTA SMITH b. in Mastic May 19, 1794 d. Nov 13, 1877 . married John L. Lawrence

parents of 11 children & this is where The Lawrence Estate Starts In Mastic .

It was actually once all Woodhull Farm property


2: Maj. EGBERT TANGIER SMITH : b. in Mastic Aug. 17, 1796 , d. Napa, California Mar 13, 1879

married Sarah Rogers Schenck in Ohio in 1818 they had 11 children


3: ROBERT TANGIER SMITH b Mastic July 9, 1798 , d Mastic June 28 1862

Never married , he was merchant in NY City and returned to Mastic


4: CHARLES JEFFREY SMITH b Mastic Aug 9, 1803 d Mastic May 12, 1876

m Lettia Jane Suydam June 16, 1852 no children survived to maturity

Charles & Lettia Are Buried In Woodhull Cemetary On Neighborhood Road

Charles Jeffrey Smith's 200 plus acre working farm estate, became the C. W. Lawrence estate in the 1880's

and finally the Knapp Estate from 1916 - 1938

There are two homes that Charles Jeffery built in the 1850's & 1860's, that are well preserved in fine condition

on Locust Drive In Mastic Beach. The Heyer House & The Muse House and a barn that was converted into a residence

in 1958 on Ramshorn & Jefferson Drive.

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