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Preston, William, 1729-1783



  • Existence: 1729 - 1783

Biographical Note

William and Susanna Smith Preston Smithfield Plantation is the historic home of the Preston family, one of the founding families of Blacksburg and Montgomery County, Virginia. It was built by William Preston (1729-1783), who emigrated from northern Ireland with his family in 1737. He married Susanna Smith in 1761 and settled at Greenfield in Botetourt County in 1769. Preston established himself as a leader in the Virginia frontier by serving in the militia in the French and Indian and Revolutionary wars, in the House of Burgesses representing Augusta County from 1766 to 1768 and Botetourt County in 1769, and as County Lieutenant of Fincastle and Montgomery. He was appointed surveyor of Fincastle County in 1772 and moved his family to that area. He built Smithfield, named in honor of his wife, in 1773. Smithfield was the birthplace and home of three Virginia governors, including James Patton Preston (son of William), and John Buchanan Floyd and John Floyd, Jr. (grandsons of William).

Social Networks and Archival Context (SNAC) Identifier

  • 41454672

Found in 8 Collections and/or Records:

Anna Whitehead Kenney Papers

Identifier: Ms-1991-022

The Anna Whitehead Kenney Papers contains a collection of biographical information about local families compiled by Kenney during her time as a curator at Smithfield Plantation.

Dates: 1965 - 1972

List of quit rents of the Middle District of Augusta

 Digital Record
Identifier: Ms1985-020_quitrents

Preston Family (Alice Preston Moore Collection) Papers

Identifier: Ms-1962-004

The collection consists of family papers, receipts, correspondence, and original and photocopied materials relating to the Preston family, primarily William and Susanna Smith Preston, John Preston, and William Ballard Preston, dating from the 1740s to the 1880s. Other materials include 19th and 20th century genealogy research on the Prestons.

Dates: 1749-1882, n.d.

Preston Family (Charles Peale Didier Collection) Papers

Identifier: Ms-1985-020

The Didier Collection of Preston Family Papers includes papers of James Patton, Patton's grandson William Preston, and Preston's eldest son, John Preston, all of Montgomery County, Virginia. The papers consist of business and legal documents, surveys, and correspondence.

Dates: 1747 - 1897

William Preston Land Grant

Identifier: Ms-1994-027

This collection contains a land grant for 2,175 acres in Botetourt County, Virginia, that belonged to Colonel William Preston and the Preston family, which includes the land for Greenfield.

Dates: 1773