Re: Elizabeth Smith, wife of John Corbin, dau. of Tobias
This William Smith does not appear in the Essex Co., VA records because he died in Old Rappahannock Co., VA about eight years before Essex county was formed.
I do not agree with your conclusion that the William Smith who was the father-in-law of John Corbin was the son of Tobias and Phoebe Smith. I have gone through ALL of the Old Rappahannock county court records and there were at least FOUR different William Smiths of record circa 1680 in this area. Given how common the surname SMITH was, there were probably other men named William Smith (e.g. indentured servants) who did not appear in the records of that county at all and were only listed as headrights on patents.
There was a very clear "class" system in place in 17th century Virginia, similar to the one still in place in England. All of the evidence that we have indicates that the William Smith who was the father-in-law of John Corbin was a poor farmer. He only acquired 100 acres of property during his life. Tobias Smith and his wife were members of the gentry. There is no corroborating evidence that links this particular William Smith or his descendants to Tobias Smith.