Orvil was the son of Joseph Smith, Esq. and the grandson of Deacon Eli Smith who, along with three brothers, emigrated from New York to Vermont
and finally settled in Shoreham in the 1780's.
Stephen Smith, one of the brothers, eventually settled a farm north of Witherell Road. According to Goodhue, he was with Ethan Allen and Benedict Arnold for the capture of Fort Ticonderoga early in the Revolutionary War. Deacon Eli was with Gates and Arnold at Saratoga. Major Nathan Smith, a third brother, along with his son Nathan Jr, were also with Allen and Arnold at Ticonderoga.