For a number of years, I believed Alexander Spence and Dorothy Truman were my seventh great grandparents. Updated research proved otherwise; Alexander is my seventh great grand uncle. Alexander Spence was the second oldest son of David Spence (1639-1679) and Ann Roe (1640-1711), and Dorothy Truman was the daughter of John Trewman/Truman (1627-1685). Since the Truman family is destined to reappear in a later article, I will discuss them first.
The Trewman/Trueman/Truman Family
Over the years, people have speculated that John Trewman/Truman was another brother of the Trewman/Truman brothers who settled in Calvert County, Maryland. Since he does not appear on any of their records, I tend to believe he was not another brother. The little information known about him is that he had a cousin named Robert Trewman/Truman (1634-1685) and a “brother” named John MackBride (McBride) (1664-1704). An abstract of John Trewman’s will follows:
Truman, John, Somerset Co.,8th Aug., 1685;
6th July, 1686.
To brother John Makbride and cousin Robert Truman, personalty.
To 3 daus., viz., Dorothy, Elisa:, and Catherine, at age, residue of estate, real and personal. Richard Stevens to have care of dau. Dorothy; John Booth to have care of dau. Eliza:, and Jas. Dashields to have care of dau. Catherine.
Exs.: Richard Stevens, Jno. Booth, Jas. Breden.
Test: Robt. Truman, Jas. Breden. 4. 215.
MARYLAND CALENDAR OF WILLS: Volume 2
VOLUME II (1)
Using the names provided in his will, I believe I have found his actual family.
According to English Parish Records, John Trewman was baptized April 29, 1627 in Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, England. He was the son of Richard Trewman (1607-abt 1659) and Marie Huthwaite of Nottinghamshire(2). Since the Calvert County Trewmans originated in Nottinghamshire, John was probably a distant cousin of the Calvert County line. Richard Trewman was baptized May 31, 1607 in Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, England, the son of William Trewman (b. 1577) and Mary Cowper. William Trewman was baptized August 17, 1577 in Limber-Magna, Lincoln, England. His father was George Trewman (b. 1550)(3). Besides William, George had another son named John Trewman (b. 1580), whose wife’s name was Jane. Their son, Robert Trewman (1610-1650), was baptized December 10, 1610 in Crayke,Yorkshire, England(4). Robert and his wife Joice were the parents of Robert Trewman (1634-1685), who was baptized December 1634 in St Botolph Without Aldgate, London, London, England(5). This Robert Trewman was John Trewman’s cousin referenced in his will. They were actually second cousins.
The next reference to John Trewman/Truman (born 1627) concerns his transportation to Virginia in 1654(6). John appears on a List of Early Virginia Residents as follows:
Name: Jno Truman
Arrived By: 1654
Sponsors: John Watson and John Bognall
Residence Place: Westmoreland, Virginia
Reference: Early Virginia Immigrants; 1623–1666 T(7)
The ship passenger list suggests an Irish connection, indicating that John may have left England and settled in Antrim, Ireland prior to his relocation to Virginia. This is an excellent possibility since his cousin Robert was in Antrim by 1650. Robert’s daughter, Margaret Truman (1654-1711), was born in Antrim in 1654. She would later marry John McBride (1664-1704), also from Antrim. It appears that the Trewmans and McBrides were well acquainted with one another prior to their arrival in America. John Trewman arrived in Virginia in 1654, and he settled in Westmoreland County. Robert Trewman obtained his land patent in Virginia in 1656; he may have arrived with John(8).
John’s wife’s name was possibly Anne. Some people think her full name was Anne Storer. But since a number of Trewman men had a wife named Anne Storer, I doubt that was the case. John would have married Anne about 1658 in Westmoreland County, Virginia; her surname is unknown.
John’s family probably moved to Somerset County, Maryland about 1674. John began working on land deals there in 1669. It appears that Robert Truman relocated to Somerset County in 1668(9).
They had the following children:
1. Catherine Truman (1665-1726). Catherine was born January 25, 1665 in Westmoreland County, Virginia, and she died April 29, 1726 in Pasquotank County, North Carolina. She married John Spence (1672-1736) in Somerset County, Maryland. He was the third son of David Spence (1639-1679) and Ann Roe (1640-1711), They will be discussed in a later article.
2. Dorothy Truman (1672-1734). Dorothy was born in Westmoreland County, Virginia, and she died in Pasquotank County, North Carolina. She will be discussed in the next section since she became the wife of Alexander Spence—the subject matter here.
3. Sarah Elizabeth Truman (1673-1740). Sarah Elizabeth was born in Westmoreland County, Virginia, and she died in Pasquotank County, North Carolina. She would later become the second wife of the youngest son of David Spence (1639-1679) and Ann Roe (1640-1711)–James Spence (1674-1740). She will be discussed more fully in a later article.
John drew up his will probably after his wife’s death in 1685. As already noted, in the event of his death, he requested his daughters be placed as follows:
In the name of God Amen. I JOHN TRUMAN being sick and weak in body with thanks be to God in perfect mind and memory doe make and ordain this to be my last Will and Testament in manner and frame as followeth—FIRST, I leave and bequeath unto RICHARD STEVENS my daughter DORYTY TRUMAN during the tyme of three years. I also leave and bequeath unto JOHN BOOTH my daughter ELIZABETH TRUMAN during the tyme of five years. I leave and bequeath unto JAMES DASHIELL my daughter KATHERINE TRUMAN _______________ years. I also give and bequeath unto my brother JOHN MAKBRIDE one small __________ sword with a silver hilt. I also give and bequeath unto my cousin ROBERT TRUMAN all my woollen clothing, and all the rest of my estate, moveables or unmovables, which will appear by inventory. I give and bequeath unto my three daughters CATHERINE TRUMAN, DORYTHY TRUMAN and ELIZABETH TRUMAN to be equally divided among them as their tymes above mentioned shall be expired and that I do wholly make and ordaine RICHARD STEVENS and JOHN BOOTH with the assistance of JAMES BREDEN to be my Executors and overseers of what is herein mentioned unto which I sett my hand and seal this 5th day of August, 1685. I give and bequeath enterlined before assigned.
The mark of JOHN TRUMAN
Witnesses: ROBERT (his mark) TRUMAN
JAMES (his mark) BREDEN
RECORDED July 6, 1686(10)
John died before July 6, 1686 in Somerset County, Maryland. His daughters went to live with those designated to receive them. They would grow up knowing their future husbands because they all lived in the same neighborhood.
Alexander Spence (1669-1735)
The second son of David Spence and Ann Roe, Alexander Spence was born September 13, 1669 in Wicomico, Somerset County, Maryland (11), and he died March 14, 1735 in Pasquotank, North Carolina. In 1681, he registered his cattle marks in Somerset County at the age of twelve(12). In October 1697, Alexander married Dorothy Truman in Somerset County. They had the following children:
1. Alexander Spence (1699-1739). Alexander was born March 8, 1699 in Pasquotank, North Carolina, and he died in 1739 in Pasquotank. I have no additional information about him.
2. James Spence (1699-1755). James was born March 8, 1699 in Pasquotank, North Carolina, and he died February 4, 1755 in Pasquotank. His wife was Elizabeth Tucker (1700-1755). Their children were:
a. John Spence (1728-1803)
b. Sarah Spence (1730-1793). Sarah married a Cook.
c. Alexander Spence (1732-1755)
d. Letitia Spence (1734-1785)
e. Arey Spence (1736-1755)
f. Dorothy Spence (1738-1755)
g. James Spence (1740-1792). James married Partheny Chancey (1757-1822). Their son was James Spence (1760-1828), who married Courtney Ann Brite (1781-1841). Their children were
(1) Anna Keeter Spence
(2) Edward Spence
(3) Courtney Spence (b. 1787)
(4) Nancy Spence (b.1795)
(5) Ollie Spence (b. 1798)
(6) Silas Spence (b. 1804)
(7) Amelia “Millie” Spence (1809-1874)
(8) James Brite Spence (b. 1813)
(9) Parthenia Spence (b. 1815)
(10) John Spence (b. 1821)
2. Joseph Spence (abt 1700-1783). Joseph was born about 1700 in Pasquotank, North Carolina, and he died March 18, 1783 in Pasquotank. He married Louisa Sarah Rencher (1708-1783) about 1720 in Pasquotank. Their children were:
a. Mark Spence, Sr. (1723-1804). Mark was born about 1723 in Pasquotank, and he died about 1804 in Camden County. He married Ann Temple about 1745. Their children were:
(1) Miles Spence
(2) Mark Spence, Jr. (1794-1839). Mark was born in Pasquotank in 1794, and he died February 1839 in Pasquotank. His wife was Mary Burnham (1800-1840). Their children were:
(a) Mark B. Spence (b.1822)
(b) John Spence (b. 1829)
(c ) William James Spence (1833-1917)
(d) Thomas R. Spence (b. 1835)
(e) Eliza Ann Spence (1836-1900)
(f) Asenith Spence (b.1838)
(g) Newton Enoch Spence (1839-1904).
3. Sarah Spence (1731-1783). Sarah married a Sawyer
4. Joseph Spence (1737-1783)
5. Rencher Spence (1739-1796). Rencher was born in Pasquotank in 1739, and he died May 23, 1796 in Pasquotank. His wife was Rachel “Barshel” Williams (1773-1796). Their children were:
a. Samuel Spence (1760-1804)
b. David Spence (1767-1796)
c. Daniel Spence (abt 1770-1850)
d. James Spence (abt 1770-1814). James was born about 1770 in Pasquotank and he died about 1814 in Camden County. He had two marriages. The first was to Elizabeth Parks (1754-1797) and the second was to Sarah Sawyer (b. 1770).
e. Nancy Spence (abt 1770-1796)
f. Newton Spence (abt 1770-1796)
g. Tamer Spence (abt 1770-1796)
h. Peggy Spence (born 1771)
I. Jane Spence (born 1773)
[Note: the actual birthdates and death dates of some of these children are unknown]
6. Samuel Spence (1760-1805). Samuel was born in Pasquotank in 1760, and he died in 1805 in Edonton, Pasquotank, North Carolina. His wife was Julian Gray (1760-1804). Their children were:
a. Jean Spence, born 1785
b. Elizabeth Spence, born 1786
c. Newton Enoch Spence (1788-1870). Newton was born in Pasquotank, and he died May 9, 1870 in Rutherford County, Tennessee
d. Rencher Spence (1788-1870). Rencher was born in Pasquotank, and he died May 9, 1870 in Rutherford County, Tennessee. He had two wives. His first wife was Nancy Harris (1790-1860). Their children were:
(1) Elizabeth Spence (1819-1902)
(2) John Wesley Spence (1822-1852)
(3) William J Spence (1823-1864)
(4) Martha Ann Spence (1825-1903)
(5) Abner Spence (1828-1870)
(6) Britton Spence (1828-1888)
(7) Nancy G. Spence, born 1830
(8) Beverly Spence (1833-1909)
(9) Rencher Spence (1833-1896)
(10) James Doak Spence (1834-1892)
(11) Alsea H. Spence (1835-1860)
(12) Martin Van Buren Spence (1837-1877)
(13) Mary W. Spence (1843-1870)
(14) Temple Spence (born 1845)
His second wife was Lydia Harris (1838-1910). Their children were:
(1) Mary J. Spence (1856-1894)
(2) Susana Spence (1864-1910)
(3) Andrew Jackson Spence (1868-1937)
(4) Lorenzo Spence (1869-1869)
e. Joseph Spence (1790-1829)
f. Brittain Spence (1791-1829). Brittain was born in Edonton, Pasquotank, North Carolina, and he died October 8, 1829 in Rutherford County, Tennessee. On May 9, 1812, he married Jane “Jennie” Forehand in Davidson County, Tennessee. This couple will re-appear in a later article. Their children were:
(1) Samuel Spence ( born 1816)
(2) Joseph Spence (1816-1880)
(3) Phoebe Spence (1820-1897)
(4) Alison Spence (1822-1922)
(5) Elizabeth Spence (born 1829)
(6) Juliann Spence (born 1829)
(7) Mary Spence (born 1829)
(8) William Spence (born 1829)
[Again, some of these birth dates are unknown.]
g. Luckey Spence (born 1800).
All family information here reflects the current status of my ancestral tree (a continuing effort)(13).
A timeline for Alexander Spence follows:
13 Sep 1669–Born in Somerset County, Maryland
1681–Registered Cattle Marks in Somerset County, Maryland
1697–Married Dorothy Truman, Somerset County, Maryland
Oct 1697–Proves rites into Perquimans, North Carolina as follows: Himself, Dorety Spence, John Spence, David Spence, James Spence. The Virginia Valley Records indicates that he proved rights for five sons, but since he had just married, he didn’t have any children as yet. Two of these people are Alexander and his wife. I believe the other three are his brothers: David, John and James. David didn’t stay in North Carolina and went to Virginia. John remained there. James returned to Somerset to stay with his widowed mother until her death. He then returned to North Carolina. All of Alexander’s children were born in North Carolina
1699–Returned to Maryland. He had been traveling back and forth between Maryland and North Carolina.
1699–Road overseer in Perquimans
1713–Alexander Spence a juror in Perquimans
1715–Vestryman in Perquimans, North Carolina
1723–Juror in Pasquotank
1729-1735–Pays Quit Rents on 380 Acres of Land in Pasquotank
Undated–Asks the aid of Virginia (14)
While searching through my Spence Research Notebook, I discovered a copy of an email I posted ca. 1995-1996. It may have been posted to a Spence discussion board.
In his will (15), he left 240 acres on the Eastern Shore in Maryland joining
Wm. Elgate” to his “eldest son, James”. This bequest
Appears to have included the 125 ac half-share in “Spence’s
Choice”inherited from his father, David, in 1679, but the
source of the remaining 115ac is not known. A William
Elgate did patent a plantation by that name in 1664 along
the Marumsco River in Somerset Co., MD some
distance SE of the family’s original plantation, “Despence”,
but none of the holding adjacent to “Elgate” appear to have
been named “Spence’s Choice” and Elgate sold out in
1672, a year before David patented the”Choice”. More
research is needed to resolve this issue. (Source:
Dryden,1985: “Land Records of Somerset Co., MD, p
146) he relocated to North Carolina by October 1697 with
his wife, Dorety (Dorothy), and brothers. He seems to have
been a prosperous, civic-minded man, as he eventually
owned a substantial amount of land along the Pasquotank
River in what is now Camden Co., NC, below the Great
Dismal Swamp. He was active in various civic and legal
proceedings. He served in the House of Burgesses, was a
highway overseer, grand juror, Church of England
vestryman, and witnessed many deeds in the area.
Alexander died around August 24, 1734 at age 65, leaving sons James, Alexander Jr., Joseph, Robert, and Truman; and daughters Jane Sawyer and Catherine Sawyer.(16)
His will was dated August 24, 1734. He died about April 1735, since his will was entered for probate at that time(17).
(1)John Truman 1685 Will Abstract, Maryland Calendar of Wills: Volume 2, Volume 11. Ancestry.com, Provo, Utah. Date Accessed: September 25, 2014. Available online at http://www.ancestry.com
(2)England & Wales Christening Records, 1530-1906 about John Trewman, Ancestry.com, Provo, Utah. Date Accessed: September 25, 2014. Available online at http://www.ancestry.com
(3)England, Select Births and Christenings, 1538-1975 about William Trewman, Ancestry.com, Provo, Utah. Date Accessed: September 25, 2014. Available online at http://www.ancestry.com
(4) England, Select Births and Christenings, 1538-1975 about Robert Trewman, Ancestry.com, Provo, Utah. Date Accessed: September 25, 2014. Available online at http://www.ancestry.com
(5)England, Select Births and Christenings, 1538-1975 about Robert Trewman, Ancestry.com, Provo, Utah. Date Accessed: September 25, 2014. Available online at http://www.ancestry.com
(6)U.S. and Canada, Passenger and Immigration Lists Index, 1500s-1900s about Jno Truman, Ancestry.com, Provo, Utah. Date Accessed: September 25, 2014. Available online at http://www.ancestry.com
(7)Virginia Immigrants, 1623-1666 about Jno. Truman, Ancestry.com, Provo, Utah. Date Accessed: September 25, 2014. Available online at http://www.ancestry.com
(8)U.S. and Canada, Passenger and Immigration Lists Index, 1500s-1900s about Robert Trueman, Ancestry.com, Provo, Utah. Date Accessed: September 25, 2014. Available online at http://www.ancestry.com
(9)U.S. and Canada, Passenger and Immigration Lists Index, 1500s-1900s about Robert Trueman, Ancestry.com, Provo, Utah. Date Accessed: September 25, 2014. Available online at http://www.ancestry.com
(10)Last Will & Testament of John Truman, From The Maryland State Archives MSA No. SM16, PREROGATIVE COURT (Wills) JOHN TRUMAN, book 4 pp. 215-216, SR 4400
(11)They Lived in Somerset: 17th Century Marylanders. Rootsweb.com Website. Date Accessed: May 8, 1998. Available online at http://www.rootsweb.com/~mdsomers/tlis1_s.html
(12)Maryland, Compiled Census and Census Substitutes Index, 1772-1890 about Alexander Spence, Ancestry.com, Provo, Utah. Date Accessed: September 25, 2014. Available online at http://www.ancestry.com
(13)Inman-Spence-Beall-Warfield Family Branches, A Private Tree. Ancestry.com, Provo, Utah. Date Accessed: September 25, 2014. Available online at http://www.ancestry.com
(14)Virginia Valley records : genealogical and historical materials of Rockingham County, Virginia, and related regions (with map), Ancestry. com, Provo, Utah. Date Accessed: September 25, 2014. Available online at http://www.ancestry.com
(15)North Carolina Will Abstracts, 1660-1790 about Alexander Spence, Ancestry.com, Provo, Utah. Date Accessed: September 25, 2014.
(16)Barbara Inman Beall, email dated 1995-1996. Copy found in Spence Research Notebook. It may have been originally posted on a Spence discussion board.
(17)North Carolina Will Abstracts, 1660-1790 about Alexander Spence, Ancestry.com, Provo, Utah. Date Accessed: September 25, 2014. Available online at http://www.ancestry.com