Elisha Spence (1776-1835): The Youngest Sons–Part One: Joseph Spence (1816-1860)–Two Families Unscrambled

Joseph Spence and Mary "Polly McDaniel Marriage Record in Tennessee Marriages

Joseph Spence and Mary “Polly” McDaniel Marriage Record in Tennessee Marriages

This is the story of what happens when you have four families in one or two generations with numerous children bearing the same names! It creates a hideous phenomenon known more commonly as a Major Mess! For years, I wondered about some of the information I had acquired concerning the two youngest sons of Elisha Spence–Joseph Spence (1816-1860) and Elisha Bell Spence (1818-1840)–his last two children. But for the life of me, I could not find anything more than what I had acquired. Fortunately, with the availability of many records today, I was able to achieve some success on these lines. While unscrambling the two lines, I went on to unscramble  additional lines–something I had to do in order to prove I had unscrambled the first two! And while my original intention was to combine Joseph and his brother Elisha in one article, that proved to be impossible.

This last article will be divided into three parts: Part One dealing with Joseph Spence (1816-1860) and Mary “Polly” McDaniel (1817-1850); Part Two dealing with Elisha Bell Spence (1818-1840); Part Three dealing with another cousin family who has been snaggled up into all of this. With all of this in mind, I will now enter Part One.

In 1816, Elisha and Jane Bell Spence had a son. One of Elisha’s cousins–Brittain Spence (1791-1829)–and his wife–Jane “Jennie” Forehand (1797-1830)–also had a son in 1816. I do not know which son was born first, but they were born close together. Elisha and Jane lived in Davidson County, Tennessee in 1816. Brittain and Jennie lived either in Davidson County or in Rutherford County in 1816. By 1820, Brittain and his family relocated to Rutherford County, Tennessee, where they appear on the Census for that year(1). They were married in Davidson County May 9, 1812(2). Elisha and Jane Bell were married in Davidson two years previously on October 25, 1810(3). Jennie Forehand was a sister of Phoebe Forehand (1802-1878), who married William Spence (1795-1869)–another cousin of both Elisha and Brittain. [This William Spence is destined to return in Part Three of this article. Interesting to note that I began this entire Spence series over a year ago with an article on William Spence. I will be closing it with an article on the same line!]

My guess is that Brittain and Jennie’s son was born first since they named him Joseph Spence. “Joseph” was a common name in Brittain’s family. His parents were Samuel Spence (1760-1805) and Julian (Julia/Juliana) Gray (1760-1804)–the same Gray line that Elisha’s son, Levi James Spence (1801-1843) married into. Brittain’s grandparents were Joseph Spence (1700-1783) and Louisa Sarah Rencher (1708-1783), and his great grandparents were Alexander Spence (1669-1735) and Dorothy Truman (1672-1734). Alexander Spence was a brother of James Spence (1674-1740)–Elisha Spence’s grandfather.

Shortly after the birth of Brittain and Jennie’s Joseph, Jane Bell Spence gave birth to a boy. And the two families decided that wouldn’t it be nice if two babies bore name the same name of Joseph!  Thus begins the confusion! For clarity’s sake here, I will refer to Elisha and Jane’s son as Joseph (Elisha) and to Brittain and Jennie’s son as Joseph (Brittain). I will discuss Joseph (Brittain) first since I believe he was born first (and he is less complicated!)

Joseph Spence (1816-1880), Mary Ann Fears (1817-1859), and Mary E. (Spence) (1844-1880)

Brittain and Jennie Forehand Spence’s children follow:

  1. Samuel Spence (b. 1814).  Samuel was born in Rutherford County, Tennessee. According to Brittain’s Will(4), Samuel was his oldest son. I have no additional information about him.
  2. Joseph Spence (1816-1880). Under discussion here as Joseph (Brittain).
  3. Elizabeth Spence (b. 1819). Elizabeth was born about 1819 in Rutherford County, Tennessee, and she died March 3, 1899 in Rutherford County, Tennessee. She had two marriages: Eben R. (or B.) Fears, whom she married June 17, 1833 in Rutherford County, Tennessee(5) and John Evans, whom she married May 27, 1841 in Rutherford County(6). She is identified in her father’s will.
  4. Phoebe Spence (1820-1897)–named for Jennie’s sister.  Identified in her father’s will. Phoebe was born October 7, 1820 in Rutherford County, Tennessee, and she died March 7, 1897 in Rutherford County, Tennessee. Her husband was James Granderson Williams (1812-1898), whom she married in Rutherford County, Tennessee June 16, 1836(7). Their children were: (a) William Nelson Williams (1838-1917); (b) Elizabeth Jane Williams (1841-1914); (c) Enoch Alson Williams (1844-1864); (d) Nancy Virginia Williams (1847-1929); (e) Malissa (Mary?) Ann Williams (1850-1851); (f) Phebe Adna Williams (1854-1933); (g) Mary James Williams (1858-1862). Phebe is identified in her father’s will.
  5. Alson Spence (1822-1860).  Alson is also identified in his father’s will. He was born in Rutherford County about 1822, and he died in Rutherford County. Some people believe he lived to be almost 100! But his probate file is dated 1860 in Rutherford County(8). His wife’s name was Mary Ann Revel (1822-1860), whom he married December 23, 1840 in Rutherford County(9). Some records identify her as Mary Ann Reed (same marriage date). I believe that is a transcription error and that her name was Revel.  Their children were: (a) Francis Spence (1842-1861)–Francis may have died in the Civil War; (b) Sarah J. Spence (1844-1861)–she married William Jefferson Carlton (1837-1912) in 1860 and died the following year; (c) Kinchen R. Spence (1846-aft 1860); (d) Julia A. Spence (1850-1920)–she married John E. Mallard (1846-1918); (e) Arvie B. Spence (1852-1929)–she married John Asbury Williams (1847-1925)(10), (11).
  6. William Spence (b. 1823). William is mentioned in his father’s will. He was born in Rutherford County about 1823. He was alive when his father died in 1830, but I could find no record for him after that. He may have died young.
  7. Mary Spence (b. 1825). Mary is mentioned in her father’s will. She would have died after 1830. May have died young.
  8. Julianna Spence (1827-1854). Julianna is mentioned in her father’s will. She was born March 5, 1827 in Rutherford County, Tennessee, and she died January 2, 1854 in Bedford County, Tennessee. She married John Richard Stem (1822-1878) in 1852. They had a son named Marion Luther Stem (1853-1906). She died in 1854. According to her Find-a-Grave Memorial where she is erroneously identified as Ann Sprouse, she was born March 5, 1827 in Rutherford County, Tennessee, and she died January 2, 1854 in Bedford County, Tennessee(12). She is buried in the Stem Cemetery in Bedford County, Tennessee.

The second son of Brittain and Jennie Forehand Spence, Joseph Spence was born either in Davidson County, Tennessee or in Rutherford County, Tennessee in 1816. He died in Greene County, Arkansas after 1880. He is identified as the second son in his father’s will(13). Joseph had two marriages. His first wife was Mary Ann Fears (1817-1859). They had married in Rutherford County on December 4, 1833(14). Their children follow:

  1. Nancy Louisa Spence (1831/4-1909). [Note: I provide two dates of birth here. Her tombstone on Find-a-Grave indicates that she was born in 1831. However, her parents didn’t get married until 1833. More than likely, she was born in 1834 in Rutherford County, Tennessee.] She died in Marshall County, Tennessee on July 15, 1909. According to her Find-a-Grave Memorial:
Birth: Oct. 4, 1831
Death: Jul. 15, 1909

Nancy Louisa Spence Endsley
Dau of Joseph Spence & Nancy [sic] Ann Fears Spence
Wife of Alexander M Endsley
Married 30 Aug 1856 i Marshall Co TNFamily links:
Spouse:
A M Endsley (1826 – 1908)*Children:
J J Endsley (1858 – 1894)*
Julia Endsley Smith (1868 – 1913)**Calculated relationship
Burial:
Head Springs Cemetery
Lewisburg
Marshall County
Tennessee, USA
Created by: gordon
Record added: Apr 24, 2011
Find A Grave Memorial# 68877718 [15]

The full list of their children follows: (a) John J. Endsley (1858-1894); (b) William M. Endsley (1859-1931); (c) Martha J. Endsley (b. 1860); (d) George A. Endsley (1864-1935); (e) Mary E. Endsley (b. 1866); (f) Julia C. Endlsey Smith (1868-1913); (g) Joseph E. Endsley (b. 1870).

2. Britton Spence (1835-1910). Britton was born in September 1835 Rutherford County, Tennessee, and he died in Arkansas in 1910. His wife was Elizabeth “Betsy” A. Cox (1840-1910). Their children were: (a) Charles Spence (b. 1858); (b) R. Spence (b. 1860); (c) Minerel Millinder Spence (1869-1939); (d) Allie B. Spence (b. 1872); (e) Eva M. Spence (b. 1880). Prior to relocating to Arkansas, Britton settled in Madison County, Tennessee, where he and his family appear on the 1860 Census(16).

3. William Spence (1837-1900). William was born in March 1837 in Tennessee, and he died in 1900 in Perry, St. Francois, Missouri. His wife was Susan M. Steele (b. 1842). Their children were: (a) John P. Spence (b. 1865); (b) Sarah F. Spence (b. 1866); (c) Eller Spence (b. 1868); (d) Londokie Spence (b. 1877); (e) Joseph C. Spence (b. 1883); (f) George Anthony Spence (b. 1887); (g) Leona Spence (b. 1889).

Mary Ann Fears died around 1859. Joseph went to Kentucky by 1860 where he married his second wife: Mary E. (Her last name is unknown.)  By 1870, Joseph moved his family to Clark, Greene County, Arkansas, where they appear on the 1870 Census(17). The children of Joseph Spence and Mary E. Spence follow:

  1. Julia Ann Spence (1865-1880). Julia was born in Tennessee about 1865, and she died after the 1880 Census in Greene County, Arkansas. I have no further information about her.
  2. Susan “Sudie” Spence (1872-1930). Sudie was born in Haliday, Arkansas in 1872, and she died in 1930 in Greene County, Arkansas. Her first husband was John Michael “Mike” Cooper (1865-1920), whom she married in 1887 in Greene County, Arkansas. Their children were: (a) Carlie C. (Charles) Cooper (1887-1943); (b) an unidentified child born 1890; (c) Pearly Cooper (1893-1920). Her second husband was James H. Ward (1880-1920),whom she  married in 1900 in Greene County, Arkansas(18).  Their children were: (a) Robert Ward (1901-1994); (b) Charles Ward (b. 1906).
  3. Charles Edward Spence (1873-1940). Charles was born February 15, 1873 in Arkansas, and he died after 1940 in Collier, Greene, Arkansas. His wife was Bertha E. Spense (b. 1885). Their son was Cletra R. Spence (b. 1914).
  4. Mary E. Spence (1877-aft 1880). Mary was born about 1877 in Arkansas, and she died after 1880 in Union and Clark, Greene County, Arkansas.

Joseph and his family appear on the 1880 Census for Greene County, Arkansas(19). They may have moved to Independence County, Arkansas by late 1880 or early 1881 because I found a probate file for Joseph Spence listed there(20).

Joseph (Brittain) will reappear in the next section.

 

Joseph Spence (1816-1860), Mary “Polly” McDaniel (1817-1850), and Frances E. Spence (1838-1860)

The Elisha Spence family and the Brittain Spence family may have traveled from North Carolina to Tennessee together. The two families were close, and the two young Joseph Spences grew up together and bonded like brothers. They kept things lively in the neighborhood, no doubt pulling tricks on other family members.

Elisha and Jane Bell Spence’s second youngest son, Joseph–noted here as Joseph (Elisha) –was born in Davidson County, Tennessee in 1816, and he died after the 1860 census in Haywood County, Tennessee. Had I not discovered his marriage record in a book of Tennessee Marriage Records at the Denver Public Library years ago, I may not have ever found him! His records have been so mixed in with Joseph (Brittain)’s, it is difficult sorting them out. However, I accepted the challenge and weathered the storm!

A young child Joseph’s age appears in the Elisha Spence household on the 1820 Census for Davidson County, Tennessee. A chart depicting the family is listed below. I included their names in the margin:

Name Elisha Spence
Home in 1820 (City, County, State) Davidson, Tennessee
Enumeration Date August 7, 1820
Free White Persons – Males – Under 10 2 (Joseph/Elisha B)
Free White Persons – Males – 10 thru 15 1  (William)
Free White Persons – Males – 26 thru 44 1  (Elisha)
Free White Persons – Females – Under 10 2 (Angeline/Jane)
Free White Persons – Females – 10 thru 15 2  (Rhoda/Susan)
Free White Persons – Females – 16 thru 25 1  (Milly Catherine)
Free White Persons – Females – 26 thru 44 1  (Jane)
Number of Persons – Engaged in Agriculture 2
Free White Persons – Under 16 7
Free White Persons – Over 25 2
Total Free White Persons 10
Total All Persons – White, Slaves, Colored, Other 10                           (21)

Milly Catherine had married Lewis Jones that year and lived in Perry County, but she was helping out her family in Davidson County when this census record was taken. Samuel and Daniel were in Perry County, Tennessee. Levi James was living in North Carolina.

The 1830 Census for the Elisha Spence household in Davidson County presents the following image:

Name Elisha Spense
Home in 1830 (City, County, State) Davidson, Tennessee
Free White Persons – Males – 10 thru 14 1  (Elisha B)
Free White Persons – Males – 15 thru 19 1  (Joseph)
Free White Persons – Males – 50 thru 59 1  (Elisha)
Free White Persons – Females – 10 thru 14 1  (Jane)
Free White Persons – Females – 15 thru 19 1  (Angeline)
Free White Persons – Females – 50 thru 59 1  (Jane)
Free White Persons – Under 20 4
Total Free White Persons 6
Total – All Persons (Free White, Slaves, Free Colored) 6                         (22)

The children of the first marriage are gone. Samuel, Daniel, Milly Catherine and her husband are in Perry County, Tennessee. Levi has returned from North Carolina and is living in Madison County, Tennessee. William is now living in North Carolina. Rhoda and Susan were living in Williamson County. Shortly after this census was taken, Elisha moved his family to Madison County, where he died in November 1835(23). After her husband’s death, Jane Bell Spence moved her family to Marshall County, Tennessee, where some of them appear on the 1840 Census:

Name Jane Spence
Home in 1840 (City, County, State) Marshall, Tennessee
Free White Persons – Males – 10 thru 14 1
Free White Persons – Males – 15 thru 19 1
Free White Persons – Males – 20 thru 29 1 (Elisha B)
Free White Persons – Females – 10 thru 14 1
Free White Persons – Females – 15 thru 19 1 (Elisha B’s wife?)
Free White Persons – Females – 40 thru 49 1 (Jane)
Persons Employed in Agriculture 1
No. White Persons over 20 Who Cannot Read and Write 2
Free White Persons – Under 20 4
Free White Persons – 20 thru 49 2
Total Free White Persons 6
Total All Persons – Free White, Free Colored, Slaves 6                        (24)

My perception of this chart has changed since my earlier examination of it. Elisha B. Spence is the only one left at home with possibly a wife? I don’t know the identities of the others living in Jane’s household. She may have taken in some orphans. The other possibility is that they were siblings of Elisha B.’s wife. (Hope to settle that issue in Part Two of this article.)

So where was Joseph?

I don’t believe he settled in Marshall County with his mother. In fact, I believe he relocated to Williamson County before his father’s death. Some of his siblings had already settled there or were in the process of settling there. He liked being close to other family members, and he renewed his close ties with his cousin, Joseph (Brittain). The distance between Williamson and Rutherford County was short, so family members visited one another frequently. And shortly after his removal to Williamson County, Joseph met his future wife.

Her name was Mary “Polly” McDaniel (1817-1850). She was the daughter of Lowery McDaniel (1774-1852) and his wife Margaret (1780-1860), who lived in Davidson County. I don’t know how Joseph became acquainted with Polly McDaniel. Lowerey McDaniel appears on an early Davidson County tax list dated July 19, 1813, so the McDaniels, like the Spence family, were early settlers there(25). No doubt, Joseph and Polly had known one another since childhood. And Polly McDaniel may have been the reason why Joseph returned to the area.

They were married July 29, 1835 in Davidson County, Tennessee(26), four months prior to Elisha Spence’s death and two years after his cousin, Joseph (Brittain)’s marriage. The couple then settled in Williamson County, where they appear on the 1840 Census:

Name Joseph Spence
Home in 1840 (City, County, State) Williamson, Tennessee
Free White Persons – Males – Under 5 2 (Unknown Sons)
Free White Persons – Males – 20 thru 29 1  (Joseph)
Free White Persons – Females – 5 thru 9 1  (Unknown daughter)
Free White Persons – Females – 20 thru 29 1  (Polly)
Persons Employed in Agriculture 1
Free White Persons – Under 20 3
Free White Persons – 20 thru 49 2
Total Free White Persons 5
Total All Persons – Free White, Free Colored, Slaves 5                                (27)

By 1840, Joseph and Polly had three children–two boys and a girl. The girl was the oldest and is listed as between the ages of five through nine. She was probably born in 1836. The two boys are under the ages of five. The names of these children are unknown because they did not survive and died long before the 1850 Census. Three names of their later children are known, however, but are not without controversy. I will introduce these children by name. Then I will discuss the controversy. Then I will discuss the children individually. But I need to introduce another cousin first because she is going to impact this study. Her name was Frances E. Spence. She was born about 1838, and she was the daughter of Amos B. Spence (1800-bef. 1850) and Mary Elizabeth Spence (1805-1872). This family will be profiled in Part Three, but Frances enters the picture here. One of Joseph and Polly’s daughters would be named for her.

The names of the known children of Joseph and Polly McDaniel Spence follow:

  1. Elisha H. Spence (1841-1921)
  2. Joseph Spence (1845-1860)
  3. Frances “Fanny” A. Spence (1849-1880)–the child named after the cousin Frances, born 1838.

These children appear in the Joseph (Brittain) household on the 1850 Census for Rutherford County, Tennessee, per the following:

Name Joseph Spence
Age 34
Birth Year 1816
Birthplace Tennessee
Home in 1850 May, Rutherford, Tennessee
Gender Male
Family Number 1017
Household Members
Name Age
Joseph Spence 34
Mary A Spence 33
Nancy Spence 16
Britton Spence 14
Wm Spence 11
Elisha Spence 9
Jos Spence 4
Fanny Spence 1   (28)

For  years, people have been including Elisha, Joseph and Fanny as children of Joseph Spence (Brittain) and Mary Ann Fears when instead, they were children of Joseph Spence (Elisha) and Mary “Polly” McDaniel. I must admit I did the same thing until I started digging into it. What follows is the rest of the story.

Joseph and Polly had three children: Elisha (born 1841), Joseph (born 1845), and Fanny (born 1849). Polly never recovered from the birth of Fanny, and Joseph was beside himself. Plus they experienced the deaths of their first three children, whose names are unknown. Finally, Lowery McDaniel (Polly’s father) and Joseph (Brittain) came to the rescue. Polly would return to her parents’ house to recover there. The children would stay with Joseph (Brittain) and Mary Ann Fears until Polly recovered. The 1850 Census for Lowery McDaniel follows:

Name Lowery McDanel
Age 76
Birth Year 1774
Birthplace Virginia
Home in 1850 District 22, Davidson, Tennessee
Race White
Gender Male
Family Number 9
Household Members
Name Age
Lowery McDanel 76
Margaret McDanel 70
Polly McDanel 40
Honrles McDanel 42
John McDanel 36
Drewry McDanel 34
William McDanel 32
Lousana McDanel 12
Rebecca McDanel 27 (29)

This is another case of the census taker assuming that everyone in the household possessed the same surname. Most of them did. Polly’s surname was Spence. The census taker did provide the location of births for the people listed here. Lowery was born in Virginia.  Margaret, Polly, and Honries were born in South Carolina. The others were born in Tennessee. I believe Honries, John, Drewry and William were Polly’s brothers. Rebecca was probably a wife of one of them. Lousana was probably one of Lowery and Margaret’s grandchildren. Census takers did not designate actual relationships on these early census records.

Polly did not recover. The census record is dated November 22, 1850. Polly died shortly after that record was taken. And then Joseph really was beside himself. His grief left him powerless to do anything.  Finally, one cold blustery wintry day, he went to Rutherford County to see his children. Twelve-year old Frances Spence was staying in the household at the time, helping Mary with the children. Noting his cousin’s depression, Joseph (Brittain) made a suggestion. [The following is not an exact conversation, but a suggestion as to what could have been said.]

“Why not go out to Missouri?”

“What?” Joseph asked.

“Why not go out to Missouri and see your family? You need to get away from here.”

Joseph grew silent.

“Find someone to go with you–” Joseph (Brittain)’s eyes traveled across the room in the direction of young Frances, whose eyes were wide at the suggestion. Frances’ adoration of Joseph was well known throughout the family. “Like Frances, here!” he added.

Frances’ hand shot immediately to her mouth.

Joseph laughed. It was the first time any of them had seen him laugh in weeks.

“Are you kidding?” He said. “Mary would never let me haul Frances out to Missouri!”

“Well, all we can do is ask!”

“In this weather?”

“Go when the weather clears in the spring.”

Joseph grew silent. He hadn’t seen some of his family since their father’s funeral. It would be great seeing them again.

“Angeline lives in St. Louis,” he said. “I guess the rest of them live on the other side of the state–Jasper and Newton County. Rhoda and Dave Gill talk about moving there.”

Getting approval for Joseph to take Frances to Missouri required a trip to see her mother Mary, who was now living in Weakley County. So the following weekend, Mary Spence was surprised to see the two Josephs and her daughter standing on her porch. Amos had passed away. Mary chose to continue living in Weakley with her children. And when she heard why they were there, she could only gasp–

“You want to do–WHAT? MISSOURI!”

It took some time to persuade her, but both Josephs were expert in persuading people to do things–something they had mastered as young boys.

Mary eyed her daughter, whose eyes clearly read: “PLEASE!”

“And after all, we are pioneers!” Joseph (Brittain) closed his argument.

“Oh, I don’t know! Missouri! Oh my! What would Amos say?”

“I’m sure he would approve!” Joseph (Brittain) offered.

Finally, Joseph (Elisha) found  his voice.

“I can’t think of another person I would like to travel with me to Missouri, Mary!” He said. “I can promise you, I’ll keep her safe!”

And so when spring broke and the weather settled, Joseph and Frances traveled to Missouri. Joseph liked Frances. She was easy to talk to, and she listened. They stopped a day or so in St. Louis to see Angeline, who was a widow. Then they traveled to Jasper County and astounded everyone when they showed up on their doorsteps. A great celebration took place to welcome them. Of course, the people spent hours listening to Joseph’s stories about Polly and his children who were living with a cousin in Rutherford County. And they plied Frances with questions about her family. And then the day came for them to leave.

“Well, Joe, you oughta move here!” Samuel suggested.

“Oh, maybe,” Joseph responded. “Guess I’ll be in Tennessee for a while.”

The family watched them head down the road.

“I can see which direction this is going,” Samuel told Elizabeth. “They’ll be married in a few years.”

Joseph Spence and Frances E. Spence were married in Weakley County, Tennessee about 1853 when Frances turned fifteen. They settled in District 4 in Haywood County, Tennessee, where they appear on the 1860 Census:

Name Joseph Spence
Age 44
Birth Year 1816
Gender Male
Birth Place Tennessee
Home in 1860 District 4, Haywood, Tennessee
Post Office Belles Depot
Family Number 732
Household Members
Name Age
Joseph Spence 44
Francis E Spence 22
Elisha Spence 19
Joseph Spence 15
Francis A Spence 13  (30)

Joseph (Brittain)’s wife Mary Ann Fears had died in Rutherford County in 1859. In 1860 when Joseph (Elisha) and Francis were living in Haywood County, Joseph (Brittain) traveled to Kentucky that year where he married his second wife: Mary E (Last Name Unknown). She may have been a cousin. At this point, I don’t know. Joseph’s children by his first marriage had left home by 1860. It is unknown how long he remained in Kentucky but by 1870, he had relocated to Greene County, Arkansas. His name is erroneously recorded on the 1870 Census as Joseph Spencer:

Name Joseph Spencer
Age in 1870 54
Birth Year 1816
Birthplace Tennessee
Home in 1870 Clark, Greene, Arkansas
Race White
Gender Male
Post Office Gainesville
Household Members
Name Age
Joseph Spencer 54
Mary E Spencer 26
Julian Spencer 7
Susan Spencer (31)

Joseph (Elisha) remained in Haywood County, Tennessee. His  sister, Mary Jane, and her husband James Garrett had lived in District 10 prior to 1860. But as noted in a previous article, Jane and James Garrett and their two children died before 1860.

I wish I could say this story has a happy ending for Joseph and Frances, but it does not. Sometime after the 1860 Haywood County Census, Joseph, Frances, and Joseph’s son, Joseph, died. They either died of some disease, or they may have been casualties of the Civil War. Fighting was fierce in Western Tennessee (which was primarily Confederate) during the Civil War. People were often killed simply for being loyal to the Confederacy, or else they were caught in the crossfire. Fortunately, the other two children: Elisha H. and Fanny survived. Their stories follow.

Elisha H. Spence (1841-1921). Elisha was born in May 1841 in Williamson County, Tennessee, and he died November 1, 1921 in Sweet Home, Pulaski, Arkansas. As previously noted, Elisha, his brother Joseph, and his sister Fanny lived with Joseph (Brittain) and Mary Ann Fears Spence in Rutherford County after their mother’s death in 1850. They were reunited with their father Joseph (Elisha) after his marriage to Francis in 1855, placing them in Haywood County. In 1861, Elisha enlisted in Company G, Tennessee 27th Infantry Regiment, C.S.A(32). According to his service records, he served in both Companies C and G, and his service appears to have been long-term. He did survive the War. I believe that had his family members died of a disease or plague, Elisha and his sister would have died as well. So I think his family died in the conflict.

After the Civil War ended, Elisha went to Kentucky, where he met and married Matilda (Last Name Unknown) (1844-1900) in 1866. Between 1866 and 1876, Elisha and his family appear to move back and forth between Kentucky and Tennessee. Then he moved to Greene County, Arkansas where Joseph (Brittain) was living. Had he been a natural son of this Joseph, he would have headed to Arkansas immediately after his discharge. But he was searching for his own family members in Kentucky and Tennessee. When he discovered they were all gone, he relocated to Arkansas, where he rejoined the Joseph (Brittain) family.

The children of Elisha H. Spence and Matilda follow:

  1. Jackson W. Spence (1868-1963)
  2. Chapil N. Spence (b. 1869)
  3. Lenora Spence (b. 1872)
  4. Samuel Spence (1876-1902)
  5. Robert J. Spence (b. 1878)
  6. Francis Crice Spence (b. 1884)

Elisha H. Spence died November 1, 1921 in Sweet Home, Pulaski County, Arkansas(33). He is buried in the Little Rock National Cemetery, Little Rock, Arkansas.

Frances “Fanny” A. Spence (1849-1880). Fanny was born in Williamson County, Tennessee, and she died after 1880 in Texas. As noted earlier, she was named for a cousin–Frances E. Spence (1838-1860)–who  eventually became her step-mother. After her parents and brother Joseph died, her other brother Elisha took her to relatives in Madison County, Tennessee, and she stayed with them until she married.  On August 14, 1869, Fanny married James H. Bray (1840-1921) in Madison County, Tennessee(34).  Their children were:

  1. Ella Bray, born 1862
  2. Lillie Bray, born 1869
  3. John S. Bray, born 1872
  4. E. H. Bray, born 1874.

James H. Bray was born in Marshall County, Tennessee April 12, 1840, and he died February 6, 1921 in San Antonio, Bexar, Texas. His parents were Elisha G. Bray (1804-1877) and Rachel P. McDaniel (1818-1887)–possibly a relative of Polly McDaniel.  According to his veteran’s records, he served with the Confederate Army in the Civil War and received a pension for his service:

Name J H Bray
Application Date 4 Apr 1916
Birth Year 1840
Birth Place Marshall, Tennessee
Age 76
Pension File Number 32762
Application Type Veteran
Household Members
Name Age
J H Bray 76  (35)

The Brays appear on the 1880 Census for Blossom Prairie, Lamar, Texas(36). This is the last record for Fanny. She would have died after that 1880 Census.  James H. Bray died February 6, 1921 in San Antonio, Bexar, Texas(37).

 

This article continues with Part Two: Elisha Bell Spence (1818-1840)

 

References

(1) 1820 Census for Rutherford County, Tennessee about Brittain Spence. Ancestry.com, Provo, Utah. Date Accessed: 6 Oct 2015. Available online at http://www.ancestry.com

(2) Tennessee State Marriages, 1780-2002 about Brittain Spence. Ancestry.com, Provo, Utah. Date Accessed: 6 Oct 2015. Available online at http://www.ancestry.com

(3) Tennessee State Marriages, 1780-2002 about Elisha Spence. Ancestry.com, Provo, Utah. Date Accessed: 6 Oct 2015. Available online at http://www.ancestry.com

(4) Tennessee Wills and Probate Records, 1779-2008 about Brittain Spence. Ancestry.com, Provo, Utah. Date Accessed: 6 Oct 2015. Available online at http://www.ancestry.com

(5) Tennessee State Marriages, 1780-2002 about Elizabeth Spence and Eben Fears. Ancestry.com, Provo, Utah. Date Accessed: 6 Oct 2015. Available online at http://www.ancestry.com

(6) Tennessee State Marriages, 1780-2002 about Elizabeth Spence and John Evans. Ancestry.com, Provo, Utah. Date Accessed: 6 Oct 2015. Available online at http://www.ancestry.com

(7)  Tennessee State Marriages, 1780-2002 about Phoebe Spence. Ancestry.com, Provo, Utah. Date Accessed: 6 Oct 2015. Available online at http://www.ancestry.com

(8) Tennessee Wills and Probate Records, 1779-2008. Ancestry.com, Provo, Utah. Date Accessed: 6 Oct 2015. Available online at http://www.ancestry.com

(9) Tennessee Wills and Probate Records, 1779-2008. Ancestry.com, Provo, Utah. Date Accessed: 6 Oct 2015. Available online at http://www.ancestry.com

(10) 1850 Census for Alson Spence, Rutherford County, Tennessee. Ancestry.com, Provo, Utah. Date Accessed: 6 Oct 2015. Available online at http://www.ancestry.com

(11) 1860 Census for Alson Spence, Rutherford County, Tennessee. Ancestry.com, Provo, Utah. Date Accessed: 6 Oct 2015. Available online at http://www.ancestry.com

(12) Find-a-Grave Memorial for Juliana Spence Stem (listed as Ann Sprouse), Find A Grave Memorial# 22971124. Find-a-Grave Website. Date Accessed: 6 Oct 2015. Available online at http://www.findagrave.com

(13) Tennessee Wills and Probate Records, 1779-2008 about Brittain Spence. Ancestry.com, Provo, Utah. Date Accessed: 6 Oct 2015. Available online at http://www.ancestry.com

(14) Tennessee State Marriages, 1780-2002 about Joseph Spence [Brittain]. Ancestry.com, Provo, Utah. Date Accessed: 6 Oct 2015. Available online at http://www.ancestry.com

(15) Nancy L. Spence Endsley Find A Grave Memorial# 68877718. Find-a-Grave.com website. Date Accessed: 6 Oct 2015. Available online at http://www. ancestry.com.

(16) 1860 Census for Madison County, Tennessee about Britton Spence. Ancestry.com, Provo, Utah. Date Accessed: 6 Oct 2015. Available online at http://www.ancestry.com

(17) 1870 Census for Clark, Greene County, Arkansas for Joseph Spence. Ancestry.com, Provo, Utah. Date Accessed: 6 Oct 2015. Available online at http://www.ancestry.com

(18) Arkansas County Marriages, Index, 1837-1957 about Sudie Spence Cooper. Ancestry.com, Provo, Utah. Date Accessed: 6 Oct 2015. Available online at http://www.ancestry.com

(19) 1880 Census for Greene County, Arkansas for Joseph Spence. Ancestry.com, Provo, Utah. Date Accessed: 6 Oct 2015. Available online at http://www.ancestry.com

(20) Arkansas, Wills and Probate Records, 1783-1998 about Joseph Spence. Ancestry.com, Provo, Utah. Date Accessed: 6 Oct 2015. Available online at http://www.ancestry.com

(21) 1820 Census for Davidson County, Tennessee for Elisha Spence. Ancestry.com, Provo, Utah. Date Accessed: 6 Oct 2015. Available online at http://www.ancestry.com

(22) 1830 Census for Davidson County, Tennessee for Elisha Spence. Ancestry.com, Provo, Utah. Date Accessed: 6 Oct 2015. Available online at http://www.ancestry.com

(23) Elisha Spence Estate Inventory dated November 1835. Copy obtained from the Tennessee State Library and Archives, Nashville, Tennessee.

(24) 1840 Census for Marshall County, Tennessee for Jane Spence. Ancestry.com, Provo, Utah. Date Accessed: 7 Oct 2015. Available online at http://www.ancestry.com

(25) North Carolina and Tennessee, Early Land Records, 1753-1931 about Lowerey McDaniel. Ancestry.com, Provo, Utah. Date Accessed: 7 Oct 2015. Available online at http://www.ancestry.com

(26) Tennessee State Marriage Records, 1780-2002 about Joseph Spence. Ancestry.com, Provo, Utah. Date Accessed: 7 Oct 2015. Available online at http://www.ancestry.com

(27) 1840 Census for Williamson County, Tennessee about Joseph Spence. Ancestry.com, Provo, Utah. Date Accessed: 7 Oct 2015. Available online at http://www.ancestry.com

(28) 1850 Census for Rutherford County, Tennessee about Joseph Spence (Brittain). Ancestry.com, Provo, Utah. Date Accessed: 7 Oct 2015. Available online at http://www.ancestry.com

(29) 1850 Census for Davidson County, Tennessee about Polly McDaniel Spence. Ancestry.com, Provo, Utah. Date Accessed: 7 Oct 2015. Available online at http://www.ancestry.com

(30) 1860 Census for Haywood County, Tennessee about Joseph Spence (Elisha). Ancestry.com, Provo, Utah. Date Accessed: 7 Oct 2015. Available online at http://www.ancestry.com

(31) 1870 Census for Greene County, Arkansas for Joseph Spence(r). Ancestry.com, Provo, Utah. Date Accessed: 7 Oct 2015. Available online at http://www.ancestry.com

(32) U.S., Civil War Soldier Records and Profiles, 1861-1865 about Elisha H. Spence. Ancestry.com, Provo, Utah. Date Accessed: 7 Oct 2015. Available online at http://www.ancestry.com

(33) U.S. National Cemetery Interment Control Forms, 1928-1962 about Elisha H. Spence. Ancestry.com, Provo, Utah. Date Accessed: 7 Oct 2015. Available online at http://www.ancestry.com

(34) Tennessee State Marriages, 1780-2002 about Frances Spence and James H. Bray. Ancestry.com, Provo, Utah. Date Accessed: 7 Oct 2015. Available online at http://www.ancestry.com

(35) Alabama, Texas and Virginia, Confederate Pensions, 1884-1958 about J H Bray. Ancestry.com, Provo, Utah. Date Accessed: 7 Oct 2015. Available online at http://www.ancestry.com

(36) 1880 Census for Lamar County, Texas, J. H. Bray. Ancestry.com, Provo, Utah. Date Accessed: 7 Oct 2015. Available online at http://www.ancestry.com

(37) Texas Death Certificates, 1903-1982 about J. H. Bray. Ancestry.com, Provo, Utah. Date Accessed: 7 Oct 2015. Available online at http://www.ancestry.com

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