James Spence (1702-1753) and Elizabeth Greaves/Graves (1707-1755)

pasquotank_river

My sixth-great grandfather, James Spence, was born about 1702 in Pasquotank, North Carolina. He was the youngest son of James Spence (1674-1740) and Esther Booth (1674-1715). In all likelihood, James had the same restless nature as his predecessors. His grandfather, David Spence, left Scotland for America and traveled back and forth between his original home in Northumberland County, Virginia and his final home in Somerset County, Maryland. His father, James Spence, David’s youngest son, traveled back and forth between North Carolina and Somerset County, Maryland. It appears as though these early Spences were constantly on the move. Young James was no exception.

When he was thirteen years old, James Spence’s mother (Esther Booth) died in 1715. His father married Sarah Elizabeth Truman (1673-1740). As noted in previous articles, she was a daughter of John Truman, who died in Somerset County, Maryland in 1686, and a sister of Dorothy Truman (1672-1734)—wife of Alexander Spence (1669-1735)—and Catherine (Cathron) Truman (1665-1726)—wife of John Spence (1672-1736). Sarah’s full name was Sarah Elizabeth Truman. She was known by her middle name when her father was alive. However, after his death in 1686 and after she moved into the John Booth household, she began using her first name Sarah. The Booths already had a daughter named Elizabeth or Eliza. By using her first name, Sarah avoided confusion. Sarah Elizabeth Truman and Esther Booth were raised together; to them, they were like sisters!

It is not known when Esther and Sarah moved to North Carolina. James Spence married Esther Booth about 1696. Their daughter Bridget was born in Somerset County, Maryland in 1698. James Spence was in Pasquotank with his two brothers by 1697. As suggested in an earlier article, he probably kept his family in Maryland, and traveled back and forth between North Carolina and Maryland until 1699 or 1700. By then, he moved his family to Pasquotank. His son, Alexander, was born in Pasquotank in 1700. And young James Spence, the subject here, was born in Pasquotank in 1702. Sarah Elizabeth became a close companion to Esther and when the James Spence family moved to North Carolina, Sarah moved along with them. James Spence continued traveling back and forth between the two colonies until his mother’s death in 1711, so he was absent much of the time. Young James grew up in a traveling environment and undoubtedly inherited that restless spirit.

The first reference to young James Spence is in his father’s will, per the following abstract:

“James Spence, Pasquotank Precinct, Will date: 20 Mar 1739; Probate: Oct 1740
Sons: Alexander, David and James. Daughters: Bridget Spence and Betty Mardrum. Wife and Executrix: Sarah. Witnesses: John Jones, Berd Banger, Elizabeth Perishe. Clerk of the Court: James Craven” (1)

[Note: Supposedly, James Spence, Sr. and his second wife Sarah Truman had a son named David Spence (1717-1775). As noted in an earlier article, I could find no information about this David. He either did not exist, or else he left the area early. They also appear to have had a daughter named Sarah Spence (1721-1739. She would have died before her father drew up his will.]

It is unknown when young James Spence traveled up through Virginia. He may have known family members who lived in the area. One of his jaunts took him to Spotsylvania County where the Greaves family lived, and where young James met his future wife: Elizabeth Greaves.

The Greaves Family

My encounter with the Greaves family has taken me on a wild escapade of my own. No one knew anything about her beyond her name Elizabeth, her approximate year of birth—1707—and her death which occurred after February 3, 1755. One Ancestry member suggested her father’s name was James Greaves. His name appeared on the Ancestry chart as just a name with no dates or locations. While checking available records, I found a James Greaves in Pasquotank County, North Carolina, but he lived there in 1769—long after the deaths of James Spence and Elizabeth Greaves. He may have been a family member, but he was not Elizabeth’s father. My discovery led me back to the drawing board once again.

So where did this Greaves family originate?

My search took me away from Ancestry to other search engines. And when I typed in the phrase Colonial Greaves Family of North Carolina, I made a remarkable discovery. One branch of the Greaves family later settled in Randolph County, North Carolina—the same location where a son of James and Elizabeth Greaves Spence also settled and about the same period of time! That discovery also led me to discovery of other Greaves family members in various North Carolina locations—all with apparent ties to a Spotsylvania, Virginia family headed by John Greaves/Graves, Sr. (1665-1747)

The John Greaves/Graves story is interesting. For a long time, researchers presumed John was a son of Capt. Thomas Greaves and Mary Perrin of Jamestown. All of that proved not to be true when DNA testing showed there was no connection. According to Gravesfa.org:

“John Graves Sr/Greaves (1) was born about 1665 and died after 1737. His wife’s name is not known. He had 3 sons including John Graves Jr b 1685 (married to Frances), Thomas (above) born 1691, and Joseph Graves b 1715. It is believed that he was an immigrant to Virginia from Northamptonshire, England (based on DNA testing, and the Bible record of Solomon Graves in the Appendix), and his surname may have been spelled Greaves in England (since all other proven relatives of his in England spelled their name as Greaves)” (2)

An abstract of John Greaves’ will follows:

“GRAVES, JOHN, St. George’s Parish, d. Mar. 30, 1747, p. June 2, 1747. Wit. Joseph Holloday, Benjamin Holloday, B. Lewis, William Webb. Ex. wife Susanna, Joseph Peterson, John Wigglesworth. Leg. wife Susanna, 140 acres of land which I had of Nicholas Randolph; son Thomas Graves, 140 acrss of land next his brother Edward; daughter Rebecca, 140 acrss of land next her brother Thomas; son Isaac, 140 acres of land next his sister Rebecca; son John, 140 acrss of land next his brother Isaac; daughter Jemima, 140 acres of land next her brother John. (Page 444)” (3)

In the records I have seen, John had one wife, identified as Susanna in his will. Some people call her Rebecca Susanna. Others believe she was Rebecca Susanna Harwood while others refer to her as Rebecca Susanna Dickens. Still others combine these names: Rebecca Susanna Harwood Dickens, some even adding the name Virginia! Susanna is the only name I can verify at this point. I do not know how the other names came into being.

The children identified in John’s will are Thomas, Edward, Rebecca, Isaac, Jemima and John. Elizabeth’s name is not mentioned. On the other hand, other records indicate he had a daughter named Elizabeth. This discovery led me to another problem. Some people believe John’s Elizabeth was born in 1697, died in 1729, and married Edward Randolph I in London in 1718. This belief was probably stimulated by the reference in John’s will to a tract of land he acquired from Nicholas Randolph. After further research, I have concluded that this Elizabeth is not the daughter of John Greaves. Elizabeth (Randolph) was born about 1697 in Bristol, Somerset, England. She married Edward Randolph in London, England December 15, 1718, and she died in Henrico County, Virginia about 1729. The Millennium File at Ancestry.com identifies her as Elizabeth Grosvenor, born 1688 in Bristol, England (4). No parents are identified, although some people believe her father’s name was Edward Grosvenor.

So who was Elizabeth Greaves?

Based upon available records, the children of John Greaves/Graves and his wife Susanna follow:
1. John Greaves/Graves, Jr. (1685-1757). John is presumed to have been John and Susanna’s oldest child. He had two marriages. His first wife was Hannah Smith (1690-1719) and his second wife was Frances Coleman (1702-1765), by whom he had his children. Their children were:
a. Ann Graves (1719-1798)
b. Elizabeth “Betty” Graves (1720-1826)
c. James Graves (1722-1781)
d. Thomas Graves (1724-1792)
e. John Graves (1725-1798)
f. Joseph Thomas Graves (1725-1785)
g. Frances Ann Graves (1742-1820)
2. Thomas Greaves/Graves (1691-1767). Thomas also had two marriages. His first wife was Mary Perkins (1692-1720). Their children were:
a. Eleanor Graves (1713-1777)
b. John Graves (1715-1792)
c. Louisa Graves (b. 1717)
d. Mary Graves (b. 1718)
His second wife was Ann Davenport (1696-1782). Their children were:
a. Thomas Graves (1721-1801)
b. Solomon Graves (1723-1785)
c. Capt. William Graves (1724-1790)
d. Richard Graves (1725-1788)
e. Rice Graves (1729-1814)
f. David Graves (1730-1808)
g. Susannah Graves (1730-1802)
h. Katherine Graves (1731-1772)
i. Robert Graves (1733-1771)
j. Nancy Catherine Graves (1734-1809)
k. ROSANNA GRAVES (1735-1782). Rosanna is an important connection and supports my argument about Elizabeth Greaves. Rosanna married John Spencer (1732-1789). Their son was Sharp Spencer (1770-1834). Sharp was born in Albemarle County, Virginia, and he died in Putnam County, Indiana. He had two wives: Margaret Elizabeth Crenshaw (1772-1809) and Jenny Trigger Crady (1790-1844). Their son, William Spencer (1817-1888), later moved to Jasper County, Missouri, where he became associated with the sons of my third great grandfather, Samuel Perry Spence (1800-1859)—Samuel, a direct descendant of James Spence and Elizabeth Greaves of this study. I had always believed there was a family connection somewhere concerning William Spencer, but could not find it until now. (There are two earlier articles about William Spencer on my website: “Who Killed John Bass Jones: Part One” (5) and “Who Killed John Bass Jones: Part Two—The Odyssey of Mrs. Ady” (6).
l. Catherine Graves (1737-1830). [I’m not certain whether she is another daughter named Catherine or whether this is an error. More research is needed.]
3. Edward Graves (1693-1763). No additional information
4. Jemima Graves (1699-1764). No additional information
5. Rebecca Graves (1702-1814). No additional information
6. Robert Graves (b. 1702). No additional information. Rebecca’s twin.
7. Isaac Graves (1705-1790). No additional information.
8. ELIZABETH GRAVES (1707-1755). The subject under discussion here.
9. Mary Graves (b. 1707). Elizabeth’s twin who did not survive.
10. Joseph Graves (1715-1774). Joseph relocated to North Carolina. He probably settled first in Rowan County. That part of Rowan later became Surry County. Joseph’s wife was Sarah Bunyard (1721-1774). They had one daughter—Mary Graves (1738-1800). Her husband was Col. Benjamin Cleveland (1738-1806) of Revolutionary War fame.

The three sons specifically tied to John Greaves/Graves through DNA testing are John Graves, Thomas Graves and Joseph Graves (7).

So, what about Elizabeth?

When I first became aware of Elizabeth Greaves, I was reluctant to include her on my tree as a child of John Greaves/Graves and his wife Susanna. Finally, I decided to include her. After all, I would receive no DNA matches if she was not his daughter. On the other hand, I would receive a DNA confirmation if the relationship was correct.

That evening, I received my first confirmation.

Since then, I’ve had at least a dozen matches with John Greaves/Graves as the common ancestor. The confirmations extend from John through three of his sons: John, Thomas and Joseph down to the sender on the one hand and from John through Elizabeth down through my Spence line to me on the other! In addition to all of this, the names William, Edward, and Robert were Greaves/Graves names. They frequently appear among James Spence and Elizabeth Greaves’ descendants. John Greaves’ father’s name has been suggested as William. That would explain the origin of the name.

I am satisfied that Elizabeth Greaves (wife of James Spence) was John Greaves/Graves’ Elizabeth!

James Spence and Elizabeth Greaves were married in Virginia about 1721. They left for Pasquotank shortly after the wedding. No doubt John and Susanna sent them off with their blessing and with Susanna’s portion of her inheritance. This would explain why Elizabeth is not mentioned in her father’s will.

The children of James Spence and Elizabeth Greaves follow:
1. William Edward Spence (1722-1785). [My fifth great grandfather]

2. Isaac Spence (1722-1806)–William’s twin. For an update on him, click HERE
3. James Spence (1730-1804)
4. Letisha Spence (1734-1786)
5. David Spence (1735-1790)
6. Greaves Spence (1742-1803)

I will be writing individual articles about William and James. Letisha, David and Greaves will be combined in a separate article. [Note: Isaac Spence was discovered September 2015. For Isaac’s update, click HERE.]

References
(1) North Carolina Will Abstracts, 1660-1790, about James Spence. Ancestry.com, Provo, Utah. Date Accessed: 6 Jan 2015. Available online at http://www.ancestry.com
(2) John Graves of Spotsylvania County, Virginia. Originally posted at Gravesa.org. Copy posted at Ancestry.com, Provo, Utah. Date accessed: 6 Jan 2015. Available online at http://www.ancestry.com
(3) John Graves Will Abstract, Virginia County Records Spotsylvania County 1721-1800
Wills, Will Book A 1722-1749 page 8. Ancestry.com, Provo, Utah. Date accessed: 6 Jan 2015. Available online at http://www.ancestry.com
(4) Millennium File about Elizabeth Grosvenor (b. 1688). Ancestry.com, Provo, Utah. Date accessed: 6 Jan 2015. Available online at http://www.ancestry.com
(5) “Who Killed John Bass Jones, Part One.” Historical Footprints 2010 website. Story written 2010. Date accessed: 3 Jan 2015. Available online at http://www.historical-footprints-2010.com/john_bass_jones_1.html
(6) “Who Killed John Bass Jones, Part Two.” Historical Footprints 2010 website. Story written 2010. Date accessed: 3 Jan 2015. Available online at http://www.historical-footprints-2010.com/ady_odyssey.html
(7) John Graves/Greaves of Northamptonshire, England. Original website address: http://www.gravesfa.org/gen270.htm. Copy at Ancestry.com, Provo, Utah. Date accessed: 6 Jan 2015. Available online at http://www.ancestry.com

James Spence (1674-1740), Esther Booth (1674-1715), and Sarah Elizabeth Truman (1673-1740)

pasquotank_river

The youngest son of David Spence and Ann Roe, James Spence was born January 5, 1674 in Wicocomico, Somerset County, Maryland, and he died in October 1740 in Pasquotank County, North Carolina. His first wife was Esther Booth, daughter of John Booth (1630-1698). They were my seventh great grandparents. After Esther’s death in Pasquotank, North Carolina, James married Sarah Elizabeth Truman, another daughter of John and Ann Truman of Somerset County, Maryland. Sarah was known by her middle name Elizabeth on Somerset County records when her father was still living. As already noted in previous articles, the three daughters—Dorothy, Catherine and Elizabeth—were bound out to guardians after John Truman died. Elizabeth moved into the John Booth household, where she began using her first name. The Booths already had a daughter named Elizabeth or Eliza, so Sarah used her first name in order to avoid confusion.

James Spence was five years old when his father David died. David had originally patented 1,000 acres in Somerset County, 500 acres of which became the property of James Dashiell. Concerning David Spence’s remaining 500 acres of Despence:

“He (James) inherited half (250 acres) of his father’s Maryland plantation, “Despence” (his brother John inheriting the other half). Lord Calvert’s rent rolls for 1663-1723 show that James retained ownership of this half interest for some time. The same documents show that at some time all 240 acres of his father’s second plantation, “Spence’s Choice”, was “apportioned” to James (specified as being in North Carolina), although it had been left to his older brothers David and Alexander, and was eventually sold by their heirs. The documents also show that James shared with his brother, John, a 200 acre tract named “Hereafter”, assigned to them by Thomas Roe, and that James “possessed for Isaac Booth” a 200 acre plantation called “Fatsters Quarter”, “near the branches of the Wicomico”. The word “fatster” appears to be a corruption of “Fatt Steer’s”, the name originally given the Booth plantation, and the term “possessed” suggested that James managed, rather than owned, the latter plantation.” (1)

In the 1690s, the Spence brothers relocated to the Virginia and North Carolina colonies. Some speculation has been presented that perhaps their mother Ann (Anne) Roe Spence remained in full control of Despence until her death, and the Spence brothers never really settled upon it. (2) David Jr., Alexander and John Spence were the first to leave Somerset County—David settling in Northumberland County, Virginia, and Alexander and John settling in Perquimans, North Carolina. In all likelihood, James probably moved to Perquimans with Alexander and John, per the following:

“It is known that James moved with his brothers to Perquimans Precinct, NC around July 1697, when he would have been only 23. No wife is mentioned, and he was back in Maryland by May 1698, when he witnessed the will of John Booth, of “Wiccocomacoe, Somerset Co.”. James married Booth’s daughter, Esther, and both she and their daughter, Bridget, are mentioned in Booth’s will. From this, it appears that James and Esther may have married sometime before his venture to North Carolina in 1697, and that she did not accompany him on the journey because she was pregnant with Bridget. Esther was a sister to Isaac Booth, who subsequently inherited the above-mentioned plantation, “Fatsters Quarter”, from their father, John Booth Sr.” (3)

The possibility exists that James traveled back and forth between the two colonies until after his mother’s death. Then he was free to finally settle in North Carolina.

The children of James Spence and Esther Booth follow:

1. Bridget Spence (1698-1740). Bridget was born before May 1698 in Somerset County, Maryland, and she died ca. 1740. She married Truman McBride (1686-1727) in Pasquotank County, North Carolina. Their children were:
a. James McBride (no information)
b. Rhoda McBride (no information)
c. John McBride (1725-1766)
d. Sarah McBride (1725-1766) (Dates for John and Sarah are approximate). Sarah McBride will return later in the future William Edward Spence article.

Truman McBride was born March 27, 1686 in Somerset County, Maryland. He was the son of John McBride (1664-1704) and Margaret Truman (1654-1711).

After Truman’s death, Bridget married Benjamin Coen (1697-1734) on August 5, 1727. They had one daughter: Betty Coen, born 1734.
2. Alexander Spence (1700-1752). Alexander married Ann Sawyer. I have no additional information.
3. James Spence (1702-1753)—my sixth great grandfather. He will be treated in a separate article.

After Esther’s death, James Spence married Sarah Elizabeth Truman, who has already been identified as one of the orphaned daughters of John Truman. Their children follow:
4. David Spence (1717-1775). I have no additional information
5. Betty Spence (1719-1740). I have no additional information
6. Sarah Spence (1721-1739). I have no additional information.

An abstract of James Spence’s will follows:

“Name: James Spence
Location: Pasquotank Precinct
Will Date: 20 Mar 1739
Probate Date: Oct 1740
Will:
Sons: Alexander, David, James. Daughters: Bridget Spence and Betty Mardrum. Wife and Executrix: Sarah. Witnesses: John Jones, Berd Banger, Elizabeth Perishe. Clerk of the Court: James Craven.” (4)

The Booth, Truman and McBride families all came from Somerset County, Maryland. Concerning the Booth and Truman families, I have not found any evidence that they were directly connected with the Booths of Baltimore County, Maryland (John Wilkes Booth’s family) or the Truman families of St. Mary’s County, Maryland (President Harry S. Truman’s ancestors). At most, they may have been distant cousins. A George Booth settled in Wicomico, Somerset County, Maryland about the same period of time as David Spence. As yet, I have not determined David’s connection with John Booth other than the fact they settled in the same neighborhood. The dates of birth and death for George Booth appear to have been 1625-1666. I have speculated that he was John Booth’s brother, but do not have any proof of that as yet. The McBrides originated in Belfast, Antrim, Ireland, where John McBride was born in 1664. He died in Pasquotank, North Carolina in 1704. John McBride’s wife was Margaret Truman (Trewman) (1654-1711). She was the daughter of Robert Trewman (1634-1685)—a cousin of John Truman of Somerset County. The relationship is established in John Truman’s will. (5)

According to “Notes for James Spence”:

“James died in 1740 at about age 65 in Pasquotank, survived by his wife and executor, Sarah; children Alexander, Bridget, Betty Mardrum, David, James Jr., and Sarah; and grandson James (III), according to his will written on March 20th of that year. As mentioned above, it appears that he had 3 children with each wife, as the will leaves “the rest of my estate to my wife Sarah and her 3 children, above specified”. Unfortunately, the will doesn’t actually identify which children were Sarah’s. It is easy to assume that the children are listed in birth order, and, in fact, Alexander probably was the eldest son since he was made co-executor. Bridget would also fall in the “first three” group, and may actually have been the eldest, as she is known to have been Esther’s child, born in 1697 or 1698. But “James Spence Junr” bought land in 1731, so he had to have been born well before Esther’s death ca 1715, and thus could not have been Sarah’s child. Best guess at present is that Betty, David, and Sarah were the youngest of James’ children.

The will was probated in October 1740. He had retained enough land to leave his “maner plantation.. that lieth on the South side of Taylors Branch” to his son, David; “all the land that lieth on the North side of …Taylors Branch” to his son James Jr.; and, finally, “100 acres that lieth in the fork joyning of Jacob Sawyers and Grapevine ridge” to his grandson, James III.” (6)

References

(1) “Notes for James Spence”, Ancestry.com, Provo, Utah. Date Accessed: January 2, 2015. Available online at http://www.ancestry.com
(2) “Notes for James Spence”, Ancestry.com, Provo, Utah. Date Accessed: January 2, 2015. Available online at http://www.ancestry.com
(3) “Notes for James Spence”, Ancestry.com, Provo, Utah. Date Accessed: January 2, 2015. Available online at http://www.ancestry.com
(4) North Carolina Will Abstracts, 1660-1790 about James Spence, Ancestry.com, Provo, Utah. Date Accessed: January 2, 2015. Available online at http://www.ancestry.com
(5) From The Maryland State Archives,No. SM16 PREROGATIVE COURT (Wills) JOHN TRUMAN. Book 4 pp. 215-216, SR 4400
(6) Notes for James Spence, Ancestry.com, Provo, Utah. Date Accessed: January 2, 2015. Available online at http://www.ancestry.com

John Spence (1672-1736) and Catherine Truman (1665-1726)

john_spence_1736_will_abstract

The third son of David Spence (1639-1679) and Ann Roe (1640-1711), John Spence was born April 11, 1672 in Wicomico, Somerset County, Maryland.(1) His father died in 1679 and after their father’s death, John and his younger brother James Spence (1674-1740) inherited Hereafter, a property left to them by their father.(2) About 1690, John married Catherine Truman (1665-1726), one of the orphaned daughters of John Truman (1627-1686), in Somerset County, Maryland. Catherine was raised by Richard Stevens, a Quaker who resided in Somerset County.(3)

By 1697, John and his brother, Alexander, elected to relocate to Perquimans County, North Carolina. According to North Carolina Colonial and State Records:

Cathron was imported by her husband John Spence, also three sons. Vol. 1, p. 488(4)–

–indicating that John and Catherine had their three sons in Maryland prior to relocating to North Carolina. One of those sons is identified in the North Carolina Records:

Robert imported by father John Spence, 1697. Vol. 1, p. 488(5)

The names of John and Catherine’s other sons have been gleaned from their father’s will. The daughters were apparently born in North Carolina.

In 1723, John appears as a juror in Pasquotank, North Carolina.(6) The other reference I found for him occurred in 1729, as follows:

John Spence, Sr. pays quit rents for 400 acres in Pasquotank County in 1729.(7)

Catherine Truman Spence died April 29, 1726 in Pasquotank County. She was the oldest of John Truman’s daughters. John and Catherine’s son, Robert, died before John drew up his will in 1735. The abstract of his will follows:

Name:
John Spence

Location:
Pasquotank County

Will Date:
14 Mar 1735

Probate Date:
13 Apr 1736

Will:
Sons: David and Alexander (lands divided between them). Daughters: Dorothy Davis, Elizabeth Spence. Granddaughter: Reachell Sawyer. Executors: Charles Sawyer and John Davis. Witnesses: Geo. Rowe, Alexander Leflear, Elizabeth Lefleare. Clerk of the Court: Jos. Smith. Device on seal: Letters S. S., three circles and square(8).

The children of John Spence and Catherine Truman were:

1. Robert Spence (1690-bef. 14 Mar 1735). Robert is the only child listed on the transportation list to Perquimans, so he was probably the oldest son. He is not mentioned in his father’s will, so he may have died young.

2. Alexander Spence (bef. 1697-Jan 1744). Alexander would have been one of the sons imported into North Carolina in 1697. He apparently died in Pasquotank County, North Carolina in January 1744. I know nothing else about him. He is identified in his father’s will.

3. David Spence (bef. 1697-1741). David would have been the third son imported into North Carolina by his father in 1697. He is identified in his father’s will and is believed to have died in Pasquotank County in 1741.

4. Ann Spence (aft. 1697-bef 14 Mar 1735). She is not mentioned in her father’s will, but her daughter is. Ann married Charles Sawyer (1692-1750) about 1734 in Pasquotank County. He was the son of Henry Sawyer (1673-1729) and his wife Sarah, who was born about 1677. They had one daughter—Rachel Sawyer (1735-bef 1750)—and she is mentioned in her grandfather’s will. Ann died in childbirth with Rachel. Charles remarried about 1736, but the name of his second wife is unknown. Their children were: Charles Sawyer (1739-1764); Dorothy Sawyer (born aft 1739); Jesse Sawyer (b. 1739); John Sawyer (1739-1743); Miriam Sawyer (b. 1739); Robert Sawyer (1739-1764); Willis Sawyer (1739-1753). The exact dates of birth and order of birth are unknown for these children. An abstract of Charles Sawyer’s will reads:

Name:
Charles Sawyer

Location:
Pasquotank County

Will Date:
21 Oct 1750

Probate Date:
Jan 1750(1)—Since the will was dated 1750, it was probably entered for probate in 1751.

Will:
Sons: John (plantation on North River), Jesse (land on North River), Charles (“land I now live on,” riding horse and cattle); Willis (land adjoining Butterworth, John Sawyer, etc.). Daughters: Dorothy and Miriam. To each of above-named children is bequeathed a negro. Wife: not named. Executor: Willis Sawyer. Witnesses: Bennett Morgan, Lodwick Williams, S. S. Plomer. Clerk of the Court: Thos. Taylor.(9)

5. Dorothy Spence (1698-1758). Dorothy married John Davis (1685-1765) in Pasquotank County. They had two sons: Ephraim and George Davis. Nothing else is known.

6. Elizabeth Spence (1702-aft 1736). Nothing else is known.

John’s will was entered for probate in April 1736. His estate inventory was filed the following year.(10)

References
(1)Maryland, Births and Christenings Index, 1662-1911 about John Spence. Ancestry.com, Provo, Utah. Date Accessed: October 14, 2014. Available online at http://www.ancestry.com
(2)U.S. and Canada, Passenger and Immigration Lists Index, 1500s-1900s about John and James Spence, Ancestry.com, Provo, Utah. Date Accessed: October 14, 2014. Available online at http://www.ancestry.com
(3)John Truman 1685 Will Abstract, MARYLAND CALENDAR OF WILLS: Volume 2
VOLUME II.
(4)North Carolina Colonial and State Records, Vol. 1, p. 488
(5)North Carolina Colonial and State Records, Vol. 1, p. 488
(6)North Carolina Colonial and State Records, Vol. 25, p. 187
(7)North Carolina Colonial and State Records, Vol. 22, p. 256
(8) John Truman 1786 Will Abstract, Ancestry.com, Provo, Utah. Date Accessed: October 14, 2014. Available online at http://www.ancestry.com
(9) North Carolina Will Abstracts, 1660-1790 about Charles Sawyer, Ancestry.com, Provo, Utah. Date Accessed: October 14, 2014. Available online at http://www.ancestry.com
(10) North Carolina Will Abstracts, 1660-1790 about John Spence, Ancestry.com, Provo, Utah. Date Accessed: October 14, 2014. Available online at http://www.ancestry.com

Alexander Spence (1669-1735) and Dorothy Truman (1672-1734)

pasquotank_river

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).
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References

(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