Wednesday, June 27, 2012

The Jesse Spencer Family

I love finding old family photos online of ancestors that, until now, have only been names on a chart.  This handsome portrait shows Zachary's 3rd great grandparents Jesse and Nancy Spencer and their boys Jesse Jr. and Perry (brothers of the Frank Spencer in the photo I posted a couple weeks ago).

This was a family on the move.  Jesse C Spencer was born in October of 1821 in Kentucky -- a son of Virginians.  He was first married to Alley (or Alla) from North Carolina around 1843.

They started out in Kentucky before moving briefly to Illinois where they farmed on land between Macoupin and Apple Creeks in Greene County in 1850.  They were surrounded by the John M and Samuel Spencer families who were probably Jesse's brothers.

Jesse, his wife, and children had returned to Kentucky by 1852.  They were living in Russell County in 1860 where Jesse worked as a cabinet workman.  His real estate was worth $500 and his personal estate $300.  The closest post office was in Jamestown.

Jesse and Alla had seven children together before her death around 1860.  They are John S, Sarah E, Mary Jane, James R, Nancy M, Frances C, and Lindille.

Jesse Spencer was 39 when war broke out in 1861.  He should have been living in Kentucky during this time, and, because Kentucky is a border state, I am unsure where he placed his loyalties.  It is true he had Virginian roots, but he could have had family and friends in Illinois.  More research is needed to determine if he or members of his family had any role in the War for Southern Independence.

Jesse married his second wife Nancy J around 1863.  She was Kentucky born in June of 1839.  Jesse and Nancy were still living in Russell County, Kentucky in 1870 where he was farming again.  His real estate was worth $450 and his personal estate $200.

The family moved to Missouri between 1871 and 1875 where they were farming in Dent, Iron County, in 1880.  Jesse and Nancy had six children together: Preston T, Frank W, Perry M, Alice, Laura, and Jesse.  The 1880 and 1900 census records show that while Jesse could both read and write, his wife Nancy could not.

Jesse and Nancy's son Frank Spencer is shown in the top left of this photo.  His wife Rhoda (Taylor) is the adult woman seated on the far right.
By 1900, they had moved again to Grant in Newton County, Arkansas (where son Frank married into the Taylor family).  Five of Nancy's six children were still living, but only Perry and Jesse Jr. were still at home with their parents (the family structure shown in the top photo).  They were farming on land owned by 25 year old Perry.

It is believed by many that Jesse moved one last time and died in Cherokee County, Oklahoma, in 1906.  From my own research, this seems plausible as at least two of his sons, Frank and Perry, were both living in that county in 1910.

Sources:

Ancestry.com, 1850 United States Federal Census (Provo, UT, USA, The Generations Network, Inc., 2005), www.ancestry.com, Database online. Year: 1850; Census Place: Between Macoupin and Apple Creeks, Greene, Illinois; Roll: M432_108; Page: 18A; Image:.

Ancestry.com, 1860 United States Federal Census (Provo, UT, USA, The Generations Network, Inc., 2004), www.ancestry.com, Database online. Year: 1860; Census Place: Russell, Russell, Kentucky; Roll: ; Page: 674; Image: 86.

Ancestry.com, 1870 United States Federal Census (Provo, UT, USA, The Generations Network, Inc., 2003), www.ancestry.com, Database online. Year: 1870; Census Place: Precinct 5, Russell, Kentucky; Roll: M593_; Page: ; Image:.

Ancestry.com and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1880 United States Federal Census (Provo, UT, USA, The Generations Network, Inc., 2005), www.ancestry.com, Database online. Year: 1880; Census Place: Dent, Iron, Missouri; Roll: 691; Family History Film: 1254691; Page: 486C; Enumeration District: 048; Image: 0358.

Ancestry.com, 1900 United States Federal Census (Provo, UT, USA, The Generations Network, Inc., 2004), www.ancestry.com, Database online. Year: 1900; Census Place: Grant, Newton, Arkansas; Roll: T623_70; Page: 3B; Enumeration District: 88.


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