View Full Version : Spencers of Holborn

Sue from Southend
17-04-12, 15:36
I'm tying myself up in knots trying to work out this family!

I'll work backwards and hopefully it will make sense. All of the records are on Ancestry.

Diana Spencer marries Joseph Stokes Feb 1806 (the baptisms of some of her children give her name as Dinah, and one of her daughters was named Dinah)

Baptism of Diana Spencer Jun 1786 St John, Hackney to William Spencer and Sarah.
There is also a baptism of a William at the same church and a Hariot at St Matthews Bethnal Green who I "claimed" as Diana/Dinah named one of her daughters Harriot. Unfortunately there are also lots of other possible children and it's hard to pin down whether they are this family.

There is a possible marriage between a William Spencer and Sarah Lloyd 1780 @ St Mary Islington. But this may be unlikely if the baptism below is correct - he'd have been 16. There is a Licence on FMP which I would send for if we think it's a definite possible!

In 1764 a William Spencer is baptised son of William and Dinah at St Sepulchre, Holborn. There are several other children: James, Sarah (x2), Charlotte, Ann, David, Mary and Thomas. My Diana/Dinah named one of her sons David.

The Wills of both William Spencer snr and Dinah Spencer are on Ancestry.
His, dated Oct 1793, leaves everything to his wife.
Hers, dated Feb 1803, is more complicated. She makes bequests to two of her now married daughters and their husbands and to one surviving single daughter. Bequests also to David and Thomas and also mentions her grandson William, son of David. There is no mention of son William or any children he may or may not have. Her home is in Sharps Alley, Holborn.

When David married in 1793 (a few months before his father died) both witnesses are named Wm Spencer.

In 1808 I have found a burial for a William Spencer at St Sepulchre aged 44 (which gives an estimated birth year of 1764, see baptism!) His address is given Sharps Alley. Which would suggest that he is the son of Dinah and still alive at the time of Dinah's Will.

So, my question is - am I clutching at straws due to the naming coincidences or can I potentially pencil the Holborn Spencers into my tree? Have I missed anything that may help me decide one way or the other?

Apologies for the length of this - I quite understand if no one can be bothered to get their heads round it but thanks for reading anyway!

Tom Tom
17-04-12, 15:44
Hmm, it's an interesting one Sue.

Have you had a look to see if you can see any possible baptisms for Sarah Lloyd? Or a possible burial for her? This would tell you whether she too was about 16 at the time of the marriage, and might make it more likely if she was?

My London research isn't very good I'm afraid as I don't have a great deal of knowledge of the places.

Having names like Hariot (particularly if spelt like that), David and Diana/Dinah, would seem to suggest a link to me, but the link may not be as close as you would like it to be.

Did William and Sarah (possibly) have a child called Charlotte? That is another of (the possible) William's sisters and again was quite unusual at that time.

17-04-12, 15:51
Do you have an occupation for William (Diana's father)?

Sue from Southend
17-04-12, 15:58
I haven't looked at Sarah Lloyd at all Tom! It's a good idea though, will check thta out.

I've no idea what his occupation was Kate. Hackney and Bethnal Green registers are particularly unhelpful. The older William Spencer was a butcher according to his Will.

17-04-12, 16:02
It's just that I have got a couple of men in my tree who got married very young but neither of them was bound as an apprentice - apprentices weren't allowed to get married, so if we could find out what William's occupation was and see if he was apprenticed, it might help us to work out if that's his marriage or not.

17-04-12, 16:08
William junior may well have taken over his father's business on William senior's death. In that case, Dinah might not mention him in her will, unless it lists mourning gifts to each child.

Sue from Southend
17-04-12, 16:10
Joseph Stokes was a Weaver (see this weeks ToGG) and until this lot turned up I thought it likely that Diana parents would be the same. But just guessing really.

I did look at Apprenticeship records to see if I could find William snr as either apprentice or master but nothing leapt out at me.

Sue from Southend
17-04-12, 16:15
William junior may well have taken over his father's business on William senior's death. In that case, Dinah might not mention him in her will, unless it lists mourning gifts to each child.

I hadn't thought of that, Phoenix. One of my doubts about this has been that he baptised the children in Hackney and was buried in Holborn. There several possible later baptisms in the Holborn area which might mean they'd moved back there on the death of his father.

18-04-12, 19:43
I think it looks quite likely, although obviously it would be nice to have more proof. Two William Spencers alive in early 1793 is good and it would make sense that the wife of Joseph Stokes was the grand-daughter of the other Diana/ Dinah. Holborn and Hackney are near enough and of course being a butcher he may well have been connected to Smithfields - my ancestors lived in Sharps Alley in 1841 and 1851 and most of the inhabitants made musical strings from the guts :-)

I'd have thought the questionable thing was the 1780 marriage but there don't seem to be any other possibles in London/ on Ancestry. I know they're rare but there were marriages with 16 year old grooms. I think I'd have to get the licence. Might also be worth seeing if you can identify Sarah Sansum the witness?

Re apprentices - I'm fairly sure I have at least one who married before his term was up and before he got the freedom of the city - I wonder if it was one of those things that wasn't allowed but happened?

18-04-12, 19:49
Re the burial - I notice in Dinah's will that she requests to be buried at St James Clerkenwell with her late husband - St James isn't a long walk from Sharps Alley but there are nearer and more obvious churches - St Sepulchre and St Andrew Holborn for example - so the family have a history of choosing :-)

Sue from Southend
19-04-12, 11:23
Thanks for taking the time to study this, Asa.

Re the choosing of Churches - the only likely marriage I can see for William and Dinah is at St Botolph's Bishopsgate in 1760, again all in the same area!

I have tried to work out who Sarah Sensum/Sansum was (the witness at the Wiiliam Spencer/Sarah Lloyd marriage) with little luck except that there is a marriage in 1704(!) between a William Spencer (of St Leonard's Shoreditch)and Mary or Margaret Sumshum which is too far back to trace forwards with any confidence especially with names like William and Mary!

I'll keep looking and will probably end up sending for that marriage licence!