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Dana Richard Spencer
Birth: Dec. 22, 1940
Rochester
Monroe County
New York, USA
Death: Oct. 28, 2013
Virginia, USA

Dated 23 Oct 1976, Blacksburg, VA Introduction: In the Spring of 1973, I began compiling Spencer genealogy from information my father had gathered since 1938,and this material was often to be found in libraries. Much of my father's work in this area was not referenced and required a re-newed search in some area. Since my childhood, I had heard my father speak about family history, and at times he tried to explain relationships of past family members. Polly (Foster) Spencer was the wife of Daniel Spencer, and Lebbeus Foster Spencer, their son, was an Indian agent at the Rosebud Indian Reservation--bits of information that I learned at an early age. More detailed information about their lives involved questions which could not be answered. How did Lebbeus Foster Spencer receive the title "Colonel" as he never served in the military? Was Ethan Allen of Revolutionary War fame, related? While history especially that of Colonial America has always interested me, I had little concern then to determine or learn about family relationships proposed in my father's seemingly complicated system of keeping genealogy. It was not until I was stationed in Wiesbaden, Germany, and had the opportunity to visit St. Mary's Parish (church), Stotfold, Bedfordshire, England, that I became actively engaged in pursuing and gathering family data. Stotfold was the birthplace of the Spencer Brothers (Thomas, William, Michael, and Gerrard) who eventually emigrated to America in the 1630's. I am a direct descendant of Gerard/Gerrard (William-2, William-3, Matthias-4,Timothy-5, Daniel-6, Joseph Arnold-7, Foster Wright-8, R. Milford-9, and myself, Dana Richard-10) Spencer, the youngest of the four brothers, who eventually settled in Haddam,Connecticut. Donald Lines Jacobus has documented Gerrard-1 through Daniel-6 in his article, "The Four Spencer Brothers", The American Genealogist magazine, during the early 1950s. Whilemy father and I have been compiling and proving information onour family back to the early 1500s, I have been speculating on what future generations might find of interest during our times. Supposedly, an autobiography of my life and recollections mightprovide future generations with this insight. Hopefully, my children and their issue will contribute to my basic start in this area, adding their life experiences and thoughts as well as vital statistics to an on-going story. With this brief introduction, I, Dana Richard Spencer, son of R.(Ralph) Milford and Frances Vivian (Bateman) Spencer, was born 22 December 1940 at Genesee Hospital in Rochester, Monroe County, New York. From birth to approximately 20 years of age, I resided with my parents and sister, ____________, at 96 Amity Street, Spencerport, New York. As a child, I remember Spencerport as a small, quiet village which was part of the larger rural town of Ogden. The village is located approximately twelve miles west of Rochester situated on the south side of the Barge Canal. In an article, 150 Years in Ogden, 100 Years in Spencerport (Edgar E. White, 1967, pp. 144-145), my father wrote, regarding Spencer Genealogy as it concerned Spencerport, "In 1804, a group which included Timothy Spencer and his two sons, Daniel and Austin, made their way up the Hudson River, a natural travel route, the Mohawk Valley and the Cherry Valley. Upon reaching Springfield, New York, Timothy, Sarah his wife, and son Austin stopped. Daniel at the age of 24 and his wife Anna (Willey) Spencer came to what is now Ogden." In 1804, Daniel Spencer, my great-great grandfather, owned a farm of 180 acres which was eventually transected by the Erie Canal. The property owned by Daniel Spencer became what is now the greater part of downtown Spencerport. When the Erie Canal was completed and a post office established, the location was known as Spencer's Basin. Daniel Spencer ran a grist and saw mill, lumber yard, and manufactured linseed oil. He also operated the first tavern which was on the east side of main street south of the canal. The Erie Canal was expanded many times and became the Barge Canal that I remember. I can remember being awakened by the horns and whistles of the tugs, boats, and barges that used the canal during and right after World War II. Our house was situated parallel to the canal (on Amity Street), approximately 2 1/2 blocks from the lift bridge on Union Street (Main Street)in the village. The boats would warn the lift bridge that they were coming, and I would often run downtown to be lift on the bridge. From our property we could see the canal bank and the Martha Street Bridge; however, both my sister and I were frequently warned never to go near the canal without either my mother or father. I can recall hearing about drowning and dredging for bodies after autos had gone into the canal. I remember one instance when an auto went over the bank near Elmgrove; I watched it being pulled from the water by a crane. Also farmers and others would discard dead animals into the canal, and I hear often that domestic animals such as cats were drown in a bag. Later, in my teens, I would fish for sun gills, pumpkins, and perch; ice skate on the canal after three-quarters of the water was drained in the winter, and canoe between the Martha Street Bridge and to the next bridge west towards Adam Basin. After the 1940s, the canal declined rapidly as a means of commercial transport across New York State. Pleasure boating took its place and did gain popularity during the late 1950s and 1960s. When I lived in Rochester from September, 1972, to August, 1973, I would frequently walk along the canal banks, gaze down the water way recalling the small but significant part the canal played in my early life. I can still see the purple haze of late afternoon on a cold, wintry day that reflected the bleakness of winter in this area of the country. I sort of miss this today; however, I know I did not find it of fun then. In 1972, I found the remains (one driven wooden 2 X 4 pile) of what my father and I had made and used as a pier in the 1950s. The stones along the banks were typical of the lake region; flat and perfect for skipping over the water which I still do to this day when I return home. One would always see wildlife such as ducks, rabbits, frogs, and sometimes deer on or near the canal. I have always wanted to travel the entire canal by boat as its offers some unusual scenic beauty and contains the history of yesterdays as it proceeds through the various towns on the canal route. I attended Spencerport Central School, located on Lyell Avenue in Spencerport, New York. The school was approximately one-quarter mile from my home. I started first grade in the Fall of 1946, remembering basically that my teacher's name was Mrs. Hoffman, and that during the first day my mother and I sat in the back of the classroom next to a later elementary school friend, Donald Canfield. Donald's family lived on Whittier Road, down from my grandfather's place. 
 
Family links: 
 Parents:
  R. Milford Spencer (1902 - 1992)
  Frances Vivian Bateman Spencer (1906 - 1990)
 
 Spouse:
  Marilyn Gay Sanderson Spencer (1942 - ____)
 
 Children:
  Daniel Richard Spencer (1972 - 1972)*
 
*Calculated relationship
 
Burial:
Fairfield Cemetery
Spencerport
Monroe County
New York, USA
Plot: SECTION III-AB-14/13
 
Created by: Dana Spencer
Record added: Feb 03, 2008
Find A Grave Memorial# 24381756
Dana Richard Spencer
Added by: Dana Spencer
 
Dana Richard Spencer
Added by: Dana Spencer
 
Dana Richard Spencer
Added by: Dana Spencer
 
 
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Thank you for your work with Find A Grave...your efforts will aid those who greatly appreciate your efforts...RIP my friend...Randy
- Randy V Jackson
 Added: Oct. 25, 2015

- Donna
 Added: Aug. 23, 2015
thanks for doing all this work, much appreciated, good talking to you.
- nancy ashley
 Added: Jul. 22, 2015
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