William Speer

William Speer

Somerset County, Maryland, USA
Death 1859 (aged 100–101)
Jefferson County, Alabama, USA
Burial Brookside, Jefferson County, Alabama, USA
Memorial ID 6693519 View Source
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William Speer was born in 1758 on the eastern shores of Maryland, and died in 1859 in Jefferson County, Alabama. His father was Jacob Speer and his mother was Elizabeth (name unknown). In 1771, William married Mildred Estep, she was born in Surry County North Carolina in 1764 and died in Jefferson County Alabama in 1850.

William Speer's Revolutionary War service record reveals that he spent three months in Captain Samuel Mosely's Company and three months as ensign in Captain Henry Speer's Company (his brother), Col. Joseph Phillip's Regiment. He then spent three months as a private in Captain David Humphries Company, Col. James Martin's Regiment. All of these were North Carolina troops.

The North Carolina tax list for 1782 shows William Speer living in Surry County, but in 1801 he moved to Boonesboro, Kentucky. Family descendants says he was friends with Daniel Boone and his son William Speer Jr. died at Boonesboro.

William Speer left Kentucky in 1824 and moved to Alabama. On February 13, 1856, when he was 97 years old, he was given veterans pension by the United States Government for being a veteran of the Revolutionary War.

William and Mildred Estep Speer are buried in Bivens Cemetery on the Old Jasper Road, Jefferson County, Alabama. The General Sumpter Chapter of the DAR has placed a marker on his grave. His name is also inscribed ona memorial boulder in Woodrow Wilson Park, Birmingham, Alabama, which includes 17 other Revolutionary War soldiers buried in Jefferson County,Alabama. The William Speer Chapter of the DAR in Birmingham, Alabama isnamed in his honor.

Written by Allen Paul Speer III

(1758 - 1859)

William Speer was born in Somerset County, Maryland in 1758 and was a son of Jacob Speer, Sr. and his wife, Elizabeth. I have never determined the maiden name of Elizabeth. Jacob Speer, Sr. was born March 3,1725 in Somerset County and was a son of Henry and Jane Calloway Speer and a grandson of Andrew Speer who had come to Maryland from Donegal Ireland. William Speer and his brother, John are the ancestors of most of the Speer-Spear families in Cumberland county today. William Speer moved with his parents from Maryland to Surry County, North Carolina in 1771 when he was 18 years old. At that time two brothers of Jacob, Sr. made the move to North Carolina also. These were Andrew and Aaron.

In 1805 a large migration of the Speer family left Surry County, North Carolina and migrated to Cumberland County. William Speer had married Millie or Amelia Estep in Rowan County in 1781 and they had moved to Madison County, Kentucky in 1801. The group from Surry County may have come by way of Madison County for William and his family came to Cumberland County at the same time as those from Surry. The Speer families settled on Sulphur and Kettle creeks and on the ridge between those two creeks now known as Pea Ridge or Spears Ridge.

While living in Madison County, Kentucky William Speer's eldest daughter, Elizabeth was married to Valentine Bivens and the youngest child, Mildred was born in Madison County. William and Amelia Speer were the parents of Elizabeth, Isaac, Abraham, James, Susannah, Caty, William and Millie. James Speer married Penelope Jacks and Abraham married Sarah Shuelt. Millie the youngest daughter married Bennett Brake. Most of these children moved to Tennessee and Alabama. James Speer went on to Limestone County, Texas. Isaac Speer married Elizabeth Atkins. Isaac and Abraham remained in the County. Isaac died in 1876 and Abraham in 1881 and they are buried at Spears Chapel cemetery near Peytonburg.

William Speer lived in Cumberland County until 1824 when he moved to Jefferson County, Alabama where two other daughters were living. At that time William Speer was sixty-six years old and he probably thought that he did not have too many years left so he and Amelia wanted to be near their daughters. However, William Speer was to live another thirty-five years for he died in 1859 well past the age of 101 years. He is buried in the Bivens Chapel cemetery south of Birmingham, Alabama beside his wife Amelia.

In 1856 William Speer applied for a Revolutionary pension. In his application he stated that he had enlisted in 1780 in Surry County, North Carolina and served as an Ensign in Captain Henry Speer�s Co. Captain Speer was an older brother of William. In the fall of 1781 he enlisted for another term as a private in Captain David Humphrey's Co. and Colonel James Martin's Regiment. He was granted a pension February 13,1866 when he was 98 years of age. When asked why he had not applied earlier he stated, "I have always been in easy circumstances and did not need it". William Speer's name is on a memorial boulder in Woodrow Wilson park in Birmingham along with twenty three other
Revolutionary veterans who died in Jefferson County. There is a marker on his grave placed by the General Sumpter chapter of the DAR The William Speer chapter of the DAR in Birmingham is named in his honor. William Speer has thousands of descendants in the United States. There are hundreds in Cumberland County. ( Source: Ruth Wooten, Cumberland County, Kentucky Yesterday and Today, Vol. 1, (Curtis Media Corp. 1992), Page: 367 and 368, F510, by Virgil B. Long )

WILLIAM SPEER (l758-1859)

SPEER, WILLIAM (b. 1758 on the Eastern Shores of Maryland d. 1858 Jefferson Co. AL., age lOl years.)
BURIED: Bivens Cemetery on the old Jasper Road, Jefferson Co. AL. His name is inscribed on a boulder erected at Five Points, Birmingham, AL by Gen. Sumter Chap, DAR, in memory of Rev. Soldiers buried in Jefferson Co. A DAR Chapter is named in his honor.

SERVICE: Ensign N.C. While residing in Surry Co. N.C., he enlisted in l780; served as Ensign in Capt. Henry Speer's Co., Col. Joseph Phillips' N.C. Regt. Enlisted in Fall of l78l; served as private in Capt. David Humphries' Co., Col. James Martin's N. C. Regt.
PENSION: S 11 446. Application executed Feb. l3, 1856, resident of Jefferson Co. AL. Bounty Land Warrant 39215-160-55.

RESIDENCE: After the Revolution, he moved to Kentucky and lived there until l824 when he moved to AL.

Applied for a pension in Jefferson County, Ala., May 15, 1856, giving his age as ninety-seven years. He signed with his mark. He was drafted and his residence during service was in Surry County, N.C. He served a tour of three months in Capt. Samuel Maseby's Company, Col. Joseph Williams' Regiment of Battalion. He then volunteered for a tour of three months as ensign in company of Capt. Henry Speer, Col. Joseph Phillips' Regiment or Battalion. Later volunteered for tour of three months as a private in Capt. David Humphries' Company, Col. James Martin's Regiment. He was so young during his first tour that his Captain proposed to his father that he furnish a pack horse for the service and that he remain at home, which was done. This seems to have been in addition to the service shown above. Affidavits were signed by the Rev. Benjamin Tarrant and L. G. McMillan as to his character. He was born in 1758 on the Eastern Shores of Maryland. The record of his birth is now in possession of his granddaughter. He lived in Surry County, N.C.; was in Kentucky, 1801-1824, and in Alabama since 1824. Abraham Estep, in North Carolina, was his brother-in-law. Another application was dated December 8, 1855, in Jefferson County, and with it was an affidavit of Nathan Byars, Justice of Peace, dated December 10, 1855, that William Speer had made affidavit for the heirs of William Hughlett of Kentucky, that he had sworn therein that Major, then Captain Hughlett, had served under his brother Capt. Henry Speer of North Carolina. An affidavit of August 12, 18.56, states that he was the only William Speer in Surry County, N.C. when he entered the Revolutionary service and the only one of that name in the regiments in which he served. A statement was signed by many citizens in Jefferson County, February 16, 1856. The North Carolina Comptroller has the following statement as to his payments: Certificate 33361 issued August 12, 1856 at $25.88 per annum from March 4. 1831, under Act June 7, 1832.—Information from Pension Files, National Archives, Washington, D. C.

Family Members


  • Created by: Bill Wallace
  • Added: 18 Aug 2002
  • Find a Grave Memorial 6693519
  • Dale Spear
  • Find a Grave, database and images (www.findagrave.com/memorial/6693519/william-speer : accessed ), memorial page for William Speer (1758–1859), Find a Grave Memorial ID 6693519, citing Bivens Chapel Cemetery, Brookside, Jefferson County, Alabama, USA ; Maintained by Bill Wallace (contributor 9568499) .