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 William Spencer

William Spencer

Death 1652
Jamestown, James City County, Virginia, USA
Burial Unknown
Memorial ID 93970527 · View Source
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"The Adventurers of Purse and Person" p.580-81:

"William Spencer, yeoman and ancient planter, came to Virginia in the "Susan Constant" in 1608, was an honest, valiant and industrious workman, and first to choose land.

His Muster of 24 January 1624/5 shows that William Spencer resided at James Island/Jamestowne along with his wife Alice, unknown maiden name. His muster included his wife, Alice, a daughter Alice, 10 barrels of corn, 200 fish, four pounds of powder, eight pounds of shot and three pieces (firearms), twelve swine, three goats, two kids, two dwelling houses, and one boat.

On 14 August 1624, William Spencer received a patent for 12 acres at James City. He was referred to as "yeoman and ancient Planter". This acreage was "part of his first divident within the Island toward Goose Hill". It appears that his entire divident was called Spencer's Hole. He received permission from the General Court in 1629 to take up 400 acres not already alloted and he chose the south side of the James River, the part which became Surry County in 1652.

"It is written that William Spencer was a Burgess for Mulberry Island in 1624. In 1632-3, he was again a Burgess representing Mulberry Island (Research needed here.)"

His two largest grants were 1100 acres in 1635 and 1350 acres in 1637. He died about 1652.

1) William listed among the dead at Jamestowne1624/5
2) Alice age 4 in 1624/5
3) Elizabeth
4) Anne"

William Spencer, Ancient Planter, is noted as a member of the first expedition which arrived at Jamestowne, for he came over on the Sarah Constant with Christopher Newport in 1607.

Captain John Smith in referring to the men to whom Sir Thomas Dale had alloted farms for the raising of corn said in 1614 "From all those Farmers whereof the first was William Spencer, an honest, valiant and industrious man, (and hath continued from 1607 to this present), from those is expected such a contribution to the store, as we shall neither want for ourselves nor entertain our supplies."

John Rolfe said " William Spencer and Thomas Barrett a sergeant, with some others of the Ancient Planters being set free, were the first farmers that went forth; and have chosen places to their content; so that knowing their own land they strive who should exceed in building and planting."

On 14 August 1624 William Spencer, "yeoman and ancient planter" received a grant of 12 acres on Jamestown Island "part of his first dividend within the Island, towards Goose Hill, near the land of Sir Thomas Dale, due for his personal adventure." As William Spencer "of James Island" he patented 250 acres on the west side of Lawne's Creek at the mouth, 9th September 1632. This clearly identifies the Surry patentee as being William Spencer of Jamestown.

He was living at Jamestown in 1624 with his wife Alice and daughter Alice and was a Burgess for Mulberry Island 1624 and 1632-1633.

In 1635 he patented 1100 acres on "Lawnes Creek and Westerly upon Hog Island Creek, Southerly upon a parcel of land he hath taken up near the mouth of the Creek."

In 1637 he further patented 550 acres and 1350 acres "upon Lawnes Creek." This is the last reference to him in the patent books.

Two daughters, Elizabeth, wife of Major Robert Sheppard, and Anne, wife of Captain William Cockerham survived.

Major Robert Sheppard died in 1654, and his widow married Thomas Warren-one daughter Elizabeth Warren married John Hunnicutt.

Elizabeth (Spencer) Sheppard also had a daughter Ann Sheppard who married (1) Thomas Hart , (2) William Newsom.

Through these families survive many descendants of the Valient Ancient Planter.


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  • Created by: redbirdintheyard
  • Added: 21 Jul 2012
  • Find A Grave Memorial 93970527
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for William Spencer (unknown–1652), Find A Grave Memorial no. 93970527, ; Maintained by redbirdintheyard (contributor 47188418) Unknown.